Archive for April, 2012

Dog Wars

Posted by Troy on 19th April 2012 in Current Events, Political

We are getting a preview of just how inane this election is going to be.  A photo has surfaced of Romney traveling with his dog’s carrier on the roof of their car.  In response, Romney supporters have pointed out that Obama ate dog as a child.  I supposed a slick reply from Romney would be to say, “I’m not going to point out how many dogs President Obama had slaughtered when he was living in Indonesia.  I’m not going to talk about how he used to eat them.  I’m here to talk about jobs, and dogs don’t need jobs.  Dog owners need jobs…unless they’re eating their dogs anyway.”

There are so many more important issues…and all they can talk about is who is worse to dogs.  How about inflation, government overreach, the proper function of government, government waste, debt, China, terrorism, Iran, the economy…

Long Live the Constitution!

Obama calls for greater regulations on oil futures

Posted by Troy on 17th April 2012 in Current Events, Political

Obama blames the higher gas prices on speculators on oil futures.  His contention is that the futures traders manipulate the price of oil for their own gain as opposed to the good of all Americans.

First of all, it is important to note that I seriously doubt this is the case.  As with all transactions, there are winners and losers in futures.  This is like declaring that an individual investor manipulates the price of stocks.  There is one party who is losing on the trade and another winning on the trade.  Likewise, one person in the future’s contract is going to be a winner and the other is going to be a loser.  The only way his argument holds water is if the futures trader can force the other party to enter into a losing transaction.

Secondly, future contracts are merely a financial tool.  Investors are basically betting on if a commodity is going to be higher or lower at a fixed point in time.  Even if futures were completely done away with, financiers would figure out a way to mimic futures contracts.  I would be hard pressed to demonize people for using futures contracts.  Ask a farmer if future contracts should be eliminated.  Without futures contracts, many family farms would go bust over night.  So that would leave just making oil futures illegal, which is pretty silly and juvenile.

Third, the reason speculators are expecting oil prices to spike stem directly from Obama’s actions with the oil pipeline, dealings with OPEC, and a looming conflict with Iran.  Until the Iran Nuke issue is settled out, there is going to be uncertainty.

Fourth, it is doubtful that “reforming” futures contracts would affect the actual price of oil over the long term.  It may make prices less volatile, but that’s about it.

Finally, it sounds to me that what Obama’s real gripe is that the market is setting prices.  It makes his administration look bad when prices go up due to his policies.  It would appear that supply and demand should be managed and prices set.  This, of course, used to be called Fascism.  It’s been close to 100 years since we’ve seen real Fascism, so maybe people have forgotten what it looks like.  When you look at Obama’s policies of deciding what kind of insurance you should have, what kind of cars we should drive, price controls on oil, what kind of energy we should invest in, and his National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order (which gives the Executive branch the ability to control the allocation of resources during peacetime or war) shows what I have always said, Obama is a Fascist with a capital F.  Bush may have been a fascist with a lower case F, but Obama is a Fascist because he believes that Fascism is a good idea.

Long Live the Constitution!

Voter Identification

Posted by Troy on 16th April 2012 in Current Events

I will never understand the outrage at voter identification.  Everything that makes an election more verified is a good thing.  I have often advocated for the auditing of election results.  We audit Miss America, but not the Presidential results?  I have to say, if someone is upset about something that’s supposed to prevent fraud, I have to assume that they wish to commit fraud.  The fact of the matter is that I have to present my ID when I vote in the beautiful state of Georgia.  It doesn’t appear to adversely affect voter turn out.  Several other states also required identification to vote.  I believe that “voter suppression” is a myth.  Either opponents of the measure wish to commit fraud or are merely grandstanding.  That is to say, they declare voter suppression is the goal to raise the ghost of Jim Crow laws in a political ploy to play the “protector.”

Long Live the Constitution!

Charity and Socialism

Posted by Troy on 15th April 2012 in Human Nature

Many people advance the notion that the rich should pay their “fair share.”  Of course, the taxes collected from these new taxes shouldn’t pay for a month’s worth of deficit spending, but let’s examine the notion.  The idea is that a moral country should provide for those less fortunate.  Even Jesus said that people should sell all they have, and each would share according to their need.

Now let’s examine where their argument falls apart.  The first point of contention is that, in order for such a system to work, all must be of solid moral character.  You have to have everyone willing to work.  They must all work hard.  They must adhere to the Christian principles.  Particularly, they must not fall to the sins of sloth, greed, or pride.  As long as there are any members of the system who are willing to take and take and don’t want to work, the whole thing will fall apart.

The other issue I have is that Jesus never took from the rich and gave to the poor.  Jesus was not Robin Hood.  He wanted the rich to give of their own free will.  This is the key principle difference between charity and socialism.  Charity is a matter of choice, of free will.  Socialism is basically legalized theft.  Hand over the cash, or we’re throwing you in jail.

What amazes me is that all of these people calling for more taxes and socialism are not buying into it themselves.  I would have a lot more respect for Warren Buffet, Obama, Bill Gates, and others if they cut a check to the government for half of what they own and say “Go forth, and help the poor with my money.”  Instead, they seem to only want to pay higher taxes if they can force everybody else to pay higher taxes as well…which is kinda messed up, honestly.

The government is not in charge of charity.  Local churches and community groups and friends and families are supposed to be the safety net.

Conservatives are Low Effort Thinkers

Posted by Troy on 13th April 2012 in Current Events

This study “proves” that conservatives are low effort thinkers.  This means that they basically put together a solution based upon concrete principals and assumptions.  This study is clearly flawed.  Just based on the techniques used, it is clear that the ones who did the study were setting out to prove that conservatives are idiots.  This pans out by the comments below the article.  Notice that all the high effort thinkers (Liberals) were quick to point out the short comings of the article…no, wait…they just took what was told to them at face value.  Of course, people love it when they are told that they are better than the rest, don’t they?

“Low Effort Thinking” is not necessarily worse than “High Effort Thinking.”  A Ruth Goldberg machine is an example of high effort thinking.  You can spend hours making a crazy machine that will light a candle, or you can strike a match and light a candle.  Is it really better to spend an hour when a few seconds will do?  I would also point out that there is a certain amount of  low effort thinking in the Leftist mindset.  The fact of the matter is that every action has unintended consequences.  Most of these could actually be foreseen with a little effort.  If you tell people that you will buy their food if they cannot afford it, do you think that they will spend their own money on food and use your money to make up the difference, or do you think they will spend all their money on other stuff and let you cover all the food bill?  Just because you spent a lot of time and effort working on a solution doesn’t make it any more impressive when it fails miserably and makes things even worse.

Intelligence and idiocy exist on both sides of the political fence.

Long live the Constitution!

Earth vs Spider

Posted by Troy on 13th April 2012 in Entertainment

I’m a sucker for a failed hero story.  There is something tragic and beautiful about someone who tries and fails.  Earth vs Spider is the tale of an average guy that attempts to become a super hero.  It starts off well enough, but things go very bad very quickly.  Even while he is losing his humanity, the protagonist continues to try to do the right and honorable thing.  This is a low-budget sci-fi film, and it will not appeal to most movie goers that demand high priced special effects.  However, it is one of the best movies in the superhero genre.

Jennifer Lawrence’s response to PETA

Posted by Troy on 11th April 2012 in Current Events

Kudos for Jennifer Lawrence for not caving to the general pressure that exists in this world to never offend anybody at anytime.  When asked about her skinning a squirrel in the Hunger Games, she replied, “Screw PETA.”  They, of course, are quite annoyed by her statement.  The fact of the matter is that PETA is incredibly self-righteous.  They claim that people should not eat animals.  This rests upon the assumption that humans think that it is okay to eat animals because they are less valuable than humans.  It is rare that you find someone who advocates humans should eat other humans.  This is because we view other humans as valuable.  However, PETA believes that animals have an equal right to life as humans.  However, what they don’t realize is that they are being hypocritical.  They are assuming that it is okay for them to eat fruit and vegetables because they believe that animal life is superior to plant life.  Plants are just as alive as animals.  In fact, I don’t believe there is any substance that humans can live on that was not alive at some point.  If PETA were to respond that you can eat the fruit or seeds of a plant without killing the plant, I would respond, “How is that any different than eating eggs or drinking milk?”  Fruit and seeds represent the embryos of plants.  Eating them is eating the potential for life, same as eating eggs.  Life is murder.  Carnivores eat other animals.  Vegetarians eat living plants.  Even plants seek to choke out their competitors.  That being said, there is no reason to ever be unnecessarily cruel to an animal.  When an animal is slaughtered, it should be quickly killed.

Long Live Steak!  Long Live Bacon!  oh…and The Constitution!

The numbers don’t lie

Posted by Troy on 10th April 2012 in Current Events

In the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin case (which is getting more convoluted by the day), it occurs to me that it is interesting how much press time this case has gotten.  In truth, I don’t like to see any story of this nature televised.  It is mostly unimportant.  If you disagree, ask yourself whether this shooting is likely to affect your life or will inflation and the debt crisis have more of an impact on you?  This much media coverage poisons the case.  It is going to make it very difficult to have a fair trial.  Also, now there are reports of youths beating up old, white people in retaliation.  None of this is productive.  Regardless, many have pointed out that if Zimmerman had also been black, the media would not have cared.  Check out the attached link for some interesting statistics.

The real question I have is, why is is politically incorrect to bring this up?  While deaths involving two different races make for good TV, it is definitely not the case for most homicides of blacks.  It really makes no sense, when you think about it–both in why it is the way it is and why black on black crime is so high.  Why is it that we cannot have a grown-up conversation as to the causes of this phenomenon?  You would think seeking to reduce these statistics would be seen as good for the black community, but instead, bringing this topic up brands someone as a racist.  I do not believe that it is due to poverty.  There are communities all around the world as poor or much poorer than in America, and they do not have near the homicide rates.  We should be examining the situation and trying to come up with a realistic solution.

War Dogs

Posted by Troy on 9th April 2012 in Current Events

Too often, I focus on things that are bad in the news.  Today, I want to spotlight something positive.  A military handler was allowed to adopt her K-9 partner.  The dog was having health problems and was about to be put down.  There are few bonds closer than that of master and pet.  This bond is even greater when your very life depends upon your partner.  Many military dogs are put down needlessly.  I think that every handler should have the option to adopt their K-9 partner at the end of their tour of duty, pending a review to ensure that both the dog and the handler are of an appropriate mindset (that is to say, the handle will nor order the dog to attack, and the dog is of a stable personality).

Thou Shalt Not Covet

Posted by Troy on 8th April 2012 in Human Nature

People forget this one.  Why is it so important?  Well, here is a question: why can’t people be happy with what they have?  If you look at the poor today, most of them live in conditions that would put the richest people to shame three hundred years ago.  So, why is it that people cannot be happy with a roof over their head and food on their plate?  It’s not good enough that they have a car, they want the latest SUV.  A day relaxing in the park isn’t good enough.  They have to have a tropical vacation in Hawaii.  There is nothing wrong with all of these things.  A new SUV is great.  A trip to Hawaii is wonderful.  However, these things should not be necessary for happiness.  I think the reason that discontent is on the rise is that TV offers a version of reality that does not exist.  There is a study that comes out every so often that compares the lifestyle shown on TV vs reality.  It never stacks up.  Carrie Bradshaw could never afford all the designer clothes and other luxuries on a columnist’s salary.  So what we have is people seeing columnists and chefs and other professions living 2-3x beyond their means, and they wonder why they can’t live like that too.  In addition to this, you have political leaders and activists and other manipulators that want to push the class warfare and “economic injustice” line to gain power.

Do not look to your possessions for happiness.  A plastic cup will hold water just as well as the finest crystal.  As yourself these questions:  Are you loved?  Are you well?  Do you have enough to eat and drink?  Do you have a warm home in which to sleep?  If you answer yes to all these questions, then you have all you need to be happy.  If you are not happy, you need to examine your life and see what it is you need to change to bring about your happiness.  It’s not quite that simple, but it’s a start.