RUIN AND BORED
Re: George Neumayr’s May The Schwarzenegger Not Be With You:
I enjoyed George Neumayr’s article about the “governator,” and I share his views. But, as Neumayr said, Arnold is really “boring,” so I’d like to discuss the California electorate (for Californian readers that means voters), an odd entity that has split personalities, squared.
Some Californian voters seem to know they’re morons, but, like, you know, it’s okay with them because, well, like, they’re Californians and, like, you know, they’re really cool morons. Still others seem to know that they’re naive and intellectually unsophisticated, in large part because of an inferior, left-slanted public education system. But, still, you know, like, even with their profound naiveté and substantial intellectual impairment they’re like, you know, well, still Californians and so they’re, like, really cool, you know Dude?
How ever they’re characterized, many Californians’ political decision-making appears antithetical to critical thinking. They’ve become mired in a shallow, pop-culture mentality. They’re celebrity-driven, herd-like creatures, who either can’t, or won’t, analyze important issues in any real depth or scope. They take little account of cause and effect regarding how they vote or how their political leaders’ decide public policy matters. They continue to elect hard-left, tax and spend liberals, such as their two U.S. senators, along with a large majority of their other congressional delegation — and, of course, their state legislature. It’s amazing and sometimes amusing to watch what the voters and their politicians do and then try to calculate: “What in the world were they thinking?”
In any case, there can be no doubt Californians know the kinds of political leaders they elect, yet when it comes to paying the costs for many of the hair-brained programs approved by those leaders, the good folks of California often don’t want to pay for the programs concocted. Yet, for some reason, those same voters continue to re-elect the same goofy, spendthrift politicians; and they continue to approve ballot propositions obligating the state to create more and more, often useless government spending programs costing billions of dollars the state cannot afford.
A classic example was the 2006 election where numerous propositions were on the ballot. Six were to approve, or not, various state spending that would cost about $100 billion. Voters approved all six measures. On the other hand, there were five other propositions for new taxes to pay for spending for such programs as those approved; and another measure to “limit the size of government.” Comically, all six of those measure were defeated handily. (See here.) What to think? What to think? Well, it seems simple to me. California voters want everything, but want to pay for nothing. The word “morons” flashes back into my mind.
As an aside, and far from being comical, there was another proposition on that 2006 ballot requiring abortion doctors and clinics to inform parents before killing an unborn child in the belly of a minor girl. This measure was rejected by voters, in effect, permitting voters’ very own unborn grandchildren to be killed without their knowledge or an opportunity to save the child’s life. I asked one nice lady who voted against notification of parents, and she told me, “Well, that’s better than a child using a coat hanger or having an abortion performed in some back ally.” WOW!! Attitudes of Californians have bemused me for the 20 plus years I’ve lived here, but I think I realized what the deal was a few years back when I saw graffiti spray-painted on a rock in a park. The writer said “keep abortion legal” and then below that were the words: “meat is murder.”
Another example of the Californian mind is the wailing and cursing when prices of gasoline for their cars goes up a few cents per gallon. But when the question arises about whether the state should permit drilling for oil in the vast proven reserves off the Pacific coast, the same people become apoplectic. No! No! No! they sputter. We can not despoil our coastline. Apparently, Californians believe folks in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Venezuela, Russia, and countries in the Middle East should happily continue delivering cheap fuel to Californian stations and otherwise leave them alone.
Given all of foregoing and other equally bizarre voting history and attitudes of Californian voters, especially in the last couple of decades, who could have been surprised by the defeat this week of the five tax propositions on the ballot which were designed to ensure the state has money to pay its bills into next month? And, who could be surprised that these same voters still, apparently, want all the government services money can buy and all the silly government spending program that leftists can conceive. Obviously, getting and paying for gasoline, or getting and paying for government services are, well, like, you know, not necessarily related, and, like, why should they be, dude?
All I can do is continue to shake my head and wonder, “What in the world are they thinking?”
In any case, the state is broke and getting broker by the day. If the situation did not seriously effect the lives of so many real people, it would be like, totally, you know, like, humorous, don’t you think dude?
— A.A. Reynolds
Chula Vista, California
You may be all of those names called you by duh Media. It also happens you were absolutely correct in your evaluation of “Benedict” Arnold.
Later than sooner, one of his advisors will tell him the $20 billion tax increases over five years have a very negative impact on state income.
Do not let the twittering nitwits of news change your reporting of truth.
— Eddie MacIsaac
Re: Henry Gekonde’s The New Hampshire Motorcycle Fetish:
I enjoyed your piece on motorcycling, and would like to make a few comments or observations.
Back in the late ’40s and early ’50s, I, too, was one of the cult of the 2-wheelers. Only I didn’t ride “Milwaukee Iron,” I proudly rode “an imported machine!” First a Belgian Sarolea,and then a British BSA.
Our machines were more functional,smaller, lighter, and simpler than the Americans, with very little emphasis on ostentation.
I made the annual pilgrimage to Laconia at least twice, once with the “gang” and once with my new wife. I believe it was called “The Gypsy Tour” in those days, a term which, in retrospect, was probably well chosen.
Even in those days it was a noisy, confusing, and gaudy affair, with all sorts of add-on chromed accessories or doodads.
But the fraternity of the cyclists was amazing and inspiring. It seemed not to matter how they might appear, if you were a cyclist and had pulled over to the side of the road for no apparent reason, the next cyclist to come by would invariably offer help.
Coming back from some such affair with my girlfriend riding behind me, my clutch cable broke. The next cyclist to come by, after ascertaining that I could handle the clutching without the additional load of my girlfriend, graciously offered to drive her home on the back of his machine, all the while remaining with me to be certain I, too, reached my destination.
I also have to admit that everyone I knew that had been riding a motorcycle for a year or more had experienced a painful accident at one time of another. Thankfully, most of them were not life threatening nor lifestyle changing.
I had my introduction to the school of hard knocks when my girlfriend and I hit a car trying to make it through a yellow light. She suffered a concussion and a broken finger, while I just got badly bruised. But I never forgot the sight of the streetlight seen between my legs as I flew through the air.
I do not agree, however, that a motorcycle is hard to ride. Indeed, my experience suggests that it is even easier to operate than is a bicycle. Granted, however, that to learn to ride well does take more time, given the motorcycle’s greater mass, potential for speed, and probable wider use.
When we rode (in the greater Boston area) we looked for the “open road” which was more often found in middle Massachusetts than near Boston. Riding a motorcycle on a road full of cars is not fun. What was fun was riding on the occasional byway or dirt road that provided exploration, rather than exhilaration.
Looking back, I enjoyed those days. I learned that motorcycling is a sport: not transportation. But it was FUN!
— John Juechter
East Greenwich, Rhode Island
CUTTING COST CORNERS
Re: Eric Peters’ Obama Nails the Coffin Shut:
Could you please ask Mr. Peters to write on what cost avoidance schemes this will generate among consumers?
For example, Germany imposes large duties on American-made motorcycles. Every few years, the U.S. Armed Forces in Germany uncover a group of military personnel/civilian employees buying (through AAFES) Harley-Davidson motorcycles which they illegally resell to German nationals. Before this recent announcement, I anticipated a similar problem would occur in California because that state raised its emission standards unilaterally. Nevadans and Oregonists would purchase cars, smuggle them across state lines, and resell them as used vehicles to Californians.
Obviously, one possible impact is that cars made in the last model-year before the new standards take effect will fly off the lots until that supply is exhausted. Older cars will remain in service longer. Will Canadian or Mexican border towns suddenly sale huge numbers of cars that are then resold as used cars to Americans? Are certain types of vehicles, like trucks and vans, excluded from CAFE? etc.?
Thank you in advance for your/Mr. Peters’ consideration of this topic.
FAR FROM THE WORST
Re: Dennis Homerick’s letter in Reader Mail’s D-Disrespectful:
It is always amusing to listen to folk proclaiming President George Bush (the 2nd) “will go down in history as The Worst President” as Dennis Homerick had done in the TAS May 21, 2009 Reader Mail. As memory serves, every time a Republican President left office he was said to be “the worst President ever” — even R. Reagan the Great. Unfortunately, Republicans are too inclined to accept the stigma on their leaders. Democrats are different. Even mediocre Presidents are rehabilitated to greatness. Truman was a straight talker. JFK was a magisterial visionary who’s womanizing has slowly been transformed into THE behavior common among all great men. (Note the uncontrolled orgasms every time PBS recalls the days of Kennedy’s Camelot.) LBJ is the great champion of Civil Rights (they still haven’t figured out how the handle that “war thingy.”) Clinton was that lovable rake who put it to the Republicans while the greedy (er…salt of the earth) reaped the riches of the “best damn economy ever.” And, if you listen to them, somehow Jimmy Carter’s Presidency is morphing into some sort of American golden age (tales of secret Republican supersonic jet trips to Iran to sabotage Carter’s re-election still lowly rumble among Democrats).
So. Now we are supposed to yammer amongst ourselves and go “boo-hoo” while cursing Bush the Second’s shadow? Save It.
We got a President who stands to leave us an America we won’t recognize by the time he spends his last day in office. That isn’t a fanciful tall tale. It’s what he intends and he’s said so.
We have a press that thinks Colin Powell (who endorsed Obama) represents real Republicanism while it thinks there is a rotten fish somewhere when Cheney speaks.
We have an American electorate which doesn’t recognize that the Republican Party is the only American political party that gives Conservatives a platform to speak. The relationship between the old Republican leadership and Conservatives is an uneasy one; but Conservatives will not go away simply because some “moderate” is whining about “real Republicanism.”
Lastly, we have an educational system, mass media, religious leaderships who could not replicate a Conservative argument if their lives depended on it. This leaves whole populations with slurs and clichés for Conservativism. Conservativism is unlike the definition found in the dictionary. We have the task to clearly speak in every corner the principles that lead not to a perfect society but to a humane one. Conservativism is more than politics. We believe in it not because we capriciously want it but because it is true. If every Conservative suddenly disappeared tomorrow, the truth will still exist. Those who come after will have to “rediscover and reinvent the wheel”; but have the truth they will.
— Mike Dooley
Re: P. David Hornik’s Judenrein Judea:
In addition to the U.S. asking Israel to curb natural growth in the West Bank, we have the Pope calling for and I quote: “Mr. President, the Holy See supports the right of your people to a sovereign Palestinian homeland in the land of your forefathers, secure and at peace with its neighbors, within internationally recognized borders…”
I’m not surprised American policy makers do not know the history of the Holy Land, but the Pope?
The West Bank is Judea and Samaria. It’s the original land of Israel which predates Islam by millennia.
The present population of Palestine are Arabs from other Arab countries and nomads who settled there because Jews returning to Israel, indisputably their land, whilst escaping the pogroms and other persecution, gave them jobs and improved their lots!
I guess California should be returned to Mexico too when the Mexican population reaches the tipping point… This is no joke; some are calling for exactly that…
Even (Nobel peace prize winner and father of modern terrorism) Arafat was an Egyptian…
— Boris Nazaroff
TAXED TO THE MAX
THE JOY OF TAXES
I can’t afford candy.
I can’t drink a coke.
I’ll give up wine.
I’ll never smoke.
I’ll hold my breath,
I can’t relax it,
Because if I breathe out,
Al Gore will tax it.
I’ll have to stop driving,
Can’t afford the gas.
A summer vacation?
I’ll take a pass.
Air fare? Forget it.
Sports? Regret it.
Gone is all fun.
The tax man has won.
— Mimi Evans Winship
A RUSSIAN FRIEND WRITES
Re: Mark Hyman’s Obama’s Tortured Logic:
I think Obama should establish a worldwide network of inquisition tribunals to punish all sorts of heretics who do not believe that “Vox populi is vox Dei” and that the American President is the most true representative of God. The offenders should be burned alive on Holy Fires.
— Mikhail Tarasov
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