Days of Change

You Had Your Chance

April 17, 2014
1 Comment

Cliven Bundy is facing down the government the way many people in intrinsically weak positions do. He’s ready to go to war. His dispute is over the fact that the federal government has decided to take state land and call it theirs. Bundy will only recognize state government when it comes to his land. The feds took his cattle but eventually had to return it. They did not have the stomach to go to war.

This is a tactic employed successfully by the Obama White House. Today, they claimed 8 million sign-ups for Obamacare, a whopping 30% of them under 35. It’s cooking the books, something business does a lot when they need to make positive announcements before they revise them down later. Insurance companies still have to set rates, and if most of those under 35 who signed up, did so for Medicaid, those rates are going to be much higher.

The administration has no shame and is willing to go to war with Republicans. War gets them donations and reduces the desire of their base to think critically about the administration. Holder can’t be fired or impeached, so he stays on. The Senate is controlled by Democrats, so nominees will continue to be rubber stamped. In a system where one branch is in total control, another has been unwilling to overturn bad law and the third only has one of two houses in opposition to the executive branch, there are few options.

The last option for the GOP to do anything was the budget. They thought they “won” the battle because Obamacare failures eclipsed a 17 day budget standoff. It’s been over 117 days now and Obamacare took insurance from one group and made an equally sized group sign up for theirs. The IRS and Benghazi are as unresolved as ever. Now Joe Biden is taking selfies with President Selfie. The didn’t starve the beast and the beast is biting them in the ass.

This is what I feel instead of outrage toward Obama now.


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God’s Not Dead, But Alinsky Sure Is

April 8, 2014
3 Comments

I decided to see the Christian movie “God’s Not Dead” at the theater which is actually growing in ticket sales. Noah, however, is dropping. I’ve actually seen the other Kevin Sorbo led Christian movie “What If” on Netflix where he plays a successful businessman who turned down his chance to become a minister and a family man who is given a second chance.

“God’s Not Dead” covers a topic familiar to conservative media. In it, a fictional college freshman (Shane Harper) makes a deal with a philosophy professor (Sorbo) where he can avoid signing a “God is dead” pledge and pass the class if he can convince the students that there could be a God. This movie has been something of a surprise, making the top five for a few weeks now in box office. It is on track to beat other movies like “Fireproof” to be the most successful Christian movie outside of The Chronicles of Narnia or The Passion of the Christ.

Traditional entertainment media has been struck dumb as to how they should regard this movie. Some have been circumspect, others have been downright hostile. Many have taken shots at the movie’s characters, plot lines, direction and message. God’s Not Dead certainly casts atheism in a depressing light and disparages most characters who have not accepted Jesus as their savior. My response is so what?

I think Saul Alinsky would not like Barack Obama very much. Alinsky was a socialist who wanted the government to serve the people and punish the wealthy. While his campaign embraced rules for radicals, Obama’s administration has been quick to protect the wealthy and connected and take liberty from people. Alinsky wrote “Rules for Radicals” and liberals and progressives are not radicals anymore.

The true radicals are the ones who still believe. They believe in the Constitution, they believe in free will. They believe in individual liberty and many believe in almighty God. The producers of “God’s Not Dead” are using many of the same methods other movies use to make moral judgement. They are using the rules of making movies to say something contrary to the beliefs of people in the film industry. If crappy movies like Noah keep happening, Christian filmmakers will soon do it better.


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Data Mine

April 5, 2014
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I think most of the direct implications of the resignation of Brandon Eich from Mozilla have been addressed over the course of the week. This was a change from the attempted boycott of Duck Dynasty, which ended with liberals losing clout. At the same time, the mantle they hung on the wall was a progressive person himself. In every way, Eich and his company were the model of LGBT friendly business practices. This article points out the fact that Eich is not just a hired gun. He invented Javascript. Even OKCupid will not be dumping their fancy Java interfaces for old-fashioned applets and C coding anything soon. The author wonders something many others have. Why punish someone for a $1,000 contribution that is interpreted as being bigoted when his entire history shows the opposite? I know the answer.

His name was on the list.

Ironically, the age of computers has come back to bite one of the most important computer guys. Politics is a numbers game, and the wayt o deal with large numbers and large amounts of information is to automate as much of it as possible. Obama and NSA data mining is not an accident of overzealous bureaucrats. It is a dry run for assembling data rather than gathering knowledge. The government already excels at applying rules without regard to a person’s circumstance. No matter how worthy you are, if your name is on the list, you’re in trouble.

The Obama campaign has been especially good at data mining for votes. They knew it was cheaper to fund Obama’s 2008 campaign and let the “wave” carry Congressional Democrats in. In 2012, they were able to literally contact every Democratic voter from 2008 and harass them into voting again. Their names were on a list. This year, I think Democrats are going to try splitting every Senate primary in the GOP to get just under the 7 turnovers needed. It’s not about ideology, it’s about making the trains run on time.

 


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Obamacaid

April 2, 2014
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I was going to wait for the Hobby Lobby decision to write about the secrets and history of Obamacare. With the April Fools Day reveal of 6.9% unemployment 7.1 million ACA enrollees, I’ll focus in on some of the White House stategery regarding the selling of Obamacare.

  • Moving the goal posts. This wholly meaningless 7.1 million figure was created to counter conservative criticism of not reaching the 7 million signup goal. I can imagine we would be accused of moving the goal posts if we complain about all the other problems with Obamacare because the 7 million figure is so important. Of course, the White House has said 7 million was not the goal, was by 12/31, then 2/15, now 4/1. I suspect we’ll never know the real number once it is obscured by other fake numbers.
  • Whack-a-mole. During the Obama sales tour, many promises were made about the advantages of Obamacare. The “keep your plan” promise had to do with the idea that this was supposedly just for the poor and uninsured so no one else should worry. Then the ACA was sold as being cheaper. It was supposed to be easy to get with many selections. All of those were spectacularly wrong. Somehow, just getting 7 million “sign ups” is a vindication. Just ignore the other stuff.
  • It’s Obamacaid. With subsidies and lower bars to cross, many poor people signing up for a health plan are signing up for Medicaid. Many of these people could have signed up years ago, but they are now being forced onto the government radar under threat of fines.
  • Even more people have no health insurance. There are about 45 million people in the US without a health plan. During the Bush administration it was under 40 million. The main difference is that more people had jobs and insurance through their employer. Now, fewer people have jobs and employers are dropping coverage or making their employees ineligible by cutting their hours.
  • Why only 7 million? If Obamacare has majority support, (according to one poll of 51% approval) shouldn’t there be 20 million people saying “yes, we can” to signing up for coverage?

The sad part for America and the good news for Republicans is that Obamacare rates are going to jump around election time because the wrong people signed up over the last few months. If the Democrats keep the majority in the Senate, it only gets worse. In 2015, people who decided not to sign up by now get to pay their Obama tax.

 


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Noah

March 28, 2014
2 Comments

Since Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” (which was originally named simply The Passion and had to be changed for some stupid Hollywood reason) Hollywood has been trying to parlay the deep faith of American Christians into movie profits. Their tactic is to make the same crappy movies with the same liberal writers and just base them on Bible stories. The result is Noah.

Noah takes the Bible story of a man who was told by God to build an Ark ahead of a big flood. The writers and director of the movie then used the lack of a full script being in the Bible as an excuse to fill in the gaps with secular spackle. Noah apparently uses environmentalism as its religion and leaves out the term God entirely, opting for “Creator,” the term most liberals ignore in the Declaration of Independence. “Evan Almighty” is a more faithful retelling of Noah’s story.

Better yet, criticism of “Noah” has been met with derision by the cast and director. They have claimed that “Creator” is more inclusive, the story of Noah is too thin to tell word for word without embellishment and that no one is allowed to talk about the movie until they plunk down their $10. I can tell you right now that if the cast is this dismissive of a Christian audience, there will not be a Christian audience.

At the same time Hollywood is yet again screwing up an easy concept, the movie “God’s not Dead” snuck into fourth place last weekend. The movie was released by a Christian film company and stars Kevin Sorbo, a veteran of Christian-themed movies. The plot resonates with current events for Christians, the hostility toward religion in higher education. One of the Robertsons from the persecuted family in Duck Dynasty even shows up. There’s not much chance it will make more than “Noah,” but I’m almost certain it will have a higher profit margin.


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The Good Hipster

March 20, 2014
5 Comments

I read a tweet this morning posted on WordPress by Kristen Bell, star of the direct-to-video movie “Veronica Mars.”

The Salon article mostly bashes Republicans for using a millennial as the spokesman for the RNC. Now, I will grant that douche bags like Ethan Krupp are 100% four-eyed liberal Democrats (although the footy pajamas and cocoa may have been affectations). Still, there are many conservatives and libertarians out there who are bona-fide millennials. In fact, Alex Pareene wrote that article 10 days ago. Then again, his idiocy is not in question.

I’ve torn apart some of the arguments and straw man tactics littering this article many times. Near the middle, Pareene makes the argument that increased taxes on the rich would flow toward things like high speed rail and unemployment, even though the Stimulus and all other Obama administration increased spending has not done so. I am, however, incensed that Kristen Bell would jump on the “tax the rich” bandwagon, given her recent history.

About a year ago, Bell and other stars of the failed teen drama “Veronica Mars” could not get a studio to just give them money to produce a movie version of the show ten years later. They also chose not to pool their millions of dollars and become investors. Rob Thomas, the creator of the series, decided to use Kickstarter, a site that casts a wide net to microinvest funds. They got an average of $60 per investor to make the movie on a $6 million budget. Ironically, Bell retweeted a comment about how much $100 means to a “blue collar person.”

Bell, Hollywood phonies who argue for California tax credits for their industry and Alex Pareene are all the same. Their first instinct is to take what’s not theirs from those who got it in the first place. However, if they can’t get it from the rich, they will extract money from the poor instead. My young hipster Republican friend understands this. Kristen Bell does, too. She just can’t comprehend it.


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The Kickstarter Generation

March 15, 2014
3 Comments

Kickstarter is a website that combined three aspects of the internet age. Cyber begging anonymously to up to millions of people, micro payments of small amounts of money and the desire of people to be part of something so big, they have no other connection to it than money. People with various projects, artistic or otherwise, could ask for a kick start of funds to make their dream a reality.

When I was younger, my dad and I used to watch one thing on PBS, Doctor Who. During the pledge drives, the station would offer some pretty neat Doctor Who swag for a minimum donation. Even though much of the merchandise was not nearly the value of the actual pledge levels, (which could go as high as $240 in the 80s) it was a bonus that took the pledge out of the realm of mere charity. Kickstarter allows creators to do the same thing. This is where problems start.

Some projects show actual business sense. One of the most famous is the Veronica Mars project, where cast and producers of the 2004 TV show collected $6 million to make a movie which premiered (in limited release) this weekend. They got over one million dollars in $50 pledges which includes a copy of the movie and documentaries on a DVD. If someone offers a tangible item in a short time table, they can be subject to review by Kickstarter or just public rebuke.

This week, John Campbell responded to public rebuke. His project to produce a sequel to his compendium of sad children drawings apparently hit a snag when promised deliveries from nearly two years ago led to refunds that led to him not having the money to ship all the books he offered for pledge money. Somehow, the shipping and printing cost of two books (the most popular reward) exceeded the $50 pledge. Better yet, he made his displeasure known in an update featuring the burning a number of books equal to the number of requests for the books he promised.

Campbell has come to the realization that having to provide something in return for money is not his goal. Instead, he has flatly refused to send further books citing poverty. Instead, he would like his basic living expenses funded by backers out of sheer respect for his art. This is the Obamanation of Kickstarter campaigns. This is the Nancy Pelosi artist who can produce art that he won’t deliver because he expects his life to be taken care of by someone else.

I think I’ll just keep my wallet closed.


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Short Term

March 14, 2014
3 Comments

The special election victory in Florida of a Republican who was outspent 3 to 1 may be a sign of an upcoming sweep in the House elections in November. Long-term prospects for Republicans are actually pretty good. Major gains were made at state levels in 2010 that have not been reversed. This reduces the available candidates for Democrat party seats in Congress in the future.

The problem is in the short-term. Republicans could hold 300 seats in the House and it won’t change anything unless they are all willing to block a budget. There are about a half-dozen Senate turnovers necessary to swing the balance to the Republicans. While they can still be filibustered, they will have a new-found moral authority to argue that a majority of votes in the House and the Senate mean something. Plus, Obama won’t get any more of his communist friends into federal office.


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Points Don’t Matter

March 8, 2014
9 Comments

George W. Bush had an SAT score of 1206. Bill Clinton had a score of 1032.


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Gone Fishin’

March 7, 2014
1 Comment

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