The Turning of the Tide

2 08 2011

Water Surge by Michael Drummond/Public Domain Pictures.net

It is indeed that, as I turn 45 today. I’m still trying to wrap my head around how I went from a teenager who didn’t think she’d live past high school, to middle life. I have never needed drugs to go on mental trips–they simply come to me from everyday life.

My sea-change of life somewhat parallels the sea-change in the Christian world, and I’ve written about it on my Examiner.com page. Give it a read! It’s my birthday, after all.

And it looks like Congress, the Senate and the White House decided to give me a birthday present of “resolving”? the debt-ceiling debacle before the deadline, ensuring the United States does not go into default. Yeah… Uh Huh.

My favorite quote of the post-mortem on this deal comes from Jim Geraghty on the Hugh Hewitt Show yesterday. Jim expressed his own lukewarm feelings on the resolution, and said something to the effect that every time it looks as though we have government spending locked up and under control, they pull a Harry Houdini on us. Well said.

I have the feeling that this so-called Super Committee will have as much affect as the Debt Commission. Lots of time and money spent on coming to conclusions and solutions, which ultimately end up in the political round file.

But for now, neither side is giving high-fives or breaking out the champagne. Quin Hilyer’s piece in The American Spectator pretty much sums it up: “The Deal Sort of Stinks… But Only ‘Sort of’“. Erick Ericson, never a glass-half-full fellow to begin with, headlined his RedState Morning Briefing with “We All Lose.” Tell us how you really feel, Erick.

The far Left is particularly in a tizzy.  The favorite quote on their side comes from Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, who called the deal, “A sugar-coated Satan sandwich.” Cleaver’s a poet, and he didn’t even know it!

Kevin Drum of Mother Jones trips over a familiar leftist canard: People are too stupid to realize just how important government is in their lives, and we just have to be more persuasive, dammit! It’s Public Opinion, Stupid. He blames the progressives for not turning the tide of public opinion to support liberal agendas:

“We just haven’t persuaded the public to support our vision of government. Until we do, the tea party tendency will always be more powerful than we are.”

Oh, please. We have seen your vision of government and we don’t want it. And every attempt to ram it down our throats simply causes us to stiffen our backs even more. This is why the pendulum is swinging in the Tea Party direction. Get over yourself, Kevin.

But ultimately, it’s Nick Gillespie, Reason Magazine blogger, who hits it out the park: “The Debt-Ceiling Debate is Dead! Long Live the Debt! Or, Will ObamaCare Cover What Krugman’s Smoking?”

Spectacular headline aside, he pretty much echoes my feelings on this entire debacle:

“In fact, the real reason to be bothered by the whimper with which the debt-ceiling squabble seems to be ending is this: It doesn’t address the real issue, which is the debt load of the country.”

Or as I would say it, kicking the can to the next generation. I have no children of my own, but I feel sorry for my nephews and nieces; they will ultimately pay for all this malfeasance.

Happy Birthday, to me!

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In My Orbit…

8 04 2011

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

To shutdown or not to shutdown? That is the question.

President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Speaker of the House John Boehner continue their budget dance, supposedly trying to avert a shutdown at midnight. I see it as a game of who wants to come out of this smelling like a rose, which is a losing battle in and of itself. Whether they come to a compromise or not, nobody’s hands will be clean.

I, like many of my fellow Americans, yawn and change the channel, while wondering how we’re going to get through a Summer of $5.00 a gallon gas.

In Shut Down the government? Seriously? Ruben Navarrette, Jr. hits it:

“Here’s the real reason that professional politicians should do whatever they can to avoid a shutdown: After a few days of living without government, many Americans might just decide they don’t really miss it and could live with a lot less of it.”

Aside from feeling for our military, I could stand that–at the state level too. Scary Brown just bragged to SEIU bigwigs about plying Republicans with wine in order to affect a compromise. And he no doubt writes this off his taxes!

More proof that both sides are more interested in maintaining their corners of power than they are about averting a financial meltdown.

Jerry Brown tells state worker to take Republicans to lunch.

 





In My Orbit…

30 03 2011

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Girl has come up for air from her Yogically-concentrated path of Teacher Training to actually write a blog post. Can you believe it? Just three more weeks of training to go, then we’ll see where the path continues to takes me–I’m actually kind of excited!

I’m also excited about the series I am writing for my Faith & Community Page on Examiner.com called “Yogis of Faith”. Do pop by and check out Part 1: Transformation, and Part 2: Devotion. As soon as I finish this blog post I’ll get to working on Part 3: Application.

As always, that coming up for air includes checking back in with the political scene. Scary Brown is doing what I pretty much suspected, breaking off budget negotiations with the GOP. The Republicans have effectively put the kabosh on Brown’s plan to mount a special election in June to ask voters to decide whether tax increases should be extended.

The Christian Science Monitor forecasts the future in  California budget: Have Republicans outfoxed Jerry Brown? Lara Brown, a political scientist at Villanova University in Pennsylvania paints a not so pretty picture of gridlock:

“‘What he fails to understand is that in today’s highly polarized political arena, ideologically extreme position-takers consistently beat old-school partisan compromisers,

“‘[…]This generation of politicians understands that Democrats “are better off fighting and standing their ground – showing the liberal Democratic base in California that they are principled, than they are in giving into the demands from what is – and has been for some time – the minority party in the state,’

“The Republicans, meanwhile, ‘would also rather fight it out, because it allows them to cast the Democrats as extremist incumbents who are letting the state slip into insolvency, which then helps them in their attempt to recruit moderates and Independents,’ she adds. ‘Governor Brown, who came into politics in a different era, has yet to realize that he, like [former gov. Arnold] Schwarzenegger, will likely be the one to sustain the mortal wounds in this partisan duel.'”

In the meantime, California continues its fast slide into insolvency and is quickly losing its taxpayer base. The 2010 Census numbers are bearing that out. Thomas Sowell, sagacious and experienced in these matters, hits it right between the eyes:

“In general, people are voting with their feet against places where the liberal, welfare-state policies favored by the intelligentsia are most deeply entrenched.”

Give it a read. Voting with Their Feet.

 

 





In My Orbit…

8 03 2011

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So despite an interim agreement that will carry us through March, the country could still face a Government shutdown if Congress and the White House cannot come to a budget compromise.

I am no economist, but I fail to see why it is so difficult. For starters, pulling funding from National Public Radio (NPR) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) would save us billions. These are both progressive darlings, and I have always wondered why they needed the funding to begin with. They could earn more from their supporters in Manhattan and Beverly Hills than anything the government gives them. I say let’s give them that chance. If I made lots of money, I’d support the causes I believe in and ensure they are kept alive. So why can’t they siphon money from those who believe in what they do? One of the reasons I stopped watching public broadcasting was their incessant pledge drives–where does all that money go?

NPR head Vivian Shiller was on Capitol Hill Monday, defending her firing of Juan Williams and why NPR should continue to receive government funding. A quote from her testimony:

“‘We take [federal defunding] very, very seriously,’ she said. ‘It would have a profound impact we believe on our ability – of public broadcasting’s ability – to deliver news and information.'”

I have listened to NPR from time to time, but don’t consider myself a fan. It has some interesting bits, but most of it is pretend high-brow intellectualism with a fully political agenda. Don’t get me wrong: I’m fine with political agendas, just don’t pretend or claim that you are above it. NPR is fully a pretender.

So isn’t it convenient that fresh off Ms. Shiller’s turn before the Congressional committee, James O’Keefe rolls out another sting video, this time involving former NPR executive Ron Schiller (different spelling and no relation to the current head) and Betsy Liley, NPR’s director of institutional giving.

The video pretty much shows that NPR does indeed have an agenda, and despises the unwashed masses of conservatives who do not side with it. While much of the rightosphere saw the smoking gun in the fact that Schiller all but admitted that they don’t need the government funding, and his calling the Tea Party racist (that’s original), what I found most egregious was his waxing eloquent about the lack of education, and a campaign of “anti-intellectualism” that supposedly infests the nation. One quote from the video has him saying that what he is:

“most disappointed by in this country, which is that the educated, so-called elite in this country is too small a percentage of the population, so that you have this very large un-educated part of the population that carries these ideas.”

I have two degrees: a Bachelors and a Masters, both from prestigious institutions. People who never ask me about my politics assume by virtue of those degrees, my conversational prowess, and that I am a black woman who wears dreadlocks that I must be a part of this “educated, so-called elite”.  So like Schiller in the video, they feel at liberty to say the most ugly, demeaning, and dare I say, anti-Semitic things about those who do not hold their views. I have had comments said to me that would make even my weighty dreds stand on end!

In my pursuit of education, I have managed to avoid the delusion that people who do not pursue higher education are stupid and uneducated. I also don’t assume that just because certain people choose to live in other parts of the country and listen to Fox News or Rush Limbaugh, that they are automatically racist and xenophobic.

But what I most strongly reject is the belief that intelligence and education will solve all the worlds ills, and it has always befuddled me why a good majority of the professors and students I encountered in my own journey see these as a cure-all.

It definitely solves some, otherwise I would not have bothered to get two degrees. But if education and intellect were truly the solution, do you think I would be unemployed for over two years and scraping to earn a living? My degrees and intellect should solve that problem for me, shouldn’t it? People should want someone as erudite and accomplished as myself on their payroll, don’t you think? And not just me, but the many members of the Tuesdays with Transitioners group that I lead, who are equally- if not more- intelligent and accomplished, yet are having difficulty landing full-time work.

And how about what’s going on with the Middle East? Our highly educated and very intellectual President is dithering and ineffective by many liberal and conservative accounts, issuing half-hearted warnings with not a clue on how to resolve the issue.  Shouldn’t his degrees from Columbia, Harvard Law, and that Nobel Peace Prize be a guarantee that he knows exactly what to do and how best to bring about a resolve to the situations in Egypt, Libya and Palestine?

And finally, if Mr. Schiller is so damn smart, then how did he get caught on camera with his pants down?

Video below for those who are interested.

 








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