Celebrating another day of freedom on the march.
The squire of Stately Blaska Manor has thrown his name in the ring. Yes, I have informed Hizzoner the Mayor that I have deigned to take my rightful place on the Equal Opportunities Commission. I have chosen that body as the one most in need of my unusual common sense. The application form asks if I am a minority. I am indeed a minority. I am a Madison conservative, aka the party of Hell No!
Or, Keith Olbermann and his fellow travelers would say, "a poor dumb manipulated bastard." Send a message to Mayor Dave that we need more poor dumb manipulated bastards on the Madison Equal Opportunities Commission. We need more cave men, as Miss Vicki calls us. Let the groundswell begin!
Brent -- There is something Sisyphean about Brett Favre, that rock always rolling back on him as he nears the summit. Packers v. NY Giants and deja vu all over again. One pass and a glorious season ends in a funk. That's why I say to hell with playoffs in college football. We've got the NFL for that. I'm in the camp that believes the Packers did the right thing but, with the Pack out of the playoffs, I was rooting for Brett. But he did look very tired in that taped interview Fox played before the game and very old as he hobbled through the fourth quarter -- just as he looked like a frozen popsicle against the Giants two years ago. At least the "will he or won't he" is not our problem any more.
Tommy -- Speaking of making decisions and high office ... There is very solid information that Tommy G. Thompson is being pressured by some nationally known names to consider a U.S. Senate run against Russ Feingold. I am second to none in reverence to Tommy Thompson, one of the greatest governors in Wisconsin history. Tommy could get the unaligned tea partiers -- he rolled up the score against four different Democrats. Then there is the "fresh face argument." That possession arrow points to Scott Klug, Mark Green, and former Senate candidate Tim Michel. The governor's race is already well covered with Scott Walker starting his franchise not that long ago as a reformer cleaning up the Democrats' pension fund scandal in Milwaukee.
About one of the announced candidates for Senate, brother Charlie Sykes writes:
Insiders "understand" why someone would cover their bases and give money to both Democrats and Republicans... including Tammy Baldwin and Jim Doyle (sheesh!) and would not have to pay personal income taxes for 9 of the last 10 years. My point is that "outsiders" won't see it that way... and this will not be an hospitable year for "insider" politicians.
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Speaking of Herr Olbermann. (Thanks, Sloan)
Rationing freedom like meat in a Soviet food queue
The essence of contemporary liberalism is the illiberal conviction that Americans, in their comprehensive incompetence, need minute supervision by government, which liberals believe exists to spare citizens the torture of thinking and choosing. [George Will: Democrats on the Precipice of Failure]
Hence the Left's passion to ration free speech and property rights like meat in a Soviet food queue.
In Madison, the progressive agenda calls for government to use our tax dollars to pry from four hard-working, law-abiding minority people their investment properties in order to satisfy the central planners' notions of economic development.
Stu Levitan asks a question that captures the fundamental debate now being waged in this great nation: what is the proper role of government? Stu asked:
I am a utilitarian -- like John Stuart Mill, I favor government policy that will produce the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. If a quality affordable senior housing project at that location will produce more happiness for more people than will be produced by continuing the existing MF apartments, why is it wrong for government to facilitate that happening? Again, I am not debating the question of what just compensation would be, only the theory of whether eminent domain is appropriate in such a situation. I can quantify that more people will benefit from the Burr Oaks Senior Housing project than will benefit from the status quo. So why is it wrong for CDA to use its statutory authority to make that happen?
Might a nice grocery store produce happiness? I would think yes, but is it the government's place to make those decisions? One could argue that a tattoo parlor has its customers. (Willing buyer + willing seller = happiness.)
If the properties in question were a nuisance, a danger to health and safety, etc. then "the state" has every right to intervene.
Beyond that, Stu, I think there is something immoral about people with no skin in the game threatening those who have invested their hard-won earnings, who have delayed gratification for some future reward, and who have -- by all accounts -- played by the rules to engage in a legal endeavor.
I do believe what happened in Massachusetts, of all places, Tuesday night was a rebellion against the over-reaching arm of government. [Blaska's Blog takes on the Takings Clause]
Put it this way: A government powerful enough to give you everything you want is powerful enough to take away everything you have.
Patrick McIlerhan draws my attention to an address U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, gave to Hillsdale College in Michigan.
American citizens once took pride in being responsible for their individual well-being and for governing themselves in freedom. They are now to become passive subjects of government leaders, wheedling for hand-outs, more concerned about their security than their liberty. Isn't it wiser to suppose that those who promote this program are smart enough to know what they are doing? When we reach their intended goal, those who still cherish human freedom will be reduced to near-silence. Whatever you call the post-American regime they would impose on this land, it will be no democracy.
... A government that expands beyond its high but limited constitutional mission of securing equal rights is not "progressive," it's reactionary. It privileges some at the expense of others. The American Revolution was fought to abolish artificial distinctions that confiscated the wealth of some and gave it to others. The promise of keeping the earnings of your work is central to justice, freedom, and the hope to better your life. Read this remarkable speech in its entirety.
Now you know why John Nichols is so frightened of Ryan.
Paddy Mac then adds, Progressives ...
complain perpetually about inequality, decrying always the unfairness of the way markets value work. Stockbrokers earn a lot of money, artists little, and this conflicts with their notions of what such jobs ought to be worth.
Progressives have always, then, proposed ways of undoing the market, of substituting a politically determined ranking of the worth of individuals' work. As markets reflect the reality of what willing, paying customers really think that varying things are worth, and as those results produce more stockbrokers and fewer artists than lots of non-paying non-customers would like, people distrust markets. , As those markets reveal that there's a greater gap between the values of certain kinds of work than people find pleasing, they think markets have somehow failed.
And progressives go farther, seeking to supplant markets.
Which you can do by substituting the state. The more our needs are supplied by government beneficence, politically determined, the less we rely on markets. Progressives imagine this is good. ... They have a remarkable ability to overlook the mediocrity, malaise, stagnation, coercion, tyranny and mass murder that have flowered from such ambitiously used state power through history.
What can Brown do for you?*
Premier political analyst Michael Barone analyzed Republican Scott Brown's victory in each of the 10 congressional districts in Massachusetts, a state that Obama won by 26 percentage points. He finds that the Republican prevailed in districts that Obama won by less than 24 percent. Extrapolating that nationwide, he concludes that only 101 House Democrats of 256 are safe for Democrats, leaving 155 in play. By that reckoning, it puts into play Ron Kind's seat in western Wisconsin, Dave Obey in northern Wisconsin, and Steve Kagen (which we knew all along) in the Fox Valley. [Washington Examiner 1-22-10]
* thanks to Mark Block for that line.
Could Dave Obey be Coakly'd? Ashland District Attorney Sean Duffy, age 38, may be the young turk ready to take out the old bull. This is Sean Duffy:
I am married into a Hispanic family (my wife, Rachel, is of Mexican-American descent), and among her family, it's commonly accepted that the Kennedy/Obama/Obey idea of social justice has been an abject failure. Minorities and the economically disadvantaged desire economic opportunity, not handouts. [National Review On-Line: 01-21-10]
(Thanks to Cousin Johan) Guy goes into a bar, there's a robot bartender. The robot says, "What will you have?" The guy says, "Martini." The robot brings back the best martini ever and says to the man, "What's your IQ?" The guy says, "168". The robot then proceeds to talk about physics, space exploration and medical technology.
The guy leaves, but he is curious, so he goes back into the bar. The robot bartender says, "What will you have?" The guy says, "Martini". Again, the robot makes a great martini, gives it to the man and says, "What's your IQ?" The guy says, "100." The robot then starts to talk about Nascar, Budweiser and John Deere tractors.
The guy leaves, but finds it very interesting, so he thinks he will try it one more time. He goes back into the bar. The robot says, "What will you have?" The guy says, "Martini", and the robot brings him another great martini. The robot then says, "What's your IQ?" The guy says, "Uh, about 50." The robot leans in real close and says, "So, you people still happy you voted for Obama?"