Wisdom of the Ages

Politics and policy as unusual - tested by time and maturity

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Location: Iona, Southwest Florida, United States

I am an unapologetic conservative. My opinions have been formed by decades of observation of human myopia.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What's wrong with small business.

Despite his sanctimonious preachings about how small businesses generate most new jobs in America, the President seems to be hell bent on making it difficult, if not impossible, for small businesses to succeed. Burdensome tax penalties and unnecessary regulations hobble small businesses.

I have puzzled about why. What is it about small businesses that makes them such an inviting target for the left-wing statists?

I think I know.

I believe history shows us that the state dictators who have enslaved their populations have done so with the willing complicity of big businesses and major industries.

It's a natural. Big business moguls hang with the politicians, regardless of the political bent. The privileges and threats of ever-growing, all-powerful central government are almost irresistible to the power seekers in large corporate bureaucracies. Witness the predominance of contributions to Obama and the Left in recent years. Moreover, with its influence on labor unions, the left conjures up the mirage of an ability to mollify labor problems.

Big businesses also have an expertise in gathering, managing and cowing individuals. Progress in most big business organizations is not dependent on individual thinking but on the ability to travel with the herd, or more likely, the flock, since we are talking about sheeple.

With the pre-existing business organization, they are easy converts for the Community Organizer in Chief. Nothing needs to change but the color of the jersey.

That may explain why so many big businesses ride shotgun for a left-wing driver.

But, does that cancel out the imortance of small businesses? No. But it spreads a giant and dark shadow over them.

History again shows that the rising dictators go after neutering the small businesses first. Perhaps because small businesses are less powerful, less organized and more easily marginalized. Who misses the closed grocer or the auto dealer that loses its franchise or the plumber who is intimidated by the heavy hand of government?

In Germany and Italy during the rise of Nazism and Fascism, small stores and shops, mostly owned by minorities, were the first to be shut down. In the Soviet Union, it was the small farmers who were removed from their lands and forced in large collectives, run by Moscow.

Come to think of it, organizing a community is not much different than bending it to the organizer's will.

We should be watchful and aware of what is happening to small businesses in America. Without reaching a metaphor too far, they are the canaries in our mine.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

"Thank you" seems so inadequate.

This Monday, we pause to salute and say "thank you" to the brave men and women who died, and who fought along side them willing to die, to defend this nation and the freedom of its people.

That this chain of courage and sacrifice goes back to the beginnings of our nation is often forgotten. To me, nothing symbolizes this tradition better than these lyrics written almost 200 years ago by Francis Scott Key as an observer at the defense of Fort Henry

We forget them at our peril.

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Saturday, March 14, 2009


WASHINGTON , DC (AP) - President Obama and the US Congress is considering sweeping legislation, which provides new benefits for many Americans. The Americans With No Abilities Act (AWNAA) is being hailed as a major legislation by advocates of the millions of Americans who lack any real skills or ambition.

"Roughly 50 percent of Americans do not possess the competence and drive necessary to carve out a meaningful role for themselves in society," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "We can no longer stand by and allow People of Inability to be ridiculed and passed over. With this legislation, employers will no longer be able to grant special favors to a small group of workers, simply because they do a better job, or have some idea of what they are doing."

The President pointed to the success of the US Postal Service, which has a long-standing policy of providing opportunity without regard to performance.

Approximately 74 percent of postal employees lack job skills, making this agency the single largest US employer of Persons of Inability.

Private sector industries with good records of nondiscrimination against the Inept include retail sales (72%), home improvement stores, The DMV also has a great record of hiring Persons of Inability (63%).

Under the Americans With No Abilities Act, more than 25 million "middle man" positions will be created, with important-sounding titles but little real responsibility, thus providing an illusory sense of purpose and performance

Mandatory non-performance-based raises and promotions will be given, to guarantee upward mobility for even the most unremarkable employees. The legislation provides substantial tax breaks to corporations which maintain a significant level of Persons of Inability in middle positions, and gives a tax credit to small and medium businesses that agree to hire one clueless worker for every two talented hires!

Finally, the AWNAA ACT contains tough new measures to make it more difficult to discriminate against the Non-abled, banning discriminatory interview questions such as "Do you have any goals for the future?" or "Do you have any skills or experience which relate to this job?"

'As a Non-abled Person, I can't be expected to keep up with people who have something going for them,' said Mary Lou Gertz, who lost her position as a lug-nut twister at the GM plant in Flint , Michigan , due to her inability to remember 'righty tighty, lefty loosey.' 'This new law should be real good for people like me,' Gertz added. With the passage of this bill, Gertz and millions of other untalented citizens will finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Said Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL): 'As a Senator with no abilities, I believe the same privileges that elected officials enjoy ought to be extended to every American with no abilities. It is our duty as lawmakers to provide each and every American citizen, regardless of his
or her inadequacy, with some sort of job in this great nation and a good salary with it.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Money-grubbing Yahoo angers clients

I received a notice from Yahoo Search Marketing the other day indicating that my bids were now below the (new) minimums set by Yahoo for search terms.

So, I checked where I stood with those bids they want to raise.

Many of them were receiving 3% to 6% click through rates, which is not shabby. More significantly, many of them were showing up in the SERP at positions between 1 and 3.

Can someone tell me why I would benefit from higher bids when I am doing so well with the current bids?

I doubt it.

The only rational I can see for Yahoo to raise their minimums is the desire to generate more revenue. For them. Not me.

I am as fervent an advocate of free enterprise as anyone. I recognize their right to raise their prices. I also recognize that the free enterprise equation means I can choose not to go along with their price increases.

I will not.

As an aside, I notice that the yahoos at Yahoo are now willing to accept the buy-out offer from Microsoft, at a price that was "too low" just a few weeks ago.

Could there be a relationship?

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Do Your Part to Halt GW. Stop Breathing

It has occurred to me that a major source of evil, planet-warming (EPW) CO2 is human exhalation.

So, if we can cut down on the volume of CO2 exhaled by humans, the source over which we have most control, we can have a substantial cumulative effect on the emanation of EPW CO2 into the atmosphere.

Lest you thing I am some nut suggesting you should die in order to save the planet, save your brain cells. I am not. At the rate its going, if EPW CO2 doesn't get you first, the stress and hardship of an economy screeching to a halt will do the job.

Anyway, my suggestion is much less extreme and, while it represents little increments, the accumulation of individual efforts may have profoundly positive effects,

I have run a rough timing on my own pulmonary activity and have determined that I exhale approximately once every 10 seconds. That is six spurts of CO2 every minute. 360 spurts every hour.

I've also determined that I can very easily hold my breath for a minute.

If, every hour, you and I and everyone else in the world holds their breaths for one out of every five minutes, the amount of CO2 that being expelled into the atmosphere per hour will be reduced by 20%.

It's such a small sacrifice by each of us for such an important planetary goal.

What else can you do that will have such a profound effect in our efforts to save the planet? Short of dying, of course?

PS: Once this "save your breath" campaign starts we will have to have to police arrest people who disproportionately generate CO2, such as runners and others who work out. It will be the only fair thing to do.

Monday, July 7, 2008

People of color

It doesn't take a color wheel to see that "pink" is just a lighter shade of "red."

Nevertheless, it is red and getting redder with each demonstration. The apparent goal of these people is to disrupt and create a chaos in which their Marxist philosophy can flower.

If they stand for anything else, I certainly can't tell it.

Somewhat more difficult to discern - but not impossible - is how close "green" is to "red."

Everything the green establishment does, every cause they support, seems to have an ultimate goal of destroying the American economy, bringing down free enterprise and creating a Socialist/Marxist state and economy.

As with so many such movements, they seldom march under their true colors. By using other "causes" to disguise their true intentions, they encourage the well-intended, but naive, to join them and give weight to their efforts.

Let's all ask the question of any of these groups, "What do you really want? No, really?"
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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

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