Odd Citizen

Odd Citizen
An Odd Citizen’s Search For Vanishing Freedoms

Obama Insults Friends, Bows to Communist Tyrants

February 21st, 2010

The picture shows the Dalai Lama being escorted out the back door or the White House past bags of uncollected garbage. This mis-treatment of a foreign dignitary was apparently a concession to the Chinese communist government.

Mr. Obama, you’re a coward, a pussy and a disgrace to your country.

TIP & The Tucson Trolley

February 18th, 2010

Taxpayers are spending $150 million (including a $63 mil federal grant) for 4 miles of street car line. That’s $37.5 million per mile! According to the Arizona Daily Star article the city could not get the boodle B.O. (Before Obama) because it simply didn’t make economic sense. But now it does?

The city had sought federal money before with no success, in part because the project did not meet U.S. standards for cost-effectiveness – although those standards were just waived by LaHood.

U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Tucson, is a key vote on the President Obama’s health-care bill, and U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords faces a tough re-election fight. Both backed the city’s request.

The trolley line is to run between the university and downtown. Aside from the fact that university types have little reason to go downtown and downtown types don’t generally use the university, this is brilliant. (See also Coyote Blog’s series of articles on the economics of light rail in Phoenix) I’m sure that the next thing will be a $50 Million grant to treat obesity of those students at the university and those downtown bureaucrats who can’t walk or bicycle the 4 miles. And it is right in line with the downtown politicians’ vision of a new

downtown as Disneyland – also to be paid by public funds for the greater glory of the mayor and city council.

Oh the wonders of TIP, Totally Irresponsible Politics!

An American Story

February 17th, 2010

Late in the 19th century some immigrants from Norway arrived in the U.S. One of these came as a cabin boy aboard a Norwegian sailing ship named the Lancing. His name was Thor Ottman Firing whose father was a Norwegian naval officer. Thor Ottman signed on to the sailing vessel to fulfill a requirement to enter into the Norwegian naval academy, but by his arrival in New York he was sick, due in part to mistreatment by the Lancing’s brutal and much hated captain. Thor Ottman then jumped ship and was taken in by some Methodist missionaries who nursed him back to health. He later chose to enter the Methodist ministry and also founded a college in Illinois. In the meantime he married Evelyn, also of Norwegian and Swedish heritage and they had six children, the eldest of which was named Thor.

Another of those 19th century Norwegian immigrants was Paul Tweet, whose last name (spelled Tvedt) was Anglicized at Ellis Island. He was trained as an accountant in Norway. After arriving in the U.S., Paul established himself in business in the small Minnesota town of Roseau, Minnesota. He also homesteaded land in North Dakota. Eventually, Paul Tweet became a leading business man and civic leader in Roseau, and even owned the local U.S. Post Office building. He married Thora a beautiful and refined Norwegian immigrant woman and they had three children, one of whom was named Gertrude.

Thor Firing met Gertrude Tweet in Los Angeles, Ca. Gertrude had gone to Hollywood in hopes of being recognized for her figure skating talents and Thor had gone there in hopes of becoming a movie cameraman. It was the depth of the depression so jobs were hard to get. Thor took up the only job he could find, repairing typewriters. Meanwhile, Gertrude found work as a legal secretary. They fell in love and were married, but World War II loomed.

In his early life, Thor Firing was a pacifist and registered for the draft as a conscientious objector. However, at the outset of World War II he read about and saw news reels depicting the brutal rape of Nanking, China by the Japanese. This so shocked and disgusted him that he abandoned his CO status and joined the Army as a photographer, a skill he’d acquired through his employment at a photographic studio.

Thor achieved the rank of sergeant by the time the war ended and was discharged from active duty. But then the Korean war broke out. He, like many others of his generation had their civilian lives and ambitions turned upside down by being recalled to service. At that time Thor was recommended to attend Officer Candidate School to become a commissioned officer. By the time the Korean war ended, Thor had achieved the rank of Captain and had decided to make the Army his career.

In addition to numerous stateside assignments, he and his wife served in France, Korea, Thailand and Germany. He also served a combat tour in Vietnam. After 35 years of service Thor Firing retired from the Army as a full colonel. He then had a second career as a winery representative for Hans Kornel fine champaigns, fulfilling his passion to participate in the world of fine wines.

It is Thor and Gertrude’s generation and that of their parents, whose values of duty, honor, thrift and hard work made this country what is today. They built our modern economy, kept the world free of totalitarian control, and made the U.S.A. the most admired and prosperous country in the world. They did this with incredible modesty and grace. They gave generously and asked for little or nothing in return.

My father, Colonel Thor M. Firing, died yesterday. Gertrude, his wife of 70 years and his three children, four grand children and two great grand children survive him. He was a true hero and will be missed by all who knew him.

Which Party Should Collect the Garbage?

February 9th, 2010

Tucson, Arizona is engaged in a discussion about whether local elections, now partisan, should become non-partisan. So the question arises, do Republicans and Democrats differ at the local level? Yes, absolutely, said Tom Volgy, University of Arizona professor of political science and former Democrat mayor of Tucson. In a recent appearance on Arizona Illustrated Mr. Volgy used the example of garbage collection, which some say is a non-partisan activity.

Volgy said (as accurately as I can remember), “Democrats hire garbage men and pay them well. Republicans contract out the job and the contractors pay the minimum possible. So yes, there is certainly a partisan difference.” In essence, Volgy says Democrats regard garbage collection from the viewpoint of rewarding city workers. The Republicans (for shame) regard garbage collection as a service to be performed efficiently at lowest cost to the citizens. To my mind that’s about the clearest, most succinct summary of the difference in outlook between the two parties that I’ve ever heard.

Thank you Mr. Volgy for your insight.

P.S. The only thing I’d add is to question whether garbage collection should be a municipal service at all. A couple of decades ago I lived in San Francisco where fiercely competing private garbage collectors provided the best, most efficient and least costly collections I’ve ever seen. They’ve now gone over to a municipal service that stinks.

Sun God Worship Agency to Be Created Soon

February 8th, 2010

The utter insanity of this government is getting me down. The climate panic is being discredited day by day, so what does the Sun God do? He decides to initiate a new agency. See:
Report of New U.S. Agency for Climate Study and whatever other mischief they can concoct.

But maybe it’s not so stupid as it sounds. Perhaps the Sun God thinks he’s been taking too many lumps lately, what with the health care train wreck, the economic catastrophe, the tea parties, the failure of the stimulus to stimulate, etc. So he’s decided to plant a new seed. After all, the Sun is the source of climate, and Barack is the Sun God. So why not a new agency to celebrate the brilliance and warmth of the god, himself. The blessing of Global Warming courtesy of the Sun God’s benevolent rays. YES, YES, YES. Glory to the Sun, Glory to the Warmth, Glory to Barack! The new agency can be tasked to build huge temples, obelisks and perhaps even pyramids. Think of it. There will be thousands of jobs for stone masons. So what if we don’t have enough stone masons to do the job. We’ll import them. No money to pay them, no problem, we’ll borrow it from China.

What a Wonderful New Idea, the Sun God Worship and Monuments Agency.

Triple Your Boodle – Answer The Census!

February 5th, 2010

You’ve probably seen one or more of the U.S. Government’s 2010 Census promotion ads. You’re supposed to believe that by filling out the census form you’ll be guaranteeing yourself goodies from the government. Now I suppose that to the socialists in congress and the White House this all makes sense. But then we learn that the Sun God’s minions will be spending $340 Million dollars on this advertising foolishness, including a $2.5 Million ad in the Superbowl TV coverage.

In a Michelle Malkin article we also discover that “the Census will triple its total budget from 2000 to $15 billion.” That’s $5.00 per person in the U.S. Don’t you think a private firm could do the job for about $1.0 Billion or so, and walk away with a hefty profit? But then there would be no boodle for ACORN or your local equivalent. So it won’t be done.

The IRS is reportedly buying lots of shotguns. I’m waiting for the Census Bureau to issue a similar request for quotations any day now.

Damn Democrat Damage

February 3rd, 2010

It just goes on and on — the Obama/Pelosi/Reid juggernaut of foolishness and irresponsibility.

The Financial Transaction Tax is one of those sleeper bills that is sitting in congress waiting to be sprung on the country late some Saturday night when everyone is engrossed in a sports program on TV. This tax proposes to raise $150 Billion dollars according to its supporters. It is supposed to make “Wall Street pay back Main street” – a blatant demagogic appeal to class envy and economic ignorance. And yet, the supporters claim it “won’t do any harm.” The idiotic contention that a $150 Billion theft is harmless illustrates just how economically illiterate these people really are. If this thing passes it will severely harm the financial markets which are, after all, one of the few industries in which the U.S.A. remains preeminent.

Use of TARP Funds as an Obama slush fund. The $700 Billion TARP program was never used to purchase toxic assets as was originally promised. Instead it has been raided to buy bank stock, for automobile company bail-outs (if you can call theft a bail-out), to rescue AIG (and in so doing backstop Goldman Sachs) and for home mortgage bail-outs. These uses were not specifically authorized by the reckless and sloppy language of the original bill. So now the president wants to deploy the TARP funds for a $30 Billion program to bribe banks into making small business loans. Given that the SBA is supposed to be in the small business loan business, which has been a complete, useless failure from day one, who would argue that a new government-backed small business loan program will do anything more than provide a slush fund to pay off political allies and cronies? Use the unspent and returned TARP funds to pay down the obscene national debt.

Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell The policy of hiding the participation of homosexuals in the military services by asking everyone to be a blind liar was a bad idea to begin with. The proposal to abandon the policy of excluding homosexuals from the military is an even worse proposal for one simple reason. The military’s business is to exert horrific deadly force. Part of that mission is accomplished by intimidating the enemy. One doesn’t increase intimidation by feminizing the force with a bunch of drag queens. The participation of homosexual men in an organization dedicated to waging warfare, the most exclusively masculine of all human activities, is unnecessary and detrimental. The same can be said for the inclusion of women in such activities.

Health Care Bill The president and his minions continue to believe that if people can simply be convinced of its benefits, then it will pass. The Dems don’t understand that the country does not want the bill, any of it. They have created a bill that says, “We want to cut off one of your arms. You can argue with us about which arm you are willing to sacrifice — that’s bi-partisanship — but you can’t just say “I don’t want any arms cut off.” The silver lining in this thing is that people seem to be waking up enough to realize the damage that could be done, so it may not pass — and the Dems may be thrown out of power in November 2010. But in the meantime the damage they can do is truly mind-numbing.

All of this and a $3.5 Trillion budget with a $1.8 Trillion deficit, too. That’s Not Change I Can Believe In!