Odd Citizen

Odd Citizen
An Odd Citizen’s Search For Vanishing Freedoms

Rand Paul Proposes $500 B. Reduction in Spending

January 26th, 2011

Finally there are some concrete proposals to actually reduce Federal Spending. One such has been presented by U.S. Rep. Rand Paul. Here’s the Overview Summary which is well worth reading. It includes the rationale for the reduction in each agency’s budget and justifies elimination of numerous government programs and agencies.

It’s a little start toward budget sanity. But I won’t believe it until I see the unemployment lines filled with government employees.

White House Propaganda Department At Work

January 25th, 2011

It has gotten slicker and slicker. The Obama White House has a very impressive and undoubtedly very expensive web site to promote the President’s agenda and image. See: Here.

Now they even have their own I-Phone “App” so you can get a call whenever the Prez. decides you need more info. I wonder what that one cost?

I’m all for government activities being illuminated by the light of day and honest reporting from within and without. This, however, goes beyond merely reporting activities toward glorifying them. This is campaigning with taxpayer money. First we get an unsolicited email (spam) from, in this case David Plouff announcing, among other things, a “how the state of the union message was made” TA-TA! movie, question and answer sessions on-line after the speech by his-highness, his-assistant-highness, and a panel of experts to “answer your questions”, and of course a sign-up form so you can get these messages too. I didn’t sign up for mine. They just spam me, having harvested my email address from some earlier correspondence.

It’s all very fancy, very slick, and very expensive. It’s probably technically illegal to spend tax funds on campaign-style propaganda, but what-the-hey, these guys don’t pay any attention to the law anyway.

Stimulus Then and Now

January 24th, 2011

POTUS uses TOTUS to give SOTU to COTUS in presence of SCOTUS

January 24th, 2011


What Debt Ceiling?

January 21st, 2011

It puzzles me mightily how a debt “ceiling” authorizing ever more government borrowing can be called a ceiling if it is automatically raised every time borrowing gets near to it.

Help!!! I need someone in Congress or at least Washington, D.C. to explain this to me.

Over 100 Mobsters Arrested — Hu Jintao Visits White House

January 20th, 2011

Over 100 Mobsters Arrested say the headlines, for crimes including “murder, loan-sharking, drug trafficking, arson and labor racketeering”.

Meanwhile Hu Jintao, China’s Communist Party Chairman is feted at the White House. Mr. Jintao says that contrary to popular perception, China “stands for the peaceful resolution of disputes and has a ‘defensive’ military posture, Hu pledged: ‘We do not engage in arms race or pose a military threat to any country. China will never seek hegemony or pursue an expansionist policy.'”

An anonymous spokesman for the Mafia guys told me in confidence that, “We’ve been misrepresented. We’re just businessmen supplying things people want, such as loans, protection, weapons sales, pharmaceuticals, urban renewal through fire, and we do not seek hegemony or pursue an expansionist policy.”

I told the Mafia guy that I didn’t believe his protestations of benign intent, and I considered him and his buddies liars, murderers, thieves, thugs and lowlifes. You’re a fool to take the word of such as these to mean anything serious.

Mr. Hu Jintao needs to hear a similar message. His country’s actions don’t justify his benign words. He’s a liar and a thug. We’re fools to trust Communist China and its leaders. Sooner or later this “relationship” will bite us.

A Little Medicine, A Lot of Bureaucracy

January 17th, 2011

Here’s a little personal story that shows why medicine is in such a mess.

Last week my elderly mother was startled while sleeping on a couch. She bumped her head on the coffee table leaving a small bruise, a little swelling and some soreness. It was obviously not a serious injury. She lives in an assisted living facility where the staff doctor wanted her to have an x-ray. She and I decided that we’d prefer to consult her own doctor and take the opportunity to ask him some other questions as well.

Mother’s own doctor seemed quite unimpressed by her injury, but in an obviously defensive move suggested an x-ray of her face and jaw. I was not alert enough at the time to ask him what kind of treatment could possibly be rendered even if the x-ray showed some kind of fracture. My suspicion is that nothing could have been done anyway, so the x-ray was a useless exercise to put Mother through.

The doctor’s office had an x-ray facility, but they said they couldn’t do that kind of x-ray. We’d have to go to a radiology lab. Here it got even weirder. Upon arriving at the radiology lab I asked whether they could do the x-ray, since the doctor’s lab said they didn’t have the equipment. The desk clerk couldn’t answer the question and wouldn’t disturb the technical staff, which was apparently at lunch.

I then tried to contact Mother’s doctor to get a clarification as to what “difficult” x-ray technique or equipment was needed and had prevented his office from doing the job. Contacting a physician by telephone, email or smoke signals is impossible these days — misunderstood instructions might result in a law suit, you know.

After an hour’s wait and no clarifying return call from the physician’s office we were escorted into the x-ray lab. The staff seemed confused about what had to be done. They were consulting manuals, discussing the case and buzzing around the equipment. After a while they told Mother to paste her face against the flat surface of the instrument. Some pictures were taken from the back of her head, some discussions ensued over the x-ray viewing screen. Then a couple of side angles were taken, more discussion. Another person was called in and I was excused on the basis that I took up too much room.

Shortly thereafter the x-ray tech came to get me and said that Mother had refused to continue with the procedures. I realized that I should have been a lot more assertive from the beginning and asked why they were taking all of those shots when we’d come in for a simple image of one side of the face. I challenged the man who had come into the room belatedly and now had his back turned to me, asking who he was. He said he was the supervisor. I asked him what the hell they were doing. Why not get the single x-ray we’d come for and be done with it. The supervisor responded that they had a “protocol” that they had to follow.

Well now, I suspect that the “protocol” had a medical procedure number assigned to it and that they’d charge Medicare for a whole series of x-rays that were useless to us. We needed just one.

I’m waiting for a statement or a bill and will vigorously challenge it if Medicare or anyone is charged for more than one x-ray. I doubt that Mother’s doctor will ever see the x-rays they took.

From the very first of this story a little good judgment would have saved a lot of discomfort and expense. The medical system has become so bureaucratized and so legalized that no medical professional can be counted on to exercise good judgment or initiative, or to communicate with the patients. The result is bad treatment and out-of-control expense.

As for Mother, she’s fine. The swelling, bruise and discomfort are gone, but she worries about how much radiation she may have absorbed unnecessarily.

Civil Discourse? Who Are You Kidding?

January 17th, 2011

See: I do not want civil discourse

Well said. Enough said.

Separate Seating Preferred

January 16th, 2011

The parties should sit separately at the State of the Union speech as they have done traditionally. It is beneficial for the citizens viewing and hearing the speech to see what positions are backed and which are opposed, and by whom. We are at a point now when the tide of “progressive” job-killing, liberty limiting programs of the past 65+ years must be resisted, torn down and buried. It is not a time to compromise with the political left. All this talk about accommodation and civility is a Potemkin Village put up by leftists who worry that their cherished programs are about to be demolished. They need to be demolished.

I, for one, want to see what my representatives cheer for and what they boo!

Political Bunker Mentality

January 12th, 2011

Gradually, one violent event at a time, the bureaucracy and the politicians adopt a bunker mentality to protect themselves from the citizens, some of whom are violent and crazy. See below the design of a new government office building.

In the wake of the murders in Tucson we have congressmen (Peter King R-NY) calling for a ban on guns within 1,000 feet of any politician, and (Dan Burton, D-Indiana) proposing to wall off the visitors gallery of the House of Representatives with a bullet-proof/explosion proof transparent plastic barrier, among others.

Hey, guys and gals, we already have to go through metal detectors and surrender our pocket knives if we want to enter any government building. If the danger is so pervasive, then why isn’t the whole private sector similarly bunkered? A lot more civilians than politicians are murdered by crazy people every year. Next you’ll be proposing visiting facilities for citizens to communicate with politicians modeled after those in prisons? Why not?
The only thing they haven’t yet determined is which side of the glass the citizens should occupy.

Sane Thoughts, Insane Murderer, Unwise Politics

January 10th, 2011

RECOMMENDED: The Scary World of Jared Loughner; Dems Target Political Speech By Chris Stirewalt This is a well reasoned discussion of the political “do-something” climate already swirling around this weekend’s murder rampage by Jared Loughner.

Tragedy, Politics and Sheriff Dupnik

January 9th, 2011

In the wake of the shootings of Gabrielle Giffords and others here in Tucson, AZ, our Pima County, Ariz., Sheriff Clarence Dupnik has not made things better by trying to blame the violence on his political opponents. Sheriff Dupnik is an ardent Democrat, and friend of Gabrielle Giffords. In this sense, the sheriff might be forgiven for emotionally lashing out at anyone he thought might have triggered the tragedy. Given his political cant, he probably won’t reconsider his intemperate remarks. But he should.

This incident will undoubtedly become ever more politicized. This is unfortunate but unavoidable. There will be pleas for more gun control laws. I just wonder what would have happened if one citizen present last Saturday had been armed and able to return fire.

This should not become what Rahm Emanuel, Mr. Obama’s former chief of staff characterized as a crisis “not to be wasted.”

It’s a tragedy provoked by an insane person. We can’t prevent insane persons from doing insane things, any more than we can prevent crazed terrorists from performing acts of savagery.

We need to be realistic and adult about this type of thing. Does it, or should it affect our daily lives. Why should it? It is rare and unavoidable in a free society. We shouldn’t want to be more safe at the cost of our freedom.

What Happened to the OZONE HOLE?

January 8th, 2011

Even without knowing anything about stratospheric photolysis one could detect the odor of group-think and scientific fraud surrounding the “Hole in the Ozone Layer” scare of some years back. Remember that? The warm-up for global warming fraud claimed all kinds of calamities if we didn’t stop using Freon. Freon was then banned, but it looks like the so-called science was wrong and wracked with fraud and deceit.

Now we’re getting confirmation of the similarity between the manias of global warming and CO2 scare and the dreaded ozone hole. See: Watts Up With That: “New rate of stratospheric photolysis questions ozone hole” which discusses not only the new science, but the old fraud as well. The linked article is quite informative and readable and contains a link to “Science” magazine for those inclined to investigate the gory details.

This once again illustrates that that a well trained nose can sniff out group-think, mania, and mob activity every time.

Terrible Shooting

January 8th, 2011

By now you undoubtedly know that U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and several others were shot at a local store here in Tucson. The latest is that one victim of the shooting, a 9 year old child, has died and that Ms. Giffords has survived and is in intensive care. Most of the other “news” and information that has flown about in the wake of this event is bogus. Who knows where it originates?

This is a tragedy. Ms. Giffords, “Gabby to her friends”, whose politics I disagree with is nonetheless a beautiful and thoroughly likable young woman. She is also known to be accessible to citizens, a good character trait not shared by all politicians.

I wish “Gabby” a speedy and complete recovery.

Two Newspapers, Two Muqtadas

January 8th, 2011

Do the news sources report the news faithfully? Read the two versions of the same event, below. Are the reporters talking about the same Muqtada alSadr giving the same speech? (They don’t even use the same spelling for his name.)

New York Times Version: (The peace lover returns from exile.)

Iraqi Cleric Embraces State in Comeback Speech

Max Becherer for The New York Times

Moktada al-Sadr spoke to thousands of supporters on Saturday, stating conditional support for the Iraqi government.

Published: January 8, 2011

NAJAF, Iraq — To a rapturous welcome that conflated the religious and political, the populist Iraqi cleric Moktada al-Sadr delivered his support on Saturday for an Iraqi government that he had once derided as a traitorous tool of the United States and that his followers had battled in the streets of Iraq’s most important cities only a few years before.

CBC Version: (The blood thirsty cleric up to his old tricks.)

Iraqi cleric urges supporters to resist
Muqtada al-Sadr ends nearly 4 years in exile

CBC News

A famous Iraqi cleric is urging his followers to resist all “occupiers” in the country, singling out the United States, Israel and Britain as “enemies.”
Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr speaks Saturday in Najaf, south of Baghdad, during his first public appearance since returning from nearly four years of self-imposed exile in Iran. (Karim Kadim/Associated Press)

Muqtada al-Sadr delivered the message Saturday in his first public address in Iraq after nearly four years of self-imposed exile in Iran.

Addressing a rally of thousands of supporters in the holy city of Najaf, the Shia cleric, 37, led chanting and urged followers to continue resisting the “occupation” of Iraq.

“We have not forgotten the occupier. We’re still resisting,” he said. ” We’re still resisting the occupier through military and cultural resistance and all other forms of resistance. Repeat after me: ‘No, no to the occupiers.'”

Odd Citizen Version:

This guy should have been shot dead years ago.

Banning Words: Racism or Culture?

January 5th, 2011

The attempt to censor and re-write Mark Twain’s classics Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn so as to eliminate the word “Nigger” from Twain’s “Nigger Jim” and the word “Injun” from “Injun Joe” is a literary and cultural travesty. To somehow deny that this language was common usage at the time of Tom and Huck’s adventures is to lose the valuable context of the stories. In the political correctness world the first thing one must abolish is any sense of humor. Secondly, PC must ban all tolerance, including that necessary to realistically understand history. Lock-step, group-think, mob-conscience and group-victim-hood are the rule. Censorship is the result.

If the term “Nigger” is offensive to a culture, perhaps we should be equally upset about the type of “culture” exemplified by the video below:

From a historical standpoint the word Nigger derives from Latin for the color black, and Nigeria, or Nigerian, the regions of Africa from which slaves were captured for export to the U.S. (See Nigerian Village Square for a very thoughtful discussion of this subject by Michael Femi: “Banning the N-word not a Solution” The use of the word as an epithet to describe a race or a culture can only get its bite from the perceived pain of those against whom it is hurled. If the word, itself, were the cause of the hurt, then the usage illustrated in the video, above, would certainly be equally condemned. It is not. Why that is so can be explained by the contention that it is part of the urban African-American “culture.” Within the culture it apparently refers to behavior and attitude, not to race. So it is safe for black performers to call each other niggers, whereas the same reference by a white person is oddly condemned as “racist.”

My own private conclusion about this subject is that too much of what the PC crowd calls racist is actually a cultural judgment, not a racial one. There are people who behave in a way we disapprove of. We are entitled to criticize and shun them for their behavior. We don’t invite them to dine with us. Others we admire and want to socialize with. These judgments are cultural, not racial, and they split both racial and cultural communities equally. In a free society they are justified. Banning words does nothing to change these judgments.