Odd Citizen

Odd Citizen
An Odd Citizen’s Search For Vanishing Freedoms

Silly Civil Discourse

February 22nd, 2011

The “big news” here in Tucson over the weekend was the announcement of National Institute for Civil Discourse with sponsorship by former presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. The new organization
National Institute for Civil Discourse (See here.) initiatives will include:

  • Convening major policy discussions with elected officials, policymakers and advocates on topics that tend to generate polarized positions.
  • Promoting civil discourse, civic engagement and civic leadership.
  • Organizing workshops and conferences in Washington, D.C., Tucson and across the country.
  • Promoting a national conversation among prominent public figures from government, business and media regarding challenging political issues in a non-partisan setting.
  • Developing programs and research centered around the exercise of First Amendment freedoms conducted in a way that respects both the ideas of others, and those who hold them.

When you read the description and listen to the interviews with its directors Brent Milward and Sally Rider there’s no indication of how this institute is supposed to actually have any effect on the civility of political discourse. In the absence of a defined methodology this is simply another way to burn public funds and let political luminaries pose as saintly examples of polite politics and publicly lacrimonious sympathizers for victims of an ugly crime.

My suggestion to make the new organization really effective is to draft Sheriff Dupnik as an enforcer. He would be tasked to arrest, jail and in some cases even torture anyone accused of “uncivil discourse”.

Shut it Down & Balance the Budget

February 19th, 2011

Senate Dems are moaning and groaning and fear-mongering about the prospect of a government shutdown because they don’t like the House’s new budget. So what would be the consequence of a true government shutdown? The consequence would be a saving of $10.27 Billion per day of shutdown. If the shutdown were to extend for 126 days that would eliminate the year’s $1.3 Trillion deficit!

Now, one need not do it all at once. Let’s just shut down the government on Monday and Friday. That would get us 104 days of savings, and most government workers don’t work more than 3 days a week anyway, so why pay them for five? The military could be allowed to schedule their shutdown days according to military necessity. This would be confusing to the enemy, too.

This leaves us with 22 days left in need of shutdown. The month of April would be a good candidate for this — tax reporting time. Or maybe just find another $225 Billion to cut out of the budget? Congress can add it in, so they can damn well take it out. Wouldn’t that be nice?


Obama’s Budget is Pimp-mobile

February 14th, 2011

It is hard to visualize President Obama’s 2012 budget in any sensible way. This $3.75 Trillion proposal resembles nothing more than a pimp-mobile, decked out with every irresponsible proposal he and his socialist cohorts could concoct. One has to be careful about interpreting the logic and intent of its various provisions because this could only make sense to its creator.

Only one thing is for sure. This isn’t America’s image of responsible budgeting, sound economic policy or sane government. Let’s hope the congress takes a good look at it and sends it to the wrecking yard, forthwith.

Oh, I almost forgot, here’s last year’s Harry & Nancy version.

Weather Not Weirder

February 13th, 2011

Global warming alarmists and warming skeptics alike sometimes delight in citing weather events as evidence that their viewpoint is the correct one. It is easy for the alarmists to point to severe weather events such as the freezing cold U.S. weather a week ago or the Australian floods and say they are evidence of global warming’s effects on weather — always negative, of course. But it’s much harder for skeptics of AGW to argue that these events, though newsworthy in an annual context, don’t necessarily mean anything significant in terms of a world-wide climate, i.e., proving negative. But now we have a study that purports to evaluate extraordinary weather events in a global and long-term historical context. See:
The Weather Isn’t Getting Weirder”

The interesting thing about this is that it apparently contradicts the dire warnings being issued by the mathematical climate models and their keepers. There appears to be nothing too extraordinary about the weather now in a historical context. This is bad news for the climate modelers, who should toss their models on the basis of being contradicted by the physical evidence. But it is good news for the human race and the world economy that the climate isn’t on a collision course with disaster.


Today Egypt, Tomorrow China?

February 2nd, 2011

As the Middle East boils over with contempt for dictatorship the rest of the world watches. There are a lot of oppressive cauldrons out there, including Zimbabwe, Cuba, Vietnam, Burma, Saudi Arabia, Iran, among others. But the grand-daddy of them all, with the potential to literally boil up over the whole world is Communist China. And China’s brutal Communist rulers recognize the potential for insurrection by blocking news from the Middle East, characterizing whatever little mention is made of it as the messy, necessary consequence when citizens don’t obey their masters.

But don’t bet on the Chinese to hold the lid on their cauldron forever. The economy is a lie with the world’s largest housing bubble growing daily, consuming 70% of the country’s economic investment activity, while entire new cities remain completely uninhabited. The centrally planned economy has left Chinese banks as hollowed out as the Japanese banks were a couple of decades ago. Amidst wretched, bare foot poverty, epic government corruption and mounting inflation, there exists a privileged class of Chinese who party as if it were 1929, or better yet, the eve of the Russian Revolution of 1917.

Tienanmen Square gave us a peek at the Chinese desire and ability to seek freedom. The situation now is potentially far more explosive than it was back then.