"Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again..."

Location: Tampa, FL, United States

Thursday, September 30, 2004

"You're Fired!" said Mr. Trump

Donald Trump's show "The Apprentice" is perhaps the only place in media land where one can hear that sentimental, archaic expression, "you're fired." A phrase once commonplace in America has gone the way of other like words and phrases, such as janitor, waitress and garbage man. In an era where people take on an unrealistic burden not to hurt anyone's feelings we've replaced "you're fired" with sayings such as "you failed to meet your job requirements," "we're downsizing and closing your position," "we're letting you go," and "you're position has been eliminated." It is possible to say "you're fired" apart from being rude and insensitive, yet we've given up.

Firings are healthy. If gives the unqualified a chance to fit in elsewhere where they're both more productive and less detrimental. Firings free up space to plug in more gifted people. If motivates the qualified laggard to not repeat his mistakes with his next opportunity. It affirms the rights of the employer to do that which he pleases with his or her own property (i.e. capital earmarked to meet payroll).

It's doubtful Donald Trump will change the culture but at least his firings are a reminder of something good, albeit temporarily painful, from the past.

Friday, September 24, 2004

The Sacrifices of a Public Servant

From this web site you can link to sites with photos of John Kerry's 42-foot yacht (named Scaramouche), SUV, other boats, home in Nantucket, private jet look-alike and more. Granted, he married two wealthy women but it's hard to argue that public service has been a "sacrifice" for John Kerry.

What does Scaramouche mean? Here's dictionary.com's definition - "A stock character in commedia dell'arte and pantomime, depicted as a boastful coward or buffoon." If the name fits...

Tax rates and traffic jams

While heading South this morning towards a hurricane-precipitated sinkhole I swiflty turned my Honda Element in to the Wendy's parking lot to avoid the traffic congestion. From there I passed through the Target parking lot, pass the ABC liquor store and onto Livingston Avenue. Having deftly avoided 7.35 minutes of bumper-to-bumper traffic due to the sinkhole I pondered how this is not too dissimilar from the average Americans' behavior when faced with initiation into the fellowship of a higher tax bracket. We'll do the strange and unexpected to avoid an inconvenience-- be it traffic snarls or increased contributions to the Great Sata... I mean, the bloated, federal government.

Saudis - We behead, but we don't

In light of the recent rash of beheadings abroad by followers of the false god Allah and his sidekick Mohammad, Steve Stalinsky wrote this article on the subject for FrontPageMag.com. In addition to his commentary on the duplicity of the Saudis when it comes to be beheading, Stalinsky examines the etymology of some Arabic words that reveal how murderous Islamic zealots differentiate between murder and killing. Killing good, murder bad. Let's just call beheading killing.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Could Kerry Soak the Rich?

Author and attorney Charles Adams wrote a good, brief article on people's behavior relative to taxation. (see "The Future of an Illusion: Kerry's Tax Policy"). In the article Adams points that in 1916 the top tax bracket in America was 7%. A few years it was jacked up eleven times higher, or to 77%. The results were that revenues were essentially unchanged. Adams indicated that with the 7% top bracket about 1300 returns were filed, and with the 77% top bracket only about 250 returns were filed. The rich folk simply tweaked their investment plans to avoid as much as possible the 77% tax rate.

Any attempt by Kerry to milk the rich for more dough has historical precedent for failing. Because of the high degree on envy and jealousy in America today the facts available will be conveniently ignored. The middle class will always be the hoseees (i.e. the ones who are hosed).

UN's Oil-for-Very-Little-Food Program

FOXNews is doing some nifty investigating into the UN's oil-for-food program, created in 1996, and how Saddam grew quite richer during this "embargo." ("Iraqi People Suffer Under Oil-for-Food Scam").

Will this unfavorable news shake the trust of the pro-UNers in America? Nah. Belief in an organization to broker world peace will always be a pipe dream of utopians. The UN has few competitors at the moment.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Campaigning on Fisherman's Wharf

A drunk African-American male approached me recently in San Francisco on Fisherman's Wharf. He rattled a large empty coffee can with some coins in it while repeating the mantra, "This is Bush Country. This is Bush Country."

Only 9% of African-Americans, give or take a few percentage points, will vote for Bush this November. Usually his campaigners work sober--notwithstanding the parties after the Republican National Convention.

Given this subjective data, I surmised that this man was likely not pro-Bush and I therefore withheld a donation to his beer fund... I mean, the Bush campaign.

An admonition to vote

A common fib by politicians on both sides of the aisle occurs when they encourage you to get out and vote on election day, without specifically requesting that you vote for them. It sounds heartfelt but in reality the hope is that the listening audience is primarily comprised of their people, and that they'll get out and vote. Not the other guy's people.

What if Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi and Osama bin Laden came on Al-Jazeera television and announced Al-Qaeda to have democratized. And, they were the ones running for "president." (Getting off subject for a moment, when did the press start referring to Fidel Castro as President of Cuba? ... President?) If they both said it's important to vote would you believe them? Of course not. These men don't care about the process. They care about beheading "infidels." Likewise, our politicians generally care about winning more than they do about furthering the process. Since when did anyone spend millions of dollars to win a job that pays pennies in comparison to further a process?

Infighting within the homosexual community

San Francisco Chroncicle staff writer Annie Nakao penned an article this past Sunday about a depressed and angry gay writer and editor, Matt Bernstein Sycamore, and his quest to define what the homosexual community should be. The article briefly touches on Sycamore's background to establish a context for what he's been through and what his dreams are for the homosexual community. We learn Sycamore was "abused at a young age" and grew up in an "assimilated, white, Jewish, abusive" family. He admits to still turning tricks to "pay the rent." Sycamore rails against the dominant homosexual community for its focus on assimilating with the straight community and pursuing equality in marriage, adoption and military service.

Emphasizing his point, Sycamore recently edited an anthology authored by "a bunch of freaks, fruits, perverts and whores." Sycamore is admittedly out to tweak the gay establishment which he states is losing its "radical queerness." He has great concern with the marginalization of the "transgendered, drag queens, dykes on bikes, transvestites, leather daddies and hookers/sex workers." In the article Sycamore states, "People need to step back and challenge and dismantle everything that is normal. ... That's the gift queers have."

Deconstructing "normalcy" is a central plank in the homosexual manifesto. Curiously enough, Sycamore's attack on normalcy generally focuses to some degree on gender and sex. It's normal for an author to expect payment in exchange for their written materials. It's normal to expect a cook in a restaurant to serve that which you ordered, and not something laced with poison. It's normal to expect American drivers to drive on the right side of the road. It's normal to expect a pilot to land on a runway. It's normal to expect a musician to sing in key, or at least try. These are all normal behaviors in which Sycamore likely finds little grounds for disagreement.

Sycamore's concerns are disingenuous. He frets that his war against normalcy is being lost but its evident his concern is narrowed enough to undermine his argument as a whole. In a word he's hypocritical. Sycamore is radical in his war against God-ordained sexual behavior and gender roles. Inflamed with bitterness, he's now taking his battle to those of like mind.

CBS' "apology"

CBS News President Andrew Heyward's apology for misrepresenting President George W. Bush's National Guard Service addressed their failure to validate with certainty the authenticity of alleged supporting documentation. "Upon further review" CBS admitted to basing their story from these forged documents.

Interestingly, there has not been an apology made to the President by either Heyward or, Dan Rather, who reported the story. CBS' concern is for their own welfare. Such an impotent, self-centered apology further cements the assertion that CBS is little more than another liberal mouthpiece ala moveon.org. The faux apology to-date only makes their foxhole deeper.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Hurricane Relief Efforts

Having gone down to Miami for a small relief effort about 6 days after Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992, and to Wauchula 2 days after Hurricane Charley passed through just last month, a few observations come to mind.

The church is God’s primary instrument for extending charity after the resources and benefits of self-government and family government have been tapped to the hilt. Hurricanes pretty much render these basic forms of support marginalized if not paralyzed for those left in the wake of these meteorological dynamos.

Because the church has largely abandoned its ministerial obligation to local communities, the “benevolent” state has filled the void and assumed a leadership role in charitable outreaches. Hence we have the dominance of institutions like FEMA, Red Cross, Salvation Army, the National Guard, and other large para-institutional organizations and the concomitant spectator status of many local churches.

Had the several thousand local churches in the counties unaffected by Hurricane Charley all organized and sent out small teams in an organized fashion very, very few would have stymied the work of the mega-charitable institutions, and they would have brought faster, widespread relief at less expense.

For the sake of grasping a clearer understanding, envision your own community having been struck by the eye of Andrew or Charley. Would you rather have had 200 groups of 7 people each serving 300 meals per group (60,000 total meals), or 3 groups (e.g. Red Cross, FEMA and Salvation Army) serving 20,000 meals a piece?) Which scenario leads to many being left out of the charity loop? Which scenario leads to longer lines? Which scenario takes more people away from putting their lives and communities back in order? Which scenario offers a wider variety of foods?

The media goes to where the best pictures are. In other words, they go to Ground Zero and create a Kobe Bryant trial type of presence. Not surprisingly, the large food , water and basic necessities of life relief also targets Ground Zero at its fullest force first. Outlying areas are an afterthought in comparison to these nerve centers.

This is by no means an appeal for the Red Cross and like organizations to close their doors and disappear. They do great work for many people. Rather, it’s merely to suggest America’s approach to charitable works on a large scale is upside down, much like its approach to civil government. The centralization of charitable works has supplanted the biblical, local approach.

The churches need to stop listening to the abiblical voices instructing it on how to do its charitable work and reengage a hurting society. The notion that the widespread involvement of local churches would have hampered relief efforts is a classic straw man argument, much like the world’s assertion that Christians shouldn’t proselytize. Why, proselytizing is a large part of the church's calling! And, so is the administration of charity. Sure, the church is capable of botching its calling and often does. It has much organizing ahead of herself. Nonetheless it’s to do what its called to do, and acquiescing to large centralized charitable organizations is a mistake that imperils many.

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. When the church of Jesus Christ reclaims it’s calling all will benefit.