Thursday, May 31, 2007

Fraud, corruption, bribes, etc.

I wasn't going to comment on the Alderman McGee thing, and then when I read this article about the Milwaukee police officer/Mexican national being arrested for using a fraudulent identity to live and work here illegally, I remembered this article from the American Thinker about how bribery and corruption is the whole heart of the Mexican bureaucratic system.


a) McGee's initial offense was demanding money in exchange for getting residents' applications for city licenses approved. They may have been approvable on their own merits, but they weren't getting approved without his under-the-table "cost of doing business".
b) It's just accepted in Mexico and other Western Hemisphere countries that if you don't give government officials money to put in their own pockets, you're not going to get your license.
c) Large swaths of U.S. society enthusiastically embrace the plan to import teeming hordes of people from Mexico and similar countries.
d) The teeming hordes show no interest whatsoever in assimilating into the American system, and their champions show no interest in expecting them to assimilate.

I conclude that a) the American culture is going to degrade to the point where everyone expects to hand cash over to government officials--not the government--to get permits, etc., just like elsewhere in the Western Hemisphere; and b) if McGee had just waited 3-5 years, no one would have blinked twice at him expecting thousands of dollars to approve a gas station permit, much less charged him with a crime (the solicitation of murder--maybe. Could go either way.)

I'm finding this conclusion more disturbing than the various "you crackers are all out to keep a good black man down" rhetoric I'm reading/hearing. I think I've become desensitized to it over the past year since I moved to Milwaukee. I don't have TIME to keep anyone down--ask the cat. I do wonder what it feels like to call a man who threatens to kill the mother of his unborn baby a "good man" but that's not really germane to the corruption discussion.

This new stuff today about election fraud and vote buying--also very Third World. McGee's just ahead of the trend. Or behind it--$5/vote? My dad got offered that in Cook County (IL) in the 70s (even though he was a student with 1.5 kids, I doubt he thought twice before refusing). Fraud ain't keeping up with inflation.

But that's my take: In ten years, this McGee corruption charges will seem downright quaint.

I really hope I'm wrong.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Honesty and Transparency

House Minority Leader John Boehner Calls Immigration Bill 'Piece of S---'

Good for him!

Gas taxes

This is interesting.

Gas prices soar, WI Gov Doyle seeks to raise state gas tax, claims it's not really a gas tax.

Gas prices soar, IN Gov Daniels refuses to suspend state gas tax as Democrats urge.

I don't really know how to analyze these, since I lack the economics background. I do note that gas in Indiana is taxed at 6% + $0.18/gal, so around $0.38/gallon at $3.40/gal, and the gas tax in WI is $0.33/gal regardless of price and expected to go up to around $0.40/gal. From a consumer standpoint, the flat-rate tax per gallon is much easier to not notice as prices fluctuate. And it seems counterproductive to "combatting high prices" to seek to limit the amount of gasoline a company brings into a state--something economists understood in the 18th century and Democrats can't figure out (or willfully ignore) today.

What I can analyze is that neither of these policies are really about "helping citizens." In Indiana, the Dems hate Daniels so they're toying with a visible small issue to make him look bad; in Wisconsin the Dems are exploiting the "ZOMG! Companies make profits and that's wrong!" fears and resentments of people who don't understand math and don't like people making more money than they do.

But I find the regional differences in strategy--more taxes! Less taxes!--interesting. Just like it interests me that an Indiana Democrat would probably be cast as a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal right-winger on either coast. :)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Mark Steyn's Modest Proposal

From NRO:

My suggestion is that, on the day this bill comes into effect, all 300 million US citizens and legal residents should apply for a Z visa.

This is an excellent idea. I, too, want to live and work here without paying taxes (if only I had some children to take advantage of the free education, healthcare, and WIC!). And since whatever clerks are getting stuck filling out the paperwork won't have any idea what day I entered the country, and I'm sure the form won't ask for a Social Security number...

Need another reason to hate the NY Times?

Brewers are 2-7 since the NY Times ran a story about how hot they were.

They couldn't just stick to running classified national security information on the front page...


Read this at Sister Toldjah this morning. I hope I get the trackback right--I've never done this before. Anyway:

Former President Carter says President Bush’s administration is “the worst in history” in international relations...

Wow. Just wow. That's some serious projection/displacement going on.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Happy Armed Forces Day!

Cox and Forkum have a history and links to good stuff (and a great cartoon, as usual!). I dumped some of my excess cash off at Project Valour-IT.

My grandfather, father, both brothers-in-law (one currently in the USAF and frequently deployed to Qatar), my mother's three brothers, a great-aunt, and at least six great-uncles have all served at least one enlistment since 1941--Army, Navy, and Air Force (Grandpa was Army Air Corps). AND my little brother just graduated from BCT and is Texas undergoing further training for the National Guard. I'm intensely proud of him.

Someday I will blog some family stories, especially from WWII.

Not hard to figure out why I grew up to be so fiercely pro-America, is it?

Friday, May 18, 2007

So what?

Mexicans fear U.S. immigration plan

I know this is a shocking idea you've never heard before, but it's truth: MEXICANS AREN'T SUPPOSED TO WRITE U.S. LAW.

Funniest thing I've read in some time.

If Ted Kennedy suddenly was hit on the head, had a total personality inversion, and started leading the fight against this bill and killed it, the conservative base would say, "You know, there was always something I liked about that hard-drinking sonofagun."

Thursday, May 10, 2007


From the J-S:

In what Milwaukee County prosecutors say is the first in a series of criminal cases alleging fraud in the November 2006 election, a Milwaukee woman was charged this morning with two felonies for registering on election day and voting even though she was a felon on probation.

She must have registered as a Republican.
If convicted of the felony counts of voting as an ineligible voter and providing false information to election officials, she could face up to seven years in prison and a $20,000 fine total.

I don't even like dogs...

A residential burglary suspect this morning shot and killed Bo, an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department canine.

You have to be a real piece of shit to shoot a dog.

*sniff* Poor Bo. I hope his human partner heals.

Killing an officer in commission of a crime (or getaway) should always be a capital offense. Ordinarily, I value humans more than animals--human officers are more important than animal officers--but service animals are infinitely more valuable than criminals. Life imprisonment seems fair--less than the penalty for killing a human officer, but more than a random "animal abuse" charge.

In Indiana, killing a police dog is a Class D felony, up to three years in prison.

Good grief. You spend more time in Michigan City for stealing a laptop.

Take-home lesson for hygenically-challenged morons everywhere

This article was brought to my attention by a self-avowed "socialist" (who brags incessantly about the spa treatments her salary has allowed her to purchase--why am I the only one who sees a logical flaw here?) with the title "Holy shit! The government really is out to get Michael Moore!"

Michael Moore Faces U.S. Treasury Probe
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore is under investigation by the U.S. Treasury Department for taking ailing Sept. 11 rescue workers to Cuba for a segment in his upcoming health-care documentary "Sicko," The Associated Press has learned.

(Two paragraphs of Bush-bashing deleted)

The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control notified Moore in a letter dated May 2 that it was conducting a civil investigation for possible violations of the U.S. trade embargo restricting travel to Cuba. A copy of the letter was obtained Tuesday by the AP.

Here's some friendly advice: When you break the law, don't show yourself doing it on movie screens all over the country. Unless, of course, you want to get caught, so you can cry about being a victim. Sniff, sob.

I can't imagine how blinded by BDS and/or criminally stupid you have to be to see this as "Michael Moore is persecuted! Waaaah!"

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

It's not about beer. Or cars.

Excellent op-ed, until the final sentence. Best sentence:
Banning beer in the clubhouse will prevent drunk driving the same way making grandmothers throw out their shampoo before they get on an airplane prevents terrorism.

Wow, someone groks the futility of the TSA!
It's much more responsible to drink 15 beers and take a cab home than to drink five and drive.

It's not about the beer. It's about the car.

Not quite. The car is fine without the beer, just as the beer is fine without the car. It's about a reckless disregard for the physiology of the human body and laws of physics, not to mention the law of the land (admittedly, that last one is a lousy deterent). It's about a stupid belief that you're different, that you're better than the slobs in the stands. It's about arrogance and terrible judgement.

I'm not just saying that because I hate the Cardinals (although I do). I said much the same stuff about Super Bowl MVP (you know he was!) Dominique Rhodes when he was arrested for DUI in March.

In other news, Brewers win 9 of the last 11! 24 home runs in the past ten games! Bratwurst won today's sausage race, although he's yet to win this year when I'm in attendance. *sniff*

Single women

Myrna Blyth in today's National Review Online:

How have women really voted these past twenty years? In general Democrats tend to capture the vast majority of African-American women voters, single women, and economically vulnerable women. White married women, especially those with children, tend to slightly favor Republicans, while more traditional homemakers and evangelical Christian women have been firmly in the Republican camp.


Though single women in the past have not come out to vote in force, if they did turn out for Hillary in 2008, that could give her an over-the-top boost in some key states.

I always laugh at the idea that women, even a subset like "single women", are a monolithic voting block, and Blyth seems to share my cynicism. And here's something that's been true as long as I've been voting: Neither party cares about single heterosexual women without children (although the Dems make an exception for women who wish to remain child-free by killing their unborn). Democrats are all about the single mother, especially the low-income or minority single mother, and lesbians of any relationship/child status; Republicans are all about the married women, especially mothers.

I throw in with the GOP because they're less ideologically committed to taking my earnings away, and more committed to keeping America from being destroyed by Islamofascists. But it's uneasy. All the "couples this, families that, marriage this, children that" rhetoric wears on me. "Parents should be allowed to use their money to raise their families as they see fit"--I don't disagree, but why shouldn't I be allowed to use my money as I see fit, instead of how Hillary sees fit?

Back to the point, it doesn't have to be a foregone conclusion that "all single women will vote for Hillary in 2008." But the GOP needs to make more of an effort to include the old-maid aunts of The Children.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

New Youth Trend

Once a week or so, I catch up on Dear Abby:
My daughter later told me that several of her other friends were considering trying to get pregnant near prom time so they, too, wouldn't have to deal with the pressures of going to college. Apparently, parents are less strict about their children's whereabouts on prom night and let their teens spend the night in a hotel or at mixed-gender sleepovers.

I thought this sad trend might be local to our area, but during a class reunion in California I learned the trend may be nationwide. One of my oldest friends, "Dana," confided during the reunion that she had become a grandmother at 43 due to her daughter having a prom baby.

Shit. I couldn't get a prom DATE, much less one that wanted to have sex with me. *sniff*

OK, personal bitterness aside, there's some good stuff here. First, all the people in the story, including the Californians, are raising the babies they made. No one's advocating killing the babies so they can go to school unencumbered--this is a huge cultural shift from when I was in high school. Girls with good grades had abortions; average girls had babies; Heather had a computer. Second, Abby sticks up for potential victims of these bizarre schemes:
The individuals who should be warned are the young men who will be escorting those young women on prom night. One foolish mistake could lead to a 20-year commitment to support a child before they are emotionally or financially ready for that responsibility. And all because their prom date was afraid to tell her parents she wasn't ready for college? I'm appalled.

Yup...fathers have equal responsibility--and they can avoid it by making responsible decisions about sex and birth control, in case their dates "pull the goalie" (yes, I listened to Rush today).

Lastly...well, it's not the end of the world. It might even be a good thing. Young mothers can always go to school and have a career when their children are older; most of us who wasted our child-bearing years on school and career won't be having children later, no matter how much we want.


Build more refineries!

"Troubles blend for gas" in today's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Gas around the north side is about a 30 cents/gal higher than it was when I moved here from Iowa last May. According to the article, once you get through the hints of collusion and oil company bad behavior--"As happened after Katrina, Milwaukee pump prices have diverged sharply from the trend in the price of crude oil"--it comes down to refinery problems in Indiana, refinery problems in Minnesota, refinery problems and labor strikes in Europe, and increased demand.

Hey, I have an idea. Let's build more refineries!

Unfortunately, I already know this will never happen. 9% profit margin--at risk to the whims of shrill socialists in Congress--is just not worth working through the 800 federal permits (not to mention waging a PR battle against hippies, eco-terrorists, and class-warmongers) necessary to build a modern petroleum facility. Meanwhile, China--where the government doesn't bother to pretend they don't control all economic activity--has brought new refineries online within the past 30 years....

I find this much more depressing than paying $3.25 for a gallon of gas.

My favorite feature of "gas prices! Oh noes!" articles is the Sob Story. You have to have the Sob Story to stir up anti-business sentiment. Unfortunately, today they chose very poorly:

With a daily 70-mile drive between his Sun Prairie home and his job at Milwaukee music publisher Hal Leonard Corp., Christopher Sink gets about two hours a day to listen to the car radio and wonder how much higher the price of gasoline will go this summer.

"It adds up pretty quick," Sink said.

In fact, he said, it's adding up enough to cause him and his wife, whose job transfer prompted the couple to move from Milwaukee, to look at ways to save money elsewhere, such as dining out.

*blink* Man chooses to move 70 miles away from his job (to a town currently undergoing a surge of big cheaply-built McMansions larger than my grandparents' barn, but I digress) on purpose. Now, because of big bad gas prices, he has to cut down on dining out.

Damn. Life's HARD. Or something.

C'mon, J-S. You have to do better than that. Get someone from the neighborhood where I work who has to choose between driving her family to see her sick grandmother in Chicago and getting her son a pair of Sean Marburys. The blame still falls on the whackjobs who've been preventing new refineries from being built since the 1970s, but I won't laugh at her. Or your paper.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Good stuff in the mail today

The IRS has informed me I calculated my deduction wrong and overpaid $473. I have 90 days to appeal this finding.

I wonder how many people take them up on this. I'm sure it never crosses the minds of anyone, no matter how loudly they call for taxes on single people who have jobs but no children to be raised to fund social programs to benefit the children of people who don't work.

A tale of two quarterbacks.

Peyton Manning is having dinner with Queen Elizabeth II tonight.

Tom Brady carries a purse.