Author Archive

The Death of the Newspaper

The Death of the Newspaper

We have been watching this coming for the last 20 years or so. Sooner than you think, the concept of the daily newspaper, will be one of those stories elders tell their disbelieving grandchildren. “Yes, Jenny, they used to print ads in a thing called a ‘newspaper’ and they would print the ad on cheap paper with some 3 day old news and sell it by throwing it on your dew-covered lawn.”

“Oh, Grandpa! That’s not real.”

Now today comes the news that one of the nation’s major dailies is cutting back to publishing only 3 days per week:

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans’ daily newspaper, The Times-Picayune, will switch to publishing three days a week starting in the fall and plans to increase its focus on online news.

The 175-year-old paper announced Thursday the formation of a new company — NOLA Media Group — which includes The Times-Picayune and its NOLA.com website affiliate.

The announcement said there will be unspecified staff reductions.
Times-Picayune publisher Ricky Mathews, who will be president of the new venture, said the changes were necessitated by upheaval in the newspaper industry. . . .

So the once-mighty newspaper industry continues to swirl around the bowl. Even the . Back in the day before that new-fangled AM radio came along, newspapers were the only means of getting news from places far away. Newspapers were published twice a day. Then as technology marched on from radio to television to cable news programs to the internet and the now instant availablility of almost all news from anywhere, the newspaper has simply lost its reason for being. Coupled with the march of technology, the newspaper industry’s predominent left-wing bias has made it an unlikeable item, easy to discard. It seems only a matter of time now until there are no more papers, except perhaps on the internet, although America still refuses to pay for most on-line content.

In my humble opinion we have reached the tipping point and we will now see more and more newspapers simply cease to exist. Frankly, the only function they serve now is as cut-and-post outlets for the Associated Press. I have a remedy so that some remnant of the newspaper industry can exist.

Papers have become too expensive and their value no longer justify their prices. If I were to pay for my local rag it would cost me $1 for about 30 pages of tripe, and $3 on Sunday for 30 pages of tripe plus 50 pages of ads. Ironically, the parts of the paper the publisher values most should be axed first. Here are my thoughts, free of charge, to newspapers who want to survive:

-Slash the price of the paper by 50% immediately and advertise the heck out of the new price and new content.

-End subscriptions to the major news services like AP. International, national and even State-wide news of any import has already been heard or read 2 days ago by your news-savvy audience.

-Consider becoming a weekly or, like the New Orleans paper, a 3-times-a-week paper.
Keep your editorial page if you must but opine only on items of local import, like the school tax or the merits of the up-coming library book sale. No one cares what your committee of screaming liberals thinks about larger matters, or candidate endorsements; we are capable of making up our own minds about those thank you.

-Convert your few remaining reporters to the purely local beat and shine your investigative efforts on city hall, not the White House.

-The more local college and high school sports the better. Heck, junior high sports will at least sell a paper or two to grandma to see if little Johnny scored a basket!

There came a time when the buggy manufacturers realized the Model T was not a passing fad. It’s that time now for the newspaper industry, which must either go local or boutique, or simply perish.

_____
Randall Mead is a simple, country lawyer, scratching out a living in the belly of the beast, the capital of Madiganistan.

A Paul-ing Math

A Paul-ing Math

Figures from http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/republican_vote_count.html
Real Clear Politics

2012 Republican Popular Vote

Romney . . 6,354,712
Santorum . 3,576,171
Gingrich . . 2,525,766
Paul . . . . . 1,544,822

Based on these figures and according to my math there have been 14,001,471 votes cast for these 4 people who ran/are running in the GOP primary this year.

This means Governor Romney has received 45.4% of the popular vote while Dr. Paul has received only 11% of this vote. To put it another way, the “Not Ron Paul” vote has been 89%.

I realize the Ron Paul faithful believe there is some way Paul can win the Republican nomination. Let’s assume he does.

Does that not mean the 11% have somehow usurped power and disenfranchesed the 89%?

Is that the kind of mandate Dr. Paul and his followers espouse? I think in other places that would call that a “coup.”

_____
Randall Mead is a simple, country lawyer, scratching out a living in the belly of the beast, the capital of Madiganistan.

Preparing for the Flood

Preparing for the Flood

The greybeards and village elders knew the signs all too well. For days they had looked to the mountains and had seen the storm raining on the heights. But not even the oldest of the old could recall a storm of this ferocity, or one which had dumped as much rain as this one. Since the village sat beside the river whose headwaters were fed by these mountain rains, the elders knew action was needed or the village might well be destroyed by the coming flood. They needed to build a flood wall, and it had to be done quickly, but it would take all the people working together to get it done in time, before the flood waters arrived from the mountains.

Witt the Mason had been campaigning for the erection of a masonry flood wall since the last time the village had voted one down. The people then had hoped that the weather would change and that flood walls would not be necessary. But, some in the village, the loudest ones, demanded that a masonry wall would fail; that only a wooden wall would work and be true to their tradition of being a forest people; that Witt was not to trusted to do a good job building the wall; that a wall built by Witt was no better than the flood itself. The elders, as was their custom, simply let the people vote on major questions, and the vote overwhelmingly favored sponsoring Witt to be in charge of building the masonry wall while all the people labored to build it in time.

But there was no unity. Upset that the vote of the people had gone against their concerns, many of the people refused to work on the wall, saying wood was the only way and if they couldn’t have their wood, they would be content that there be no wall at all.

As a result, when the flood came coursing down the river from the mountains, the wall was not ready. The flood easily overtopped the part of the wall that had been finished. All was lost, and the people would be . . . no more. But the scoffers who refused to work on the masonry wall, just before the waters overtook and drowned them and their children said, “Ha! I guess I showed them!”

The End

________
Randall Mead is a simple, country lawyer, scratching out a living in the belly of the beast, the capital of Madiganistan.

The Coming Brokered Republican Convention

I’ve been musing on the lack-luster condition of the Republican nominating processes as it currently stands. And I’ve been looking forward. All I can see is the problems, with one slim ray of hope at the end. We stand in a unique position to run this socialist poser and his Democrats out of town, but we are blowing it. Here’s what we’ve got:

Mitt Romney: The default establishment candidate due to the establishment’s Huntsman-farce falling apart before it started. He has money and organization. He is pretty. He is the ultimate insider pretending to be an outsider. Of him the establishment says, “Well, at least he made the Olympics run on time.” He is the ultimate moderate candidate striving for nomination in a conservative world. He bangs the drum of family values but don’t you dare say “Mormon” while doing that. He is polished and poised and feels he is the one and only one who can beat Obama and the Karl Roves and National Reviews of the world have been doing their best to convince us of that from the beginning. According to the bosses at the RNC it’s Romney’s turn to run. Why? Because we say so. However, a funny thing happened on his way to the nomination. He has peaked in the conservative polls at around 20% and can’t seem to break through that barrier, probably because he is the grandfather of Obamacare, which he steadfastly refuses to abandon and is a global warming geek. True, he has promised to destroy Obamacare under a strained Federalism argument, trying unsuccessfully to walk both sides of how it’s just dandy for Massechusettes (it isn’t by the way; it’s an abject failure) but can’t be tolerated nationally. He has also rejected “Cap and Trade” but how can one intellectually do so, if one embraces the well-debunked myth that manmade global warming is destroying humanity? To top it all off, Obama’s minions have made it clear Romney is the one they want to run against. While he is in reality about 80% of what conservatives want in a candidate, it’s that other 20% that will keep conservatives from having anything to do with him.

Newt Gingrich: with Reagan and Buckley, Gingrich is one of the fathers of modern conservatism but is rejected by the most fanatic of the conservative movement, and perhaps rightfully so. Of the course of his long and sometime distinguished political career Newt has been the one and only one who has ever actually CUT government spending. He has recently joked that Romney is rich because of Gingrich’s work in harnessing government. He is the latest in the series of “Not Romneys” to vault to the front of the heap but this one seems to have more legs than the others. He is glib and overwhelmingly intelligent. He is crafty and knows well which levers to pull behind the curtain to manipulate government. He is a good debater and attacks Obama’s media wing adroitly. But then there’s all the baggage. Over the course of his public service he has said about everything one can say, on both sides of each issue. He has a string of failed marriages, begging the question of just how important that is, or isn’t, but certainly is important to Romney, who paints the contrast, and to Christian conservatives. The implicit question is “if he can cheat on his wife(ves) why won’t he cheat on us?” Yet he is enjoying a conservative wave now. He appeared before the so-called leaders of the conservative/tea party movement in the last few days and while receiving some pointed questioning, in the end he enjoyed a standing ovation from them. Besides his personal foibles and his believed flip-flops, he has real problems in lack of money and lack of organization. A recent story suggested he may not even be able to get on the key Ohio ballot because of that.

Ron Paul: Holding down the far right flank with the same verve of Davy Crockett holding down the Alamo, Ron Paul, the Libertarian who would be a Republican, has managed to nail down a 15-18% stake, at least in some Iowa polls. He is consistently far right. So far right it makes rightists uncomfortable. His followers are unswerving in the support and admiration and fight to the last breath in Dr. Paul’s defense. But he has reached his high water mark. Congressman Paul may very well win the Iowa caucuses because, well because they are caucuses, not votes, and rely on manpower to deliver the faithful to the caucus sites. His volunteers are very good at that and showing up to yell at debates, and to stuff the straw polls. Paul’s intelligence and commitment are unquestionable. But the only people who get a tingle down their leg with what he is saying are those who want to go back to the gold standard, isolationists, strict constructionists and others who are stuck in the gilded age of the 1890s. He has no mass appeal and will never have. No one beyond the denizens of the forums know or understand him and he has no mass media appeal. On TV, he looks like the funny old guy with the old-fashioned ideas.

Rick Perry: of the also-rans, Perry stands out for 17 million reasons. His war chest can keep him in the battle and Texas has a lot of delegates. He is actually a very good candidate but the conservatives buried him over the illegal alien tuition issue and have falsely branded him an amnesty guy, despite Sheriff Arpaio’s recent endorsement. He is making a bit of a comeback but probably too little, too late.

Also rans: Bachmann (too shrill, too kooky, talks to fast), Santorum (yawn), etc. Please just get out of the way. It’s over.

The Point (finally): On top of this great confusion lies the eternal suspicion/mistrust we conservatives harbor. We have been burned so many times we tend to trust no one and get excited about no one. On the left side, there is no Democrat primary fight so many dems are free to cross over in the primaries and vote for whomever they see as the weakest GOP candidate. Absent the money problem, I see a chance of the nomination going into the convention unresolved. After a ballot or two there the delegates will be released. If a deal is not cut (politics make strange bed-fellows) then an open convention is free to nominate the one true unifier of the right: Sarah Palin.

But I can dream can’t I?

——-
Randall Mead is a simple, country lawyer, scratching out a living in the belly of the beast, the capital of Madiganistan.

US Assassinates American Terrorist

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – URGENT
Government News Association

Alleged Senior Terror leader Robert Jones was killed in Indiana early Friday morning by a U.S. missile, marking the highest-profile takedown of a terror leader since the raid on Sarah Palin’s compound.

Jones was a U.S.-born auto mechanic, became a prominent figure with the Tea Party in the American midwest, one of the network’s most active branches. He was involved in writing for several right-wing blogs in the United States in recent years, using his fluent English and Internet savvy to draw recruits to carry out thought-crime attacks. President Obama signed an order in early 2012 making him the second American to be placed on the “kill or capture” list. The first was Imam Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen. Using that al-Awlaki precedent, the first known assassination of a native-born, American citizen, President Obama had no problem ordering Jones assassination, of whom Obama said, “It was only a matter of time before his hate-filled words, widely disseminated on the internet, led to violence against our brave Federal workers and our enlightened administration. We had to act proactively in this situation. It is a policy we will explore further as the need arises.” The assassination of Jones is also the first such proactive act of patriotism by our dear leader since the Perdue Initiative was proclaimed, suspending all American elections given the continuing financial crisis, caused by the stone-walling Republican Party, which has since been ordered dissolved.

“The Tea Party has lost one of its ideological leaders, which is a huge blow,” a former intelligence official who has tracked Jones for years told the Government News Agency.

The Indiana government and Defense Ministry announced Jones’ death, but gave no details. TSA officials confirmed that the Tea Party leader was dead, with one describing him as a “big fish.” Several officials would not confirm or deny if it was a Homeland Security airstrike, but a senior TSA source confirmed it was a Homeland Security missile that struck the terror leader.

The 40-year-old al-Jones had been in the U.S. crosshairs since his killing was approved by President Obama in April 2012 — making him the first American placed on the Homeland Security “kill or capture” list. At least twice, airstrikes were called in on locations in Indiana and Kentucky where Jones was suspected of being, but he wasn’t harmed. In May, U.S. forces were able to track his truck but were unable to take him out.

Jones, born in New Mexico to American parents, was believed to be key in turning the Tea Party’s affiliate in the midwest into what Obama officials have called the most significant and immediate threat to the Obama regime. Jones, was eductated at Liberty University, long known to be a hot bed of anti-government sentiment. He was also suspected of being a Christian.

The former intelligence official said that with Jones gone, the branch “still retains a lot of capability.”
“He understood American society very well. He understood American idioms and pop culture and the old Constitution which has since been abolished and how to appeal to Americans,” he told GSA News. “The trouble is, it’s very hard for them to replicate this.”

Known as an eloquent teacher who spread English-language articles about the out-dated concept of liberty on the Internet, calling for resistence against our Dear Leader’s regime, Jone’s role was to inspire and — it is believed — even directly recruit militants who could carry out attacks.

For additional information, click here for the approved story on the Government News Agency website.

Dateline: Booneville, Indiana
September 30, 2014
by Daniel B. Young, licensed journalist (34A729-B)
Government News Association

************

Yes, I cannibalized a Fox News story to make this little story. We have crossed a line today. We killed a “bad guy.” However, this “bad guy” was an native-born citizen of the United States of America. President Obama ordered his assassination. If the President can unilaterally order American citizens to be assassinated because they are claimed to be “bad guys” then only someone’s subjective definition of “bad guy” protects us from death by government.

______________
Randall Mead is a simple, country lawyer, scratching out a living in the belly of the beast, the capital of Madiganistan.

The Milkshake Baseline

I love chocolate milkshakes. Like spending is to the national government, chocolate milkshakes are to me: my reason for being. The thicker the better, throw in some malt or fudge and I’m in heaven. I consumed them wherever and whenever possible. And since a good thing can only be made better by having more and more of it, my selfish pleasure demanded I consume more and more milkshakes. Problem was, it was hard to justify my milkshake consumption to my domestic constituents, my wife and children who are always whining about things like the cost of the shakes and the effect on my version of the national debt, my weight.

So to be fair to all and to pretend I gave a care about my family’s concerns, I adopted a policy I call the milkshake baseline. I got the idea from a place called Citizens Against Government Waste because I was worried a bit about my waist and just got the spelling wrong. I agreed to budget only one milkshake per week, but in exchange for giving up the fights about my additional milkshakes, we agreed I could increase my weekly milkshake consumption by a modest 7% per year. That was way back in 1974 and I must say since then my milkshake baseline has served me well. Sure it was awkward in the second year when I’d stroll into Steak-n-Shake (R) and order 7% of a milkshake, but we got through it. Six years later, in 1980 I was only up to 1½ milkshakes per week so everyone agreed my baseline plan was working well. By 1998, however, I was up to 5 milkshakes per week and some grumbling broke out about my spending and gluttony. I had quintupled my milkshake intake in 24 years and the effect on my weight was showing, as was the ever increasing cost. I heard grumbles about my health but I wasn’t complaining. I had milkshakes!

By 2009 my milkshake intake had doubled since my 1998 level and I was entitled to have 10 milkshakes a week! By now the shakes were so good I was exploring ways of stimulating my shake consumption. My wife and kids, the ingrates, were complaining I’d have to dress in a TARP if I got any more bloated from the shakes. I countered that times were bad and if I cut back on my milkshake consumption the restaurant would have to lay off employees. How cruel would that be?

Now it’s 2011 and things are totally out of hand with my family. They are demanding I give up my 12 milkshakes a week and drink tea instead. They even had an intervention, like on that show on TV, and all my friends jumped me about how bad my “milkshake habit” had become blah, blah, blah. They tricked me into coming to the intervention by calling it a “tea party.” Obviously my family are rubes and hicks and don’t know how I operate. My weight has skyrocketed, however, and I have developed type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. My doctor keeps preaching doom about the end being near. He keeps threatening to “downgrade my rating” whatever that means. But come on, we’re talkin’ milkshakes here. More has to be better.

Isn’t it?

I need to appease my family and doctor. Ten years from now, in 2021, I am already budgeted to be at 24 milkshakes a week, an increase of 12 milkshake from today’s level. I have promised the family and my doctor if they get off my back I will cut 3 of those out-year milkshakes out of my budget! That’s a whopping 25% reduction in my current level of 12 milkshakes. That means in 2021 I will only be consuming 21 milkshakes. How can they complain about a 25% cut in spending!?

Do you think they will fall for it?

_____
Randall Mead is a simple, country lawyer, scratching out a living in the belly of the beast, the capital of Madiganistan.

The Weakling Standard

The Weakling Standard

Having backed the President of the United States into a corner, resulting in his near-hysterical rant on national television and having changed the entire tone of the current national debate from tax increases to spending cuts, the leadership of the House of Representatives now seems bent upon snatching humiliating defeat from the jaws of victory. Sadly, this is business as usual for the Republican Leadership. They seem to think fighting to actually defeat one’s enemy or to really uphold the promises one gives to the peasants when running for office, is gauche, tawdry and unworthy of the Patrician ideals which bind the insiders in Washington, DC to one another. And so, rather than crossing the field and accepting the enemy’s sword in surrender, John Boehner and Eric Cantor and their minions in “leadership” instead are poised to sue for peace via Boehner’s flaccid plan to draw a couple of cups of water out of the growth of the tsunami of government spending which promises to wipe us out as the leading economic power of the world. Victory, after all, is the quaint notion of those naive freshmen who actually believe in things like principles and promises.

Despite that lofty rhetoric, my fight today is not with the sell-outs of the establishment wing of the GOP. The old school establishment politicians are a remnant of a dying era. Mr. Boehner apparently forgets the only reason he occupies the office of Speaker is due to the hard work of the freshmen. But that, and the Senate’s Democrat majority and the abomination in the White House will soon be remedied. It is the cheerleaders of mediocrity that I want to talk about today.

First, there’s The Weekly Standard. There are things called “magazines” which consist of stories printed on slick paper and some people, I guess, actually pay good money for these things and some others actually pay better money to advertise their businesses in these periodicals. Weird, I know, but I remember them from youth. My mom always had a pile of them called “Life” and “Look” piled next to our black rotary phone which connected to our party line. The Weekly Standard boasts a lofty circulation of a whopping 60,000 influential insiders each and every week, not counting hits on its web site linked above. By contrast, Rush Limbaugh reaches some 20,000,000 listeners a week, but that doesn’t diminish the status of The Weekly Standard, in its own eyes. This week, The Weekly Standard distinguished itself again as the barker at the carnival of mediocrity when its editor, William Kristol, penned a juvenile screed attacking the real conservatives, the “Tea Party” for their boring, pedestrian refusal to follow the flaccid Boehner plan. In this little rant he called A Time for Choosing“, Kristol launches into an argument one must usually go to a grade school play ground to hear. “You can’t be my friend if you’re Jimmy’s friend,” Kristol whines in his opening paragraph, as he claims if you don’t support Boehner’s punt-to-win tactic you must be a Nancy Pelosi lover. Deep. He culminates his searing logic with a claim that if we don’t surrender to the enemy now the enemy will defeat us later. Wait, what? People pay to read this? Conservative pay to advertise in this? Time to reevaluate that marketing strategy.

Meanwhile, the Lord of the Flies-level analysis of the real conservatives continues at the mouth-piece of the blue-blooded establishment, the Wall Street Journal with its oh-so-witty Lord of the Rings analogy. Unlike the magazine, the WSJ’s marketing plan is to take 2 day old news, print it on smudgy paper and have a boy throw it on your wet lawn in the morning. After savaging Senator Jim DeMint, the Club for Growth and The Heritage Foundation, the anonymous author of this WSJ hit-piece intoned:

The idea seems to be that if the House GOP refuses to raise the debt ceiling, a default crisis or gradual government shutdown will ensue, and the public will turn en masse against . . . Barack Obama. The Republican House that failed to raise the debt ceiling would somehow escape all blame. Then Democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced-budget amendment and reform entitlements, and the tea-party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth having defeated Mordor.

Seriously? Was it take your kid to work day at the WSJ? Say what you will about Kristol’s piece, at least he had the balls to sign his name to it. I’m looking at you Wall Street Journal. Was your “journalist” too busy hacking cell phones to sign his work? Or just too embarrassed?

And our final cheerleader who needs a little light shined on him is the right honorable Senator John McCain who, read the above WSJ article on the floor of the United States Senate. “Conservative” McCain, who actually knew Gandalf as a young man, later explained on Sean Hannity’s TV show how he was a conservative’s conservative and he was not attacking the tea party movement, which he loved (impish smile here with an almost childish giggle, as if reading dirty jokes to his fellow 5th graders) but was merely explaining the issue. This criticism of real conservatives from a man whose two claims to fame are losing an election to some nobody from Illinois named “Barack” and having been captured for a long time? Well you are still in captivity, Senator McCain. You’ve been captured by the wishy-washy, don’t-make-waves establishment that the tea party movement is here to replace. Somebody needs to take Grandpa back to the home.

Conservatives, John McCain is self-limiting but enemies who pretend to be friends are not so self-limiting. What you have to ask yourself is, why should you pay to buy or subscribe to periodicals which advocate this weakling standard for conservatism?

_____
Randall Mead is a simple, country lawyer, scratching out a living in the belly of the beast, the capital of Madiganistan.

It is time for shared sacrifice.

I watched in utter amazement last Friday as the President of the United States of America had a hold-my-breath, stomp-my-feet, hissy fit on national tv because mean old John Boehner wouldn’t go along with the scheme to rip us off for even more taxes. All the cliches in this matter are true but the best one that sums up the issue is “It’s the spending stupid.” We don’t need any further “revenue enhancements” (don’t you just love D.C. euphemisms?) which are a drop in the bucket compared to the run-away spending our profligate national government has been indulging in for the last decade. Yes, it started with President Bush but his growth in spending was truly amateurish compared to that of the current one-term-wonder, Barack H. Obama. To get this country back in black we have to cut spending and cut it to the bone.

As I marveled at Obama’s macabre theatre of the absurd, it dawned on me that about a week ago Obama called on the nation to rally together and make a “shared sacrifice” to confront this crisis. According to an AFP story carried on Breitbart, the President said,

Simply put, it will take a balanced approach, shared sacrifice, and a willingness to make unpopular choices on all our parts.

In that regard I agree with President Obama completely. It is indeed time for shared sacrifice. Where I suspect we differ is on the issue of who should now be doing the sacrificing.

To quote an old Rush Limbaugh saw, “It’s time the poor started paying their fair share!” The problem is not that the so-called “rich” pay too little. It’s that the “poor” pay far too little and receive far too much. But let’s back away from the tired old Marxist tactic of pitting economic classes against one another. “Rich” or “poor”? What do these labels even mean in today’s American society? We have the richest poor in the world. I recall vivividly Dinesh D’Souza’s story about what an Indian friend told him when asked why he wanted so badly to come to America. He replied:

I really want to move to a country where the poor people are fat.

See, What’s So Great About America, Townhall.

Meanwhile the rich aren’t even the rich. With each new day we find “rich” being defined down to where about any husband and wife team of school teachers are deemed “the rich” by the Obama regime. So let’s abandon those words in favor of more meaningful terms, such as “producers” and “users.” I define producers as any who, through their wit, skill, enterprise and industry are employed or self-employed in the private sector and contributing to our gross domestic product. These people include the laborers and the thinkers, the professionals, the artisans and the industrialists; the ones who work for what they get and all too often are the ones taxed to pay for what those who don’t produce get through the largess of our very generous government. On the other end of the spectrum are the “users.” As the name implies these people do not produce, but use that which the producers produce. The users live off that taken from the producers. There are some necessary users, such as police, fire and military, and it is not the intent of this article to denigrate their necessary service. I focus instead on the true users: those on the public dole, the lazy, the unmotivated, the incompetent, the under-achievers. They actually enjoy a life-style that would be the envy of the average European middle class. The Heritage Foundation recently published some eye-opening statistics and charts on this very subject, noting:

. . . According to the government’s own survey data, in 2005, the average household defined as poor by the government lived in a house or apartment equipped with air conditioning and cable TV. The family had a car (a third of the poor have two or more cars). For entertainment, the household had two color televisions, a DVD player, and a VCR. . . .

If there were children in the home (especially boys), the family had a game system, such as an Xbox or PlayStation. In the kitchen, the household had a microwave, refrigerator, and an oven and stove. Other household conveniences included a washer and dryer, ceiling fans, a cordless phone, and a coffee maker. . . .

Not bad.

For far too long the producers have been forced to give too much to the users in terms of taxes and in other ways, ($16 trillion) but let’s focus on taxes so we don’t stretch this note to unnecessary length. We are told by the merchants of poverty, the press and the left, that we are selfish and undertaxed and we should be thankful for that. My experience is that Americans in general are not a seflish people and happily give to those truly in need; a hand-up in hard times. And no one begrudges a penny spent on those few who, because of age, or disability, truly cannot work. But we are certainly not undertaxed.

The Tax Foundation recently published a work by Scott Hodge showing of all the industrialized countries the producers in the United States are the most taxed in the world. Hodge, citing figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), printed a table which he explained as follows:

The first column shows that the top 10 percent of households in the U.S. pays 45.1 percent of all income taxes (both personal income and payroll taxes combined) in the country. Italy is the only other country in which the top 10 percent of households pays more than 40 percent of the income tax burden (42.2%). Meanwhile, the average tax burden for the top decile of households in OECD countries is 31.6 percent.

In sum, the top 10% of American producers are taxed at the highest level in the world, in order to pay for some user’s Playstation (R).

Yes, it is time, far past time, for some “shared sacrifice.” It’s time for the users to sacrifice some of their goodies that the rest of has been paying for since LBJ’s unfortunate rise to power. I can hear the left howl now. “You can’t take food out of the mouths of babies!” True, and I don’t want to. Instead, let’s just take away their cell phones.

In January 2010 The Heritage Foundation shined some light on how you producers are giving away free phones and hours to the users, to the tune of a couple of billion dollars.

. . . In 2008, the fund that foots the bill for this program contributed $819 million to subsidize low-income telephone services. The fund is projected to grow to over $1 billion this year. That’s $1 billion of over $800 billion the United States will spend on welfare in 2010. . . .

I realize a mere couple of billion is a drop in the bucket of champagne the users enjoy. But the journey of a trillion dollars begins with but a single greenback. Barack? Harry? Nancy? You sure there’s nothing we can cut??

_____
Randall Mead is a simple, country lawyer, scratching out a living in the belly of the beast, the capital of Madiganistan.

Lessons from The Rifleman

Well here it is July 2 and I’m in the office trying to catch up on a few things. As is my want, I have my office TV on in the background, on AMC. I like to have a little noise in the background and I’m sort of waiting for one of the best movies ever made, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. In the meantime they are running episodes from the old 1960′s Western The Rifleman. This is a classic I remember watching as a kid. Chuck Conners plays Lucas McCain, an independent rancher, who with his Winchester 1892 rifle struggles to make a living, raise his son Mark without a mother, and be a responsible citizen in the old west.
The Rifleman
Photo Source

The themes are classic: good vs. evil, right vs. wrong and a father teaching his son the difference by example, and enforcing good and right over evil and wrong with the responsible use of his Winchester, frequently in voluntary support of the community and its Sheriff.

I wasn’t paying close attention because I am trying to work. The episode is called “Seven” and roughly concerns seven escaped criminals who take and terrorize a small town while demanding vengence against Lucas McCain for some offense he paid their leader.

Seven

McCain does “the right thing” and all ends well, but there was a little soliloquy at the very end that suddenly grabbed my attention and prompted me to put aside my work for a bit, look up these details and write this little post. Read this:

. . . The next night I was working on the pump…again! Mark was restless. He was still up reading in his schoolbooks. I looked over at him. “It’s way past your bedtime, Mark,” I stated sternly.

“I know,” he said. “I just don’t seem to be tired.” He slowly walked over to me. “Alright if I stay in here and watch for awhile?”

Normally I would have sent him on to bed, but somehow I knew something was bothering that boy, so I simply answered, “Suit yourself,” and waited for him to open up to me.

It didn’t take him long. “Pa, is it possible to loose a town?” he suddenly blurted out.

“Loose a town?” I asked as I looked at him. Then I suddenly realized he was thinking about what happened to those prisoners last night. Mark figured they could’ve taken the town away from us. “They could’ve taken it physically, Mark, but they couldn’t have kept it. Takes more then just guns to hold a town. No son, the time a town or even a country is really lost is when the people who live in it get careless and stop paying attention to how it’s being run.”

Again, Mark surprised me by blurting out, “Oh, you mean like the Roman Empire!” I turned and looked at my child. He never ceased to amaze me!

“You’re up to that already?” I asked a bit shocked. He said Miss. Adams started them on it last week. “Well then you know the value of studying your history. Now, you were a hundred percent right when you said ‘like the Roman Empire.’ By knowing the mistakes people have made hundreds of years ago, we can learn a lesson and profit from not making the same mistakes ourselves.” I thought on that myself as I spoke these words to my son.

“I hope so,” Mark stated. I suddenly turned and stared at my young son. He hoped so? That was an odd response to one of my inspired lectures! I reckon I was putting him to sleep as usual because he suddenly yawned and stated he could go to sleep now. “Goodnight, Pa!”

As he disappeared into the bedroom, I said, “Goodnight, son.” Then I thought about his “I hope so” comment and shook my head.

That boy! Source –> The Rifleman, “Seven.”

It of course hit me that in 1960, writers in Hollywood (in this case, Arthur Browne, Jr.) were allowed to write like this, in marked contrast to the drivel that finds its way into most of what constitutes modern television. But it spoke to our situation today, where our American electorate has almost made it possible to “lose a nation.” The jury is still out on that and hopefully the loss can still be prevented.

But the cause of the loss is still the same as that forsaged by Lucas McCain: the “people who live in it get careless and stop paying attention to how it’s being run.” Yes, fat times breed laziness. We found it easy to pretend to educate our youth in schools that are little more than left-wing indoctrination centers, rather than to teach them ourselves by the example of our lives, like Lucas. We are then surprised that they and a majority of the electorate seem more intrigued by the current antics of Lady Gaga than the role of federalism in our supposedly representative government. We don’t understand when “the people’s” interest in Congress is limited to the vulgarity of one Anthony Weiner. Obama and his regime are not the cause of our dire position as a nation. We, the people, are the cause, because we, like the Roman Empire, have gotten careless, fat and lazy and have stopped paying attention to how it’s run.

There is still time to turn this around. But it requires direct action by we few who still care, who still pay attention, to educate the rest as to the brink upon which we teeter. The only questions left are will we act and will they listen? If not, it is possible to lose this town to the bad guys.

-Randy
_____
Randall Mead is a simple, country lawyer, scratching out a living in the belly of the beast, the capital of Madiganistan.

In Defense of Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin, once again, is the victim of a vicious smear campaign, this time from the supposed “right.”  Self-described deep thinkers from the Republican Party, from George Will to Charles Krauthammer and other ankle-biters who think themselves relevant, are letting it be known to the media that they are so embarrassed to have an ignoramous like Palin associated with their party.  Politico seems to be the current center of the “I hate Sarah” club, as discussed recently on Rush Limbaugh. It would be so convenient if she just went away, in all her ignorance.  Why, she’s dragging us down as the “party of ideas.”  I got news for you George and Charles, et al., if the past of the GOP is based on your lofty ideals, you can keep the Republican Party.   

Sarah Palin is the one and only reason I held my nose and voted for the McCain ticket and I suspect if that was true for me it was true for about a million others. She’s the only thing that resurrected his failed, impotent campaign and at the end actually gave him a chance, which he still blew because he wouldn’t take his gloves off against candidate Obama.

Sarah Palin, not John McCain, packed 70,000 people into a campaign event in Florida. That was unprecedented for a VP candidate. Sarah Palin has universal name recognition thanks to the drive-by media who continue to vilify her despite her being Sarah Everywoman, a point the old men at the old media still don’t get.

Sarah Palin’s endorsements delivered numerous high political offices to real conservatives across the nation. They owe her and she has proven her coattails time and time again, except to those who, blinded by irrational hatred, refuse to see it.

Now, all that being said, unless conservatives completely unite behind ONE candidate (and we don’t even know if Palin is running) then Mitt “the inventor of Obamacare” Romney will be the nominee, like it or not and you will vote for him, like it or not, because the utter destruction of the US that will be a second Obama administration is too horrible to think.

People. Maybe your guy early on is Pawlenty, or Jindal, or King. Whatever we think of these conservatives like Palin, there will always, always be one, maybe two, things you don’t like about each one of them. We have to get past that one or two things and look at the 8 or 9 that are in lock step with what we too believe, and stop set our own on fire. The risks are too great otherwise. We need to stop labeling and calling candidates names, like the idiotic “RINO.” [As an aside, we should all like being called "RINOs" because we are conservatives, using and retaking the Republicans as a mere vehicle for our ascention to power. Who wants to be a Republican in fact if the model of that Republican is an Alan Simpson or a Lindsey Graham?] President Reagan noted that someone who agreed with him 8 out of 10 times was his friend, not his opponent. We need to embrace this philosophy as we enter the 2012 campaign. Let’s stop point out the moats in our neighbors eyes.

If not, the greatness that was America will be lost forever.