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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Quote of the Day

Mark Steyn on Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren's claim to Indian ancestry:
Hallelujah! In the old racist America, we had quadroons and octoroons. But in the new post-racial America, we have — hang on, let me get out my calculator — duoettrigintaroons! Martin Luther King dreamed of a day when men would be judged not on the color of their skin but on the content of their great-great-great-grandmother’s wedding-license application. And now it’s here! You can read all about it in Elizabeth Warren’s memoir of her struggles to come to terms with her racial identity, Dreams from My Great-Great-Great-Grandmother.

Alas, the actual original marriage license does not list Great-Great-Great-Gran’ma as Cherokee, but let’s cut Elizabeth Fauxcahontas Crockagawea Warren some slack here. She couldn’t be black. She would if she could, but she couldn’t. But she could be 1/32nd Cherokee, and maybe get invited to a luncheon with others of her kind — “people who are like I am,” 31/32nds white, and they can all sit around celebrating their diversity together. She is a testament to America’s melting pot, composite pot, composting pot, whatever.
"Composite Americans," National Review, May 5, 2012

*Elizabeth Fauxcahontas Crockagawea Warren.  Too funny.
** "Under the Third Reich’s Nuremberg Laws, Ms. Warren would have been classified as Aryan and Mr. Zimmerman as non-Aryan. Now it’s the other way round. Progress!"  Excellent.  

I Side With Ahmadinejad

So when is the Persian Gulf not the Persian Gulf?

When the gatekeeper of all worldly knowledge - Google - and a bunch of tiny Arab countries - say it's not.

This is weird:

Iran slams Google for leaving Gulf nameless

Picky. Picky. Picky.

Well, here's my recommendation.  I call upon Google to recognize the legitimate Christian name of that teeming city on the Bosporus -  Constantinople.

Wanna play that game?  I'm in.

Well, That Wasn't Very Bright

When I heard that Barack Obama was going to kick off his reelection campaign in Ohio at the Schottenstein Center on the Ohio State campus I thought it to be a slick move.  Massive crowd. Moonstruck teens.  Chants.  Raucous cheering.  Adulation.  2008.

What I didn't take into account - and neither did Obama's handlers, obviously, - was the most basic of necessities - the crowd:

Obama Launches Campaign in Empty Arena.

Perhaps he should have kicked things off at the National Press Club.  Massive crowd. Chants.  Raucous cheering.  Adulation.  2008 ...

Chicken or Egg?

Is the economy so bad - with no hope for millions of Americans to find work - that it makes them simply give up and go on government relief?

Or is government relief now so enticing that it makes people sit at home and collect welfare?

Whichever is the case, there is an unprecedented trend taking place in our country.  People by the millions are dropping out of the workforce.

The chart, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal:


A few things from "The Vanishing Workers" to ponder:

"The civilian labor participation rate, as it's known, fell again in April to 63.6%. That's the second decline in a row and the lowest rate since December 1981. That's right—more than 30 years ago, longer than Mark Zuckerberg has been alive."

"[T]he recent fall is so sharp and surprising that aging baby boomers can't be the entire reason. Another explanation is surely the slow pace of job growth, which means fewer opportunities to entice what economists call the "marginal" worker back into the labor force."

"Second earners in a household may also not find work at a high enough wage to justify the costs of commuting or child care. That's especially true when stagnant wage growth means less reward for the effort. Over the past 12 months, average weekly earnings are up 2.1% but inflation has climbed by 3%. Real pay is rising far too slowly, which makes work less attractive."

"Another culprit may be the rapid expansion of government transfer payments during this recession. Medicaid, disability payments and food stamps have all risen sharply in recent years, starting under President Bush and accelerating under President Obama.

"This is a particular disincentive to low-skilled workers to enter the job market because in some high-benefit states they need to earn $30,000 or more to compensate for the benefits they lose. This is an insidious high marginal tax rate that deters many from ever acquiring the basic skills and experience they need to move up the income ladder."

That last point is the most troubling.  Depending on the state in which they reside, there is no good reason for most people working at Wal-Mart to be working at Wal-Mart.  They can "earn" more by staying at home and waiting for the monthly check(s) to arrive in the mail box.  We're back to  the welfare state that Bill Clinton famously "ended as we know it."  Welfare as we knew it may have ended, but government transfer payments to non-productive citizens are flooding the countryside - by other names.  SCHIP, TANF, the EITC, SNAP (food stamps), housing assistance, SSI, never-ending unemployment compensation, school lunch assistance, child welfare services, child care subsidies, energy assistance programs, shelters for the homeless, even cell phone assistance.   Add to these the towering Medicare and Medicaid programs - and, soon, ObamaCare - and the problem becomes obvious.  And immense.

To make it worse, the mindset is ingrained in many areas of the country.  See "Welfare Queens," a story that is really about "Obama Bucks," as they are referred to in the video by those on the receiving end of your hard-earned income that was confiscated by one or more governments.  The cash is there and they're going to take it.  Work?  Employment?  The future?  They'll think about working in the future in the future.

So the economy is struggling.  And the government checks are flowing like never before.  Cause?  Effect?    Symptom?   Now till the end of time?

No.

Something's gotta give.  We can't go on like this.

A Metaphor

Planted fourteen months ago with great hope for its future ...

National Christmas Tree in Washington dies after just 14 months

Cause of death?

Stress.

The stuff that opening scenes of movies are made of.