Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Deuce Stiffs Haiti

I haven't given a dime to least not directly. The Glorious Leader has promised $150 million in relief, about $10 of which I've paid in income tax, which is my contribution. Why not more you ask? Well, if all politics is local then so is charity. Haiti has been an economic basket case for decades, if not centuries. Governmental corruption coupled with voo-doo has got to be one of the worst combos since Tiger and busty waitresses.

I'm no different from you. It breaks my heart to see people suffering like the Haitians. Our common humanity and my own personal Christian beliefs cry out to help the broken, the homeless and the hungry of Haiti. But I don't. I don't send money to help Haiti for the same reasons I don't give cash money to my uncle the drunk, or my cousin the meth addict, or my old high school buddy who blows every paycheck at the casino and then begs me for a loan.

There is such a thing as the deserving poor and the undeserving poor. I judge Haiti to be of the undeserving poor...and I won't enable them by giving them yet more aid. Haiti has received hundreds of millions of dollars in aid. Name the relief organizaion and they've been there for decades; the International Red Cross; UNICEF; Doctors Without Borders; the Internationl Monetary Fund; UN peacekeepers.

Who am I to judge? Please. We all make judgments about people dozens of times every day. Christ said "Judge not lest ye be judged." He was talking about judging someone's soul, either to Heaven or Hell. Please note that Christ had no problem "judging" the money lenders in the Temple.

In 1989 a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the San Francisco/Oakland bay area. You might remember it because it hit right before the start of a World Series baseball game and was immediately reported by sportscasters at the Oakland A's stadium. Sixty nine people were killed. The earthquake that hit Haiti was the same magnitude...and killed 110,000 and counting. Why the desparity in the number of people killed? There are several reasons, but they all boil down to poverty and governmental corruption...accepted by the Haitian people. Some wit once said, "People get the government they deserve." The Haitian people got a government that didn't dream of buildng codes that required structures that could withstand a 7.0 earthquake...and so they suffer. God help them.

Still, there seem to be millions of Americans who don't see things as I do. The people of the U.S.A. have already given or pledged $500 million to Haitian relief. Maybe they're right. But then again, the American people also elected a stone cold communist as president, and a year later seem to be deserting him in droves. We've recognized our error and have begun to make the necessary corrections ( see the recent senatorial election in Massachusetts ).

I said it before and I'll say it agian; if all politics is local, then so is charity. You want to help? I say give locally. Give to your local homeless shelter; give to the Salvation Army; give blood; volunteer as a Big Brother or be a Scout Leader or visit the lonely and the sick in the nearest rest home or hospice. Give to your church ( making sure they are spending your donations locally ); coach a Little League team; shovel your neighbor's sidewalks; give to the Shriners, or the American Cancer Society or JDL or the ASPCA. Give to the deserving. Don't enable people who are bound and determined to be needy forever. The sooner you stop helping them, the sooner they'll learn to stand on their own.

You want to help Haiti? Tell them to get their shit together.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Seismic Change You Can Believe In

By Mr. Quarter

Every once in a while, we are fortunate enough to witness an inflection point, a point when the course of events actually could have gone either way and history is forever different as a result of the outcome. I think that our children may well look back on January 19, 2010 as one of those inflection points. I have watched with great interest the building momentum of the Tea Party Movement and have stated in this blog that while I doubted it could become a political party, it could certainly become an ideological foundation for conservative policy and politics. What Scott Brown demonstrated is that now every single incumbent seat in the House and Senate, whether Republican or Democrat, can be key to taking away forever Washington's ability to reach into our homes and wallets and the lives of every American for any reason they deem necessary. That is the fundamental change that we want and that we desperately need. That will be the legacy of the Tea Party Movement. The ordinary Americans that make up the Tea Party Movement represent the needs and values of all who work and sweat for a living, pay their taxes, and provide for their families with what is left over. They represent the taxpaying citizen that struggles under the oppression of a massive federal government, a government that spends and spends with no limit in sight, and thinks that it knows better than we the best use of our hard earned dollars. Mr. Obama, the Democrat party and even Republicans that think they can carry on with business as usual, spending away our future and making deals, and behaving as though the principal objective of their employment by the people is to win the point rather than to benefit the citizens of this nation had better take a long hard look in the mirror. At the end of every day in office going forward they should be looking in that mirror and asking themselves "did what I do today take away from the citizens that elected me?" Because for those that answer "yes," their time in office will be short.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"They" are better than you

by Mr. Quarter

David Brooks, the New York Times columnist emitomizes the privileged thinking of the "educated elites" in this country that resent that the rest of us have been granted the right to vote and speak our mind. More accurately, he is among those that think that they are entitled to dictate to the balance of America how we should live and what is good for us.

Witness his article here where he laments that "The educated class believes in global warming, so public skepticism about global warming is on the rise. The educated class supports abortion rights, so public opinion is shifting against them. The educated class supports gun control, so opposition to gun control is mounting." He continues his whining about the growing popularity of the tea party movement saying, "The tea party movement is a large, fractious confederation of Americans who are defined by what they are against. They are against the concentrated power of the educated class. They believe big government, big business, big media and the affluent professionals are merging to form self-serving oligarchy "

Poor David Brooks. How frustrating it must be stuck there in NYC among all the other intellectuals and educated elite while the little people try and shape the country for those that produce.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Noblesse Oblige and Prejudice

by Mr. Quarter

Noblesse Oblige: The moral obligation of those of high position to act with kindness and generosity.

Harry Reed and the rest of the "Progressive" leadership suffer under the the arrogant belief that minorities owe them much, that the very lives and livelihoods of minority citizens are a result of "Progressive's" caring, kindness and generosity. Because of that, Harry and company believe that they are owed so much by minorities, that "Progressives" are entitled to keep and occasionally display their personal racial stereotypes, viewpoints, prejudices, and preferences without fear of being called to account. They think that they are owed a free pass and that these are small indiscretions that should be overlooked as "a poor choice of words" or "an inartful phrase". In the interest of coming clean, lets look at some of their published statements so that all understand where their minds are:

Harry Reed: Barack Obama is "a light-skinned" African American "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."

Joe Biden: Barack Obama is "articulate, bright and clean."

Charles Schumer: During his 1998 campaign for the Senate he insinuated that Alfonse D’Amato was an anti-Semite because D’Amato had allegedly called Schumer a “putzhead” in a private meeting with Jewish supporters.

Barbara Boxer: Harry Alford of the Black Chamber of Commerce has betrayed his race by not agreeing with the NAACP on Cap & Trade.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse: The opponents of the liberals' healthcare reform were "white Aryan support groups."

Jesse Jackson: Rep. Arthur Davis is not a black man because he voted against the healthcare bill.

Maureen Dowd: George Bush is guilty of racism because he appointed "white men" to the Supreme Court.

Nancy Pelosi: Americans who show up at the healthcare town hall meetings are "Nazis and racists."

Barak Obama: (in his autobiography) "white folks greed runs a world in need."

A pretty clear picture of how "Progressives" view minority Americans - inferior to them and owing to them for the beneficence that flows from their superior judgement and intellect. It also provides a ample evidence that "Progressives" do not hesitate to paint any political issue or disagreement with a racial brush if it advances their position - no matter the truth or morality of that approach. Many commentators have pondered why the minority electorate overwhelmingly supports the Democratic Party - particularly in light of the efforts of the members of that party to oppress and disenfranchise them from the Civil War until the 1960's. One can only hope that they will eventually wake up.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Deuce and Christmas

The Christmas season gets shorter and shorter every year. I know, that's the lament of an old man, or at least a middle-aged man. I'm not talking about when Christmas ads start airing on TV a week before Thanksgiving. In that respect Christmas lasts longer than ever. But the real Christmas season flys by.

It's the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas songs are all over the radio, Christmas trees are everywhere, you're thinking of potential gifts for the kids, the grand kids, assorted extended family members and friends. You get the tree up and hang the stockings, put up the outside lights and bust out the Christmas cards and your address book. You catch maybe two of the dozens of classic Christmas shows on the tube. You surf the net for the best buys and maybe brave the crazies at Wal-Mart at the five a.m. opening, feeling like your running with the bulls at Pamplona. If you have Faith maybe you make it to the Christmas Eve church service.

The next thing you know, it's over.

The living room is trashed; wrapping paper litters the floor and hangs off the light fixtures ( in the more exuberant households ); gifts are stacked next to chairs, on the couch and the coffee table; the Christmas meal has been ravaged, the table cloth so stained with spills it looks like a Jackson Pollock masterpiece, and scraps of food are scattered on the floor around the kitchen table in a pattern reminiscent of a land mine explosion ( clan is exuberant ). You sit in your favorite recliner, stare uncomprehendingly at the game on TV and drift into the coma only the materially and gastronomically overdosed are capable of, and your last thought before you float into unconsciousness is, "Over already?"

When you're a kid, the Christmas season last for months, because when you're eight years old, a day is as long as a week to an adult. While the time between bed time on Christmas Eve and the time you wake up on Christmas morning is only hours, to a kid it is a geologic epoch; continents have drifted, species have come and gone and innumerable stars have burned all their hydrogen and winked out. The Christmas Eve when I was five I woke my mother every half hour from Midnight to 3:00 a.m. asking, "Is it time to get up yet?" She finally surrendered and said yes. The fact that my father put up with getting up in the middle of the night is the surest sign I can think of that he loved both me and my mother. By six a.m. we were all back in our beds, me with my six-shooter in hand and new tennis shoes on.

Dozens of Christmases have passed since then. My dad got his revenge when my own kids woke me up at the crack of dawn begging me to get up so Christmas day could begin. I did get up, but not as early as my own dad did. He always was a better man than me. Where I loaded caps into my western six-shooter my kids loaded Mario Brothers into their new Nintendo machine. I had Hot Wheels and G.I. Joe, my kids had Star Wars spaceships and My Little Pony dolls.

I still try to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas and How The Grinch Stole Christmas. It's A Wonderful Life, Home Alone, The Polar Express and A Christmas Story are must sees too. Sometimes I start to feel foolish watching kid's Christmas shows, but then I think, if you're lucky, Christmas makes you a kid again.

I'm not a kid anymore. Those days are long gone. So when I'm watching the Christmas shows with a beautiful tree in the corner and stockings hanging on the wall and dishes of Christmas candy and cookies strategically placed around the living room, I also think of other things. I think of Christmases past, when I was young and my folks were healthy and vibrant. I think of family and friends that are absent. Maybe they live a long way away, or maybe they've died, or maybe we've had a falling out and no longer speak. Those thoughts make me sad.

But then I think of the meaning of Christmas. I think of Christ. I think of His sacrifice. I think of his promise. It's then that I pray. It's then that I give thanks for being alive; for having had loving parents; for having had good friends; and especially for having children that I love and who love me.

Christmas is full of promise; full of hope; full of joy; full of beauty; full of love. It makes me feel like a kid again. I hope it does the same for you, and if it does, I hope you know why it does.

Merry Christmas.