Compulsory Charity

It’s a well documented fact that conservatives as a whole donate significantly more of their own money to charity than liberals do. I say “their own money” because liberals typically want  the government to take your money and give it to the people that they deem need it more than you. This helps them feel like charitable people while not having to, you know, sacrifice any of there own hard-earned cash on the less fortunate. Well, as Presidents usually do, the Obamas released their tax statements from last year (found in this post) and it shows that Obama gave $172,000 to charity last year. Sounds pretty impressive until you find out that it was only 6.5 % of the $2.7 million they raked in. I mean come on, most churches ask you to give at least 10% (Oh and by the way, none of Obama’s donations went to that crazy church that he used to belong to so I guess that’s good). So what did Bush give last year? $166,000. Less total dollars but 23% of his income. Oh, and Dick Cheney? 75%.

So just remember that all that change and compassion and hope doesn’t come cheap and it ain’t Obama or his lib friends that will be footing the bill.

It will be you…whether you want to or not. Some call it taxes. But maybe it will make you feel better to think of it as “compulsory charity”.

**Updated 04/18/2009**

Here’s another article that details Joe Biden’s less than generous charitable giving. One year, when his adjusted gross income was $210,797 he gave a whopping $120 to charity. But I’m sure he doesn’t feel bad about that. He’s going to make sure that you “donate” plenty. After all, according to Joe, it’s patriotic.

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Multicultural Idiots

You may have heard the story today about the new law in Afghanistan that makes it illegal for a wife to refuse to have sex with her husband. The law also requires that a woman receive permission from her husband before she leaves her house. This law was passed by the government that the US helped put in place after unseating the Taliban after 9/11. I saw the story on CNN today and was, like most people, ouraged at the fact that we live in a world were uncivilized morons like this are allowed to govern, let alone live. Then they started putting up viewer emails and I couldn’t believe my eyes. The email that shocked me was off the screen so fast that I was sure I was mistaken about what it had said. But later I ran across the transcript on CNN’s Cafferty File political blog. And sure enough, there was the email from the viewer and it was as stupid as I originally thought. Here it is:

Dave writes:
It is not our place to tell other folks how to live! Yes, this is wrong in our eyes, but it was not that many years ago that a man in the U.S. could have never been arrested and prosecuted for the same crime.

The utter and complete nonsense of the statement just, well, makes my head explode. What it really does is point to the dangers that multiculturalism or cultural relativism breeds in a law abiding society. Nothing is right or wrong. There is no good. There is no evil. It’s all just differing paradigms and opinions. There’s a great video on YouTube of Mark Steyn addressing the problems with multiculturalism. It is well worth eight or so minutes of your time.

UN Credibility With Fat Nerds Skyrockets!

Well, the UN’s street-cred with fat nerds that live in their mother’s basement just went way up. Yes, it’s easy to take an international political organization seriously when they are holding such important meetings. It seems like the two lead actors (Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell) from the new Battlestar Galactica show and two of its producers will be meeting with representatives from the UN to discuss “…issues such as human rights, children and armed conflict, and terrorism. Also on the agenda: dialogue among different civilizations and faiths.”

But wait! It gets better: “Whoopi Goldberg, purportedly a big fan, will moderate this historic meeting of minds.” I’m not sure from that sentence if Whoopi is a big fan of the UN, Battlestar Galactica or both but who really cares?

What this does for me, is further solidify my belief that the UN is a joke (and an expensive one a that: US contributions to the UN in 2006 totaled over $2.6 billion) that ceased to be funny long ago.

Style Over Substance

Full Disclosure: I am a conservative Republican. I do not like Barack Obama. Mainly because he supports a lot of liberal policies that I disagree with. So far, on some issues, he’s not as much of a train wreck as I thought he would be (see Iraq, Gitmo – his actions, not the rhetoric – and his education secretary). On others he’s worse (see the Stimulus, the Omnibus bill, his budget and “not letting a crisis go to waste”).

Here’s the thing; all politicians are hypocrites to some extent. They make promises that they know they won’t be able to keep. They say one thing to one group of voters and another to the next group. And sometimes politicians aren’t hypocrites but have to go back on a promise for practical, pragmatic reasons (see George H W Bush on “read my lips” and Obama on upholding a lot of Bush’s War on Terror policies). But Obama seems to pursue hypocrisy in such an outrageous and unapolagetic fashion. Allow me to provide some examples.

Obama says that the country is facing the worst crisis the US has seen since 1932, the Great Depression. We must act now or face the collapse of the US and world economies. Then his advisers take him aside and tell him to cut the doom and gloom rhetoric. Now Obama says that we’ll see 4% growth by the end of this year? That (Is this Obama channeling McCain?) the “fundamentals of the economy are strong”. Hmmm. Sounds like maybe old Rahm wasn’t kidding about that “take advantage of a crisis” thing. Seems like Obama was using fear to drum up for the Stimulus that doesn’t actually stimulate anything so that he could get all his New New Deal shit passed.

Under Obama, the federal deficit will increase in his first two years more than it did in Bush’s eight. And yet we have to hear him pontificate about fiscal responsibility and how we can’t spend money we don’t have anymore.

Larry Summers, Obama’s chief economic adviser, on Sunday said “we are a country of law, the government can’t simply abrogate the contracts” about AIG handing out bonuses despite the fact that it just took over $170 billion from the taxpayers. And yet apparently the Obama administration has no problem “abrogating” thousands of mortgage contracts with their little mortgage cramdown scheme.

When Obama was Candidate Obama he was all about helping veterans. In fact he said the following:

“When soldiers return from fighting, they deserve nothing but the best in medical care, he said. More needs to be done, he said, to understand the effects of post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury on soldiers returning from war. We’ll have to keep our sacred trust with our veterans and fully fund the (Veterans Administration). We’ll have to look after our wounded warriors, whether they’re suffering from wounds seen or unseen.”

Now it appears that part of fulfilling that sacred trust is sticking veterans for the medical expenses on injuries they incurred while defending their country in Iraq. Wow!

The list goes on and on but I won’t. I will mention finally the fact that despite all his campaign rhetoric about a new kind of politics, Obama, when looking for people to appoint to his cabinet and other top government positions, appears never to have met a tax dodger, Washington insider or lobbyist that he didn’t like.

How Much Is A Trillion?

My wife and I were discussing the recent crazed spending spree that our new administration has embarked upon and how, pretty soon, we’ll have to start talking about our national deficit in gazillions of dollars. Anyway, Jonah Goldberg had a post that linked to this site that has a physical representation of what $ 1 Trillion looks like. It is mind boggling. He also had a reader email him with this:

Thank you for that cool link showing the pallets of $100 bills used to comprise a trillion dollars. As a physicist, when I first heard about the ginormous quantities of cash in this infernal porkulus bill, I couldn’t help but do a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation that yields a sense of the size of the trillion dollars my descendants will owe. It’s one thing to juggle exponents; it’s another to conceptualize how much a trillion really is.

After I navigated to your link, I used a Vernier caliper to make my calculation a little more quantitative. A stack of 4 bills is 0.5 millimeters thick, so ten bills are 1.25 mm thick. Let’s round down to 1.2 mm for a stack of ten bills.

Therefore, a trillion dollars is ten billion (1010) $100 dollar bills, corresponding to a stack of bills 1200 km or 740 miles high! If the bills were $1 bills, there would be1012 (a trillion) of them, and they’d form a stack 74,000 miles high, or 30% the distance to the Moon!

Suppose the bills were joined end-to-end. Dollar bills are about 6 inches or 15 cm long, so 10 billion $100 dollar bills would form a belt 1.5 x 106 (1.5 million) km long. That’s about 900,000 miles long, almost four times the Earth-Moon distance.

And if you string a trillion $1 bills end-to-end, you’d get a belt o’ bills a hundred times longer than that, or about 90 million miles. You’re past Mars’s orbit and entering the asteroid belt going away from the Sun, and in the other direction, you’ve about reached the Sun!

Do those guys spending our money really know how much cash that is?

Holy Moses!

Even A Broken Clock Is Right Twice A Day

Well what do you know. Even our own village idiot of an ex-president, Jimmy Carter, gets it right sometimes. Here he comes out against bringing back the Fairness Doctrine.