POLLIWOG (Tadpole): the early stage of an animal that will eventually become a frog, hoping to be kissed by a princess, turning into a prince! POLIBLOG (Political Blog): the early stage of a center-right political blog that may eventually become a full blown blog of the center-right. Join in if you find any merit in the comments. If you are on the left and disagree, feel free to straighten me out! Who knows, with effort from all of us this blog may turn into a prince!

Location: San Diego, California, United States

Friday, April 29, 2005

The United States - 2025

Gerard Baker, a Financial Times columnist who also appears regularly in the London Times offers the following column in todays LT: "Heavy taxes, a bloated state - we're marching down the road to serfdom."

It is a picture of where we will be in a decade or two if we follow the path of the British Labour Party. I particularly like and agree with the following (it is identical in the U.S.):

"Of course, underpinning, sustaining and nourishing this consensus is a new Establishment that holds the British people in thrall of its supposedly progressive ideas. Its stultifying and baleful influence is transmitted by the clammy grip of its three main tentacles: the universities; the "experts", and, above all , the media."

A brief bio of Gerard Baker, a new favorite of mine, is here. The perspective of a Brit transplanted to the U.S.


On Monday I posit the shallowness of the Left, and on Friday the finest illustration of it is served to me in the Washington Post by E. J. Dionne: "Bush the Egghead."

Need I say anymore!

(If you choose to waste time, you can read it here.)


HINT: E. J. Dionne is a distributor of pap!

Monday, April 25, 2005


Hugh Hewitt has pointed out the silliness of the Left for several years - from "I voted for it before I voted against it" to "Iraq is George W. Bush's Vietnam." SILLY!

This weekend, while checking a lefty blog I frequent, I ran across a commentary on a particular situation in the state of Oregon that illustrated just as significant a feature of the Left - SHALLOWNESS!

Washington County, Oregon, has just given significant property tax breaks to Intel Corporation, the largest employer in the county, in order to keep them in their county. I thought I would read a diatribe against Corporate welfare as we do when reasonable people suggest tax cuts for corporations in order to allow their growth, and therefore ours; but instead I read that it doesn't seem right, but we can understand why the county has to do it!

It dawned on me - they can understand it when they can "see" and "feel" the effects! But propose something on the "macro" scale, where only intellectual analysis tells us what the results will be, and they are not up to the task!


Friday, April 22, 2005

"To Dems, It's 1974 Forever"

David Gelernter, a Yale professor, has a column in the LA Times with the above title that describes his view of the conflict between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party: role reversal - the Big Switch. "Once you understand the Big Switch, everything starts to make sense."

Most amazing thing: that the LA Times would publish this article. Perhaps they are really attempting to move a bit to the center!


Thursday, April 21, 2005


I believe that it is important for us to keep everything in perspective with all of the data we receive in this electronic age. Here is an article with the following fact:

42,800 people were killed in automobile accidents in the USA during 2004.

1500 courageous soldiers have been killed in Iraq.

3000 innocent workers were killed in the World Trade Towers.

No conclusions. Just keeping things in perspective!

"Roe's Birth, and Death"

David Brooks shares an interesting theory on the impact of Roe v. Wade on the current Senate problems.

"Justice Harry Blackmun did more inadvertent damage to our democracy than any other 20th-century American. When he and his Supreme Court colleagues issued the Roe v. Wade decision, they set off a cycle of political viciousness and counter-viciousness that has poisoned public life ever since, and now threatens to destroy the Senate as we know it."

We all know that Roe v. Wade continues to be a very devisive decision. Mr. Brooks may have a good point in his conclusion:

"Unless Roe v. Wade is overturned, politics will never get better."

Question is: Could it ever happen?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Joseph Bottum writes a column here discussing the elevation of Cardinal Ratzinger to the 265th pope of the Catholic Church. His election has sent a clear message that the College of Cardinals "wants the church to continue along the lines estalished by John Paul II."

The money quote, from John Paul II's encyclical "Veritatis Splendor", is this:

"A grown-up, serious people doesn't abort its babies.
A grown-up, serious people doesn't murder its sick and old.
And a grown-up, serious people doesn't destroy the structure of the family just for the sake of easy sex."

This is another pope for grown-up, serious people!

WORD FOR THE DAY: polemical

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Social Security Facts - #14:

A view of private accounts from the black perspective. Yes, it is written by an administration member, but drop the partisanship for a minute and concentrate on the points Mr. Alphonso Jackson makes here.

"Private Social Security accounts will help lift minorities out of poverty."

And this is a Republican initiative! What are the left's comments about this aspect of private accounts.

Monday, April 18, 2005


Mark Steyn summarizes the lefts position on the confirmation of John Bolton in his usual insightful and humorous manner. Read it here.

When will they wake up? You do not have to be a brain surgeon to understand that the U.N. needs a firm hand at this juncture!


Friday, April 15, 2005


Here is a commentary on Antonin Scalia's presentation of his views to an audience at Vanderbilt University this Monday.

Originalism is not a new philosophy, "living constitution" is. Originalism allows flexibility for the people. "Living constitution" puts us at the mercy of the whims of a few judges, with no flexibility. Seems an easy choice to me!

The use of foreign law in making legal decisions effecting the United States is not only a philosophy Justice Scalia thinks should not be used because of selectivity, but I cannot understand this approach intellectually because of differences in societies. Where does it stop? Should we look at the laws of Iceland (I saw a show on golf in Iceland last night - interesting) to set rules for our country? Doesn't make any sense to me!


HINT: The law can sometimes be this!

"Filibuster myth-busters"

Wendy Long, an activist with the Judicial Confirmation Network, gives clarity here to the Republican stand on the Democratic judicial filibusters.

W's nominees should get an up-or-down vote and we should all stay well informed on this battle so our Senator's can be properly rewarded or punished in 2006! A quick read!

Thursday, April 14, 2005


Clarity from Edward Whelan in an article titled "Supreme Confusion" in National Review Online, April 13, 2005:

  • "In other words, originalism will lead to 'conservative results' on these issues only if, and to the extent that, elected legislators enact conservative positions into law. Conversely, originalism will lead to liberal results when elected legislators enact liberal laws."

and he continues:

  • "And, of course, the free play that originalism gives to the political process on these issues will allow the electorate the flexibility to change its collective position over time."

Someone please explain to me why we do not want our Supreme Court Justices supporting this philosophy?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Social Security Facts - #13:


Given that Social Security is simply a transfer of wealth from the young (workers) to the old (retirees), a pay-as-you-go system that has been sold for seven decades as an insurance program with assets (of which there are none), then the age of elegibility is the third most obvious change!

As mentioned in Social Security Facts - #10, lifespan has increased about 10 years since Social Security began. Some adjustments have been made, but not as significant as they should be.

I suggest that we move the age of elegibility to 70 years of age for all entrants to the workforce immediately. This is 1/2 of the lifespan increase and seems reasonable in light of the fact that people in general are working later into life. For people now in the workforce, we should continue to phase in increases in the age of elegibility so in 5 decades (2055) you do not receive full benefits until age 70. Some facility for early payment (65?) of reduced benefits could still be kept.

And we should also keep adjusting this age of elegibilty into the future as lifespan and workhabits change. Perhaps his analysis should be added to the agenda of the economists suggested in Social Security Facts - #12.

I suggest that the modifications of MEANS TESTING, INDEXING AND AGE OF ELEGIBILITY somewhat along the lines that I have suggested in my last three posts would adjust the cost of the Social Security Program so that along with the personal accounts being suggested would relieve the crisis we are facing.

Any other ideas?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Social Security Facts - #12:


Given that Social Security is simply a transfer of wealth from the young (workers) to the old (retirees), a pay-as-you-go system that has been sold for seven decades as an insurance program with assets (of which there are none), then indexing is the second most obvious change and should happen immediately!

There should never be any AUTOMATIC indexing. This takes away putting any intelligence into these adjustments. Things change. Any indexing should be changed with the intelligence of these changing things.

I suggest a committee of 5 economists - three selected majority leader of the Senate and 2 selected by the minority leader of the Senate - be selected at the start of each Congress. They must study the need for Social Security increases for 1 year and submit a recommendation to Congress at the end of that period. Then each Congress votes for the recommended changes before the end of their service. This gets us an adjustment each two years.

Rules for the economists would have to be established to keep "politics" out of the review (I do realize this may be a difficult problem, but it is worth a try).

Along with Means Testing, this change would do wonders towards getting Social Security back on a sound fiscal basis.

What do you think!

Monday, April 11, 2005

Social Security Facts - #11:


Given that Social Security is simply a transfer of wealth from the young (workers) to the old (retirees), a pay-as-you-go system that has been sold for seven decades as an insurance program with assets (of which there are none), then means testing is the most obvious change and should happen immediately!

(I know, you don't agree with my above assumptions, but give me the benefit of the doubt!).

Why should an 18 year old hamburger flipper at McDonald's, pay me Social Security in 4 years when I retire at 66 and will still be making a very generous income. It just does not make any sense! This is EXACTLY what is happening today!

Social Security was meant to be supplemental to those retirees whose standard of living would drop after their retirement due to their inability to personally establish an adequate retirement income - and that is what it should be.

I would suggest we establish personal accounts in Social Security along with implementing means testing - phasing the means testing in over a decade to ease the pain and offset much of the cost of personal accounts. Anyone have a comment?

The Patriot Act Revisited

Several months ago, in conversations about the Patriot Act with my liberal friends, they had a visceral dislike of this Act based, in my humble opinion, on partisan politics.

Steve Chapman's column "The Calm After the Patriot Act Storm" summarizes the history of this attitude over the last three years and explains how it has eliminated the possibility of a rational debate. My favorite part:

"A statement issued by the Justice Department said that 'most of the voluminous Patriot Act is actually unobjectionable from a civil liberties point of view' and that 'the law makes important changes that give law enforcement agents the tools they need to protect against terrorist attacks.'

"Oops. My mistake. That statement didn't come from the administration. It came from the American Civil Liberties Union." (my emphasis)

The Patriot Act must not be quite as bad as you all thought if the ACLU likes it!

Friday, April 08, 2005

Social Security Facts - #10:

Back at Social Security Facts - #7 I began to suggest work that needs to be done on the payout of Social security. Let's consider the three primary suggestions and consider them over the weekend.

  • MEANS TESTING - in my mind the most important. I've been asked how you could do this ("Do we want the Government having all data on our incomes, net worth,etc.?") and respond that levels of means testing are done all the time - have you tried to buy a car or house lately? Doesn't seem to be a big deal to me.
  • INDEXING - I feel automatic indexing should be eliminated. How about Congress giving retirees a "raise" every two years, with the rules for these raises being established by a committee of economists? This "raise" should cover inflation, not try to keep up with the wage rate. It could be skipped at times, or doubled at others!
  • AGE OF ELIGIBILITY - already being nibbled at (I don't get Social Security until I am 66 years old, and younger people wait until 67. Lifespan has increased aproximately 10 years since 1935, so shouldn't eligibility be increased by 10 years? Probably not, since Social Security has always been triggered more my company retirement rules, which I do not have data on but do not believe have increase 10 years. But they probably have increased more than 2 years (65 - 67 for full Social Security).

All three must be modified to bring the program more in line with available resources over this century. My disappointment is that I do not hear these discussions from those who are refusing to consider personal accounts.

  • John Fund recently quoted FDR from a speech at Oglethorpe University that "this country needs . . . bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something."

Without action, Social Security will fail. It is time to try something!


Thursday, April 07, 2005


Hugh Hewitt today explains in very clear terms the abuse of the filibuster rule by the Senate Dems and the stakes of the game that is being played in Washington regarding federal judicial nominees.

  • "Over and over again the point must be made that the issue before the Senate is the capture of a single Senate rule by radical Democrats intent on thwarting majority rule and 217 years of precedent."

217 years of tradition being defended by the defender of Senate Tradition - Senator Byrd?

An example of the fear on the left of the classic non-activist judiciary which has allowed this country to achieve its position through republicanism, not judicial fiat!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Social Security Facts - #9:

A diversion from my thoughts:

reasononline (www.reason.com) has published a debate between James K. Glassman and Tyler Cowen - "The Death of Social Security - Debating Bush's plan for private retirement accounts."

It is the clearest of all the articles I have read and does a good job representing both sides of the debate.


WORD FOR THE DAY: vouchsafe

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Mr. Steyn's column in the Daily Telegraph, "Why progressive Westerners never understood John Paul II," is an insightful analysis of why our progrssive culture was not receptive to the Pope's very clear stands. An interesting read.

Another comment: you would think the progressives would like John Paul II and his stand against the Iraq War, but I have not heard much about this. My guess is he felt this way because 1) he was an important religious leader and probably felt that wars could only be supported when they were very clearly required (yes, I admit people can feel differently about the necessity of the Iraq War) and 2) he must have felt some risk of a misunderstanding with he being a leader of the Catholic churdh and this war being waged against Muslims.


Monday, April 04, 2005

THE NUCLEAR OPTION - It has already happened!

Most pundits seem to be quite concerned - on both sides - with what they variously call the "Nuclear Option", "The Byrd Option", "The Constitutional Option", etc. - eliminating the filibuster in the Senate. Should a judicial nominee get an up or down vote in the Senate?

Senator Byrd has said: "The President is all wrong when he maintains that a nominee should have an up-or-down vote. The Constitution doesn't say that. The Constitution doesn't say that that nominee shall have any vote at all. There doesn't have to even be a vote." (WSJ Review and Outlook, April 3, 2005)

Explain the logic in that opinion!

I have concluded that the "Nuclear Option" has already been exercised by the Dems - that is filibustering judicial nominees in the first place. This has thrown out 200 years of Senate tradition for some short term protection of an agenda that the people will not accept.

I ask this question: Assuming the Republicans do not eliminate the filibuster, how do the Dems think they will ever get a judicial nominee with the slightest left leanings through the Senate? Most agree it will be difficult for the Dems to gain a majority in either the Senate or the House in the foreseeable future and even winning the Presidency will be very difficult. But if they do get the Presidency, Republicans will surely not hesitate to use the filibuster to control the judiciary appointments.

I wonder if the Dems have thought this through? They have used the "NUCLEAR OPTION"!


Note: Social Security Facts will continue after a few days hiatus!