20 July 2011

Change and Hope

Dear Readers, I trust you have read the post immediately below.

It is true that both Clifford and I have been dealing with some rather sudden changes. Some could call them devastating. I, for one am not downhearted. Nor will I allow Clifford to be so. I keep coming back to one saying:

"Before you self diagnose depression or despair, have you considered the possibility that you may just be surrounded by assholes?"

I do believe that to be the case.

The Chinese character for "change" is a combination of the symbols for "danger" and "opportunity".

Yes, there is some risk in these changes. There is also great opportunity. Unfortunately navigating the dangers and chasing the opportunities will take some time.

I will do my best to fill in the gaps when Clifford can not attend this blog as much as he likes. And I'll encourage him, with all I can muster, to keep up the snark.

He will be back. To paraphrase Heinlein "You can cure someone of blogging. But you can't cure them of the need to blog". Clifford loves this blog, it's been his baby for years now. He is, justifiably, proud of his efforts.

Above all, he enjoys entertaining and educating his readers.

So have hope for his swift return. Even with these unplanned changes, I am hopeful. We've seen a moderate Republican elected in liberal Massachusetts. We've seen a sweep of fiscal conservatives into the US House, Senate, Governorships, State Legislatures, and lesser offices. We are seeing fiscal conservatives doing their best to hold the line on spending in DC. We have reasonable prospects for fiscal conservatism making gains in 2012, maybe even the White House. So there is good reason to be hopeful about our economy, if we can just hold on for 18 months.

Keep checking back, we'll be doing the same as you, the best we can.

19 July 2011

Good Bye And Good Luck.

As I learned the hard way this week, nothing is forever. As a consequence, I think it necessary to put Red Stick Rant into a state of suspended animation. Whether this is temporary, semi-permanent, or permanent, only time will tell. The The Grey Man may take over the helm, but he is also in a similar state as me.

As you know, my dear readers, since about January I have let this site languish, sometimes for days or weeks at a time. It is not due to a lack of interest in the political, cultural and theological goings on in the world, but an utter lack of time and focus. Where my focus has been is on my work in a dwindling economy. I don't think I can be blamed for that.

But, in this last week everything changed; and rather suddenly. I find myself, at 52, going from the frying pan into the fire, and having to redouble my efforts to keep up.

I am sure I will be alright, but I do not think it fair of me to pretend this site is active, when clicking here only gets you something you already saw a few days or a week ago. I have more respect for you, dear readers, and your time. For the past four years you have given up of that time to read what I have to say.

And for that, I can not thank you enough. Especially my loyal readers.

The blogosphere will survive without my voice right now; my family and career, however, will not. See the list of blogs over on the right? Well, check 'em out. Some of the best voices out there.

While I will be drawing down, but I am not cashing out. I still intend to be very active in politics in Louisiana - especially this election season - and commenting from time to time on other blogs. I will also be doing an occasional guest post over at The Hayride.

So again, thank you all. I will see you on the flip side.

13 July 2011

One Man, Not Enough Votes.

Via Scott at The Hayride, Eric Holder is suing the State of Louisiana because, well, we're not signing up enough Democrats:
A federal lawsuit accusing two state agencies of failing to provide adequate voter registration services for people who get food stamps, disability payments and Medicaid will be fought in court, the state's chief elections officer said Tuesday. (emphasis mine)
Which begs the question: If "the voting process begins with registration, therefore it is essential that all citizens have unfettered access to voter registration opportunities," then why is it only places "that provide public assistance" - where people receive government largess - are registering people? What about us schlubs who pay for it? Why isn't the tax office required to ask us to register? Or when we pay for our building permit? Or pay our occupational license fee? Or apply for a concealed carry permit?

Oh, yeah...

Am I Missing Something?

Team Hopenchange is insisting that if those evil, heartless Republicans don't raise the debt ceiling, like, now,

WE'LL GO BROKE AND WE CANT PAY OUR BILLS AND GRANDMA WILL STARVE AND LITTLE BILLY WILL GET POLIO AND OIL COMPANY LOBBYISTS WILL RAVAGE YOUR DAUGHTER AND THE EARTH WILL BOIL (OR FREEZE - TAKE YOUR PICK), AND THUNDERING HERDS OF GROVER NORQUISTS WILL ROAM THE LANDS UNABATED...

But!

We seem to have the jack to contemplate another "stimulus".

It's all a matter of priorities. And you, dear readers, are not a priority of the current administration.

Like We Didn't See This Coming.

Yes, Kate, there is a slippery slope: "Family" in Utah sues to decriminalize polygamy based on a famous 2003 gay-rights ruling.

I can't wait to watch the rhetorical gymnastics of the current, single-issue leadership of The Episcopal Church (tm) as they explain why "respecting the dignity of every human being" doesn't apply to folks like Kody Brown and his wives.

Pull up a chair. I'll make the popcorn.

12 July 2011

We Have Met The Enemy...

...And he is us. It's time we grew up and started paying our own bills, not looking for someone else to pay them.

Advocacy Dreamin'.

Proof, as if more were needed, that The Episcopal Church (tm) is far more concerned with mortal politics than immortal souls.

11 July 2011

Slip Of The Spin.

Obama doesn't want "massive job killing tax increases" right now. Nope. Nope. Nope.

He wants to wait 'till 2013.

Remember that come November 2012.

10 July 2011

Hopenchange Versus Real World.

Real World 1; Hopenchange minus $384 billion.

Problem is the jack they're minus isn't their money. It's our money. And our children's money, and our grand children's money and our great-grand children's money. Which we/they will have to pay back to those staunch American friends, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the EU.

Might I Suggest A Road Runner?

New Orleans has a coyote problem. And please - "co-existence" and "management" are not how you deal with it. If you can't get one of these, try this.

09 July 2011

Critical Mass.

No surprise, they do this sort of thing at Mass in Episcopal churches, too. And, like The Anchoress, I find it utterly ruins the sanctity of the Mass.

The Obama Administration In One Sentence.

And in their own words, too:
“We are taking away a choice that continues to let people waste their own money”.
Yep. Does sum it up rather nicely, don't yout think?

08 July 2011

The Doctor Is, Out.

At least, the doctor we want. If Americans think ObamaCare will return us to the neighborhood family doctor, they are sadly mistaken.

I remember well as a child going to Dr. Webb in New Orleans. He had been my mom's doctor as well when she was younger, and he knew my dad. He knew us all personally, and treated us as such. We were, in the best sense of the word, his "patients". When I had bad bouts of bronchitis Dr. Webb would be at the emergency room at 2am. On several occasions he made house calls. My parents had major medical insurance, but the thought never crossed our mind to have someone else pay for the routine stuff. He preformed a service, and my folks paid him. We had the same relationship with our dentist, our eye doctor, etc., etc.

Now fast forward to 1988, and I was introduced to something called Harvard Community Health Plan (then HCHP, now Harvard/Pilgrim), a "community based" HMO. In it, I was assigned (no choice) to a clinic (in Watertown, MA), and I was told I could choose any doctor "accepting patients". Only two out of the 40 or so there were accepting. When you went to the clinic the wait was hours, not minutes, even with an appointment. Because it only "cost" a $5 copay people jammed the place unannounced for any minor malady. The doctor never knew me as anything other than a folder and a number - there was never any personal relationship. I remember bringing Dr. Webb a gift at Christmas (a bottle of scotch IIRC) and we'd chat about sports, Scouts, good eating habits and the like, and I remember him coming over to the house one Thanksgiving. My "primary care" doctor at HCHP didn't even recognize me in the grocery - "I'm sorry, I see SO many people", he excused.

HCHP was indeed cheap, but it was made that way by mass-production and a purposeful lack of relationship. Since those of us in it had little (if any) skin in the game, controlling cost through volume and "gate-keeping" were SOP. HCHP appeared to have little reason to develop personal relationships, because I wasn't anyone's "patient". The relationship we did have was apparently that of a wigit on an assembly line. You will fit here. You will go when we tell you, where we tell you. We will regulate you. We know better. Oh, and to hell with a second opinion.

When my daughter was born we were assigned a birth hospital, my wife was assigned an OB, etc., etc. Yes, we paid only a couple hundred bucks and lucked out with a great OB, but we had no, absolutely no, say in any decision affecting us. HCHP made the calls in the name of "controlling costs". And when my friend Hugh and I blew up a box of surgical gloves like balloons and taped them to my wife's bed, a nurse reamed us out for being "wasteful", and said we were helping to "drive up the cost of health care".

Harvard / Pilgrim is one of the programs Obama and pals hold up as an example of how they think "health care" should be "delivered". After dealing with that I prefer the old way. And write my own check, thank you.

Slartibartfast, Someone's Stealing Your Ship.

Stephen Green has nailed the perfect analogy for what Obama and his wiz-kiddies have wrought: A Bistromath Economy. Well, a 'Somebody Else's Problem' field does seem to be the goal.

For the uninitiated: Bistromath.

Pot: "The Kettle Is Black!"

Next time some Episcopalian gets all high and mighty about how our denomination doesn't condone cover-ups of child-molesting clergy (like some other ones do, wink, wink), remind them of this. And take a look who ordained this guy into The Episcopal Church (tm).

If you admit you were sexually indiscreet with a minor, we'll make you a priest. But if admit you were sexually indiscreet with a consenting adult, hey, you get your own TV show!

Meanwhile, Around The Crescent City...

Insert obligatory "touch my monkey" joke here.

Bigfoot discovered - in New Orleans' City Park.

We usually cut our coffee with chicory, but whatever.

07 July 2011

06 July 2011

This Week's Winner: Best Use Of A YouTube Viral Video Meme To Counterpoint A Current News Story.

OK, I know the Grey Man a couple of posts back says we shouldn't judge here, and he's probably right. But, this was just too funny to pass up:



Post title background: Original YouTube vid here. Legendary viral video song here.

Only A Misty-Eyed Marxist Or A Community Organizer...

...Would think it makes economic sense to spend $278,000 (of somebody else's money, it should be pointed out -ed.) to add or save one $50,000 a year job.

And they wonder why we have no recovery. The good news is, such unrealistic and pig-headed logic can only exist, thankfully, in Socialist Worker Party meetings and college faculty clubs (but I repeat myself - ed.). The bad news is those are the very folks running the show until January 2013.

05 July 2011

Religion Meets Pop Culture

Today Casey Anthony was found not guilty of killing her daughter. Sadly, my wife has been afflicted with an addiction to this trial. The Grey Wife is only on stage one of her rehab.

What I find most interesting about the verdict is the responses of many people I know, and that I know consider themselves good Christians. For the record, I am an Agnostic, not a Christian. Note that I said Agnostic, not Atheist. There is a difference.

Facebook and the web are full of those who call this verdict a shame, and that the Defendant should be imprisoned for life or killed. I find these opinions most un-Christian.

(All cites are from the King James Bible)

Matthew 7:1: Judge not, that ye be not judged.

None of us were there. The only one(s) who truly know what happened are Ms. Anthony and the killer if they are not the same person. Neither were any of us called upon by the courts to pass judgement on the evidence presented. Nor were any of us subjected ONLY to the evidence the jurors saw, without the additional input of weeks of Nancy Grace, et al. So we can not fairly judge their actions.

Romans 12:19: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Do you neither believe in your God nor trust Him? Vengeance is not yours but the Lord's. Shouldn't you trust your God to do what is just?

Does your religion teach the Lord's Prayer? Perhaps reciting it now will be instructive.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

When you pray as the Lord instructed, you are asking not for what YOU want, but what the Lord wants. While I, and probably you, can not see the sense in a child's murder, can you be absolutely certain that it does not fit a purpose of your God? Or are you so arrogant as to believe that you, and you alone, know the mind of God?

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Remember what you are praying for when you say this. You are NOT asking for forgiveness. You ARE asking to be forgiven in the same manner you forgive others. How forgiving have you been to Ms. Anthony today? Would you like God to mete out the same amount of forgiveness you have shown her when He judges your sins? If having God call for you to live a long and painful life in a prison, or to be killed brutally doesn't sound appealing to you, perhaps you should look at how forgiving you have been today.

I am not saying that we should not be saddened by Caylee Anthony's death and manner of death. Nor am I saying you should invite her mother over for a long and intimate dinner. I am saying you should trust your God's judgement. Either the verdict is correct and God is satisfied, or the verdict let a murderer go, and God will have his vengeance in His time. Not your time, His time.

While your sins may not be quite to the level of murder, they are real and manifold. You, as a Christian, will be relying on God for his forgiveness. Will you want the forgiveness you have given today, or will you want something better? To get better forgiveness, you must give better forgiveness. Have you, today, loved your neighbor as yourself?

No one ever said being a Christian was easy. You must learn to forgive. You must learn to give up your anger and your hate.

Have you considered that this whole episode happened just because YOU needed a lesson in forgiveness?

Here endeth the Rant.

01 July 2011

Hey Libs, Lets Make a Deal!!

I've been hearing for ten years how the Evil Bush (TM) screwed up our economy, specifically with his super evil tax cuts for the rich. Here's a little something I stole from the American Thinker:



First, notice how Federal spending shot up after the Democrats took control of the Congress in Jan. of 2007. And how it went down under a Republican Congress in the '90s while Clinton was President.

Second, I know you would like to wipe out all the evil that Evil Bush (TM) did. And how you loved President Clinton.

OK, liberals, here's my proposal. I'll go along with wiping out any and all of Bush's tax policy. We'll erase Bush's chapter in our nation's economic history. All tax rates will go to whatever they were on Jan. 19, 2001 and keep them there.

All you have to do in return is to wipe out all of the spending hikes since Evil Bush (TM) took office, and keep spending at the level it was (as a % of GDP) on Jan. 19, 2001.

You say you hate Evil Bush (TM), and everything he did. You say he was the worst president. EVER. Are you all mouth? Here's your chance to do something about it.

Or are you a bunch cheese eating spending monkeys?

Well, Duh!

Guess what? The government really can't spend us out of a recession. Only a community organizer or a Marxist (but I repeat myself) would think otherwise.