Friday, September 28, 2012

Voter Guide Pop Quiz

Did you do your homework?  Based on the four voter types I described, which class of voter do you think this person belongs to?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Shrug's Guide to the 2012 Presidential Election - The Fairness Voter

I suppose this entry could also be entitled The Class Warfare Voter.  Agree with me or not, you can't argue the truth of the following points from the year 1916 by the Rev. William Boetcker:

  • You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
  • You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
  • You cannot build character and courage by destroying mens’ initiative and independence.
  • You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they should do for themselves.
This election more than any I can personally recall had been riddled with the stench of class warfare.  What's sadder is that there are so many Americans who are gullible enough to fall for it.  The Obama campaign (with the mainstream media's complicity) has waged a deliberate crusade to divide the country into common people and elites.  I find it interesting how President Obama considers himself a man of the common people when the commoners he hangs with are people like Jay Z and Beyonce, David Letterman, or the ladies of The View, but I digress.  Obama attended the most exclusive and expensive private school in Hawaii; the most expensive state to live in the union.  His college pedigree includes Occidental, Columbia, and Harvard Law.  Romney isn't from an impoverished background either, but at least he isn't faking it now. Clearly, both men enjoyed a privileged upbringing.  Personally, I prefer to consider their accomplishments and contributions as grown men and citizens over any genetic lottery winnings that might have influenced their formative years.
Romney has built real businesses, created real capital, and actually stimulated the economy.  He signed his checks on the front.  As a "community organizer", Obama spent taxpayer money on urban projects in some of the poorest communities of Chicago (while living in one of the most exclusive communities).  He signed his checks on the back.

Did Bain Capital close some businesses?  Of course.  Businesses are in business to make money, period.  A dieing company is a drain on all the ancillary businesses it supplies and buys from.  If it can't meet production obligations to its customers, those customers and their employees suffer.  If it can't meet it's supplier payment obligations, those suppliers and their employees suffer.  It's an economic ripple effect that the short sighted, the narrow minded, and those with a subjective agenda people simply refuse to comprehend.  Before you attempt to tie Romney to the exporting of jobs, consider Jeffrey Immelt and do your own research.

Last year, Romney gave $4 million to charity; 29% of his substantial income.  We know his church demands a minimum 10% tithe by doctrine.  I have no idea where the other 19% went and it's really none of my business.  I suspect that wherever it went, it was better used than it would have been had he sent it to the government instead. Among other charities, Obama gave $54k to Reverend Wright's racially intolerant Black Liberation Theology church.  When I consider the messages routinely taught by both churches, I'm convinced America was better served by Romney's giving.

So much of the class warfare debate surrounds taxes.  The solution is simple:  Flat tax.  There is no fairer way to collect taxes than though a flat rate with very limited deductions that are equally applicable to all taxpayers. Just as with the voter identification debate, anyone not for a flat tax system has a hidden agenda.

Defining "fair" is difficult at best.  To me, "fair" means a standard - equally applied across the board.  Politicians have a difficult time with the equal application part of that equation.  Labor union support is a prime example.  President Obama's health care initiative was forced down all Americans' throats, except for the major unions.  Apparently, their members get the same preferential treatment members of Congress get, which excludes them from the health care mandate.  Fairness exemplified.  Interestingly enough, there is nothing fair about labor unions, which beckons the question: if labor unions are so great, why not make participation in them voluntary?  Again I digress.

So just what do liberals consider to be fair?

Fair is me and millions of others in the the 53% working fifty to sixty hours per week to have a significant portion of our earnings conscripted and given to a substantial and capable portion of the non tax paying 47% who refuse to earn an income for themselves.

Fair is the fact that I, like many others, am forced to take a drug test to earn money that will be looted from me by the government and given to people who have no obligation to take a drug test in order to maintain their eligibility to receive it.

Fair is the fact that myself and many others have an obligation to support the children of poor parents, while those parents are under no obligation to stop producing children until they can afford them.

Fair is a man wearing a baseball cap with a cross on it being forced to remove the hat to pass through a TSA screening point while a man wearing a turban passes straight through that same screening point without interruption.

Fair is the obligation placed upon tax paying Americans to support the offspring of illegal immigrants while border state governments are forbidden by Federal law to deal with the illegal immigration that is at the root of the problem.

Fair is the government schools in New York having the right to dispense the morning after pill to your fourteen year old daughter, but you as the parent not having the right to send that same daughter to school with aspirin or Midol.

Fair is the intolerance Christianity suffers at the hand of Muslim extremists around the world.  No need to elaborate there.

Fair is using over $667,000,000,000 (that's 667 BILLION) of taxpayer money (from the 53% who pay) in a failed stimulus scheme that created "or saved" 2.4 million jobs.  According to the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, a group of three economists who were all handpicked by President Obama, the stimulus yielded what should have been an average salary of $278,000 per job.

Fair is the mainstream media's complete ignoring of President Obama's abysmal record in office while questioning Romney's qualifications.

Fair is President Playtex's overt foreign policy ineptitude being passed off as "bumps in the road" while an American Ambassador and two Navy Seals are dead.

If you disagree with my fairness statements above, re-read the four maxims at the top of this page.  Then, read "The Law" or "The Candlemakers' Petition" by Frédéric Bastiat.  If you still disagree, then once again as stated in previous installments to this Voter's Guide, your choice on the ballot is clear.  At lease you'll be an informed voter.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Undecided Voters?

I've already commented on my opinion of voters who still consider themselves undecided. Still, this was priceless and deserves spreading. Saturday Night Live hasn't been very funny in years, but they really nailed this one.

Look for my Election Guide final installment tomorrow.


Friday, September 21, 2012


U.S. embassies are under siege all over the middle east.

A U.S. Ambassador and three other Americans were assassinated after which our leadership still has not settled on a story line that remotely resembles the truth while relieving them of any culpability.

The existence of our closest ally (until this administration) in the middle east is threatened and their leader's request to meet President Obama in the U.S. was blown off.

All of these events are taking place and our President's attention is focused on The Late Show with David Letterman, Jay Z, Beyonce, and a radio interview with the "Pimp with a Limp".

Mr. Obama may be cool.  He may be suave. He may be hip.  But, right now, America doesn't need any of those qualities.  Right now, America needs an unwavering spokesman who can look our foes in the eye, make our positions clear, and make the punishment for violating those positions even clearer. America needs a leader. It's clear to the entire world that as leaders go, President Obama is about as useless as a tampon at Betty White's house.

It's time to stop campaigning and act Presidential.  This act should be deliberate and profound and it should not be an apology.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Boy I Hope This is True!!!

Choke on this, towel heads!

Romney's Profundity - Part II

The now infamous Romney comments are all over the media lately.  Again, I am GLAD they are.  Just because the truth hurts doesn't make it any less true.  Romney stated that he hoped the rest of his comments would also be released and his hopes were answered.  The release of his statements was an effort to slam the Romney campaign, yet I continue to believe that Romney's comments will resonate with voters in a positive way.  For those living under a rock, Romney's comments are below:

"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…"

Romney's wish was Mother Jones' command and the rest of the comments were released.

“I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to convince the five to ten percent in the center that are independents that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not.”

That first sentence is a very astute observation.  Anyone who doesn't believe it need only remember the hurricane Katrina aftermath in New Orleans to shake you back into reality.  I have a difficult time understanding why anyone would be offended by the comment; that is, unless they fall into the category about whom the comment was made.  If so, refer to the third sentence atop this article.

Does the entire non tax-paying 47% to which Romney refers fall into that category?  Of course not.  Everyone knows there are legitimate reasons that place people into an income bracket beneath the tax roles.  Romney himself later stated that the elderly, military retirees, handicapped individuals, etc. are examples that fit that description.  But we all know fully capable people who will spend much more effort to mooch the system than they will to earn for themselves.  The Obama administration panders to this entitlement culture in hopes to secure the votes needed to win a second Presidential term.

It should be noted that the Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is actually proud of the fact it is distributing the greatest amount of free meals and food stamps ever.  Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us to "Please Do Not Feed the Animals." Their stated reason for the policy is that the animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Romney's Unintended Profundity

Romney Quote:
“There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That, that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what … These are people who pay no income tax."

Later in that speech, Romney claimed 47% of Americans pay no income tax.  It appears Romney exaggerated the facts.  It's 46% percent who pay no taxes!

Nevertheless, liberals will undoubtedly try to use these comments against Romney.  At least they'll be telling the truth this time.  Truth in not just the quote itself, but truth in the essence of the quote.  Personally, I hope the Obama campaign plays that quote incessantly.  Maybe the remaining 53% will wake up and realize how bad they're being screwed by the Government looters and the addicted moocher citizen class.

I received this in email this morning and found it quite profound:

If someone asks you what the main difference is between most Obama supporters and Romney supporters, just tell them that:

Romney supporters sign their checks on the front.
Obama supporters sign their checks on the back.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Ambassador Christopher Stevens

This is what happens when America's leader travels to the region and apologizes on behalf of America and then again responds to  yesterday's aggression against our Ambassadorial staff (on 9/11, no less) with an apology and a tepid condemnation.  I hope the President can find time from his busy schedule (campaign appearance in Ohio and another slot on the David Letterman show) to acknowledge our Country's loss.  I wonder what Ronald Reagan would have done.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Shrug's Guide to the 2012 Presidential Election - The Better Off/Worse Off Voter

"Are you better off now than you were four years ago?"

Ronald Reagan is most often credited as the originator of this campaign salvo, which was launched during his 1980 Presidential bid against Jimmy Carter.  Given the level of inflation, unemployment, interest rates, the Iranian hostage crisis, and the general misery of the country (remember the Misery Index?) at that time, Reagan's question was both profound and insightful.

The quote has been resurrected for the 2012 election by the Romney campaign.  Honestly, even President Obama wouldn't dare raise that question voluntarily.  But be that as it may, his campaign is stuck having to constantly answer it; and it's not an easy answer for which they can just toss out a sound bite.

The media would have us believe there is a small percentage of voters out there who are still undecided.  How can this be?  How can ANYBODY not know how they will vote by now?  I question the qualifications of anyone who at this point still doesn't really know.  Still, both the RNC and DNC each spent a week and a ton of cash avoiding the real issues and preaching to their choirs.  If an undecided voter's mind is swayed by anything they saw or heard at either convention, I question their qualifications to vote even more.  I'll make an exception for Clint Eastwood's speech at the RNC.  The man was rational, unpolished, and genuine.  But I digress.

Back to the question at hand.  I consider myself a "worse off" voter.  I acknowledge that I am still employed, I still have my home, and I still have my health insurance (for which I pay $5,000 out of pocket annually).  I further acknowledge that while I am better off than some, I am not better off than I was four or even six years ago.  Admittedly, President Obama can only take 2/3 of the blame for that.  Nevertheless, I believe the reason I am better off than some is substantially because of my own resolve, self discipline, and a realization that my success is up to me; all qualities I attribute to my mother. I may be better off than some, but I have to objectively look at the rest of the country and consider the plight of others.  It's difficult to imagine anyone being able to objectively state that the country as a whole is better off than it was four years ago.
  • Gasoline is more than double the cost of what it was when President Obama took office. When you consider the cost of distribution for the products we consume and the fuel cost for commuting to and from work, the price of gasoline hits all of us very hard, on every level.
  • The median household income is down 6.2% over the last three years for an average of $3,300 per household.  I can only speak for myself, but $3,000 to my bottom line hurts.  It is no secret that the recession drove millions of people into poverty.  According to (not exactly a conservative website) the number of Americans near the poverty line has skyrocketed since the recession began in 2008 and that number is expected to reach an all time high of 66 MILLION people in 2012.  What correlation can we draw; what significant event can we attach to the year 2008?
  • Unemployment is still well above 8%.
    The August jobs report figures were dismal.  When these numbers are objectively viewed to include people who have simply dropped out of the work force and given up even looking for work, the adjusted figure is closer to 11%.  Wanna have some fun?  Do a little research on states and major cities where unemployment is the highest and lowest and see which political party the leaders of those states and cities are affiliated with.
You won't hear the Obama campaign mention these facts.  The can't possibly do so unless they do a 180 and attempt to run on their record and we all know that will not happen.  They're too busy with mud-slinging scare tactics.  This is actually a sound strategy when you consider the number of people feeble-minded enough to fall for it.  When you can't run on your record, the best alternative is to run from it.

If you are an evangelical or entitlement voter, your choice is clear because it's a vote based on principals.  Whether or not you have the courage of your convictions to actually follow your principals and vote accordingly as opposed to simply following a party line is an entirely different story.  If you are a better off/worse off voter, your choice is not so simple.  You can blame the incumbent administration and vote them out.  Or, you can buy into the line that they inherited such a financial mess that they deserve more time to straighten it out.  On the surface, I suppose either option appears rational.  But, I believe there is far more to consider beneath the surface.

Personally, I suppose could take the moocher approach and just vote for the candidate who promises he will give me more for "free".  Or, I can consider the bigger picture and hope (to steal a term from 2008) that the other party can bring about change (oops, another 2008 term) and enact policies that benefit us all and bring more Americans up to a level where they no longer need their government to support them; at least those willing to do their part to achieve that level.

Need a little comic relief?  Known hardcore conservatives Larry David and Jon Stewart offered some on The Daily Show.  Enjoy.

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Quick Response

I rarely comment publicly on responses I receive from my posts here.  But occasionally, when a reader takes the time to articulate an opinion from an educated and informed perspective, I feel a response is warranted.  This email is pasted exactly as it appeared (minus the email address).

Dear Shrug, Scott, KTM, or whoever you are,
I always enjoy reading your blog, although I rarely agree with your opinions.  One thing is clear, you appear to actually research both sides of the issues you write about.  Your syntax and prose leads me to believe you are well informed an educated.  Your smug attitude leads me to believe you certainly think you are.  I must however take issue with your statement about the word "contraception" appearing in the constitution.

While you are technically correct,  any reasonably educated and constitutionally informed person would have read and understood the preamble and the phrase within it that reads "life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness".  Even the most narrow minded republican would recognize the fact that the sexual freedom and gratification a woman enjoys through the use of readily available contraception clearly falls into the liberty and persuit of happiness aspect of that statement.  As an educated "author", I thought you should open your mind a bit and consider this.  As an educator myself, I felt it my duty to inform you.

[name withheld]

Wow!  Where to begin?  First, a sincere thanks for actually taking the time to respond.  You should know however that your attempt to hide your identity with a throw-away email address was in vain.  Tracing the IP address and email route is something a twelve year old can do these days.  Connecting the dots, so to speak, to your other messages to me was a breeze.  That said, you need not worry as I have no animosity towards you or any others in the seminar emailing crowd.

Second, I have to wonder; did you really read the "preamble" before formulating your response?  I ask because as a "constitutionally informed author" (your words, not mine), I am fully aware that the phrase "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" appears in the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution.  Additionally, if you had cut and pasted the phrase, not only might you have avoided this whole embarrassment, you would have properly spelled "pursuit".  I misspell words often, but I don't claim to be an educator as you do.  That said, as you are an educator, I felt it my duty to inform you.

Third, prose?  I write in prose?

Shrug's Guide to the 2012 Presidential Election - The Entitlement Vote

This election, more than any I can personally recall, stands to be greatly impacted by a previously uncategorized group of voters.  Americans today have a greater sense of undeserved entitlement than ever before.  This isn't a new trend.  Woodrow Wilson and FDR were successful at changing the middle class mindset from that of self sustaining and ambitious entrepreneurs to willing serfs seeking a consistent check from the government.  What is somewhat new in the trend is the outward nature of this moocher class.  When I was a kid, my mother raised myself and my two sisters alone with no financial support from my father, much less the Federal government.  She would have cut off her right arm before taking any sort of welfare.  To her, welfare was for people who can't.  She could.  It was harder for her than many, but harder was not an excuse to accept an handout paid for on the backs of others who also struggled and worked hard to earn it.  Mama raised my sisters and I to think and feel - and live - the same way.

Today, one in seven Americans are on food stamps.  I understand that there are people who desperately need assistance and the thought of kids and elderly people going hungry turns my stomach.  But I also understand (as does anyone reading this who is even moderately honest with themselves) that there is a tremendous waste of money in these programs through rampant fraud and abuse.  With our country in such financial dire straits, one would think the Government would be attempting to reel in these abuses.  One would think.  The Obama administration ran ads for months (at a cost of neatly $3 million) encouraging people to enroll.

I was brought up to believe that accepting such assistance was a last resort.  These ads certainly indicate otherwise.  In fiscal year 2011, the federal government spent more than $75 billion on food stamps, up from $34.6 billion at the end of fiscal 2008, according to the USDA.  I'd call this one of the most successful ad campaigns in history.

These entitlements come with a cost that many fail to see or simply choose to ignore.  All one has to do is objectively look at the state of the European economy to see where we're heading.  Recent history not enough proof?  Consider the consequences for the ancient Roman empire.  The privilege of being a Roman citizen offered entitlements that make President Obama look like Hetty Green by comparison.  The system was supported by outsiders, but as more and more people earned citizenship, more outsiders were required to support the system.  As these additional outsiders eventually became entitled citizens themselves, the system became incapable of sustaining itself and collapsed.  Sound familiar?

So why would any responsible government seek so not only sustain the moocher class, but to grow it?  And why would anyone with the most minute sense of pride actually sign up for it if they really didn't need it?  The Occupy Wall Street movement is a good place to start.  It was made clear by these shining examples of objectivity and self reliance that the reward for serfdom is FREE STUFF!  If that is the case, then the reward to the serf the masters is a loyal base (with their hands perpetually extended palms up) to keep the masters in power.

The simple and painfully obvious truth is that when one's self interest is focused on getting free things from the government, loyalty to the concept of capitalism fades.  Sadly, as long as there are proud producers, there will be a government of looters passing confiscatory laws to take from them and deliver their spoils to the moochers - and the entitlement voter populace grows.

If you are an entitlement voter, your choice is clear.  If you aren't, your choice is even clearer.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

What the Fluke?!

As if the omission of "God" and "Jerusalem" in their National Platform and the subsequent on-stage vocal battle with the delegates wasn't bad enough, the brain trust that is the DNC actually trotted out Sandra Fluke last night to address their delegates and the Nation.  Is anyone really surprised that a Georgetown University post graduate student basking in her fifteen minutes of fame earned by begging Congress for birth control gets a prime time speaking slot.  I wish I could say I'm shocked.  Vice President Joe Biden is up Thursday night, and rightfully so.  The Vice President (yes even Sir Gaffe-alot) deserves a respectable speaking position.  But including Fluke in the lineup is sorta like a crappy house with a dilapidated fence and an unkempt yard in the middle of a posh neighborhood.  It tears down the credibility of its surroundings.

I'm not opposed to birth control or even abortion. I'd just prefer to not be forced to pay for it for irresponsible people who are too lazy to work for it; or in Ms. Fluke's case, too lazy or too proud to drive the 1.5 miles from her college campus to the Planned Parenthood clinic where she can get it for free.  Now that I think about it, if the contraception were guaranteed to prevent the birth of a self absorbed moocher like Fluke, I'd not only pay for it, I'd gladly administer it myself.

Ms. Fluke feels contraception is a Constitutional right.  I did a word search on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and failed to find the word "contraception" anywhere in them.  By contrast, the Second Amendment clearly prescribes our right to bear arms.  Interestingly enough, you don't find gun owners demanding the government provide them with free firearms and ammunition despite the Constitutional right to have them.  Maybe that's because most firearm owners aren't self absorbed moochers with an undeserved sense of entitlement.