ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Operation Yellow Ribbon - Salinas, CA

Today McShane’s Nursery hosted an event for Operation Yellow Ribbon which provides support for our troops in the form of amenities of life that the troops might not otherwise have in Iraq and elsewhere, things like pogeybait (you vets know what I am talking about), novels, snack food, batteries, toiletries etc.

Given that this is The Central Coast, sandwiched in between Big Sur and Santa Cruz (Hippy centers of the known and unknown universe not to mention The Twilight Zone)) and a short drive from San Francisco, it was moving to see this outpouring of support for our armed forces in the combat zones. The signs that invited folks to honk who shared this support were enthusiastically responded to. The honking went on for the entire three hours of the event. My previously flagging spirits have been lifted.

I congratulate Steve McShane for his courage in hosting this event. There are a LOT of folks around here who at a minimum would frown upon it. Steve did it anyway. I told him I admired him for it.

I’ll be putting posts up on both the Another Rovian conspiracy and MontereyJohn Photography later today.

God bless America.


Your Co-Conspirator,

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Obama Berlin Speech - Suggested Tagline- "Ich bin ein beginner."

Sorry, could not help myself. I almost drove off Route 1 into the Pacific Ocean when I heard this on Medved's show earlier today.

Your Co-Conspirator,

Bias? What Media Bias?

The McCain campaign is starting to address the love affair that the press has with Obama.

Of course, some people don't see any bias in any of this coverage....

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Outlawing Consumer Choice - and Our Freedom

This article in the Wall Street Journal is a must read. You can also watch the embedded video instead, but I don't think you'll burn as many calories - reading is goood for you.

Exiling the Happy Meal
Los Angeles Lawmakers Want to Escalate
The War on Obesity (And Fast Food)
July 22, 2008; Page A14

Despite its health-crazy reputation, parts of Los Angeles are plagued by obesity rates that rival any city in America. Now, the city may join a growing roster of local governments aiming to put their residents on diets by cracking down on the fast-food industry.

Jan Perry, a Los Angeles city-council member, is spearheading legislation that would ban new fast-food restaurants like McDonald's and KFC from opening in a 32-square-mile chunk of the city, including her district. The targeted area is already home to some 400 fast-food restaurants, she says, possibly contributing to high obesity rates there -- 30% of adults, compared with about 21% in the rest of the city. Nationally, 25.6% of adults are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While some cities have bans on new fast-food establishments, they typically are for aesthetic reasons or to protect local businesses. Ms. Perry's initiative seems to be a rare instance in which a major city brings health issues into restaurant zoning. The fast-food ban would last a year, although Ms. Perry hopes to make it permanent. On Tuesday, a committee will make a recommendation on the measure before sending it on to the full city council for a vote.

With the ordinance, Los Angeles is tapping into a tougher attitude toward fast food that is emerging at city halls around the country. Cities have begun banning ingredients, regulating menu information and now dictating whether restaurants are healthy enough to open in their communities. Advocates say the measures are crucial in the fight against obesity, diabetes and other diseases and health conditions. Foes say the rules go too far, violating important freedoms.
In an effort to fight obesity, Los Angeles is proposing to ban fast food restaurants in one neighborhood, tapping into a tougher attitude toward fast food.

"It's very much the example of a nanny state," says Alan Hoffenblum, a Republican lobbyist in Los Angeles.

No, it's an example of an authoritarian state.
Many area residents say they support the ban -- even those who patronize the restaurants regularly. "It's a good idea," particularly for children, says Rafael Escobar, 69 years old, as he bites into a McDonald's sausage breakfast burrito. He thinks the move might encourage other types of food businesses to come into the neighborhood.

McDonald's sausage breakfast burrito - 300, with 144 coming from fat.
"There's not that many alternatives," says Hector Rodriguez, a bus driver toting a bag from the Del Taco chain of Mexican fast-food restaurants. He says he frequently stops along the strip of fast-food restaurants lining Figueroa Boulevard to pick up a snack or lunch. "If there were other choices, like a salad place or a supermarket, it would be better," he says.

Right, Mr. Rodriguez. If there was a salad place, I'm sure we'd find you in there. This is a prime example of someone giving the answer that they think the teacher wants to hear.
Councilman Ed Reyes, part of whose district would be affected by the ban, says he expects many complaints from fast-food owners about their right to do business in the neighborhood. He is prepared with counterarguments. "Health and social issues are the overriding issues, in my mind," he says. "It's not too different to how we regulate liquor stores."

Ms. Perry, the council member leading the legislation, says she sees the measure as just one part of a multipronged effort to fight obesity, including building parks to encourage exercise, encouraging more grocery stores to come into the neighborhood, boosting nutrition education and improving health care. Reining in fast food "is just one factor, but as an elected official, it's my prerogative" to work on all fronts, she says.

As the proponents of this ban point out, this is just the beginning. As soon as The One is inaugurated and provides us with universal health care.

You see... when you let someone else pick up the tab for your health care, they become extremely interested in how healthy you are. And since you personally do not have any incentive to stay healthy (other than the long-term benefits), the only way the person picking up the tab can keep you healthy is to control the way you live your life.

Universal health care and the regulation of carbon dioxide emissions are a two pronged attack to control your lifestyle and eliminate your freedom to choose.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Back in the USSR

Bulgaria faces reality. If only Barry & the socialists Democrats in Congress would join the reality-based community.

Ms. Kostidinova, who speaks English with a thick Eastern European accent, tells me: "The situation was getting desperate in Bulgaria. We were losing our population and our best workers. They were leaving for Western Europe to find jobs and the No.1 form of foreign capital came from remittances." All that began to change when the corporate tax was cut to 10% in 2007 and the personal income tax to 10% in January of this year. "We told the politicians that it was symbolically important for Bulgaria to have the lowest flat tax. We were surrounded by flat tax countries, we wanted to be the nation most friendly to capital and business."

Result: A country that ten years ago had a 12% unemployment rate now has a 6% jobless rate. Instead of people leaving Bulgaria to find jobs, "now it is the reverse. Western Europeans now come to Bulgaria for jobs. We're gaining population now," she says.

Bulgaria is one of 24 nations, most of them in Eastern Europe, that have adopted the flat tax. A unique feature of the Bulgarian system is an absence of exemptions -- everyone pays the 10% tax regardless of income. Because the rate is so low, Ms. Kostidinova says, the plan's promoters figured that everyone could afford to pay. But don't lefties insist that the rich should pay more? "Of course, many do, and they want to raise the rates, but most understand that the flat tax gives us more jobs and more revenues."

If avowed socialist politicians in East Europe are open to new ideas about how to make their tax systems more growth-oriented, why aren't Republicans or Democrats in Washington? Says Richard Rahn, former chief economist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and now an economic consultant in Eastern Europe: "These countries understand that the flat tax is the key to their prosperity -- even the former communists." Only stultified political tactics -- certainly not clear thinking -- explains why somebody like Barack Obama could be running on a platform of making America's tax rates among the highest in the world when other nations are proving the competitive advantages of flatter tax systems.

If unreconstructed Communists can understand that people and businesses actually respond to incentives, why won't the Dems? Why does Barry insist that a punitive increase in the capital gains tax cut won't effect the flow of capital for the US?

This isn't rocket science, people...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler