The world according to me. I am a conservative, middle aged husband and father. These are my opinions on how to make the world a better place. Feel free to post questions or problems and I'll give you my unqualified advice.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Stupid is as stupid says?

MaD dOG Sez:

Well, it happened again. Another republican politician is officially dumb. Politico's Jonathan Martin says so.

I have noticed that the left leaning media is quick to brand conservatives as stupid. They do it with increasing regularity... George W. Bush was dumb, as was Bush Sr., Ronald Reagan and don't even get me started on Sarah Palin. Remember the fuss over Dan Quayles' potato spelling correction? Now it's Rick Perry's turn under the dunce hat, which is vociferously guarded and singularly awarded by the left.

My question is, why? Why do liberals resort to this label so often? The answer, I believe, is simple. Because it's easy.

It's easy to discount any success a person may have had because anybody would have been successful in that position, or at that time. It's easy because you don't have to prove it, just say it. It's easy because once you've put someone in the moron category you can discount anything they have ever accomplished, or any idea that they propose because, after all, they're stupid. You never have to provide a salient counter position, just play the idiot card, because it requires no proof or thought.

This is how much of the liberal elite operate. From Bill Mahr's condescending smirk and Rachel Maddow's snarky, "Really?!", to a Press Secretary asking, "Is that a real question?" it is far too common that liberals narcissistically note that they are the smartest people in the room and are quick to point out their competition as far less intelligent. President Obama - smart, President Bush - stupid... pretty succinct message, right. Never mind the fact that they BOTH went to Harvard.

The fact remains that it is very dificult for most liberals to mount a serious argument based upon verifiable evidence. They can tell you an awful lot about feelings and empathy. They can generally quote party talking points. Rarely can they make sense of why things don't actually work the way they've been told they should. Calling your opponent stupid is the nuclear option in debate. You say it when it's all you have left in the bag.

In the end though, calling your opponent stupid is often more revealing about your own arguments than it is theirs.

To paraphrase Forrest Gump, "Stupid is as stupid says."


Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Good Riddance Osama, Good job Obama!

MaD dOG Sez:

I've been asked by several friends why I haven't posted a blog entry about the killing of Osama bin Laden. Some of them think I have some special insight due to my career in the military. The fact is I never participated in or directly supported any special operations missions, so all I can offer is still more uninformed opinion. Frankly, there's already plenty of that available.

For those who insist that my uninformed opinion has more value than other uninformed opinion, here goes...

First, I do believe that Osama bin Laden was killed during a raid by US Navy SEALs in Pakistan on May 1st. I don't really have a lot of "evidence" to back that up, I'm just taking the Government at their word on this. There are too many people involved already for this to be faked.

The other thing that I am absolutely 100% certain of, is that it did not happen the way it has been portrayed in the media. There's simply too much of a rush to be the first one to break even a tiny portion of the story that any semblance of fact checking goes out the window. Years from now we may have a clearer picture. but be prepared for a lot of backtracking and retelling by the media for the next few months. It's not that anyone is lying about events, it's just incompetent reporting. We should however, be used to that by now.

Some of the things I have been asked about include:

1. Do I think he's *really* dead.
Yes I do. If he's not, it's a brilliant move by the US. The whole world thinks he's gone. We can keep him in seclusion, waterboard him every hour, and dispose of him for real when we're done. No real downside here.

2. Was it a good idea to dispose of his body at sea?
I don't think so. Having the body would help dispel a lot of the doubt that some folks have. Of course, there are people that can find a conspiracy in a glass of water, and they will never accept any evidence, but a body would help. I also take issue with the reason behind the quick disposition of the body... to conform with Muslim tradition. Screw that! This man killed thousands of innocent people in the name of his religious beliefs, why honor them at all? I honestly would have fed him to pigs, taped it and sent it to Al Jazeera. The United States owes Osama bin Laden no courtesy of any kind.
And face it, radical Muslims are still going to hate us no matter how nice we are to them. We're like the idiots that think the tiger won't eat them because they treat it nice. It's still a tiger! It will eat you if you give it a chance. It's what they do. It's in their DNA. The Administration doesn't seem capable of understanding this... I think that is in *their* DNA.

3. Should Obama get any credit for this?
Let me be clear here... I am not a fan of President Obama. I dislike most of his policies. I detest his affinity for taxation and reckless spending. He strikes me as both cowardly and arrogant in the way he continually blames others for failures and openly takes credit for success... real leaders usually do it the other way around. I think he has weakened America since he took office.
With all that said, I have to say that I am VERY IMPRESSED with the way the President handled this operation. It is a clear home run for him, his administration, and the country. The level of competence and resolve he has shown with this effort caught me totally off guard. I still could never cast a vote for him, but he sure got this right.
Maybe this win will give him reason to revisit his decisions on closing Guantanamo Bay and using enhanced interrogation techniques because without them, this operation would not have been possible.

4. Should President Bush get any credit for this?
Yes. His authorization of enhanced interrogations, and detention outside of the US directly led to the intelligence that mad this operation possible. Obama still gets full credit for giving the go ahead, but he wouldn't have had the chance had it not been for Bush era policies.

5. Did Pakistan know bin Laden was there. Just a guess, but I think they did. Time will tell.

6 Were we right to violate Pakistan's sovereignty?
Yes. It is obvious that we cannot trust the Pakistani government (scary since they have 100 or so nuclear weapons) so including them in this operation would have been counter productive. In the military, we used to say, "It's easier to ask for forgiveness that to get permission." I wish America was more resolute in President Bush's framework that you are either with us, or against us... no middle ground. All this whining by former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf about how we should have involved Pakistan security forces should be publicly rebuked.

7. Was this a capture of kill mission?
I don't know, and don't care. Osama is dead, that's what matters.

8. Should we be happy that bin Laden is dead?
Happy, yes. He was an evil person. Justice was served.
I was taken aback by the "spontaneous celebrations" that were shown on TV, and that moron Geraldo Rivera openly laughing at the news. America is better than that. I was ashamed that there were so many images of mostly young and apparently drunk people singing, chanting and yukking it up. It reminded me of the images of Palestinians in the streets celebrating after 9/11.
Maybe I'm wrong here, but I think a firm "YES!" under our collective breath would have better reflected the situation than Rivera jubilantly comparing it to Mardis Gras and New Year's Eve.

In the end, Osama bin Laden is gone, and it is a huge win for the US. The euphoria will be short lived though, as we remain a target for the misguided radicals of the world.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

My plan to fix Social Security

MaD dOG Sez:

Social Security is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme run by the Federal Government. It has no hope for longevity. The only way it has lasted this long is because of the massive amount of debt associated with it. The Federal Government has actually taken the basic Ponzi scheme and made it worse. They have spent all the money ever collected, and paid benefits by accumulating debt.

The problem with a Ponzi scheme is that someone is eventually left holding the bag. In this case it is future generations that will have to pay off the debt caused by reckless government spending. My plan will actually increase this debt, but it also creates a light at the end of the tunnel that is not an oncoming train. The good news is that it get's the Federal Government out of the retirement planning business all together. The bad news is, it will still take about 60 years to do it. There is also plenty of pain to spread around, and no really good way to spread it. The people that deserve to be made miserable simply would be unable to make the required sacrifices.

So here is my best effort at changing the way Americans plan for retirement.

1. Means test all Social Security benefits. Anyone in retirement that has income above $120,000 per year would have their Social Security benefit reduced on a dollar per dollar basis for any income over $120,000. So if you would normally receive $25,000 in Social Security benefits, but you have $130,000 in annual income, your benefit would be reduced to $15,000.

2. Age adjusted benefits and contributions.
A. Aged 55 years and over.
1. No change to contributions.
2. Benefits are means tested.
B. Aged 45 to 54.
1. Government to refund 25% of monies paid into social security.
a. This money MUST be rolled into an IRA as currently defined by law, but would not count toward annual contribution limits.
2. Social security contributions reduced by 25%.
a. The 25% difference MUST be contributed to an IRA as currently defined by law, but would not count toward annual contribution limits.
3. Benefits paid at retirement reduced by 25% and means tested.
C. Aged 35 to 44.
1. Government to refund 50% of monies paid into social security.
a. This money MUST be rolled into an IRA as currently defined by law, but would not count toward annual contribution limits.
2. Social security contributions reduced by 50%.
a. The 50% difference MUST be contributed to an IRA as currently defined by law, but would not count toward annual contribution limits.
3. Benefits paid at retirement reduced by 50% and means tested.
D. Aged 25 to 34.
1. Government to refund 75% of monies paid into social security.
a. This money MUST be rolled into an IRA as currently defined by law, but would not count toward annual contribution limits.
2. Social security contributions reduced by 75%.
a. The 75% difference MUST be contributed to an IRA as currently defined by law, but would not count toward annual contribution limits.
3. Benefits paid at retirement reduced by 75% and means tested.
E. Aged 24 and below.
1. Government to refund 100% of monies paid into social security.
a. This money MUST be rolled into an IRA as currently defined by law, but would not count toward annual contribution limits.
2. Social security contributions reduced by 100%.
a. This 100% difference MUST be contributed to an IRA as currently defined by law, but would not count toward annual contribution limits.
3. No Social Security benefits paid at retirement.
As you can see, with the average life span nearing 80 years, Social Security would still be paying out benefits for another 55 years at least. After that however, payout will reduce drastically and eventually become zero. Refunding payments and reducing contributions as shown will also add to the debt accumulated by Social Security. At some point Federal tax dollars are going to have to pay that massive debt.

As people are weaned off of Social Security, they will become more self reliant. The "forced" contributions to a personally owned IRA will help them be ready. There will always be people that fall through the cracks and will need outside assistance at retirement. I believe that assistance is best rendered at the state and local level.

I wish I had access to the tools that could tell me how much would be saved my means testing benefits, and how much it would cost to make the contribution refunds and lower the contributions as noted in the plan. If you have any expertise in this area, feel free to comment. Maybe the $120,000 income level is too high, or too low and would require adjustment. I also wonder if the required IRA contributions of money that used to go to Social Security would survive constitutional scrutiny.

It may not be perfect, but I think it's a pretty good starting point for discussion and debate.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Helping Others

MaD dOG Sez:

A couple of things I do, and highly recommend are blood donation, and joining the National Bone Marrow Registry.

Donating blood, in my father's generation, was thought of as a civic duty. If you were able to donate, you were obligated by your sense of community to donate as a way of giving back.

I haven't seen much of this the past few years, save for a workplace blood drive here and there. If you are able to donate blood, please take the time, make an appointment, and share your gift.

The National Bone Marrow Donor Registry is another way to be ready to help someone. My wife and I joined in 1995. We haven't been called upon as a match yet, but I routinely pray that God will allow me this simple honor. It's easy to join. See here for more information and to sign up.

Helping your fellow man is one of the highest calling we can have. Thank you for your support.


Monday, February 07, 2011

Super Bowl "Entertainment"

Mad Dog Sez:

I watched the Super Bowl yesterday. It was a really nice day… had some friends over and we ate brats and chili until we burst.

I thought that the game was great. It had all the excitement and drama of a good sports rivalry. Unfortunately, the non-sport entertainment continued the tradition of being underwhelming.

It started with Christina Aguilera’s “original version” of the National Anthem. Aside from forgetting the words – hey, we all make mistakes – the singing was simply horrid. It sounded more like someone skinning cats. Why to entertainers feel like they need to force their “interpretation” of the anthem on America? Why can’t they show some respect and just sing it? I think Whitney Houston’s heartwarming rendition for SuperBowl XXV is about as “jazzy” as the anthem should ever get. I still remember one time where a single trumpet player played the Anthem… it was so moving. Sometimes less really can be more.

Then there was the half time Black Eyed Peas “yawnfest.” It had me and my guests trying to figure out what the last decent half time show was. Michael Jackson in 1993? Blues Brothers in 1997? How about in 1992 when FOX ran the In Living Color half-time alternative… does that count? I think half time would be far more entertaining if they would just do first half highlights and analysis followed by 5 or 10 “Super Bowl” quality commercials. Show them on the big screen in the stadium too. Think of the extra revenue the NFL could get… maybe they won’t have to have a lock out in 2011.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The immigration mess

MaD dOG sez:

I have watched the immigration rallies over the last few weeks and I am concerned. To me, there are several things that just don't make sense:

1. Why do people that break the law to enter this country think they deserve any rights or benefits from that action? "I'm here now so I must deserve something!" just doesn't fly with me. The fact that the United States has been providing abundant social services to illegals for decades has resulted in an entitlement mentality. Bottom line... Rights of United States citizenship should only be granted to United States citizens. Privileges of United States citizenship should only be granted to United States citizens or legal immigrants.

2. While the United States does require and benefit tremendously from our immigrant workforce, we do NOT require or benefit from an illegal workforce. If there are jobs that only immigrants are willing to do (and I'm not sure that there are any), we should make sure that we only use legally documented immigrants. I know that this will result in less exploitation of these migrant workers, and that could lead to higher prices for some goods. So be it.

3. Why does anyone think that the US Government can administer a "Guest Worker" program more effectively than it administers a "Student Visa" program?

4. Any immigration plan that does not secure our borders will fail.

5. Any immigration plan that allows illegal aliens to remain in the country or be placed on a path to citizenship is rewarding illegal behavior and therefore will encourage more bad behavior. It should not be tolerated by legal citizens of the United States.

6. Immigrants should try to balance an appreciation of American culture with a celebration of their native culture. I think that marching with a Mexican flag at a "American Citizenship Now" rally is stupid. Likewise, the spanish version of the National Anthem is silly. I don't believe either should be criminalized. (Think first ammendment)

7. The immigration process should be overhauled. It should be made faster and easier within the constraints of homeland security. Official documents should be made more difficult to forge. We should make it easier for legal immigrants to enter the country and make it easier to identify those that are willing to obey our laws. Employers that then hire illegal or undocumented workers should be heavily penalized.

8. Border security and immigration enforcement should be overhauled. Temporarily placing National Guard or US Armed Forces at the border is key. Increasing the number of Border Patrol agents drastically is another step. Dept of Homeland Security and INS should have a mechanism to monitor temporary immigrants and remove them if they overstay their Visas.

9. Why do people think that the nation that put a man on the moon can't remove 11 million illegal aliens? It may not be quick and easy, but it sure as hell can be done!

10. Why don't more American citizens protest against the demands of these illegals? Why don't we hear more about our contempt for our government representatives as they cower in fear of the power of these immigrants? We should be ashamed of ourselves.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Introduction... Hello World.

MaD doG sez:


I am MaD doG. I decided to start this blog because I need an outlet. The opinions published here are my own, for better or for worse.

I am basically conservative. I think that government is too big and that people should take personal responsibility for their lives. I think that for the most part, how your life turns out is a result of your actions and inactions. Ocassionally people need a hand. That hand should be given in a way that makes the person independent again as soon as possible.

I graduated high school in 1978 and joined the military. I have travelled extensively in Asia, and to a lesser extent in Australia and Africa. I am trained in mechanical engineering, computer administration, educational instruction and leadership among other things.

I am fairly smart but do stupid stuff occasionally.

I'd like to think I can help my family, my community, my country and the world.

I'll follow this with a few posts containing my opinions on energy policy, abortion rights, immigration and security and other topics to give you an idea on where I am coming from.

I'll also try to give you an insight into my life, as I see it. Hopefully something here can help make you life a little easier.

Feel free to ask questions or seek my advice on situations in your life. I'll give you my unbiased and unqualified advice. I have no fancy training in sociology, psycology ar anything remotely similar, but I have lived a fair portion of my life, and have learned quite a bit from the experience.

MaD doG