the fallen give silent witness to the price of our liberty and our nation honors them, this day and every day

I had intended to write something today honoring America’s fallen veterans. I’m afraid I can’t find a better way to say what I had intended than to relay these words from President Bush’s remarks Monday at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery:

In this place where valor sleeps, we acknowledge our responsibility as Americans to preserve the memory of the fallen. On this Memorial Day, we look out on quiet hills, and rows of white headstones — and we know that we are in the presence of greatness…

Here, in the presence of veterans they fought with and loved ones whose pictures they carried, the fallen give silent witness to the price of our liberty — and our nation honors them, this day and every day…

In this place where valor sleeps, we are reminded why America has always gone to war reluctantly, because we know the costs of war…

I am in awe of the men and women who sacrifice for the freedom of the United States of America…Our nation is free because of brave Americans like these, who volunteer to confront our adversaries abroad so we do not have to face them here at home.

Today we pray that those who lie here have found peace with their Creator, and we resolve that their sacrifice will always be remembered by a grateful nation.

May God Bless the Untied States of America.

Politics Make Strange Bedfellows

The Commisar is a bit upset with The [Grand Old] Party’s Illustrious Leader in the House of Representatives and is running a poll on how Mr. Hastert should be punished for his performance in suggesting that Congressional offices should enjoy a privilege against search and seizure that his constituent’s homes don’t. (After all the search in question was conducted under a warrant issued on some pretty substantial probable cause by a District Court judge. Get yourself videotaped committing a major felony, get caught with evidence in your freezer and see how long it takes them to get a warrant for your office.)

Mr. Hastert’s ally in the assertion of this extraconstitutional Congressional immunity is the Even Older But Much Less Grand Party’s Nancy Pelosi. Interestingly enough the leading punishment in the Commisar’s poll with 40% of the vote is “Dennis Hastert should be – required to sleep with Nancy Pelosi.” Talk about strange bedfellows…

Personally, I’m of the opinion that since Congresscritters should have nothing to hide a warrant shouldn’t even be required. They ought to gladly open their offices on a few minutes notice at the request of the FBI on the shadow of a suspicion or because of the issuance of a national security letter by the NSA. What’s good for the governed ought to be good for the rulers…the Magna Carta came before the Constitution and that whole Revolution in 1776 was about defending the liberties of Englishmen, the most basic of which was that the king was not above the law.

And, yes, I voted to make Hastert sleep with Pelosi literally.

Hastert,Pelosi,bedfellows,search and seizure

Why not mess with markets?

The proof is in the pudding, or in this case the first quarter GDP numbers (up a “smokin” 5.3 percent). The single biggest thing the Bush administration has accomplished has been unleashing market forces with tax cuts and free trade agreements in a way that has outdone a Federal Reserve engineered recession, terrorists and mother nature. Larry “destined for Fox News” Kudlow is calling it “the greatest story never told”:

The greatest story never told continues with the latest GDP report that shows strong growth, low core inflation, and record after-tax profits…
Economic pundits keep telling us about the impending slowdown. Well, they’ve been waiting for a slowdown for years. Actually, I’ve heard about this slowdown for 25 years, ever since Reagan restructured and revived American capitalism through low tax rates, deregulation, and disinflation.

The reality is about 3.5 percent growth since the early 1980’s with very few interruptions. Total employment and wealth creation have soared during this entire span of time.

There’s a lesson here: Tax incentives matter. Price stability matters. Markets are smarter than central planners.

Meanwhile the budget deficit, never that large as a percentage of GDP considering the unparalleled challenges of the last 5 years (two wars, the most savage attack ever on American soil by foreign powers, a recession and a series of natural disasters at home and abroad) is on track to be cut at least in half without cutting spending. The April budget surplus was nearly twice that of the previous fiscal year and year to date the deficit is down 52,783,000,000 or 22 percent from last fiscal year. Think what could happen if we adopted Ron Paul’s plan from his 1988 presidential campaign of just not replacing federal bureaucrats who quit or retire. For anyone who considers human freedom and prosperity good things this definitely is the greatest story never told. That’s why we don’t mess with markets.

markets,economy,GDP

Why mess with energy markets?

On your next trip to the pump, consider the real culprits behind those high gas prices and quit complaining about the oil companies. Yesterday, the US House of Representatives killed measures that would have allowed drilling on the contintental shelf for natural gas and oil. Then they went one better interfering with the leases for companies that have already drilled offshore.

Last week, a House panel approved a measure to allow offshore drilling, but the full House reversed that proposal on a vote of 217-203. In related action, the House overwhelmingly rejected a proposal that would have allowed offshore drilling for oil.

The House also moved to bar energy companies from getting new federal leases for offshore drilling, unless they renegotiate their contracts.

Hometown News

So which objective of the three I noted does this serve?

Public health? Not likely. Certainly oil spills are always a possibility as long as we use 20 million barrels a day of oil, but no one has presented any evidence that oil is less likely to spill from a tanker bringing in Saudi oil than from a tanker making the much shorter trip from an offshore rig or from the rig itself.

National security? Maintaining US dependence on foreign sources for a major strategic and economic asset doesn’t seem to be much help to national security.

Poverty? Dragging down the economy with higher than necessary oil and gas prices certainly doesn’t seem to help that issue much. In fact, according to the Houston Chronicle, “The National Association of Manufacturers has estimated that over the last five years, 3.1 million U.S. manufacturing jobs have been lost largely because of high energy costs.”

Of course, the defenders of this ban and the ban on drilling in ANWR continue with the common refrain “it would take five years to bring that oil (or natural gas) to market”, conveniently neglecting to mention that President Bush first asked Congress to permit drilling in ANWR five years ago. And in five years, these same demagogues will make the same excuse.

So, why mess with the energy markets? Well, there’s always ecoparanoia I guess. But if you think those fantasies are worth interfering with markets at least stop blaming the oil companies and put the blame where it belongs when you pay the bill.

gas prices,oil prices