Hard Working Traditional Values With A Dash of Fun

Hard Working Traditional Values With A Dash of Fun

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Worst Constitutional Amendment

Ask liberals which part of the Constitution they could do without and they would probably pick the 2nd Amendment due to their illogical fear of citizens owning firearms. As a conservative, I think the part of the Constitution that would be best repealed is the 17th Amendment. This is the amendment that changed the Constitution to allow for direct election of U.S. senators.  Prior to 1913, senators were voted on by state legislatures and not citizens.

The Founding Fathers set up election of senators by state legislatures on purpose. This was to be a check on Federal ability to overpower the states.  Senators, who knew that their reelection depended on staying in the good graces of the state legislatures who voted for them, needed to be mindful of what was best for their state.

The progressives of the early 1900's, who found much of the Constitution to be an inconvenience, were the force behind the 17th Amendment. While people may feel it is more democratic to vote directly for a senator (instead of leaving that duty with state legislators they voted for), it has not had beneficial results.

In the pre-17th Amendment days, the average length senators served was less than half of what it became in the modern era.  In the post 17th Amendment era, senators have been able to use the power of incumbency to get reelected over and over again. This was never possible under the old system where state politicians were eager to let one of their own have their turn at national office. A modern senator has no reason to consider the desires of his state's legislature since they no longer have power to replace him at the next election.

As part of the 1994 Contract With America, Newt Gingrich promised a vote on term limits which has been popular with the general public. The law did not pass. No doubt if we had 100 senators who were effectively already term limited by state legislature election, they would have supported a popular law that would not harm their chances to stay in power. But because incumbents are harder to remove than a deer tick, we now have senators who pay more attention to special interest groups instead of the needs of the states they are supposed to represent.

No doubt the worst result of the 17th Amendment is our current $17 trillion national debt. In 1995, also as part of the Contract With America, the US Senate voted down the Fiscal Responsibility Act by only one vote. This act would have required the federal government to maintain a balanced budget, just like all the states are required to. Again, it was in the interests of the states to see this law passed, so as to lessen the power of the national government. Instead, we missed our best chance to stop uncontrollable government deficits that have ballooned to the current irresponsible $17 trillion. It is sad to think how different our country would be if we had not spent the last 13 years spending our children's inheritance.

With so much concentration of power in Washington, it is unlikely that senators would support a return to the old method for selecting senators. However, there is talk on the state level of convening a constitutional convention to fix federal abuses such as this, which gives us some hope.

With Washington broke, it is time for We the People to fix things.

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Fiddlin' - Frozen's First Time and Forever

Updated 12/5/2014

A Pro Hillary Clinton 2016 PAC has released a country video campaign song. And no, it is not a spoof, although it is unintentionally funny.

My song below is intended to be funny.



The Disney movie Frozen is still a top ten movie thirteen weeks after opening. It will likely top $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales. Disney has announced it will make the movie into a Broadway musical. The songs are catchy and the story about an ice queen and her sister has found a large audience.

I thought it would be entertaining to take one of the songs from the show and come out with a parody cover version to be sung by one of the best known ice queens around -- Hillary Clinton.  I think it could make a great campaign song.

For those not familiar with the tune you can play it here in the background and sing along.

(from the movie Frozen)

The window is open, so's the door
Cause they won't remember anymore
Who knew we left the White House in disgrace?
For years I've craved the White House seal
With no more Obama, it's for real
Finally I'm starting up my race

There'll be actual real live voters
It'll be totally strange
But wow, am I so ready for this change?

'Cause for the first time in forever
There'll be champagne, there'll be cake
For the first time in forever
What difference does it make?

Don't know if I'm elated or gassy
But I'm somewhere in that zone
'Cause for the first time in forever
I'll win it alone

I can't wait to beat everyone! [gasp]
The press says I'm THE one!

Tonight imagine my pantsuit's fine
Hiding my cankles and behind
The picture of sophisticated grace
Ooh! I suddenly see Bill standing there
With a beautiful stranger, tall and fair
I wanna punch that cheater in his face!

But then we talk pol'tics all evening,
Which is totally bizarre
Because that's the life I've led so far

For the first time in forever
There'll be magic, there'll be fun
For the first time in forever
I'll shellack ol' Joe Biden

And I know it is totally crazy
To the White House I'll prance
Yes for the first time in forever
At least I've got a chance

Don't let them in, don't let them see
Be the cruel witch you always have to be
Conceal, don't feel, put on a show
Make one wrong move and everyone will know

But it's only for today
It's only for today

It's agony to wait
It's agony to wait

Be on guard to squelch Benghazi-gate!
The gate!

For the first time in forever
Don't let them in, don't let them see

I'm getting what I'm dreaming of
Be the cruel witch you always have to be
A chance to change my lonely world
A chance to find true power
Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know

I know it all ends tomorrow,
So it has to be today
'Cause for the first time in forever
For the first time in forever
Nothing's in my way!

For an index of all Fiddling Ant parody songs, click here.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Conservative Argument for a Minimum Wage Increase

The majority of Americans are in favor of an increase in the minimum wage which is currently $7.25 per hour. However, Republicans are opposed to any increases.

There are economic reasons to oppose a minimum wage. An increase in minimum wage tends to increase unemployment among the unskilled. Higher labor costs are passed on to customers who will see an increased cost in products and services. However, economics does not win elections; politics wins elections.

For obvious reasons an increase in minimum wage is popular with younger voters. If only Democrats support a higher minimum wage, then they will gain more younger voters and studies have shown that people tend to stick with the first political party they join. So, opposing minimum wage hikes drives voters to Democrats and giving Republicans less power in government.

Here are some facts to support an increase in minimum wages.

1. Not adjusting for inflation, the current minimum wage is 216% of what it was when Reagan became president. In the same time frame, social security recipients have gotten a bump to 255% of their 1981 level.
2. The median household income in the United States is now 279% of what it was in 1981, again more than the minimum wage increase.  Another way to look at this is that in 1981 someone earning full time minimum wage made 37% of the median household income. Today they earn 29%.
3. One extreme index change is the Disneyland ticket price.  In 1981 someone earning minimum wage would earn enough to pay for an all day pass to Disneyland in 3.2 hours.  Today it takes 12.7 hours. Ouch!
4. A minimum wage earner trying to support a household makes so little that he or she is eligible for a wide range of government programs that cost the tax payers money. In other words, employers who take advantage of minimum wage employees let the tax payers supplement the poor wages. This is the argument conservative millionaire Ron Unz is using to back up his support for a minimum wage increase in California.

Conservative action on minimum wage should include the following:

1. Bring it up to match the increase in the past two decades for retirees and median households. This would be in the range of up to $9.50 per hour.
2. Tag future minimum wage increases to the rate of inflation.  We do this for social security benefits so it makes sense to do it for wages that will support social security benefits.
3. Allow employers to pay minors a lower rate of 80% of the minimum wage.  This would allow employers to maintain the current wages of jobs that are normally filled by minors. Minors can't argue economic harm from low wages because they are not responsible for maintaining their own households.

If conservatives took these actions they would reduce the number of young people that vote for Democrats and take away the issue from Democrats in all future elections.  There would no doubt be some minor economic impact from making this change, but the cost of electing more Democrats to office is a far worse economic mistake.

It makes sense for conservatives to support a reasonable increase in the minimum wage.

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Miley Cyrus Obituary

The recent death of Shirley Temple Black at age 85 draws to mind the comparison of how low many recent child stars match up to her.

Shirley Temple is unarguably the most popular child star of all time. She was the most popular movie star in the 1930's for four years in a row. Icons like Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy and Cary Grant took a back seat to an eight year old.

She was even in a movie with future president Ronald Reagan.

Temple's transition to adulthood was not without heartbreak.  Her first husband turned out to be a philanderer, but she was married to her second husband Charlie Black for 55 years.  What you didn't read about was any uncontrolled drinking, drug use, or partying like modern former child stars such as Miley Cyrus and Lindsay Lohan. 

As an adult Temple Black became a globe trotting diplomat and ambassador for Republican presidents from Nixon to George H. W. Bush. She was recognized for her achievements with Kennedy Center Honors in 1998 and the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.

Does anyone foresee similar honors in the future for Cyrus or Lohan? What are the odds either woman is still alive at age 35, much less age 85? Who is projecting their obituaries will read of a life well lived?

It is too easy to blame fame and fortune for the hedonistic lifestyles of many entertainers, even those who were contemporary with Temple Black, but Temple Black is proof that someone with character, strong morals, and humility can grow up in the challenging environment of the entertainment world to be someone whose life can be celebrated rather than treated as a train wreck.

Liberals and secularists would have you believe that people who are critical of drinking, drug use, and sleeping around are just old fashion prudes trying to control the lives of others. This worldview maintains that all choices can be right and there is no one standard that should apply to everyone. 

The truth is that traditional family values, where people follow Bible based teachings, results in people of character who make our world a better place. We need more Blacks and fewer Cyruses.

Sometimes the truth is just as plain Black (and white) as that.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Presidents: The Left Beats The Right, Hands Down

Updated 2/4/2016
Rand Paul has dropped out of the presidential race, so it looks like there will not be a lefty nominee from either the Republicans or Democrats.


What is the secret to getting elected President? Is it being the richest candidate or being the best looking? Is it based on how well you can read a teleprompter or tell jokes?

Actually the best way to be elected president in recent history is to be left handed.

Left handed men make up about 10% of the population (with women it is about 5%). For much of history, children were trained to only write with their right hand, so it is hard to tell which of our earlier presidents were natural lefties.  The first left handed president of the modern age was Harry Truman. He beat right hander Thomas Dewey.

None of the next candidates for president were left handed until Gerald Ford who lost to Jimmy Carter and after that is where it really gets interesting:

Lefty Ronald Reagan beat righties Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale.

Lefty George H. W. Bush beat righty Michael Dukakis.

Lefties were guaranteed a winner in 1992 when lefties George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Ross Perot all ran for president against each other.

Bob Dole who writes with his left hand lost to Clinton, but Dole was only left handed after his right hand was injured in World War II.

George W. Bush was right handed, but he didn't have to go up against a lefty because both Al Gore and John Kerry are right handed.

A lefty was going to win in 2008 because both Barack Obama and John McCain are left handed.

Given his spotty record during his first term, many people thought that Obama was vulnerable to defeat. However, challenger Mitt Romney was right handed.

So what are the odds that a lefty has won the presidential election seven times since 1980?

One in 10 million. (1/(0.1*0.1*0.1*0.1*0.1*0.1*0.1))

So who is going to win in 2016?

Hillary Clinton is right handed. Joe Biden is right handed. Bernie Sanders is right handed. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is right handed.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is right handed. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is right handed. Texas Senator Ted Cruz is right handed. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is right handed. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is right handed. Texas Governor Rick Perry is right handed. Florida Senator Marco Rubio is right handed. Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan is right handed. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is right handed.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is left handed.

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Can Republicans Regain Black Votes?

Republican President Abraham Lincoln is widely known for freeing the slaves and for more than half a century blacks were reliable Republican voters. This changed when Franklin Roosevelt beat Herbert Hoover. Blacks were hit harder than whites by the Great Depression so it was natural for them to turn away from the failed efforts of Hoover to the extent that 71% voted for Roosevelt in 1932. Despite the failure of Roosevelt to support any meaningful civil rights legislation, black voters continued to support the Democrats, albeit in fewer numbers for his three reelections. Truman did even better, in part due to his action to desegregate the military.

Eisenhower was able to attract nearly 40% of the black vote when he ran for reelection in 1956 and Richard Nixon held onto 32% in 1960. Barry Goldwater, despite having supported prior civil rights legislation, made the political mistake of voting against the 1964 civil rights law (he had constitutional concerns) and ended up with only 6% of blacks voting for him. Republicans have never been able to recover.

With such strong black support, you would think that Democrats would take actions that would benefit their faithful black constituents. Sadly, after selling their votes to Democrats with promises that big government would help blacks, the black voters have bought a bum deal.

For example:

1.  Democrat efforts to build affordable housing resulted in crime invested tenements overrun with drugs.
2. Democrat abortion policies with a concentration of abortion clinics in black neighborhoods has resulted in the death of 10 million black babies. 10 million people is more than the populations of half of the countries in Africa.  Some states like New York see more abortions of black babies each year than live births.
3. Democrat welfare policies have destroyed the intact black family structure. More than 70% of black children are born to unmarried mothers and raised without their father in their lives.
4. Democrat social security policies penalize black men who because of shorter life expectancy are not able to claim as much social security benefits (perhaps $12,000 less) as their white counterparts.
5. Democrat support for incompetent public school teachers have resulted in too many black children receiving an inadequate education. Black parents are being denied support to seek out superior educational options such as charter, private, and religious schools.
6. Democrat support for minimum wage laws has hit young black people more than other groups. Studies have shown that when the minimum wage is increased, the unemployment rate for nonwhite teenagers also goes up.

So having bought black votes with the promise of government help, in reality blacks have been sold down the river and are worse off in many ways for supporting Democrat policies.

There is an educated minority of black that have recognized this travesty (Bill Cosby, Dr. Ben Carson, Thomas Sowell), but for the most part these honest voices are labeled as Oreos or Uncle Toms. As usually, Democrats are better at name calling than debating.

The reality is that we are living in a 21st Century version of slavery where blacks live as second class citizens as a result of government action.  Poor housing provided by the master. The killing of millions of innocent blacks. Children raised without fathers. Not providing comparable retirement benefits for a life of labor. Inferior educational opportunities. Is this 2014 or 1854?

Black Americans deserve better than this. Can Republicans do better?

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