Thursday, April 7, 2011

et ceteras

Well, so much for my hopes that the NCAA Tournament would end with a championship game for the ages. The finale was one of the worst basketball games I have seen at any level. It was so bad, and Butler’s shooting was so atrocious -- they routinely missed open lay-ups and finished 12 of 64 from the floor -- that I don’t even know what to say.

Are Donald Trump’s recent political pronouncements serious, or is he just being a publicity hound? I think it’s a little of both, and when it comes to whether he wants to run for president, I doubt that even he knows for sure. But I do believe he means what he says about economic policies, the state of the world, etc. -- and it was satisfying to hear him talk on O’Reilly last week. Given today’s need for a blunt, no-nonsense leader, America could do a lot worse than a President Trump.

Speaking of blunt, no-nonsense leadership, wouldn’t it be nice if today’s commander-in-chief was more like British General Charles Napier? This is what Napier once said to locals in India, regarding their tradition of killing widows by burning them on their husbands’ funeral pyres: “You say it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.” Now that is the kind of attitude that crushes evil and advances human rights. Thank you, Mark Steyn, for reprinting the quote.

The MSM is in a tizzy over the prospect of a government shutdown if the GOP-led House and Democrat-led Senate don’t agree on a spending resolution. I say bring it on. Obama & Co. will try to falsely blame a shutdown on the GOP, and yes, there is a chance the lie will work like it did when Bill Clinton was president…but I believe people are too well-informed to fall for it this time around.

Will gas prices careen well over $4 per gallon and even go above $5 per gallon, like some experts are predicting? I don’t know, and my skepticism of anything said by people called “experts” makes me tend to doubt that $5 is in our immediate future. But I did hear a figure this week that should be taken as a warning sign: The cost of oil at this time of year in 2008 (the year gas did eventually reach $4) was higher than it is right now; however, the price of gas at that time was 50 cents lower than right now. Combine that with all the turmoil in the Middle East, and our government’s unwillingness to do anything which might increase supply or lower production costs, and we might want to buckle our belts for a wild price ride.

Do you want an example of how diverse this country is when it comes to the climate from one region to another? In my part of Florida, we have been experiencing afternoon temperatures in the 80’s for weeks. This morning, a co-worker in town from New York said it is the first time he has seen a temperature above 50 since October, the last time he came here. I love that about America!

And finally, how about finishing this post with another great quote? This one comes from Thomas Sowell, who always hits the nail on the head: “When someone gives you a check and the bank informs you that there are insufficient funds, who do you get mad at? In your own life, you get mad at the guy who gave you a check that bounced, not at the bank. But, in politics, you get mad at whoever tells you that there is no money.” Nobody could have said it better.

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