January 2012 Archives

It's been well-observed by now that the New England Patriots under coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady are the most successful duo in NFL history, in terms of regular season and playoff wins. In two weeks they hope to also become tied for the most successful duo in Super Bowl wins, with the largest spread in years between wins.

They won their first nine playoff games together, and six more since. But they also lost five playoff games, to the Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens, and New York Jets. These five teams are the reason why the Patriots have not yet seen their fourth title, and that debt must be paid.

Michael Corelone had the five families. The Patriots have the five ... um, winners. The story of this Super Bowl is not just about revenge against the Giants any more than the end of The Godfather was about Al Neri killing Don Barzini. Four of the five "winners" had a chance to go all the way this year, and should the Patriots win the Super Bowl, they will have directly ended the seasons of all four of them.

The fifth -- the Colts -- obviously had no chance to go to the playoffs this season, winning only two games. It's a far cry from the 2006 season, when Payton Manning and the Colts won a Super Bowl after handing the Pats' their worst playoff loss ever: the Colts down 21-6 at halftime, Manning steamrolled the Pats' D in the second half for a 38-34 victory.

So not only did the Pats beat the Colts in 2011 (a feat duplicated by many others), but they have a chance to win the Super Bowl in the Colts' own home stadium, with Brady using Manning's locker more than Manning has this season, capping the Colts' worst season in recent memory.

Then there's the last team to beat the Pats: the Jets, who drubbed the Pats in last year's divisional round. The Jets went 8-8 this season and missed the playoffs, but had the Patriots not beaten them, they would've gone 10-6 and won the Wild Card. But the Pats can only beat three teams in the playoffs this year ... so the Jets had to be knocked out before the playoffs.

Then there's the Broncos. The Pats fell apart in that 2005 divisional round, so it was priceless this season for them to end Tebowmania in December, then again in January.

The Ravens destroyed the Patriots in the 2009 wild card game. It hurt. This year, they had perhaps their last chance for Ed Reed and Ray Lewis to win a Super Bowl. That's gone, and in spectacular fashion: missing a last-second chip shot field goal.

Finally, we have the other New York. After they ruined the Patriots' "19-0" in the 2007 season -- and beat the Patriots again in 2011 -- all that's left now is to "Moe Green" the Giants.

The 2011 season is the time to settle all family business.

I'm certain by now most of you have heard or read Elizabeth Warren's remarks about how because society gave you what you have, society can take what you've got:

I hear all this, you know, 'Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever.' No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own: nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory -- and hire someone to protect against this -- because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless — keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

There's so much wrong about this it is hard to know where to begin. I could talk the fact that the things she talks about that make it possible for people to conduct business -- other than the military -- represent a tiny fraction of the actual spending of the government. I could talk about how her argument -- even though she says we should be allowed to "keep a big hunk" of our own money -- has no real limits. I could talk about how the rich already pay their fair share, paying a higher percentage of their income in taxes than the rest of us.

But I want to be clear: the biggest fundamental flaw here is that rich people actually are the ones who gave all of that to us moreso than the other way around. Most revenue comes from rich people. They gave us roads, they gave us public education, they gave us police and fire and military. Rich people paid for -- far more than the rest of us put together -- everything the federal government does. The top 5 percent pays over 60 percent of all federal income tax. The top 1 percent pays 40 percent of all federal income tax.

And instead of thanking Mitt Romney, and other people in the top 1 percent, who pay about $800 billion in income taxes every year (not including the income taxes paid by their employees), and create hundreds of thousands of jobs, Warren and others on the left attack them as though they've done something wrong.

Granted, some a very small number of rich people don't pay their fair share. They dodge taxes and take subsidies and don't pay a higher effective rate than you and I do. But overwhelmingly, most of them do pay more than us, in both dollars and percentages. A lot more. They are the reason we have the government services we've got, and Warren pretends that these people, who are objecively the greatest contributors to the services she mentions, are somehow merely beneficiaries who are stealing from the rest of us.

Senator Lisa Brown is a Liar

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I know, I call people liars a lot. But it's not my fault that there's lots of liars out there, and they aren't being called out for it. So I do it.

Senator Lisa Brown said the other day, "to reach the ultimate goal of amply funding basic education as we've now defined it is going to require a new dedicated revenue source."

She's a liar. She knows this isn't true. She knows the state can cut existing programs to pay for whatever they think they need for basic education, and she knows that it's not education that would require additional revenue, but all those other programs that the state's constitution says are not the "paramount duty" of the state.

We do not need to increase any taxes, let alone come up with new revenue streams, to cover basic education. This is a fact. It's other programs that would "need" additional revenue, and instead of lying and saying she wants that money for education, she should be honest and say precisely what other programs she wants that money for. The constitution says it's not for education.

Hold on to your pocketbooks. Governor Gregoire and the Democrats continue to cut education instead of arts funding, environmental causes, and many other budget items, in the hopes that citizens will want to raise taxes to pay for education.

See, no sane person would want to raise taxes to pay for art at a halfway house for child molesters, so the Democrats have conducted a strategy of cutting the most popular programs first, in the hopes that popular support will swing toward increasing taxes. So far, it hasn't worked, but now that the Supreme Court of Washington has ruled that public education is underfunded, that may change.

Resist. Demand cuts in other programs. Demand that education be cut last. And if your local politicians tell you we need to raise taxes for education, call them out on their lies.

Now, granted, I think any decision that says schools are underfunded is completely wrong. It's a given that better education can always be provided without an increase in funds. I am completely unconvinced that education is actually underfunded, though I would agree that the students aren't getting a sufficient education. But this is beside the point, which is that if more money is needed, we already have that money, in all of the other places where it is being spent that are not the state's paramount constitutional duty.

And while you're at it, demand that our state return to priorities-based budgeting. Every item gets a priority, and we spend revenues on the top priorities first, and when we run out of money, we stop. We don't cut top priorities. We don't fight over what to cut during a recession. We only fight over what the state's priorities are, and then they are laid out for all the voters to see. This is how families budget, this is how businesses budget, and this is how our state should budget.

Bill Wade is a Scum-Sucking Liar

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According to Bill Wade, chairman of an organization of Park Service retirees, a law that allows guns in national parks is directly responsible for the death of Park Service ranger Margaret Anderson.

Of course, this makes no sense: from everything we know, Benjamin Colton Barnes was a fugitive, heading to the mountains to evade capture from another shooting crime. There's no reason of any kind to think he would have obeyed a law that said he couldn't bring his guns into the park, any more than he obeyed the laws that said he couldn't murder Anderson with his guns. It's insanity. It's not even within one of the possible realms of reality. There is not a criminal like him on Earth, ever, who would have been stopped from entering the national parks with his weapons before the new law that was passed in 2010. Indeed, there's a strong chance he didn't even know what the law was, because -- simply -- he has no reason to care what the law was, since he would have no intention of following it regardless.

Maybe I am being too hard on Wade. Maybe he's senile or somesuch. But my experience with anti-gun folks tells me that they will use lies and extreme language to exploit gun tragedies to suit their agenda, so I won't assume he is disabled, and call him what he appears to be: a scum-sucking liar.

<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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