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  • War on Drugs 
  • "Universal" Health Care
  • Religion-based government 
  • Big Government of any kind
  • Compulsory government monopoly mass schooling
  • Income Tax
  • Windmills and other government-subsidized "alternative" energy boondoggles
  • The idea that electing the "right" person will make everything better

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Author: Steve Erbach Created: Thursday, November 13, 2003 8:30 AM
Just shut yer yap, leave me alone, and stop raising my blankety-blank taxes!

By Steve Erbach on Thursday, June 26, 2014 5:30 PM

 

Do you care about the John Doe investigation involving Gov. Scott Walker?

(published 30-Jun-2014, Appleton Post-Crescent on-line)

The "State's Consolidated Response to Motions to Quash Subpoenas" refers to other documents with the rest of the meat. This one refers to affidavits that "outline the close coordination" between Curly, Moe, and Larry...awww, you know who! Special Prosecutor Schmitz wrote that "the subpoenas...

Read More »

By Steve Erbach on Sunday, October 06, 2013 7:46 AM

What's your biggest question about ObamaCare?

(published 7-Oct-2013, Appleton Post-Crescent on-ine)

That's easy! How the heck did this economic perversion ever get through Congress in the first place? How did the Stupid Party manage to let it be passed after Nancy Pelosi said "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it"? How can anyone believe that borrowing more and more money to force the PPACA to work will make things cheaper? How can anyone believe that suddenly adding millions of people to the doctors' rooms waiting lines will make medical care more available and accessible? Listen, I'm thankful that my sister – who has a pacemaker plus other ailments – may get insurance, maybe even subsidized insurance. But I hold not a single illusion that that's sus ... Read More »

By Steve Erbach on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 7:33 PM

Should the minimum wage be higher?

(published 1-Sep-2013, Appleton Post-Crescent)

The argument that raising the minimum wage puts more spending money into the economy causes me to roll on the floor and laugh my tuchis off. This is a classic case of "That Which is Seen and That Which is Not Seen" (hat tip to French economist Frederic Bastiat, c. 1850). What is NOT seen: 1) Layoffs or reduced hours for minimum wage workers means fewer hours worked at a higher wage rate: net $0. 2) Companies charging higher prices for their products to cover larger payrolls. We'll all pay more for the things we buy. That's not putting more money into the economy; that's cost-shifting and inflation. Nobody seems to be able to answer why the government doesn't just raise the minimum wage to, say, $25 an hour, a "living" wage. If you think that's ... Read More »

By Steve Erbach on Tuesday, July 23, 2013 6:58 PM

Do political sex scandals matter any more?

(published 29-Jul-2013, Appleton Post-Crescent)

People still like to read about sex scandals. If it sells more papers, the media will play it up. We pay homage to our Puritan heritage by pretending to be shocked by the latest. I'll bet that Real Soon Now a sex scandal while in public office or while campaigning will be seen as a net positive for the politician. We've seen sports figures adulated because they came out of the closet...it's only a matter of time before playing the victim of a weird fetish or a creepy craving will be on a par. And I bet that Anthony Weiner becomes mayor of New York, perhaps BECAUSE of his inability to stop sending pictures of his privates to perfect strangers...though I just about gagged when I heard him say, by way of apology, that "I want to bring my vision to the people o ... Read More »

By Steve Erbach on Thursday, May 09, 2013 5:05 AM

What are your summer travel plans?

(Published 13-May-2013, Appleton Post-Crescent)

You mean, driving or flying somewhere more than a couple hours away and staying for, like, a week? Nope; can't afford it at the moment. We'll visit friends and relatives a few times: in Crivitz, Madison, and Illinois. But "travel"? Only in the mind. I read aloud to my wife practically every night. We're finishing Connie Willis's "All Clear", a sci-fi story of time travel to London during the Blitz. I'm going to see if she'll be amenable to "Captain Blood" or "The Sea Hawk" by Rafael Sabatini. We've seen both films starring Errol Flynn and we loved them; so I figure a little nightly swash-buckling ought to be meet and fitting. If not, perhaps a re-reading of David Brin's "Startide Rising" (fooling aliens around dis ... Read More »

By Steve Erbach on Thursday, April 04, 2013 7:57 PM

Are you concerned about North Korea?

(published 8-Apr-2013, Appleton Post-Crescent)

I'm not the only one who's "concerned" about the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Is it just me, or do countries that have the words, "Democratic People's Republic", in their names  not seem very democratic or very people-oriented? But I digress... We've loaded up that region of the globe with military assets. Hardly a day goes by without some new report: B-52 bombers flying over the Korean peninsula; our missile defense "posture" being strengthened; the Secretary of State to hold meetings with North Korea's neighbors; we urge South Korea to hold its temper as we urge China to put pressure on Pyongyang...the powers that be are pretty darned con ... Read More »

By Steve Erbach on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 8:27 PM

What would you change about the tax filing process?

(published 4-Mar-2013, Appleton Post-Crescent)

I’d change the tax collection method. Instead of employers painlessly withholding taxes from your check, I think you should send a tax check to Uncle Sugar quarterly, just as businesses do. I firmly believe that if wage earners had to send sizeable sums to the government every quarter – long before getting a refund -- they’d demand changes to the tax laws right quick. I'm an admirer of Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize winning economist. (Now that I think about it, that ain't such a great honor. Why, the Nobel committee gave the prize to former Enron adviser Paul Krugman. He was the guy who, on September 14th, 2001, wrote in the New York Times [“After the Horror”] that the U.S. would experi ... Read More »

By Steve Erbach on Tuesday, February 05, 2013 9:06 AM

I think it's both. You must certainly be aware of the federal government's latest CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards, right? From the White House press release on August 28th of last year:

The Obama Administration today finalized groundbreaking standards that will increase fuel economy to the equivalent of 54.5 mpg for cars and light-duty trucks by Model Year 2025. When combined with previous standards set by this Administration, this move will nearly double the fuel efficiency of those vehicles compared to new vehicles currently on our roads.

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By Steve Erbach on Saturday, February 02, 2013 12:09 PM

Yes, this is one of those email things that get circulated around the globe endlessly...but I enjoyed it. I thought you would, too.

Subject: Fw: Unemployment report explained. Now I understand the deal...

So how can over 873,000 people come off the unemployment line when there were only a little over 114,000 jobs created?

Luckily I found a transcript of a conversation between two eminent economists discussing this very question!

Here we go, the recent unemployment report explained --

COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America.
ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible Times. It's 7.8%.
COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?
Read More »

By Steve Erbach on Sunday, January 27, 2013 6:19 AM

[If you'd like to comment, please register or login! - Ed.]

On Facebook, I posted a link to Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke's recent public service announcement. There has been quite a bit of negative reaction: in news media commentary, on Facebook, and in email. I thought I'd collect some of it for this post.

First, here's the ad itself:

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By Steve Erbach on Saturday, January 26, 2013 12:06 PM

Back when the United States invaded Panama to end the reign of Manuel Noriega in Operation Just Cause, I read a great piece by Donald Kaul on why women should not be allowed in combat roles in our armed forces. I, of course, was reminded of it by the recent decision by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to allow that very thing.

Read More »

By Steve Erbach on Friday, January 25, 2013 4:57 PM

[If you'd like to comment, please register or login! - Ed.]

David Mamet is the Broadway playwright, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Glengarry Glen Ross, and Tony nominations for the same play as well as Speed-the-Plow. He also received screen-writing Oscar nominations for The Verdict and Read More »

By Steve Erbach on Thursday, January 24, 2013 12:53 PM

[If you'd like to comment, please register or login! - Ed.]

How can the community support LGBT youth?

(published 28-Jan-2013, Appleton Post-Crescent)

I'm wary of "community" focus on aggrieved groups. I'm sorry about those poor kids, I really am. But what forms of "support" are we talking about? Legal? Things are complicated by the laws dealing with sexual relations with minors. I see in the January 22nd Neenah High School announcements that the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) meets Monday at ... Read More »

By Steve Erbach on Monday, January 21, 2013 8:43 PM

I finished reading a story online about Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs' rant about the New England Patriots. Off to the side I noticed a quickie online poll. The question was very provocative:

 

Read More »

By Steve Erbach on Sunday, January 20, 2013 10:06 AM

[If you'd like to comment, please register or login! - Ed.]

...which I find fascinating. On Friday the U. S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in a split decision upheld Wisconsin's Act 10 in its entirety, reversing last year's partial overturning of the law by U. S. District Court Judge William Conley.

I find it fascinating because I had followed the events leading up to the decision with some attention, beginning with the enormous temper tantrum thrown by the public employee unions after newly invested Governor Scott Walker proposed the law and pushed it through the Wisconsin ... Read More »

By Steve Erbach on Thursday, January 17, 2013 6:17 PM

...that this isn't trenchant, sardonic, or pithy. It's merely cute and funny.

Calico Jack Rackham (aka "Jack") gets into it with Harrison Spitfire Mews (aka "Harry"). Halbarad (aka "Hal") jumps up to watch. Note that when Hal comes on the scene to kibitz the first time, Jack's tail slows down its lashing. But when Hal gets bored and jumps down, up starts Jack's tail and the game is on! Hal provides the last laugh.

By Steve Erbach on Thursday, November 15, 2012 8:59 AM

Uploaded a video of our youngest cat, Calico Jack Rackham, doing his best:

By Steve Erbach on Wednesday, June 06, 2012 5:21 PM

How can Wisconsin heal its political divide?

(published 11-June-2012, Appleton Post-Crescent)

During Recall fever, I heard nothing but single-answer questions like "How could you vote for that guy?" Or "Don't you know he abandoned his love-child?" Brow-beating, short tempers, incoherent reasoning, etc., etc. Republicans won't forget the mess left in the Capitol by the tantrum-throwing Democrats or the flight to Illinois of the Democratic Senators. The Democrats won't forget "divide and conquer" (by the guy who remains Governor! Yay!) or the gobs of out-of-state money that flowed into Walker's campaign. For me, I'm happy to see the steady march of the Progressive agenda stumble. But, never fear! The Republicans will foul the nest Real Soon Now and the Democrats can resume power and their drive towards the nanny-sta ... Read More »

By Steve Erbach on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 7:05 PM

Why do you plan to vote, or not, in the recall?

(published 28-May-2012, Appleton Post-Crescent)

MADISON - On the morning of June 6th, the day after Scott Walker's victory over Tom Barrett, I walked down State Street and heard almost nothing. Hordes of aging hippies, teacher union members, and state employees had been everywhere for the past 16 months -- occupying the Capitol, calling in sick to demonstrate, cheering the Flee-Baggers' flight to Illinois, distributing recall petitions, erecting "Recall Walker" yard signs -- in short, being the most annoying group of spoiled brats Wisconsin has ever seen. Now they shuffled along in a daze, bereft, rudderless, and completely clueless as to why their man lost. I was feeling great myself, ready to turn somersaults over the Barrett defeat, full of good cheer and pleased with all Wisconsin. But then tho ... Read More »

By Steve Erbach on Tuesday, January 31, 2012 6:54 AM

Do candidates' personal lives matter?

(published 30-Jan-2012, Appleton Post-Crescent online)

You can argue the issues all you want and claim to be objective every time you enter a voting booth. But you and I both know that it really comes down to whether you think you could have a beer with the guy, right? Is he at least middling honest? Are the bribes he's taken modest? Do his children not gag too much whenever they attend one of his rallies? Does his wife look like she's actually smiling and not gritting her teeth? There's SOMETHING about the way a politician lives his life that affects you when you find out about it. We treat politicians like the tabloid stars: we revel in their affairs, peccadilloes, and bad judgment. All of that shapes our opinion much more than their stands on the issues, which, by golly, seem to shift around quite a bit. Is ... Read More »

By Steve Erbach on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 9:02 AM

What would help keep medical costs in check?

(published 16-Jan-2012, Appleton Post-Crescent)

I've had a solution to the health care crisis for years. If you remember that doctors take money from sick people, you'll realize that health care isn't a "right"; it's just a service like plumbing or snow removal. There's a crisis in health care costs and availability because government caps the price paid for services to Medicare and Medicaid providers; that is, price CEILINGS are enforced. The result? Lots of doctors don't accept Medicare or Medicaid patients. Thus there's a shortage of health care services due to government meddling. Anything in short supply costs more. What we could try is something akin to milk price supports. That is, place price FLOORS on medical services. You don't hear about ice cream shortages do you? No, because milk prices are suppo ... Read More »

By Steve Erbach on Friday, December 23, 2011 1:50 PM

What was the top news story of the year?

(published 26-Dec-2011, Appleton Post-Crescent)

I'll sidestep the top international story since there are only a couple of choices and everybody will make one or the other (I mean the killing of Osama bin Laden and the Japanese earthquake / tsunami / nuclear accident).  I'd rather look at Wisconsin. In my opinion the top story was the chronic temper tantrum thrown by the public employee unions this year.  From the state capitol demonstrations manned by AWOL teachers with fake doctors' excuses; to the Fleebaggers; to the recall of 9 -- count 'em! -- 9 state senators; to the senate recall elections that did NOT tip the majority to the whiners...I mean the Democrats; to the bubbling resentment and grass roots organizing that took place before a Recall Walker movement could officially begin; to the recall sig ... Read More »

By Steve Erbach on Sunday, December 04, 2011 8:54 AM

Today I saw this headline on Drudge: 7-Year-Old Boy Charged with Sexual Harassment for Kicking Bully in Groin.... It's a CBS News report about the trouble a boy has gotten into by (vigorously) defending himself from a bully on a public school bus. It's the "public school" part that has led to the logical...I'm sorry, I meant to say "ridiculous" conclusion.

Lady Gaga

Read More »

By Steve Erbach on Sunday, November 27, 2011 8:35 AM

Remember Elizabeth Warren?

Elizabeth Warren

Warren is the leading Democrat challenging Senator Scott Brown in his re-election bid. She became the poster child standard bearer for the Democratic party when she famously spoke out at a September campaign rally in Massachusetts.

Read More »

By Steve Erbach on Wednesday, November 23, 2011 7:58 AM

I like Reason Magazine.  A lot.  Today I took its "super-scientific" quiz to determine which Republican Presidential candidate voiced positions on the issues that most closely match my own.

The Republican field as realized by Madame Tussaud

Here's how the quiz works.  On nine burning issues of the day, Reason lists responses made by the top 10 Republican candidates (even including Sarah Palin) during the debates.

Read More »

By Steve Erbach on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 7:26 AM

Why did the debt supercommittee struggle to agree?

(published 28-Nov-2011, Appleton Post-Crescent)

Because they were tying themselves in knots trying to appear fiscally conservative yet compassionate; unyielding yet conciliatory; determined yet accommodating; implacable yet benevolent; cold-blooded yet warmhearted...you know the drill.  It was the old economic balloon animal squeezed by a committee – which, as everyone knows, is a life form with three or more stomachs and no brain.  I can't imagine what the "super" version of a committee would be.  Maybe something like a sea cucumber that ejects its stomach in self-defense, I don't know.  What I do know is that the "super" committee wasn't going to come up with anything better than the European Union did in its latest Gr ... Read More »

By Steve Erbach on Friday, October 21, 2011 10:18 AM

What can Washington do to improve education?

(published 24-Oct-2011, Appleton Post-Crescent)

Short answer: Stay the heck out of it!  The long Tea Party answer: Deep-six the Department of Education, repeal the "No Child Left Behind Act" and "Race to the Top", and keep President and Mrs. Obama away from school lunch menus.  The Obama administration wanted to limit the amount of potatoes served in school meals; but the Senate unanimously voted to prohibit the Department of Agriculture (which provides funding for publicly funded government monopoly school meals) from setting any maximum limits. Good grief! Our Congresscritters seem to have misplaced the 10th Amendment. Government is the only entity that treats a failure like a success. How? By feeding more money into failing programs year after year after year.  And that ... Read More »

By Steve Erbach on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 3:53 AM

Should the wealthy pay a higher percentage in taxes?

(published 3-Oct-2011, Appleton Post-Crescent online)

That's a cart-before-the-horse question.  Yes, it's true: I don't care about the poor and the less fortunate.  All I care about is that my rich buddies get to keep all the money...which is really the government's money, right?  "From each according to his ability", right?  Nope.  I don't buy it.  The real question is: Should the government overspend as much as it does?  Answer?  Heck, no!  If you accept that the government can spend like a drunken sailor then we have no common ground.  You accept as a necessary corollary that the government can t ... Read More »

By Steve Erbach on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 5:40 PM

What should another stimulus bill accomplish?

(published 19-Sep-2011, Appleton Post-Crescent)

I cannot agree that there should be another stimulus! The federal government has been pouring money we don't have into too many things that have no bearing on economic recovery.  From the President's admission that there WERE no "shovel-ready" projects, to massive high-cost rail projects -- Yay! Governor Walker, by the way! -- to the recent collapse of Solyndra, the Silicon Valley company that was supposed to showcase the Obama administration's clean energy policies...it's unbelievable  to me that we've been duped into agreeing that propping up unprofitable technologies by borrowing money from the Chinese is the way to get the economy going.  The global warming johnnies are in ... Read More »

By Steve Erbach on Monday, September 05, 2011 8:15 AM

Here's the email I sent this morning under the subject line of "Give 'em hell, Harry!" This will not, I'm afraid, endear me to the female faculty at the Middle School!

Dear Rush,

While re-reading Paul Johnson's excellent, "A History of the American People," I ran across a quote from Harry S. Truman that made me laugh out loud.  The quote comes at the end of this passage on page 794 in which Johnson describes Truman's moral upbringing:

Read More »


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U.S. Congressman, Maxine Waters, says that the TEA Party "can go straight to hell."  Well, after you, Maxine!


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