Author Archives: Leo Pusateri

About Leo Pusateri

A conservative educator, military father, and student of life.

Regarding Cookin’ The Books…

In light of the news of the past 24-hours, it perhaps entirely fitting that a TV cook decided to promote Obamacare this past week.

A bit of history as a prelude to this post:
October 30, 2012: Obama can’t get re-elected with an unemployment rate above 8%.

November 4, 2012: 2 days before election–SHAZAMM!!! Books are cooked, unemployment rate at 7.9% (ignoring, of course, those who gave up looking for jobs).

March 30, 2014: Obama woefully in danger of not meeting targeted goal of 7 million subscribers by March 31st. 2014 deadline– another postponement of the deadline would give anti-Obamacare elements endless fodder for Obamacare’s further de-legitimization.

Now, enter March 31, 2014–Zero Hour to deadline: SHAZAM!! Five million people miraculously sign their lives away on the Obamacare website, two million more flood the phone lines.

Does anybody REALLY believe this crap?

First–OK– I’ll give it that yesterday was the deadline–but even if their numbers are true, it doesn’t really portray that people so loved Obamacare that they just couldn’t wait to sign up.
It was either sign up, or get fined. It was coercion, at best.

Second: Obamacare was sold (read: shoved down our throats in the dead of night) as something that was needed because there were, at the time, 30,000,000 uninsured Americans out of a nation of 310,000,000 (9.6%). Which necessarily meant that nine out of ten people were inconvenienced at best and/or lost THEIR coverage at worst so that one out of the ten who weren’t covered in the first place could supposedly get covered.

The last estimates placed over 40,000,000 people who are currently uninsured; with 5-6 million of those uninsured as a DIRECT RESULT of their policies being cancelled under Obamacare. (As a matter of fact, companies offering insurance to males that didn’t cover pregnancy were fined over 2000 percent more per employee than companies who chose not to offer any insurance plan at all–but I digress).

SO– if their numbers are correct (and again–a bit too convenient, if you ask me, to be correct) we haven’t even gotten back to Square One in terms of Obamacare’s stated goals (to insure the 30,000,000 uninsured).

Yet, despite this, despite the perpetually-broken $600 MILLION website paid for with our taxpayer dollars, and most importantly, despite the broken promises made to the American people on so many fronts that you need a scorecard to keep track of them, his royal eminence, wannabe emperor and Grand Poobah of his own reality, Barack Hussein Obama (pbuh) is going to strut to the podium this afternoon and crow to the great unwashed masses that he’s single-handedly saved the nation’s health care system, and there will be more of that where it came from.

And, perhaps most pitiful of all, his dutiful. star-struck, sycophantic stenographer-media sheep, those supposedly charged with being a check and balance against our government, will happily and dutifully re-bleat his maniacal, delusional rantings.

A Primer On The Minimum Wage That Even A Liberal (hopefully) Could Understand

A little primer regarding the ‘minimum wage.’

Understand exactly what a hike in the ‘minimum wage’ entails.

A compulsory hike in the minimum wage means that the price of productivity will increase.

This means that the level of what one used to purchase per dollar is less; therefore, one will be required to spend more to get the same amount of productivity.

What a set amount of money bought before the hike in the minimum wage, can no longer be bought for the same amount of money. After the hike, more money must be spent, to get the same level of productivity.

Money, is then, by definition, devalued. When money is devalued, the amount of it required to purchase a given good or service increases.

This increase is called INFLATION.

One of two things MUST happen in order to regain equilibrium between resources spent and goods produced or purchased:

1. Pass along the increased price (inflation) of goods or services to the customer; or

2. Make sure the money you spend on the manufacturing/service end results in more productivity.

Option number one results in inflation in the marketplace (rise in prices to purchase goods or services) passed on to all. This means that the money earned after the minimum wage hike has less purchasing power than the money earned prior to the minimum wage hike. This effectively negates the purchasing power experienced via any raise in pay to the worker as a result of hiking the minimum wage.

Option Number Two results in fewer workers doing more work per hour for the increased pay they get. Instead of seven people on a shift, to keep the same productivity without passing increased costs to the consumer, there may be only five people required to do the work that seven people once did. This effectively results in a reduction in the present work force at worst, or in preventing the company from hiring additional workers after attrition, at best.

This, of course, results in higher unemployment and/or lower labor participation rates, as there are now fewer jobs to be had.

In other words, contrary to all the magical thinking going on in the White House and in the war rooms of the DNC, and yes, among the democrat party faithful, there are no sustainable benefits to a *compulsory* increase in the minimum wage.

Dear Speaker Boehner:

There is nothing I’d like better than to keep the United States House of Representatives in *conservative* hands.

Regarding that issue, we wholeheartedly agree.

In that spirit, could you kindly resign your tenure as Speaker of the House?

Under your leadership, Obamacare is still the law of the land. Those responsible for allowing four Americans to be murdered in Benghazi are yet to be held accountable. The Constitutional abuses of the IRS scandal, the “Fast & Furious” federal gun-running scandal, and NSA scandals continue to go un-investigated, and Obama continues to be held unaccountable. Under your ‘leadership,’ the Republicans in the House of Representatives have done nothing to hold the Obama administration accountable for their overreach and malfeasance and assaults on our Constitutional liberties. You supposedly practiced brinkmanship when Obama forced a government shutdown, but then acted like you owned it, and ran with your tail between your legs. It’s been “go along to get along” ever since.

And now you want to cave and give special treatment to those scofflaws who ignore our immigration laws.

Your team put up a nice graphic on Facebook today in response to President Obama’s “I have a pen” comment, to which you replied, “We have the Constitution.”

However, as much as you hold up the Constitution and parade it around like a golden calf, you have displayed no real intention of upholding it. As your actions and inaction have clearly demonstrated, to you, the Constitution is nothing more than window-dressing in a photo-op.

Speaker Boehner, you have on many occasions taken a solemn oath and promise to uphold the Constitution.

After taking those solemn oaths, on multiple occasions, you have demonstrated that your promises are as empty as must be your conscience.

If you really believe that the Constitution must be kept in conservative hands, I call upon you to resign your office as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Whether or not your constituency in the 8th District of Ohio continues to re-elect you to as their representative in Congress is their business.

The office you hold as Speaker, however, is *our* business. You have lost the trust and confidence of those of us in the Republican Party.

You have lost the trust of the nation.

Time for you to resign, Mr. Speaker.

Sincerely,

Leo Pusateri.Boehner

Burger-Flipper Economics 101

Exploitation?
Really???

These people say they “deserve” $15 per hour. They are ENTITLED to it.

Contrary to what the populist Chairman Obamao bloviates, it’s not about what people “deserve.” It’s about what value people bring to the market– what set of skills they bring to the table and how marketable and valuable that skill set is.

People who can flip burgers or keep a menu straight are a dime a dozen. That doesn’t make them bad or inferior as people, it’s just that there are many, many people with that skill set who can fill that position.

If someone is terminated or quits a burger flipper position, the pool of people who possess and/or can be easily trained for that skill set is enormous. That position can be easily filled.

People who can successfully manage and run a restaurant and its finances have a different skill set. Though they are still ubiquitous in number, they are fewer in number than the burger flippers. They get paid a little higher, because people with the more specialized skill set are higher in demand.

People who can do neurosurgery, or for that matter who can play ball at the major league level, are very few in number–they bring an esoteric skill set– they are very few in number, and very, very few people can fill their shoes if they leave.

A higher wage is commanded by such people, because of the value they bring, like rare, fine diamonds– they are higher in price because they aren’t found everywhere. The market screams for such talent, yet such talent is so rare, that the talent must be compensated well in order to keep that talent.

It’s basic market economics, people!

QUESTION: How many of you think fast food workers deserve 15 dollars and hour????
QUESTION: How many of you think fast food workers “deserve” 15 dollars an hour????

White House is Staging A Bloodless Coup!

OK, folks–here’s the deal- I don’t think too many people are realizing this:

1. We currently gather TEN TIMES the amount of revenue required to service our debt, EVERY MONTH.

2. The 14th Amendment states that WE MUST honor and service our debts; meaning that paying and servicing debt MUST COME FIRST.

3. Barack Obama has been threatening that we WILL DEFAULT on our debt if the debt ceiling is not raised in two days.

4. The ONLY way this can happen, is if Barack Obama IGNORES the 14th Amendment and REFUSES to service the debt. This means that Barack Obama MUST OPENLY DEFY the Constitution to bring about what he threatens will happen.

5. Understand also that I believe that Barack Obama FULLY INTENDS to carry out his threat. I believe that Barack Obama MEANS, in direct opposition to the 14th Amendment, to ALLOW the United States to go into default. Like a terrorist with his finger on the button of his suicide vest, he is threatening to DESTROY THE FULL FAITH AND CREDIT OF THE UNITED STATES, placing our economy in RUIN, unless Congress meets his every demand.

6. In effect, Barack Obama is staging what amounts to nothing less than a COUP– a complete usurpation of the power of the purse that IS EXCLUSIVELY THE PURVIEW of the duly and locally elected United States House of Representatives.

7. In completely and WILLFULLY ignoring his Constitutional responsibilities with respect to the 14th Amendment, Barack Obama has effectually denounced the primacy of the U.S. Constitution. He is effectively governing by EXECUTIVE FIAT.

In other words, Barack Obama HAS THROWN AWAY THE CONSTITUTION and is in effect GOVERNING AS A DICTATOR!

UNDERSTAND THIS, PEOPLE–THIS IS NOT HYPERBOLE!

An Open Letter To Al Franken

I received an email from Senator Franken. Among his accomplishments touted was supposedly keeping college affordable for Minnesotans, accomplishing this by keeping student loan rates low, and trying to expand the issuance of Pell grants and other sources of financial aid. 

This was my response to the Senator:

Dear Senator Franken 

While I appreciate your wanting to keep the cost of education affordable for all Minnesotans, your solutions appear to be centered on only one side of the equation. 

While I applaud your efforts to keep interest on student loans low, and to expand the availability of Pell grants and other sources of financial aid, I must wonder what is being done on the other side of the equation– to keep college costs down? 

What is happening in colleges seems to be highly analogous with what is happening in health care. In health care, raises in prices are passed on to health insurance companies, who in turn merely charge higher premiums to their users. There is no competition nor pressure brought to bear on medically-related institutions to hold the line on costs, as they simply pass the costs, almost whimsically, back to the consumer. 

In the same manner, as colleges raise their tuition rates with impunity, government responds not by holding educational institutions accountable for their costs, but by increasing the levels of debt on the part of students and/or cost to the taxpayer in terms of financial aid subsidies. This necessarily keeps tax burdens on individuals and businesses elevated, and necessarily increases the already insurmountable mountain of debt incurred by students. 

What is the threshold under which government will put a ceiling on financial aid? 

If government places such a ceiling on the level of financial aid given to students, colleges will necessarily need to adjust tuition and other associated costs or face severely declining enrollment. 

In other words, competition and market-driven forces will bring pressure to keep the costs of college at affordable levels. 

And, incidentally and likewise, competition and market-driven forces will force health care providers to keep their costs at affordable levels (I present the lowering costs and higher quality and availability of laser eye surgery as a shining example of this concept). 

Senator Franken, at the beginning of this screed, I didn’t think about tying these concepts, health care and higher education, together. But now that I am typing this, I have come to the conclusion (and I hope that you can follow me) that what it comes down to is this: what is missing from Higher Education and what is missing in health care–including Obamacare–is the very thing that will alleviate issues in both of these problematic areas– the introduction of market forces to bring costs down to affordable levels. 

Sir, I have little hope that you will take this to heart, as no doubt your partisan blinders will prevent you from seeing the inherent similarities between these two out-of-control aspects of our society, and that these two sectors share a nearly identical solution (market-driven forces); but then again, one can certainly dream. 

Sincerely, 

Leo Pusateri

Regarding “Hate” Crimes

I don’t believe in the concept of “hate crimes.”

There are precious few crimes, especially murders, that are “love criimes.” 

In my opinion, the psychological intent or the mind state of the person committing the murder is already summed up in degrees (first degree, second degree, manslaughter, etc). 

The reasons for premeditation are immaterial. If the person intended with forethought to visit bodily harm resulting in the death of an innocent person for reasons not related to self defense, that perpetrator committed murder. Period. It is immaterial whether the perp is a racist or whether the perp is Mother Teresa. 

To assign an instance of the wanton deprivation of another’s life as more or less severe simply because the perp was a racist or did it out of racial spite is superfluous. Premeditated murder is premeditated murder. 

When society assigns the gravity of premeditated murder as dependent on the mind state of the perpetrator, you are now jumping into the realm of THOUGHT CRIMES. 

Do we really want to go there? 

Unfortunately, there are many on the left who do. 

As the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case clearly illustrated, those on the left are more than happy to fall all over themselves in immediately assigning motives of racism and “hate crime” (read: THOUGHT CRIME) status when a fellow-traveller is on the receiving end and a white person (even a ginned-up “White Hispanic” person) is on the giving end. 

When one or more of their own is on the giving end, however, not so much. Rare indeed is the case when black on white violence ends up being prosecuted as a “hate crime.” 

Which leads me to believe that to a critical mass of our population (not at all exclusively black, mind you, but exclusively “progressive” at any rate), the whole concept of “hate crime” is not borne out of a thirst for blind justice; rather, the concept of “hate crime” seems to serve as a tool to exact revenge on those progressives identify as enemies of their ideology at worst, or as tools to advance their sense of ideology and/or personal political agendae at best.

 
It looks as though the thugs who murdered Delbert Belton will not be charged with a hate crime. 
 
I’m sure there was nothing but bored love in their hearts as they beat him senseless and took his life.
 
 

Regarding Asia’s Mini Me.

Image
The linked article below from Stratfor.com gives an interesting perspective as to the history of the relationship between Beijing and North Korea-One possibility missing in this article is that of North Korea being a puppet and proxy government under Beijing’s control, via which Beijing can assert plausible deniability for actions it takes via its North Korean sock puppet.In an effort to ‘diffuse’ tensions, John Kerry sojourned to Beijing the other day, and offered, in exchange for China’s willingness to call off its ‘attack dog,’ concessions on U.S. missile defense in Asia.Could it be that Beijing is rattling North Korea’s saber, just to see how the West reacts and/or cowers? We arguably have the least cogent, most feckless foreign policy since the dawn of Jimmy Carter. It would appear plausible that China is exploiting the Obama Administration’s/Washington’s newfound affinity for “global test” pacifism and Chamberlain-esque knee-jerk appeasement, and will try to obtain more and more concessions while the gettin’s good.My guess is that China will continue to play the West via North Korea like a fiddle, as long as the current feckless leadership remains in Washington, and that Beijing will seize every opportunity to effect the West’s strategic weakening and further a lack of resolve.

Read further here:

Regarding DOMA And Other “Assurances.”

OK– I’ll open the floodgates–time for a ramble….

Marriage is a word used to describe a societal institution, and it means something–or at least it has, that something being a relatively permanent, committed union between a man and a woman. Yes, I know that people have historically taken their own marriages too lightly and the Hollywood left and others have treated their marriages in much the same manner as middle-school kids treat crushes; but the essential accepted definition of the term, “MARRIAGE” has nonetheless remained intact for the better part of 2000 years.

Now, however, we are being told that we, in a new ‘enlightened’ era, must arbitrarily re-define the longstanding societal institution of marriage, for better or worse, to include same sex couples, and that it should be so under the 14th Amendment, and upheld between States under the “Full Faith and Credit” clause.

Fine and dandy, I guess…BUT–

We’re also told that that’s as far as it will go– and if we (those who are against gay marriage and/or those who are on the fence) think that it is the beginning of a slippery slope ‘anything goes’ redefinition of the institution of marriage, we’re just paranoid neanderthals.. 10 or 15 years ago, we were also told that there was no need to pass a defense of marriage amendment to the Constitution, because the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) protected that traditional definition.

Fine and dandy, as well, I guess;

However, up to this point, no one has been able to adequately explain how, if the SCOTUS decision tilts the “gay marriage” way, that polygamists, incestuous couples, etc., will not also want equal protection under the 14th Amendment, and sue for the right to marry, and that the term ‘marriage’ will have so many meanings so as to render what has been a veritable societal institution meaningless.

In other words, what is to prevent the slippery slope we’re being assured will not happen?

Personally, I’m of the mind that it’s a State issue, and that ALL unions should be civil unions. But should the term “Marriage” be so malleable so as to become meaningless?

Are people really thinking things through on this issue? Or are many merely living in the zeitgiest of the moment,  inconsiderate of and/or oblivious to the ramifications?

I’ve been thinking long and hard the past few days, and I can’t see any assurances that my worst nightmare regarding the institution of marriage, that it essentially becomes meaningless, will not come to fruition.

While many marriages have failed since time imemoriam, the institution of marriage on balance has unarguably been a net-positive as a building block for literally thousands of years into our civilization.

I guess all I’m saying is that we may be taking this issue a bit too cavalierly; jumping in the clouded pool without regard as to its depth and/or its potential consequences.

I await to be educated to the contrary.

UPDATE, by Mark Noonan – Mark Steyn nails it:

…It came up at dinner Down Under this time last year, and the prominent Aussie politician on my right said matter-of-factly, “It’s not about expanding marriage, it’s about destroying marriage.” That would be the most obvious explanation as to why the same societal groups who assured us in the Seventies that marriage was either (a) a “meaningless piece of paper” or (b) institutionalized rape are now insisting it’s a universal human right…

The thing about liberals is that, at bottom, they are just downright nasty – doesn’t matter what the issue is, they will always take the worst possible position and if it contradicts their previous position its no matter…as long as hatred the destruction of our civilization proceed, they’re just pleased as punch.

Dystopia–In His Own Words.

Just prior to the 2008 elections, Barack Obama boldly stated,

“We are 5 days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America” (October 30, 2008)

Many among my conservative friends took that to be so much fluff; pretty much liberal boilerplate consistent with his whole “Hope and Change” campaign message.  Given, however, Obama’s background, cutting his teeth with the radical leftists/communists of his day (i.e., Frank Marshall Davis, Bernadine Dorn, Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright) I believe I was one of the relative few that took him at his word.  Unlike most of America, conservatives such as myself and others who actually took the time to vet Obama, knew that background and worldview mattered, and that Obama’s past gave more than a glimpse of how he intended to govern in the present.

When Obama uttered those words, “.. fundamentally transform AmericaI knew he meant it. It was Obama himself who stated (emphases added),

“As radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical.  It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least, as it’s been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative libertiesSays what the States can’t do to you; says what the Federal Government can’t do to you, but doesn’t state what the Federal government or State Government must do on your behalf.”  (Barack Obama, June 18, 2001).

There is no question that Barack Obama was unhappy with his perception of unequal distribution of wealth that America so unfairly championed, and that he wanted to transform this nation into something more ‘equitable’ in his eyes.  The question was how, and to what extent.  Just how does one “fundamentally”  transform a nation whose very basis for existence is freedom, itself?  The only feasible answer is to transform that already-free nation, into a nation with fewer freedoms.  Given Dinesh D’Souza’s brilliant insights as to Obama’s worldview engendered by his past, one knew that Obama’s absolute contempt for what he saw as America’s unequal distribution of wealth would result in his promoting policies that would necessarily stifle economic growth.   Obama’s America would no longer be one of unbridled economic opportunity; rather, America would be a nation of egalitarian outcomes, regardless of effort; to coin a phrase, to each, according to his needs; from each, according to his means.  

As a means of bringing about this transformation, America could no longer be a free nation.  No where as free, at least, as it was at the time of he assumed his presidency.  Liberties would need to be forsaken to bring about his vision of utopia.  The free market system would need to be reined in, and done so in no small measure.   Obama would have four years, eight at most, to make this happen.  This transformation would need to be done quickly, and in a big way.

Enter Obamacare, America’s first stop on its train ride to Utopia. Against the wishes of 60-70 percent of Americans, and without the vetting of congressional legislators who rammed through the legislation, the United States Federal Government took control of a full one-seventh of the American economy, which had the net effect of driving up the cost of health care for all involved,  taking away freedom of choice, relegating freedom of conscience incompatible with the party line to irrelevancy, while at the same time having the no-doubt intended effect of casting a chilling pall on America’s ability to sustain economic growth and prosperity.  For those who wish to argue regarding this latter point, how better to right the wrongs of the perceived injustice of unequally-distributed wealth than to stifle the engine that creates such wealth?

As I’ve said, Obamacare is but stop one on America’s train ride to Obama’s Dystopia.  Obama’s seeming assault on everything traditional America has held dear for centuries appears to have taken on epidemic proportions.  Remember- Obama only has three and three-quarter years left.  Those who haven’t yet felt the pinch of his “transformations,” most likely have not yet realized that they, too, have been pinched.   Obama’s willing media accomplices can only cover for him for so long before a critical mass of Americans, admittedly as dull as many of them are, will start to put two-and-two together and finally determine that the hopey-changey unicorn jockey they voted for may actually have had something to do with the plight in which they suddenly find themselves.

Then what?

When the critical mass of Americans finally wake up one morning, to find that they have been played as chumps, they are liable to get a bit–shall we say, testy. When this inevitability finally does come home to roost, The TEA party protests that grew out of Rick Santelli’s historic February, 2009 rant will no doubt look like a series of school pep assemblies.   Such civil unrest would certainly be difficult to quell, and will no doubt be yet another bump in the tracks on the way to Obama’s Dystopian dream.

What to do, what do do? You can’t just sick the military after the troublemakers. Well, you could, I suppose, but then you risk pissing off your fellow travelers who have had a history of contempt for men and women in uniform.

What to do??

Since, at least philosophy- and policy-wise, one can take Obama at his word, one may get a clue as to Obama’s plans by again, studying his own non-TelePrompter inspired rhetoric:

“We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set.  We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded.”   -Barack Obama, July, 2008.

Yeah- remember that phrase?  Neither did a lot of other people.  Like the rest of Obama’s sordid past and rhetoric that if brought to the light of day would have rendered his election impossible, The media (true to their sycophantic nature) pretty much glossed over that little tidbit.  A powerful Civilian security force. Remind you of anyone?

So when you see articles like this, or like this, or like this, and then think, aww–Leo–take off that tinfoil hat!  You’re just blowing smoke.  That would never really happen here.  There’s no way.

Just remember.  I didn’t put those words into Barack Obama’s mouth.

He did.