Monthly Archives: February 2013

Sequester Gamesmanship

Two bills — each an attempt to head off the so-called “Sequester” — could make it to the Senate floor today … in vain.  Neither has a chance to pass.  The Democrats’ version is somewhat promising; the Republicans’ borders on unconstitutional.

What’s promising?  The Democrats’ version offers sharp cuts in farm subsidies.

What’s borderline unconstitutional?  The Republicans’ version preserves the entire $85Billion in cuts, but assigns the duty of deciding what to cut to the President.  That’s shirking the constitutional duty assigned to them in Article I.

Read the article here.

Hollywood “educates” America; offers affront to the rest

Hollywood “educates” us again. And manages to “diss” the rest of the world, yet again. How about we educate them for a change? Quote of the day: “Perhaps the real concern is that too many people are getting their only history lessons from Hollywood.”

>>”Hollywood is a lousy history teacher, and Tinsel Town would have it no other way. That’s why “based on a true story” actually translates to “scripted vaguely from a complex historical event that has been shamelessly oversimplified to give a dashing American hero full credit for saving the day, while ensuring the director can film a gratuitous car chase on an airport tarmac.”

Read the rest of the article from Canada’s Globe and Mail here.

Conservatives, meet Classical Liberals

If American Conservatives could find common ground with Classical Liberals, we could see a whole new world.  Maybe this is a start?

By Jessica Chasmar

The Washington Times

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Conservative political commentator S.E. Cupp announced Tuesday that she is declining her invitation to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference until it allows groups that advocate for gay marriage.

Read the rest > Cupp pulls out of CPAC

Stupor Bowl


Well, you know that I was quite a sports fan while growing up in the ‘60s.  It seemed like such a healthy distraction.  Living most of the decade in Wisconsin, I was conflicted by familial ties to the Chicago teams, where my paternal ancestral roots lay, and the Wisconsin-based teams of my friends.

A few Packer highlights from Super Bowl I will always be in my mind: Max McGee’s in particular.  First was his one-handed behind-the-back catch of a Bart Starr pass for a touchdown, and later a juggling catch for another dramatic touchdown.  Also, Jim Taylor, and later Elijah Pitts (twice), scoring touchdowns on the classic “Packer Power Sweep.”  [Indeed my recall is pretty good; you can watch some of those plays at the link below].


The next year, I remember watching the famous “Ice Bowl” game played on the “frozen tundra” of Lambeau Field – the NFL championship game of 1967 – played in Green Bay, Wisconsin on New Years Eve between the Packers and the Dallas Cowboys at a temperature of -13F degrees.  Or was it -16?  Freaking cold, and windy too.  The winner was to go to play in the 2nd Super Bowl (then known as The Championship of American Professional Football, or something like that) against the AFL champion, the Oakland Raiders.

Since the Bears couldn’t be in those first two Championship Games, I was happy that the Packers were in, and that they won – although I wish the Chiefs and Raiders had been more worthy opponents.

Less memorable was Super Bowl II.  And to be honest, the halftime shows weren’t very memorable either.  Pretty much the tame standard fare, with marching bands moving into various fancy formations.  They played contemporary tunes with banners waving and batons twirling.  Mostly the announcers talking about how the game was progressing with entertainment in the background.  Carol Channing came out in a fur coat and sang a few songs at least once.

One piece of early Super Bowl history entertainment that was pretty “out there” was when Al Hirt and Doc Severinsen (famous trumpeters of the day) had a sort of dueling trumpeters competition.  Al Hirt was a fairly regular halftime entertainer in those days, if I recall correctly.  Dude could blow.

What’s going on today is really “out there.”  I cannot imagine what I would have  been thinking (and wondering and fantasizing) as a 10 to 14-year old lad if I’d had to watch what passes for halftime entertainment in recent Super Bowls.

In case you missed this year’s, I start by saying just three  letters: (1)”S”; (2) “E”, (3) “X”.  Beyonce’ was the focus of the halftime show.  She’s one beautiful woman – amazingly only one year after giving birth – and her attire and gyrations made every effort to show off her voluptuous yet lithe sexy body; and no effort whatsoever to cover even a single centimeter of her sensationally (sensually) tone legs, leaving her exposed pretty much right up to where her legs come together.

Some other female singers (Destiny’s Child) came up on stage with her and gave no relief: just more scantily clad women dressed “to kill” and scintillate. Or titillate.  More legs and scarcely clad torsos.

Really NFL?  Really?  Why do you do this?  Once or twice a year America is on display to the world … and you do this?  And in our country, young men, adolescent and pre-pubescent males, are watching this game – perhaps fantasizing about playing football in the limelight. And now you’ve got ‘em fantasizing about…        <?>; not football.

You could’ve put an end to this BS in 2004 when Jackson/Timberlake had that little “wardrobe malfunction” during a song with the lyrics: “gonna have you naked by the end of this song.” [Rock your Body].  How’d that work out?

It’s a twisted world — with rampant failed relationships, domestic abuse, date rape, no-dad families, socially maladjusted young men — and you are now officially part of the problem.  And shame on Beyonce’ and Destiny’s Child too, for further objectifying women.  I pity the parents who are raising boys who simply enjoy football and have to watch such bilge.  I guess I’m being a bit sexist — there must be some girls who enjoy watching football too, and they have no need for this, do they?

With Beyonce’, I suppose low moral values comes as no surprise, since her husband is Jay-Z.  That’s the guy who “sings” rap full of the “F” word, the “N” word, brags about his net worth, raps about totin’ guns, raping and killing women AND children, pillaging villages … WTF<?>.  And this is the man/wife-team that President Obama goes to hang out with when Benghazi is burning. The team he wants to hang with at his inauguration.  Evidently Michelle and Beyonce’ are all kissy-kissy too.  Oh well.

I’m warming up to that Christian mantra:

I am in this world, but not of this world. (adapted from John 8:23).

     I truly wish you peace, and a safe separation between what you value and what the world thinks you should value.  And I wish that sports could be a safe distraction, once again.

Joe Girard © 2013



[1] A few videos of early “Super Bowls”: here at]
Other essays (and screeds, diatribes, rants) at my old googlesite: essays
or my main Girardmiester site: Essays


February 23, 2013

Regarding this recent BBC article Abenomics

    First, isn’t it time to admit that Paul Krugman is a total freaking “spend all you want, we’ll print more” ideologue, and an insolent propagator of idiocy who — with some regularity — shames the Nobel committee for selecting him in 2008?

     “Don’t like what’s trending?  Try more spending.”

     “Out of cash, and that sounds rash? Borrow like there’s no tomorrow.” 

     Historically speaking, at least in the US, flat prices to slight deflation were the general rule in this country until we had the Fed.  Why?  Easy: as we became more productive and more efficient, many prices naturally fell. 

     So, what’s good about that scene?  It encourages saving and postponing reward.  If you save a dollar today and it buys $1.01 worth of stuff next year, then why buy something if you don’t really need it?  

     This model avoids bubbles — like the tech bubble that burst in 2000-1 and the housing/stock bubble that burst in 2007-9.  It promotes investing only in things that have a good chance of paying off.  It encourages careful investment and due diligence.

     How many people invested in things they didn’t understand during the roaring 1990s and then again after 9/11 when the market went way up again?

      I’m not saying inflation is bad.  I’m saying planned inflation is bad.  It has the opposite effect.  It encourages buying NOW, since something you might want will almost assuredly be more expensive next month.  It encourages investing NOW, since the market is a bull and running away from you.  In short, it encourages less due diligence and more spontaneous buying and investing, since your savings are constantly losing money.  It discourages saving.

     I’m not saying government profligate spending is bad.  I’m saying that spending for the sake of spending — with faith that “the multiplier effect” will save us— is bad.  The US Federal government’s investing in dams in the 1930s is still paying off today!  And building the interstates system resulted in cheap truck-based transportation of goods from almost anywhere to anywhere in the country for almost 60 years now.

  The myopic belief that government spending leads to economic prosperity is partly rooted in the misguided belief that FDR’s New Deal spending and the even more massive spending during World War II led to the economic rise to powerhouse status of the halcyon 40s, 50s and 60s.

     FDR had his own recession in 1938.  The thing about massive government spending to stimulate the economy is: you don’t really know when to stop.  In the meanwhile, the spending has generated countless powerful special interests who are, literally, addicted to that money.  When FDR backed off a bit, the Depression sat upon us once again.

     World War Two gave us a wonderful economy?  Let’s see.  Couldn’t buy a new car, new tires for that car, or a new house.  Couldn’t buy nylon stockings.  Nor anything made with rubber or steel.

     Gasoline was rationed to four (that’s 4) gallons per week.  Drivers were strongly encouraged to limit speeds to 35mph.  (the Victory Speed!)

     Food? Strict rationing on meat, sugar, and cheese.  Even butter.  Shoes. Coffee.  The list is almost endless.  

     This was economic prosperity?  Sure everyone had a job and was making money.  What did they spend it on?  A lot of it went right back to the government to purchase War Bonds.  There were seven major Bond drives during the war.  And they saved.  They saved for the time when that pent up demand could be freed.

     So what led to great half-century of US economic dominance that followed?  Was it Eisenhower?  Was it the unions?  Was it the 90% marginal tax rate on high earners?  No, no and no.  When all those saved up dollars finally went to buy the cars, the houses, the nylons, the shoes, the bicycles, the dresses and slacks and coats and caps … where did they go?  

     Those dollars went to the only place they could go. To companies — and their employees and share holders — based right in the United States.  Why?  Because every other country that we know of who produces these products today were either non-producing Third World countries then (China, India, Viet Nam, Indonesia), or they had been bombed such that their industry and infrastructure were non-existent.  

     It’s time to call out Inflationists like Krugman — he who has called for an imaginary alien invasion to get the governments of the world to spend, spend, spend; he who called for the Fed’s Greenspan to inflate a housing bubble to get us out of the (mild) economic malaise we were in in 2000-2001.

Here’s to the future.  We certainly can’t go back to the past.  Prost!

Joe Girard © 2013

My main essay link is still at: Essays