Moral Compass

Ooo! Evil Goldman Sachs! Evil, nasty, money-grubbing Goldman Sachs! They’re just in it for the money. And did I mention evil?

OK, I’m getting really tired about how people are demonizing Goldman Sachs specifically and Wall Street generally. Demonizing Wall Street is a transparent attempt of the Obama administration to discredit them and drum up yet another crisis. And once they have properly ginned up this crisis, then government will ride up on its white horse and “fix” the crisis by taking control over the financial sector of the economy. And every time people like cartoonist Bruce Beattie demonize Goldman Sachs, they play into the power-grabbing government’s hands.

But it’s clear to me that Beattie doesn’t understand the nature of business. Goldman Sachs isn’t in business to do some moral good. It’s in the business of making money because making money is what businesses do. Businesses that don’t make money just don’t last long as businesses.

Do you think Apple makes iThis and iThat because it loves the public, or does it do it because it loves the revenue that comes from each sale? Obviously, it is the latter. And it is precisely the love of profit that drives Apple to improve and innovate their products to the benefit of people. Adam Smith explained it centuries ago, and it is just as true today.

“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.”

Yes, a business has a moral compass, and it points towards money. That’s what a business does, and if it is successful in achieving money, it has done so by pleasing and benefiting people. If a business has done something illegal, then the government certainly should step in to enforce the law. But just making money isn’t illegal, regardless of President Obama saying, ” I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.”

Here is 51 second verbal home run scored against our current administration.

I’m sick and tired of hearing about Obama and the White House coming out with yet another crisis that has to be fixed by government sticking it to the people and taking more of what we earn and produce. Instead of allowing our small businesses, especially, to keep more of what we earn and produce, and then reinvest according to our own priorities. So that we can grow and thrive and hire more people. That’s how we create jobs. That’s how the economy will get roaring back to life.

But see, too many in the White House, including our own president, I don’t know when they have run a business. I don’t know when they have been a CEO of anything where they’ve had to look out for the bottom line, and they’ve had to make payroll and live within their own means with a budget. You know, they’re from government. They’re community organizers. They’ve been spending other people’s money for so long that I think a lot of the free enterprise principles that so many of us believe in, it’s all foreign to them.

For someone whom the liberal media tells us is dumber than a box of rocks, former Governor Palin understands better than this administration how the economy works and grows, and it isn’t from the government spending money while lurching from one crisis to another.

The Drudge Report linked to a Reuters news report about the response to the recent Arizona law against illegal aliens.

Protest organizers said on Wednesday outrage over the Arizona law — which seeks to drive illegal immigrants out of the state bordering Mexico — has galvanized Latinos and would translate into a higher turnout for May Day rallies in more than 70 U.S. cities.

“The marches and demonstrations are going to be far more massive than they otherwise would have been,” said Juan Jose Gutierrez, a Los Angeles rally organizer who runs an immigration assistance company.

First, May Day, among other things, is a celebration of socialism. And socialism isn’t anything that makes this red-blooded American feel like celebrating. I’m old enough to remember the May Day demonstrations of Soviet military might parading through Red Square. And I’m certain I’ll see plenty of socialist / communist flags and demonstrators mixed in with the other demonstrators in favor of illegal aliens.

Confused Protestors

Yes, even illegal aliens have rights. They have the right to live in their own country. They have the right to legally visit and even work in the United States. But they do not have the right to illegally enter this nation, just like we don’t have the right to illegally enter another nation.

And as I have pointed out before, Mexico treats their illegal aliens harshly. In fact, an AP report shows that the Mexico law is far harsher today in Mexico than the new Arizona law even thinks of being:

Central American migrants are frequently pulled off trains, kidnapped en masse, held at gang hideouts and forced to call relatives in the U.S. to pay off the kidnappers. Such kidnappings affect thousands of migrants each year in Mexico, the report says.

Many are beaten, raped or killed in the process.

At present, Article 67 of Mexico’s Population Law says, “Authorities, whether federal, state or municipal … are required to demand that foreigners prove their legal presence in the country, before attending to any issues.”

Here in the U.S., and even after the Arizona law goes into effect, people of any origin, legal or not, will still be able to attend school, go to the emergency room, and call the police. Under the new Arizona law a police officer may question the legal status of people if they suspect that they are here illegally. Under the current Mexican law, all authorities must ascertain the status of the person before doing anything else. I recall recently reading the parable of the mote and the beam that applies to the Mexican complaints of the new Arizona law.

Besides, what is it about illegal immigration that these demonstrators just don’t understand?

Since I wrote about Mexico’s hypocrisy, it’s time for a discussion of what is and isn’t hypocrisy. Look at the following situations and answer whether they are examples of hypocrisy:

  1. Your friend says she loves to get up early, but you find her asleep at 10 am on a Saturday.
  2. The chairman of the “No Computers” advocacy group loves to post on FaceBook.
  3. Your coworker who is always on a diet is seen shoveling chocolate chips into his face.
  4. Al Gore flies all over the world warning people about the evils of CO2.
  5. A video of Tiger Woods frolicking with dozens of naked women surfaces.
  6. The president of MADD is arrested for DUI.
  7. A mother finds her son watching porn.

Did you recognize that the even numbered examples as hypocrisy? The odd numbered ones are examples of people failing to measure up to their own standard or a social norm. They are certainly examples of personal failure, but they are not examples of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy happens when people tell others how to live their lives but without conforming to that same standard themselves.

And here’s a final example:

  1. Congress passes the health care reform bill, but Congress exempted themselves from the same bill.

Now that is clearly hypocrisy.

The Arizona legislature has passed a bill and sent it to the state governor for signing or veto. If this bill becomes law, it will be a crime in Arizona to enter the country illegally. It would also make the police question a person’s immigration status if they suspect he may be illegal. Of course, Mexican officials are in a tizzy over the bill.

The Mexican government criticized Wednesday a tough immigration law approved this week by Arizona legislators, saying it could result in rights violations and racial profiling and affect cross-border relations.

“Rights violations”? I didn’t realize that entering a country illegally is a right. And when the majority of illegals crossing into Arizona are Mexicans, focusing on Hispanics isn’t racial profiling as much as operating on a description of the perpetrator.

Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department said in a statement relayed through Mexico’s U.S. embassy that it viewed the measure with great concern and said it “could have potentially serious effects on the civil rights” of Mexican nationals.

Again, nobody has the civil right to invade another country illegally. I find Mexico’s attitude on illegally crossing their northern border into the U.S. isn’t the same way they feel about people illegally crossing their southern border into Mexico.

Holding others to a standard while exempting yourself is the very definition of hypocrisy.

UPDATE (4/23/2010 3:18:09 PM): Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed the bill into law. It will take effect in 90 days.

No, I don’t celebrate Earth Day, or as my wife puts it – we have different religious beliefs. We certainly believe that mankind has the stewardship to look after the earth, but we don’t worship the creation more than the Creator. And that is what Earth Day and the overall green movement has become over the years.

I will make the prediction that people at Earth Day rallies will talk about the evils of man-made climate change. And you will probably also read news stories about the need of a carbon tax or cap and trade tax to limit the amount of CO2 mankind emits each year. These are easy predictions because Earth Day celebrants and the green movement have been calling for taxes on CO2 for years, when they aren’t too busy selling carbon indulgences. But CO2 isn’t an evil pollution that needs to be controlled, but it is necessary plant food. You could call CO2 the magic gas that makes plants grow.

The supporters of global warming climate change have been riding high on the wave of popularity and prestige for years, especially since their patron saint, former Vice President Al Gore, got an Oscar for his documentary *snicker* “An Inconvenient Truth.” But the last few years have been pretty rocky for them. More and more scientists and concerned people have been questioning the data underlying the “settled science” of global warming climate change, but with the hacking of the emails and data from East Anglia, there has been a sea change. From their own emails and data, we now know that the science is far from settled. Visit Jo Nova’s site to get an idea of what Climategate has opened up. Here are two of my favorite points:

  • The Climategate emails confirmed that the science itself was suspect. That the doomsayers themselves couldn’t make the data work. That they were debating among themselves some of the same points that the sceptics raised, and were privately acknowledging that they didn’t have answers to the issues that the sceptics raised.
  • The Climategate emails confirmed that the doomsayers were so determined to hide their data from inquiring minds that they were prepared to break the law to hide it – and did break the law – by avoiding Freedom of Information requests.

These are not the actions of scientists seeking the truth. These are the actions of fanatic faithful struggling to suppress the attacks on their faith. The science behind global warming climate change is far from settled. And when the science doesn’t back up the believers, they are left to rely on their faith. I am not a global warming climate change believer, so on this Earth Day, I’ll be putting my faith in God, the Creator of earth, rather than worshipping His handiwork.

Banks are evil, says the government, and banks must be punished for making money. That’s the story I see from a news report from the website of the British Guardian newspaper:

Tough proposals to cut the world’s biggest banks down to size by taxing their profits and pay were outlined by the International Monetary Fund tonight in an attempt to spare taxpayers another massive public bailout of the financial sector.

In measures more stringent than Wall Street and the City had expected, the fund called for the introduction of a twin-track approach to the three-year banking crisis that would both force firms to pay for any future support packages and raise new taxes on their profits and remuneration.

The report, prepared by the Washington-based institution for the G20 group of developed and developing nations, was seized upon by Gordon Brown as evidence that his push for an international crackdown on the banking sector was gaining support.

Leaked in advance of the fund’s meeting this weekend, the blueprint emerged as the investment bank Goldman Sachs released better than expected first quarter revenues and admitted its bonus and pay pool had reached $5.5bn (£3.3bn) in the first three months of 2010.

How dare banks make a profit in these times? Don’t banks realize that they are the root of all evil? Snarl! Gnash! Foam!

Sorry. I was channeling Karl Marx or maybe an Obama bureaucrat. It’s so hard to tell the difference these days. The bottom line is a multi-government attack on banks and other financial institutions as evil will only continue, and the call for a government solution (read that as more taxes) will echo in our capitol as well as around the world.

Don’t forget that our current financial problem came from the collapse of the housing industry, and that came because of government meddling in the free market. Since government intruded and distorted the normal market forces, it’s no wonder that government is now calling for more meddling in the form of additional taxes. Nobody loves a crisis as much as the government does. Or as President Obama’s White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel put it, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” And what could be more tailor-made than a fiscal crisis created by the same liberals who now want to “fix” the problem through taxes?

The anticipated study called for a financial stability contribution (FSC), which should be paid by all financial institutions, not just banks, and used to bail out weak and failing firms. It would initially be paid at a flat rate but eventually be tailored to suit institutions’ size and riskiness.

While banks had been braced for the FSC plan, they were caught unawares by the proposal for a financial activities tax (FAT), which would be based on the profits and the pay structure of the firms.

That’s right, tax them to pay for the bailing out the government did to shore up the institutions that were undermined by that self-same government. After all, evil and greedy bankers shouldn’t be making a profit anyway. Don’t they realize that all profits are evil and wrong?

Unless that’s profit made by the government through taxes. That’s a good thing. Well, good for government, at least.

The following Washington Post report jumped out at me when I visited the Drudge Report this morning: Obama extends hospital visitation rights to same-sex partners of gays.

President Obama mandated Thursday that nearly all hospitals extend visitation rights to the partners of gay men and lesbians and respect patients’ choices about who may make critical health-care decisions for them, perhaps the most significant step so far in his efforts to expand the rights of gay Americans.

The president directed the Department of Health and Human Services to prohibit discrimination in hospital visitation in a memo that was e-mailed to reporters Thursday night while he was at a fundraiser in Miami.

Administration officials and gay activists, who have been quietly working together on the issue, said the new rule will affect any hospital that receives Medicare or Medicaid funding, a move that covers the vast majority of the nation’s health-care institutions. Obama’s order will start a rule-making process at HHS that could take several months, officials said.

Three things popped into mind the moment I read the article. First, I don’t know why hospitals often block visitation to a patient by non-related people. But I’m sure the administrators didn’t come to the decision by sitting around a big table and saying, “I know, let’s deny gay people patient visitation because I hate gay people so much.” At some point some logical reasons must have been put forth to deny non-related people the ability to visit their incapacitated friends. I just don’t know why. But if you really want Bill, the neighbor down the street, to have access to visit you in the hospital the same as your family, you should set up a living will. A quick search online shows multiple options for creating a living will that doesn’t cost a dime.

Second, I was disturbed to see that President Obama could overrule hospital tradition with a simple executive order. Well, I assume it’s an executive order. The news reports says the Department of Health and Human Services was told to “prohibit discrimination in hospital visitation in a memo…” Does this mean I can wander in off the street and visit any patient now? To block me as a stranger would be discriminating against me just on the grounds that I don’t know the patient. The main point that disturbs me is the ease with which a president can reach into a business and tell that business how it will operate. And since almost all hospitals take Medicare or Medicaid funding, the government can dictate what they will do. And again, since I don’t know why hospitals denied visitation by non-family members, I don’t know what President Obama’s reversal will affect. But how much of an expert on hospital practices is our President that he should be making these decisions?

And third, the title talks about President Obama extending “visitation rights” to people who are gay. But our rights do not come from President Obama. Nor do our rights come from the Department of Health and Human Services or any part of the government. Our rights come from God. At most, President Obama may uphold our rights, but he can in no way grant or extend our rights. “But I don’t believe in God, so God doesn’t provide me my rights.” Even if you are an atheist, you should be thankful that the Declaration of Independence states that all men are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” Any right that is granted unto us by government may be easily removed by that same government. Atheists should be happy for the legal fiction of a God endowing us with rights because it prevents government from removing our right to believe, or not to believe, with a simple stroke of a pen.

In the memo, Obama said hospitals should not be able to deny visitation privileges on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

So I can now visit that beautiful woman getting a sponge bath? Thank you, President Obama!

“Every day, all across America, patients are denied the kindnesses and caring of a loved one at their sides whether in a sudden medical emergency or a prolonged hospital stay,” he wrote.

Affected, he said, are “gay and lesbian Americans who are often barred from the bedsides of the partners with whom they may have spent decades of their lives — unable to be there for the person they love, and unable to act as a legal surrogate if their partner is incapacitated.”

Officials said Obama had been moved by the story of a lesbian couple in Florida, Janice Langbehn and Lisa Pond, who were kept apart when Pond collapsed of a cerebral aneurysm in February 2007, dying hours later at a hospital without her partner and children by her side.

If a gay couple like Langbehn and Pond really cared about hospital visitation, why didn’t they fill out a living will? A living will is cheap and easy to do, so why didn’t they get around to doing it? Didn’t they love each other enough to take care of this possibility? Government intervention into hospital practices wouldn’t be necessary if people just took care of their own living will needs.

President Obama is the darling of American liberals. But after a year in office, the blush is off the presidential rose. His favorable polling numbers are below his negative polling numbers, and there doesn’t appear to be any reversing of this trend.

But worse than his dropping polling numbers, President Obama is losing favor with the liberal press. The following is the first part of an article by Dana Milbank, a journalist of a decidedly liberal bent:

Obama’s disregard for media reaches new heights at nuclear summit

World leaders arriving in Washington for President Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit must have felt for a moment that they had instead been transported to Soviet-era Moscow.

They entered a capital that had become a military encampment, with camo-wearing military police in Humvees and enough Army vehicles to make it look like a May Day parade on New York Avenue, where a bicyclist was killed Monday by a National Guard truck.

In the middle of it all was Obama — occupant of an office once informally known as “leader of the free world” — putting on a clinic for some of the world’s greatest dictators in how to circumvent a free press.

The only part of the summit, other than a post-meeting news conference, that was visible to the public was Obama’s eight-minute opening statement, which ended with the words: “I’m going to ask that we take a few moments to allow the press to exit before our first session.”

Reporters for foreign outlets, admitted for the first time to the White House press pool, got the impression that the vaunted American freedoms are not all they’re cracked up to be.

After Walter Cronkite reported negatively on the Vietnam War, President Johnson reportedly said, “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America.” And as more and more liberal reporters and journalists report negatively about President Obama, his polling numbers will continue to drop.

At what point will President Obama realize that he’s lost Middle America?