February, 2009

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Obama’s Jafar Moment

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

Alladin is one of my favorite animated Disney films. Much like the protagonist in the triumphant Slumdog Millionaire, the underdog Alladin tricks his nemisis Jafar by appealing to his ambition and succeeds in turning his greed for power into the means of his own self-destruction.

As the all-powerful Obama demands obedience, he’s coming up against his own rhetoric. His own self importance is now getting boxed into a corner. It’s a classic overreach. Obama thinks his 54% of the vote proffered him a glorious mandate, and to heck with the rest.
I will not obey.


(To Alladin, laughing hideously)
You little fool!
You thought you could defeat the most powerful being on earth!


The genie! The genie has more power than you’ll ever have!
Face it, Jafar–you’re still just second best!


You’re right! His power does exceed my own! But not for long!
(to Genie) Slave, I make my third wish! I wish to be an all powerful genie!

(Reluctantly) All right, your wish is my command.
(aside to Alladin) Nice move Al.

Yes! Yes! The power! The absolute power!
The universe is mine to command, to control!

A black lamp appears at JAFAR’s base. JAFAR is busy conjuring.

Not so fast, Jafar! Aren’t you forgetting something?
(JAFAR looks down questioningly) You wanted to be a genie, you got it!
And everything that goes with it!

Shackles appear on JAFAR’s wrists.

No! No!

IAGO the parrot tries to fly away, but is sucked into the lamp with JAFAR.

Phenomenal cosmic powers! Itty bitty living space.

Al, you little genius, you!

Does he know what he’s saying?

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

This crisis is neither the result of a normal turn of the business cycle nor an accident of history. We arrived at this point as a result of an era of profound irresponsibility that engulfed both private and public institutions from some of our largest companies’ executive suites to the seats of power in Washington, D.C. – Barack Obama, Feb. 26, 2009

I think he’s right. The irresponsible protection racket has got to stop.

To avoid competing in the marketplace, business executives from “our largest companies” have bought special political considerations in the form of regulatory concessions, tax breaks, creating barriers for their competition, or simply transferring their downside risk to taxpayers. Never mind that so much of their resources (and the country’s) are squandered in this dead-weight-loss proposition. When businesses assess their “external environment” and discover political power is the only way they can compete with other companies, how can they be faulted?

As such, the “responsibility” rests entirely with the “seats of power in Washington DC,” and is, of course, delegated to them by the taxpayers. Why continue the charade that we operate within the constraints of a constitution? Now, instead of correcting the root of the problem and reducing the size, power and reach of the federal government, the democrats aim to make themselves all powerful.

It reminds me of Jafar in the Disney film Alladin, who, in his quest to be most all-powerful Leviathan, overlooked the tiny detail that his powers were ultimately authorized by the owner of the lamp. The democrats seem to have overreached so far and so quickly that the owners of the lamp could put them back in for a long while.

We can only hope.

More and More is not Better and Better

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Obama said to McCain during Monday’s fiscal summit:

“And one of the promising things is I think Secretary Gates shares our concern and he recognizes that simply adding more and more does not necessarily mean better and better…” “…Those two things are not — they don’t always move in parallel tracks, and we’ve got to think that through.”

I only wish this sentiment were embraced by every cabinet. My first thought was the Department of Education.

Wanna be a Barber?

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Looks like some state governments are reducing your access to a barber. Regulations have combined cosmetology (cosmotology?) and barber boards (are there really state sanctioned boards for these?), forcing barbers to learn and provide things they will never need. Who”s joke is this?

A perfectly respectable vocation now gets cluttered with onerous regulation that creates ridiculous burdens on small one or two man shops, reducing the number of barbershops. And this is good for whom?