Thursday, March 31, 2011

How the DC-NY Axis of Evil Screws Ordinary Americans

Rising government debt creates more money, diluting our purchasing power and our savings
“To finance the government deficit, the Treasury now sells bills and bonds at a rate of about $120 billion a month, or about $1.5 trillion per year. But this new Fed-created money, which finances the government deficit, is not associated with any production of new goods and services. Thus, total monetary demand, or purchasing power, exceeds the existing supply of goods, equities, and services at prevailing prices, with the predictable result that prices rise."

Inflation enriches the fatcats...
At home, bankers and speculators have been and are the first in line, along with the Treasury, to get zero interest money and credit from the Fed. They are first to get bailed out. Then with new money, they finance stocks, bonds, and commodities, anticipating, as in the past, a Fed-created boom.
Being first in line has its advantages.  So the fat cats get the new money first, before the inflationary effects kick in, giving them maximum purchasing power...
Prices rise first for the most volatile goods, especially stocks, commodities, and financial claims, because they are relatively liquid vehicles for speculators and banks. This is the story of the past two years, with stocks and commodities advancing amidst a sluggish U.S. economy. This is also the story of postwar Fed-created booms. Each cycle experiences an inflation boom, often in different assets, e.g., Internet stocks in the late ’90s and real estate in the last boom and bust.”
After the fat cats have their investments safely locked away, the inflation trickles down to the rest of us, eroding our purchasing power and our savings.  Yeah, you can buy into the bubble, but the previously steep curve is already starting to dampen by the time your average Joe Schmo has a chance to get in on it.
But middle-income professionals and workers, on salaries and wages, and those on fixed incomes and pensions, are impoverished by the very same inflationary process that subsidizes speculators and bankers. Those on fixed incomes will likely earn very little or even a negative return on their savings. Thus, they save less.
It’s a rigged game, and those manipulating OUR US Currency control the game…
The inequality of wealth and privilege in American society is intensified by the Fed-induced inflationary process.
The subsidized banking and financial community, along with the chaos of floating exchange rates and an overvalued dollar, underwritten by China and other undervalued currencies, has submerged the American manufacturing sector, dependent as it is on goods traded in a competitive world market. 
In a word, the government deficit and the Federal Reserve work hand in hand, perhaps unintentionally, to undermine the essential equity and comity necessary in a democratic society. Equal opportunity and the harmony of the American community cannot survive perennial inflation.
We can dream of demolishing the Fed’s printing presses, or we can demand that the dollar again be pegged to something tangible, like gold, and convertible upon demand.  Or you can just sit there while your savings is stolen by the government.

All quotes taken from Lewis E. Lehrman's Weekly Standard article, Fiat Money, Fiat Inflation.

For those of you who do not understand currency and what the fed is doing, read this very informative article by Seth Lipsky, The Floating Dollar as a Threat to Property Rights. He does a great job breaking it down for us non-economists.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Government-Sponsored Ignorance

This is an absurd statement:
And as the housing market continues to be vulnerable, deep caution greets any proposal that might pass on higher borrowing costs to consumers. (WSJ – Fannie and Freddie)

God forbid that the costs be borne by the consumer! What economic idiocy. Of course the costs should be paid by the consumer. This is the fallacy of the free lunch that is perpetuated by government.

“We’re lowering borrowing costs!” venal politicians shout from the stump.

“No,” retorts anyone with a fundamental understanding of basic economics, “you’re just spreading the cost around.”

So the government forces apartment dwellers, renters, and those who own their homes outright to subsidize home buyers. This masks the true cost of buying a home and distorts the market, resulting in a bubble. Fannie and Freddie can keep lending standards low because these insurers know they will not bear the brunt in a collapse--Uncle Sam will.  Another market distortion.

We need just the opposite of what our politicians are peddling
Each consumer must bear the cost of what he or she consumes, and we must also be allowed to face the consequences, good or bad, of our decisions.  That goes for homebuyers, mortgage companies, and mortgage insurers. This will inject sanity into the marketplace.

Some cry that ordinary people will no longer be able to afford a home if the government shuts down Fannie and Freddie and stops picking everyone’s pockets for the benefit of the few.  I say balderdash! Private companies will step in and back those who can provide evidence of financial stability. Some people will no longer be able to buy a home, but those are the people who should not be buying anyway, as evidenced by events of the past five years.

And what place is it of government to say owning a home is more noble than renting?  

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Nuclear Power – No Silver Bullet


I have been an advocate of nuclear power, but it is not the panacea we imagine it to be, even putting aside the current Japan crisis.

I demand intellectual honesty from those I argue with, but I also demand it from myself and the ideas and philosophies I adopt and espouse.  I've been reading about nuclear power, and while I am far from the No Nukes crowd, I now see it is not all it's cracked up to be.

It’s Not Cheap
Affordable nuclear power, says Taylor, is a Republican fantasy. Promoting it makes no more sense than Nancy Pelosi's promotion of wind and solar power. "Take a Republican speech about nuclear power, cross out the phrase 'nuclear,' and put in 'solar' — you've got a Democratic speech about energy." (Stossel)
Environmental Impacts?
Water usage is another issue. Nuclear power advocates speak in eye-droppers, while opponents invoke billions and billions of gallons, so I don’t know what the facts are. I have heard credible sources say that nuclear power requires a lot of water. We had a plant in Northern Colorado, Fort St. Vrain, that was build specifically to save water, and it ended up a failure and was converted to a conventional natural gas plant.

Construction costs aside, here is what each form of energy is projected to cost in 2016:

Reason:  Veronique de Rugy

Nuclear beat Bio, Fossils beat Nuclear

This doesn't take nuclear power off the table, it just puts it in perspective.  It is a cheaper, more reliable alternative to wind and solar.  Still, natural gas beats it hands down, and the US has been described as the Saudi Arabia of natural gas, notwithstanding extraction problems.

Nuclear only really makes sense from an environmental standpoint as a replacement for coal-fired plants, which are being replaced anyway by natural gas.  Only around 1% of our energy is produced by petroleum, so nuclear does little to break our addiction to dictator-provided oil.

So nuclear stands between cheap efficient fossil fuels and green pipe dreams.

The Economic Solution? Keep using coal and natural gas to power the nation.  Drill for oil for our cars.  As the supply diminishes, the price will go up and other forms of energy become economically viable. Not because government apparatchiks manipulated price schedules, but because of the law of supply and demand. 

Once people start using these new technologies, the market, as it always does, will become a contest to see who can provide energy to the consumer for the cheapest price.

Such a strategy will not put us at a global economic disadvantage since other nations will be facing the same fossil fuel shortages and forced to go through the same conversions to alternatives.

The Environmental Solution says clean coal, nuclear, wind and solar.  Costs be damned.  As the technology advances, prices will go down, as is always the case in a free market.  But here's the wrinkle:  Prices cuts will only occur if government can refrain from worming its tentacles into every aspect of the green energy industry while simultaneously fending off the crony crapitalist rent-seekers.  Fat chance of that happening.

Wind, Solar and Nuclear can cut petroleum use only by the US embracing electric and natural gas powered vehicles.  And this saves us nothing, because these replacement energies are not free.

It's true, there really is no free lunch.  As Dr Thomas Sowell is fond of saying, there are not magic bullets, only trade-offs. 


Further Reading:
Stossel – What We Know that Just Aint So
Reason – The Truth about Nuclear Power

Monday, March 28, 2011

Slouching Towards Disorder

Peter Beinart puts a charitable face on Obama’s Libya dithering...

"...it’s a reasonable bet that had Barack Obama not been able to promise that it would be a mostly European affair, Gates would now be a military analyst on Fox News.
He gives the president too much credit.   Obama staggered in to this, pulled this way and that by France and his own Valkyries.  Regardless, I agree with the president that it’s a good thing for others to lead this latest foreign adventure.
It’s not the 1990s anymore. The American public’s appetite for humanitarian war has always been meager. And now the American government’s capacity for waging it is meager, too.

But in a strange twist, Europe’s appetite has grown. The continent’s military capacity is still tiny compared to America’s, and it still lacks unity, but the shame of European inaction in Bosnia lingers in British, French, Italian, and German minds. (Peter Beinart – The Daily Beast)
It's Time for Europe and the Middle East to Grow Up

Arabs and Europeans need to grow up and take care of their own problems. We should always be faithful to our global friends, but we can do so by playing a supporting role instead of full out fighting their battles for them.  Europe is much closer than we are to Iran, The Middle East and North Africa .

This is only the beginning of the "unraveling of the Middle East"

We learned of the Sunni-Shia blood rivalry during the early years of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Look for it to explode across the wider region, says respected scholar and foreign policy expert Robert Kaplan.  Add to this the anger spilling over in the Muslim street, financial crises in the west, and the fact that we're already tied up in two wars, and for what? 
China is not a "responsible stakeholder" in the international system, as we proclaim it should be; it is a free rider. We are at war in Afghanistan to make it a safe place for China to extract minerals and metals. We have liberated Iraq so that Chinese firms can extract its oil. (Robert Kaplan - Beyond Libya)
Events are sliding sideways, and each country is fracturing in its own way.  This Arab revolution began with a humiliating slap, has included virginity checks, rapes, twitter feeds and Facebook posts, and no one can predict how it will all end, or if it will end at all.  We should not be picking sides between rotten murderous dictators and rotten murderous Islamists.  I know, they're not all America-hating terrorists, but we've proven woefully inept a sorting the friends from the enemies.  Better to stay out of it.

Globally and domestically, things will get worse before they get better.  Instead of dropping million-dollar packages from 50,000 feet, we should be marshaling our forces here at home.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Angry Apes


Unbalanced
The world is unbalanced, and not because of the Japanese earthquake that shortened our days by 1.8 microseconds, shifted the earth’s axis 6.5 inches, and moved the island of Japan 8 feet to the east.

No, we are unbalanced morally, financially and politically.  We suffer a societal disequilibrium. Up is down, down is up, and the walls are caving in.  Progress has left us bankrupt and sliding backwards.






In 1944, Aldous Huxley wrote:
"Industrial man --a sentient reciprocating engine having a fluctuating output, coupled to an iron wheel revolving with uniform velocity. And then we wonder why this should be the golden age of revolution and mental derangement." (Time Must Have a Stop)
Have we all been crucified upon the wheel?  Is our Western wheel only a less brutal, velvet covered version of the Middle Eastern and Third-World Wheel?  Our internal rhythms are no longer our own, life has become digitized, incompatible with analog souls.
 
Knowledge without love, technology without common sense, progress without morality

In the same book, Huxley also injects this Shakespeare quote from a wounded Hotspur...


But thought's the slave of life,
and life's time's fool,
And time that takes survey of all the world
Must have a stop.

When we can no longer imagine the infinite, our thoughts become a slave to life, here and now.  Time marches on, making a fool of life and our hopes and dreams.  So life can't be the great end, can it?  There must be more...  Otherwise, as Huxley concludes, our lives are reduced to a "pointless or diabolic foolery."

Huxley on Shakespeare
Google Books – Henry IV

Friday, March 25, 2011

Who Says You Can't Go Home?

I found an old friend by doing an internet search, so the innerwebz really is good for something.  You know you're a true musician when you look up fiddle players you've known and not old girlfriends.  It was with excitement tinged by trepidation that I went to see him.  He's almost 80 years old now, and it's true, you can never go home again.  Time marches on and things are not as you remember them.

We played together in a band back when I was single, but I got the most enjoyment from simply sitting down at his house or wherever and just the two of us playing.  We'd go into these dark dusty taverns in Southern New Mexico and unplug the jukebox and play.  Bob Seger, Bob Wills, Fiddle Tunes, Motley Crue, whatever.  Bikers, cowboys, Indians and Mexicans would eat it up, throw money in the hat and buy us drinks.

I took the family down to meet him, and we played all afternoon just like the good old days.  Words cannot express how happy I was to be playing with Valentino again, if only for a few hours.  I was out of practice, country music was never my forte, but it was awesome.

Valentino is a Pueblo Indian, born in Taos Pueblo, New Mexico.  Blind from birth, his family sent him to the Blind School in Alamogordo where he learned to play the violin.  He is the best damned fiddle player I've ever had the pleasure of knowing.
 
Here's a little montage...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Liberalism: Unsafe at Any Speed

Another day, another false dilemma churned up by a smirking smartass on the left...

Here is his attempt at ridiculing us simpletons who want to bring down gas prices by tapping more of our own energy resources here at home. 

He's imitating a game show to add to the comic effect...
Hello again, everyone! I'm Matt Miller. And welcome to "You Can't Handle the Truth," our weekly quest to see if Americans can face the facts needed to solve our most pressing problems

Matt [winking]: You see the dilemma. Today's rendezvous with truth? Gas prices. With Libya in chaos and Mideast jitters sending gas past $3.50 a gallon, we'll take on the most sacred cow in the entire bovine pantheon: the entitlement to cheap gas. 

In our pre-show poll, we asked our studio audience if they would support higher gas taxes (and thus even higher prices) to achieve a rare public policy trifecta. First, we'd reduce our dependence on oil. Second, we'd create market incentives to invest in clean energy. And third, we'd raise much-needed revenue to shrink our budget deficit. As a bonus, we might eventually stop sending young Americans to die for oil in the Persian Gulf, too!

Alas, 80 percent of you said "no,"
When has higher taxes ever achieved its purpose?
Taxes go up and so does the debt.  Why?  Because politicians can't stand the sight of money just laying around.  They've got to spend it on pet projects, dubious enterprises, and goodies they hand out to get reelected.  Money collected for Social Security goes into the general treasury to pay current bills, so what makes this naive fool think jacked-up gas taxes would go to "green energy?"

Going Green = Higher Energy Costs = More Jobs Lost

It is also a myth that increasing the price of fossil fuels will make green energy more viable.  In the microcosm of the United States, sure.  Just like if you jacked up the price of every cell phone except the iPhone, you would make the iPhone relatively cheaper, but it would still be expensive!  If it were just us in the world, this progressive economic nonsense might work, but we're not.

We compete with other nations on an economic battlefield, and increasing our energy costs would be like shooting ourselves in the face with a cannon.  The cost to industry would be crushing.  We couldn't compete.

Higher gas taxes take money from working people
What about those of us who have no alternative but to drive to work?  What about those of us whose job site is 20, 30 or more miles away?  Gas tax takes money from the pockets of working people and bread from our children's mouths, as do most liberal schemes.

Progressive Schemes:  The more complex, expensive and unworkable, the better...

Drill here, drill now just doesn't waste enough money or provide opportunities to grow government and lecture everyone, so that holds no attraction to the cognoscenti on the left.  Tapping our own cheap and available resources is just common sense, therefore unappealing the the pseudo-intellectual statists on the left.

The real agenda here is to jam us all into crowded city centers and sweaty tenement slums where government trains can herd us to and from work.  Of course, our social betters like Al Gore and the Obama's would live in sprawling estates in the country and uncrowded gated communities far from the teeming hordes, as befits their superior status.
"The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule it."  -- H. L. Mencken

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why We Should Leave Afghanistan

We are blowing billions in Afghanistan, while Mafia Don Hamid Karzai and his gang of bandits enrich themselves at the expense of the people.  Do we even know what the objective is anymore?  Did we ever have one?

Different local factions tell us what we want to hear in exchange for money, which they use for corrupt enterprises. Worse, tribal factions use our firepower to settle old scores and punish one another. This could be counted as just a cost of war if we were actually getting somewhere and we were bringing the societies, military, police and political establish along with us, but we are not. Karzai is corrupt and so is everyone else beneath him.

A Conservative, Patriotic Veteran Says it's Time to Leave

Bing West is no milquetoast NY Times thumb sucking pacifist. He is a USMC combat veteran and Reagan cabinet member. Just as it took anti-communist Nixon to “go to China,” it will take a brave warrior to lead the charge in abandoning Afghanistan and leaving the people to their own devices.

Tactical Excellence, Strategic Stupidity

I like this characterization:
Bing West argues that hazy objectives, bad political assumptions and a long strategic muddle have burned away whatever structure of success American grunts have built on the battlefield. In this telling, tactical excellence and the considerable courage of frontline troops are forever being rendered nugatory by failed leadership. WaPo – The Wrong War
West gets to the heart of the matter:
Endlessly engaged in euphemism and rhetorical triangulation, American generals and politicians insist on a story in which war isn't war, and doesn't center on killing. Official doctrine instead declares that professional warriors are engaged in a nation-building strategy "to serve and secure the population," a focus that West argues has "transformed the military into a giant Peace Corps."
Kathryn Jean Lopez published her interview with West, and it was a doozy. The 70 year old spent time embedded at the squad level in Afghanistan and speaks candidly about what he saw.  Here's my favorite quote:
"I’m not impressed with Admiral Mullen, as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, repeatedly claiming that the war won’t be won by killing or capturing the enemy. Really? Then why send 100,000 soldiers with rifles into Afghanistan?"  (NRO-Kathryn Jean Lopez)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Libyan Gut Check

"Gut Check" for Progressives on Libya
 George Bush isn't president, so military interventions are back in style with the American left...
Progressives, are you comfortable with using military force — including airstrikes against strategic military targets — in Libya?

There are clear and compelling reasons to use force in this case, in concert with a progressive internationalist worldview, the belief that America can best defend itself by building a world safe for individual liberty and democracy.  The progressive internationalist now has little choice but to act militarily to stop the mass, indiscriminate killing of Libyans who hold those values.  (Gut Check Time for Progressives)
Did progressives just rip a page from the neocon handbook?

And who says these Libyan rebels "hold those values."  What proof do we have that any of these human hornets swarming in the face of creaking kleptocrats are motivated by anything even close to democracy or Western values?

Two cheers for President Obama’s non-intervention in Libya

It was the right thing to do, but he did it badly, and out of a feckless indecisiveness.  The he blew it completely by reversing himself once the opportunity to decapitate the Khadaffi regime had passed.  He was just the man to stand up and tell the European and Arab states to man up and take care of it themselves, we’re tired of fighting their wars for them.

But instead, he dithered in the face of having to do something harder that delivering a flowery speech, dissipating another opportunity and hastening Western entropy.
“The Arabs and the Europeans live there, and if they truly see hell coming, they should act, and they can act.”  --Leslie Gelb
Europeans and Arab states have the ability to take military action on their own.  Leslie Gelb explains:
Doubt not that those pushing for a U.N./U.S. no-fly zone can enforce that goal themselves. Libya has less than 200 usable jet fighters of old vintage, flown by pilots who get less than 90 hours practice time yearly.
Egypt has first-class F-16s that could pulverize any Libyan opposition. Saudi air power is even more formidable. That is to say nothing of the hundreds of top-grade fighters that London and Paris could deploy to bases in Egypt, Tunisia, or Italy. There would be no contest. Those arguing for a no-fly zone don't need a U.S. aircraft carrier.
If the stakes are anywhere near as great as activists claim, they don't need a U.N. Security Council resolution either. Many is the nation that resorted to force without such international blessing.
The hypocrisy here is monumental, even by traditional foreign-policy standards of baloney.  (Leslie Gelb -- Let Libya's Neighbors Fix It)
 * - Since this writing, they did get a security council resolution and the bombing has begun.  We'll see what happens.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Desperate Democrats

Democrats:  Crazy?  Delusional?  or Successful?

The military calls it prepping the battlefield. If you're going to take over a country, you don’t just go in with ground forces.  You first soften things up by taking out industrial centers, intelligence nodes, and air defenses. Propaganda campaigns can also play a critical role.

Reading about the latest Dem strategies, I can only conclude that they believe they have adequately prepped the electoral battlefield. They have poked out the eyes of the voters, clogged our ears with BS, and so disoriented us that we now believe up is down and bad is good.

Senator Schumer is encouraging Democrats to talk about gas prices with their constituents
Democrats are being advised to emphasize high gas prices to their advantage when they go home for a weeklong break next week as they seek to counter GOP criticism levied at the Obama administration. (Politico)
Of course gas prices are higher, and Democrats are to blame!
Petroleum is a dollar-denominated commodity, so as the value of the dollar falls, the price of oil and gasoline climb. Thank you President Obama, Boy Wonder Geithner, and Big Ben Bernanke.

Obama restricting drilling permits on land and off-shore served to lower the supply, resulting in higher gas prices, and the democrats applauded.

Schumer and the dems are urging the president to tap the strategic oil reserved in order to drive gasoline prices down. This is encouraging because it demonstrates that these lefties at least understand the concept of supply and demand and the affect it has on prices.

Now if we can just get them to take the next leap, and and break down the regulatory wall that prevents new refineries from being built. While they are at it, they could also allow more drilling in the US.   If they believe unleashing the strategic reserve will lower prices, then they must agree that pumping more oil will have the same effect.  The Louisiana Lieutenant Governor, who just abandoned the Democratic party to become a Republican, cited Dem opposition to drilling as his reason for switching.

For the other side of the Demagogic party propaganda, see the Oil & Gas Financial Journal article, Why the Oil Companies Make Bad Villains.  Among other things, you will learn that while software companies make on average a profit of 17 cents on every dollar spent, the oil industry makes a mere 8 cents.  Why aren't the demagogic Democrats going after Big Software?

Dems Hope Union Battles Lure Back Independents

Are they crazy? The public unions have pitted themselves against the lower-wage taxpayer and it’s a zero-sum fight over who is more entitled to the loot--those who earned it or government bureaucrats.  Government workers enrich themselves by taking money directly from the pockets of the taxpaying citizen voter.  I don't know how they think this is going to work in their favor.

Either they're desperate or they are dangerously delusional.  Either way, if the GOP can keep it on the rails and actually roll out a coherent agenda, they might just get somewhere.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Michigan Democrats Busted With Counterfeit Tea

Their agenda revealed as a farce, their job-destroying record exposed for all to see, Michigan Democrats were left with nothing but a false flag operation that would make Nixon proud.
Pontiac— Two former high-ranking members of the Oakland County Democratic Party are facing various election corruption charges in a bogus tea party scheme [...]
They face charges related to Independent Tea Party filings, false affidavits and forged documents that occurred between July 23 and July 26 last year.

The charges include felonies that carry up to 14 years in prison. Neither could be reached for comment.(Detroit News)
Liberalism is a Corrupt, Spent Force
Liberalism is an intellectually spent force if all it can come up with as a solution is more government.  Liberals are now firmly ensconced in the uncomfortable position of defending the statist status quo. 

Power is a Centripetal Force

Our system of divided government is not natural.  The arc of human history shows that power is a centripetal force, drawing all to itself.  The Founders set up a system to balance off competing interests and power centers, but the centripetal force has steadily wicked away personal liberty as power naturally accretes to the center.

An Imperial Presidency, An Omnipotent Federal Government
Abraham Lincoln started it.  He saved the Republic and the states lost power to Washington as a result.

Next came Woodrow Wilson, the income tax and the Federal Reserve.  A progressive Supreme Court mistrustful of the people, powered by such intellectual luminaries as Oliver Wendell Holmes ushered in the apotheosis of the imperial presidency in the person of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Lyndon Johnson shook down working people to build a multi-trillion-dollar Great Society, resulting in societal decay, and George Bush II institutionalized the imperial presidency, opening the door for Barack Obama to make rules out of whole cloth and imperiously announce which laws his administration would no longer follow.

We cannot control our borders, we’ve become slack and effeminate, drained of civic virtue, and the sun never sets on our empire as we’re busy fighting other peoples’ wars for them.  Comparisons to Rome are trite, but here we are…

Edward Gibbon – Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Inside, Outside

Inside outside...  Leave me alone...
Inside outside...  Nowhere is home...

I've never been an insider, even growing up in my home town.  I got on Facebook last year because I had found a family we lived next door to in Germany, but couldn't contact them without joining, so I did.  Next thing I know, all these people I grew up with were pinging me and I'm wondering why.  Can they really be that damned bored?

If I were interested in their lives, I would have looked them up when I go back to see the folks. 

I'm not an outsider either, but I am somewhat of a lone wolf.  I've lived so many other lives, awkward kid and misplaced adult being just a few.  Sometimes, being an American walking the streets of a foreign capital can feel comfortably inside, other times it can be very outside...

Thank God Raymond Davis is now outside Pakistan and back inside Colorado...


Friday, March 18, 2011

Dhimmicrats and Muslim Theocrats: Fellow Travelers

Islamists need to chill free speech in order to implement their agenda. Liberal dhimmicrats are their willful patsies

Clever propagandists have wound it up and bound it all so tightly, that one cannot criticize radical political Islam without appearing to criticize the legitimate exercise of religion.

I would expect this to work in the uneducated hinterlands of South Asia, but it is scary that such rot has taken hold here in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, and with the cooperation of so many supposedly enlightened individuals.

The only way for freedom loving Americans to combat this is to not kowtow to it. Shove it back in their faces. How many people have militia members decapitated in the past 10 years? I bet Muslims are beating them in the head count.

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, US Navy veteran, shows us how it’s done:

This exchange occurred at the King hearings on Islamic radicalization.  I love how he eviscerates the clueless dimbulb-ocrat who stupidly discounted the testimony of good Muslim Americans who related how radical Islam had tragically led their children astray. 
Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., went after the witnesses themselves. She said that these "anecdotes are interesting," of Bledsoe's and Bihi's story. She noted that hearing needed more experts. Then she asked a question of Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy.

Speier: "Do you believe that you have expertise to be speaking?"
Jasser: "That's the question the theocrats ask me all the time." (RCP)
Bravo, Dr. Jasser!  And he did it with a smile.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bending the Reality Curve

“Green Energy,” is a pipe dream.

The Center for American Progress (the Obama White House's unofficial think tank) argues for a federal "35 by 35" standard—mandating that 35 percent of America's energy come from renewables by 2035. This means the feds would force all utilities to generate more than a third of their electricity from renewables—a guarantee of far higher prices.

A Heritage Foundation study found that even a scaled-down version of the plan, a 22.5 percent renewable standard by 2025, would bump household-electricity prices 36 percent and industry prices 60 percent by 2035—producing a net GDP loss of $5.2 trillion between 2012 and 2035. ( Shikha Dalmia – Global Warming by Another Name)
But don't take Heritage and Reason Mag's word for it.  Listen to the liberal El Lay Times explain a green energy fiasco right in the heart of liberal la la land:
As head of a $5.7-billion, taxpayer-funded program to rebuild the college campuses, Eisenberg commanded attention. But his plan for energy independence was seriously flawed.

He overestimated how much power the colleges could generate. He underestimated the cost. And he poured millions of dollars into designs for projects that proved so impractical or unpopular they were never built.
These and other blunders cost nearly $10 million that could have paid for new classrooms, laboratories and other college facilities, a Times investigation found.
Instead of saving an advertised millions of dollars per year, a multi-billion dollar community college green energy project ended up wasting $10 million...

Get it? They blew $6 billion, expecting energy savings. Instead, they bled out another $10 million, in addition to the existing energy costs…

Here’s the fundamental truth that destroys the green energy myth:
“But Eisenberg's enthusiasm obscured an inconvenient reality: With the technology now available, the cost of renewable power exceeds that of energy derived from burning coal and natural gas.” (El Lay Times – Grand Dream)
For those who cheer on the absurd notion of government paying to create jobs… OK, why not have government blow two trillion and completely wipe out unemployment?

John Stossel – Obama’s Green Jobs Fantasy
Vincent Carroll – A Double Standard
AEI – The Myth of Green Energy Jobs

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Tripoli Trap

Libyans are crying for the The Great Satan to come and save them, and the neocons who've never so much as heard a shot fired in anger are beating the war drums. 



My answer? Va Fangoul!

Remember the lies Chalabi and other Saddam opponents told us? People would throw flowers at our feet and welcome us with kisses, the Iraqi people just wanted to be free, Saddam was building nuclear weapons…

He and other succeeded in goading us to action, at a high cost in lives and treasure. Now the oil is flowing, and contracts go to China, who did nothing to topple the old regime. In Afghanistan, our troops are making the country safe for Chinese and Russian mining companies, while our “friends” the Pakistanis provide safe haven for their friends the Taliban.

We saved the Kosovar and Bosnian Muslims from slaughter and are rewarded by a Balkan Muslim gunning down American Airmen at Frankfurt Main.

We saved Kuwait and Saudi Arabia from Hussein, Afghanistan from the Taliban, and our military is stationed in the Gulf at the request of the poobahs to protect them from Iran.  All we get is hatred in return.

If we were so stupid as to go in to Libya, we would end up being further castigated by the purple-faced Muslim Street and their fellow travelers in the international left.

Libyans are already trying to lure us in…

Not because they love America or admire our ideals; but because they need our firepower to topple Khaddafi. Once that is accomplished, welcoming smiles will turn to fleck-spittle hatred and we’ll be accused of war crimes. If we leave too early we will be abandoning the Libyan people. If we stay too long, we’re building an empire. Every bomb we drop will end up killing “civilians,” most likely in one of those ubiquitous wedding parties. Every troop killed by a wild-eyed Libyan fanatic we’re trying to help will be called an unfortunate aberration…

We’ve seen this movie before, and there’s no good ending. Here’s how it begins…
“A large French flag hangs on the front of the courthouse used as the revolutionary council's headquarters after Paris recognised the rebel leadership […]

“But Libyans are also increasingly vocal in their criticism of Washington in particular for what is seen as a failure to back up rhetoric against the regime. (Guardian – Libyan Rebels)
Awww… See? They love us, but now they’re becoming disappointed in their hero Uncle Sam… BS!

But we’d better rush in there, or these feckless, unstable people will fall into the arms of the radical Islamists!
“However, Gheriani said that if the west failed to offer practical help to the revolutionaries to free themselves from Gaddafi's rule it risked frustrated Libyans turning to religious extremists.
If the west takes too long – where people say it's too little, too late – then people become a target for extremists who say the west doesn't care about them," he said.
"Most people in this country are moderates and extremists have not been able to penetrate them. But if they get to the point of disillusionment with the west there will be no going back."
Screw ‘em! We’ve heard all that before and it’s all BS. 
They’re all extremists and they all hate us! We’ve already proven that using our military power to help them won’t change that.

We’ve witnessed how they really feel about us...
Dancing in the streets at the news of 9/11, nothing but a constant stream of vituperation spewed upon the civilized west, ignorant stinking hordes lapping up every outrageous lie and conspiracy theory the demagogic mullahs tell them…

No, this is not fertile ground for Western civilization to take root. This is not a bridge to new friendships. It’s just another venue for the bug-eyed bastards of the Religion of Pieces to stage their theater of the grotesque. Well, this is one opera the US should skip. Let someone else provide the kettle drums and the snares.

We’ve allowed these inhabitants of the armpit of the world to send us on too many fool’s errands
The Muslim dingbats have again set their house ablaze, and again they call the US Fire Department. And again, once the fire is out, they will criticize us for putting axes through the doors and soaking the walls and the furniture. It’s time for the fire department to stand back and let the house burn down. Maybe that will teach these crazy morons to stop playing with matches.

For a more reasoned and informed analysis, read Intelligence analyst Paul Pillar's article, Not So Limited Liability in Libya.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Eat the Rich?

Todd Frankel asks, Do the rich deserve what they get?

It’s a provocative question, especially in egalitarian America. I also have a problem with “deserve,” as I do with almost all of the article, but it’s a fairly cogent argument for “social justice.”
As you have greater inequality, you have a greater and greater risk of distorting democracy. If only a small group of people hold more and more resources and money, they're really able to put a lot of pressure on the system to play out their agenda alone. So widening inequality really is detrimental to the principles of democracy. (STL Today)
Progressives forged a social contract over 100 years ago

The wealthy were feeling increasingly threatened by the grimy hordes of unschooled hayseeds and boisterous immigrants crowding east coast cities to work the factories. The kids needed education and the adults needed economic security. There really was generalized fear of peasant revolts or worse, a growing permanent underclass given over to a life of crime.  Gangs of uneducated poor marauding rich neighborhoods like packs of feral beasts was a specter that haunted the nation into governmental noblesse oblige.

This has turned into a crass form of “fire insurance.” Keep the money flowing, and they won’t burn the place down. While I disagree with the class warfare rhetoric, we are facing conditions ripe for community troublemakers to mobilize millions demanding their “fair share.” We’ve built an entitlement culture and you can’t blame the entitled. Government has encouraged them.

People don’t need handouts and grand social programs. We need schools that teach useful skills, economic opportunity, and a strong dollar that holds its value so that life savings are still worth something when we get to our old age. Those three things will not guarantee equal outcomes (nothing will), but they will give everyone an equal shot in this most prosperous, egalitarian, and upwardly mobile country in the history of the world.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Liberals Can’t Handle the Truth

Liberals have a reality problem. They just can’t face it.

According to liberals, we're not broke, unions and government create jobs, the schools are just fine and we need to keep giving them more money, big government is great and we need more of it...  It's a catalog of lunacy.  No wonder moderates and independents last November ran screaming from the nuthouse known as the democratic party.

And the dems just don't get it.  They lost Keith Olberman's Countdown, but they now eagerly tune in each night for red-faced ranter Ed Schultz's Nightly Meltdown.

The latest spycam video showed progressive flagship NPR’s true colors, which all already knew anyway. It is a white, east coast, metrosexual effete, snobbish organization. They are anti-Jewish and anti-black. Just ask Juan Williams about the condescending treatment he received from them.

It's not about women, minorities and the oppressed--It's about advancing the statist agenda

Liberals are for women, just not conservative or religious ones like Sarah Palin, or threatened ones like Molly Norris, who is in hiding because 7th century islamists threatened to cut her head off over cartoons. They are for women standing up to powerful oppressors, unless those women live in the Muslim world. Then its ok that they’re oppressed. Liberals stand against sexual harassment and powerful men using their position to gain sexual favors, unless the man is a democrat president, then it’s ok.

Liberals are for blacks and gays, unless they are conservative or decide they want to attend a tea party rally.

You see, it’s not about blacks, or gays or women, it’s about advancing a statist progressive agenda. Minorities, the oppressed and the downtrodden are just extras, props cynically used to advance the agenda.

We want a do over!

Wisconsin is the latest theater of the absurd, where hysterical liberals display their inability to accept reality. The people voted, democrats lost, so they cried and scampered off to Illinois like the cowering cowards they are. Like petulant children refusing to take a bath, they stamped their feet and stuck out their tongues at the electorate.

Now, they are gearing up recall elections, crying “We want a do over!” They cannot accept reality, so they now seek to change it. Good luck with that, although their approach of siding with money-gobbling, capitol-wrecking unions, and standing against the taxpaying voter is a novel approach. More of that reality problem I guess...

FOX - Wisconsin

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Are You, or Have You ever been a Muslim?

Look at those stooges protesting “Islamophobia.” Russell Simmons is the king stooge. He should try taking his booty shaking brand of music to Saudi Arabia or Pakistan. They also don’t like Buddhists there. I’d like to hear his view of Islam after being clubbed and jailed by religious police.

There is no islamophobia in America. Phobia implies “irrational fear.” First, we are not afraid, we are concerned, and the concern is a rational one.

I wish one reporter would have asked the dingbats in the crowd where Molly Norris is. She’s the American in hiding here in America because bug-eyed head cutters are threatening to kill her in the name of the religion of peace. All because of some cartoons.

It is telling that lefties turn out for prefab agitprop like this
They need something to justify their pathetic, empty little lives. Yeah, Simmons is a millionaire, but he’s a poor excuse for a human being.  He was able to attract only 200 nobodies who need to justify their worth by attaching themselves to someone famous while speaking out against “injustice,” “hate,” “homophobia,” whatever the politburo propagandists tell them is the issue of the day.

What They Won't Protest

It is also telling that you don’t see these people protesting a rotten education system that churns out illiterate and unemployable graduates, disproportionately minorities. They won’t protest the crime-infested sewers so many of our poor people are condemned to, and they contribute to the moral rot with their popular “culture” of bling, objectifying women, and glorifying violence, drugs, criminality and irresponsibility.

You won’t find these sanctimonious herd-mentality simpletons speaking out against female genital mutilation, honor killings or the stoning of women. Hell, they won’t even speak out about human trafficking, sex slavery, hunger or poverty. No, those issues are too pedestrian, no opportunity to let your freak flag fly and bash good Americans.

The rally was full of empty feel-good comments like this from a dhimmi rabbi…
“American Muslims are as fully American as any other faith community,’’
Who has said otherwise? Lefties love attacking those strawmen. Keith Ellison, America’s first Muslim congressman exemplifies how Muslims mischaracterize the issue:
“To say we’re going to investigate a religious minority, and a particular one, I think is the wrong course of action to take,’’
Rep King is not “investigating a religious minority,” and Islam is not on trial. The hearings are to investigate foreign influences radicalizing American Muslims. Muslims should welcome this as an effort to purge the violent and hateful elements that are a stain upon their religion. I know I would welcome any investigation into foreign elements attempting to infiltrate and subvert Christianity, especially if I thought my kids were vulnerable to it.


1% of the Population, 81% of the Terrorists

Representative Keith Ellison (Muslim-Minnesota) blubbered and wailed through his testimony Thursday.  He should have left aside the histrionic agitprop and instead wept over these Justice Department statistics:
more than 80% of all convictions tied to international terrorist groups and homegrown terrorism since 9/11 involve defendants driven by a radical Islamist agenda. Though Muslims represent less than 1% of the American population, they constitute defendants in 186 of the 228 cases the Justice Department lists. (NY Daily News)
It is a failure and a tragedy when an American citizen is enticed to murderous sedition against his country. Good people of all faiths should want to find the root cause so we could stop it. Looks to me like too many would rather keep their heads in the sand.

Asra Nomani – In Defense of Peter King’s Hearings
USA Today – Muslim Hearing Could Harm Us All!
Boston.com - Rally
http://www.ruthfullyyours.com/2011/02/10/on-capitol-hill-muslim-public-affairs-council-seeks-to-whitewash-terror-threat/
NY Daily News – Muslim Hysteria
John Hayward - The King Hearings

Saturday, March 12, 2011

No War! No Logic. No God? No Women...

George Will makes an excellent case of staying the hell out of Libya
Some interventionists are Republicans, whose skepticism about government's abilities to achieve intended effects ends at the water's edge.

The world would be better without Gaddafi. But is that a vital U.S. national interest? If it is, when did it become so? A month ago, no one thought it was.

Libya is a tribal society. What concerning our Iraq and Afghanistan experiences justifies confidence that we understand Libyan dynamics?  (George Will - On Libya, Too Many Questions)

It's a brilliant article.  Every neocon should read it.  Beware those beating war drums who have never been to war.

Growing list of waivers an indictment against Obamacare

1400 waivers, over 2 million people exempted. This is an indictment against Obamacare. If it’s so great, why the exemptions? This was supposed to be manna from heaven!

Another indictment is the tortured logic put forth to justify government power to force everyone to buy a product. (The Hill – Health Care Waivers)

Eradicate Religion? A Fool’s Errand

David Warren explains…
“every human society, from the most primitive to the most outwardly sophisticated, accepts a doctrinal order, and a cosmology to explain it.”
Progressivism:  A Religion of Nothing

...we have an upside-down religion, in which there is no God, but that "Not God" commands an obedience more absolute than God ever required, stipulating everything from the sanctity of antinomian sexual behaviour, down to how we should sort our garbage.
It rides upon an inexhaustible series of mildly fluctuating, but invariably self-contradictory moral and epistemological premises (or more precisely, conceits); and because everything is "relative," nothing may be challenged. It is, as the lively Ann Coulter has suggested, a religion for which an extremely arid Darwinist materialism provides the founding cosmological myth. And abortion is its principal sacrament. (David Warren – We have an Upside Down Religion)
One More thing to worry about...

Niall Ferguson has written a well-documented and worrisome article about an overabundance of men in Asia, thanks to one-child policies, sex selection, and the devaluation of girls...
According to the United Nations, there are far more men than women on the planet. The gender gap is especially pronounced in Asia, where there are 100 million more guys than girls.

According to the German scholar Gunnar Heinsohn, European imperial expansion after 1500 was the result of a male “youth bulge.” Japan’s imperial expansion after 1914 was the result of a similar youth bulge, Heinsohn argues. During the Cold War, it was youth-bulge countries—Algeria, El Salvador, and Lebanon—that saw the worst civil wars and revolutions. Heinsohn has also linked the recent rise of Islamist extremism in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan to an Islamic youth bulge.  (Newsweek – Men Without Women)
Too many men and not enough men always ends in trouble...

Now get off the computer and go enjoy the weekend!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Progressive Mistrust of The People

President Barack Obama’s budget will include $10.7 billion to build a nationwide wireless network for emergency workers and $5 billion to help Americans get mobile access to high-speed Internet service. (Bloomberg)

Like all progressive schemes, it sounds good, but there's a rat in there somewhere...
“High-speed Internet allows small businesses to reach markets beyond the one that they’re in, in the next town, in the next state or even in a different country,” Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a Feb. 8 interview. “We need to take that as seriously as we took electricity and telephone service in the 20th century.”
They declare the internet a public utility and they now own and control it. Their other angle is to put the internet on “the public airwaves” via WiMax, and the FCC now has a clear case for jurisdiction and control.

Also, businesses have discovered and leveraged the power of the internet all on their own.  They don't need Obama's Kommisars "helping" them.

This displays the fundamental fallacy of progressivism:  If government doesn't do it, it won't get done.

John Stossell quickly punctures this BS balloon, by explaining spontaneous order...
“Another way to understand spontaneous order is to think about the simple pencil. Leonard Read, who established the Foundation for Economic Education, wrote an essay titled, "I, Pencil," which began, "(N)o single person on the face of this earth knows how to make (a pencil)."
That sounds absurd -- but think about it. No one person can make a pencil. Vast numbers of people participate in making the materials that become a pencil: the wood, the brass, the graphite, the rubber for the eraser, the paint and so on. 

Then go back another step, to the people who make the saws and machinery that are used to make the materials that go into a pencil. And before that, people mine iron to make the steel that makes the machines that make the materials that go into a pencil. It's all without central direction, without these people even knowing they are all working ultimately to make pencils. 

Thousands of people mining, melting, cutting, assembling, packing, selling, shipping -- and yet you can buy pencils for a few pennies each.”  (Stossel – Spontaneous Order)

This is how the world works, and no single entity acts as a controller.  It is spontaneous order brought about by millions of self-interested people.  Not only does it work, it has worked to bring the price down on every consumer good imaginable.  Our homes are filled with luxuries our parents and grandparents only dreamed of.

I recommend you go read Leonard Read's little essay.  It only takes five minutes.  Better yet, have your kids read it as well.  I'll leave you with an excerpt:
Mail delivery is exceedingly simple when compared, for instance, to the making of an automobile or a calculating machine or a grain combine or a milling machine or to tens of thousands of other things. 

Delivery? Why, in this area where men have been left free to try, they deliver the human voice around the world in less than one second; they deliver an event visually and in motion to any person’s home when it is happening; they deliver 150 passengers from Seattle to Baltimore in less than four hours; they deliver gas from Texas to one’s range or furnace in New York at unbelievably low rates and without subsidy; they deliver each four pounds of oil from the Persian Gulf to our Eastern Seaboard—halfway around the world—for less money than the government charges for delivering a one-ounce letter across the street!  (I, Pencil – Leonard Read)
Bonus question.  Why does domestically-produced milk cost more per gallon that gasoline that is pumped out of the ground as crude overseas, shipped around the world, refined and shipped again to gas stations all across the nation?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Progressive Fascination with Choo Choo Trains

George Will explains why our progressive overlords are so obsessed with high speed rail: It’s about modifying our behavior.

OK, I get that...

What I don’t understand is how the rank and file (including fellow bloggers in Left Blogistan) can simply gobble up this nonsense and regurgitate it.

High speed rail, global warming, electric cars and a plethora of unproven theories taken as gospel belie a lack of thinking and critical analysis on their part. I’m not calling them dumb, just na├»ve and incredibly credulous. Even in densely-packed Europe, where rail travel is popular, it cannot make a profit and must be subsidized by government.

Back to George Will. He’s right. It’s about social engineering…
To progressives, the best thing about railroads is that people riding them are not in automobiles, which are subversive of the deference on which progressivism depends. Automobiles go hither and yon, wherever and whenever the driver desires, without timetables. Automobiles encourage people to think they—unsupervised, untutored, and unscripted—are masters of their fates. The automobile encourages people in delusions of adequacy, which make them resistant to government by experts who know what choices people should make. (George Will)
Further reading:
Robert Samuelson – High Speed Rail Folly
Ronald Utt – High Speed Rail Financial Disaster

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Streets of Fire

"The financial crisis in 2008 didn't stop the practice of economic management by printing money. Burning streets will.”

Andy Xie of Rosetta Stone Advisors, has written a particularly pessimistic piece of what the near economic future holds. He starts by making the case that North Africa unrest that has spilled over into the Middle East was touched off by economic issues like unemployment and rising prices. He ends by saying it could spread to Europe and the US.
In 2009, 14.3 percent Americans lived in poverty, according to the U.S. Census. Including ones that have given up on looking for a job, one sixth of American workers are underemployed or unemployed.
A huge chunk of American people have no cushion against massive increases in the cost of food and energy. In addition, the prices of imported consumer goods that low income Americans depend on are rising and are likely to rise much more, later in the year. Fifty million Americans are not so different from Egyptians in their economic plight. Riots could come to American cities.  (Hot Money, Fast Riots)
Here's a good explanation of the effects of inflation...
Inflation is redistributive, usually unfairly. First, low income people tend not to have debt, because they are usually not qualified to borrow from banks. When inflation surges, as it is happening now, their bank deposits erode in real value. Where do their losses go? The people who have debt and real assets like property speculators gain the same amount. Inflation essentially robs the poor and gives to the rich.

Second, low income people tend to have insecure jobs and cannot bargain wages up along with inflation, especially when inflation surges like now. The reduced purchasing power for their wages pushes them into an unsustainable situation. They simply cannot make ends meet. (Hot Money, Fast Riots)
Paul B. Farrell, pessimistic liberal investor, wonders when the revolution will start...
Only a revolution will stop Wall Street’s self-destructive capitalism. And watching the people revolt against dictators like Mubarak and Gadhafi reminds us of the spirit that sparked America’s revolution in 1776.

Economist Peter Morici: “Capitalism is broken, America’s government is two bankrupt political parties bankrupting the country.”

BusinessWeek recently asked analyst Mary Meeker to run the numbers. How bad is it? America really is bankrupt, with a “net worth of a negative $44 trillion.” Bankrupt. (Paul B. Farrell)
Farrell laments that it is too late to frog march the Wall Street banksters off to the slammer.  Our corrupt political class lacks the will (and credibility) to do it anyway; they were co-conspirators. But he lists four factors that could cause a revolutionary explosion right here in the US of A:

Wealth gap, Wall Street immorality, Wars, World Population Explosion

The NY-DC Axis of Evil is raping and robbing us.  When will we have enough?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Why the Attacks on the Koch Brothers?



Why the Attacks on the Koch Brothers?

The simple answer is, pop your head up and you’re going to get hammered. The right has been going after international billionaire megalomanic and currency crasher George Soros, so the left had to find someone on the right to do the same to.

As usual, the left's aim is cockeyed...

The Koch brothers are not on the “right.” They are pro-gay rights, anti-drug war, anti-war, anti-Patriot Act libertarians. They’ve even gone so far as to fund suspect activities like the ACLU and ballet! For more information on these patriotic Americans, go here, and here. For a particularly funny and (and true) take on the lefty attacks, go read epistemicfail’s righteous rant. It will take you less than five minutes, you’ll learn something, and you’ll split your sides laughing.

The “Anonymous” attacks on the Koch’s belies the fact that these shadowy WikiLeaks confreres of the internet are not info-anarchists, but just lefty nihilists wanting to burn it all down, man.

American Left:  Unhinged, Unbalanced, Unencumbered by Reality

The attacks on these men are not surprising. Modern-day progressivism is an incoherent, personality-based movement of various caliginous interests and agitation groups, loosely gathered, each to protect his or her own particular ideological or financial turf.

They shout “science!” and talk about free thinking, but demand we all bow down when Reverend Al Gore, International Church of Gaia, declares the earth will catch fire if we (not he) don’t all start driving electric cars and living in Gilligan’s Island huts. They demand we perform the very unscientific act of accepting their self-serving models and theories as dogma, lest they anathematize us as stupid hicks not worthy of even debating.

This is why the Koch's Threaten the Left:
Crony capitalism is much easier than competing in an open market. But it erodes our overall standard of living and stifles entrepreneurs by rewarding the politically favored rather than those who provide what consumers want. (Why Koch Industries is Speaking Out)
The Koch brothers have become the latest villain in the progressive narrative

The most effective lefty attacks are those that point out that the Koch brothers fund conservative causes. Although they are libertarian, they’ve got to plant the flag somewhere, and conservatism holds the firmest, highest ground right now. Would these critics expect libertarians to make common cause with politically correct, doctrinaire progressives who cheer the growth of the state?

Conservatives are not such a bad fit, since they share the goal of rolling back the size of the federal government. Yes, Democrats share Koch values on gay marriage, but the left’s belief in the supremacy of the state blows the whole deal. No, conservatives are a better, but not perfect fit. They want to roll back government power and restore personal liberty. And by the way, states continue to decide the gay marriage question on their own, abortion is still legal, and more and more republicans are blowing on their burned fingers, vowing to avoid touching the hot stove of foreign intervention again.

Libertarianism is an existential threat to Progressivism

Going after the Koch’s is stabbing at the heart of the anti-government beast. Modern-day conservatism is hard to defend and wholly complicit in bringing about our current fiscal calamity; libertarianism is not. It has a cachet right now borne of it’s inherent logic. It resonates with our founding principles and it is just the jolt conservatism needed to shock it back into some semblance of logical coherence and consistency.

Libertarianism has contributed greatly to the intellectual ferment on the right. Paloecons battle neocons, with moderates preaching a middle way while fiscal conservatives call for a truce on moral issues. Many religious conservatives don’t like libertarians, but it’s all in play, which is why the conservative cause is attracting interest (and votes) from those in the middle. For this reason I say the right will continue to surge, and the left will continue it embarrassing shrivel.

The Koch Brothers' Agenda is Clear--The Left's is Not

We know what the Koch brothers stand for because they state it clearly in person and through the organizations they openly fund, like CATO and Reason. The Koch’s stand for liberty and personal responsibility. For this reason they oppose an ever more overweening state that leaves the US Constitution getting smaller and smaller in the rear view mirror.

What does Soros and the left want? What are their guiding principles? What is their end-game?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Muslims in America


Rep Peter King (R-NY) will convene hearings on the radicalization of Muslims in America. 

Some good may come of this. Getting the issues out in the open, starting a dialog and hearing from Muslims themselves could be a good thing.

Misperceptions abound on both sides.  Here's a common complaint:
“There is a generalized sense of Islamophobia floating around, and the hearings are not doing anything to assuage Muslim fears.” (CNN - Islam Hearings)
Wrong!

America is clearly not in the grip of Islamophobia (unless you count the press voluntarily bowing to Islamic pressure groups).  "Phobia" is an irrational fear of something.  Our concerns are quite rational.  Americans look at the Muslim world and we don't like what we see.  

More importantly, we don't want the misogynistic dysfunction and violent religious agitation freakshow setting up its tents here.  Sharia is not compatible with our constitutional republicanism.  We don't stone adulteresses (or even call them that), and we don't execute blasphemers.  We like out beer, boobs and bratwurst barbecue, and we like our violence to be random and non-religious.

Here's another reason we need hearings:
The efforts come a little more than six months after many Muslims were blindsided by a wave of national opposition to a proposed Islamic cultural center near New York’s ground zero last summer.
The fact that they were "blindsided" by the national outcry against planting a mosque anywhere near the site where Muslims killed 3000 people show just how out of touch (or arrogant) the authors of this idea are.

Still, they are joining King's debate.  CAIR and other organizations plan to “start offering facts about American Muslims and their role in helping prevent attacks on our nation,” ahead of King’s hearings, says Corey Saylor, the group’s national legislative director...

If nothing else, I hope these hearings deflate the false charges of "hate" and "Anti-Muslim" that is constantly hurled at good Americans.  Speaking out against a religion or denigrating it's culture or values is not hate.  Christians put up with it every day.

Religious Hate Crimes?  Ask a Jew
Of the 1,575 victims of an anti-religious hate crime:
  • 71.9 percent were victims because of an offender’s anti-Jewish bias.
  • 8.4 percent were victims because of an anti-Islamic bias. (FBI)
So I look forward to these hearings.  I want to hear good Muslim-Americans stand up and proudly talk about how they are fighting the religious intolerance and bigotry that spills out from the horrible countries they have fled.  I want to hear them talk about how our constitution trumps religious-based laws.

America's track record is pretty clear.  We are a tolerant people.  We have welcomed hundreds of thousands of Muslims and will continue to do so as long as they recognize the primacy of the constitution, respect the God-given rights of others, and refrain from honor killings and decapitations.

Further Reading:
Mark Steyn - Muslims in Europe 
USA Today - Rally to Protest

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Internet Anonymity

Progressives grasp at any opportunity to quash free speech.  The internet and the anonymity it provides is a fat target for them.  How can internet speech be "managed," they ask?

Stanley Fish explores this subject in his NY Times piece, Anonymity and the Dark Side of the Internet.  He employs the work of liberal thinkers who claim to be for free speech but then start throwing around concepts like "managing free speech" and coining terms like "low-value speech."  When you hear Sunsteinian progressives talk like this, watch out! 
"What is remarkable about this volume is that the legal academics who make the arguments I have rehearsed are by and large strong free-speech advocates.
Yet faced with the problems posed by the Internet, they start talking about “low value” speech (a concept strong first-amendment doctrine rejects) and saying things like “autonomy resides not in free choice per se but in choosing wisely” and “society needs not an absence of ‘chill,’ but an optimal level.”(In short, let’s figure out which forms of speech we should discourage.)"
How does "society" establish an "optimal level" of "chill?"  Who decides just what that optimal level is, and how do you impose it?  I am chilled just reading these clawing control freaks.

This issue, like all progressive baloney, springs from a manufactured dilemma built upon a false premise.  Here's what it's really all about:  Stopping those accursed rightwing bloggers!
The practice of withholding the identity of the speaker is strategic, and one purpose of the strategy (this is the second problem with anonymity) is to avoid responsibility and accountability for what one is saying.

Anonymity, Martha Nussbaum, a professor of law and philosophy at the University of Chicago observes, allows Internet bloggers “to create for themselves a shame-free zone in which they can inflict shame on others.” The power of the bloggers, she continues, “depends on their ability to insulate their Internet selves from responsibility in the real world, while ensuring real-world consequences” for those they injure.
There are a few problems with this...

First, Silverfiddle's blog does not carry the same weight as the NY Times.  I can level the most outrageous of charges and barely cause a ripple.  The New York Times can end careers with a single sentence.   

Second, the author can produce no instance where bloggers in this "shame free zone" injured anyone.  Why not?  Because it's never happened!  The few attempts I remember fell pretty flat.  Palin rumors, Obama cocaine and gay sex stories, Christine O'Donnell's halloween sex adventure, Nikki Haley adultery...  It's all been thrown out there, and there was no "there" there.  None of these people were destroyed by anonymous, unsubstantiated claims.

Anonymity is Overblown
Not all of us are so stupid as to ingest and regurgitate whatever someone pukes out.  Responsible people do some homework and demand evidence.  A scandalous broadside may garner attention, but the accuser must eventually put up or shut up.  Failure of the accuser to pop his head up and provide proof discredits him.

Anonymity is overblown anyway.  A skeptical Daniel Solove at Concurring Opinions ask, Is Anonymous Blogging Possible?  The answer is no, it is not.  If they want you, they can come and get you.

An anonymous person simply does not have the power the hysterical progressives claim he does.  This is a crisis invented by big government statists as a pretext for them to take even more power and control over our lives.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Jane's Guns


Jane Russell passed on this week. The Daily Mail has a very nice tribute to her.
In reality, there was nothing mean or moody about her. In private, she was caustic about her movie image and publicity, but accepted it with a good-natured shrug.

‘Publicity,’ she observed, ‘can be terrible. But only if you don’t have any.’

The irony was that her public image as a sassy sex symbol was belied in real life by Right-wing Christian beliefs and staunch affiliation to the Republican Party.
Here's what I think really made her a neat lady:
In 2006, at the age of 84, though suffering from macular degeneration of the eyes and with hearing aids in both ears, Russell put together a musical show, The Swinging Forties, which played twice a month at the Radisson Hotel in Santa Maria.

It featured herself and about a dozen of the town’s residents, including a choir director and a retired police officer.

Asked why she did it, Russell said: ‘Out of boredom, and because there was nothing much going on in town for the older folks to do.’
Apparently, she was nothing like her Hollywood persona, and she had a realistic view of her own humanity and genuinely cared about those around her.  No wonder she lived out her later years away from the Hollywood self-absorbed madness.

If you're really bored, keep reading. Here's what I think about...

Libya: We need to stay out of it

NFL labor talks: Millionaires arguing with billionaires. Don't care.

2012 GOP presidential field: Newt, Sarah, Mitt, Rick and Huck are yesterday's news. Time to move on

House GOP: I think they're doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances. I'm encouraged, but I'm keepin' my eye on 'em.

Most interesting and entertaining talk show personality: Michael Savage

Obama's nativity story: I don't know. I'm an Occam's Razor guy, so I think the reason for all the secrecy surrounding his birth, school and other records is simply this: He hyped and leveraged his uniqueness to get ahead. Those records probably reveal he called himself a Muslim, African, Inonesian, illegal alien, black panther, anything that got him in the door and gave him special status.

Now, get off the computer and go enjoy the weekend!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Net Neutered

I posted my latest criticism of the FCC Net Neutrality ruling at Free Republic and got slammed by an FCC apologist know-it-all.

I plead guilty only to the charge of not making my main point clear: Free markets allocate resources way more efficiently than a government central-planning committee can.

Progressives love attaching warm and fuzzy feel good names like "Net Neutrality" on their statist projects in order to mask their true intent: Taming the digital wild west known as the internet.

Here's the Net Neutrality Problem in a Nutshell
The story goes that Level 3 Communications, which handles Netflix’s Internet traffic, says that, all of a sudden, Comcast started demanding more money to accept said traffic.

The problem is that there really doesn’t seem to be an easy way out of this mess. Clearly streaming media is taking over the world, but there’s one problem: bandwidth isn’t free, and that’s Comcast’s biggest complaint. If you want Comcast to carry this or that stream, then you can’t expect Comcast to do so at a loss, right?
Granted, I’ve no idea how much it costs Comcast to run and maintain a broadband network, but I recognize that they’re in business to make money. (Nicholas Deleon – Crunchgear)
The point here is that the content providers, the infrastructure people and the ISPs will work it out; they always have.  Nobody wants to make customers mad, since mad customers take their money elsewhere.  That concept is foreign to a monopolistic government bureaucrat.

With the Net Neutrality decision, the Federal Government has picked winners and losers.  Here are a few headlines following internet FCC's power grab:

StockMarketsReview.com: FCC Decision Disappoints Comcast

MarketWatch: Netflix Jumps

So government poobahs who have no idea what they're monkeying with end up swinging markets and stifling technology.

A WSJ article asks, "Is This the Peak for Netflix?"  The peak, if it has happened, has nothing to do with the FCC decision and everything to do with competition from the likes of Apple TV, Amazon, Roku, Boxee and Google TV.

Technology and the markets move fast, government needs to get the hell out of the way and stop blocking innovation and competition.

More reading:
Net Neutrality and the TV Wars
CATO - The FCC Should Not Regulate the Internet