Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Europe Gets Greeky

Germany wrote the 130 billion Euro check, but Greece has already blown it on ouzo, cigarettes and KY Jelly...

Governments Gone Wild
Governments have been borrowing, spending with profligacy, buying votes with welfare payments, and debasing national currencies in attempts to hide what they are doing. Some governments in the EU borrowed from private banks with abandon on the assumption that the European Central Bank would be forced to bail them out, which it has by reluctantly printing euros.
Does this sound like a crisis of capitalism/free markets/economic freedom? No. It is a crisis of profligate government.  (Eustace Davie - Did Capitalism Fail?)
Keynesians Give Keynes a Bad Name
The Keynesian fallacy is in essence one of getting something for nothing. By Keynesian fiscal stimulus, normally involving spending more money though occasionally through tax cuts, providing they avoid the annoyingly savings-prone rich, we are supposed to produce additional economic output whenever there is an "output gap" from full employment, that is, in all conditions save those of a raging boom, when resources are scarce.

Keynes himself recommended such stimulus only at the bottom of deep recessions, and suggested that it should be balanced by running budget surpluses in times of boom. Needless to say, his disciples have neglected the disciplines he recommended.

In the 1930s, US president Herbert Hoover's reckless expansion of government spending, including loans to cronies through the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, caused further slowdown in the economy, which was exacerbated by his dreadful early 1932 increase in the top marginal rate of tax from 25% to 63%.

In the US case, the Barack Obama stimulus converted a vigorous recovery into an anemic one; only in the third quarter of 2011, after the effects of stimulus had begun to wear off, did output begin to accelerate and unemployment trend down... (The True Cost of Keynes)
Bend over, we're next...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Watcha Gonna Do When They Come For You?

"If liberals want to keep the Rick Santorums of the world out of their bedrooms, all they need to do is renounce the idea that even people they agree with have the right to sniff around in private quarters." (Nick Gillespie)
I keep hearing from big government leftists that the constitution is outdated, it was written by old white men way back in the 18th century, how can you look to them to solve our 21st century problems? The answer is, I don’t. The constitution is not a solution, it is a framework in which we work to solve those problems. It was meant to restrain government when it gets the urge for a final solution.

Two Side of the Same Statist Coin

Progressives have created a clanking soulless monster, piddling down their little legs with giddly glee as it tramples conservative and libertarian projects. But oh, how they scream like schoolgirls when those most sinister of figures, "old white men," grab control of it! The horror!

State-Sponsored Rape and other Abominations...

Ducky mewls about Virginia mandating sonograms for all women wanting an abortion, with the left elevating it to a civil rights issue, practically comparing Governor McDonnell to a modern-day Orville Faubus barring the abortion-house door. As if that were not enough, in a cute play on our emotions, the left equates the mandatory sonogram to state-sponsored rape. I wonder if language policewoman Shaw Kenaw has ordered her fellow libs to stop it, since it trivializes real rapes?

When you cry that everything should be collectivized and run by the state, and you acknowledge no overarching philosophy and no constitutional controls to bind it, you can't then complain when "old white men" seize the levers of power and do what they see fit.  In a world where there's no such thing as natural rights, might makes right, right?

So, my progressive friends, when your Frankenstein's Monster turns on you, please excuse the rest of us a schadefreude-induced chortle.

There is a way out of this.  It's called personal responsibility and personal liberty. Do what you want, when you want, on your own dime. Take these decisions away from the purview of the state. Government has no business in our private lives.

Monday, February 27, 2012

You Don't Have a Right to Not be Offended

An obscurantist Muslim immigrant we graciously allowed through the gates of civilization attacked a Pennsylvania man who was dressed like a zombie Muhammad on Halloween. An idiot judge, citing Sharia law and extraordinary Muslim sensitivities, let the assailant off.

So does that mean I can punch Larry Flynt out of his wheelchair for his anti-Catholic comments and cite Canon Law as my defense?  No, it doesn't.  But what it does do is set the legal precedent that Islam is in a special protected class because it's practitioners are too violent to control themselves.  America takes another step closer to the turd world.
The assailant, Talag Elbayomy, a Muslim immigrant, physically attacked Perce, attempted to pull his sign off, and, according to police, admitted what he had done right after the incident. The defense argued that Elbayomy believed it was a crime to insult the prophet Mohammed (it is, under sharia law), and that because he was in the company of his children, he had to act to end this provocation and set an example about defending Islam.

Judge Martin did not lecture the defendant about free speech or how disputes are resolved in a civilized country. He instead dressed the victim down for failing to appreciate how sensitive Muslims  [...] are about Islam. (
Sharia Court of Pennsylvania)
I blame the State Department

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that our government should not be letting in people who think it is OK to attack others who offend their beliefs. I shudder to think what would have happened had this creep been walking down South Beach with his family and spied two men holding hands and kissing.  And how in the hell can we be letting people in and not explaining our laws to them?  All hopeful immigrants must be briefed that not only is blasphemy not against the law, it is one of the chief ways many of us exercise our first amendment rights.

Letting such people come here is like letting wild beasts into your home.  It is doubly dangerous when we have judges who more resemble ayatollahs, trampling the constitution while lecturing victims on how to avoid further attacks by not offending Islam.  The people of Pennsylvania should impeach that judge for trampling the constitution he has sworn to uphold.

There Ain't No Bridge Big Enough...

In an article about the flaming outrage in Afghanistan, I stumbled upon some words that say it much better than I ever could.  Upon concluding that we should quit Afghanistan sooner rather than later, Andrew McCarthy further observes...
That, however, cannot be the end of it. If, according to the president, we need to apologize to Muslims because we must accept that they have such an innate, extraordinary ardor for their religion that barbaric reactions to trivial slights are inevitable, then they should not be invited to enter a civilized country.
At the very least, our immigration laws should exclude entry from Muslim-majority countries unless and until those countries expressly repeal repressive sharia laws (e.g., the death penalty for apostates) and adopt American standards of non-discrimination against, tolerance of, and protection for religious minorities.
If you really want to promote freedom in Islamic countries, an immigration policy based on civil-rights reciprocity would be a lot more effective, and a lot less expensive, than dispatching tens of thousands of troops to build sharia “democracies.” It would also protect Americans from people whose countries and cultures have not prepared them for the obligations of citizenship in a free society. (Why Apologize?)
Indeed.  Imagine (God forbid) if all of us were as violently hypersensitive about our beliefs as that immigrant.  The country would be in constant turmoil.  If we value our freedoms, our culture and our way of life, we can't be letting in those who do not.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

"Apologies are Not Cooling the Anger"

"To the noble torch-bearing Afghans...  We understand your justifiable hatred and shouty murderousness!  We bow down to your righteous rampaging."  

Our bowing and scraping is not cooling the feral, instinctual anger sparked by us burning some books that the holy jihadis had desecrated first by scribbling in them.  Instead, the flames climb higher at each western apology.

When has apologizing to ignorant, intolerant, bigoted haters ever worked? When? When in the entire history of Islam has an apology to it or its practitioners ever quelled the bonfires of fury and murder?

First we apologized, some of our troops were killed, we apologized again, Afghans "on our side" killed two more of our military officers working at an Afghan ministry. Now our government has announce that within the next 10 days, every one of our soldiers in Afghanistan will be "intensively trained" in "the proper handling of religious materials." Sure.  Those 100,000+ troops have nothing better to do over there...

I'm waiting for leadership to completely collapse and announce that all 130,000 troops will be forcibly converted to Islam and be ordered to receive religious instruction from the Taliban.

Grievance Hustlers

This is being stoked by a small number of misanthropic manipulators that do not represent all Afghanis or all Muslims.  Sadly, the vast majority are far worse than that.  They are ignorant and manipulable; a willing crowd dancing to the macabre tune when Explody the Fire-Breathing Clown and his Rampaging Circus comes to town.

Aussie Brendan O'Neill sees striking similarities between the east and west's professional victims who manipulate their enemies with perpetual outrage and offense-taking:
Ironically, these pretty craven apologies from NATO and the Obama administration for an innocent mistake made by two NATO personnel are likely only to have inflamed the protests.
Because, as is the case over here, in our ever more touchy and sensitive societies, when you tiptoe around a certain group of people, when you buy into the idea that offending cultural sensibilities is the greatest sin of our age, you actually give people a licence to feel offended.
When you apologise for causing offence and promise never, ever to do it again, you give succour to the idea that offensiveness is a unique and terrible evil, and you flatter the ostentatious offence-taking of groups who wish to be protected by a moral force-field from public debate or ridicule.
[...] NATO has made itself a hostage to fortune, giving Afghan radicals a licence to go mental at the next whiff of any slight, whether intentional or accidental, against Islam. (Buying into the Myth)
Canuck Lorne Gunter says we need to get out now, and I agree...
The deadly riots over the burning of Korans at the NATO airbase at Bagram prove that Western forces have accomplished about as much as they can to civilize the place (which isn't as much as many of us had hoped) and now it’s time to go.
No apologies for the burnt holy books. No charges against the soldiers involved, as demanded by Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Just pull up stakes and leave and let those screaming and shouting their hatred for America and the West fend for themselves under the next Taliban government. (Time to Quit Afghanistan)
We need to get the hell out now. No negotiations, no deals, just get the hell out. Turn it over to the Taliban, the Iranians, the Uzbeks, anyone, who cares... Turn it over the the Pakistanis, tell the Chinese who are in there mining millions in precious metals that they've got to provide their own protection, but just get the hell out.

They can tear Karzai limb from limb on CNN and burn down every last female clinic and girls's schoolhouse.  I don't care.  We are messing with crazy people who don't want democracy, they don't want their nation built, and they sure as hell don't want us messing around in their business.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Call of Duty: Obama’s Modern Warfare Army

Obama and his buddy play XBOX as a wine steward looks on

The new Navy SEAL movie, Act of Valor debuts today, and just in time!

President Obama is making history.  He has racked up more XBOX kills playing Call of Duty:  Black Ops than all the other presidents combined.

I don't mind him playing video games, but he and the rest of government needs to STFU about secret operations.

Does anyone else see the absurdity of this headline?

Secretive Navy SEALS Take Starring Role in New Film

That’s just as funny as “Quiet Professionals” showing off their craft to a worldwide audience. All of this redounds to Obama’s electoral advantage, of course.

MSNBC nutball and Obama fanboy Daniel Klaidman positively gushes over Obama’s military prowess (by proxy):
“One of President Obama’s earliest kills came in April 2009…”
Obama’s kill? I could have sworn it was Navy SEALS, far from home and family, who smoked those Somali pie-rats…

It makes me want to puke when I hear lefties talk like this, glomming onto the valor of those whose budget they want to slash. Here’s some more leftist bedwetter twaddle:
“At a time when many Americans think their government is incompetent, the SEALs are public employees who often get the job done.”
Public employees? Often get the job done?  What a moron! See what’s going on here? This is boosting Obama and big government by proxy while damning the military with faint praise while trying to equate them with apple-shaped Washington bureaucrats.

Even the title of this bearded-girl’s article screams fundamental ignorance.

Navy SEALS: Obama’s Secret Army

SEALS are Obama’s Army? Yeaaaaahhhh..  I'd like to see ya walk into a Norfolk bar and say that.  And they're not so secret anymore, are they?

Later in the article, Klaidman’s Obama ardor subsides and he settles down to some credible national security reporting, but that also shows what’s wrong with bringing details of these operations out into the open.

He describes what intelligence we had ahead of time and the options that military officers discussed with Obama. All details no one in government should have ever let out. Every detail provides a lesson that helps terrorists correct their mistakes and plan better in the future.


As SOCOM Commander Admiral McRaven played head cheerleader at the pep rally for Act of Valor, a retired Special Forces general stood up and sounded off…
“One of these days, if you keep publishing how you do this, the other guy’s going to be there ready for you,” fumed retired Army Lt. Gen. James Vaught at a recent conference in Washington. He was speaking directly to Admiral McRaven: “Mark my words. Get the hell out of the media!” Vaught knows a thing or two about how things can go wrong. He ran the task force that tried to rescue the U.S. hostages in Iran in 1980, which became a fiasco after aircraft ran into dust storms and encountered other unexpected problems. (ABC News)
McRaven responded weakly, citing facebook and the John Wayne movie, The Green Berets, saying Special Operations can't get away from the publicity anymore, although they don't invite it (unless they are making Hollywood movies about themselves or the Vice President is sharing classified details with the world).

Keep The Bad Guys Guessing

I agree with Vaught. We are giving the enemy way too much information. Remember back when the US government wouldn’t even acknowledge the existence of Seal Team 6?

I want the flea-infested terrorists squatting in their squalid lairs and the stinking superstitious hordes who cheer and shelter them to think our Spartan warriors are hiding underground right now spying on them, ready to come up through the soil and strangle them at any moment.

I want these 7th century obscurantists to believe we can read their thoughts, see through the walls of the grimy cinderblock huts, and swoop down and grab them at any time with trained invisible eagles.

I want them jumpy at the thought that every crawling bug and slithering reptile is a trained US spy. I want them to think our special forces are supermen, and I want them to think we have a million of them.

It's not so far-fetched. Primitive Muslim throngs blamed the shark attacks off an Egyptian coastal resort on Mossad-trained predators. If the gullible followers of Mohammad actually believe Israel made a pact with King Poseidon to produce a trained flotilla of sharks just to wreck Egypt's tourist industry, they'll believe anything…

By all means, continue publishing pictures of Obama and Palooka Joe eating popcorn in the situation room as Obama get another video game kill, but get the shadow warriors and the intelligence professionals back in the shadows where they belong and keep the bad guys guessing.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

GOP Follies: Another Debate

MSNBC liveblogged the debate last night from a Ron Paul supporter’s house, with their TV coverage cutting back and forth between there and an assembled cross-section of GOP voters gathered in an upscale Michigan home to watch the debate on a big screen TV. The interaction between the two groups was entertaining at times.

The Ron Paul gathering's host was apologetic about not being in an OWS encampment, mumbling something about “pigs” and it being “freakin’ cold out there…” He and his assembled friends, a greasy-haired sloucher’s brigade in beards and t-shirts, draped over nondescript furniture in his mother’s working class home, expressed scorn for all things non-Ron Paul.

“That chubby old white haired guy looks like a mean Santa Clause who got his beard shaved off,” observed a giggly, glassy-eyed girl curled up cosily on the floor and gripping a mug of chai tea.

For reasons known only to them, they were most agitated by Romney, who reminded one stoner of the principal who expelled him from school for making out under the bleachers.
"Dude, he's like so upright and never makes a mistake. And what does he put in his hair, shellack?" said 23-year-old anti-war activist Shay Leggard.
Back at the Republican gathering, a distinguished-looking Romney supporter, nattily dressed in tan slacks, white shirt and blue blazer, impatiently dismissed the Romney criticism as "the ramblings of pot-smoking draft-dodgers."

"That's bogus, dude!" countered Leggard, spilling bong water all over his medical marijuana card, adding an emphatic "dammit," before warning reporters to clear out before his mom got home from work and "got all pissed because there's too many people in the house."

The debate itself produced some flashes of entertainment. Here are a few highlights

Ensconced behind his specially-made preacher-style lectern, which he insisted be embossed with "The Cross of Jesus," Rick Santorum elicited a self-righteous roar from the crowd of true believers by shouting unprompted,

“Like all good Americans, I worship our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!”

With a politician's sense of a winning issue, he doubled down: “Barack Hussein Obama worships a false god, a pagan idol named Gaia!”

Mitt Romney, thumbing through a Berlitz Dictionary of Conservative Words, insisted grimly that he is not a liberal.

At one point, Romney sternly intoned, “As president I will be frighteningly Reaganesque!”

Ron Paul, between spasmodically bawling “no more endless war!” urged Americans to learn how to stop worrying and to love the Iranian bomb.

Newt!  He won't crush a church in your town
Bedlam broke out when Newt Gingrich, glaring at the moderator through a seriously furrowed brow, slowly and deliberately produced a flamethrower that he had secreted behind his podium, fired it up, and incinerated the panels’ table at the left edge of the stage, catching Anderson Cooper’s slacks on fire and sending Obama’s minions scattering and clamoring for safety.

The massive fireball also briefly set the stage curtains ablaze, but they were quickly extinguished. The rabid crowd, tired of being scolded and shushed by the nannying moderators all evening, whooped and hollered for a full five minutes, raining catcalls and derisive laughter down on the cowering inquisitors.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

We're Not as Free as We Used To Be

In a First Amendment Center/AJR survey, nearly half of those responding said they think the First Amendment goes too far in the rights it guarantees. And about the same number said the American press has been too aggressive in asking government officials for information about the war on terrorism. (AJR - Too Free?)
We don't need to invite the world's huddled masses; we ourselves are turning into a shivering, whining huddled mass...
The freedom celebrated on July 4, 1880, entailed a person’s right to live his life any way he chose — responsibly or irresponsibly, healthy or unhealthy — so long as his conduct was peaceful. Drug laws were nonexistent because freedom entailed the unfettered right to ingest harmful or unhealthy substances.
Unfortunately, in our time Americans have rejected our ancestors’ philosophy of freedom in favor of a “freedom” in which the state’s primary role is a paternalistic one. Today, the “freedom” celebrated is the collective power of the state to take care of people in society by taxing them.
John Quincy Adams’s statement to Congress on the Fourth of July, 1821, that America does not go abroad “in search of monsters to destroy” is now considered a quaint and obsolete philosophy of foreign policy. “Freedom” now entails an enormous standing army whose mission is to invade and occupy foreign nations with the supposed aim of taking care of their people, protecting them from tyranny or oppression.
How is the domestic policy and foreign policy celebrated as “freedom” by Americans today different from the philosophy that guided King George in 1776? (FFF-Hornberger)
A government vested with the power to fix everything also then has the power to break everything

Crashing around with impunity overseas acts as a societal corrosive that eventually eats through the firewall of us and them, here and over there. A government that can get away with it “over there” will eventually bring it home and turn the technology and tactics on its own people.

Also, when you allow government to advocate for certain protected groups instead of for the good of all, and when you cheer when government tramples the rights of your hated political enemies, how can you complain when that monster goes rogue and starts goring your sacred cows?

Jonathan Turley gives us 10 Reasons Why The US is No longer The Land of the Free.  It's full of good civil liberties stuff, and although he's a liberal, he's an honest one with a strong libertarian streak.  

The kooks at MSNBC and Daily Kos stood up on their hind legs and cheered him when he was calling for Bush and Cheney to be tried for war crimes.  They changed their tune when he lambasted Obama over his serial violation of our civil rights.  Those same lefty loons now resemble a horde of rabid Muslim nutballs screaming and burning over a flushed koran when his name is mentioned.

Here's more from a website called End of the American Dream...
In America today, you do not have the right to say whatever you want. If you say the wrong thing on a blog or a website it can have dramatic consequences.
In America today, you do not have the right to raise your own children as you see fit.
In America today, you do not have the right to grow whatever food you want and you do not have the right to eat whatever food you do grow.
In America today, you do not have the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.
In America today, you do not have a right to privacy. In fact, you should expect that everything that you do is watched, tracked, monitored and recorded. (12 Signs)
For those misguided souls who think this started with Obama, here's an article from 1994:  FFF – Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberties

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

American Nightmare

Imagine shivering in the cold, homeless, hungry, your children crying because they are scared and starving...

Next, imagine a kindly man and a group of his helpers ushering you in to a warm home with food and beds, but it's all a trick.  He ends up chaining you to his basement wall...

Sure, it's damp and chilly, but it's warmer than being outside...  He feeds you stale, unhealthy scraps, but it's better than starving...  After a few years of this, it doesn't seem so bad...

You could escape, but it's so scary outside on your own...

OK.  Maybe that's not the best analogy for government assistance.

I'd say government more resembles a crack dealer who gives you the first rock free, knowing you'll be back with money in your hand.  Having permanently hooked and ruined the poor, Uncle Sam began peddling to the middle class...

A secondary mission has gradually become primary: maintaining the middle class from childhood through retirement. The share of benefits flowing to the least affluent households, the bottom fifth, has declined from 54 percent in 1979 to 36 percent in 2007, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis published last year.
Almost half of all Americans lived in households that received government benefits in 2010, according to the Census Bureau. The share climbed from 37.7 percent in 1998 to 44.5 percent in 2006, before the recession, to 48.5 percent in 2010. (NY Times)
Read this and weep...
* The average individual who relies on Washington could receive benefits valued at $32,748, more than the nation’s average disposable personal income ($32,446).

* Nearly half of the U.S. population (49.5 percent) does not pay any federal income taxes

* As of now, 70 percent of the federal government’s budget goes to individual assistance programs
Source:  Dependence on Government Highest in History
Here's more...
The federal government sent a record $2 trillion to individuals in fiscal 2010, up nearly 75% from 10 years earlier. (Government Assistance Expands)
That last one comes from CNN's ironically-named series, The New American Dream

See also Our Budget Quagmire

Monday, February 20, 2012

Abortion and Contraception: A Humanist Approach

Contra Abortion and Birth Control: Making the case for making the case

I don't expect to convert anyone here on the subject of birth control or abortion, but I do hope to convince you that those who stand in opposition are not just making stuff up and being hateful about it, but that they approach the debate firmly rooted in history, charity and a coherent moral philosophy.

The case against abortion is simple:

It takes a human life. Even the humble one-cell zygote (a human cell, human life! Hello!) has a complete unique human genome.  We didn't know that back in 1973, but the Roe ruling did stipulate that if personhood could be established, the case would be closed. A fetus would be legally considered a human being entitled to constitutional protections:
If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's case, of course, collapses, [p157] for the fetus' right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment. (Cornell LII - Roe v Wade, IX A)
The majority also admitted in it's Roe v. Wade ruling that it did not know when human life begins, so it erred on the side of "who cares?"
We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer. (Cornell LII - Roe v Wade, IX B)
So the pro-abortion argument rests upon the tenuous hope that a fetus is not human life, and it takes a narrow legalistic view instead of a broader prima facie and ontological one. It ignores legal precedents set in various state supreme court decisions as well as historical English jurisprudence, as cited in William Blackstone's Commentaries.  This is the foundation of our law:
I. THE right of personal security consists in a person's legal and uninterrupted enjoyment of his life, his limbs, his body, his health, and his reputation.
1. LIFE is the immediate gift of God, a right inherent by nature in every individual; and it begins in contemplation of law as soon as an infant is able to stir in the mother's womb. For if a woman is quick with child, and by a potion, or otherwise, killeth it in her womb; or if any one beat her, whereby the child dieth in her body, and she is delivered of a dead child; this, though not murder, was by the ancient law homicide or manslaughter. But at present it is not looked upon in quite so atrocious a light, though it remains a very heinous misdemeanor.

An infant in ventre sa mere, or in the mother's womb, is supposed in law to be born for many purposes. It is capable of having a legacy, or a surrender of a copyhold estate, made to it. It may have a guardian assigned to it; and it is enabled to have an estate limited to its use, and to take afterwards by such limitation, as if it were then actually born. (Commentaries - Book 1, Chapter 1)
So the anti-abortion position is not a recent invention; the pro-abortion one is. For those who spread the lie that abortion used to be ok; that Christians just recently started "making it up as they went along," I suggest you go read The Didache, a first century Christian document that specifically prohibits abortion.

Defending contraception is much dicier... I won't even try to make the argument.  I will point out that everything the contraception foes predicted would happen if it became ubiquitous has indeed come to pass:  Family breakup, out-of-wedlock births, venereal disease, dehumanization and sexual objectification of women and all the moral rot and societal decay that goes with it.

The simple fact that unwanted pregnancies have exploded in this era of the miraculous birth control pill should give everyone pause.  It that doesn't do it for you, contemplate Europe's below-replacement fertility rate.  A people that refuses to biologically propagate itself commits slow societal suicide.

I leave it to The Catholic Church to argue that artificial birth control is evil.  I am merely pointing out that the moralists are not full of it.  Their morality is grounded in reason, religious self-discipline, and a profound respect for the intrinsic value of each human being, which as Kant explained should always be treated as ends unto themselves and never merely as a means.

Then there's the more sinister side of abortion and contraception...

Jonathan Freedland explores the left's Eugenics Skeletons in the Closet. The original progressive aim was to abort and contracept the "inferiors" into extinction. Thankfully, the left has given up their sinister plans that included "lethal chambers" and have now progressed to merely enslaving and imprisoning the poor in fetid inner cities to more easily harvest their votes.

So although you may not agree with them, can you at least acknowledge that people who argue against artificial contraception and abortion do so from a firm historical and philosophical foundation?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Supervillain Sunday! Foster Freeze vs Abortion Man!

"It's Rick Santorum's misfortune that his main moneybags has a name that sounds like a Batman villain." 

Yesterday we were treated to another of Jersey's wretched and vulgar outbursts.

Most of it is incoherent and unprintable, but I will provide a few counterpoints.

Jersey ignorantly blurted...
"In fact, until the mid-19th century, most of you Cafeteria Christian Conservatives didn't believe that. And not until the mid-20th century did it become a focal issue for the right wing Protestants among you."
Wrong-O, angry and intolerant one.  I refer you to The Didache, a first century Christian document written by men who knew Christ...
Chapter 2. The Second Commandment: Grave Sin Forbidden. And the second commandment of the Teaching; You shall not commit murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not commit pederasty, you shall not commit fornication, you shall not steal, you shall not practice magic, you shall not practice witchcraft, you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is born.  (Didache)
You can disagree with the teachings, but it's authenticity is universally accepted by historians.

Jersey continued with some more gay bathhouse profanity, then closed by defending abortion as legitimate because "abortion has been around for at least all of recorded history."  Well, so has murder and theft, so I can't imagine what his point could have been...

Selective Outrage on the Left

It's Rick Santorum's misfortune that his main campaign moneybags has a name that sounds like a Batman villain.  Foster Friess had the temerity to tell women who didn't want to get pregnant to keep their knees together and liberals everywhere collapsed into hysteric vapors.

This is the same left that...

... Gleefully mocks and dehumanizes conservative women, from Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter to Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin, to include cheering when liberal men make "jokes" about them that include their children and the prospect of them being raped

... lionized lady-killer Ted Kennedy and his fellow carouser and serial sexual-harasser Christopher Dodd.

... batted not an eye when Bill Clinton abused his power by seducing a star-struck, barely-legal intern into performing sexual favors on him in the oval office

Illiberal, Intolerant Left

And the left dares to sling charges of hypocrisy? Not living up to one’s beliefs? Has anyone checked out the “tolerant,” “diverse,” and pro-choice” left’s illiberal, intolerant gang rape of the Komen foundation for making the choice to not hand free money to abortionists at Planned Parenthood ? It was the very antipathy of true classical liberalism.

Yeah, they're pro-choice, so long as they are the ones choosing what the rest of us will pay for:
In a society that thinks itself free, how dare the government force employers to provide health insurance? How dare it mandate that coverage include contraception—or any particular service? How dare it mandate that any coverage be free? (It can’t really be free; the coverage necessarily reduces employees’ cash wages.) How can contraception use be insurable when it is a chosen act, not the kind of low-probability, high-cost event that insurance was designed to protect against? (Obama’s Big Government Mandates)
So yeah, get your freak on, but do it on your own damned dime.

* - If you had fun today, tune in tomorrow.  This was just a warm-up...

Other fun links:
Birth Control Yes, Government Control No
The Audacity of Power
Explaining Conflicting Poll Data
Commerce is the Culture War
Birth Control Mandate: Unconstitutional and Illegal
Careful what you wish for

Friday, February 17, 2012

"Congressional Corruption," but I Repeat Myself...

Well, the practitioner of The Religion of Peace who roasted his chestnuts on a Christmas day flight bound for the US was sentenced to life in prison yesterday.

In other news...

Our corrupt congress, having again been caught with it's grimy mitts in the cookie jar, is now taking the brave, heroic step of attempting to pass a sham law to make it appear that elected officials will no longer profit from insider trading...
“The house of representatives…can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as the great mass of society. This has always been deemed one of the strongest bonds by which human policy can connect the rulers and the people together. It creates between them that communion of interest, and sympathy of sentiments, of which few governments have furnished examples; but without which every government degenerates into tyranny.”  -- James Madison
Do you feel the bonds that connect you to the imperial DC grandees?  Do you really believe they share with you a "communion of interest, and sympathy of sentiments?" 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Missing Bush White House e-mails Found

Things have been way too intense here lately. Time to lighten it up with a blast from the past. This is probably the last year Obama can blame Bush, so lets savor it while it lasts...

Dick Cheney Must Be Behind It!

Computer experts have recovered 22 million Bush White House e-mails previously thought lost or destroyed (22 million!) and Bush foes who had filed lawsuits to have them handed over are jubilant.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Computer technicians have found 22 million missing White House e-mails from the administration of President George W. Bush, according to two groups that are settling lawsuits they filed over the failure by the Bush White House to install an electronic record keeping system.
Bush haters have been devouring the e-mails like a pack of ravenous wolves.  One Cheney e-mail to the president has them particularly excited:
Well, George, I'm off to my secret, underground, undisclosed torture chamber.  Got a fresh shipment of jihadis in and I want to test out the new cattle prod.  The bullwhip just ain't cutting it anymore.  I want 'em pissin' their pants when I get my torture on!  Bwahahahahaha!  -- Dick
White House Manipulated Gas Prices

Other e-mail traffic reveals the source of the gasoline price spike in 2007:  President Bush accidentally bumped the secret dial under his desk that he used to control global petroleum prices.

He had purposely turned it down in 2004 to get reelected, then eased it back up slightly to keep the Big Oil cronies happy.  But he apparently got excited while eavesdropping on an ordinary citizen's phone call to Sweden and slammed his knee into the dial, sending prices skyward.  The impact was so severe he had to give up mountain biking for a week. 

Despite that, he didn't realize what he'd done until campaign money began gushing in from corrupt oil companies with thank you notes attached.  The event prompted this e-mail to the energy secretary:
Hey Tater!
Damn, still can't believe I did that...  Can we blame the gas price increase on France?  Just askin'  heh heh heh...  -- The Decider
More Embarrassing E-Mails

There are supposedly other embarrassing e-mails, including one where the former president compares Nancy Pelosi to a washed up drag queen and threatens to lasso Keith Olbermann and pull him behind his horse like Ben Cartwright did to a bad guy on a Bonanza episode.

It is also rumored that in one piquant missive, Vice President Cheney offered to "Butcher that fatass Michael Moore like the hog that he is," and unfavorably compared Senator John Kerry to a flaccid male appendage, but that has yet to be confirmed.

Don't believe me?  Go read the story here:  Breitbart

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Collectivization Leads to Mob Rule

Pope Obama of the Secular Church of State (click to embiggen)

"But I'm not anti-religion...  Some of my biggest admirers are Catholic!"

Despite the toady nun marched out by Obama to declare that all was now good, the US Catholic Bishops rejected Obama's economically ignorant and transparently tendentious sham offer. I will admit that trotting out Sister Carol Keehan was a nice touch by the president, but why did it remind me of the racist who when cornered defends himself by saying that he has black friends?
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. – Benjamin Franklin
The standard liberal/left argument in favor of Obama dictating to church-run organizations can be boiled down to tyranny of the majority:  Over 50% of citizens think businesses should give away birth control pills and abortafacients, therefore all women have a right to it.  Period.

This is an insidious line of argumentation:
The pivot point is how you see this. Is it a battle over birth control -- used by 98% of U.S. women at some time in their lives -- or over government intrusion into the right of religious organizations to live by their teachings?
58% of all Catholics agree employers should be required to provide their employees with health care plans that cover contraception. That slides down to 52% for Catholic voters, 50% for white Catholics. (USA Today)
This contradicts more authoritative, less agenda-driven polling, but we’ll ignore that for now.

Stated another way, “If half the Catholics don’t care, then why is this an issue?”

The logical outcome of this would be that the government can overturn any lawful religious belief or practice that a majority of adherents don’t agree with. It’s an ad populum argument crafted to skirt the more fundamental constitutional issue.

This is an unconstitutional infringement on the free exercise of religion, but that is drawing the issue too narrowly. Remove “Birth Control” and replace it with “Iced Tea” and the larger problem would be the same: The government usurping the freedom of individuals by telling them what to do in their personal lives.
"A resolution to this issue cannot only cover 'religious' employers," Pavone said. "Religious freedom, which includes freedom of conscience, does not belong only to religious entities but to every American. There are many non-religious reasons to object to the administration's policy." (USA Today)
Yes! And that cuts to the issue. Government is binding your conscience, in an age and place where religion no longer can.  How the worm has turned.  It is one thing to take your tax money and spend it on wars, or abortions or wasteful green schemes. Elections revolve around such issues. It is quite another for the government to put a gun to your head and demand you buy something and give it to someone else, regardless of whether it violates your moral beliefs.

Here’s another line of liberal argumentation along the same line…
More generally, as Kevin Drum points out, one price for engaging with secular society is living by the rules of secular society. (Cohen)
Sounds good, but it is fraught with error. Who sets “the rules?” Where do they come from? What is the arbitrating authority when there is a dispute over “the rules?” What rule is the Catholic Church violating?  Is the rule valid when measured against the US Constitution?

Collectivizing our Rights 

This is really about the relentless march of collectivism. Throw all our money and liberties into the public pot so that state panjandrums and public policy poobahs can dole them back out.  As a state-sponsored bonus, it all belongs to the federal government now, not you, so the wolves have a right to vote to eat the sheep.
When health care is thus “collectivized,” when we’re “all in this together,” we’re forced to fight for every “carve-out” of liberty. (CATO)
USA Today reports that Obama’s Retreat is not enough. The article details the tangled nest of thorny problems this has opened up. What about a small-business owner who objects to providing insurance covering the morning after pill?

It’s a snarled up mess because government doesn’t belong in this arena. It has chained businesses and organizations to itself, insisting they provide services to individuals. This sets up a situation where a person is beholden to their employer for not just medical, but dental and other services that used to be the purview of the individual.

The easy solution is for the government butt out

The federal government need to get its fat, intrusive ass out of this private issue and turn its attentions to creating a clean, well-policed space for a free marketplace of health insurance to bloom, independent of employer participation. Americans will be able to shop for what they want, and if a majority want birth control pills, sterilization and morning after drugs, the free market will set up a competition to see who can provide them at the lowest cost.

Women who work for Catholic organizations can be free to choose their health insurance without the church snooping on them.  That respects the liberty and consciences of all, and that is what America is all about.

Catholic Bishops: Don’t Revise; Rescind
WaPo - “Compromise”

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Operation Enduring Quagmire

I don't have a lot of commentary to offer on Afghanistan.  I was there, I served, and I came home.  Mine is the typical Air Force Fobbit story:  I worked on stuff, had a few harrowing convoy experiences, and found myself in the random rocket attack, one of which hit the sewer dump and also blew up two British Harriers at Kandahar.  I even managed to sleep through a few...

People who have spent a substantial amount of time in the field are calling BS on the official government story.  Afghanistan is a hopeless cause.  The latest damning report from the field comes from Lt Col Daniel Davis, who just got back from a one-year deployment.

"That murder took place within view of the U.S. base, a post nominally responsible for the security of an area of hundreds of square kilometers."
There's more...
I saw little to no evidence the local governments were able to provide for the basic needs of the people. Some of the Afghan civilians I talked with said the people didn’t want to be connected to a predatory or incapable local government.
Through the interpreter, I asked the police captain where the attack had originated, and he pointed to the side of a nearby mountain.
“What are your normal procedures in situations like these?” I asked. “Do you form up a squad and go after them? Do you periodically send out harassing patrols? What do you do?”
As the interpreter conveyed my questions, the captain’s head wheeled around, looking first at the interpreter and turning to me with an incredulous expression. Then he laughed.
“No! We don’t go after them,” he said. “That would be dangerous!”
According to the cavalry troopers, the Afghan policemen rarely leave the cover of the checkpoints. In that part of the province, the Taliban literally run free.
No, it's not a Hollywood farce, put on for our entertainment. Karzai and the Taliban are playing us for fools as they rob us blind. Time to leave them to their own devices.

I am not a warrior, but I served with quite a few. I can tell you that leaving that God-forsaken place to whatever fate awaits it would not be a betrayal to anyone who died or was wounded there. We kicked the Taliban’s ass and then we gave the benighted inhabitants a chance to improve their lot. They failed. Our fighting forces, especially the Army and the Marines, fought like the heroic lions they are. Nothing to be ashamed of. We win, they lose. Our forces return to the greatest country in the world, and they remain stuck in the toilet we tried to pull them out of. 

James Traub concludes US Can Live with an Afghan Loss

And it's true. Despite the heroic efforts of our warriors, Afghanistan will continue to be a 6th century Hobbesean world ruled by ignorance and the sword. No better and no worse than before. China, Pakistan and Russia will feel the negative consequences, as will the Taliban, who has been feasting off of our largess all the past years.

We, on the other hand, will be materially better off. Richer because we no longer dump billions down that South Asia toilet, strategically smarter, and militarily stronger for the experience.

Having said what I said earlier, I have to admit that Afghanistan has haunted me, less and less as time goes by, but I was shocked to see how many posts I had written about the graveyard of empires where I used to live...

Many a crisp mountain morning I would view the snow capped Hindu Kush and sadly ponder how this would be a great tourist location if it weren't for the people trying to kill you...

Afghanistan: Moving towards a distant endgame

Monday, February 13, 2012

Natural Rights and our Constitution

We've had some spirited conversations here over Church and State this past week.  I am thankful for all of you who visit here and contribute to the conversation.

I am writing this not so much to preach to the progressives, but to establish what I believe and why I believe it.  It scares me when I encounter people, especially conservatives, who believe our rights come from the constitution.  They do not.  I also want to say that I get wound up sometimes, but I genuinely respect the views of all my interlocutors and I greatly appreciate that you take the time to come here and debate.

A Living Document or Carved in Stone?

Progressivism depends upon a "living document" constitution, malleable and subject to modern reinterpretations, while strict constructionists insist the only valid manner of "reinterpretation" is to go through the amendment process.  I am a strict constructionist, but I can see the other side's point.

But anyway, here is my argument...

Natural Rights:  The Philosophical Foundation of our Constitutional Republic

Our founding fathers were born in the age of the divine right of kings.  The ruler was the lawgiver.  Some were tyrants about it, others were merely capricious, while some were downright enlightened in their rule. England's Glorious Revolution restored some power to the people, but Parliament came to be seen as capricious, issuing commands that violated personal sovereignty instead of discovering and enshrining broadly applicable principles as they existed among the people.

The founders based their political philosophy upon concepts explained in Locke's Second Treatise. All people possess the natural rights of life, liberty and property. Man exists in a state of nature, but as Hobbes observed, life there is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short,"  so people gather in clans and communities where mores and societal norms spring forth and evolve.

Further, societies make rules to guarantee the rights of all. As such, Enlightenment minds considered "lawmaking" an abomination. "Law discovery" is a concept more fitted to a free people, for it presupposes that laws naturally exist by history and custom of a people. Lawmakers and judges merely discover and enunciate them as the need arises. A radical concept, but our founders were radical men.

Our Constitution Binds the Government, Not the People

They wrote the constitution to charge the federal government with specific responsibilites like national defense and regulating certain activities among the states. It was written to regulate the behavior of government, not that of the citizens. It was also written with man's natural rights in mind, which is why it is short on strictures on human behavior.

In the founders' minds, there were two spheres, the public and the private. Man is the sovereign of his personal sphere and government may not intrude upon it so long as a man does not intrude upon the personal sphere of another. Government may not compel a man to surrender property to another man, or press him into involuntary service unless it is specifically stated in the constitution, such as military service.

It is significant that the only positive rights mentioned in the constitution are legal rights that protect the citizen from the state, such as habeas corpus, representation, speedy trial, etc. All other rights mentioned are negative ones, essentially the right to conduct your own affairs as you see fit so long as you allow others to do the same.

There are no rights to food, or shelter or other material things. Indeed Hamilton and others argued against a Bill of Rights because they feared craven officials would use such a list to claim that other rights were excluded since they were not mentioned, or that listing them would give a pretext for government to claim to be the source of them and therefor subject to the whims of presidents and legislators.

We have no positive rights granting us the property of others

There is no right to health care, and there is no right to have others pay for it. It doesn't exist. To those who insist it does, I ask you then why you are not vociferously arguing against any religious exemption, especially the one that exempts churches from providing these services to employees? If it is a right, it may not be violated.

Does the federal government have the authority to tell a business to give things away?  That's what Obama's tissue-thin fig leaf of a compromise does.  It commands insurance companies to give stuff away.  If the government can do this, why not command grocery stores to give food away?  Better yet, solve the birth control issue by decreeing that all birth control products are free.  All someone has to do is walk in and take them.

This is the lala land we find ourselves in when government intrudes upon our personal sphere.  It has no business there, it violates the constitution, and leads to much illogic.  If goverment can tell you what kind of insurance you must provide your employees, why can't it tell you what kind of food to eat?

The reason it cannot is because nothing in the constitution authorizes it to invade the private realm of the individual.  To say otherwise is to expose us all to the whims of our elected officials and their army of bureaucrats.  It is tyranny.

Second Treatise of Civil Government - John Locke
US Constitution
Federalist Papers
See also Chapters 11, 12, and 14 of Hayek's The Constitution of Liberty (Sorry, no linky love!)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

State Sponsored Suicide

We've lost the concept of shame.  Or more rightly put, we're only allowed to use it in socially-approved ways now 

The President and the left can scold their greedy conservative enemies about social justice, The First Lady can lecture us on eating our vegetables, but woe to those who enter the public square and preach time-tested, millennia-old Judeo-Christian morality like hard work and being true to your spouse and children.

We can no longer shame "men" who would rather mooch off of the rest of us than get a job, or those serial impregnators who have fun and run, leaving us to foot the bill.  We can no longer shame people for out-of-wedlock births that produce litters of children in single-parent government-provided apartments that are really gang-controlled cell blocks.  Irresponsible adults condemn children to a life of poverty, crime, ignorance and social dysfunction, and the responsible adults who work hard and pay the bills simply keep their mouths shut and go about their business.

MTV’s Sixteen and Pregnant is damn near the only entity publicly calling out bad behavior.  Unfortunately, it is swimming in a sewer of sin and societal decay, diluting its effectiveness.  Despite this, Sixteen and Pregnant shows the consequences of irresponsibility, and does so gently, by example, without preaching.

But we need to start preaching and getting in people’s faces over their behaviors.

"Wanna act like a stupid cracked-out Hollyweird pig?  Then get a job that provides you enough money to do it on your own damn dime and you won’t have to put up with the rest of us excoriating you for staggering through life brain-dead and tapping the rest of us to pay for your mistakes.  Pull your head out!!!"

That's what I want to say, and others bigger and smarter than me are saying it as well, only in nicer terms.

Klaus Schwab, whom I gather is some kind of international plutocrat and a Davos Man, ventilated this lament at the latest global cognoscenti conclave:
"We have a general morality gap, we are over-leveraged, we have neglected to invest in the future, we have undermined social coherence, and we are in danger of completely losing the confidence of future generations," said Klaus Schwab, host and founder of the annual World Economic Forum.
"Solving problems in the context of outdated and crumbling models will only dig us deeper into the hole. (Breitbart)
A Moral Morass

We are in a moral morass, and the elites have led us here.  By their own venal behavior in the world's marketplaces of business and finance, but also by their tacit approval of destructive behavior.  Throwing state money at the poor salves some consciences, but it's done nothing to help the poor pull themselves out of poverty.

State-sponsored social projects have resulted in a split between Belmonters (the haves) and Fishtowners (the have nots), according to the central thesis of Charles Murray's new book, Coming Apart.

Murray notes that before the 1960's, the rich and the poor shared many demographic traits, common mores and shared American values.  Now, they are miles apart.  Percentages in both groups were comparable for marriage, out of wedlock births, unemployment, crime, and church attendance.  All of these social indicators have gotten much worse for Fishtown, while the Belmonters enjoy stability.  Both groups are in a feedback-fed spiral, one virtuous and the other corkscrewing ever downward.

Preach What You Practice

Progressives have generally accepted Murray's observations, but they disagree vehemently with his conclusion:
The best thing that the new upper class can do to provide that reinforcement is to drop its condescending "nonjudgmentalism." Married, educated people who work hard and conscientiously raise their kids shouldn't hesitate to voice their disapproval of those who defy these norms. When it comes to marriage and the work ethic, the new upper class must start preaching what it practices. (WSJ - Murray)
Progressives want more redistribution and government programs.  Niall Ferguson explains why this is folly:
So what is to be done to heal the rift between Rich America and Poor America? There are two obvious problems with the standard liberal prescription of increased welfare spending, financed by higher taxes on the rich. The first, as Murray points out, is that the welfare programs of the Great Society era were in many ways the cause of the breakdown of social order in working-class America.
The second is that this is a very strange time to want to import the European welfare state, with its aspiration to provide everyone with comfort and security from the cradle to the grave. In case you hadn’t noticed, that system is currently on the brink of fiscal collapse in its continent of origin.
Murray’s conclusion is that Americans need to steer clear of Europe and instead get back to their roots. We should scrap the institutions of the New Deal and Great Society and replace them with the system of guaranteed basic income he first proposed in In Our Hands (2006). And we should pin our faith on the four traditional pillars of the American way of life: family, vocation, community, and faith. These, Murray argues, were the true foundations of the American project, from Kennedy all the way back to Washington. (Ferguson)
If You Love Someone, Set Them Free

A little shame wouldn't hurt either. The fear of shaming myself and my family is what kept me from stealing when I needed more money, or from engaging in other behaviors that were fun at the time but could end in destruction, tragedy or... shame...

My parents also taught me that the bird with the broken wing and the sick fox I captured and nursed back to health had to eventually be let go. We are financing societal dysfunction that has condemned millions to crime-infested neighborhoods and failed schools.

More money and more government has only made things worse for the poor. For the tens of millions on the bottom, The War on Poverty has been lost, and it's not a Great Society. It's time to try something different.

See Also (Walter Russell Mead is especially thought-provoking):

Friday, February 10, 2012

Progressivism's Pernicious Holy War

A Church - State battle is now engaged...

Obama declared jihad on the Catholic Church by decreeing it must pay for birth control and abortions of its employees, and the Holy Roman Empire is striking back.

This is not just a Catholic issue, it is a religious freedom issue. Make churches pay for stuff that violates their doctrines and bedrock beliefs, and you can next force them to perform gay marriages or declare their doctrine hate speech under pain of losing their tax exempt status.

But wait, there’s more! Once the federal government establishes the precedent that it can violate this First Amendment right, it is then free to violate the free speech rights of individual citizens. First Amendment gone.  All for the greater good, dontcha know...

Libertarian Steve Chapman recalling the church's losing battle against birth control pills back in 1960's, comes to liberty's defense:
But many of those who think it's wrong to forbid Americans to buy contraceptives think it's just fine to require them to buy contraceptives. In this group, unfortunately, are President Barack Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who are hell-bent on enforcing that mandate on nearly everyone. (Chapman)
Statist Toady Joan Venocci argues for the constitution shredders:
But not all employees of Catholic institutions are Catholics. Why should their employers impose their religious beliefs on them and deny coverage for birth control and other medical care? As long as those Catholic institutions are getting taxpayer money, they should follow secular rules. That’s the Obama administration’s argument, and it makes sense.  (Boston Glob)
The obvious answer is, of course the Catholic Church is not denying them these things.  Employees of the Holy Roman Empire are free to go out and purchase them.  No inquisitions, no fear of being burned at the stake, just a free decision... Paid for with their own damned money!

All Your Cookies are Belonging to Me!

Venocci's argument encapsulates the progressive long march. As government increases, we decrease. They lure us in with favors and suborn private institutions with government money until the individual becomes indistinguishable from the state. Take government money and not only must you dance to their tune, you become government property, bought and paid for.

That is what the progressive argument hinges upon: If you take from the government pot (which consists of money confiscated from you), you surrender your rights to the state. The linchpin of this nefarious government plot is getting every little doggy's paw to reach into the pot. Progressive mission accomplished.  Checkmate. You are bought and paid for. With your own money.

* - For a deeper explanation of the legal justification progressives use to defend Obamacare and other similar incursions on our liberties, see this:  WH - Of Course Government Can Put a Gun to your Head...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

An Ebbing Tide Lifts Obama’s Boat

Giving up is the key to Obama’s reelection. Giving up on looking for a job, that is...

4 million Americans are so disgusted with Obamanomics that they have permanently abandoned the nation’s tattered workforce since the president took office, helping to keep the unemployment rate out of scary double-digit territory where it more properly belongs.

The simple calculation for unemployment before all the seasonal adjustments and so forth, is:

Unemployment Rate = Number of Unemployed / Total Labor Force

So the easy way to get unemployment down is to reduce the numerator in proportion to the denominator, and the easiest way to do that is to declare that the greatest number of unemployed workers are no longer looking for work, and therefore no longer “unemployed.” This shrinks the numerator relative to the denominator, making unemployment go down.

Obama is on track to be the only president to lose jobs during his term

This impressive feat beats even Herbert Hoover. He produced this horrible historic milestone by stopping drilling, shutting down pipelines and plane factories, and liberally slinging shovel-ready bureaucratic manure all over the place.  His economic record is abysmal.

There’s a right way and a wrong way to talk about just how catastrophic Obama’s job destruction record is. Here’s the wrong way:

Looking at the U-6 unemployment rate, which includes the discouraged and part-time workers, really doesn't tell us anything, because the ratio stays pretty much the same in good times and bad, so it’s a comparative wash to point out that “real” unemployment is closer to 16%. 

The same goes for trying to point to statistical tricks like seasonal adjustments, which explain how the economy could shed 1.5 million jobs between December and January yet still claim that unemployment fell from 8.5 to 8.3 and added 234,000 jobs. All administrations have played by these rules, so it’s not really a good point of criticism.

Here’s why Obama is a horrible president...

The absolute number of total jobs in the US has shrunk since President Obama was inaugurated; a catastrophe considering our population continues to grow. The shrinking participation (taking frustrated job-seekers out of the equation) is the key to masking Obama’s jobs destruction. Just this past month Obama's regime sliced off 88,000 job-seekers, sending them to statistical oblivion and improving his bottom line.
If the size of the U.S. labor force as a share of the total population was the same as it was when Barack Obama took office—65.7 percent then vs. 63.7 percent today—the U-3 unemployment rate would be 11.0 percent.
As an analysis from Hamilton Place Strategies concludes, “Most of the shift of the past year is due not to the improvement in the labor market, but the continued drop in participation in the labor force.” (8.3 Unemployment Rate is a Phony Number)
Here’s the bad news for Obama:
If the participation rate does level off at its current rate, according to HPS, the economy would need to generate 231,000 jobs per month to get below 8 percent unemployment by Election Day (8.3 Unemployment Rate is a Phony Number)
Now for the good news for the hopium smokers:
If the participation rate continues its downward slide, however, that number would be much lower—perhaps as low as 131,000 jobs a month (8.3 Unemployment Rate is a Phony Number)
So as long as the overall number of jobs continue to shrink and the government continues to kick more and more workers out of the statistical labor force, the jobs picture will continue to look up for Obama, even as the economy sags and the number of Americans out of work increases.

And they say the GOP field is unelectable?

See also:  O-Man the Destroyer

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Attack on Catholic Church is an Attack on the Constitution

President Obama has decreed that the Catholic Church must provide birth control and abortifacients in the health care plans it offers to its employees

Here’s a statement from government suckerfish Planned Parenthood:
“This is good health policy and good economic policy,” said Dawn Laguens, vice president at Planned Parenthood. “It increases access to affordable birth control, but it is up to an individual employee to choose it or not. That’s very much the American way.” (El Lay Times – Contraceptive Mandate)
No.  It's not the American Way, as if a statist trained monkey raised and sustained on free taxpayer money would even begin to understand the concept. This is a terrible idea because it is a federal government telling private citizens what to do when it has no authority to do so.  A true free choice is one you make on your own and then pay for on your own without picking someone else’s pocket. That’s the American Way. The constitution was written to prevent such abuse.

Kevin Drum wrote that if you take government money you march to the government’s tune. It's a valid argument.  However, the violator here is not the Catholic Church; it is the US Government that is charged by We The People to be the guardian of our God-given rights. By ensnarling every last person in its tangled web, it has created a hopeless situation for anyone wanting to order their own lives and business free from the unblinking government gaze.

What gives the federal government the right to issue such dicta to churches? What gives it the right to command any organization or business in this way? What part of the constitution sanctions this?

The federal government is in bald-faced violation of the first amendment

You see, our rights are innumerable and bounded only by those outer limits where they interfere with the rights of others. Government’s rights are enumerated and limited; restricted by what that mandate from the people to their elected government, the US Constitution, says. This is what we need to be telling our politicians, our kids, and our family, friends, neighbors and coworkers who may have forgotten it. We also need to say it loud and proud when the smartass statist gargoyles in the press shove microphones in our faces at tea party rallies.

The US Constitution protects our God-given rights to life, liberty and property and it limits the actions the federal government may take against them. The very idea of mandating such everyday minutiae of our personal lives makes a mockery of our constitutional form of government.

Even Liberty's Defenders get it Wrong...

Oxymoronic ObamaCatholic Doug Kmiec proposes a speech Obama should give that admits the government was wrong. This phrase stuck out at me:
While the constitution doesn't mandate religious exemptions from general laws, I believe we should accommodate as many beliefs as possible and to the greatest extent possible without jeopardizing the purpose of the law. (Tim Reidy)
Firstly, we have no more general laws, as great jurists of England and the United states from centuries past would understand them. Our government no longer operates under the constitutional Rule of Law.  Rather, it now barrages us with stern commands and dictatorial edicts.

Religious Exemptions are a Warning Sign

Were our government’s lawmaking still in conformance with the constitution, there would be no requirement for “religious exemptions,” since the First Amendment bars government from prohibiting the free exercise of religion. The fact that our discussions of law and regulations are now so shot through with talk of exemptions is an indictment against our government and the craven batwinged legislators and bureaucrats who haunt its once-hallowed halls.

Federalist 84 eloquently expresses this concern, as Publius argues against a Bill of Rights. He saw the danger to all our rights that would be caused by enumerating certain of them. Hamilton proved to be quite prescient:
They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?
Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed?
I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power. (Federalist 84)
Back when the constitution still mattered, honorable lawmakers would observe that this or that proposed legislation protrudes into the private lives of citizens, and thereby abandon the project.   Our post-constitutional government suffers no such scruples.  And the ignorant subjects stand up on their hind legs and applaud.