Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Did President Obama Make the Oceans Recede?

Did President Obama rebuke the hurricane from his lofty NOAA command post?

The Telegraph’s Toby Harnden writes derisively of the overhyped hurricane Irene. The dire warnings blared out by the nanny state trio of Obama, Bloomberg and Napolitano never came to pass. Harnden’s reacap of the stereotypical reporters doing their stereotypically hysterical reportage from the stereotypical windswept beach was priceless. The New Jersey reporter who stood in raw sewage and commented it didn’t taste very good got special mention.

But what really happened?

Remember when, to thunderous world applause, President Obama pledged he'd make the oceans recede? The assembled press corps shivered with excitement and collectively piddled down their little hind legs as His O-ness soared to oratorical heights untrammeled by mere-mortal presidents.

David Plouffe hinted Monday that Obama has fulfilled that campaign promise this past weekend, but would not elaborate when pressed.  Others were more direct, criticizing the president for his unilateral intervention that has stirred the wrath of the ocean's rulers.
"He should not have done it," clucked the UN Special High Poobah Rapporteur for Climatological Appeasement.  "His unilateral oceanic imperialism smacked too much of that horrible Bush administration.  The ocean's denizens are angry.  President Obama should apologize."
Bush, Cheney to blame for ignoring, disrespecting the ocean kingdom

Has Obama incurred the wrath of Poseidon?
DC insiders say an apology may be forthcoming. In a face-saving move, it will be couched in criticism of the last administration. Dick Cheney's pasty white complexion was a proud testament to his total disregard for the Oceanic kings, having never once visited the beach.

And it is alleged that President Bush urinated upon their abode during various sailing jaunts off the coast of Kennebunkport, Maine. While in the very act of "drainin' the lizard", the former president is rumored to have said, "what's the ocean ever done for me? Heh heh heh!"
Ocean Kings Pledge to Rebuff Obama Apology

Reverend Al Gore of the International Church of Gaia insists the Earth is angry, and that includes the roiling oceans, which will "conjure up category 25 hurricanes and steal our coconuts" if we don't change our ways.

Cowering Europeans are bracing for further waves of righteous oceanic anger, certain that the foamy spillover will inevitably reach their  shores.  EU Parliament members have taken to wearing flippers and have outlawed seafood consumption in an effort to appease the angry gods of the deep.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Buy American - Buy Toyota

I bought a used Toyota Tundra awhile back...

My family had outgrown the old Ranger we used to go camping in, and going camping in a minivan just ain’t right.  We took the Tundra camping up in the mountains last week, and it hauled all our gear while handling the roughest 4 wheel drive trails.  It also serves as a vehicle the whole family can go to church in without a fight breaking out because somebody touched somebody (those with kids will understand.)

A smartass liberal at work chided me, since I’ve always been a Buy American guy, but I countered that buying a Toyota is buying American. My truck was made in Texas by American workers, and Toyota took not one dime of bailout money. Toyota did clean up on the cash for clunkers debacle, through no fault of their own, but by the free choice exercised by American consumers.

Your federal government…
…gave Chrysler’s secured creditors, who would have had priority in a normal bankruptcy, 29 cents on the dollar. Chrysler’s unions, on the other hand, got more than 40 cents, even though they are equivalent to low-priority lenders. This made a mockery of longstanding bankruptcy law, something that will make credit markets wary of lending to political sacred cows in the future. (Shikha Dalmia – Driving to Delusionville)  
Obama also favored unionized workers over non-unionized ones:
All United Auto Workers retirees at Delphi, GM’s auto supplier, got 100 percent of their pension and retirement benefits. But 21,000 nonunion, salaried employees lost up to 70 percent of their pensions, and all of their life and health insurance.
Shikha Dalmia goes on to say that GM and Chrysler shirked the opportunity to lower labor costs. At $58/hour, they are still higher than relatively high Toyota, but can’t touch Toyota’s quality and reliability standards. Worse, they come nowhere close to $40/hour Hyunai and Kia. She concludes,
“The bailout prepared GM and Chrysler to compete with the industry leaders of yesterday, not tomorrow.”
Finally, the bailout of GM and Chrysler rewarded failure and punished prudence and fiscal discipline:
By bailing out GM, the administration rewarded its recklessness and penalized Ford’s prudence. Every company that feels it is too big to fail, or is a national icon or major regional employer, will wonder whether it makes more business sense to save for a rainy day or simply hold out for taxpayer assistance.
And contrary to the propagandistic Obamablather, GM still owes you and me over $13 billion, twice that if you figure in generous tax breaks. Buy a vehicle from a car company that shamelessly put such a permanent dent in the US Treasury? That would be downright un-American. I’ll stick to my Fords and Toyotas.

Source for all quotes: 
Shikha Dalmia – Driving to Delusionville

Monday, August 29, 2011

Unbalanced Demographic Perversity

Leticia had an interesting post over at her conservative Christian blog, My Daily Trek.
In yet another expansion of government through Executive Order, the Obama administration has created an Office of Diversity and Inclusion to boost minority participation in the federal work force.
She quotes Judicial Watch, stating that the Obama administration’s goal is to...
“Eliminate demographic group imbalances in targeted occupations and improve workforce diversity. To attain this, special initiatives have been created targeting specific groups, including Hispanics, African Americans, American Indians, women and gays and lesbians.”
What if African-America lesbians are underrepresented in the government janitor category?  Will Obama force random lesbians at gunpoint to grab a mop and broom?

I guess hiring the best person for the job is too simple-minded. If your young daughter is going in for a serious surgery, do you go to the hospital that hires the very best surgeons, or do you go to the diversity hospital that includes witch doctors and those practiced in non-conformist techniques?

If your daughter died at the hands of an inept doctor, would it really make you feel better knowing that at least the doctor was an American Indian lesbian messianic-Muslim?  Or, as Howard Portnoy observes, if diversity is the the supreme good, then why don't we "see women playing in the NFL?"

Progressives have build a bonfire of stupidities, and this is just the latest log on the fire

Here's how to short-circuit this crap: 

Declare yourself and your opposite-gender spouse to both be homosexual.  Demand special rights and recognition.

When challenged by the diversity police, scream loudly that you are being discriminated against because you don't fit the traditional gay lifestyle.  Insist the feral government create a new category for you.  Call Jesse Jackson and go on MSNBC to demand mandatory diversity training that indoctrinates everyone into your alternate lifestyle.

There! You've just created for yourself an even smaller, more exclusive and more oppressed minority.  See how easy it is?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Rational Self Interest, Morality & Liberty

How do we reconcile public morality and personal liberty?
“poverty does not create our social problems; our social problems create our poverty.” – Marco Rubio, US Senator-Florida
In a post last week, I observed that the British looters were acting in their rational self-interest, and Bastiatarian took me to task, albeit in a polite and friendly way…
I don't really think the looters are acting in their rational self-interest, though. I believe that they think they are, but it's a very short-sighted self-interest. At the very least, they don't take into consideration the deep and lasting damage done to their characters by such behavior.
So true.  I could not agree more, and I appreciate Bastiatarian's professorial mien.

What I meant was that those lost souls (on both sides of the Atlantic) live in their own narrow world of the id-driven here and now.  Cash, a flat screen and new sneakers are everything, and a little smashy-smashy to get them is just payback to the store owner for being rich.  That is the incentive system the social engineers have put in place.  Get it all while you can, and getting it at someone else's expense makes it all the better, be it free electronics, housing, money or sex. 

We've imprisoned them...
... with shoddy schools and no expectations.  They cannot see over the horizon; there is no future.  We could preach morality, but we have that embarrassing little issue of the DC-NY bandits in suits looting trillions with impunity.

So here we are in the creeping jungle, staring helplessly as it reclaims the space that Western Civilization had cleared

Anyone who has ever raised children or trained animals (remarkably similar activities!), knows that morals are the foundation of individual and societal success.  It doesn't have to be a religious thing.  Simply teaching people age-old virtues that predate Christianity and holding them up as the ideal would get us most of the way there. 
The truth is society needs a combination of the morality championed by social conservatives and the individual liberty championed by libertarians. Freedom does not work without morality, and morality can not exist without freedom.
Exactly right. Without agency (freedom), there is no ability to choose between right, wrong, or anything else. Regardless of the specific system, morality implies that there is also immorality, and vice versa. One requires the opposing other. Otherwise, it would merely be one big clump that is neither morality nor immorality […]

If I have no choice, my actions are neither good nor evil, neither moral nor immoral. They may be beneficial or damaging for somebody, but those actions do not make me moral or immoral.
What about liberty?
Authority without accountability is tyranny.
Accountability without authority is slavery.
Only when authority and accountability are combined can liberty exist.
If the Marco Rubio quote is too high minded for you, here's one from British writer James Delingpole.  He applies it to his home country, but it fits here almost as well:
For those of us who never got to experience the Second World War, this is the beginning of the most dramatic, turbulent and terrifying era of our lifetime. The rules have changed; the old keep-whistling-cheerfully-and-pretend-it’s-all-going-to-go-away political bullshit is no longer valid currency. (Delingpole - What are the Police Good For?)
For an even more provocative take, see conservative David French's short article, The Sources of Poverty.  Be sure to read the comments as well.  Lots of liberal dissenters showed up and made some valid points to the contrary.

For a concise and entertaining treatise on rational self-interest, see:  UNC - Economicae:  Rational Self-Interest 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Booze is My Anti-Drug

2 The Dogs

An old military buddy of mine has started blogging.  I think he was the last person in America who didn't have one. You can go visit his new blog here:  2 The Dogs

OD is the hick on the right
OD and I fought the War on Drugs with rum and radios.  More importantly, we left married and came back the same, which is not easy when you deploy to South America.  It is the land where single men come back married, and married men come back single.

To be honest, he's more virtuous than me.  I had already spent many wild years in Latin America as a young single man, so I'd had my fill. 

Here are a few good links 

If you're trying to make economic sense of what's going on, these two men know how to break down complex economic issues so that we amateurs can understand them.

Robert Samuelson explains the downside of monetary expansion:  Inflation isn’t the Answer

John Tamney explains why Europe's problem is not the Euro, it's the rampant borrowing and spending:  Europe's Problem is Decidedly Not the Euro

Friday, August 26, 2011

If You Can't Debate 'Em, Smear 'Em

Liberals sure do a lot of name-calling...  

We're terrorists, hostage takers, and we want the economy to collapse so we can blame it all on Obama.  They also enjoy shouting "racist!" at anyone who doesn't fall on his knees before The Man Who Would Make The Oceans Recede.

It's all part of a larger progressive strategy to delegitimize what they are intellectually incapable of arguing against, explains Dr. Krauthammer.
For weeks, these calumnies have been Obama staples. Calumnies, because they give not an iota of credit to the opposition for trying to promote the public good, as presumably Obama does, but from different premises and principles. Calumnies, because they deny legitimacy to those on the other side of the great national debate about the size and scope and reach of government.
Charging one’s opponents with bad faith is the ultimate political ad hominem. It obviates argument, fact, logic, history. Conservatives resist Obama’s social-democratic, avowedly transformational agenda not just on principle but on empirical grounds, as well — the economic and moral unraveling of Europe’s social-democratic experiment, on display today from Athens to the streets of London. (Krauthammer – Bad Luck?)
Krauthammer observes Obama leveling the old charge of “Playing politics:”
These people, who inhabit Congress (guess which party?), refuse to set aside “politics” for the good of the nation.
I’ve always thought that such criticisms were illegitimate. Of course it’s politics! Politics is the art and science of government, and the people we send to DC don’t always agree with one another, thank God. Consensus and compromise are the primary ingredients of the toxic economic stew we find ourselves drowning in.

Which is worse?  “Playing politics” by defending a philosophy you believe will better the country and its citizenry, or calling your opponents terrorists and hostage takers?

Angry democrats have poisoned the waters. Tea partiers want debate based upon the political philosophies of our founders, the left wants everybody to sit down and shut up.

So tell me again who the liberals are in this debate?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Keynes: Economist of the Dictators

I don't know much about economics, but I do know that a politburo full of eggheads can crash the economic ship just like us simpletons in the free market can. Only the egghead crashes are much more spectacular.

Economics is the dismal science, so I hope this post is not too dismal. 

Ducky asked me about liquidity traps in one of his posts last week, and this this the response.  It's Keynes versus the Misesian free marketeers.  I've included lots of links for those who want to explore these pressing but timeless issues further.

Keynesianism is a cold, mechanistic theory sprung from an era when strongman dictatorships were admired for making the trains run on time
"[T]he Krugman/Keynesian viewpoint is based on an extremely mechanistic interpretation of human action. People within a market setting do not purchase goods they believe will meet their individual needs; no, they spend, as though the spending itself is the ultimate end of an economy." (The Deepening Depression)
To the Keynesian statists, we are merely cogs in the machine

Paul Krugman and the rest of the big government, spend spend spend, more stimulus crowd are Keynesians. They believe that if government just spends enough, it can stimulate a down economy. They also believe in the fiction, the fatal conceit, that government central planners can flatten the hills and fill in the valleys of the free market economy.

What modern-day Keynesians tend to forget is that Keynes’s recommendation for governments to spend more in times of economic crises was predicated on the assumption that government would bank up cash during the good times. As we are all now painfully aware, that didn’t happen.  They Keynesians were wrong, again, and the Austrian School has been vindicated, again.
After all, this Keynesian nonsense has had many trial runs, and it has failed every single time. And there are specific reasons: government spending drains reserve capital, nationalizations prop up inefficiencies, and money creation distorts reality and forestalls recovery.
It doesn't take a fortune-teller to discern that this hokum will not work to accomplish its stated aims. All it does is prop up the state and its friends at our expense. (Jeffrey Tucker - The Austrians were Right)
Governments worldwide spent like there was no tomorrow during the good times, so there is no reserve to draw from.  Keynesian stimulus must be funded by putting ourselves further in hock to Communist China. Do any of you know anyone who has borrowed his way to prosperity?   

Liquidity Traps and Other Keynesian Fictions

When Keynesian schemes collapse, as is happening now on a global scale, statists like Krugman resort to that shiniest of glittery baubles, the liquidity trap.
Liquidity Trap:  A theoretical fiction created to explain away the failures of Keynesianism.  The point at which you cannot induce people to borrow and spend, even if you give money away. 

The only reason they get by with such nonsense is because the average citizen has little understanding of economics.  There's a lot of "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!" in central-planned statist macroeconomics.

Swedish economist Richard Johnsson writes a short but dense riposte to this nonsense, The Liquidity Trap Myth.

William Anderson provides a less-scholarly, more layman-friendly explanation in his short article,  The Deepening Depression 

 Contra Krugman:  The Austrian School
Murray Rothbard delivered many a withering critique of Keynesianism.  Here are two good ones.  I have to point out that his critique of Reaganomics was principally due to the fact that Milton Friedman's supply-side theories were founded in Keynesianism, government manipulation of people and markets.

Supply Side is Suspect as Well

Finally, Richard Ebeling delivers a critique of Supply Side economics.  He also explains why the Laffer Curve may be a wonderful visual aid used to explain a general concept, but it is not a viable mathematical model.

Supply Side economics is based upon Keynesian principles, and therefore Austrians see it as just another means for statists to chain We The People to the mill wheel of government, albeit in a perhaps more efficient fashion.

I know this may be confusing to those who haven't delved into the dismal science, but it's important to understand it, because this is what future arguments will be revolving around as the slow-motion global economic collapse continues.

See also:   Reason – How Long Will it Take for Keynesianism to Die?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rick Perry Pledges to Blow Up Hoover Dam

Rick Perry continues to fascinate me. He is the only candidate other than Ron Paul who poses a real threat to both the GOP Establishment and the Obama Democrats.

Karl Rove has stopped attacking democrats and is now going all MSNBC on Perry.  In response, the left has gone from bawling for The Texas Turd Blossom’s imprisonment to praising his Perry-bashing sagacity.

The reason I like Perry right now is because he has kicked off a loud and much-needed dialog about the size and scope of government, complete with talk of jobs, overregulation and tort reform. He’s not the only conservative itching for such a throwdown, but he’s attracted the brightest spotlight and he’s the only candidate with a real record of grappling with these issues.

Here’s a news excerpt that reveals the media's barely disguised hatred of the man:
(API – Herford Station, Iowa) To clamorous crowds of government-hating Tea Partiers, Rick Perry pledged to blow up Hoover Dam if elected president.
He also removed any doubt about whether he was packing heat by shooting out a chandelier in the ball room where he held his post-rally press conference. When confronted by horrified reporters, most still cowering under tables, he replied that the offending light fixture “looked too French,” as he calmly tucked the Smith & Wesson Model 500 back inside his jacket.

A disheveled CNN reporter with a visible wet spot covering his crotch indignantly challenged the Texas governor’s hostility to all things government. “Why do you hate welfare babies and infrastructure?” “You just want to blow up government!”

“Yeah,” replied Perry, eyes narrowing to slits, “and y’all don’t even want to know what I got planned for that yapping pack of French Poodles y’all call the press corpse.”

Governor Perry wrapped up the press conference by forcibly baptizing a crying msnbc reporter in a bucket of Jack Daniels while loudly shouting, “praise Jesus!”
Brilliant conservative commentator Jeff Jacoby then stood up and efficiently batted down the liberal “conservatives hate government” meme:
But it isn’t highways or veterans’ programs or minority voting rights that conservatives find so objectionable about Washington. When Perry speaks of making the nation’s capital “inconsequential,’’ he isn’t proposing to dismantle the Hoover Dam. Hard as it may be for liberals to accept, the Republican base isn’t motivated by blind loathing of the federal government, or by a nihilistic urge to wipe out the good that Washington has accomplished.

What conservatives believe, rather, is what America’s Founders believed: that government is best which governs least, [...]
But as government grows larger and more powerful, it crowds out private action. It replaces local, familiar, and organic institutions with remote bureaucratic ones. As state and federal governments swell, taking over functions that used to be left to individuals and voluntary organizations, communities are weakened.

Increasingly citizens are taught to rely on government, rather than on themselves or their neighbors. They develop a sense of entitlement, and entitlement in turn fuels selfishness. (Jeff Jacoby – When Inconsequential Means Better)
Bill Bennett explains Why Rick Perry is a Strong Candidate, reminding us that before the candidacy and before the pathetic Demagogic party attacks, Perry’s Texas attracted a lot of non-partisan praise:
In 2009, one nonpartisan poll of business executives ranked Texas as "the No. 1 state to do business" for the fourth year in a row. And, the Economist magazine highlighted Texas in 2009 as "Lone Star Rising" with a subtitle to its special report: "Thanks to low taxes and light regulation, Texas is booming." This was in addition to several favorable data points comparing Texas to California in a separate piece in the magazine.
Ed Morrissey explains how twisted statistics lure in Jersey Shore liberals who fail to pause and notice the lack of a statistical baseline or detect the common trick of comparing dissimilar or different time periods. If it sounds too good (or too bad) to be true, it probably is.

For the opposing viewpoint, see American Prospect explain Perry’s Pitfalls

My favorite article about Governor Perry is by liberal Texan James C. Moore. I wish I could write like this talented man…
Romney has business experience and intellect that are not on Perry's resume' but he is from "Massatoositts," (Webster's Texas Edition, see also "Massachusetts"), and Texans love to kick their political boots into New Englanders' squishy parts. (Why Rick Perry is headed to the White House)
Game on!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cult of Personality

Maxine Waters saying something stupid
Every court needs a jester, and Maxine Waters, whom I suspect is not intentionally trying to be funny, has kept us laughing for decades…
"We don't put pressure on the president," Waters told the audience at Wayne County Community College. "Let me tell you why. We don't put pressure on the president because ya'll love the president. You love the president. You're very proud to have a black man--first time in the history of the United States of America. If we go after the president too hard, you're going after us." (Unleash Us – James Taranto)
So people love him just because he’s black. He may be a complete failure and an incompetent boob, but he’s a black man, so we gotta love him, can’t criticize him, regardless of skyrocketing minority unemployment and the economic chaos he’s caused.

It’s not a black thing…

Talked to any Palin fans lately? Any criticism, no matter how thoughtful or respectful will be met with a screaming flurry of teeth and claws. 

Europe is also in the thrall of America’s First Black President, although the Olde Continent has yet to elect a leader outside the exclusive pasty-white club. The Guardian’s Martin Kettle worries His O-ness may not get reelected, thanks to our raucous overabundance of rednecks, yahoos and otherwise unenlightened, unsophisticated un-Europeans (barf alert!):
That changed in 2008. With one mighty bound, the nation of mad people became a nation of visionaries, electing not a buffoon but an incredibly cool, incredibly smart, incredibly articulate leader who was so progressive and sensitive that, guess what, he might almost have been one of us. Except that, inconveniently, he wasn't. But that didn't matter. We gave him the Nobel peace prize when he'd only been in office for five minutes and drooled whenever he looked in our direction.
Now, with 15 months to go before the next US presidential election, a spectre is haunting Europe. The spectre is the possibility Barack Obama might not be re-elected. (Guardian – US Voters are not Mad)
Ideas are Bigger than People

I view candidates as conveyors of ideas, tools to get things done. If my politician heroically dies in the act of righting some wrong, I will mourn his political loss, but cheer the gain for the country. If he takes a wrong turn, as President Bush did, I’ll criticize him.

With Obama, it’s the opposite. He survives and thrives, trudging along the path of failure, fanboys and fangirls cheering all the way.  His twisted ideas are choking our economy, our society and our bedrock American values of hard work, entrepreneurship and personal liberty. Still, the goose-stepping Obama-Lama-Ding-Dongs cheer him on and the press gives his out-of-touch Cape Cod family vacation the Hollywood treatment.

Our stubborn love of W damn near killed us. The left’s Worshipful Cult of His Barackness, with its hatred of free speech and studious ignorance of the facts, could end up finishing us off.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Banker's Bailout

How do we fix the banks?  Set them free 

 I normally frown upon blog posts consisting of large chunks of direct quotes, but John Tamney has hit a home run.

Deregulation and free markets didn't wreck the world economy--Government protections did. Bad banksters and the governments who love them are the Bonnie and Clyde of global monetary scams.
Governments have shielded banking from market forces, and we're all now paying the price:  
it's apparent from the myriad bailouts of banks within it in modern times that, absent government protection, the financial world would look quite a bit different. Put simply, political unwillingness to apply market forces to the business of finance means that its long-term health and dynamism is in fact reduced.
Government intervention distorts markets and creates perverse incentives
The better, more realistic, explanation for the paralyzed credit situation in the aftermath of Lehman actually goes back to the spring of 2008. It was then that the Fed and Treasury, fearing "contagion" relating to Bear's demise, saved its creditors through a deal in which the Fed took Bear's debased assets on its balance sheet.
Then J.P. Morgan was offered the still-functioning bank on the relative cheap, its downside covered by the federal government. As Wallison put it, "I see the market meltdown that followed the Lehman bankruptcy as a result of the moral hazard created by the rescue of Bear Stearns six months before."
Your government took the toxic assets off of the banksters's accounts and put them on YOURS
Other accounts of the time in question support Wallison's view. The fact that the federal government subsidized J.P. Morgan's acquisition of Bear Stearns created an expectation among healthy financial institutions that they too should have their downside protected in snapping up insolvent firms. 
As Andrew Ross Sorkin put it in his 2009 book, Too Big To Fail, acquirers wanted "Jamie" (J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon) deals whereby the government would guarantee the most toxic assets of companies being purchased. Absent the subsidized buyout of Bear, there would have been no presumption of a government role as savior of any financial institutions, thus a more realistically priced market for banks in trouble.
What the episode teaches us is that while markets can ably prepare for and weather all manner of calamities, what they handle badly are opaque government policy stances whose changing nature causes information vacuums and panics like that of October 2008.
I'd love to see the US Government finally give free market capitalism a try... Source for all Quotes:  Global Economy Held Hostage by Lehman

Sunday, August 21, 2011

... If we would all just sit down and shut up...

The president addressed the nation’s jobs crisis by touring the rust belt in a caravan of foreign-made buses. Jobs are so important to him that he’s going on vacation.

Taking a page from European royalty of old (Please continue reading this with a high British accent), His Highness hopes that pictures of him and his family splashing in the sun will gladden the hearts of his poor downtrodden subjects. Not to worry you poor grubby blighters, blistering away in the teeming inner cities! He’s giving a jobs speech in September!  Chin up!

Global Flash Mob

This globalization/I.T. revolution is also “super-empowering” individuals, enabling them to challenge hierarchies and traditional authority figures — from business to science to government. It is also enabling the creation of powerful minorities and making governing harder and minority rule easier than ever. See dictionary for: “Tea Party.” (Tom Fried man – A Theory of Everything)
Every now and then I actually agree with limousine liberal and Chinese Politburo fanboy Tom Friedman. He has a good point about how the democratization of technology is turning the tables, but then he went and blew it.

What’s the danger to America, according to the New York Times Davos men? 

Not Philadelphia flash mobs, or people getting beat up at the Wisconsin state fair. Not an out of control government that has literally destroyed trillions of dollars of wealth… No. The Tea parties and, horror of horrors, that Texas gunslinger Rick Perry. They are the problem.

The European-North America Connection

I see a healthy young man standing in the Safeway parking lot with a cardboard sign announcing he's lost his job, his wife is pregnant and they are hungry. “Yeah right,” I think. Millions sneak across our southern border and easily find a job despite illegal status and limited ability to speak English.” The guys I see doing this appear to be in their early 20’s, in good shape, and white. And shameless? Or willfully useless?

Not so much different than England’s youth being aced out of employment by harder working higher skilled Eastern Europeans.

Our angry mobs and swarms of criminals are not so different than those of Europe.  And we haven’t seen the worst of it yet, writes Walter Russell Mead in his article, Urban Warming and Racial Climate Change. He concludes that whether we like it or not, we will have to have a national dialog on race. Unfortunately, Obama and his “Justice” Department Poobah Eric Holder, have proved themselves incapable of dialog with us cowards.

Class Warfare isn't just for England

There have been numerous outbreaks of street violence across Europe, including in France and Greece. One can expect more in countries like Italy, Spain and Portugal, which will now have to impose the same sort of austerity measures applied by the Cameron government in London.
And how about the United States? Many of the same forces are at play here.  The prospects for a widening class conflict are clear even in China, where social inequality is now among the world’s worse.  (Joel Kotkin - Global Class War)
My Objectivist libertarian friends will hate his conclusion:  Ayn Rand individualism will not get us out of this.  Uneducated unskilled looters running off with sneakers and big screen TVs are acting in their rational self-interest.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Send Warren Buffett to Afghanistan!

Warren Buffett continues to express a grandfatherly concern for the nation’s working class…
“OUR leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.

While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks.” (NY Times – Warren Buffett)
There’s an easy solution to that one!

Expropriate the property of Buffett and his fellow billionaires, put guns in their hands and send them to Afghanistan. Turn their property over to the returning working class soldiers and their families. Problem solved.

But seriously, he raises some valid criticisms of our tax system...
“To understand why, you need to examine the sources of government revenue. Last year about 80 percent of these revenues came from personal income taxes and payroll taxes.” (NY Times – Warren Buffett)
Workaday people cannot escape such taxes, the rich routinely do, especially those who “make money from money” as Buffett explains. These are people who make money on trading, commission and dividends from investments. They don’t have to pay the payroll taxes working people do.

The El Lay Times editorial board chimes in on Buffett’s side…
Under the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which was signed by President Reagan, the number of tax brackets was reduced, loopholes were closed, the top tax rate was lowered and capital gains were taxed at the same rate as ordinary income. Yet in the years since, Congress has steadily drilled loopholes back into the code while lowering the tax burden for wealthy people who make money through investments rather than labor. That was the source of Buffett's complaint. (El Lay Times)
Some kind of a flat tax or national sales tax that exempted basic food staples would put an end to this class warfare rhetoric. And we need get it done so we can focus on real solutions that start by taking a crowbar to the Washington DC-Big Business pornographic embrace.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Democrat Mudball Fight

The Democrat party’s favorite tactic is demagoguery.  The Clintons raised it to a high art.  A raw form of it is mudslinging. Obama has messed things up so badly that he cannot stand on his record, so all he has left is the “they’re even worse than I am” ploy. Throwing mudballs takes that shine right off your enemies (yes, Obama has called us enemies, not opponents).
His $859 billion economic stimulus program was a miserable failure, solid majorities of the public now demand repeal of Obamacare, unemployment remains above 9 percent, his Gallup approval rating is in the tank at 39 percent, and many economists say there's a one-in-three chance of a double-dip recession. In other words, Obama can't run on his own record, so he believes he has to run down everybody else's record to have a chance at a second term. (Washington Examiner)
Which would you rather have? A Rick Perry Texas McJob, or an Obamanomics No Job? Crappy job beats no job every time in my book.  BTW, go here for a fact-based analysis of the Texas job machine that blows the libtard propaganda out of the water.

We had more leftwing propaganda spillage here yesterday, so here are a few more links that shine the light of truth and expose the liberal lies. A favorite trick to to pick a little downturn in an overall upward trending line and say , "SEE!  They Lost Jobs There!"  It's entertaining to watch the gyrations lefties go through to "prove" their point.  Fact is, blue states are bleeding out people, and most are choosing to move to Texas, where the jobs are.  The people have voted, with their feet.

Paul Krugman is Troll, and He's Wrong
Don't Mess with the Texas Economy

On a related note, Chuck DeVore has written a tight defense of Perry’s Trans-Texas Corridor project

I bring this up not so much to defend Governor Perry, but because DeVore raised some interesting privatization issues as well as shedding light on how changes outside of the US will shift a lot of port traffic from California to Texas.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Obama Bites into a Hot Chili Pepper

Being President is Harder than it Looks
“You never really know how people are going to perform until you see them out there,” David Axelrod, Obama’s senior strategist, said in an interview last week. “This is a guy who has never done this before. It’s harder than it looks.” (Bloomberg)
That’s right, Axelrod. You can tell Obama has never run anything before. He’s screwed up everything he’s touched. Being president is harder than it looks.

Of course, Axelrod wasn’t talking about Obama’s horrible failure as president, he was talking about the horrified left’s view of Rick Perry’s kinetic campaign launch.

The Left is Scared, Folks

As Papa Silverfiddle used to tell me, “They only try to tackle the guy with the ball.” Ken Blackwell’s dad had a similar saying, “A dog don’t chase a parked car.”  The tea party scares the crap out of the statist left, and so does Rick Perry. He’s a hot jalapeƱo dropped into the plate of bland political pablum, and the left is already screaming at the offensive spiciness.

The Demagogic democrats have already framed the issue as a Texas Cowboy “threatening” the Fed Chief, and the lapdogs in the press have obediently adopted the trope. He did no such thing.

This is a threat...

...Delivered with one hand hovering over a holstered pistol, eyes narrowed down to slits:

“I’ll kick your ass and drag you behind my horse, Ben Cartwright style, if you print more of that neon toilet paper you call money.”

Perry didn’t say that, he said this:
"If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I don't know what y'all will do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas," Perry said to laughter from supporters in Iowa.
"Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous, treasonous in my opinion," he said. (Reuters)
Karl Rover, handmaiden of the establishment and the left’s newest go-to Republican, chimed in as well, calling criticism of the fed irresponsible. Balderdash! The more scrutiny on The Fed and DC’s failed monetarism, the better.

It’s not the “Swaggering tone,” that threatens the socialists of all parties who infest the establishment. That’s just the propagandistic meme they use to scare the masses away from this dangerous man. What they are scared of is talk like this: 

“I’ll promise you this,” Perry said. “I’ll work every day to try to make Washington, D.C., as inconsequential in your life as I can.”

And this…
The governor was appearing at an April 15 anti-tax rally in Austin, the Texas capital, where people in the crowd were yelling, “secede.” Perry responded, “We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that.” (Bloomberg)
Notice that contrary to the lying liberal liars, he did not threaten to secede. What he was doing was standing up for the 9th and 10th Amendments to the US Constitution, and that’s what’s really got progressives shaking and piddling down their legs like an overbred lapdog.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.  -- 9th Amendment, US Constitution
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.  -- 10th Amendment, US Constitution
Even liberal Froma Harrop, who detests everything Rick Perry stands for, thinks more states’ rights would be a good thing. It would take many contentious issues off the national scene, allowing states to adopt or reject laws as they see fit. Liberal Massachusetts would have gay marriage and infanticide on demand paid for by the public, conservative Alabama would not. Perry also gets grudging respect from Ezra Klein, who while disagreeing with Perry, graciously concedes that the governor makes a powerful and cogent case for states rights.

The progressive model is collapsing in a bankrupt heap. We need a national debate on how we replace it. Progressive statist Obama vs. States rights Perry is the perfect forum.

UPDATE!  Informational vandals spreading liberal lies and lefty propaganda in the comments section of this post has forced this update.  

Political Math has the definitive post on the topic of Texas jobs.  It links to authoritative government sources for its data and puts all liberal efforts to shame, included the smears by Enron weasel Paul Krudman.  Please go here for brilliant analysis of this topic:  Political Math - Rick Perry and Texas Job Numbers

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Crash of the Titans

The Crash:  Brought to You by Central-Planning Elitists

The economic crash is easy to understand.  Rampant credit (making money out of nothing) fueled a spending binge that was impossible to maintain.  The housing bubble and the toxic debt it spawned can also be seen as the inevitable outcome of ignoring human nature in favor of grand statist schemes.

Rational Self-Interest

Adam Smith explained that people act upon their rational self-interests, and that is what crashed the economy.  The federal government shielded mortgage lenders from the downside of their irresponsible lending by insuring them with quasi-governmental organizations like Fannie and Freddie.  Securitization of debt (hiding the bad debt by packing it in with good debt), created a "trust me" environment that allowed Wall Street to reap billions before the whole scheme unraveled, resulting in G-men frog marching thousands of financial pirates off to Ryker's Island.

OK, I made that last part up.  Government never turns on its own.

Back in the old days, a banker didn't have the luxury of packaging ticking debt bombs off to Wall Street, where wiz kids packaged them into even bigger stink bombs and then launched them upon the world.  No, the banker of olden times knew he was stuck if the person he loaned the money to couldn't pay it back, so he made sure the borrower was responsible and creditworthy.

20% down served a few purposes.  It immediately vested the borrower in the home, making it tough to just walk away.  Also, so much equity up front made it harder for the owner to be underwater in a downturn.  Remove all of this, as our government decreed, and you get irresponsible lending, people walking away from underwater property, and bad debt stamped triple A Plus by crony crapitalist ratings agencies who wouldn't know due diligence it it slapped them in the face.

Water flows downhill.  Electricity (and people) follow the path of least resistance.

Crash of the Titans

Jeffrey Snider has written an article entitled, The Aura of the Fed is Gone, Good Riddance. In it he explains the folly of monetarism and centrally-planned economies, even those with a patina of semi-free market kinda-sorta crony-infested capitalism variety.
Whatever crisis follows, this could be, as I said at the outset of this piece, the beginning of the end of the Age of Monetarism. Our economy, including the rest of the world, needs to see the Federal Reserve and central banks stripped down to reality. Monetary policy needs to be exposed as a broken, flawed theory consisting of nothing more than hubris and harmful ideas. From there, we can try to regain a fundamental capitalist footing that ensures long-term economic health.
The old statist models have failed.  What now?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Shady RAT

Our computer networks, banking, commerce, entertainment and government, have been infiltrated

While we've been watching our economy crumble and Europe burn, McAfee has announced the discovery of a gigantic and scary computer hack, dubbed Shady RAT. For the past five years, it has been penetrating financial and government systems, stealing information and propagating itself.

Contrary to the attacks we are used to hearing about, this operation is stealthy and does no harm.  The perpetrators don't want chaos, they want constant undetected access to private data and government secrets.  The details released to the public remain sketchy, and China is the prime suspect.

I've pinged a few of my friends who work in computer security. Obviously, they couldn't reveal anything classified, but they told me what they legally could and steered me to some publicly available information. Friend #1 focuses on the technical details, while Friend #2 explains the international intelligence intrigue aspect.

Here's network security expert #1, explaining what Shady RAT is:
In summary, entire web servers are compromised first then used to infect users who visit the MANY websites these web servers host so it can reach out to standard web browsers on a desktop PC or laptop, mobile phones browsing those sites and even VPN's connecting in.

Companies that have the right security can detect these kinds of things going on if they care but many are still turning a blind eye to them. Remember the words in the original Shady RAT report? Those that know they’ve been compromised and those that don’t yet know OR I add don't care enough yet because they won't allow little incidents to hurt the business......"
How does it happen?
The hacker communities are able to constantly exploit software vulnerabilities at the code level because companies refuse to do the right thing in producing 100% safe and secure software. Web pages on the Internet have become a primary medium for hackers to get malicious code onto a persons PC via the web browser. This is accomplished by mixing executable code with static content like html. If a person visits the a bad website their browser can become infected in seconds. The ever increasing clueless user base creates a huge target and makes it easy to pull in victims.

Email is also a primary threat vector because a single spear phishing attack can create a backdoor on a persons PC with an easy outgoing connection controlled from the Internet. A spear phishing attack is a favorite technique because it is so effective. The hacker community has been able to find the successful mix of human ignorance and software weaknesses and the primary motive is of course money.
Here's what network security expert #2 said, addressing the international intrigue...
Remember that huge snowball fight we had at the barracks at Holloman? That's what cyber warfare has turned out to be. A few guys tossing at each other, then whole squadrons in a toss-fest (Asia, Europe, Israel, Russia, and America), then all ganging up on the Security Police dorms (USA), until a beefy NCO comes out to tell us to knock it off or go to jail (NSA, FBI, and CyberCom).

Wayne Madsen has written about the massive private data breaches that have been going on for the last several years. He fingers the NSA, his former employer. I'm not entirely convinced.
He told me he could not talk about shady RAT, but he closed with this...
Suffice it to say there are many players in this game and intrusions that do not have a monetary motive belong to governments. That's my guess. Follow the national interest in each penetration and you can finger a potential perp.
Bottom line: Just as you wouldn't wander into a strange neighborhood, stay away from strange links and don't open e-mails from strangers, delete them.  And your on-line banking may not be as safe as you thought. Finally, why did a private company find this, and not the federal government's billion dollar bureaucracy?

McAfee - Shady Rat White Paper
Security Through Obscurity
What is Night Dragon?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Wall Street Wilding

Illustration by Ian Michael Rousey & Chris Nosenzo

Read it and Seethe
What will it take for Americans to finally get the message that much of Wall Street, in its current form, is a corrupt enterprise in need of a top-to-bottom overhaul, a task that the year-old Dodd-Frank law, for all its verbosity, barely attempts? (Cohan - Ending the Moral Rot on Wall Street)
There have been numerous lawsuits and investigations following the Panic of '08... 
Each examination revealed layer upon layer of behavior that should make us seethe with anger. These include the decision to manufacture and sell mortgage-backed securities that were stuffed with loans of questionable value, plus the worthless AAA ratings placed on them by ratings services paid by Wall Street to do so.  (Cohan - Ending the Moral Rot on Wall Street)
He goes on to list the multi-million dollar fines happily paid by these immoral disciples of Moloch.  Get it? A $500 million fine is chump change, merely a cost of doing business.  The Titans of Wall Street destroyed the world economy with their toxic debt bombs, governments brought low, people left destitute, yet the instigators of this financial destruction are happily earning record profits and getting reelected instead of rotting in jail or hanging from a lamppost.

Three Crises:  Financial, Political, Legitimacy of the Elites

Stratfor founder George Friedman has written an excellent analysis entitled, Global Economic Downturn: A Crisis of Political Economy.  In it he explains how the financial elites' unabashed immorality and naked greed caused the financial crisis, which in turn sparked a political crisis that is now becoming a legitimacy crisis.  The aura of invincibility and omniscience has evaporated; the masses realize that the venal elites don't know what the hell they are doing.
A sense emerged that the financial elite was either stupid or dishonest or both. (Stratfor)
In this excellent article he lays out how this international crisis started (the US carpet bombed the world with toxic debt), how it hastened the decline of the already teetering welfare states, and where he sees it all going.
It is vital to understand that this is not an ideological challenge. Left-wingers opposing globalization and right-wingers opposing immigration are engaged in the same process — challenging the legitimacy of the elites.

This, then, is the third crisis that can emerge: that the elites become delegitimized and all that there is to replace them is a deeply divided and hostile force, united in hostility to the elites but without any coherent ideology of its own. In the United States this would lead to paralysis. In Europe it would lead to a devolution to the nation-state. In China it would lead to regional fragmentation and conflict. (Stratfor)
He concludes, Like Victor Davis Hanson, that this is a crisis of legitimacy. The elites have blown it; we don’t trust them anymore.

When There is no Downside...

In the past, all of this would culminate in the masses hanging the bankers and the elites from lampposts and looting and burning their property.

Civilized society instituted the state, creating a nation of laws not of men. The state would hold everyone to the rule of law and punish the guilty in order to short circuit such violence. Well, the state has failed, the masses are in angry misery and the elites who robbed us and crashed the world economy pay no price whatsoever.

This leads me to rethink the limited liability concept of financial institutions.  It is obvious that the financial titans have no fear of consequences, since it is we the people who suffer their burdens, and that is the root of the problem.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sexual Liberty vs. Religious Liberty

America's post-modern fetish with all things gay has culminated in an inevitable absurdity: 

Petitions to Sesame Street demanding the marriage of Ernie and Bert.

Gay mania has gone beyond granting gays their god-given rights, and has now entered the territory of publicly-enforced morality to the point of binding our consciences.

Tim Dalrymple examines the potential consequences of New York's gay marriage law:
The religious liberties and conscience rights of individual professionals and business owners, Nimocks says, are in particular peril. Since they do not fall beneath the "religious umbrella" the law creates, wedding planners or florists or clothiers who decline to offer their services to same-sex couples may face lawsuits or other forms of government pressure. Marriage counselors and adoption attorneys, if they are not employees of a religious group, also could be accused of illegal discrimination if they do not serve gay couples.
Even those beneath the "religious umbrella" may be less protected than they would like to believe. In spite of the conscience provision, there are "huge gaping holes" in the language of the law, says Nimocks. Ultimately, the long-term consequences of the law are unknown. Yet gay couples will take offense if they are not offered the same services traditional couples receive, and the same well-funded activists who pushed the same-sex marriage bill into law will continue to make their case in the courts and in the statehouses. (Tim Dalrymple - Liberty's Loss)
Before anyone seeks recourse in the trite and inapt comparisons to the Civil Rights movement of the 60's, lets recall that this is an issue determined solely by how people have sex, a private act that's nobody's business but the practitioners'.

The state rightly does not enforce Christian morality, but it does declare the moral goodness of being gay and forces the rest of us to pay obeisance to this moral pronouncement upon pain of punishment.

So why was Rick Perry's Christian rally wrong, but government forcing everyone to accept homosexuality is OK?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Attack of The Killer B's

Like all of you, I struggle daily to try to make sense of it all.  I don't believe in conspiracy theories, and I believe that efforts towards unified field theories are futile.  Still, I try to make my way.  I believe that the interconnection between banking, business and governments is the root of what ails liberty-loving people.

An Unholy Trinity:  Big Banks + Big Business + Big Bureaucracy

When not locked together in an iron triangle, none of the Killer B's is inherently evil, and each is beneficial to mankind and society. However, when joined together, they form an axis of evil.

An Axis of Evil

I’m not much for shadowy conspiracy theories. I believe that people are motivated by rational self interest, and if you understand that you can figure most things out.

“Follow the money” is a more popular way to say it, but that doesn’t always work because money is not always the motivation. Why does billionaire Michael Bloomberg so enjoy the high stress, low paying job of mayor of New York City? Power. He enjoys wielding power and making things happen. There are myriad other motivations. People of an engineering bent just want to see things work right, be it a radio or a roadway. People in dangerous professions obviously receive gratification that fear cannot overcome.

The Killer B's

Bankers make money investing your money and loaning it out. No problem—it’s a millennia old institution. But marry it up with a government that can conjure money out of thin air, and a congeries of monetary horrors are spawned:  Fractional banking in which banks loan money they don't have, worthless pieces of paper known as fiat currencies, banks trafficking in valueless money, spinning ponzi schemes and creating bubbles and crashes.

Big Business makes money catering to the consumer’s every whim, until government gets involved. Then the game turns sinister. Instead of competing for the consumers’ money, they turn to romancing lawmakers to seek special favors for themselves. The free market is a jungle, better to trade a little liberty for some safety, and the consumer can go to blazes.

Big Bureaucracy also serves a useful purpose. We need public administrators to run our governments, but the problem comes in when they end up running our lives as well.   Big Bureaucracy wants to regulate Big Banks and Big Business, but it doesn't know squat about them, so it must invite in Big Bankers and Big Businessmen to create regulatory snarls and police these operations.  The fox in the hen house.

Another group not to be forgotten is The People. The Bureaucrats, Bankers and Businessmen use us as propaganda tools while simultaneously propagandizing us.

To Restore Liberty, We Must Shatter the Iron Triangle

I know, fat chance...

If you want to understand banking and money and how badly governments have screwed them up, I highly recommend Murray Rothbard's "What Has Government Done to Our Money?"  He is a brilliant professor with a PhD in economics, but he has a gift of breaking it down for the layman.

You can download the audiobook files for free in mp3 format from The Ludwig von Mises Institute's Media Page.  You can then listen to them at your leisure or while traveling to work.  You won't regret the time spent. 

Rothbard – What Has Government Done to Our Money?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Riot Round-Up

Progressivism is an incoherent jumble that studiously ignores human nature, and the world it built is crashing down around us
The riots are the apotheosis of the welfare state and popular culture in their British form. A population thinks (because it has often been told so by intellectuals and the political class) that it is entitled to a high standard of consumption, irrespective of its personal efforts; and therefore it regards the fact that it does not receive that high standard, by comparison with the rest of society, as a sign of injustice. (Dalrymple - City Journal)
Keynesianism and its attendant government-planned economies has failed, as has the flim flam known as monetarism.

Dimwitted governments are looking to crack down on social networking, when they should be cracking down on socially unacceptable behavior by refusing to reward it with cash prizes, free housing and gang hangouts euphemistically known as community centers.

Taking a Good Idea Too Far

We put child abuse laws on the books, a good thing. The downside of this is that the definition of physical abuse has now expanded to the point a teacher may not even touch a student and a parental spanking that leaves no marks can bring down the wrath of Social Services upon good parents.

A guy called in to a morning radio show and commented that it is a sick joke to think kids are tougher than adults. He recalled that when he was a kid most men were military veterans and they would jerk a kid back in line if things started getting out of hand. Not anymore

Teaching the Wrong Lessons

Government has taught people that they have a right to the property of others, legally confiscated, and we are now suffering the consequences.

I'm reading commentary from relatively liberal columnists, and I think we may end up seeing some Burkean conversions, at least as it applies to law and order.

Liberal Dogma …Amoral Youngsters
Less Political Rebellion, More Mollycoddled Mob
Riots for Rioting’s Sake

You can read any of these rioting and looting stories and just as easily apply the same lawless actions to the banking industry. Same blind government enablers, same immorality, same theft, same result.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Man Takes a Stand

We should all stand up and applaud Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter for telling it like it is to the wayward youth of his city

Here's his message:
“Take those God-darn hoodies down, especially in the summer,” Mr. Nutter, the city’s second black mayor, said in an angry lecture aimed at black teens. “Pull your pants up and buy a belt ‘cause no one wants to see your underwear or the crack of your butt.”

“If you walk into somebody’s office with your hair uncombed and a pick in the back, and your shoes untied, and your pants half down, tattoos up and down your arms and on your neck, and you wonder why somebody won’t hire you? They don’t hire you ‘cause you look like you’re crazy,” the mayor said. “You have damaged your own race.”
He also delivered a message to parents:
“The Immaculate Conception of our Lord Jesus Christ took place a long time ago, and it didn’t happen here in Philadelphia,” Mr. Nutter said. “So every one of these kids has two parents who were around and participating at the time. They need to be around now.”

The mayor told parents, “If you’re just hanging out out there, maybe you’re sending them a check or bringing some cash by. That’s not being a father. You’re just a human ATM. … And if you’re not providing the guidance and you’re not sending any money, you’re just a sperm donor.” ( Washington Times)
Finally, he told violent gangs in no uncertain terms that the city is coming after them. They better listen up. This is the city where Mayor Frank Rizzo firebombed a block of row houses going after leftwing radicals.

This is a black man delivering a message to the black young men of his city, but the message transcends race, gender and life’s station. We all need to pull our damned pants up, and pull out heads out. 

Law and Liberty Crucified

A few who post here have mentioned that regardless of how we talk about liberty, there still must be an authority wielding the threat of punishment.  Our governments are supposed to do that, but they are corrupted and incompetent.

The ruling elite won't go after Wall Street looters because they need their money, and they won't go after main street moochers because they need their votes.  They strip us and rape us at the airport, but they are unable or unwilling to do the hard work of shutting down lawlessness in our cities and on our borders.

They go after Bernie Madoff for a billion dollar ponzi scheme while running a trillion dollar one of their own.
They will shut down kids' lemonade stands for selling fifty-cent drinks without a permit, while they refuse to jail the perpetrators at Goldman Sachs for selling trillions in fraudulent financial instruments that crashed the world economy.

Our governments discredit morality and the law by twisting it in knots while handing money to society's enemies.  They abuse our personal liberty by criminalizing screwing in a light bulb, using too much salt, or owning a gun while they allow Wall Street thugs and Main Street thugs to rob us while smirking for the cameras. 

Are they discrediting law and liberty on purpose?  Am I the only one who sees this?

Whether you’re looting Main Street or Wall Street, or passing incomprehensible laws, or just entertaining yourself with ball sports, porn and XBox while you wait for your messiah...

We have all damaged and degraded the human race.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Looters and Shooters

British man stripped by thug
What happened to the British bulldog?

Stripped naked, unable to fight back. An apt metaphor. Cameron's government is talking water cannons when they should be deploying machine guns and restoring the right to keep and bear arms.

This is not a slap at Great Britain. It’s a lament. We’re not far behind.

The End of Progressivism

Is it any wonder looters on Main Street and Wall Street are running rampant? They've lived off of government-confiscated loot for so long now, can you really blame them for cutting out the middleman?

Self-Defense: An Inalienable Right

The 2nd Amendment isn't for hunting.  It's for shooting people who are threatening your life, liberty and property.

When the progressive constituency turns rabid, ordinary citizens must have the means to defend themselves. The absolute right to bear arms is a logical extension of the natural rights to life, liberty and property.
Statesmen from ancient Rome to the American Revolution laid the foundation in law for the right of self-defense. America's founders were influenced by these classic philosophic teachings and the European tradition derived from them.

"Civilized people are taught by logic, barbarians by necessity, communities by tradition; and the lesson is inculcated even in wild beasts by nature itself," wrote the great Roman orator Marcus Tullius Cicero.

"They learn that they have to defend their own bodies and persons and lives from violence of any and every kind by all the means within their power." ( Claremont Institute)
Think we should surrender our self-defense rights to the state?

 OK, then riddle me this: Does the family of a murder victim have a legal right to sue the state for failing to use its police powers to prevent the murder?
American courts have ruled again and again that police have no duty to protect individuals from deadly assault. The only alternatives for a person in such danger are to rely on the mercy of criminals or to carry a gun illegally. No one should be forced to break the law to exercise a basic right. (Claremont Institute)
Your only recourse is to your natural right of self-defense. Take that away (violate it) and you have deprived a free person of the fundamental right to life. Welcome to progressivism!

For an interesting and understandable legal discussion of the right of self-defense, see Volokh - Jim Lindgren

Related Western Hero post:  Dead and Paralyzed Criminals Commit Less Crime

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tea Party Punks vs Stodgy Progressive Establishment

Tea party conservatives are now the anti-establishment radicals

We've got the dogmatic progressive prigs backed into a corner, screaming that we're terrorists and kidnappers, or bloodthirsty carjackers stabbing babies in their car seats, or whatever the fevered ranters are telling the Obama-bots to repeat this week. 

I guess the imagery of the tea partiers being bad drivers and running Uncle Sam's car in the ditch wasn't morbid enough.

The 1900's: A Progressive Century

The 20th century saw the founders' constitutional republic grow into a monster, gobbling ever more money and personal freedoms. Sure, some good things happened: Womens suffrage, civil rights. But we also got a pay-for-play government of czarist fiat and special exemptions. America's ruling oligarchy makes money crafting dense bureaucratic sludge and then selling indulgences to the moneyed class who don't want to eat it. And the progressives continue to defend this stinking status quo that now has us teetering on the Eve of Destruction.

Greg Gutfeld over at Breitbart's Big Hollywood writes...
To me, the Tea Party really is the punk rock moment of politics – harkening back to simple math – rescuing us from 20 minute organ noodling found on Emerson Lake and Palmer records.

Yep, in a bloated world typified by Yes’s Roundabout on F-M circa 1977, the Tea Party offered “Beat on the Brat,” a jolt of Ramones wisdom that reminded us of what worked before.

It also exposed a key problem with “hope and change” of 2008. When an organic American movement rose up to question the direction of the Administration, those ephemeral “good feelings” of 2008 withered against simple principle.
George Will piles on...
"Think of any customer experience that has made you wince or kick the cat. What jumps to mind?

Waiting in multiple lines at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Observing the bureaucratic sloth and lowest-common-denominator performance of public schools, especially in big cities. Getting ritually humiliated going through airport security.

Trying desperately to understand your doctor bills. Navigating the permitting process at your local city hall. Wasting a day at home while the gas man fails to show up.

Whatever you come up with, chances are good that the culprit is either a direct government monopoly (as in the providers of K-12 education) or a heavily regulated industry or utility where the government is the largest player (as in health care)."

Since 1970, per-pupil real, inflation-adjusted spending has doubled and the teacher-pupil ratio has declined substantially. But math and reading scores are essentially unchanged, so we are spending much more to achieve the same results.
That is what we are rebelling against. Will reviews Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch's new book on libertarianism in America, and he brings us good news. We are raising a generation of libertarians:
A generation that has grown up with the Internet "has essentially been raised libertarian," swimming in markets, which are choices among competing alternatives.
And the left weeps. Preaching what has been called nostalgianomics, liberals mourn the passing of the days when there was one phone company, three car companies, three television networks, an airline cartel, and big labor and big business were cozy with big government.

The America of one universally known list of Top 40 records is as gone as records. (George Will – Minds Opening to Libertarian Ideas)
And we punks aim to toss big government statism on the same junk heap...