Thursday, December 31, 2009

Free kibbles


The multiplier for government spending makes no sense. I think this is another example of the broken window fallacy. A dollar in the private sector is either sitting idle or being used to create wealth. If government takes that dollar and spends it, it destroys wealthy by taking it from where it was satisfying the desires of the person who created that dollar of wealth to someplace that didn't. After government spends it, the dollar is once again in the private sector sitting idle or being used to create wealth, but in a perverted location that drags our economy into a less productive state. The only thing that's changed is the country is poorer for having the dollar taken from the person who created that wealth, making our economy less productive. In this argument, what's not seen is what that dollar was doing before government seized it. Even when a dollar is sitting idle, i.e. being saved but not loaned, it's still influencing interest rates. All money is available for use at the right price.

Peter Schiff says the decade from hell is coming, not going.
"Under no circumstances could the past ten years be described as "the decade from hell." In fact, in terms of economic good fortune, the period shares parallels with the Roaring Twenties. I would describe this as a decade of sin that paved the way to hell.

Yes, we had spectacular problems like September 11th and the invasion of Iraq – which were horrific for those who were directly affected – but for most Americans, it was a time of unexpected wealth and unearned prosperity. Up to the days of the stock market crash, the economics of the decade will be remembered for cash-out refinancing for millions of homeowners, no-doc liar loans, no-money-down car purchases, eight-figure Wall Street bonuses, cheap Chinese imports, and trample-to-death holiday sales. In other words, the decade now closing gave us the biggest and most irresponsible spending orgy in U.S. history. The past decade was the party; the one ahead will be the hangover."

It's going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

Successful Austrian school investors are shorting the S&P, government bonds and the political economy.

"Capitalism is primarily attacked by two groups: utopians who wish to impose a more "compassionate" system, and political capitalists who want to enjoy the fruits of success without bearing the pain of failure. They use the coercion of the state to gain privileges, at the expense of everyone else."
I love how truth can be presented in such concise a concise way. Lies, as politicians show us every day, take a lot of words to confuse people into believing them. Truth is simple and elegant.

"We are essentially doing a long-short strategy -- long physical gold, short the Standard & Poor's 500. At the 1980 peak, the ratio of the gold price to the S&P was about six times; at the low in 2000, it got down to 0.2; today it is at about one. We can go to two, three, four times.


We're essentially short the political economy, and the most politically connected firm is Goldman Sachs [GS]. It has two sides: a highly secretive and profitable trading operation, and a more pedestrian public business. Our suspicion is that their secret sauce is access to friends in high places, and that the model breaks when it either flies too close to the sun or a public backlash opens them up to scrutiny. Trading and principal investments account for 67% of net revenue this year, the highest level ever. Goldman, aggressively plying the risk trade, is vulnerable to the next leg down."

I hope Goldman finally pays the piper.


We're not anywhere near Peak Oil.

"The facts backing up this assertion are simple: every year in the past 60 years has had more petroleum reserves at the end of the year than at the beginning."
And unless Al Gore gets his way, this will continue to be true. People didn't need government to develop coal in order to move people from burning wood, they didn't need government to develop oil in order to move people from burning coal, and we don't need government to develop whatever we'll transition to after oil. All government can do is slow down the development of alternative energy because every interference in the market makes it less productive.

Climate frauds say meteorologists can't predict the weather next week because the system (the earth and sun) is too complex, but they can predict the climate in 50 or 100 years even though the system (the earth and sun) is just as complex.

I bet Al Gore has a bigger carbon footprint that every village in Africa, and while he flies around demanding people give up their electricity and his friends block the development of power plants in Africa, Africans die from dysentery because they cook on dung fueled stoves.


The Ninth Circuit makes a lot of stupid rulings, but not blocking victims of cops from sueing over being tasered is a fantastic ruling. It's about time these thugs get held accountable for electrocuting people. Electrocution is a dangerous, barbaric practice and should be outlawed. We don't allow interrogators to electrocute terrorists, and rightly so. Allowing cops to electrocute Americans is an abomination. Saying they were just following orders, or in this case, their training, is no defense.


This is an import question: Is aviation security mostly for show? It's important that Americans start thinking skeptically about our government and what we read and hear on the news. I have no idea how much of aviation security is for show and how much is for real, but clearly much of it is for show. Not letting passengers go to the rest room in the last hour of a flight adds zero to security and is intended solely to provide a false sense of security - it's for show. Many other restrictions, restrictions that have a real cost to travelers, are for show, and that's stupid.
""Security theater" refers to security measures that make people feel more secure without doing anything to actually improve their security. An example: the photo ID checks that have sprung up in office buildings. No one has ever explained why verifying that someone has a photo ID provides any actual security, but it looks like security to have a uniformed guard-for-hire looking at ID cards."
I like the term security theater.
"When people are scared, they need something done that will make them feel safe, even if it doesn't truly make them safer. Politicians naturally want to do something in response to crisis, even if that something doesn't make any sense."
That sums it up.
"Our current response to terrorism is a form of "magical thinking." It relies on the idea that we can somehow make ourselves safer by protecting against what the terrorists happened to do last time."
"But even as we do all of this we cannot neglect the feeling of security, because it's how we collectively overcome the psychological damage that terrorism causes. It's not security theater we need, it's direct appeals to our feelings. The best way to help people feel secure is by acting secure around them. Instead of reacting to terrorism with fear, we -- and our leaders -- need to react with indomitability, the kind of strength shown by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill during World War II.

By not overreacting, by not responding to movie-plot threats, and by not becoming defensive, we demonstrate the resilience of our society, in our laws, our culture, our freedoms. There is a difference between indomitability and arrogant "bring 'em on" rhetoric. There's a difference between accepting the inherent risk that comes with a free and open society, and hyping the threats.

We should treat terrorists like common criminals and give them all the benefits of true and open justice -- not merely because it demonstrates our indomitability, but because it makes us all safer."

I'm all for Congress rescinding its declaration of war on al Qaeda and returning terrorism to a criminal activity. We should have done that after we ousted al Qaeda from Afghanistan in 2002. But as long as that declaration of war is active, we have to treat al Qaeda like enemy combatants to avoid the consequences of blurring the sharp line between prisoners of war and criminals. As soon as we blur that line, our government will start treating American citizens like prisoners of war, it's already started, and that we can never allow.

Why is the TSA harassing bloggers for posting its new security directives? Why would they be secret anyway? How can people meet the security requirements if they're not aware of them? The war on terror is running amok, you cannot have both freedom and perpetual war and we need to end this war.

Here's another one of those elegant truths:"Government is the only human enterprise that profits from failure."Imagine what would have happened if a private security firm had failed to stop this guy from getting on the plane - the individual who passed him would have paid a price and his company would have paid of price, possibly losing the security contract at that airport. But the government agent won't lose his or her job, and the government agency will end up with more funding because of this failure. It's not hard to figure out which of those options would produce superior security. A passenger on the flight reports:

""An Indian man in a nicely dressed suit around age 50 approached the check in counter with the terrorist and said `This man needs to get on this flight and he has no passport.' The two of them were an odd pair as the terrorist is a short, black man that looked like he was very poor and looks around age 17 (although I think he is 23 he doesn't look it). It did not cross my mind that they were terrorists, only that the two looked weird together. The ticket taker said `you can't board without a passport.' The Indian man then replied, `He is from Sudan, we do this all the time.' I can only take from this to mean that it is difficult to get passports from Sudan and this was some sort of sympathy ploy. The ticket taker then said `You will have to talk to my manager,' and sent the two down a hallway. I never saw the Indian man again as he wasn't on the flight. It was also weird that the terrorist never said a word in this exchange. Anyway, somehow, the terrorist still made it onto the plane. I am not sure if it was a bribe or just sympathy from the security manager.""
So not only did government security fail to stop the underwear bomber, management assisted him in getting on the plane despite not having a passport. Another Indian man was found to have a bomb in his carry-on after the plane landed. Another witness says a man calmly videotaped the entire incident.

Timeline of clues government missed in stopping the underwear bomber.


China searching to build overseas navy base. The reason conservatives would be up in arms about this, differentiating between the US and China, is China is a dictatorship a the US is ostensibly a free country. Until we convince them that the US isn't free and that the greatest threat we face is from the federal government, conservatives will continue believing in the illusion of great differences between our government and the Chinese government. Let's get to the real question: Why can't China refuel its navy in other ports? Why can't we?


How Marxism has gravely damaged American society.
"Perhaps the greatest influence of communism in the United States is upon the political thinking of the American people. Many ideas that have achieved widespread acceptance in the United States on the part of people who have no sympathy with communism are derived directly from Marxist doctrine, but most people who hold those ideas are ignorant of their source."
All you have to do is look at Marx's ten precursors for communism and see how many we've adopted already.


Fox plays hardball with Time Warner, which may remove it from its service while a contract is worked out. Fox is counting on its huge audience to pound Time Warner for taking it off the air, and I think Fox is right. I bet it gets a super deal from this strategy. John Kerry should keep his nose out of this and let the parties reach a voluntary agreement.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Free kibbles


17 Senate Republicans, all of whom claim to support smaller government, voted for Obama's omnibus spending bill. Anybody who claims to support small government then votes Republican is a hypocrite too.


Climategate, the Medieval Warm Period, the hockey stick and Yamal.

Sunspots on the rise. This is good news. Finally.

French Constitutional Council declares French tax and trade law unconstitutional.


Judge sentences man to eight years in prison for graffiti and marijuana possession, but state law reduces sentence to two years.


No war on Yemen, please. We don't need to make 20 million more enemies.

Government cannot provide security for us. Why would anybody think the same government that gave us the New Deal, cash for clunkers, the Department of Education, Medicare, and every other failed government program can protect us from terrorists? Our security organization is a socialist institution and is doomed to failure just like any other socialist institution. It doesn't matter which party is in charge. Socialism is doomed to fail regardless of who the head socialist is. The solution is to turn airport and airplane security over to airports and airlines. Several private sector organizations should administer competing, public terrorist watch lists. And the American people should be encouraged to heed the wisdom beginning the second amendment - that the security of a free state depends on a well trained militia of all the people.

The inevitable, predictable consequence of applying these full body scanners to all airline passengers will be to attract dangerous perverts into the airport security field. When it turns out that these perverts aren't checking for bombs but are instead using the the machines to get their jollies and some of them are caught stalking or raping women, our aristocrats will act surprised, and it will be called an unintended consequence. It will also debase and distract the most well-intentioned security personnel. I notice nobody claims this technology would have caught the recent attempted bomber, only that it might. Shortly before the underwear attack, African Union peacekeepers arrested a Somali man who tried to carry a similar weapon onto a plan in Mogadishu. Somalia has better security than we do.

Interesting comparison between how the Catholic Church circled the wagons and protected child molesting priests and attacked church-goers to how government will circle the wagons, protect the many people involved in this failure and add more onerous burdens on the public.

In an analysis of the different layers of airplane security, Cato reminds us that the security layers of jet, its crew and the passengers didn't fail. Only government failed.


Regular, suburban Americans preparing for catastrophe.
"But about a year ago, Bedford's homemaking skills went into overdrive. She began stockpiling canned food, and converted a spare bedroom into a giant storage facility. The trunk of each of her family's cars got its own 72-hour emergency kit—giant Tupperware containers full of iodine, beef jerky, emergency blankets, and even a blood-clotting agent designed for the battle-wounded. Bedford started thinking about an escape plan in case her family needed to leave in a hurry, and she and her husband set aside packed suitcases and cash. Then, for the first time in her life, Bedford went to a gun range and shot a .22 handgun. Now she regularly takes her two young children, 7 and 10, to target practice. "Over the last two years, I started feeling more and more unsettled about everything I was seeing, and I started thinking, 'What if we were in the same boat?'" says Bedford, 49."
I like all these plans, but I especially like teaching the kids to shoot while they're young. Every parent should care that much for their kids.

Dave Berry's summary of 2009.
"It was also a year of Change, especially in Washington, where the tired old hacks of yesteryear finally yielded the reins of power to a group of fresh, young, idealistic, new-idea outsiders such as Nancy Pelosi. As a result Washington, rejecting ``business as usual,'' finally stopped trying to solve every problem by throwing billions of taxpayer dollars at it and instead started trying to solve every problem by throwing trillions of taxpayer dollars at it."
OMG, this is funny. 2009 is the year that should remind once and for all that no matter how bad things are, they can always get worse. And quickly. It's a year that proves that government doing nothing is typically far, far superior to government doing anything.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dog Bites Tiger

Dog Bites Tiger
by Mark Luedtke

The way reporters have gone after Tiger Woods like sharks after a wounded seal, you'd think that no big-time sports star ever had an affair before Woods. As far as I can tell, nobody cares but reporters. It's a non-story. Stories of the conquests of sports stars are legion, and fans don't care. People love sports stars because they excel at sports, not because of their personal lives. Ray Lewis and his buddies killed two guys, and he's still beloved by football fans. People care about Woods because he's the best golfer in the world, not because he and his wife make a cute couple.

Woods might even attract more fans after this. What man wouldn't want to trade places with him? OK, maybe not Bill Gates, but every man has had the fantasy of being a star athlete worth a billion dollars, having a beautiful wife who takes care of several beautiful, healthy children on his gigantic compound on the beach in Florida while he tours the world playing golf and having sex with the hottest women in the world. For nearly every man, it's just a fantasy. Woods was living the dream before suffering this temporary nightmare. His marriage may be over, but his kids will grow up with a wonderful life and Woods will get back to living the dream.

If this kind of fantasy makes men cads, oh well. We can't help it. That fantasy, or similar ones based on the individual, are the product of billions of years of evolution culminating in a biological imperative for men to spread their seed far and wide to increase the chances of passing on their genetic information to future generations and for the propagation of the species. From the point of view of biology, the more children a man has who grow up and have children of their own, the more successful he is, and the more men who do this, the more successful the species is. That's what our genes have programmed us to do. That's what Woods, star athletes, celebrities, politicians and other wealthy and powerful men do regularly. If the Hollywood hi-jinks on display at grocery store checkouts are any indication, women aren't that different.

Throughout human evolution until the dawn of civilization, humans didn't realize that men played any role in procreation. If a child looked like his or her father, it was considered a gift from the gods. That environment optimized the sexual programming that drives us today. In general, that programming drives us to take care of the children in our immediate family first, historically a struggle as many children died, and the institution of marriage evolved as a reflection of that biological priority. But married men and women are attracted to others because having a child with multiple partners improves the chances of passing genes on to future generations. Humans are especially attracted to have affairs with exotic partners because mixing genetic material between different genetic populations strengthens the population that claims the child because of increased genetic diversity.

Because wealthy people don't struggle to raise the children in their families and they enjoy greater opportunities away from the home, they tend to have more affairs than poor and middle class individuals. The major difference between men and women when it comes to adultery is women have to carry the baby to term and are programmed as the main caregiver while men are programmed to hunt for game and other women, but when wealth frees women from raising children and staying at home, many enjoy affairs too.

What's changed in the modern world is the ease with which men and women can separate and still ensure their children grow up healthy. People are phenomenally more wealthy today than even a century ago. Our social views of marriage haven't caught up with that reality yet. Tiger Woods is the poster child for the biological imperative of reproduction in the modern age, and because his story is remarkably typical, it isn't news.

The bigger story is how badly the press responded to Woods's story. Tiger Woods powers a multi-billion dollar industry that pays the exorbitant salaries of many sports reporters. There's no telling how much he brings to the bottom line of ESPN, Sports Illustrated, The Golf Channel and golf magazines. Yet these very reporters are publicly humiliating their benefactor. And for nothing. The fans don't care.

But Woods cares. He's taken a leave from golf. Writer S.M. Oliva coined the term Tiger bubble and wondered what would happen to these reporters if Woods retired because of it. Another commentator used the term Tiger Woods shrugged to compare his leave of absence with John Galt from Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.

But I doubt Woods will retire from golf. Tiger can't change his stripes. Woods will prowl again, and telling women he used to be the greatest golfer in the world is not nearly as satisfying as telling them he is the greatest golfer in the world. A has-been, even a billion dollar has-been, is not as attractive as the current best, and I doubt that in the prime of his life, Woods will settle for anything less than being the best again.

And Woods will make the reporters who savaged him pay. Woods was always private, but he'll thoroughly banish from his sphere anybody taking shots at him now. Woods will come back with a vengeance. It will be the biggest golf story since Nicklaus won his twelfth major, and based on who he chooses to cover this story and who he chooses to freeze out, he'll make and break the careers of several sports reporters.

Free kibbles


I don't know if this woman is a flake or not, if you only knew her from the internet you can't help but think so, but calling for Americans to carry weapons to protests is not calling for a rebellion. If we don't exercise our rights, we will lose them, and the right to keep and bear arms provides the ultimate check against government oppression. The American people should peacefully carry personal firearms to anti-government protests.


I hadn't heard that schools had stopped teaching spelling.


It strikes me that the intersection between the nullification/secession movement, especially on Obama's signature legislation, and Obama's ambition to have a presidency like Lincoln could be violent.


The state monopoly on the justice system has the same problems as all monopolies.
"It is claimed that a state with a monopoly on dispute resolution powers is the very prerequisite of a civilized justice system. So such power is bestowed upon the state or seized by it. Now we have a situation in which, if one wants dispute resolution services, one must go to the state. What are the ramifications of this monopoly? Like any monopolist, the state will tend to charge more for its services than private arbitrators would. Moreover, since its revenue is guaranteed, and the courts have little incentive to attract or please its “customers,” government courts have little incentive to incur the costs of producing justice: the intellectual, moral and physical effort required to achieve true justice. Thus, overall and in general, state-provided justice will tend to be expensive, time-consuming, and of relatively poor quality."
That sounds about right."Thus, government courts, unconcerned about securing or satisfying customers, tend to be more concerned about looking after their own interests and the interests of their allies. They adopt, for example, elaborate and fairly inflexible rules of procedure, most of which seem designed to serve the needs of the court, not the litigants. Litigants are forced to hire expensive attorneys, usually specialists who know their way around in that particular court. Dispute resolution agencies which cannot monopolize business tend to adopt much simpler procedures. This banal example makes the larger point. Government courts, being monopolies, tend to serve their own interests, not those of the litigants, in all aspects of their work, from procedure to substantive decision-making. This lack of solicitude is the direct and inescapable result of the very monopoly powers we are told courts must have!"


Two prisoners of war released from Guantanamo are behind the attempted terrorist attack on Northwest Airlines flight. I know Republicans are trying to use this against Obama, but Bush released these guys. There's no such thing as good government.

Apparently similar bombs in the past failed to take down the airplane though one killed a passenger. How weird is this?
"Janet isn’t the first of Our Rulers to divulge this damaging info. In 2007, the Government Accountability Office reported that the TSA "considers…able-bodied passengers to be an important layer of aviation security" because they will "engage in self-defense actions should an incident occur onboard commercial aircraft." That’s right: taxpayers deprived of all weapons and defenses but fingernails, whom the TSA suspects for terrorists and abuses accordingly, not only comprise one of its often-hyped "layers of security" but an "important" one! Is this complete, jaw-dropping insanity or what? And why are we paying $7 billion a year for these thugs to molest and insult us when, in the end, they count on us to defeat terrorists?"
Well said. If TSA wants passengers to be an effective layer of security, quit taking their knives (and clippers and whatever else) away.

Why is the no-fly list secret? Several competing services providing publicly accessible terrorist threat lists that people could get off of would be far more effective. We always hear that government doesn't have enough resources to check everybody. Thank goodness. But the problem isn't lack of resources. The problem is, because government security is inherently socialist, there are no prices to guide the distribution of those scarce resources. Do you need more people? More machines? Different machines? Different techniques? Where should they go? When should they be applied? In the private sector, prices signal how resources should be distributed. Supply and demand drive those prices. The distribution of those resources is driven by political expediency instead of effectiveness. And there's no competition, so government has no means of judging the quality of its efforts against other security services.

The solution is to return security to the people in the private sector who have a life and death stake in it - the airports, airlines and customers. Think of it this way: A terrorist is trying to get on your flight and blow it up. Who do you want to be responsible for your security? Captain Sully and his staff or Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Janet Napolitano and her bureaucrats?

CIA fails to circulate warning about would-be jet bomber.
""What we have here is a situation in which the failings were individual, organizational, systemic and technological," the [anonymous] official said."
That's the nature of government. The same problem exists in all facets of government security.


The next time somebody tells you politics is more rancorous now than ever, you don't have to be limited to telling them that it's hard to top vice-president Burr killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel, you can also remind them that the speaker of the house, Henry Clay, burned President Tyler in effigy on the White House lawn.


I don't care one bit that Obama didn't go to church on Christmas. Long before Obama was elected, we knew his church was just political cover. He achieved his ambition and doesn't need it anymore, though he still is driven by the same insane hatred of America that drew him to Rev. Wright.

Does the entire media in the US hate freedom? That's a very good question. I'd say pretty much everybody but Reason, John Stossel and Judge Napolitano. News organizations are corporations that depend on the government for their survival. What do you expect?
"Take the Martha Stewart case, for example. According to the Usual Pundits on both the right and the left, the conviction and imprisonment (albeit rather brief) of Stewart represented a triumphant moment in which we once again affirmed the Principle that No One is Above the Law. Actually, it demonstrated a more fundamental condition fully supported by the mainstream media (or MSM): the state and its prosecutors are above the law, and the press will make sure of that.

Why do I make such a charge? There was no way the feds could charge Stewart with insider trading, and they knew it. Thus, they hatched a plan with the NYT and Wall Street Journal being complicit in lawbreaking: prosecutors fed secret grand jury information to those papers that was designed to damage the stock price of Martha Stewart Living and compel Stewart to meet with prosecutors and investigators in order to stop the bleeding. (In fact, Stewart was convicted of lying to investigators during that fateful meeting.)

It is a felony to leak grand jury information and is punishable by up to five years in prison. Yet, the feds did it and no one – no one – in the media complained about this episode of lawbreaking which was done in order to trick someone into committing a "crime" so that the press could have its Big Story and the prosecutors could indict and convict its Big Fish."

Nice of example of how prosecutors conspire with media to break the law in order to entrap a victim.


Author calls Krugman a liar, and I think he's right. There's no doubt a top economist, even one as misguided as Krugman, knows the history of financial deregulation under Carter and Reagan. He's lying about it on purpose.

Value is subjective. How valuable is that second helping of potatoes? Third? Forth? Ask men how valuable a tenth pair of shoes is, and most will say not valuable at all. Ask women how valuable a 50th pair of shoes is, and most will say as valuable as the first pair. Even the law of diminishing marginal utility plays out subjectively.

Ben Stein calls Ron Paul an anti-Semite. Republicans are so afraid of Paul that they're going nuts at his prominence.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Free kibbles


For all China's growth and fundamental economic soundness, it still suffers from a centrally planned bubble economy.

Government now commands our economy.


Another mainstream publication promotes the Austrian theory:
"How many more crises must we endure until we realize the common denominator is the creation of money and credit by the Fed? Wall Street bankers and speculators, who try to game the system and make profits during each boom, are mere bit players in these crises. By fostering the booms and triggering the busts, the real villain is the institution of central banking itself. Thus, instead of providing stability to the economy, central banking has created great instability. Until this is understood, we will make little progress in preventing future crises or easing the current one."
It's hard to predict whether these positive reactions to government created crises will enable the people to overcome crushing government before it destroys our country. Right now, it sure doesn't look like it, but there is still hope.


This example shows you just can't communicate with bureaucrats. Becoming a bureaucrat forces a person's brain to only work in the bureaucratic manner.
"It's coming. The folks in DC will be snooping in my pantry within 5 years, regardless the party. And it will be under cover of reducing healthcare costs."
That's a fact. Government will require us to tell them what we eat, where we go out, how much exercise we got. They'll put RFID chips in our food and clothes to verify what we report. Under the guise of improving our health, we are on the way to becoming the most oppressed people in history. Can you imagine what Thomas Jefferson would do if he saw our government today?

Health care chart shows that less than twelve percent of health care costs are directly paid for by consumers. That's why our health care costs are out of control.

Obamacare puts freedom on life support.

The public option may not survive conference. Let's hope that kills the bill in the House. Funny how nobody in either party has much concern about the mandate.


How a climategate scientist became a full-time editor at Wikipedia to guarantee that only the alarmist view was presented on the site.
"When Connolley didn't like the subject of a certain article, he removed it -- more than 500 articles of various descriptions disappeared at his hand. When he disapproved of the arguments that others were making, he often had them barred -- over 2,000 Wikipedia contributors who ran afoul of him found themselves blocked from making further contributions. Acolytes whose writing conformed to Connolley's global warming views, in contrast, were rewarded with Wikipedia's blessings. In these ways, Connolley turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement."
This fraud was impressively thorough.


Even the New York Times is figuring out that government can't protect us, so we have to protect ourselves:
"Despite the billions spent since 2001 on intelligence and counterterrorism programs, sophisticated airport scanners and elaborate watch lists, it was something simpler that averted disaster on a Christmas Day flight to Detroit: alert and courageous passengers and crew members.

That's not my spin or my writing. That's the lead of the NYT piece on the attempted airplane bomb. Oh, and this: the government prevents the crime after the fact."

We have to stop feeding our false sense of security and start empowering ourselves to protect each other.

Yemen al Qaeda group claims responsibility for this attack. Put that prisoner of war in Guantanamo where he belongs. Quietly hunt down the members of this al Qaeda group and kill or capture them. Don't invade Yemen.

It does seem bizarre that we just started hearing about Yemen as a terrorist hot spot in the world, then suddenly some guy connected to an al Qaeda cell in Yemen is allowed on a plane which he tries to blow up. I don't believe there's a conspiracy here, but it's odd. Or maybe not. Maybe because of the ineptitude of government it was inevitable. Lieberman calls for war on Yemen. You've got to be kidding me. These freaks won't be happy until we've burned the entire Middle East to the ground.

The accomplice press dutifully parrots the claims of aristocrats that air strikes killed top al Qaeda leaders, but over and over again, those claims prove false. It just played out again in Yemen. I don't know where we got the idea that using airstrikes to target individuals was a good idea. I think using local mercenaries makes much more sense.

Steve Hayes just said that al Qaeda in Yemen is run by two former Guantanamo detainees. Confirmation. Oops.

Citizens are pushing back against new regulations. Thank goodness.

On airport security:

"I fear most airline security is simply a government make-work project designed to reduce public fears of flying rather than safeguard the passengers."
I'm sure not everybody is like that, as this story shows, but that's the driving force behind government run airport security. That's not to say we should ditch airport security. Multiple layers of security has been proven to be the most effective, but airport security must be turned over to the private sector to people who have a vested interest in being effective and keeping the process as painless for travelers as possible. Same with airline security.

Thankfully libertarians are powerfully attacking this false sense of security we demand from government.

How long have I been saying this?

"Roger Pilon touches on a crucial aspect of the most recent terrorist incident to strike the nation. Federal policymakers spend the vast majority of their time mucking around in properly state, local, and private activities, leaving them little time to spend on core federal issues such as defense and security.

There is little hard data to illustrate the point, but it needs much more public discussion. Do we want the president of the United States spending his time with briefings on Wall Street salaries and the advantages of windmill power, or on the growing Iranian nuclear threat?"

If our government was tiny and focused only on defending the country from enemies foreign and domestic, it would be much more accountable and could do those jobs much more effectively. But screwing around with roads, schools, global warming, health care, social security, etc. distracts the government and the people from making sure those basic tasks are done reasonably well.

Christopher Hitchens asks why our government is so bad at identifying guilty individuals but so good at punishing collective innocents. Only a person who thinks government is an altruist institution would ask that question, but once asked, the question leaves only one answer - government doesn't have our best interests at heart. Government has government's best interests at heart.
"By the way, I make a safe prediction: Nobody in that embassy or anywhere else in our national security system will lose his or her job as a consequence of this most recent disgrace."
Exactly. Because government has the power to tax, it doesn't have to be accountable. It funds itself through violence, not a system of voluntary exchange. If it fails, and you don't want to pay for the crummy services it forces on you, tough. The armed thugs will kick in your door and either kill you or beat you up, handcuff you, and kidnap you into a little cell where you will spend a significant portion of the rest of your life.
"What nobody in authority thinks us grown-up enough to be told is this: We had better get used to being the civilians who are under a relentless and planned assault from the pledged supporters of a wicked theocratic ideology. These people will kill themselves to attack hotels, weddings, buses, subways, cinemas, and trains. They consider Jews, Christians, Hindus, women, homosexuals, and dissident Muslims (to give only the main instances) to be divinely mandated slaughter victims. Our civil aviation is only the most psychologically frightening symbol of a plethora of potential targets. The future murderers will generally not be from refugee camps or slums (though they are being indoctrinated every day in our prisons); they will frequently be from educated backgrounds, and they will often not be from overseas at all. They are already in our suburbs and even in our military. We can expect to take casualties. The battle will go on for the rest of our lives. Those who plan our destruction know what they want, and they are prepared to kill and die for it. Those who don't get the point prefer to whine about "endless war," accidentally speaking the truth about something of which the attempted Christmas bombing over Michigan was only a foretaste. While we fumble with bureaucracy and euphemism, they are flying high."
A lot of truth in that paragraph, but this doesn't have to go on all our lives. We can adopt policies that don't create enemies faster than we can overcome them. We can bring all our troops home. We can let Arab Muslims determine their own fates instead of setting the entire Middle East on fire. This hatred demands enemy to focus on. We should stop being that enemy.


Is this the end of the current Iranian regime? Let's hope so. Even if it is, will whatever replaces it be materially different? Let's hope so. It's hard to tell because even though the opposition leader who had the election stolen from him by Ahmadinejad over the summer wasn't significantly different from Ahmadinejad, and the country is run by the mullahs, not the president anyway. But that opposition leader tapped into something more revolutionary and freedom-loving that has a chance to bring down the mullahs.

""And you look at this opposition movement, and you have to ask yourself how. They don't have a strong leader. They don't have a structure. They don't have an organization. But somehow they manage to mobilize and move out.""
It seems to be a real, grassroots revolution.

Obama to allow sale of arms to Taiwan. If Taiwan wants to buy arms to protect it from an attack from China, I'm OK with that. If China quits threatening Taiwan, then Taiwan won't need to buy weapons. We have a weird relationship with China. They have us over a barrel because our government needs their government to fund our government. On the flip side, we have China over a barrel because we can either default or monetize all of our government debt they hold. Each side has a nuclear option. Both governments were stupid to get in that situation.


Quite a different story about Marc Rich.

I wonder how much of people's need for government is driven by a desire to feel they have some control over the world. If private organizations regulate financial markets, the people who don't belong to those organizations feel like they have no power over those markets, but if government regulates those markets, the people feel they have some power over them because of their vote.

How entrepreneurs improve culture.

How to put a giant snow drift trapping you in your house to good use.

Men who help clean get more sex. Hmmm.

Blaming subsidies for the Colts pulling their best players and losing is ridiculous. Subsidies or not, the organization will make much more money by winning the Super Bowl than by getting Manning hurt and getting knocked out of the playoffs. Whether you like the decision or not, this was ultimately a business decision that was unaffected by the stadium subsidy.

Americans fleeing to solidly red states. Immigrants flooding into blue states.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Free kibbles


The advance of liberty around the world leveled off in 2009. Look for it to retreat with the decline of the US. But the triumph of the rule of law over democracy in Honduras is a good thing.


Owners stripping homes before foreclosure. This shows how government interference in our lives brings out the most base instincts of humans unlike a system of voluntary exchange which restricts those instincts and brings out the most positive.

Transforming America into a command economy.
"America is transforming itself, without forethought, debate, or pause, into a command economy. A command economy is a top-down, state-controlled economy directed by planners and bureaucrats, boards and bodies, administrators and authorities. A command economy is not characterized by mutuality of interest and agreement between parties. It relies on edict. A command economy, as the name implies, orders the affairs of a nation by coercion. In a free economy goods and services are bought and sold by consent; business transactions are based on agreement; contracts depend upon a meeting of the minds of the parties involved. In a command economy government sets prices, controls and directs resources, and oversees production and consumption. Free economies produce prosperity; command economies produce poverty. The transformation of America is already taking place at breakneck speed, even before the current economic crisis is full blown. Historical precedents insist that as conditions worsen, the transformation into a command economy will accelerate."
Why did we do this to ourselves? This didn't just start under Obama. It just accelerated under him. Why are we continuing to support the same two parties who brought us to this point?
"The reasons that the United States would choose to follow a pattern that hollows out economies the way it did the British are many. But as a symptom, although not a cause of this self-inflicted harm, look to the modern American politician. For today’s breed of politician, power is their very passion. Their every concern and the entire public debate about politicians centers around the use of power. How may power best be exploited and aggrandized? Who is to be bailed out, who is to be plundered to pay for it? Who is to be subsidized, who penalized? Who shall be taxed and who shall be paid? In contrast, the founders looked upon power very differently: How can it be kept in check? In yielding to the former and to their command economy, the current generation of Americans, blessed with so much, will be the shame of the ages."
This is a frightening essay. What ever happened to "Love your country. Fear your government?" Why did parents stop teaching that to children? I think it started with teaching children, if they ever need help, to go find a police officer. Parents can't teach children that government agents are to be trusted to help solve problems without creating an adult who looks to government to solve his or her problems. From the beginning, parents should teach children that power corrupts, and government agents have power and so are to be avoided if at all possible. Teach children, if they ever need help, to run to another parent as a first option and a working person as a second option.


Post-mortem on the Senate health care vote.


877 new snow records set in the US last week.

Satellite measurements show that because of the inactivity of the sun during solar cycle 24, the upper atmosphere of the Earth called the thermosphere is cooling.
"“The Sun is in a very unusual period,” said Marty Mlynczak, SABER associate principal investigator and senior research scientist at NASA Langley. “The Earth’s thermosphere is responding remarkably — up to an order of magnitude decrease in infrared emission/radiative cooling by some molecules.”"
That's a huge impact.

2/3 of the country gets a white Christmas. Not us though.

Some wonderful person took the CRU emails, data and programs and organized it into a time-line showing that climategate was a 30 year process of corrupting science to fulfill a political agenda. Very impressive.

Former global warming true believer admits his mistake and becomes a skeptic. Welcome the world of thinking people.

The push for one world government.

"The mere utterance of [the word global] was assumed to sweep away any consideration of what was once assumed to be the most basic principle of modern democracy: that elected national governments are responsible to their own people – that the right to govern derives from the consent of the electorate."
I get sick to my stomach when aristocrats start throwing around the word global, but I'd never thought why. This is why. It's intended to undermine self-government even further than it's already been undermined.
"Nor was much consideration given to the logical conclusion of all this grandiose talk of global consensus as unquestionably desirable: if there was no popular choice about approving supranational "legally binding agreements", what would happen to dissenters who did not accept their premises (on climate change, for example) when there was no possibility of fleeing to another country in protest? Was this to be regarded as the emergence of world government? And would it have powers of policing and enforcement that would supersede the authority of elected national governments? In effect, this was the infamous "democratic deficit" of the European Union elevated on to a planetary scale. And if the EU model is anything to go by, then the agencies of global authority will involve vast tracts of power being handed to unelected officials. Forget the relatively petty irritations of Euro‑bureaucracy: welcome to the era of Earth-bureaucracy, when there will be literally nowhere to run."
This woman definitely understands the threat.

Thomas Sowell has it right about science.
"Like anything valuable, science has been seized upon by politicians and ideologues, and used to forward their own agendas. This started long ago, as far back as the 18th century, when the Marquis de Condorcet coined the term "social science" to describe various theories he favored. In the 19th century, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels distinguished their own brand of socialism as "scientific socialism." By the 20th century, all sorts of notions wrapped themselves in the mantle of "science.""
What this global warming fraud illustrates is that big government begets bigger government regardless of who's on top. George Bush didn't support the global warming fraud, but on his watch, the government funded those frauds to the tune of tens of billions of dollars. This should be a reminder that there's no such thing as good government. Government is like a voracious dinosaur, living only to grow and grow and grow. It doesn't matter who we put on top to ride it, it goes where it wants based on its own needs and crushes anything in its path. We can't direct it. All we can do is dramatically reduce its size until we can keep it on a short leash, then keep it tiny.


Government implements new airline restrictions in the wake of attempted terrorist attack on airliner. As always, these restrictions are worthless except for created a false sense that government is "doing something". I don't want government to do anything except get out of the way. I want to return security for airplanes back to the people who have the most to lose and therefore will do the best job securing airplanes - the airports, airlines and passengers.

This terrorist was radicalized in London. We're fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan when the terrorists keep coming from other countries including Europe and the US.

Israel's invasion of Gaza produced a 90 percent reduction in rocket attacks because Hamas lost much support and power. Excellent. I hope the people of the West Bank wake up and oust Hamas and reduce them to nothing so they can make peace with Israel and start building a society.

I think the enlisted men and women in the US military are so different from everybody else in government because they work in an environment of stiff competition and because they're the most accountable people in the government. They're less powerful than the average citizen. It might seem an paradox that the men and women we arm and empower to kill our enemies are more powerless than citizens, but citizens have the power to arm themselves and kill our enemies, null and void gun control laws pretending to take away that power not withstanding. The same could be said for low level officers, but as they go up the ladder, they gain power and become more bureaucratic. But there's always competition up to the very top, unlike pretty much every other government position.

But we terribly abuse our troops. They shouldn't be nation-building in Iraq or Afghanistan. They shouldn't be patrolling the Korean border. They shouldn't be fighting drug was in South America. They shouldn't be in Germany, Japan or anywhere else either. None of these tasks are about defending America, and that should be their focus.


Iranian police shoot protesters dead.


I think mainstream liberals and conservatives have so much in common it's ridiculous. Other than the extremists on both sides, everybody wants tolerance, strong families, prosperity, etc. But because government divides the people every time it takes power from us on any issue, because our politicians and their accomplice press divide us every day, mainstream liberals and conservatives can't even talk to each other about issues. Government has stolen our ability to have meaningful debate. We just sit and watch politicians and the talking heads of the accomplice press debate instead of debating among ourselves. Once we start taking our power back from government, liberals and conservatives can start talking about issues to each other again and create a far happier society.


Why do we need to hear from the president after a terrorist attack? Was he there? Was he the guy who passed the terrorist through security? Is he a security expert? Why do I care what any president has to say about a terrorist attack? The last thing I want is the president to get more involved in the day to day activities of our lives.


The solar system is passing through an interstellar cloud.

How Emperor Hirohito used the atomic bombs dropped on Japan to stay in power.

It's kind of scary to think that the Earth was affected by a magnetic flare from 50,000 light years away. I hope there's nothing like that within a few thousand light years.

Economic lessons from the birth of Christ.
"In any case, the second chapter of St. Luke doesn’t say that they were continually rejected at place after place. It tells of the charity of a single inn owner, perhaps the first person they encountered, who, after all, was a businessman. His inn was full, but he offered them what he had: the stable. There is no mention that the innkeeper charged the couple even one copper coin, though given his rights as a property owner, he certainly could have.

It’s remarkable, then, to think that when the Word was made flesh with the birth of Jesus, it was through the intercessory work of a private businessman. Without his assistance, the story would have been very different indeed. People complain about the "commercialization" of Christmas, but clearly commerce was there from the beginning, playing an essential and laudable role.

And yet we don’t even know the innkeeper’s name. In two thousand years of celebrating Christmas, tributes today to the owner of the inn are absent. Such is the fate of the merchant throughout all history: doing well, doing good, and forgotten for his service to humanity."

That's a great observation.

I can't help but like anything named Whiskey and Gunpowder.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Free kibbles


Obama gives Interpol immunity from US law. This is nuts, but on the other hand, we demand our agents get immunity from foreign countries, which is equally nuts. Conservative are up in arms that Obama did this, but they'll demand our guys, like Blackwater, have immunity from other countries. Apparently they can't see how they're supporting one world government and how it was inevitable that it would boomerang back on us at some time. If we want foreigners to respect our laws and sovereignty, we have to do the same.


After Obama promised Fannie and Freddie a blank check, Cato reminds that Obama's pay czar, who cut the salaries and bonuses of TARP recipients, OKed $42 million in bonuses to the top 12 execs of those socialist institutions. Not bad for government work.


Beware of aristocrats selling slavery under the guise of false rights.


Environmentalists reject nuclear power because they don't care as much about the environment as they do crippling human development. It's a negative philosophy, hatred of humans, more than a positive philosophy, love of nature. That's all it can be because nothing has done more to clean up our environment than the advancement of our economy, and environmentalists are staunchly against the advancement of our economy.

Castro attacks Obama. Poor Barack. He just can't please his fellow Marxist dictators. They might kick him out of the club. He'd love to able to, but reality in the US holds him back. For now.


The war on drugs claims ruins another life - a 10 year old girl traumatized for life for bringing peppermint oil to school.


Passengers on airliner subdue would-be terrorist. The people are always the first defenders, and after 9/11, Americans are waking up to that fact. We need to completely change the way we look at security based on people defending themselves and each other instead of sitting around while government gives us a false sense of security. The founding fathers passed this wisdom on to us in the second amendment.

How is this story fear-mongering? This guy really did try to blow up a plane in flight. Anybody who wouldn't be scared to death if they saw a man on airplane lighting some sort of fuse on any kind of device is a fool. How is reporting that story fear-mongering? And how is having security review its tactics to stop such a thing from happening again a bad thing? Fearing and/or hating government is one thing, but libertarians shouldn't let those emotions overwhelm their reason. These bizarre libertarians who act like terrorism isn't a real threat can't have it both ways. One the one hand they (rightly) attack government airport security for being inept. On the other hand, they attack airport security for trying to fix flaws when they're discovered. Criticizing that is absurd. Of course we should take security out of the hands of inept government, but you can't attack security people for reviewing their procedures in the wake of this incident. That's what the private sector would do too. This may not have been an actual threat or may have been a deadly threat. We don't know right now. Jumping to conclusions about fear-mongering before we get the facts is ignorant and reactionary, not rational and thoughtful, but as far as the passengers and crew on that plane go, more power to them for stopping this nut. And if this guy really was an al Qaeda agent, he should be sent to Guantanamo and held as a prisoner of war and tried for attempted war crimes, not given access to a civilian court.

In typical government malfeasance, this guy was on a terrorist watch list but not on the no-fly list. Over a million people are on that list. American grannies with the odd names are on the no-fly list and can't get off, but suspected terrorists aren't on it. This no-fly list is horribly mismanaged, but what else would you expect from government? From this article, it sounds like the explosive was a real threat to me. I bet we'll get more details soon. Like the Fort Hood shooter, this sounds like another example of how government wastes resources on surveillance of ordinary Americans while ignoring the real threats.

This guy is a recent covert to radical Islam. Our policies created another enemy.

Good for Greta for calling bull**** on the plan to stop providing pillows and blankets because of this. That's just stupid. What does the one hour lockdown before landing do? It tells the terrorists to blow the bomb up before that deadline. These are useless ideas intended solely to inspire a false sense of security. This is alarmist, reactionary and could be described as fear-mongering, but it's not being done by government.


How Obama is fragmenting the left.
"The progressive crack-up, before Obama even reaches the end of his first year, has been an awesome and occasionally humorous sight to see."
He didn't waste any time.


Researchers create single molecule transistor. Wow.

Constitutional law is a fiction created by power-hungry men who would not allow the Constitution to limit their selfish ambitions. The Constitution means what it says. Any law, presidential order or court decision that contradicts the plain language of the Constitution is null and void.

Israeli doctor admits Israeli doctors harvested organs from dead Palestinians without consent. Needless to say, this opens up the whole can of worms about whether the doctors did everything possible to save the patient. This whole organ donor thing is scary. I'm not an organ donor because I don't want to give a doctor any incentive to let me die. Doctors are human and corruptible just like everybody else.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Free kibbles


The housing market continues to collapse.

Lord Geithner promises unlimited funds to cover the losses of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Anybody who lends our government money is a fool. Please stop so we can fix this thing before it gets worse.


Obama doubles welfare to foreign dictators to $48.764 billion.
"Some people would think that when you can't pay your own debts, borrowing more to give away would be slightly irresponsible. But those are the kind of bitter people who cling to their guns and religion, and will never amount to anything. Important people, the kind who win the Nobel Peace Prize in their spare time, know better."
"Past US foreign aid has gone to Idi Amin, Julius Nyerere, Joseph Stalin, Fidel Castro, and Pol Pot (even after Pol Pot killed 25% of Cambodia's population). We also gave money to North Vietnam, helped fund the Taliban government of Afghanistan, gave nuclear reactors to North Korea, and back in the day helped the Pakistani spy agency ISI build up a real gung-ho guy named Osama Bin Laden. And of course it was also the ISI which made the Taliban powerful enough to take Afghanistan in the first place. "
How's that foreign welfare working out for us?
"Even in the early days, when some of the foreign aid was going to less-genocidal governments under the Marshall Plan, it still didn't work. Most of the Marshall Plan money went to England and France, built up their bureaucracies, and left them way behind Germany and Japan. Contrary to myth, Germany actually got less than no aid (their reparation payments were bigger than their Marshall plan share).

Foreign aid doesn't help our security (unless you think the North Korean and Pakistani nuclear bombs are going to help us). It doesn't help foreigners' security either. In many cases all we have done is supply both sides of conflicts with larger weapons. What sense does it make for us to buy expensive armaments for both Egypt and Israel, for both Pakistan and India?"

This guy is crushing foreign welfare.

276,000 federal employees owe back taxes.


Senate passes monstrous health care oppression bill. Now it goes to conference. We get one last shot to kill this killer before it kills us in both the House and the Senate.

Peter Schiff compares this health care oppression bill to a neutron bomb of the insurance industry:
"As business owners undergo the yearly ritual of passing through eye-popping health insurance premium increases to their employees, it's easy to understand why any attempt at health insurance reform would be met with some degree of hope. Unfortunately, President Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress are about to take a very bad system and make it unimaginably worse."
I think I can imagine it. This system was designed to fail by driving up prices and reducing quality of care. That's what it will do. Since Republicans won't do anything to free the system from the damage of government just like didn't the whole time Bush was in office, the next step will be Democrats forcing socialized medicine on us all.
"The bill's centerpiece is a clause prohibiting insurers from denying coverage based on a pre-existing medical condition. However noble and marketable an idea, this proscription removes the very basis upon which any insurance model operates profitably."
This part of the bill has been horribly neglected because it sounds so nice on the face of it, but it guarantees the bankruptcy of the insurance industry.
"[T]he Senate bill imposes an annual fine which gradually escalates to $750 for those who fail to buy coverage. So what? I would gladly pay $750 in order to avoid the $8,000 per year I pay now for personal health insurance. Currently, I'm relatively healthy for a 46 year old and I don't anticipate making a big claim. But if I do, under the new rules I can always get 'insurance' after the fact. Heck, if I can stay healthy for the next couple of decades, I'll save a fortune. Think about how much easier the decision would be if I were 20 years younger! Since most people are capable of figuring this out, the entire insurance industry would collapse under such a system. "
It's designed to collapse and soon. Democrats will blame the non-existent free market and implement socialized medicine.
"Perhaps our elected officials actually intend to bite the hands that feed them. They could double-cross insurance companies by not raising the fine in five years, thereby forcing the industry into bankruptcy as millions of healthy people opt-out. During the ensuing 'insurance crisis,' our courageous leaders could ride to the rescue with a nationalized, single-payer system."
Hello? If Schiff would read this blog, he'd have learned that a lot sooner. Obviously the government will make some show of trying to save the insurance industry, but it will be just a show. This bill is designed to make socialized medicine inevitable.

The states have tried most of the provisions in Obamacare, and they've made prices go up and quality of care go down.


Private property rights as a means of limiting man's impact on climate. This should be the model for all environmentalism.


Prosecutor made famous for convicting innocent people on trumped up child sex abuse charges retires. What's so sad about this is that he continued to get re-elected for 20 years after he imprisoned a bunch of innocent people. It highlights once again what I think the fundamental flaw of our justice system: juries have no incentive to acquit and every incentive to convict. In the old days, juries knew the defendants, the police, the victims, the lawyers and the judges. Because of that, they had a stake in making the right decision and they had the ability to sort out liars from those telling the truth. Today's juries aren't allowed to know anybody involved so they have no stake in the outcome other than to insure they don't let a criminal go free to victimize them later. And juries are a subset of voters who have no incentive to elect prosecutors who focus on justice instead of convictions. Voters and jurors, except for the tremendously small percentage who get falsely convicted, are better off sending innocent men to prison than allowing guilty men to go free. So are prosecutors. So are judges.


St. Nicholas.
"His transformation into Father Christmas only occurred after the Dutch had emigrated to North America in the 17th century. In the New World, they continued to observe the feast day of Sinterklaas, as they called St Nicholas. This dialectical quirk became "Santa Claus"."
Blame the Dutch.

Good analysis of conservatives.
"As Lew Rockwell noted, "conservatives have two brains. One sees the government as a menace, something stupid, inefficient, brutal, isolated from real life, and the enemy of liberty. The other sees government as smart, wise, and all-knowing, a friend to all, in touch with life around the planet, and the friend to liberty everywhere.""
Or maybe they just see our government as better than other governments. The problem with conservatives is their support for smaller government isn't based on principle, it's only based on unhappiness with government's current intrusions. No conservative today is saying government must be smaller than it was in 1980, when Reagan won on a platform of reducing the size and scope of government and defeating the Soviets. Conservatives have gotten used to leviathan government, and they just wish it was a little smaller than liberals want it to be. Fundamentally, conservatives believe in good government as long as it's forcing conservative values on others just like liberals believe in good government as long as it's forcing liberal values on others. Neither believe in the principle that using violence to force one's will on another is immoral and always counterproductive. But why do libertarians always make this stupid comment?
"The conservative Bush War supporters’ being manipulated by emotional fear mongering can compare to the left’s being manipulated by the current "global warming" panic."
That statement is patently false, and makes me mad that people I agree with on almost every issue, people who are rational on almost every issue, people I voluntarily associate myself with, make that bogus statement. Terrorists really are trying to kill us. Terrorists really did kill 3,000 Americans on 9/11. There's no comparison to the deadly real threat of terrorists and complete fantasy of man-made global warming. They can criticize the policies all they want, but because of these completely bogus statements, most Americans don't take the libertarian movement seriously.

Appreciating Christianity.

Sears opens a drive-through department store.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Free kibbles


Nobody should be surprised that gun sales can rise while murder rates fall. I doubt there's any causality involved, but gun ownership does not lead to more murders.


Obama orders GM to run plant 24 hours a day, taking time away from normal maintenance. The central planner-in-chief thinks his will can overcome physics and economics.


How hard was this to figure out?
"In other words, the NFIB survey indicates that government — not credit availability — is the biggest problem facing small businesses right now."
Government is by far the biggest problem in the country,and getting bigger.


This might as well be a graph of the trajectory of the US, not just the federal deficit. I remember when I was growing up my grandparents said I was living the best times in history. That was in the context of putting a man on the moon - still the greatest accomplishment of humanity. They were wrong. Even our space program is less capable today because of crushing bureaucracy. How stupid is it that it will take NASA longer to send men back to the moon than it took to develop an entire space program from scratch and send men there the first time? Because I have no reason to think voters will stop voting for power-hungry Republicans and Democrats who have rigged the system so no small government candidates have a chance of winning their nominations, I'm going to live through the collapse of the greatest nation the world has ever seen. It will probably trigger the greatest collapse of the world economy in history. This could be the dawn of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. How shocking is it that the best hope for the survival of civilization is that China will be able to pick up the pieces like the US did after the collapse of the British Empire? I think China is still far too centrally planned for that to happen.

Study confirms what anybody with half a brain knows - bailouts are linked to corruption.

Borrowed stimulus money is delaying and worsening the financial pain for government schools.

Since the federal government mandated states pay out more unemployment, states need more bailout money. Nobody with half a brain is surprised by this. This was just another gimmick by Democrats in Washington to gain more power. They know as well as everybody else that if you tax something you get less of it and if you subsidize something, you get more of it. Democrats don't want to put people back to work. That's why they're subsidizing unemployment.

Have you ever noticed that when money's tight, if you borrow a bunch of money and spend it on all things you ever wanted to buy, life suddenly seems a lot brighter? How's that work out in the end?
"The FED has been expanding the monetary base since mid-June at a rate of 77% per annum."
The Fed printing money is worse than borrowing. It's stealing from the productive class to give to the unproductive class.

If you increase the budget by historical amounts in one year and only normal amounts the next, that's not austerity. Austerity would mean cuts. That's an attempt to redefine the terms of the discussion. Obama wants to claim he's fiscally responsible before the 2010 midterm elections.

Everybody likes to talk about how much money Wall Street is making, but no politician or their accomplice press talks about the money K Street is making. The only thing of value our aristocrats have to sell is our power. If they want to advance their careers as professional politicians, they have to sell our power. And lobbyists on K Street buy it. The only way to stop it is to take our power back.


I can't help but wonder if Bernanke has some sort of bizarre fetish about the Great Depression and he engineered this crisis on purpose so he could proclaim he saves us from the second Great Depression. He didn't get the nickname helicopter Ben for nothing. By all accounts he was the most aggressive advocate, even more than Greenspan, of inflationary monetary policy similar to the policy in the twenties that sparked the Great Depression.


Harry Reid inserts language into his health care bill forbidding future Congresses from repealing it. That language is powerless of course, but it just shows how twisted these freaks we send to Washington are.

I've been thinking about the possibility of civil disobedience over the health insurance mandate too. In Massachusetts, so many people ignored the Romneycare mandate that the state stopped enforcing it. I bet the same happens nationwide. But a big civil disobedience event or 100 would rock. Maybe tea partiers should get together and burn their insurance cards.

It's kind of interesting to see Cato defend Sarah Palin, but under government rationing of care, death panels are inevitable as Obama's advisers say.

How the Senate bill is both a big government takeover and a huge subsidy for health insurance companies. That's fascism. The more government gets involved in any industry, the more you can't tell where the government ends and the corporations begin. Corporations are already tax collectors for the Sheriff of Nottingham. This bill, like all extensions of government into the private sector, makes both more powerful.

How Harry Reid abused the system and the trust of the people on this health care oppression bill.


I don't think Obama and Democrats are in clinical denial about the global warming fraud. They're in self-serving denial. They know it's a fraud, but it's a fraud they want to capitalize on.


Uniformed tax collectors employ "ghost car" to catch people on cell phones.
"Stasaitis said police had been discussing problems with enforcing bans on cell phones and texting, and seat-belt violations, because drivers see patrol cars coming. “If everybody sees the cop, nobody does anything wrong, so you don’t catch the people you need to catch,” Stasaitis said. “Drivers slow down, drop their texting device, then the minute you’re past them, they go back to what they were doing."
Maybe those drivers aren't so distracted after all. Isn't that the point? Oh wait. The point is to seize money from citizens.


Fort Hood shooter complains he can't pray in Arabic with his family. So it begins. We're going to hear incessant nonsense from this guy for the next couple of years until he finally gets convicted. If praying in Arabic with his family was that important to him, maybe he should have done that instead of murdering 30 people in cold blood.

While I agree that the slow pain of sanctions against the Iranian people are counterproductive, I wouldn't call a mission to take out Iran's nuclear facilities a war of aggression. We're not obligated to wait until Iran sets off a nuke in the US to act. Same with North Korea. Maybe our foreign policy should have been different, but that doesn't negate our right to stop Iran from nuking us. That's like saying I have to wait until somebody pulls the trigger to defend myself. It's too late then. It also makes no sense to allow the Iranian government to develop a nuclear weapon then depend on them not to nuke us. If I live in a world with no police, and somebody convinces me they're going to go buy a gun and come kill my family one night when we're asleep, I'm not letting that guy buy that gun. I don't count on his good nature not to kill me. I don't count on my defenses if I don't have to. Defenses are imperfect. They fail. Me and my family could die. I'm stopping that guy before he gains the power to kill us. All that doesn't mean our aristocrats won't do something significantly worse than just taking out Iran's nuclear facilities.
"We would not tolerate foreign covert operations fomenting regime change in our government."
Ron Paul's flat out wrong about that. Teddy Kennedy tried to make a deal with the Soviet premier before Gorbachev to defeat Reagan. We've tolerated China meddling in our politics since Clinton at least. Hillary took money from the Chinese in the last primary. Obama took untold millions in donations from foreigners. We don't just tolerate operatives from other counties trying to bring about regime change, we welcome it.


Obama's disapproval numbers are higher than his approval numbers. And he's only in his first year.

Mainstream Republicans and their accomplice press are smearing Ron Paul to try and head off a 2012 campaign by him. Ron Paul is all over the TV since he's the only candidate from the last election who made any sense regarding our current, worsening problems. No wonder the power-hungry mainstream is scared.

It's impossible for the law not to be politicized. That's never been the case. Laws are written by politicians, enforced by politicians and the people breaking them are prosecuted and judged by politicians. Only a fool would think laws could be apolitical.
"All of which, the study says, reinforces the idea that the court is “a superlegislature responding to ideological arguments rather than a legal institution responding to concerns grounded in the rule of law.” And that, Liptak concludes, “is not easy to reconcile with the view that that law and politics are, or at least ought to be, different realms.”"
This guy is living in a fantasy land. He's noticing a polarization, but of course the court has been a superlegislature since day one. It's better to acknowledge that it's impossible for laws to be separated from politics so the best of course of action is indisputable to have as few and as simple laws as possible.


Our stupid local governments so ineffective they can't even clear snow from the roads and we're heading into a couple decade cold period worse than modern civilization has ever seen. Last year Dayton cut back on snow clearing and our roads were covered in dangerous snow and slush for weeks. When I was a kid, towns did a better job clearing roads so people could work and improve the lives of others. Our civilization is devolving and declining.

Over 800 full length documentaries online.

Study determines that women tend to be worse at parking then men. I guess they didn't have anything more obvious to study that day.

Public welcomes the transformation of America into a surveillance society. That's scary.