Saturday, February 28, 2009

Free kibbles

Economy worst since 1982. It's about time a newspaper gave an honest appraisal instead of calling it the worst since the Great Depression.

Iraqis capture al Qaeda "ministers".

Honk if you're paying my mortgage. Sad but funny.

More of Obama's supporters attack on free speech - keep your mouth shut about Obama. It doesn't get any clearer than that.

This Senate vote of 87 to 11 against the Fairness Doctrine is a red herring. Obama's claim not to support the Fairness Doctrine is a red herring. Democrats are coming after free speech on the radio and the internet. They're just going to call it something different. Controlling speech on the radio and internet is the only hope they have for Obama to get a second term. He's like a suicide president - every policy decision he makes intentionally harms the country, insuring he'll never win a second term unless liberals control dissemination of all information.

Obama plans to additionally tax businesses through carbon cap and trade policies and use that money to buy more votes. This will drive more businesses and jobs out of the country. Obama is anti-American to the core - his policies enrich every other country in the world, especially China and Mexico, at our expense.

Dick Morris explains that Obama and his administration are intentionally fanning the flames of panic so they can exploit the fear of the people to further their radical leftist agenda. That's why the stock market drops every time Obama speaks. They don't want this crisis to end. I know liberals will say that George Bush did the same thing, and they're right. The difference is terrorists really are trying to kill us, but we'd already be on the road to recovery if government had just stayed out of our economy when this crisis hit.

The radical leftists who control the Democrat party are planning to force the party to become even more radical. Lovely. These guys might as well run around with The Communist Manifesto in their arms and bless everybody with chants of comrade in unison.

Obama is using accounting tricks with wars that should be long over (unless Obama keeps us in them) to make his absurd claim he cut $2 trillion from the budget. This guy is a shameless liar.

The Black Chamber of Commerce says card check will cost blacks jobs. It's looks like a Democrat civil war is brewing between unions and blacks.

Even somebody in Detroit recognizes that Barack Obama has declared war on business and prosperity in America.

AG Holder tells us that Obama will reinstate the ban on semi-automatic rifles that look like military rifles. Isn't it funny how when blacks become aristocrats they adopt the policies that are intended to harm the poor and minorities just like any other aristocrat? People living in ghettos need weapons to defend themselves from criminals and paramilitary police units more than any other group in America, but Obama and Holder want to disarm them. The racial divide is nowhere near as powerful as the gulf between aristocrats and regular people.

Government's abuse of red light cameras continues. Government doesn't bother to follow its own laws. Anybody under the illusion we are governed by the rule of law anymore is delusional. The aristocrats don't care what the law says.

Speaking of which, the Senate passed a bill allowing D.C. a representative in the House even though it's blatantly unconstitutional and for good reason. I really hope the Supreme Court slaps this down. That'll create a much needed constitutional crisis between the legislative and judicial branches that will force Americans to reevaluate the importance of the Constitution to our country. If think if Americas understood just how blatantly and frequently aristocrats break our laws, they'd be pissed.

The mailman just delivered The Mystery of Banking, A Free-Market Monetary System and The Pretense of Knowledge, and The Case Against the Fed. I would never had expected I'd be excited to read economics books.

I'm very unhappy with what I see from Republicans. Instead changing themselves and repudiating the Bush years, it looks like they're following the Democrats' strategy of just being against everything. I'm happy they're against everything Obama is pushing, but they need to be for something positive, not the same old Bush stuff that was so damaging to the country. I'm afraid Republicans won't change a thing. They see the damage Democrats are doing the country, they see the outrage building, and they're just going to wait it out and get swept back into power by lesser evils voters. I'm afraid we're going to get stuck with a 4th Bush/Obama term even if Republicans win in 2012.

ETA: Looks like I was right. Mitt Romney won CPAC's straw poll for the 3rd year in a row with 20 percent. Mitt Romney's the guy who forced the Hillaryesquecare program on Massachusetts citizens that is failing so badly. Mitt Romney isn't significantly different than Bush or McCain, and he's just a political opportunist who'll say whatever it takes to get votes. The good news is Ron Paul got 13 percent, but Ron Paul won't be a contender in 2012 at 77 years old.

So while Warren Buffet is telling Americans to buy American stocks, he's selling American stocks. Hypocrite. Don't listen to the rhetoric, watch the actions.

I love this sentence from Brian Doherty's witty but scathing review of conservative history books:
In a little more than a decade, the field of conservative history has gone from neglected to overcrowded—especially given how often the books tell more or less the same story: Anti-FDR (and sometimes anti-Semitic) kooks in the fever swamps of opposition to the peaceful postwar liberal ideological consensus are tamed by the elegant but infuriating William F. Buckley, whose cleaned-up and intellectual coalition of ex- and anti-communists begets Goldwater, who fails to win the White House but succeeds in being Barry the Baptist for the Reagan-Christ, who with the help of such props as ’60s cultural madness, stagflation, and Jerry Falwell brings sweet redemption for this questionable but still vital set of ideas, whose reign, cheered or regretted, continues apace under both Democrats and Republicans as welfare is reformed, communism collapses, and further wars are waged.

Conservatives have succeeded at very little other than winning more presidential elections for Republicans than Democrats. The reason conservatives haven't succeeded is they keep electing Republicans who govern like Democrats, knowing full well that the likes of Bush, McCain, Dole and others are going to govern like Democrats. They tell us their policies before the election, like No Child Left Behind and Medicare Part D or McCain's carbon cap and trade policy. Those policies are liberal policies. Yet conservatives vote for them anyway. That's just dumb. And we end up with Republican presidents who govern like Democrats because of it. And now conservatives are doing the same thing again by supporting Mitt Romney. That's not what conservatives claim they support, but it's what they always vote for. Vven Reagan, while he did transform the economy with tax and regulation cuts, enabling American entrepreneurs and workers to defeat the Soviet Union, greatly expanded the size of government and public debt.

The first thing conservatives need to change is their perception of their history. Until conservatives acknowledge the tremendous failures of their candidates compared to the stated small government, maximum freedom goals of conservatism, nothing else will change. Or else quit pretending those are the goals. Hopefully this piece from Doherty will help.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Free kibbles

US GDP shrunk 6.2 percent in Q4. That's a lot. All that government interference continues to do significant damage to our economy. The American people understand they will have to pay for government's irresponsible actions, so they reduce their spending in preparation for the inevitable hit.

$350 billion in bailout money hasn't been enough for Citi, which is going back to the trough for $25 billion more. This deal will give the use 36 percent of Citi's shares. The government is demanding change in the Citi board. This is pure fascism. FDR strongly pushed fascism in the US, and Obama is completing the fascist transformation of the US. I'm sure the fascists support this kind of change. They'll probably make the argument that there was no other choice.

Stocks are dropping like a rock again today. Down 105 so far. 119 finally.

Here comes Obama's Iraq withdrawal plan. This is just another piece of evidence that Obama intends to harm America. We're fighting 2 wars right now, one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. We're on the verge of victory in Iraq, and we have no chance at victory as currently defined in Afghanistan. Any good president would assure the one victory that can be attained in Iraq and stop fighting the war we cannot win in Afghanistan. A bad president would get at least one right. Obama chooses to get both wrong. He's drawing down troops from Iraq faster than military commanders recommend even though we have a status of forces agreement that brings all our troops home by 2011, attempting to snatch defeat from jaws of victory exactly as Democrats did in Vietnam. He's also dumping more troops into Afghanistan with no plan, no change in strategy and no hope of victory, where surely more Americans will die for no gain. Even a bad presidents manage to pick the right policy once in a while. The only way a president can possibly be wrong on every issue is if he intends to be.

Even Reuters reports that Obama's Iraq pullout plan has risks. They might as well be saying prepare for the civil war they kept lying to us about for 6 years to finally happen thanks to Obama.

Mises scholar cuts to the quick again, explaining that President Obama and his team (in fact, all liberals) are the antithesis of classic liberals. He goes on to describe liberal theory and how Obama governs more like a Pharoh than a liberal. He focuses on but doesn't limit himself to economic policy and Obama's stimulus boondoggle, but comes to the conclusion that a state run by a Pharoh like Obama has no incentive to stop the economic crisis. And so he comes back to my contention that Obama doesn't have our best interests at heart.

That essay gets back to what I was saying about a leader making the case that freedom leads to prosperity. We all know that. There's no informed dissent about that. But aristocrats have no incentive to make that case because freedom takes power from aristocrats and transfers it back to the people. That's why no leader from either party has emerged with a clear message supporting freedom other than Ron Paul who was ridiculed out of the debate by the aristocrats.

It makes sense that Keynes's The General Theory would be referenced at a Marxist site. They seem to have much in common.

Mises has a book on 40 centuries of wage and price controls. But liberals always want to try them again, as if they'll finally work.

Boortz breaks down Obama's tax increases specifically designed to harm businesses, investment in America, and domestic energy production. He's forcing businesses, jobs, capital, and companies to leave the country for greener pastures. And I guarantee he will attack those businesses which go overseas as being unpatriotic. Remember Joe Biden telling us it's our patriotic duty to pay higher taxes? We elected a man who hates American and is intent on destroying it, and John Boehner better get his head out of his ass and start fighting this guy tooth and nail for every inch of ground.

I just tried to send Boehner an email to that effect and discovered his office blocks email from districts outside his own. That should be illegal for any representative, but especially for a congressional leader. If John Boehner doesn't give a damn what Americans outside his district think, he needs to resign as Republican minority leader immediately. Boehner is part of the problem in Washington, not the solution.

I called Boehner's D.C. office, and a patronizing staffer didn't care that his government website was the only website that I've been to that blocks people from outside the district from emailing. He wouldn't even listen to me. He kept interrupting me, trying to make me conform to him. Like that staffer was my boss, not vice versa. All he cared about was forcing me to go to some website that is completely unknown by Americans, the minority leader website, a website that wouldn't be discovered except by an infinite number of monkeys, and emailing him from there. It's obvious Boehner is hiding from the American people. Boehner is part of the problem in Washington, not the solution.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Free kibbles

Obama's budget nears $4 trillion, but right now, it's hard to tell exactly how much bigger this budget really is than Bush's $3.1 trillion budget because Obama's budget includes spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Bush used to hide that spending in emergency bills. But the war in Iraq costs about $120 billion a year. Afghanistan is less. So this is still a tremendous increase in spending. This budget will push the deficit to $1.75 trillion. And stupid Republicans give this guy a pass for having the temerity to talk about fiscal responsibility after his stimulus boondoggle, the housing bailout boondoggle, and this monster budget and budget deficit.

Republicans are already starting to attack the budget. This article says it's a $3.55 trillion budget. WSJ says it's $3.6 trillion. Foxnews said it was $3.75 trillion. The media has surrendered all objectivity, and we can't even get an accurate number for how much this budget will cost. On the one hand, it's just comical to see Republicans complain about an outrageously irresponsible and destructive budget after they passed 8 outrageously irresponsible and destructive budgets while George Bush was president. On the other hand, just because Bush and Republicans were outrageously irresponsible and destructive for 8 years is no excuse for Obama and Democrats to be more outrageously irresponsible and destructive now. I feel kind of slimy now that Republican aristocrats are suddenly aligned with me.

Obama's team says this budget is essential to getting socialized medicine - I mean universal coverage. $635 billion. But Obama's plans are design to fail. His plan is intended to force Americans into universal coverage and to have healthy people subsidize unhealthy people. Many Americans will drop their private coverage and take government coverage, driving the costs into the stratosphere. Obama will hike taxes even more to pay for the new costs. Other Americans will refuse to play by Obama's rules and get health care on the expanding black market. The American people won't stand for this, and Obama knows it. His plan is designed to fail. Then Obama will force socialized medicine on us as the "only" alternative to evil and rich Americans who won't do their patriotic duty and buy into Obama's plan.

Obama goes after foreign profits and tax havens. Even though Obama appears dumber than Dan Quayle, there's no doubt his advisers told him this would force companies to flee America to lower tax countries at a record pace. The only rational conclusion is Obama does not have America's best interests at heart. He knows his policies are destructive to America. He's punishing Americans for some perceived slight.
Those changes are part of a package that would raise taxes on business by $353.5 billion over the next 10 years, which could help fund other tax cuts or spending, or reduce the deficit.

What these tax increases will do is harm domestic energy production and our economy and send jobs fleeing overseas. This almost has to be Obama trying to implement black liberation theology, punishing white people for subjugating blacks, and implementing Marxism, doesn't it?
Stanley Kurtz of the National Review claims that "A scarcely concealed, Marxist-inspired indictment of American capitalism pervades contemporary 'black-liberation theology'...The black intellectual's goal, says Cone, is to "aid in the destruction of America as he knows it." Such destruction requires both black anger and white guilt. The black-power theologian's goal is to tell the story of American oppression so powerfully and precisely that white men will "tremble, curse, and go mad, because they will be drenched with the filth of their evil."

And doesn't that relate to AG Holder calling America a country of cowards?
Instead of seeking the unity he claims to be endorsing, Obama is following in the footsteps of communist community organizer, Saul Alinsky—to whose memory Obama contributed a chapter in a collection titled “After Alinsky.”

Trying to inflame white guilt and black anger? It sure was divisive.

The Heritage Foundation explains the really bad consequences of Obama's cramdown bill.

It's bad enough the legislative branch uses earmarks to steal our political freedom, but Obama's cabinet members added earmarks into Democrats new $410 billion omnibus spending bill. So under Obama, the executive branch is stealing our political freedom too. Let's hope this is a one-time event because this bill is a holdover from last year, but don't bet on it.

Any carbon cap would be a huge tax increase. Obama and McCain were in lockstep on this policy. It's be kind of nice if voters actually had a viable option for good government in an election instead of just terrible Republicans and Democrats.

This guy should be charged in US courts. He wasn't captured on a battlefield. He was captured in Chicago.

Harvard has turned my claim that liberalism is literally insanity - liberals are divorced from reality and no matter how many times over how many centuries their policies fail, they continue to support them - and asks if libertarianism is mental illness. Too funny. Since libertarianism has never failed, and it created the greatest country the world has ever known, the answer is no. This conference proves liberalism is insanity because these people think the free market failed despite that our money system is 100 percent socialist institution, our income tax is Marxist and government policies created the subprime housing market.

As funny as this sounds, it's still dangerous. I predict this is the first volley in a coordinated effort by the academic left to brainwash college students into thinking that anybody who supports free markets has a mental problem, thereby dismissing any free market argument from debate.

Even Robert KKK Byrd recognizes that Obama is executing a power grab - increasing the power of the presidency at the expense of the other branches and the people. Just like Bush on super-steroids. Obama is trying to pull the entire apparatus of government into the White House. When it comes to the fundamentals of governing - the power of government, the role of government, the power of the executive branch, etc. - Obama is like Bush's, bigger, stronger, nastier twin. I think George Bush was misguided but well intentioned. I think Obama knows exactly what he's doing. I think he intends to harm our country, and he's organizing to limit any opposition including from his own party - which is already starting to rain down on him.

John Boehner says Republicans want to work with Obama, but Pelosi stands in the way. That's why John Boehner should never have been elected minority leader. Why in the world would Republicans want to work with a man who is intent on destroying everything that made America great? John Boehner is part of the problem, not the solution. Quit playing nicey nice with this closet Marxist and starting fighting for the freedom and severely limited government that is our birthright and made America the greatest country in the world. That's the position that would give Republicans majorities like the Democrats have now. And those majorities would only increase as freedom increased, causing prosperity and security to increase along with it.

Everybody is recognizing that Barack Obama is like George Bush on steroids, including Mises scholar in a review of Mencken's Note's on Democracy.
Mencken then turns to Democracy and Liberty. He contends that the common man has no interest in liberty: "he is not actually happy when free; he is uncomfortable, a bit alarmed, and intolerably lonely. He longs for the warm, reassuring smell of the herd, and is willing to take the herdsman with it."

We see far too much of that today, but I think voters prefer prosperity, and prosperity flows from freedom, not government. And that's how a leader will turn this around.

Murray Rothbard, one of the titans of the Austrian theory of economics, explains the business cycle that we're living right now in a very easy to understand fashion. This is very well written, though a bit long, and well worth the time spent reading it, imo. Rothbard fingers Coolidge's interventionist policies for sparking the crisis that Hoover and FDR turned into the Great Depression and reminds the world that only Mises predicted the Great Depression.

Democrats cancelling D.C. school voucher program that has saved thousands of kids from failing schools. Unfortunately for Democrats, the families who depend on those vouchers love them, and they traditionally vote Democrat. Democrat policies are being exposed as harming the people they pretend to support.

China's government faces a challenge to its authority because of the economic downturn. We've been stupidly making the Chinese tyrants richer and propping up their tyrannical government. The key to making China free is for the world to stop funding China's economic growth. We didn't defeat the Soviets by making them rich. And we want to make China free ASAP, because it becomes a more dangerous power every day. Adopting the FairTax would but an immediate brake on Chinese growth as international companies suddenly shifted from building in China to building the US and US products, no longer punished by the US tax code, would drop in price on the world market (Chinese good would increase in price in he US), promoting US goods at the expense of Chinese goods. No change toward China is necessary to encourage China to become free. We just need to adopt the FairTax.

Cato points out the obvious: President Obama is lying when he talks about fiscal responsibility. Obama's rhetoric is once again at odds with his policy. This article has a graph that points out several significant things: Ronald Reagan dramatically cut domestic spending even with a Democrat congress; Bush the Elder Democrat dramatically increased domestic spending with a Democrat Congress; Bill Clinton kept Bush's high spending flat until the Republican congress cut it again after 1995; Bush the Younger Democrat increased it again when he took office; but nobody comes even a little bit close to the kind of outrageous spending Obama is planning. Obama is definitely planning to transform America in his Marxist image through the use of government force. The way our economy is right now, during this recession, is how Europe's economies are all the time. Obama's spending would make this recession the new way of life in America. This is change the American people won't stand for.

Cato laughs at Obama's assertion that his trillions of dollars will be spent wisely. It's impossible. The amount of fraud and waste in government is not simply proportional to the amount of money involved, it rises faster than the increase in money involved. The only solution to government waste, fraud and corruption is severely limiting the size and scope of government.

Hayek explains that labor unions' failure to accept lower wages in a recession, which leads to unemployment instead of reduces wages and steady employment, prompts continued inflationary policy. He further predicts, in 1970, a worldwide inflation, based on this. That's exactly what we've seen since 1970. This is a transcript of a lecture, and I found it kind of hard to read. Or maybe not so hard to read, but far too long for the information imparted.

Reason describes how D.C. residents have just decided to ignore the Constitution, which they once acknowledged, in order to get a vote in the House of Representatives. If these people want representation, they can move to a state or change the Constitution. Living in D.C. gives those citizens special influence over representatives - they see them every day - that the rest of us don't have. That's why they the Founding Fathers didn't give them a vote. It obviously wasn't an oversite. The Founding Fathers governed from D.C. too.

I agree with Reason that the current best policy for North Korea is deterence and leaving South Korea and Japan to defend themselves. If the North Koreans get a missile that can reach the US, then I would support destroying it on the pad before launch. We shouldn't trust to missile defense in that scenario. Missile defense must always be a backup plan.

Michelle Malkin exposes the poster children for ACORN and Obama's mortgage bailouts, and they aren't pretty.

Bobby Jindal's speech is unusually bland.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Free kibbles

Text of President Obama's grandstanding in front of Congress. It's another pedestrian speech from Obama. He's really lost his mojo. All our presidents have been statists. Government even grew under Reagan (though domestic spending shrunk). But Obama is the most statist president I know of. He's absolutely the anti-change president. He's the more of the same, but even worse president. I don't like these state of union style speeches when presidents grandstand in front of Congress like kings. I'm with Jefferson. Just send a written copy to Congress and the press.

Tax free savings accounts for all Americans? That sounds like a wonderful thing, but you know there's a destructive catch somewhere.

As usual, Obama's speech tanks the stock markets. The Dow is down 120 so far. Thinking people see right through this guy. Too bad so many voters didn't do the work to see through him before the election. Oddly enough, the stock market is back to even. I wonder what happened during the day to make it rebound from Obama's damage. This is it. Regulators release info on bank stress tests. Government is making our economy bounce like ping pong ball. Apparently Obama started talking again after stocks rebounded, and he sent them tumbling down 80 points again. Obama has the anti-Midas touch. Everything he touches turns to crap.

Frustration is beginning to show through in this Reason analysis of Obama's speech in which Obama contradicted himself every other paragraph. Reason calls him two-faced, but what we're watching is a true master of Orwellian double-speak. Most of us read 1984 and determined never to be sucked into that kind world. Clearly Obama read 1984 and used it as blueprint to gain power and misinform the people. We're watching Orwell's predictions in 1984 being taken to a new level by Obama. And liberals are eating it up like candy.

Geithner unveils the new bank bailout program specifically designed to force banks to take the same risky behavior that caused this problem. That's the purpose of propping up these banks. They're already loaning to people and companies with good credit. Our bank is aggressively advertizing mortgage loans. I talked to them about it, and they're happy to loan money to anybody who meets the traditional credit check. This bailout is designed to get them to loan to people and companies with bad credit - the irresponsible policy that created this mess. Obama is like a psychopath who stabs his victim 38 times in less than a minute then sits over corpse and admires his handiwork. He just keeps stabbing us, and he won't be happy until every American financially bleeds to death in front of his eyes.

Boortz has it wrong. The mainstream of America does not want more government. Liberals want more government, not mainstream Americans. I'm sure this speech will give Obama a minor bounce, but the people are rapidly lining up to oppose Obama's every move, and more power to them. Obama is earning a spot as one of the most reviled presidents in history at record pace.

Discovered Elizabethan ship wreck shows that the English had developed new, standardized, high velocity shot cannon to help defeat the Spanish Armada. How could that information have been lost from history? Maybe is was a secret weapon, but it still had to be documented for the people making the cannon.

Misguided adherence to radical environmentalism leads to devastating forest fires.

Kudos to Boortz for attacking Republicans for their role is debacle. You sure don't hear any other conservative pundits taking on Republicans directly. At most you get a momentary aside. But I was not conned by Republicans any more than I was conned by Democrats.

Now we know why Laura Ingraham's show on Fox didn't work. Wow.

Democrats on an escalator. Too funny.

Science organization calls on Al Gore to quit using their data for propaganda since it doesn't prove what All Gore says it proves. Gore removes slide. Too bad the creators of the rest of the data Gore misrepresents don't have that much integrity.

Cato explains how Obama and Democrats are stealthily having government take over our health care system.

Excellent article explains that Obama's mortgage plan is just more of the predatory lending that Democrats forced on mortgage companies to begin with. Thanks to liberals, these Democrats have one hell of a racket going. First, they force mortgage companies to make subprime loans, then they get every government agency involved in housing to promote those subprime loans until the entire financial market is poisoned with them. Then when the system collapses because of their policies, they call the lenders predators and blame them for making subprime loans. Then they get into power, and they create a mortgage plan that institutionalizes the subprime loan policies that created the crisis in the first place. This is the direct result of the insanity of liberals - being unable to recognize or acknowledge the damaging consequences of their policies and therefore empowering Democrats to repeat the same mistakes but on a grander scale. Let's start a poll on when the housing market crashes again. 1 year? 2 years?

Democrats continue to push for a House of Representatives vote for Washington D.C. despite the Constitution. The aristocrats of both parties are just playing a game of chess and the Constitution and us are just pawns. If D.C. was a solid Republican vote, Republicans would be pushing to give it a vote in the House.

The UN's eco-programs are in chaos. This is the one institution in the world more unaccountable, dysfunctional and damaging than our imperial government.

Thanks to big government, Washington D.C.'s economy is thriving during the recession. That's money taken from us by force working for others.

Obama and Biden chat with George Clooney. Now we know where these bogus policies are coming from. Apparently Clooney is more important than our economy or freedom.

Reason discusses Eric Holder's attack on Americans.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The stock market and the political economy

Until today, every time Obama or one of his socialist allies opened their mouth, the stock market dropped because the only things they ever talked about was increasing socialism. Today, Hoyer and Bernanke backpedaled from the socialists' position that they were going to nationalize the banks, and the stock market rebounded in response. It's common to think that the when politicians make the stock market go up, that's a good thing, and when they make it go down, that's a bad thing.

But they're both bad. The value of a stock is supposed to reflect the expectations the public has for a given business. That should be based soley on business prospects, the business environment, the position of the company, etc. The words of politicians should have no effect at all.

But our system has been corrupted for so long, we take for granted that stock prices reflect what politicians have to say, and we consider their statements that makes stocks rise a good thing. But in fact, when a politician's words makes stocks rise, it tells us that government has been depressing stocks. And since stocks are generally a reflection on all those things I mentioned above, our economy. And since nothing changes but the temperature of the air when a politician talks, it means government is still depressing our economy. Obviously the market hopes the government will depress our economy less, so stocks rise, but it still shows that government is generally depressing the economy.

The same thing is true when politicians drive down stock prices with their words. It means government is depressing the economy, and that the politicians intend to depress it more.

We'll know we've freed our economy from government when stock prices are immune to the words of politicians.

Dayton's Advancing Decline

Dayton's Advancing Decline

by Mark Luedtke

Dayton leaders say they want the city
to become a center for high tech development. I spent 20 years
working in high tech in Texas, 15 in Austin, and I can tell you
Dayton leaders are not serious about making this happen. Compare
Dayton to Austin. In 1960, Dayton's population was 262,332, and Austin's was 186,545. During the high tech revolution
since then, Dayton's population declined by 40.7 percent to
155,461 while Austin's increased by 398 percent to 743,074.

The burden of
government made Dayton the 5th emptiest city and one of the 10 fastest dying cities in America according to Forbes.

From a purely economic standpoint, why
would anybody open a new business in Dayton instead of Austin? Ohio
has an income tax rate of 7.5 percent. Dayton's income tax rate is
2.5 percent. There is no income tax in Texas or Austin. Who wants government to confiscate 10 percent of their earnings if they can avoid it? The archaic income tax punishes productivity, savings and investment. It rewards
debt. Feudal lords sent armed horsemen to collect crops,
livestock, and anything else of value from serfs on their land. Professional politicians do the same thing today, decorated with the sophistication of civilization.

Dayton's per capita spending burden is
$1,049 annually. Austin's is $835. Texas's per capita spending burden
is $6,896 annually. I tried to find Ohio's fiscal 2008-2009 budget
numbers, but Ohio doesn't put them online. Our representatives
make the budget process ridiculously opaque, no doubt to keep
citizens in the dark, but does anybody think that the state
of Ohio has a smaller burden of government per capita than Texas?
I didn't think so. Taxpayers pay for all government spending. It takes money directly out of our economy. The cost of big government compounds
like debt, so small differences grow huge over time.

Austin's rapidly growing population supplies labor and customers. Dayton's turning into a ghost town. 53.7
percent of Austin's population is between the ages of 18 and 44. Only
43.2 percent are in that age bracket in Dayton. High tech
businesses are generally started by young, highly educated, individuals not tied to geographical locations. They seek out cities
that are most advantageous to their business. I bet plenty of UD grads prosper in Austin.

You don't have
to be Adam Smith to recognize the only way Dayton will ever reverse its decline and compete
for high tech business with a city like Austin is if Ohio and Dayton
abolish their income taxes and dramatically reduce the burden of
government on businesses and residents until they are comparable with
Texas and Austin, respectively.

So I was excited to hear Mayor McLin announced a
proposal to transform Dayton to a knowledge based economy. Until I read the proposal. I applaud the mayor and other
officials for cutting the budget by $5.28 million – a 3.1
percent decrease - but that's not nearly enough to compete.

Mayor McLin announced a public-private partnership called the Dayton Economic Attraction
Program (DEAP). The program rewards favored
businesses with payroll tax rebates if they hire enough people. The mayor
assures us these programs work in Cincinnati, Columbus, and other
Ohio cities. But work for whom?

Of course the favored companies
benefit from
the subsidy, but non-favored businesses pay
the price. If you're an individual taxpayer, own a business that's not
downtown or otherwise favored, or haven't been in business for 3 years,
Mayor McLin is
taking your hard earned money by force and giving it to favored
businesses. It's corporate welfare with a pretty name.

It's easy to see the benefits of plans
like this – new jobs at favored companies. It's hard to
see the costs – more lost jobs at non-favored companies. It
will take a new bureaucracy to manage this program.
Taking money from taxpayers so they can't spend, save or invest it as
they see fit, then giving it to others, makes our economy less
efficient since different goods and services are created than would
have been created naturally. And both tax payers and
recipients will have less incentive to work hard because of this
plan. All hidden costs. Government stimulus plans always take more than one dollar out of the
economy to stimulate a dollar's worth of economic activity.

The city is also creating the
new Dayton Business Resource Center bureaucracy to organize all the different ways it hinders economic development so business owners won't be confused. That's another hidden cost of interfering with the economy.

Mayor McLin knows reduced taxes stimulate business, but she's only giving them to her politically connected favorites. Every government interference in the economy harms the economy and
increases income disparity by enriching favored businesses and impoverishing non-favored. The
poor and minorities inevitably suffer the most. A lower burden of government for everybody attracts businesses and creates wealth for everybody. All non-marketing economic development spending should be cut from the city budget and taxes reduced accordingly.

Officials also lowered the priority of clearing streets of snow. After the last big snow, it seemed more like they gave it up completely. My little
street, streets in MacPherson Town, streets in the Oregon district, and
undoubtedly many others endangered drivers for ten days. Downtown
streets endangered drivers for a week. Lost economic
activity and revenue are a hidden cost of that failure of government
services. Heads should roll. Dayton's economy will never grow if the
streets are buried under ice.

Free kibbles

Cato analyzes Obama's housing bailout boondoggle and discovers that it's really only a bailout of 5 states, Nevada, California, Arizona, Florida and Michigan. These states have either outrageous big state government that significantly harmed their economy (California and Michigan) or had well off individuals who got caught in the house flipping craze. I don't want to bail out anybody, let alone irresponsible liberal big governments or rich housing speculators. Just say no to another Obama boondoggle.

Housing prices in 20 cities decline by 18 percent. How much you want to bet that most of that is in cities from the 5 states Cato mentioned? Phoenix, Las Vegas and San Francisco lead the way and significantly skew the numbers upward.

The leader of Japan, another huge purchaser of US debt, is the first foreign leader to visit President Obama. Between Clinton's China trip and this visit from Japan, it's obvious the Obama administration is down on hands and knees begging foreign countries to continue buying our debt while they destroy our economy. This will be the primary focus of Obama's foreign policy for 4 years. Our government, both parties, put us at the mercy of foreign governments, and Obama is doubling down on that arrangement despite its inevitable failure. Hillary Clinton says human rights concerns take a backseat to economic issues with China. This is only going to get worse over the next 4 years.

Thanks to continued interference in our economy by Bush, Obama, and Bernanke, the recession may slip into 2010. Originally it was going to be over by Q2 this year. Then Q3. Then Q4. Now it's 2010. You would think government would recognize that every time it interferes, the recession gets deeper and longer. But no. We need to extract government from our economy so the people can implement a recovery and make our economy stronger than ever.

In an attempt to distract liberals and the country from the real cause of the financial crisis, Wired magazine tries to blame it on a mathematical formula. This is a convenient, ridiculous bogeyman. The Fed's low interest rates, the subprime housing policies, and the income tax all intersected to create this crisis.

Boortz explains that allowing judges to modify mortgage contracts will just lead to more expensive mortgage contracts in the future, so responsible people will be paying for the irresponsible people that way. That's another hidden tax.

Barack Obama is shameless. While talking about cutting the deficit because he cares about future generations, he announced yet another spending increase, this time for Medicaid, that will increase the deficit. How long does he think the American people will keep falling for his Marxist policies because of his double-speak? Orwell is pointing and laughing at us from the grave.
And for all of the concern over increased government spending, the Democrats are going to unveil an appropriations bill today that adds $20.5 billion to Bush's domestic spending requests from last year.

This guy has never seen a spending program he didn't want to make bigger. It cracks me up every time liberals act like Obama is doing good stuff for the country and Bush did bad stuff, when everything Obama does is like Bush on steroids.

Marxist ACORN member declares that housing is a right. Just like liberals are claiming health care is a right. These aren't isolated cases. The entire liberal philosophy is to expand rights one at a time until the country is communist. In the next few years, the hate-America left will declare that food is a right. As always, their liberal flock will start parroting that food is a right. Water is a right. Clothes are a right. And both parties will go along with it (note that Republicans have bought in hook, line and sinker to the fraud that health care is a right), and the American people will keep re-electing them anyway. Here's another one claiming breastfeeding is public is a right.

The Bush administration and Congress let Katrina victims stay in hotels for 42 months at taxpayer expense. What did we do to have government take our money from us by force and give to these people? Why should we be punished? Anybody who wants to put those people up in hotels indefinitely can do so voluntarily with money out of their own pockets. Obama has extended that welfare program another 60 days. Just more of the same from Obama. He's the anti-change president.

Obama's approval rating is slipping as is normal for a new president, but his disapproval rating is climbing rapidly, and is already significantly higher than average. The American people are only just now waking up to what a terrible leader Obama is and what terrible policies he plans to force down our throats. It shows there's something wrong with our election process (the mainstream media) that the people were so ignorant before the election and are only just now seeing Obama for what he's always been - a closet Marxist. This third term of the Bush/Obama government uber alles presidency is taking us downhill faster than ever.

Google keeps getting the spacing worse and worse on my essays.

Maybe Obama should take a lesson from Bernanke, who said that the US doesn't need to nationalize banks, and stop pushing socialist policies on us. The stock market rebounded on Bernanke's comments. Unfortunately, what this shows is we already live under a political economy, not a free market economy. Stocks are supposed to reflect the expectations that companies will produce quality goods at a great price, not the comments of some aristocrat Washington. Democrats are getting a clue.

Today Steny Hoyer says that he doesn't expect the government to nationalize banks. Stocks went up. It's just that easy. Support socialism, and the market and the economy tank. Support economic freedom, and the market and the economy rebound. But the problem is the people care far more about rhetoric than reality. Many people still consider George Bush a supporter of free markets, but George Bush wouldn't know a free market if ever saw one. Same with Greenspan and Bernanke.

It looks like Democrats and Bernanke are trying to be hopeful before Obama's big speech, kind of like seeding a jury. You can bet Obama dramatically changed his speech for tonight to say the right things and come off hopeful. But if nationalization was the best idea yesterday, how come it isn't the best idea today? That's because it wasn't the best idea yesterday either. That was just Democrats trying to further capitalize on the recession to implement more Marxism. The people are catching on to them and limiting their ability to damage us further.

Apparently Obama has been grandstanding in front of Congress for over an hour now. And he's hopeful. I'll read it tomorrow.

Maybe we should feel better knowing that the insanity of liberalism isn't confined to the US. UK PM Gorden Brown calls for a world wide New Deal. I don't feel better. Maybe Gorden Brown should learn some history. Europe didn't suffer nearly so badly as the US during the Great Depression because Europe didn't have a New Deal and the US did. Why would Brown want the entire world to suffer a new Great Depression?

Federal deficit to be as large as a percentage of GDP as any time since WWII.

Baltimore police arresting ACORN activists for breaking into foreclosed homes and refusing to leave. ACORN is a criminal organization, and the government should go after ACORN as aggressively as it does another other organized crime operation.

Good for Montana for challenging the Imperial government on states rights and gun rights.

Obese man had to ride in back of U-Haul to get to court because he didn't fit in a car. Anybody want to bet this guy is on welfare?

Obama to pull most US troops out of Iraq in 19 months, leaving 30,000 behind. You'd have to be a real kool-aid drinker to call leaving 30,000 behind ending the war. It sounds more like leaving 30,000 troops in danger without their fellow soldiers to me. Obama's doing his best to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory just like Democrats did in Vietnam, and if Iraq goes south, Obama will own the responsibility.

Great essay describing the history and ethics of money production.

TARP in action.

Cato explains that the president talks too much.

Reviving the privileges or immunities clause of the 14th Amendment. Let's hope so.

Pat Buchanan takes up Attorney General Holder on his challenge to talk about race, and will undoubtedly be called a racist for doing so. These numbers are astounding.

Hamas and Fatah talking reconciliation. If it leads to an end of rocket attacks on Israel, that will be a good thing.

Former Clinton Labor Sec. Robert Reich advises Obama to keep on spending and not repeat FDR's mistake of spending too little. How in the world to we allow insane people like this to gain power? When the country collapses from too much debt, these insane people will still say the country didn't spend enough.

Microsoft misleading consumers on compatibility of Windows 7. I hate Microsoft. It lies almost as blatantly as politicians.

A European country finally steps up to the plate and takes a little bit of responsibility for winning the war on terror. Spain offers to take some Guantanamo detainees. But only the ones they want to take. Nobody too dangerous.

Ralph Peters has reached the same conclusion about Afghanistan as Cato and I. We should have gone in fast and hard, destroyed al Qaeda and any Taliban forces protecting al Qaeda, then got out. Given where we are today, we should pull out most of our forces and leave a small footprint to perform strategic actions against the extremists. He explains the differences between Iraq and Afghanistan I've talked about, and why creating a self-governing state in Iraq was both achievable and worth achieving (after we toppled Saddam), but trying to make Afghanistan into a full fledged state is folly.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Free kibbles

The conflict between the American people and Obama's spend-a-thon is getting hotter thanks to Rick Santelli and his call for a Chicago Tea Party. The American people voted for change. Obama brought more of same failed Bush policies on steroids. This isn't what the people voted for, Obama knew that, and that's why he and Democrats raced so fast to pass the original stimulus boondoggle before the people could rally against it. Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs attacks and belittles Santelli in response. This is Obama's supporters way of attacking free speech again. Belittle the opposition instead of debating the issue honestly. Notice the mainstream myrmidons chuckle at the attacks. Rick Santelli fires back at Obama and Gibbs, and Larry Kudlow recognizes this insidious attack on free speech. The emporer doesn't like it when members of the press note he has no clothes.

Stocks are down another $125 so far today.

Obama has just passed a month in office, and he's already alienating the American people at a record pace. Just like many of us predicted. Obama is anti-American. He hates the land of the free and the home of the brave an wants to transform us into the land of the weak and dependent on government. Mainstream Americans are waking up to at least slow down that advance.

Obama's treasury considers buying large state in Citi, effectively nationalizing Citi. Stop the madness. Let it go bankrupt.

After Pakistan military seizes strategic highlands from Taliban, Taliban unilaterally declares cease-fire. How long will civilization keep falling for this trick? The radicals always declare cease-fire when they're on the run, the civilized forces always respect it, then the radicals resupply and rearm and go back on the offensive. The radicals all over the world use this same trick to take advantage of civilization's better nature, and we can't continue to allow them to do that. It leads to perpetual war, which is exactly what we have all around the world. Press the advantage and wipe them out.

Zimbabwe government continues seizing farms from white owners. Why aren't liberals condemning racists in Zimbabwe? If this was white government officials seizing farms from black owners, you'd never hear the end of it from liberals. This is another irresponsible liberal double-standard.

Austrian economist from Australia explains how government creates water and other shortages by price fixing and effectively shows how absurd government's actions are.

Mises scholar details the amount of money financial firms donated to President Obama and Senate Banking committee members, how much money they spent lobbying Congress and how much money they received in return for their investment. The profit margin is 2,500 percent. The essay goes on to quote Mises explaining how in a political marketplace like the one we have today, it's more important to suck up to the politicians than it is to create quality products at a low price. This is exactly why we see income disparity rising so rapidly in the US. Workers don't matter in a political economy. CEO, managers, lobbyists and politicians matter. Liberal policies (include the liberal policies of Republicans) always harm the poor, minorities, and the working class while giving advantages to the richest and most powerful. It's a proven fact that no system creates more equity among the people than the economic freedom of free markets.
Thus, for a total of $114.2 million in political campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures, those banks and financial institutions have received a more than 2,500 percent return on their political "investment" in the form of TARP money.

Apparently Lehman Brothers didn't pay enough tribute to our political masters to be saved. You can bet every corporation in America learned that lesson.

In his ongoing attempt to keep people fooled and confused, Obama is sending mixed messages about fiscal responsibility. That's quite the understatement, but I'm glad at least one mainstream media outlet is at least hinting that Obama is jerking the public around with his talks about cutting spending.

"Why should someone making $45,000 a year pay the same tax rate — 6.75 percent — as someone making 10 or 20 times that amount?" Don't you just love how bass-ackwards that question is? The real question is why should somebody making more money be forced to pay a higher tax rate than somebody making less money. How is that fair? How is that smart? Yet the natural assumption of liberals and their accomplice press is that America should enforce Marx's progressive income tax.

Jail interferes with satanic religious practices. Too bad. My religion is freedom, so being put in jail is a violation of my religion. Why did we ever let people think they can have religious freedom, but no other kind of freedom, in jail? The whole point of jail is that it punishes people by taking away their rights.

I caught segments of Tucker Carlson's show on MSNBC. If he's one of the best communicators of libertarian ideals, no wonder freedom is being destroyed before our eyes. All I saw was a discombobulated dork with a bow-tie. I certainly never saw any principled defense of freedom. Could his credentials be any weaker? My blog has probably been more effective at communicating libertarian ideals than Tucker Carlson. Why in the world would Cato pay this guy?

Already finished Meltdown and wrote a review. Also wrote a review of Economics in One Lesson. I highly recommend both books.

I just ordered the Mystery of Banking. Man, these Mises books rock. I took Econ 101, 102, and 103 as a freshman, and it taught me some fundamentals, but not much other than supply and demand and the difference between wants and needs. But I never learned economics from a book. I learned about free markets and the damage government intervention does to them from observation. I learned to be a libertarian from rational thinking and experience.

Nobody "taught me" to be a libertarian. I learned it in spite of every ideological input in my life. I've never read a libertarian book in my life. Until a week ago, I never read a position book on economics. I'm not even self-taught because that would mean I read books that led me to my current positions. I just came to all these conclusions on my own despite never knowing another libertarian personally or reading anything from another libertarian. Of course, I'm pretty hard core. I call myself a fierce libertarian.

But I'm not an anarchist, and I reject the anarchist wing of the Libertarian party.

And I like Cato. I read Cato online. I pick up things from Cato. Cato is OK. But I've never considered buying a Cato book.

But I LOVE these Mises guys! These guys are fierce libertarians like me. I haven't learned anything fundamental from them, it seems I figured all that out on my own, but I've gained a depth of knowledge and developed more critical arguments from reading them. I'm devouring their reading list. It's like I've been drifting on a ideological boat my whole life, and I finally ran into fellow travelers.

I don't agree with any of them on everything, of course, but man, it's invigorating to read intellectuals who understand the same principles that I understand.

I just dug up a gem of Mises lectures on communism called Communism Unmasked. I haven't read them yet. Because they're lectures, I'm going to look for them in pdf (most of Mises books are in pdf on the Mises web site for those who don't want to buy them) to read. Following up my previous post about not learning my positions from others, I developed my position on communism purely on my own. I watched the Soviet Union, I read about the prinicples of communism, I observed human behavior, and I realized that Marxism on any scale above a few volunteers must always end in a slave state ruled by a horribly depraved individual. Hayek's The Road to Serfdom provided well, reasoned intellectual support for my conclusion, but I had drawn the conclusion long before I heard of either Hayek or The Road to Serfdom.

It's nice to see Mises confirm the same (imo obvious) conclusions.
The approach is systematic but casual. So the reader encounters wonderful insights in the form of short asides. For example: "The worst thing that can happen to a socialist is to have his country ruled by socialists who are not his friends."
As a lecturer, he is steady and relentless. The reader can nearly "hear" him speaking through the prose. And there are times when Mises reveals a level of rhetorical passion that you would never encounter in print. That's because what is printed here are not pre-prepared lectures in the sense that they were written out. They were transcribed by Bettina Bien Greaves from what he actually said.
Thus can we hear this passage: It is not true, as Marx said, that the improvements in technology are available only to the exploiters and that the masses are living in a state much worse than on the eve of the Industrial Revolution. Everything the Marxists say about exploitation is absolutely wrong! Lies! In fact, capitalism made it possible for many persons to survive who wouldn't have otherwise.

I'm looking forward to reading this book too.

That quote "The worst thing that can happen to a socialist is to have his country ruled by socialists who are not his friends." is tremendously telling. In one sentence it explains the radical partisanship between liberals and conservatives in America. To paraphrase, the worst thing that can happen to liberal socialists is to ruled by conservative socialists, and vice versa. That's the quandary we face in America. Liberals hate George Bush's socialism. Conservatives hate Barack Obama's socialism. There's only a few of us freedom lovers who hate socialism regardless of who forces it on us.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Free kibbles

After doubling the deficit in a year, President Obama claims he'll cut it in half in 4 years. So what? Then it will be back down to where it was when he took office. Is that supposed to be some kind of accomplishment? That's like an arsonist burning a building to the ground, then expecting people to applaud when the arsonist says he'll rebuild it. And he has no intentions of meeting this goal anyway. It's just rhetoric to appease some misguided moderates.

This is how pathetic the aristocrats of both parties have made our country: Hillary Clinton begs the Chinese to continue buying US debt. Why do we repeatedly vote for the same 2 failed parties that are destroying our country? How stupid are we?

Cool video showing how the credit crisis happened. It ignores a lot of government's role in creating it for the sake of simplicity, but it makes clear the whole thing is triggered by the Fed lowering interest rates.

We've long known that one of liberals dirty little secrets is they don't want low gas prices. For those few misguided souls didn't believe, liberals are raising gas taxes. This takes money directly out of our economy, making our economy weaker and hurting the poor and minorities most of all. That's what liberals want. To make more people poor and to keep the poor and minorities voting for the same Democrats who harm them so badly. The cost is not one large cup of coffee a week. The additional cost is one large cup of coffee a week. The total cost is already way higher than it should be because of government interference in the markets.

Militants in Swat valley kidnap Pakistani official. How's that appeasement working out for Pakistan? Maybe they'll stop kidnapping officials if Pakistan gives them access to nukes.

North Dakota House passes bill granting full human rights to fertilized human egg. I bet it has trouble exercising free speech and the right to keep and bear arms. Who would have ever guessed that the majesty and power of human beings and the human experience could be trivialized to a single cell. Nobody confuses an apple for an apple tree, and we shouldn't confuse the seed for a human with a human.

I applaud Obama for fixing these 4 bogus accounting tricks Bush used to make the budget look better than it was. That budget we kept seeing was better looking budget? ;) But don't get too excited. Obama isn't isn't doing it right either since he didn't require that standard best accounting practices be used by the government. The government has been cooking the books for a century, and Obama isn't putting an end to it.

Obama continues to support many war on terror policies from the Bush administration. This is a good thing. Prisoners of war have no recourse to our courts no matter what the courts say. They have no power to interfere in the waging of war. But I'm sure liberals are scandalized. Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

I'm intrigued by the argument, though. They differentiate Afghanistan from Guantanamo by calling Afghanistan a theater of war. So if Bush had kept all the terrorists in Afghanistan instead of Guantanamo, Obama wouldn't be grandstanding about shutting down anything. This isn't a principled difference. It's just demagoguery against Bush.

Pentagon report demanded by Obama claims Guantanamo meets standards for humane treatment set out in Geneva Convention. Liberals proven wrong yet again.

Republicans already making robocalls. I guess they think they lost the last 2 elections because of lack of robocalls. That should turn things around for them. We've entered the never-ending campaign phase of self-destruction.

Obama has no CEOs in his cabinet. That would jive with Obama's Marxist roots, but his policies so far show he's a huge supporter of corporate statism. Statism must only be the means to the ultimate end of implementing Marxism for him. Barring violent revolution, the road to serfdom, Marxism, is a process, and Obama is accelerating that process. But after what Sec. Paulson did to our economy, who would trust another like him anyway?

County makes man take down sign saying "One nation under Obama" because the country only allows businesses to have 1 free-standing sign and this was his second. They make it sound like this a violation of freedom of speech, but it's not a violation of free speech in the way this article presents it. If this was the only sign he put up, the county would have had to leave him alone. But I wonder why the county has a one free-standing sign limit in the first place. That rule itself seems like a violation of every business owner's freedom of speech and freedom to pursue happiness.

Good for Bobby Jindal for refusing specific aspects of Obama's stimulus boondoggle money that will harm the people of Louisiana by paying people to not work. He was smart enough to accept the money that might benefit his citizens, since Obama and Democrats forced them to pay more than they'll ever get back. This is an intelligent position that serves the people of Louisiana and makes a smart political statement.

Obama is officially bigger than Jesus. I wonder how that will work out for us.

Republicans introduce bill that would force ISPs and WI-FI hotspots to keep logs for 2 years. Government can't stand that the internet is basically a free market zone. It's far and away the most free economic segment in the US, and that's why it's the only thriving market segment in the current economy. Obama's broadband stimulus is the way government intends to get its boot on the internet. Federal money is always poisoned by strings. Leave our internet alone.

Forbes explains that while government has driven the private sector economy into the ground, the is no recession for government employees. Government jobs are growing and wages and benefits are significantly higher than in the private sector even though every one of them is paid for by the private sector. It's impossible to believe just how stupid our government at every level is. It's insane. It's unsustainable. The result is inevitable and rapidly approaching economic collapse. And we have nobody to blame but ourselves for empowering these destructive aristocrats.

Ann Coulter describes just how ridiculous the presidential rankings by historians (liberal academics) really are.

Recommended reading about the Great Depression from the Mises Institute.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Free kibbles

Mises scholar weighs in on President Obama's likely role in addressing (but not solving) America's looming debt crisis.

Ron Paul on Bill Mayer. I wonder if all those aristocrats who dissed Paul are rethinking that. Probably not.

So President Obama is committing 17,000 more US troops to Afghanistan, but he hasn't learned the lessons of the past because he has no coherent strategy to employ those new troops effectively. The surge in Iraq didn't work just because of more troops. It worked because those troops came with a new mission - a change in strategy. At the same time, NATO is reluctant to commit more troops.

Cato has convince me that the war in Afghanistan is already won. We went to Afghanistan to deny al Qaeda a safe haven there. We succeeded. Now the Taliban is resurgent, but so what? That's not a national security issue for the US. If different tribes in Afghanistan embrace the Taliban, so be it.

It's a very different situation than Iraq. In Iraq, after we toppled Saddam, al Qaeda became a force. Since we're at war with al Qaeda, we had to stay and defeat them. Now that that's been basically achieved, we're drawing down troops end getting out of Iraq. That's as it should be. But al Qaeda isn't a force in Afghanistan, so I don't know why we need to stay there in force.

Apparently the US government is considering something similar in Afghanistan, based on the model Pakistan just used to reach an agreement with the Taliban to take control and implement Sharia law in the Swat valley. This is a terrible turn of events in Pakistan - a nuclear power that has neither the will nor ability to control its own territory. But in Afghanistan, a region that has never really been a nation but only a collection of tribes, it makes sense. I would heartily applaud Obama if he could pull this off.

Tom Woods reports in Meltdown that the securities and investment industry had contributed $53 million to congressional and presidential candidates in 2008 - second only to lawyers. Congressmen who voted for the TARP bailout received 54 percent more money in campaign contributions than those who voted against it. As always, congressmen sold their votes, and that's how we ended up with TARP even though over 95 percent of calls and emails to congressmen were against it. This is the inevitable result of giving such tremendous power to a few individuals.

Interesting fact from Meltdown - the Fed created more money between 2000 and 2007 than in the rest of the history of the country. That gives me a perspective on the scale of the problem that I didn't have before.

Too low of interest rates is what created the housing crisis, which led to the credit crisis and recession. Why would anybody want to repeat that? We should demand Bernanke, Geithner, Dodd, and Frank resign.

Every president says they have a plan to cut the deficit. Then every president signs tons of irresponsible spending bills and the deficits grow. Obama's plan is no different. Raising taxes on the rich is going to damage the economy and reduce revenues.

Mexico's drug gangs not only threaten Mexico, they threaten America.
Mexico's cartels already have tentacles that stretch across the border. The U.S. Justice Department said recently that Mexican gangs are the "biggest organized crime threat to the United States," operating in at least 230 cities and towns. Crimes connected to Mexican cartels are spreading across the Southwest. Phoenix had more than 370 kidnapping cases last year, turning it into the kidnapping capital of the U.S. Most of the victims were illegal aliens or linked to the drugs trade.

The prohibitionists, our representatives and anybody who voted for them have done this to Mexico and to us. You can count on them to ask for more money to fight the drug war, but that money will just end up in the hands of the drug gangs and be used against us. The war on drugs is really war on Americans, and we can't win a war against ourselves. By definition, it's self-destructive. The way to fix all this over night is to end the war on drugs.

Reason previews a devastating report showing that prosecutors use bad science and bad experts to gain convictions. I see this all the time. It's especially true in the soft sciences, where government paid professional experts will say anything to get convictions, and poor defendants have limited or no access to honest experts to refute the claims.

Obama hasn't responded to a series of foreign policy provocations since he took office. While the Russians are creating fast response teams to intimidate their neighbors, including shutting the air base that supplies US troops in Afghanistan, the Iranians are launching satellites, showing they can hit any place on earth with a missile which could be nuclear since they've enriched enough raw material to make a bomb, and Pakistan is turning over a rich region of territory to radicals who are implementing Sharia law, Hillary Clinton is in China talking about global warming. I feel safer.

How Chavez manipulated the vote to remove term limits in Venezuela.
Thanks to his rapport with many poorer Venezuelans and to oil-financed social programmes, Mr Chávez remains popular. But Mr León adds that there was “an explicit threat” in the president’s message to the electorate: “without Chávez there will be war”. In belligerent speeches, he accused his opponents of seeking violence, ordered the police to disperse student demonstrations with tear-gas and said anyone who did not vote for him was guilty of treason. That seemed to apply especially to the more than 3m Venezuelans on the government payroll. On one occasion he held up a list on television and said he would be checking who voted and who did not.

Obama's socialist policies are waking up the sleeping giant that would rather just be left alone - the great mainstream of America.

Pat Buchanan quotes, the "size of an economy relative to potential rivals ultimately determines the limits of power in international politics" as if that wasn't obvious to any thinking person. Doesn't everybody realize that? Obviously Republicans and Democrats don't. Maybe that's why liberals and conservatives are so wrong about most everything. This has always seemed self-evident to me. It's why I keep saying America is on the decline. It's why I keep saying that to return America to a trajectory of greatness we need to cut the size and scope of government in half so our economy will once again become the envy of the world. It's why I adamantly support the FairTax, free markets in energy, health care and education, ending the war on drugs and dramatically reducing welfare domestically and overseas including security welfare - because the terrible big-government of both parties is rapidly accelerating America's decline. Freedom is always the right answer.

European official says Europe has to accept Guantanamo detainees. It's about time. If Europe had taken responsibility for its role in world, Gitmo wouldn't be an issue. If Europeans held terrorists, American-hating, European-living liberals would suddenly decide it was OK.

Desperate for more money to harm America, US sues Swiss bank for names of tax dodgers. I'm all for catching tax dodgers, but I don't think anything good could come from forcing a Swiss bank to give up its anonymity policy.

Nice quote from an article based on an interview with Treasury Sec. Paulson on Aug. 10 2008. "But Paulson repeated his belief that the nation's economy remains fundamentally sound despite the mounting losses on bad mortgage loans that have shaken Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac." One month later, he told Congress they had to give him $700 billion or our entire financial industry would collapse. How was this man not forced to resign? I never read anybody other than me call for his resignation. How is Bernanke not forced to resign? I haven't read anybody other than me call for his resignation. We've reached a point where aristocrats are completely and totally unaccountable for the consequences of their actions - unless they get caught with a hooker.

We don't have to look to France or the Soviet Union to see what Obama's and liberals' policies will do the US. We can look at California. It's stunning to me that we have such an example of how liberals, when unchecked, destroy everything that made a place great, and the people don't seem to notice. And the people of California keep voting for Democrats who dominate both houses of the legislature. It's insane.

This essay highlights irresponsible policy after irresponsible policy supported by Obama and Democrats this year, explaining why the stock market continues to tumble. The author is obviously a Republican so Republicans get off scott free, but in the context of this essay - why the market drops every time Obama or Geithner open their mouths - it's tremendously accurate.

Newt Gingrich offers an alternative plan to stimulate the US economy. The tax cuts are great, and some of his items expand freedom, but others are more spending proposals that interfere and make our economy less efficient just like any others. Still, this plan is head, shoulders, torso, hips, and thighs over Obama's plan. Why didn't McCain come up with something like this? Rhetorical question.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Free kibbles

Netanyahu to form Israeli government.

I read some headlines about monkey cartoon, but never read the articles. I didn't realize people were saying that it was racist attack on Obama. Apparently, any time you use a chimp in a cartoon, it's a racist slur. Who would have known a chimp was something other than a chimp? We have 4 more years of this to put up with this baloney.

Blacks have replaced the n-word with "president" instead. But don't say it if you're white. This sounds like a hoax, but I don't think it is.

CNBC analyst gets fired up against Obama's socialist policies and proposes a Chicago Tea Party. This is a very entertaining video, and this is the kind of stuff we need from the people on TV. The analysts have to point out the emperor has no clothes. Stocks are down 176 so far today. That Obama's quite the savior.

I just went to the WHIO website to listen to Boortz, and out of the 8 local headlines, one is about a coach having sex with a 9th grade girl, one is about a man hiring a 14 year old boy for sex, and one is about an elementary school teacher who is also a prostitute.

Cato puts our current economy and Obama's plans in historical perspective, and it isn't pretty. From this quote, I think Cato has been reading my blog:
If [Obama] raises taxes, including just letting the George W. Bush tax rate cuts expire at the end of 2010, his actual economic policies will be like those of the first President Bush, but on steroids.

This podcast makes me certain Cato is reading my blog:
We had a financial crisis and what happened? Did the incumbent Republican administration say, now’s our chance to implement Milton Friedman’s program and privatize and deregulate? No, they did what governments always do: they expanded their own powers at the expense of civil society, and so in that sense, Obama’s just doing the same thing that Bush did. We could call this the Bush-Obama era.

When disaster strikes, government gets larger. But most disasters, like the Great Depression and the current recession, are caused by big government. Big government drives a destructive spiral.

Cato suggests we fight a smaller war in Afghanistan, simply taking on the radicals when they try to take over the country, because it's unlikely we'll ever create a true nation given that region's history. This is an interesting idea. Karzai's government might (or might not) grow to encompass all of Afghanistan over time, but trying to make that happen with US troops would be terribly expensive and there's a good chance it will never work. This is a very different situation from Iraq, which had long been a unified country.

I always hesitate to throw out the word fascism because that word has been so polluted and emotionally charged, but fascism has a definition - government control of the economy by monetary means, regulation, and partial ownership of businesses, thereby government planning the economy. Private-public partnerships, by any other names, are just euphemisms for fascism. This Mises scholar has no hesitation to use the word fascism or pull any other punches. This is a fantastic read. The truth hurts.

CNN breaks down all the different flavors of bailouts necessary to save auto-makers and totals them up to $130 billion. Stop the madness and let companies fail. The people want change, they voted for change (even though Obama was a never a candidate for change - just more of the same, but worse), but all we're getting is statism.

Obama meets with mayors to tell them he's going to carry out strict oversight of stimulus. I guess mayors better make sure they only spend it on buying votes for Democrats or the suffer the wrath of Obama.

It turns out that Iran has produced more nuclear material than previously thought, and has enough to produce a nuclear bomb. Oops. Guess the intelligence community screwed up again. Fortunately this isn't weapons grade uranium, but the raw enriched uranium which could be used to produce enough weapons grade uranium to build a bomb.

It's not clear if homeowner can't make payments, or just won't because the home value is not less than the outstanding balance on their mortgage.

Author points out the hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about spending money we don't have. No kidding. But they're in the right now. They flip-flop whenever they get power, and we should certainly expect that in the future. At least Democrats can be trusted to irresponsibly spend money we don't have - they run on that every election (except for Clinton because the Reagan Revolution was still in action). Republicans can't be trusted to be fiscally responsible.

Even the mainstream media has noticed that now that Democrats are in power, they suddenly don't care so much about Katrina victims. It's easy to be the minority party and just attack all the time. It's hard to govern.

Carter supports Obama's stimulus boondoggle. Did we need any more proof it would be a disaster? I bet Obama is trying to gag that fool.

So how come Mr. Transparency hasn't released this letter from Hamas delivered by John Kerry?

Czech President, current president of EU, compares the EU to the Soviet Union. Good for him. This is the same EU that liberals want the US to emulate.

Google finds Atlantis! Not really.

Mexican police chief of Ciudad Jaurez resigns amid threats. I spent several enjoyable nights in that town, and enjoyed it immensely. I would love to go back except for the threats against my life if I did. This civil war is no longer low grade, imo. This is the real deal, and we're funding every dime of it with our irresponsible war on Americans, Mexicans, Afghans, and anybody else who gets in the way. This civil war is almost entirely the responsibility of the US government. The police in Mexico can't protect their own. President Obama - end the War on Drugs today!

This story is a frigging sham. The Washington Post want us to believe that Obama did something to lower mortgage rates. As stupid and dishonest as the mainstream media is, surely Americans understand that Obama's mortgage bailout boondoggle isn't law yet. It hasn't changed anything. This is just a case of Obama's cheerleaders at the Washington Post trying to help their Messiah out by covering up that his every action is driving down the stock market (down another 100 points today) and driving our economy into deeper and longer recession.