Thursday, April 30, 2009
A bunch of big-government Republicans are launching a PR campaign to take advantage of the people's anger at Democrats. But these guys are only slightly better than Democrats. They're the same old guys with the same big government ideas that brought the country to this point. This should be called the More of Same Big Government Republicans campaign.
Pakistan says the Taliban is holding an entire town hostage. Maybe Pakistan will finally get serious about wiping out this threat.
Think tank predicts internet brownouts as soon as next year. The government would love for this to happen so it could step in "on our behalf" and gain control of the internet. Brownouts would be ridiculous. We pay for this service. If usage is growing, then investment in bandwidth should be growing, and technology should be making it cheaper.
President Obama is a lying piece of crap. He says he wants to get the government out of the private sector as soon as possible. No he doesn't. If he really wanted that, he could pull the government out of it right now. What he really wants is to remake the private sector in his socialist image, and then pull out... or not.
How will Obama kill the benefits of this natural gas find?
There's no doubt this intellectual property stuff is out of control. Krispy Kreme was forced to withdraw a donut from sale because of copyright.
8 year old girl gets divorce from 50 year old man in Saudi Arabia. I'm surprised her husband didn't stone her to death.
Former enemy combatant found guilty of supporting al Qaida. If he was an enemy combatant, he shouldn't have faced trial. If he wasn't, he shouldn't have been held as one.
Who are these idiots who think that Star Trek:TOS was about Kirk kicking Klingon butt and now think the new movie should have spoken Klingon in it? I suggest anybody who says either is either an idiot or simply never understood ST:TOS. Either way, they should be ignored.
This will probably shock liberals: Iran is still the world's leading sponsor of terrorism. Funny how the world refuses to bend to the delusions of liberals.
Why does this WSJ article fail to call the suspected Zodiac killer by his well known name?
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Trademarking the English language. Mises scholar gets in trouble for using a common phrase that has apparently been trademarked. A related absurd consequence of our IP laws.
The World Health Organization jumps on the bandwagon, fomenting alarmism about swine flu. They invoke the magic "pandemic" word. Naturally. It's the reason they exist. It's the excuse governments use to tax us into oblivion. It's how they get funded. If this thing reaches 0.01 percent of the population, wake me up. Here's how bad the alarmism is:
[Dumb-ass] Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency. The CDC is working on a vaccine. Medical muckymucks are warning of "pandemic potential" and telling people to reduce all human contact by 50% and stand 6 feet away from all people. New York schools are shutting down. In Chicago, school kids have been instructed not to shake hands. The Obama administration is being criticized for not declaring martial law. [Don't breath on me or CDC will kill you.]It just makes me want to wash my hands right now. And again. And again. We're all going to die!
Just so you know, the Mexican Army is acting as an arm of the police. This is the country we "want to work with". A country which uses its military on its own citizens. You can guess how well that's working out for Mexico, and what the army is really doing, funded by drug money. I'm not going to detail everything that's wrong with this picture. I'm going to detail the only solution - end the war on drugs.
This map from an essay on the inalienable right to secession is funny, because it shows that couple of dumb-ass blue states are holding the entire country hostage to radical liberalism. I'm no conservative, but it's obvious the conservative states are functioning significantly better than the dumb-ass liberal basket states are. Here's a nice summary of government:
To say [from the Declaration of Independence] governments were formed to protect the rights of men would be historically incorrect. Almost all governments were formed by ruthless men exerting their will over others through the use of force. Some governments, over time, evolved toward the rule of law, perhaps only because their rulers saw that this would sanction their own continued enjoyment of the wealth that they possessed. In some instances, this evolution involved one or more "revolutions" in which those who were governed were able to better establish the rule of law.Poetic license by Jefferson doesn't change the fact that his language is intended as a strict limitation on the focus of government power.
This has to be one of the most Orwellian headlines I've ever read: Obama: clearing economic "wreckage," fixing US image. How's that working out for us? I feel better already. I'm happy to know that Pravda, I mean Reuters, is propping up dear leader Obama just like their paid to do.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
The New York Post lists 100 errors for Obama in his first 100 days.
Showing that Arlen Specter never had any principles, he switches from a Republican to a Democrat. And he wonders why everybody called him a RINO. That's the breeze he felt on his slimy finger. He should be more at home, but it gives the Democrats 59 seats in the Senate. Both Senators from Maine might as well switch too. This shows exactly why our government sucks. Our representatives care only about their careers, not what's good for the country. How can you tell when a politician is lying? That joke's funny because it's true. Politicians, because they care only about their careers, their families, their power, and themselves have to lie to the people about everything. Being a politician is like being an actor. Everything they present to the public is fiction. Partisans are fools. These politicians don't have any principles. They're just saying whatever they think will win them a majority of votes.
What's wrong with this paragraph?
The attorney general did not say how much longer he thought it would take to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba. Before officials can meet President Obama's January deadline, the U.S. must first decide which detainees to put on trial and which to release to the U.S. or other countries.I hope every liberal who demanded Guantanamo be closed volunteers to allow a released detainee to live in their spare room so the rest of us can live.
Al Gore is an accomplished and successful liar, and he knows fraud is a crime, so I'm not surprised that he lied to a Senate subcommittee about how much money he has made off promoting the man-made global warming fraud and how much more money he stands to make if his oppressive tax scheme passes. This article doesn't say whether he was under oath or not. I hope so. Al Gore should be prosecuted for fraud. 10 questions that should be asked of Al Gore.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Unbelievable. What his argument shows is the absolute insanity of an inflationary monetary policy, and this so-called expert doesn't even get it. Nobody in their right mind would save money under a policy like this. Everybody would take all their money out of the bank and spend it in hopes of breaking even. Inflating the money supply destroys savings which destroys investment which destroys capital which destroys everything. Our roads, buildings and everything else would collapse around our ears. Our clothes would disintegrate. Crops would never be planted. The Keynesians don't get it. Nobody in power gets it because they don't want to get it. They get power from inflation. We lose. They win. And we keep sending them back to power to destroy us.
Recessions result from an insufficient demand for goods and services — and so, the thinking goes, our central bank can remedy this deficiency by cutting interest rates. Lower interest rates encourage households and businesses to borrow and spend…
The problem today … is that the Federal Reserve has done just about as much interest rate cutting as it can. Its target for the federal funds rate is about zero…
So why shouldn't the Fed just keep cutting interest rates? Why not lower the target interest rate to, say, negative 3 percent?
At that interest rate, you could borrow and spend $100 and repay $97 next year. This opportunity would surely generate more borrowing and aggregate demand.
The problem with negative interest rates, however, is quickly apparent: nobody would lend on those terms. Rather than giving your money to a borrower who promises a negative return, it would be better to stick the cash in your mattress. Because holding money promises a return of exactly zero, lenders cannot offer less.
Unless, that is, we figure out a way to make holding money less attractive.
At one of my recent Harvard seminars, a graduate student proposed a clever scheme to do exactly that…. Imagine that the Fed were to announce that, a year from today, it would pick a digit from zero to 9 out of a hat. All currency with a serial number ending in that digit would no longer be legal tender. Suddenly, the expected return to holding currency would become negative 10 percent.
That move would free the Fed to cut interest rates below zero. People would be delighted to lend money at negative 3 percent, since losing 3 percent is better than losing 10. …
If all of this seems too outlandish, there is a more prosaic way of obtaining negative interest rates: through inflation. Suppose that, looking ahead, the Fed commits itself to producing significant inflation. In this case, while nominal interest rates could remain at zero, real interest rates — interest rates measured in purchasing power — could become negative. If people were confident that they could repay their zero-interest loans in devalued dollars, they would have significant incentive to borrow and spend.
Fortunately a Mises scholar explains the consequences of this insanity:
Mankiw doesn't explain why we just so happen to be in "the worst recession since World War II." His article gives the impression that golly gee, consumers just decided to stop spending money, and so the Federal Reserve has to hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete.
In reality, what happened is that the Federal Reserve — under the leadership of the "maestro" Alan Greenspan — slashed the Fed's target rate down to 1% and held it there for a year from June 2003 to June 2004. More and more analysts are realizing that this caused or at least exacerbated the unsustainable boom in housing.
Now why in the world would Greenspan have done something so reckless? Well, he was operating under the belief that the way to get out of a recession — caused by the dot-com crash at the time — was to slash interest rates to get businesses and consumers to spend more. In other words, we are in our current mess because of the very same "medicine" that Mankiw proposes.
Because the Federal Reserve pushed down interest rates below their free-market levels, the complex capital structure of the economy was steered into an unsustainable configuration.
And this is why everything the Fed is doing is wrong:
Even though it flies in the face of everything you will hear from Nobel laureates, Harvard professors, and CNBC commentators, in the onset of a financial panic — where liquidity is at a premium — short-term interest rates need to rise dramatically. It is analogous to the prices of flashlights and canned food during a hurricane that knocks down power lines. The price needs to shoot up in order to ration the available units to those who need them the most.
By the very same token, when investment banks realize that their assets aren't worth nearly as much as they had thought, and the supply of "loanable funds" shifts way to the left, then market interest rates need to rise. The price of renting a generator goes up during a hurricane, and the price of renting cash ought to go up during a financial panic.
Unfortunately, liberals and people who think FEMA is the answer to disasters don't understand that the price of flashlights and generators should go up in a disaster. They think God waves a magic wand and instantly creates enough flashlights and generators for everybody who wants to buy one. Sorry, dropping money from helicopters, either in a natural disaster or financial crisis, doesn't create more resources for people to use to solve their problems.
And this says it all:
It is no coincidence that Mankiw's worldview leads him to literally propose destroying the currency in order to fix the economy. That alone should have set off warning bells. As a general rule, if your economic model pops out the result "Randomly burn a tenth of the cash every year," then you should think some more about the model rather than fire off an article to the New York Times.
Or ask a third grader first. This is what Harvard produces and teaches. And people spend outrageous money to become lobotomized at Harvard and start saying things a third grader knows is wrong.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
US raid in Iraq tests the security agreement.
Mises parody exposes the obvious logical next step of calling CO2 a pollutant - taxing breathing. You know the government and society is insane when government declares your breath and the breath of every animal on the planet is a pollutant, and people support it.
Mises scholar offers a comprehensive constitutional amendment to limit the power of the Federal government.
Unfortunately, providing more welfare to Africa will just further harm the country, not help it.
It's good to see the Pakistan military going on the offensive against the Taliban.
The Supreme Court may finally overrule race discrimination against white people.
Today is debt day for the Federal government. Every dollar the Federal government spends from today until Oct. 1 is borrowed. Unbelievable.
Here's an interesting libertarian project: the Free State Project. It's goal is to get 20,000 libertarians to sign up and move to New Hampshire. This is a great idea, and I like these couple of lines about New Hampshire:
[I]t has the lowest state and local tax burden in the continental U.S., the second-lowest level of dependence on federal spending in the U.S., a citizen legislature where state house representatives have not raised their $100 per year salary since 1889, the lowest crime levels in the U.S., a dynamic economy with plenty of jobs and investment, and a culture of individual responsibility indicated by, for example, an absence of seatbelt and helmet requirements for adults.
But I bet it's cold. ;) Can we move New Hampshire to the gulf coast?
This analysis is sloppy from the economic side, but the analysis of the failure rate of quarterbacks taken high in the NFL draft is right on.
George Carlin save the planet classic for Earth Day.
The Italians and the French put armed security teams on ships passing Somali. Israelis. Pirates run away.
Woman writes letter of dissatisfaction to Proctor and Gamble maxi-pad manager.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Time Warner is cutting people off without notice for using too much bandwidth. They should announce an upper limit on bandwidth and give a warning before they do that.
Astronomers capture most distant object ever - a gamma ray burst almost as old as the universe.
North Korea re-starts processing nuclear fuel. Why haven't we blown up all of North Korea's nuclear plants?
Story about mercury cleanup shows how our society is actually devolving under the pretense of evolving.
Mises scholar says universities are microcosms of socialism and necessarily indoctrinate college students into a socialist mindset and exposes the real motives behind the left's push for more government control of universities.
After decades of success because of its adoption of economic freedom, China is reverting to government driven stimulus and inflationary monetary policy, much like the US. It's good to know the communists are as stupid as our government for once.
Cato joins every sane person in the world in calling for an end to the death tax.
I'm tired of people blasting the US for calling waterboarding torture when it was used on Americans in the past but not now that we're using it against an enemy that flies planes into buildings and beheads its captives. When our enemies use an effective technique on Americans, it's the government's responsibility to do everything in its power to stop them, even if that means calling the technique torture even though it isn't true. We didn't use the technique in the past because it would have violated the Geneva Convention. But now that we're fighting an enemy that doesn't wear uniforms and doesn't even pretend to acknowledge the Geneva Convention, we aren't limited by the Geneva Convention either. Waterboarding is not torture. It never was torture. It was just to our advantage to call it torture to protect Americans in the past. The smart thing now is to show that it isn't torture, which has been done with many demostrations including Steve Harrigan and Christopher Hitchens, both of whom immediately got up and were no worse for wear, and use the technique on captured terrorists who likely have high value intelligence that will save American lives.
The Obama administration is floundering over the issue of harsh interrogations past and potentially future. There's conflict between the ideologues who want to make America weak and those who want to do the right thing for Americans.
IRS pirate problem.
Obama appointed the CEO of MADD mothers, a freedom hating prohibitionist, to head the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Is anybody surprised that over half of Senators have their kids in private school? The children of the other half must have already graduated from private school.
The way to develop renewable energy faster is to dramatically reduce the size and scope of government and adopt the FairTax, freeing up trillions of dollars a year to go into new investments like alternative energy.
Reason blasts the Obama/Kennedy paid government volunteer program. They want to make it out that government work is somehow more noble than working in the private sector. Hardly.
In this great essay, Victor Davis Hansen says our nonsensical world will probably get worse before it gets better.
Friday, April 24, 2009
How Would You Like to Keep 100 Percent of Your Paycheck?
by Mark Luedtke
How much time and money did you spend doing taxes this year? Are you hoping a mild-mannered
IRS agent doesn't knock on your door? You would think the land of the
free could create a tax system that didn't require everybody to be so
brave, but our tax system isn't designed for us. It's designed to
empower professional politicians, bureaucrats and special interests by
sucking the wealth, creativity and work ethic from us.
It doesn't have to be that way. Suppose you could keep 100 percent
of your paycheck. Look at your pay stub. What's the difference between
gross pay and take home pay? Consider how much nicer your house and car
would be if you deposited the gross instead of the net. Contemplate the
quality education you could provide your children. Imagine the better
standard of living your family would enjoy.
The FairTax gives you that, and more. The FairTax was designed by
economists and tax experts for people. It replaces the Federal income,
payroll, which includes Social Security and Medicare, and other taxes including the death tax with a simple
consumption tax while keeping prices about the same.
To understand the benefits of the FairTax, you have to
understand how our current tax system works. All taxes today, before we
pay them, are first collected by businesses. When a company pays
Federal taxes, it passes that tax along to its customers in the form of
higher prices. When a company pays workers, part of that pay covers the
workers' Federal taxes, and it passes that expense along to its
customers in the form of higher prices. All taxes are ultimately paid
for by consumers in the form of higher prices of goods and services.
On average, 22 percent of the price you pay for any American made
product or service goes to Federal taxes. To put it another way,
embedded Federal taxes make up 22 percent of the price of every
American made product. You can think of it as a 22 percent overhead for retailers,
like utilities, for Federal taxes. The FairTax replaces that 22 percent
Federal tax with the 23 percent inclusive FairTax on new products. That means when you
buy a new $100 coat, you'll pay $100. $23 goes to the Federal government,
and $77 goes to retailer. The 23 percent figure was chosen to be
revenue neutral – the FairTax would collect the same amount of revenue as the current tax system.
The most obvious benefit is that every American would keep 100
percent of his or her paycheck (except for locations with state and
local income taxes) and immediately have a higher standard of
living, but the benefits go much deeper. Savings and investment income
won't be taxed. People who buy less stuff pay less tax. Americans waste
billions of dollars every year on tax compliance – the cost of doing
taxes correctly. Also, the government loses hundreds of billions in revenue to the underground economy. Drug dealers, illegal aliens and
President Obama's cabinet don't pay their fair share of taxes.
Everybody has tipped their waitress in cash so she doesn't have to
claim it. Our tax code is so oppressive, we don't blink an eye at cheaters.
The IRS has to monitor over a hundred million tax filers for
cheating. Because only a few hundred thousand retail outlets will pay
taxes under the FairTax, and even crooks buy retail, everybody will pay
and cheating will be greatly reduced. The agency that replaces the IRS
(replacing the IRS should be enough to get everybody to support the
FairTax) will be hundreds of times smaller, saving us all money.
One of the greatest benefits of the FairTax is that foreign goods
and services will be taxed the same as American goods and services. All
our trading partners have business friendly value added tax (VAT)
codes, so foreign goods and services have no embedded tax included in
their price. When Lexus sells a car for $50,000, every penny goes to
Lexus. When GM sells a car for $50,000, $11,000 goes to the Federal
government and only $39,000 goes to GM. Lexus profits. GM goes
bankrupt. Our tax code punishes American workers relative to foreign
workers, but the FairTax will put American workers on a level playing
field with foreign workers, and American workers will come out on top.
The FairTax is so good for business, every Fortune 500 company in
the world has promised to either open its next plant or move its
headquarters to the US after we adopt it, bringing jobs back to America
in a rush.
Some critics claim the FairTax sounds like we're getting something
for nothing. Not true. The immediate advantage in standard of living
comes from ending the waste of compliance costs, taxing the underground
economy, and taxing foreign products the same as American made
products. Additionally, $13 trillion that is sitting overseas working
in foreign economies would immediately flow back to the US. FairTax
would make the US the greatest tax haven in the world. Obama financed
his $800 billion stimulus boondoggle with debt. The FairTax is a $13
trillion stimulus package with no debt. Which do you think would better
boost our economy?
Other critics claim the rate would have to be higher because we'd
never tax food, medicine, health care or government purchases, but
those products include embedded taxes already, and why should we favor
their producers? Besides, the FairTax includes a prebate based on the
number of people in a household to cover taxes on basic necessities.
The prebate completely untaxes Americans below the poverty line. As
for prices, some will rise a little; some will fall a little. Import
prices will rise significantly. Other critics say quoting the rate
inclusively is misleading. Apparently those demagogues aren't smart
enough to understand the comparison to embedded taxes.
Adopt the FairTax to spark an economic renaissance unparalleled in US history.
Europeans are getting fed up with high tax rates. What took them so long?
Obama really stepped in it with his handling of the harsh interrogation technique issue. The New York Times refuses to print story about the success of the techniques in question. Nancy Pelosi is caught in the web of people who were briefed on waterboarding but never complained about it until it was politically expedient. How convenient.
Obama's obvious infatuation with and respect for dictators, even anti-American dictators, is another sign of how dangerous Obama is. Of course Republicans loved Saddam Hussein and the tyrants of China too.
Factoring in the failure of government schools, education costs America more than health care.
"If the United States had closed the international achievement gap between 1983 and 1998 and raised its performance to the level of such nations as Finland and Korea, US GDP in 2008 would have been between $1.3 trillion and $2.3 trillion higher, representing 9 to 16 percent of GDP." How much do we spend on health care again? About 16 percent of GDP.Government is destroying our country. It's destroyed our future by ruining the education of our children, it's made our health are system far too expensive and driven up energy costs. Now liberals want it to government even more power to further destroy our education system, our health care system and our energy market. Smart.
More calls for a constitutional convention. Mises comments on the proposed Federalism Amendment.
This should be called a bunch of meaningless handshakes, except for a couple.
Mises scholar exposes the absurdity of Keynes and our government worshipers of Keynes: According to Keynes, the Fed should print money and buy all debt in the US, then forgive it. No more toxic assets. No more debt problem. The economy would instantly be fixed. Not. Keynesianism is absurd. Printing money doesn't solve anything.
Swine flu is back, and we can thank the failure of our government to secure our borders for it.
Interesting that the Florida homeless woman who so publicly asked Obama to help her find a home at a rally was given a home by a Republican, but we never heard that part.
Psychotic Earth Day spokesman.
President Obama burned 9,000 gallons of fuel on Earth Day. Nice. I guess speaking at the White House is passe for Great Pharaoh.
Venezuela to give island in New Jersey owned by Citgo to the state.
How Obama's Iraq policy led to increased violence.
Charles Krauthammer predicts Obama is planning rationing for Medicare and other government health care down the road.
The more acute thinkers on the left can see rationing coming, provoking Slate blogger Mickey Kaus to warn of the political danger. "Isn't it an epic mistake to try to sell Democratic health care reform on this basis? Possible sales pitch: 'Our plan will deny you unnecessary treatments!' ... Is that really why the middle class will sign on to a revolutionary multitrillion-dollar shift in spending -- so the government can decide their life or health 'is not worth the price'?"Everybody will be so happy with having the government decide whether or not they can have a procedure to save their life.
Cato explains that businessmen working in a capitalist system gave us most of the environmental improvements we take for granted today, not bureaucrats, and that same will be true in the future.
Wealth not only breeds environmentalists, it begets environmental quality. There are dozens of studies showing that, as per capita income initially rises from subsistence levels, air and water pollution increases correspondingly. But once per capita income hits between $3,500 and $15,000 (dependent upon the pollutant), the ambient concentration of pollutants begins to decline just as rapidly as it had previously increased. This relationship is found for virtually every significant pollutant in every single region of the planet. It is an iron law.Don't tell liberals.
In the United States, pollution declines generally predated the passage of laws mandating pollution controls. In fact, for most pollutants, declines were greater before the federal government passed its panoply of environmental regulations than after the EPA came upon the scene.
Sri Lanke is on the verge of crushing the Tamil Tiger rebellion once and for all, and the US calls for a cease fire. How stupid is that? Victory will end the violence. A cease fire will make it continue. Sri Lanke should win and be done with it.
Gen. Petraeus calls for Pakistani military to redirect focus on Taliban. This is interesting. In a country known for military coups and where the military is the most trusted institution in the country, you can't help but wonder if Petraeus is trying to empower the military at the expense of the civilian government.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
As with most things that are going wrong with America today that Obama is making worse, Bush started it. Apparently Bush Treasury Sec. Paulson, at the request of Fed Chairman Bernanke, threatened the head of Bank of America to take over Merrill Lynch or the government would replace the bank's board and management. The government does not have that power, and if this is true, Paulson and Bernanke should be prosecuted. At the very least, this is abrogation of rights under color of law. This just shows once again there's not a lick of difference between the two anti-American parties. Both are working to transform America into a poverty stricken banana republic.
This is what happens when big government interferes in the economy. Instead of competing on price, quality and service, it's easier and cheaper for Time Warner to lobby government to put its competitor out of business. This is the inevitable result of all government interference in the marketplace.
How do you prosecute people for writing legal briefs in support of harsh interrogation techniques? On the other hand, you can't allow this kind of technique to be used to circumvent the law. You can't have some guy write a brief saying electrocuting people is legal, then have a guy electrocute a detainee, and both get away with it. Fortunately, that didn't happen here. But liberals don't care about the law. They'll do it anyway. But if you prosecute them, you have to prosecute the congressmen including Democrats who were briefed and on board with the techniques, imo.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Two senior Tamil Tiger rebels surrender. Congratulations to Sri Lanke for finally breaking the back of this rebellion.
Israeli military absolves itself for any crimes in Gaza invasion. Maybe we should allow everybody to be their own judge and juror.
Obama only released part of the CIA interrogation memos. He refused to release the memos showing how successful the interrogation techniques were and how many American lives were saved by application of the techniques. I wonder what Obama's agenda could be.
How do you prosecute people for writing policy memos?
Banks want out of TARP, but Pharaoh Obama and Lord Geithner won't let them.
TARP is inherently open to fraud and abuse, and 20 cases of fraud are being investigated. All government money is inherently open to fraud and abuse. That's why we need a dramatically reduced government.
Earmarks are exploding thanks to Obama. When Obama talked about earmark reform, he really meant using more of them to promote his agenda.
I'm happy to hear the political class strongly disliked the tea parties. That means they think their jobs might be affected, and that's the only way we can get them to work in slightly for our good instead of theirs.
I sure hope the Supreme Court allows people falsely convicted or even just unjustly prosecuted due to prosecutorial misconduct to sue the pants off of prosecutors.
Global recession to deepen in 2009. That's because government keeps dragging our economies down further. If government had left well enough alone we would be well on the way to recovery by now. If government had reduced its size and scope, we would be even farther along.
Despite, or more likely because of, the political bias of the American Bar Association, President Obama will make them the preeminent reviewer of judges.
This attack on the tea parties is an impressive illustration of how out of touch radical leftists are with society.
How did I manage to miss Earth Day? The planet looks much more green today.
Video of Christopher Hitchens being waterboarded. The dramatic music and everything is stupid and kind of funny, especially compared to the Steve Harrigan video which was sparse, but the technique appears indistinguishable. This technique is fabulous. With absolutely no harm, pain, danger or anything resembling torture, we get information. The subject is broken down by exploiting the body's natural fear of drowning. It's like magic. It's unconscionable that Obama would outlaw such an effective, harmless technique as this for collecting intelligence from terrorists. The die hard test of whether or not its torture is that people volunteer for it. Do you think Hitchens or Harrigan would volunteer to let me use pliers or a car battery on him? Of course not. Those things are torture. Waterboarding is not. The video shows Hitchens being waterboarded only once. Steve Harrigan allowed himself to be waterboarded 3 times in a row with slightly different techniques. Obviously, this is not torture. And no, I don't want to be waterboarded any more than I want to New York City, but neither is torture.
Obviously waterboarding would be a war crime between signatories of the Geneva Convention, but it's not torture.
On another note, long-term sleep deprivation is harmful to the mind. Keeping somebody awake for a week should be considered torture, imo. I've yet to hear of any other approved technique I would consider torture. And I don't appreciate being called a Bush partisan because of that opinion.
And severe suffering is not torture. Imprisoning people causes severe suffering, yet we do it to convicted criminals all the time. That legal definition is absurdly vague. It's hard to judge the temperature extremes without details, but if they don't cause overheating, frostbite or hypothermia, then they're not harming the subject so they're not torture.
Barney Frank blames George Bush for the subprime mortgage crisis. The same Barney Frank who killed Bush's attempts to reform Fannie and Freddie. The same Barney Frank who supported Clinton's major changes to CRA and Fannie and Freddie that set off the subprime mortgage crisis. He's trying to blame Bush. He contradicts himself too. Frank takes political slime to a new level.
Obama signs national service bill, taking him one step closer to eliminating private charity and creating his own force of brownshirts.
Hugo Chavez is happy that Barack Obama is bringing socialism to the US, and an Iowa Republican compares Obama's policies to Chavez's.
The aristocrats vote buying scheme has reached new highs with the top 10 recipients of bailout money spending $9.5 million on lobbying in just 3 months. This is the system laid bare. Companies pay tribute to the aristocrats, and if they pay enough, the aristocrats give them our money. If they don't pay enough, they don't get our money. If they pay way too little or complain, they get destroyed. Our system has turned completely feudal. Pay tribute to our masters in Washington or they'll burn your business to the ground.
Obama and black farmers.
Obama's Labor Department overturns regulation that would root out corruption in union finances because it was overly burdensome, but pushes for more regulation of businesses despite how burdensome and worthless Sarbanes-Oxley is.
I hope the founder of the Minutemen kicks McCain's ass in the Arizona senate primary.
New York pays welfare recipients for good behavior. You've got to be kidding me. The program was modeled after programs in Mexico, Turkey and Brazil. That's what the US should be emulating. What are liberals thinking? (Rhetorical question)
I don't want to imagine what's going to happen because government painted zig-zag lines on the roads.
How the Fed feeds the culture of dependency.
Obama could get America to 100 percent employment by making us all push wheels or row freighters to generate clean energy, but of course, that would set civilization back 2000 years. No thanks.
Obama is keeping a new intellectual property treaty secret. It can't be ratified by the Senate in secret, but both parties will likely support it, so it won't be up for debate long.
Cato criticizes the IMF and the G-20's decision to empower the failed institution to fight the global recession.
Cato does not support the Law of the Sea Treaty and neither do I.
The Tea Parties were about out of control government spending, all of which, and the interest, will have to be paid back with taxes.
Congress intends to regulate your garden out of existance. Just like everything else.
Update on the case of Charlie Lynch, convicted for selling medical marijuana out of a shop that was certified completely legal by California. This is a travesty.
Reason explains that the problems in Mexico stem from prohibition and the black market it creates, not guns.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Obama and Geithner are looking at back door nationalization of banks by converting bailout loans into common stock. They keep changing the rules on the fly, harming businesses and all Americans.
By converting the loans to the banks into equity, the Obama administration would have the largest voting stake in many of the big banks.So the most anti-business administration in history will own all our banks. How do you think that will work out for us? How nice of Lord Geithner to allow banks to have options. We should all bow before our great master in thanks for his generosity.
Saying TARP falls short is like saying crap has slightly unpleasant odor.
Lord Geithner says setting the price of toxic assets is hard. Duh, central planner. Price fixing is hard for any asset. Nobody wants to pay more than pennies on the dollar for the toxic assets. The banks want to sell them for close to their face value. If sellers and buyers could agree on a price, the assets wouldn't be toxic. They'd be sold already. Government cannot change the laws of economics, it can only pervert them to the detriment of all of us. This just shows how stupid every government intervention in the market is.
Under pressure from his radical leftist base, President Obama is backtracking from his promise not to prosecute anybody over interrogations. Democrats are intent on ripping the country apart over the efforts of people who were tried and succeeded at preventing more terrorist attacks after 9/11.
Pirate, supposedly 16 years old, will be tried as an adult in the US. I still think that Navy captains or admirals at least should be able to do this on their decks.
IMF says the global financial meltdown will cost $4 trillion. Attempts to fix the problem have already cost twice that much in the US. That's just stupid. This is all about getting the financial markets to function "normally". But that's how we got into this mess. We don't want them to function like that. We want them to function responsibly, without being powered by inflationary monetary policy, irresponsible loans and a tax code that punishes savings and rewards debt.
Tamil civilians are fleeing Sri Lanke after the collapse of the rebel forces.
Presidents have long campaigned as if they were monarchs chosen by God, promising to solve every problem with their superior wisdom and power. But Barack Obama has taken the power trip to a new level. Obama set himself up as a god himself, like Great Pharaoh. Obama promised to reverse the rising of the seas and heal the sick. So whenever his ministers make pronouncements, it makes me sick because it shows our society has become as backwards and superstitious as the ancient Egyptians or Aztecs. Liberals will be calling human sacrifices by next election, they almost reached that point with Bush administration officials and AIG executives already, and conservatives will be lighting candles and reciting holy passages in an attempt to stop them. Rational people are suffering through a holy war between pagans and Christians.
Spies hack into defense computers and steal info on weapons and air traffic control.
It's kind of funny to complain about the Cuban government taking 20 percent from wire transfers from America to Cuban relatives when US tax rates are far higher. I don't want the Cuban government getting that money either, but if families can keep 80 percent, that's a heck of a lot better deal than we get in America, so I still think lifting the limit was the right thing to do.
Now that the government has proclaimed that an essential gas for life, carbon dioxide, endangers public health and welfare, maybe Americans will finally wake up and stop voting the same two failed parties who brought us to this point.
As predicted, the DHS memo leaked right before the tea parties was just the tip of the iceberg. Since early this year, the FBI has been investigating "sovereign citizen extremist groups". Obama and Holder won't allow Americans to organize in the defense if individual liberty.
Marketing companies addict people to credit. Nobody is responsible for their own actions.
I'm not surprised that Barack Obama ascension coincides with rapidly growing skepticism on global warming. Every time Obama talks about global warming, people think about it a little more and more see through this scam. The same thing's going to happen on health care. The more Obama and Democrats talk about it, the less the American people are going to like what they have to say. That's because these socialist scams of Democrats cannot survive in the light of day.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Cato reports there are 1,804 subsidy programs in the Federal budget. Everyone of them harms every American. Even the recipients are harmed because of the cost they pay for the 1,803 others. Conventional wisdom says those special interests (anybody lobbying for or receiving a subsidy is a special interest) swing elections. But if a candidate were to make the case that even subsidy recipients are losing because they have to pay for all the other subsidies, that candidate could win a substantial number of votes from even those special interests.
It was a big week for Cato and taxes. It also reports that the pages in the tax code "skyrocketed from 40,500 in 1995 to 70,320 in 2009". That's how the aristocrats in Washington socially engineer lifelong power for themselves. They demand companies and special interests pay them tribute, and if that tribute is significant enough to warrant a favor from the aristocrat, he'll adjust the tax code in his subject's favor. If the tribute is so meager as to warrant punishment, he'll call the CEO or head of the organization in front of Congress and berate him or her in hearings or even send the SEC or Justice Dept after him. Our aristocrats use both the carrot and stick to keep their subjects in line.
Short Cato video shows just how damaging and archaic our tax system is. It's designed for the benefit of the aristocrats, not the people.
Cato examines how to deal with Somali pirates from a free market perspective - ships should stop sailing past Somali. The shipping companies think the risk of piracy is cheaper than changing routes, so let them pay the costs. The amount of money it costs to patrol that area with Navy ships is far greater than the cost to shipping of piracy. Navy patrols are a subsidy to shippers. The problem with this analysis is the pirates are taking citizens prisoner. One of the few legitimate powers of government is protecting its citizens. The US should charge US shippers the costs of patrolling the area, and US ships would quickly stop and the Navy wouldn't have to patrol it anymore. I still think the US should put some Reapers in the air and charge other countries for saving their ships. We could make money off the deal. Another free market solution to this problem would be for families of captives to sue the crap out of the shippers who sent them there. Any company that forces its ships to sail past Somali is putting its crews in danger, and that company should pay if their ship gets captured by pirates. But leaving the pirates to their own devices won't solve this problem. The pirates are getting more capable all the time.
Cato explains that ending welfare to African governments is the best way to help Africa become stable.
I think George Will has this backwards. Obama may be doing it for the wrong reasons, I think he's trying to weaken America, but nuclear arms reductions with Russia are a great idea because Russia is committing suicide, not in spite of it. We want those weapons gone while there's still a reliable government to dismantle them.
Among a list of festering threats against America, Ralph Peters says Obama's solution to the Somali pirate problem - sending welfare to Somali - is nothing more than paying tribute. We know how that worked out for John Adams. He also warns that al Qaeda in Iraq is resurgent, understanding Obama's weakness. Obama still can and very well might still lose the war in Iraq.
Article shows how a flawed, corrupted process that once again had state courts changing the rules of vote counting after votes had been cast (same as in Florida) has allowed Al Franken to temporarily take the lead in Minnesota's senate race. Hopefully the state Supreme Court will rectify that, but I have no confidence it will. As corrupted as this process has been, a revote seems the best solution, but that would require changing the law after the fact, which is the problem to begin with. No matter who wins, this seat is tainted, which means absolutely nothing.
Releasing the misnamed torture memos will make American intelligence agencies more timid, inform the terrorists of our techniques and their limitations, and will inspire a self-destructive liberal feeding frenzy. Unfortunately, these techniques that have been so successful at obtaining intelligence will be less successful in the future because of Obama's decision.
Why do I care how many times these terrorists were waterboarded? It works. It doesn't hurt anybody. And from what we've seen in examples, it is not a near-drowning technique. It's a technique that capitalizes on the fear of drowning without ever putting the subject in danger. Maybe they use a different technique on al Qaeda that does put the subject in danger of drowning, but I haven't seen any evidence of that. You would think that if the subject was in danger of drowning, he would have died during one of the 183 waterboarding sessions. He didn't.
Barney Frank wants to create an FDIC for municipal bonds, so when municipalities default on them, Federal taxpayers will pick up the tab. Barney Frank is far more than an embarrassment. He's a disaster. Massechussets, stop punishing America with this guy. The limited government proscribed by the Consititution was supposed to protect America from guys like Frank, but since the people don't care about the Constitution, aristocrats like Frank continue to harm us. I don't know how to fix the problem of the people not caring about the Constitution.
Mises scholar explains that zero price inflation is still damaging because it means the money supply is growing. If the money supply is growing, the money in your pocket and in your savings account is lowing value. That's a hidden tax that redistributes wealth from all Americans into the hands of bankers and the politically connected. It also creates the business cycle, the bust end of which we're living right now.
I don't have a problem with Obama pressuring Israel to evecuate the west bank settlements. Israel is supposedly occupying that territory as a buffer zone for its own protection, which makes sense as long as Hamas and Hezbollah are daily threats, but colonizing it is inconsistent with that position. But I don't think using second order nuclear blackmail is the way to do it. I think cutting off all funding for Israel until they evacuated those settlements would be enough.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
11 percent of the people born in Mexico live in the US. Illegal immigration has got to be even more damaging to Mexico than it is to us.
If you don't understand how government is inherently wasteful, maybe this article explaining that government has to spend money to spend money will make it clear.
Bloomberg LP files FOIA request on Fed, demanding it inform the public about $2 trillion in secret loans its made.
How the writers union victory is costing writers jobs.
President Obama is a threat to free trade.
Easy to understand explanation of why we can expect government's policies to create massive inflation in the near future.
Reason has a quiz to test whether the US government fears you are a domestic terrorist.
Charles Krauthammer exposes 4 huge frauds that have become the foundations of Obama's policy and rhetoric.
List of vessels currently held by Somali pirates.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Obama is adding another czar, a border czar, to his administration. Obama's got more czar's than Russia. That's because he's more authoritarian than Russia.
Obama administration blocked Navy from using their most powerful and precise radar to track the Korean missile launch. That's nuts.
Jonah Goldberg wonders how we've backslid so far that piracy is now a problem. He says lawyers, and that's partially true. I say liberals. If it wasn't for liberals, the US and other nations would have bombed the Somali pirate havens long ago, sunk all their ships and no lawyers would ever have had a say. The solution to piracy is hasn't changed in thousands of years - kill them.
French President Sarkozy calls bull**** on Obama. It's about time somebody besides the majority of Americans pointed out our emperor has no clothes.
Iran complains to UN Security Council about Israeli threats to bomb its nuclear program. That makes sense. The UN provides cover for insane dictators, and I'm sure it will do the same in this case.
Liberals score another victory against free speech, this time shouting down a speech by Tom Tancredo. This is disgusting.
I've been advocating airlines, sporting and entertainment venues and any other business that has limited seating charge fat people for 2 tickets for a long time. United Airlines finally took my advice. I'm sure this will get tied up in the courts, but I hope the airline fights and wins this battle.
You know central planning is running amok when Florida announces plans to build a solar city. Expect to see an abandoned, wasted blight on Florida in the not-so-near future.
In Obama's never ending attempt to harm America by remaking it in his image instead of allowing the people to build the country the way they want, Obama pushes high speed rail plan.
Reason makes an argument for allowing jurors to ask questions.
The Justice Department reports that the NSA improperly eavesdropped on communications of Americans. Then there should be prosecutions.
Republicans hope to build from tea parties. If that happens, they will have been a waste of time. The only way these tea parties will be effective is if conservatives vote out their Republican incumbents who governed like Democrats for 8 years, but I don't see that happening.
Spain's Attorney General intelligently decided not to investigate Bush and Co. for torture charges.
Obama administration makes the only reasonable decision it could, saying it won't prosecute CIA agents for waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques. I doubt liberals will stop their slander of Bush because of this though.Unfortunately, releasing the CIA memos gives the terrorists information on our interrogation techniques and will probably fuel more liberal irresponsibility. Since Obama no longer uses those techniques, he didn't seem to mind. Besides, I doubt there's anything we didn't already know about the techniques. But if we get attacked and that attack could have been prevented by waterboarding somebody, I hope we prosecute Obama and Holder for dereliction of duty.
Even the liberal Politico recognizes it's all Obama, all the time. Anybody who won't acknowledge Obama's phenomenal narcissism is willingly blind.
Why do we care if Pakistan's military takes over? The Pakistan military is the most stable, pro-American and anti-terrorist institution in Pakistan. We were fools for undermining Musharraf. Once again we're interfering Pakistan's internal affairs, and once again it will backfire on us. Pakistan does not have the democrat institutions in place to be a free country. Our focus should be on helping Pakistan build those institutions - security, an educated populace, rule of law, and economic freedom - instead of propping up a dangerous elected government. We must stop mistaking an election for freedom.
Excellent essay points out that Americans are sheep who think 20 to 45 percent tax confiscation rates are fair. That's nuts. The Founding Father revolted over single digit tax rates and the breakdown of the rule of law that's ubiquitous today.
The greatest tax outrage in American history is Washington's gradual convincing of the American people that giving so much of their income to the government is just and fair.I resoundingly agree.
Americans today are taxed at levels most of our forebears would have considered unthinkable. By our own nation's historical standards, we are outrageously, insanely overtaxed. And yet we shrug our shoulders and say, well, at least we're not France.
By the way, France's top marginal tax rate is 40 percent. President Obama plans to raise our top marginal rate to 39 percent.
Judge Andrew Napolitano summarizes the terrifying DHS document labeling anybody who supports limited government as a right-wing extremist:
My guess is that the sentiments revealed in the report I read are the tip of an iceberg that the DHS would prefer to keep submerged until it needs to reveal it. This iceberg is the heavy-hand of government; a government with large and awful eyes, in whose heart there is no love for freedom, and on whose face there is no smile.Control of DHS by Obama and his radical Chicago thug partners is phenomenally scary. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano defends the report which identifies anybody critical of Obama and big government as a security threat. This is the next step in the evolution on our Road to Serfdom. The government decides that the people who disagree with government are the enemy. It's inevitable. Hayek warned us about it. But we walked down the path anyway, and here we are. Despite the anger and rhetoric on display at these tea parties, we don't show any substantive signs of changing direction.
Now Democrats are trying to destroy beer with taxes. It never ends. Good-bye Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
Rich Lowry thinks the US needs a Goliath military. Baloney. The rest of the world can take care of itself or not as it sees fit. Europe can defend Europe. South Korea can defend South Korea. Japan can defend Japan. We shouldn't be nation-building in Afghanistan. We should just leave a small force to take out al Qaeda wherever it springs up. We don't need a Goliath military to take out pirate bases. If we have to go do it again 10 years later, so be it. We should freeze military spending while we end our military welfare to the rest of the world, let those countries fill the power void we leave behind, making the world a safer place. Then we can reduce our own military.
Once again Bernanke tries to blame savings in China for our financial problems instead of his and Greenspan's policy of easy money to fight a much needed contraction. It's so interesting to read what the central planners write because it never enters their mind that they might be part of the problem. It's taken for granted that their central planning, even when it doesn't work as planned, is the only way to do things.
Maybe America should sell Florida to pay off our debts.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Mises scholar makes the case for entirely private roads.
More on the right wing extremists. I wonder if the FBI is examining my photo taken today at Cincinnati tea party and putting me in an FBI file. Enjoy my blog, FBI!
Goldman Sachs wants to pay back its bailout money. That's a good thing, but here's a great indication of just how pervasive liberal fascism is in America. Matt Lauer, the liberals' everyman, commented on Goldman Sachs's plan:
I'm worried if you think if that's a good thing. Are they doing this because of financial stability or might they be talking about that, simply to get out from under the thumb of the federal government and be allowed to go back to running the business the way they want to run it as opposed to the way the government wants them to run it?God forbid a company try to get out from under the fascist control of the government. No doubt liberals will generally agree with Lauer, showing just how dangerously close America has become to 1930s Germany and Italy. I'm sure all the Germans and Italians who supported the fascists had good intentions.
Ron Paul proposes allowing privateers with letters of marque to take on the pirates. Naturally statists can't stand this idea. Blackwater probably loves it.
Unionized government employee files grievance demanding pay for lunch period he missed during massacre.
This Chevy Volt sounds like a good idea to me. It'll lose money in the short term, but it will probably make money in the long term when the economy rebounds and oil prices rise. Companies should be thinking long term like this. Naturally President Obama doesn't like it.
Life insurance companies must be in terrible shape if they want TARP funds and all the painful hammering that comes with the money. Or not. This sounds more like government is planning to shove TARP funds down the throats of life insurance companies just so government can get control of them.
I wish the press would call Obama out when he claims he cut our taxes. That's a bunch of baloney. His minuscule tax rebates are not tax cuts.
List of top government porkers.
Children of illegal immigrants are twice as likely to live in poverty than children of American born parents. That's because they're the children of criminals.
Al Gore wants to turn America into the world's cleanest third world country. That's a cute line, but it's not true. There's nothing dirty about CO2. It's a plant food. If we dramatically cut CO2 emissions, it will make us a third world country, but it will also harm plant growth in America and around the world, and it will have no noticeable effect on climate.
The DVD is one of 10 dying technologies.
Cato entertains the possibility that there is no diplomatic solution to de-nuclearizing North Korea. Duh. There's never been a possibility of a diplomatic solution. Of course North Korea won't peacefully surrender its nuclear weapons. Who would?
There were very few counter-protesters, maybe 50 at most, and they tried to cause some problems by running through the crowd and into people, but a couple that actually ran into somebody got arrested. I'm willing to bet that the counter protesters get at least as much coverage as the main protest.
I was very disappointed in the lack of black people. I only saw a couple of black protesters, but most of the counter-protesters were black. I'm sure any coverage will try to minimize the parties by focusing on race.
The three speakers sucked in general and talked too long, but all three criticized Republicans as much as Democrats. I think that was staged though. When one speaker asked Democrats to raise their hands, I only saw 2 in the thousand or so people I could see at that time. When he asked about Republicans, about half that I could see raised their hands. This guy was hinting pretty heavily that the group should vote Libertarian, but he never said the word libertarian.
The thing I liked least of all was the thousands of people reciting the pledge of allegiance like good little socialists. It makes my skin crawl when I see that. The pledge of allegiance sounds like a Nazi or Soviet loyalty oath to me, and that's because it was designed by a socialist to promote the socialist movement in the US. Yuk!
But all in all, it was a pretty well organized and executed event.
Dayton's is from 6 to 8 this evening.
I recently got home from the Dayton tea party. Not surprisingly, it had much in common with the Cincinnati tea party. The signs at both were great. Assuming I was right about 5,000 in Cincinnati (somebody told me that was in the middle of numerous estimates), the Dayton tea party had about 3,500 people. It was by far the most crowded I've seen Courthouse Square in three years excepting the Christmas tree lighting, which is nuts. Also the crowd in Dayton seemed more energetic, active and independent, and the speakers were better and shorter. That makes sense to me knowing the character of both Dayton and Cincinnati.
One interesting point was Dayton's crowd was full of FairTax people. I assume that's because Boortz is on the air in Dayton but not Cincinnati. I saw only one FairTax sign in Cincinnati in the thousand or so people I was immersed in. I saw at least 30 FairTax signs in Dayton in the same thousand or so people.
Apparently no counter-protesters showed up in Dayton. I didn't see one. Not one person I talked to after the event even saw one.
I did see several, not a bunch, black people protesting with us in Dayton. The crowd could easily be painted white by the media because most protesters were white, but unlike in Cincinnati, that would be untrue. There were enough black protesters in Dayton to break that stereotype, imo.
All that said, the Dayton event was after work while Cincinnati's was in the middle of lunch, so comparing them is like comparing apples to oranges.
I wish I had taken a camera. 20-20 hindsight is worth what you pay for it.
Personally, I see the glass half full, but more I see it half empty. First, I'm not a ra-ra guy. I came to my conclusions about freedom through personal analysis and reason. Nobody convinced me to be a libertarian. I never attended a rally. I never had a libertarian role model. I never read about political theory including libertarianism. I became a libertarian through personal reflection, observation, experience and reason before I ever knew that libertarian thought or libertarians existed.
So to me, these tea parties are passe. I'm glad to see many people have caught a whiff of the love of freedom I've been espousing since 1988. But these people don't feel it like I do. Despite all the rhetoric of limited government transcending political affiliation I heard today, this movement seems more a political convenience to most of the people I saw. Even my girlfriend was moved. For a couple hours. I doubt it will last to the 2010 elections, let alone over the long haul. Anybody who needs cheerleaders to incite them to care about freedom isn't a freedom lover.
On the other hand, I'm ecstatic to see people who have voted for big, bad government their entire lives suddenly rejecting it. I've written extensively here about the need for conservatives to reject the Bush/Republican/big government policies of the past. I heard exactly that today. These tea partiers threw Bush and Republicans under the bus where they deserved to be for the last 12 years as quickly as they threw Obama and Democrats. That's an indisputably positive development.
But as I sat in a downtown Dayton bar tonight and talked to a senior local Republican party machine official, he promised me that the local and national party would stand by my Republican representative Turner in 2010 despite his running just to the right of Nancy Pelosi. He promised me, while talking excitedly about change and reform and grassroots efforts, that nothing would change here. It was phenomenally disheartening because I can see every local Republican organization in America saying, "yay for change in all the other organizations except ours."
So as excited as I am by the people today, I fully expect this movement to die a grotesque death on the vine come primary and election time and devolve into lesser of two evils politics as usual.
This article says there were 6,000 protesters in Dayton. If that's true, there were 8 to 9 thousand in Cincinnati.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
North Korea pulls out of worthless nuclear talks that have been going on for years and have only succeeded in getting North Korea to mothball an old, decrepit nuclear power plant.
Apparently we needed a study to show that the self-esteem movement was bad for kids, but liberals won't believe it anyway.
The Department of Homeland Security issues warning about right-wing extremism, and everybody who supports smaller government, federalism, stopping illegal immigration, and opposes Obama's agenda is labeled a right-wing extremist. Well over half the country is considered a right-wing extremist by this document. This is a grotesquely politicized document designed and leaked to the press in order to marginalize the anti-big-government tea parties coming up tomorrow. Obama doesn't just plan to force his agenda down the throats of Americans, he's preparing to wage war on anybody who isn't a radical leftist. From what we know of Obama's past, he has no qualms about using force against anybody who opposes him.
I'm going to go to both the Cincinnati and the Dayton tea parties tomorrow. I guess that makes me a double right-wing extremist.
Number of children born to illegal immigrants rises quickly. No surprise there.
Texas joins the states rights movement. 10 states have introduced legislation, and according to the article, 12 others are considering it.
I support allowing Americans to make unlimited trips to visit family in Cuba and to send money to their family in Cuba, but I don't want US tourists to prop up the Castro brothers. I think Obama got this one right.
Supposedly work from the stimulus boondoggle is coming in under budget and ahead of schedule. Yeah, right. First of all, Obama's stimulus boondoggle hasn't done anything yet. Any projects being undertaken were already in the pipeline or started, like all the bridge building in Dayton. Leave it to Obama to claim credit for them anyway. Second, you know these projects are slow and expensive because they're run by government. In Dayton, the bridge building equipment sits idle for weeks at a time on any given project. The I-75 ramp right by my house gets worked on about 3 days a week, and that's more than any of the 5 other projects I see regularly.
Cato breaks down our ugly income tax.
Cato calls for reducing military spending. After we bring US troops home and other countries fill the power vacuum, the world will be a safer place, and we can cut US military spending. It's our demand for overseas troops that drives our military spending.
Monday, April 13, 2009
The Springfield Monorail
by Mark Luedtke
As I followed a huge, subsidized city bus belching black
smoke and carrying only three passengers through downtown the other night, I wondered how best to describe
just how harmful President Obama's and Governor Strickland's
socialist dreams of passenger and high-speed rail are. My
girlfriend suggested I watch the Springfield Monorail episode of The
Simpsons, so I did.
“You know, a town with money is a
little bit like the mule with a spinning wheel. No one knows how he
got it, and danged if he knows how to use it.” Con-man Lyle
Lanley, played by both Obama and Strickland, sell the people of
Springfield, played by Ohio and American liberals, an unnecessary, dangerous
monorail. Homer Simpson, played by the Ohio Department of
Transportation (ODOT), falls in love with the monorail which
immediately races out of control while Lanley absconds with all the
money. It's like writer Conan O'Brien had a crystal ball.
The most immediate rail plan is for the
state to spend $100 million of Obama's stimulus boondoggle on the
purchase of two train engines and six to eight passenger cars. Both
trains would travel round trip through the
Cincinnati-Columbus-Cleveland corridor every day starting in 2010. Rail proponents never mention that those
train engines and passenger cars would be running today if Ohioans were
willing to pay for that service. They're not.
Despite that, proponents say
Ohioans support the passenger line, as if people were merely responders to misleading poll questions instead of consumers and taxpayers. They pretend Obama created money out of thin air to fund their
pet project, so they're happy. And they think it's OK that no profit will be
made from the project - ODOT plans to pay
Amtrak to operate the service at a loss. That's just stupid.
Yet proponents claim this project will boost our
economy. That's because they have no understanding of economics.
Money is not created from thin air. Government takes money from the
people by force in the form of taxes, loans that must be paid back,
or inflating the money supply. Regardless, taxpayers pay. Taking money from taxpayers that would have
been used to fund profitable ventures and instead using it to subsidize
an unprofitable service makes every Ohioan more
poor and harms our economy. Leftists must get a kick out of forcing millions of people who will never use a service to fund their boondoggle projects. Unfortunately, it's easy to see the direct effects of the
passenger rail, but not the more powerful, painful consequences. You
can take pictures of the trains and the couple of passengers who
might ride it, but you can't take a picture of the lost jobs it will
cost to fund.
But Amtrak told ODOT that the
Cincinnati-Columbus-Cleveland corridor “is probably the best
underdeveloped passenger rail corridor in the U.S.” That's like Soviet economic planners (who seemingly all work
for Barack Obama now) telling Americans how to run our economy. The
Federal government owns 100 percent of Amtrak. It's a purely
socialist company. The government
subsidizes it to the tune of $1.3 billion per year, and it's been a subsidized disaster since the day
it was founded. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac look successful compared to Amtrak, but leftists look forward to having Amtrak suck
down Ohioans' tax dollars as they sing and dance the Springfield
Monorail song long after Obama's stimulus funding stream has dried up.
But Obama's and Strickland's socialist
railway plans don't end with passenger rail. Obama's stimulus
boondoggle also provides $200 million to plan and design a
statewide high speed rail network to connect into a regional network. I'm sure the privileged few who ride
the couple of high speed rail corridors in the US would tell us how
fabulous high speed rail is, but taxpayers subsidize
their privilege. I don't want my tax dollars subsidizing Wall
Street executives to travel to Washington to wine and dine Barney Frank and Chris Dodd. I don't want my tax dollars subsidizing a bunch
of fat cats to take high speed rail from Cincinnati to Chicago to
catch a Cubs game either.
High speed rail is not all it's cracked
up to be anyway. Overruns, delays and corruption tend to double the cost. Railroad crossings dictate the maximum speed railroads can travel, and in populated areas like
Ohio, it's unlikely any rail could reach high speed for long.
And high speed rail isn't as green as leftists claim either. Operations don't use a lot of energy, but
building and maintaining the tracks produces a tremendous amount of
carbon. Florida and California high speed rail planners projected that their projects will produce basically the same amount of
greenhouse gases or more than the cars the projects are supposed to
That's because railways take very few
cars off the road. You simply can't carry nearly as many people on
one or two tracks as you can on a highway. That makes passenger rail a waste of real estate as well as jobs and money. Additionally, more
buses, shuttles and taxis are required to carry rail passengers from
stations to and from their homes and final destinations.
Nothing creates waste and corruption
like government money looking for a place to be spent. Passenger rail has failed in more collectivist cultures like Japan and Europe, and Ohio has enough abandoned railroad track already. Elite leftists don't like riding buses, but buses are
a far more cost effective and energy efficient solution to Ohio's mass transportation needs than Obama's Springfield Monorail.
Here's a couple of pics for inspiration: