Sunday, May 31, 2009

Free kibbles

Now we know what Obama's stimulus was really for - arming police departments with military-style weaponry. As if we weren't being subjugated enough by police. Obama plans to rule with an iron boot on our throats. Mark Steyn tells us that statism is the only thing Obama is stimulating.

In a prescient condemnation of government taking control of the internet for security reasons, Cato makes a wonder argument for why liability is a better mechanism for dealing with problems than government regulation.

Now that radical leftists are in charge, George Will seems to have found his voice too. Few essays of his were worth reading while Bush was in charge.
The Post recently reported that Richard Wagoner, the former CEO of General Motors who was removed by the government, remains on GM's payroll "because senior Treasury officials have yet to decide whether he should get the $20 million severance package that the company had promised him." His 2009 compensation -- $1 -- is payable Dec. 31. The $20 million promised to him includes contractual awards, deferred compensation and pension benefits accrued over 32 years with the company. Promise-keeping, including honoring contracts, is the default position of a lawful society. But suddenly, many citizens' legal claims are merely starting points for negotiations with an overbearing government.
It's funny how so many Republican pundits are so bad when defending Republicans but good when attacking Democrats. The libertarian ones are free to attack both while standing on the principle of freedom, making them entertaining all the time.

In this recap of the Magic eliminating the LeBrons, the most interesting fact is that LeBron has to sit in a chair to get scanned before getting on the team's charter plane.

Oil on pace for biggest monthly gain since 1999. Remember skyrocketing oil prices a year and half ago? It's going to be worse. Thanks to the destruction of the dollar by Bernanke and Obama, even greater than the destruction of the dollar by Bush and Greenspan, our economy is going to go right back down. Naturally Obama will demonize the oil companies and liberals will parrot everything he says.

Cuba to join talks with US. Direct mail service sounds like a good idea to me.

Kansas abortion doctor notorious for performing late term abortions murdered outside church. Operation Rescue immediately condemned the shooting.

Here we go again. Now that Pakistani troops are taking on and routing the Taliban, all the sudden the international community is concerned about humanitarian issues. They're never concerned about humanitarian issues when radical Muslims are killing people, only when civilized forces begin defeating the radicals.

The border with Canada closes tomorrow. From now on you need a passport to travel between the US and Canada. That'll protect us from those rampaging Canadian terrorists.

The Japanese ambassador apologizes to the 73 surviving victims of the Bataan Death March.

Georgia TV station hooks up live internet feed for Air Force Captain in Iraq and triplet sons in Georgia to see and talk to each other during the triplets high school graduation.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Email to Sen. Voinovich on Sotomayor's confirmation

Republicans should make Sotomayor's confirmation process a referendum on the rule of law versus the lawlessness of the Obama administration. Republicans should repeated make Sotomayor answer for the two statements we know of that show she puts her personal opinions above the law - the Hispanic woman versus white man and policy being made from the bench statements.

But Republicans shouldn't stop there. They should pressure Sotomayor on Obama's lawlessness. They should pressure her on where he gets the power to direct bankruptcies, to fire executives, to limit executive compensation and to determine bonuses of people in the private sector. Republicans should use Sotomayor as the canvas to paint Obama as the dangerous, lawless president he is and force her to either defend his lawlessness or undermine him.

I don't think any principled person can vote for Sotomayor because she doesn't support the rule of law - that's what you should be testing during advise and consent - but I strongly suggest Republicans not filibuster her.

Free kibbles

The Wall Street Journal parallels the investigation into elected representatives expense accounts in Britain, and puts my congressman second in the article. American voters don't care.

Pakistan army retakes main Swat city from Taliban.

Anybody who really expects Nancy Pelosi to resign solely based on her torturing of the facts about her briefings on harsh interrogation techniques so far is living in a fantasy world. These aristocrats covet power, and they don't just walk away because they got busted in a fantastic lie. There will have to be more and bigger revelations for that to ever happen.

I don't agree with Charles Krauthammer's advice for Republicans to criticize but still confirm Sotomayor. Republicans have to stand for something, and voting for Sotomayor would show they stand for nothing - still. Republicans should make her confirmation a referendum on the rule of law versus the lawlessness of the Obama administration. Besides grilling her on her unsupportable statements, they should ask where the Constitution grants the president the power to fire the head of GM, determine bonuses and set compensation. They should force Sotomayor to either support Obama's lawlessness or disagree with it. Assuming Sotomayor doesn't have good answers for or doesn't answer why she thinks a Hispanic woman is better judge than a white man and why she thinks policy should be made from the bench and for Obama's lawlessness, Republicans should vote against her, but not filibuster.

Jonah Goldberg agrees with me that Cheney has shown the way to defeat Obama - taking him on directly with principled stands on issues backed by facts without apology - and that this should be a lesson for taking on Sotomayor and on rebuilding the Republican party.

Liberal comes out and says Sotomayor was right to say she would judge sex discrimination cases better because she was a Hispanic woman. This shows the bizarre world view of liberals. They don't think all people are created equal in the eyes of the law. They think that in a sex discrimination case, the white man is presumed guilty, and they want to institutionalize that belief with a judge who's empathetic to the victim and therefore predisposed against the white man. Referencing Ginsburg, a well known opponent of the rule of law, doesn't help his case.

Yet another liberal comes out in favor of empathy, but contradicts herself when she wants a judge to rule dispassionately on the law. If rulings should be dispassionate, then why should we care about empathy? One quote explains her view of empathy means hubris:
"If empathy means you understand what other people are thinking," says one senior White House adviser, "... you would think you would want a judge with empathy." That's also true.
So by empathy, she thinks that gives judges the power to understand the thoughts of others. That's called projection, and it's the last thing we want from a judge - a judge with the hubris to think they understand what another person is thinking instead of a judge who rules based on the evidence. She also cuts off the pertinent end of Samuel Alito's quote, when he says he must check his empathy at the door to rule dispassionately.

Mark Steyn provides perspective on the significance of America's weakness regarding the expanding nuclear threat of North Korea.

Rich Lowry points out that Pharaoh Obama is now the most powerful board member of multiple companies in the same industries across multiple industries - a clear violation of anti-trust law. Funny. Obama is a one man cartel, colluding with himself across companies and industries.

Great quote from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn:
"You can only have power over people so long as you don't take everything away from them. But when you've robbed a man of everything he's no longer in your power – he's free again."
Yet another essay about the repurcussions of Obama's use of force and lawlessness, comparing America to Vichy France on the verge of throwing off a long occupying power - our own Federal government. Interesting thought that Lincoln may yet lose the war between the states.

When you read this essay, you begin to understand the magnitude of the collapse that is coming sooner instead of later.

Man, oh, man. If anybody knows about Marxism, it's Pravda, and this Pravda commentator says America is racing down the road to Marxism at a breath taking pace.

Peter Schiff advises Obama not to bailout California, and explains the horrendous consequences if he does.

Why one millionaire is leaving New York.

Acceptance of gays is higher among Protestants than the general public, with the Episcopalians and the Church of Christ leading the way (the Church of Christ has sure come a long way since I attended as a kid). Interesting that black Protestants are way down on the list of acceptance. There's the fragile Democrat coalition again.

Obama keeps campaign promise to his wife. To hell with the rest of us. Obama reverses much ballyhooed but never serious promise to ban lobbyists from his administration. Who would have seen this coming? Any person who uses their brain. He broke that ban the day he took office. I appreciate this liberal's call for Obama to resign - I'm happy to see some liberals recognize Obama for what anybody who used their brain knew him to be even before the election - but I hope he doesn't hold his breath.
This guy makes Bill Clinton look like a paragon of integrity and follow-through.
I agree. Obama makes me wistful for the petty yet relentless self-serving corruption of the Clinton administration.
Obama has revealed himself. He is a monster, and he should remove himself from power.
Too bad this guy didn't do his homework before the election. Better late than never, I suppose.

16 year old Iraqi immigrant in Sweden cracks 300 year old math problem.

You cannot chase down the guy who stole your cell phone and shoot him dead.

Police seize $500 from charity poker game, leaving needy people without food, because the church holding the charity didn't get a permit. Laws restricting gambling are stupid.

Drunk driver flips car, walks to farm where he works and steals tractor, uses tractor to tow car on its top, and drives tractor and car off bridge into creek. This guy has shamed every other drunk driver in the country.

Obama asks Australia to resettle a bunch of Chinese al Qaeda trained terrorists. I'm sure Australia will jump all over that.

Air tests over North Korea cannot confirm a nuclear weapon was detonated. The same thing happened last time. Would NK put enough high explosives in the ground to fake a nuclear bomb? Twice? We shouldn't take that chance. If they can't really explode a nuclear bomb, then we should take the opportunity to insure they never gain that capability.

Turns out that Mancow getting waterboarded was a fake.

Map of best beer in America.

Tennessee legislature likely to override veto of law allowing concealed carry holders to carry firearms into bars. This is the wrong debate. We're looking at this from the wrong angle. The 2nd Amendment guarantees that government cannot infringe on taking arms into bars or anywhere else.

Boston police to get semi-automatic rifles because so many terrorists have successfully attacked Boston in the past. Yikes!

Africa gives us a new, lethal virus called Lujo. Lovely.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Free kibbles

Cato calls Sotomayor the most radical of the justices Obama was choosing from, and says if she was not a Hispanic woman, she would never have been considered. Cato expands on that claim. Cato explains why compassion and empathy conflict with being a good judge. Now Obama is pretending she just misspoke about think her ethnicity and gender made her a better judge than a white man. Give me a break.

Doug Bandow is still suggesting the US coddle and wait out North Korea, but he's yet to explain what we're waiting for. He's said the regime will fall, but he hasn't told us when, and he hasn't told us what effect becoming a nuclear power will have on his belief it will fall. If Mr. Bandow believes that the NK regime will fall before it can threaten the US, he should make that clear and explain why he believes that. It seems to me Mr. Bandow wants to avoid a bad option today for a far worse situation in the near future because he's ideologically wedded to pacifism.

The economy is getting worse, but at a slower rate, and the media are telling us this is good news. Can you imagine what they would be saying if McCain had won?

Oil is on the rise, the dollar is down and that means inflation is already here. Man I wish I had found these Mises guys earlier. I'd have retired a millionaire from investing back when I had lots of money.

Excellent 2005 interview with Judge Andrew Napolitano by Reason in which the judge says he admires Ludwig von Mises. Imagine that.

Obama toning down its planned regulation of financial markets because of political pressure. At least there's some sanity out there. Apparently Barney Frank, of all people, is opposed to having a single bank regulator. I guess more regulators means he has more oversight.

Nancy Pelosi says people have a right to a clean environment. Then she should get her butt over here and clean my house.

What does "filing for bankruptcy under the direction of the Obama administration" mean? How does Obama direct bankruptcies? Is Obama a bankruptcy judge now too? Pharaoh Obama is everything to all people. He puts the light in our lives or ruins them depending on his whim and how much money we donated to him. You can't help but be reminded of Roman emperors giving the thumbs up or thumbs down to gladiators. Under Obama's plan, the government would own 72.5 percent, the UAW would own 17.5 percent, and current bondholders would own 10 percent and be powerless in the face of the government and UAW destruction of GM and our entire auto industry. Bondholders would be fools to take this deal. They're better off breaking the company up and cannibalizing its assets. The UAW likey. I'm sure they do. Apparently Obama is threatening the bond holders with nothing if they don't agree with this deal.

There may be twice as much oil under the Arctic continental shelf than previously suspected. I hope the people from the smart country that gets it enjoy it because you can be sure the aristocrats in Washington won't allow Americans to participate in the wealth.

I'm not surprised that Obama's stimulus boondoggle is bypassing states hit hardest by recession.

Since Obama and Democrats killed D.C.'s school voucher program, D.C. should implement its own to save money and provide better education to its students.

Pre-election, full episode interview of Ron Paul by Glenn Beck.

Obama has no business being involved in non-government cyber-security. Treating digital infrastructure as a strategic national asset just means Obama plans to take over the internet and generously allow the rest of us to use it as long as we meet all his requirements. This is Obama's attempt to shut down opposing voices on the internet.
Obama addressed concerns that the person might not have the budgetary and policy-making authority needed to force change. The coordinator, he said, will have "regular access to me.
It's always force with Obama.

Reason advocates cutting the number of Senators in half.

Michelle Malkin exposes tight connections, including sharing donor lists, between not only between Barack Obama's 2008 campaign and ACORN but other Democrats as well.
Why does this matter? Transparency, tax dollars and electoral integrity. ACORN's own lawyer Elizabeth Kingsley acknowledged last year that a vast web of tax-exempt ACORN affiliates were shuffling money around -- making it almost impossible to track whether campaign rules and tax regulations were being followed. ACORN receives 40 percent of its revenues from taxpayers. Americans deserve to know whether and how much commingling of public money with political projects has occurred over the last four decades -- and what role the Obama campaign played in this enterprise.
Our taxdollars went to ACORN to help elect Barack Obama. We finally have the evidence for the ACORN-Obama corruption we warned about.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Debate about North Korea with Doug Bandow from Cato

I had a spirited email debate with Doug Bandow from Cato over his essay starting with this message:
I do not understand Cato's advice to wait out the fall of an insane North Korean regime with a nuclear weapon and long range missile capability. Do you think the NK regime will just quietly collapse? This regime will not go away, and it's willing to use nuclear blackmail to stay alive. Do you want to wait until Los Angeles is vaporized? NK hasn't mastered the technology to obliterate LA yet, but you advocate we sit, wait and talk while they master it. Would Cato advocate that families sit, wait and exercise diplomacy with the Manson family too? Cato is advocating classic victimization strategy, and its guaranteed to blow up in our faces - literally. It's patently absurd to claim that NK's ongoing development of nuclear and missile technology is no threat to anybody (though you contradict yourself about that later in the essay). We should destroy every aspect of NK's nuclear program so they can't threaten us with a nuclear bomb. South Korea has 20 times the GDP of North Korea or more by now. It can take care of itself. This article seems to have been written by an apologist for both North Korea and China. You would think a libertarian think tank would strongly advocate for freeing the people of North Korea and China from oppressive regimes, but you do just the opposite, advocating the status quo while both regimes get more dangerous.
Originally Posted by Cato
If we can deter the two greatest mass murderers in human history, we can deter kim jong-il. If you think liberating north korea would be a cakewalk. I suggest you organize and lead the expeditionary force.
Originally Posted by LIW
I'm not talking about liberating North Korea by force, but I expected every libertarian would take a strong moral stand for freedom in North Korea, China and everywhere else. Your essay took a firm stand for the status quo in North Korea and China. It also took a stand for allowing Kim Jung Il the time to develop the capability to hit the US with a nuclear weapon. I can't comprehend either of those positions.

Do you think we would have allowed the Soviets to get the bomb if we could have stopped them? Same with China? The only reason we were stuck deterring those countries is we had no other option. And North Korea (and Iran) should not be confused with them. Neither regime has a future without nuclear blackmail, and we have far better options than depending on deterrence.
Originally Posted by Cato
We debated bombing the Chinese to stop their nuclear program and chose not to, correctly in my view. You overestimate the ease of stopping North Korea and are blithely advocating triggering a potentially devastating war on the Korean peninsula. Awfully easy to do sitting in the US. My South Korean friends, especially those living in Seoul, would beg to differ.

I've written about the tragedy of North Korea's human rights abuses.
Originally Posted by LIW
I'm sure they would, but the President is the president of the United States, not the world. His responsibility is US security, not policing the world. We're in this predicament because we've provided security welfare to South Korea for decades. The South Koreans can take care of themselves without the US being there, and the world be safer if we had brought our troops home long ago.

The only threat that North Korea poses to the US is the threat of a nuclear missile, and it's the government's job to keep us safe from that threat. North Korea poses a tremendously different threat to South Korea, and it's the South Korean government's job to keep its people safe from that threat.

The US should reduces its forces in the region to the minimum necessary to keep NK from developing a nuclear missile that could hit the US.
Originally Posted by Cato
Kim Jong-il is evil, not insane. And he wants his virgins in this life, not the next. He will not attack America. The government will keep us safe as it did from the Soviet Union, which could have destroyed America, for decades--deterrence. I don't know anyone who studies Korea who believes that the North Koreans plan on committing suicide by attacking the US.
Originally Posted by LIW
I'm not willing to risk Los Angeles on the opinions of anybody when we have it in our our power to stop NK from being able to threaten Los Angeles. North Korea is not a country with 1 billion people and a land mass comparable to ours. We have a far more overwhelming advantage in technology than against China. We don't have to allow this crazy or evil nation, take your pick, to put a nuclear bullseye on our backs.

You're argument is analogous to sitting in the same room with a tiny, crazy or evil, cripple who is putting together a gun that he's made very clear he's going to put to your head, and instead of stopping him, you allow him to complete it and declare you trust him not to shoot. I hope you would agree, that would be nuts. And allowing NK to develop a nuclear weapon that could destroy a US city is equally nuts.

If a country threatens a nuclear attack on the US, we have to take it seriously. If we can take away their ability to carry out that threat, we have to do it. To do otherwise is the height of hubris, as if we're all knowing and untouchable.
Originally Posted by Cato
Then we should nuke India, China, Russia, and Pakistan, since all have the theoretical capacity to attack us. And how can we trust any of them--Putin, Hindu nationalists, semi-failed regime in Islamabad, and rising China? We can't. So by your standard we should destroy them all. The issue is not trust. It is the ability to respond with overwhelming force.

A truly mad foreign policy is one that doesn't distinguish between real and theoretical threats, doesn't recognize that deterrence is a proven policy against the worst murderers in human history, doesn't recognize that there are limits to American military power, and doesn't consider the cost of triggering an unnecessary war in which we would be involved as worthy of consideration.

I'm amazed that a resident of the most powerful nation not only in the world today but the world in history is frightened by a small impoverished backwater that would be wiped off the map if it struck America.
Originally Posted by LIW
You're intentionally misrepresenting my position. I never advocated nuking anybody, but your sarcasm helps make my point. We have no options other than deterrence with Russia, China, India, etc. because they are already nuclear powers with the ability to strike the US. We also had no viable option to keep them from becoming nuclear powers. We didn't even know India and Pakistan had developed them because our "experts" were wrong.

We have a far superior option with North Korea because right now it is a small, impoverished backwater that can't threaten the US with nuclear weapons. We should take away its ability to ever do so.

But your policy is exactly backwards. You are advocating a policy that would transform that small, impoverished backwater into a dangerous rogue nation empowered by nuclear blackmail. It enables the current NK regime to hold the entire world, especially South Korea, a non-nuclear power, hostage. It will enrich the NK regime and empower it to imprison its population indefinitely. You would sentence South Korea to "Give us everything we want, or Seoul goes up in smoke. If the US interferes, Los Angeles goes up too." Everything that results from your policy is devastating.

I don't think pacifism in the face of an emerging nuclear threat, that we have the option of stopping, is consistent with libertarian ideals or even survival. I don't think a policy that empowers the current NK regime to continue oppressing its own citizens indefinitely is libertarian either. That policy isn't practical either. Your policy fails no matter what perspective you view it from. I strongly advocate we keep NK a small, impoverished backwater as long as the current regime reigns by denying it further entry into the nuclear club for our own security and so the current regime will collapse and the people of NK will have a chance at freedom.

I've enjoyed this debate, and appreciate your time. I understand and appreciate your fear for your friends in South Korea, but we can't allow personal feelings to lead us to bad policy. That's the hallmark of liberals, not libertarians. I hope you come around.
Interesting how his first response was to misrepresent my position, and his final response was to grossly misrepresent my position. I didn't expect that from Cato. I have never advocated using US forces to liberate North Korea, but Mr. Bandow set up that strawman to knock down. That's the hallmark of a person who knows he can't win on the merits of his arguments, and therefore standard technique used by liberals, not libertarians.

Free kibbles

UN Security Council entertains tough sanctions on North Korea. As promising as these sound, it's most likely the final package will be weak and useless. Japan considers developing nuclear arms in response. The brainwashed people of North Korea aren't as brainwashed as this guy thinks if they're trying to escape.

Am I the only who is skeptical of China's "vexation" with North Korea? I suppose to some extent it's true, but if China wanted NK to end its nuclear program, it could make that happen. Since it doesn't make that happen, the only reasonable conclusion is that China doesn't want that to happen. China blocks or waters down to the point of uselessness every attempt end NK's nuclear program. China provides the material support necessary for NK's nuclear program. Talk's cheap. It's pretty clear from China's actions that it wants NK to continue provoking us, distracting us and making us waste political, economic, diplomatic and military resources dealing with NK.

On the other hand, I'm sure China doesn't want NK to be so provocative that we'll actually take action. It's vexed because NK pushed too far. "I'm less interested in stability than in having a denuclearized Korean peninsula." Why hasn't that always been everybody's position? Exploding nuclear bombs could lead to real retaliation from the US. China wants NK to walk the fine line where it squanders our resources, but it doesn't want NK to cross the line where we'll actually do something about it. We need to change our posture toward China from grateful to pressure. Of course, since we're in hock to China (and they're worried about owning so much US debt) up to our eyeballs because of the irresponsible government spending of both parties, we can't do that very well.

Lord Geithner to press China to expand welfare state so the Chinese people will save less money and the US can compete. You can't make this stuff up. Unbelievable. Even more unbelievable is that the Chinese suffer such a significantly smaller burden of government, and therefore have significantly greater freedom than Americans. And Lord Geithner is trying to get the Communist Chinese government to be more oppressive like the US government. Maybe Lord Geithner should consider reducing the burden of US government. Naaaa.

Geithner is trying to stop China from sending us inexpensive products. The result is we'll have to pay more for products, meaning all of us will have less money to spend. I.e., we'll be poorer. I'm telling you, Obama and his allies are trying to harm us all, and they're doing a fantastic job so far.

In yet another power grab, Obama prepares single regulator plan for banks to send to Congress.

Mortgage problems and foreclosures hit record high. Mises points out that mortgage problems are expected to continue to grow. We haven't turned this economy around yet.

The First Leftist tells a story of how people like modern leftists hijacked the French Revolution from classic liberals, fomented madness and offers lessons for today.
Now who is opposed to liberty or progress or any of the various other desirable ideals that government officials claim will result from their "unselfish programs for the people"? Probably no one. Thus do the people tend to accept almost any idea — communism, socialism, imperialism, or whatever — if those ideas are advanced under attractive labels such as freedom from want, defense against aggression, welfare, equality, liberty, fellowship, and security. Since most of the world today still suffers from this disease of "word confusion," it is hardly surprising that the French people in the 1790s were also misled by the same device.
How familiar does that sound?

Now government ownership of GM could reach 69 percent. As terrible as that sounds, it's even worse than it seems. What do you think the government will do to other car companies with the temerity to compete against a nationalized GM? Yeah. Government won't only finish destroying GM. It will destroy our entire domestic automobile industry.

I sincerely doubt this idea of adding a national sales tax on top of the taxes we already pay has any legs. We just saw the Tea Parties. We just saw even liberal voters reject more taxes in California. If Obama endorsed a national sales tax, his presidency would be over. He won't do that. Income tax revenue is down 44 percent, but don't expect government to cut back. Geithner to hand out tax credits to groups who put enough money in Democrat coffers. Tax credits don't stimulate the economy either. Tax and spending cuts stimulate the economy.

I don't have a problem with painting roofs in warm climates white. Even as a kid I asked why roofs in the south weren't white. Painting a roof in the south white would reduce energy bills.

Obama's so-called green jobs policy will kill 2.2 jobs for each job it creates.

I'm not so sure we all want a booming economy. I think President Obama wants a bad economy so he can continue to blame non-existent free markets and grab more power and punish Americans for our success. His tax and trade bill fits his desires perfectly.

Satire of single payer health care calls for nationalizing grocery stores. Don't give leftists any more crazy ideas.

Hospital worker forced to remove flag from cubical because somebody found it offensive. That person should have been fired. At least they allowed her to put it back up, but only after pressured.

Things are getting dicey between Obama and Biden. Biden lampoons Obama for his dependence on teleprompters, then makes joke about how he's going to get in trouble for the comment.

Peter Schiff, probably the most famous broker who predicted the current crisis and who made money off of it, on CNBC where he discusses the idea of decoupling - that the world economy is not only no longer dependent on the US economy, but in fact is stronger than the US economy which has become a drain on the world economy. Schiff follows up with a video report explaining his position and discussing his predictions for the future. They're bleak for the US. He recommends getting out of the US stocks, bonds and the dollar and going overseas and into gold.

Reason does a fine job of laying out the contradictions and complications with developing a position on abortion. I would have answered the question with "neither".

Prohibitionists develop bogus statistic to support cocaine prohibition.

Reason says the California aristocrats refuse to make a case for big government, instead settling on attacking the proponents of small government and scaring the public.

Obama says if he can't pass the destruction of the American health care system this year, it'll never pass. Woohoo. We only have to defeat it this one year.

Despite stats showing most car dealers donate to Republicans, even a liberal blog acknowledges mounting evidence that Obama is targeting car dealerships of Republican donors to shut down.

Are the voters in Britain throwing out their elected officials over petty corruption or general frustration? Petty corruption provides easy targets for frustration. It is twisted that in America this kind of stuff would be completely ignored because we've become so complacent about the culture of political corruption.

The Fed bought $59 billion in US government securities last week. Another way of putting that is the Fed monetized $59 billion of the US debt last week. China expressed concern about owning so much US debt too. This is what the Chinese greatly fear the Fed will do, and they did it right before Geithner headed to China to beg them to expand their welfare state. I doubt this was a coincidence. This was a threat. Dumb move, imo. China has a stronger hand.

Detroit law enforcement officials say jails are empty because police are so slow to get to reported crimes, they don't even report them, arrest anybody and they lie about them.
The main explanation is simple, according to the county's top two law enforcement officials: Detroit police are making fewer arrests, a dereliction so obvious it has led some Detroiters to conclude there's no point in even calling the cops.
"We tell the press that crime is going down," Worthy said. "It's not going down; it's going up, exponentially, and we have many fewer officers on the street. We need to acknowledge the problem."
Detroit is the poster city for the wreckage liberalism wreaks upon civilization.

Gay boy voted prom queen in Los Angeles.

Still hoping to be saved from the consequences of their actions, California aristocrats beg Obama to guarantee California's loans.

"Put the fun between your legs" is a cute slogan about bicycles unless your sponsor is SF Women Against Rape.

Israel continues to expand existing West Bank settlements. Every building that gets built in the West Bank makes it hard for Israel to ever abandon it. Israeli citizens and aristocrats know this. Clearly Israel has no intention of abandoning it. When Israel razes those settlements, it will finally be serious about peace. When the Palestinians disarm Hamas, we'll know they're serious about peace.

12 year old boy saves 2 year old brother, dog and 6 puppies from fire. Leave it to the 12 year olds to provide a light of hope. Not everybody is depending on others to take care of them yet.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Free kibbles

North Korea declares truce halting Korean War invalid. Apparently we're at war with North Korea again, and they have nuclear weapons. North Korea launches another missile to thumb its nose at the UN. Don't you love how all that talking and treating North Korea with kid gloves has worked out so well? Talking with insane people like Kim Jung Il and the Iranian Mullahs is insane.

I do not understand Cato's advice to wait out the fall of an insane North Korean regime with a nuclear weapon and long range missile capability. Does this guy think the NK regime will just quietly collapse? This regime will not go away, and it's willing to use nuclear blackmail to stay alive. Does he want to wait until Los Angeles is vaporized? NK hasn't mastered the technology to obliterate LA yet, but he advocates we sit, wait and talk while they master it. Would Cato advocate that families sit, wait and exercise diplomacy with the Manson family too? Cato is advocating classic victimization strategy, and its guaranteed to blow up in our faces - literally. It's patently absurd to claim that NK's ongoing development of nuclear and missile technology is no threat to anybody (though the author contradicts that statement later in the essay, he continues to say it's not a threat to the US). We should destroy every aspect of NK's nuclear program so they can't threaten us with a nuclear bomb, which is obviously their intent. South Korea has 20 times the GDP of North Korea or more by now. It can take care of itself. This article seems to have been written by an apologist for both North Korea and China. You would think a libertarian think tank would strongly advocate for freeing the people of North Korea and China from oppressive regimes, but this author does just the opposite, advocating the status quo while both regimes get more dangerous.

Taliban kills dozens in Lahore, Pakistan. Fortunately Pakistan is fighting them now.

Iraq government cracks down on corruption. We should do that here, but no....

A Republican put a Hispanic on the Supreme Court 70 years ago, so Obama's choice is not the first Hispanic on the Court. The Supreme Court has reversed Sotomayor 3 out of 5 times. That's not necessarily a bad thing. The Supreme Court is wrong as often as it's right, at best. Cato says Sotomayor was picked because of her parents, not on merit. Doesn't that smack of hereditary titles? Reason says Sotomayor is wrong on gun rights and racial issues. Jonah Goldberg advises Republicans to go after Sotomayor on her oath and how it contradicts Obama's empathy claim and her claim that the nationality of her parents affects her decisions. George Will agrees. It's obvious that Republicans should do that. They should press that issue hard. Thomas Sowell puts it in perspective:
If you were going to have open heart surgery, would you want to be operated on by a surgeon who was chosen because he had to struggle to get where he is or by the best surgeon you could find-- even if he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and had every advantage that money and social position could offer.
Or would you prefer a surgeon who was empathetic to people of certain nationalities (her own) instead of the most skilled? Those she empathized with would still be at a disadvantage, and it would be doubly bad for those of different ethnic background.

The Financial Times summarizes our frightening debt picture and tells Obama to quit blaming others and solve the problem instead of making it astronomically worse.

FBI wiretap shows Obama replacement Burris offered to buy Obama's Senate seat with a donation to Blagojevich. Corrupt Democrats are always given hugs and kisses by the press. Only corrupt Republicans have to pay a price in the press.

One third of Maryland's millionaires are gone, but this info doesn't tell us if they moved out of the state, are hiding their money or are just not making over a $1 million because the economy is in recession.

It's absurd that the Supreme Court is considering removing this 75 year old memorial to WWI vets.

Obama renigs on promise to display bills for 5 days before he signs them into law. How trivial is this?

How does somebody get standing to sue a family and force them to get a medical treatment neither the parents nor child want?

Pretty good analysis of world view differences between liberals and conservatives. From the libertarian perspective, both the rational and irrational view of men is accurate, but it doesn't matter. Voluntary action is always superior, regardless of the rationality of the individuals involved, than coercion.

What a bunch of crap. Wired magazine is spouting some baloney about digital socialism rendering old debates about free markets and socialism obsolete. One assumption in this article is that free markets work for individuals at the expense of society, and that's a demonstrably false assumption. Another assumption is that cooperation on the web is not free markets. Voluntary interactions by definition are free markets. The free exchange of information and cooperation through open source on the web is a free market activity, the antithesis of communism and socialism which is when people are forced to give up their property to the community.

The FCC plans to use broadcast localism to limit free speech. Does anybody notice the irony in thinking faceless bureaucrats in Washington better understand the needs of local communities than the people in the local communities? Democrats intend to make this far more oppressive than the Fairness Doctrine ever was.

Cato is distraught at the growing power of the vice-president.

China is not a threat to us right now, but if we don't change something, it will be. That's why we should take a strong moral stand for freedom for the Chinese people. Why will nobody do that?

Government is the exact wrong entity to create a smart electric grid. Free people should do it, but government regulation keeps it from happening.

I'm happy to see Reason join me in a clear call for the GOP to adopt liberty as its theme. Freedom through severely limited government on every issue is the way back to greatness for American and the way back to power for Republicans.
So what should the Grand Old Party do to resurrect itself enough to mount some semblance of resistance to the advancing Democratic juggernaut? The answer is that it needs intellectual coherence around a powerful idea, and that idea should be liberty. This is a principle that is both strong enough to intellectually moor the party in the way that those who want a "purer" GOP desire—and grand enough to appeal to a broad swath of the population, as those who advocate a more Big Tent approach recommend.

This would be the exact opposite of what Bush did. He, remarkably enough, managed to combine every anti-individual liberty idea from the right with every pro-big government policy from the left. From the right, Bush acquired: a super-hawkish foreign policy; contempt for civil liberties; and religiously informed positions on gay marriage, abortion and end-of-life issues. And from the left he got: high-spending ways, including the massive drug entitlement for seniors; expansive ideas about the federal government's role in education policy; and the chutzpah, just before leaving, to engineer a massive government bailout of banks and auto companies.
So true. Excellent essay.

Reason explains that liberals are mistaken to want to go back to the political-economic environment of the 50s. Those policies restricted our economy and made us not much better than the Soviets. Only by freeing our economy did we defeat the Soviets, and only way we'll outcompete the Chinese is by freeing our economy further.

Clings to the language of war? Maybe that's because we're at war. Al Qaeda declared war on us, and is waging war against us. After 9/11, Congress declared war on al Qaeda, and we're waging war with them. Shame on politicians for using the language of war during a war. If you want to advocate ending the war, do it. Lobby for Congress to revoke the president's war powers regarding al Qaeda. But don't pretend we aren't at war when we're in the middle of a declared war. As for the Taliban, we have no authority to fight a war against the Taliban or in Afghanistan other than to fight al Qaeda. We should reduce our forces there to the limit necessary to combat al Qaeda. The Iraq War is also a real war declared, however cowardly, by Congress. If you don't like it, lobby for Congress to end it. Granted, the Bush and Obama administrations have both screwed up handling enemy combatants and criminal terrorists who are not enemy combatants, but that doesn't change the fact we're still fighting two legal wars - one against al Qaeda where ever they may be and one in Iraq.

Ralph Peters advocates summary execution for captured terrorists. That's what George Washington did.

Random thoughts from Thomas Sowell:
One of the most important talents for success in politics is the ability to make utter nonsense sound not only plausible but inspiring. Barack Obama has that talent. We will be lucky if we escape the catastrophes into which other countries have been led by leaders with that same charismatic talent.

How surprising is it that Barack Obama, who spent decades hanging out with people who spewed out their hatred of America, did not say anything in the presence of foreign rulers like Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega, when they spewed out their hatred of America?
Walter Williams recommends Thomas Sowell's book on the housing crisis.

John Stossel takes fire for explaining that laws intended to protect pregnant women in the work place have exactly the opposite effect - making employers fear all women as potential lawsuit filers. Shame on Stossel for advocating a radical idea - voluntary exchange. If women want to have children and work less because of it, they can negotiate a lower salary. Jobs belong to employers, not employees and not the government.

Some libertarians are just figuring out that Obama is even worse than Bush. It took just over four months. Even though I found that obvious before the election, that's not too bad. Liberals will probably never admit it.

I'm sure University of Chicago would welcome a Woman in Power group, but they're not tolerant of Men in Power.

Digital transition is 2 weeks from Friday. Unless the government changes the government mandated event again.

The economists who failed to predict the recession predict it will end around the end of the year. Why should I listen to them?

Obama has one thing in common with the majority of Americans - he opposes gay marriage. I wonder why liberals didn't excoriate him like they did Miss California.

Female teacher at Our Lady of Charity school offers too much charity to 15 year old boy student.

10 Mexican mayors and other officials arrested for corruption.
At least 83 of Michoacan's 113 municipalities are mixed up at some level with narcos, a Mexican intelligence source told The Times this month.

Sensing this is the best chance they'll ever have to do serious harm to every man, woman and child on the globe, global warming frauds step up the alarmism.

Girl to graduate with perfect school attendance for 13 years. I'm not sure this is something to celebrate. Surely she was sick sometime in 13 years, and her fellow students would have been better off if she had stayed home. Besides, think how incredibly indoctrinated in government she is. She should definitely go on senior skip day.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

End the War on Americans

End the War on Americans

by Mark Luedtke

The news gets worse every day. President Obama widens the war against the resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Backed by Hugo Chavez, FARC terrorists ravage South America. Mexican drug cartels wage a low level civil war in Mexico that's overflowing into the US. They control our southern border, dominate illegal immigrant drug gangs, and corrupt our police, prosecutors, judges and politicians. Drug murders and kidnappings skyrocket. Paramilitary-style drug raids kill innocent Americans. The US has more people in prison per capita than any other country in the world. The land of the free is more like the home of the incarcerated.

What if I told you I have a policy that would disarm the Taliban, FARC, the Mexican drug cartels and drug gangs? It would reduce crime in America by 2 million arrests per year, save thousands of American lives each year, and free 1/3 of Americans from jail. It would generate $50 billion in tax revenue, just for starters. Surely no reasonable person would reject a policy that generated such fantastic benefits. That policy is to end the War on Drugs.

The War on Drugs funds the Taliban, FARC, the Mexican drug cartels, the illegal immigrant drug gangs and the drug dealers. We'll never be able to overcome these problems as long as we're funding both sides. Every time we escalate the War on Drugs, we enrich and empower the bad guys.

It's no coincidence that the rise in SWAT teams parallels our escalation of the War on Drugs. Every time heavily armed and armored cops bust in the doors of Americans in the dead of night and somebody gets killed, we see the human toll in our own country. According to the American College of Emergency Room physicians, in 2005 about 112 million Americans used an illegal drug at least once and more than 35 million used an illegal drug in the previous year. Every American looks like a criminal suspect to a cop, and that attitude feeds the us versus them mentality that leads to so many abuses of police power.

The War on Drugs is a war we can never win because it's a war against Americans, but somebody forgot to tell Obama's drug czar who recently claimed, “We're not at war with the people in this country.” Tell that to Charlie Lynch who's awaiting sentencing in Federal court for selling medical marijuana that's perfectly legal in California. Tell it to Ryan Frederick who's on trial for murder for shooting home invaders who happened to be local police on a dark of night, no knock drug raid. Tell that to Laquisha Turner who died during an FBI drug raid.

The War on Drugs is also doomed to fail because it's immoral. If Michael Phelps wants to do a bong hit after winning eight gold medals, that's his right. If George Bush wants to do a line of cocaine before a date Saturday night, that's his right, and it's acknowledged by the 10th Amendment.

Prohibitionists tell us that using illegal drugs keeps users from success. The last 3 presidents, not that I'd hold any of them up as role models, used illegal drugs and managed a modicum of success. Winning eight gold medals isn't too shabby either.

Prohibitionists claim that legalizing drugs will lead to a dramatic increase in addicts and violence. They said the same thing about legalizing alcohol, but just the opposite occurred. Decriminalization of drugs in the Netherlands and Portugal have shown the opposite also. It seems that the people in danger of becoming drug addicts are already addicts. 100 years of the international War on Drugs hasn't stopped that, and we never will. We can't even keep drugs out of prisons.

Prohibitionists say that children will get addicted if we legalize drugs. I haven't noticed any alcohol pushers lurking around local schools, but about half of American students have tried an illegal drug before they graduate high school. Reality is like a laser burning through prohibitionist propaganda.

Finally, prohibition is unconstitutional. It took a constitutional amendment to ban alcohol. It would also take one to legally ban drugs.

As we learned banning alcohol, the black market is far more destructive than the drugs themselves, but despite the overwhelming evidence telling us to legalize drugs, we're no closer to doing it today than we were 40 years ago. During an online town hall meeting in March, President Obama dismissed out of hand the idea of legalizing marijuana, instantly alienating a significant portion of his young supporters.

But state governments are more responsive to the people. 14 states including Michigan have legalized medical marijuana, and President Obama promised to end Federal raids for medical marijuana in states where it's legal. A recent Ohio poll showed that 73 percent of Ohioans favor allowing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana, so lawmakers may allow medical marijuana in Ohio. I wonder about the other 27 percent. What kind of people think they have the moral and legal authority to stand between a doctor and patient and deny any medical treatment? Maybe some fear somebody might smoke medical marijuana for enjoyment. God forbid.

But the biggest opportunity for legalizing drugs comes from the economy. It's a common misconception that reason was responsible for ending prohibition. The politicians of both parties, police, lawyers, prosecutors, judges and jailers who benefit from prohibition won't give up their power and compete for productive jobs in the private sector simply because of reason. Prohibition was repealed because FDR's New Deal needed money, and taxing alcohol supplied it. Obama's new New Deal is also starved for money. Governor Schwarzenegger recently suggested legalizing marijuana to ease California's fiscal disaster. Unfortunately, 61 percent of Ohioans oppose legalizing marijuana, but only 45 percent oppose it strongly. As our economy continues to flounder, look for the movement to legalize drugs to grow - out of government greed, not concern for people.


Drug kidnappings in Phoenix. FARC and cocaine. FARC and Chavez. Heroin, Taliban and al Qaeda. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). 2 million Americans are arrested for drugs each year. 100 year anniversary of the international war on drugs. Obama's drug czar doesn't realize the US is waging war on Americans.

"About 112 million Americans reported using an illegal drug at least once in their lives in 2005, and more than 35 million had used an illegal drug in the past year." Laquisha Turner. Ryan Frederick. Charlie Lynch. Schwarzenegger suggests legalizing marijuana. Great Depression leads to repeal of prohibition.

Poll supports legalizing medical marijuana in Ohio. Poll results. Fewer people in northeast Ohio,
the state's bastion of modern liberalism, support legalizing medical
marijuana, legalizing all marijuana and support legalizing gay marriage
than in the state at large. Maybe northeast Ohio isn't as dominated by
liberals as we tend to think. Demographic breakdown
of medical marijuana poll. "Overall, 73 percent of Ohioans say they
favor (either “strongly” or “somewhat”) allowing Ohio doctors to prescribe medical marijuana,
while 27 percent oppose." What kind of people are those 27 percent? Do
they want to keep surgeons from using scalpels too? Unfortunately, 61
percent of Ohioans want to use the power of government to impose their
will on everybody else in the state by keeping marijuana in general

Obama alienated part of his constituency when he dismissed legalizing marijuana.

Cato publications on the war on drugs. Cato welcomes a shift in policy
away from enforcement and toward treatment by Obama's drug czar (with
nice links), but it's way too little. Obama is about the most timid and
fearful radical leftist in history. Everything he proposes is
boilerplate radical leftism - nothing actually bold. Probably a result
of severe narcissism. That timidness might just keep him from rolling
tanks down our streets when his policies start crashing around our
ears. Obama's Nixonian in a way. Obama won't be limited by the rule of law, but the need to be loved and praised might limit him. The success of drug decriminalization in Portugal. The average potency of marijuana continues to increase. The world may come to and end.

Obama's drug czar (I hate that term): "Regardless of how you try to
explain to people it's a 'war on drugs' or a 'war on a product,' people
see a war as a war on them," he said. "We're not at war with people in this country." Has this guy had his head up his ... I mean in the sand for the last 30 years?

Free kibbles

Mises scholar's prediction of Obama's choice for Supreme Court Justice is dead on.

It turns out that conservative talk radio has bigger audiences than previously thought and hip hop stations have smaller, much to Obama's and Democrats' chagrin. I'm sure they'll use government force to "rectify" this "problem".

Mises scholar clearly and concisely explains the tremendous problems with Social Security.
The $2.4 trillion of bonds in the Trust fund represent Social Security revenues that need to be collected a second time, since the tax revenues did not go towards Social Security spending when they were initially collected.
We voted for the two parties that are doing this to us. We have nobody to blame but ourselves.

International union leader predicts that 6 million international union workers will lose their jobs over the auto crisis. Maybe those union workers should take a minute and think about that. If unions are costing workers jobs, maybe there's something wrong with the unions. Unions need to become partners in productivity instead purely adversaries to the companies they work for.

Obama's transportation Sec. says he wants to "coerce people out of their cars". At least he's honest about using government force to make Americans do things they don't want to do. Just like Pharaoh Obama, he's so much smarter than all of us poor little ignorant Morlocks who couldn't possibly make a decision in our best interest. Naturally this guys is a former Republican. You can't tell the two parties apart any more. One party wants to use government force to shove the ideals of its aristocrats and special interests down our throat, and the other one is the same but worse. It doesn't matter which you think is which. They're both destroying our country.

Pharaoh Obama is appointing his umptieth czar. This time its a cyber-czar. Does Obama have a fetish for the Russian way of dictatorship or what?

This is the first step in a process of British bureaucrats a taking control of what food the British people can eat so Al Gore can eat even more. Can you say outrageous carbon tax on food? Sure you can. Obama is salivating.

I'm a little surpised the EPA admits that Obama's tax and trade scheme will harm US manufactorers and force them to send jobs overseas. Honesty is not government's trademark quality.

Asian analyst explains that
President Obama is on track to accomplish in his first year of office what President Carter took three years to achieve – portray the United States as a “confused and soft power,” an Asian security expert charged after North Korea reported a nuclear weapons test Monday.

Citing its approach to North Korea, Iran, South Asia, the Middle East, China and Burma, veteran India-based analyst Bahukutumbi Raman said the new administration was giving the impression that it lacks the will to respond decisively if "problem states" act in ways detrimental to U.S. interests and international peace and security.
Ouch. I wonder how liberals will blame this comment on George Bush.

I'm shocked that Iranian President Ahmadinejad rejected a western offer to halt it's nuclear program. Doesn't Ahmadinejad understand that Pharaoh Obama has divine charm and wisdom, and is knicknamed "he who must be obeyed"? Apparently not.

I can't tell if this movement to end birthright citizenship is growing or not. It's a silly concept. Winning at hide and seek should not be grounds for winning citizenship.

California Supreme Court upholds ban on same sex marriage. I'm sure the people of California are relieved since they've won this battle multiple times only to have it overturned, but this entire issue is wrong because government should have no place in determining whether or not people are married. All government should care about is the contract.

Now IBM wants to patent checking form fields with regular expressions in real time.

Cleveland guard guarantees win over Magic. He must know the fix is in. Look for the referees to give Cleveland a big boost tonight.

Electric race car. This should be interesting.

Monday, May 25, 2009

John Adams

I just finished watching the John Adams HBO miniseries, and it's very good. Adam's wife is fantastic. The portrayals of Jefferson, Franklin and Washington are unique. Abigail, his wife, is wonderfully played and is the real star of the movie, imo. Easily the most uninteresting character is Adams, and I can't help but wonder if that was by design. He's upstaged in every scene. The character is inconsistent.

Frankly, the only reason Adams is a compelling character is his associations. His never ending love affair and partnership with his wife is extremely compelling. This telling presents Adams as the poster child for the old saying that behind every great man is a great woman.

The guy playing Jefferson is amazing. He portrays Jefferson with a sanguine, contemplative style that's very unusual. He uses large, slow, demonstrative mannerisms and postures that could be off-putting, but I think really bring personality to the character. Jefferson steals every seen he's in. He's more interesting to watch than Adams even when he's in the background.

Franklin is portrayed very well as a wise yet scheming politician. Washington is portrayed as kind of a gentle giant who succeeds on mere presence alone. Hamilton is a tyrannical monster and it's unfortunate that Washington shut Adams out of the conflicts with Jefferson and Hamilton because since the show follows Adams, we only get a hint of them and second hand information about them.

Adams frets a number of times that history will credit Washington, Jefferson and Franklin more with the founding of the country than him, and he turned out to be prescient about that, but at the same time, it seems he was generally playing second fiddle, and that his ego wouldn't let him accept it. The lone exception in the story is that he championed the independence, though today we tend to credit Jefferson because he wrote the Declaration of Independence - at Adam's request. But you can't help but thinking we would never have heard of John Adams except for his marriage to Abigail.

So I wonder if the reason Adams is the least interesting character isn't on purpose. I can't help but think that it was by design that you're supposed to be drawn to Jefferson, Washington and Franklin, even when they're in the background of a scene focusing on Adams.

I didn't know that Jefferson was a Republican. I always heard that he was a Democrat. I guess the Republican-Democrats became just the Democrats later. Funny, and sad, how the Democrats have transformed into the Federalists of today. One of the biggest issues for Hamilton and the Federalists was to run up as massive a Federal debt as possible under the belief that a bigger Federal debt would prompt countries to lend the Federal government more money. Increasing taxes was another. Hamilton's curse is thriving in the Democrat party, and all too powerful in the Republican party. Jefferson must be turning over in his grave.

There's a lot of interesting tidbits about politics and government. The things the press says about the presidents are far more harsh than anything you hear today. The way the parties attack each other are far more harsh than today. Burr killed Hamilton in a duel over it. Anybody who thinks politics today is more partisan than the past is nuts. The politicians and the accomplice press push that nonsense on us to keep themselves in power. And it's stunning to see how, right from the beginning, under the the manipulations of Hamilton (model for Lincoln, Wilson and FDR), the Federal government tried to take control of the country, create massive debt, a central bank, high taxes and start wars. Sound familiar?

It really shows how stunningly inaccurate and irresponsible liberal attacks on George Bush were. Adams signed a the Alien and Sedition acts, allowing him to arrest anybody in the country just for being of French descent or speaking against the government. It was the precursor to FDR putting all Americans of Japanese descent into armed camps. As bad as George Bush is by modern standards, he's remarkably mild by comparison.

Adams burned a whole bunch of documents as he left office. I don't know if that's historically accurate or not, but nobody could get away with that today. The scene when Adams moves into the White House, still under construction by slaves, is stark and heartbreaking. Abigail foreshadows the Civil War with her comment that nothing good will come from having slaves build that house.

Anyway, it's well worth watching this series.

P.S. I have Hamilton's Curse sitting here, and I'm so looking forward to reading it. The more I learn about Hamilton (my hometown is named after Hamilton - yuk), the more I appreciate Aaron Burr for killing him in a duel.

Free kibbles

North Korea tests second nuclear bomb, and declares it more successful than the first. North Korea's leaders recognize their only hope to stay in power is nuclear blackmail. The Mullahs in Iran, who are destroying Iran's oil production facilities, on the same path. Both regimes are unsustainable without nuclear blackmail. We've been doing nothing but talking to NK for 20 years, expecting a difference result. Einstein would call that insanity and so would I. UN Security Council to pass resolution. I'm sure Kim Jung Il is quaking in his boots.

Yesterday I praised Minnesota Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty for vetoing a Democrat tax hike right before a recess, then using his power to cut $4 billion of unfunded spending from the budget. Today I'm condemning Gov. Pawlenty for vetoing a bill that would have allowed terminally ill patients to use medical marijuana to alleviate pain. That's dispicable.

1913 New York Times article denounces Teddy Roosevelt's socialism of a central bank, and income tax and interference in the marketplace. My, how times have changed.

Documenting the wreckage of the Adams family. Wow.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Boycott Mike Brown's Bengals

Boycott Mike Brown's Bengals

by Mark Luedtke

The Cincinnati Bengals that Paul Brown co-founded, shepherded, and loved until the day he died celebrated his 100th birthday on Sept. 7th by being manhandled by a Baltimore Raven's team plagued by an aging defense and led by a rookie quarterback from a division 1AA school. Saying they lost would be an understatement. They made mediocre Baltimore look like Super Bowl contenders, and they made rookie
quarterback Joe Flacco look like a Pro Bowler. That's what Mike Brown has done to his father's legacy.

Bengals fans are the laughingstock of the NFL. No self-respecting free agents will come to Cincinnati. We should consider ourselves lucky that Chris Henry gave the Bengals a second chance, not vice-versa. Henry's only been in trouble with the law 8 times. Mike Brown failed to have a winning season 16 out of 17 seasons.

That's just one measurement of the Bengals dysfunction under Mike Brown. The Bengals
have 0 playoff wins under Mike Brown. Their winning percentage is 356. Sports Illustrated ranked Mike Brown 32nd out of 32 NFL owners. ESPN ranked the Bengals 118th out of 118 professional
sports franchises. Mike Brown has turned his dad's pride and joy, a team that went to the Super Bowl twice in the '80s (curse Joe Montana and his 49ers), into the biggest joke in professional sports.

The only reasonable explanation for this record is Mike Brown doesn't want to win. How he runs the team provides more proof. 

In the last 5 years, the Bengals have been 27th or worse in defense 4 times. We were 19th in 2004. You don't have to be Vince Lombardi to recognize that the single biggest need the Bengals have is a big, run-stuffing defensive tackle to make our defense better. We've needed that since before Marvin Lewis came here in 2003, but during defensive genius Lewis's tenure, the Bengals haven't drafted anybody to fill that role.

Even casual football fans know that improving the defensive line improves linebacker and defensive back play by making the game easier for those units. The New York Giants shocked the undefeated New England Patriots and their record setting passing game in last season's Super Bowl despite a secondary depleted by injury. They did it by pounding Patriots quarterback Tom Brady into the ground with their defensive front four. That's how you win championships. The Bengals defensive line gave up 229 yards rushing to lowly Baltimore and didn't get near Flacco.

The second biggest need of the Bengals is to improve their offensive line. Improving the offensive line improves both your running and passing game by making the game easier for skill players. It doesn't matter how good your skill players are when the opposing defense is knocking the crap out of them in your
backfield. Just ask Carson Palmer and his broken nose.

But Mike Brown keeps drafting linebackers and receivers. The Bengals need a lot of good players to become contenders, but Brown never trades down in the draft to get more players. Mike Brown makes
all these decisions himself because he won't hire a general manager. In fact, the Bengals organization is a model of nepotism and incompetence. The payroll is littered with Brown's children and in-laws and sorely lacking in football experts.

Mike Brown's sons Pete and Paul run the Bengals Player Personnel department. They obviously didn't get those jobs because of their successful player personnel decisions. The personnel department has
exactly one scout. That's it. Whodey Revolution, an informative website unfortunately sporting a Che Guevara and Soviet communism motif – nobody should celebrate mass murderers, even in jest – compares that scouting department to the Indianapolis Colts player personnel department with 9 scouts.The Colts have more area scouts, six, than the Bengals have full time player personnel not named Brown, four including the

Starving for a winner, Cincinnati fans delude themselves into thinking Mike Brown will deliver one. We're masochists who pay Mike Brown to abuse us every year. Brown's abuses of ticket holders and the stadium deal are legend. Marvin Lewis was supposed to be the savior, but Brown controls the team, not Lewis. Bengals fans talk about the offense like it was one of the league's elite, but it never has been. In
2005, when we played a generously weak schedule, the Bengals offense was 6th in the league. Even playing that easy schedule and receiving the gift of numerous turnovers, our offense couldn't break the top 5. Against Baltimore, that over-hyped offense scored three points. It was out-scored by our terrible defense.

Mike Brown is laughing at us all the way to the bank. According to Forbes magazine, in 2006 the Bengals turned a $20.9 million profit on revenues of $175 million. Granted, that was the year after the Bengals only winning record in 17 years because of that easy schedule, but that's still a lot of money handed over by Bengals fans.

I can't help but  wonder if Mike Brown has daddy issues - maybe he thinks his dad loved football more than him. Mike Brown knows he's making bad football decisions. He reportedly refused to trade disgruntled Chad Johnson for 1st and 3rd round draft choices. He knows his record, so he knows he has the worst organization in sports. He must be doing it on purpose. Its like he's punishing his dad, Bengals fans and Cincinnati for some perceived slight. It's like Brown intentionally fields the worst team possible as long as he keeps the seats filled and his money coming in.

How long will Bengals fans enable Mike Brown to make fools of us? Mike Brown owns the Bengals, so he can run the organization any way he likes. But Bengals fans are free people, and we don't have to buy his crappy product. We have all the power. Bengals fans should boycott the Bengals until Mike Brown makes the changes we demand.

Bengals fans should demand that Mike Brown hire a General Manager to make all football decisions or sell the team. Until he meets that demand, buy no tickets and buy no merchandise. I'm sure some fans fear that Brown would move the Bengals instead of giving into demands. We should be so lucky. Cincinnati's great fans could attract a competitive team instead. Unfortunately, I doubt any major city would take the most dysfunctional franchise in professional sports off our hands.

Bengals fans should end this abusive relationship by exerting our own power. Mike Brown won't field a
competitive team on his own, but he'll do it if we hit him in the pocketbook with a boycott.

Free kibbles

Paul Daugherty calls to boycott the Bengals. Who Dey Revolution calls to boycott the Bengals. Nice of them to jump on my bandwagon. I called on fans to boycott the Bengals last year, and I'm standing by it. Apparently I didn't post my full essay from last year on boycotting the Bengals. Now I did. I can't believe that Google still does such a terrible job formatting documents posted to blogger.

Reason discusses America's love affair with czars. It's a sure sign of sickness in our culture that Americans embrace tyrants to solve our "most important" problems, so it's not surprising that the ultimate consequence of that social sickness so far, Barack Obama, has named more czars than the Romanovs.
The czar is a perfect techocratic role—appealing to Obama, who has been much praised for "surrounding himself with smart people." The appeal of the czar rests on the belief that if we could just figure out the right smart, competent, well-intentioned person to put charge, everything would go more smoothly. This is often true on a micro-level. Having someone in charge of a school field trip, or a division inside a large company is a good idea. But the bigger and more complex the problem, the less likely even the most impressive technocrat will be able to set things in order, especially since these czars lack the very thing that defined the Russian czars: total control over the lives of their subject.
How successful has the drug czar been? This fundamental sickness this exposes is a desire to have others fix our problems.

Systemax Inc. purchases Circuit City e-commerce brand and promises better service and prices. Creative destruction in action.

Among the many powers of free speech is the power to thwart corruption. Limiting free speech increases corruption. Free speech is the enemy of corruption because by its very nature, corruption cannot stand being illuminated.

Bad economy influences people to have tattoos removed. Maybe they shouldn't have got them in the first place.

Who would have predicted this?
Banks are basically saying that because they're going to have to change some lending practices to comply with the bill, they'll be facing greater risk.

To cope with that risk, they say they'll have to turn the screws on their best customers -- the ones who manage their finances prudently and pay off their bills on time -- by possibly raising interest rates, scaling back rewards and imposing annual fees.
Oh, yeah. I did. Passing laws with unintended bad consequences is stupid enough, but these bad consequences were well understood before the law was passed.

Forcing postal style lines on 22 pubs in Britain to combat problem drinking. What about combating problem government?

Federal government transfers prisoners by giving them a one way bus ticket and sending them unsupervised to another prison. Needless to say, many don't show up. But this begs the question, if the prison board considers these people such low risk that they can be set free with no supervision to transfer themselves to another prison, why are they in prison in the first place?

Hot dog sales are up. I just had a hot dog for lunch. Ball Park Franks sues Oscar Mayer for false advertising. I guess they both have so much money, they don't know what to do with it other than give it to lawyers.

As if we needed more proof that obesity is a mental problem and solving it is simply a matter of eating less, woman hypnotized into thinking she had stomach band surgery loses 55 lbs. Obesity is a symptom of the sickness in our society caused by the culture of dependency.

The leftist media campaign against bottled water goes to a new level with this report that a toxic substance leeches from the bottle into the water.

Police officer coerces woman into having sex to avoid traffic ticket. You know this guy expected to get away with this.

Victory for Craigslist. Judge puts gag order on Attorney General at Craigslist request.

Provacative ad slogan: "In the beginning, man created God."

New Jersey politicians are trying to justify red light cameras because they save lives of pedestrians killed by cars performing rolling right turns on red. The only problem is, no pedestrians have been killed by the rolling right turns on red. You know how to tell when a politician is lying? His lips are moving. This is tax pure and simple.

"More parents are focusing on messages of frugality and humility that, they say, just don't fit with the princess mentality that has become a rite of passage for many girls." In other words, some parents have stopped spoiling their little girls rotten because of the economy, not because it's the right thing to do.

Houston's graduation rate is 58.5 percent. That's why Obama wants to give government schools more power over children, families and our future. Just like George Bush did.

Hurricane center predicts average hurricane season. As inaccurate as these guys are, that probably means it will be extra destructive.

Putting police sketch artists to the test. Sketch artists depend on eye witness descriptions, which are notoriously inaccurate, which are then subjectively applied by the sketch artist, making them doubly inaccurate.

Man sentenced to $227 fine and 12 months probation for walking in street to avoid water and mud filled hole in sidewalk. I'm sure the cops, prosecutors and judges are a having a good laugh over drinks about teaming up and sticking it to that guy.

Minnesota Gov. vetoes tax hikes as legislative session ends, then uses power to cut $4 billion of unfunded programs from budget. Hell, yeah. Where was this kind of action from Republicans the last eight years?

Bobby Kennedy's son to run for Barack Obama's old Senate seat. These Kennedys feel entitled to our freedom, power and money.

Republicans planning to fight Obama's Supreme Court nominee. I think this is smart. You might expect a more thoughtful president to pick a non-ideological candidate, but the way that blew up on Republicans in the past, there's no hope Obama will do that. He's going to nominate somebody to the left of Karl Marx. Let's just hope he doesn't nominate Bill Ayers.