Monday, January 31, 2011

Free kibbles

FREEDOM OF SPEECH:

The role of the internet in toppling Arab governments illustrates why aristocrats are desperate to seize control of it all over the world.
"It is the power of the communications networks, when coupled with a willingness on the part of protesters to gather in the streets, that spells a period of crisis for every autocratic regime on earth. The autocrats have seen in January 2011 that it is difficult to put a lid on any unorganized protests. The organizing did not come from some little group that can be infiltrated or arrested. This was as close to a spontaneous protest as anything we have seen in modern times.
The ability of the social networks to organize a protest almost overnight, because people of similar beliefs and commitments are in close communication with others, has completely changed the nature of political resistance and revolution. This system of revolution toppled a middle eastern dictatorship in less than a month. It threatens to topple two more before the end of February: Yemen and Egypt. We have entered into a new period political resistance."
Aristocrats are in a panic.
"Because Egypt had fewer than a dozen major Internet service providers, the government was able to shut down the Internet at one time. The government also shut down landline telephone communications in some regions of the country. This was not simply an attack on the Internet. The government had to shut down other forms of telecommunications.
The difficulty that the government faces is obvious: it cannot continue to keep the Internet and landline telephone service from the general public. The modern economy is becoming increasingly dependent upon the Internet. It has already become highly dependent upon the telephone system. It is not possible for any government to intervene into the delivery of telecommunications services without creating enormous problems for the economy. Any government that attempts to do so on a long-term basis is going to find its tax revenues falling, more people becoming alienated from the government's policies, and more opportunities for troublemakers to increase the amount of trouble. At some point, the government will have to reestablish Internet services and landline telephone service. At that point, it will probably face an even more alienated population than when the protests began."
I love that part. This is one reason I don't think Obama and his socialist lovers will win the revolution he's trying to start here. Another reason is private gun ownership. This shows why freedom of speech and the right to keep and bear arms are amendments one and two in the Bill of Rights. This also illustrates the power of leaderless movements. I'm with North on this. I don't think central planners are pulling the strings here.

RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS:

In the wake of the assassination attempt in Arizona, Bill Goodman will require vendors do background checks on customers at Goodman gun shows. This is a good example of how Americans often voluntarily aid government oppression.

HEALTH CARE:

Health promotions on labels tend to be misleading or false. Of course they are. Government has corrupted the entire food industry and made it unhealthy. What else would you expect?

GLOBAL WARMING AND ENERGY:

How CRU manipulates its temperature record every month to fit the fiction they're trying to sell.

FOREIGN POLICY:

Great headline about Egypt:
"The Pharaoh in the F├╝hrerbunker"
The police have disappeared, looting is rampant, and the army seems to be siding with the protesters. That doesn't bode well for Mubarak. Another comparison between the events in the Middle East and the collapse of the Iron Curtain before the collapse of the Soviet Union.
"One cannot escape a sense that we may be looking at a Mideast version of the 1989 uprisings across Eastern Europe that brought down its Communist regimes and then the Soviet Union. Americans should be uneasy seeing crowds of Egyptians pleading for freedom and justice watched over by US-supplied tanks."
Aggression by our government created this backlash the way aggression by the Soviets created the backlash against them. It's blowback.
"But there is also a big difference. The principled Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, and the Communist rulers of Eastern Europe, refused to turn their army’s guns against the rebelling people.
In Tunisia, where the current Arab uprising began, the army has so far stayed admirably neutral.
But in other Arab states now seething with rebellion – Egypt, Algeria, Yemen, Morocco, Libya, Jordan – there may be no such reservations. Their ruthless security forces and military could quickly crush the uprisings unless the soldiers refuse to shoot down their own people – as happened in Moscow in 1991."
Let's hope the armies stay neutral.
"Washington is watching this growing intifada in its Mideast Raj with alarm and confusion. Ignore the Obama administration’s hypocritical platitudes urging "democracy." All of the authoritarian Arab rulers now under siege by their people have been armed, financed and supported for decades by the US. The US has given Egypt $2 billion annually, $1.4 billion of which goes to the military. Almost all the tanks and armored vehicles deployed in Cairo’s streets came from the US."
I've long written that our country is turning into the Soviet Union. This is another example of how similar our government is to theirs.
"The brutal, sadistic secret police and other security forces of Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan and Yemen were all trained and equipped by the US or France. The CIA taught them "interrogation techniques," just as it did to the Shah of Iran’s secret police, Savak. We have reaped the whirlwind in bitter US-Iranian relations."
Let's hope these countries don't become as anti-American despite the aggression of our government.
"Egypt, as this column has long said, has long been a ticking bomb. Half of 85 million Egyptians subsist below the UN’s $2 daily poverty level. A third of all the Arab World’s people are Egyptian. A well-connected oligarchy grows rich while the rest of the country struggles for basic food."
That's where the US is headed.
"Mubarak has ruled Egypt with an iron fist since the assassination of another US-installed leader, Anwar Sadat, in 1981. All violent and peaceful opposition to Mubarak’s regime has been crushed. But now Mubarak’s time is running out. Nobel-Prize Laureate Mohammed al-Baradei has agreed to lead a resistance coalition that includes the Muslim Brotherhood, the best-organized movement in Egypt.
The Brotherhood is not an Iranian-style extreme Islamic movement, contrary to alarms being spread by neocons and the often poorly-informed US media.
In fact, the Muslim Brotherhood has long eschewed politics to concentrate on social, religious and educational issues. If anything, it has been ultra-conservative, even stodgy and timid. But it also represents the Washington’s best potential ally if Egypt’s military regime falls. We should not be misled by self-serving warnings about Islamic bogeymen."
I never bought the fearmongering about the Muslim Brotherhood, but a potential ally of Washington? How?

POLITICS:

As long as government has the power to use violence against us, the rich, powerful and corrupt will use that power to enrich themselves at our expense. It can't be any other way.

MISC:

The Onion feels the pain of Bengals fans:
"Representatives from every NFL franchise had contacted the Bengals organization to insist they absolutely do not want quarterback Carson Palmer."
I don't blame them. Bengals fire offensive coordinator Bratkowski. It's about time, but they just gave him a new contract last off season. Maybe Lewis and Palmer pressured Brown enough to make the change. This is an earthshaking change for Mike Brown, and it illustrates what I've been saying for years: if fans hit Mike Brown in his wallet, he will make changes. Cincinnati city councilman resigns so he can focus on selling Bengals tickets to reluctant customers.

Burn victims who play virtual snowball game report they feel less pain.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Free kibbles

ECONOMY:

Description of our economy as a tapeworm economy. Associated reading list. We're the host and the ruling class is the tapeworm. This is a great video. She's the first person who said what I've often written: that the 2008 bailouts were a coup. GATT. She has a great description of how government destroys wealth, but she falls for the myth that there's such a thing as good government and effective central planning. There's not. The rich, powerful and corrupt always control government for their own ends at our expense. It can't be any other way. The solution is to take away government's power.

TAX AND SPEND:

House Speaker Boehner proves he's not interested in stopping the looting by committing to raise the debt ceiling in return for spending cuts. In other words, nothing of substance will change.

GLOBAL WARMING AND ENERGY:

State sponsored frauds upset about non-state sponsored frauds.

Wind patterns responsible for excessive snow, not global warming, which should go without saying but must be said.

POLICE STATE:

Now the prohibitionists are calling to put touch sensors in every car to detect if the driver has some arbitrary amount of alcohol in his or her system.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) uncovers widespread misconduct by FBI agents.
"EFF has uncovered widespread violations stemming from FBI intelligence investigations from 2001 — 2008. In a report released today, EFF documents alarming trends in the Bureau's intelligence investigation practices, suggesting that FBI intelligence investigations have compromised the civil liberties of American citizens far more frequently, and to a greater extent, than was previously assumed. Using documents obtained through EFF's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation, the report finds: Evidence of delays of 2.5 years, on average, between the occurrence of a violation and its eventual reporting to the Intelligence Oversight Board; reports of serious misconduct by FBI agents including lying in declarations to courts, using improper evidence to obtain grand jury subpoenas, and accessing password-protected files without a warrant; and indications that the FBI may have committed upwards of 40,000 possible intelligence violations in the 9 years since 9/11."
40,000. That goes beyond widespread and would better be described as systematic.

Man arrested on terrorism charges for planning to blow up an Islamic center with fireworks. Fireworks? I'll grant that fireworks can be dangerous, but I'd hardly call them the tools of a terrorist.

FOREIGN POLICY:

Egyptian opposition leader calls on US government to cut off support for Mubarak.

Ninety-nine percent of the people in southern Sudan vote for succession. But government exists to loot the people, not improve their lives, so you can bet the government will violently put down any attempts at succession.

MISC:

Scientists replace the electron of a helium atom with a muon, and it behaves as a hydrogen atom. Wow.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Free kibbles

FREEDOM OF SPEECH:

The Egyptian government has used its kill switch to shut down the internet, but people are working to obtain access anyway. But Congress is considering giving the president the power  to do the same in the US. No thanks. Are you getting the picture of why the government is seizing control of the internet? They know what's coming. They're orchestrating the collapse of the US, and they're expecting violence and revolution here too. An aristocrat says don't worry about giving the president power over the internet kill switch because it's not the same power Mubarak is using. Trust them. They're from the government. They'd never to anything in their interest against ours.
"'My legislation would provide a mechanism for the government to work with the private sector in the event of a true cyber emergency,' Collins said in an e-mail Friday. 'It would give our nation the best tools available to swiftly respond to a significant threat.'"
What a load of crap. Like government gives us the best tools to do anything but blow stuff up. Nothing will harm internet security more than giving power to secure it to government.

SOCIALISM:

An example of one of the many ways union leaders, because they are granted the power of coercion by government, loot their members.

ECONOMY:

Americans depleting their savings to maintain their lifestyles. Since savings drive economic growth, this means our economy is getting worse, not better.

FEDERAL RESERVE:

Jim Rogers recognizes inflation is here, but the government is lying about it.
"Rogers highlighted increasing inflation across a wide spectrum of commodities around the world – in Asia, Europe, the Americas – and, the only place where it’s nowhere in sight is at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (the BLS). According to Rogers, “inflation is here, but the Americans lie about it and the British lie about it.”"
The silver lining is the lies delegitimize the government.

EDUCATION:

Thanks to government funding, the college tuition bubble is about to collapse. Here's one of eight list reasons:
"Because student loans are so easy to acquire, enterprising colleges are paying homeless people to enroll.  The math makes sense when you think about it: if paying someone a $2,000 “stipend” gets the college $20,000/year in tuition courtesy of the federal government, that’s money well spent.  Unfortunately, many people who accept such “stipend” offers never graduate, become overwhelmed with student debt, and destroy their already bad financial records."
Have I mentioned that government corrupts everything it touches?

GLOBAL WARMING AND ENERGY:

Emails show that the Met Office's claim to have secretly warned the British government of an exceptionally cold winter is a lie.

USGS studies African drought as if Africa was part of the US. Naturally they blame global warming instead of:
"Disappointingly, there’s no mention of land use change, agricultural practices, or deforestation issues like the one contributing to the glacier melt on Kilimanjaro. Evapotranspiration is a very important issue for local moisture content and convective cloud development."
Our government isn't content with corrupting everything it touches in the US. It wants to corrupt the entire world.

POLICE STATE:

Mundane teenager target of massive police assault.
"“Police vehicles filled the streets of the predominantly African-American neighborhood in Lakeview terrace,” relates one account. “Neighbors were prevented from going into or out of their homes. A next door neighbor had a gun pointed at him for trying to retrieve his children from [the Marks family's] front porch.” Jeremy’s bedroom was trashed by the invaders, who seized computers, cell phones, cameras, and legal documents, many of them “privileged attorney-client communications.” A similar raid reportedly took place at the home of another student who “was targeted because he posted videos of the original incident on YouTube. These videos show that Jeremy did nothing illegal.”"
This is the new normal in the society we created.
"Assuming that the account cited above is accurate, what it describes is the behavior of an occupying army seeking to intimidate and subdue an understandably  hostile population. The SWAT assault on Jeremy Marks’s neighborhood in search of “anti-police” video recordings was strikingly similar to raids carried out in occupied Iraq in search of people distributing “anti-coalition propaganda” or inciting “insurgent activity.”"
Think about the events in Lebanon, Tunisia and Egypt in this context. Think about giving the president the power to shut down the internet in this context.

Will Grigg on the sad reality of the American police state.
"Every week – actually, every day – innocent people across the country are harassedabusedbrutalizedtortured, and murdered by armed strangers in government-issued costumes. Most of theassailants are never held accountable. Often, they are placed on paid vacation (commonly called "administrative leave") while their colleagues devise an official rationalization for their crimes.
According to one very conservative estimate, at least thirty citizens are killed in police shootings every month, many of which occur during paramilitary raids conducted, Soviet-style, at daybreak or nighttime. Innocent people are frequently found among those killed, wounded, or brutalized in those raids; one recent example is 76-year-old New York resident Jose Colon, who was shot in the stomach by a SWAT operator who pulled the trigger trying to operate a flashlight on his tricked-out pistol.
The grim but statistically inescapable fact is that the average American is much more likely to be killed by a cop than by a terrorist."
I always say the most dangerous situation the vast majority of Americans will ever endure is a run-in with the cops.
"Five years ago, Joseph McNamara of Stanford's Hoover Institution, a former NYPD Deputy Inspector (and, unfortunately, an advocate of civilian disarmament), pointed out that police "work" may be safer now than ever before.
In 2005, McNamara noted, fifty-one officers died in the line of duty "out of some 700,000 to 800,000 American cops. That is far fewer than the police fatalities occurring when I patrolled New York’s highest crime precincts, when the total number of cops in the country was half that of today."
Yes, there is a war on the streets of America, McNamara allowed, but it is one waged by the cops, not on them:
"Simply put, the police culture in our country has changed. An emphasis on 'officer safety' and paramilitary training pervades today’s policing, in contrast to the older culture, which held that cops didn’t shoot until they were about to be shot or stabbed. Police in large cities formerly carried revolvers holding six .38-caliber rounds. Nowadays, police carry semi-automatic pistols with 16 high-caliber rounds, shotguns and military assault rifles, weapons once relegated to SWAT teams facing extraordinary circumstances. Concern about such firepower in densely populated areas hitting innocent citizens has given way to an attitude that the police are fighting a war against drugs and crime and must be heavily armed."
Government police agencies were always designed to control the public, rather than to "protect and serve" it. As sociologist David Bayley memorably put it, "The police are to the government as the edge is to the knife." Thanks in no small measure to the proliferation of independent media, the public is coming to understand that fact."
And then there's the steroid abuse. No people in the history of the world have ever dragged their country down from such highs to such lows as we have.

How the government and its corporate agents are making cars that control and spy on us.

WAR:

Disgraced General Stanley McChrystal, in an attempt to rehabilitate his image no doubt, calls on every American to perform national service.
"All of us bear an obligation to serve [the State]—an obligation that goes beyond paying taxes, voting, or adhering to the law."
In other words, we're all slave to the government, and we should bow down and be thankful for all the government give us. What a creep. Stalin and Hitler would been proud of this picture:

That makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

FOREIGN POLICY:

Egyptian protesters unimpressed with dictator firing cabinet. They want him to resign. Isn't it funny how when the Iranians cracked down on protesters, they were evil, but not so when a US ally does the same. Video. 62 people have been killed. But the changes in the Middle East aren't limited to Tunisia and Egypt. Lebanon's pro-western government has also been replaced by a pro-Syrian government. Decades of US government bullying and violence in the Middle East is producing this backlash against the west. Interesting comparison: the collapse of these US backed puppet states is like the collapse of the Iron Curtain. We know what happened to the puppet master shortly after. Suggestion that US frustration with Mubarak might have something to do with his troubles. Apparently our government is playing both sides by supporting rebels too.
"The American Embassy in Cairo helped a young dissident attend a US-sponsored summit for activists in New York, while working to keep his identity secret from Egyptian state police.
On his return to Cairo in December 2008, the activist told US diplomats that an alliance of opposition groups had drawn up a plan to overthrow President Hosni Mubarak and install a democratic government in 2011."
He sure met his timetable. This must have been a ploy to pressure Mubarak into towing our government line more tightly. And people wonder why everybody in the Middle East hates us. Report that the army might be sympathetic to the protesters. If so, Mubarak is unlikely to remain in power. The power of direct citizen action:
"In my LRC bestseller, Direct Citizen Action, drawing on the work of de La Bo├ętie and Rothbard, I wrote: “most of the power of the government comes from the perception that it is legitimate. . . History shows that regimes fall when the masses withdraw their “consent.” This can be done by direct action, basically, a national strike until the dictator flees with whatever loot he can carry onto his private plane. Violence is not necessary though usually the state will shoot some protesters and the protesters will throw rocks in response. But as we saw with the Shah, state violence can merely accelerate the death of the regime by arousing even more opposition."
Again, this is a preview of things to come in America as government continues looting us to the point of collapse. This essay focuses in on the most important point:
"Yes, it seems to me that with plans exposed, Western elites may have decided to take credit for the Middle Eastern uprisings. Why is it a desperate maneuver? Because the averge youthful Egyptian or Tunisian is not going to look kindly on the idea that he and his world is being manipulated yet again by ruthless Western powers-that-be. This is the reason that such operations are usually kept quiet. Nobody likes to feel manipulated."
No kidding. I doubt that the manipulations of central planners are responsible for these protests, central planners don't have that much power, but it doesn't matter. Now that the story of US central planners manipulating the situation is out, the extent and influence of the manipulations is irrelevant. The entire Arab world is going to get even more angry at the US.
"We continually document the struggle between the truth-telling of the Internet and the fear-based promotions of the elite. The elite seems increasingly tortured by the Internet, which is a process not an episode. Usually elite promotions take decades to develop. The EU was 50 years in the making. Global warming nearly as long. But everything the elite is trying to do these days regarding its promotional methodologies has a rushed, error-prone feel about it."
That's why the aristocrats are desperate to seize control of the internet.
"It is not going to help relations with the Egyptian man-on-the-street to have the information broadcast that America was behind – and actively planning – the current disturbances. As of this writing, the Egyptian government has lodged a protest against American interference. US Foggy Bottom types have taken to the airwaves blathering about the "values" of American democracy, but after years of reports of American torture, Western rendition, endless drone attacks that kill women and children in Afghanistan, it's certainly an open question as to whether America can effectively pose as a beacon of democratic values."
I'm pretty sure to Arab Muslims, the only value Americans hold is hypocrisy.
"But do the Western powers-that-be really believe they control these uprisings now? A dozen powder kegs have been lit. Blowback – serious blowback – is on the way. In a sense, no matter how the elite's involvement is portrayed, it would seem a botch."
I agree that serious blowback is on its way.
"To claim the world is run by "governments" is to miss the point. It is run by powerful banking families and their allies – mostly out of London – using the levers of power that governments provide to the truly wealthy. The mechanism of this governance is called mercantilism.
Elites are always at war with their middle classes, and the preferred techniques, in this epoch anyway, are the fear-based dominant social themes that the Bell tries to cover every day. By using these fear-based promotions, the elite attempts to stampede the middle class into surrendering both wealth and power. There is pressure for constant convergence of power; the preferred governance is regulatory democracy. In the Middle East, no doubt, the evolution of these revolutions will bring to power moderate Islamic entities that will provide a boon to yet another elite promotion: the so-called war on terror. All these promotions are interlinked."
I agree about the plutocrats, but I wouldn't discount the power of the politicians.
"There are other sorts of promotions that the elite uses as well, mostly to piggyback onto existing trends. WikiLeaks and Julian Assange would seem to be one of them. Aljazeera would seem to be another. Aljazeera was initially staffed by the BBC; Assange has released few leaks that harm Western powers in any significant way. By promoting Assange and Aljazeera, the elite is able to control the larger dialogue. It is a version of the Hegelian dialectic that the elite loves to use. Control both sides of the argument and the results are bound to further one's agenda, whatever it may be."
We see that strategy with the so-called debate between the left and right - Democrats and Republicans - in America.
"In this case, the goal is creating much closer and better-coordinated world government run by the Anglosphere. That's why we've suggested at the Bell that one of the outcomes of the Middle East unrest will likely be Islamic governments of a sort that will polarize public opinion in the West and add credibility to the current war on terror – which definitely needs a pick-me-up. If the West is to continue down the path of authoritarianism, it certainly needs to create a larger Islamic bogeyman.
It also seems to me that these revolutions could be used to destabilize a strong American ally, Saudi Arabia – and thus destabilize the dollar-reserve currency as well. (We've written about that.) Again, this benefits an Anglo-American power elite that is determined to transition from national currencies to one global currency – reason enough for the destruction of the dollar. The wealthiest sheiks won't be damaged were this to occur. They'll simply seek asylum in Britain, (or perhaps France) as so many of the West's wealthiest allies seem to do when they are toppled."
That smacks of paranoia. You can't on the one hand recognize the futility of central planning and on the other attribute incredibly complex world events to the hands of central planners. The idea that central planners are fomenting unrest first in Lebanon, then Tunisia, then Egypt in order to destabilize Saudi Arabia in order to destroy the dollar and replace it with one world currency is laughable. If central planners had that kind of power and control, communism would have ruled the world. These events are more about blowback against US control than being directed by shadowy central planners. The US government is desperately trying to manipulate them to its advantage as best it can, and has been doing so for years, but it's not possible that central planners are controlling events like setting up and knocking over dominoes to achieve a specific goal. It's one thing to strike a match. It's another to control the fire. The Saudis fear destabilization, and it's about time. You'd be hard pressed to discover a ruling class who so successfully looted their people into poverty than the Saudis. It sounds like they're blaming the US government too. This article makes more sense.
"In all the Arab countries in rebellion their governments and their leaders are client states of the U.S. In the name of maintaining stability and our "war on terrorism" we have supported these country's autocrats with military hardware and training of their security forces.
Significantly, none of these indigenous rebellions have anything to do with fundamentalist, Islamic Jihadist terrorism."
I think it's blowback. These are popular revolts, and we have to resist the scare-mongers who paint this as a take-over by jihadists. The outgoing dictator named another US trained CIA partner to replace him.
"Ian Black, Middle East editor for the London Guardian, points out that Suleiman “is the keeper of Egypt’s and the president’s secrets, a behind-the-scenes operator who has been intimately involved in the most sensitive issues of national security and foreign policy for nearly 20 years.” Not only was he was the dungeon master and chief persecutor of Egypt’s political dissidents, but he also coordinated rendition and torture operations with the CIA.According to WikiLeaks, he’s also a dutiful asset of the Pentagon."
This might be why the Egyptian people remain unimpressed. The outgoing government is looting the people.
"When they’re not beating people in the streets or hauling them off to be brutalized and killed, plainclothes thugs from Egypt’s Central Security Services are looting private businesses. Egyptians not employed in the coercive sector have responded by creating private anti-looting patrols. This is a wonderful illustration of the fact that government police agencies are designed to pillage, rather than protect, and the emergence of spontaneous cooperative order may be a hopeful augury for the future."
Of course the government always loots the people. Generally it does so more subtly. The parallel mentioned in the rest of this article is scary. Muslims and Christians united against the government.

I don't like it when people call me an isolationist. There are two ways we can engage the people other countries, through mutually beneficial voluntary exchange and through threats of violence backed by violence issued by government. I want to see more of the former and none of the latter. I'd hardly call that isolationist.

POLITICS:

On Obama's hypocritical claim that governments must be based on consent.
"How often, how long, and how deeply has the U.S. government used coercion to maintain power? How often has the U.S. government used wealth redistribution, payoffs, propaganda, and emotional appeals to manufacture a phony and heavily government-influenced consent? When will the preacher live up to what he preaches?"
Aristocrats steal our money and use it to buy votes to stay in power. They pass regulations that steal our money to buy votes. I'd hardly call that consent.

MISC:

The world's official kilogram standard is losing mass. Oops. What did they expect? Everything changes.

Praise for the autobiographies of Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams and the men themselves.

Stone tools found in the UAE show modern humans moved out of Africa at least 55,000 years earlier than previously thought.

A long time ago I wrote a theory that predisposition toward religion was genetic and that it conferred a survival advantage. It seems scientist has done the same and developed a model based on it.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Free kibbles

ECONOMY:

This headline fails to acknowledge that all private sector jobs help others. That's why people voluntarily pay for the labor done.
"Some Boomers 'retire' to jobs that allow them to help others"
This is a fundamental truth that people need to understand.


TAX AND SPEND:


If Republicans were serious about cutting spending, they would not raise the debt ceiling. They will because they're not serious.


WAR ON DRUGS:


Drug dealers use catapult to launch marijuana across border.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Free kibbles

FREEDOM OF SPEECH:

Senators introduce more invasive net neutrality bill.

ECONOMY:

The middle class is not a collective.

Pat Buchanan laughs at the idea that our economic troubles are lessening.

TAX AND SPEND:

Naturally Obama's claim to want to freeze domestic spending is untrue. He wants many exclusions to continue increasing the looting of the American people in favor of his faction of the ruling class.

Report claims federal deficit will hit $1.5 trillion this year. That's not counting entitlements and emergency spending for the wars. More bad news.
"CBO’s forecasters don’t see employment returning to anything like normal before 2016."
That illustrates how badly government has damaged our economy, but this forecast only works if government doesn't do anything more to damage it, and you know it will. The Christian Science Monitor points this out, sort of.

Several videos of anti-tax humor. I keep saying ridicule is the most powerful weapon we have against government.

Big government insider Robert Rubin warns of huge economic problems that appear any day due to our national debt. You don't say. I guess it's good that an insider is saying this, but this is like warning about the barn gate being open long after the cows have run away.

Here's a viewpoint about the fall of the Roman Empire you never hear about.
"One of the great weaknesses of standard accounts of the Middle Ages is that they compare the poverty of the provinces with the wealth of the city of Rome in the early Empire. This is completely misleading. The comparison should be between the provinces in the first century with the provinces five centuries or more later. Here, the typical serf was better off under the manorial system of the so-called "dark ages" than the slave had been in Augustus' day. Farming was more efficient, due to crop rotation. Metallurgy was more advanced. Road building was not, but the roads had been more for military control than trade.
Economic historian Robert Latouche as far back as 1956 argued that, in comparison to the heartland of Western Europe in the early Roman Empire, economic conditions were better during the dark ages. Another economic historian, Rondo Cameron, two decades ago wrote that "medieval Europe experienced a flowering of technological creativity and economic dynamism that contrasts strongly with the routine of the ancient Mediterranean world.""
"In the Western half of the late Roman Empire, the barbarians were the feared invaders by those who lived on the tax revenues of the enslaved citizenry. From the point of view of the taxpayers in the Empire's heartland, the barbarians were the liberators. They offered a barrier between ex-Romans and the tax collectors sent by the central government.
Crossing the line of barbarians was a risky proposition. No one knew how he would be treated as he crossed through the line. No one knew what kind of living he could make on the far side of that line. But everyone knew that the tax burden would be reduced, permanently."
We're quickly reaching a similar point today.
"Karl Marx was wrong. Religion is not the opium of the people. Government debt is. The true faith of the West is not faith in God. It is faith in faithfulness of governments – the United States government above all."
No kidding.

EDUCATION:

Woman jailed for lying about her address so her children could escape one of the government's dangerous schools. This is another example showing how government uses laws of aggression to oppress the people. All laws of aggression oppress the people. The only legitimate laws are laws that respond to aggression, and if we are to return to the rule of law and become a free country, we must abolish all laws of aggression.

HEALTH CARE:

Diabetes rises sharply in the US to 26 million.

POLICE STATE:

While Janet Napolitano works to turn Americans against each other by encouraging them to spy on each other, Britain goes a step further by employing citizens including children to shoot radar guns at their fellow citizens. The speed with which our government is conquering us and marching us down the road to serfdom and totalitarianism is spectacular. Who said government couldn't do anything fast?

Lessons from the bombing of the Russian airport. They all boil down to government can't protect us. The Founding Fathers understood that and explicitly told us so when they wrote, "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Another important lesson: if your government sends troops to other countries and kills their citizens, some of those who survive will strike back.

FOREIGN POLICY:

US officials pressure embattled Egyptian leader to reform. The protests are having an effect. In response, government is cracking down.

Haitian history lesson as exiled dictator returns.

MISC:

I do not understand this unlimited data plan stuff. Bandwidth is not unlimited, and it should be allocated by price like every other scarce resource. I don't want to be on a network with people who are hogging all the bandwidth without paying extra for it.

The freest country in Africa is called Mauritius, a little island east of Madagascar, and ranks between Chile and Luxembourg in the Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom.

Ford building cars that communicate traffic information to each other. This is a fabulous feature and will lead to much safer highways in the future. But you know they're communicating more info than that. If every car was anonymous, that would be great, but you know it won't be that way. Every car will broadcast and ID, so they're building a real-time map of the location of every person driving a car, and police and other bad guys will use that map against the people.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Free kibbles

TAX AND SPEND:

I'm skeptical of this claim that Obama will call for a five year non-defense spending freeze. This is a political gimmick. Over the last two years, Obama dramatically increased spending and modified the balance of looting in favor of the Democrats. The longer that balance stays in favor of Democrats, the harder it will be to change. So now that he's done so much damage to the people and his ruling class rivals, he wants to freeze the status quo in place, and he gets to appear like he's taking the middle ground while doing it. I bet Obama had this planned before he took office. It always appeared his strategy was to do as much damage as possible before he lost popularity and his majorities.

REGULATION:

Italian government wages war on cash because Italians rarely use credit and debit cards. That gives them too much freedom.

Don't buy the hype surrounding Obama's claim he'll cut business-harming regulation. All regulations harm business. It's just hot air. For example, the FTC is implementing a strategy to expand its regulatory power.

GLOBAL WARMING AND ENERGY:

Well deserved criticism of the white-washes that passed for climategate investigations.

Here's a climate fraud's prediction from 2002:
"Within as little as 10 years, the world will be faced with a choice: arable farming either continues to feed the world’s animals or it continues to feed the world’s people. It cannot do both.The impending crisis will be accelerated by the depletion of both phosphate fertiliser and the water used to grow crops. Every kilogram of beef we consume, according to research by the agronomists David Pimental and Robert Goodland, requires around 100,000 litres of water. Aquifers are beginning the run dry all over the world, largely because of abstraction by farmers."
Oops. Yet you can bet this fraud is still being funded by tax dollars.

Obama State of the Union doesn't mention global warming or climate change.

POLICE STATE:

States plan to criminalize distracted walking.

WAR:

Big-name, supposedly anti-war lefties have been predictably silent about Obama's wars. The left is no more anti-war than the right. They're just anti-Republican war.

FOREIGN POLICY:

70 years of US aggression in the middle east led to the overthrow US-backed dictator in Tunisia and now Egyptians are trying to do the same to the US-backed regime in Egypt. Our government's aggression has radicalized the whole region, and the economic crisis is prompting revolution.

POLITICS:

Illinois Supreme Court temporarily puts Emanuel's name back on the ballot and will hear his appeal. He'll win. The only applies to serfs, not aristocrats.

While pretending to support smaller government, Mike Pence's website brags about number big-government programs he supported.

When the people start questioning the legitimacy of government, the ruling class factions pull together and lock arms.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Free kibbles

FREEDOM OF SPEECH:

Mozilla proposes "Do not track" header for HTTP. I would love it if there was a way to get all the convenience of the web without anybody tracking my activity, but and I'm happy to see this debate, but this won't work. Nobody would honor it if they didn't have to. The solution is contracts. And no matter what we do, government won't honor it.

FEDERAL RESERVE:

Another hidden cost of inflation: reduced quality and quantity of products. Businesses hate to raise prices, so whenever possible, they reduce the ingredients in the products instead.

In praise of When Money Dies, which explains how the Weimar Republic destroyed its currency, enabling the Nazis to gain power, and it looks like Ben Bernanke and his Fed accomplices are just as stupid or evil today.
"Hard as it may be to believe, Fergusson presents a compelling argument that the central bankers of Europe did not believe that the quantity of money had anything to do with the price level. And I suppose you think that our modern Fed rulers understand at least this much. Well, if they did they would not inflate the money supply; they would not issue statements that they are pursuing a 2 percent inflation rate in order to achieve full employment."
I don't know about that. Bernanke has clearly stated his intention to inflate the money supply in order to raise prices by two percent per year. I'm still going with evil.
"By the way, full employment was one of the main justifications for the Reichsbank's inflationist monetary policies. So nothing has changed. Central bankers still believe that monetary policy can lower the unemployment rate.
We see what happened in Weimar Germany. When a little monetary inflation failed to cure all ills, a little stronger dose was prescribed, and then stronger and stronger doses until chaos reigned. Today's pronouncements are no different."
Exactly, and Ben Bernanke is a student of the Great Depression. It's inconceivable that he doesn't know the history of the Weimar Republic. He's doing our currency on purpose.
"But the most important conclusion that one can draw from the great German hyperinflation experience is that money expansion is a prelude to and an enabler of war. The demise of the gold standard is the common thread that underlies the belligerency of the European powers around the turn of the 19th to the 20th century. (America lagged behind somewhat, but only somewhat.)"
This seems like a stretch because there were no shortages of wars before the twentieth century, but even in the nineteenth century and earlier, government suspended specie payment to fund wars.
"The ability to print money in unlimited quantities is why the 20th century was the most brutally destructive in history."
So the idea is that because governments abolished the gold standard as an institution en mass, more war was the result. I'm still not sure he's got cause and effect right. I think it's more likely that the desire to wage all-out war led to abolishing the gold standard as an institution, not vice-versa. But it doesn't really matter. If government has no power over the money supply, it can't abolish it.

GLOBAL WARMING AND ENERGY:

This is a great point:
"You see, the real problem is not as much Americans’ dependence on foreign oil as it is Americans’ dependence on our government’s control over our energy needs."
Exactly. We're surrounded by energy resources, but our own government won't let us develop them.
"The American people need to forget about whether or not the federal government approves of states’ drilling for oil and gas, and the states need to just do it anyway. The inhabitants of each of the U.S. states have a God-given right to explore, discover and utilize any natural resources that exist on or within their lands. If the feds begin to fine states that disobey federal energy and environmental regulations, or send in the military to force states to stop drilling or send defiant citizens and businessmen to jail, then the states need to take the issue to the Supreme Court, and/or declare their Tenth Amendment rights to allow access to energy resources on their own lands to their inhabitants, whose means of livelihoods the federal government has been obstructing."
As always the government stops us from improving our lives with threats of violence. Forget going to the Supreme Court. States need to remind the federal government that its their agent, not vice-versa.

POLICE STATE:

Russian terrorists show the worthlessness of TSA by blowing up bomb in airport.

Governments are using drones over America, and police are getting into the act. We've known this was coming for four years, we allowed it happen, but now we're suddenly surprised? Give me a break.

POLITICS:

Appeal court pulls Rahm Emanuel from the Chicago mayorial ballot because he didn't live in Chicago for the last year.

LOCAL:

Here come higher tax bills.

McLin funeral home, local business of the late, former state representative C.J. McLin, father of former Dayton mayor Rhine McLin, is operating without a license. The license was revoked for failure to pay taxes. This is another example of the ubiquitous corruption of the ruling class. They raise taxes on us because they don't pay them. They force us to get licensed because they don't bother. We do live in two Americas. The ruling class which is above the law and the rest of us who are oppressed by the law. The other thing this shows is that the real reason licenses exist is for the aristocrats to wield them as a weapon against businesses. This would and should be a non-story except government steals our money and threatens us with violence through regulations and licenses.

MISC:

Here's another example of government money corrupting science.
"More than 60% of American households have a pet, and depending on the survey, 14% to 62% let their dogs and cats sleep with them. That can be dangerous, says Bruno Chomel, a professor at theUniversity of California-Davis school of veterinary medicine."
14 percent or 62 percent. That's 48 percent error. Only government could produce that kind of error.

This cold fusion claim not only creates energy, it's reminiscent of alchemy because it transforms nickel into more valuable copper.

Strength training promotes growth of brain cells but over-training can reduce brainpower later in life.

A specific instance of how a so-called historian tried to re-write history by changing the date on a document in the national archives to fit his agenda. Most historians aren't this brazen, but they all re-write history to fit their agendas.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Free kibbles

TAX AND SPEND:

Apparently only plutocrats can get away with paying themselves small salaries.
"It seems $1 salaries are only for super-wealthy tech execs. The WSJ reports that CPA David Watson incurred the wrath of the IRS by only paying himself $24,000 a year and declaring the rest of his take profit. It's a common tax-cutting maneuver that most computer consultants working through an S Corporation have probably considered. Unlike profit distributions, all salary is subject to a 2.9% Medicare tax and the first $106,800 is subject to a 12.4% Social Security tax (FICA). By reducing his salary, Watson didn't save any income taxes on the $379k in profit distributions he received in 2002 and 2003, but he did save nearly $20,000 in payroll taxes for the two years, the IRS argued, pegging Watson's true pay at $91,044 for each year. Judge Robert W. Pratt agreed that Watson's salary was too low, ruling that the CPA owed the extra tax plus interest and penalties. So why, you ask, don't members of the much-ballyhooed $1 Executive club like Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and Eric Schmidt get in hot water for their low-ball salaries? After all, how inequitable would it be if billionaires working full-time didn't have to kick in more than 15 cents into the Medicare and Social Security kitty? Sorry kids, the rich are different, and the New Global Elite have much better tax advisors than you!"
The IRS will tell you how much you make, and you will pay or else. Unless you're a plutocrat.

The backlash against the Irish government bailout grows as the Green Party withdraws from the government in an attempt to force elections sooner.
"Cowen said the Greens' withdrawal made it essential for all parties to reach an agreement within the next few days on speedy passage of the Finance Bill, which will broadly raise income taxes as part of Ireland's international bailout."
That's the exact wrong thing to do. It might seem amazing that government gets it wrong every time until you realize that the function of government is to empower the ruling class to loot the people, then you realize that government gets it right every time right up until it collapses.

EDUCATION:

America is losing its edge in innovation, but I don't believe for a minute the cause is lack of appreciation for engineers and scientists. The problem is government control of our schools, our economy and our personal lives.


HEALTH CARE:


The other day I was skeptical that Walmart would actually make its food more healthy because it was working with the government. Since government corrupts everything it touches, it's unlikely Walmart's food will get healthier. Now the sham has really been exposed with Domino's supposedly healthy smart pizza for school kids. As I predicted from the beginning, this leap forward in government control of our food supply is going to make Americans even sicker than before.

GLOBAL WARMING AND ENERGY:

Somebody's trying to sell cold fusion again.

This is a great question:
"Will global warming survive a strong La Nina?"
Last year we had a strong el Nino all year. El Ninos always warm the planet, but according to the satellite data, 2010 was still cooler than 1998 and 2005. This year we have a strong la Nina, and la Ninas always cool the planet. Hopefully this cool year will break the global frauds for good. But I won't hold my breath. There's too much money and power to steal for them to give up.


POLICE STATE:


Woman arrested for shooting dog that mauled her child and husband.


FOREIGN POLICY:


Al Jazeera publishes 1,600 pages of leaked documents regarding the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

MISC:

Happiest penguin ever, and it appears to be in an outdoor zoo.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Paying People to Not Work Is Stupid

Paying People to Not Work Is Stupid
by Mark Luedtke

Coercion is always destructive. Pensions are a perfect example. Nobody would voluntarily pay another to not work. Obviously it makes no sense for an employer. It makes products more expensive and reduces sales and profits. Higher prices make the entire country more poor too. Less obviously, it makes no sense for an employee because the employer is responsible first to share-holders, not retirees. Workers should count on their own savings for retirement and negotiate wages with that goal in mind, not surrender control to an organization with different priorities. But because government granted unions the power of coercion, union bosses negotiated unsustainable promises of something for nothing to union members, and the human weakness to take something for nothing is almost impossible to overcome.

Some say the pension system worked well for decades. Those people are wrong. The pension system was doomed to collapse the moment it was created. Pensions loot working people and transfer the wealth to non-working people. They’re parasitic. Like Social Security and Medicare. Sure, many people managed to retire, grow old and die before the collapse, but that doesn’t mean the system worked. That’s like saying because some cars crossed a bridge before it collapsed and killed others, the bridge wasn’t faulty.

The big winners in the pension system are the politicians and the union bosses. The politicians win by buying union votes with stockholder and consumer money. The union bosses get fat and happy by looting union workers through compulsory dues. The workers who retired and died before the collapse escaped it, but I hardly consider dying a victory. Everybody else loses: workers, consumers and especially retired people who are dependent on pensions that are about to disappear. They will lose the most.

We’ve already seen how pensions destroyed GM and Chrysler. Ford has been seriously wounded. Many other companies have collapsed under the weight of pensions over the decades. But in the private sector, the damage from pensions is localized. A company and its suppliers may collapse, but during the bankruptcy process the valuable assets of those companies are gobbled up by more efficient businesses. Often the bankrupt companies are in union states, and the buying companies from right to work states. This enables the buyers to jettison the unions and their pensions. Without those unsustainable burdens, they produce higher quality products at lower prices, winning marketshare and making the entire country more wealthy. This is the mechanism that has nearly wiped out private sector unions in the US, and it’s a major reason why jobs are flowing from union states to the south and west.

But union bosses saw this writing on the wall decades ago, and since they weren’t about to give up looting their workers, they infiltrated government. Since union bosses and politicians had been in bed together for decades, it was easy, and once in place, they began looting taxpayers too. Salaries and pensions exploded.

Champion of unions and the most socialist president in history before President Obama, Franklin D. Roosevelt opposed public sector unions, but for the wrong reasons. Roosevelt wrote, “[a] strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to obstruct the operations of government until their demands are satisfied. Such action looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable.” Government worship was more important than unions to Roosevelt. What hypocrisy. As if the operation of businesses, which produce the food, water, shelter and all other wealth that makes up civilization, is less important than the operation of government, which destroys wealth and is the enemy of civilization.

The public sector pension problem infects the entire country. The New York Times estimates that public sector pensions are underfunded by between $1 and $3 trillion. Because the New York Times is the primary ruling class propaganda organ, these estimates are way too low. Over the last decade, cities and states have increased their debt by 800 percent to pay for these exploding pensions.

According to the Guardian, “Meredith Whitney, the US research analyst who correctly predicted the global credit crunch, described local and state debt as the biggest problem facing the US economy.” We should listen to economists who predicted the last crisis, not the ones who didn’t. Whitney predicts 100 cities and states will default. This pension crisis is bigger than the housing crisis, and the worst of that crisis is still to come.

Many people expect a bailout. By whom? The US has no money. Federal, state and local governments are broke. After a century of ever-increasing government looting, America’s middle class is poor. Excepting the plutocrats, America’s rich are poor. Because our lifestyles are being funded by unsustainable debt, most don’t know it yet. We’re in the middle of the housing crisis, and the beginning of the commercial real estate crisis, the pension crisis and a sovereign debt crisis. Fed Chairman Bernanke is hellbent on destroying the dollar - the most insidious form of looting - in response. If we don’t stop the looting, our crash will make the collapse of the Soviet Union look like the corner store closed.