Saturday, May 29, 2010

Government is an Idol - Christian Seccessionism

Interesting story on CNN about how conservative Christians are increasingly 'going off the grid' an 'seceding' from the society around them.  "Washington DC has no more meaniang in my life than Pyongyang does".

See here.

Pentacostal Christianity: The US' biggest geopolitical asset?

Walter Russel Mead discusses the rise of Pentacostalism and the spectacular success of Global Christianity at a time when we spend all of our time looking at Islam.  He points out that these new Christians tend to be allies of the United States and that our elites who are embarrassed by them need to get over it.  Good stuff here.

The Problem With Federal Leadership

You see the problem with Federalizing all problems washing up on the beaches and marshlands of Louisiana:  Washington is so far away and so detached from real life in real places that they actually have obstructed rational actions to minimize the damage.  Governor Bobby Jindal has been begging, begging the Feds to allow Louisiana to dredge and build barrier islands to protect the coastline - the Feds dithered - some of the key players went to fundraisers and white water rafting while the permits sat on desks.  Without the Feds, the states would have acted within days to minimize the damage.  Here's a cruel critique, particularly pay attention to James Carville's brutal (!) comments about his party's governance:

Just as with Katrina, when all attention and responsibility is focused on the center, it freezes and makes less accountable the people in authority on site.  So nothing gets done and crises become buck passing exercises.  Our founding fathers understood this - they suffered under ignorant and indifferent governance from London and fought a brutal 'cousin's' war to free themselves from central control.  Then they designed a government that left most governance to the states.

But our 'progressive' leadership, sometimes abetted by statist Republicans were impatient with the pace of change - they didn't want to sell their ideas 50 times, they wanted to 'save' the world.  So by hook and crook they have 'progressively' undermined federalism to the point that when anything happens anywhere in America, everyone immediately turns to the 'Big Daddy' to fix it.  I actually feel sorry for BHO as I did for W, it's impossible to be the big daddy of 315 million people spread over 3.5 million square miles.

And it's idiocy to try.

It's time for some Federal humility, don't you think?

"Idiot cerebral meritocracy"

Chris Matthews description of the Obama Administration and Congress.  His plaintive cry for people who 'do things' to respond to the BP fiasco is actually touching.  And I can't stand Chris Matthews.  He excoriates the President for lack of leadership and focus, essentially for not knowing what to do.  Here's his whole rant:
But did anyone ever really expect BHO to be anything but a symbol?  He has never demonstrated any executive talent or capacity for leadership in his life, why would we expect him to suddenly develop it now?   I thought the Dems knew this and would buttress him with hard nosed managers.  Instead he's got bomb thrower Rahm Emmanuel managing him.  I always thought Matthews 'tingle' in his leg was just hyperbole in pursuit of the left agenda.  Now, with the chips down it's clear that Chris actually believed that BHO was qualified to be President.  You can hear the betrayal in his voice.

Affirmative action has always been a dishonest scam to make the power elites feel good without doing anything of substance.  BHO brilliantly exploited it to get into the White House.  Now the end game is  here and the chickens have come home to roost.

Only they're not chickens, they're vultures.

Prepare for forest fires

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has a story about the Golfrinchams.  The useless third of the planet Golfrincha, the Golfrinchams were exiled and crash landed on prehistoric Earth.  The first act of their Earth Council was to declare the deciduous tree leaf legal tender.  They dealt with the inflation problem by burning down all of the forests.

According to Douglas Adams we are descended from this useless third (management consultants, beauticians, phone sanitizers, art directors...).  And guess what?  Our money is as green.....as a deciduous leaf.

Prepare for forest fires.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Dostoyevsky Station Opening Postponed

It was too depressing for commuters..

Eug Fama on the Meltdown, Too Big to Fail and Efficient Markets

Eugene Fama, aka: the best economist to not win a Nobel Prize, aka:  the professor who gave me the lowest grade that I've ever earned, on the markets, capitalism and too big to fail.  Here.

Inflation stats rigged to minimize the number?

The speaker is David Einhorn and here's his column in the NYT from yesterday.  When asked about inflation statistics in the US, this is what he had to say:

The NY Times piece was space constrained. I elaborated on my speech at the Ira Sohn Conference. [The entire speech can be found here.] The section on inflation says:
Now, government statistics are about the last place one should look to find inflation, as they are designed to not show much. Over the last 35 years the government has changed the way it calculates inflation several times. For example, under the current method, when the price of chocolate bars goes up, the government assumes people substitute peanut bars. So chocolate gets a lower weighting in the index when its price rises. Even though some of the changes may be justifiable, the overall effect has been a dramatic reduction in calculated inflation. According to www.shadowstats.com, using the pre-1980 method CPI would be over 9%, today compared to about 2% in the official statistics. While the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle, this doesn't even take into account inflation we ignore by using a basket of goods that does not match the real world cost of living.
For example, we all now know that healthcare, which is certainly a consumer good, is about one-sixth of our economy and its cost has been growing at a rapid pace. So what is the weighting of healthcare in the CPI? About 6%. The government doesn't count the part which the consumer doesn't pay out of pocket. So, if your employer has to pay more for your health insurance, it doesn't count, even if it means you have to accept lower wages. Similarly, Medicare cost increases don't count, even though everyone has to pay higher taxes to fund them. Income and payroll taxes, which are part of the cost of living, are not counted in the CPI either.
On the other hand, one-fourth of the index is comprised of something called owners'-equivalent-rent. This isn't something that anyone actually pays for. If you own your house, the government assumes you are foregoing rental income. The amount that you could receive from a hypothetical renter - the government implicitly assumes you rent it to yourself - is counted in the basket. So, rising taxes, which you do pay, don't count; the fast rising cost of healthcare, which someone else pays on your behalf, doesn't count; but hypothetical rents which you don't pay, and conveniently don't rise very quickly, have a huge weighting.
The simple fact is that if your goal is to never see inflation, you won't see it until it is rampant.
I believe that every time the government has adjusted the inflation calculation, the result has been lower reported inflation. It doesn't seem like a coincidence to me. While I am not going to argue each adjustment (and as I said, some of them may be justifiable), if we used housing prices rather than owners'-equivalent-rent, inflation would have been much higher during the housing bubble. Greenspan probably would not have been able to hold rates at 1% for so long after the emergency passed in the face of higher headline inflation. We probably would have cut the bubble off sooner so there would have been less damage.
There are those who don't believe deficits matter at all, since we can print money. Printing a little money will only have a little effect. If you print too much, at some point, you will have a problem. If deficits don't matter at all, why should we bother to tax anyone? Of course, it is because deficits do matter. As has happened many times in history and most recently with Greece, at some point deficits matter a lot.
Finally, as I understand it (correct me if I am wrong), when the government calculates various statistics like GDP, first it calculates nominal GDP. From that it subtracts an estimate of inflation called "the deflator" or something like that, which it then subtracts to get to real GDP. So, if inflation is estimated to be higher, real GDP comes out lower. I believe it is the same with the other statistics I cite.


If this is even partially true it is extremely disturbing.  Once again our 'public servants' fail us.

E Tu, Bay State?

Massachusetts passes "Arizonaesque" legislation penalizing employers for employing illegals.

"Have you no decency sir?  At long last haven't you tired of your bigoted, hate filled contempt for people of color?  You Tea Bagging bunch of red, oops strike that, blue (oops to amplify, deeply blue, deeply liberal) state red-neck, oops I mean ivy league academic, you.

Mass hysteria, cats sleeping with dogs,

Can the rapture be far behind?

"We're too broke to be this stupid"

Mark Steyn outdoes himself with his latest column in Macleans.  His point:  the welfare state contains enormous amounts of waste that we tolerated when we were 'rich' (well we really weren't rich, we just felt rich because we were borrowing from our kids) but now that the bills are coming due, we're sitting there with the credit card statement and scratching our heads "I paid WHAT? for the Gamay Beaujolais?  I must have been out of my mind."

As Mark points out:  "When you're rich, you can afford stupidity, when you're broke, you can't".

As they say, read the whole thing here:  http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/05/27/were-too-broke-to-be-this-stupid/2/

Bastiat's Revenge

Why are we drilling for oil in water over a mile deep where the risks and difficulty of recovery are an order of magnitude greater than traditional oil exploration sites?  Perhaps it has to do with the fact that most of the US' potential remaining oil reserves onshore and in shallow coastal waters have been placed off limits by the Federal government to 'protect' our environment (and the Geological Survey says we likely have huge untapped reserves).  Without the bans, the Oil companies wouldn't be exploring in deep water.



So policies to 'protect' our environment lead to the greatest environmental catastrophe in recent memory.  This has actually been going on for a long time.  Immense environmental catastrophes have been perpetrated in the Niger delta and Siberian Tundra to produce oil that might not have been produced were it not for the US' (without precedent in the world) ban on exploiting our cheap, accessible resources.

And the catastrophe will lead to further restrictions and bans pushing energy companies into even riskier and more costly endeavors.  The end game:  literally millions of 20 story bird Cuisinarts from sea to shining sea (well actually a lot of them will be in the sea) at six times current energy cost.

Frederic Bastiat, the Father of unintended consequences, would be proud.  Our leaders and media geniuses will no doubt fail to see the irony or even understand the point.

H/T:  Mark Steyn

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Another Act of Treason

Ralph Peters explains why the leak and publication of more critical war information by the New York Times is once again an act of Treason.  Not that anyone in our 'fearless' leadership cares.

Someday these people will be held to account.  I hope I get to witness it.

Ex FDIC head Isaac explaining why the current financial reform attacks in the wrong direction

A guarantee of more chaos.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Liberate to Stimulate

The new UK coalition  has plans that stimulate the economy with no cash outlays.  It would be great if BHO and the Democrats could see their way to do the same.  Ian Murray has the story here.

St Louis Mass Transit - as expensive as a car

I did a rough estimate of Mass transit expenditures in Metro St. Louis a little while ago.
This evening I decided to go back and get the real numbers:

2009 Total Costs of service (including depreciation but excluding capex):  287,000,000
2009 Ridership:  50,000,000
Cost per ride:  $5.76
Cost per mile (assuming 10 mile trip average):   $0.58 per mile, less or more depending upon your assumptions. Roughly the same cost per mile as the $0.43 AAA estimates is the total, all in cost of small car ownership per mile including depreciation.

Oh, and this is before the agency pushed through a large new tax increase this spring.

Now Missouri is not known for its grossly inflated government or profligate civil service so I would guess these are below average numbers.  In a real 'blue state' the numbers must be truly terrifying. Our government is clearly out of control to the extent of pointlessness.  The liberal state is headed for a crash of epic proportions.

Something Gained Something Lost?

Interesting observation in the American Interest:
There was a time when presidents of Harvard made statements about female intellectual capacity and nothing ever happened — but if a president of Harvard were found to be mistreating his actual wife by dumping her for an attractive younger woman he would be ridden out of town on a rail.  Today it is more or less the opposite; you can dump the old bat for a young hottie and nobody will say boo, but if you hint that the female brain isn’t good at physics they will roast you alive.  From the standpoint of morality something was gained and something lost.
I'm not so sure, the marital mistreatment is real, tangible evil, while the recognition of cognitive difference is true, just not popular.
We've substituted fake sensitivity for real wrong and lost something in the process.

Top Ten Lessons of the Ongoing Financial Crisis

Walter Russell Mead speaks sense as usual.

Sarah Palin Tells our First Rookie how to manage the oil crisis.

Here.  He should listen to her.  He won't, of course.

Ocare sinking without a trace....can't see how it survives the elections.

HT:  Pete Wehner at Contentions


Wow. According to the latest poll by Rasmussen, 63 percent of U.S. voters now favor repeal of the plan passed by congressional Democrats and signed into law by President Obama in March. Just 32 percent oppose repeal.
Two questions: first, where are all those really smart Democrats who said that once ObamaCare passed, it would become significantly more popular? And second, has any major piece of federal legislation ever been this unpopular this soon after passage?

Kagan - Never been a judge, just a law school Dean

I guess we conservatives should be grateful.  Like Obama she has all the  makings of an incompetent public official (SC Justice).  What is it about these academics that makes them think that they are even minimally qualified to serve in the real world?  What makes Democrats put these unqualified cliche tossers into positions of power and responsibility agaain and again?  Steven Chu (Cal), BHO (Chicago) and now Kagan (Harv) all clueless in the real world.

"Into the great wide open, into the skies of blue, out in the great wide open, faculty without a clue" - with apologies to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Heartbroken - that's what the Dems will be....

BP Oil Mess - BHO Doesn't really look up to the job does he?

Jennifer Rubin at Contentions has more.  Not ready for prime time?  Then let Bobby Jindal and Louisiana do it - he's said he's willing to act to protect Louisiana coastlines even if it puts him in jail because the Feds are dithering about giving  him permits to construct barrier islands.

He's being a stand up man, why isn't BHO?  Oh wait, BHO's only leadership experience was leading a law school seminar.

When you hire an inexperienced incompetent you get incompetence.

'nuff said.

Dissent used to be the highest form of patriotism. Now it's sedition?

Deval Patrick calls critics of the President 'Seditious'.  Not the first time that libs have done this.  And we aren't even aiding and abetting enemies killing our soldiers the way that Dems were.

Oh how the worm has turned.

Omigod! Sarah Palin wasn't and isn't in the pocket of Big Oil

Trueslant has the story.  Now BHO was clearly aligned with green fave BP before the explosion - lots of cash, lots of mojo.  This just in:  BP gave more money to BHO than to any other politician, ever.  No wonder his advisors defend them.

Reality is a bitch, innit?

Murder by SWAT Team

More black clad gratuitous police thuggery. Here. And no one will go to jail. But defend against these criminals and they'll blow you and your children to hell.

The police are increasingly indistinguishable from the criminals.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Reading Arizona

Reading is so super swell.....see here.

A sober and optimistic explanation of our current 'culture war' between freedom and statism

His focus is useful and important.  The key?   "Human Flourishing".  Read about it  here.

We can turn away from the looming fiscal catastrophe

Canada did.  But it will take a very different brand of leadership and a 180% shift in policy direction to do so.

Government sponsored and escorted thuggery

DC police escort SEIU mob to protest at Maryland residence of B of A lawyer, trapping teenage boy in his home.  Blogger excoriated by Huffpo and Union for reporting the abuse.  Power Line has more:


The folks at Big Government and Big Journalism have followed up on Easton's column. They note that the union and the lapdogs at Huffington Post and Media Matters have attacked Easton for reporting on the doings in her yard.
Big Journalism reports that the union demonstrators at the Bank of America lawyer's house outside Washington, D.C., had a police escort. The escort comprised DC police offers; the primary role of the Washington cops in this event was to protect the protesters. Big Journalism observes:
A caravan of SEIU buses receive a Metropolitan (D.C.) Police Department escort to a private home in Maryland where the protesters, from all appearances, violate Montgomery County law by engaging in a stationary protest. The Montgomery County police were not informed by their cross-jurisdictional colleagues of the impending, unusually large protest pending in their jurisdiction.
What's up with that? Had the mob decided to torch the house, the D.C. police would not have been authorized to intervene. Not their jurisdiction. They're just escorts. Meanwhile, a teenage boy is home alone [at the Bank of America lawyer's house], frightened by what's happening outside his front door.
Big Government also takes a look at the loans SEIU has taken out with Bank of America. The aptly named LIberty Chick reports that as of 2007, the SEIU owed Bank of America nearly $95 Million. By the end of 2008, SEIU owed more than $156 Million in total outstanding liabilities. Ms. Chick speculates: "Perhaps all that campaigning for President Obama has emboldened the union to think that they deserve a free pass on their debts to Bank of America, and encouraged them to employ their usual thuggish shakedown tactics."

NYT Discovers that Europe's Social Democracy is unsustainable

Here

So how long before the Grey Lady puts two and two together and discovers that the system they have been advocating so assiduously here in the US for the better part of a century is the mirror image of the one that they are describing the slow moving collapse of over there?

The lady isn't the brightest bulb, so it could take a long time.

"We can no longer afford the old social model"... .Hmm doesn't this come at the exact time that the Obami have finally copied the continent's "Old Social Model"?  Talk about timing....

Our elites are SHARP!

With Spain's Green Economy Discredited, Obama switches to touting Denmarks

....pity the Dane's is a disaster too.  Key personal learning:  GE's lobbying budget exceeds that of all of 'Big Oil' combined.

Cool Ways to Establish Your "Posse's" Purpose

I was talking to the lead Pastor at our evening service and was offering him unsolicited (it's always unsolicited with me) advice.  My basic reaction to the service, teaching, music and ambiance was 'great', but something's missing.  That something was a purpose beyond the worship activity.  I think evangelical churches spend so much time trying to attract congregants that they end up being too consumer or 'service' focused - what can we do for you?  Why are we the best choice for you?

It seems to me that the most important element of a congregation isn't what it feeds on (the service and teaching) but what it does - I analogize it to Dogs - is the congregation a pack of show dogs, hunting dogs or guard dogs? They all need to be fed with nutritious dog food but what kind of pack are they?  What is their purpose?

Purpose is important because as anyone whose ever owned a hunting dog knows, what we do is more important to us than what we consume - a hunting dog will play fetch to the point of exhaustion, and frankly so  will we if we are doing what we are meant to.  Without that purpose a church quickly devolves into a constant series of consumerist 'bitches', treated more like the Target than the Way.

The response I often get to this critique is very generic "well we're here to reach the lost, you know, preach the word, etc. etc.".  To which I answer:  "precisely how?".  To me the generic response is worse than no response because it fails to define the congregation in terms that give it distinctive purpose relative to all of the other 'good' things one can be doing.  Particularly when you talk about specific, well defined congregations will distinctive cultures it seems to me to make more sense to define a specific purpose than a general one.  And by defining such a purpose one makes clear what members of that body do for the Kingdom on a regular basis.  With that in mind I have come up with a list of what I consider to be a cool set of 'purpi' for an upscale urban congregation like mine:

1. Think tank/launch center:  our church is doing lots of new things, establishing new site congregations, changing worship styles and so one.  The hard thinking and planning for these activities tends to be held close to the vest with a limited number of pastors and 'good old boys' (elders).  Why not define the congregation's purpose as leading this effort?  It could have three core purposes:  benchmarking/best practices - identifying the best of what other congregations are doing, market testing, and new site launch.  The key is to make this a congregational purpose and attract all who would seek out that role to it.

2. New Media.  Our Church is a very strong teaching church but it does a horrible job of leveraging all of its teaching into reusable content.  The opportunity is to focus the congregation around utilizing new media to capture the best of the Church's content and spread it far and wide.

3. We Testify.  The congregation is filled with people with unique and compelling stories about their faith walks.  What if it was focused around telling and capturing these stories.  The stories could be leveraged in combination with #2 to form a leveraged message that could be shared far and wide.  In some sense it would by like the NPR living history series, but focused on a history of faith.

4. The intellectuals path back home.  Our community is a rather intellectual one with lots of academics and other people who consider themselves too sophisticated for belief.  In a real sense their training, expertise and culture have led them to the point where they find themselves out on the end of a limb, lost and not knowing what to do to get back home.  We could focus, perhaps in combination with 3,  on helping them do so.

5. "We're the Odds".  Our service is filled with the misfits that don't fit in the other parts of the Church.  We could turn or characteristics into a virtue - focus on pursuing different types of unique groups for fellowship.  This wouldn't be focused on dysfunction but on difference for example:  Scottish Highland Games reenactors, not Al Anon, not divorce recovery but midgets.  (Is that politically incorrect?  I don't know PC).

Anyway the point is to engage the congregation, all of us, into a grand crusade - to get all  the huntin' dogs hunting.  The biggest obstacle to this is the professional staff's desire for control, to make sure that everything looks good, because by engaging a lot more people in a more externally focused enterprise the 'pros' are going to lose their pinpoint control over the product - the look and feel of the service may vary more, may be less slick as people get less focused inside and more focused outside.

I don't know what the answer is, I just know that we all need a purpose bigger than ourselves and God will give us that if we ask for it.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

On Moderation

The same friend also chastised me for my harsh language regarding the President, his party and his agenda.  He argued that if I wanted to persuade 'moderates' like him of my position   I would need to tone down my language, sound more moderate, more reasonable.  He has a point about persuasion, certainly if someone wants to be persuaded, soft gentle language will make the seduction more successful.  But I wonder if such a course is actually useful given our situation.  Some examples:

The Medicare Part "D" program signed into law was a notable 'moderate' victory, it agreed to have taxpayers pay 90 cents of every dollar of pharmaceutical costs for seniors at a net unfunded liability cost of 18 Trullion.  Of course a Democrat only bill would have cost over 30 trillion but the moderate compromise was no more than a slower boat to oblivion.

The Iraq war resolution was another 'triumph' of moderation.  27 'moderate' Democrats voted with Republicans for the resolution.  A few short months later, when the going got tough, 26 of the 27 Democrats 'cut and ran' claiming (falsely) that they had been 'lied into' the war.  A claim that speaks volumes either about their honesty or their gullibility depending on whether you believe them or not.  They resolutely opposed the war until the moment that the Presidency shifted to BHO.   Then each of them magically rediscovered the principles that caused them to support the war in the first place.  The only people to stick to their principles regardless of the politics:  a few hard left Democrat Senators, virtually every Republican and Joe Lieberman who was thrown out of the Democrats.  Moderation!

Finally, that avatar of moderation:  Arlen Specter.  A RINO Republican whose vote was for sale on virtually any issue, he shifted to the Democrats when he concluded that his 'moderation' would no longer be tolerated by Republican voters and began selling his votes from the other side of the aisle.  He was then turfed by rank and file Democrats who it turns out can't stomach a habitual turncoat any more than Republicans can.  But a great moderate.

From the perspective of a Conservative, appealing to moderate sentiments seems likes a mugs game - a mixture of slightly milder blunders and constantly being manipulated for 'goodies'.  Better to stick to principle and let the stone cold hand of history force them to choose sides.

On Humiliation

A friend recently chastised me for wishing for our current leadership's humiliation.  I actually haven't actively wished for it rather I've pointed out its inevitability given this Administration's chosen course.  However point taken.  But then I read bout the Arizona immigration law flap.  It seems that BHO, AG Holder and Secretary Napolitano along with the rest of bien pensant opinion rushed to sneer at the Arizona law before actually reading it's ten short pages.  It turns out that when read, the law reads exactly like the 50 year old Federal law except that the Arizona has more explicit protections against profiling written into it.  Since the Federal Courts have long ruled that state officials can enforce federal immigration laws, it would seem that in their rush to prove their progressive credentials our 'fearless', no make that 'clueless' leaders and the crowds of the illiterati that hang around them have embarrassed themselves.

So one would expect a walkback, yes?  Or at least a decent silence?  Of course not.

This week BHO hosted Felipe Calderon, President of Mexico in the White House.  To BHO's face, in the People's House, in public, Calderon strongly criticized the Arizona law and American immigration policy.  So we have the spectacle of a country who Amnesty International says has one of the worst record of treating immigrants in the world dumping on us, the nation with the best record in the world.  Hmm. So what did our "brilliant" "Constitutional Law Scholar" say?  BHO agreed with Calderon, citing the Arizona law as his
justification (Despite the fact that of the three laws in Question - Mexico, US and Arizona's, it
is the least harsh, containing the most protections against abuse).

So to my friends criticism:  how could I possibly heap more humiliation upon a man who chooses to humiliate himself thus?  I feel embarrassment for him: for his ignorance of subjects that he is supposedly 'expert' on, his inability to distinguish between reality and his 'racist' propaganda and his obvious enthusiastic anti Americanism. Even while standing as our President in the President's house he can't defend his own country's outstanding record against one of the world's worst.  Pathetic.  Doesn't he understand what it means to be our leader? And doesn't he understand the world is watching?

A leader who won't stand up for his country will soon find out that his country won't stand up for him.

This just in:  Sr, Calderon described Arizona's (really America's) immigration laws as full of  “intolerance, hate, discrimination and abuse” to a joint session of Congress and the Democrats went wild with a standing ovation.  Andy McCarthy rightly described the behavior of the Democrats a 'catastrophe' for our nation.  I do not understand how Americans, our people, could do this.  They don't seem to be on the same side as me.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Krauthammer makes a critical point about how the Federal Government got the prestige to radically expand since the 60s:

And I think he should have had an easy answer saying: “The Civil Rights Act was one of the great achievements of our day and it made our country enormously better in every way. But... our real problem today, in part, [is that] because of the prestige that the federal government acquired as a result of the success on civil rights, it thought it could solve everything, and for the last 50 years we have been injecting it in every area of life, and I'm saying it's not the way to approach things.”

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bank of England head says US is just another Greecey spot

The facade is beginning to crumble big time.  How many years till "pop"?  I used to think 10, I now think the next recession which - if PIGS keep tipping in the toilet - could be next year.

Thanks Grand-dad.

More here.

HT Instapundit

The AG calls racist laws that he hasn't read.

From Instapundit:


THIS IS THE QUALITY OF ANALYSIS I EXPECTED FROM HIM: Holder admits: No, I haven’t read the Arizona law I’ve been dumping on. “Here’s the money question, prompted not just by Holder’s ignorance but the fact that Hillary criticized the statute without having read it either: Are theydeliberately not reading it so that they have an excuse to walk back their criticisms later if this gets too hot politically?”

UPDATE: “The Most Transparently Irresponsible Administration in American History.” “How could the Attorney General of the United States malign a state law as raising profound constitutional questions, imply that the lawmakers who drafted it are racists, and direct a Justice Department review of the law without having read the law?

So how do you know what you know?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Microsoft "Monopoly" Humbled by "Free"

Remember when the dimwitted and venal government lawyers were shrieking about Microsoft's insurmountable dominance, well now they're forced to give away versions of Office 2010 (Office Web Apps) for free because of competition from Google.  Of course now the government dimwits are shrieking about Google.

The only truly permanent and destructive monopolies are those that government regulations and laws enshrine.  Look at Pharmacists today a pharmacist does nothing but take orders from a computer and count numbers and colors of pills.  Yet they have a monopoly on dispensing pharmaceuticals.  For doing something a sixth grader could do.  Oh, yes and they have to read the instructions printed on the prescription - it's called counseling.  They shouldn't exist except that 50 states have enshrined their monopoly in law.

Venal, arrogant and monopolizing legitimate violence, government is (as always) the real threat.  And the lawyers who run it are the most dangerous of all.

Hat tip Carpe Diem.

This cop's perspective on the Arizona law is informative

Jack Dunphy was with the LAPD for 30 years.  Knows the illegal situation inside and out and he doesn't think the law is a big deal one way or the other.  Here are his thoughts in NRO.

I never thought I'd see this at an American University

You know people always talk about how us Teabaggers are racist haters.  But they never have any video evidence of an actual supporter saying anything racist.  Here's a  Rep of the Muslim Student Association at UCSD on TV.  Well I'll let you watch.

Funny, this was never on any MSM station.  The left is trying desperately to keep all of their crazies down in the sewers, all the racists, haters, anti-Americans,  but the MSM no longer controls the narrative.  And once the left loses control of the story, they lose.

BHO is such a rookie and the Tuition is getting astronomical

Krauthammer talking about why the Obami are groveling in front of Karzai on his visit to Washington:


Look, it obviously was a mistake earlier [in March] dissing him. Look at the way the administration is behaving today — in which they are giving him every honor short of the president bending a knee, which apparently he reserves for his visits overseas.
What they are doing with Karzai is undoing what happened in March when he was really insulted. He's wily, and he knows it. He's not a rookie like the president, and he knows in these relationships even the client has power because we're dependent on him as he is on us. When he talked about abandoning the fight or flirting with the enemy, it registered here.
So after treating him with the kind of contempt usually reserved for the Israeli prime minister, we are giving him every honor in the book. . . .
We have no choice. There is no other ally or partner in the area, and the hour is late.

This one didn't cost us much but there are a lot of them that are.  Note to ourselves:  This is why you don't put people with no organizational experience in the White House.  The Tuition is way too expensive.

Our government out of control etc. etc.

From Carpe Deim, this is just rich:

Michigan had the highest unemployment rate in the nation at 14.1 percent in March, and the ranks of the state’s unemployed total more than 682,000. The last time the March jobless rate in Michigan was that high was 27 years ago in 1983, when it reached 16.1 percent.

So you would think it would be easy to hire seasonal workers in Michigan for industries like landscaping, right? Well, you would be wrong this year, because unemployed Michiganders are getting unemployment benefits for up to 99 weeks due to all of the federal jobless benefits extensions, and those benefits are creating disincentives for some of the unemployed to go back to work. Here’s the way the math works:

Landscape workers can earn about $12 per hour in Michigan and would make $480 per week before taxes working full-time, or about $350 per week after taxes. In addition, full-time landscape workers would face transportation costs and other work-related expenses. But collecting unemployment benefits and working zero hours per week, many of those unemployed workers can receive $255 per week tax-free for almost two years, which is only $95 less per week than if they worked full-time. For some workers who are getting the maximum of $387 per week in jobless benefits, they can receive even more from collecting benefits than they would get paid going back to work full-time.

So in the state with the highest jobless rate in the country, landscaping companies in Michigan are actually finding it difficult to hire seasonal workers this year, partly because of “the most generous safety net we’ve ever offered nationally,” according to Michigan economist David Littmann. Read more about it here in 
today’s Detroit News.

Scenes from the war on Americans, I mean the war on drugs.

Video of a SWAT raid on a family, shoots two dogs with their seven year old present.  Found a small amount of marijuana.  Our government is far more dangerous and destructive than all of the criminals who have ever lived.  What a bunch of thugs.

*by criminals I of course mean the non-governmental ones.

More expensive than owning and driving your own car

Error Report:  It costs between $0.50 and $0.60 per mile to own and operate the typical US Car.

My wheels got whacked by a tree in a storm and so I'm pedestrian for a week.  I'm taking St. Louis' award winning mass transit system.  Taking the train from near my house to the office and back all week.  Gave me time to think about mass transit.  Based upon my calculations it costs in real terms somewhere between $0.60 and $1.20 a mile and twice as much time for me to use the Metro to get to work - my cost estimate does not include my time.  By contrast, the IRS tells us that the total all in cost per mile of driving your own car (capital, maintenance, taxes, fuel, Insurance) is roughly $0.30 per mile.

So in Saint Louis we could buy everyone who needs one a car and pay for it sugar daddy style so that they could drive themselves.  It would save between half and 75% of the costs and half of the time  of the 'people's' mass transit system.  And since less than 1% of all St. Louis trips are taken on the "Mass Union Employment Scam" the increased traffic probably wouldn't be noticed (except for the disappearance of the big lumbering buses).

It's far past time to stop pretending that our 'leaders' give a rip about the little guy.

Choo.  Choo.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Flagships of Blue America are coming apart at the seams

Analyst prediction:  LA will go bankrupt within 5 years.  George Will explains why in Newsweek, another institution likely to be bankrupt by then.  Public 'service' unions have looted our great cities and states to the extent that many will collapse unless bailed out by the Fed's magic money machine.  The left is REALLY losing control of the narrative.  It's gonna be fun!

Obama's ICE is melted

ICE - Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency doesn't even take criminal illegal aliens handed to them by the NYPD - they get released on the street.  So where do you think Arizonans get the idea that they can't count on anyone but themselves to defend the borders?

All the Obami and their clients do is sneer and howl 'racist', 'hater'.

"One toke over the line sweet.......Obama"

Reason listening to BHO at a college commencement.  Hypocrisy is such an endearing attribute, no?  BHO in his drug felony phase - was our "Law Enforcement Officer in Chief" ever held accountable for his crimes?  Or are crimes just for the 'little' people?
What happens in Occidental, stays in Occidental

Leaders without a clue

Reason reports that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are continuing to lose money at majestic, awe inspiring rates. Far greater than GM ever could.  Our fearless 'leaders' have a financial reform bill in front of Congress that has no reform of the mortgage markets and doesn't even reference Fan and Fred.  This administration doesn't have a clue and doesn't have a plan - because it would require a deduction from their precious power.  Power grasped at the expense of the people.

What selfless heros.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Well this isn't good

Interbank credit default swap prices rising to records.  The 2008 banking crisis was provoked by US real estate financing profligacy.  I'm afraid that a 2010 panic could be provoked by multiple European countries tipping into the toilet.  Even if it doesn't happen today, it will definitely happen in the next few years.

And then the consequences of decades of governmental lies and fraud (aka Social Democracy or the Welfare State) will come tumbling out of the closet, onto our children.

What a stinking mess we've made for ourselves.  Chaos as far as the eye can see and a "True Believer" at the wheel.  Perhaps it's payback for all the good years we've had.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

And you wonder why people are upset about immigration

Racist, pro-Mexican, anti-American public high schools in LA.  The left is losing control of the narrative as their "Latino" clients get more and more aggressive in their promotion of a racially exclusive (La Raza anyone?), America hating culture.  The fact that the vast majority of immigrants - legal or not - want nothing to do with Mexico and are seeking the American Dream doesn't matter one whit.  The people that the Democrats have anointed to speak for them despise our country.  And the poor immigrant will pay the price.

Where are the brave, pro-American leftists?  You know, the ones that put people before power?  Why aren't they fighting this travesty?  Too busy implementing our version of the Eurabian, oops the European "Utopia" I guess.  And they need the bigot's votes to get it through.

California is so screwed.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

The State: Insanely Destructive

Mine fires in China (all mines are state run) generate more CO2 than all US cars do.  Indian Mine Fires (all state run) contribute another 51million tons a year to our greenhouse gas totals.  Missing from the list of shame?  Western coal mines which are run by and for investors who think it bad business to let good coal burn up underground.

The church of the state worships power, not people.  Why else would they sponsor such  preventable catastrophes?

The principled argument against the Arizona law

There is a principled argument against empowering the state to pursue otherwise non-violent, productive undocumented immigrants.  Unfortunately the left, immigration promoters and other assorted poseurs like the President find it easier to sneer and howl 'hate' than to make it.  Because it is founded on Liberty rather than State Impunity, I suspect that there are only a handful of leftists that have the capacity to think it.

Stuart Varney: Greece Represents the Beginning of the End of the Welfare Sate

When something can't continue, it won't.  That goes for social democracy.  Once again:  our leaders are implementing the last touches on America's social democracy just as the model collapses.  These Harvard boys are SHARP.  Aren't they?

More commentary in.......Commentary.

MIT's Free Courses

They will give away the rope that we shall hang them with.  Good stuff, here.

Niall Ferguson: "The Euro is Doomed"

Prof Ferguson explains how Greece and the rest of the 'PIGS' doom the world's second currency.  In another doomed enterprise:  Newsweek.

I'm just full of happy news today, ain't I?

Doom. Doom.

The Center Cannot Hold

From John Mauldin's weekly newsletter:

To argue that the US can decouple from Europe's problems doesn't hold water with me. We are clearly in recovery, but we are going to need all the help we can get. And a Europe falling into what could be a serious recession is not a Europe that buys our goods. And with the euro on the way to parity (along with the pound) we will have to compete with their exporters. The latter half of this year, I think the US slows down. Then the 2011 tax hikes kick in.


I still think there is at least a 50-50 chance of renewed recession, and with it a serious bear market and rising unemployment. I hope I am wrong but, as I have been writing for some time, you should see this as a trader's market and, with a few exceptions, be wary of being long only.


Hattip John Macauley

Friday, May 07, 2010

Tin Ear, heck, I'm not sure he has ears

With 60% of Americans lined up against him the President makes jokes about the border war.  This video is just a taste of how badly he is going to be whipped on this issue.  For such a 'brilliant politician' it's amazing how clueless he can be.  With 'leadership' like this it's not surprising that the Democrats are imploding.

Well the Canary's dead boys!

Time for the rest of Europe to see how long they can hold their breath.

And these are the geniuses that the Obami want to emulate.  What do you call someone who persists in imitating foolish behavior even after said behavior has been widely demonstrated as being foolish?  It's quite a lexicographical conundrum, no?

Wilder? or Dumber?

Warning label on a reprint of the Constitution and Articles of Confederation:


© Wilder Publications 2008
This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today. Parents might wish to discuss with their children how views on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and interpersonal relations have changed since this book was written before allowing them to read this classic work.

HT Volokh Conspiracy

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Snobbery: A Prehistory

Once upon a time there was just us.  And then the Cro Magnons moved in down the glacier.  "No problem", we said, "we're better than them, we've got rocks".  Then they got rocks.  Undeterred we said: "well they may have rocks but we've got sticks and  rocks and know how to bang them together".  Sure enough, some weeks later we heard the telltale sound of sticks banging on rocks echoing off of the ice interspersed with yelps of primitive Cro Magnon glee.  "Philistines!", we grunted.  The next morning our Neanderthal engineer came in with his latest invention: "Fire!".  For weeks the forest was filled with flames, whole groves burned to a crisp.  "That'll show 'em" we said.  Then one night, beyond the smoldering trees we saw flames, heard sticks on rocks and the shadows of the Cros' doing their brutal, primitive dance.  "Pigs", we thought.  This was getting serious - "formal animal skins!" our fashion maven shouted - we will wear animal skins - Bear! Caribou!  Saber Toothed Tiger! we looked rakish in the 'skins, we made a Neanderthal fashion statement.  Then one day the Cro Magnon clan strolled by in matching skins and coverings that they called 'hats'.

"This has got to stop", we said.  We plotted.  We schemed.  We attempted to invent the cannon but couldn't find enough hollow trees.  Then one day the engineer had his eureka moment.  "Take the sticks and stones and tie them together using strips of our ceremonial skins", he said.  "We'll call 'em clubs!"  We were so happy!  Once again we were on top, we were better than they were.  But the realists among us said:  "you know that the Cros' are just going to copy us, they always do".

So we donned our formal skins, grabbed our shiny new clubs, marched down the glacier and beat their brains in before they could.

I shall become a pundit

Johah Goldberg has persuaded me:
I am now a true pundit, which, as we all know, is an Hindu word meaning wise-man-priest-shaman-philosopher. The sort of man who knows the sound of one hand clapping, who comprehends why Steve Guttenberg is a star, who can tell you exactly how much wood a woodchuck would chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.

In America, however, pundit means anyone who is willing to make a political opinion, no matter how banal, outlandish, or unjustified, so long as he's never held accountable for it and is willing to change his opinion for an open bar and some free shrimp.

Fascinating Point

 “In Marxist theory, the Communist Party represented the interests of productive workers, the value of whose labor is expropriated by others. That was wrong, but at least it had a certain coherence. Greek Communists (and more generally, 21st century socialists) stand for something quite different: the ‘right’ to be supported by the labor of others (in the Greek case, Germans); the ‘right’ to be a sponge, forever; the ‘right’ to be an exploiter. It would be hard to think of a less attractive political program.” And yet it is generally regarded by “right-thinking” people as respectable. . . .


From Powerline.  Isn't that the argument made by our left elites "we're here to protect the hard working proletariat from people who would exploit them"?  Yet Animal Farm style - "All Animals are equal, but some are more equal than others" - the state bureaucracies and monopolies exploit those who produce, giving themselves and privileged castes vastly inflated wages and benefits and subsidies paid for by the productive Proles.


George Orwell saw it coming but even he didn't have the imagination to see how ugly it would get.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Obami restrict funding of education at for profit colleges

...because they worry about students taking on too much debt.  Not for profit colleges screwing students, well that's just keen - their part of the coalition of the state.  But this private, tax paying business baloney, can't have that, they cut into our margins. Colleges loading up marginal students with tens of thousands of federal debt has been going on for years.  But now that they face a threat from actual customer focused entities, they're using the by now banal fact of their looting as a pretext to restrict competition to their fat, dumb, and venal oligopoly.

The Obami's behavior is utterly predictable:  buttress the state and its dependents, restrict competitive market behavior and stick the kids with the bill.

"Charities" indeed.

Another way to understand the pending collapse of social democracy.

80 years of social democrat lies are coming a cropper.

Why not feel sorry for BP?

We sob about the ecosystem (which never seems to include us) but a great company that has done lots to make us healthier and wealthier is reviled.  Yet this is primarily their tragedy - BP will be all but wiped out.  Tens of thousands will those their jobs.  How about a little compassion for them?  The enviro faithful are the most arrogant, hateful religious order in the long history of transcendent faith.  Frankly, they hate us all.  Read more here.

There are only two weapons to fight for the right: Reason (aka Truth) and Faith

Uncle Ludi has one:

"The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office. Every man but a subordinate clerk in a bureau. What an alluring utopia! What a noble cause to fight!

Against all this frenzy of agitation there is but one weapon available: reason. Just common sense is needed to prevent man from falling prey to illusory fantasies and empty catchwords."

From 
"Bureaucracy" by Ludwig von Mises (1944)

Brilliant and Terrifying use of Graphics

Hat tip, the NYT (and you know it pains me to say that).
Graphic: Web of Debt

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Paid twice as much, ten times more incompetent

The Feds had a plan that would have stopped the spread of the spill - Fire booms and burn off.  Problem:  between 1994 when the plan was created and today no Fire Booms were built or prepositioned.  Powerline has the story.

U.S. officials had followed up on a 1994 response plan for a major Gulf oil spill, it is possible that the spill could have been kept under control and far from land.
The problem: The federal government did not have a single fire boom on hand.
The "In-Situ Burn" plan produced by federal agencies in 1994 calls for responding to a major oil spill in the Gulf with the immediate use of fire booms.
But in order to conduct a successful test burn eight days after the Deepwater Horizon well began releasing massive amounts of oil into the Gulf, officials had to purchase one from a company in Illinois.
When federal officials called, Elastec/American Marine, shipped the only boom it had in stock, Jeff Bohleber, chief financial officer for Elastec, said today.
At federal officials' behest, the company began calling customers in other countries and asking if the U.S. government could borrow their fire booms for a few days, he said.
So: if this account is correct, federal agencies planned to respond to a major spill in the Gulf by burning off the oil with fire booms, but after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, they discovered that they didn't have any. (One may subsequently have been found in storage.) This criticism is seconded by a highly credible source, former NOAA oil spill coordinator Ron Gouguet, who helped write the 1994 plan:
[F]ormer National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration oil spill response coordinator Ron Gouguet -- who helped craft the 1994 plan -- told the Press-Register that officials had pre-approval for burning. "The whole reason the plan was created was so we could pull the trigger right away."
Gouguet speculated that burning could have captured 95 percent of the oil as it spilled from the well.
The first test burn using a fire boom did not occur until April 28, eight days after the oil rig exploded. By that time, an enormous amount of oil had been spilled and was making its way toward land

This is typical of the Feds - overpaid and incompetent.  This is the brilliant organization that BHO wants to put in charge of.....well, virtually everything.  Our kids are getting more conservative by the day.

For a free market conservative mocking our government, particularly as led by the Obami is like shooting fish in a barrel - a barrel stuffed full of filleted and salted cod.  What buffoons.  But of course the joke's on us.

Turn out the lights, the Party's over..........

Stephen Green argues that it's time for an orderly unwinding of the Euro.  Before profligate midgets like Greece, Spain and Portugal drag it and the rest of the world into monetary chaos.

One the other hand, flight from the euro is the only thing masking the incredible debasement of the dollar done by our "fearless leaders".

Now that I think about it, Europe:  you go girl.  Your flailing makes us look good.

Great Joke from Obama

Everybody's shrieking about this joke that the President told:

"The Jonas Brothers are here; they're out there somewhere. Sasha and Malia are huge fans. But boys, don't get any ideas. I have two words for you, 'predator drones.' You will never see it coming."


My reaction to the criticism?  Get a life.   I mean he's definitely not my cup of tea as President, but the day when a Red Blooded American Father can't threaten the boys milling around his daughters with Death is the day that the terrorists have won.

Kwashiorkor Soccer

When I was a boy I lived in Kebayoran Baru, just outside of Jakarta, Indonesia.  My house was the last western style 'mansion' carved out of the kampung or urban village.  The kampung had few roads and was a clean but disorderly mishmash of tin roofed, concrete floored cottages with plaster walls painted in light pastels.  The people were uniformly polite and on the typical day the kampung was as safe as a Church.

In a crowded city on a crowded island the only open space was the street in front of our house.  So the local kids played there night and day.  Once in a while I'd go out and play soccer with them.  I was a small American boy but compared to them I was huge.  Some of the children looked rather funny, they had distended bellies, stick thin arms and legs and had either lost their lustrous black Javanese hair or it had turned gasoline colored.  They tried to play soccer but they were weak and moved around like old women.

For the first time in my life I was an athletically on top, outrunning these tiny, skinny kids, knocking somebody else down for a change.  I was a 'stud'.

I didn't know - wait that's a lie - I didn't want to know that the fat bellies and stick thin limbs were symptoms of Kwashikiorkor - a disease of malnutrition.  You see, while all the kids there were malnourished by my standards, the Kwashikiorkor kids were literally starving to death.  Yet I knocked them down and exulted in my 'mastery'.

The science says that without aggressive nutritional intervention 2/3rds of KK victims will not live to adulthood.  I've asked God for forgiveness for my arrogance, cruelty and willful blindness and I know that he has forgiven me.  But I don't go a week now without wincing at the memory.

The truth is that while we can be forgiven for our sins the damage can never completely be repaired on this earth.  That's why it is so important to protect your heart from sin in the first place.

My reality is that I earned this cross of shame and I will drag it to my grave.



Horrified by all of my libertarian polemics?  Here's a compilation of my non political, non economic pieces for those nights when you have insomnia.

Remember this chart next time an Environmentalist tries to put a hairshirt on you

The US has never been more energy efficient and will continue to become more so regardless of what Al Gore and his band of sour nannies says or does.  Of course when it does they will claim that their bribery and bullying were key.  Don't believe them.  They lie.

And it's why self righteous statements like "the average American uses 6 times the energy as the average Chinese" are such non sequiturs:  it's not how much one consumes that is relevant, it's what one does with it.  and the evidence is while Americans consume 6 times more, we produce almost 10 times more output.  By that standard, it's the Chinese (and most of the rest of the world) that should be apologizing to us for their energy profligacy.  Failing to take data down to its economic conclusion is just part of the leftist cargo cult that makes a fetish of context free, stand alone statistics.  Again, don't believe them.  Not only do they lie, they are fools.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Mexico Abuses It's Immigrants

Wait, this can't be true.  I mean they're not white (I mean not really white) and they're not American.  How can they be thugs?  They're Sun people, not Ice people.  They live in Sonora, not Arizona.  Come on, Mexico! get with the evil Gringo narrative.

Technology drives new creole

A creole is a pidgin language adopted by natives of a region in place or addition to their native language and incorporating many words and phrases.  If it gets used enough, it becomes a lingua franca:  Hindi/Urdu, Bahasa and Swahili are successful lingua francas (as is English, which I'm sure began life as a creole of Low German, with Latin and Celtic incursions).  Apparently Facebook doesn't support Arabic script so Arabic speakers utilize the English alphabet to write Arabic.  Technically not a creole or lingua franca, more of a compu-franca.  It's kinda cool.  Some obscenities on the site (they don't like a band that doesn't like Islam).

Chekitout.

There's hope: Dutch Special Ops take over a pirated vessel in the Red Sea

The Dutch!!!  See here.

Arizona Immigration Law Unpacked

Mark Steyn says eloquently what I've been grunting (troglodyte racist that I am):

"That’s Arizona. To the coastal commentariat, “undocumented immigrants” are the people who mow your lawn while you’re at work and clean your office while you’re at home. (That, for the benefit of Linda Greenhouse, is the real apartheid: the acceptance of a permanent “undocumented” servant class by far too many “documented” Americans who assuage their guilt by pathetic sentimentalization of immigration.)"


Read the whole thing.

Greek bailout 40% of GDP

See here.  This bailout is of course predicated on a 25% cut in government spending.  When it comes our turn the people who bail us out will need to put up about $7 Trillion.  Along with those 25% spending cuts.  Suffice it to say, the money won't come and either the 25% cuts will morph into 50% or we'll get 25% inflation (which is just a crooked government's way of doing the same thing).

Coming to a town near you by 2020.

My liberal friend says not to worry, we'll muddle through.  Of course if I smashed his face in with a baseball bat he'd probably 'muddle through'.   That fact wouldn't make my act any less of a betrayal, any less of a crime.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Real Healthcare Reform

Which means private sector, Singapore style health care.  See here.  Of course I'm pretty sure that this is illegal under Obamacare.  After all they can't let the 'rubes' organize themselves - where's the percentage for the 'boys'.

Is Washington Bankrupting America?

Answer is yes.  Must see Youtube.
Tragic stats:  US Unfunded future liabilities equal:
  • 5 X the value of all homes 
  • 9 X the value of all personal income
  • 2 X the value of every item that people own in the country
Even if we sold ourselves to China, lock stock and barrel, we wouldn't have the money to pay off the promises our government has made.  This analysis of course excludes current spending and outstanding debts which are soaring.

I think the key is slavery - sell our children into human bondage, that way we'll get enough money.  Wait, isn't that what we've done?

The state is not benign, it is a ravenous predatory beast, poisoning everything and everyone it comes into contact with.  Kill the beast.

Gangland politics where one side owns the cops

How the State helps large, politically connected corporations stomp free speech.  In Obamatopia!  Clearly our cops have too much money, too much power and too much leeway.  It is inconceivable that they would have done what is described in this post a hundred years ago.  Of course there are many, many things the State does today on behalf of powerful vested interests that would have been inconceivable to the man on the street a century ago.

Thugs, our country is increasingly run by thugs.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

It's a scale issue

 There is really no hope for a democracy as large as ours led from the center.  With the nation headed towards half a billion people spread over 3.6 million square miles the tectonic forces brought to bear on the center at any point of change literally tears the polity to shreds.  People can’t rationally make decisions involving trillions of dollars and hundreds upon hundreds of millions of people.  Our minds can’t conceive.

Ambitious lads like Barack Obama are sorcerers apprentices, conjuring up forces that they don’t understand and can’t hope to control.