Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Two Good questions from Carpe Diem

The answer is of course not.  The other examples are ones where it is in the interest of powerful businesses to promote the high value of their products, therefore they don't ban the selling at above market prices.  By contrast, with a perishable product like a game or a concert, it is in the interests of the the business to sell more tickets even if many won't be used - therefore they need to eliminate the profits of the secondary market.

Give the state the power to 'regulate' markets and you usually just give powerful commercial interests the ability to regulate them to benefit themselves....

1. If ticket scalping laws that make it illegal to sell a ticket to a concert or sporting event above face value are a good idea, shouldn't selling a coin, bond, car, or house above face value, sticker price or list price also be illegal as well?  If not, why not?  

2. Name the main arguments in favor of selling a coin, bond, car or house above face value/list price.  Aren't all of them equally good arguments for allowing people to sell tickets above face value?

Hattip Carpe Diem

Shouldn't unpaid internships be illegal?

No, of course not.  Unpaid internships are what the children of the elite do and they are performed for elite institutions.  Therefore they are exempt from the laws that all of the little people are subject to.  The Ancien Regime is coming apart at the seams, isn't it?

BRYAN CAPLAN: “If the minimum wage is a good idea, shouldn’t unpaid internships be illegal as well? If not, why not?”
Plus this: “Name the main arguments in favor of the legality of unpaid internships. Aren’t all of them equally good arguments for allowing people to work for wages greater than zero and less than the minimum wage?”

Niall Ferguson: Dems haven't learned the lessons of Europe

Niall Ferguson points out that the Democrats have chosen to ignore fiscal reality.  And given the likelihood of divided government for years to come, have virtually guaranteed a massive crash.  Their cry is not power to the people, it's power above the people.

Meanwhile, in Washington, business went on as usual. The government continued borrowing money despite having breached its legal debt ceiling. Senate Democrats voted down Paul Ryan's plan to reduce the cost of Medicare, despite having no credible plan of their own to stabilize the debt.
The left, led by its sole Nobel Laureate pied piper, Paul Krugman, is walking the country off of a cliff.  And with the President raising a $1 Billion dollar campaign chest (whatever happened to campaign finance reforms?) largely from the recipients of unrestrained spending, it is unlikely that he will change course.

Instead we will hear about how 'racist' it is to vote against the first 'black' President.


Well it looks like Anthony Weiner got his....well, the puns will fly fast and furious, won't they?

For my part I am saddened that a decent man (yes, I assume that even my political opponents are decent until proven otherwise) will be humiliated and dragged down by what will probably turn out to be a momentary, alcohol fueled indiscretion.  I certainly hope it is no more than that.  This illustrates once again just how dangerous our new technologies can be.

But for the the grace of God, there go I.

Let's leave him alone, shall we?

Pediatricians: health risks to children for drinks

The latest ado about almost nothing.

I think both the the marketers and the critics overstate the impact both pro and con of virtually any nutritional item.  The marketers hype largely spurious benefits and the self proclaimed 'health advocates' hype largely spurious dangers.  In both cases what they are selling is 'me! me!, buy me!, listen to me!" - they need each other far more than we need them.

Caveat et auditor emptor.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Price of stolen credit cards collapses with huge increase in supply

Credit Card fraud is just about to go into high gear.  Here's a NYT story on the latest Playstation disaster.  There is a solution:  voice authentication.  It's cheap, easy and reliable.  Our portfolio company Trade Harbor is the world leader in voice signatures.  You can check them out here.

On returning to old borders - B Netanyahu's dream letter to BHO

Dear President Obama,

I am writing today with a somewhat unusual request.  I am asking that you return America to its August 20th, 1959 borders so that Hawaii is no longer a state and you are no longer a citizen.
Benjamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister of Israel 

IRS wants small businesses quick books

As I made my last post I learned that the IRS now is proposing a rule that gives them access to millions of businesses accounting systems so they can 'check'.  Illustrating once again the source of capital strikes.  Now it's not just labor costs but tax rates and the inevitable fishing expeditions.  The fascist state is using information systems to gather all information to itself - which will hugely increase its power.

And of course destroy what confidence remains.

Change indeed.

The capital strike made simple

Stephen Carter of Yale Law recounts an illuminating conversation at 30,000 feet.  Screw with enough stuff and you can destroy everyone's confidence.

The man in the aisle seat is trying to tell me why he refuses to hire anybody. His business is successful, he says, as the 737 cruises smoothly eastward. Demand for his product is up. But he still won’t hire.
“Why not?”
“Because I don’t know how much it will cost,” he explains. “How can I hire new workers today, when I don’t know how much they will cost me tomorrow?”
He’s referring not to wages, but to regulation: He has no way of telling what new rules will go into effect when. His business, although it covers several states, operates on low margins. He can’t afford to take the chance of losing what little profit there is to the next round of regulatory changes. And so he’s hiring nobody until he has some certainty about cost.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Walter Russell Mead: Obama like Charles II

Hell, I think he's no better than Prince Charles....and Chuckles the Prince is nothing but a lucky sperm who still reports to his Mummy.  WRM reviews just how bad our President looks when compared to the PM of a country with 2 percent of our population.  This is why we don't hire inexperienced law lecturers to be be President, gang.  Embarrassing.

The Prime Minister mopped the floor with our guy.  Obama made his ’67 speech; Bibi ripped him to shreds.  Obama goes to AIPAC, nervous, off-balance, backing and filling.  Then Bibi drops the C-Bomb, demonstrating to the whole world that the Prime Minister of Israel has substantially more support in both the House and the Senate than the President of the United States.
Incidentally, one might argue that well yes, BHO is incompetent but that doesn't invalidate his position on the substance.  But I would argue that his insipid, sophomoric politics - the ones that he marinated in for 25 years at Colombia, Harvard and Hyde Park -are as much at fault as his inexperience, or even incompetence.  Abe Lincoln had no experience and made a lot of serious mistakes.  But on the key issues of the day he knew the right side from the stupid one.

BHO seems to always - always pick wrong.

Offshoring's nemesis - technological innovation

Check out Google's App Inventor - essentially it allows anyone to create their own Android applications without running a single line of code.  The upshot:  the productivity of software development is growing exponentially because the range of people who can design good software has been radically widened.  The result is that the idea people can now code their own solutions - at least in part.

The massive growth in productivity is rapidly shrinking the level of effort needed to run apps and therefore means that labor arbitrage strategies like software engineering offshoring are likely to be short lived.  Once again, as always, it's market innovation (aka marketing) that is the irreducable core business skill.  Everything else is just busy work.

Foundations are like the Medieval Catholic Church - places where capital goes to die

Julius Rosenwald did it different - he gave his entire fortune away during his lifetime for a great cause:

In the years immediately after World War I, Julius Rosenwald, the man who made Sears Roebuck great, used much of his fortune to build 5,400 schools for black children in the South. By some estimates, 60 percent of American blacks who completed primary-level education in that period attended a school built by Mr. Rosenwald. As he said, “Permanent endowments tend to lessen the amount available for immediate needs, and our immediate needs are too plain and too urgent to allow us to do the work of future generations.”

Still, few today remember Julius Rosenwald, as there is no foundation keeping his memory alive. Many rich donors are fond of the idea of creating a foundation that will carry their name into the next century and beyond. There is absolutely no blame in this. If I had a billion dollars to dispose of, I would be sorely tempted to do the same. I like the idea of my great-grandchildren knowing I was still acting from beyond the grave to help improve the world.

I used to go to B School in Rosenwald Hall, but aside from that he is forgotten.  And yet I'm sure my Grandchildren will be drowned in (leftist) monuments to Gates and Buffet - perhaps they'll just shorten it and worship the Great and munificent God Gaffet.  Read the whole thing.

Iowahawk declares, "President Obama's toughest re-election opponent: Math."


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Police: They're not on your side, they're on their side

into a house to 'get drugs' once again, they slaughter an Iraq war vet who had the temerity to protect his own home.  Try as you might to keep away from these men, then they smash into your home in the middle of the night and kill you.

Dupnik’s SWAT team initially claimed that Guereña fired at them while they were serving a warrant — as he slept. They claimed that his bullets hit the bulletproof shield that the entry team hid behind, and that the barrage of bullets they fired back was in self-defense.
Only, Guereña never fired his weapon. Awoken by his wife with screams that men with guns were invading his home and threatening his family, Jose Guereña armed himself with a AR-15 rifle and crouched in the hallway. The SWAT team unloaded upon Guereña on sight. He apparently recognized the home invaders as police. He took 60 rounds, but never — as the Pima County Sheriff’s Department was forced to admit — took off his weapon’s safety as he was being killed. . . . A Marine veteran of Iraq that had the discipline not to fire — a discipline that a trigger-happy SWAT team which has now killed three men in less than a year cannot itself exercise?

Thugs.  Bureaucrats.  But with guns.  Scary.

The 'war on drugs' is a war on America.  And we're beating ourselves to death.

Those evil coffee profiteers....we should impose a windfall coffee tax

Hat tip Carpe Diem

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Government wants to do something unconstitutional? No problem: just extort the behavior out of those institutions you fund

Universities now are required to use a preponderance of evidence standard on sexual harrassment claims.  Of course the Feds must prove beyond a reasonable doubt.  But their funded minions, well they can screw people with far less.  And now, if they don't they lose their Federal funding.

And some people wonder why I call it fascism.  From a letter by noted civil libertarian lawyer Harvey Silverglate.

Some portions of your letter are, however, very troublesome. For example, your letter mandates that colleges and universities use a “preponderance of the evidence” standard—more likely than not that the accused is guilty—in cases involving sexual harassment or violence. The more demanding “clear and convincing” evidentiary burden, previously used at many institutions such as Stanford University, now risk “OCR review” that could result in a withdrawal of federal funding—a disastrous financial blow to almost any college or university. Educational institutions are thus forced to choose between adhering to civilized and fair fact-finding standards and procedures, and the loss of federal funds.
It’s not surprising that some institutions have quickly changed their policies to comply with your new guidelines. The University of Virginia ramped-up a sexual misconduct policy update already underway; the Student Union Senate at Washington University hastily enacted changes, to the chagrin of even some administrators there; and Brandeis University immediately lowered the evidentiary burden in sexual assault cases. In fact, the immediate policy change announced by Stanford President John L. Hennessy—a week after your letter was issued—likely violated the Stanford constitution, which requires consultation with various campus constituencies, as an observant alum pointed out in the Stanford Daily.

This can't be right: Stoppard and Mamet righties?

Don't they know that conservatives are stupid and unfashionable?

ROGER SIMON reviews David Mamet’s new book. “With all the talk of Hollywood liberalism — the endless leftist blather from Sean Penn and Tim Robbins, the cozying up to Castro and Chavez by Oliver Stone and Danny Glover, the jejune Iranian peace-making by Annette Bening and Alfre Woodard, etc., etc — it’s fascinating that the two leading playwrights in the English language (the smart guys) — Tom Stoppard and David Mamet — identify as conservative/libertarians.”

Monday, May 23, 2011

Well whaddya know? Minnesota not-so-nice.

Balls of steel or a death wish?  I report, you decide.  Somebody's got to tell the suckling hogs to get out of the sty....before their ethanol and other (impeccably legal but nonetheless immoral) crimes create a global famine.   Our farmers:  stone cold killers?

How they see us - from the Conservative, Law and Order Daily Telegraph of London

We are getting quite a reputation for legal thuggishness, even amongst our friends.  I think the key explanation is liberal fascism.  Once the state defines itself as the agent for social change, then it follows that the recalcitrant must be punished.  I don't know this for sure but I would bet good money that the majority of imprisoned and the great majority of convicted felons in America have been convicted of crimes that didn't even exist 100 years ago.  Land of the 'free' is ringing less and less true.  And other people are beginning to notice.  Oh, and the qualifier below:  "most punitive developed nation in the world"?  pace the Economist the US criminal justice is the most punitive in the world.  Period.  Full stop.

And where's BHO?  Supposedly he's an 'African American', not just a half white, half Kenyan carpetbagger from Honolulu.  Yet half of all black men are convicts and one in ten imprisoned. And he, of course, isn't going to do a damn thing about it.  Too busy preserving union jobs.  Particularly those at prisons.

Mr Obama’s discussions with David Cameron will centre on how that prospectus can prevail across the planet. Back in the US, however, the president’s claims to be the guardian of universal liberty strike a hollow note. As the 2.4 million citizens serving time could testify, the land of the free is the most punitive developed nation on Earth.
One American adult in 100 is behind bars, rising to one in nine among young black men. The quadrupling of incarceration since 1970 cannot be explained by the brutishness of Americans, who are marginally less criminally inclined, though slightly more homicidal, than the English, or by the success of harsh sentencing: violent offences have risen for four decades.
Behind the razzmatazz of a state visit, Britain is also embroiled in a crime crisis. Mr Cameron, along with Nick Clegg and Theresa May, is working on salvaging Ken Clarke’s White Paper on sentencing, due out today but postponed after the row about rape tariffs.
Yesterday, Harriet Harman lambasted the Justice Secretary, as Labour and rebel Tories again attacked proposals to increase the reduction in sentences for an early guilty plea from 33 to 50 per cent. Mr Clarke’s sin, in the eyes of some critics, was not his clumsy remarks on rape but his focus on rehabilitation. With his enemies hoping he will shortly be reshuffled into oblivion, Mr Clarke must be wondering who his friends are. He should look across the Atlantic, where the first high-level protest against excessive imprisonment has been mounted not by slushy-minded liberals, but by paladins of the Republican Right.
One is Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House of Representatives and a presidential hopeful. It would be hardly more startling to discover that Attila the Hun was an early advocate of the Human Rights Act than to learn that Mr Gingrich is now the US’s leading prison reformer. Among the other campaigners who bear no discernible resemblance to Elizabeth Fry is Grover Norquist, an architect of thumb-in-your-eye Republicanism who wants the state “shrunk down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub”.
The US’s radical Rightists have not transmogrified into angels of mercy. Their fiscally driven mission is based on the $68 billion cost of maintaining a corrections system where inmate numbers are increasing 13 times faster than the general population. As Mr Gingrich wrote recently: “These facts should trouble every American.” More imprisonment, as he added, does not mean less crime. Those states, such as New York, that have jailed fewer people have also seen offences drop. With the majority of convicts reoffending, it is time, in Mr Gingrich’s opinion, to shut some prisons and rely on “more humane, effective alternatives”.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

California: the oldest political establishment in the nation

And the poster children for reactionary liberalism (well fascism, really).

Bill Whalen of the Hoover Institution notes that California’s four most influential Democrats are Brown, U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who are 73, 77, 70 and 71, respectively: “No other state’s political ruling class is as gray, a terrific irony for youth-worshipping California.” Dutton and other relatively anonymous Republican legislators can, by being constructively obdurate (“no”), shake the foundations of reactionary liberalism — the regulatory state that seemed so right in the septuagenarians’ formative years, a half-century ago.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fair trade makes Nicaraguan coffee farmers poorer than their free trading neighbors

It turns out (once again) that attempts to restrain trade have negative and unpredictable effects.  Detailed research over 10 years shows that Fair Trade has apparently hurt the standards of living of those beguiled by its neo-Marxist cliches.  Read the whole thing.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Le Droit de Seigneur is back

With our global 'leaders'.  It turns out that PS-K is a serial abuser like....Bill Clinton.  It's good to be the transnational elite, innit?  Read the whole thing.

As the stories about Philippe Strauss Kahn filter out, a picture has emerged of a renegade libertine that even by lax European standards is quite disturbing. The Guardian has broken the silence imposed by both the political establishment and draconian French privacy laws specifically enacted to shield the peccadilloes of public figures from scrutiny.
Now there are rumors in the European press and blog spots of conspiracies and American Puritanism at work. That Mr. Strauss Kahn has a lurid history of mashing, sexual assault and worse seems to have little to do with the growing dissonance in the narrative.
Mr. Strauss Kahn’s arrest comes at a precarious time. The IMF is in the middle of the whirlpool that is the European sovereign debt crisis. DSK, as he is known, is a prime advocate for the role of the IMF as the world’s economic authority and is a guarantor of Greek, Irish, and Portuguese debt. He was until yesterday also the prime Socialist candidate to replace French president Nicolas Sarkozy. Now even with all of the protections of the oligarchy he may not be able to withstand the scrutiny and the law.
Tristan Banon, the daughter of a political ally alleged that a sexual assault had occurred in 2002.  But even when she refused to name her assailant, she was, she says, blacklisted by the establishment for even mentioning what was an open secret. Her advocate is now preparing to press charges against Strauss Kahn. More recently, DSK was admonished for a tumultuous affair in 2008 with an IMF employee with an episode at the World Economic Forum in Davos. It is an open secret that his conduct when dealing with women is far beyond the pale, even by European standards. But as a lion of the Left, he was able to get away with it until now.
“Droit de Seigneur” or “Right of the Lord” is a medieval term connoting the right of the Lord to take the virginity of his serfs daughters when they married. Lost in the fog of time, the practice as described may or may not have existed. What clearly did and does exist, even today, is a double standard for the rulers and the ruled.
Whether it was JFK and his womanizing or Teddy Kennedy and his debauchery, the existence of this double standard has long haunted society. From the depredations of the Kings, Princes, Dukes, and lords of England, France, Russia and (insert name here) to today, the copulations and excesses of the upper class was the norm and women were objects of desire with little legal recourse. The practice transcends societies and time. Just this morning, Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted he had fathered the child of a domestic employee. The arrogance is astounding.
Since the rise of Protestantism and the middle class, however, limits have been placed upon such conduct. The stakes had been rising for the libertines. In the past 50 years sexual assault has become the  bête noire of both the women’s movement and civil society and the penalties are severe. But equality of rights has been espoused but not enforced at the highest levels.
The watchdogs are as much to blame as anyone. The powerful buy silence or enforce it it via the law. The political imperative has almost always overridden the  facts. Teddy Kennedy was guilty of manslaughter and escaped punishment. In Italy, the Berlusconi scandal gets deeper and deeper. In his case, he owns much of the media. In America, the media have become fellow travelers and enablers of the worst miscreants so long as they have the same political views.
Unlike in France, Mr. Strauss Kahn is innocent until proven guilty in the United States and the bar is set high. He is also entitled to the best defense money can buy.
However, it becomes more clear every day that we are in a new age of oligarchs to whom the law does not apply. Whether it is the suspicious political murders in Russia, the Droit de Seigneur so prevalent in the West, or the financial mayhem without consequences as practiced in Washington and on Wall Street, there are few if any consequences for the rich and powerful.

Have a drink!

Yet more reasons to drink.  What can't this wonder drug do?

HOW TO HAVE A HAPPY RELATIONSHIP: Drink together! “Forget an apple a day to keep the doctor away. We’re more likely to follow this new rule: A drink a night with your boyfriend keeps relationship problems at bay. That’s what researchers at the University at Buffalo are claiming after examining the results of a recent study. They found that couples who have a cocktail or two (or even three) together reported feeling ‘increased intimacy and decreased relationship problems the next day’ as compared to boyfriends and girlfriends who drink apart or don’t drink at all.”

Socialists tax consumption, not capital

Everyone knows about the higher gas taxes in social 'democracies' but it's simply another manifestation of how socialism works in practice:  leaders scream 'soak the rich' but tax the proles.  Because unlike the rich and their money, the proles can't flee.  By contrast, the more egalitarian and democratic a society is, the more taxes track the wants and needs of ordinary people.  Which is why the US hardly taxes fuel at all.  Ordinary people value the freedom that having one's own car gives them.  The elites, well they want to control where people go and discourage individual mobility.  So they tax the hell out of it.

Made in America cheaper than Made in China?

If true, this is an astonishing turnaround.  From the Economist.

“Sometime around 2015, manufacturers will be indifferent between locating in America or China for production for consumption in America,” says Mr Sirkin. That calculation assumes that wage growth will continue at around 17% a year in China but remain relatively slow in America, and that productivity growth will continue on current trends in both countries. It also assumes a modest appreciation of the yuan against the dollar.

Apparently they forgot Rule #2: Double tap

Zombie ants kill themselves at High Noon.

A parasitic fungus has the ability to take over the mind and body of an ant before leading it to its final resting place at the most opportune time, an astonishing study has revealed.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1386717/Why-zombie-ants-infected-mind-controlling-fungus-kill-high-noon.html#ixzz1McMQUp7M

Well of course

Obamacare is the best illustration of Liberal Fascism possible.  And LF's most fecund habitat is San Francisco.  What's so refreshing about the Obami is that they make no pretence of their power lust.  More like France every day.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Osama is not alone. Muslim world leads in porn searches.

It seems that 4 wives and the promise of 72 virgins in heaven is not enough.  Actually, the logical result of both polygamy and sexual repression is elevated levels of sexual deviancy.  My experience is that muslim countries have the highest level of homosexual behavior in the world.  Certainly I've been propositioned more times by locals there than in any other place in the world (it must be my svelte figure).

PORN: The Muslim world’s dirty little secret. “Last year, Google ran an analysis of its search queries and concluded Pakistan is the leading nation in sex-related, porn content searches . . . Iran came in third on the overall list, and Egypt was fifth.” Sexual repression, paired with the inevitable hypocrisy, is at the root of most of their troubles, I suspect.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

It's music without God that is, historically, an anomaly.

Fascinating article about the birth, life and apotheosis of 'Christian' Rock.  Incidentally, I went to see the 'Father' of Christian Music, Larry Norman in OKC in 1979...he was...quirky.

I've always thought that explicitly 'Christian' music was really 'church' music.  True Christian music is like true Christian cooking or gardening, or writing or tennis:  it's what Christians do.  And therefore it is about lives lived in service to the Living God.  All of life, not just the times we are in worship.

Worth a gander, gang.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It's good to be the state #11: It's totally lucrative to be a CA lifeguard

Some of 'em make over 200K a  year.  Sweet.

Obama's anti terror policy: shoot first so we don't have to ask questions

The lawyer left has made it impossible to interrogate terror suspects so the Obami have decided that we might as  well kill them.  Witness OBL.

Nor was this a one-off. It is merely the most notorious instance of a curious Obama counterterrorism policy. As Rich Lowry memorablyframed the matter, “Our policy isn’t ‘to shoot first and ask questions later’; it is to shoot precisely so we don’t have to ask questions.”

The Lawyer Left is the core of the president’s base. From its legions, Obama recruited his attorney general, the top lawyer in his State Department, and many of his administration’s most influential voices. Its signal achievement has been to make a legal and political hash of terrorists’ detention and interrogation. It has become far easier and cleaner to kill the enemy than to capture and squeeze him for intelligence purposes.

So precisely how does this either help us win hearts and minds or constitute an advance in human rights?  See below:  my friend Nadeem Butt from Karachi posted this picture on his FB ( very graphic, sorry).  The mother and her two little children are 'collateral' damage from the Obami's self righteous, lawyerly and (in my humble opinion) remarkably inhumane prosecution of the GWOT largely via drone attack.

Sometimes one needs to prosecute war in cruel and messy ways.  But  Constitutional 'scholar' Barack Obama seems to have taken tragic necessity and elevated it to constitutional principle.  One that he has instructed our military to apply in Pakistan several times a week.

And to think that `Mr. Obama was the 'peace' candidate.  In truth he combines the rhetoric of peace with a policy of killing whose primary motivation is to leave his skirts clean - "no human rights violations here! no Siree"

No wonder they hate us.

1937 Redux?

In 1937 a fragile economic recovery was wiped out by a collapse as deep or deeper than that experienced in 1933.  Economists tell us that the major driver of this disaster was the implementation of the Wagner Act - a piece of legislation that until amended by Taft-Hartley, gave unions carte blanc to 'organize' American industry.  Unions rapidly moved in on major employers, violence spiked, destroying investor confidence and provoking a renewed capital strike.  Within a few months Wall Street had collapsed and unemployment was back up to almost 20% - at a time when American resurgence and assertiveness might have averted world war.

Fast forward to today where the NLRB is mandating that Boeing shutter a fully built $1.2 Billion manufacturing facility because they believe the work should go to Seattle UAW members.  From the WSJ.

"Deep into the recent recession, Boeing decided to invest more than $1 billion in a new factory in South Carolina. Surging global demand for our innovative, new 787 Dreamliner exceeded what we could build on one production line and we needed to open another.

This was good news for Boeing and for the economy. The new jetliner assembly plant would be the first one built in the U.S. in 40 years. It would create new American jobs at a time when most employers are hunkered down. It would expand the domestic footprint of the nation's leading exporter and make it more competitive against emerging plane makers from China, Russia and elsewhere. And it would bring hope to a state burdened by double-digit unemployment—with the construction phase alone estimated to create more than 9,000 total jobs.

Eighteen months later, a North Charleston swamp has been transformed into a state-of-the-art, green-energy powered, 1.2 million square-foot airplane assembly plant. One thousand new workers are hired and being trained to start building planes in July. It is an American industrial success story by every measure.

Yet the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) believes it was a mistake and that our actions were unlawful. It claims we improperly transferred existing work, and that our decision reflected "animus" and constituted "retaliation" against union-represented employees in Washington state. Its remedy: Reverse course, Boeing, and build the assembly line where we tell you to build it.

The NLRB is wrong and has far overreached its authority. Its action is a fundamental assault on the capitalist principles that have sustained America's competitiveness since it became the world's largest economy nearly 140 years ago. We've made a rational, legal business decision about the allocation of our capital and the placement of new work within the U.S. We're confident the federal courts will reject the claim, but only after a significant and unnecessary expense to taxpayers."

When elected, Barack Obama famously handed out hagiographies of FDR to his incoming staff.  They clearly have learned from the 'master's' playbook.

Note to employers:  don't have anything to do with the UAW...or Seattle.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Where's the growth? Texas, and wherever the fruits of fascism are concentrated

It's good to be subsidized by the Federal state.  From New Geography:

The Northeast Corridor has also made strong progress. Here the likely explanation can be found in the fruits of Obamanomics. The stimulus has been particularly good for the vibrant economies surrounding the ever-expanding federal leviathan. Among the large metros, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, Va., did best of all the cities outside the South, repeating its No. 6 ranking among large metro areas. Right behind, at No. 7 on the large city list, sits the primarily suburban Northern Virginia metro area, while Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, Md., ranks 12th.
The other big East Coast winners are the financial and university-oriented economies, which have reaped huge benefits from the TARP bailout and the Obama Administration’s college-centric stimulus plan. After the Texas cities and the imperial center, most of the best performing big metros are located in financial and university centers, including No. 9 New York City, No. 10 Philadelphia, No. 11 Pittsburgh, No. 13 Boston and No. 15 Raleigh-Cary, N.C.

American celebration of OBL's death isn't western imperialism, it's just the wrong kind

Spiked of the BBC makes a rather trenchant point:

There is nothing principled or properly anti-imperialist in the speedily rising critique of the killing of OBL. Indeed, many of those currently attacking Obama would have preferred it if bin Laden had ended up in one of the international courts, which themselves are political theatres for the expression of Western superiority over foreign peoples (usually black ones). If Obama’s troops really did mete out ‘military vengeance’ against someone they judged to be evil, then these courts continually serve up ‘legal vengeance’ against people judged to be war criminals. Also, it is striking that many of the critics of Obama express concern about the alleged emotions behind American militarism – vengeance, Wild West fury, a lack of basic decency – rather than being concerned about the moral question of whether America should have the right to intervene in other states. It’s the sentiment they hate, more than the use of military force overseas per se.

It seems that the chattering classes don't so much object to western moralizing and imperialism as they resent moralizing and imperialism that they don't control.  Which of course is (as I am wont to say) liberal fascism's essence.

It just never ends

Now the Feds (and Bloomberg) are mandating messages to your phone.  These guys just never let up.

Are you ready to get local and “presidential” alerts on your cell phone?  If not, and you’re in New York City … too bad.  Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the Big Apple is ready to use cell phones to inform residents of missing-child alerts, emergencies, terror warnings, and other messages, whether people want to get them or not:
A new national alert system is set to begin in New York City that will alert the public to emergencies via cell phones.
It’s called the Personal Localized Alert Network or PLAN. Presidential and local emergency messages as well as Amber Alerts would appear on cell phones equipped with special chips and software.
Not interested?  Well, you can opt out of all of these … except for “presidential messages.”  What exactly are “presidential messages”?  Alerts issued by the President, FEMA explains, but doesn’t get any more specific than that, except to note that “alerts involving imminent threats to safety of life” are listed as a separate category.
I don’t think a national alert system is a bad idea in concept, but shouldn’t participation be voluntary at the individual level?  Instead, the WARN Act requires participating cell carriers to have new models of phones include the PLAN chip and to push all of the messages as a default (“Customers automatically signed up,” FEMA promises).  I’m also unclear on how exactly these warnings will help, given the generally slow reaction time for announcing such warnings and the generic, uninformative nature they usually take.  Remember the old color-coding terror threat level system that the Obama administration wisely discarded this year?
FEMA argues that PLAN is a natural progression of the Emergency Broadcast System, but that required holders of government broadcasting licenses to participate, not individual consumers.  It also didn’t increase costs to television sets.  This seems more like the V-chip idea than civil defense.  For that matter, when was the last time the government actually used the EBS?  In practice, the license holders have just found it to be good business to provide their own alerts to viewers and listeners rather than wait for government to seize control of their broadcast facilities.

The only good news is that the more our Federal state behaves like the Fascists they are, the more the people get wise.  Break it up.  Break it all up.

Monday, May 09, 2011

What a 'compassionate', 'anti-war' liberal does in war time to 'allied' nations

Predator strikes on Pakistan over time.  The Obami talked a blue streak of peace until they got into office.  Then they escalated:  big time.  I'm not necessarily arguing that it wasn't the right strategy, I'm simply pointing out that everything they said to get elected was a lie.  Unlike 9/11, there was no epochal shift in the situation to justify a radical change in policy from what BHO campaigned on.  He had to know from the briefings that he would not only sustain but radically escalate attacks that would kill hundreds of high value targets and thousands of (as the gang bangers say of the innocent bystander victims) Pakistani 'mushrooms'.

This is what has driven our friends in Pakistan insane.  Of course our friends did not include those harboring Bin Laden.  Pakistan is a sad, shambolic country sliding towards chaos.  A tragedy for its 200 million citizens...and many others besides.

Markets, like facts, are stubborn things

Wishful thinking and cliches don't work as our Singular leader is finding out.  George W. Bush started the destruction of our Pharma market and the Obami are now trying to finish it off.  Couple this with the truly evil FDA regulatory risk aversion and you have a recipe for death after death after death.

Which I fear many Lefties consider a feature, rather than a defect of state run medicine.  A rather more genteel approach to population culling than Soylent Green.

Obama on Drugs

Like all price-control schemes, this would inevitably lead to shortages. If Medicare forces the drug companies to sell their products at rates that fail to cover costs, these companies will simply stop manufacturing those drugs. To counter this inconvenient reality, the supporters of Obama's approach to "cost control" point to the Veterans Health Administration (VA), which has negotiated directly with pharmaceutical companies for years. What such people usually fail to mention is that the VA covers far fewer drugs than does Medicare. As health care economist Austin Frakt puts it, "The VA's national formulary covers 59% of the top 200 drugs while Medicare PDPs cover between 68% and 93% of those drugs, averaging about 85% covered. So, if Medicare plans looked more like the VA, a lot fewer drugs would be covered."

The reduction in the number of drugs available to seniors is only the beginning of the harm that would be caused by Obama's scheme. Even deadlier will be its stifling effect on innovation. As Sally Pipes writes, "Developing just one new medicine costs a drug company nearly $1.5 billion.… If investors fear that Medicare will refuse to cover new, expensive treatments, then they'll simply refuse to fund the research and development needed to create new drugs."
Catron reminds us that Team Obama removed pharmaceutical price controls from ObamaCare to buy Big Pharma's public support of the PPACA but honesty wasn't exactly this administration's strong suit in pushing their health care law. Plus, asking big-government types to resist the urge to expand government is like asking water to not be wet.

Which brings us to the only upside of the President's proposal. No small amount of schadenfreude is to be had from the squealing of drug industry representatives. They, like the leadership of the American Medical Association (AMA), pursued a quisling strategy on Obamacare in order to avoid this very contingency. And, like the AMA, they have now been double-crossed. John J. Castellani, CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), is clearly not amused; "Implementing government price controls in the Medicare prescription drug program would not achieve better patient care, sustainably cut the deficit, foster the development of future medical advances or grow the economy." Mr. Castellani, like the collaborators of the AMA, sold out and now complains that the check bounced.
Meanwhile, as I wrote in First, Do No Harm, while George Bush exploded Medicare with the new senior drug entitlement and Barack Obama embarks on price controls, the free market has roared and delivers results that politicians simply cannot. Without a single bureaucrat or government overseer, a private enterprise lowered the price of their top 331 medications to $4 per month (and later to $10 per three months) and forced every pharmacy in America to drop their prices too.

And, by the way, Wal-Mart pays their own bills rather than dumping them on my yet-to-be-born grandchildren.

Good Question

Chris Wallace also interviewed National Security Adviser Tom Donilon and asked him why it was okay to shoot Osama bin Laden in the face when he was unarmed, but it's wasn't okay to waterboard Kaleid Sheik Mohammad. He didn't have a very good answer, but stood by the assertion. He said we were at war with bin Laden, Wallace pressed him, pointing out that we're also at war with KSM. Like a stubborn child confronted with the truth and logic, he still refused to budge."

HT Jim Geraghty

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Someone needs to write the OBL version of this imagined Yamamoto monologue

I think it just about describes us:  Clever and Crude

To those Army fuckheads, [the decision not to deliver the declaration of war until after the Pearl Harbor attack] is nothing — just a typo, happens all the time. Isoroku Yamamoto has given up on trying to make them understand that the Americans are grudge-holders on a level that is inconceivable to the Nipponese, who learn to swallow their pride before they learn to swallow solid food. Even if he could get Tojo and his mob of shabby, ignorant thugs to comprehend how pissed off the Americans are, they’d laugh it off. What’re they going to do about it? Throw a pie in your face, like the Three Stooges? Ha, ha, ha! Pass the sake and bring me another comfort girl!
Isoroku Yamamoto spent a lot of time playing poker with Yanks during his years in the States, smoking like a chimney to deaden the scent of their appalling aftershave. The Yanks are laughably rude and uncultured, of course; this hardly constitutes a sharp observation. Yamamoto, by contrast, attained some genuine insight as a side-effect of being robbed blind by Yanks at the poker table, realizing that the big freckled louts could be dreadfully cunning. Crude and stupid would be okay — perfectly understandable, in fact.
But crude and clever is intolerable; this is what makes those red headed ape men extra double super loathsome. Yamamoto is still trying to drill the notion into the heads of his [Army] partners in the big Nipponese scheme to conquer everything between Karachi and Denver.... Come on guys, Yamamoto keeps telling them, the world is not just a big Nanjing. But they don’t get it. If Yamamoto were running things, he’d make a rule: each Army officer would have to take some time out from bayoneting Neolithic savages in the jungle, go out on the wide Pacific in a ship, and swap 16-inch shells with an American task force for a while. Then maybe, they’d understand they’re in a real scrap here.
This is what Yamamoto thinks about, shortly before sunrise, as he clambers onto his Mitsubishi G4M bomber in Rabaul, the scabbard of his sword whacking against the frame of the narrow door. The Yanks call this type of plane “Betty,” an effeminatizing gesture that really irks him. Then again, the Yanks name even their own planes after women, and paint naked ladies on their sacred instruments of war! If they had samurai swords, Americans would probably decorate the blades with nail polish....
They are approaching the Imperial Navy airbase at Bougainville, right on schedule, at 9:35. A shadow passes overhead and Yamamoto glances up to see the silhouette of an escort, way out of position, dangerously close to them. Who is that idiot? Then the green island and the blue ocean rotate into view as his pilot puts the Betty into a power dive....
They enter the jungle in level flight, and Yamamoto is astonished how far they go before hitting anything big. Then the plane is bludgeoned wide open by mahogany trunks, like baseball bats striking a wounded sparrow, and he knows it’s over.... As his seat tears loose from the broken dome and launches into space, he grips his sword, unwilling to disgrace himself by dropping his sacred weapon, blessed by the emepror, even in this last instant of his life....
He realizes something: The Americans must have done the impossible: broken all of their codes. That explains Midway, it explains the Bismarck Sea, Hollandia, everything. It especially explains why Yamamoto — who ought to be sipping green tea and practicing calligraphy in a misty garden — is, in point of fact, on fire and hurtling through the jungle at a hundred miles per hour in a chair, closely pursued by tons of flaming junk. He must get word out! The codes must all be changed! This is what he is thinking when he flies head-on into a hundred-foot-tall Octomelis sumatrana.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Food Fascism and the arrogance of elites

Once again our governmental and intellectual elites know something that ain't so.  And it costs people their lives. It's not a problem in a free society where the marketplace of ideas and options is robust.  But in a society where the state takes on the role of 'educating' people on 'healthy' habits and where people believe that the state should 'protect' people from themselves incredible harm and cruelty result.

…eliminating or severely limiting fats from the diet may not be beneficial to cardiac function in patients suffering from heart failure, a study at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine reports. Results from biological model studies conducted by assistant professor of physiology and biophysics Margaret Chandler, PhD, and other researchers, demonstrate that a high-fat diet improved overall mechanical function, in other words, the heart’s ability to pump, and was accompanied by cardiac insulin resistance.

How many people has the FDA and the nutrition/industrial complex killed with the fatophobia over the past decades? I’m pretty sure my father was one of them.
And I continue to be amazed at how easy it is to find “low-fat” or “fat-free” products in the interior aisles of the grocery store (especially in the candy aisle…), but almost impossible to find low-sodium products.

Witness the simultaneous drugging of millions of children and punishment of millions of others - all using the exact same substance.  Some with the state's say so 'for their own good' and the remainder punished and imprisoned and destroyed, again, 'for their own good'.

The only 'good' in all of this is for the fascists and lawyers and gun toting elites.  They derive power from manipulating the rest of us.

The question is why we let these evil men do so?

Because they're all in prison, on probation or unemployable ex-cons

Our cruel and merciless criminal 'justice' system strikes again.

THE ECONOMIST: America’s Jobless Men. “Of all the big, rich Group of Seven economies, America has the lowest share of ‘prime age’ males in work: just over 80% of those aged between 25 and 54 have a job. In the late 1960s 95% worked.”

Christina Hoff Summer's argument is that it is due to the skewed 'stimulus' but that doesn't explain why male participation has been falling for the three decades in which incarceration and conviction rates have grown fourfold to rates many times those of China, Iran or Saudi Arabia. 

Face it, our society just doesn't particularly like men or boys.   Can we TALX?

Obama: a crook like W?

The Europeans are not amused by BHO's extrajudicial assassination of OBL.  Obama:  international outlaw.  Hell, lets just cut to the chase:  the US is an international outlaw:  US out of the world!   If only.

In Germany, the media reaction has been especially noteworthy for its near unanimous criticism of the American raid. Many German analysts say the American action was illegal under international law and some Germans have called for an international commission (similar to the Goldstone Commission in Israel) to investigate the U.S. foray into Pakistan. Unanswered remains the question of whether European activists will accuse U.S. President Barack Obama of war crimes and seek a warrant for his arrest as they did for George W. Bush, who recently was forced to cancel a trip to Switzerland.
There is nothing more obscene than European, particularly German moral preening.  I need to take a shower.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

In the US it's 40 to 45 % in most states

America taxes capital more than any other jurisdiction in the developed world.  And capitalists are beginning to notice.   Contrast this with our frozen friends to the north:

Whatever the Liberals’ travails, the Conservatives now are fully in control. “There’s an opportunity for the Conservative party to put in place an aggressive reform strategy,” Eisen says. And there’s evidence they have one: Harper has promised to continue a scheduled decrease in the corporate tax rate to 15 percent. He’s also pledged to end government subsidies to political parties. “The Conservative government has been committed to strengthening and deepening the relationship with the United States,” Eisen adds. “They’ll likely maintain a policy of free trade.”

3 times higher.  3X.  Wowee.  "Strengthening the relationship with the US"  will clearly include importing lots of corporations...and their jobs.

Damned tax cuts for the rich.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Walter Russell Mead - In death as in life, OBL ruined whatever he touched — but did more damage to those he claimed as friends than to those he claimed to hate

Osama certainly didn’t intend to do Israel any favors, but it is another sign of the curse under which he lived that his death has given the Jewish state a badly needed diplomatic victory.  In a statement that was one of the most serious of the many self-inflicted wounds to the Palestinian national cause, the ‘administrative head’ of the Hamas authority in Gaza condemned the attack and called OBL a “holy warrior”.  Suddenly, it is much, much easier for Israel to resist negotiating with the ‘unified’ Palestinian movement and much, much harder to pressure the Jewish state to embrace a coalition that includes Hamas.  In death as in life, OBL ruined whatever he touched — but did more damage to those he claimed as friends than to those he claimed to hate.

Read the whole thing.

Monday, May 02, 2011

OBL's death: Inside the good news....is more bad news

The details around the OBL assassination (hey, call a spade a spade, guys) just illustrates how screwed up Pakistan is.  The guy was an arab foreigner with an entourage living in suburban Islamabad for cripes sake.  In a house built specially for him.  I’ve been to Islamabad:  it isn’t a big place.  He went there because he figured that his friends (our friends?) in the Pak government would protect him and keep him safe.

10 Rupees will get you a Krugerrand that the only reason we knew about him was because his protectors judged his usefulness to be at an end.  It is doubtful that BHO or CIA really did much other than take the order “We would very much like you to kill this naughty terrorist boy for us now”…”Yeah, right, you want fries with that, Mr. ISI?”.  Our ‘spooks’ probably stood behind him at the I-Bad Safeway or Blockbuster video check-out without recognizing him:  “yes, I for to am wanting the infidel running dog film Mary Poppins, do you have?”.

Pakistan is a screaming, howling disaster.  With nukes.  Like Iran only no one’s in charge, or Afghanistan with 10 times the people.  Inside the good news (and don't get me wrong, it is very good news) is….more bad news.

Governing Chicago style

The FDA is taking its cues from the political culture that nurtured our Singular leader.  Thuggish intimidation is always ugly.  More here.

A novel solution to our financial problems: tax political power

PJ O'Rourke has the answer:

President Obama has contempt for real money. And why not, since his government has the power to print all the fiat money he wants? Power is the politician’s paycheck. Power gets politicians all the good things money can buy and plenty of other things as well. Businessmen work for money because money gives them mastery over their own lives. Politicians work for power because power gives them mastery over the lives of others.
Obama, in pursuit of power, has been as greedy and irresponsible as any Wall Street tycoon in pursuit of money. After short-selling Hillary Clinton, he used the insufficient capital of one term in the U.S. Senate to engineer a highly leveraged buyout of the Democratic presidential nomination followed by a hostile takeover of the Oval Office. His political thinking is full of shady derivatives. His economic policy is a risky collateralized debt obligation. His campaign promises are junk bonds.
The wildly ambitious career of President Obama shows that power is more valuable than money. Taxes, by their nature, are levied on things of value. If we want to close the budget gap, we should let the millionaires and billionaires have their tax breaks. Their private property fortunes are comparatively worthless. It’s that treasure beyond the dreams of avarice, public political power, which needs an excise.
It’s easy to do. Like everything, power has a price. And the price is right there in the federal budget—$3.8 trillion in government spending for 2011. Tax it. The old “Bush tax cut” rate will suffice, 35 percent on high earners, or, in this case, 35 percent on high powers. What President Obama said about millionaires and billionaires will certainly hold true for congressmen, senators, and himself. “They want to give back to the country that’s done so much for them.” Thirty-five percent of $3.8 trillion is $1.3 trillion. That’s most of the deficit eliminated through one small alteration in the tax code. And there’s a further benefit to our nation. Now that all three branches of government and every federal agency, department, and bureau owe back taxes, the IRS can go audit itself. 


Sunday Reflection: When Jimmy Carter Is your best-case scenario, you're in trouble

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/2011/04/sunday-reflection-when-jimmy-carter-your-best-case-scenario-youre-trouble#ixzz1LCYhgZ5I