Wednesday, June 28, 2017

"We're making Serfs for Life"

John Cochrane, formerly of Chicago, has linked to an essay by Ed Glaeser called The War on Work and How to End it. John points out that all of the subsidies and benefits that are provided to the poor constitute a high barrier to returning to work. As Cochrane put it:

More deeply, our government is quickly creating a legal class system based on income. You are a "low income person," for life, apparently, much as you once were a serf, tied to place, occupation and status. No. In America "income" should be, as it is, a temporary part of your life, low at times of misfortune, high at times of good fortune, and always beckoning. We are not a class society, but we are fast creating one by legislation.

That's the problem with the State:  governments define people by their 'status' and the more fine gradations of 'status' that the government invents, the more castes that are created. It's the State as God, handing out it's largesse based upon people's status as victim rather than holiness. But it has the same pernicious, enervating impact as any feudal or caste system.


Monday, June 26, 2017

How the Deep State destroys and corrupts

I recently read this piece by former AG Michael Mukasey on the legal limits of the increasingly kafka-esque Robert Mueller 'Russian Interference' probe. You know, the one that has no crime at the center, which has 15 aggressively leaking Democrat party lawyers and a full time publicist conducting what is in effect a counter-intelligence investigation of Russian espionage activities. Oh and a thinly veiled anti-Trump witch hunt to find someone, anyone who will deal dirt, any dirt, whether true or not on the President.  Which tells me that the Russian 'black op' to screw with the legitimacy of our elections has succeeded.

But I'm not here to talk about the stupidity of the Trumpies (although to get to this pass they are without a doubt sloppy and stupid) or even the self righteous power hunger of DC lawyers (although they make a Gorgon look abstemious). I'm here to talk about a paragraph in Mukasey's column that records a milestone for the Federal State's brutal corruption of an entire industry:

One of Mr. Mueller’s early hires among the dozen-plus lawyers already aboard has a troubling history with the word “corruptly.” Andrew Weissmann led the Enron prosecution team that pressed an aggressive interpretation of “corruptly,” which permitted a conviction even absent the kind of guilty knowledge the law normally associates with criminal charges. As a result, the accounting firm Arthur Andersen was convicted. By the time the conviction was reversed on appeal to the Supreme Court in 2005—in large part due to the erroneous application of “corruptly” in the statute at issue—Arthur Andersen had already ceased operation.

By the time 'justice' was done Arthur Andersen had collapsed into Bankruptcy  based upon conviction of what was in effect a 'crimeless' crime. Thousands of AA partners had their life savings wiped out and upwards of 100,000 men and women lost their jobs overnight. For not committing a crime but for providing services to a company that did.

This example of catastrophic and capricious federal brutality has had quite an effect on the remaining 4 major accounting firms. First, it allowed them to raise their rates and per profitability on their commodity compliance business. By my simple estimates per partner profits doubled in the decade after the AA travesty. Second, it turned nominally conservative institutions that operated somewhat independently of the Federal State into one of its arms -  watching their competitor and its owners be destroyed for not committing a crime put the fear of God into the rest of the firms, causing them to dump whole lines of business at firesale prices.

One interesting personal anecdote illustrates this: I was a PwC partner in St. Louis and after I left the firm I went to the first "Tea Party" Tax Day protest held in Downtown St. Louis on April 15. I parked in the Firm's parking garage and of the 30 or so St. Louis Partners that parked in the Partner lot, there was not a single car. On Tax Day. This was unprecedented. They apparently were so frightened of being associated with the enemies of the Federal State that they made sure none of them were even at work that day.

Which is a problem. We rely on non Federal institutions to be one of the checks on the Federal State but more and more institutions have been deeply corrupted  - either through massive dependence on Federal money (the states, cities, universities, large charities) or through fear that the Feds can destroy them with an absent minded flick of the switch (Banks, Accounting Firms, Federal Contractors, Telecommunications providers, Healthcare companies, broadcast media companies. 

And I believe this domination by a largely faceless but immensely powerful bureaucracy is killing the nation. Which is why I argue that we must:

Break it up, break it all up.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

"The Greatest Republican Policy Achievement in my Lifetime"?

Avik Roy's tweet after reading the new Senate Bill. I like and generally agree with Avik on healthcare issues so this is seriously getting my hopes up. Of course I had no hopes before so anything is a positive. Oh please, please, please may it be true.

Birthday Elegy

We spend fifty years chasing, grasping, clawing.
Then we spend thirty - if we're lucky - forty if we're not,
Releasing those things for which we fought so hard.
If wise, we know to lay them down gracefully.
If not, we fight and rage but lay them down all the same.
For it's God's world and it's God's way.

We're all just players in his play.

So how have you found my playing thus far?
Have I said my lines and toed my marks well?
Will you stay and watch my show to the very end?
Or will you lose interest, shuffling out for brighter fare?
I will play the play so long as I have breath.
And the last thing I will lay down dear friend,

Is you.

African America is re-segregating apace

When I was in college in the early 80s my southern fraternity had black members. In our national I think we and Stanford were the only two chapters. We were a largely upperclassman frat so we recruited the best, most impressive men on campus regardless of race. And living across from the 'Jock Dorm' we hosted many black football players, including former NFL coach Lovie Smith. Until the year the "Black Fraternity" came to campus. That year every black man we recruited (and everyone anyone else recruited) went to the 'black' fraternity. To my knowlege no black man has joined a non black fraternity at the University of Tulsa since - the other frats are white/asian/latino, you name it but not black.

Fast forward to today:  taking a leaf out of Brown's notebook, Harvard had a separate "Black Graduation" where the speakers talked about their alienation and loneliness at Harvard where not enough people 'looked' like them. Harvard. Imagine the creme de la creme feeling such alienation and victimization that they can't even celebrate as anodyne an event as graduation with asians, whites, latinos, arabs, south asians. With the great majority of civilization.

The attempt to turn African Americans into an isolated caste of high status perpetual victims - regardless of their status, intellectual and financial inheritances has succeeded. But getting your status from being a victim is a disaster - to keep status you need to find ways to get hurt. And you need to always be focused on how other people are 'disrespecting' you. It's alienating and takes talented kid's eyes off of achievement, making anti-achievement the goal.

It's insane and it's cruel. And it's Democrat party policy. What a nightmare.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Jonah vs. the Climate Whale

Here's a summary letter from the Webmaster/Proprietor of Watts up with That, far and away the most viewed website in the world on climate issues. It's one of the only places you see both sides published. Just peruse his letter. And compare that to the tens - no - hundreds of billions of dollars going to the other side. If the Warmist's claims were 'truth' and 'settled science' then how could so many fundamental questions get through to the public with only this one retired weatherman's time and small donation funding?

It gets back to a fundamental problem: if the state doesn't want you to know it, how do you know what you know? I'm now convinced that state funding of science is both unproductive and in fact immoral.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Why she fights

Sarah Hoyt eloquently explains why she fights for Western Civilization against the statist clerisy:

And if I must be persona non grata, so be it.  I’m human. Like all humans I want to be liked, to belong, to be accepted in the dominant culture of my time.  But when the dominant culture of my time is a poisonous and undermining lie, there are more important things than being liked.  There are more important things than personal success.
At another time, in another place, I’d have stayed quiet in my library, writing my fiction.
But this is not another time.  And we’re not given a choice.
I’m not a happy warrior.  I fight because I must.
Because everything I believe in depends on it.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Feudal Socialism

Joel Kotkin points out that the left coast Oligarchs are reinventing Feudalism complete with obscurantist religion - apparently there's a movement in San Francisco advocating meatless days...a sort of Gaia meets Lent. Income inequality seems to be the new sign of Gaia's Favor where the Elect return their Lord's bounty by forcing the "sinful" masses to live by His scripture which the Oligarchs' staffs wrote up: No single family houses, no cars but plenty of private Jets. And servants. Upstairs, downstairs, hot and cold running servants. 

In CA you are witnessing the death of the party of Jackson and Jefferson. They're turning into superb Tories though, but Tories from Fuedal times. Tories back then always valued their deer and grouse over their peasants.

Must practice tugging my forelock. Or lynching the Lord of the manor. One or the other .

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Make Bloomberg Spend it All!

Evidently the US is cutting payments to corrupt, anti-American institutions so Michael Bloomberg is offering to stand in. Doesn't make sense that a 'wise guy' like Mickey Bloomberg would waste his money on a bunch of people he has to know are incompetent if not crooks. There must be a wise guy angle.

Either way I say the slogan that Arch Moore had when running against Jay Rockefeller:  Make him spend it all!

Friday, June 02, 2017

See Illinois Circle the Drain

Illinois debt is now at near junk status. Chicago Schools can't roll their debt and Chicago doesn't have the credit to backstop them. The state is hemorrhaging taxpayers and population. The current 'reform' governor is totally stymied by the Chicago Machine that nurtured Barack Obama who I note isn't interested in moving 'back home'.

I'm afraid the shiny towers on the lake have lost their luster amidst the longest orgy of political corruption in America's history. But never fear Land of Lincoln, California, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are not far behind. What will happen to the Democrats when their biggest power centers are all embroiled in massive debt crises?

We will need a lot of popcorn for this one.