Thursday, September 29, 2011

Soft

Instapundit » Blog Archive » JONAH GOLDBERG: Seriously, in 2008 we elected a community organizer, state senator, college instruc…: "JONAH GOLDBERG: Seriously, in 2008 we elected a community organizer, state senator, college instructor first term senator over a guy who spent five years in a Vietnamese prison. And now he’s lecturing us about how America’s gone “soft”? Really?

Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 11:21 pm"
Good God:

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Strawman GOP Update

Let’s soak the rich, GOP-style - The Washington Post: "On the campaign trail, Obama talks constantly about Republican support for special tax breaks for “corporate jet owners, or oil and gas producers, or people who are making millions or billions of dollars,” citing these as proof that Republicans want “to keep tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans.” Not so, says Ryan. “We’d be willing to get rid of all that for a better tax code.” The GOP’s difference with Obama, Ryan says, is that the president “sees closing tax expenditures as just raising revenues,” while Republicans want to “use that revenue to reduce tax rates so we can get faster economic growth and job creation.”

With all the benefit cuts he has proposed for wealthy Americans, is Paul Ryan a “soak the rich Republican”? “No,” he says with a smile, “I just don’t spend money on them.”"

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From Left To Right ... Mostly Right

Heh. H/T Ace / The Brigade

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When Morons Collide

Al Qaeda warns Iran: Knock it off with the 9/11 conspiracy theories « Hot Air: "The inevitable follow-up to Ahmadinejad’s UN speech. I hate to see friends fight, but look on the bright side: I’m sure they both agree on the essential fraudulence of the Holocaust. Maybe that can be the common ground that heals the breach.

And so, 10 years after 9/11, it’s come to this. The new vanguard in the endless struggle against Trutherism is … Al Qaeda.
In the latest issue of the al Qaeda English-language magazine “Inspire”, an author appears to take offense to the “ridiculous” theory repeatedly spread by Ahmadinejad that the 9/11 terror attacks were actually carried out by the U.S. government in order to provide a pretext to invade the Middle East."
Allahpundit came up with my title but should have used it himself. It's perfect.

And if you haven't seen the Onion piece with the Al Qaeda guy arguing with a truther, you absolutely must click through and watch it. You'll be ROFL.

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Did I Forget To Mention $4 Million?

South Korea: Kids, Stop Studying So Hard! - TIME: "Still, the Education Ministry can point to one recent victory in this long fight: spending on private instruction decreased 3.5% in 2010, the first drop since the government began tracking the figure in 2007. Does the decline signal a trend? Well, Koreans still spent 2% of their GDP on tutoring, even with the downtick. Andrew Kim, a very successful instructor at Megastudy, South Korea's largest hagwon, says he earned $4 million last year from online and in-person lectures. He agrees that the system is far from ideal, but so far he has seen no impact from the reforms on his income. "The tougher the measures," he says, "the more resilient hagwons become." In response to the government-imposed curfew, for example, many hagwons have just put more lessons online for students to buy after hours at home."
A country where they are trying to stop studying. I don't think the U.S. will be facing this problem any time soon...

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Charting Socialism

Double Taxation of Income - By Veronique de Rugy - The Corner - National Review Online: "Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute has a useful flow chart showing what a dollar of income is going through under the current tax system and different scenarios:"

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Monday, September 26, 2011

The Herminator Rises

PICKET: ZOGBY - Cain leads in new poll; Perry Plummets to 18% - Washington Times: "Presidential candidate Herman Cain has shot up in Zogby's latest poll ahead of Texas Governor Rick Perry. According to Zogby's latest data:
Rick Perry has tumbled by more than 20 percentage points over the past month among Republican presidential primary voters and is now second to Herman Cain, who leads the field with 28%.Mitt Romney received little benefit from Perrys fall, garnering 17% of the vote for third place."
Wow.

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Problems

Thug in Chief Obama: If Americans Don’t Want My Tax Hikes “We’re Gonna Have Problems” (Video) | The Gateway Pundit: "President Obama, a former ACORN trainer, told supporters today that Americans don’t want his tax hikes – “We’re gonna have problems.”
“If we don’t get our fiscal house in order in a way that is fair and equitable, so that everybody feels like they have responsibilities to not only themselves and their families but also to the country that has given them so much opportunity, we’re going to have problems.”"
Sounds like a threat to me.

You voted for a thug and you got one...

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

McCarthy On The SS Ponzi

More Social Security & Ponzi Schemes - By Andrew C. McCarthy - The Corner - National Review Online: "As a great admirer of your work, I’m very surprised by your claim that Social Security’s designers and perpetuators have not attempted to perpetrate a fraud. The program was hatched in fraud. As I pointed out yesterday, FDR pretended it was an insurance program in order to sell it to the public; once Congress enacted it, he then told the courts it was not an insurance program but a tax in order to get it upheld (by justices he had successfully intimidated with a court-packing plan). He later admitted that disingenuously portraying the tax as a contribution for earned insurance benefits was “politics all the way through.” The goal was never to make the economics work. As you correctly point out, they don’t work, and FDR was well aware of that fact. The goal was to make sure, as he put it, that “no damn politician can ever scrap my social security program.” Fostering a sense of public entitlement, he presciently reasoned, would induce politicians to position themselves as defenders of this entitlement — and never you mind the math.

Furthermore, the real objective of Social Security was not to set up a retirement insurance program. It was to lay the foundation for a full-blown entitlement state, complete with socialized healthcare. The original plan included a Medicare component, which was abandoned because FDR realized it would jeopardize passage of social security."
RTWT. It's an excellent summary of why SS is truly a Ponzi scheme -- and why the jack*ss that created it knew it.

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Alternate (Socialist) Reality

Is Your Choice Of Food A Fundamental Right? | Food Renegade: "“no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to own and use a dairy cow or a dairy herd;”

“no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to consume the milk from their own cow;”

“no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to produce and consume the foods of their choice…”
Talk about hammering a point home.

Sometimes I think I’ve woken up in a surreal alternate reality. I was raised in a patriotic glow where the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” was a well-defined, well-reasoned expectation. America is the “land of the free.” I do not think this means what I once thought it meant, particularly if we have no fundamental right to drink the milk from our own cows."
Good God.

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Free Inside?

Belmont Club » Whose Side Are You On?: "The fallacy is to believe that under a dictatorial government you can be free inside. Quite a number of people console themselves with this thought, now that totalitarianism in one form or another is visibly on the up-grade in every part of the world. Out in the street the loudspeakers bellow, the flags flutter from the rooftops, the police with their tommy-guns prowl to and fro, the face of the Leader, four feet wide, glares from every hoarding; but up in the attics the secret enemies of the regime can record their thoughts in perfect freedom — that is the idea, more or less. — George Orwell"

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Myths

Instapundit » Blog Archive » WASHINGTON POST: Five Myths About Millionaires. Including this one: “In a speech on Monday, Obama…: "WASHINGTON POST: Five Myths About Millionaires. Including this one: “In a speech on Monday, Obama said raising taxes on millionaires isn’t class warfare, but ‘math.’ His math may be off: According to the IRS, those with adjusted gross incomes of more than $1 million paid an average of 23.3 percent in federal income taxes in 2008; those earning between $100,000 and $200,000 paid 12.7 percent; and those earning between $50,000 and $100,000 paid 8.9 percent. Half of American families don’t make enough money to pay income taxes at all.” And that’s the real problem. Everyone should have skin in the game.

Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 10:34 am"
I can't believe it's gotten so bad that even WaPo is now routinely correcting Erkel. And did I forget to quote this?:
Millionaires accounted for just 0.17 percent (236,883) of the more than 140 million tax returns filed in 2009, and reported income totaling $727 billion.

The federal government will spend about $3.6 trillion this year (a rate of $300 billion per month), running an annual deficit of about $1.3 trillion. So, even if the IRS decided to confiscate every cent earned by millionaires in a given year, it would amount to less than half of the new debt we are taking on each year, and would barely be enough to fund the government for two months.

According to Forbes, the 400 wealthiest individuals in the U.S. are worth a combined $1.37 trillion. Confiscating all their wealth (not just annual earnings) would buy us another 4.5 months.
It's the Haavaad math...

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Rich By Fiat

The Gap Between Rich and Poor Explained in 3 Minutes | Dominic Frisby | FINANCIAL SENSE: "The gap between rich and poor is the widest it’s ever been in history. And it keeps on getting wider.

Plato is purported to have said that, ideally, the person at the top of an organization should earn 6 times more than the person at the bottom. J.P. Morgan said it should be 20 times.

Barclays are currently advertising for a cashier in one their West Midlands branches (near Birmingham in the UK) , salary £12,665. If I multiply that by 500 times I still don’t get to the £6.5 million bonus (on top of £250,000) that Bob Diamond, the Barclays boss, was recently awarded."

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Another War

H/T Lucianne

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The Theatre O The Absurd

Mr. Netanyahu goes to New York | Power Line: "Well, this is an unfortunate part of the U.N. institution. It’s the — the theater of the absurd. It doesn’t only cast Israel as the villain; it often casts real villains in leading roles: Gadhafi’s Libya chaired the U.N. Commission on Human Rights; Saddam’s Iraq headed the U.N. Committee on Disarmament.

You might say: That’s the past. Well, here’s what’s happening now — right now, today. Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon now presides over the U.N. Security Council. This means, in effect, that a terror organization presides over the body entrusted with guaranteeing the world’s security.

You couldn’t make this thing up…."

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The Pravda Strategy

Correcting President Obama's Myriad Tax Fallacies - Forbes: "An emerging, disabling problem with our democracy is that increasingly we cannot even engage in intelligent public discussions of critical issues facing our country.  The strategy of central political players today is to calculate what busy voters working hard and taking care of their families do not and will not know, and take advantage of that with abusive rhetoric that cannot be characterized as intellectually honest.  Contributing greatly to that is the decline of what was formerly known as the mainstream media into effectively a party controlled press.

For example, for 30 years now the South American nation of Chile has demonstrated the enormous benefits to working people of empowering them with the freedom to choose personal savings, investment and insurance accounts in substitution for old fashioned social insurance programs hailing intellectually out of the late 19th century. Other countries have followed that lead in adopting similar reforms, including Great Britain and Australia. But in America we cannot even discuss this issue intelligently. ...

The Obama/Buffett ruse arises just like any other magician’s trick. It focuses attention on just one tax rate paid on income arising from capital investment – the capital gains tax rate of 15%. The florid abusive rhetoric distracts from the multiple taxation of capital investment income, which is actually taxed at least four separate times under our tax code. Capital investment income is taxed first by the above mentioned, abusive, internationally uncompetitive corporate income tax. If any is paid out as dividends, then it is taxed again by the individual income tax. If the value of the capital interest, say a share of stock, manages to increase in the Obama depression, then it is taxed again by the capital gains tax. If anything is left at death, then it is subject to taxation again by the death tax."

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Your "Betters" Are Idiots

Obama Administration to Ban Asthma Inhalers Over Environmental Concerns | The Weekly Standard: "Er, industry also knew how to make low-flow toilets, which is why every toilet in my recently renovated rental house clogs at least once a week.  They knew how to make more energy efficient dryers, which is why even on high, I have to run every load through the dryer in said house twice.  And they knew how to make inexpensive compact flourescent bulbs, which is why my head hurts from the glare emitting from my bedroom lamp.    They also knew how to make asthma inhalers without CFCs, which is why I am hoarding old albuterol inhalers that, unlike the new ones, a) significantly improve my breathing and b) do not make me gag.  Etc.
Well, tough cookies asthma sufferers! You should have written bigger checks to the Democratic party while you had the chance."
Yes, that's right boys and gals. Time for the evergreen (sarc) C.S. Lewis:
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
Any questions?

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

You've Been Brainwashed

Authors Forum: Great Myths of the Great Depression | Lawrence W. Reed - YouTube: "Great Myths of the Great Depression"


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Yes We Did

From Enron to Solyndra | Power Line: "One of our more constructive critical commenters posed a challenge on my short Solyndra post on Tuesday, namely, did you folks get this worked up about Enron’s collapse?

Short answer: Yes we did.  Longer answer: Starting before it collapsed in fact, and for much the same reason—its seduction into the politicized world of crony capitalism.  Enron’s collapse bears some striking similarities to Solyndra, namely, a business model that increasingly depended on government support for profitability.  When that government support didn’t come in time, Enron’s house-of-cards collapsed.

Here’s the salient point: like Solyndra, Enron was a favorite of environmentalists, and Enron was a huge backer of the Kyoto Protocol."

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Multitude O Fools

Belmont Club » Bayes and Nice People: "Peretz, Brooks, and Noonan are intelligent, well-educated people. Nobody has seriously suggested they are either perverse or evil. Now they see the truth. But once upon a time they didn’t have a clue. So the disturbing question is: how did they get it wrong? Setting aside for a moment the fact that someone slipped past, the most pressing problem is to determine why the system failed. Because as someone at Andrew Klavan’s blog said, “the republic can survive a Barack Obama; it is far less likely to survive the multitude of fools who made him president.”"

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Muon Madness

BBC News - Speed-of-light experiments give baffling result at Cern: "The team prepares a beam of just one type, muon neutrinos, sending them from Cern to an underground laboratory at Gran Sasso in Italy to see how many show up as a different type, tau neutrinos.

In the course of doing the experiments, the researchers noticed that the particles showed up a few billionths of a second sooner than light would over the same distance.

The team measured the travel times of neutrino bunches some 15,000 times, and have reached a level of statistical significance that in scientific circles would count as a formal discovery.

But the group understands that what are known as "systematic errors" could easily make an erroneous result look like a breaking of the ultimate speed limit, and that has motivated them to publish their measurements."
Deniers! The science is settled!

Off with their funding!

Heh. Did I forget to mention Galileo?

UPDATE: The jokes begin:
“We don’t allow faster-than-light neutrinos in here,” said the bartender.

A neutrino walks into a bar.
Heh.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

National Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Selling Liberty: National Delusions and the Madness of Crowds | Yuri N. Maltsev - YouTube: "National Delusions and the Madness of Crowds"

Listen and learn from those who lived through it like Yuri. Or condemn your children to a bloody re-run.

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Buffetted On The Roller Coaster

The 'Buffett Rule' hasn't worked in California - latimes.com: "If President Obama really wants to see the "Buffett Rule" in action, he should look at California's tax system. The state has been plagued by it for years.

The revenue stream is unstable and the state budget has been a deficit disaster.

Soaking the rich — relying heavily on them for income taxes — has resulted in a precarious revenue roller coaster ride. It's either boom or bust in Sacramento, depending on how the wealthy are faring in the stock market and their other investments."
Economics 101. I know, we'll have FedGov decide when the moneybags have to take their capital gains. That will solve it! Good God.

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Debunked

And don't miss the part where Haj Amin hangs with Hitler...

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Look at Me!


Look at Me! - By Jonah Goldberg - The Corner - National Review Online: "Look at Me!"
Can you begin to imagine the uproar if "bad Bush, bad, bad Bush" did this? Our grandchildren would have never heard the end of it! LOL

Instead, this never happened and won't be reported on by the NYeT. Down the memory hole it goes...

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It Would Not Be The Same Here?

A Truly Indispensable New Book. (Truly.) - Ricochet.com: "The Great Lie represents scholarship of the highest order:  Flagg has given us the benefit of his own wide reading, putting in a single volume what every American needs to know.  Nazism and Communism really were something new and distinctive in human history, yet at the same time they  represent horrors that could recur--anywhere.  As Solzhenitsyn says in a quotation that Flagg prints on the frontispiece:
There is always this fallacious belief:  "It would not be the same here; here such things are impossible."  Alas, all the evil of the twentieth century is possible everywhere on earth."
Yes.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The More Things Change...


Chart of the Day: 'Buffett Rule' Wouldn't Bring In Much Revenue - Daniel Indiviglio - Business - The Atlantic: "As you can see, the short answer is: some, but not enough to make a dent in the deficit. If you put a floor at their current marginal tax rate of 35%, the government would obtain $37 billion more dollars. That might sound like a lot, but it amounts to just 2.5% of the 2009 $1.5 trillion deficit (which is the red line shown). If you increase the floor to the pre-Bush-tax-cut marginal rate of 39.6%, the additional revenue grows a bit -- to $66 billion, or 4.5% of the year's deficit.

Even if you get really aggressive, it doesn't help much. Even a tax floor for these individuals at 75% would cover less than 20% of the year's deficit. And, of course, even most populist among us probably worries that a tax rate that high could do more harm to the U.S. economy than good. All of these calculations also assume that these wealthy individuals wouldn't find new and creative ways to ensure that their income was shielded from very high tax rates. (They would.)"
... the more they stay innumerate. Now where has this been analyzed before? Hmmmm... Only it's even more hopeless now that O Duce has "calculated" some more. LOL

UPDATE: Hennessy is measuring the wooden nose.

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Tom Woods: Against The Economic Memory Hole

Applying Economics to American History | Thomas E. Woods, Jr. - YouTube: "Applying Economics to American History | Thomas E. Woods, Jr."

WTWT.

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Bubbling Along

Christopher Whalen | Analysis & Opinion | Reuters.com: "Years ago, as an earnest young staffer for Congressman Jack Kemp, I expressed worry to my father Richard J. Whalen over the mounting federal debt. An adviser to several presidents and Fed chairman, he looked at me and smiled. “The duty of this generation is to pass the bubble onto the next generation, intact,” he quipped, reflecting the mainstream view in the US today. But as the quote from Alan Greenspan suggests, inflation is the sure result of this strategy. And deflation is the cure.

Deflation does hurt debtors and lenders, but it also advantages savers and institutions with cash to buy assets cheaply. The buyers of dead banks and bad assets generate real growth and jobs. When Roubini, Posen and other mainstream economists call for measures to avoid deflation, they actually cut off one of the few ways that consumers and private business have to offset the ill-effects of secular inflation — the real culprit behind the financial crisis."

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The Legend O Buffett

Instapundit » Blog Archive » A.P. FACT-CHECK: Secretaries Don’t Pay More Taxes Than Their Bosses. “Even when talking rates rath…: "A.P. FACT-CHECK: Secretaries Don’t Pay More Taxes Than Their Bosses. “Even when talking rates rather than aggregate payments, the claims made by Buffett and Obama are nothing more than an urban legend.”

Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 10:47 am"
Well, we already knew O Duce was innumerate. But it turns out that one of the world's richest men is innumerate too! Or is it that he thinks we are? I think I know which one it is...

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Awesome Art: Gadsden Dollar


Awesome Art: Gadsden Dollar | marfdrat: "Update: Welcome Instapundit readers! (my first Instalanche; I’m excited)"

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Animal Farm Today

Instapundit » Blog Archive » J.E. DYER: My Money: I Deserve To Keep It All. “If any of us doesn’t deserve to keep everything…: "J.E. DYER: My Money: I Deserve To Keep It All. “If any of us doesn’t deserve to keep everything he has earned, then that man is a slave. Alternatively, he is less than human; he has no moral standing, and no unalienable rights inhere in him. He is like a farm animal.”
That’s pretty much how the political class sees us.

Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 7:15 am"
And it would seem the "milk cow" phase is about to end and be replaced by the "abattoir" phase. Look up the word if you don't know what it means...

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bundles O Deja Vu

Today's climate mimics the 1890s - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: ""I think the analogy between the 1890s and today is better than the analogy with the Great Depression that we often focus on," said Hugh Rockoff, a Rutgers University economics professor. "One of the many similarities is the real estate crisis. There was a subprime mortgage problem in the 1890s that was very similar to what precipitated the recent crisis."

Before 1893's crisis, many farmers bought homesteads on the Great Plains with short-term "balloon" mortgages supplied by small local mortgage companies and banks. The borrower paid only the interest for five years -- until the principal then came due.

Mortgage companies bundled those mortgages and sold them to investors in New York and London.

The bundles supposedly were insured -- all very much like the securitization of mortgages that preceded our recent crisis -- but they plunged in value, igniting an international banking panic."
The one thing we learn from history is that we don't learn from history... or put any of the white collar criminals in places with cell-mates named Tiny like they should be...

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hOme alOne

Ed Driscoll » The Wonk Who Wasn’t There: "“Summers walked in, slightly late, but not impolitely so, and met Orszag at the table. And then it was the two of them. Orszag hoped that this time the White House would be less fraught with strife than the last go-round during the 1990s. Summers said it kind of came with the territory. This talk of their shared history seemed to thaw things out. They both grabbed for the plate of flatbreads … and tore corners at the discus-sized breads. ‘You know, Peter, we’re really home alone.’ Over the past few months, Summers had said this, in a stage whisper, to Orszag and others as they left the morning economic briefings in the Oval Office. … ‘I mean it,’ Summers stressed. ‘We’re home alone. There’s no adult in charge. Clinton would never have made these mistakes.’”
As one of the commenters at the Brothers Judd blog notes, the Home Alone analogy cuts both ways — Summers is admitting that there are no grown-ups in the Obadministration, and inadvertently including himself amongst the small-fry."
Perfect. Makes one all warm and fuzzy inside, doesn't it?

UPDATE: "WHY THE SUSKIND BOOK IS DAMAGING, even though it doesn’t contain big factual revelations or real shockers – A Playbooker emails: “[T]his sounds like the wacky misadventures of a 50-year-old man who just got his first real job.”" [Bingo. -ed]

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Fiat Headphones

The Real Solution to the Debt Problem - David S. D'Amato - Mises Daily: "Not only do the Fed's inflationary policies make unsustainable government debt inevitable, then; they also grant to the big banks command over the entire economic framework. Whereas their influence would be checked by the tides of a free market, they become, within the cartelized economy of the Fed, the pivot point of all commerce. That privilege ultimately costs taxpayers and consumers in the billions, perpetually setting the entire economy on the course of crisis and ruin. The alternative is a market freed from the state's needless regulations and its cancerous central bank, a market that would not forcibly prevent rational responses to economic signals. That alternative is the only real solution to the debt problem.

Within the present system, a balanced budget could only ever mean stifling and overwhelming levels of taxation, which would even further serve to blight the economy. A true remedy to the condition of government debt is the elimination of its underlying incentives and root cause. It's time to free economic life from the burden of the Federal Reserve System, letting individuals' voluntary exchanges decide questions of money and credit."
Some of the very few who have anything resembling an economic education may be wondering why they have the uneasy feeling that even a balanced budget may not work -- probably due to the suspicion that O Duce will get his way with taxes and spending won't drop.

This article provides great insight into that present ruinous situation.

Some of you may be disinclined to accept the thesis laid out here based only on a concern that this school of thinking -- most visibly represented perhaps by Ron Paul -- will lead to the disarmament of America and the ruination of the world. I have a lot of sympathy for that point of view and it would be a viable argument if the current state of the world wasn't already catastrophic ruin and vectoring worse.

The sad truth is that even with the "fiat resources" of the banker's America, we have been unable to glue on any logical operation to the cargo cult we fondly refer to as the international community. And to a large degree that's because it's a fool's errand to ask one cargo cult to reform another -- we didn't have anything useful to tell the others even should they listen.

That said, having O Duce instead of "bad Bush, bad, bad Bush" is in fact more dangerous for us. I suspect that a resurrected Machiavelli would opine that Mom jeans don't inspire much fear ... and I would add most certainly not to those large numbers of violent cargo cultists wearing wooden headphones.

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The Fixed And (Un)moving (Consensus) Center

Pajamas Media » Rick Perry Versus the True Believers: "The most important problem with Galileo’s heliocentric theory, and one that was widely recognized by his scientific contemporaries, was the lack of “observable parallax shifts in the stars’ positions as the earth moved in its orbit around the sun.” It was only much later that instruments were designed that were sensitive enough to detect the shifts. Therefore, Galileo lacked scientific evidence to prove his theory, and many leading astronomers of the day rejected it. The renowned Tycho Brahe was one of them; he had his own competing theory, which was a Geo-Heliocentric hybrid in which the sun revolved around the earth but the other planets revolved around the sun, a system that conformed better than Galileo’s with the lack of observed stellar parallax and which remained in scientific favor for a long time.

I have written that Galileo’s theory turned out to be correct, but that is actually an over-simplication. Galileo was indeed correct in stating that the planets revolve around the sun. But he also believed that the sun is the fixed and unmoving center of the universe, which we now know to be incorrect.

This error does not contradict the fact that Galileo was a scientific giant. But the story is a reminder that even the brilliant make mistakes, and that science does not advance by simple progression from ignorance to perfect knowledge, nor is it proven by consensus."
You need to RTWT.

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Deja Vu All Over Again

Lawmakers question WHouse role in wireless project - Yahoo! News: "Republican lawmakers say the White House may have tried to push through a company's proposed wireless network despite objections from the military that the project could disrupt vital satellite navigation systems.

Lawmakers this week raised fresh questions about the proposed network by Virginia-based Lightsquared, a firm backed by billionaire Philip Falcone, a prominent donor to Obama's Democratic party."
Move along now, nothing to see here...

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Iceberg sOlyndra

White House was warned about fresh infusions of cash for Solyndra -- EDITORIAL - NYPOST.com: "Incredibly, OMB staffers had estimated that keeping Solyndra alive but struggling -- as the administration did -- instead of allowing it to liquidate last January would cost taxpayers an extra $168 million.

“If Solyndra defaults down the road,” read one e-mail, “the optics will arguably be worse than they would be today,” because “additional funds [will] have been put at risk, recovery may be lower and questions will be asked as to why the administration made a bad investment, not just once ... but twice.” ...

One of the California firm’s chief investors, after all, was billionaire George Kaiser, one of Obama’s top 2008 campaign fund-raising bundlers, who’s visited the White House 16 times.
In the months before Solyndra’s approval, ABC News reports, he had meetings with key adviser Valerie Jarrett, then-chief White House economist Austan Goolsbee and former chief of staff Pete Rouse. ...

The steady drip of new disclosures suggests pretty strongly that what we’ve heard so far about Solyndra -- outrageous as it is -- is only the tip of the iceberg."
Welcome to Chicago on the pOtOmac.

It's interesting that according to Murphy, Mises drew the dividing line between capitalism and socialism as capitalist systems have a stock market. But he didn't perhaps fully consider the possibility of a computer manipulated, pOtemkin village of a stock market...

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Time For A Reminder: Hitler Was A Socialist

That's right, Nazi stood for "National Socialist German Worker's Party". Interesting how the left spits in anyone's face who points it out to them. Getting a little to close to the truth are we?:

HITLER WAS A SOCIALIST: "Because this article contradicts what most people think they know about Hitler, it has necessarily been a long one. There have been many potential questions to answer. I would therefore like to close with a useful brief summary of what happened and why it is so little known. It is excerpted from a comment by Peter Hitchens on what is being taught in British schools and purveyed by the British media today:
"A schools video produced last year on the Forties barely gives a walk-on part to Winston Churchill, a man who is being steadily written out of modern history because he does not fit the fashionable myth that the Tories sympathised with the Nazis and the Left were the only people who opposed Hitler....

LABOUR'S role in the rise of Hitler was to consistently vote against the rearmament measures which narrowly saved this country from slavery in 1940. Stalin's insane orders to the German Communist Party, to refuse to co-operate with the Social Democrats, virtually ensured the Nazis would come to power in 1933.

This would be mirrored, six years later, in the joint victory parade staged by Nazi and Red Army troops in the then-Polish city of Brest, and the efficient supply of Soviet oil to Germany which fuelled the Nazi Blitzkrieg and the bombers which tore the heart out of London.

But millions of supposedly educated people know nothing of this, and are unaware that the one country which behaved with honour and courage when the fate of the world was being decided was Britain."
It was the Left who were on Hitler's side, not the conservatives. And the Left were on his side because he was one of them. "
Any more questions about why O Duce gave Churchill's bust back to Britain? I thought not...

This is a long piece but if you've never read it you owe it to yourself to take a couple of days to savor it. You won't believe how thoroughly brainwashed you have been...

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sowell: The Once And Future Mellon

You Can’t Tax the Rich - Thomas Sowell - National Review Online: "Secretary Mellon estimated that the amount of money invested in tax-exempt securities had nearly tripled in a decade. The amount of this money that the tax collector couldn’t touch was larger than the federal government’s annual budget and nearly half as large as the national debt. Big bucks went into hiding.

Mellon highlighted the absurdity of this situation: “It is incredible that a system of taxation which permits a man with an income of $1,000,000 a year to pay not one cent to the support of his Government should remain unaltered.”

One of Mellon’s first acts as secretary was to ask Congress to end tax exemptions for municipal bonds and other securities. But Congress was not about to set off a political firestorm by doing that.

Mellon’s Plan B was to cut the top income-tax rate, in order to lure money out of tax-exempt securities and back into the economy, where increased economic activity would generate more tax revenue for the government. Congress also resisted this, using arguments that are virtually unchanged to this day — that these would just be “tax cuts for the rich.”

What makes all this history so relevant today is that the same economic assumptions and political arguments that produced the absurdities of 1921 are still going strong in 2011.

If anything, “the rich” have far more options for putting their money beyond the reach of the tax collectors today than they had back in 1921. In addition to being able to put their money into tax-exempt securities, the rich today can easily send millions — or billions — of dollars to foreign countries, with the ease of electronic transfers in a globalized economy.

In other words, the genuinely rich are likely to be the least harmed by high tax rates in the top brackets. People who are looking for jobs are likely to be the most harmed, because they cannot equally easily transfer themselves overseas to take the jobs that are being created there by American investments that are fleeing high tax rates at home."
Did I forget to mention that Sowell rocks?

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A Declassified Jon Huntsman On China's Terror Of A Gold-Pegged Dollar

Zerohedge is rocking tonight:

A Declassified Jon Huntsman On China's Terror Of A Gold-Pegged Dollar | ZeroHedge: "Evidently, while we may be used to seeing Jon Huntsman spew truisms and political one liners, there was a time when he actually had something interesting to say:
b. "The United States no longer sits still; it frequently uses evil tricks to force China to buy U.S. bonds"
The Shanghai-based Shanghai Media Group (SMG) publication, China Business News (Diyi Caijing)(02/08)(pg A7): "This time the quick change of the U.S. policy (toward China) has surprised quite a few people. The U.S. has almost used all deterring means, besides military means, against China. China must be clear on discovering what the U.S. goals are behind its tough stances against China. In fact, a fierce competition between the currencies of big countries has just started. A crucial move for the U.S. is to shift its crisis to other countries - by coercing China to buy U.S. treasury bonds with foreign exchange reserves and doing everything possible to prevent China's foreign reserve from buying gold."
Now if they wanted a real debate they would ask Huntsman about this memo. But note that it was not asked during even the Tea Party sponsored debate. Let's talk about Perry and Bachmann's Guardasil tiff instead shall we?

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Deja Ben

Articles: Ben Franklin Skewers Obama's Jobs Proposal: "But is administratively shifting wealth from rich to poor the best means to uplift the poor from their lives of poverty?  Benjamin Franklin gives us his unabashed opinion on the matter:
I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer."
Du'O.

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Dear Ben

Dear Ben, Please Make Us Trillionaires | ZeroHedge: "Dear Ben,

Please make us trillionaires. Just the sound of it! It's beautiful, Ben. But without your help, we'll never get there. So, at your meeting next week, think about us. Because the way you make trillionaires is by printing money.

Maybe not everybody can be a trillionaire. But that's OK. The rest of us will have the pleasure of walking around with millions in our pockets. Remember Turkey, late 1990s. It was awesome, Ben. You have no idea. Everybody was a millionaire. Even the poor. The entire middle class consisted of billionaires. And there were some trillionaires too.

...

Printing money works, Ben. History has proven that. So don't back off now just because some presidential candidates call you nasty things. Look at Turkey. It worked wonderfully. Over New Year's in 2005, the government even revaluated the lira. At 1,000,000 lira to 1 "new lira." And poof, all the millionaires were once again poor.... Oh wait, that's a bad example. But there must be a good example out there, somewhere. I'll get back to you on that. Meanwhile, keep at it, Ben."

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Let Them Eat ... Nothing

Eric Cantor || Majority Leader || Blog || President Obama's Tax On Soup Kitchens: "Yesterday, it was announced that an astounding 1 in 6 Americans are living in poverty. President Obama's response? To demand a tax on donations to soup kitchens and other charities that help people desperately in need. The President's proposal will impact approximately 40% of all the tax deductible contributions, and essentially penalize soup kitchens, hospitals, and churches that provide essential services to those who need them most. It’s no wonder this tax hike has been rejected on both sides of the aisle."

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dredging The Krug-memory Hole

Blast From Paul Krugman's Past: "Social Security Is A Ponzi Scheme And Will Soon Be Over" | ZeroHedge: "It is one thing (what thing that is we are not sure, but we have heard others say it, so like all good lemmings we will say it too) for Rick Perry to call Social Security a ponzi scheme. After all he is some crazy, foaming in the mouth conservative, as uber-Keynesian liberal Paul Krugman may call him. And that's fine. What confuses us, however, is why Social Security would be called a ponzi by the same liberal noted previously: none other than Paul Krugman himself.

Exhibit A, from a distant 1997, which perhaps one would have expected to remain buried (source):
Social Security is structured from the point of view of the recipients as if it were an ordinary retirement plan: what you get out depends on what you put in. So it does not look like a redistributionist scheme. In practice it has turned out to be strongly redistributionist, but only because of its Ponzi game aspect, in which each generation takes more out than it put in. Well, the Ponzi game will soon be over, thanks to changing demographics, so that the typical recipient henceforth will get only about as much as he or she put in (and today's young may well get less than they put in)."
He who controls the present... I'm always confused whether the memory hole exists because these people are so brazen ... or just amnesiacs themselves.

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Blue On Blue ... Ummm ... Red On Red

Instapundit » Blog Archive » PROF. JACOBSON: Wisconsin Unions Start Feeding On Themselves. If you want a good measure of how …: "If you want a good measure of how deeply the collective bargaining bill in Wisconsin has disrupted public sector unions, there is no better example than the Wisconsins Education Association Council (WEAC).

Last month WEAC announced that it was laying off 40% of its staff. With little over which to collectively bargain, and with dues no longer withheld from paychecks, the need for and sustainability of a union bureaucracy could not be justified.

Now WEAC is being boycotted by National Staff Organization (NSO), a union representing educational union employees.

Isn’t that great, education union employees have their own union? Is there a union for employees of education union employee unions?
And smaller fleas to bite ‘em.

Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 6:07 pm"
Idiots on parasites.

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You Will Learn To Love Big Brother

Amish men jailed for not displaying buggy safety signs | Reuters: "(Reuters) - Eight members of a traditional Amish sect were behind bars on Tuesday after refusing to pay fines for failure to display orange-red safety triangles on their horse-drawn buggies."
Emmanuel Goldstein is apparently Amish. Who knew?

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Intimidation

Instapundit » Blog Archive » ORRIN HATCH TO NLRB MEMBER CRAIG BECKER: Did You Write The SEIU Intimidation Manual? “U.S. Senator…: "ORRIN HATCH TO NLRB MEMBER CRAIG BECKER: Did You Write The SEIU Intimidation Manual? “U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today wrote to National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) member and former Service Employees International Union (SEIU) official Craig Becker to inquire about his involvement in union intimidation efforts. The letter sent to Becker comes after the SEIU’s ‘Contract Campaign Manual’ was made public. The handbook tells union members to purposefully try to damage their employers’ reputations by coming up with allegations against their employers and managers and to even break the law to gain leverage in contract negotiations.”

Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 8:51 am"

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Cultural Upheaval of Loose Money

The Cultural Upheaval of Loose Money | Jeffrey A. Tucker - YouTube: "The Cultural Upheaval of Loose Money | Jeffrey A. Tucker"


This is likely the best 30 minute bootstrap from zero on inflation that you will ever hear. And even if you think you know it all it's an enjoyable tour-de-force. Tucker is an excellent speaker.

Stunning.

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A Kruel Krugman Kut

Instapundit » Blog Archive » EVERYBODY’S ANGRY, to judge from my email, about Paul Krugman’s typo-burdened 9/11 screed. Don’t be…: "And, cruelly: “Should we be ashamed of bombing the crap out of Libya, too? Inquiring minds want to know.”"
Heh.

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Pondering 9/11: The Unorganized Militia ... Or Sheep?

The Volokh Conspiracy » “Saved by the Militia”: My NRO Column After 9/11: "Who is everywhere? The people the Founders referred to as the “general militia.” Cell-phone calls from the plane have now revealed that it was members of the general militia, not organized law enforcement, who successfully prevented Flight 93 from reaching its intended target at the cost of their own lives.

The characterization of these heroes as members of the militia is not just the opinion of one law professor. It is clearly stated in Federal statutes. Perhaps you will not believe me unless I quote Section 311 of US Code Title 10, entitled, “Militia: composition and classes” in its entirety (with emphases added):
“(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia are —

(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and

(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.”
This is not to score political points at a moment of great tragedy, though had the murderers on these four airplanes been armed with guns rather than knives, reminders of this fact would never end. Rather, that it was militia members who saved whatever was the terrorists’ target — whether the White House or the Capitol — at the cost of their lives points in the direction of practical steps — in some cases the only practical steps — to reduce the damage cause by any future attacks.

...

Ask yourself every time you hear a proposal for increased “security”: Would have in any way have averted the disaster that actually happened? Will it avert a future suicide attack on the public by other new and different means? Any realistic response to what happened and is likely to happen in the future must acknowledge that, when the next moment of truth arrives in whatever form, calling 911 will not work. Training our youth to be helpless in the face of an attack, avoiding violence at all costs will not work. There will always be foreign and domestic wolves to prey on the sheep we raise. And the next attack is unlikely to take the same form as the ones we just experienced. We must adopt measures that promise some relief in circumstances we cannot now imagine.

Here is the cold hard fact of the matter that will be evaded and denied but which must never be forgotten in these discussions: Often — whether on an airplane, subway, cruise ship, or in a high school — only self defense by the “unorganized militia” will be available when domestic or foreign terrorists chose their next moment of murder. And here is the public-policy implication of this fact: It would be better if the militia were more prepared to act when it is needed.

If the general militia is now “unorganized” and neutered — if it is not well-regulated — whose fault is it? Article I of the Constitution gives Congress full power “to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia.” The Second Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights in large part because many feared that Congress would neglect the militia (as it has) and, because Congress could not be forced by any constitutional provision to preserve the militia, the only practical means of ensuring its continued existed was to protect the right of individual militia members to keep and bear their own private arms. Nevertheless, it remains the responsibility of Congress to see to it that the general militia is “well-regulated.”"

...

Rather than make war on the American people and their liberties, however, Congress should be looking for ways to empower them to protect themselves when warranted. The Founders knew — and put in the form of a written guarantee — the proposition that the individual right to keep and bear arms was the principal means of preserving a militia that was “essential,” in a free state, to provide personal and collective self-defense against criminals of all stripes, both domestic and foreign.
Are you a sheep? Say Ba-ah-ah-hah...

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The Right Thing

Students with Bush on 9/11 Look Back After bin Laden Death - TIME: "One thing the students would like to tell Bush's critics — like liberal filmmaker Michael Moore, whose 2004 documentary Fahrenheit 911 disparaged Bush for lingering almost 10 minutes with the students after getting word that two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center — is that they think the President did the right thing. "I think he was trying to keep everybody calm, starting with us," says Guerrero. Dubrocq agrees: "I think he was trying to protect us." Booker Principal Gwendolyn Tose-Rigell, who died in 2007, later insisted, "I don't think anyone could have handled it better. What would it have served if [Bush] had jumped out of his chair and ran out of the room?""
It must have pained Time greatly to report this...

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A Krugtastic BusHitler 9/11

Krugmania strikes deep | Power Line: "New York Times columnist Paul Krugman writes on his New York Times blog:
Is it just me, or are the 9/11 commemorations oddly subdued?

Actually, I don’t think it’s me, and it’s not really that odd.

What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. Te atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons."
And our "centrist" and "objective" lefty loons will be telling everyone that he didn't use the word "Hitler" and therefore Godwin's Law is not applicable. He's just speaking truth to power.

Never mind of course that Godwin's Law is nothing but a device to shield (non-National) Socialist's from criticism. If you're just waking up today, you might want to go look up what the abbrevitation "Nazi" is meant to cover up. Here, I'll help:
National Socialism Rightist?

The word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation of the name of Hitler's political party -- the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei. In English this translates to "The National Socialist German Worker's Party". So Hitler was a socialist and a champion of the workers -- or at least he identified himself as such and campaigned as such. The almost universal claim that Hitler's National Socialism was Right-wing has always therefore been a little strange.

How can any type of socialism be Rightist?

I will argue that this claim must in fact be one of old-time Communism's most successful "big lies" and that the perhaps surprising fact of the matter is that Hitler's National Socialism was Right-wing only in relation to Communism. I will submit the radically simple thesis that Hitler's appeal to Germans was much as the name of his political party would suggest -- a heady brew of rather extreme Leftism (socialism) combined with equally extreme nationalism -- with Hitler's obsession with the Jews being a relatively minor aspect of Nazism's popular appeal, as Dietrich (1988) shows.

So let us look at some of the basic facts that history (See, for example, Roberts, 1938; Heiden, 1939; Shirer, 1964; Bullock, 1964; Taylor, 1963; Hagan, 1966; Feuchtwanger, 1995) tells us about Hitler's politics in the lead-up to World War II.

Hitler's Election Pledges

Although one gets perhaps the most basic hint that Hitler really was a socialist from the name of the political party he led, party names are not always very informative (e.g. "The People's Democratic Republic of ...." will generally be a brutal tyranny with scant regard for either the people or democracy) so more evidence than can be found in a mere name is needed. So some of the promises made in Hitler's various election campaigns are also therefore instructive: The limitation of income to a thousand Marks per head, the nationalization of trusts (business conglomerates) and department stores, agrarian reform, the confiscation of war profits, the elimination of "unearned income" and employment for all were all promised at one stage or another by Hitler or his henchmen. How Right-wing does all that sound?
You might want to go RTWT.

And while we're at it, here's a an excerpt from a fantastic Phyllis Chesler piece that actually is relevant to 9/11:
My experience in Kabul, Afghanistan, about which I write in The Death of Feminism, was not as a “white” do-gooding “imperialist” but as the wife of a westernized olive-skinned Muslim national. My own experience of Islamic gender and religious apartheid, which included purdah, polygamy, pressure to convert to Islam, normalized Jew hatred, normalized domestic violence, and cruelty towards children, women, and servants, the omnipresent head scarves, chadari (or chador), and the internalization of Islamic fundamentalist values by everyone, including the women who most suffered from such values, taught me that such barbaric gender and religious apartheid is indigenous and that it preceded, and was not caused by, Western capitalism, imperialism, or colonialism. I was in Kabul in 1961 and Afghans were very proud that no one — not even the British — had ever colonized them.

Because I survived and managed to escape from Kabul, I was able to draw some conclusions which, according to Thobani and other multi-cultural relativists, amount to heresy. I no longer romanticize Third World countries or despots as noble victims. Nor do I ascribe evil in the universe only to the West.

Precisely because I am not a racist I am therefore not a multi-cultural relativist; I am a universalist. I believe that human rights are universal and apply to people everywhere. This is not the same as saying that I believe in crusades or conversions or that I blindly support imperialist ventures abroad or that I confuse them with feminist ventures. I have simply decided that Western democratic and secular ideals and (imperfect) practices must be extended universally, that the survival, dignity, and freedom of women and intellectuals depend upon this.
But don't listen to her. Listen to the "moderate" Krugman. I don't know how much more evidence one could need about the crock that the Nobel prize has become in anything other than hard sciences and perhaps even then...

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Outnumbered

Voters and debt | FP Comment | Financial Post: "Following John ­Calhoun, the 19th-century American politician and writer who developed this analysis, we can refer to the first class as tax consumers and the second as tax payers.

Amid the struggle that occurs between these two, democracy favours the tax consumers. In every society that has developed beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, wealth has been distributed unequally, that is, concentrated in a group making up less than 50% of the population, indeed often a good deal less than that. At the same time, democracy in principle empowers whoever can garner 50% plus one of the votes. To an ambitious democratic politician, the optimal strategy to win elections is obvious: Promise the not-so-wealthy majority a wide assortment of government-supplied benefits in the hopes of passing on the costs to the wealthier minority. In other words, forge a coalition of tax consumers that outnumbers the tax payers."
Of course, Tytler had it right a long time ago:
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's great civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence:

from bondage to spiritual faith;

from spiritual faith to great courage;

from courage to liberty;

from liberty to abundance;

from abundance to selfishness;

from selfishness to complacency;

from complacency to apathy;

from apathy to dependency;

from dependency back again to bondage.
Welcome to your once and future past.

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Pickled

Belmont Club » The Miseducation of the First World: "A world in which money and skill could find a match and produce goods would be one in which an unemployed person could find a job if he were willing to work for a low enough wage.  In such a world whole sections of the First World with long term unemployables should not exist. There are Southern European countries like Spain, where large numbers of people would be better employed doing almost anything remotely productive than simply remaining on a meager dole. Those people should be willing to work for any incremental income at all, no matter how low the rate.

He should be able to plant a garden, open a lemonade stand, become a flea circus impresario — anything. But bureaucratic regulations which penalize him for earning anything additional will prevent this. So those enclaves of despair continue to exist and their inhabitants remain unemployed in order to avoid upsetting the apple cart. The gatekeepers are everywhere: union shop stewards, health and safety regulations, legal requirements, certification requirements, educational requirements and requirements requirements, all working to keep the status quo “just so”. ...

In that regard future generations may wonder at how careless the current leadership were of that precious resource. Keeping people in a prolonged welfare performs a “pickling” function which ultimately destroys human minds. The inner city ghetto residents, the growing British chav population and the hapless students who’ve gone $50,000 into debt for 5 year course in media studies alike share one thing. They’ve consumed an enormous amount of good money to destroy their perfectly good minds. They’ve bought themselves a one-way ticket to nowhere and the trains going in that direction are still many and full.

This process of wholesale destruction isn’t going to change until the gatekeepers are either swept away or we go back to being a world of walled cities. “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste” is the slogan which was once the public face of education. But maybe the real and cruel translation is of that phrase is “what you don’t know won’t hurt you.”"
And do I smell formaldehyde?

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9/11: Explosions O Insanity

I could attempt to write an official 9/11 post. But it couldn't even shine the shoes of this:

Mark Steyn Archive - National Review Online: "What’s missing from these commemorations?

Firemen?

Oh, please. There are some pieces of the puzzle we have to leave out. As Mayor Bloomberg’s office has patiently explained, there’s “not enough room” at the official Ground Zero commemoration to accommodate any firemen. “Which is kind of weird,” wrote the Canadian blogger Kathy Shaidle, “since 343 of them managed to fit into the exact same space ten years ago.” ...

Upon arrival at the foot of the towers, two firemen were hit by falling bodies. “There is no other way to put it,” one of their colleagues explained. “They exploded.” ...

And so we commemorate an act of war as a “tragic event,” and we retreat to equivocation, cultural self-loathing, and utterly fraudulent misrepresentation about the events of the day. In the weeks after 9/11, Americans were enjoined to ask, “Why do they hate us?” A better question is: “Why do they despise us?” And the quickest way to figure out the answer is to visit the Peace Quilt and the Wish Tree, the Crescent of Embrace and the Hole of Bureaucratic Inertia."
You might not find Mark Steyn to be a compelling writer. But you would be a moron. RTWT.

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Jefferson On Bread

Thomas Jefferson Quotes and Biography. Thomas Jefferson Quotations. Page #2: ""...a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.""
Just click through and read the whole page. If you aren't a brainwashed loon as you ponder our current ruling class, you'll want to resurrect him as King by the end. Which, like Washington, he would never accept. Which will make you want to do so all the more...

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QOTD: Religion Reprise #9,392,491

When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing -- they believe in anything. by GK Chesterton: ""When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing -- they believe in anything."
  --  GK Chesterton "
It is actually possible to be a non-believing atheist. But extraordinarily uncommon.

For perspective I reprise the following:

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Shotgun Marriage

Review & Outlook:Why the Stimulus Failed - WSJ.com: "The second paper suggests that the stimulus did not "create or save" nearly as many jobs as the models indicate. On the basis of 1,300 interviews, Messrs. Jones and Rothschild estimate that merely 42.1% of the firms that received grants hired people who were unemployed. Instead, they poached workers from their competitors.

"This suggests just how hard it is for Keynesian job creation to work in a modern, expertise-based economy," they write. ...

The lesson of such on-the-ground knowledge is that the stimulus was a lost opportunity. In practice it became a shotgun marriage between an economic theory justified by computer models and 40 years of liberal social priorities (clean energy, Medicaid expansions and the rest). This produced the 9.1% unemployment we now have.

The economy would have benefitted far more if the government had instead improved the incentives for people and businesses to invest, produce and grow. The President probably won't mention any of this, but it does explain why he has to give his latest speech."

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Drop Everything And Watch Yuri

What Soviet Agriculture Teaches Us | Yuri N. Maltsev - YouTube: "Presented by Yuri Maltsev at the Mises Circle in Indianapolis: "Agricultural Subsidies: Down on the D.C. Farm," on 14 May 2011."

And I can't recommend "The Soviet Story" highly enough.

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Solyndra for Dummies

Zombie » Solyndra for Dummies: "Confused by the Solyndra scandal?

This five-panel cartoon explains it in terms everybody can understand:"
You need to click through and look at all five cartoon panels of course...

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Pravda / Mobilier Update

Michelle Malkin » Jay Carney Gives President Obama a History Lesson: "In yesterday’s OOTD, I noted that the President went off script to deliver a lecture on the origins of the Republican Party, only like so many lectures delivered by Barack Obama, it consisted of misinformation. Don’t worry, though — the media is actually covering this gaffe. For instance, Tom Maguire finds Time Magazine having to correct the record on Lincoln:
He gives a good speech, but he’s loose with the facts. He called Abraham Lincoln the “founder” of the Republican Party. Nope. Lincoln was not the founder of the party; he wasn’t even the first Republican nominee (John Fremont was, in 1856). Lincoln was, of course, the first Republican to be elected president.
Great work by Time, huh? Only this piece wasn’t written this week. It was written in September 2008, and fact-checked Mike Huckabee, not Barack Obama. And guess who wrote this historical correction? Time Magazine’s Jay Carney … who now works at Barack Obama’s press secretary. They don’t talk to each other much in this White House, do they?"
I don't call our "press" "Pravda" for nothing. But then comes the capstone that the press and our educational "institutions" are bent to flush down the memory hole:
If Credit Mobilier existed in the 21st century, who knows… they might have started a stimulus-backed solar panel company.
Now you know you need to read the whole thing in case your education "accidentally" missed the context that made this a knock-out punch.

O, wait! Did I just engage in uncivilized rhetoric? O Duce will surely chastize me.

But not Trumka or Hoffa. Then the corrupt world-wide machine that got him elected might run out of cash...

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Costs of a Gold Standard

The Costs of a Gold Standard | Roger W. Garrison - YouTube: "A speech by Roger W. Garrison. Presented at the Mises Institute's first conference, November 16-17, 1983: The Gold Standard, An Austrian Perspective."


An understated mind blower. Listen to this to realize how little you really know.

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COTD II: wws Scores A TwoFer

Belmont Club » A Comment About Blow All Tanks: "wws
2011-09-07 14:11:16

There was a great article recently on exactly the type of breakdown you are talking about, Wretchard. It is based on documents found in the remains of Libya’s spy service and reviewed by western reporters. It shows how, in the end, this fearsome spy service which was intended to penetrate every facet of socity lost all ability to function as it faced the crisis it never thought possible – actual revolution. ...

The age old problem – you hire thugs to run your empire, and then are surprised that they act like a pack of clueless thugs when real trouble shows up."
The only problem is that the "real trouble" in Libya is Al Qaida...

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COTD: Drop Outs?

Belmont Club » A Comment About Blow All Tanks: "wws
2011-09-07 12:23:55

Not many of the Faithful will openly renounce the faith – but I’ve noticed, especially starting this summer, that my once reliably liberal relatives and acquaintences seem to all have become extremely apolitical. They simply don’t want to talk about it at all. They’ll talk about sports, or weather, or entertainment, but politics they are just dropping out of. They don’t want to hear about it, period.

Not only will they almost certainly not vote in the next election, I wouldn’t be surprised if most of them don’t show up to vote for several elections, if ever again. They are totally disheartened and demoralized. They now think it is all pointless and meaningless."

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The Sum O All Years

The Speech - By Yuval Levin - The Corner - National Review Online: "Spend $450 billion dollars now, it will create jobs, and I’ll tell you how I’m going to pay for it a week from Monday. If you disagree, you want to expose kids to mercury.

That about sums up the Obama years."
And did he mention Bush bad, bad bad Bush? If he didn't it was only because he forgot to turn his head in time...

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Kennedy And King

Page 2: Jacqueline Kennedy's Feelings on Martin Luther King Jr. Revealed in New Audio Tapes - ABC News: "Mrs. Kennedy's recollections of her husband's feelings toward King were far warmer. She said he went out of his way to emphasize he wouldn't "judge anyone" based on what he was told about the FBI surveillance.

"He said what an incredible speaker he was during that freedom march thing," she recalled.

King met with Kennedy at the White House when he was in Washington for the march, just months before the president's assassination. And his phone call to Coretta Scott King after her husband was sentenced to jail just weeks before the 1960 presidential election was an event some historians credited with boosting black turnout -- possibly handing Kennedy the presidency.

Mrs. Kennedy seemed to reference that call on the tapes, but she didn't finish her thought.

"He acknowledged that having made that call during the campaign got them -- Then he told me of a tape that the FBI had … ," she said."
Things they never told you...

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Over

Does it have to be an old mill?: "A half-century experiment in draping steam­ship anchors around the necks of the productive class and expecting them to run a four-minute mile has ended in failure. The confiscation of rights and property, the moral impoverishment of generations caused by the state’s usurpation of parental obligations, the elevation of a credentialed elite that believes academia’s fashions are a worthy substitute for knowledge of history and human nature, and above all the faith in a weightless cipher whose oratorical panache now consists of looking from one teleprompter screen to the other with the enthusiasm of a man watching someone else’s kids play tennis–it’s over, whether you believe in it or not."

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Those Are Some Lovely Kneecaps You Have There...

Instapundit » Blog Archive » MICHAEL GRAHAM ON the Democrats’ uncivil discourse. “From now until November 2012, you’re going t…: "Under the leadership of Hoffa the Elder, the Teamsters were synonymous with union corruption and organized crime. And so industrious was onetime US Attorney General Bobby Kennedy in trying to clean up the union that Teamsters actually cheered when Kennedy was murdered by Sirhan Sirhan in 1968.

How fascinating that then-Sen. Barack Obama — whom many Democrats saw as the second coming of RFK — won the Teamsters’ endorsement in 2008 by supporting an end to strict federal anti-corruption oversight of the union.
Indeed."

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PinOcchiO

Obama’s whopper of a claim on tax cuts - The Fact Checker - The Washington Post: "Obama’s claim of having passed the “biggest middle-class tax cut in history” is ridiculous. He might have been on more solid ground if he had claimed the “broadest” tax cut, but that doesn’t sound very historic.

 We went back and forth over whether this was a three or four Pinocchio violation, until we found evidence that Obama knew he was saying a whopper.  Here’s how he put it in his 2010 State of the Union speech: “We cut taxes for 95 percent of working families.”  That phrasing, at least, would not have been so misleading."
I suspect this article will be "disappeared" from the WaPo website soon...

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Allies

Belmont Club » Time Bandits: "The Time Bandit problem would not have happened without the alliance of finance with government. Without the money Time Machine government could never have looted the future.  The advances of modern finance were the key technological breakthrough that enabled such monstrous and useless organizations like the EU to rise up.

This fact fundamentally illustrates why “giving government more power over the banks” may never work. It doesn’t solve the moral hazard because government is the chief abuser of the magic intertemporal deficit machine. Put them in charge of the Time Machine and nothing may change."
An instant classic. Wretchard strikes again.

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Regime Uncertainty Update: Enough

Articles: An Economics Lesson Even a Liberal Can Grasp: "Let me give you one example to illustrate this point: in the course of my lecture business I meet a great many owners of small- and medium-sized companies -- precisely the men and women we depend upon to create jobs for all the rest of us.  One evening, when my lecture to a group of these entrepreneurs had ended and we were all having a drink in the hotel bar, the CEO of a rock-solid manufacturing company said something that stopped the conversation cold: "I'll be damned before I start hiring people now, just in time to send the unemployment rate plunging so it re-elects the president next year.  In a second term, this guy'll kill my business."  There was a dead silence, and then every other business owner at the table nodded in agreement.

The point isn't whether these CEOs are right or wrong.  The point is that this is what they've come to believe, and their actions will be based upon their perceptions.  For all of us who depend on our country's entrepreneurs to create jobs -- which is to say, for all of us without safe government jobs -- this is more than depressing.  It's terrifying."
Any questions?

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

COTD II: Which Side Is Anti-Science Again?

Climate Confusion I | Power Line: Oh, and I have taken to responding to the "anti-science" charge similarly. The "science" on the safety of vaccines is overwhelming, as is the science on the utility of DDT, the safety and utility of GMO crops, the safety of plasticizers such as phthalates and BPA, the overall safety of nuclear power, and so forth. As you point out, they refuse to de-list non-endangered species, they refuse to allow land use on parks that has been shown to be environmentally harmless, and the list goes on. The left is adamantly against all of these things, arguing that one or two fringe studies suggest they're unsafe. Which side is anti-science again?

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COTD: Biflation

Presenting Goldman's Six Bullet Point Forecast Of Global Policy Intervention To Prevent The Re-Depression | ZeroHedge: "Biflation...everything you need is rising...stuff you already own is losing value."

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Makes You Wonder How Much Access To "Healthcare" The Joooos Have In Cuba, Doesn't It?

News from The Associated Press: "HAVANA (AP) -- An American government subcontractor sentenced to 15 years in prison after illegally bringing communications equipment into Cuba told a Havana court he was a "trusting fool" and never meant any harm to the government, according to excerpts from his testimony released Friday by his lawyer.

Alan Gross, a 62-year-old Maryland native who has been jailed here since December 2009, said he had no idea his actions while on a USAID-funded democracy-building program would raise the ire of Havana authorities.

Cuba says he was distributing satellite telephones and other communications equipment that are illegal to use without authorization. The island's government says the U.S. democracy programs in general are an assault by Washington on the country's sovereignty. Gross has maintained he was only trying to help the Cuba's tiny Jewish community improve Internet access."

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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Earlier And Later

A Tale of Two Declines - Mark Steyn - National Review Online: "She opens with a lurid account of a recent visit to a north Virginia mall — zombie teens texting, a thirtysomething metrosexual having his eyebrows threaded, a fiftysomething cougar spilling out of her tube top, grade-schoolers in the latest “prostitot” fashions — and then embarks on a lively tour of American cultural levers, from schools to social media to churches to Hollywood. If there is a common theme in the various rubble of cultural ruin, it’s the urge to enter adolescence ever earlier and leave it later and later, if at all. So we have skanky tweens “dry humping” at middle-school dances, and an ever greater proportion of “men” in their thirties living at home with their parents."

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Wikileaks On The Golden Stone

Wikileaks Discloses The Reason(s) Behind China's Shadow Gold Buying Spree | ZeroHedge: "Wondering why gold at $1850 is cheap, or why gold at double that price will also be cheap, or frankly at any price? Because, as the following leaked cable explains, gold is, to China at least, nothing but the opportunity cost of destroying the dollar's reserve status. Putting that into dollar terms is, therefore, impractical at best, and illogical at worst. We have a suspicion that the following cable from the US embassy in China is about to go not viral but very much global, and prompt all those mutual fund managers who are on the golden sidelines to dip a toe in the 24 karat pool. The only thing that matters from China's perspective is that "suppressing the price of gold is very beneficial for the U.S. in maintaining the U.S. dollar's role as the international reserve currency. China's increased gold reserves will thus act as a model and lead other countries towards reserving more gold. Large gold reserves are also beneficial in promoting the internationalization of the RMB." Now, what would happen if mutual and pension funds finally comprehend they are massively underinvested in the one asset which China is without a trace of doubt massively accumulating behind the scenes is nothing short of a worldwide scramble, not so much for paper, but every last ounce of physical gold..."

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The Bastards

The People Have Spoken–the Bastards! | Power Line: "That immortal line is generally attributed to Dick Tuck, I think, but it sums up the reaction of many politicians to electoral defeat, or, sometimes, the anticipation thereof. At Reason, A. Barton Hinkle satirizes the deteriorating relationship between Barack Obama and the American people. As time goes by, his approval of us continues to drop:
President Obama’s approval rating of the American public has fallen to an all-time low, according to a new Gallup survey of White House residents and employees.

Fewer than one in 10 Americans earned the president’s favor, according to the president. That is down sharply from six in 10—the percentage of Americans Obama approved of shortly after his election in November 2008, and the lowest level yet for his administration."

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800%

Yes, It Is a Ponzi Scheme - Michael Tanner - National Review Online: "Of course, Social Security and Ponzi schemes are not perfectly analogous. Ponzi, after all, had to rely on what people were willing to voluntarily invest with him. Once he couldn’t convince enough new investors to join his scheme, it collapsed. Social Security, on the other hand, can rely on the power of the government to tax. As the shrinking number of workers paying into the system makes it harder to continue to sustain benefits, the government can just force young people to pay even more into the system.

In fact, Social Security taxes have been raised some 40 times since the program began. The initial Social Security tax was 2 percent (split between the employer and employee), capped at $3,000 of earnings. That made for a maximum tax of $60. Today, the tax is 12.4 percent, capped at $106,800, for a maximum tax of $13,234. Even adjusting for inflation, that represents more than an 800 percent increase."

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The Truth Is Out There

Afterburner: The Truth Is Out There - YouTube: "Bill Whittle has his truth. Pacifica Radio's Amy Goodman has her truth. Everyone has their own truth. This is the mantra of the left today, and if you think about it, it has to be the mantra of the left. Find out why."


Bill Whittle is a national treasure. This is absolutely devastating.

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The Biggest Lie In History

Obama, Hitler, And Exploding The Biggest Lie In History - Forbes: "“The line between fascism and Fabian socialism is very thin. Fabian socialism is the dream. Fascism is Fabian socialism plus the inevitable dictator.” John T. Flynn

Numerous commentators have raised alarming comparisons between America’s recent economic foibles and Argentina’s fall “from breadbasket to basket case.” The U.S. pursues a similar path with her economy increasingly ensnared under the growing nexus of government control. Resources are redistributed for vote-buying welfare schemes, patronage style earmarks, and graft by unelected bureaucrats, quid pro quo with unions, issue groups and legions of lobbyists.

In Argentina, everyone acknowledges that fascism, state capitalism, corporatism – whatever – reflects very leftwing ideology. Eva Peron remains a liberal icon. President Obama’s Fabian policies (Keynesian economics) promise similar ends. His proposed infrastructure bank is just the latest gyration of corporatism. Why then are fascists consistently portrayed as conservatives?"
I have previously linked to some excellent but longish articles on what Hitler and Mussolini (and Roosevelt) were really up to with National Socialism / Fascism. This is one that is relatively short but not so short to be content-free. You should take the time to read it about four times so it sinks in. Then make sure all your friends and family read it...

I can't emphasize enough how important it is that people understand this part of recent history correctly and clearly.

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The Rest O The Story

“Kelo v. New London”: An Ignominous End for One of the Supreme Court’s Worst Decisions - Ricochet.com: "In 2005, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Kelo v. New London, using the powers of eminent domain to seize property from one private owner and hand it over to another private owner -- a developer who promised more than 3,000 new jobs and $1.2 million in tax revenue.

And now, as they say, the rest of the story: 
. . . the city’s project has been a failure, with 91 acres of waterfront property sitting there empty and overgrown by weeds."
Who could have possibly forseen such a thing? Maybe those few of us left that don't have lettuce for brains?

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Destruction

Obama’s Ozone Action Shows Internal Conflicts - By Iain Murray - The Corner - National Review Online: "My colleague Myron Ebell spells out the political calculations:

 What is shameful about the President’s decision to delay the new ozone rule is that it’s all about improving his chances of being re-elected and has nothing to do with the economic damage that the rule would do. The fact that the President still wants to go ahead after he gets re-elected with a regulation that has been estimated to cost $1 trillion a year shows that he could care less about the U. S. economy and the millions of people who have lost their jobs.

In other words, he wants to wait until the economy recovers before he starts destroying it again."

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COTD: O, Wait A Minute!

Belmont Club » A Comment About What the President May Tell Congress: "49erDweet
2011-09-01 23:49:43

I have no problem with suing the banks as long as all the co-conspirators are included as defendants. Conspirators like Senators and Congresspersons who more than enabled fiduciary mismanagement, they literally demanded it by way of legislative fiat. Let’s name names and sue them all.

Oh, wait a minute. When exactly was Obama a Senator?"
Yep. Sign me up for some of that. Look over right at the runner-up quote of the Holocene...

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Jobs, Shmobs


This Cartoon Is Very Funny, but also Does a Great Job of Teaching Economics « International Liberty: "Economists often do a crummy job of teaching people about the impact of fiscal policy on the labor force, largely because we put people to sleep with boring discussions about “labor supply” decisions (my blog post from last year perhaps being an example of this tendency).

From now on, I will try to remember to use this cartoon. It’s a parody of Obama’s policies, but the last slide (or is it a panel?) is a great teaching tool about what happens when politicians turn the safety net into a hammock."

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Eventually


Keynesian Economics in a Cartoon | Cato @ Liberty: "I’ve written extensively about the flaws of Keynesian economics, and I’ve even narrated a video on the flaws of Keynesian theory.

But this clever cartoon may be more effective than anything I’ve ever done."

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