Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
It is a pity that so little of history is taught these days in the government schools. In lieu of learning the value of recycling, living the "green" lifestyle and the wonders of diversity our young citizens could perhaps be acquiring the insight and tools necessary to compare the similarity of todays events with what has previously transpired, thus possibly avoiding the inevitable unpleasantness. Our entire society reminds me of nothing so much as the teenager who has just lost his virginity and believes he is the discoverer of sex.
We live today in an era not unlike the disintegration of the Roman Empire. Hollywood notwithstanding, there were many areas within the empire where the barbarians were welcomed by the population as a blessed deliverance from the oppressive taxation of the emperor and his Curiales (tax collectors). By the early 4th century it was common practice for middle class artisans and small farmers to abandon their shops and small holdings to avoid the oppressive indictio and flee to the countryside to join the serfs who tilled the soil.
A haunting commentary by a contemporary of the Emperor Constantine I, Zosimus, writes the following which is equally applicable to our own government:
"Constantine not only continued to waste the revenue of the Empire in useless expenses, and in presents to mean and worthless persons, but oppressed those who paid the tributes, and enriched those who were useless to the State. For he mistook prodigality for magnificence."
Sadly, it is likely those lessons will have to be relearned before any improvement upon our current path will occur.
Meanwhile, as most historians are aware, the Western Roman Empire's "official" end was on 4 September 476 AD with the accession to the Imperial throne of the German, Odoacer. Perhaps future historians will mark the end of our Republic as 20 January 2009 with the inauguration of the Kenyan Barak Hussein Obama. These are indeed "interesting times".
Saturday, February 14, 2009
It was difficult selecting a title for this posting. The reason for the ultimate designation as "Theft" is threefold:
1. The video of Pat Condell was stolen from THIS website.
2. The traditional right to freedom of expression in Western culture is being stolen by seventh century barbarians with the full cooperation of leftist politicians.
3. I hope every reader of this posting who has an internet presence steals it and rebroadcasts it.
Additionally, the short documentary at the center of this whole flap is available HERE.
Friday, February 13, 2009
The impact of the current global financial and economic tsunami is calling into question the policies advocated by the warmistas and their prophet Al Gore as well as his enabling high priest James Hansen. The data released recently by one source estimates the recent loss to the wealth of each US family at 20% and the mood of the electorate is not conducive to "business as usual". This is a mere pittance compared to the negative impact to be experienced if the policies engendered by adherence to a target of reducing carbon emissions to 80% of those of 1990 by the year 2050 are pursued.
The pseudo science cited by the warmistas rests on a series of assumptions which have been conjured out of thin air such as: "the social costs of carbon is the damage done by emitting an additional unit (ton) of carbon dioxide into the environment". Never mind asking the embarrassing questions concerning the objective (scientific) metrics of such an assumption. The mere fact that arcane graphs and tables are presented should be sufficient to intimidate any intellectually challenged lay person or politician considering skepticism of such nonsense.
The political/economic impact of adopting the warmista agenda on the state level can best be illustrated by the case of the state of California which signed on to the green/warmista agenda in 2006 and is currently experiencing an unemployment rate substantially above the national average. With additional regulations and tax increases intended to address the multi billion dollar budgetary shortfall as well as the greenie agenda scheduled to be kicking in during 2009, the exodus of businesses and productive residents to neighboring states is accelerating exponentially. This reminds your humble scribbler of one of the few pearls of wisdom offered up by a professor of political science many years ago in a California University of all places: "When the water reaches the upper decks; follow the rats".
The just enacted
mega pork stimulus package proposes, through sleight-of-hand plus smoke and mirrors, ostensibly to avoid the effects of this depression (let's call it what it is) by prescribing a mega dose of what initially caused the event i.e. easy fiat money and easy credit is likely to to result in just the opposite.
As bad as the results of this "remedy" will be, there is at least an up side and that is that the population will likely not be as ready to accept a further descent into a pre industrial society engendered by the unquestioning adoption of the warmista agenda.
Enjoy your pain. The White House Marxist Messiah will be doing his best to extend it.
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Health, child protection, fighting poverty, aiding travellers, community, helping mothers: These are the tasks of the National Socialist People's Charity. Become a member!
Todays collectivists who are fond of disparaging Laissez Faire Capitalism which they fault for the current economic/financial pass to which we have come are inadvertently cheer leading for the system which they regularly accuse conservatives of advocating: fascism. Our so called "mixed economy" which describes the current situation in the US is unadulterated fascism and is defined as an economic system nominally owned by private persons but in fact controlled and regulated by governmental authority.
Today’s US Economic System Is A “Mixed [Fascist] Economy,” Not Laissez-Faire Capitalism.
And even if all of the facts as presented [by] those who would blame "capitalism" were absolutely true, it would not imply any reason whatever to condemn capitalism. Capitalism is a system in which absurd, self-destructive behavior severely punishes whoever is guilty of it. Such people suffer losses, go bankrupt, and lose their ability to have significant further economic influence. Their example then serves as a lesson to others to avoid such behavior.
However, we are very far from having capitalism today, certainly not capitalism in its logically consistent form of laissez-faire capitalism. What we have today is a “mixed economy,” that is, a severely hampered, distorted form of capitalism. In such a system, such behavior can continue, thanks to government subsidies, grants of monopoly privilege and suppression of competition, and now by means of government “bailouts.”
A mixed economy is an economy which remains capitalistic in its basic structure, but in which the government extensively intervenes with the initiation of physical force to compel actions that are against the interest of individuals and/or to prohibit actions that are in the interest of individuals. For example, today it compels people to pay an income tax, which is against their interest but which they pay in order to stay out of jail. It also prohibits them from engaging in various business mergers or paying wages below a certain amount, things which it would be to their interest to do but now do not, because they wish to avoid being fined or imprisoned. (In my recent article “The Myth that Laissez Faire Is Responsible for Our Financial Crisis,” I present an extensive description of the extent of government intervention.)...
In a mixed [fascist] economy, every significant-sized business must fear what the government can do to it. It needs protection, in the form of political connections. It secures these through appointing former government officials to its board of directors, paying such officials lavish consulting fees, and giving lavish campaign contributions to candidates for public office. In these ways it buys the protection it needs. More
Make no mistake; the politicians who espouse solutions to the problems which they themselves are responsible for and which involve "more of the same" are leading their constituents down the primrose path to National Socialism. Indeed, Rahm Emanuel's cliche "Never let a serious crisis go to waste" is exactly how the National Socialists came to power in Germany in 1933.
Sunday, February 01, 2009
Just when one believes he has "heard it all", along come our rulers in Oz on the Potomac to surpass any of the nonsense portrayed by Lewis Carroll in "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland". It would all be hilarious were the cretins not dead serious. For example, there are two schemes seriously being considered as palliatives to avoid not only the self destruction of the US automotive industry and the economy but planetary devastation due to global warming:
"Several ideas are on the table, but two of them are really making the [auto] industry pay attention. One plan is to make new car costs tax deductible. The other is to give rebates to Americans with old cars so they can better afford to buy new ones, a program otherwise known as "cash for clunkers."You can't make this stuff up.
In other words: "Are You in Debt, Hurt by the Economy, or Have You Lost Your Job? Good, Then Buy a New Car and Crush Your Old One." We would be justified in dismissing such idiotic nonsense for what it is, except for similar hare brained schemes having been credited with ending the depression of 1930 1941:
"During the Great Depression of the 1930s, agricultural price support programs led to vast amounts of food being deliberately destroyed at a time when malnutrition was a serious problem in the United States and hunger marches were taking place in cities across the country. For example, the federal government bought 6 million hogs in 1933 alone and destroyed them. Huge amounts of farm produce were plowed under, in order to keep it off the market and maintain prices at the officially fixed level, and vast amounts of milk were poured down the sewers for the same reason. Meanwhile, many American children were suffering from diseases caused by malnutrition."Ideas proposed by politicians whose primary interest is short term "fixes" designed to win reelection, do not even compare favorably with the classic economic plan that in order to generate prosperity we must all take in our neighbor's laundry. We are however, likely to be victimized by such outrages until the effects on the citizenry of "free and compulsory" public
Thomas Sowell, Basic Economics (3rd Edition, Basic Books, 2007), p. 56.
h/t: The LRC blog