Wednesday, January 30, 2013

bipedal mammal - often irresponsible fools

A Geo. Mason University Economist offering opinion on economists and politicians: Economists who offer advice on public policy without pausing to ponder the nature of the vehicle – the state – to be driven often appear to be non-ideological and scientific. In fact they’re too often irresponsible fools. ......... ........Bipedal mammal who holds the office at any particular time – signify if not a kind of veneration, a species of mystical awe, for the office (and, hence, for whatever bipedal mammal currently is) commonly called “President of the United States”? Such oohing and aahhing suggests to me that the oohers and aahhers regard the office-holding mammal as being somehow greater than the rest of us – a greatness and magnificence achieved merely by that bipedal-mammal’s success at having duped or enchanted large numbers of people into voting him or her into that office. ........ Of course, no modern person consciously thinks of himself or herself as one who regards the bipedal mammal called “President” as possessing powers to work miracles. But I suspect, quite strongly, that there is today at work, even in our modern world, the same unfortunate human instincts that for eons directed the human psyche to believe that Pharaohs and Kings and Queens and Maharajahs and Popes and other potentates somehow, to some degree, are superior to ordinary people in personal powers and wisdom and strength and courage and access to the divine. (Why would it not be so? We moderns are not at all very far removed, biological-time-wise, from those eras steeped in absurd mysticisms.) ........ It was the first time that I ever met a president of the executive branch of the national government in the United States. (I wound up meeting two, sort of, as Jimmy Carter was there also, he having won the Nobel Peace Prize that same year.) I was thoroughly underwhelmed. My impression of Bush was that he’s more charismatic in person than he is on television. His charisma, however, still fell far short of making me feel any awe for the man or “the office” that he held. Quite the contrary. I couldn’t wait to leave; being near such people creeps me out. They are, after all, merely bipedal mammals like the rest of us, yet who fancy themselves, and are fancied by their groupies, as being something more blessed. (Actually, these particular bipedal mammals are not quite like the rest of us: they specialize, and succeed, in practicing in the dark arts of politics – arts that no truly decent bipedal mammal wishes to specialize in for long, and certainly not in ways that bring success.) Williams Ellery Channing’s 1828 is from Williams Ellery Channing’s 1828 essay “Remarks on the Life and Character of Napoleon Bonaparte”; it is quoted on page 230 of Political Writings of Richard Cobden (1903); specifically, it’s quoted in Cobden’s 1836 essay “Protection of Commerce“: A people which wants a saviour, which does not possess an earnest and pledge of freedom in its own heart, is not yet ready to be free.


BUCKN says:Here are some historical facts to mull over: Examples of governments disarming its citizens: Gun control laws passed in 1886-1911 in Ottoman Turkey - 1.5 million murdered by the government. Gun control laws passed in 1929 in USSR - 20 million murdered by govt. Gun control laws passed in 1928-1938 in NAZI Germany and occupied Europe - 13 million murdered by govt. Gun control laws passed in 1935 - 1957 in Communist China - 20 million murdered by govt. Gun control laws passed in 1871 - 1964 in Guatemala - 100,000 murdered by govt. Gun control laws passed in 1955 - 1970 in Uganda - 300,000 murdered by govt. Gun control laws passed in 1956 in Cambodia - 1 million murdered by govt. People, the right to bear arms isn't and never was about hunting. It's about the right of free men to defend themselves from tyrannical governments. You know, like the one that the original 13 colonies found themselves the victims of and went to war to free themselves of. When only the police have arms, it is known as a police state. Thomas Jefferson summed it up thus: "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government" These numbers are historial facts. These murders perpetrated by these governments really happened. Why do so many people think that we're somehow immune? We already have a president who has stated that if his agenda isn't carried out by congress, he'll simply decree it and make it so. Is this the voice of the president of a free and democratic society? Under the guise of "dong what's right", he is fundamentally changing the country from a democratic country into someting that resembles more of a facist state.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


WHAT COULD GO WRONG Paragould, Arkansas Pop. 23,000 In response to a recent increase in crime, Paragould Mayor Mike Gaskill and Police Chief Todd Stovall told residents that beginning in 2013, the department would deploy a new street crimes unit to high crime areas on foot to take back the streets. “[Police are] going to be in SWAT gear and have AR-15s around their neck,” Stovall said. “If you’re out walking, we’re going to stop you, ask why you’re out walking, check for your ID.” Stovall said while some people may be offended by the actions of his department, they should not be (offended). “We’re going to do it to everybody,” he said. “Criminals don’t like being talked to.” Gaskill backed Stovall’s proposed actions during Thursday’s town hall. “They may not be doing anything but walking their dog,” he said. “But they’re going to have to prove it.” Picture of police in full combat mode as they patrol are priceless,

Monday, January 28, 2013

Child abuse- In Obamalogic ‘Fairness’ calls for gambling subsidies

Child abuse- In Obamalogic ‘Fairness’ calls for gambling subsidies. 1. Is it not child abuse if government doesn’t provide a subsidy for gambling to prevent parents from taking food from the mouths of their children so they can gamble at government sponsored casinos? If government provides food, medical. Heat ing, cooling and myriad other subsidies to the ‘poor’, why not a gambling subsidy Seems perfectly logical to me in this ‘Obamera’ of total contradiction. All states but Hawaii and Utah now have legalized gambling. Money from gaming goes to the states and Washington so why not re-cycle it back into the pockets of the gamblers to subsidize meals and more gambling? 2. Is it not child abuse to punish students at a PA high school for clogging up toilets with toilet paper and forcing them to publically ask for their wipes quota? Some lawyers have undoubtedly already agreed in this ‘Obamera’ of total litigation.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


CAN POLITICAL ACTION SUBVERT ELEMENTARY LAW From James Buchanan’s “Adam Smith as Inspiration”: “How well are Adam Smith’s ideas understood today, more than two centuries after their presentation? As surprising and as frustrating as it may be to many of us, we find the selfsame mercantilist ideas that Smith attacked being propounded daily by our politicians and pundits. In this respect alone, economics is categorically different from its natural science counterparts. We do not learn the principles of political economy in the same way that we learn the principles of physics. Despite the empirical evidence that we can observe, we continue to think, and to behave, as if we can, through political action, subvert elementary laws.” Comment from Café Hayek: “Faith in the power of consciously instigated collective action to craft society to our liking – especially when that collective action is backed by force that is at least formally under the direction of democratically controlled leaders – is a religious dogma that has caused no end of misfortune and misery.” MY SUMMARY THE ANSWER OF GOVERNMENT IS ALWAYS TO POUND HARDER TO DRIVE THE SQUARE PEG INTO A ROUND HOLE. TO GOVERNMENT, REALITY IS AN ILLUSION.

Friday, January 25, 2013

America is not the federal government

EXCERPTS: Bobby Jindal’s dynamite speech to the Republican National Committee in Charlotte, Thursday, January 24, 2013 The first concept I want to talk about is simply this – America is not the federal government. Take a minute to let that thought sink in. America is not the federal government. ....... In fact, America is not much about government at all. In America, government is one of those things you have to have, but you sure don’t want too much of it…kind of like your in-laws. ..... In our public discourse today, America is pretty much defined by government, by the latest moves that occur in Washington. ,,,,, The truth is nothing serious is deemed serious in Washington. ..... Our objective is to grow the private sector. We need to focus our efforts on ideas to grow the American economy, not the government economy. ..... We believe in creating abundance, not redistributing scarcity. ....... Let the Democrats sell the stale power of more federal programs, while we promote the rejuvenating power of new businesses. ...... We would replace most of its bureaucracy with a handful of good websites. ...... If it’s something you don’t trust the states to do, then maybe Washington shouldn’t do it at all. ...... One thing we have to get straight — Washington has spent a generation trying to bribe our citizens and extort our states. ...... We can either go down the Government path or the American path. ...... The left is trying to turn the government path into the American path. Shame on us if we let them do that. ..... But free individuals…taking risks…building businesses…inventing things from thin air…and passing immutable values from one generation to the next…that is the root of America’s greatness. ....... I’m calling for us to get busy winning the argument…and then, after that…winning the next election.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


IS IT IN THE ‘NATIONAL INTEREST’ TO CONTINUE GOV’T PROGRAMS THAT ARE FAILURES? Eliminating gov't programs that don't work, would be catastrophic in its consequences. Real-estate in the D.C. area would plummet, gov't job losses would stagger the imagination, gov't employee unions would be gutted, "friend of the gov't" contracts at places like Solyndra would be gone. Gone, just gone. The Horror! All these horrors would be inflicted just to put money back into taxpayers pockets, unthinkable!


RAW MATERIALS BECOME NATURAL RESOURCES ONLY AFTER BEING EXPLOITED BY HUMAN INGENUITY. Abundant resources were themselves in many ways a reflection of the advanced state of American technology. This statement, by an eminent economic historian, is further evidence of the validity of Julian Simon‘s brilliant insight that the ultimate resource is the human mind. All materials, raw or otherwise – including so-called “natural resources” – become useful (i.e., become resources) only if and when human creativity and effort devise means for using such materials to serve human ends and devise means for doing so in cost-effective ways. There is no such thing as a truly “natural” resource.


BENGHAZI GOES DOWN THE MEMORY HOLE BRYAN PRESTON ON THE BENGHAZI HEARINGS: The Day Accountability Died. “The timeline of who decided to blame a movie, when and why, is at the center of the Benghazi cover-up. But very few Republicans and no Democrats bothered to ask her about it.” Instead of apologizing to the American people for the lies and her disheveled management of the State Department, Hillary used her testimony to shout at Republicans with a teary eye on 2016.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


IT IS A SERIOUS MISTAKE TO THINK OF POLITICIANS AND BUREAUCRATS AS SAINTS It is a a serious if common mistake to suppose that government, simply by virtue of its duty, cares for the public interest It is high time that those of us who have a more-realistic and less-romantic understanding of the logic of politics start more forcefully to insist that if anyone in this battle over appropriate fiscal policy is unscientific or faith-based, it is the Keynesians – whose theory of the determinants and role of aggregate demand might or might not be valid, but whose theory of government behavior most certainly amounts to nothing more than praying to the state to behave only nonpolitically and in accord with the scientific dictates of Keynesian theory. Such a ‘theory’ of state behavior, of course, is no theory at all; it is merely a naive hope or a faith immune to reason and facts. While I, too, favor a balanced-budget amendment, I’m not as optimistic about its potential benefits as is Arnold. But I’ve no time now to make this post longer.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

“Unconstitutional by reason of vagueness”

“Unconstitutional by reason of vagueness” is a sound judicial principle for assessing legislation, because vague laws grant arbitrary power to enforcement authorities. The liberty of the citizen disappears in the presence of arbitrary government power.

How many platitudes?

How many platitudes? How many platitudes can you enumerate ( with or without onomatopoeia ) for Obama’s 2nd Inaugural speech? Pedantic/partisan Banal/boilerplate flat/phoney/non-sequiturs How many hidden meanings did you detect? “Collective action” “Together” “We” “Very few do well/many barely make it” “Times change” “Forward” As our collectivist, Communist spoke or as crowds cheered along his processional path, the character of the orator still stands unquestioned. “Yes, we can” look forward to 4 more years during which even due process might become a crime. Obama invoked God a few times in his speech. Obama was forced by protocol to attend church 3 times. BUT Obama is NONE OF IT, my dear readers, NONE OF IT. .

Monday, January 21, 2013

sound of freedom being drained

“It is seldom,” David Hume once wrote, “that freedom of any kind is lost all at once.” That sucking sound you hear throughout the land is the sound of freedom being drained away, slowly here and there, with amazing rapidity elsewhere.

Stitching together Platitudes & Non-Sequiturs

Obama’s Inaugural Speech: Stitching together Platitudes & Non-Sequiturs Interestingly the most controversial points were not included in the advance copy of the speech that was distributed- they were a suprise in the spoken speech that no one had time to think about.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


IDIOTOLOGY TO IDEOLOGY Ayn Rand: "The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow. They come to be accepted by degrees, by dint of constant pressure on one side and constant retreat on the other - until one day when they are suddenly declared to be the country's official ideology."

Because that messiah never existed.

Because that messiah never existed Dana Milbank: Less an inauguration than a tepid rerun. “Four years ago, hundreds of thousands of people flooded the capital, sleeping on floors and lining the streets so that they could be part of history: the inauguration of the first black president, who had the promise of being a transformational figure that could bring hope and change to a broken political system. That messiah never came.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

$16 trillion in debt but still no Democrat budget for 1,361 days

$16 trillion in debt but still no Democrat budget for 1,361 days The House and Senate are also required by law to submit a budget each year…not surprisingly by April 15th, Tax Day. But the Democratic-run Senate hasn’t approved such a resolution for almost four years, 1,361 days to be exact. Read More At IBD:


THANKING ‘OUR BETTERS’ BY A LOWLY CITIZEN STEVE DEACE: Dear Washington, thanks for my new tax increase. “Contrary to the rant in response you’re anticipating, I’m not upset. I’m actually honored to do my part in that whole ‘shared sacrifice’ thing we keep hearing about from our benevolent ruling class. After all, who’s more qualified to talk about shared sacrifice than those who can vote themselves pay raises whenever they want, pass laws they don’t have to subject themselves to and take vacations all over the world that are bought and paid for by others.” Posted at 6:37 pm by Glenn Reynolds

Friday, January 18, 2013


USELESS, EXPENSIVE, AND SHORTSIGHTED: Obama’s tired gun control schemes won’t make children, or the rest of us, any safer. Gun control is a culture-war effort to rub middle America’s nose in the fact that the world is run by its betters. Any actual improvement in public safety is of no concern at all. Posted at 7:44 am by Glenn Reynolds

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


SCHOOL SAFETY AND STUPIDITY OH, I THINK WE’VE DONE THAT ALREADY: Lenore Skenazy: Crossing the line between school safety and stupidity. I like this bit: “In the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings, we are suffering from a very American malady: Post-Traumatic Stupidity Syndrome.”

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Orwell a warning, Alinsky a tactic, Obama a practice

Orwell a warning, Alinsky a tactic, Obama a practice “Political language - and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists - is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. One cannot change this all in a moment, but one can at least change one’s own habits, and from time to time one can even, if one jeers loudly enough, send some worn-out and useless phrase - some jackboot, Achilles’ hell, hotbed, melting pot, acid test, veritable inferno, or other lump of verbal refuse - into the dustbin, where it belongs.” Compliments of George Orwell

The Worlds Greatest Gun Salesman, Obama

The Worlds Greatest Gun Salesman, Obama, is too busy on gun control to perform his specific constitutional duty: Under the law, President Obama must submit a budget by the first Monday in February, but he has met the deadline only once. The annual budget submission is supposed to start a congressional budgeting process, but that has also broken down. The Senate last passed a budget resolution in 2009. Talk guns and count on the media to cover your dereliction of duty on the budget and deficit. Worst. Political. Class. Ever.

Monday, January 14, 2013


OBAMA- WORLDS GREATEST GUN SALESMAN! STIMULUS! Americans Buy Enough Guns in Last Two Months to Outfit the Entire Chinese and Indian Armies. And it’s not like they were badly armed before. . . .

Sunday, January 13, 2013

BARACK OBAMA: Best Gun Salesman In The History Of The World

BARACK OBAMA: Best Gun Salesman In The History Of The World! “People were crowded five deep at the tiny counter of a gun shop near Atlanta, where a pastor from Knoxville, Tenn., was among the customers who showed up in person after the store’s Web site halted sales because of low inventory. . . . December set a record for the criminal background checks performed before many gun purchases, a strong indication of a big increase in sales, according to an analysis of federal data by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a gun industry trade group.” UPDATE: Reader Ron Oglesby writes from Illinois: Stopped at the local shop in Plainfield, Illinois today. Its so crazy in there they have had to create new rules. New hours are 9am-2pm for purchases and looking at guns. 2pm-6pm for picking up ONLY. If you are not picking up you can’t come in! They have a good selection of ammo but you can only buy 5 boxes for any given caliber and. . . When I left there were 17 people waiting to talk to a rifle sales rep and a waiting list for a 12 lane range that was in double digits!!! I have been coming to this store for 10 years and have never seen it like this. All of this in one of the most un-friendly states for guns in the US!!! Change!!! Best gun salesman in history.

bama’s plan is to earn his Nobel Peace Prize by surrendering in our name

Under Obama’s “Leading from Behind” role for America, the French, the former ‘cheese eating surrender monkeys’, become the leading nation in fighting Al Quada. I guess Obama’s plan is to earn his Nobel Peace Prize by surrendering in our name.

Friday, January 11, 2013


CLOWN SUITS FOR OFFICIALS As the idea of Obama minting a trillion dollar coin and using it to pay of national debt gets more comments from liberals like Krugman maybe we could get uniforms for all elected officials and government workers: A KRUGMAN-INSPIRED PLAN TO SAVE TE ECONOMY: “What would be the value of having all 14.5 million federal government employees – starting at the top with the President – made to wear clown suits every day for, say, the next four years? Would it be worth as much as a trillion dollar coin? More? I propose we find out.”

Thursday, January 10, 2013

es, the causes of all of our Sandy Hook troubles...

Yes, the causes of all of our Sandy Hook troubles... Not only the loss of respect for life, not taught to children from day one, but also the gradual learning to properly evaluate a person’s character and personality. Note the choices young women make today. Note the choices young men make. Unfortunately, a mere minority of Americans now know good from evil, holiness from sin. Oh no, I’ve used ‘moral’ words unintelligible to Americans like a phrase I heard on my local radio this morning, “ genomic antagonism,” with reference to something from a agricultural expert. Lord, deliver us!


I wish to point out to you how Pres.Obama's gun confiscation and destruction of the 2nd Amendment is NOT the 'will of the people' but 'arrogance of the elite' dominating the people. The quote below may be from another state but it reflects the horror of Ohioans at the abuse of our Constitutional rights. The people are 'voting' at the gun stores in Ohio just as they are in Alabama. Are you with the arrogant elite or with the American citizens? “A READER E-MAILS: I was in Birmingham, AL this afternoon and went to two of the biggest gun stores around. Both were packed with shoppers but not with merchandise. At Hoover Tactical (a terrific shop and range – I picked up a lightly used Ruger “assault” rifle that had just come in on consignment earlier today; another shopper tried to buy it out from under me! They had one other similar weapon in the store (a no-name knock off), also used. Since there were no other AR type rifles to be had, hand guns were flying off the shelves. I bought two, several others sold to multiple people while I was waiting on my background check, and there were more people looking at remaining hand-gun stock. The tired looking woman behind the counter (with a really nice looking pistol on her hip) said people had been 4 deep at the counter earlier this year. The folks said they call manufacturers daily and are lucky to get 1 or 2 “assault rifles” at random intervals and many “don’t even get behind the counter” before they are bought. Ammo for the rifles is impossible to find but the store had just gotten in a big shipment of .45 caliber – $99 for 250. It was flying out the door as well. The other store put me on a 3 page list of people who wanted to know when more rifles would come in. There’s no question that America is better armed than it was two months ago, all thanks to President Obama! Assuming the Republicans in the House don’t prove spineless (a major assumption), the net effect of the Obama gun control initiatives will be a massive increase in guns owned by private citizens, record profits for gun stores and manufacturers, and a very alert citizenry. This second Obama term may yet work out better than expected! Naturally, please don’t use my name on this if you quote this……” Of course, I say use my name anytime in defense of the Constitution, YOU ARE WITH THE CONSTITUTION OR AGAINST IT!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

PLANNED PARENTHOOD: One abortion every 94 seconds

PLANNED PARENTHOOD: One abortion every 94 seconds In the “Message From The Chair And President” Cecilia Boone and Cecile Richards, there is not one mention of abortion. Not one. And the American genocide continues, with 333,964 murders in 2011. That’s the figure proudly released by Planned Parenthood Federation of America in their report delineating how many abortions they performed in fiscal 2011. Doing some simple math reveals that the number of abortions performed equates to one abortion every 94 seconds. And Planned Parenthood can be pleased with their progress: the number of abortions they performed in 2011 was up from 2010, when they snuffed out 329,445 lives. And the U.S. government can carry the banner high with the abortion provider; Planned Parenthood received $542.4 million in “government health services grants and reimbursements,” including “payments from Medicaid managed care plans.” Planned Parenthood isn’t hurting. Its assets total $1.2 billion.


THE LONGEST IDEA YOU WILL EVER READ FROM VICTOR DAVIS HANSON What Is Hip? America has always been a country of self-invention. Yet there used to be some correlation between the life that one lived and the life that one professed. It was hard to be a phony in the grimy reality of the coal mine, the steel mill, the south 40 acres, or atop a girder over Manhattan. No longer in our post-modern, post-industrial, metrosexual fantasyland. The nexus of big government, big money, and globalization has created a new creed of squaring the circle of being both liberal and yet elitist, egalitarian-talking but rich-acting, talking like a 99 percenter and living like a 1 percenter. And the rub is not that the two poles are contradictory, but that they are, in fact, necessary for each other: talking about the people means it is OK to live unlike the people. In short, we can all be just what we profess to be. The key in our world of blue-jeaned billionaires is being hip — or rather at least professing to be hip. But what is hip? Mostly it is a state of mind, a religion, a talk, a look, an outward persona that is the key that unlocks you from the ramifications of your ideology. Hip is like “cool”, whose power I wrote about not long ago: a general sense of tapping into the popular youth culture of music, fashion, food, electronics, easy left-wing politics, and adolescent habit. Hipness is a tool designed to justify enjoying the riches and leisure produced by the American brand of Western market capitalism by poking fun at it, teasing it some, dressing it up a bit to suggest ambivalence over its benefits without ever seriously contemplating either understanding their source or, much less, losing them. We feel hip at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, but not so much in the organic section of Safeway. Hip also plays out as professed caring — worrying in the abstract about all sorts of endangered species, starving peoples, or degraded environments. It is being loudly angry at retrograde forces — white males, the rich, gun owners, Christians, family types, and suburbanites, the sorts who ostensibly crafted the toxicity of Western civilization that you are forced to use and enjoy. Yet embrace hip, and all things become possible. A Martian would see the modern university as an elitist enclave, where life-long tenured professors make lots of money overseen by hordes of even better-paid administrators, that together cause tuition for cash-strapped and indebted students to rise faster than the rate of inflation without any promises that their eventual certifications will result in commensurate good jobs. A non-Martian would instead appreciate the hip nexus of diversity, eco-caring, and gender-neutral inclusivity. Hip is a sort of Neanderthal mentality that is terrified of serious thinking, and thus substitutes the superfluous for the profound. Palestinians are hip in a way that Israelis are not; but pro-Palestinian reporters stay in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv without a clue why the two cities are different from Ramallah. Hip is loud support for the Dream Act, but avoidance of places like Mendota or San Joaquin, or any serious contemplation about why millions of Mexican nationals wish to cross their northern but not their southern border. Hip is shopping at Whole Foods, but supporting more food stamps for those who shop at a distant Food 4 Less and weigh more than you do. Hip decries school choice and vouchers, but means Sidwell Friends is under armed guards for your own progenies. Tell an uninformed hipster that Obama wants to outlaw abortion, and abortion can suddenly become very unhip. Hip is furor over Cheneyite Scooter Libby — tried for an Orwellian crime that didn’t exist, and if it did exist, it was committed by someone else — while snoozing through Fast and Furious and Benghazi. Hip is certainly not Halliburton, but most certainly is Solyndra. The unhip Patriot Act, renditions, and Guantanamo are suddenly now kind of hip; so are drone targeted-assassinations — a sort of “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Predator.” If we bomb Iran, we will be OK — if only Snoop Dogg high-fives the mission, the pilots are gay, the bombers run on biofuels, and the shrapnel is recyclable. Let us hope that the outgoing F-22s have a Che logo painted on the side as they blow stuff up. Corporate Hipsters Take also finance. America loves — and loves to hate — Wal-Mart, the cut-rate discount store that draws in millions in the concrete and repulses them in the abstract, perhaps because it originated in Arkansas and is unimaginatively named after the late Sam Walton, a scheming, up-from-the-bootstraps self-made zillionaire. Could Sam not have been Jacques Cartier — and thus Cartier-Marqueé? The chain, so the writ against it goes, supposedly drives out local small businesses, treats its employees unfairly, and represents the worst of crass American hucksterism. But if Wal-Mart were just hip — in the sense only of a hipster veneer — it would be mostly exempt from such criticism. Starbucks, for example, is a similar global franchiser. It, like Wal-Mart, has been hit with charges of European tax avoidance, and accused of dodging local planning procedures and of operating at a loss to drive out small competitors. It is also at odds with various unionizing efforts. But Starbucks, in our shallow public imagination, remains hip and thus gets a public pass in a way Wal-Mart does not. Kids brag that they work at Starbucks, not at Wal-Mart. Maybe it is the literary name taken from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick (could not Wal-Mart be renamed Gandalf’s, Sherlock’s, or Lancelot’s?)? Or does its hipness derive from the literary quotations that it slaps on products, or its sales of “Ethos” water? Could not Wal-Mart put memorable lines from Shakespeare on its plastic bags, or a Greek hexameter from Homer, or sell vitamin water called Sophos, Kalos, or Logos, or pipe in John Lennon’s “Imagine”? Would Google have had more trouble for all its outsourcing and overseas tax avoidance had it been named American Internet, Inc., or if its founders had grown up together as good ol’ boys in Mobile, Alabama, who still had a nagging propensity for putting patriotic slogans under the Google logo when the browser pops up each morning? Imagine waking and hitting the American Internet, Inc. logo — and then reading “Live free or die” before your search. (How odd that liberals — e.g., “the medium is the message” — always lectured us about advertising-driven false demand, and then became past masters of deceptive branding.) Warren Buffett and George Soros are apparently hip; the Koch brothers are not. How did that come about, given that there is not much difference in the capitalist modes in which they all became billionaires? After all, a Koch brother did not try to break the Bank of England, or get convicted of a crime in France. Warren Buffett’s choice to leave much of his estate to the Gates Foundation will cost all of us billions in lost federal estate tax revenue. And his efforts to hike estate taxes on the upper middle class would mean that a keystone of his empire — life insurance — might profit handsomely. Could Obama just jet to Omaha and say: “Warren, HHS and HUD have a funding problem; could you steer a few billions their way in your estate?” The difference is that Buffett and Soros espouse liberal causes and progressive politicians. CEO Jeffrey Immelt not only won lots of tax concessions for GE, but also did so without much public rebuke. You see, he was a loud proponent of Barack Obama and once bankrolled MSNBC. (Did Eugene Robinson ever blast on the air his patron for not paying his fair share?). That in and of itself provided exemption from charges of crony capitalism and insider influence peddling — and the fact that GE paid no income taxes in 2010. If the executives of Solyndra had been coal-company CEOs, they would now be in deep trouble for squandering public funds obtained through rank cronyism. We don’t worry much when Facebook or Google invades private lives; we worry a great deal when frackers produce oil without polluting the environment. BP had it right — keep the familiar abbreviation and green color and just say the logo now means an eco-friendly “Beyond Petroleum” (rather than the neo-colonialist British Petroleum) as you pump more gas and oil than ever. Government Motors will soon not be a parody; but Green Motors would be even better. What’s in a Name? So: hip is often as easy as changing one’s name. Had Mitt Romney only reminded us of his family’s Mexican ancestry and ran as Zarpa Romneo, and against Barry Dunham. We do not associate the billion-dollar couple — rapper Jay-Z and singer Beyoncé — with the one-percent elite who made zillions through music, endorsements, and scores of cutthroat capitalist subsidiary companies. Would Barack Obama dare lecture them: “You did not build those businesses”? Or “Come on — at some point you made enough money”? Or,“Hey, you two, now is not the time to profit”? Would the two seem different to the public had they been known as Beyoncé Knowles and Shawn Carter? Would a Barry Dunham or even Barry Obama have quite found the hip resonance of Barack Obama? Why did we agonize over George Bush’s purported cocaine use while a youth, when Barack Obama, of Choom Gang affiliation, openly bragged in his memoirs of using “blow”? One was a seen as a pampered frat wastrel, the other a literary and confused man “coming of age” in an uncertain world, turning to Niebuhr for solace. Hipness can be especially hard to acquire for old white guys who have tons of money and will do almost anything to increase it — like a stingy John Kerry who tried to avoid $500,000 in property taxes by moving his $7M yacht to Rhode Island, or a conniving green Nobel Laureate Al Gore who just sold his $100 million interest in Current TV to the anti-American al-Jazeera funded by the fossil-fuel burning royal family of Qatar, and attempted to beat the new 2013 tax hikes in the process. (What a liberal trifecta!) But as exemption for not buying a $5 million dollar yacht and paying his taxes with the savings, Kerry often harangues for high taxes on others. And we remember his passionate 1960s protest career. (Ghhenzzzis Khan made far better senatorial drama than Genghis Khan). For dessert, Kerry wind-surfs and wears spandex while bike riding. Add all that up and Kerry is exempted from the Occupy Wall Street disdain of one-percenters. He is one of the good guys, mansions, yachts, and all. Al Gore — aging, rotund, white, male, and southern-accented — made nearly a billion dollars. By any classical definition — the house in which he lives in, the transportation that he prefers, the accusations of sexual harassment he has incurred, the modes in which he made his money — Gore is an abject hypocrite. But we do not live in a classical society of reason and logic, and so Al Gore is hip and therefore exempt from such charges. He has become more associated with worrying about poor stranded polar bears trapped on melting ice flows than junketing to his next corporate, profit-maximizing conference on a carbon-spewing Gulfstream V. Bill Clinton gave us the notion of offsets — one nod to a piece of feminist legislation and, presto, one piece of a young intern subordinate becomes OK. Do we care that Andrea Mitchell and Chris Matthews are multimillionaires, live in exclusive districts, or embrace a lifestyle unknown to most Americans, when they so loudly each week warn us about racism, sexism, and the pathologies of the rich white male establishment of which they are such a part? Apparently Ms. Mitchell climbs on her soapbox haranguing about “rednecks” from 9-5, and then goes home to her Ayn Rand-reading, uber-capitalist, stock-buying and selling husband Alan Greenspan without a blink in between. Again, the one is not so much at odds with the other as explains the other. If Katie Couric were a spokeswoman for GM or Chrysler, would we resent her $15 million salary, and cite it as an example of the growing divide between the relative compensation of management and labor? But trash Sarah Palin, and Couric is no longer an overpaid one-percenter. Is CBS hip and therefore exempt in the way the New York Times fights tooth and nail against unionization, or Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio are not dubbed parasites for raking in $30 to 50 million per year? How did David Letterman survive serial affairs with subordinate employees, after creating the classic “hostile workplace environment” that feminists are otherwise so quick to pounce on? Apparently, he is hip enough to be able to slander 14-year-old Willow Palin as a veritable prostitute. In the Obama world of zero-sum economics, does LeBron James’s $15 million a year come at the expense of an extra dollar or two on the ticket of the hard-pressed fan? Or does the fact that LeBron is hip exempt him from association with his fellow fat cats? Could the Tea Party just change its name to Occupy Washington? Barack Obama baffles his detractors. How can one who golfs so frequently, or who vacations in only the most tony resorts, keep haranguing the nation about the transgressions of the one percent? When he sees them stroll by on Martha’s Vineyard, does he jump up and shout out at their mansions: “You didn’t build that!”? How did corpse-man not win the NPR vitriol that nu-cu-lar had in the past? How could Obama in 2006 vote against raising the debt ceiling, in 2008 call Bush unpatriotic for deficit spending, upon entering office promise to halve the deficit by the end of his first term, and then oversee some $5 billion in new borrowing? Hip: borrowing became “stimulus”; entitlements, “investments”; and paying it all back became “paying your fair share.” In Obama’s case, he is not just black, but black with an exotic name and a liberal ideology, unlike a Clarence Thomas, who is most unhip — being right-wing, not of mixed race, with an ordinary American name (Clarence?), veteran of the prejudices of the pre-Civil Rights south. Could not Thomas shorten his name to just the single Tomré? Or perhaps go the Van Jones made-up route — Van Thomas? In a shallow and superficial America you can make all the money you like without being dubbed selfish or greedy, frequent all the most exclusive resorts without being a one-percenter, and commit all the politically incorrect sins you wish without being tagged a reactionary — but you better try to be hip first. (Thumbnail image on PJM homepage by January 8th, 2013 - 11:09 pm

Monday, January 07, 2013

What To Expect On Gun Control In The Coming Months

CAPTAIN’S JOURNAL: What To Expect On Gun Control In The Coming Months. “If new gun control measures don’t pass the Senate and House, the game is far from over. The Obama administration is investigating the possibility of executive orders reclassifying semi-automatic firearms as class 2 weapons, thus doing by fiat what the legislative branch rejected. The fight will continue, just in a different locale than the Senate and House.” Posted at 7:30 am by Glenn Reynolds


BIRD DOO-DOO AND GOVERNMENT The Los Angeles Times reports that La Jolla, a ritzy coastal San Diego community (Mitt Romney has a house there), is having trouble dealing with the problem of waste from birds and marine mammals, which is stinking up the rocky shore: The La Jolla Village Merchants Assn. gathered more than 1,000 signatures demanding an immediate solution. But immediate is not in the governmental lexicon when it comes to issues involving the ocean and wildlife. To wash down the rocks would require a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit from the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board. The city, probably the full City Council, would need to endorse a specific wash-down proposal--but that, according to [local councilman Sherri] Lightner's staff, would mean submitting the issue to an application process that could take at least two years, given the backlog at the water board. And even if the water board approved the application, the issue would then proceed to the [California] Coastal Commission, an agency not known for its speed.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Competition & Government

Competition & Government Mark Pennington’s impressive 2011 book, Robust Political Economy: For markets to work effectively, what is required is not ‘perfect competition’ where people are indifferent to an identical set of options before them, but that incumbents are open to challenge from new entrants offering different and better opportunities than currently available.

First Chinese Millionaire Made Fortune Selling Watermelon Seeds

First Chinese Millionaire Made Fortune Selling Watermelon Seeds! What bureaucrat or government planner would have allowed that either here or in China? Ronald Coase’s and Ning Wang’s How China Became Capitalist. A slice: How was the miracle [of rapid economic growth in China since the 1980s] accomplished? The short story is that it was done simply by letting individual incentives work, by allowing people to try and get rich on the market. Deng Xiapeng, on of the main Chinese political leaders from 1978 to the early 1990s, had a mantra: “getting rich is glorious.” ”[L]et some people get rich first,” he also famously said. Nian Guangjiu, an illiterate man who had been twice convicted of street peddling, took the idea seriously and, four years after Mao’s death, had become one of the first Chinese millionaires, amassing his fortune by selling watermelon seeds. It is fascinating that this simple idea apparently escaped the development economists who spent much of the 20th century devising economic models, foreign assistance proposals, and government schemes to kick-start economic growth in underdeveloped countries

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production

An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith’s 1776: Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production; and the interest of the producer ought to be attended to only so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the consumer. The maxim is so perfectly self-evident that it would be absurd to attempt to prove it. But in the mercantile system the interest of the consumer is almost constantly sacrificed to that of the producer; and it seems to consider production, and not consumption, as the ultimate end and object of all industry and commerce.

Reality Comes To Low-Information Voters

Reality Comes To Low-Information Voters; If you go on Twitter you’ll find lots of stuff like this: The clueless-cool set who voted overwhelmingly for Obama are now wondering how come he said taxes weren’t going to go up on 98 percent of the American people when here’s their first paycheck and taxes went up.

Obama’s $7 million Hawaii vacation

NILE GARDINER: Barack Obama’s $7 million Hawaii vacation is an insult to America’s struggling middle class. Meanwhile, as the world’s superpower is literally drowning in debt, President Obama is basking in the warmth of the beaches of Hawaii, at an exclusive resort way beyond the financial reach of most Americans. The president pays the cost of his own family’s accommodations, but there are a large number of associated costs which are paid from the public purse. What is the actual cost of Obama’s lavish vacation to the American taxpayer? A staggering $7 million, according to veteran White House reporter Keith Koffler.

Friday, January 04, 2013


TO ALL NON MILLIONAIRES: GLANCE AT YOUR PAYCHECK THIS WEEK AND SEE IT IS 2% LESS! YOUR ‘FAIR SHARE’. In a fact sheet hailing the fiscal-cliff deal's massive tax increases on income over $400,000, the White House declared: "This means millionaires and billionaires will pay their fair share to reduce the deficit through a combination of permanent tax rate increases and reduced tax benefits." WELCOME TO OBAMALOGIC!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Why Capitalism?

Quotation of the Day… … is from page xi of Allan Meltzer’s 2012 book, Why Capitalism?: Capitalism disperses and limits power while the alternatives concentrate power in a few hands. Meltzer’s point might sound trivial, but in fact it conveys a truth of great importance. Here’s an effort of mine from back in 2006 to briefly make the case that those of us who counsel “Let the market handle it” propose a deeply sophisticated method for dealing with economic problems – a method vastly more nuanced and complex than the always-simplistic advice to “Let the government handle it.” My concluding passages: People too often suppose that large social problems can be solved only by deciding ahead of time which particular group of people and procedures hold the key to the solution. While declaring “Let the government handle it” comes across as a solution, it’s no such thing. Instead, it is merely a sign of a simple and baseless faith — a simple and baseless faith that people invested with power will not abuse that power; that political appointees possess or will find better answers than will millions of people pursuing solutions in their own ways, and staking their own resources and reputations on their efforts; that only those ‘solutions’ that are spelled out in statutes and regulations and that have officials paid to implement them are true solutions. So yes, show me a problem and I’ll likely respond “Let the market handle it.” I’ll respond this way because I know that not only is my own meager knowledge and effort never up to the task of solving big problems but that not even the Einsteins or Krugmans or Bushes amongst us can know the best solution to any social problem. Solutions to complex social problems require as many creative minds as possible — and this is precisely what the market delivers.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Obamanomics definition

Obamanomics definition: Trickle up poverty.

The champion spender said

The champion spender said: "While I'll negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether to pay the bills they have racked up," Obama said. Deal done, Obama heads back to Hawaii with a weary wink. All workers got a tax hike of 2% on Jan, 1st

Tuesday, January 01, 2013


PREVIEW OF OBAMACARE This is how it works in Britain and soon to be here! DAILY MAIL: 60,000 patients put on death pathway without being told but minister still says controversial end-of-life plan is 'fantastic' Pathway involves the sick being sedated and usually denied nutrition and fluids Families kept in the dark when doctors withdraw lifesaving treatment Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said pathway was a 'fantastic step forward' Anti-euthanasia group said: ‘The Pathway is designed to finish people off double quick' Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook


CAROLYN MCLAUGHLIN FREEDOMS ‘NEW’ MEANING Happy New Year 2013! The smell of freedom is in the air since the dropping of the ball in Times Square, New York. First I heard John Lennon’s song, “Imagine,” dreaming of a “world without religion, then Frank Sinatra singing ( the traditional “NY, NY”), finally, two gay men kissed. Elsewhere, a state passed a law that you can BYOP ( bring your own pot) into a bar. Smells like freedom to me. Freedom to smoke weed, to marry anyone, to follow the liberal agenda, but NOT to choose any other path now that Obama leads us down a dark road.

‘happy’ out of Happy New Year

Mary Anastasia O’Grady in WSJ: “Nothing takes the ‘happy’ out of Happy New Year like the thought of Barack Obama in the White House for four more years. Elsewhere in the hemisphere, the outlook is equally grim in many countries. But believe it or not, a few countries are getting it right. The losers are easy to pick out. Fidel Castro still fogs a mirror, and the military government in Venezuela will probably continue wrecking the economy even if Hugo Chavez succumbs to cancer. The prospects of Argentina ever retiring peronismo remain dim.