PolifrogBlog

There is no free in liberty.


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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Piety as a Pretense...

polifrog




Where are all the benevolent tyrants? There are none. There are only those who use piety as a pretense for non pious rule.

That piety may come in different forms, such as religious piety (theocracy) or duty bound piety (atheocracy). Whereas the former’s power is circumscribed by the religion that empowers those who rule via a religious citizenry, the latter enjoys no such restraint, as duty bound piety is piety toward self.

The truer danger, then, is the atheocratic regime which is bounded by no wrong. History points to this. Pick your theocracy then pick your athocracy and compare the suffering under each. Based on sheer number of dead no theocracy can match the accomplishments of the atheocratic regimes of China, Russia, Nazi Germany, or N. Korea.

Does that make a theocracy desirable? No. But it is preferable to the atheocratic rejection of all religion.
 
There is a third way.

It is one that requires no false piety, as it is a choice that does not  adopt a single religion for empowerment and it is a choice that does not reject all religion leaving  only self in the form of duty from which rule is empowered.

That third way is the inclusion of all the various religions or the lack thereof as legitimate voices informing a representative democracy.

Our nation originally chose option three, but unfortunately that third way requires a degree of tolerance the intolerant atheists among us find intolerable and it is they who are slowly forcing us toward the greatest threat to liberty, an atheocracy.




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Friday, December 30, 2011

Three For the Smile File...

polifrog













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Kelly Clarkson Expresses Support for Ron Paul -- How Refreshing...

polifrog




Actually, if she had come out in favor of any of the Conservatives running for president it would have been a refreshing change from  the long stale liberal drum beat emanating from her chosen industry...

FOX:

"I love Ron Paul,” Clarkson tweeted Wednesday night.. “I liked him a lot during the last Republican nomination and no one gave him a chance. If he wins the nomination for the Republican party in 2012 he's got my vote. Too bad he probably won't."

The resulting ruckus from the intolerant left has been amusing.





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Where Is the Tea Party's National Voice?

polifrog



There seems to be no unified national Tea Party voice in this primary but, interestingly, the same could be said of the Tea Party during the mid term races a couple of years ago.

During those races the Tea Party's influence rose no higher than offices decided by state vote. There being no presidential election there was no need for a unified national voice. All that was needed at that time was a unified state voice that could be tailored to the elections of specific states, the result of which repeated across the nation allowed for a changed congress.

If the Tea Party is a force more interested in affecting change from the local level  up to but not including the presidency as has so far been the case, then perhaps we have an explanation for the Tea Party's seeming disinterest or, perhaps, weakness in the current primaries.

The Tea Party may not be a force best used on the presidential level.

I may be becoming OK with that. Given the choice, I believe we are better served by  a potent force focused on all offices but the presidency than  one focused on the presidency to the detriment of lesser offices.

History points to that consideration.  Over the past 75 years the Democrat party has faired less well in presidential races than in all those offices below the level of the presidency.  Democrat success was more in controlling the generation of legislation for 75 years rather than controlling its veto.

I suppose the result is that my tolerance for the individual these presidential primaries produce is much greater than my tolerance for every other office.




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Monday, December 26, 2011

Newt - Victory or Death...

polifrog








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Know That CNN Interview Ron Paul Ditched? ... Didn't Happen...

polifrog



Interviews are not only much better when they flow naturally from those involved, but they are more informative than edited versions due to the inherently greater degree of honesty in the presentation.

But CNN doubles down on that dishonesty. Note the CNN logo in the corner. It is clear that CNN was aware of what truly transpired during this interview, yet when an untrue story describing Paul as having stormed off CNN chose to remain silent in the face of that untruth.

Way to exercise that freedom of speech power to bend the truth, CNN




[Originally posted wrong video ... fixed]

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas to All...

polifrog



...and to all a good Christmas day.




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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Ode To The Welfare State...

polifrog




MaggiesFarm







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Paul Unites Some on the Left With Some on the Right, but His Newsletter Controversy Divides Them From Everyone Else...





Yeah, those newsletters suck and as Gillespie writes, they should be confronted by Paul...


Paul is going to need to deal with the newsletter issue more directly than he has so far, especially if he doesn't want it to loom larger and larger as the stakes get higher. He is actually in control of the issues that most vex contemporary America, which have nothing to do with affirmative action, "racial terrorism," or the transmission of AIDS via saliva. He is running against Republicans who were for individual mandates in health care long before they were against them or who seriously invoke sharia law as a threat to the American way of life, and he faces a possible general election against a president with low approval ratings precisely because he passed his awful health care, bailout, and stimulus plans, among other things. As Friedersdorf argues, Paul actually has a far better record on matters that directly affect the minorities slagged so disturbingly in his newsletters.

As I've argued elsewhere and often, Paul is providing the alternative that Americans are craving in politics.That alternative, by definition, is going to discomfit conventional politicians and politicos who are more concerned with whether their party is in power than what is done with that power; with whether deficits and entitlements and "defense" spending will bankrupt the country; with whether Americans should be treated like adults when it comes to deciding what to eat, smoke, and drink. Paul is not the perfect vessel for a libertarian message, but waiting for perfection is something ideologues insist on. Most of us are far more interested in someone who at least has shown he understands the most pressing issues of the moment - and the future.
Whether Paul can fully deliver on the promise he's shown so far may well rest upon the way that he puts the newsletter issue to bed, once and for all.

Emphasis Added.




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SOPA Fails But It Will Return...





Jeffery Tucker:

Then suddenly I received a take-down notice from a big magazine. The text itself was from their publication and the recording was unauthorized. It was a remix.

I explained that I had nothing to do with making the recording; I was merely linking it, and, moreover, I had no idea of the source. This settle nothing: the company was relentless in demanding either credit or take down. I was blown away by this. The Youtube poster from whom I linked had in fact credited the source. In any case, if they didn’t want someone to record the text, they shouldn’t have put it online. And, what’s more, why be upset about this? It is a great thing to have published something that someone else found worthy of spreading and remixing.

But the correspondent didn’t buy it.
 ...
The advocates of SOPA hear everything I just described as the glorification of piracy and looting on a mass scale. Collaboration is stealing. Learning is theft. Passing on and linking is graft. You can look, but you can’t act. You can hear, but not learn. There should be no consumption without contract and no competition under any circumstances.

To see an analogy of how they see the digital, consider television. Each channel does something different and their is no relationship between the channels. Each exists on its own. You are either watching one or you are watching another. It is ridiculous to speak of collaboration between them. No one “links” from one channel to another. We are not content providers to television. We are pure consumers, and a strict wall separates us from producers. This is the old world way of doing things, and it is precisely what the Internet changed everything.





Creative content should not be owned any longer than a drug patent grants ownership,  neither should adding to creative content with proper citations be impermissible, as ownership of knowledge is anathema to knowledge itself.




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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

OWS Grows Up?

polifrog



But never matured...

From HotAir:





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Monday, December 19, 2011

Bev Perdue's - BLS BS...

polifrog




People play the market with this sort of info, and if investment "coincidences" come to light...


Carolina Journal:

Since as early as January 2011, and perhaps before then, Gov. Bev Perdue’s press office has received access to confidential employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics hours if not days before its scheduled release, quite likely in violation of federal law. The governor’s staff used its early access to massage the monthly employment press release that reported jobs data to the public.

...


This is no small matter: A conviction for breaching the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 carries a fine of up to $250,000, up to five years in prison, or both.

...

“BLS does not support the release of employment and unemployment data before the established dates and times,” said Janet Rankin, BLS regional commissioner for the southeast office in Atlanta in an email.

...
CJ initially suspected Perdue was receiving employment information that was under embargo in August, when she discussed information in the jobs report at a meeting of the Rotary Club of Asheville the day before the data were released to the public.
  
Obama dragged a lot of crap in with those coattails of his. 








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Democracies Under a Non Democratic Union are Not Democracies

polifrog





There are many ways to loose a democratic republic and we are witnessing European Social Democratic states loose theirs as  they forego democracy with every shift of sovereignty toward the EU in an effort to save the social bit in "social democracy". They could soon be left with an unaccountable social state.

The EU is quickly becoming what the Soviet Empire once was:

...an organization that can sue us, but is immune from any forms of prosecution and whose managers enjoy the same immunity; there are no independent reviewers and no existing laws apply; governments can not take action against it? Europe's national budgets in the hands of one single unelected intergovernmental organization? Is that the future of Europe? Is that the new EU? A Europe devoid of sovereign democracies?







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Hmm, Now PPP Puts Paul in the Lead in Iowa ... And They Are Not Alone...

polifrog




PPP  Paul 23, Romney 14, Gingich 10:
Newt Gingrich's campaign is rapidly imploding, and Ron Paul has now taken the lead in Iowa.  He's at 23% to 20% for Mitt Romney, 14% for Gingrich, 10% each for Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Perry, 4% for Jon Huntsman, and 2% for Gary Johnson.

Gingrich has now seen a big drop in his Iowa standing two weeks in a row.  His share of the vote has gone from 27% to 22% to 14%.  And there's been a large drop in his personal favorability numbers as well from +31 (62/31) to +12 (52/40) to now -1 (46/47). Negative ads over the last few weeks have really chipped away at Gingrich's image as being a strong conservative- now only 36% of voters believe that he has 'strong principles,' while 43% think he does not.


Insider Advantage - Paul 24, Romny 18, Perry 16, Gingrich 13


Update...

Intrade also has him wining,






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Shucks, it Looks Fine to Me...

polifrog



From the mail bag.
Give it a moment then try again.

7H15 M3554G3 53RV35 7O PR0V3 H0W 0UR M1ND5 C4N D0 4M4Z1NG 7H1NG5! 1MPR3551V3 7H1NG5! 1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG 17 WA5 H4RD BU7 N0W, 0N 7H15 LIN3 Y0UR M1ND 1S R34D1NG 17 4U70M471C4LLY W17H 0U7 3V3N 7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17, B3 PROUD! 0NLY C3R741N P30PL3 C4N R3AD 7H15.
PL3453 F0RW4RD 1F U C4N R34D 7H15 :)

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Capitalism's Corruption a Statist Seduction...

polifrog



RBM:

Capitalism, as Communism is merely a system of codified rules.

Any system made be men can be corrupted by men.

Such was the case of Havel's Communism and that is the present case with the Capitalism of the US, presently.

Communism is not corrupted by man. Communism's corruption, as well as its failure, is that it attempts to reshape man in its own soulless image. Man is not a thing to be shaped, but rather a being to be reflected.

And that is Capitalism's strength; it is a reflection of mankind's natural tendencies toward trade,  competition and liberty.

Thus, much of the corruption we see today is the direct result of a slow drift from a nation constructed on man's natural competitive and liberated condition toward a non competitive man dependent on the state that molded him.

And, as I have argued elsewhere, the solution to the problem of corruption is a reduced government, as a reduction in government would dry the teat upon which corruption feeds.  Alternatively, we can turn on one another, silencing  particular groups  for taking an unfair share of the government's milk, as OWS argues, and feed on a strengthened, fattened government teat ... while it lasts.



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Enderaing all Via a Charming Defiance ...

polifrog



NY Times:
In his very brave and very public dying, though, one could see again why so many religious people felt a kinship with him. When stripped of Marxist fairy tales and techno-utopian happy talk, rigorous atheism casts a wasting shadow over every human hope and endeavor, and leads ineluctably to the terrible conclusion of Philip Larkin’s poem “Aubade” — that “death is no different whined at than withstood.”


I can not help but notice an inundation of wonderfully prepared critiques of Hitchens, both positive and negative, since his death earlier this week.  Perhaps it should not only be expected but respected, however the sheer volume and frequently overly sculpted texture of the prose suggests a preparation for an individual's death that strikes me as unseemly and hinting of possible selfism.

That said, I suspect Hitchens would respect much of the effort expended in attempting to match his prose, ghoulish as it might be.




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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Jon Corzine Was Right...

polifrog



... not sure about what, though. Well, aside from sideling up to the gifters:





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Antifrackers Fracturing Prosperity...

polifrog




The Fiscal Times:
...Here’s the story: the EPA says tests it conducted in Pavillion, Wyoming “indicate that ground water in the aquifer contains compounds likely associated with gas production practices, including hydraulic fracturing.” However, it turns out that the EPA drilled two monitoring wells to some 900 feet – much deeper than water wells which are usually at about 300 feet – and indeed found hydrocarbons. In short, they drilled into the natural gas reservoir that has long attracted industry producers. It may the single most productive moment in EPA history.


Antifrackers already know the answers, they just need the "science" to bridge the gap between what we know and those answers. Until then expect endless questions regarding safety, regulation, how this may effect that, and every possible future outcome that does not positively effect our state and nation.

If history has proven anything it is that prosperity is difficult enough to achieve without luddites not only fearing, but actively rejecting that which nourishes prosperity.





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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Could Ron Paul Truly Be Pulling Even With Newt?

polifrog



First off, this is a PPP poll, so any results prior to the two or three week period before an election should be taken with a grain of salt.

The StateColumn:

Ron Paul (R-TX), a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, tied former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in the latest Public Policy Polling poll of Iowa GOP caucusgoers. Mr. Paul garnered 21 percent of the votes to pull even with Mr. Gingrich who earned 22 percent of the votes. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney took third place with 16 percent of the votes.

However, if true, I could swallow some  foreign policy aberrations for the whole of the package. Paul has always been my first choice without hope of ever becoming one.  Lets hope he does.




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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Is More Gold Traded Than Exists? Seems So...

polifrog


FEC consolidates the word on re-hypothecation at Zerohedge that I am too lazy to sift through.

Based on the posts and comments, it appears there is a higher inventory of gold than truly exists which suggests that the physical stuff is underpriced as some demand is currently satiated by the purchase of paper gold.

What would the current price of gold be if all demand was satiated by only the physical stuff?

Explore the link at Fecundstench.





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Newt, Boxing the Ears of a Meme -- Palestine...

polifrog



Newt:


Remember there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. And I think that we've had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, and were historically part of the Arab community.


Wild Bill on Palestine:


Really, sometimes common sense smacks a meme upside the head.




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The Path to Economic Growth is Less Government Spending -- So Says the ... European Central Bank?

polifrog




The Study (PDF):

…we analyse a wide set of 108 countries composed of both developed and emerging and developing countries, using a long time span running from 1970-2008, and employing different proxies for government size… Our results show a significant negative effect of the size of government on growth. …Interestingly, government consumption is consistently detrimental to output growth irrespective of the country sample considered (OECD, emerging and developing countries).

The quote above was pulled directly from Dan Mitchell's International Liberty.







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(CBS) Wrong Direction? - 75% --- Obama's Plan Upon Reelection? - 66% Haven't a Clue...

polifrog



...they just know its the wrong direction.

Holding office has a way of defining a candidate and I don't think people are buying more of what we've already been sold.







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Saturday, December 10, 2011

So, Beck Called Me a Racist:

polifrog





Lucky for him the race card is overdrawn.



If it worked that way...



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Occupy Proving the Tragedy of the Commons in Cities Across America:

polifrog



Occupy proves with each decampment the failure of their desire which, in essence, is a government mandated commons in which not just parks, but wealth is shared and consequently destroyed.

Boston Herald:

The Utopian dreamers of Occupy Boston are leaving behind a disgusting field of filth on the formerly scenic Rose Kennedy Greenway, where trees will have to be replanted, grass resodded, sprinklers repaired or replaced and the entire area power-hosed in a massive cleanup that could take weeks.




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Exploring Government's Growth-Maximizing Level Via the Rahn Curve:

polifrog




Although similar, a Laffer Curve it is not. The Rahm curve focuses on government spending and the point at which that spending maximizes economic output; is it 10% of GDP or closer to 90% of GDP? History provides the answer even if the present does not.



Yes, we need a modicum of government but, once again, more is not always better.




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Is Obama a Moron or Does He Think We Are?

polifrog



Washington Examiner
:

“However many jobs might be generated by a Keystone pipeline,” he said, “they’re going to be a lot fewer than the jobs that are created by extending the payroll tax cut and extending unemployment insurance.”

No commentary needed for this 57 state drivel except to ask, when does the dumb-ass meme begin for this drooling slack-jaw, from Harvard?

H/T DailyPundit




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Running Out of Feel-Good Headlines? --- "Senior analysts and traders warned of impending bank failures as a summit intended to solve the European crisis failed to deliver a solution that eased concerns over bank funding"....

polifrog


The Telegraph:


Senior analysts and traders warned of impending bank failures as a summit intended to solve the European crisis failed to deliver a solution that eased concerns over bank funding.

The European Central Bank admitted it had held meetings about providing emergency funding to the region's struggling banks, however City figures said a "collateral crunch" was looming.

"If anyone thinks things are getting better then they simply don't understand how severe the problems are. I think a major bank could fail within weeks," said one London-based executive at a major global bank.

 ...

"The system is creaking. There is a large amount of stress," said Anthony Peters, a strategist at Swissinvest, pointing to soaring interbank lending rates.


And from Instapundit, Europe's Great Divorce.





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Friday, December 9, 2011

Feel Good Euro-Deal-Reached Headlines for the Headline Set...

polifrog




Article title
: "Wall Street rebounds after EU deal, but more stress seen".

Oh! There has been a deal? Let's see what the article says:

An agreement on stricter budget rules for the euro zone went someway to address the structural problems behind the bloc's debt crisis, but investors said more was now needed to relieve stress in the region's troubled debt markets.

"Nothing really concrete has come out of that meeting yet, so it is a little surprising that we are seeing as much of an upturn as we have seen," said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments in Lisle, Illinois.

And little later in the article:

The EU summit failed to secure changes to the EU treaty among all the member countries and investors warned the move was far from a panacea. Indications suggest the region is sliding into a recession and questions about how to bring down high sovereign debt yields are still unanswered.


And the market is up some 200 points.
Your call.







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A Failed Generation:

polifrog



Boomers.

Fabius Maximus responding to jonh:

(1) “I think it can be said the 60s and 70s people did significant positive things in their time.”

I was more specific, not refering to “people” but to young people (ie, boomers) in the 1965-1975 era. Whatever good the boomers did then as youngsters, we have been a disaster as adults for the Republic.

(2) “They participated and institutionalized the Civil Rights movement. Their work for the environment and creation of the EPA was a boon to our health and nature’s health.”

This is not accurate. The great era of civil rights legislation and executive action was mostly over by 1969, and the boomers had only a small role. The EPA was proposed by Nixon in 1969, and again the Boomers played only a small role.

(3) “but they did make significant changes.”

Taking the rose-colored glasses off, are the Boomers leaving America in better shape than they inherited it (as of what date? 1985?)

(4) “I have no documents or references to back up my feeling, but I think that when then boomers leave the political scene, good things will fall in place.”

Hope is not a plan. This sounds like something Professor Pangloss would say in Voltaire’s Candide. The ship is sinking; relying on hope that things will end well is a self-destructive.

(5) “Our generation largely believe in core Western values of freedom, merit, tolerance, and separation of power.”

Nobody cares what sheep believe. Citizens act together, which makes them powerful.

(6) “I think what keeps us from engaging in politics in a mainstream way is the disgust in the current regime our parents run.”

If only good excuses made the world better. It would be heaven!



Recognition.



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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Just Sayin'...

polifrog



The most difficult solutions to find are those to a problem already solved.



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Hitler's Failed Euro Reich...

polifrog



Creepy too:






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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

There is No Right for Occupy to Occupy, So Says Judge Frances A. McIntyre...

polifrog



Me on Occupy UC Davis over at Ed's place:


...Those students were not protesting non encampment regulation. They were there to "occupy".

And despite attempts to create a new right of occupation via the abuse of both the right to free speech and the right to freely assemble there is no right to occupy.



It appears that Judge Francis A. McIntyre agrees:


BostonHarold:


The judge ruled today: “... while Occupy Boston protesters may be exercising their expressive rights during their protest, they have no privilege under the First Amendment to seize and hold the land on which they sit.”

The judge goes on to say: “ ‘Occupation’ speaks of boldness, outrage, and a willingness to take personal risk but it does not carry the plaintiffs’ professed message. Essentially, it is viewed as a hostile act, an assertion of possession against the rights of another. The act of occupation, this court has determined as a matter of law, is not speech. Nor is it immune from criminal prosecution for trespass or other crimes.”



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Purporting to Serve...

polifrog



Free stuff, while pleasing on a theatric level, not only requires the unpleasing theft from some, but it results in the tragic theft of human dignity and betterment of those it purports to serve.

Lloyd Marcus:

While my cousins received free cradle-to-grave government handouts, they paid a devastating price for their dependency. They lost themselves -- their self-esteem, pride, and dignity. They lost the joy of success after failure. They lost the pursuit of their dreams. They lost the experience of developing their God-given gifts and talents. For perceived security, my cousins willingly remained slaves on the Democrats' government plantation.
...

Why would the Democrats desire to do this, you ask? In a nutshell, it is all about them. The more Americans dependent on government, the more Democrats are empowered.




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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Is Newt a "Frugal Socialist"?

polifrog




Speaking with Beck, Bachman makes  a point that bothers me with Newt.  Right Scoop:

Responding to Newt’s justification of his support of the Prescription Drug entitlement that was passed under the Bush administration, Bachmann said:
It doesn’t help to have a frugal socialist. That’s really what we’re talking about is managing socialism and trying to be a frugal socialist.
...
What I’m saying is that – I’m saying a frugal socialist, yes! Because you’re looking at proposals and programs that are in effect redistribution of wealth and socialism-based, and are we going to have real change in the country or are we going to have frugal socialists?
(video at the link)


As much as I like Newt, I agree.

Newt is an intellectual first and anchored to ideology second.  As such, he has the ability, as all intellectuals do, to rationalize his way away from core beliefs. I believe this is why he occasionally runs afoul true conservatives from time to time.

He did this when he undercut Paul Ryan's budget as "right-wing social engineering" (arguable intellectually, but ideologically wanting).  He did it when discussing "a form of the individual mandate" being acceptable. He did it while straddling the global warming issue in a now familiar video of him sitting by Pelosi's side.

It leaves one to wonder where Newt might freely drift on the seas of intellectual rationalization once in office?

Without a doubt there is a lack of anchor in Newt's musings that allows Bachman's use of the term "frugal socialist" in reference to Newt.





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China No Longer Owns America, The SSTF and The FED Do...

polifrog



Business Insider:

Social Security trust fund: .........  $2.67 trillion (19 %)
The U.S. Treasury: .....................$1.63 trillion (11.3 %)
China: ........................................$1.16 trillion (8 %)
U.S. households: ........................$959.4 billion (6.6 %)
Japan: ........................................$912.4 billion (6.4 %)

Yeah, old news, but that seems to be going around lately.



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Monday, December 5, 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

John Stewart Over a Year Late...

polifrog



On Sep 22, 2010 I said:

...But, still, one must ask how these banks are paying off TARP in this economic environment. Where is this profit coming from?

The answer, in large part, is that the Fed Reserve loans them money at under 1% that they then invest in T-Bills that return 3-5 percent. The bank profits are the result of the difference.

Think about that -- our government is loaning money at interest rates that no one else will ever see, with the exception of loans between family members, to banks that then fund our national debt. In essence TARP is being paid off on the backs of our children.

The result is that the government has in effect created a risk free environment for banks to operate which crowds out all riskier investments like making loans to you, me, or the business down the street. How does this affect us?


Here is Jon Stewart over a year late:



I guess they required the year to get the graphics right... and they are good.




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Occupy Skewred by Stewart...

polifrog




Yes, I missed this:






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Fashioning Lies From Light ...

polifrog


 The Truth behind the Pepper Spray Lies...


And what of the professional media guy with the big camera?   His unprofessional silence makes him as well as all others in attendance complicit in the pepper spray lie.


H/T Spag




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Friday, December 2, 2011

Tax Deductable Donations to Pay Down the Federal Debt ... Tax Deductable?

polifrog


Bruce Krasting:

The deep thinkers are putting into law the terms under which one could make a donation to the government with a designation that it be used to reduce the federal debt.

A law is required for this to establish that the donations are (of course) tax deductible. (Only in America.) I hope the Feds never collect a dime from this. If one had some extra bucks in his pocket, was feeling generous and looking for a tax break, there are an endless number of better alternatives than giving the dough to Uncle Sam. I think this is a dopey idea.


It seems to me that when one consid..........

Aww hell, we're boned, so boned.




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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Using Crises to Overcome Deliberation and Democracy...

polifrog



Via Meadia:
Many of those who backed the euro understood very well that a monetary union without a political union would sooner or later fall into a crisis.  They assumed and expected that when that crisis came, the various countries in Europe would choose political union to save the currency.


Loosing liberty via the threat of calamity is nothing new ...
You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.

... even when it seems to be.






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Can a Black Man Fly the Stars and Bars?

polifrog



Island Packet:

The flag that the black 19-year-old University of South Carolina Beaufort student hung from his dorm room window is about Southern pride -- pride that even a black Southerner can feel, he said.

...

Thomas researched the history of the flag for a class project. That research convinced him the banner was about states' rights rather than slavery.

When he hung it from his window, he knew it might offend some people, he said, but he thought it was time to start reclaiming a symbol that earlier generations consider racist.

Among those upset by the flag were USCB's Office of Housing, which asked him to take it down two months after he displayed it.

USCB spokeswoman Candace Brasseur said the housing office heard complaints from students who were offended.

Brasseur said Thomas was told about two weeks ago he could hang it in his dorm room as long as his roommates didn't object.




What does the school do with this independent man who wonders off the plantation?

If he had been white he could have been silenced.  Being that he isn't he is currently being allowed the right to speak, but softly, while the school considers allowing him full access to speech and fly the Stars and Bars. 


Based on how he defines the Stars and Bars he is doing nothing to violate school bigotry codes, therefore he should be allowed to fly it.  Doing so, however, grants him  speech rights others do not enjoy, as those not of Byron Thomas' race are not granted the freedom to define the intent of their message.


It will be interesting to see what the school chooses.  Will the school allow him to define the intent of his message and fly the flag or if the school  restrains Thomas' freedom of speech but he chooses to fly the Stars and Bars anyway,  will they define his intent for him and brand a black man racist for straying off the plantation?

A few days ago I replied to a post at The Spag Report referencing  a Medved commentary:

So if a Christian refuses to vote for a devout Muslim solely because the candidate is a devout Muslim, wouldn't some people call that bigotry?
If that's the case, then what would you call a Jew who refuses to vote for a devout Christian solely because the candidate is a devout Christian?
Is Medved correct about why Jews vote for Democrats over Republicans, and is the fear that he mentions any more rational or justified than the fear some Christians have of Muslims?

I replied:


It we assume that being a part of particular demographic groups entitles one to special privileges, then it seems to me that if one were of a religious nature and were to come to the conclusion that a candidate's religious persuasion disqualified that candidate from receiving their vote, then that would be as acceptable as members of a like race using terms of racial derision as terms of endearment. In this case the demographic group is the religious.
If, however, one were not of a religious nature and voted against a candidate based on religion, then that may be construed by some as bigoted.

This reasoning would make 90% of Jews, those that are Jew in name only, potential candidates for bigotry.

It is interesting that the other 10% who through religious participation are allowed what would otherwise be bigoted voting practices, are instead freed to vote their interests. A case of enhanced individuality through religion.

Democratic group politics is needlessly complex.
Similar, no?




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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

And It Takes a Single Man With a Powerful Idea to Crash the World...

polifrog




Bloomberg:

Six central banks led by the Federal Reserve lowered the cost of emergency dollar funding for financial companies in a global effort to ease Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis.


Tallystick gives the move in layman's terms:

 FED increases dollars liabilities balanced by euros and other currencies held as assets. So America gets euros while European companies are planning for end of the euro. Another dump overvalued/worthless assets on Americans operation courtesy of the treasonous FED.

Quick Thought:

So, there was not enough private capital to fund Europe, not enough public money in Europe.  To the US Europe has gone.  Of course, this is not a fix for inadequate capital; another will be required ... who will provide the next band aid for profligate spending when the most profligate spender is now the band aid? Yeah, the problem is that big.

I asked this question in jest earlier this month:

Why not have each of the Euro nations simply transfer some portion of the debt that is owed their nation by the other Euro nations to Greece so that Greece can count those debts as credits against their debt?

The answer is apparently  not to turn to other European nations, but to the US and the world as a source for credit funded by ... debt.

This Keynesian thing is crashing big.




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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lending One's Self to Servitude ...

polifrog





When starting from the perspective that one may become the powerful, as does the Tea Party, the result is liberty.

When starting from the perspective that one is subject to the powerful, as does Occupy, the only result is servitude.






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Feel the Fever and Follow: It Just Doesn't Matter, It Just Doesn't Matter, It Just Doesn't Matter... It's a Rapture Thing:

polifrog




BigFurHat:

Adapted from an un-attributed viral e-mail:
WHEN he refused to disclose who donated money to his election campaign, as other candidates had done, it didn’t seem to matter.
WHEN he received endorsements from people like Louis Farrakhan, Mummar Kadaffi and Hugo Chavez,  it didn’t seem to matter.
WHEN it was pointed out that he was a total newcomer and had absolutely no experience at anything except community organizing, it didn’t seem to matter.
WHEN he chose friends and acquaintances such as Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn who were revolutionary radicals, it didn’t seem to matter.
WHEN his voting record in the Illinois Senate and in the U.S. Senate indicated an absentee senator, it didn’t seem to matter.
WHEN he refused to wear a flag lapel pin and did so only after a public outcry, it didn’t seem to matter.
WHEN people started treating him as a Messiah and children in schools were taught to sing his praises, it didn’t seem to matter.
WHEN he stood with his hands over his groin area for the playing of the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance, it didn’t seem to matter.

More at the link.


Hmm, perhaps they attended the Murray School of Rapture and took away a single thing:

if we win ... it just doesn't matter, it just doesn't matter, it just doesn't matter ...









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Even the Cheeleaders are Bilnking...

polifrog




Cramer, here, describes the Euro credit crises in "terms that we can all understand".

Consider all these countries you hear about, Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal now Belgium. Consider them like small retailers like my dad.They spent too much on their budgets, now they can't afford to pay their bills....  The banks are stuck with credit risks in the form of bonds and the countries can't afford to pay them back...
DefCon 3.









The Euro created economic linkages between fiscally unsound nations and generally sound nations that allowed credit markets to view unsound nations as if they were sound nations. The assumption has been that any national default within the EU would be absorbed in an effort to protect the Euro and hence any debt owed the sound nations denominated in Euros. Credit risk was spread.

Via the Euro Germany and France extended their credit worthiness to member EU nations; they acted in a very real sense as cosigners. Now they are absent cosigners, but who can blame them. Where a single default would have been fiscally possible if not politically possible, multiple defaults are neither.

So, if not for that pesky political hurdle of democracy in member nation, the EU could have taken advantage of what was once fiscally possible and regained its fiscal footing. Obviously the solution going forward is that member democratic nations should cede further sovereignty to non elected EU technocrats.

It seems that the people of Europe will either suffer from too much patriotism in the form of nationalism  or too little in the form of the EU.

Democracy is an elusive thing for some.



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Monday, November 28, 2011

Government Intervention Making the Implausable Plausable:

polifrog




If the federal government regulates light bulbs, why not toilet paper?

CBS local:

Federal prosecutors said the three conned elderly customers into buying unnecessary septic products, in some cases more than 70 years worth of toilet paper, CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald reported.
...

They told their victims that the federal government changed regulations on toilet paper, the Herald reported.

Although the federal government does not regulate toilet paper it is sadly reasonable that it would.



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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Reminder: They Gave Up the K-31 For the SIG 510...

polifrog


Referencing discussion and that UK Euro contingency plan Dan Mitchell asks:

Here’s a thought experiment to drive the point home. If Europe does collapse, which people do you think will be in better shape to preserve civilization, the well-armed Swiss or the disarmed Brits?


My bets are on the plethora of SIGs, though I really like the K31.




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Smile File Sunday Afternoon Toons...

polifrog









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Triadwatch becomes Eurowatch...

polifrog



But who hasn't?


Forbes on Europe 

Mauldin on China, Japan and India

NYT on Europe etc...

Telegraph via T: "Prepare for riots in euro collapse" - Pay Attention?





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Occuwusit Wines as Occupy Winds Down...(Goodbye Occupy)...

polifrog






While the drumbeat to muster from a pepper-spray incident a moment like Kent State around which a movement may coalesce was Occupy's final failed grasp at relevance, this guy is the whiny realization of a movement rejected.

Goodbye Occupy.




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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Failed European Bond Auction ... in Germany...

polifrog




Megan McArdle:

... a German bond auction went rather badly today.  In fact, a lot of commentators are using words like "disastrous".  They sold just over half of the €6 billion they had put out to market, the worst such outcome anyone can remember.  This comes on the heels of a Spanish debt auction in which the yields on their three month notes more than doubled to 5%.  That's a higher interest rate than I pay on my credit card.

I've seen three explanations offered for this:

  1. The market is pricing the euro, not German credit
  2. Bund yields, at 1.98%, are too low to be attractive
  3. European banks are deleveraging, depriving the auction of buyers
#2 is actually just a special case of #1--people used to like to buy ultra-low bunds as a safe-haven, and now they don't.


And local Keynesian, Brad Miller, unable to learn from the failure of others, follows in European footsteps.

 Let's look at what he said upon the failure of a special bipartisan supercommittee to reach an agreement on cutting at least $1.2 trillion from federal deficits.



Brad Miller via The Charlotte Observer:

"I didn't think they would do anything to put their political careers at risk," Rep. Brad Miller, D-N.C, of Raleigh, said of Republicans. He blamed the GOP for failing to consider increased taxes on wealthy Americans.
Like Europe Brad  Miller rejects the necessary  austerity in favor of  shifting private sector wealth to federal spending.

Socialists never learn.



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How Does Rep. Brad Miller (NC-13[now running in NC-4]) Line the Pockets of Warren Buffett?

polifrog




Brad Miller voted for TARP, the US bailout of our nation's financial system and in part Europe's financial system with your money.

Prior to that vote Warren Buffett advised our government on how  best to bailout our financial industry while actively buying into depressed stocks that later benefited from the bailout he was privy to:



NC-4, Brad Miller is not Main Street's friend.





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Insider Trading Is Not Insider Trading When the Source is the Federal Government...

polifrog


So, Warren Buffett advises our government in how to best bailout our financial industry while actively buying into depressed stocks that later benefited from the bailout he was privy to.:



There is a separation of state from church.  It is sad that there is not a similar separation of state from business.

At the  vary least there should never have been bailouts.



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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Who Is Rep Brad Miller (NC-13 [running in NC-4])?

polifrog



Let's look at what he said upon the failure of a special bipartisan supercommittee to reach an agreement on cutting at least $1.2 trillion from federal deficits.


Brad Miller via The Charlotte Observer:

"I didn't think they would do anything to put their political careers at risk," Rep. Brad Miller, D-N.C, of Raleigh, said of Republicans. He blamed the GOP for failing to consider increased taxes on wealthy Americans.

Consider his answer as framed within the free fall Europe is now experiencing.  On the one hand there is Estonia, an ECU nation that has found its footing amid member ECU nations in free fall:


In the middle of this year, two rating agencies, Standard & Poor's and Fitch, upgraded Estonia's credit rating. The country had a budget surplus of €115 million in the first two quarters, and it is expected to virtually balance its budget for the entire year. Government debt is about 6.6 percent of the gross domestic product...

On the other there is the rest of Europe (continued from above):


...as compared with 120 percent in Italy, 160 percent in Greece and 80 percent in Germany. In the first two quarters of 2011, the Estonian economy grew at an annualized rate of 8 percent. 

Brad Miller's approach is the same as that adopted by the majority of Europe, increased government spending, increased debt, increased likelihood of sovereign default.   What he rejects is the healthy nation growing (as opposed to government growing) choice of austerity that has returned Estonia to its feet while its member ECU nations continue their free fall toward sovereign default.

One can not escape the conclusion that Brad Miller wants for our nation what the EU has already found.





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Science is Not a "Cause", But Then Neither is Mann a Scientist Nor AGW a Science...

polifrog



Daily Pundit


3115; Mann: By the way, when is Tom C going to formally ublish his roughly 1500 year reconstruction??? It would help the cause to be able to refer to that reconstruction as confirming Mann and Jones, etc.

3940; Mann: They will (see below) allow us to provide some discussion of the synthetic example, referring to the J. Cimate paper (which should be finally accepted upon submission of the revised final draft), so that should help the cause a bit.

0810; Mann: I gave up on Judith Curry a while ago. I don’t know what she think’s she’s doing, but its not helping the cause.
Science is not a “cause”. (Daily Pundit)

2440; Jones: I’ve been told that IPCC is above national FOI Acts. One way to cover yourself and all those working in AR5 would be to delete all emails at the end of the process.

One more time!

Hide the decline:


and one of my winter favorites, Frozen Wasteland:






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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Living Off the Plate of Another...

polifrog


Newt on Occupy:





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A Fractal In A Frying Pan...

polifrog



A Fractal In A Frying Pan (love the title):

While Gerald Celente is crying about his lost six-figure account, Bill Fleckenstein also has personal money tied up with MF Global. He is hopeful that he will get it back but is critical of the authority figures involved. Celente does not expect to get all of his money back. Ann Barnhardt of Barnhardt Capital Management has shuttered its operations after six-years in the business. She did not feel like her clients’ funds were safe in the futures and options market any more. Lawrence Lepard, who posted on Zero Hedge, wonders if the MF Global failure was a hit job done by the Fed. My point is not about who is right or wrong (time will tell), but that we are getting an early, slow paced look at things to come—the story telling, guessing, shock, denial, hopeful strategizing, negotiations. The success, failure, triumph, rage, loss, and sorrow. As we move through time and defaults, the pace of people finding out that they “can’t get to their money” is going to pick up.

We have seen the unpleasant result of default in the private sector as governments have striven to cover for their less-than-private financial systems, but we have yet to see the abuse governments will foist upon the citizenry due  sovereign default.




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Self-Reliance as A Pejorative...

polifrog


ABC:

At a million-dollar San Francisco fundraiser today, President Obama warned his recession-battered supporters that if he loses the 2012 election it could herald a new, painful era of self-reliance in America.
City Journal is correct when saying:

...from Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh to John F. Kennedy, the Apollo astronauts, and those supremely independent garage-tinkerers, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. For them, as for most Americans, self-reliance was seen as a virtue, not a liability, a characteristic worth promoting, not denigrating.


I've never know self reliance to be anything but a source of  comfort first and comfort second.

H/T Maggie's Farm



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Friday, November 18, 2011

SouthPark Soothsaying...

polifrog



MF Global and Celente ...

Following the company’s glorious collapse [MF Globa], Trends Research founder Gerald Celente had his own six figure gold investment account completely looted by chapter 11 trustees, and he is fighting to get it back.

I have a feeling we will be seeing a whole lot more of this:



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Remember That Faster Than Light Neutrino?

polifrog



Another one just walked into the bar...

CBS:
A second experiment at the European facility that reported subatomic particles zooming faster than the speed of light -- stunning the world of physics -- has reached the same result, scientists said late Thursday.

Poor Einstein, NOVA will have fun with this in a few years...



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Turning to the Great Ponzi for a Euro Solution...

polifrog


Why not have each of the Euro nations simply transfer some portion of the debt that is owed their nation by the other Euro nations to Greece so that Greece can count those debts as credits against their debt?

Here is a telling interactive.





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Just How Undemocratic Is the EU?

polifrog


Nigel Farage addressing the European Counsel:

"None of you have any democratic legitimacy for the roles you currently hold ..."

 Mr. Herman Achille Van Rompuy (European Counsel  president)... "you, an unelected man man went to Italy and said, "this is not the time for elections, but the time for actions."
There is more in the short video of his address below.

Nigel Farage:





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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Milton Friedman Died 5 Years Ago Today...

polifrog



Milton Friedman:
A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it … gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.

Free to Choose:



There is no freedom absent economic freedom...




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Enjoy Earth...

polifrog




Earth | Time Lapse View from Space, Fly Over | NASA, ISS from Michael K├Ânig on Vimeo.




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Iowahawk on Occupy Fail...

polifrog



Iowahawk:

Hello Faddah
Hello Mama
I'm Occupying
Camp Obama
I'm protesting
Wall Street grabbings
And trying to avoid the hobo stabbings

On my iPhone
With my last tweet
down-twinkledJews on Wall Street
Please don't worry
About psychosis
'Cause my Guy Fawkes mask repels tuberculosis

We are saving
This whole nation
With some squad car
DefecationWe went marching
in Zucotti
And got applauded by the Nazi Party

There's a rapingEvery day now
Some are straight and
Some are gay now...

Occupy was the incarnation of the media's false portrayal of the Tea Party.



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Rationalizing a One Sided Debate Over a 70 Year Experiment in Failure...

polifrog



Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit from my hat...

But at heart, this was Krugman vs Summers, which is an inspired match-up: especially in election season, one of the most important criteria for any debate is that it not cleave easily and obviously along party-political lines. That way people just end up voting their party and rehearsing tired party-political talking points.
This debate, because it took place within a basically Keynesian, leftist worldview, was very interesting.

... and debate only the perennial failure of Keynesian solutions in the best of light.

Keynes made a Great Depression of a harsh recession, a perma-recession of Japan's recession, and the Keynesian Depression  we live with in the US today.

Fail. Fail. Fail.

And this says nothing of the long term damage exacted on  the American economic and political  psyche by Keynes' prioritizing spending above saving.

Whatever, keep debating deckchair placement.




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Big Government's Failure in Europe ...

polifrog



Nile Gardner:

Krugman is rewriting history now that the European model, beloved by East Coast liberals, is going down in flames.

The reality that Krugman refuses to accept is that Europe offers a glimpse of America’s future if it continues down the path of European-style big government. The root of Europe’s financial crisis lies in decades of over-spending and over-borrowing, largely to pay for overgrown and bloated welfare systems, vast public sectors, and incredibly generous pension plans.

I have been caught off guard by leftist arguments that the Euro's failure is a failure in markets rather than governance to the point of suspecting the author's spirit. I suppose should not have been, but there it is.


And from the comments, raffles:
Into the Valley of Debt
Rode Angie, and Sarkie and Berlusconi,
Bond markets to the left of them,
Eurosceptics to the right of them.
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs just to charge.. and the Euro to die.
For Germany at some point the cost of retaining the the Euro (bailing out debtor nations)  will outweigh the cost of exiting the Euro (loss of loan repayment). Until then Germany will cost effectively do what it can to defend the Euro.



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Monday, November 14, 2011

I Learned a New Word Today ... Murmuration ...

polifrog





My last two weekends have been spent either backpacking in the Uwharrie or hiking Hanging Rock.  And although the autumn  leaves and weather have been marvelous, never did I experience the beauty of an ugly ass starling taking part in a murmuration.



I once heard someone describe the same effect via the Twin Towers.  Either one taken alone were uninspired, however taken together they found beauty.

Inspiration through a collection of the uninspired.

H/T Maggie's Farm


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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Mississippi, Defending the Liberty of Even Those Unable to Vote...

polifrog



I know some of my libertarian friends will not agree with me in what is to follow, but so be it.  Most of them seem to bow out of the abortion issue while muttering something that includes the phrase  "... legislate social issues..." at any rate.


Personhood amendments were once considered too radical for the mainstream pro-life movement, but in the most conservative state in the country, with an energized, church-mobilized grass roots, Mississippi could well be the first state to pass one. Initiative 26 even has the state’s top Democrats behind it.

How is Mississippi defending liberty?
  • Humans by the very fact that they are human have certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
  • Due to the fact that all necessary human genetic material is present, a fertilized human egg possesses inalienable rights.
  • Thus, abortion is wrong ... because abortion because it infringes not only on the rights of another individual, but on the most basic of rights of an individual ... life.

So, it takes backward Mississippi to defend the liberty of the unborn from the born.

It seems Mississippi understands that diminishing the rights of one group for the benefit of another is as wrong when the individual is unborn as when the individual is enslaved.

Perhaps Mississippi learned something from history the American left has forgotten.



H/T EdCone




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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

So Quiet...

polifrog


Sorry so quiet, but I will remain so for another week or so...




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Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Not So "Dark Demand" of Subsidies...

polifrog


The rising  price of education  seems to keep a permanent place in the news. Why is it happening?

Just as an object approaching the speed of light incurs the cost of increased mass and energy requirements,  the closer to free a scarce thing becomes, the higher its social cost.

But ask some economists what the roll  subsidies play in the rising cost of education is and this is the sort of answer you get:

The subsidy doesn't drive up demand, it increases quantity demanded in a movement down along the demand curve. An increase in demand would indeed drive up price, but that's not what's happening here. The increased quantity demanded happens precisely because the subsidy drives the student's price downward.

The argument put forth above  expects us to accept that demand is represented by what the consumer (student) pays  when  the producer (education) charges and gets one price while the student pays a different and lower price. The reality, though, is that when the price paid by a student drops with the introduction of a subsidy, the subsidy offsets that drop in price as far as the whole of the market is concerned. The result is no change in the real price, hence no slide down the demand curve and no commensurate increase in quantity demanded.  However, there remains an apparent change in price to students which widens and deepens the market for education. The result is a shift in the demand curve and an increase in tuition prices for society as a whole.

The economist's  myopic focus on student price creates a "dark demand" for education that is represented by the dollars society spends subsidizing schools.

There is no dark demand.  Let's watch subsidies in action:

  1. You and I walk into a bar.
  2. You want a beer, but $10 is too much.
  3.  I offer to cover half your beer.
  4.  $5 bucks sounds good to you; you say OK.
  5.  Before leaving we give the barkeep $10 for the beer. (at this point many economists argue that the price of beer is $5, what you pay for your beer, while ignoring the fact that the barkeep took in $10.)
  6. Let's assume my offer to cover half the price of each beer is extended to all those individuals in the bar for not just that night but all nights that follow.
  7.  Word spreads.
  8.  The barkeep is charging $10 for each beer, yet more people want his beer.
  9.  Eventually his bar can't accommodate all the customers for his beer and he concludes $10 is too low.
  10.  The barkeep raises the price to $15 per beer.
  11.  I now pay $7.50 and the customer pays $7.50.
  12.  People are still flowing into the bar because the beer is still a bargain.
  13.  So, the barkeep concludes he needs to raise the price to $20 per beer.
  14.  I now pay $10 and the customer now pays $10.
  15.  Finally bar traffic settles down again.

Now imagine in the scenario above you are a student,  my name is subsidy, the barkeep is a school, and the beer is an education. 

Observations:

  • Students initially pay less for education (beer) after the introduction of subsidies.
  • The school (barkeep) sees no change in price after the introduction of subsidies.
  • From the point subsidies are introduced the price of education (beer) rises to what the students are able to bear. (a point we a rapidly approaching today)
  • The school (bar) is the primary beneficiary of subsidies over time.
  • Subsidies never cause the cost of education (beer) for the student to rise above its cost prior to the introduction of the subsidy.
  • The cost of education (beer) doubles for society as a whole. 
  • This is not true just of beer and education, but all subsidized goods.


For the producer the effect of a subsidy on the price charged for a product  is nil. If price does not change there can be no movement along the demand curve and, hence, no change in quantity demanded. Therefore any increase in customers can only be explained as an increase in demand.

The "dark demand" of subsidies is not so dark.

Just as an object approaching the speed of light incurs the cost of increased mass and energy requirements,  the closer to free a scarce thing becomes, the higher its social cost.





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