Entries Tagged 'Uncategorized' ↓

Is Capitalism Good?

Someone asked this on GTAF. May as well repost my reply here since I haven’t blogged in a while..

Capitalism, like most other inanimate things or systems, isn’t good or bad in and of itself. Any system can be used for either, and no system is infallible. So, given the choice of potential success or failure by government regulation over the same potential via consensual means, I will always take the latter. Even though government can smooth out some of the rapid, downward changes (and, in reverse, delay upticks), it is always backed by the threat or actual use of coercive, lethal force. Regardless of whether this force is aimed at the “right people” (usually determined by populist, mob mentality), it only serves to legitimize the authoritarian urges of the people drawn to government work. And it always desensitizes the public to further expansions of the state; or even worse, conditions the public to ask for more of it.

233 years ago, we fought a bloody revolution in large part due to sales taxes on tea and stationary. Yet after two centuries of ever increasing cries from the public to “do something” about this or that, we’ve reached the point where the government thinks it can control or tax anything. And the public demands more of it.

That said, Mike Tequeli is correct that we don’t have a true free market. This crisis was caused mostly by the Federal government forcing banks to lend out money to people who couldn’t afford it via the Community Reinvestment Act and its progeny/amendments. Lots of CRA supporters are pointing out that it only forced a fraction of the banks to do anything, and that the rest was all greed. This is true to an extent, however it ignores that the ones who weren’t forced to do so were still encouraged by the implicit Federal backing via Fannie and Freddie. Either way, it is a result of governmental social engineering, and getting mad at the executives who took the bait is akin to beating the family dog because it shit on the carpet after feeding it chili and locking it in a bedroom for twelve hours.

At any rate, I think the bailout might end up being largely symbolic. I heard somewhere that a number of the institutions who are affected by the mess aren’t going to take part in the bailout anyway because of all the strings which are attached to it. Even if a substantial number do play along, the (half-ass) plan probably won’t do anything other than drag the whole situation out for longer than it would have taken for the market to correct itself. Granted, this will probably make the damage more gradual, and perhaps limit the floor it would reach in the short-term. But overall, I feel the rewarding of bad behavior, both on the part of the market and the government, will only serve to obfuscate the lessons that should have been learned through all of this.

But, then again, I’m not an economist. tounge.gif

Change You Can Believe In, Or Else..

So. After eight years of the left shrieking that McBushHitlerCheneyBurton is going to shut down media outlets who question him and start arresting critics any second now, it has finally come to pass.

Only it’s the Obama camp that’s doing it.

Just imagine how much fun Obama can have once he’s in charge of the DOJ..

Red Kool Aid, an Acquired Taste

Generally speaking, one shouldn’t expect much from a political debate on a gaming site. Yet I was still dumbfounded when someone posted this video with the text “Matt Damon speaks out on Palin,” as if that means something. Since it’s late and I’m too lazy to reiterate my response, I’ll just quote myself.


Thanks for posting that.

You know, I was almost ready to hold my nose, cast a Quixotic protest vote for Barr/Root even though Barr’s record before switching parties is about as libertarian as Ghengis Khan, but after seeing Matt Damon– who, despite making more money in five minutes than I’ve seen in a lifetime, still trembles at the alter of the nanny state for protection; and whose entire adult life has been spent in the bubble of Hollywood, far removed from the real world, thus making him nearly as much of an expert on politics as my cat is qualified to perform neurosurgery –go into such a breathless display of pants-shitting hysteria over Palin, I’ve changed my mind.

At best, the fact he’s so terrified of the ticket means they’re doing something right. At worst, well, at least I’ll be canceling out this useful idiot’s vote.

And, yes, in case any of my (maybe six?) readers haven’t noticed yet, I do enjoy run-on sentences.

But, seriously, the McCain/Palin ticket is starting to sound better and better every day. While I don’t trust McCain after the whole “campaign finance reform” thing or his rambling about imaginary “gun show loopholes,” the next POTUS will get to nominate two or three Supreme Court Justices. Even if he only gets that half right, and we get one more Thomas or Alito, there might be a shot at reigning in the magical Interstate Commerce clause. If that could be rolled back far enough, McCain’s own Justices could very well limit any damage he could do.

Spoke Too Soon Part 897634287623

Damn. I really need to stop underestimating the insanity of the nutroots..

At first it looked like they were taking the high road on the Palin baby-swap conspiracy because the first links on the subject disappeared. But, alas, it seems that the conspiracy has gone mainstream (for lack of a better word..) at DKos. And expanded to other nutroot bloggers. Better yet, after popping it into googlenews, it looks like the left is fighting each other over it.

And where is The One in all of this? Isn’t he supposed to be a different kind of politician who’s above dirt like this? Shouldn’t he be telling his minions to stop it?

But, yea, I’m just glad there’s a popcorn machine at work. Gonna need lots of that while watching these so-called “tolerant” “progressives” from the “reality based community” unleash a hateful, sexist, smear campaign wrapped in a dozen layers of tinfoil!

Godwin’d Already

Obama surrogate Robert Wexler is telling people Palin is the next Hitler because she may or may not have supported Pat Buchanan once back in ’99.




I guess that puts “Reverend” Wright back on the table too. This should be fun.

And in the Red Corner..

McCain picked Sarah Palin for his VP slot. I’ve been guessing for weeks now that she’d get the nod. Probably should have posted my prediction to win internet points.

But, yea, it looks like I spoke too soon about speaking too soon about the Democrats’ gamesmanship yesterday. They don’t seem to know how to react to the news.

The Obama camp’s first reaction was to attack her via press release. Then a few hours later, Obama sorta-kinda retracted it, congratulated her, and made a half-assed attempt at apologizing. Like Rezko, Wright, and Snuffy before this, perhaps those ‘weren’t the campaign staffers he knew’

One has to wonder though; does he thinks he’ll get do-overs if he has to react to a national emergency in the White House? Between throwing associates under the bus after defending them or sending out multiple statements in response to the Russia/Georgia situation, the pattern developing here isn’t very reassuring. I mean, really, do we want someone with this kind of “hair-trigger” holding the Nuclear Football?

Well, someone else, rather, as that sounds an awful like the “cowboy diplomacy” complaints we hear about Bush.

It’s also amusing that Obama, of all people (and the media, pundits, and his surrogates) are criticizing Palin’s lack of experience now. Why, with the way they walked right into that, it’s almost like they’re in panic mode..

In other news, the Kos Kiddies are apparently developing some elaborate conspiracy theory that her son is actually her daughter’s based on some Google thumbnail picture or something. I would imagine that Karl Rove, Blackwater, and/or a time machine are involved somehow, but apparently the moderators over there are deleting the posts as they appear. You know you’re unhinged when even Kos rejects you.

Now if only McCain wasn’t at the top of the ticket. Meh. Oh well, at least the campaign will be fun to watch.

DNC Followup

Looks like I spoke too soon. The Democrats upped their game considerably during the last two days. Most of the rhetoric was the same old bullshit, to be sure. But the spin the Bidens, Bill Clinton, and Obamarama put on it was much better. The parade of retired military personnel and the surprising appearance of thousands of American flags was a nice touch too. If not overkill.

For a while there, it looked like they would snatch defeat from the jaws of victory once again. With the slick packaging and timing the final day to the anniversary of Dr. King’s famous speech though, I’m afraid there might be enough idiots products of our public education system out there to fall for it.

No. On second thought. Not afraid. Terrified.

Then again, it’s kind of hard not to laugh at the irony that the man the media are calling the “fulfillment of Dr. King’s Dream” wants to bring back involuntary servitude..

DNC Train Wreck

Usually the political conventions are the opening salvo of the general election where the Republicrats tell you what they stand for and begin to explain to non-political-junkies just why anyone should vote for their party. So what have we learned from the Democrats at the halfway point?

Nothing really.

Day one was a bunch of emotive tripe and cliches. About the biggest revelation was that Michelle Obama memorized every episode of the Brady Bunch. Which means the Obama family are just like You and Me™. Or something.


During day two, we learned that McCain is exactly like Bush because he voted against the Bush/Cheney energy bill which Obama voted for. I’m still not sure how that works. If anything, shouldn’t that mean Obama is the one who is more like Bush? They also tried linking McCain to Bush with the claims that McCain wants to stay in Iraq for a brazillionty years. Even though the Bush team is working on a deal to have all US forces out of Iraq within the next three years.

Perhaps they should stop patting each other on the back for five minutes and pick up a newspaper or something..

Sprinkled in between a bunch of really tired jokes about McCain’s houses, there was a parade of Democrats telling us how doing the exact opposite of what Obama wants to do works, therefore we should vote for him.

Some of them talked about how they’ve advanced alternative energy at the State and local level without Federal mandate (so why do you need Obama to mandate it?!). The Governor of Montana talked about the greatness of low taxes on business (Obama wants to raise the corporate and capital gains tax rates) and digging for coal/oil (Obama wants to eliminate fossil fuels within 10 years somehow, and block all new mines and drilling). Most of the speakers rambled on about how they got where they are by hard work and self-sacrifice, but think you should vote for Obama to get all that for “free” from the government without all the hard work and self-sacrifice they just got done praising.

The highlight of day two was a speech by Hillary Clinton which didn’t so much explain why anyone should vote for Obama as it did talk about how women can do anything they put their mind to.

Anything, that is, except win an election.

In other news, it appears that they’ve constructed a miniature Greek temple for The One to give his acceptance speech from..

It’s a shame that the Republicans just had to go and run McCain this year. The thought of him winning kinda takes the fun out of watching the spectacular fail the Democrats are grasping at.

This is Change?

The internets are telling me that Obama has picked Biden to be his veep.


A man who has been in the Senate for over half of his entire life!

And this is after Obama has been telling us for the last two years how he’s sick of partisan politics as usual, Washington insiders, and how McCain is a bad guy becuase he’s been in the Senate so long?


The Terror Loophole

So, yea, the Democrats released a preview of their 2008 platform a few days ago. Here’s the bit about the Second Amendment contained therein, in case you missed it:

We recognize that the right to bear arms is an important part of the American tradition, and we will preserve Americans’ Second Amendment right to own and use firearms. We believe that the right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation, but we know that what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne. We can work together to enact and enforce commonsense laws and improvements – like closing the gun show loophole, improving our background check system, and reinstating the assault weapons ban, so that guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists or criminals. Acting responsibly and with respect for differing views on this issue, we can both protect the constitutional right to bear arms and keep our communities and our children safe.

I could go on at length about the mythical “gun show loophole” or “assault weapon ban,” but after seeing this link on Fark a while ago, I will instead focus on keeping guns out the “hands of terrorists.”

“Who could be against that?!1!one!eleventy” I hear you ask. Well, it all depends on how you define terrorist. From the linked article:

James Robinson is a retired Air National Guard brigadier general and a commercial pilot for a major airline who flies passenger planes around the country.

He has even been certified by the Transportation Security Administration to carry a weapon into the cockpit as part of the government’s defense program should a terrorist try to commandeer a plane.

But there’s one problem: James Robinson, the pilot, has difficulty even getting to his plane because his name is on the government’s terrorist “watch list.”

There you have a retired general who is not only trusted to operate a piece of equipment similar to the kind used to murder three thousand people, but is also trusted to carry a firearm by the Federal government to keep it safe. Yet it seems the very same Federal government cannot discern him from the terrorists they have armed and trained him to protect against.

In case you’re not familiar with the “terror loophole” propaganda, Senator Lautenburg, the Brady Bunch, and, now, apparently the entire Democratic party essentially want to add all the names on the no-fly list to the category of persons prohibited from buying/possessing firearms. Which means the pilot in the article above would instantly become a felon for touching the gun the Feds authorized him to carry.

Oh, sure, Lautenburg claims that his bill “includes due process safeguards that afford an affected person an opportunity to challenge a denial by the Attorney General,” but if it’s anything like the relief from disability program in the 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act, his pal Chuck Schumer will perpetually block funding for it so that nobody can ever be removed from the list.

Which, in turn, brings us to the most stunning thing in the CNN piece:

Besides the airline pilot, there’s the James Robinson who served as U.S. attorney in Detroit, Michigan, and as an assistant attorney general in the Clinton administration; and James Robinson of California, who loves tennis, swimming and flying to the East Coast to see his grandmother.

He’s 8.

The third-grader has been on the watch list since he was 5 years old. Asked whether he is a terrorist, he said, “I don’t know.”

So, in other words, if the Brady Bunch get their way, and Lautenburg and Schumer play their legislative shell game, this third-grader(!) would be barred for life from ever touching a firearm. Because he’s a “terrorist.” All by administrative fiat at the hands of non-elected bureaucrats in some “homeland security” agency somewhere.

And I thought Democrats were supposed to “think of the children” and stuff..

But, yea, even if you don’t particularly like guns, this should seriously terrify you. Whether you agree or not, the Supreme Court did kind of rule that it is an individual right (and even four the dissenting Justices agreed that there is an individual right of some sort in there somewhere). As such, if the government is given the power to remove your Second Amendment rights with no trial or evidence (or without even telling you for that matter..), what’s to stop them from applying the same technique to the rest of the Bill of Rights?