Friday, October 31, 2008

Predictions for the Obama administration; Weather Underground; Larry Grathwohl; reeducation camps;

I think it is best to take Obama's friends at their word:

The Grathwohl film, among other things, supports the idea that leftists view hostile foreign governments as allies.

I do not believe that re-education camps will exist in the United States anytime soon. But it is apparent that a substantial number of Obama's influential supporters advocate such a program. It is also apparent that Obama does not hold this advocacy against his supporters.

We already knew that the hardcore Obama supporters have no qualms about destroying our system of free elections.

Given the hardcore militancy of those on the left, the damage they have done thus far and the programs they support, why would America be immune from the chaos and collapse that destroyed ancient Greece? What makes us so different from the civilizations of the past?

While it is impossible to predict the exact form that the tyranny will take or how the remaining free institutions will collapse, the general pattern is starting to emerge. Instead of violent overthrow as envisioned by Obama's friends in the Underground, economic upheaval resulting from decades of government interference, taxation and regulation will frighten unsuspecting voters into installing a terrorist sympathizer under the mantle of "change."

There are many historical models for the collapse of civilization. Greece, Egypt, Rome and the Byzantine Empire. All of these examples resulted from oppressive government, licentiousness, high taxes, some form of socialism, etc. Some of these examples involved class warfare and conquest by foreigners. Other examples include hyperinflation, including Weimar Germany and post-revolutionary France. Trying to predict the exact path that we will take gets easier with each new disaster that we encounter, but the actual course of events will most likely involve some combination of the disasters that destroyed the aforesaid civilizations.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

An Obama administration; Health care; Walter Williams

Walter Williams provides a good look into the future of medicine under an Obama administration:

The Vancouver, British Columbia-based Fraser Institute's annual publication, “Waiting Your Turn,” reports that Canada’s median waiting times from a patient's referral by a general practitioner to treatment by a specialist, depending on the procedure, averages from five to 40 weeks. The wait for diagnostics, such as MRI or CT, ranges between four and 28 weeks.

Britain's socialized system is no better. Currently, 750,000 Brits are awaiting hospital admission. Britain's National Health Services hopes to achieve an 18-week maximum wait from general practitioner to treatment, including all diagnostic tests, by the end of 2008.

The delay in health care services is not only inconvenient, it's deadly. Both in Britain and Canada, many patients with diseases that are curable at the time of diagnosis become incurable by the time of treatment or patients become too weak for the surgical procedure.

This means that under socialized medicine (less than a few years away if Obama wins) -

  • If you are sick, you will STAY sick.

  • If you are seriously ill, you will probably die. You will die without treatment after a fair amount of suffering.

  • Your taxes will be increased to pay for the privilege.

The majority of the human race lived and died this way for centuries before the U.S. and capitalism created the greatest health care system in the world. The era of modern medicine is about to end. We are about to experience medical care the way everyone else experienced it before the 20th century.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Palin, Iowa, Nigger

It looks like I suckered you again. Last month I baited you here from Google looking for "Sarah Palin bikini photos" and evidence that Sarah Palin once said "Sambo." Today, you are trying to find evidence that someone in Iowa said "nigger" and that it is Sarah Palin's fault.

In fact, the story is another lie about Sarah Palin.

The woman in the crowd said "redistributor," not "nigger." The left is still desparate to smear Sarah Palin and you are still a sucker if you came here looking to take part in the smear.

visit counter added October 28, 2008

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Predictions for an Obama administration; taxes; Egypt under the Ptolemies

Sometimes it is not sufficient for voters to hear merely that a candidate will raise their taxes. Voters often do not care unless the specifics of the tax burden are set forth in detail.

In the third century B.C., Egypt was ruled by Macedonians in the Ptolemy line who imposed a socialist style tyranny on their subjects. Their tax package sounds familiar:
Everywhere the government took rentals, taxes, customs, and tolls, sometimes labor and life itself. The peasant paid a fee to the state for the right to keep cattle, for the fodder that he fed them, and for the privilege of grazing them on the common pasture land. The private owner of gardens, vineyards, or orchards paid a sixth - under Ptolemy II half - of his produce to the state. All persons except soldiers, priests, and government officials paid a poll tax. There were taxes on salt, legal documents, and bequests; a five per cent tax on rentals, a ten per cent tax on sales, a twenty-five per cent levy on all fish caught in Egyptian waters, a toll on goods passing from village to town, or along the Nile; there were high export as well as import duties at all Egyptian ports; there were special taxes to maintain the fleet and the lighthouse, to keep the municipal physicians and police in good humor, and to buy a gold crown for every new king; nothing was overlooked that could fatten the state. To keep track of all taxable products, income, and transactions the government maintained a swarm of scribes, and a vast system of personal and property registration; to collect the taxes it farmed them out to specialists, supervised their operations, and held their possessions as security till the returns were in.
Will Durant, Life of Greece, pp. 591-592

While U.S. taxes are already quite burdensome, they will get worse and more oppressive under an Obama regime (and his successors). There will be very little left of our lives that is free from government taxation and scrutiny.

As is always the case in history, the story of oppressive government ends badly. Taxation and socialism eroded the industriousness of the people and the productivity of the land. Agriculture and industry decayed. By the end of the third century B.C., Egypt had been made "a Roman protectorate" [Durant, p. 587]. Roman emperors later fully absorbed Egypt into the Roman empire.

Ptolemy I of Egypt

Egypt would not reemerge as an independent nation until after World War I. [For those of you that rely on Oprah or the Today Show for your information, that time span equals roughly 2000 years - give or take a century depending on when you consider Egypt's independence to have finally ended.] 2000 years of subjugation is a long time. Taxation has consequences.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Energy policy under Obama; price controls, shortages, lines

Gasoline prices have fallen tremendously in the past four months. But if they return to their previous levels [Spring-Summer 2008], it is a safe bet that Obama's solution will involve some kind of price controls or rationing or both. That is the only solution of which a leftist/socialist can conceive. [Obama and a Democrat Congress will never allow drilling or the construction of new refineries.]

But remember, price controls cause shortages. You will find yourself waiting in long lines at the gas station if price controls are ever enacted. A worst-case scenario would make gasoline almost totally unavailable [except for high government officials]. Your car would be useless and you would be forced to relocate to the nearest city in order to maintain employment - unless you are lucky enough to work near your existing home and your occupation does not depend upon travel. This forced relocation would be labeled a "transition" by the Obama administration and the MSM/DNC. Government funds would be available to help defray the cost of the "transition" to city living and to make available low cost, subidized housing in the city [and a greater number of overcrowded public buses].

For further reading.

A good hobby to learn now might be bicycle repair. Bicycles will become a more popular method of transportation under an Obama administration. You might want to start hoarding bicycle tires and accessories for your own future use or for their resale value during the coming "transition."

This is one prediction about which I will be glad to be wrong.

Bicycle tires - your future investment portfolio?

Your future residence?

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

What to expect from an Obama regime; ancient Greece; Will Durant

Numerous commentators have speculated on the effect of a Democrat landslide in this year's elections. They have identified many programs that will be created or expanded with Democrats in the White House and enjoying a filibuster proof majority in Congress. Commentators usually conclude these remarks by stating that this scenario will be bad "from a conservative standpoint."

But these commentators, even conservative commentators, miss the real point. The leftist agenda is not simply bad "for conservatives." We are not watching some sporting event where only Republicans and Democrats have a stake in the outcome. The consequences of a Democrat takeover would affect everyone - and for a very long time.

The Democrats have pledged to restrict free speech and expand existing programs that would accelerate the bankruptcy of the United States, all the while robbing us of the means to defend ourselves, protect our borders and choose our own medical providers. The Democrats have attempted to investigate, prosecute and censor innocent political opponents. The Democrats have shown no reluctance to commit violence and voter fraud in this election and the elections of 2004 - thus foreshadowing the ultimate end to free elections should these thugs ever obtain real power over the executive branch of the federal government. The Democrats have used class warfare as a political weapon - pitting rich versus poor - for decades.

All of the elements exist for the type of near civil war that marked the collapse of the ancient Greek civilization in the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C.:
Some governments nationalized certain industries . . . . but the governments paid as low wages as the private employer, and squeezed all possible profit from the labor of their slaves . . . the class war became bitterer than before. Every city, young or old, echoed with the hatred of class for class, with uprisings, massacres, suppressions, banishments, and the destruction of property and life. When one faction won it exiled the other and confiscated its goods; when the exiles returned to power they revenged themselves in kind, and slaughtered their enemies; imagine the stability of an economic system subject to such decerebrations and disturbances. Some ancient Greek cities were so devastated by class strife that industry and men fled from them, grass grew in the streets, cattle came there to graze.
Durant, Life of Greece, p. 564 [1939 edition]
See these quotations for a comparison with 4th century B.C. Greece and 1st century B.C. Rome.

If Obama and the Democrats seize as much power as the rest of us fear, this election may be the last national election that carries even a pretext of legitimacy. Those who would rig and steal the election will not allow free elections once they seize power. Acorn and its allies cannot continue to submit thousands of frauduent registrations every year. Cheating on such a massive scale is difficult to coordinate and organize. They don't plan to cheat forever. They plan to win once in a big way, after which there will be no need to cheat. In the future, two scenarios are possible - (1) local election officials will have learned to be submissive to the Acorn/Obama controlled federal government and remain silent while election totals are rigged or (2) certain elections will simply not take place.

I do not believe all of this will happen immediately upon the inauguration of Obama. Cattle will not be grazing in the streets of Manhattan in Janaury 2009. Obama will allow a certain "healing" period where he speaks of unity and the MSM/DNC presents "feel good" images of children, puppies and general calm. We will be allowed to get comfortable. But soon, our taxes will go up, our doctors will become government bureaucrats, class warfare will resume as it has never existed before and the country will change forever.

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Race card; 1960 election; Richard Nixon; Six Crises

As we watch the MSM/DNC play the race card in order to drag Obama over the finish line, we must remember how long the race card has been a part of the MSM/DNC playbook and how many variations that card has. When we see that the MSM/DNC uses this tactic every time and that it sounds the same each time, the ploy loses some of its effectiveness.

In 1960, the MSM/DNC used religion instead of race, but the tactic was the same. Richard Nixon compiled a list of headlines from the 1960 race for his book, Six Crises:

p. 366 [1962]

Remember this the next time that some Obama critic is accused of bigotry, racism, etc. The script was written decades ago. Only the names change.

Six Crises - 1962

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Quote of the day - Aristotle

It is better that law should rule than any individual . . . He who entrusts any man with supreme power gives it to a wild beast, for such his appetites sometimes make him; passion influences those who are in power, even the very best of men; but law is reason without desire.


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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Quote of the day - Dick Morris

So let’s sum up Obama’s Chicago connections. His chief financial supporter was Tony Rezko, now on his way to federal prison. His spiritual adviser and mentor was the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, of “God damn America” fame. And the guy who got him his only administrative job and put him in charge of doling out $50 million is William Ayers, a terrorist who was a domestic Osama bin Laden in his youth.

Dick Morris - 10-7-08

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Baby Boomer comeuppance; Richard Berry; American Thinker; Crash of 2008

American Thinker has posted an essay detailing how the baby boomer values led to the crash we have experienced over the past few years (most sharply in the past few weeks):

We are seeing in the Wall Street implosion the inevitable result of the Boomer Elite outlook and the behavior it spawned. Storied investment banks were being run on 40 to 1 leverage. Fancy new securities were designed and widely disseminated whose terms are opaque even to highly knowledgeable and experienced hands. Mortgage securitization techniques were developed which, our bettors assured us, would magically spread risk and thus stabilize the financial system. However, simultaneously with these brilliant innovations, lenders were being forced -- by Boomer Elite congressmen with an aching love of the poor and oppressed unique to themselves -- to loan to uncreditworthy borrowers at subprime rates and without adequate documentation. These loans, packaged into securities together with standard, performing loans, rendered unknowable the value of the securities, leading to mandatory write downs and drastic capital impairment or outright insolvency for many very large firms. Given the high degree of integration of the international financial system, critical destabilization was the real result of this confluence of Master of the Universe genius and Boomer Elite turpitude.

The next time you hear or see:

  • a TV program extol the virtues of the 60's generation and how they stopped the war in Vietnam;
  • a speaker refer to Vietnam as the "crucible of a generation";
  • 60's music referred to as idealistic and the catalyst for peace and love, etc.;
  • John Lennon referred to as the voice (or the conscience or whatever) of a generation;
  • commercials or news accounts celebrating the empowerment of the baby boomers as they grow older;
  • any other whitewash of the generation that has done so much damage;

click on this American Thinker article and remember the price we pay for our indulgence in this 40 year fantasy.

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Mark Steyn; How Barney Frank's gay lover caused the Fannie Mae collapse; Herb Moses

Mark Steyn comments on another aspect of the financial crisis for which taxpayers must now suffer:

Last week in this space, I made a jocular reference to a global economy "so
vulnerable that only the stalwart action of Barney Frank stands between it and
ten years of soup kitchens". I tittered too soon. It turns out the
entire planetary meltdown is due to Congressman Frank's sex life:

. . . . . . . .
Moses "helped develop many of Fannie Mae’s affordable housing and home
improvement lending programs."
Critics say such programs led to the mortgage
meltdown that prompted last month’s government takeover of Fannie Mae and its
financial cousin, Freddie Mac. The giant firms are blamed for spreading bad
mortgages throughout the private financial sector...
. . . . . . . . .

while the old Moses parted the red sea, the new Moses drowned us in one.

See also this.

So it appears that taxpayers will now pay $700,000,000,000 for Barney Frank's failed gay relationship. The Moses/Frank partnership will turn out to be the most expensive gay marriage in history.

- In the 1970's (and before), gay bathhouses were responsible for the spread of aids throughout the western world (although the left undoubtedly blames George W. Bush (and, by extension, John McCain (and Sarah Palin's downs syndrome baby))).

- In the 1990's, Fannie Mae became a financial gay bathhouse, spreading the financial equivalent of aids throughout the economy of the western world.

Fannie Mae

[See the analysis of how even this was made possible only by the Federal Reserve policy of credit expansion during the credit boom of the 1990's.]

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Friday, October 03, 2008

Classics of Conservatism - Part XXIV - America's Great Depression

This month's Classic of Conservatism is Murray Rothbard's 1963 work, "America's Great Depression."

25 years have elapsed since I read this book, but I will never forget its main lesson (and that of the other Austrian economics books I read at that time). The Depression of the 1930's was caused by the alternating periods of expansion and contraction of the money supply by the Federal Reserve Board. The Federal Reserve, under the leadership of Benjamin Strong (Governor of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York) began a long credit expansion in 1922. This expansion continued until the summer of 1929, when the FED reversed course and began contracting the money supply. Several months later, the stock market crashed. The stock market crash is typically considered the beginning of the Great Depression. In fact the Depression had its roots at the beginning the 1920's. (I am somewhat fuzzy on the dates due to the time elapsed since I read the book.)

MSM/DNC mythmakers usually assign the crash of October 1929 as the beginning and attempt to address stock trading practices as the cause. They have convinced generations of students that the activities of a few stock traders somehow caused the collapse of the entire economy. The "historians" ignore the role of centralized credit expansion on the entire economy over a period of years. The term "fractional reserve banking" never appears in print in today's "newspapers."

Instead of focusing on the period from 1922 through 1929, the establishment mouthpieces have caused the average reader to focus on the activities of a few stock brokers at the very end of the great credit expansion. Even conservatives who try to explain the issue in terms of FED policy blame the FED for contracting in the summer of 1929 instead of blaming the FED for creating the bubble over the course of a decade.

If fractional reserve banking did not exist, the economy would not grow nearly as fast as it has during the various bubbles of the 20th (and 21st) century, but the inevitable collapses would not have occurred either. Growth would be slow, steady and safe. We need not fear the crises that have plagued our economy on a regular basis since 1913 (and the inevitable and predictable crisis that now threatens to destroy the economy completely).

Rothbard is one of the few writers to explain the Depression in terms of the 1920's credit expansion instead of the non-issues that the most writers and teachers focus on. In Rothbard's book, you will not read first hand accounts of bread lines and soup kitchens. Nor will you see a rehash of such events as the "bonus army" or the creation of the WPA. These events were the results of the policies that created the Depression. Most writers focus only on these results and teach nothing about the causes.

Rothbard explains the business cycle theory and its application to the credit expansion of the 1920's.

We all acknowledge that today's crisis results from bankers making bad loans to unqualified individuals. But very few have bothered to ask why so many lenders made these mistakes at the same time. This is the question that Rothbard asks in America's Great Depression. Like anyone else, businessmen will make mistakes (and usually pay the consequences). But the business cycle over the past century features all businesses making the same mistakes at the same time. Whether these mistakes include risky lending, overproduction, investment in unprofitable lines, overspending, etc., the mistakes are coordinated throughout the economy and are not limited to one region or one city or one sector. Rothbard shows that this phenomenon occurred even in the 1920's - well before today's "global economy" existed. The one factor that tied all of these errors together was Federal Reserve policy. And Federal Reserve policy has served this function in every recessionary cycle since the FED was created in 1913.

If you are not sure of the extent of misinformation that relates to the Depression, ask a friend if he knows when the Federal Reserve Board was created. Far too many people will say that the FED was created by FDR as one of his many reforms following the stock market crash. Only when one realizes that the FED existed 16 years before the stock market crash will one see an example of how common beliefs about the Depression and economic conditions have become so muddled.

Rothbard provides detail and documentation to demonstrate where the blame truly belongs. After reading America's Great Depression, you will realize that today's crisis was inevitable decades ago and that modern policies and "solutions" will only make the problem worse.

For further reading on the business cycle and the role of a central bank, see Ludwig von Mises' "Theory of Money and Credit." For more history of the Depression and how it related to credit policies following the creation of the FED, see Garet Garrett's "Bubble that Broke the World."

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Quote of the day - Spengler

Paulson's dreadful scheme will become law, because Americans love their bankers. The bankers enable their collective gambling habit. Think of America as a town with one casino, in which the only economic activity is gambling. Most people lose, but the casino keeps lending them more money to play. Eventually, of course, the casino must go bankrupt. At this point, the townspeople people vote to tax themselves in order to bail out the casino. Collectively, the gamblers cannot help but lose; individually they nonetheless hope to win their way out of the hole.

Spengler - 9-23-2008

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