Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Debate Tonight

(I have updated and revised this since my first blogging)

The Republican YouTube Debate tonight was....interesting. Giulianni and Romney duked it out, as predicted, and McCain didn't go much of anywhere. Romney as usual could not find solid ground on any questions, repeatedly saying he would "consult people" or tiptoeing around the questions completely.

Giulianni repeatedly used 9/11 and New York to answer every question, as if the whole United States revolves around terrorism, and if New York was the center of the universe. Come on, Rudy, Kenosha, Wisconsin is not New York, and neither is any other town. What worked there will not work here, and I would hate to see you use the White House as an instrument to push your police state, anti-liberty, war-mongering beliefs on all of the FEDERAL governments in this nation. Hunter....weak. Tancredo...crazy. Everything to him is about immigration.

Thompson surprised me in many ways, and at times I could swear he was a real conservative. However, just as most of the candidates on the stage, he talks about spending and saving without looking at the greatest cost to this country: empire. Also, while he may be witty and humorous, what I am really looking for is a straight answer. He fails.

Finally, Ron Paul. Tonight was his chance to shine, and he failed. While the audience absolutely loved him (I think this stems from his having more money, and being more able to buy seats), he came across rather weak on issues, and at one point could not remember "those guys in the north (of Iraq)." They're called Kurds, Ron. It doesn't help that he was cut off repeatedly, not allowed to reply, nor given many questions to begin with. CNN spent more time on useless jabber than on foreign policy (Ron's strong point) and Ron Paul did not even get much attention at all in this area. However, considering the boos that McCain, Romney, and Giulianni got...I think Ron Paul did alright. Enough to continue to exist without shame.

It is hard to declare any real winner, but if I had to rank...it would go as such:

1. Thompson (Not a strong performance at all, but better)
2. Huckabee (Acted like a career politician, full of shit. But a lot of support)
3. Giulianni (No real gain or loss)
4. Paul (Not eloquent at all, but had a lot of support, unfortunately came off as crazy)
5. McCain (No real gain or loss, strong on torture and the troops)
6. Romney (Looked terrible, stumbled, flip flopped)
7. Hunter (Nothing groundbreaking. He's out)
8. Tancredo (He is definitely out)

Although I favor Paul in this race, he is going to need to speak clearer next time.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Paul on Economics



enjoy.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Woman Aborts Baby to Save the Planet?

A UK woman decided to abort her baby and sterilize herself ASAP so that she would not create more of a carbon footprint:

...when Toni terminated her pregnancy, she did so in the firm belief she was helping to save the planet.

[...]

Incredibly, instead of mourning the loss of a family that never was, her boyfriend (now husband) presented her with a congratulations card.

While some might think it strange to celebrate the reversal of nature and denial of motherhood, Toni relishes her decision with an almost religious zeal.

"Having children is selfish. It's all about maintaining your genetic line at the expense of the planet," says Toni, 35.


What the Hell are they teaching them in the UK? Is there something in the water? Having children is selfish? What about having an abortion? That's SELFISH. What a sick, sick woman, and a sick, sick, liberal world we live in.

Mark adds: "Sarah and I live as green a life a possible. We don't have a car, cycle everywhere instead, and we never fly.

"We recycle, use low-energy light bulbs and eat only organic, locally produced food.

"In short, we do everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint. But all this would be undone if we had a child.

"That's why I had a vasectomy. It would be morally wrong for me to add to climate change and the destruction of Earth.

Morally wrong? What is morally wrong about having a baby? If it DOES happen to be morally wrong, than the pure existence of all people on Earth, from saint to murderer is immoral, and thus, it would be hard to imagine us living moral lives now wouldn't it? As well, if Mark sees everything he does to reduce carbon emission as a moral venture, than how is it that 1) he cannot imagine having a child that could do the same, 2) how could it be immoral if all he is doing is reducing the "badness" of his state of existence? And one more thing: since when is murder alright in the name of global warming?

Whats next, do they want us to live in caves to reduce our carbon footprint?

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Sweet Sting of Consumerism


nataliedee.com

Thursday, November 22, 2007

No Texts Allowed

In a gratuitous and disturbing move on our civil liberties, Sen. Alan Lasee, R-DePere in the Wisconsin legislature introduced a bill that would make it illegal to text and drive.
It's impossible to know how many accidents in Wisconsin resulted from driver error related to text messaging. The state's uniform crash report form does not include cell phones as an option for police to mark as the reason for an accident. Another pending bill would update the form to include that as a contributing cause.
And its going to be just as impossible to enforce.
The Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association doesn't have a position on Lasee's bill but generally believes that current laws against distracted driving are sufficient, director Bill Esbeck said. However, the group has supported tighter restrictions on cell phone use for younger, less experienced drivers, Esbeck said. The association represents 70 phone companies, 25 Internet service providers and nine wireless carriers in Wisconsin.
So what, not only will they have to catch you texting, they need to identify your age first to see if they can pull you over? At what age should it become "legal" to text message while driving?

This law is useless. There are laws against recklessly operating a motor vehicle, and if the operation of the vehicle is impaired, that is justification to pull someone over and ticket them, or if they get into a crash it is enough to make them responsible. People are still going to drive terribly, and the more we try to regulate it the more confusing it will become, to the point that we cannot enforce the laws. This is just as gratuitous as the seat belt laws.
Lasee's bill, which he is circulating for co-sponsors and intends to introduce in early December, would impose a $400 fine for a first offense and an $800 penalty for additional ones.

If text messaging is found to be responsible for an accident resulting in an injury, the fine would jump to $2,000 and at least 30 days in jail. If the accident results in a death, the penalty would be a felony with up to a $25,000 fine or 10 years in prison.
I'm sorry, but I think this is a bit much. I understand the dangers of operating a cell phone at the same time as a motor vehicle. But what about eating while driving, using the radio/CD player, talking to people in the car, driving while tired, sneezing, etc. There are many things I could come up with that could impair one's ability to drive, and most of them are simple things we all do. There ought to be a penalty for driving like a reckless maniac, and there is. Why then do we need to add more regulation and bureaucracy? Oh thats right, so Uncle Same can take more of your tax dollars to fund the nanny-state, and so weak politicians can look as if they are "tough on crime."

Black Friday

Black Friday is a term invented to refer to the day after thanksgiving in which retailers sponsor the most hideous bloodsport ever: Christmas shopping. This tradition has been able to put retailers "in the black" for the period, hence the name.

This is the single most important day for retail, and also a strong indicator of how the economy is doing. A weak day could put markets into a spin. With the volatility already prevalent on Wall Street for the past 6 months, I think we will see just that. To what extent I am not sure, but I think by now its so obvious even CNBC cannot deny it: we are suffering.

The dollar is still falling

Wall Street is down

And Black Thursday will suffer too. It has been predicted.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Europe for Ron Paul!



As of right now, Dr. Paul's meetup groups have 73,332 members in 949 cities across 25 countries!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hahaha

Turns out the Moussaoui Case isn't over

McLEAN, Va. (AP) -- A federal judge expressed frustration Tuesday that the government provided incorrect information about evidence in the prosecution of Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and raised the possibility of ordering a new trial in another high-profile terrorism case.

[...]

Attorneys for al-Timimi have been seeking access to documents. They also want to depose government witnesses to determine whether the government improperly failed to disclose the existence of certain evidence.
WHAT? The government would never give false information and witnesses for a corrupt court case for the purpose of propagandizing the War on Terror! In all seriousness however, I seriously doubt that Moussaoui is completely innocent, especially since he pleaded guilty. The real question is, to what extent is he guilty, what did he really do (or intend to do rather), and what is the government hiding (and why)? This really is one strange case.

Stem Cell Research Conducted Without Embryos

Could the fight against federally funded stem cell research be over?

Researchers have transformed ordinary human skin cells into batches of cells that look and act like embryonic stem cells -- but without using cloning technology and without making embryos.

"We can now envisage a time when a simple approach can be used to produce stem cells that are able to form any tissue from a small sample taken from any of us," said Ian Wilmut of the University of Edinburgh, who helped clone the first mammal, Dolly the sheep, in 1997.
Wait a minute. Isn't that the sheep that died after only six years of being alive? Do we want to clone tissues that are only going to fail anyways? Actually, it turns out that she didn't die of "clone" complications at all, but Ovine Pulmonary Adenocarcinoma.

In any case, this seems like it could be a healthy, ethically impartial way of going about tissue and organ replacements for patients diagnosed with many of the world's worst irreversible diseases and cancers. It looks like it will be politically palatable as well:
The White House immediately welcomed the development, given President George W. Bush's long opposition to embryo research, even as scientists said the finding should not be the end of such research.
Don't get too excited though, it may be a little ways off before we can really harvest the full benefits of this development:
The researchers agree it will be years before the technique could be used to treat people. More immediately, they say it can be used to study diseases and to screen drugs.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I haven't blogged in a while

Forgive me for not blogging lately, I have been writing some pretty big papers for finals and studying, so it might be a little while before I get back into my regular method.

Greece vs. Germany

I am so glad I found this:

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tea Party '07

Will Ron Paul be able to raise 10 million in one day? Hold on to your wallets until December 16th, and we may be able to do it.



I think this would force the media and the GOP to accept Paul as a viable candidate. I cannot believe how excited I am about this election cycle! The best thing is: this time politics really IS working from the grassroots up, thanks in large to the wonderful invention called the internet.

give it a look

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A conflict of origin

A couple of videos that expose the Creation Museum for what it really is: Bullshit.





Now don't get me wrong: I am not a strict Naturalist, and I have no problems with the metaphysical. But for the love of God (pun intended) make your claims hold water. If you make a scientific claim, whether it be evolution or creation, it must be able to stand up to scrutiny. Unfortunately though, creationism fails horribly in this regard. Why is it that Christians have trouble reconciling their beliefs with evolution? There is no reason in my mind why the two could be incompatible.

Welcome to America
: where one third of us believe in UFO's, 23% believe in ghosts, 48% believe in ESP, and almost one fifth believe in witchcraft.

In 2005, guess how we fared amongst other countries in percentage of the populace that believes in evolution? And in 2007?

Tancredo is out

At least he will be soon, after this video:

What the HELL was he thinking? I can tell you one thing, the smaller the field gets, the more of a chance Paul has. You can bet that this was a desperation attempt to get some sort of recognition in the polls.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Cost of the Iraq War, National Debt, and Entitlements

Brought to you by Boston.com

  • Nearly 4,000 Newton North High Schools
  • 40 Big Digs
  • Almost 18 months' worth of free gas for everyone
  • Many, many environment-friendly cars on the road
  • Nearly 14 million years' worth of tuition, room, and board at Harvard
  • More than a year's worth of Medicare benefits for everyone
  • A looong contract for Dice-K
  • A real war on poverty
The grand total thus far? $611 billion. I sure do love taxes. When asked how they would spend the money, individuals replied with some interesting, and often quirky messages:

  • Bag 'o weed.
  • I'd buy a clue for every wingnut.
  • Two (2) one-way (1-way) tickets to Guantanamo Bay for Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, including all meals, a spiffy orange jumpsuit, and daily waterboarding.
  • Peace on Earth and Goodwill towards All.
I would like to point out: while violence may have a cost, peace cannot be bought in terms of dollars. It is going to take a little more than that out of all of us.
  • ld provide health insurance for 365,800,000 children for a year. This is a pro-rated number from costofware.com, based on the current request for $611 billion.
The message from this individual contains a typo. The actual site is here.
  • You know, that's a great idea! Even better, if we then split it up and gave every US family $10,000,000, then no one in this country would ever have to work again, 'cause we could all live comfortably off the interest.
It astounds me as to how little people know about economics. If we all had that much money, what do you think would happen to the cost of goods? Most people would go broke before the inflation hit them, and next thing you know, you're homeless.
  • I would buy $611 billion dollar's worth of Dialectical Behavioural Therapy for every one of the right-wing BPD sufferers out there who cannot seem to be able to break free from their mental illness long enough to have a single compassionate thought. Either that or I would move every last one of these right-wing sociopaths to Iraq, where they could rant all they want ... to a radical cleric or two.
I would like to take a moment to point out that just because I'm Libertarian, does not make me incapable of compassion. I wish you liberals had more compassion for my wallet, and for hard work, instead of undermining the labor value of others to carry out unethical entitlement programs. kthx.
  • The issue differentiating "conservative" and "liberal" is population turnover. Conservatives believe as many people as possible should be born, and that once born they should die as quickly as possible, while liberals believe in a lower birth rate and longer life expectancy.
No, conservatives believe that individuals should EARN their property, respect Life, and be largely left ALONE by the state, and by others. Liberals believe that there are no property rights, just the right to other's properties; they also believe that men who do not want to be dads should pay child support, but women who do not want to be moms can abort babies (with or without dads input). They also believe that the state has a role in everything you do, so long as it makes everyone equal.

Ok, I agree we can buy a lot of great things with this money. I completely disagree with just about all of the people who replied too. But do you know what the best use for this money is? GIVE IT BACK!

If we spent it any other way, it would only serve to propagate the twisted entitlement system we have in the U.S. today. I am surprised that liberals don't like the Iraq war, since it seems to be an entitlement program for Iraqi's. I guess they aren't as compassionate as they like to think.
This money would be better spent by it's rightful owners: YOU. Taxes are high enough, when are we going to be able to see the fruits of our labor manifest in the things WE want?

Besides, most of this money wasn't from taxes, it was printed out of thin air. Now we get to pay the interest plus inflation as the debt ceiling has to get raised again and again to facilitate the current debt level.

As if I already didn't like Mike Huckabee:

I now have even further reason to NOT vote for him. Thanks to Jason Pye at the Liberty Papers for the video:


And how bout that Giuliani? Not so much either:

And what about Thompson, the great hope? Not so great.

Guess who has NEVER voted to raise taxes?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Chavez told to "Shut up" by Spanish King

Chavez, while at a summit for leaders of Latin America, Portugal, and Spain, called the former Spanish Prime Minister a "fascist" and said that a snake is more human than he is.

Aznar, a conservative who was an ally of Bush as prime minister, "is a fascist," Chavez said in a speech at the Ibero-American summit in Santiago, Chile. "Fascists are not human. A snake is more human."

The current prime minister responded with tongue in cheek, saying:

"Former President Aznar was democratically elected by the Spanish people and was a legitimate representative of the Spanish people," he said, eliciting applause from the gathered heads of state.

The socialist dictator tried to respond but his microphone was off. At one point, the Spanish King had had enough:

Spanish King Juan Carlos, seated next to Zapatero, angrily turned to Chavez and said, "Why don't you shut up?"
For someone who holds practically autonomous control over the Venezuelan people and strangles freedom and individualism with brutality and violence against his own people, Chavez certainly has a lot to say.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Today in History: 11/9

I was three at the time, but I enjoy watching the videos of the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, the physical representation of East vs. West, Communism vs. Democracy. In the end, as always, freedom won.

Lets recall again what is wrong with communism:

Is Anti-Discrimination Anti-Freedom?

Doug Mataconis has an opinion I might not agree with for once. On employers discriminating on those who smoke at home:

Seigel obviously doesn’t want to be tagged with the word “discrimination”, but that’s because the word has become associated with things like racial and gender discrimination which are both illegal and subject to severe public disapproval. But discrimination merely means that one prefers one thing over another — if I like Diet Coke with Lime as opposed to all other soft drinks, I am discriminating against Diet Pepsi. Discrimination is a part of life because people make choices — it only becomes tagged with the connotation of being right or wrong because of value judgments that society makes about the preferences that someone has expressed.
And on the ENDA Act for LGBT non-discrimination in employment:

What they don’t need, what the rest of us don’t need, though, is the state stepping into private relationships in the manner that this bill does. Does that mean that some bigoted employer somewhere might fire someone because they’re gay ? Maybe, but why should the state concern itself with that ? We don’t live in the 1940s anymore, employers who do things like this are going to be found out and, in an era when most Americans are tolerant, they’re likely to face consequences for their actions in the marketplace.

Rather than protecting anyones rights, bills like this do nothing but reinforce the (false) idea that rights come from the state.

Ok, I understand what Doug is saying about the State's interference in private relationships. But how is this reinforcing any idea that rights come from the state? Rights are protected by the state, this being the highest reason for its existence.

I would argue that an individual ought to have the freedom from discrimination based on factors that do not have any effect on job performance. I think you would agree Doug that it is not right for me to be considered less important than a minority in employment or school admissions because of the fact that I am white, and I am male, and yet I have had a harder life than many people of color.

I know what you will say, about the state being involved, but the ethical matter here is not about the state. It is about the equal rights of individuals to pursue life, liberty, and property, and that the state has the role to protect the equal opportunity of all individuals. Notice I said opportunity, not outcome. The difference here is that all players have the same access to education and work, but it is up to them to secure it on merit.

All individuals have the right to life, liberty, and property, and any interference in this (be it via the state or otherwise) is immoral and counterintuitive to the goals of the U.S. Constitution and her founders. The fact of the matter is that two rights are at stake here: the right of individuals to equal opportunity based on merit, and the right of property owners to employ whomever they wish. I think you will agree that the consequences of choosing the former will be relatively insignificant on the latter, but in reversal, consequences are much more noticeable and severe.

This applies to individuals who smoke at home just as much. I can understand the conflict when employers cover your health insurance, but outside of this I see severe ethical and political ramifications. I think we need to consider that the state is not the only entity that can rule over individuals. I am assuming you are a Libertarian, but I think it is important for Libertarians to understand in these times that there is a role of the state to protect individuals from individuals, as well as corporate or small business entities. I do not advocate forcing employers to hire individuals, however, I am finding considerable conflict with the way you posit that employers should be able to discriminate on any level they want.

This is all I have for now; hopefully Doug will respond, because I really enjoy his writing and I would like to see his defense.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

At least he's not hiding it anymore!

From the AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Thursday that economic growth will slow noticeably in coming months while surging oil costs will raise inflation pressures. But he said the economy is nowhere close to the stagflation nightmare of the 1970s and he predicted an economic rebound by mid-2008.

Testifying before the Joint Economic Committee, Bernanke acknowledged a host of problems facing the economy, from a deeper-than-expected housing slump to a lingering credit crunch and now sharply rising oil prices and a falling value of the dollar, both of which increase inflation threats.
I am glad that the Chairman is finally acknowledging the faults of the economy, although it certainly isn't helping Wall Street:

After falling by as much as 200 points, the Dow Jones industrial average closed out another difficult trading session down 33.73 points at 13,266.29. That decline followed a 360.92-point plunge on Wednesday, which had been the third drop of more than 350 points in the past month.
Wall Street will come back. In fact, the reason Wall Street was doing so well before was just because those idiots were giddy over the multiple interest rate cuts, as well as the liquidity that occured in the summer. These guys think they are entitled to central planning in their favor, but when the realization that government doesnt always know best hits them, they dump their savings. I suppose the question that logically follows then is: Does Wall Street run largely on a centrally-planned economy? If so, then what a sad age we live in.

I am going to tell you right now, Wall Street will rebound. But I don't know how sustainable it will be when you consider that two big-spending holidays are coming up, and that quarterly reports are going to be far less than average. This will prompt further degradation of stock value, but hopefully at this time, the price for oil will have dropped. We cannot forget the importance of the value of oil in our calculations of the economy. Face it, oil is the blood that serves our economy.

I am not too worried though about oil becoming a burden on the markets. As long as capitalism reigns, the market will adapt. Therefore, this may be a good thing, since it will spur innovation for renewable and cheap resources that in the end will ween us from the stranglehold of OPEC.

Bernanke said he and his colleagues believe economic activity will "slow noticeably in the fourth quarter" compared with the 3.9 percent pace of the third quarter, reflecting the impact of higher energy prices, tighter credit and continuing weakness in housing will have on consumer spending. Many analysts believe growth could be as weak as 1.5 percent in the current quarter.
SLOW NOTICEABLY? My friends, 1.5% is a RECESSION!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Chavez "reforms" the Constitution

All of the worst things have been done in the name of socialism and nationalism:

Mr Ch├ívez says that the reform, which follows his victory in a presidential election last December, is imperative to entrench his “revolution”. As unveiled by him in August, the reform affected fewer than a tenth of the 350 articles in the 1999 constitution (which the president himself inspired). But the assembly has added a further 36 articles.
What changes were made?

At the heart of the reform is an increase in the presidential term, from six to seven years, and the removal of term limits...

[...]

The reform also allows the president to dispose of the country's international reserves as he sees fit, and to declare any part of the country a “federal territory”, ruled directly from the presidential palace. Another change will allow the president to declare an indefinite state of emergency and suspend the right to information and to elements of due process.
More from the AP:

"Today the Venezuelan people have a pencil in their hands to write their own history, and it's not going to be the history of the elite," said pro-Chavez lawmaker Earle Herrera.
Really? When one man holds ownership over the means of production and distribution and holds possibly indefinite power, this is not elitism? Socialism and Communism do not get rid of classes, they make them worse. This time though, it's a division between the Socialist ruling elite (government), and the "common" people. I wonder how much "distribution" Chavez gives to himself...

Theres still hope though:

The 69 changes to Venezuela's Constitution now go to citizens for a Dec. 2 vote.

Venezualans can hope that the "vote" isn't rigged.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

4.2 Million, Innovation, and the Flat World

A first glance, I was unhappy with Ron Paul's campaign for organizing a fundraising campaign on the date of a notorious terrorist plot. However, it seems that it was organized by an individual outside of the campaign without Ron Paul's knowledge. Tucker Carlson had Paul on his show today to talk about the 4.2 MILLION he raised in just one day:


The Politico has more on the actual man that did it:

Trevor Lyman came from nowhere this week to earn a spot in fundraising lore by engineering a reported $4 million day for Ron Paul’s dark horse Republican presidential campaign.

But the 37-year old political novice from Miami Beach isn’t done yet.

Lyman, who over the span of about three weeks oversaw an unprecedented online campaign that solicited pledges for small contributions to have been delivered Monday is planning another Paul fundraising push over the weekend of Dec. 15 and 16.
What days are these? None other than the Bill of Rights Day, and the Boston Tea Party, as if this could be of any surprise. Lyman knew what he liked about Ron Paul, and because of this he knew exactly what others wanted. Capitalism at it's finest: the consumer knows best.

But we cannot consider the success of this movement without considering the very structural framework that supports it.

Thomas Friedman said that the Internet has been integral in transforming the playing field into one that is "flat." This is a prime example of the leveling of the field for Ron Paul and his supporters, who, although widespread and seemingly small, are formidable when brought together by the World Wide Web. It is hard to imagine such a movement a decade ago, much less four years ago. And as the world gets smaller and smaller I have one question: could this be a trend for the future?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Ron Paul is Raking in the Dough!

I don't know how he did it, but he is currently at nearly 6.1 million as of 6:22 PM. Wow. Whether you are a Ron Paul fan or not, you have to admit this is amazing. I know I'll see something about this on Morning Joe tomorrow before I head off to my meeting. There's no way the media can miss this one.

Could Ron Paul possibly make it to 12 Million by December? If so, what will this mean for the campaign?

I think if he can pull of a strong showing in the primaries (preferably ahead of Huckabee), than he has a chance. However, if he cannot beat Huckabee while coming in first or second, he doesn't have a prayer, and I can almost bet that the Republicans will go with Huckabee as the nominee.



Here is the official website for the "This November 5th" campaign. Im not sure if I particularly like the idea of a donation campaign centered around an attempted terrorist attack in the 1600's.

Lets Talk About "Greed"

by Julian Edney
After thirty years of deregulation, cutting back social programs and promoting free market ways, elements of a frontier-style economy are reappearing in America. The profit line, and uncertainty, rule. This, according to Peter Gosselin, is the result of the laissez-faire ideal which has been promoted since the 1970s and was accelerated under President Reagan (1).
Laissez-faire? Where? Last time I checked, we are regulated and taxed to the point of businesses going under. It's funny how liberals complain about big corporations, but they favor taxes and regulations that undermine the ability of smaller businesses to exist.
Free marketers proudly point: there is freedom in this new volatility. It is a more open system so each person can rise on his merit. But these personal boom-and-bust cycles leave less in the bank. Caught in a downdraft, with rent or mortgage still due, the worker must borrow. Across the nation, personal debt is up.
This is not the fault of deregulation. In fact, it is government borrowing that causes even more inflation, and guess who pays that difference? You do. So by deregulating and cutting spending, you have more money to spend, and in this way, you aren't caught by government induced inflation. You have more to spend and less to borrow. Another problem is not the market itself, but the fact that we have a centrally planned economy in a sense. You can thank the Federal Reserve for that.

Cheating has always occurred, but Callahan traces a marked increase since 1970s. He says it’s connected to the free market ethic. It jumped after President Reagan was elected in 1980 and in the subsequent hands-off policy, led by the belief ‘business knows best,’ it has infected all sectors. Now there is a kind of lawlessness in economic life.

It’s not just erasing inconvenient numbers on a tax form. Callahan cites evidence that eighty percent of high school students with A averages admit to some kind of academic cheating. And a fifth [!] of all job applicants’ resumes contain fictional college degrees.


Cheating comes from a free market? So in that sense, Communism would eradicate cheating! Maybe people are cheating because our school systems are failing our children (Because they are GOVERNMENT run), or maybe because taxes have become such a burden and impossible to file without help (once again, a problem of government).
The free market system, which generates great wealth, is running on a clutter of bizarre contradictions. Our nation is touted as a nation of abundance, yet it is a nation in which scarcities are common, and man-made, because scarcity creates value. It is a nation united, and the country is cleft. Everybody benefits from America’s business, but the poor are paying the price of the success at the top.
REALLY?? I thought it was the top that paid the bulk of taxes? How many more entitlements do you need?

The young generation is confident, assertive and independent. It puts self first, puts personal happiness before the group, and before duty. People in this age group do what will make them feel happy. They are nonpolitical, they don’t follow the news, they don’t want to vote. Unconcerned with developing a personal philosophy of life, they seem primarily concerned with making money.


This is true: we only care about ourselves...the problem is however, that most of us want to use others to get what we want. People who demand their "right" to your money, your wealth, your hard work; and yet, they do not recognize your right to property. The author is wrong in this way: it would be a blessing if the selfishness of the new generation was based on self-ownership. However, it has been extended to involve the leeching of resources from those who are wealthy for no other reason than that they "deserve it."

Rand excoriated communism, which deeply satisfied America of the ‘40s and ‘50s.

But some of her shouted-up public speeches were beyond antisocial, they were quite poisonous – in general, she urged against compromise because it was a sign of weakness. With her public rhetoric she scrambled to establish herself as a philosopher with a work she called Objectivism. Philosophers have rejected her. Economists have not.

Her work endlessly promotes selfishness. “It is only on the basis of selfishness . . . that men can live together in. . . . society”(36). And it indefatigably puts down altruism as a vice.


You know that when you involve Ayn Rand in the argument, it is a declaration of War. The author is distorting Rand's arguments. Her Objectivist philosophy allowed for selfishness without using others as means, a spin off of the categorical imperative. The characters in her books were largely overexaggerated and insane, but she used them to get a point across. I think we can find that many Rand followers are not ANTI-social; rather they are anti-SOCIALIST.

This is to say that Randians follow the idea that one who works for something, has earned it. That this property cannot be claimed by any others, and that one cannot demand ownership of the property of others. If the author is advocating an ethic of slavery, theft, and utilitarianism (shudder), than their claim to moral superiority is moot. Their soap box is disintegrated. If I am to find any system in which individual rights and morality are ignored, to the chains of mob mentality and entitlement, then I ought not look any farther than Marxism.

True Greed lies in those who demand property they will not work for.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

We Love the Nanny State!

Farm Subsidies and Corporate Welfare:

The farm bill that helped Henning expires later this year and lawmakers are shaping the next version that would cost $288 billion over the next five years. The bill will provide aid for farmers throughout the country, including Washington, where agriculture has remained the state's biggest employer for decades.

First of all, if Henning was going under in the first place and needed assistance that badly, it was for one of two reasons: Either he was just not worthy to be in the market and needed to adjust, OR, the subsidies that are given out to big farms were driving prices down and strangling small farms.

It could be a combination of both, but now, with the new bill, all kinds of local, big, and incompetent farmers can ALL get welfare! Hooray!

But local farmers who grow fruits, vegetables and nursery products could soon get more federal help to sell their produce and recover faster from disasters.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said a new feature that would set aside $850 million in disaster relief is important for Western Washington farmers.

{...}

"Farmers are good at farming," Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., said. "They didn't get into farming to become marketing professionals."


No, farmers provide goods and services. Therefore, they are in a market, and if they don't know what they are doing, or don't have a professional to help, then they deserve to go under and not leech from taxpayers.

Even more on this from I Call BS!

Are We Rattling Sabers Over Nothing?

Despite President Bush's claims that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons that could trigger ''World War III,'' experts in and out of government say there's no conclusive evidence that Tehran has an active nuclear-weapons program.

Even his own administration appears divided about the immediacy of the threat. While Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney speak of an Iranian weapons program as a fact, Bush's point man on Iran, Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns, has attempted to ratchet down the rhetoric.

Objections to the hype over Iran are understandable when considering the propaganda campaign that built up the case for the invasion of Iraq. I'm not too happy with the escalation our administration has been taking in dialogue with Iran, it seems fairly unnecessary at the moment. Furthermore, one must look at our other military engagements at the moment in calculating our ability to stop Iran from acheiving a nuclear weapon.

Nevertheless, there are many reasons to be skeptical of Iran's claims that its nuclear program is intended exclusively for peaceful purposes, including the country's vast petroleum reserves, its dealings with a Pakistani dealer in black-market nuclear technology and the fact that it concealed its uranium-enrichment program from a U.N. watchdog agency for 18 years.


Once again, we have no reason to trust Iran, the people who just today were chanting, "Death to America."

Students burned the Stars and Stripes outside the leafy compound in downtown Tehran that once housed the U.S. mission stormed by radical students on November 4, 1979, almost 10 months after the U.S.-backed shah left into exile.

{...}

"We came here to show America that it cannot do a damn thing and the Iranian nation will destroy them if they invade our country," said Mostafa Jafarizadeh, 16.
If this is supposed to be any indicator of Iran's feelings toward the U.S., maybe we are justified in rattling sabers, especially when we consider the actions they have been taking in Iraq:

An Iranian proposal for troops from Iran, Syria and other Arab states to replace U.S. forces in Iraq was swiftly rejected and ridiculed yesterday at a high-level gathering of Iraq's neighbors and world powers.
First, they are found to be involved in the handoff of IED's and other supplies to insurgents in Iraq. Now they are asking to take over Iraq with the help of other terrorist supporting states? Hopefully this will put everything into perspective. I still don't know how I feel about an invasion of Iran. However, I do not believe this will happen, mostly for sensitivity to oil prices and the understanding that overall, Iran poses no security threat to the United States as of yet.

All Whites Are Racists?

Another Liberal-Run University has gone out of it's damn mind.

WND reports:

University of Delaware officials, who just a day earlier had defended a residence hall series of teachings on which WND reported that told students "all whites are racists," today announced the program is being stopped.

She said included among the school's teaching resources was the following: "A RACIST: A racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. 'The term applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality. By this definition, people of color cannot be racists, because as peoples within the U.S. system, they do not have the power to back up their prejudices, hostilities, or acts of discrimination….

I guess only white people can be racist...but wait! What about reverse racism? Surely this exists in the form of affirmative action, and other assaults on whiteness, right? I guess not:

The education program also notes that "reverse racism" is "a term created and used by white people to deny their white privilege." And "a non-racist" is called "a non-term," because, the program explains, "The term was created by whites to deny responsibility for systemic racism, to maintain an aura of innocence in the face of racial oppression, and to shift the responsibility for that oppression from whites to people of color (called 'blaming the victim')."
This is insane! Why is it that I am a racist by birth, just because of my "skin color," and that I cannot deny the fact that I am racist, for that would be denying my "white privilege." But wait, I was born poor, and lived in many homes over my life. I joined the Army to go to school, surely I do not have white privilege! Nope...by this definition, my skin color automatically means I should feel guilty every minute of my life for the sheer fact that people I never knew, owned people I never knew.

According to university materials, RAs under the program were told to ask students during one-on-one sessions questions such as: "When did you discover your sexual identity?" "When were you first made aware of your race?" and "Who taught you a lesson in regard to some sort of diversity awarness? What was the lesson?"

This particular student responded to the question, "When did you discover your sexual identity?" with the terse: "That is none of your damn business," FIRE said.

I would have said the same thing. It's also unconstitutional to force kids to accept some kind of ideology just to get admitted to a school, or housing on campus. The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is a University that continually strives for diversity in it's education and student body. I have felt a small amount of distaste for the idea that people should be counted and qualified by their skin color, no matter if they are white or not. I hope Parkside can maintain their integrity, and not find themselves down this road sometime in the future.

UN Envoy Visits Myanmar Today

Progress in Myanmar?

Envoy Ibrahim Gambari was on the second day of a mission to urge political reform and spur talks between the ruling generals and their pro-democracy opponents. It was his second visit since the junta violently suppressed anti-government demonstrations led by Buddhist monks in September.

{...}

The U.N.'s diplomatic initiative follows September demonstrations in which the military says 10 people were killed, but diplomats and dissidents say the death toll was much higher. Thousands of people were detained.


10 people?!?!? I think not--oh wait, these are government numbers. I was deeply moved by the monks in Myanmar protesting for democracy.

I HATE SOLIDAD O'BRIEN

And here you can see why:



Obviously an ideal example of OBJECTIVE journalism. How long are we willing to let the media be a rubber stamp for politicians, corporate influence, and liberalism? Is objective journalism dead?

The standards of objective journalism Lippmann painstakingly advocated in the early twentieth century, and which were adopted as ideal goals by major news organizations in midcentury, have long since been traduced, trampled, and trashed.
{...}

"For in an exact sense the present crisis of western democracy is a crisis of journalism," Lippmann wrote.
It really is sad that our media has become so biased that we cannot even PRETEND that they are objective anymore. Just look at the sneering faces O'Brien was making towards Paul. Listen to Hannity or O'Reilly and tell me that they are objective. Listen to the Ultra-Liberal tirade of that kook Keith Olbermann. Is there anywhere to go for factually and objectively shaped HARD news? I have a few places I like to go for relatively non-biased news. Another help is that if you want to know the "facts," read peer reviewed scholarly articles and documents.

Reuters
Associated Press
C-SPAN
Bloomberg
Yahoo!
Google
BBC News

And if you are looking for BIASED journalism towards my kind of slant, take a look at the links on the right side of the page under "my suggestions."

Saturday, November 3, 2007

For those who are not quite aquainted with the classic liberal philosophy






Or for those who would like to watch the expanded edition

Colbert is out

The South Carolina Democratic Party has decided that Colbert is not a serious candidate and therefore is not welcome on the ballot for the primaries.

The Democrats had to decide whether they considered Colbert to be a bona fide Democrat who is nationally viable and has spent time campaigning in the state.

A South Carolina-based lawyer who was working to get Colbert’s name on the Democratic ballot could not immediately be reached for comment, nor could members of the executive council that made the decision.

Colbert could still run as an independent in the general election, though he’d have to collect 10,000 signatures to get on the ballot, said Chris Whitmire, a spokesman for the State Election Commission.
I highly doubt he will run as an independent. I think he will realize the joke is over and it's time to go back to being a faux O'Reilly.

Farm Subsidies

Interesting article from Good Medicine Magazine:
























The Farm Bill, a massive piece of federal legislation making its way through Congress, governs what children are fed in schools and what food assistance programs can distribute to recipients. The bill provides billions of dollars in subsidies, much of which goes to huge agribusinesses producing feed crops, such as corn and soy, which are then fed to animals.

Congress looking to override veto on $23 billion water bill

WASHINGTON -- President Bush delivered his threatened veto of a $23-billion water bill Friday, but Congress is virtually certain to reverse it in the first override of a Bush veto.

And Bush and the Democratic-controlled Congress are moving closer to a federal budget showdown that could result in more vetoes.

{...}

The bill would authorize more than 900 projects, such as restoration in the Florida Everglades and the replacement of seven Depression-era locks on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois rivers that farm groups say is crucial for shipping grain.

{...}

Democrats pounced on the veto to portray Bush as out of touch with domestic priorities.

"When we override this irresponsible veto, perhaps the president will finally recognize that Congress is an equal branch of government and reconsider his many other reckless veto threats," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
Thank God Bush vetoed the bill. It sounds to me like a compilation of every congress person's pet projects and earmarks all wrapped into one bill.

On another note, just because Congress is an equal branch of government, that does not mean that Bush can't veto. The veto isn't irresponsible anyways, it's the bill that is irresponsible by appropriating 23 billion in taxes to projects that are blown way out of proportion and many could be done by the states or even certain ones by the private sector.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Guess What? Fed Cuts Interest Rates Again.

From MSNBC.com:

...cut interest rates for the second time in six weeks signifying that the central bankers — for the moment — are more concerned with the recent turmoil in the financial markets and possible weakness in the economy than with fighting inflation.

Despite a report showing stronger-than-expected economic growth in the third quarter, the Fed cut the benchmark overnight rate a quarter-point to 4.5 percent, and made a similar quarter-point cut in the less-important discount rate. The move had been widely anticipated by financial markets, as futures traders had placed bets on a quarter-point cut.

No, they're just trying to ease investors who had a really bad day when they thought the cut wouldn't happen.

To emphasize the point, the FOMC highlighted concerns about higher oil and other commodity prices and said the central bank would “continue to monitor inflation developments carefully.”

The careful choice of words was seen by some as a sign that the central bank is trying to avoid the impression that its policy decision placed the interests of the finacial markets ahead of the its broader mandate to promote economic growth and stable prices.

In other words...the Fed placed Wall Street before you or me. Surprised?

“Expectations are that the holiday season will be relatively flat,” said John Lonski, chief economist at Moody’s Investor Service. “And as we look ahead, we don’t have a strong reason to believe that hiring activity will be strong enough to offset the weakness from possibly lower home prices.”

Just like I said, Christmas is going to be an indicator of the future. If we don't see strong enough growth on Christmas, the markets are going to suffer.

Ron Paul getting some good media



Ron Paul now currently leads Fred Thompson and Mike Huckabee in New Hampshire. What could this mean for the Paul campaign? Well, it's been quite obvious that he has been fairing even better in straw polls and things of that nature than in telephone polls. His base is organized and energetic, and will make a showing in NH en masse. Will it be enough to take First or Second? Maybe not, but one thing is for sure: He will make more than 7%, and subsequently shock the news media. Also, the way that he spends money conservatively might allow him to go the distance and capitalize on exposure even if he doesn't win one of the top two spots.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Planet in Peril? Not so fast:

David Horowitz on the Liberal Media:

LiveLeak.com:


Once a prominent supporter of Marxism and a member of the New Left in the 1960s, Horowitz later rejected Leftism and is now on the right of the political spectrum. David Horowitz is an American conservative writer and activist. He is a founder of the David Horowitz Freedom Center (formerly the Center for the Study of Popular Culture), and has served as president of that organization for many years. He is the editor of the conservative website FrontPage Magazine, and his writings can also be read on prominent news sites and publications, including the conservative magazine NewsMax. He founded the activist group Students for Academic Freedom and is affiliated with Campus Watch.