Thursday, December 31, 2009

Monty Python: Philosophers World Cup

Monday, December 28, 2009

More Ominous Thoughts

The fact that God loves us does not spare us from tribulation, especially when tribulation is due.

There is a difference between "Change you can believe in" and change that I would prefer.

Alas, it's time for a reckoning. The bills say "In God We Trust," but not even God will float a fiat currency forever.

While Time Magazine worships its golden calf (i.e. Bernake), we will reap the whirlwind.

And when it comes, who will stand to account for it?

Not those responsible for it. It will be you and me. All of this Wall Street v. Main Street nonsense has to go. It's us v. Pennsylvania Avenue.

Forboding Thoughts

The republic becomes an empire when power is centralized and the concerns of the people are subordinate to the whims of an emperor or oligarchical ruling class.

Look at all that has been done in the name of "national security."

Look at the supposed health care "reform."

Everywhere, it's the same thing. You and your rights become smaller and ever less significant a player.

How's your goose step, folks? Because you'll need it unless you awake from your slumber, discard your soma, see the slogans for the propaganda that they are, and the demagogues for the tyrants they are. It is time to act!

A peaceful revolution at the ballot boxes would be my ideal scenario. However, civil disobedience ala Thoreau (think "counter-friction") isn't beyond my inclinations.

I cannot envision a scenario when a violent revolt will result in anything good. It may come to that, simply because we cannot accomplish any other option and cannot stand to remain idle. If it does, however, then I bow my head in regret.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Two Things: Bernake and Terrorists

First, Ben Bernake wins Time Magazine's Person of the Year Award.

From the article:

Time claims,
He knew how the passive Fed of the 1930s helped create the calamity — through its stubborn refusal to expand the money supply and its tragic lack of imagination and experimentation.

And later,
He wishes Americans understood that he helped save the irresponsible giants of Wall Street only to protect ordinary folks on Main Street.

Basically, Time claims that Bernake's Fed made sure that the inevitable recession was much less worse than it could have been. They site the current unemployment rate of10% to be better than 25%, which suggests that if Bernake had done something different then the unemployment rate would be two and a half times worse.

Really, Time? This is a bold and ironic claim since Fed policy actually created the recession in the first place, and its current policies will ensure future hardships. Please note that history does not confirm Time's assessment, nor is Time's assessment even possible to confirm.

Don't believe me? Read some history on it by an author whose goal is not to support an oligarchical political economy. Bob Murphy's Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal. Of course, you might first want to look at the same author's Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism.

If you wonder why Dr. Murphy's research verifies claims that are not taught in public schools and universities, consider the fact that Murphy's research verifies claims that suggest reducing the power of the organization in charge of dictating what gets taught at public schools and universities.

If you like it, consider reading other economists of the "Austrian School": Menger, Mises, Hayek, Rothbard, etc. Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson is another very good start. If you don't want to pick it up from Amazon, then download it free in PDF form here.

Of course, Time hasn't always honored good men with this award. In 1938, they recognized Adolf Hitler as "Man of the Year." However, in fairness to Time, they did not honor Hitler by bestowing upon him the award. They simply recognized him as the most man with the most significant impact on world events,and they identify this impact as unsettling.

In light of this, perhaps Bernake deserves to be recognized as "Person of the Year," but not for the reasons cited by Time.

Second, a terrorist tried to ignite a fire on board a Delta plane en route to Detroit. However, he was foiled by passengers when he ignited his chemical concoction.

The man made it past the TSA inspectors even though he had contraband and the feds had been warned of this man's dangerous inclinations.

So, all of these new powers to the federal government to save us from terrorists, and its the guy in an adjacent seat who stops what could have been a devastating attack on Christmas.

Way to go, federal government! If it hadn't been for all of your powers, regulations, and copious would have turned out exactly the same way.

Friday, December 18, 2009

My Wee Ones

An Odyssey (not "The Odyssey," but an Odyssey Nonetheless)

On Tuesday morning, about 1 A.M., my two year old woke us up with a tapping on his door, as is his custom, though he does not usually rise until between 7:30 and 9 A.M.

I opened his door and found him in some kind of distress. I picked him up and patted his back, but I could not console him. I brought him into bed with me, where he proceeded to toss and turn so relentlessly that my wife elected to move onto the couch.

I couldn't get the little tyke to settle down, He kept thrashing about as if in extreme discomfort, so I pulled him to my chest and held him tight. Just as he seemed to be settling down, his head popped up, he said something unintelligible, and then abruptly vomited on my chest.

I'll spare you the gory details, but it should suffice to say that it wasn't a cute little spit-up. It had a great deal of mass and volume to it.

Oh, and it smelled of strawberries.

Rotten, putrid, stinking strawberries.

Although it was against my typical instincts, I tried to keep it coming on me in order to spare the sheets and bedspread. As there was a great deal of splashing and squirming, I was not successful in this endeavor.

I called for my wife, but even her relatively quick response was nowhere near quick enough. I handed Robbie over to her and sat up. I nearly tossed my own cookies when I felt chunks of partially digested food fall from my chest to my lap, but I held fast and managed to get undressed so as not to drip anything on the floor.

I rushed to the shower and washed both me and the boy. I changed my clothes and stripped the bed, all the while my wife held and rocked Robbie--who, as it turned out, wasn't done puking.

I agreed to call in sick for work if my wife would stay up with Robbie. This turned out to be a pretty good deal, since she was up with him until 5 A.M., and I was able to catch a few winks before the older kids had to be roused for school. Even better, Robbie seemed to be in good health the next morning. He took an awfully long nap to boot.

But this is not the happy ending that you might have suspected.

Fast forward to Wednesday night, around 9 P.M. My wife and I are settling down to watch Criminal Minds, a show that irritates me because it involves FBI agents who work almost exclusively outside of their jurisdiction. Also, they're just supposed to be profilers, but the show has them executing search warrants, arresting and interrogating suspects. But I digress.

Mark (age 6) had gone to bed complaining of a stomach ailment, but he seemed to be doing all right. I also felt a bit off, but not remarkably so. I figured that I was just tired. I had no idea of what was coming. As proof of this, I had just made arrangements with BAR to drop him off at the office in the morning. Still, asCriminal Mindsworked up to its climax, so did my queasiness. Unfortunately, Mark had the "puke bowl," so I was left to lunge for the kitchen sink.

What transpired was a lesson in the communicability of viruses. Whatever had stricken Robbie had stricken me. I spent the next hour in the bathroom with (shall we simply say) duel stomach maladies. About half-way through my ordeal, from my porcelain vantage I heard a sudden ruckus in Mark's room. What sounded at first like a cough degenerated into an all too familiar sound.

Showers again, and an uncomfortable sleep followed. Mark and I shared my bed, and we were both plagued by alternating sweats and chills. We spent most of Thursday in bed, and only this morning felt anything resembling normal.

So why haven't I posted in nearly a week? Now you know.

And knowing is half the battle.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Just The Facts

Word of advice: when you don't consume fermented beverages for six months and then have several at a company party, it goes to your head.

That said, I have no post today.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Onion Report: Most College Males Admit To Regularly Getting Stoked

Oh my goodness. I just laughed so loud that I woke my kids up.

Report: Most College Males Admit To Regularly Getting Stoked

WSJ Opinion on Climategate

The WSJ published this opinion on Climategate. Either I read it while driving down a bumpy road, or I really was just nodding that much.

The Daily Show Clip: Obama Sends 30,000 More Soldiers to Afghanistan

I found this clip at Free Advice, but since I don't think that any of my regular readers (other than BAR) ever read Bob's blog, I figured I'd re-post it here.

Jon Stewart on Obama's decision to send 30,000 more soldiers to Afghanistan. Didn't he just win the Nobel PEACE prize? Who says that you can't have your cake and eat it too?

Watch the whole thing.


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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Pro-Capitalism Article on MSN Money

I can't believe it. I actually found a decent article on MSN Money.

The best way for government to create jobs? Get out of the way. It's also dirt cheap. Actually, it would reduce the cost of government, thereby easing budget problems.

So why isn't it even going to be discussed at Obama's "Jobs Summit"?

I think that you know the answer to that. Anything that results in less power for the federal government is pretty much off the table. And judging by so many of the comments posted below the article, too many people are either grossly misinformed, utterly ignorant, or flat out evil--and Socialism consists of all three. Orwell demonstrates as much in Animal Farm.

Jews Defend Muslims (in Switzerland)

The Swiss recently voted to ban the construction of minarets (tower-esque spires) typical to mosques.

Jewish groups have stepped up to defend Muslims
against what is clearly a form of religious and cultural discrimination. (As if the Jews have some kind of special knowledge about what happens when Europeans vent their fears and frustrations out on a distinctive religious minority).

Of course I found it ironic that Al Jazeera had the gall to ask that we
Imagine the furor that would certainly ensue should a country with an overwhelmingly Muslim population be asked to vote on whether its small Christian community should be allowed to build their churches according to a particular design or method, or whether they would rather do without the church bells sounding from time to time.

Yes, because predominantly Muslim countries are so renowned for their tolerance of other religions. And you're right, Al Jazeera. Muslim countries don't vote on that kind of thing because Muslim countries don't tend to vote. Way to point out that tyrannies would never have such a flawed electoral process. Fight the absurd with the absurd.

Of course, it's also interesting that we have Jews defending Muslim rights as long as those Muslims do not live in the Jewish state of Israel. Muslims in Switzerland have rights. Muslims in Gaza--now that's a different story.

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