Thursday, January 31, 2013

slippery slope


http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/whos_afraid_of_the_slippery_slope

http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/08/m-the_soul-crushing_scorched-earth_battle_for_gay_marriage.html
http://apologies.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/same-sex-marriage-slippery-slope-or-uphill-battle/

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110628074935AALlPl8

http://www.fallacyfiles.org/slipslop.html

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/slippery-slopes-are-not-always-a-fallacy/

http://onegoodmove.org/fallacy/ss.htm

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Slippery_slope

http://www.religiousforums.com/forum/philosophy/48192-slippery-slope-fallacy.html

http://jonathanturley.org/2012/06/09/the-slippery-slope/


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Elections to the Imperial Senate

I don't think I have the energy to tackle the recent article about throwing away our Constitution.  We can either amend what we have or we could have a convention; but I don't see how it makes sense to rewrite the whole thing because it's just too hard to have a consensus for amending it.  If we can't form a consensus to amend it ...

Anyway,  I've had several passing thoughts about institutional changes that could be done through amendment, if not permitted by the current revision of the Constitution.

I've conjectured recently about better representation by the House of Representatives, and even conjectured about a third house of Congress (which might not need an amendment since the IPAB is supposedly Constitutional).

Now my thoughts turn to the Senate.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The House Is Not Representative

I've been thinking of a way that a large state would have its people better represented by its Congressional Representatives and guard against the abuses of biased redistricting.  I'm thinking that the single-member district idea isn't the best we can do.

So here it is:

First, the simple version:  Proportional Representation.  Each qualified party (last election there were 7 in California) has a primary in which the party's candidates are ranked.

All the Representatives for the state are being determined at the same time.   If the Green Party gets 11% of the Proportional votes, approximately 11% of the Representatives will be chosen from their top ranked candidates (probably the top 4 candidates).  If the Libertarian Party gets 17% they might get their top 7 candidates in.  (I believe this is called party list proportional representation.

Second, the feature of Party Seats.   Let's say that 10 of the 53 Representative seats are Party Seats.  The top 10 political parties as determined by state membership each get one of these seats.  Which would mean 7 seats currently filled this way in California.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Benghazi A Terrorist Attack? The Fog of War Denial

"With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided to kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?" ~ Secretary Clinton
At this point...  at this point?  Now that the Americans have been dead for months?  Now that we're finally in a position to get answers?  Now that the election is over and it's too late for the truth to matter?  Hillary says, "I did not say ... that it was about the video for Libya."  But with the father of the slain Navy SEAL: "[s]he mentioned that the thing about, we’re going to have that person arrested and prosecuted that did the video."  Yep, we'll bring the responsible person to justice.

The emergency security force dispatched as reinforcements were held up at the Libyan airport for hours.  I don't think the memorial service for Tyrone Woods (where Hillary told his father that they'd nab the maker of the video) took place the very next day.  But: "Within 24 hours of the attack taking place, Washington was informed by a variety of intelligence sources that the attack had indeed been pre-planned and was undoubtedly the work of al-Qaeda which, apart from attacking the consulate, had also attacked the CIA's safe house in Benghazi."

And the State Dept. supposedly had a live feed to the events (though neither Barack nor HiIlary say the seven-hour siege in real time); the surveillance record of which did not show any demonstration.  Not to mention, Obama following up with his "blaspheme the prophet" speech.  If a video wasn't to blame, what the hell does it matter whether some hack doesn't give the Prophet (may he be blessed) his due respect?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Slavery now sold as freedom in the Democrat plantation


In Hillary Clinton's Own Words
“When you look at the way the House of Representatives has been run, it has been run like a plantation and you know what I'm talking about…” — Hillary Clinton *

“He's gonna put y'all back in chains!”
   —  Joseph Biden *

“How dare you discount these men? Liberal policies of the last 50 years bear no responsibility for causing the nation's black out-of-wedlock birth rate to go from 25 percent in 1965 to 72 percent today? However you feel about "black conservatives," their viewpoint deserves airing. ”
  —  Larry Elders *

“For decades, "sex education" has been sold as a way to reduce teenage pregnancy and venereal disease. But incessant repetition is not a rational argument, whether for "sex education" or for generic "change." Before propaganda against traditional values regarding sex was introduced into the public school under the label of "sex education" in the 1960s, both teenage pregnancy and venereal disease had been going down for years.  In 1960 the rate of infection for syphilis, for example, was only half of what it had been in 1950.  But teenage pregnancy and venereal disease were pictured as the problems for which "sex education" was the solution. In reality, the long downward trend in both not only ended, but rose dramatically, after new attitudes toward sex were promoted in the schools under the guise of educating students.”
      — Thomas Sowell * 
 
“Today, less than 40 percent of black children live in two-parent families, compared to 70 percent and 80 percent in earlier periods. Illegitimacy, at 70 percent, is unprecedented in black history. Between 1976 and 2000, over 50 percent of all homicides in the United States were committed by blacks, and 94 percent of the time, the victim was black. These are devastating problems, but are they caused by racism, and will spending resources fighting racial discrimination solve them?  Don't give me any of that legacy-of-slavery nonsense unless you can explain why all of these problems were not worse during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, at a time when blacks were much closer to slavery, were much poorer, faced more discrimination and had fewer opportunities.”        —  Walter Williams * 
“Some of the painful consequences of various "liberations" that began in the 1960s have included the disintegration of families, skyrocketing crime rates, falling test scores in school, and record-breaking rates of teenage suicide.  A long downward trend in teenage pregnancy and venereal diseases sharply reversed during the 1960s, starting a new trend of escalating teenage pregnancy and venereal diseases, climaxed later by the AIDS epidemic.Sometimes bad things happen because of adverse circumstances — poverty or war, for example. But our post-1960s social disasters occurred during a long period of peace and unprecedented prosperity. Murder rates, for example, were much lower during the Great Depression of the 1930s and during World War II than they became after various "liberating" changes in the 1960s.”
     —  Thomas Sowell  *
“I’ll have those n****rs voting Democratic for the next 200 years.” 
     —  Lyndon B. Johnson to two governors on Air Force One *  
“The term “Democrat Plantation” was no doubt coined by some Republican somewhere. It suggests that the Democratic party seeks to “enslave” the lower classes by providing government programs that make them increasingly dependent on the government. They then are indebted to the party that gives, and therefore vote for them to make sure that they don’t lose the little bit that they have. That’s what Johnson was talking about. ”Enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.” He would have African Americans voting for the Democratic party for 200 years if they offered the “helping hand” that they “needed.” Is it just a little frightening that it seems that he was right on target thus far?”
      —  csadm *
“The issue here is not gonna be a list of accomplishments. As you said yourself, Steve, you know, I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president — with the possible exceptions of [Lyndon B.] Johnson, F.D.R., and Lincoln.”
     —  Barack Hussein Obama

“… the Constitution allows for many things, but what it does not allow is the most revealing. The so-called Founders did not allow for economic freedom. While political freedom is supposedly a cornerstone of the document, the distribution of wealth is not even mentioned. While many believed that the new Constitution gave them liberty, it instead fitted them with the shackles of hypocrisy.”
     — Barack Hussein Obama *

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

MLK: Would Dr. King Be Rejected By Democrats?

First of all, Dr. King was a pastor that derived his ideas on civil liberties and just law from Judaeo-Christian tradition.  Which means he was against abortion.

The ultra-lefty Jezebel site does a "fact check" on Fox News by pointing out that Dr. King received an award from Planned Parenthood.  Well, then what gives?  The problem with that is that things change over the years.  Planned Parenthood, in the days before Roe v. Wade, was officially against abortion.   Dr. King, like most Protestants, was not against a responsible use of birth control (what he would've thought of passing  out condoms like Halloween candy is another matter), but was against abortion.
Those advocates of taking life prior to birth do not call it killing or murder; they call it abortion. They further never talk about aborting a baby because that would imply something human. Rather they talk about aborting the fetus. Fetus sounds less than human and therefore can be justified…
Oh wait, that was Jesse Jackson I just quoted (before he sold his soul to the Democratic party)!  Most of the civil rights ministers, er, leaders were pro-life like Dr. King, and the fact that it has been mostly black children eliminated by abortion was not lost on them either.  Unlike Joe Biden and the pre-1980 Jesse Jackson, Dr. King actually let his morals affect his politics.

And Dr. King, like many ministers in the black community today, didn't believe homosexuality was healthy choice or the most moral choice.  He advised against homosexuality, while embracing an arguably compassionate attitude. (I wish Dr. King were here -- Dan Savage could tell him how full of hate he was, and Rahm Emanuel could threaten to run him out of Chicago.)  He may well have known that his associate Bayard Rustin was homosexual, and I don't think that would have changed his regard for Rustin.

While Dr. King believed in social programs and redistribution, he also advocated a philosophy of color-blindness and personal responsibility which would be at odds with much of the Democratic Party philosophy today.  Dr. King wouldn't be eligible for the honor that was denied to Louie Giglio.

He'd be more at home in the Republican Party.  As ever he was.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

“this most precious, vital part of ourselves” — Obama in his own words



Obama had an interesting description of birth during his gun control speech at the vigil for the Newtown children.

“Someone once described the joy and anxiety of parenthood as the equivalent of having your heart outside of your body all the time, walking around. With their very first cry, this most precious, vital part of ourselves, our child, is suddenly exposed to the world, to possible mishap or malice.”

Let me get this straight: The "most precious, vital part of ourselves” is not exposed at first, and then suddenly becomes exposed to the world?  They didn't suddenly become precious and vital with “their very first cry"? They were already precious and vital before they were exposed to mishap and malice?  Got it.

It would seem that even though infanticide has been practiced by various cultures around the world, Barack feels no need to explain how “possible mishap or malice” to a baby “violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.”

And yet, one of Barack's assorted reasons for killing the Born Alive Infant Protection Act in Illinois was that “I [would] have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.”  You mean, a principle that was accessible to hard-core atheist Christopher Hitchens?  Barack would not be able to explain (since it is above his “pay grade,” one assumes) that what gets “exposed to the world, to possible mishap or malice” is the “most precious, vital part of ourselves.”  But wait, isn't that what he was explaining at the prayer vigil for the Newtown children when he said that essential liberty was not worth a situation where children's safety was at stake?


'Cuz he's so consistent...
But he explicitly made the sacrifice of babies the price of “abortion rights” (a “right” that was interpreted as part of a Constitutional right to privacy, unlike the very explicit Constitutional right for the People to be their own deterrent against tyranny), when he decided that having medical attention be guaranteed for survivors of “live birth abortion” (forcing early labor and then leaving the preemie to die) would set a bad legal precedent (see #1 and #10), and might cause a problem for the "right” that brings in money and votes for the Democrat political machine.

Barack intentionally voted to expose the “most precious, vital part of ourselves” to certain “mishap or malice,” because, as a great Constitutional law professor, he decided that that was the price of freedom.  Let freedom ring, since in the case of abandoning newborns to die, it apparently does not “violate some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths.”

Asked if he supported abortion all the way into the ninth month, Barack said blanketly, "I am pro-choice." And he balked at the idea of bringing in a second opinion if a baby shows signs of life following induced labor. It's completely unnecessary, he argued.  Hey, Barack, what if it could save just one life, hmmm?  I agree that at some point extra laws might not prevent terrible things, but "surely we can do better than this."  Are you going to say "that the politics are too hard"?  Are you going to say the painful death of babies "is somehow the price" of women's "freedom"?

Barack said of the little ones of Newtown, “God has called them all home.”  And what other little ones are being called home, Barack?  The ones you fought to not be saved lest Abortion-palooza not be possible?
“[As President he's] helping the country in a quasi-ministerial role, trying to bring meaning to an event that seems fundamentally meaningless.”*
Thank you, quasi-minister Obama, for helping us navigate the moral swamp in determining which children to protect, which rights are worth giving up, and which moral trade-offs are worth making.  Let us kiss your ring.


Monday, January 21, 2013

One Life Rule — All Tyranny Needs Is One Hostage

When Mr. Obama said at the Newtown prayer vigil that America wasn't doing enough to prevent gun crimes, he left it open-ended as to what would be enough.  While he acknowledged that there is some point at which preventive steps would prove ineffective, he went on to intone, "[i]f there is even one step we can take to save another child . . ."  Mr. Biden elaborated recently on this motif that we should do something (presumably at the expense of 2nd Amendment right — don't tell me "the politics are too hard"), even if it would potentially only save one more life than would otherwise be saved.

If a family member dies from any kind of gun-related accident, you can bet that the parents will second-guess the availability of the gun.  I know firsthand that  parents are capable of doing this without second-guessing the need for the Second Amendment.  But parents of victims are especially vulnerable to being used as props for a cause.  And that is certainly true for the Gun Control Issue.

When my own parents were thinking about gun availability, I was reminded of a sort of retroactive version of Sleeping Beauty.  If you recall, Aurora's royal parents decreed the destruction of all spinning wheels in order to prevent the fatal prophecy from coming true.  One can imagine a version of this in which the king and queen torment themselves over whether they should have destroyed the spinning wheels instead of simply trying to guard the princess on the fatal day.  As in real life, it turns out that the royal decree did not stop  the sorceress Maleficent from producing her own spinning wheel, as she did not pay much attention to the law.

In the story of Sleeping Beauty you never see how the kingdom suffers, particularly the peasants, in this preemptive measure to save one life.  The price of regular clothing would certainly be driven up for poor folks, making it harder to make ends meet.  Not to mention the citizens who suffered for bootleg spinning, as it would take some harsh penalties to deter them from saving many, many man-hours in clothing costs.  You have to make citizens into criminals in order to implement these safety regulations.

No Taxes on the Middle Class? The Ways Your Government Robs You Blind



(1) Number 1 tax on the middle class:  Inflation and Quantitative Easing.  Over the past five years the actual purchasing power of your earnings have been significantly reduced, at a faster rate than what normally occurs for inflation.  We've been through several rounds of Quantitative Easing, dramatic increases in inflation meant to artificially reduce reverberations in the economy from the latest crises.  It is really a hidden tax that allows the government to pay for things by taking the value from your dollars, rather than your actual dollars.

This hidden tax not only affects the value of what you earn, but the value of everything that you've saved.  It taxes the money you made years ago in addition to the money you're making now.  And it affects rich and poor (hurts the poor the most).  

You've been taxed a great deal over the last five years, and you probably don't even know it, because you forget that the dollar amounts in your bank statement don't mean what they used to mean a few years ago.  And while these taxes were a sort of flat tax, it wasn't levied by your Representatives and it didn't necessarily have your best interests at heart; and if this is cronyism, it sure hasn't gotten a lot of attention.  Why all your Democrat Representatives would have to do to fire you up about it is simply call it "crony capitalism."  But they haven't and you probably aren't.  The Occupiers will just have to occupy because the corporations are being all "corporationey."

(2) Not quite a tax but reduces your ability to buy:  Restricted oil production inflates gas prices and dramatically increases the price of nearly everything, since gas allows farms to be farmed and allows food and merchandise to be transported everywhere.  The energy need to produce and transport contributes to the price.  Decisions to prefer other nations (such as to develop their offshore oil rather than developing our own resources.  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Shifting Definitions of Legitimate Rape: Troubling Scenarios

After my "hilarious rape" post, my various posts about Todd Akin and the problem of defining "date rape,"  you might think that the subject of "rape" has been exhausted.  Boy, are you wrong!

Recently I mentioned the man (Charlie S.) who says that he has debilitating trauma from a woman date-raping him.  If this hadn't already been noteworthy enough, he was among those that said that Todd Akin's comments made him relive the trauma of his violation.

Example of Inappropriate Leftwing Rape Humor
Amanda Terkel commends Eric Holder's update of the definition of rape, but the aforementioned victim Charlie S. will be disappointed to know that the groundbreaking Attorney General Holder will not be including his sort of experience, apparently making his rape illegitimate.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Opportunism - Let no crisis/atrocity go to waste

Like I said before:



"Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest."
   — Mahatma Mohandas K. Gandhi* 


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Liberals Recommend Talking to Crazed Shooters

You know, either al Qaeda has put something in our drinking supply this year that is causing people (especially students) to go on shooting sprees, or the media is covering a lot more incidents.  Which do you think it is?

Another school shooting for this left-leaner to assert  how much smarter he is than the NRA.  This time few people died because the person was angry at a particular person rather than simply on a cold, deranged spree killing as many innocent bystanders as possible.

Get this:  Rather than being one of these deranged shooting sprees, this one was about retaliation.  Unlike the shooters at Aurora and Newtown, this one wasn't about harming as many people as possible. So they talked the shooter out of doing further harm.

Of course, talking's all they could do because the armed guard didn't show up that day.  (Could this kid have been waiting for a day the guard was likely to be snowed in?  Or was he counting on being able to put down his gun between the time he shot the person he came to kill and the time the guard arrived?)  Now, why couldn't the teachers at Newtown realize that you don't need a "good guy with a gun," you just needed to talk and listen?

Ummm. That blogger misses the point (and worked very hard to do so) that an armed guard only does good at a school if he actually shows up for duty.  If someone like the Newtown shooter had shown up while the guard had no back up, no one to stand in for him, this would have been another massacre.

Will either the loss of our liberty or the safety of our children "be the price" of not facing up to whether Big Pharma is doing more harm than good?  Notice how silent everyone is on that issue.  People clinging bitterly to their drugs.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Would Lincoln Oppose Gay Marriage?



Was it Barney Frank who said that two vs. three people in a marriage was a quantifiable distinction for marriage, unlike the difference between a female wife and a male "wife"?   This is the logic:  Let's change slightly(?) the definition of marriage to be about two people and forget the common law roots of a marriage contract between the two distinct parties with distinct obligations.  Still two people, so not really that weird, they say.

Same-sex marriage will lead to polygamy?  Pshaw!  No, we want to keep marriage just as it is, between two people.  Completely orthodox.  The only people who want more than one spouse are weird Mormon perverts, and we don't care about them.  

Oh, so you don't care about their marriage rights.  I see. I guess they don't have all that Hollywood money (and Hollywood propaganda) to advance their cause.  You don't want them undermining society and complicating our laws with their weirdo lifestyles, eh.  "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves."

Given Lincoln's strong backing of his party's anti-polygamy platform, it seems unlikely that he would have supported same-sex marriage.  (No, I'm not going to even get into the whole "Lincoln Was Gay" theory.)  Nobody made the argument then that polygamy would lead to same-sex marriage, because same-sex marriage was still universally considered a contradiction in terms, whereas polygamy was making a matter of making more commitments than the common law stated could be made in good faith.  Well, you may say, he was a man of his times in the Victorian age.

Click to enlarge
The National Republican Party's two moral planks:  anti-slavery and anti-polygamy.  (Both referred to as twin "relics of barbarism.")  It was all about legislating morality.  Did someone say that DOMA was the first intrusion of the federal government into marital policy?  Lincoln helped pass laws legalize confiscation of money from private bank accounts in the Utah territory as well as the anti-bigamy laws about which he purportedly told Brigham Young that these laws would not be executed on his people if they did not support the Confederacy.

Lincoln and his party very much believed in keeping marriage following its traditional common law roots.  The common law inherited from the British tradition, not the Bible, is what makes marriage law expect a limited number of marital commitments.

Given that, in superficial terms, the anti-polygamy stance was socially conservative* in the sense of preserving social values, while the anti-slavery issue was, for the South, a non-conservative* issue if conservative is , it would see that these issues have little in common other than determining the national morality through centralized federal power.  (*John J. Ray questions "the old equation of conservatism with a love of the status quo and a dislike of change and new arrangements." I avoid using "progressive" here to describe social change since this has nothing to do with the platform of the progressive movement, which would arise a few decades later, and the co-opting by liberal progressivism is incidental.)

In moderating his opinion on racial equality, Lincoln appealed to the following maxim, "A universal feeling, whether well- or ill-founded, can not be safely disregarded."  This intuition is largely behind our rules against pedophilia (well-founded in my opinion).  A splendid aphorism, though it doesn't itself explain Lincoln's political philosophy; and it could be that Lincoln's anti-bigamy fervor could have been more to sell himself better as a social conservative for those who would paint him as a radical.  For Spielberg, this would merely make Lincoln a shrewd politician.

In general, I don't think it makes any sense to talk about gay rights as a "civil rights" issue.  Comparing the issue of interracial marriage (brought to a head in Loving v. Virginia) to the issue of same-sex marriage is kind of an affront to polygamists (but who cares how those "perverts" feel).  It is the polygamist community that has been (and is) in danger of being brought up on criminal charges for cohabitation — not just for entering more than on marriage contract, not just for performing a "plural marriage" ceremony, but for living with more that one person.

A man/woman can have multiple partners, even extra-marital contacts, without being a felon, but a man can't live with more than one paramour and take care of them as domestic partners.  This exists in the state of Utah because of the federal government's involvement with Utah's state charter.   Meanwhile, a gay man can live with two or three "roommates" and do whatever he likes with them.  But the gay man is considered oppressed because if he has a ceremony with one of them, while it isn't a criminal offense, the society around him doesn't have to acknowledge it on a par with the institution as it's existed for millenia, whereas the polygamist has actually committed a criminal offense by living how he/she wants to live.  The polygamists aren't asking for society to treat it on a par with monogamous marriage (yet...); they would consider it fair if their lifestyle were decriminalized on a level with gay domestic partnership.

The decision in Hernandez v. Robles makes this comment on the difference between so-called interracial marriage (in reality, there really is no interracial marriage because race isn't real) and same-sex marriage:

But the traditional definition of marriage is not merely a by-product of historical injustice. Its history is of a different kind. The idea that same-sex marriage is even possible is a relatively new one. Until a few decades ago, it was an accepted truth for almost everyone who ever lived, in any society in which marriage existed, that there could be marriages only between participants of different sex. A court should not lightly conclude that everyone who held this belief was irrational, ignorant or bigoted. We do not so conclude.* 
Now on the one hand, we have polygamy which, while not ubiquitous, has been a common variant of the universal marriage tradition.  The Occidental tradition as it is reflected in the British common law we inherited does not recognize polygamy as something in particular to uphold and celebrate as a society, though this doesn't mean that society can't tolerate it, provided that states and communities don't have to recognize it just because it has been recognized in another state.  As long as a state is free to tolerate and not uphold, there is no slippery slope, and there is a means of the society determining its own values rather than the federal government determining what its values should be.  Polygamy has social precedent in societies of many kinds and has religious precedent in the Judaeo-Christian cultural roots of Western civilization.

Same-sex marriage does not have this precedent in either social or religious cultural roots.  It's not even close to being as much a candidate as an extension of the Western tradition of marriage the way that "plural marriage" is.  The "heterosexist" tradition is arguably universal because it mirrors survival-relevant instincts in our sexual dimorphism.  (Whew!)  Yet, polygamy has been much more criminalized.

If a polygamist could obtain a kind of civil union with his subsequent wives, a sort of civil agreement that would protect states' interests vis-a-vis the Full Faith and Credit clause, he and his wives would probably be pleased as punch.  And most states would be all right with making federal a legal framework for protecting each state's self-determination — which is precisely what DOMA attempted to do.

Which would be much more "progressive" than any view Mr. Lincoln held (or claimed to hold, at least).

Hollywood Questions the Honesty of Honest Abe: Spielberg's Lincoln

Neither the Left nor the Right are very critical of Mr. Lincoln; rather they both tend to lionize and adopt him as their very own predecessor.  Although the Republican party is right to point out that they have a civil rights legacy that extends all the way back to 1860 from the present time, neither the Democrats nor the GOP are Lincoln's party and Lincoln's legacy is complicated.

Spielberg's Lincoln is a surprise in some ways.  It more or less confronts some of Pres. Lincoln's arbitrariness when it comes to the Constitution, though it doesn't much get into specifics about how Lincoln believes he's fulfilling his oath to protect the Constitution as he engages in sophistry to circumvent the restrictions of the Constitution.  The timing of this is not that surprising since we have a President that is so slippery about his Executive Powers that even Rachel Maddow has reacted with incredulity at his rationalizations ("construct[ing] a legal regime" for prolonged detention being a kind of "ad hoc legal strateg[y]")  ― and yet gets a lot of public approval after running on a ticket to reform executive licentiousness.  Well, Lincoln in the film admits to assuming powers he wasn't sure were given him by the Constitution he swore to uphold, and he explains one of his "ad hoc legal strategies."

 If there is one overriding theme to Spielberg's Lincoln, it is that when the cause is righteous enough, there is no amount of fraud and corruption that is unwarranted.  This is good news to the Left, because they've known for a long time their causes are just that good.  I'm not embellishing at all.  According to Spielberg's narrative, a movie that ironically has Abe rebuking the Confederate leaders for not having faith in the democratic process, Abe's idea of democracy in action included among other things: (1) lying to Congress and the American people, (2) dealing in bad faith with a diplomatic peace mission from the Confederacy, (3) deliberately misleading Congress about the diplomatic, (4) buying votes with cronyism and cash payouts, etc.   The movie presents all of these things as noble, because they were done in a noble cause.

 Lesson:

The Inherent Colonialism of the Left

Not the most thoughtful analysis but I read a blog posting in which the author takes issue with those who "promulgate and promote the notion that, because of his father's background, Obama has an anti-colonial mindset. And what is so bad about that, anyway? Colonialism is: 'the control or governing influence of a nation over a dependent country, territory, or people.' The US started out as a colony and didn't care much for it."  No.  The U.S. started off as a group of separate colonies, and people in all the colonies wanted to enjoy all the rights of British citizens.  When this seemed impossible, they took to the notion of independence and the colonies became sovereign states.   If they didn't confederate, they wouldn't be able to resist the Crown and keep their independence, so sovereign states voluntarily joined a confederacy under the Articles, and then voluntarily ratified a document constituting "a more perfect union."  This document was crafted with the express purpose of keeping the federal government from exercising imperial authority over the states.  It defined essentially a sort of corporation of the states.

The problem with the sort of anti-colonialism that Obama appears to embrace (as D'Souza argues in 2016, citing among other things Obama's quick return of the Churchill bust and his position on the Falkland Islands) is that it is the progressive class warfare trope writ large.  If one nation is doing well and another isn't, the well-off nation must be bettering itself at the others' expense.  There is no economic win-win scenario scenario for the leftist.  (As I've noted previously, D'Souza's 2016 illustrates some problems with this view.)
Notice here also that progressives have had muted (if not missing) outrage over Soviet Russian colonialism over Easter Europe.  Very little to say about that. Maybe because all that was done in the name of spreading the wealth.

But I want to get into my principal theme here, that as much as the Left condemns intervention on the foreign front (though ignoring it under some circumstances especially if the "League of Nations" is for it) and downplays the need to be strongly armed against global threats, it believes in a government force against its citizenry (and disarming the public against such) and power being consistently more centralized and nationalized.

In other words, the Left seems to support the autonomy of foreign states, often when there is reason to think there is a great potential threat, while disdaining the autonomy of our domestic states whose powers of autonomy are nominally guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.  How many left-leaning citizens continue to be bothered by federal troops incinerating children in Waco, because the militarized ATF didn't like being repelled by armed citizens (a jury found in favor of the Waco survivors exercising their 2nd Amendment rights against armed invaders) and so they gassed them with tanks.  This happened under the direction of so-called liberal peaceniks.  It makes you wonder what would happen if American states decided to secede from the federal government.  Would people that balked at intervening in the affairs of dictatorships seriously send federal troops in to force subservience on penalty of death?

The assumption that the federal government will opt for the Lincoln precedent (level the states if it will keep them "in the fold") itself demonstrates the colonial attitude. (As Kathy Bates said in Misery, "It's for the best.")  When it comes to how certain Islamist nations treat their women, we have nothing to say (it is their country after all), but Supreme Court Justices here have reveled in their power, not simply to keep government powers within their constituted limits, but to expand federal power by dictating what the states can legislate.

Whenever anyone says that conservatives are going to outlaw abortion by overturning Roe v. Wade, you should recall that there was abortion before Roe v. Wade, in the states that allowed it.  The court decision  for Roe v. Wade (based on a lie if you now ask Jane Roe) took the matter out of state autonomy based on a dubious interpretation of Constitutional privacy.   Now your federal government can be involved in almost any matter between you and your physician except when it might involve the life of a defenseless feeling creature (that thing that is referred to clinically as a fetus).  The right to privacy disappears in those cases.  And the federal government is licensed to interfere with state affairs on the basis of judicially minted "reproductive rights."  Isn't that useful?

Here's what I suspect.  In that social upheaval during which the Democrats abandoned "states rights" after they lost their fight against civil rights legislation and the progressive radicals steered the party toward identity politics and America-blaming, something happened.  Not only did progressives see a party that was disoriented and ripe for the taking.  Not only did Democrat politicians see in young protesters a chance to demagogue their way into a new clientele/constituency.  I think that the most radical progressives and socialists and Marxists licked their lips when federal troops descended on Little Rock in 1957.  I think it was at that time that they started to see in identity politics the key to breaking the 10th Amendment protection against centralized, nationalized power.  There is nothing like an expansive court decision for making federal guns descend on a locality.  And there is nothing like morality questions for making expansive court decisions.

Now there are your everyday average progressive types that think, strangely enough, really do think that progressivism is all about individual liberty and putting all the power in the one place you can trust (the federal government) to guarantee those individual liberties.  Big Daddy Fed will protect you from your state, from your community, from your employer; just hand over your guns and all information concerning your economic transactions.  And Daddy will take care of you.  Uncle Ho, Uncle Mao, Uncle Sam.  Oh my!

Let's forget about Iraq and focus on Afghanistan, since Obama said that's what we should have done all along.  All this effort in Afghanistan just to exact revenge on bin Laden.  Wouldn't it have been nobler to go into Vietnamistan with the express purpose of replacing their government with one that would respect human rights?  Will the governments in Egypt and Libya be less oppressive to women and homosexuals?  Or is just having Islamist governments that are more hostile to Israel its own reward?

You say we'd be treading on their culture, interfering wrongfully, violating the Prime Directive?  (Supposedly though, the Civil War was (retroactively?) justified precisely for imposing a set of values.)   Why don't progressives think that they are doing the same thing to states all over the Union?  Why are liberals content to push their liberal morality and their secularism and scientism (their values) on the local conservative masses that are too stupid to know what's good for them?   In that case they think the imposition is justified.  Why, it's my country and I'm going to make everyone in Texas live how I know the country should live!  What about making Saudi Arabia live up to the standards that you know are right?  Oh no! I can't do that. It's not my country.  That would be unethical! 

When we are talking about foreign states, especially Muslim states, those states are given a dignity that domestic states here are not  that even though there may be large segments of their society that seem prone to oppression in the eyes of liberals or even in the eyes of most Americans, especially compared to any of the states of the U.S.!  Why?  How can liberals be so silent (or supportive!) about so many nations that have little or no commitment to liberty, and at the same time decry the U.S. (and its conservatives in particular) as theocratic, radical, ultra-religious, hateful, destructive, extremist, etc.  Comparing the Tea Party movement to Salafis?  Really?  ... But sharia as national civil code?  Oh that's just people keeping their culture!  Don't knock it if you haven't bothered to understand it!  Ah, the selective multi-culturalism of the Left!

And their selective colonialism!  An approach that, instead of following Reagan's successful peace through strength example,  tries to level the playing field where America is one of many world powers (like Israel is one of our closest allies in the Middle East) but the people can be coerced with overwhelming federal might into anything that is forced on the entire population (whether through judicial fiat or through populist demagoguery). Don't want the federal government to take your guns?  From your cold dead hands?  Judging by the rubble at Waco, from your incinerated dead hands!  Lying next to your incinerated children.  You citizens can't be trusted with weapons so we're going to Tiananmen Square your asses with these tanks.  ATF?  That's another name for an armed force and in Waco it was an armed force of berserkers turned loose on citizens without due process.

With the 10th Amendment being gutted, the states are once again becoming colonies, no longer self-determined, paying ever-growing tributes to an Empire in a tiny country known as the District of Columbia.  The only thing that makes us a true large Republic of smaller republics is respecting the 10th Amendment.  The only thing that warrants federal intrusion of armed forces is a threat to national security or a threat to "Republican Form of Government" (Article 4, Section 4 of the Constitution) in a particular state.  Liberals here vote for Empire as long as the imperial actions are limited to the 50 states currently under its jurisdiction.

One of the criticisms of the modern revolt against this imperial imposition, was that, unlike the modern Tea Party movement, the Boston Tea Party was a revolt against an evil corporation, ergo it was more like Occupy Wall Street than the modern Tea Party.  This is the first time I've heard that the Boston Tea Party had little to do with the 1773 Tea Act and with the Revolutionary War in general.  The "Destruction of the Tea" as it was known then was a political protest against a policies in which the British government was "picking the winners and losers" in colonial commerce in order to fill its coffers after a war in which many colonials had fought and died.  At the time, a little commercial terrorism (by local capitalists) was a safer political statement than confronting redcoats.  The East India Co. was practically a GSE of the British Empire, and the colonials were sending a message to Parliament that they recognized it as a way of funding the Empire.  So it may be a more complicated situation to analyze, but reducing the destruction of the tea to the same nebulous anti-capitalist outrage of people that envy the salaries of executives is an extremely superficial analysis.

This reminds me of the quick retraction (well, not a retraction, more like a sudden stunned silence) of the criticism over Sarah Palin's 1773 non-gaffe.  Don't party yet like it's 1773, people.  And yes, not everything significant that happened in the 1770s happened in 1776.  

fifty-first state

The writing goes slow tonight...

Might I suggest some musings on "If The 51st State Were Muslim"?

And passing thoughts...  I find the pervasive use of the word "race" confusing.  Beyond a rather simplistic notion that preponderances of alleles can result in preponderances of behaviors, the notion of race to me seems not just ill-defined but not useful to anyone but racists.  It is truly arbitrary whereas sex/gender is not.

Sex/gender rather is a gift from God/Nature/Evolution (whatever your point of view), its nature's invention not ours (something biologists call dimorphism), and that goes a long way toward explaining why we retain such barbaric practices as having separate Olympic events for men and women (separate but equal!).

Also recently, a review of the movie Cloud Atlas.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Swedes and Their Lack of Prurience

Over the years living in Калифорния, now and then I've heard the international equivalent of an "urban" legend that goes something like this:  The Swedes being largely free of religion and living out the sexual revolution from an early age, they don't have the weird hang-ups and Victorian prurience that we do in America.

If you've read or watched the sensational Girl With The Dragon Tattoo franchise, you've probably thought it was a little strange to see such rampant atrocity depicted in Sweden.  Surely, this is sensationalized.  The late author of the franchise was partly driven by a passion to call attention to the human trafficking problem in Sweden, partly by guilt of having in his teens stood by and let his buddies gang up on a girl.

In the movie Let The Right One In (the Swedish movie remade in America as Let Me In) it looks not quite the 'burbs, not quite the "projects" (unless you count most of the housing in Sweden as government-planned) an otherwise stable and orderly environment with kids not seeming deprived of much (other than stable families) regularly terrorize another kid to the point of posing a threat to his life simply because it's great fun.

One would expect with their eschewing of "conservative" classism, religious superstition (you can be jailed for preaching in church that the Bible does not favor homosexuality -- but who needs a First Amendment when progressives are in charge!), and outdated bourgeois mores for progressive egalitarianism that it would all be one big love-in in the cultural capital of  Europe.

Anyway, these thoughts come to mind as I read about another man jailed in Sweden, this time for something worthy of an arrest:  Apparently a school in the Philippines helped pay its bills by exploiting their charges for the jollies of a Swede watching from his home computer.  The internet voyeur was arrested by Swedish authorities for ordering these long-distance exploitations for his sick viewing pleasure.

Possibly, by recently banning prostitution and forcing the trafficking further underground, Sweden has exacerbated their nasty little problem.  But this will give the Swedish progressives an excuse to monitor their civilians' internet doings, and that will be one more way progressives here can wistfully wonder why we can't be more like the Swedes.

(Personally, the kind of "libertarianism" that I favor makes room for social mores, so I don't necessarily think Nevada's policy on prostitution is best for them, let alone best for the country.  I think Nevada has a right to set its own policy on that issue, but I;m very skeptical that it's a good thing for communities.)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

X-Men, Children's Films, & the Gospel of Normalization

After seeing X-Men: First Class, a pretty well-made movie, I heard a teen exclaiming about how much she liked the Mystique character and supported her decision to be a terrorist (she didn't use quite these words) in light of the terrible anti-mutant oppression she endured.  This passion and the similarity of this feeling to the pervasive "enlightened" moral relativism view of the terrorist/freedomfighter distinction brought something to mind:

There was a moment in a previous movie, X2, in which the director couldn't remain content with people drawing their own parallels to gay normalization without a nice big push.  A young mutant teen "comes out" to his parents about how he's a mutant.  The reaction of one of his parents is to ask whether he's "tried not being a mutant."  I might have missed the implication had that made a lick of sense; it didn't fit at all.  It didn't work in the scene.  So it was a ham-handed, eye-rolling political message shoehorned into an otherwise interesting movie.  But I'm sure it has nothing to do with the director actually being homosexual.

I had a moment watching X-Men: The Last Stand in which I wondered whether the "cure" for mutation motif was a kind of dystopian 1984-esque commentary on the ex-gay movement.  If you haven't heard of this movement, outside of the California governor's (Jerry "No Plan and Proud of It" Brown) attack on it, it's because the Left has absolutley no interest in hearing from the people who believe that "conversion" therapy has worked for them and made their lives better.  No, the Democrats support your decision to change your genitals if they don't suit you, but not your orientation.  After all, your orientation is something you were born with.  In the end, one of the X-Men vies for the "cure" because her mutation keeps her from having normal relationships.

It would seem that we are supposed to get the impression that "normal" humans are being a little ridiculous at being afraid of human beings that are able to do things like bypass any home security, control someone's mind at will, impersonate any living soul,  kill someone with a thought, etc.  Just because ever growing numbers of people can do these things, it doesn't mean that the general population is less safe.  No, this concern is an absurd idea to the people that think the average citizen can't be trusted with guns because God knows what could happen.

If you think I am reading too much into this you should read the many quotes in Michael Brown's post about the intended parallels in X-Men.  In addition to the insider comments on the film, Brown quotes one reviewer as saying, “As I watched the film, the connections and similarities were startling. You could have made the X-Men gay and the script would have worked perfectly.”  Whatever the writer and director intended, I have a hard time fitting the intended gay rights narrative to many scenes in the film, not to mention many fundamental aspects of the story.  However, society's rejection of gifted individuals through misperceiving their difference as a defect is a narrative that in broad terms naturally appeals to the gay community.  The attempts to connect the basic story to the political movement to make society recognize LGBTQ as normal and worthy of celebration through laws/jurisprudence (i.e., political coercion) comes across as forced and superficial through some ungainly humor (the awkward "mutant and proud" dialogue, for example).

Chad Thompson, an ex-gay writer, has written in "More Than Mutants" that he sees some definite agenda in the writing of the movies.  Of special interest though, he points out the third movie's plot points (likely unintended) support for ex-gay therapy.  (Here in California, the state is anti-choice with regard to conversion therapy.)  But one of the most interesting things in his article, to me, is his quote of gay actor Ian McKellan, “As a gay man, some people think that it ought to be cured and made normal again, and I find it as offensive as someone saying that they have a cure for the color of their skin.”  Do you find it as offensive as saying that they have a cure for having the wrong reproductive organs, Sir Ian?  After all, aren't we told that gender and race are equivalent class-based social constructions?  This is a tenet of the liberal creed, near as I can tell.

A left-leaning friend once opined some contempt for Michael Jackson's "Don't Matter If You're Black or White" message since it appeared to be hypocritical given that Jackson apparently didn't feel comfortable with dark skin.  I've wondered since if that friend still feels that way, and if he would think someone who got a sex change would be hypocritical for saying that it doesn't matter if you're male or female.  Which arguably is a message in Cloud Atlas, one of the directors of which recently was surgically given female parts.  (The Wachowski Brothers are now the Wachowski Siblings, if you catch my drift.)

Michael L. Brown has also highlighted this apparently bizarre inconsistency of the new orthodoxy in his article "Glee Celebrates the 'T'."  He rhetorically asks whether it would be socially acceptable for the Glee character who is a "woman in a man's body" to come out as a Caucasian in a black person's body.  Perhaps Unique would be uniquely more comfortable in his body if he had different skin.  You can actually feel liberals across America rankling at this idea.  In the 2005 movie that sought to normalize transsexuality, the protagonist says "After my operation, not even a gynecologist will be able to detect anything out of the ordinary about my body. I will be a woman. Don't you find it odd that plastic surgery can cure a mental disorder?"  You won't have a disorder in which you mind can't accept your body once you change your body to fit what it can accept.  Maybe Jerry Brown can outlaw any non-surgical therapies that address this issue.  (Michael Jackson had a mental disorder which made him hate his skin, and physical skin treatments cured him.  Don't you find that odd?)

If you don't think of X-Men as primarily targeted for minors, then consider this.  In the animated feature Para-Norman, Norman has a unique gift.  He is isolated because he is different and people, because they don't understand him, think he's weird and repulsive.  [SPOILER ALERT] The paranormal entity that threatens his town was once a child with a similar gift, mercilessly oppressed and killed by intolerant Puritans in God-fearing Pilgrim garb. (Think of Dan Savage's recent and public anti-Bible rants.) Not content with the idea that this is something to which lots of geeky kids might relate, the filmmakers work in their own specific plug for the New Normal.  The big dumb jock who you might assume is too dumb (or simply put off) to notice that a pretty girl is throwing herself at him, mentions at the end of the movie that he has a boyfriend.  Some boys talk to ghosts and some make out with other boys.  Different is okay.  Group hug, everyone!

It's only a matter of time before Disney works little messages like this into their films, being humbled by the low turnout for their films with more explicit political innuendo (Pocahontas and Hunchback come to mind), offering a little remedial morality adjustment to the children of social conservatives.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Musings on job creation and wealth creation


I'd like to revisit the nebulous ideas surrounding job creation.  I've recently addressed the misplaced uproar about the record levels of profit.   If it's really true that the annual deficit is only a fraction of the future obligations that are being taken on each year (just google "unfunded liabilities"), you better hope to God that corporations start making money hand over fist.  You better pray for the days of the robber baron, because otherwise it's going to be Germany before Hitler, and all these Occupy Wall Streeters are going to beg for fascism to save them (all property will be claimed as public property under eminent domain and/or martial law, and a perpetual state of emergency will begin).

Many people, educated by the evening news and Bill Maher and sometimes also in college by the assertions of Keynesian acolytes, are certain that job creation in this day and age just doesn't happen unless THE ALMIGHTY GOVERNMENT creates a job out of thin air.  "Here, Bill, you takes this here hammer and pound on the ground and listen for hollow sounds.  Here's your badge as an official geomancer.  Here's your union card, and if anyone tells you your job isn't necessary, you just remember to vote in November for those who have your back."  Why, job creation is as simple as the ability to raise taxes in order to pay people to do whatever.  Employment is employment.

To understand jobs, let's go back to pioneer days in America.  Not quite as basic as "caveman" days, but maybe easier to imagine.  Let's say you're in a pioneer family that is living rather remotely.  There is no town that is closer than a day's journey, say.  Which means that you, as a family, are reliant on yourselves for goods and services.  If there is something you "need" (this becomes a more basic question than what is usually meant now) that you can't make for yourselves, you will need to ride out and trade with someone.  Let's stipulate for the time being that none of your capital is in money at this point.  You have weapons and tools and property and livestock and furs from trapping.  You will have to trade some of this for something you need.  Until you can accumulate valuable things you grow, trap, or make, you will not have any capital for trade.  No currency, you see.

Now, let's say that a relatively close neighbor has some outpost, a small sort of private general store.  He has accumulated more traps than he can really use, and he loans some out with the stipulation that he gets so many furs a month until the trap is paid for.  This may be a good proposition if your family doesn't have a trap of its own.

Now, let's say that this outpostman is willing to actually pay (a share of collected furs perhaps) some men to set and check on traps for him along with maybe some weapons.  The traps (the investment capital) are his.  They are the capital that are required to accumulate wealth in the form of furs.

Later on, as land gets cleared, land-owners may be willing to pay farmhands a wage to be able to produce more from their farm.  Typically, the farm-owner would provide the major tools: plow, horse, pitchforks, etc.  A farmhand was not automatically part-owner of the farm (unless that was the consensual contract with the farmer) just because the farmer agreed to trade some part of his accumulated wealth (food, board, livestock, etc.) for the farmhand's services.  And what if the farmer isn't willing to give the farmhand "what he's worth"?  Well, the farmer's family is just going to have to do more of the work themselves.  But a farm can typically produce more (up to a point) with more help.  

Jobs are created when the person with the capital (the farm, the plow, the stable, etc.) has enough wealth to pay the help in advance of the actual added production value the help will result in.  The sudden presence of a farmhand doesn't automatically result in the earth opening up and spewing out vegetables.

Jobs are also created in communities when a person specializes in work that is of use to a lot of people (farmhand is one example so far.)  A trapper may trade furs to a farmer (to keep his family warm) for vegetables (assuming the trapper's family gets tired of roasted opossum and needs some variety).  Maybe a hunter will trade meat for a certain kind of fur for which he doesn't trap.

All of this, you might say, is so old-fashioned that it doesn't matter any more.  The world has become too fundamentally different, you say.

How is it different?  Ore sits in the earth and doesn't turn into something useful without the right tools and labor.  Untended fields get overgrown with weeds.  Neither houses, nor the tools that build them, make themselves.  And human productivity doesn't improve without competitive appropriation of useful tools and methods.  Because money seems arbitrary to you (the green paper is worth such and such because someone decides it is), perhaps you think (or "feel" might be a better word) that the real value of goods and services doesn't matter any more, because no value is real.

Watch the film 2016: Obama's America and pay special attention to the segment on Kenya.  Obama Sr.'s compatriots talk about how horribly unfair British colonialism was. Why, the British made things with the natural resources of Kenya and then sold the products back to Kenyans!!!  Then President Obama's brother is later seen in the film arguing that it's hard to say colonialism was necessarily bad when the standard of living was so much better than it became after the indigenous central planners took over the country.  So, why is it so much harder for native Kenyans to benefit from their own natural resources than when they were buying the end products back from British companies?  They got rid of all that foreign investment capital and now the only thing that is causing production is labor and tools from the natives -- a system in which socialism is discouraging the rewards for increased labor and and discouraging the capital accumulation for advanced production.  The progressives have impoverished the the nation with trickle-up poverty.

In the (former) land of opportunity (America), while "robber barons" were being vilified for providing jobs that for less than "ideal" wages, foreigners were climbing over each other for the opportunity to be abused by these conditions.  These terrible abuses were the bottom rung of the ladder of opportunity, and immigrants were crazy for the chance to climb.   And climb they did.

Even now, consider how leftwingers typically argue that illegal immigrants are not impacting the economy because "they aren't taking jobs that anybody wants anyway."  It depends on how many people are being paid under the table.  If I am poor and need help moving to a cheaper apartment, according to these same leftwingers, I am mistreating illegal immigrants (or citizens, for that matter) by offering them $4 per hour.  I should either not employ them at all or pay them more.  But if it is simply not worth it to me to pay minimum wage, I'll do all the work myself even if it is hard on my back.  But typically no one would employ most "undocumented workers" at minimum wage for the same reason that employment of teenagers and recent college grads is doing so poorly.  Business owners won't hire someone for a wage that isn't in accord with what the level of service they want for that wage.  And they can't offer a wage that would be in accord; it's illegal.  So they simply don't employ as many people as they like.  (Or they expect employees to voluntarily work more hours than they are being paid for -- especially if we are talking about "at will" employment, something that people in certain unionized trades can't imagine.)

So new grads, instead of being able to pay for 70% of their rent are doing nothing on their parents' couches, unable to pay for anything, and decreasing the "purchasing power" of their parents.  But leftwingers are all for letting in illegals while at the same time making illegal the very opportunities for which they are coming here and shaming those who pay illegals under the table.  Notice that there is no law enforcement checking for papers at that crowd of unemployed poor people at Home Depot.  Just follow these people to their jobs and you can bust some horrible capitalist for evading minimum wage.  But you'll also be directly hurting the undocumented workers and losing votes from the Hispanic demographic.  So this is one form of capitalism leftwingers are eager to outlaw and just as eager to ignore.  So leftwingers, in this sense, totally disbelieve in the minimum wage, even though they are absolutely devoted to the minimum wage.

But with all these young people out of work, for whom there is no job directly related to their Cultural Studies degree and who can't convince someone to hire them when that company could hire someone equally (or more) experienced who isn't expecting "degree-level" wages... They are confronted by the real value of their services held up against the demand for those services.  Real job creation is when people are out there for whom your services or goods have enough value for you to make a living.  This all ultimately comes from being able to turn natural resources into (more) valuable commodities.  Even services ultimately only become valuable as labor is able to help add value to resources (e.g. dirt) by turning them into something more useful (e.g. corn).

There is a leftwing idea that things that are nonessential are illusory, like The Great Capitalist Machine is the reason we have ludicrous "needs" for things beyond food and shelter and clothing.  Without a government-run centrally planned society in which all these essentials that grow out of the ground automatically are distributed "equally" (think all the publicly available wealth in the once Soviet Union), all these wonderful things.   There is another (set of) leftwing idea(s) that the nonessentials are exactly what matters:  poetry and art and liberal studies are as worthwhile as engineering, and the government needs to subsidize your degree even if it's one that won't pay for itself.

It is a great trick for government to involve itself "to help," subsidize and regulate it into ruin, and claim the ruin as evidence that the enterprise was impossible without government involvement.  It is a wonderful gimmick for accumulating and centralizing political power, and people eat that idea up like kids go after Snickers bars.  Because people don't realize that our pioneers were the great entrepreneurs, and this country was built by people turning wilderness into country.  Government exists solely to protect the liberty that allows this to happen.

All the money or capital or value that government has (i.e. Obama's secret stash) is taken from the real value created by sovereign citizens.  Without that value created by citizens producing things by applying capital to labor and tools in order to make more capital, money itself is meaningless.  The government does not create the actual wealth that money represents.  This is why runaway inflation is possible to begin with.  Government can't create any real wealth by decree.  And ultimately, the jobs that a government can "create" out of thin air is only as meaningful as the real value of the products and services that result.  And if private investment wasn't attracted to "create" those jobs to begin with, what real value is bound to be produced by them?

Government, fundamentally and essentially, is parasitic on the privately motivated efforts of people.  This is why it is equal parts absurd and offensive that Obama says things like "you didn't build that" as though the use of Big Daddy Government's roads and bridges now obligates us all to pay back with interest.  It's as though we are all farmhands on  one big government farm.  There is only one Big Wealthy Capitalist to envy in this scheme and he is Big Daddy Government.  But don't worry.  This Big Wealthy Corporation (that truly controls the wealth and the power) supposedly has our best interests at heart unlike ruthless corporations.

What we have to understand is that Big Daddy Government didn't build anything.  Government was a middle-man that We The People employed.

DO YOU GET THAT?  Government is not the employer.  The people are government's employer, and the government is not The People.  They are paid representatives, paid employees of the people, that in turn took some of our money and paid some of us citizens to build roads and bridges that make our commerce easier to manage.  Government did not GIVE us anything.  We gave it all to ourselves, sometimes through government means and sometimes through private means.  The government simply managed this gift to ourselves (sometimes quite badly).  Of the People, By the People, For the People.

Take notes, Mr. President, because you don't get it.  We are the creators of jobs because there would be no government unless we first gave all you government people jobs.  WE employ YOU to protect our freedoms, not to force us into long-term obligations (through your atrocious mismanagement) for which we must pay you tribute for the rest of our lives.

But D.C. politicians will always gravitate to this thinking while there are so many among us that are willing to believe something so fundamentally in contradiction to common sense, in contradiction to the actual workings of real world economics, to believe ideas that only work in vague abstractions instead of reality.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Gun Bullies: Punching Back Twice As Hard


This is an understatement, but kudos to Ben Shapiro for publicly exposing the Left's morbid opportunism over the Sandy Hook tragedy, and using these deaths to characterize their political opponents as uncaring, heartless creeps that are so in love with their guns (gently oiling and cleaning them at night) that they are willing to sacrifice little children to this awful 2nd Amendment idol (a baffling irony in light of the Left's conception of "reproductive rights").
MORGAN: That's what I call bullying.
SHAPIRO: This is astonishing.
MORGAN: What's astonishing?
SHAPIRO: What's astonishing about it is for weeks now, you have been saying that anybody who disagrees with your position is absurd, idiotic, and doesn't care about the dead kids in Sandy Hook. And then when I say that it's a bullying tactic, you turn around and say I'm bullying you for saying that. It's absurd. It's ridiculous. 
Of course, it's easier than pointing out that Obama made a nice soapbox out of little caskets.  You could expect TIME and Newsweek to call that blatant racism.  But this guy... With the combination of the accent with the snootiness, this guy is a lieutenant on the Death Star.  The irony of a British citizen criticizing, not a mere American policy, but a fundamental right of a free people to keep the means of securing their freedoms, the recognition of which right was borne out of a British imperialism that the American Left nominally loathes!
SHAPIRO: Well, we can talk about Britain in a second. I think that the reason it's about left and right here is because fundamentally the right believes the basis for the second amendment, and they believe in the second amendment. The basis of the second amendment is not really about self defense and it's not about hunting. It's about resistance to government tyranny. That's what the founders said and that's what the right believe in this country.
MORGAN: Which tyranny are you fearing, yourself?
SHAPIRO: I fear the possibility of a tyranny rising in the country in the next 50 to 100 years. Let me tell you something, Piers. The fact that my grandparents and great-grandparents in Europe didn't fear that is why they're now ashes in Europe. This kind of leftist revisionist history where there's no fear of democracy going userpatious or tyrannical, is just that. It's fictitious.
Shapiro is making a reference to the gun registration and confiscation measures imposed by collectivist governments in Europe in order to effect totalitarian control.  Trust us. We're your government and we're only here to keep you safe.

Now, Thomas Sowell in his book Intellectuals and Society writes of the many absurdities of the gun control mania of English socialism (or Ingsoc, as George Orwell called it).  A man who lives our in the countryside (where police weren't likely to arrive quickly) arrested for stopping two burglars with a gun.  A man arrested for running off street thug assailants with a fake gun.  As well as the rise in gun crime since the disarmament of the British citizenry.  Piers Morgan might be right that neither political party in Britain appreciates the right to own a gun, but that doesn't say much for the sensibility of the country.

From Farewell to the King (quoted at imdb.com):
Capt. Fairbourne: What do you want?
Learoyd: Freedom, to be like we are.
Capt. Fairbourne: Anything else?
Learoyd: Guns. So they can't take the freedom away.
Capt. Fairbourne: Well, I'll see what I can do.
Learoyd: And grenades, mortars and mines, so they can't take the guns away