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Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. - Albert Einstein
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Tonight’s speech by Obama on Iraq…
Tonight President Obama is scheduled to deliver a speech about the whole Iraq situation. Frankly I am intrigued at how the morons in the WH will try to play this. It seems all bad things they inherited from Bush, but this victory that clearly came from the efforts of our troops that these same grandstanding demcorats put in harms way with their actions and words, and the conviction of President Bush to fight it despite the fact that the opposition was trying to hand our troops another Vietnam-like loss - if you believe the talking heads that are predicting this - that the WH is going to claim is theirs. I doubt Obama will give credit to Bush for this, because that’s not his way. If he does, he will somewhere in there take it back and blame Bush. Maybe by indirectly brining up the liberal meme that Bush faked the intel, red meat for the morons that buy this crap, or some such other nonsense. I certainly hope he credits the troops. And of course he will play to his left wing moonbats and claim he is keeping his promise. The problem is that it will be all show, and we won despite of him and his party, while there is still a risk that we might be pulling out too soon.
The fact is that Obama was part & parcel of the donkey lineup that made the claim back when Bush’s team announced they would pursue the surge option, that it was going to fail. I do give him credit for not declaring it a failure before it happened like Reed did, or for slandering our troops or taking other actions to help the enemy’s cause like Murtha and other demcorats did, but Obama was one of the people that tried - real hard - to derail any and all efforts intended to support our troops and give them what they needed to win in Iraq. Obama made it a point during his campaigning – I mean before the election, not the continued campaigning they are doing almost 2 years after taking the WH and that is making everyone stop wondering if these morons know anything else – to say Iraq was still a failure, and that unless he was elected to fix it by pulling out the troops, things would get even worse. In short, this guy, while not going as far as many in his party have, was if not outright rooting for us to lose in Iraq, at least vested in making our efforts in Iraq look & go bad, for political and personal gain. And the troops at least seem to know that. Of course, I doubt the Lame Stream Media will bring any of that up.
Even more interesting, as I already pointed out, is the fact that most believe that Obama is about to likely claim he kept his campaign promise and that this withdrawal is due his work, when there is no doubt for anyone willing to do the leg work that the pullout going on right now was following Bush’s team’s withdrawal time table, set a long time ago, and the only contribution from the Obama team was that they didn’t fuck it all up in Iraq and pull defeat right out of the jaws of victory before now, as many of us suspected they would. My guess is that the LSM would go right along and hand him that credit. After all, he is their guy, and he desperately needs to be propped up, because the mood of the American people after seeing Obama & the progressive left in action these past 2 years is dour indeed, and November promises a massacre at the polls for the left.
Then you have the fact that Obama now is ramping up the fighting in Afghanistan, which promises to be a difficult and costly slugfest. I wonder if he and his team realize now why Bush’s team moved the fight to Iraq back in 2003. And this whole endeavor seems to be mired in doubt, what with all the talk of a fixed withdrawal table and all, despite the fact he has put General Petraeus whom immediately opted to go on the offensive and actually do some killin’ – hear much about that in the LSM these days? No stories of US troops murdering babies either, huh? - in charge of that operation as well. And then there is of course Iran, which I still feel Bush made a mistake not to deal with at the same time as they took on Iraq.
Say what you want, but tonight’s speech should be interesting. At least it should provide people with a lot to waste time on. Me, I bet it will be a lot of nothing, Obama grandstanding and campaigning, taking credit for other people’s work, blaming Bush as usual for his mistakes, and then the fawning LSM telling us how lucky we are to have this guy in charge. I sure hope I am wrong.
Posted by AlexinCT on 08/31/10 at 06:27 AM in Elections Election 2010 Left Wing Idiocy The Press Machine War on Terror/Axis of Evil • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Practice Bombs Are OK
What the hell, man?
I just flew to Australia and back. During that time, I was patted down, forced to take my laptop out of its supposedly X-ray friendly bag, asked questions about my wife’s medicine and put in an X-ray backscatter machine that irradiated me and snapped pictures of my junk. Read this story about TSA digging through a woman’s purse and accusing her of embezzlement because she had checks on her (note: TSA is not supposed to be screen for criminal activity).
And these bozos were allowed to board not one but two flights with a mock bomb in their luggage? And they were then allowed to check their luggage on one flight while they boarded another and escaped to Europe? The excuse I expect to be made is that they were flagged by TSA and their luggage searched and found to be harmless. But you don’t let mock bombs go through. That only sets the stage for them to try with real bombs and non-bulky clothing. I mean, what is a cell phone strapped a bottle of Pepto suposed to be if not a mock bomb? Was he planning to call the bottle when he landed to make sure it was OK?
Stories like this make me really think our elaborate security screenings are so much anti-terrorism kabuki. The illusion of safety is more important than the reality of it.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 08/31/10 at 04:41 AM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Monday, August 30, 2010
Back to the Past
One of the problems I’m having with so-called green technologies (which are often not so green) is that we seem to be going backward in terms of progress. Many of them are simply not up to the technologies they are replacing in terms of performance. A perfect example would be the time I spent in Australia stumbling around half-lit rooms because the government has mandated the use of CFC bulbs. They’ve come a long way but they still do not light up completely for some time. And maybe it’s just me, but I think having well-lit rooms is a hallmark of civilization.
The same is true of other technologies. My wife has a new Apple laptop and it’s far less stable and reliable than our old one. Does this have something to do with the “greening” of the apple brand and the banishment of nasty evil chemicals like lead (see here for one of the drawbacks of the lead ban)?
Now we find out that one of the hallmarks of civilization—pest-free bedding, may be being sacrificed on the alter of environmentalism:
I know you’re thinking about the DDT ban, but the DDT ban is a little overblown since many insects have developed a tolerance for it. However, malathion and propoxur do work. The EPA-approved chemicals don’t kill bedbugs; they simply stun the little bastards. Environmental groups complain that the effective pesticides have known health concerns. But there’s a tradeoff here. Most people will accept a little health risk if it means they don’t spend their nights being attacked by vermin.
And therein lies the problem. To the radical environmentalists, there are no tradeoffs. Anything dangerous or icky has to be banned, whether we have a replacement for it or not.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 08/30/10 at 07:16 PM in Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
If Bush did this what would the media be saying about it all?
Posted by AlexinCT on 08/30/10 at 08:39 AM in Fun and Humor The Press Machine • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Just for the hell of it,
Get the Lead out
I Love to shoot, when i get the time, it is in many ways a great form of release from the stresses of daily life. Sadly the cost of it is ever growing, the cost of ammo is on a continual rise, due to the prices of the metals used in production of ammo. Copper, Zinc, Brass, Tin and Antimony, are on the rise oh and now it seem that Lead, will be to. It seem that our Imperial Federal government, via the EPA has decided that the lead, specifically used in ammo, is a danger to the environment.
The CBD is pretty much your typical feel good environmentalist organization, with the admirable goal of saving wildlife from the ravages of man, at pretty much any cost. This group is so concerned about overpopulation, destroying the enviroment, that they are handing out Endangered Species Condoms.
Now this is just a petition from one organization, how much weight they carry with Lisa Jackson, is something I do not know, but you can bet your sweet ass that other anti-hunting and firearms groups will pile on this.
So what is the issue here?
With a error range like that one has to wonder how they conducted the estimation. I would assume that they took a few known deaths and multiplied it by a number of their choosing.
And yes that is peer reviewed too. Oh notice words like, can be, potentially, and may be.
Shoot better? How so? Copper has a lower mass, which to any person that knows their firearms an ammo, know this means less range, less energy delivered and worst of all less accuracy.
So how much of this horrible Lead is injected into the environment each year?
I wonder if they realize that a vast majority of the bullets fired at ranges is recovered and recycled? Lead is a commodity and is has value, no range owner in their right mind would pass up recovering that precious metal. 3000 Tons might seem like a lot but it is spread over the vastness of this nation,
notice the use of “can “ again.
This guy lived for years with a bullet in him. There are numerous stories similar to this and none of then that I can recall ever mention lead poisoning.
Some studies have shown that hunters do not have elevated lead levels. Think about it. What dinner plate would have the most “harmful additives”? The plate of a rural hunter, or that of a suburban dweller?
The CBD helpfully cites alternatives to lead based bullets, such as
See here is the thing, all metals are toxic , it just depends on the amounts you are exposed to. Also You get a performance hit with the lighter metal bullets, and metals that are less malleable, such as steel, are banned or controlled due to their penetration abilities. You know Armor …..
Oh and another thing, those non-toxic bullets?
And more Green ammo. Which is vastly more expensive than the traditional ammo.
Copper bullets, which also is very much more expensive than traditional lead based bullets, are on the market, but due to the price, and performance hit, they have not flown off the shelves.
the EPA with out any congressional over-site, can unilaterally ban a entire class of commodity from the market., while claiming as they did with CO2 that it is a pollutant and needs to be regulated, you know for our own good.
IF this rule goes though it will cause a major uproar in the gun owners community. One part of this that particularly bothers me is Enforcement, will one just get a ticked and a fine,in the 100’s or 1000’s of dollars? Or will they get a 2 AM visit from the EPA swat team?
A major component of the firearms community is handloaders, men and women that reload their own ammo and cast their own bullets. What will become of them? Will this require them to turn in thier lead, stop manufacturing new cast lead bullets? What would the penalties be,and how will this effect the re-manufacturing market?
I would have to guess the people at the CBD dont give a shit.
Oh by the way the decision is due to me made on November 1, 2010…
The EPA has decided that, they do not have the authority to ban lead in bullets, but it can regulate the CO2 you produce from your daily activities.
Take Me Out To The Cleaners
I am a huge baseball fan. I have been since my dad took me to my first Braves game back in 1977 or 1978. There’s little better than watching a game in one of the new beautiful stadiums. I can’t wait until SAL 11000 Beta is old enough to go.
That doesn’t mean I’m down with this bullshit:
I didn’t post this just because of my outrage against the duplicitous vile league division rivals of my Braves (whose stadium was mostly paid for by private contributions from Olympic interests*). I link to this because it is an example of how our money-starved decrepit cities are victims of their own stupidity. Check this out:
You know, I’m no financial whiz. But it seems to me that spending $1.2 billion to borrow $91 million is a bit much.
There’s pork within pork here, including multi-million dollar “art” displays within the stadium. Meanwhile, the arguments that stadiums stimulate the economy—Hey! We’re back on stimulus again!—have turned out to be bogus. Right now, the Devil Rays are trying out this scam, claiming poverty to justify a public stadium. In their case, it’s not quite as egregious since they have been spending some money since they became competitive.
This isn’t confined to sports stadiums, of course. While their cities crumble around them, most city councils are interested in landing big projects with rich developers—be they stadiums, office parks, malls or rich condos. The hum-drum business of keeping a city going just isn’t terribly exciting to politicians. Bankrupting your people to finance rich guys’ playthings while abusing eminent domain is. The problem really isn’t the sports team owners, who are just human. It’s hard to pass up a $2 billion gift. It’s the city councils and, by extension, the voters, who allow themselves to get bamboozled this way.
And frankly, I have a hard time believing that the authorities in Miami were completely ignorant of the financial state of the Marlins. I mean, when we took out a home loan, my wife and I had to provide the bank with every piece of information about us except her bra size. How on Earth does a $1 billion deal go down without the city knowing about the Marlins’ lack of cash problems?
My guess—it doesn’t. The city just didn’t care. It wanted its big project and was fine if the Marlins lied their asses of to the media and, more importantly, the voters, to make it happen.
One of the few exceptions to the starry-eyed “big project” mentality was my former hometown of San Antonio. Thanks to strict term limits, the San Antonio city government was mostly interested in maintaining the city infrastructure, not engaging in big stupid expensive “projects”. The special interests campaigned relentlessly against term limits—sometimes with the fairly naked rhetoric that SA needed to invest in big projects. In 2008, the succeeded and I expect SA to promptly go downhill, probably after the drop a few hundred million on a new stadium for the Jacksonville Jaguars or something.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 08/26/10 at 03:51 PM in Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Heavy handed attempt to put lipstick on the ugliest pig ever…
The usual Lame Stream Media propagandists must be desperate to try and defend the close to $1 trillion dollar
What a pile of bullshit! Jobs bill? Yeah right! Sure the WH tries hard to make the case for that. But they were immediately shot down even by their own side when they originally claimed to have created 640K jobs after spending $150 billion - an unbelievably ridiculous cost of $234,375 per job according to my calculator – as the unemployment rate continued to skyrocket and the real number of people giving up looking for jobs, without jobs, or wanting full time jobs but unable to get them, according to even the MSM which tries hard to pretend the numbers are not into double digits, climbed to over 16%. An astonishing 4 million people have lost their jobs! Even the MSM had to admit that the WH was pulling numbers out of its ass once the CBO admitted there was no way to measure what a saved job was to begin with. In fact, the only real predictor of what jobs were “saved” are the same ones that this years multi-billion dollar bailout is trying to save again. Want to bet they have to shell out billions again to “save” these jobs yet again? It isn’t a coincidence that public sector pay is higher than private sector pay considering what jobs this bill was intended to save.
Next we see that in typical liberal fashion, these Lame Stream Media mouthpieces are again repeating the already debunked WH claim that this thing created 3 million jobs. Doesn’t matter how often you point out this claim is false, they won’t let facts, logic, or truth get in the way of the agenda. I won’t even go into how laughable the comments that this bill prevented a depression and reversed the recession are – maybe these morons could have quoted Biden and his “Summer of Recovery” comedy routine to lend credence to this nonsense- because the only thing to do to people that make these claims is to make fun of them. That’s why conservatives mock the patronage bill and its supporters. And it isn’t a coincidence that liberals are stupid enough to claim that the problem was that this boondoggle that was bigger than the entire cost of the Iraq war was not big enough, but I won’t bother going into that dementia. Anyway, let’s get back to this idiotic puff piece.
Read that first line again. Nonpartisan economists? That’s liberal code for Keynesian morons that think like us despite the mountain of evidence that this idiotic concept that government deficit spending like it was the “End of times” never works. See, in the mind of these deluded fools, anyone that doesn’t think like them is partisan. Sane people predicted this pay-off to demcorat interests, lobbyists, union bosses, and campaign coffers wasn’t going to stimulate anything but the democrat machine, and they are correct. To the collectivist twits that think Obama is the savior, the lies to cover up for the destruction of our economy, must continue I guess. It’s just nonsense.
But then we finally get some truth, after that dumb claim of nonpartisan economists thinking this near trillion dollar waste of tax payer money did anything good, albeit by coincidence, and then by coincidence because the moron writing this fluff piece hopes nobody catches it, and learn that this bill was not intended to do any kind of economic recovery, but to, and this is their own words, change the country. And what change is that? Well to transform the economy! Great, whenever you hear that from a collectivist, grab your wallet and your gun, because what’s coming is going to hurt decent people. So transform it how? Let’s look at this stuff.
Let us start with the thing that should set off everybody’s alarms. Healthcare? I had no idea this was in that stimulus package? Did you? Why did we need any kind of stimulus of healthcare? Wasn’t it Obama’s plan to reform the whole thing? Di we not just get a bill Congress admits it didn’t read get passed? You know, the one we find out claims to save money – when it doesn’t at all – because of a myriad of schemes and scams that hide the real costs? From heavily taxing us for 10 years to then only provide coverage during the last 5 or 6 years, in order to hide the fact that the real cost, and I firmly believe this number is a rosy and way to low prediction based on past experiences with similar government programs, is close to $2.3 trillion, to sleights of hand that double count money from Medicare and other places you are darn sure these collectivists will never take anything significant, this monster bill is a sure fire recipe for bankrupting this country.
But I digress, so what kind of healthcare deals were in that patronage bill? Well, if you read along you find out they flushed down $20 billion to create a national healthcare database. To bring us into the modern age they claim. If this stuff was such a good deal I wonder why some evil capitalists didn’t latch on to the concept and make a killing from it, but then again, we all know that to the left the only entity that is as all knowing, powerful, fair, and capable as a divine entity these days is big government. It’s not a coincidence that the left abandoned old religion in favor of this new one. Me, I predict nothing good comes from this whole deal. At least some nice connected companies run by buddies of the demcorats will make a killing collecting these $20 billion. Let’s hope they are the few that also think they aren’t above the laws they make for us peasants and pay taxes unlike the majority of the lot.
He also touts the fact money is targeted at education. Read along and you find out that some $4.35 billion is supposed to go to promote accountability in schools. Considering how the schools that already get the most per pupil money also seem to do so well and that we already send way too much on average to get below mediocre results, one might be inclined to think this is a blessing. I guess if you consider creating little indoctrinated collectivists the equivalent of an education, then you have something to be excited about. The rest of us that know better, considering who is running this freak show, know that we are just throwing more pearls at swines. These people love to talk about education when their policies, agenda, and efforts have been paramount in destroying our educational system. The teacher unions would never allow accountability to factor into their tenure equation.
There are a bunch of other nonstarters he discusses as part of his great society 21st century economy, like expanded broadband – because we all know that companies that make their living there have no interest in doing so and making more money – and the laughable mention of the 100,000 projects that are supposed to be upgrading infrastructure of all kind but for which I only s far have heard stories of expensive signs going up everywhere claiming there was work going on when nothing was really being done. Shit, if there was any truth t this the construction industry alone would have been booming, but my buddies in the construction industry tell me it has been exactly the opposite. And those tax cuts he mentions 95% of Americans got? I would love to know what they were. I must be one of those in that 5% that saw nothing of that. Besides, if they really had wanted to jump start the economy, they should have simply made the Bush cuts permanent. I bet you things would be different – in a good way for the economy - right now. Yeah, I am wasting time explaining how the real world works to people that think government is what drives and no hampers economic growth, but you can’t blame a guy for trying. Anyway, this tuff is much ado about nothing. It boils down to pay-offs t demcorat interests and nothing more. It’s not an accident that this stuff has done absolutely nothing to help the economy in ay real way. And all that uneamployment extension and other government handouts would not be necessary if they had gotten out of the way of the private sector instead of smothering it with idiotic regulations and insecurity at every turn. Ask an unemployed person if they prefer a government handout or a paying job, and all but the usual lazy libs will pake the later.
And that brings us to the rest of the crap he spends pages on and the real agenda: the left’s obsession with expanding the global government scam perpetrated by the AGW cult, fight that evil global warming despite the fact it is obvious that a massive campaign of lies and fabrications was used to try and convince the masses to give up their freedoms and wealth by blaming man without any real proof, and of course, the irrational hate of oil that these leftists seem to have. I can rehash this whole story about what the AGW cult is all about and we can have the same arguments with the same people that want to pretend that they were not caught lying and making up crap, but I have no desire to waste my time with them. Suffice it to say this moron yet again lets the cat out of the bag and admit that these demcorats took a billions of tax payer dollars – money they borrowed and for which we will be paying massive interests BTW - to then use it to help a cause that will drastically harm these very tax payers, at the expense of these elitist scum in charge and their freedom destroying agenda. Nice change I guess, but not being insane, and knowing how well these collectivist experiments always turn out, I think I want to pass.
There isn’t enough lipstick in the universe to paint this pig as anything but what it is, and while this crap might make collectivists happy, in the end it has done nothing but hurt the American economy and tax payer. Green jobs and a green economy are acronyms for serfdom at the hands of an all powerful government that controls us by controlling our access to energy. Given the choice I would have actually preferred not to spend the money, and if we had to still do so, I would have preferred that they had paid off some of our debt. Shit, even spending it on another war might have been economically less destructive IMO. Hat last bit was just t piss off the lefty idiots that still blame the Iraq war for the massive deficit spending. A cheap shot, but a deserved one. Considering how much of my tax dollars they wasted with this boondoggle, I feel have a right to that. No wonder that moron Biden is excited. Sheesh!Close this post...
Posted by AlexinCT on 08/26/10 at 11:45 AM in Decline of Western Civilization Elections Election 2010 Health Care Left Wing Idiocy Life & Culture Politics Law, & Economics Science and Technology The Press Machine • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Taking On Death, Inc.
The Institute for Justice is one of the evil libertarian organizations partially funded by the evil evil Koch brothers (see below). You may remember them from two prominent lawsuits—on eminent domain (Kelo) and interstate wine sales (Granholm). They lost the former, but have spurred numerous legislatures to pass laws restricting the process (although they need to get involved in the disgusting blight scandal in Montgomery). The won the latter, which allowed interstate wine shipping. However, Congress is trying to restore the wine cartels through the back door.
They’ve now found a new enemy—Death, Inc.:
Penn and Teller have a great episode on the funeral industry and how they treat consumers. So I’m not surprised by the reaction. I think the IJ has a great chance here. To enforce licensed markets, the industry has to show a need for licensing—think of amateurs doing surgery in the absence of medical licensing. Unfortunately for them, the funeral industry’s attempts to justify their licensing is becoming laughable:
Caskets are a high-margin items, turning over gigantic profits for their purveyors. But you can’t got to court and say that.
The IJ is fighting the good fight, again. Too bad their an evil shady organization funded by the evil shady Koch brothers.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 08/25/10 at 03:32 PM in Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
But Our Rich Guys Are Decent
I have some admiration for Jane Mayer. Her book The Dark Side is eye-opening on the torture regime implemented by the last Administration. But she recently wrote an article detailing the evil Koch Brothers and their war against Obama.
The rest of it is of a similar vein. It took me about ten seconds to see what was wrong with this, as Ira Stoll notes:
Bing! Mayer addresses Soros briefly:
This is absurd. Mayer quotes the Kochs’ critics extensively, often anonymously. But when it comes time to talk about Soros, she only repeats a quote from his spokesman.
And it’s a wrong quote. George Soros waged a perpetual personal political war against George W. Bush and has funded tons of political organizations that masquerade as non-partisan but are, in fact, partisan as hell and often disguise their assocation. Media Matters is a perfect example. They are relentlessly partisan: you may remember in the ACORN scandal that they uncritically parroted the ACORN line. They have claimed they are not funded by Soros but later admitted to back door funding from MoveOn and CAP. Put the Kochs’ name on it and make Media Matters a libertarian watchdog and it would be a conspiracy.
Moreover, Soros has used his power and influence to make himself wealthy, as documented in Do As I Say, Not As I Do. But since he supports left-wing causes, we shouldn’t look too closely. A similar hypocrisy applies to the think tanks. Ones funded by the Kochs are suspicious partisan organizations; ones funded by lefties are non-partisan public interest groups.
More relevant to Ms. Mayer’s work? The libertarians think tanks were, for the most part, massively opposed to the wars and diametrically opposed to the torture regime she so ably detailed in her book.
The core of her article is the Kochs funding of libertarian opposition to climate change legislation, an effort that supports their own energy interests. She has a point here, but massively exaggerates it. For example, she says the libertarians promoted Climategate:
This is an amazing distortion. Cato has been mostly quiet on Climategate with the exception of the “one Cato scholar”. And that “one Cato scholar” who gave 20 interviews is, in fact, Patrick Michaels, who was specifically mentioned and derided in the leaked e-mails. Michaels has not asked for anonymity. The only reason to leave that piece of information out is to make it seem more dark and mysterious than it is. And Michaels, incidentally, disputes the severity of global warming, not its existence. Additionally, the chief climate commenter at another evil Koch-supported libertarian think tank—Reason—also accepts the reality of global warming. However, both think tanks dispute statist solutions to global warming and do not accept the disaster scenarios peddled by Algore. So that makes them Evil Climate Deniers.
The final onion in the ointment of Mayer’s thesis? Has all this vile corporate money worked to stop the growth of government? We have had a decade of unrestrained government growth in every direction, under both Republican and Democratic leadership, that has brought us to the brink of financial ruin. If the Kochs’ support of libertarian causes is undermining our Republic, it’s doing an awfully subtle job of it.
Anyway, read both her article and Stoll’s response. Mayer’s book on torture was well-documented and included first-hand non-anonymous interviews with most of the principals. It was very convincing. This? It’s a thinking man’s Shock Doctrine. I’m not overly enamored of the Kochs, who have run afoul of environmental regulations, among other things, and used their influence to reduce their responsibility. I’m under no illusion that their motives for funding libertarians ideas are pure as driven snow. But that could be said of anyone who funds political interests. if you’re going to disagree with the thinks tanks, dispute their ideas. Don’t try some nebulous one-sided guilt by association bullshit.
A Traffic Apocalypse
A couple of weeks ago, there was much hemming and hawing because China’s GDP passed Japan’s. However, I don’t think it’s quite time to panic about the chinese menace quite yet:
Wasn’t this a Doctor Who episode? Yes, I think it was.
Of course, we can’t claim to be that superior, since we have several cities—Washington DC most notably—that are pretty much perpetual traffic jams. But I wonder when the people who go all faint and blushing over China’s environmental policies will freak out about this. I mean, think of all the greenhouse gases!
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Darkness Warshed Over the Markets; There Was No Bottom
OK, not so eeek. What has happened here is that the latest government housing stimulus program—the home buyer tax credit—expired. So we went from the insane market in the tax credit regime back to a sane market. It’s exactly like Cash for Clunkers—the program moved sales around rather than generating new ones. Net economic benefit? Minimal at best.
Yesterday, I got into a conservation with an Australian on the Gold Coast, who asked me if the American recession was really as bad as they say. Australia’s recession has been comparatively minor. Other countries, like Germany, are already booming sans stimulus. So why is America lagging?
If you’ll put with my armchair economics, I think there are numerous reasons why the “Summer of Recovery” has been a dud. A “stimulus” that poured money into political projects rather than broad economic gains. The successive shocks of healthcare reform and financial reform—shocks that are still being felt as we find out what’s in those laws and various regulatory agencies have their say. I also think that much of the problem is structural—badly run industries like the automotive have been propped up for a long time, creating an ossified part of the economy. For educated people, the unemployment rate is actually quite low. It’s the less-educated Americans who are hurting the most because they are heavily employed in the government-pestered industries like steel and cars. And our massive debt is making investment money pour into government bonds rather than industry stocks.
However, the biggest reason our economy is being slow to recover, in my opinion, is that we were at the epicenter with our housing market implosion. Much of the wealth the last decade supposedly generated was in housing. It takes time to retrench the economy—think of us as experiencing a really giant hangover. The problem is that the bullshit like mortgage adjustments and homebuyer tax credits have simply dragged out the pain. They’ve been the hair of the dog in this economic hangover. Thankfully, some of this is going away (although the Republicans, especially Isakson, are supporters of the homebuyer tax credit).
In the comments on Alex’s post below, I noted that while one might argue that the Iraq War didn’t cause the debt (although it certainly helped), you can’t consider it in a vacuum. It’s the combination of various fiscal policies that were ruinous. So it is true, even more so, of Obama and the economy. A number of Obama’s decisions could be defended in a vacuum (although they were still wrong). For example, Obama defended the auto bailout by saying we couldn’t let such a big industry collapse during a recession. I didn’t agree, but at least it’s an argument. And on it’s own, the auto bailout wouldn’t have hurt our economy that badly. But it’s the combination of all these things that has kept the economy moribund.
Now that the housing sector shows signs of finally being allowed to unravel, now that the stimulus is winding down, now that further shocks to healthcare and finance may be behind us, it’s possible the economy could pick up. This is especially true if the GOP retakes Congress and our businesses can relax knowing that sweet sweet gridlock has returned.
A few months ago, the Administration begin their “Summer of Recovery” campaign. They thought the economy was going to bounce back and were prepared to claim full credit for it. Now that it hasn’t happened, they are reverting back to to the “it’s Bush’s fault” line. But Obama owns this economy now. Every major decision affecting it has been his. I suppose they’ll now fall back on the “it would be worse” line. But I don’t see the American people biting.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 08/24/10 at 02:28 PM in Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Monday, August 23, 2010
The numbers don’t add up…
I just got back from a week of vacation where I played US government - I spent way too much money on feel good stuff that yield no actual benefits - and am now because of the time off, busier than a one legged man at an arse kicking contest now at work. But I felt I had to address something that came up during a conversation I had, with a bunch of obvious liberal morons defending the disastrous collectivist policies of the last decade that have reached new limits under demcorat and Obama control, when they blamed Bush and the Iraqi war for anything from $3-$5 trillion in deficits spending. The numbers widely varied apparently even for them, but I was stumped as to why they would be pulling these ridiculous numbers up until I realized the left still wants to make believe that the deficit spending is because of the Iraq wars and defense spending, and not because of the massive growth in wasteful collectivist spending by government.
And lo and behold, it seems that the CBO in this document provides the needed information to break down the facts, and thus, like a someone using a holy symbol or water on a vampire, cause the liberal morons pushing this idiotic meme to scramble for cover. See according to the CBO, the Iraqi war, which I might point out ended in a win just this past week when, on paper at least, the last combat unit left the country, and I must say despite the efforts of so many on the left to force a loss, cost some $709 billion dollars for the duration. In fact, one quick look at the details in the above mentioned document and the numbers in these other CBO documents provides everything needed to create a real nice picture to illustrate the deficit spending from 2003 to this year. A must for your typical factually challenged leftard to see:
The telling numbers, other than the fact that any deficit spending attributed to the cost of the Iraq war are small at best, and all things considered insignificant in the overall deficit spending picture, are the numbers for the last 2 years, where deficit spending skyrocketed. The numbers don’t lie. The total deficits from 2003 through 2010 is $4.73 trillion. Subtract the entire Iraq War cost - $706 billion according to the CBO - and you still have the unbelievable sum of $4.02 trillion to account for!
Your average and predictable lib will then just move the goal post, like the people I was talking to did, and tell you that the massive increase of deficit spending since Obama took office and the demcorats ended up in complete control of both the White House and Congress, was to fix all the stuff the Bush broke. Including the trillions wasted on what they feel was a stupid war in Iraq, despite the fact that those numbers are bullshit.
Let’s just forget the illogic in trying to blame the cost of the war for the deficit when anyone willing to do the research, as I showed, can quickly find out that the economic crisis was a product of a combination of idiotic government mandated lending practices and the subsequent need for a massive scam, centered on Fannie and Freddie, to make the stinking heap of bad loans palatable to investors. While Wall Street also should share in the blame, their fault lies with going along with these stupid collectivist policies instead of shutting down the spigot and letting government choke on these idiotic anti-market and anti-reality policies.
Of course, as soon as I pointed the above out, the factually challenged libs I was talking to switched to the other two booggie-boos often touted, Afghanistan and the Bush tax cuts, as the culprits. Unfortunately for them, the numbers in this graph clearly show these two also seem to have really made no big impact on deficit spending, as the numbers for 2003 to 2007 when both were going on show, while not even adding up to the deficit spending for either 2009 or 2010. There is simply no denying that spending went bonkers after 2007, and we all know what happened in 2006, and 2008, respectively. And Bush was long gone when the donkey decided to flush close to $1 trillion – more than the $706 billion for the 7 year old Iraqi war- down the toilet in that patronage bill that served to only pay off demcorat interests and keep public servants living large while the private sector was hammered by the economic policies and regulations of these collectivists.
In fact, there are several social program outlays during the Bush years that far exceed the cost of the Iraqi war during the same period. Federal outlays on defense as a percentage of GDP under Bush were 4%. And one might be inclined to think higher defense spending numbers might be a good thing when you compare to the roaring 60s and 70s when defense spending was closer to 9% of GDP and the economy was booming to the anemic and moribund economy we now have the pleasure of enduring because of the defense hating collectivist running the country. Numbers, facts, and logic make the lib’s weak and emotion based arguments about what really is causing our massive deficits easy to defeat.
Suffice it to say that when I was done pointing out the real numbers to them, these libs all hated my guts for making them look like idiots. I am certain they also completely ignored the facts I showed them and like the politicians that represent them, will continue to run the same tired lines, hoping to fool as many as possible. After all, way too many people don’t have the time to go figure the truth out, and the Lame Stream Media will certainly not do so for them either, so they can get away with these lies. In the mean time, we will never address the real issue while these people can so freely fabricate the history they want to suit their own disruptive and destructive goals.
We are here today because collectivists refuse to accept the fact that there isn’t enough wealth in the world to give everyone everything for free. Consequently what we end up with when we let their economic and social policies run wild is what they had in the USSR: everyone equally miserable and poor. But to these social justice idiots, that’s better than having some guy that works hard get rich while they don’t.
Update: Looks like the left blaming the costs of the Iraq war and evil Boosh for the deficit spending on their watch has been doing a lot of rounds as is the research by Hoven’s research and graph I used to easily disprove this lie. Considering that just Obama’s stimulus/patronage bill cost more than the expenditures on Iraq so far, and we have not seen the impact of the most massive government infringement on our freedoms in the healthcare take-over Congress pulled, I bet you they are going to get slammed if they keep this idiotic stuff up. The rebuttal is going viral as I expected it would. No, the problem ins’t that the recession is forcing government to spend more at the same time that tax receipts are drastically down: it’s that government is spending way, way more than we can afford, period. The problem is the stupid collectivist policies and economics, and don’t let the liars try to tell you otherwise.Close this post...
Posted by AlexinCT on 08/23/10 at 12:44 PM in Deep Thoughts Elections Election 2006 Election 2008 Election 2010 Left Wing Idiocy Politics Law, & Economics The Press Machine War on Terror/Axis of Evil • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Newsweek has an entertaining infographic ranking the top 100 countries in the world by education, health, quality of life, economic dynamism and political environment. The US comes in at #11, Finland is #1.
What hurts the US ranking is health—which is ordered entirely by life span—and education. But both ranking are a little bit silly. The education ranking is based on literacy rate and average years of schooling. We get hit because our literacy rate is 99% rather than 100%. I actually think that ranking is, if anything, generous, given the poor performance of American students on international testing. However, I would note that, if you have/use the opportunities available in this country, you can get an amazing education. The American university system is far larger and more open than any in the world.
As for health being ranked on lifespan ... well, I’ve blogged on that before. The infamous WHO rankings have us #1 in healthcare responsiveness. Our lower lifespan compared to countries like Japan (ranked #1) has less to do with an evil healthcare system and more to do with an obesity rate that is ten times higher.
As for the countries ranked higher than us, they show a bit of the peculiarity in the rankings. Finland is #1, but mostly because there’s no metric for “living in an ice cold place next door to a famously psychotic superpower”. I can understand Switzerland’s #2 ranking; it’d be my top choice if I could live anywhere in the world besides the US. Australia ranks #4—higher than us on education and health, lower on economic dynamism (the high political environment ranking was before they had a hung parliament). And that’s without any bonus for the barramundi and chips. That jibes with my limited time spent in Australia (now about four months over the last ten years). This quality of life is high here but the overall wealth is a bit lower than what we experience in the US (and less concentrated). My mother-in-law probably described Australia’s economy best—it’s about seven years behind the US. So Australia 2010 is like the US 2003. The trade-off is the greater security of a welfare state, a tradef-off the Aussies seems to be fine with.
Ranking at the ass end of economic dynamism and 71 overall is Sean Penn’s tropical paradise of Venezuela. That doesn’t count for the quadrupling of the homicide rate in the last decade—a trend Chavez is trying to censor. Michael Moore’s beloved Cuba ranks #50. But in both cases, Newsweek is accepting, at face value, figures on education and health coming out of communist countries. As we have shown extensively at Moorewatch, those numbers should be taken with enough salt to preserve a beached whale.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
The Most Transparent Government Ever
That’s what it says right on the label. Just ignore the man behind the curtain:
Two things that came in for routine scrutiny were requests about the stimulus and request about Cabinet members’ schedules. The latter was after a FOIA request showed that Geithner was talking to Wall Street execs a couple of times a day. This, of course, comes after the financial reform bill exempted the SEC to make sure that we, the unwashed masses, don’t find out if the SEC ignores warnings about the next Bernie Madoff.
I’m predicting this scandal, assuming there is one, follows the template used when the Clinton Administration illegally obtained hundreds of confidential FBI files on their political foes. There will be some hearings, especially if the GOP takes back Congress. There may be a fall guy. And in the end, no one will know how this happened.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 08/21/10 at 08:35 AM in Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
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