Sunday, March 9, 2014
While I may have some sympathy for it, the theory as stated (the argument that U.S. foreign policy has sowed the seeds of discontent and prompted Islamic retaliation) ultimately fails. Yes, American foreign policy has frequently been boneheaded and has no doubt created enemies but it also must be stated here that radical Islam is a mindset that a) has zero tolerance for pluralism, b) has consistently displayed this intolerance in some of the most brutal displays of violence since the 14th Century; the butchering of homosexuals, adulterers, petty thieves, etc. (at the halftime of soccer games is a common time and place), c) has shown a consistent willingness to slaughter innocent civilians and has even used them as human-shields, and d) continues to have as one of its principle aims the spreading of its dogma world-wide and a universal caliphate (the mayhem currently taking place in Europe is proof of this). For Mr. Paul or anybody to think that 9/11, the Boston Marathon bombings, and Benghazi wouldn't have happened had only our troops not been placed in Saudi Arabia for a spate is a little bit silly and naive in my estimation.
You do realize, don't you, that it was primarily government interventions that prompted the 2008 financial collapse; the fact that the Federal Reserve artificially reduced interest rates for years and then followed that up with trillions of dollars of additional fiat money, the fact that Fannie and Freddie had reduced their lending standards to the point where they were gobbling up literally hundreds of billions in toxic loans and were fully leveraged up the poop-shoot, the fact that Congress and the FED had made it patently clear that they were well prepared to bail out Fannie, Freddie, and pretty much any other entity that needed it......and so down went moral hazard, the fact that government had created what was essentially a cartel with these three crappy ratings agencies and, gee, what a surprise, THEY FAILED, the fact that a lot of the money that these banks were lending out was FDIC insured and so why in the hell would they be careful with it, etc., etc.?
Heat, as opposed to light.
Friday, March 7, 2014
I feel that I've always been pretty even-handed with Reagan; neither lionizing nor vilifying the man. But I also have to admit that I've recently uncovered something that I do find MOST disturbing. According to the Journal of Historical Review (Winter 1986), President Reagan actually went as far as to include the likes of Jerry Falwell and Hal Lindsey in numerous of his national security briefings at the White House, especially those that pertained to the Middle East (the religious right's support of Israel being little more than a cynical ploy that these folks feel will ultimately lead to the second coming of Christ with the Jews either being converted or perishing). The fact that any world leader would allow the presence of such thoroughly irrational men at any of his or her policy meetings - and especially those that pertain to national security - isn't exactly what I would call a comforting thought, people.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
You do realize, don't you, that one of the major reasons for income inequality in this country is the fact that government regulations have had a disproportionately larger negative impact on smaller businesses (according to the SBA, the cost of compliance is 40% greater per employee in small businesses than it is in the larger ones) than they've have on major corporations (not to mention the fact that large corporations are far more likely to be bailed out) and that even the cost and complexity of starting a damned business has made it next to impossible in certain states (unless of course you have connections)?