Friday, January 31, 2014

Shoot the Messenger but Only Wound Him, Please

That "Duck Dynasty" dude is obviously an idiot (not to mention, a homophobe) but what the fellow said about African-Americans wasn't entirely inaccurate. Yes, blacks have far more rights than they did in the '40s and '50s (especially down in his neck of the woods) and their poverty rate has been cut in half (a trend-line that started well before the Welfare State and then veritably halted with it) but other indicators such as the illegitimacy rate (which has essentially quadrupled), the incarceration rate (which has more than quadrupled), and the quality of education (back in the '40s and '50s inner-city schools in places such as Harlem, which produced a Thomas Sowell, and Philadelphia, which produced a Walter E. Williams, gave their students a quality education and there weren't any coppers patrolling the halls back then, either). Maybe instead of categorically rejecting everything that a person outside of our comfort zone has to say so automatically, we ought to take at least a minute or two to digest it first.

On the Blogger, Shaw

Not Errol Flynn in "They Died with Their Boots On" enough.

On Global Warming Now Being Called Climate Change

Wiggle room.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Oh, It's a Diamond, Alright

Sub-Saharan Africa has experienced literally zero economic growth over the past 50 years. The potential causes that have been forwarded to explain this include colonialism (or at least the after-effects of it), environment/geography (hot climates, the fact that a lot of these countries are land-locked, etc.), and government corruption (foreign-aid in fact propping a lot of these miserable countries up). It's an absolutely pitiful situation over there but there is in fact one wonderful success story; Botswana..................................................................................Yeah, that's right, folks, the country that was as recently as 1966 the third poorest country on the planet has seen a GDP growth of 9,743% (from $70 a year to $6,900 a year) over the past 47 years. One of the reasons for this is that Botswana has a rich abundance of natural resources (diamonds, especially) and, while, yes, I do in fact agree with that, please, allow to proffer another possibility. Might I suggest that the reason for Botswana's meteoric rise is the fact they have for the most part in their history embraced a free market approach. The Heritage Index of Economic Freedom, for example, has recently rated Botswana as the 27th freest country in the world and because of recent reforms has upgraded their economy from "mostly unfree" (they had a few hiccups in '70s and '80s) to "mostly free". Other economists such as Troy University's Scott Beaulier have pointed to Botswana's high level of regulatory efficiency and market openness, their relatively low taxes, political stability, an educated workforce, the existence of property rights (in other mineral rich countries it is often the government which secures the booty), low corruption, a sane level of government spending, and a tolerance for foreigners......................................................................................Compare these factors with the absolute misery that's been taking in place in neighboring Zimbabwe and the miracle of Botswana is even more amazing. I guess that when you're far too busy slaughtering people you just don't have the time or the inclination to worry about little things like a 100,000% inflation rate.

The Percentage of Protectionists Who've Ever Actually Opened an Introductory Economics Textbook

It's gotta be in the low single digits.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

On Pet Skunks

I would sooooooooooooooooooo have one if I didn't live in a condo ('cause of the smell and the fact that they nibble on wires). I understand that they even get along with kitties.

On the NASCAR Hall of Fame

I didn't even know that there was one until yesterday.

On Joan Rivers

Not vulgar and formaldehyde enough.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

On the Idiot and Libertarianism

What the idiot fails to comprehend (and this is a long standing problem with the idiot) is that libertarianism, just like with a lot of other things, is a) a continuum (from the moderate policy oriented libertarianism of the Cato Institute to the harder, more doctrinaire, orientation of the Mises and Ayn Rand Institutes) and b) a construct that has a great many permutations to it; neolibertarianism, paleolibertarianism (whose anti-immigration emphasis I fully reject), classical liberalism (insert Amity Shlaes and our colleague, RN), civil libertarianism (which actually includes a fair number of liberals), objectivism, anarcho libertarianism, etc.. I mean, I know that the simpler that person is, the more that this type of individual requires a clear-cut dichotomy, ideal types, etc., just to get frigging by in their life but enough. Enough.

On the Appeal of Ann Coulter

 I get it, to a degree. The woman is funny, irreverent, politically incorrect (I especially love the way that she goes upside the head of leftist fools like Joy Behar), and can even be charming at times. But come on here, people, with all of the intelligent and insightful conservative women out there that a person could legitimately choose from (Amity Shlaes, Veronique de Rugy, Heather MacDonald, Christina Hoff Sommers, Ilana Mercer, Shikha Dalmia, Dambias Moyo, Jennifer Burns, Elizabeth Price Foley, etc., etc. - none of whom I would say is exactly ugly), do we (and, yeah, I'm talking to all of you sex-starved 20-somethings on Wall Street who apparently have the hots for this provocateur) really have to go for something that is this quite this......(please, feel free to fill in your own adjective here)? 

It's the Revenue to the Federal Government, Stupid - Addendum

The research also examined the relationship between tax rates on the average person and revenue, and on this one there was a zero correlation (meaning that a tax hike sometimes raised revenue and sometimes lost it but that the overall trend-line was a flat one). In fact, the only taxes that had a positive correlation were Medicare and Social Security (and even here it wasn't a strong one in that raising these taxes can sometimes cause a slight decrease in employment), and that is mainly because they're harder to avoid. The end.

Monday, January 27, 2014

It's the Revenue to the Federal Government, Stupid - The Solution

TAX SIMPLIFICATION/REFORM. My suggestion would be to have 3 mildly graduating rates; 15% on the first $50,000, 20% on $50,000 to $500,000, and 25% on everything over $500,000, treat all forms of income equally (no more special treatment for capital gains), and grant ZERO DEDUCTIONS. This way an individual could fill out his or her postcard sized tax form in about 10 minutes and do it by him or herself. I mean, can you even begin imagine the increases in efficiency that could eventuate from this, the lessening of corruption, etc.?.........................................................................P.S. And, yes, I would do the exact same thing to the corporate rate as well; reduce it to 15-20% and eliminate all the damn deductions. Make X, pay Y, boom, done.

It's the Revenue to the Federal Government, Stupid

Over the past 60 years or so, the top marginal tax rate in the country has been as high as 91% and as low as 28%, and as you can plainly see from these I.R.S. stats, there is a strong INVERSE correlation between the top marginal rate and the amount of tax revenue per person (indexed for inflation) provided to the government. I mean, I know that we want the rich to pay their "fair share" and all but isn't it more about funding the government, for Christ?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

On Author Fred Siegel's Assertion that Leftist Intellectuals Such as Arthur Schlesinger and John Kenneth Galbraith Detested Harry Truman

I'm probably going to go with, "yet another ginormous reason to like and respect Harry Truman to the max", folks.

Note to Shaw 5

And why do you always have to throw Republican malfeasance in my face? I'm not a Republican. I'm an Independent who hasn't voted Republican for President since 1988 (yes, I voted for the first George Bush over that fellow in the tank - sue me), and I voted for Obama in 2008 (and I still consider myself to the left of him on marriage equality, pot legalization, and even immigration). I mean, yes, I do in fact have a much more market-oriented approach to energy, healthcare, and the economy than do the progressives who seemingly want to solve everything via giving the keys to the Caddy to some bureaucratic dullard or an oily politician whose solitary interest is to enrich himself. But come on, Shaw, do we want to solve the problems here or do we not want to solve the problems here?

On Newly Crowned Australian Open Champion, Li Na

Yeah, I wouldn't mind going a few sets with her.

Not to Shaw 4

Oh, what the hell, I will say it. Yes, I DO think that the American electorate is quite stupid and quite irrational in that they have consistently shown an anti-market/pro-government bias, an anti-free-trade/pro-protectionism bias, and a anti-production/pro-make-work bias. That, and they have so shamelessly and moronically rewarded those politicians who have pandered and promised to them the sun, the moon, and the sky that the debt is now well over $17 trillion....A Republic if you can keep it as Franklin used to say.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The British Disease

"The problem with the welfare state was not that it wanted to distribute goods to the people of England. The problem was that a society bent on questions of distribution, bent on questions of consumption, was not a society that was going to deal with the underlying economic problems of how you produce enough, how you produce efficiently, how you compete in a global market and that is the imbalance." Charles Dellheim (on the basket-case that was the British economy in the late 1970s after 30 years of socialism), Boston University, author of "The Disenchanted Isle".................................................................................The professor nailed it and that is exactly how I feel about Keynesianism; the fact that these folks just assume the existence of the entrepreneur and everything, EVERYTHING (savings is bad, we are led to believe), is entirely dependent upon spending and consumption (how the consumer knows what he desires when it doesn't even exist yet is never adequately explained, in my opinion). I mean, I know that the supply-siders can be a little nutty, too, but this is ludicrous.

On the Insanity of Taxing Out of Debt

By the early 1990s, Sweden had a debt to GDP ratio of 80% - this, despite the fact that they were taxing the top earners at somewhere between 70 and 85% for over 20 years. Can we finally put to bed this idiotic assertion that taxing the wealthy a) is good for the economy and b) generates a significant amount of revenue?............................................................................P.S. And it isn't just me who thinks that Sweden's welfare state and their level of taxation were much too high in the '70s and '80s. The Swedish government thought so, too. I mean, why in the hell else would they have lowered taxes from 80-something percent to 50-something percent and their public spending as a percentage of GDP from 66% to 51% (the debt to GDP ratio ultimately dropping to 35%)? For the hell of it?

Risk Assessment, Bureaucracy Style

"The institution would take a greater risk on these mortgages, yes, give families mortgages who they would not have given otherwise, yes; they would not have qualified but for this affirmative action on the part of the bank, yes....Lending that amount ($2.1 billion) in mortgages will be a higher risk, and I'm sure there will be a higher default rate on those mortgages than on the rest of the portfolio." Former HUD Secretary, Andrew Cuomo......So, does this sound like a fellow who understands the risk to the economy and tax-payers of sub-prime mortgages, government meddling into the housing market, etc.?.................................................................................P.S. And, yes, to be fair and balanced here, I would also take to the woodshed George W. Bush for his 2004 urging of the Federal Housing Administration to lift the down-payment requirement for a whopping 150,000 new homeowners. A pox on both their houses, folks.

On My Buddy at Work's Favorite Mixed-Drink Being Malibu Coconut Rum and Nestle's Quick with Lactaid (the Dude's Lactose Intolerant)

The Hegelian dialectic at work?

Friday, January 24, 2014

On the Harsh Fact that Nearly 80% of the 28,000 Deaths in those British Concentration Camps During the Second Boer War Were Chidren Under the Age of 16

How this piece of Western History has been so completely and totally whitewashed is one of the greatest miscarriages of justice of the 20th Century, in my opinion.

On "The Nation" Versus "The New Republic" Versus "The Weekly Standard"

If those are my choices, I would definitely take "The New Republic". Yes, it's about several degrees to the left of where I am generally but at least it isn't a socialist rag like "The Nation" (really, Naomi Klein?) or a neoconservative template for endless wars like "The Weekly Standard". That, and the magazine has had some very good writers over the years; from Charles Krauthammer to Michael Kinsley to Peter Beinhart.

On Justin Bieber's Arrest for Drunk Driving, Speeding, and Resisting Arrest

I suppose that adding, puerile music and general obnoxiousness, to the list of punishable offenses would be asking a bit too much, huh?

On the Recent Sarah Silverman, Jesus, Birth-Control Skit

I would have respected her more if she had shown some real cojones and tossed good old Mohammed into the mix. That, and it probably would have been funnier as well.

On the Reality Show, "Fear Factor"

Not enough insect ingestion.

On the Government Being "The People"

So, it was "the people" who murdered tens of millions in Nazi Germany, in Stalinist Russia, in the People's Republic of China under Mao, and who also murdered hundreds of thousands and millions more during the reigns of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, the Three Pashas in Turkey, Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Idi Amin in Uganda, etc.? Wow, the people really mustn't care for themselves very much.

Robert Dale Owen on His Father's Failed Attempts at Utopianism

"All cooperative schemes which provide equal remuneration to the skilled and industrious and the ignorant and idle must work their own downfall. For by this unjust plan, they must of necessity eliminate the valuable members and retain only the improvident, unskilled, and vicious." The tragedy of the commons on steroids, in other words.

On Georgia Tech Football Coach, Paul Johnson, Still Having a Job After Having Gone 28-25 (Including 0-10 Versus Miami and Georgia) Over the Past 4 Seasons

Kinds makes you question their commitment to the sport, doesn't it?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Sweet Fruits of Victory 2

UCF coach George O'Leary just landed another one, folks. Lance McDowdell, a 6'4" 300 pound defensive tackle from Nassau Community College in Garden City, New York (and one of the top 70 junior college players in the entire country), has verbally committed to the Knights and it is believed by many that this kid will be an immediate contributor....Man, oh man, is it ever looking like UCF is rapidly turning into the Boise State of the East.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

On Zimbabwean President and Resident Lunatic, Robert Mugabe

Not maniacally genocidal and virulently graft-driven enough.

Emptying the Nest

One of the main reasons that median family income has stagnated over the past 40 years (and it actually hasn't - the middle quintile's income has has risen somewhere between 35.2% and 43.7% from 1979 to 2007 - depending upon how you calculate inflation) is that a) the size of the average family has gone down 21.2% from 1967 to 2007 and b) the number of single person households has skyrocketed 60% (from 17.2% of families to 27.5% of families)......................................................................................Yep, it's really just as simple as that, people. There simply aren't as many families with multiple earners as there used to be and this has thoroughly skewed the data. My suggestion to the folks is that whenever somebody tries to make a political point on income inequality and they do it by trotting out family statistics, approach them with caution and do a little bit of digging on your own...................................................................................P.S. I will concede that the last 4-5 years have been difficult (especially for those folks who lack skills) but that I blame squarely on the government; ridiculous regulations, idiotic policies from the Federal Reserve, a crappy educational system, etc.. If we can ever straighten things out down there, a reemergence of growth in the future is altogether possible.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Rupert Murdoch's Most Admirable Decision?

This is an easy one for me. It was when he (through his paper, The New York Post) endorsed Ed Koch over the spongy incumbent, Abe Beame, and the equally unappealing Bella Abzug in the 1977 Democratic primary for Mayor of New York. Yes, it was kind of an obvious no-brainer but kudos still.

Fox News's Most Ballsy Decision?

I'm probably going to have to go with when they hired virulent partisan ramrod, Karl Rove, to be one of their political "analysts". I mean, they didn't even try to be subtle on that one.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Yeah, These Fellas' Should Help

While it's true that Duke just had one of its best seasons ever in football, it's also quite obvious that the defense still has a long ways to go (having given up more than 30 points on 6 separate occasions). The good news for Duke fans and alums is that it appears that Coach Cutcliffe has gone a significant ways this off-season toward addressing this. Allow me to introduce you to Alonzo Saxton (Bishop Hartley High, Columbus, Ohio), Zach Muniz (Christian Brothers College High, Saint Louis, Missouri), and Edgar Cerenord (American Heritage High, Plantation, Florida). Saxton and Muniz are two of the very best cornerbacks in the country and Cerenord is a 290 pound lane-stuffer who had approximately 20 other offers. Yep, they're only going to be true freshman next year but when you combine their talent with the team's need, I wouldn't be surprised if they made an immediate impact this fall.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

If a Boer Falls on the Prairie and Nobody....

Genocide Watch has officially moved South Africa from level 5 (polarization) to level 6 (preparation) on its genocide watch list. This was done in response to the thousands of murders of white South Africans (over 60,000 by some accounts since 1991), especially the Afrikaner farmers, and to the rhetoric of groups such as the Economic Freedom Fighters led by former ANC Youth Director, Julius Malema; "A revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate." "The honeymoon is over for white people." "We need to kill them like they killed us." Hell, even South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has gotten into the act with his own personal rendition of "Shoot the Boer, kill the Boer."..........................................................................I mean, I know that we're not supposed to care about this, blacks killing whites (the Boers, especially) and all but you'd think that at least we would have heard about it some and we haven't. Political correctness (with a murderous edge) anyone?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Put it on HIS Tab

There are a multitude of reasons as to why American healthcare has gotten so expensive; technology, demand, aging populations, regulations, overhead, malpractice and defensive medicine, etc., etc.. But the major reason for the burgeoning costs in my opinion has been the proliferation of these third party payer groups. I mean, it's common sense. When folks spend their own money they are far more careful with it (you wouldn't, for example, go to the emergency room for a head cold and spend a thousand dollars) and, yes, because of that, a) the demand goes down and b) providers of these services are actually forced to compete for your business.........................................................................And, yes, folks, there is an abundant amount of evidence to substantiate this; a) the fact that the noninsurance sectors of the American healthcare economy (lasik eye surgery, plastic surgery, full body scans) have consistently been going down (in the case of lasik eye surgery by as much as 80% in certain areas), b) the fact that the people of Singapore pay for the bulk of their healthcare with out of pocket cash and the costs there are 80% less there than in America, c) the fact that the corporation, Whole Foods, has largely gone to a plan in which personal health savings accounts (supplemented by a high deductible policy) are featured and costs have gone down markedly, d) the fact that the state of Indiana has also gone to a plan (for their state employees) in which health savings accounts are featured and their costs have gone down significantly and with no negative change in outcomes, e) the fact that healthcare spending in the U.S. was but a tiny percentage of overall GDP right up to the start of Medicare and Medicaid and then it majorly started to skyrocket. Again, it's just good old common sense here. You get rid of the middle-man and you save yourself a boat-load of money.

Straight from the Source

"Medi-Save is, I think the U.S. would call it, health savings account." Khaw Boon Wan, Minister of Health of Singapore. The only difference that I can see is that the Singapore accounts are mandatory and the U.S. ones are voluntary (and , no, I would have absolutely zero problem making them mandatory in America - a stance that would obviously put me at odds with hard-core anarcho-libertarians and underscore the fact that I am not a "true believer" but much more of a pragmatist).

Friday, January 17, 2014

On Price Controls in Singapore's Healthcare System

Yes, they exist but only pertain to hospitalization and long-term care. Doctor's visits and procedures are determined by the market and the reason that the prices are so low is the same reason that lasik eye surgery (which has gone from $5,000 an eye to as low as $600), plastic surgery, and full body scans have gotten so much cheaper in the United States - competition resulting from the fact that people are spending their own money (it is mandated by the government that people set aside 6% of their gross earnings every year into what we would refer to as a health savings account that would a) accumulate over time at a 4% interest rate and b) be used to purchase healthcare services) while providers are attempting to secure it (it is also mandated that doctors and hospitals not only disclose their prices but their success rates as well). It is a wonderful thing, this competition. 

On the New York Knicks Being 7-13 at Home this Season

How in the hell did these cock-suckers win 50-something games last season?...That and have you ever seen a more pathetically run sports franchise in your life? I mean, I know that the Lions under Matt Millen really stunk it up, too, but these Knicks are shelling out some serious cash simultaneous to stinking and that, me-buckos, requires some major cojones in my opinion.

Pious, My Ass

According to historian, Guenter Lewy, the Catholic Church in Germany was so incestuously tied to Nazi Germany that it actually opened up its genealogical records to enable the Nazis to trace the extent of a Jewish and/or suspected Jewish person's ancestry. How damned frigging disgusting is that?..............................................................................And, no, it doesn't even remotely stop there. According to Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's book, "Hitler's Willing Executioners", there hasn't been a single Catholic priest or parishioner who collaborated with the Nazis who has ever been excommunicated from the church - this while simultaneously thousands and thousands of others have been given the boot for bush-league offenses like birth-control. I am sorry, folks, but, starting now, I am going to totally tune these miscreants (i.e., celibate dudes with a collar) out.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Facts on the Swedish Economy

1) From 1870 to the mid-1950s, Sweden was the fastest growing economy on the planet and by 1970 it was the 4th wealthiest country in the world.............2) For most of that time period Sweden was a highly capitalistic country that was aided by factors such as secure property rights, the rule of law, a fair and honest court system, a solid private banking system, free trade, and limited regulations.............3) Starting in the 1970s, Sweden's economy became much more government centric and was characterized by policies such as rigid labor market regulations (amongst which a solidarity wage that nearly destroyed incentive), the propping up of stagnating sectors, and massive increases in spending (government spending eventually reaching 66% of total GDP) and taxes.............4) Between 1975 and 1985, the Swedish debt increased by nearly 10-fold.............5) By 1980 the top marginal tax rate was 85% and when you included all taxes it was over 100% for some folks (over a certain amount of income).............5) By 1990 there were actually more tax-financed jobs in Sweden than there were private sector jobs.............6) Sensing the unsustainability of such debt and entitlement growth, Sweden eventually reformed their economy to the point where government spending is now down to 51% of GDP and the top tax rate 57% (still too high but significantly better than 85%).............7) Other reforms included school choice (are you listening Mr. Obama?), a partial privatization of Social Security, reduced regulations, a reduction of the corporate tax rate to an exceedingly competitive 22%, and a total elimination of the death tax.............8) After these reforms, Sweden's national debt decreased from 80% of GDP in 1995 to only 35% of GDP in 2010.............9) Sweden's response to the 2008 financial crisis was not one of stimulus spending (Sweden's Finance Minister, Anders Borg, actually went as far as to criticize President Obama for his stimulus package) but rather one of permanent tax cuts and welfare spending reductions - the end result being significant economic growth coming out of the recession.............10) And it wasn't just Bjorn Borg who got out of Sweden in the '70s and '80s. Film director Ingemar Bergman and pop band ABBA also got the hell out of there (as did thousands of other folks) and I'll say it again, 85% of 0 is 0.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Miscellaneous 175

1) According to a recent study from the University of Virginia, surgical patients on Medicaid were 97% more likely to die prior to discharge than privately insured patients were and 13% more likely to die prior to discharge than patients who didn't have any insurance at all. And, yes, this study DID control for intervening variables such as age, income, geography, surgical procedure, and prior health status. Wow, I guess that there really is a difference between "coverage" and actual healthcare.............2) According to a recent survey from the California Medical Association, 70% of California doctors WILL NOT participate in the Obamacare exchanges this year. Another survey by the New York State Medical Society says that 44% of the physicians in that state will also NOT participate in these exchanges. These are obviously troubling statistics and hopefully these doctors will reconsider.............3) According to a survey from the American Academy of Family Physicians, 19% of the doctors in this country are refusing to accept new Medicare patients and 33% of them are refusing to accept new Medicaid patients. Talk about yet another piss-poor situation and I don't even want to think about what it's going to do to emergency rooms.............4) Oh, and get a load of this one. According to Internal Medicine News, Medi-Cal (the Medicaid agency of California) is currently paying physicians in that state $18-24 a visit. $18-24 A VISIT!!!!! Yowza, huh? And then they wonder why these physicians aren't accepting the damn shit.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

On Will Hart Being Referred to as a "True Believer"

It is one of the most imbecilic accusations of recent memory. a) I'm a registered independent who identifies with no particular political party and whose primary purpose is to solve problems. b) While I strongly prefer market-oriented solutions to American economic problems, I am hardly an anarcho-capitalist or Mises style libertarian (the fact that have strongly advocated government involvement in healthcare, shown at least a modicum of support for the negative income tax, supported a graduated income tax, etc.). c) I have consistently praised a great number of Democratic Presidents and candidates over the years (Cleveland, Truman, Kennedy, Clinton, Al Smith, Paul Tsongas, etc.) and criticized a fair number of Republicans ones (Hoover, Nixon, Reagan, Bush 2, McCain, Romney, etc.). d) I have consistently praised bipartisan efforts (the Concord Coalition, Simpson-Bowles, Rivlin-Domenici, No Labels, The Third Way, the Wyden-Ryan compromise on Medicare, etc.) for quite some time now and have even put forth a couple of my own; on taxes, debt consolidation, Pentagon reform, abortion, etc.. I mean, I know that there are morons out there who, in an effort to distract the folks from their own ideological rigidity, are bound and determined to castigate others as such (and I do try to have a certain amount of compassion for them) but in this instance a correcting of the record is mightily in order and I thank you for your patience.

Toward a Free Market Solution to Healthcare and a Hell of a Good Lesson to Learn.

Singapore spends approximately 4% of its GDP on healthcare and their current life expectancy is 82. How do they do it? Try, it seems as if John Mackey of Whole Foods isn't the only person who has a handle on bending the cost-curve here..............................................................................Yeah, that's right, folks. Singapore's system is one of personal health savings accounts (mandated but with subsidies for people who need it) supplemented with catastrophic plans for emergencies. And, while, no, it isn't perfect, it has in fact produced solid healthcare outcomes while at the same time bending the cost-curve. I mean, just take a look at these huge comparisons; hysterectomy - $20,000 in the U.S., $7,000 in Singapore, hip replacement - $43,000 in the U.S., $12,000 in Singapore, heart bypass - $127,000 in the U.S., $22,500 in Singapore....I don't know, folks, it sure as hell sounds like a decent plan to me.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Nah, There's No Cover-Up

According to CNN's Jake Tapper, Robert Baer, and Drew Griffin, approximately three dozen witnesses and survivors (a large chunk of them working for the C.I.A.) of the Benghazi terrorist attacks have been forced by the federal government to sign nondisclosure agreements (the purpose of which being to keep them from talking to the media and to Congress, obviously) and take almost weekly lie detector tests to verify their compliance to it. If this isn't proof-positive that this administration clearly does not want the American public to know what truly happened in Libya, then I don't know what is. And the fact that this media of ours (aside from the three individuals mentioned above and CBS's Sharyl Attkisson) hasn't been putting more pressure on them is an absolute disgrace.................................................................................P.S. It has also been alleged that the consulate in Benghazi was essentially functioning as a gun smuggling operation into Syria and that we had actually been arming the rebels (some of which were undoubtedly al Qeada) in Syria for several months (ergo the reason for so many C.I.A. operatives) prior to the whole Benghazi episode. Man, is this Obama fellow looking more and more like George W. Bush.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

On Blogging and the Internet

They have totally revolutionized society. But they've also provided a forum and source for idiots and miscreants who've never actually opened a real abstract or journal article and whose angry, bitter, and incoherent "missives" even their local Podunk newspapers would have thoroughly rejected. If I were to give the consumers of this garbage some advice, it would be the same as with anything; proceed with caution and, yes, if it looks, acts, and talks like a douche, it more than probably is.

Saturday, January 11, 2014


That's the percentage of Bjorn Borg's income that the Swedish government got when the tennis star decided to pack up and move to Monaco. Smooth Swedes, real smooth.

On the Mind of the Doctrinaire, Absolutist, Straight Down the Line, Never Deviating True Believer

It is filled with biased information and opinion, easily led, fails to understand the limitations of science and epistemology, and is wholly incapable of critical thinking. In my opinion, these folks are at the very minimum useless and can in fact be dangerous during the reigns of charismatic leaders. It is also my belief that we need to identify them and at an early age teach them to think for themselves, be skeptical, etc. - for their good and for the good of society (i.e., keeping them away from water towers, book depositories, etc.).

Friday, January 10, 2014

Beans on Steroids Counting

I have 13 playing cards here. You know how many possible combinations that I can get from them? Try 6,227,020,800. There, now can you even begin to imagine the possible number of combinations that currently exist in the American economy; businesses, workers, consumers, etc.? It has to be a nearly incalculable number and yet we continue to have these politicians (from both parties - totally bipartisan here) and bureaucrats who still think that they can somehow micromanage the workings of America commerce via fiat, central-planning, etc.....Let's see here, what was it that Hayek called this phenomenon? Oh yeah, he called it "the fatal conceit".

On the Polar Vortex Being Caused by Man-Made Global Warming, Part 2

The point of my previous post on the subject should have been clear to anybody with even a modicum of a brain-stem but for the few of you out there who struggled with it my overall point was as follows. The planet has undergone tens of thousands of previous polar vortexes and the overwhelming majority of them (somewhere in the neighborhood of 99.9999%) have occurred not only prior to the Industrial Revolution but well before our pathetic little species ever emerged and, so, yeah, how in the hell do we know that the SUVs are causing it now, ESPECIALLY since the warming peaked in 1998 and if anything the temps have actually been coming down? Comprehendo?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

On the Polar Vortex Being Caused by Man-Made Global Warming

As opposed to in 1776 when the thickness of the ice made Washington's crossing of the Delaware all the more hazardous.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

On Political Obituaries

Write them at your peril.

On Having Politicians for Heroes

I've never heard anything so idiotic in my life.

You're Welcome, Sweden, Etc.

According to multiple experts (Scott Atlas from Stanford and Glen Whitman from Cal State Northridge have both written extensively on it), the vast majority of healthcare innovations (not to mention Nobel Prizes in Medicine) have taken place in the U.S., NOT IN SWEDEN, NOT IN DENMARK, NOT IN ENGLAND, AND NOT IN CANADA. I point this out because, if it wasn't for the rapid advancement in technology that our still relatively free market approach has given not just to us but to the entire world, there wouldn't be all that much to socialize over there, now would there?

My Least Favorite Democratic Presidents From the Last 113 Years

Statist interventionists one and all.

John Stuart Mill on Human Satisfaction

 “It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, are of a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the question.”

My Least Favorite Republican Presidents From the Last 113 Years

Statist interventionists one and all.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Will Smith's Response to the French Top Tax Rate of 75%?

"God bless America."

On the IRS Spending $60,000 on a "Star Trek" Parody Training Video

I'll take, "Foolish Government Waste Combined With Terrible Acting", for a thousand, Alex.

The Massive Cost of a Bloated Welfare State

In the early 1960s, total government spending in Sweden was approximately 30% of GDP and Sweden was the 4th wealthiest country in the world. By the early 1990s, government spending had literally doubled to 60% of GDP and Sweden fell all the way to 17th in terms of wealth. Yes, the Swedes eventually scaled back on some of this spending and they also cut back significantly on regulations (two factors that greatly helped their economy) but how anybody out there can still say that what they did in the '70s and '80s was good for the economy is well beyond me.

Obama to Big Businesses

"Yes, we're going to regulate you, but we're also going to give you subsidies and even give you a seat at the table when we craft the damned legislation....AND we'll bail your ass out. Wink, wink, nod, nod."...............................................................................A couple of examples of just how President Obama works - a) He took massive amounts of cash from the big-wigs at Google and alakazam, Google skated on its anti-trust and illegal manipulation charges less than 2 months into his administration. b) He assigned a fellow by the name of Mark Ernst to craft the new tax preparation law which would have had as one of it's side effects the putting out of business of a lot of small guys and did I mention that Mark Ernst was a former bi-wig at H&R Block? c) He had as his main business adviser GE's Jeffrey Immelt and damned if this whole green energy scam hasn't benefited that company immensely. d) For some strange reason he gave Philip Morris a seat at the table in the crafting of the tobacco bill and that legislation quite literally solidified their status as the #1 tobacco company (they apparently already had the new testing equipment and the smaller companies didn't). e) The stimulus package itself was a veritable grab-bag for corporate America; big tech, big energy, big concrete, big pharma, etc., etc.. To say that this fellow isn't a crony capitalist and that he seriously bleeds for the little guy is uproarious.

The Sweet Fruits of Victory

When Central Florida defeated Baylor in this year's Fiesta Bowl, they did more than simply win a football game. They also won an important victory on the recruiting trail. Jamiyus Pittman, one of the most highly ranked high school players in the talent rich state of Georgia and one of the highest ranked defensive tackles in the entire country was seemingly so impressed with UCF's victory last Thursday that he decommitted from Ole Miss of the powerful SEC and committed to the Knights instead. Granted, this is only one verbal commit, but as is frequently the case in college athletics, sometimes one is all that's necessary to create an avalanche (one key player sometimes creating a pipeline to various high schools, states, etc.). Go Knights!

Monday, January 6, 2014

The March of the Britzis

There's an important point that a lot of people fail to realize. It wasn't the Germans who first originated the concept of the concentration camp. It was the British. Yeah, that's right, folks. At the tail end of the second Boer War in 1901 (and in an effort to end the guerrilla warfare that the Boers had gravitated to), the British proceeded with what can only be described as a scorched-earth policy. They started by burning to the ground some 60,000 homes and farms and then followed that up by apprehending all of the women, children, and elderly and putting them into concentration camps where they eventually turned into skeletons (nearly 30,000 deaths due to malnutrition and the elements). It was one of the most horrifying military tactics (getting the Boers to surrender by tormenting their women and children) in recent human history and isn't is about time that people knew about it?...............................................................................P.S. Oh, and if you're thinking to yourself, "It's just the Boers, who in the hell cares about them?", it also must be stated that the British had a second set of concentration camps that were used exclusively for the Zulus (fearing that the Zulus would fight on the side of the Boers), and a lot of those folks died as well.

Sunday, January 5, 2014


that socialism and a government centric approach to the economy in India did absolutely nothing FOR 43 YEARS and then magically in 1991 it suddenly started to bear some fruit. Never mind the fact the inspectors regime was thrown out, the quota system was abolished, the License Raj system was ended, the exchange rates were liberalized, the public sector disinvestments began, the insurance sector opened up, the telecon sector opened up, restrictions on trade were reduced, tax reform was enacted, etc.. No sir, it was all a big, fat, juicy delayed reaction to massive regulation and some bureaucratic wisdom. Gotta love it, huh?.....................................................................................Here are some actual peer-reviewed journal articles, folks. I could have easily given you a 100 but I think that these are probably sufficient enough to convince you that economic liberalization in India, while, yes, it was far from perfect and probably didn't go far enough, in fact did exist and is only a myth in the minds of the insane - 1) - 2) - 3) - 4) - 5) - 6) - 7) - 8) - 9)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Ann Coulter, Anti-Immigration Huckster Extraordinaire

Ann Coulter went on "Kudlow" last week and spouted off some of the nastiest and vilest disinformation of recent memory. Amongst the worst of the woman's BS was the fact that she just continues to trot out that discredited stereotype of Mexicans mooching off of the Welfare State. It's false, and either Ms. Coulter is an ignoramus who doesn't know the research (namely, that most illegals aren't even qualified for entitlements and even if they are these folks tend to utilize them at a lower rate than do native born Americans, that immigrants in general add as much as $200 billion a year to the U.S. economy, etc.) or she knows it and is lying like a son of a bitch in order to gin up anti-Hispanic sentiments. Either way, I find her repulsive and wouldn't give her the time of day if I had a show.

Friday, January 3, 2014

On Clemson Wide Receiver, Sammy Watkins

16 catches, 227 yards, 2 touchdowns. Yeah, he's ready to go pro.....................................................................................P.S. The dude's stats for the entire season are 101 catches, 1,464 yards, and 12 touchdowns. Youza!

Something Less Than a Bang-Up Job

I agreed a while back to accept some modest gun control legislation; a) universal background checks and b) a limitation of 10-15 rounds on magazines. I did so because I didn't think that it would do any harm and that it would possibly give certain people solace, NOT because I thought that it would be effective...............................................................................Yeah, well guess what, folks, stuff like this ISN'T effective. The Centers for Disease Control and Harvard University have both come out with exhaustive studies that have shown that policies such as banning specific firearms or ammunition, restrictions of firearms acquisition, waiting periods for firearms acquisition, firearms registration and licensing of owners, zero tolerance policies for firearms in schools, etc. have all had absolutely zero effect on violent crime in America. Couple that with the fact that there has long existed a strong negative correlation pertaining to gun ownership and the murder rate ( and there really isn't all that much to hang your hat on here when it comes to these policies....Of course if it does give us solace....

On Bill O'Reilly

Needs to learn to live and let live and not be such a self-righteous douche-bag.

On Chris Matthews

Needs to get back on his Ritalin.

Note to Louisville Coach, Charlie Strong

Stay at Louisville (making close to 4 million bucks a year) and they'll build a statue of you in less than a decade. Go to Texas and you'll get fired after a couple of 8-4 seasons and have to deal with yahoos 24/7. You decide.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Think Insanity

I don't care about your rebuttal (or anything else that you have to utter for that matter, either), wd. I've already researched the issue pretty extensively and the vast, Vast, VAST majority of sources have indicated that India in fact DID undergo significant economic liberalization in 1991 (it actually started earlier than that but the major stuff was enacted in 1991) and that it took the form of freer trade, tax reform, privatization, and deregulation..........................................................................................I mean, I'm not exactly sure what your angle is here; that they didn't go all the way to Adam Smith style pure capitalism (which would be a total straw-man in that nobody has ever once indicated that) maybe. I don't know. If I had to muster a guess it would be that you did what you constantly do; scour the entirety of the internet looking for contradictory viewpoints (, 2005, really?) and then elevating them like you did with the guy who thinks that Bush is a war criminal or the guy who thinks that Smoot-Hawley was actually good for the economy or the guy who thinks that we should have handed bin Laden over to his fellow Middle-Eastern tyrants. But whatever it is, it thoroughly disturbs me big and I'd like it to stop.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Way, WAY West of Eden

According to scientist and author, Indur Goklany, the odds of someone from the developed world perishing from a catastrophic weather event (flood, hurricane, drought, etc.) have decreased by approximately 98% over the past 100 years. This whole viewpoint that it will somehow be human progress that ultimately causes human extinction is absurd (the one possible exception obviously being nuclear war) in that it is only through progress that adaptation can occur....................................................................................I mean, just take a look at how human beings existed prior to scientific advancement, for God sakes. It was abominable! Life was short, nasty, brutish (just the amount of wood that you'd have to cut simply to get through winter) and the fact that you still have Hollywood idiots like James Cameron and Drew Barrymore going around glorifying this simpler existence (this while they themselves personally live in opulence) is utterly despicable, in my opinion.

On Central Florida's Number One Fullback

5'9" 255. The dude's practically a small city, for Christ Sakes.

The Invisible Brains

People have to realize that for the first 140 years of this country's history, the federal government did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in responding to economic downturns, and every time the economy recovered on its own and often quickly. It was only when the likes of Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama started monkeying around with the markets that the recessions and depressions really started to linger. This is a fact and an exceedingly inconvenient one for Keynesians, I submit.