Saturday, January 31, 2015

On the Sudetenland Germans

They tried for the better part of two decades for self-determination (we're in favor of that, correct?), and in each instance they were bitch-slapped and halted by the Czechs, Slovaks, and Hungarians. Finally, they were granted it in 1938 and overwhelmingly opted to reunite with Germany (Hitler himself hadn't even mentioned the Sudetenland much until 1937). AND it was a decision that was ultimately accepted by countries in the West (only years after the fact was the deal seen as unfair and Chamberlain an appeaser). I mean, I know that the victors get to write the history and all but for folks to try and paint this slice of history as some sort of naked aggression, WHEN IT WAS EXACTLY WHAT THE PEOPLE WANTED, is a stretch even for us American propagandists.

On the Fact that Atlanta Hawks Sixth-Man/Resident Marksman, Kyle Korver, Is Currently Shooting 53.4% from Behind the Three-Point Arc

Insane, is all that I can muster on this one. 53.4% FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR!!!!!

The Parts of Me

I'm a quarter English and a quarter German, and ever since I was a little kid I was taught to hate the German part and to love the English part. Well, guess what, folks - I'm not going to play that game anymore....'Cause it wasn't the German part that perpetrated genocide on the Native Americans, on the Australian Aborigines, on the South Asian Indians, on the Boers/Zulus of South Africa, on the black folks of Rhodesia, etc.....That, and it wasn't the English side that attempted on numerous occasions to make peace both before and during WW2 in an effort to halt the madness; even going as far as to offer the Poles West Prussia, total access to the Baltic, a referendum in the Polish Corridor, and a railway line connecting the Corridor to Greater Poland just in case they lost that referendum. No, the Germans are aren't perfect (not in the least) and I am more than happy to criticize them (their attack on Warsaw, for example) but the harsh reality is that we have been lied to for decades and if there has ever been an era crying out for a second look it is 1918 to 1947 (yes, I added on a couple of years to accommodate the Rhine Meadows death camps and the ethnic cleansing of Germans from Eastern Europe in which AT LEAST 600,000 perished).

On the Fact that (during 1939 and 1940) the Soviet Union Invaded Poland, Attacked Finland, Bombed Sweden, Invaded the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), and Forced Romania to Surrender Moldavia (Committing Atrocities Every Inch of the Way) and the Allied Powers Said Absolutely NOTHING

So much for WW2 being a campaign to "stop aggression".

What the Germans Were Up Against

a) "What we want is for the German economy to be completely smashed." Winston Churchill 1939 (fresh off of rejecting one of Germany's many peace offers).............b) "You have to live with the Germans but it would be way better if you could drive them out of Europe, like the Arabs were once chased out of Spain." Andre Francois-Poncet 1939 (right after General Gamelin had given the Poles a war guarantee from France).............c) "The enemy is the German Reich, not just Nazism, and those who have not learned this lesson have learned nothing whatsoever. All possibilities of compromise (and please keep in mind here that numerous compromises have already been rejected) have gone by and it has to be a fight to the finish....the German Reich and the Reich idea have been the curse of the world for 75 years....the German Reich has got to go under, and not only under, but right under." Lord Robert Vansittart 1939.

Friday, January 30, 2015

On "The Weekly Standard" and Their Concept of "Big Idea Conservatism"

Why didn't they just say, WAR, and be done with it?

On the State's Unlimited Ability to Tax, Print Money, Borrow, Deficit Spend, Etc..

Yeah, I'm thinking, over a century of nearly uninterrupted warfare, on this one, folks (from Lincoln all the way to Bush and Obama).

On Senator Jeff Sessions Going on Fox News and Trying to Peddle that Thoroughly Discredited Notion that Illegal Aliens are Engaged in Rampant Criminal Activity (the Truth Being that Their Incarceration Rate is Way, WAY Less than that of Native Born Americans)

You want to know why I'm not a Republican? Exhibit two, people (exhibit one of course being the neocons).

The Anatomy of Rank Corruption

a) A young Texas Congressman, Lyndon Johnson, throws his full support to FDR in 1940. b) FDR reciprocates by having a huge naval base built in Corpus Christi, Texas (right in the middle of Johnson's district). c) Johnson is able to secure the construction contract (a cost-plus fixed fee contact which literally guaranteed a profit regardless of efficiency) for one of his biggest campaign contributors, Brown and Root. d) Brown and Root (chock with cash at this point) immediately starts funnelling money back to Johnson which he used not just for his candidacy but for Democrats across the country. e) Repeat this process all across the U.S. with additional military bases, WPA boondoggles (almost entirely in the swing states), etc.. f) FDR gets re-elected to an unprecedented third term

Thursday, January 29, 2015

On the Assertion by Statists that Companies Such as Home Depot and Starbucks are Evil Because They Put Other Companies Out of Business

I hate to burst their bubble but in a free market economy firms go under all the time. It's called competition, and if this is a problem maybe they need to check out some of those rare places on the planet where it isn't allowed - for some perspective, I'm saying............................................................................................................P.S. And then there's this for perspective; the fact that 60% of the new jobs in the country are actually coming from small businesses and so maybe these two boogieman (in this case, two well-respected corporations that treat their employees well and who serve their customers ditto) aren't so damned powerful after all.

Hitler in HIS Own Words

  "Germany will be perfectly ready to disband her entire military establishment and destroy the small amount of arms remaining to her if the neighboring countries will do the same thing with equal thoroughness.......Germany is entirely ready to renounce aggressive weapons of every sort if the armed nations, on their part, will destroy their aggressive weapons within a specified period, and if their use is forbidden by an international convention.......Germany is at all times prepared to renounce offensive weapons if the rest of the world does the same. Germany is prepared to agree to any solemn pact of non-aggression because she does not think of attacking anybody but only of acquiring security." 1933 speech to the Reichstag........................................................................................................"The German Government is ready to take an active part in all efforts which may lead to a practical limitation of armaments. It regards a return to the former idea of the Geneva Red Cross Convention as the only possible way to achieve this. It believes that at first there will be only the possibility of a gradual abolition and outlawry of weapons and methods of warfare which are essentially contrary to the Geneva Red Cross Convention which is still valid.......Just as the use of dumdum bullets was once forbidden and, on the whole, thereby prevented in practice, so the use of other definite arms should be forbidden and prevented. Here the German Government has in mind all those arms which bring death and destruction not so much to the fighting soldiers as to non-combatant women and children.......The German Government considers as erroneous and ineffective the idea to do away with aeroplanes while leaving the question of bombing open. But it believes it possible to proscribe the use of certain arms as contrary to international law and to excommunicate those nations which still use them from the community of mankind, its rights and its laws.......It also believes that gradual progress is the best way to success. For example, there might be prohibition of the dropping of gas, incendiary and explosive bombs outside the real battle zone. This limitation could then be extended to complete international outlawry of all bombing. But so long as bombing as such is permitted, any limitation of the number of bombing planes is questionable in view of the possibility of rapid substitution.......Should bombing as such be branded as a barbarity contrary to international law, the construction of bombing aeroplanes will soon be abandoned as superfluous and of no purpose. If, through the Geneva Red Cross Convention, it turned out possible as a matter of fact to prevent the killing of a defenseless wounded man or prisoner, it ought to be equally possible to forbid, by an analogous convention, and finally to stop, the bombing of equally defenseless civilian populations.......In such a fundamental way of dealing with the problem, Germany sees a greater reassurance and security for the nations than in all pacts of assistance and military conventions.......The German Government is ready to agree to any limitation which leads to abolition of the heaviest arms, especially suited for aggression. Such are, first, the heaviest artillery, and, secondly, the heaviest tanks. In view of the enormous fortifications on the French frontier such international abolition of the heaviest weapons of attack would ipso facto give France 100 per cent security.......Germany declares herself ready to agree to any limitation whatsoever of the calibre-strength of artillery, battleships, cruisers and torpedo boats. In like manner the German Government is ready to accept any international limitation of the size of warships. And finally it is ready to agree to limitation of tonnage for submarines, or to their complete abolition in case of international agreement....... And it gives the further assurance that it will agree to any international limitation or abolition of arms whatsoever for a uniform space of time." May 21, 1935 speech............................................................................................................"It is our hope that through this act of just compensation, in which we see a return to natural reason, relations between Germany and France have permanently improved. Therefore as we desire peace, we must hope that our great neighbor is ready and willing to seek peace with us. It must be possible for two great people to join together and collaborate in opposing the difficulties which threaten to overwhelm Europe." March 1, 1935............................................................................................................"We have had a further meeting to-day and have agreed in recognizing that the question of Anglo-German relations is of the first importance for the two countries and for Europe. We regard the agreement signed last night and the Anglo-German Naval Agreement as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again.
We are resolved that the method of consultation shall be the method adopted to deal with any other questions that may concern our two countries, and we are determined to continue our efforts to remove possible sources of difference and thus to contribute to assure the peace of Europe." September 30, 1938 in conjunction with Chamberlain...........................................................................................................And on August 23rd, 1939, Hitler declared himself ready "to enter into agreements with Great Britain......which would not only, on the German side, in any case safeguard the existence of the British Empire, but if necessary would guarantee German assistance for the British Empire, irrespective of where such assistance might be required". He was prepared "to accept a reasonable limitation of armaments, in accordance with the new political situation and economic requirements". And finally, he assured Britain yet again that he had no interest in the issues in the west and that "a correction of the borders in the west are out of any consideration.".............................................................................................................So, food for thought?

Churchill in His Own Words

"We will force this war upon Hitler, if he wants it or not." 1936 broadcast. "Germany becomes too powerful. We have to crush it." 1936 to U.S. General Robert E. Wood.............So, there it is, folks, two years before Hitler invaded the Sudetenland (where atrocities were being perpetrated against ethnic Germans) and three years before he invaded Danzig (where atrocities were also being perpetrated against Ethnic Germans), Churchill was talking about a showdown with Germany. Couple that with the the fact that we now know that FDR wanted a war with Japan as early as 1933 (per the diaries of Tugwell, Moley, etc.) and the narrative really starts to unravel, now doesn't it?

On All of those Morons in California Who Are Refusing to Vaccinate Their Children Because They Still Think that Vaccines Cause Autism (this, Despite the Fact that We Now Know with Certitude the Absurdity of this)

Utterly disgusting (and, no, it didn't help that Obama himself once gave credence to this notion).

On this Fellow

Yes, he was wrong (probably - the fact that his family had been grazing on that land since the 1880s makes it more complicated) and, yes, he is feeble-minded. But for the Bureau of Land Management to swoop in with 200 hyper-armed agents, low flying aircraft, attack dogs, tasers, helicopters, etc., massively cording off huge areas of land, killing the guy's cattle, and all of this craziness over GRAZING RIGHTS (this, while we have drug dealers flooding over our borders on a daily basis), is about as close to government overreach as you can get. I mean, why didn't they just put a lean on the guy's property and collect it when he expires? What, that's not confrontational enough?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

On Expensive Haircuts

The progressive solution - massive subsidies. The libertarian solution - reduce the barriers to entry to allow more barbers and hence more competition.

On Why President Wilson Went After Eugene V. Debs (for Opposing His Stupid War) but Didn't Go After William Jennings Bryan (Who Also Opposed it)

Because he could. Nobody gave a rat's ass about Debs because he was a communist and so Wilson the serial bully took advantage of it. Yeah, we've had a fair number of bad Presidents over the years (Fillmore, Johnson 1, Johnson 2, Nixon, Hoover, McKinley, FDR, TR, Bush 2, etc.) but Wilson, for some reason I find him particularly disgusting and this is a pitch-perfect example of why.

On the Concept of Fearing Home Depot and Starbucks More than the Entity Which Dropped Two Atomic Bombs, Perpetrated Genocide Against Native-Americans and Filipinos, Rounded Up Innocent Japanese-Americans and Forced Them Into Internment Camps, Persecuted and Deported People Simply for Opposing Dumb Wars, Passed and Strictly Enforced the Fugitive Slave Act, Plunged the Country into a Litany of Needless Wars, Etc., Etc.

Somebody's gonna have to explain this to me again and, please, this time do it slowly.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

On those Government-Backed Railroads of the 19th Century Laying Tracks on Ice, Only to Have to Rip The Suckers Up in the Spring and Start All Over

Par for the course when you're spending other people's money.

What the Average Citizen "Knows" About WW2

a) That Hitler was the worst human being in history. b) That the Japanese bombed us at Pearl Harbor totally out of the blue. c) That it was only the Germans and Japanese who perpetrated war crimes. And d) that the dropping of not just one but two atomic bombs was totally necessary and just.......What a bunch of happy morons we are.

To those Who Think that the Federal and State Governments of America Are Not Conducting a Full-Bore Frontal Assault on the Little Guy (AKA, the Small Businessman)

THIS, folks - - yeah, libertarians totally suck.

On the Notion by Some Statist Fascists that Libertarianism is a "Loathsome Philosophy"

Liberty is loathsome? Against force is loathsome? Refusing to yield more and more power to the most destructive institution that mankind has ever constructed (266 MILLION and counting - and that's not even including warfare) is loathsome? Let's do a little thought experiment here, folks. You've got two people on the line, one from Apple (a salesman, say) and one from the federal government. Which of the two would you be more frightened to hang up on? Me, it would be the ones with the weapons, the ones that go around knocking doors down.

Monday, January 26, 2015

On the Fact that America Created the Federal Reserve Bank (Thereby Giving the Federal Government the Sole Right to Counterfeit) AND Instituted the Federal Income Tax in 1913 and then Promptly Went to War (In What Was One of the Biggest Blunders in U.S. History) in 1917

A total coinkydink, I'm certain.

On the Leftist Narrative that Palin is a Drooling Idiot and Obama is a Towering Genius

Well I agree with half of it.

On President Obama Consenting to a Trio of Interviews with Internet Dullards

Who is advising this fellow? And what about HIS judgement, for Christ sakes? I mean, I know that Bush was shaky on a whole host of dimensions as well, but wasn't this guy supposed to be smarter?

On Rand Paul's Foreign Policy

The guy is really trying to thread the needle. On the one hand, his libertarian philosophy is telling him that these wars are fucking bullshit and that we really need to focus more on trade and defending America. But on the other hand, he also knows that in order to gain any traction as a national Republican (the fellow is obviously thinking about running for President), he has no choice but to play that "I'm strong on national defense" party-line BS. I almost kind of feel sorry for the fellow (and anybody else who tries to wedge them self into this idiotic two party system)....and for the voters who have to watch these dumb Kabuki dances.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Channeling those Idiots (Wilson, George, Clemenceau, etc.) from the Treaty of Versailles

"Hey, I got it. Let's put 3.5 million ethnic Germans (i.e., those residing in the Sudetenland) under the strong-armed auspices of a bunch of Czechs, Slavs, and Hungarians, and in so doing create, OUT OF WHOLE CLOTH, a brand new country; Czechoslovakia! I mean, what in the hell could possibly go wrong?"

Some Thoughts on Income and Wealth Inequality

a) The biggest determinants of inequality are age (the largest demographic among the highest earners is 45 to 54), number of workers per family (the top quintile has four times as many workers per family - 2:.5 on average - than does the bottom quintile), and education/skills/human capital (people in the bottom quintile generally possessing little more than a high-school diploma and/or GED).............b) Government regulation disproportionately harms small businesses (according to the BBB, the cost of compliance per worker is 40% greater) and in many instances even bars entry into the market (certificates of necessity, they call it). Talk about a war on the middle class.............c) Sin taxes disproportionately harm people in the bottom quintile in that more people in that category smoke and the tax itself is regressive (thank you, Mrs Cuomo, Bloomberg, de Blasio, etc.).............d) One of the major reasons why the median income has flattened out is the high cost of healthcare. Businesses would like to raise wages but can't because the benefit packages have gotten so expensive.............e) If you look at the actual human beings that comprise these income groups, you would notice that the majority of those in the bottom quintile are out of it in less than a decade (the actual human beings in the bottom quintile in 1996 saw their incomes rise by 91% in nine years - and this is adjusted for inflation), and that the majority of those in the top 1% are out of that group in less than a decade (the actual human beings in the top 1% in 1996 saw their incomes DECREASE by 26% during that same time frame).............f) These income inequality numbers are almost always figured on a pre-taxed basis and they almost always never include the myriad of transfer payments which the poor have long been eligible for. Adjust the stats for this and the disparity shrinks considerably.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

On William Jones, the First President of the Second Bank of the United States

a) The dude was a political appointment. b) He had zero experience in banking. c) He had filed personal bankruptcy. And d) it is generally agreed upon by historians that his policies resulted in the Panic of 1819.......Yeah, I would say that the origins of central banking in this country (Washington ultimately siding with - over Jefferson - and capitulating to the statist, Hamilton) are a wee-bit shaky. Agreed?

On the Obama (a Fellow Who Until Recently Was Touting the Failed Spanish Green Energy Initiatives) Economy Essentially Being Buoyed by Advancements and Innovations in the Fossil-Fuel Industry

Am I the only person to see the irony here?

Friday, January 23, 2015

On Australian Screen Beauty, Lauren Orrell

Akin to Guatemalan cardamom; potent yet simultaneously irresistible.

On FDR Nominating Two Prominent Republicans (Henry Stimson, Frank Knox) to His Cabinet in the Weeks Just Prior to the 1940 Republican Convention

I'm not a huge FDR fan (that's putting it mildly) but if anybody out there can come up with a more brilliant political maneuver in American history, I would certainly love to hear it (it, along with his pivot to being relatively pro-business, probably earned him his victory over the charismatic Wendell Willkie).

A Cynic's View of the Law

Opinions with rifles.

On the Concept of Not Being Able to Hire Somebody Just Because They Live on the Wrong Side of Some Imaginary Line

Not racist, nationalistic, economically illiterate, fascistic, and mean-spirited enough........................................................................................P.S. According to economist, Bryan Caplan, the world opening up its borders to the free flow of goods, services, and workers would ultimately result in a doubling of global wealth and a near eradication of poverty (I also submit that it would greatly reduce warfare)....Of course, he also submits that because of the general public's anti-foreign bias, their overall ignorance of basic economics (those who understand the text/argument are almost always free-trade and pro-immigration while those who don't invariably aren't), etc., we'll probably continue to elect the same type of dumb politicians and our nativist leanings will as well prevail.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

On Mitt Romney's Political Future

I'm going to say to him what Marlene Dietrich said to Orson Welles in "Touch of Evil" - "You haven't got any....All your future's used up."............Now watch, the dude gets elected.

On Obama's Proposal for Two Years of "Free" Community College - Quick Addendum

Another unintended consequence here is that of degree inflation. As iconoclastic economist, Bryan Caplan, has pointed out, education is essentially the equivalent of standing up at a concert to see better. Yeah, it works, but if everybody there starts to do it it quickly doesn't....................................................................................................And as for all of those skills that we learn at school and those being helpful, again, the answer here is, no. Referencing Mr. Caplan again, he posits (accurately, in my estimation) that 90% of what we learn in college has absolutely no relevance whatsoever to employment (and, yes, this is true even in fields such as law) and the only reason that employers tend to choose folks with degrees over folks without them is that these degrees "signal" something to them (intelligence, perseverance, reliability dedication, etc.), AND that if you continuously water down the degree, you water down the signal as well....Makes total sense once you think about it.

The View from a Minuscule Watt Per Square Meter

This is a prime example of why slantheaded politicians need to stay out of private enterprise. As Robert Bryce, Vaclav Smil, Roger Pielke, etc. have all pointed out in their valuable writings, we (as in the world) would literally need to build MILLIONS of these behemoths (using fossil fuel of course in that everybody with half a brain knows that, while, yes, you can build windmills out of steel, you can't build steel out of windmills) in order to reach the carbon emission goals that have been set forth by various governments. Couple that with the fact that crony capitalist pigs like Al Gore and Geoffrey Immelt have gotten so filthy rich from this scam and it really is a slug in the gut. If it were solely up to me, I'd be making 'em all (both the politicians and businessmen) do a perp-walk; a LONG perp-walk.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Posthumous Note to Shelley Winters

You just might want to avoid water in the future, girl (a reference to her demise in "A Place in the Sun", "The Night of the Hunter", "The Poseidon Adventures", etc.).

On Obama's Proposal for Two Years of "Free" Community College

The fellow just doesn't get it. One of the main reasons that college has gotten so expensive in the first place is the fact that government has been subsidizing it (loans, grants, etc.) for the last 50, 60 years, and so why in the hell would anybody want to throw more cash at it (to build more palatial student centers, football facilities, etc., bankroll more insular/clueless professors like Elizabeth Warren?). Add to that the fact that a) these community colleges have basically become remedial learning centers for students who've already been let down once by the state, b) tuition already IS free for a fair chunk of students, and c) a growing majority of people who register for these programs fail to even graduate ( I think that we just have to face it here, people. Just like with healthcare, just like with housing, just like with infrastructure, and just like even with the money supply itself, the more that the government inserts itself into the marketplace, the more that it costs and the worst that it gets.........................................................................................................P.S. And do we really need to be subsidizing more psych majors (it or course gets even more absurd at the university level where we are literally subsidizing ethnic and women's study programs)?

On the James Taylor "You've Got a Friend" Stunt in France

It was funny, but an America "Horse with No Name" stunt would have been much more uproarious.

Mark Shaw Capturing Liz Taylor (as Only Mark Shaw Could)

I was never a big Taylor fan but this is gorgeous, flat-out.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

On the Notion that We Shouldn't "Second-Guess" Our Past Presidents

We can put them on Mount Rushmore (i.e., glorify them) but we can't criticize them/take them down? Sorry, but I must have missed that memo (as did a lot of folks when it came to James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, etc.).

On FDR's Proposal to Use WPA Workers with Zero Experience in the Armaments Industry to Manufacture Fighter-Planes in the Months Leading Up to Our Involvement in WW2

This was such a shaky idea that even the New York Times (a rag almost always sympathetic to the fascistic Roosevelt) didn't like it and that, folks, is saying a lot................................................................................................"It is not desirable to mix relief with national defense in the same program." November 16, 1938, page 22.

Not All Nautical Disasters Are Created Equal, Apparently

At the tail-end of WW2, Russian submarines sank two German vessels (the MVs Goya and Wilhelm Gustloff) which were carrying mostly refugees and wounded soldiers. They represent two of the most disastrous maritime events in world history and, while every fool and his sister knows about the sinking of the Lusitania, hardly anybody knows about these two disasters (one of which resulted in the drowning of 5,000 CHILDREN). Why is that, folks? I mean, is this just another example of the victors getting to write the history and who in the hell cares about German children anyway?...Man, do we ever need a fresh look at these wars.

Monday, January 19, 2015

On Fat, Stupid Michael Moore Denigrating American Sniper/War Hero, Chris Kyle, Calling Him a Coward

I can't even look at this asshole anymore....And did you see how he tried to back away from it once the shit hit the fan, saying that wasn't actually talking about Kyle? I mean, come on.

On Al Sharpton Going Bonkers Over the Fact that No African-American Actors Were Nominated for an Oscar this Year

a) The dude must think that it's an affirmative action program. b) Blacks are only 12% of the population and so proportional representation would have been only 2 nominations anyway (a threshold that they've exceeded more than several times). c) This is only the second time in the last 2 decades that blacks have been shut out of the 4 acting categories. d) With the black unemployment rate being double that of whites, the black on black homicide rate being exponential, the illegitimacy rate in the black community being over 70%, and the black dropout rate being over 30%, you'd think that Sharpton would already have his hands full and that something like this wouldn't even register (yeah, I know, it's Sharpton). e) I strongly suspect that this is little more than yet another Sharpton shakedown and that the limousine-liberal Hollywood community will probably pony up.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

In Lieu of the Keystone XL Pipeline

They're gonna sell the oil, and so it's either going to be shipped to us on 1,400 rail cars a day (the rails are already too crammed) or sent in tankers over to China where the refineries are a hell of a lot shittier than ours. Look, I'm saying that the pipeline is a perfect idea, but it's better than the alternatives and when in the hell are we going to stop listening to these radical environmentalists who've taken the precautionary principle to such an ludicrous level? I mean, we're talking about progress here.

Benjamin Franklin to the Modern Progressives

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship........................................................................................The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been about 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.".............................................................................................Yeah, I would say that we're pretty far along that sequence.

Another Dagger in the Heart of Statism

Economists, Steve Moore and Travis Brown, looked at the last 11 states to put forth an income tax (from West Virginia in 1961 to Connecticut in 1991 - thank you, Lowell Weicker, Yale man) and examined their performance on all of the typical metrics (population, employment, labor force participation, output, revenue, etc.). They then compared this data to the states' performance on those same metrics 3 years prior to the income tax, and what they found was that on every single metric and in every single state that state's share of the country's total value declined and in some instances precipitously. This is devastating, and you really have to wonder what keeps these people ticking if it isn't their ignorance.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

H.L. Mencken's View of President Wilson's Acolytes

"They were deeply convinced that he was the logical candidate for the first vacancy in the Trinity."......Yeah, and I'm suspecting that Wilson himself totally agreed.

On "The Weekly Standard"

Sorry, but that neocon rag doesn't come close to meeting MY standards.

On the Wilson Administration's Railroading of Eugene V. Debs on Trumped up Sedition Charges and Wilson's Refusal to Commute His Sentence Years After the War and Even with Debs in Failing Health

This is what happens when you give the government too much power, a perfect example of it and a nation under lock-down. I mean, can you even begin to imagine if George Bush had done something like this to Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich?...'Cause that's the analogy, folks, that's the analogy.

The Latest Republican Critique of The President?

This is a good one, folks. According to morons such as Oliver North, John Bolton, and even Mitch 'the bitch" McConnell, Obama is killing TOO MANY TERRORISTS (via the drone attacks). What these geniuses think that he should do is capture and interrogate (enhanced interrogation, I gather) them because, as we all know by now, that technique has made the world so much safer (sarcasm intended).........................................................................................Look, I'm all for criticizing the President as well. But when you do it incessantly and in a manner as awkward as this, you really start to look stupid, small, and vindictive, and nobody wants to listen to that.

Note to the I.R.S.

Sorry but I don't have the "resources" to file my tax return. Maybe next year.

On Bill O'Reilly Claiming that the Saudis Have Committed Grave Atrocities in the Name of Islam

Well, certainly in their support of Wahhabism and Wahhabi schools they have (not to mention the fact that a majority of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis). But what Mr. O'Reilly could have (and probably should have) added to that is the fact that these very same Saudis have also committed a fair number of atrocities in the name of American hegemony (the fact that we've "rendered" a fair number of terror suspects over to them who've been tortured and maybe murdered). I mean, I know that O'Reilly loves to feast upon "good guys versus bad guys" and all but you gotta be complete to be credible, in my opinion, and he was not.

On the Total State and Local Tax on a Pack of Cigarettes in New York City Currently Being $5.85

And statist morons like Bill de Blasio don't think that this situation will create a black market HOW exactly?

Note to Fox News's Martha MacCallum

You said something yesterday that was either a mistake or a purposeful mischaracterization. Professor Korb did not say that there wasn't an al Qaeda prior to 9/11 (in that that would have been ridiculous). He said that there was never an al Qaeda presence in Iraq, and that there only was one after we created a chaotic situation by invading the country. The way that I see it, you either need to correct the record, apologize to Mr. Korb, or both.

On Unemployed, Insular, and Ineducable Losers and Idiots Who Can't Seem to Move On and Whose Only "Strategy" is to Harrass

I'm running out of adjectives but paranoid, rigid (of the type that Eric Hoffer and Erich Fromm talked so eloquently about), pathetic, cowardly, doltish, and embarrassing are always solid stand-bys.

So, Just How Secret WAS the British War Guarantee to France (a Country that Great Britain Had Fought Many Wars with and Who They Almost Came to Blows with in 1890 Over the Sudan) in 1914?

It was so secret that not only didn't the public know about it, the Parliament and 90% of the cabinet didn't know abut it, either (Churchill being one of the few). Of course, what was even more tragic than that was the fact that Germany and Austria-Hungary didn't know about it and so there wasn't even the benefit of it being a deterrence, for Christ....What a bunch of fucking morons. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

On FDR's Early Reduction in Military Spending

You can chill, neocons. Yes, overall appropriations to the War Department (at least they named it properly back then) did go down from 1931 to 1934. But what the President did was to hide a shitload of military spending in various New Deal programs; the PWA, the WPA, pork-barrel contracting in key electoral districts, etc.. You see, that way Mr. Roosevelt could show the country that he was stimulating the economy while at the same time secretly ratcheting up the war machine. Crafty, this Roosevelt.

A Japanese Nerve-Pinch?

According to historian, Burton Folsom (and buttressed by the diaries of the parties involved), FDR told multiple aids that he strongly favored "war with Japan now rather than later" and that he had felt this way as early as 1933. Wow, huh?........................................................................................Needles to say, this was a humongous jolt to fellows like Tugwell and Moley, whose goal it was to manage the economy, address the Depression, etc.. But, while this view may have seemed counter-intuitive at the time, it actually did make sense in that a) Roosevelt's Secretary of State at that juncture, Henry Stimson, was a staunch interventionist and b) Roosevelt's family had had a long (and, yes, prosperous, too) association with China and so it was not surprising at all that FDR would have developed an enmity for Japan (the fact that they had invaded Manchuria, etc.)...........................................................................................As to why the war did not take place earlier, you can probably "blame" that on the isolationist mood which had permeated not just Congress but the whole country; a mood that only changed when the Germans invaded the Sudetenland and the Japanese bludgeoned Pearl Harbor (the latter obviously much more so). 

Genocide, Self-Imposed

According to William Manchester's book, "The Last Lion", nearly half of French males, age 20 to 32, were either killed or maimed during WW1. Please, if anyone out there has a statistic which more accurately underscores the insanity of war more than this one, send it, 'cause I'd really like to see it.........................................................................................P.S. Manchester also cites the fact that the British suffered 60,000 casualties on the first day of the Battle of Somme alone and that this sacrifice didn't secure as much as a single yard of territory......and, so, yes, feel free to add, futility, to the criticism, too.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

On Shaw's Claim that President Obama not Going to Paris (with the Rest of those World Leaders) Wasn't a "Big Blunder"

While I kind of agree with her, it also should be pointed out that Obama could throttle a brownie and Shaw would probably blame the brownie, and so dog bites man all day long on this one, folks.

At Liberty to Speak

The Mercatus Center is a libertarian think-tank affiliated with George Mason University (which has the finest economics department in the nation, in my estimation) and one of their more recent speakers was former Clinton budget director, Alice Rivlin. I ask you to consider a) this and b) the fact that she was treated not just with respect but with borderline reverence and compare it to the way that conservatives are treated at Columbia, Harvard, and numerous other colleges and universities all throughout this country. Somehow, someway, liberal has morphed into illiberal and it's a sad, pathetic sight to behold.

On Why Americans Need to Rein In Executive Power

'Nuff said?

On Frederick the Great of Prussia and Napoleon Being Two of the Earliest Proponents of Compulsory Public Education

Yeah, their main goals were conformity and obedience.

For Whom the Bell Fails

According E.G. West's classic book, "Education and the State", in 1880 (the first year of compulsory education in Great Britain), over 90% of 15 year-olds in England were fully literate. Contrast that to 110 years later when 40% of 21 year-olds in England had difficulties reading and writing. To say that the public education system has served the people in England is at the very minimum debatable and quite possibly a joke/tragedy.

Butler Shaffer on How the State Capitalizes on the Governed's Fears and Insecurities

"Fear can debilitate us, making us susceptible to the importunity of those who promise to alleviate our fears if only we will give the direction of our lives over to them. In this manner, our institutions born with the state demanding the greatest authority over us and promising us release from our insecurities."......Sounds about right.

On the Origins of the State

They are derived from conquest, war, crisis, subjugation, force, exploitation, fear, and uncertainty. And unless they are checked, the entire thing collapses from within.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Dirty Hand of Serbia in WW1

  Most historians now recognize the fact that a) Serbian military intelligence was involved in the assassination of Arch-Duke Ferdinand, b) the ultimate goal of the Serbs was to create a greater Serbia, and c) the method to accomplish this was to knock off Austria-Hungary via the getting of Southern Slavs under their auspices to revolt................................................................................Look, I get it, Austria-Hungary was imperialistic (though still a piker when compared to France and Great Britain) and the annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina was probably unjust. But just like those Japanese imperialists, they were late to the table and so you get what you CAN get.......And, besides, the Serbs themselves had recently plucked off Macedonia and Kosovo from the Ottoman Turks and, so pot, kettle, black, I say....................................................................................P.S. And, again, I challenge anybody to look at a map of the world in 1914 and with a straight face tell me that the biggest threats to freedom in the world were Germany and Austria-Hungary. Yes, the Kaiser was a tough customer and hard-core nationalist (ditto, Joseph of Austria) but at least he didn't rule over hundreds of millions of black and brown skinned people with ruthlessness and pretend to be enlightened about it.......Oh, and, yeah, I hate the British.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

On the Wilsonian Construct of Spreading Democracy via America Coming to the Assistance of the World's Two Most Virulent Colonial Powers and a Third Country that Even at that Early Juncture Spanned 11 Time Zones

I've said it before and I'll say it again - Woodrow Wilson, the stupidest President in U.S. history.

The Standard Government Talking-Point Regarding Warfare

a) The other fellow is 100% responsible. b) We did absolutely nothing wrong. c) The other fellow perpetrated bald-faced atrocities. d) We conducted ourselves with total honor. e) In the aftermath we acted with honesty and fairness. f) Rinse well and repeat.

Monday, January 12, 2015

On Audrey Hepburn's Last Glance at Gregory Peck in "Roman Holiday"

There are no words for it.

Words from an Honest Man

"How many bright and promising minority students, we must ask, have failed because they were steered - with the best intentions, of course - into elite schools for which they were less prepared academically than most of their classmates? What better ways can we devise to boost academic achievement and expand the pool of qualified students OF ALL RACES (my emphasis)? We don't do future generations of students any favors by trying to ignore this issue or pretend it doesn't exist. If common-sense moderates don't step up and engage this debate, we only allow extremists to take control of it." Clarence Page, Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist for the Chicago Tribune......and a liberal.......AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IS BROKE, PEOPLE, AND IT'S HURTING BLACK FOLKS.

On the Senate Torture Report

First off, I'm not going to take a stand as to whether it should have been released or not. A strong case could be made on both sides of the argument and I'm personally ambivalent. BUT, if you are going to release the thing, shouldn't you at least be complete about it? I mean, I know that the Senate has fully descended into partisan politics, foolishness, incompetence, etc. (both sides) but how in the hell do you do a torture report and not include rendition (which started under Clinton, mushroomed under Bush, and continues to this day under Obama) or the torture that took place in the military (Abu Ghraib, for example)? It makes zero sense and you really do have to wonder about the motivation here (the CIA possibly being easier to link to Bush - one thought).

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Prestidigitation Twins

So, how do you create a state budget surplus? It's easy, just do what these two crafty schmucks did. Use cash-based budgeting and under-report the cost of retiree healthcare and ignore completely the required contributions to the state teacher pension plan (in Brown's case, this made the budget look $6 billion rosier than it actually was). And does anybody in his proper mind actually think that California (currently losing adjusted gross income at damn near $5,000 PER MINUTE!! - is going to collect all of those taxes? Really?

Rushmore Material?

Flushmore would probably be more apropos for a statist, racist, imperialistic, homicidal, insane war-monger.

On CNN's, Christian Amanpour, Referring to those Islamic Murderers in Paris as "Activists"

Hm, I wonder what she would have referred to Joseph Stalin and Pol Pot as. Camp counselors, perhaps?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Biggest Miscue in World History?

Hm, I'm probably going to go with, Warren Beatty ditching an absolutely gorgeous Eva Marie Saint (he left her in the rain, for Christ!) at the conclusion of 1962's, "All Fall Down". I mean, talk about shit for brains.

Some Economic Points that the Left Never Seems to Grasp

1) No civilization has ever taxed and consumed its way to prosperity.............2) Keynesian economics has never been successful (not in Europe, not in the U.S. under Hoover, FDR, Bush Jr., Obama, etc., and not in Japan where they have literally wasted close to two decades on the shit) and the multiplier theory is ludicrous (in WW2, for example, as the government sector grew the private sector shrank).............3) There is a consistent INVERSE correlation between the top marginal tax rate and the amount of revenue that the government collects (From 1921 to 1925, for example, the top federal income tax rate was dropped on four separate occasions; from 77% to 58% to 50% to 46% to 25% and, according to a 1982 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the total amount of taxes paid by folks making over $100,000 a year actually skyrocketed by 86% - from 1921 to 1926 - and their share of the total income tax burden also went up precipitously; 81% - from 28.1% of the total income tax burden to 50.9% of it).............4) People and their money are mobile and if you tax the folks too much THEY WILL LEAVE and 85% of zero is zero.............5) Government regulation disproportionately harms the little guy in that small businesses pay more per employee for compliance, are discouraged from entry by massive licensing fees, and never get a seat at the negotiating table when the regulations are crafted (Philip Morris practically wrote the tobacco bill).............6) Government regulation literally kills people; the FDA, CAFE standards on cars, etc..............7) Wartime and catastrophe prosperity is a myth (yes, the GDP does go up but it is mainly the government sector and the end result is one of misallocation of funds; the seen versus the unseen as Bastiat informed us).............8) For the first 150 years of this country, the government did virtually NOTHING in response to economic downturns (and, yes, there were more than a few) and in each instance the economy rebounded and in most instances rapidly. It was only when the government interfered through wage and price controls, draconian tax increases, massive deficit spending, make-work projects, bailouts (through the Reconstruction Finance Corporation), restrictive tariffs, unit banking laws, etc., etc. that the downturns started to linger (I refer you to the exceptional work of UCLA economists, Harold Cole and Lee Ohanian).............9) The minimum wage law, while we can clearly debate its effects on the economy (a slight increasing of it probably doesn't do much but a huge increase would), is a serious obstacle to younger, unskilled workers and if $7.25 is too large a hurdle to overcome, how in the hell are they going to clear $10.10?............10) Make-work (such as Jerry digging holes and wd filling them up again) doesn't do anything for the economy. Yes, you're giving people money and they're probably spending it, but you're a) literally creating nothing, b) misallocating funds that could have been spent more appropriately, and c) impoverishing the government treasury to boot (as Henry Morgenthau eventually acknowledged in 1941).............11) When you put a tax on something, you get less of it.............12) When you subsidize something, you get more of it and jack up the cost (healthcare, education, etc.).............13) Whenever you create a third-party payer or intermediary for something, the cost of that good or service will rise and its availability will shrink.............14) The projected cost of government programs are almost always way off (the projected cost of Medicare was off by over 800%!!!!!) and any attempts to correct them are generally obliterated by politics, stupidity ("my plan for Medicare is Medicare"), bureaucratic inertia (just try and eliminate a program), turf-wars, etc..

On Tesla Cars

I have nothing against these cars per se. But I do have a major problem with upper class folks (and you pretty much have to be upper class to afford one at $60,000 a pop) getting a $7,500 tax break (which the rest of us are subsidizing) as the eventuality of some crony capitalistic social engineering experiment. THAT I find wholly obnoxious and I trust that the progressives agree with me.

Friday, January 9, 2015

On the Reagan Era Budget Shortfalls

They had absolutely NOTHING to do with the tax cuts (revenues exploded) and everything to do with the fact that Washington (both damned parties) couldn't control spending (military and domestic). Yes, Reagan signed every one of those budgets and so of course he shares some of the culpability (unlike others, I refuse to glorify ANY President) but to blame the deficits solely on him and his tax cuts (and they weren't JUST for the rich) is pure partisan hackery, in my view.

On Jerry's Assertion that California Has a Well-Managed State Government

I'm going to have to give this sucker a mostly, "not true" a) They have one of the highest poverty rates in the country. b) They have one of the poorest highway systems in the country (L.A.'s roads being particularly crappy). c) They have some of the very poorest student test scores (math AND reading) in the country (not that I'm a big proponent of standardized tests, mind you). And d) the claim that they're currently running a budget surplus is wholly false (the fact that they are leaving out the massive debt obligations of the state's two largest employee pension funds; CalPERS and CalSTRS, which together are underfunded by a whipping $100 BILLION). I mean, I know that Jerry despises conservatives (and I actually agree with him when it comes to neocons and socons), idolizes liberals, and thinks that the government can orchestrate the economy better than individual citizens but, CALIFORNIA, yeah, I'm thinking that maybe he needs to plant his flag elsewhere    -    .    -    -  

FDR on Carpet-Bombing in Late 1939

"I am afraid that hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings who have no responsibility for, and who are not even remotely participating in, the hostilities would be killed.......The world's nations should affirm a determination that their armed forces shall in no event, and under no circumstances, undertake the bombardment from the air of civilian populations or of fortified cities."............HE CHANGED HIS MIND!!!!!

On Teddy Roosevelt's Quote, "I don't think that any harm comes from the concentration of power in one man's hand."

Quite possibly the most frightening statement ever uttered by an American President.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

My Apologies to California

In a previous post I had claimed that California was the most mismanaged state in the Union and I justified it by the fact that $43.6 BILLION in AGI (since 1992) has vacated the state and migrated to other states. Well, guess what, folks. According to Travis Brown's book, "How Money Walks", New York has lost $71.4 billion during that same time frame (65% more than California's statist boobs have lost) and how embarrassing is that?

On Innovation and Pessimism

In a free society (i.e., one that doesn't face the constant threat of government force), the former will always beat back the latter.

My All-Time Favorite German Soap-Opera Zinger?

Probably when Tanja von Lahnstein from "Verbotene Liebe" said to one of her underlings, "I was manipulating people when you were still shitting your diapers."...Yep, that one made me laugh.

On the Government's Predictions on Energy

"There's little or no chance of finding oil in Texas or Kansas." 1891 Geological Survey............."U.S. oil supplies will last only 13 more years." The U.S. Department of Interior, 1939............."...we could use up all the proven reserves of oil in the world by the end of the next decade." President Carter, 1977.............Yeah, they were all a wee-bit off.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Monopoly Mythology

Nobody has studied American economic history more than the University of Hartford's Dominick Armentano. And so when he says that he couldn't find one example of predatory pricing in U.S. history that is saying a lot.................................................................................Of course, it really shouldn't surprise us in that the theory really never did make much sense. I mean, yeah, companies are always trying to undercut each other but in those rare instances in which a monopoly does occur, the prices never shoot up because that would just invite new entrants to the market (entrants that have probably been able to take advantage of the fact that the prior businesses were forced to file bankruptcy that permitted pennies on the dollar acquisitions) and the process would have to start afresh. And I ask you, what type of company would be willing to take losses for 5,10,15 years just to put competitors out of business? Certainly not one that wanted to please its shareholders. If you're asking me here, this is just yet another paranoiac anti-capitalism temper-tantrum by a bunch of partisan historians who fail to understand the market.

On the Theory that Tax Rates (Especially on the Wealthy) Don't Influence Behavior

It's absurd, in my opinion. a) Bjorn Borg, Ingemar Bergman, and scores of other Swedes left their native Sweden in the 1980s when the top tax rate was a crushing 80-something percent. b) Billions and billions of dollars of wealth has left high tax states such as New York, California, New Jersey, and Massachusetts and migrated instead to lower tax states such as Texas, North Carolina, and Florida. And c) whenever the top tax rate has been reduced precipitously (as it was during the Harding, Kennedy, and Reagan Presidencies) on GROSS income, it has invariably led to people earning more GROSS income (and paying more in taxes, too)....................................................................................P.S. And, yes, I've seen it on the other end as well; folks knowing exactly how much money that the can earn and not have it effect their benefits and so they're constantly refusing extra hours. Playing the system is what they call it, I guess.

On Murdering People Over Satire, Cartoons, Etc. - Quick Addendum

Yeah, the terrorist schmucks wouldn't have liked Voltaire, Moliere, etc..

On Murdering People Over Satire, Cartoons, Etc.

So, anybody out there gonna try and blame THIS on Israel, American foreign policy, etc.?

On Robert Higgs's Claim that Grover Cleveland Was the Last of the Jeffersonian Democrats

He's probably correct (the fact that Cleveland refrained - wisely, I'd say - from government involvement during the depression of the 1890s) but I would still submit that Al Smith was at least in the ballpark of one and would have been 100 times better President than Hoover and FDR combined (the fact that the guy wouldn't have proposed a 100% top tax rate, persecuted the poor Schecter brothers, instituted wage/price controls, signed Smoot-Hawley, etc.).

On Income Redistribution (Which is Actually a Huge Misnomer in that Initially it Wasn't "Distributed" but Earned)

It will always reduce overall income in that a) the people whose money is being taken (confiscated, if you prefer) will be much less likely to earn additional taxable income and/or invest to improve the value of their property and b) the people on the receiving end of the unearned money will be much less likely to earn additional income in the now and/or invest in strategies (education, job related training, inservicing, etc.) to improve future earnings. It's all about the incentives, people.  

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Greatest Political Lie of the Past Two Decades?

Hm, how 'bout, "We're winning the war on drugs"? That would probably get my vote.

On FDR's Internment of Japanese-Americans During WW2

It was one of the worst violations of civil liberties/human rights in American history and can you even begin to imagine if George W. Bush (who obviously also has some things to answer for) had done something similar to Muslim-Americans after 9/11?....................................................................................That, and you don't think that if the Japanese had bombed California back to the stone age like the British did to Germany there wouldn't have been a shitload of these poor folks dying off, too (from diseases, malnutrition, etc.)? I mean, think about it.

On the Fact that the Pentagon Doesn't Really Want Tanks Anymore but Because of Intense Lobbying by Armaments Manufacturers and the Corruption of Individual Lawmakers They Continue to Order the Things

They should just start calling it, Pimpington D.C., and be done with the thing.

On Bob Beckel

I'll take, "Fox News's Replica of the Washington Generals", for a thousand, Alex.

Call it the Stupidity of the American Intellectual and Bureaucrat?

Yes, and, no, it isn't a trick question.

Monday, January 5, 2015

On the Fact that Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, and Nurse Practitioners Make 3 to 4 Times as Much Dough as CNAs

Yeah, it kinda sucks from the CNA's perspective but there are two very good reasons for it. a) The therapists and nurse practitioners have to go to college for 6 to 7 years (as opposed to CNAs who take a 5 month program) and b) there's the law of supply and demand (the fact that there's a glut of CNAs and a shortage of skilled PTs, OTs, etc.). I mean, I know that this isn't necessarily comforting to hear but my advice to the disgruntled CNAs is the same as it is for everybody. Improve your human capital (our local community college has associate's and certificate degrees in a whole host of healthcare related fields including one for physical therapy assistant - these folks make more than double of what a CNA makes) and don't look to others to bail you out.

On Mia Love, the First African-American Republican Congresswoman in the Country's History

I find her hot.

On the Federal Government and Energy

The three worst energy sources over the past 150 years (by far) are wind, ethanol, and solar (high costs, low efficiency levels, low power density levels, high resource intensity levels, etc.) and yet this is what the U.S. government has been subsidizing up the poop-shoot for decades now. And not only is this bad economics and dreadful science, it's a total misunderstanding of how the human mind works. Yes, there is a finite amount of oil, natural gas (though Robert Bryce has concluded there to be over 30,000 trillion cubic feet of the stuff that we can potentially tap as of now), and coal in a general sense (and to our present level of understanding) but this doesn't take into account the fact that through innovation (who could have predicted the shale oil phenomenon 50 years ago), ingenuity, the discovery of substitutes, etc. we've probably and in actuality only scratched the surface. I mean, I know that these crazy environmentalists/statists think that after thousands of years of human life being made better we're suddenly going to hit the wall and turn into cavemen again (unless, that is, we follow them) but does anybody else really think that?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

On Geraldo Rivera Being a Contestant on "Celebrity Apprentice" this Season

Is this guy addicted to humiliation? I mean, you had Al Capone's vault, having your nose getting busted on national television, a brief stint on Celebrity Boxing, and now this?...Dude needs some help, I think.

On the Myth of Defense Austerity

Yes, Pentagon spending has gone down a little, but when you also figure in the Department of Homeland Security, spending in the Department of Energy relative to nuclear weapons, weapons aid to other countries, the Department of Veterans' Affairs, the billions and billions of dollars that the Pentagon hides in the Treasury, etc., etc., we're still spending close to a trillion dollars a year and more than Russia, China, Iran, Syria, and North Korea combined X2! I'm sorry, but if this is what the neocons like Charles Krauthammer, Dick Cheney, Bret Stephens, and Richard Perle consider to be "gutting the Defense Department", I would really hate to see their version of militarism.

The Revolving Submarine Door

According to Pentagon analyst, Winslow Wheeler (a nonpartisan who has worked for both Democrats and Republicans), it is exceedingly common for Department of Defense acquisition managers to leave the department and immediately get a job working for either defense manufacturers or investment firms and various other associations which invest in them (and vice versa). If you're ever trying to figure out why we can never seem to get any reform of this sucker or even an audit, exhibit A.

On Nancy Pelosi Rejecting a Request by Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq War Veteran and Amputee Who's Also Expecting a Child Soon, to Vote on a Rules Committee Issue Via Proxy, Not Based on Any Sort of Moral Grounds but Because Ms. Duckworth is Planning to Vote in a Manner Contra to Pelosi

a) It's spiteful and b) it's hypocritical (the fact that Pelosi is always trumpeting feminist causes and here she is, sticking it not just to a woman but a pregnant woman at that), and why in the hell are we surprised here?

Saturday, January 3, 2015

On the Incentive for Socialist Governments to be Thrifty and Good Stewards

There isn't any, folks, and that is the problem.

Top 10 All-Time Favorite Non-Oscar-Nominated Performances

10) Greta Garbo - "Queen Christina". 9) Kirk Douglas - "Paths of Glory". 8) Barbara Stanwyck - "Ball of Fire". 7) Henry Fonda - "Once Upon a Time in the West". 6) Joseph Cotton - "Shadow of a Doubt". 5) Vivien Leigh - "Waterloo Bridge". 4) Burt Lancaster - "Sweet Smell of Success". 3) Montgomery Clift - "The Misfits". 2) Jackie Gleason - "Requiem for a Heavyweight". 1) Robert Mitchum - "The Night of the Hunter".

On the Fact that Some White Intellectuals Apparently Believe that a Black Person Flunking Out of Cornell, M.I.T., or Stanford Is Preferable to that Same Black Person Graduating with Honors from Stony Brook, UMass-Lowell, or Cal-State Fullerton

Yes, their intentions are noble but at some juncture accountability must also come into play. The fact of the matter here is that affirmative action has probably done significantly more harm than good and a reassessment is definitely in order........................................................................................P.S. Two exceptional sources on the matter are "Mismatch" by Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor and "Affirmative Action Around the World" by Thomas Sowell. I highly recommend that everybody (white intellectuals, especially) read them.

On Hillary Clinton Having Once Supported Egyptian Torture Maestro, Omar Suleiman

And we wonder why they hate our guts over there.

On the Claim that the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor Was Totally Out of the Blue

Absurd, absolutely absurd.............a) "We needed the Japanese to make the first attack." Secretary of War, Henry Stimson.............b) From our breaking of the Japanese naval code we knew that an attack on Pearl Harbor was at the very least a possibility.............c) From that same Japanese code we also learned that the Japanese, "must take measures to secure raw materials."............d) "My first feeling was of relief that a crisis had come in a way which would unite all our people." One more time, good Mr. Stimson. RELIEF!!............e) For months, the U.S had been engaged in economic warfare against the Japanese (a termination of the 1911 Commercial Treaty, a signing of the Export Control Act,  a boycott on fuel, a boycott on lubricants, a boycott on scrap iron, a boycott on steel, a total freezing of Japanese assets, etc.) and when you couple that with the movement of our military bases closer and closer to their mainland, it's a miracle that the Japanese didn't attack us earlier.

Friday, January 2, 2015

On the Chicks From "Mob Wives"

I'm probably taking a huge risk in saying this but there is not enough alcohol on the face of the earth to get me to even touch one of these chimpettes. THAT butt-ugly, people.

On British Military Historian, Basil Liddell Hart

Yeah, this fellow was real piece of work. Not only did he buy into the cockamamie notion that targeting civilians would win wars, save lives, etc., he was also an advocate of, get this, POISON GASSES!! "Gas may well prove the salvation of civilization from the otherwise inevitable collapse in the case of another world war." Of course the real damage from this insanity came from the fact that military madmen like "Sir" Hugh Trenchard and Mad-Bomber Harris ultimately put it into action (save, thankfully, for the poison gas part) and perpetrated some of the greatest war crimes in all of human history and, so, yes sir, a special "thanks" to those fellows as well....................................................................................................P.S. And, yes, I am well aware of the fact that Sir Hart eventually changed his tune on this one, but I am sorry, too little, too late.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

One Thing that New Pitt Football Coach, Pat Narduzzi, Should Do

He needs to make a picture-book and include nice big glossies of Tony Dorsett, Dan Marino, Hugh Green, Mike Ditka, Joe Schmidt, Mark May, Bill Fralic, Jimbo Covert, Craig "Ironhead" Heyward, Larry Firzgerald, Marshall Goldberg (a player AND a coach at Pitt), Curtis Martin, Darrelle Revis, LeSean McCoy, Matt Cavanaugh, etc., etc. and show it to every prospective recruit. Show it to them and inform them that, "this is the type of player that we're looking for and are you up to the challenge?"...That's what I would do anyway.

On Railroads and Native-Americans

Here's another monstrous differentiation between the public and private sectors. While James J. Hill purchased land and rights of way from the Native-Americans, the United States government in cahoots with their cronies engaged in a genocidal killing spree (they also eradicated the buffalo, for Christ) and basically ripped the land off. To say that these railroads have blood on their on the tracks (to steal a phrase from Bob Dylan) is a flat-out truism.