Showing posts with label big government. Show all posts
Showing posts with label big government. Show all posts

Monday, January 13, 2014

A Tale of Two Seizures

You might think from these stories that the American system of child protection is superior to the German. In one case children are protected from thuggish parents, in the other they are whisked away from loving parents by jackbooted thugs. However, that's not quite the whole story. There's something to detest in either case.

First, to Germany:
Meanwhile, Back in the Fatherland...

Because they were home-schooled, the German judge was concerned that “the children would grow up in a parallel society without having learned to be integrated or to have a dialogue with those who think differently and facing them in the sense of practicing tolerance.” So, he ordered the State to seize well adjusted children from caring parents, because at some indeterminate future date, and based on a moronic hypothetical, they might not have been properly assimilated by the State.

If you accept the German judge's definition of child abuse, you'll be in agreement with the Progressive tyrants in this country who vilify home-schooling and want to criminalize it. He just stated their case succinctly. They think it's your child's job to help civilize the teenager the toddler in our next story is going to become.

Here's a "parallel society" in the United States from which children were forcibly removed:
Cursing toddler: See why this 'thug' video is shocking the nation

The twist is, after this video was posted on the internet, some people called it racist. Not the activity in the video, the act of posting it. Think about that, who thought it was a good idea to make the video in the first place?

No, the video itself is not racist, but some Americans consider exposing child abuse to be racist based on the melanin content of the participants. Those people are the actual racists. They'd have been cheering former MSNBC host Martin Bashir on were he to have shown a similar video of Jews or Japanese.

In America revealing a 2 minute home video of black family dysfunction is cited as evidence of racism, but if you have hours of white dysfunction you make it into a television series and call it Honey Boo Boo.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Maybe you should have read it first

And maybe Americans should have been told what was in it rather than being told we had to pass it to find out.

“We got [Obamacare] done. Now, let’s face it, a lot of us didn’t realize that passing the law was the easy part.”
-Barack Obama
Yep, they supposed deconstructing 1/6 of the American economy would be as easy as convincing Nancy Pelosi to say something stupid. Hell, they assumed she needed convincing to say something stupid. I'm pretty sure she volunteered.

Of course passing the law was the easy part. Unfortunately, just waving your hands and saying, "Make it so." doesn't work when your minions have zero experience in actually building anything and are economically ignorant.

So, Barack, You did build that.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


You are a CEO from whom a senior manager keeps secret the fact that a very expensive and crucial project is failing miserably, allowing you to talk about how great the results will be right up until it launches.

Do you 1) express confidence in the senior manager, 2) minimize the catastrophe as "glitches" and "kinks," 3) double down on how great the product is in a public speech, 4) blame the competition AND the customers, 5) all of the above?

If you picked number 5, you are the Leader of the "Free" World.

Next, imagine you are a Director on the Board of the company by which the CEO is employed. The CEO explains to the Board that he did not know about any problems until he read about them in the newspaper, and that he's working hard on the issues. He has used this excuse before to explain illegal actions taken by the company involving shipments of firearms, the death of four company employees who were not provided with security guards in a dangerous country and when the accounting department deliberately leaked customers' financial information in order to influence his election as CEO.

Do you, 1) reaffirm your confidence in the CEO, 2) tell him you know technology is hard and ask him to keep the product, such as it is, live, 3) give him more money to work on it, 4) blame the competition AND the customers, 5) all of the above.

If you picked number 5, you're a member of the Main Stream Media and/or a "Progressive."

Saturday, September 21, 2013

This is what happens in third world countries:

Venezuela orders temporary takeover of toilet paper factory

In first world countries, like the United States, we have the common sense to give the toilet paper printing franchise to the Central Bank in the first place.

Venezuela is ahead in one sense, however. They have an official government agency "called Sundecop, which enforces price controls," Sundecop "said in a statement it would occupy one of the factories belonging to paper producer Manpa." In the US we have to depend on hygenically challenged hippies to occupy businesses.

The cost of our independent contractors is lower though.

Friday, August 30, 2013

American school children and Russian cows

If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You Are a Bad Person
I am not an education policy wonk: I’m just judgmental. But it seems to me that if every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve. This would not happen immediately. It could take generations. Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good.
When Allison Benedikt says "worth it," she is insisting that you consider all other children more important than your own child. Those of a totalitarian disposition might consider this idea worthy of debate, but, short of government forcing it, no one could consider it practical. Even president Obama has rejected Benedikt's dictum.

One wonders how Progressives like Ms Benedikt reconcile their relentless public school focus on self-esteem training with their opinion that the collective is more important than you are. You're special because your parents decided to sacrifice your education to the common good? You're just as important as everyone else who can't read or write?

It reminds me of an old Russian joke about a peasant with one cow who hates his neighbor because the neighbor has two cows. A genie offers to grant the envious farmer a single wish. "Kill one of my neighbor's cows!" he demands.

Ms Benedikt is not arguing on behalf of children, or the "common good." She's arguing on behalf of public employee unions and big government, so ignore this report from Harvard: Students Learn Less in States with Stronger Teachers' Unions

For Ms Benedikt that's not a bug. It's a feature. Of course, she would probably object that that's an example what she wants to change. However, she also probably would object to education system reforms like those in Wisconsin and Michigan.

And, by the way, somebody should tell Ms Benedikt that calling president Obama a "bad person" is racist.

Monday, May 20, 2013

How can you tell?

Maybe the confluence of interest from the ATF, FBI, IRS and OSHA are coincidental. Maybe not.

The insidious part of government out-of-control is that you're a lot less sure it's coincidence than you were last week.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Why have medical and education costs risen so much faster than everything else?

Because the government distorts the market.
The Central State directly spends over $1 trillion a year on Medicare and Medicaid, and controls private spending with rules and regulations.

As for college costs: could their incredible expansion have anything to do with the Central State backing $1 trillion in student loans?
Not to mention that student loans cannot be discharged via bankruptcy, a big incentive to lenders. "Safer than houses," so to speak.

I include one chart, but read the whole thing at the link:
The Source of High Inflation: Government Spending

In the case of energy, the cause is the decline in value of the world's reserve currency - a result of printing too much of it.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Dr. Pritchett and the Philosopher's Moan

"Dr. Pritchett" speaks:
There is no such thing as a self-made man. Every businessman has used the vast American infrastructure, which the taxpayers paid for, to make his money. He did not make his money alone. He used taxpayer infrastructure. He got rich on what other taxpayers had paid for: the banking system, the Federal Reserve, the Treasury and Commerce Departments, and the judicial system, where nine-tenths of cases involve corporate law. These taxpayer investments support companies and wealthy investors. There are no self-made men! The wealthy have gotten rich using what previous taxpayers have paid for. They owe the taxpayers of this country a great deal and should be paying it back.
-George P. Lakoff, PhD, Professor of Linguistics - UC Berkeley

Dr. Lakoff's advice is important to Democrats. Speeches by Elizabeth Warren and the president have been informed by his writings.

A man who has been supported solely by taxpayers for his entire adult life, every check from the government, may quite naturally confuse his employers with the paymaster. This includes Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren.

We may debate who today has Mouch as his avatar, who plays Kinnan, who is Toohey, who is Thompson, who Boyle and who Taggart; but Lakoff is unequivocally Rand's Dr. Pritchett.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

...[W]hat they imagine they can design.

Russell Roberts is Professor of Economics at George Mason University and the J. Fish and Lillian F. Smith Distinguished Scholar at the Mercatus Center, and a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.:

“The purpose of economics is to teach men how little they actually know about what they imagine they can design.”
-F. A. Hayek

This lesson is not merely lost on narcissists, it encourages them in their hubris to bring "order" to the market and to "better" all our lives.

Today's example is the plummeting price of solar panels, brought about by overproduction. Overproduction due specifically to government meddling. The solar panel industry has been economically damaged by subsidies, the reputation of "green jobs" has suffered significantly, thousands of workers are losing their jobs, the rule of law has been subverted by politicians covering their bets and taxpayers have been fleeced because they have to cover those bets. Perversely, all this is used as a critique of capitalism.

Those who should be most embarrassed and enraged by these failures, statist environmentalists, are the foremost apologists. It isn't about saving the planet, it's about enforcing their will.

HT Paladin

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Fifth

I often assume "Most people already know this, it's been widely mentioned. Don't bother to repost it."

Often, I am wrong. In this case if only one more person learns about it, that will be important.

Therefore, I'm posting this for whatever wider distribution that may achieve:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Thank you Mr. president

49% of Americans believe the federal government has become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. In 2003, less than a third (30%) believed this.
Without you, Friedrich Hayek may not have experienced such an upswell of interest.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's the moral hazard, stupid!

How budget battles go without the earmarks
...[T]he absence of earmarks also allowed for a more freewheeling debate on the House floor during consideration of the Republican plan to slash $61 billion from this year's budget since Democrats and Republicans were not caught up in protecting the special provisions they had worked so hard to tuck into the spending bill...

[Earmarks play] an insidious role in pushing up federal spending through what is known in legislative terms as logrolling.

Earmark aficionados have advanced 2 major defenses of the practice.
  1. Individual members best know the needs of their constituents, directing the money should not be left to bureaucrats.
  2. It's a minuscule amount of money relative to the Federal budget.
Amazingly enough, the first argument evaporates when there is no money to direct. It appears to have depended on a presumption of what "presumption" means. As in presuming you have the right to a permanent floating slush-fund.

The second argument was never more than an attempt at obfuscating the 2 major moral hazards of earmarks: bribery by your peers using other people's money, and becoming accustomed to it.

Without earmark trinkets, it becomes significantly more difficult to leverage a few millions here and there into trillions in Federal spending. Votes bought in exchange for Federally funding an indoor rain forest in Iowa, for example, will be harder to come by. When the bribery opportunities disappear, spending debates can be more nearly rational. Whooda thunk it?

Well, everybody. Really. Even most Lobbyists, Bureaucrats, Representatives and Senators.

The only point of earmarks has been assisting the continued growth of Big Government by enhancing the power of the loot dispensers. This issue is multi-partisan - excluding only those representatives who adhere to morally equivalent Big Government philosophies, like fascism and socialism.

If any of your congresscritters insist on defending earmarks, they need to be retired.

Monday, December 06, 2010

The country is in the very best of hands

First, the corruption:
Then the incompetence:
The Fed Has a $110 Billion Problem with New Benjamins
A significant production problem with new high-tech $100 bills has caused government printers to shut down production of the new notes and to quarantine more than one billion of the bills in huge vaults in Fort Worth, Texas
The good news is that that $100 billion is fiat currency in any case. The biggest cost of producing it was labor, and that stimulated the economy in the same way broken windows do.

And hey, it looks like EU script. Maybe we can recycle it to bail out Ireland.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I think she's wrong about this...

...because they are about to discover exactly what credit they deserve.

Pelosi: 'We haven't really gotten the credit for what we have done'

It's up to us to go out there. I'm very confident; our members know why they voted for what they did.
She says that as if bribery and corruption were a good thing. It certainly isn't that they voted for that mess of pottage because they had, you know, read it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cynthia Tucker Award for Self-Deception in Journalism nominees

Cynthia herself, of course, has the inside track, but, 

Clarence Paige:
President has soft-pedaled his own achievements

(I wonder what it would be like if the President had an ounce of chutzpah?)


Steven Pearlstein: 

Democrats suffer from Americans' unwillingness to accept economic reality
(That should read "further economic destruction.")

...must not be counted out.

Taking a British idiom, these handsome statuettes of a Unicorn and its editor are known colloquially as the "Starkers" awards.

Note: the links are not recommended, but are included as evidence for members of the Starkers Awards Jury.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I understand Rush Limbaugh commented today on the GOP tendency to self-destruction, noting this comment,
It's pretty clear the American people expect us to use the existing gridlock to create compromise and advance their agenda. They want us to come together [with the administration] after we agree to disagree.
from Rep. Darrell Issa (R., CA).

As the linked article notes, the GOP elite are showing signs that they fear a repetition of what happened to them in 1995 after major victories in the 1994 mid-term elections. That lesson is the wrong one to which to attend. I would have been happy if the government stayed shut down then. Today, tens of millions more people agree.

I expect the Republicans to obstruct, deny, vilify, denounce, stonewall, jam, and reject the far-left agenda of this arrogant President. I expect them to reverse, not revise, the ill-advised laws already passed. I expect them to stand up for the principle of limited government. It will be hard. It may even cost them dearly. But if they compromise this time, they will have abandoned their oath of office. Again.

They had better be thinking that compromise with poisonous policies means the death of their party. If anyone should be compromising it should be the Democrats. They increased the debt by 3 trillion dollars to no effect. They have shoved legislation down our throats. They have applied draconian regulation where they could not legislate. They have suspended the rule of law in examples ranging from contracts, to voter intimidation, to enforcement of US sovereignty. There is no compromise with this cadre of Progressives, because that compromise will kill this country. But first, it will kill the GOP.

The "Pledge to America," is barely enough to start with. It is anemic on cutting spending. But you can be sure that it is the position from which the Democrats will expect the GOP to compromise. The statists have already denounced the pledge as extreme. Will left-wing fire coming from MoveOn, ACORN, the NAACP and the MSM be less withering after an electoral rejection? Will George Soros decide to give his money to the Chamber of Commerce? Those usual suspects already criticize the President for only having taken half-measures.

Advertising a willingness to compromise on the brink of an electoral blowout is much worse than a bad negotiating tactic, it portends a spineless betrayal. Again.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Obama failures: An excess of bipartisanship?

As long as we have Cynthia Tucker, we will not be without a measure of how low the editorialist bar can be set.  Obama tried too hard to work with Republicans

Go ahead, read the whole column. It is so deranged it won't even make you angry. Bemused, more likely.

In that same spirit, we have someone named Lance Dickie cautioning voters not to vote against their own interests. Mr. Dickie purports to address the 60 to 70% of Americans who specifically oppose the President's policies on health care, immigration, energy taxation, bail-outs and, particularly, financial "reform."
Voters seeking revenge this election for the collapse of the economy, and their frustrations with a loud, crude campaign season, must not let anger overtake their own self-interest.
Of course, there is a question being begged here. Does the general government best serve your interest by promoting your dependency upon it, or does it do so by securing the blessings of liberty on your behalf? Less abstractly and more broadly: Are you willing to make your grandchildren into wage slaves for your own present comfort?

Mr. Dickie has nearly, if unintentionally, written a brilliant satire. For example:
I think the plan is to make Bernie Madoff the speaker of the House.
This would be funny if it weren't for the fact that Madoff would actually be an improvement. He was self-aware enough to know he was running a scam. The present Speaker is not so wise. She says unemployment benefits “create jobs faster than almost any other initiative you can name … it injects demand into the economy.”

Who would you rather have as Speaker: Someone who apprehends reality or someone who does not? It's a given that they are both crooks, but you can at least reason with one of them.

Friday, October 15, 2010

From risible to rampageous

Just a little while ago the tea party movement was beneath the notice of the President and merited only derision from the talking heads on MSNBC. Now, we have Chris "Tingly" Matthews ranting about the dangers of probity, a strong work-ethic, self-sufficiency and voluntary co-operation.  Of course, that's not what he calls it...
If the trapped Chilean miners had subscribed to the tea party’s “every-man-for-himself” philosophy, “they would have been killing each other after about two days.”
One wonders if Mr. Matthews has ever read Animal Farm, or Lord of the Flies. If he did, it seems likely he thinks the common thread is that both novels feature pigs.

Matthews is in line here with the Homeland Security memo warning that possession of a Gadsden Flag or a copy of the Constitution is a yellow flag for domestic terrorism, but when Senator Russ Feingold starts identifying with the tea partiers, and Democrats generally campaign against their own Big Brother policies, perhaps Mr. Matthews should pay attention to the narrative shift.  

His point is the benificence of Big Government in general, of course, not just the Obama regime's version.  However, as Richard Viguerie points out the tea party ire did not begin with the Tingler-in-Chief.
Tea partiers know fully the failures of Republicans prior to 2009. Republicans who assert — wrongly — that the tea party is merely a reaction to the even-worse conditions under the Obama Democrats aren’t just kidding themselves. They blindly and foolishly remain part of the problem.
The GOP would do well to remember that, even if Chris Matthews cannot.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

One can safely predict...

That these folks will not be at the Lansing Tenth Amendment rally next Sunday. 

See next post for time & place.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fed Spending

Leaving "transparency" to the government gets you what you would expect.

Clearspending has been added to the blogroll. Use the link, and then check out the Sunlight Foundation.