Free speech: use it or lose it

    There have been some high-toned assaults on freedom of speech lately, such as dark muttering from the Church of Global Warming that heresy against its beliefs puts the Earth itself at risk.  Author and commentator Mark Steyn is fighting what could prove to be a landmark case against Dr. Michael E. Mann, who created the “hockey stick” temperature graph upon which so much of the | Read More »

    Obama’s Inequality Sophistry Is a Recipe for Misery

    Inequality sucks when you’re on the wrong side of the greater than symbol. I’ve been there before and can empathize. However, a government aimed at ending inequality is unpractical, immoral and an aberration against the laws of nature. This sort of government is impractical because you cannot make the lowest and least motivated get off their butt in a nation where slavery has been abolished. People will ultimately only rise as high as they are willing. This push to unconditionally end inequality is immoral because it rewards the slack and the expense of both the willing and the most capable. It punishes the continued exertion of both will and ability. It is unnatural because it believes that a world of totally equal and totally unmotivated people will magically generate the capital necessary to create jobs for all the new recipients of equality being born every day. This doesn’t happen – job creation is a function of capital accumulation. Therefore President Obama may mean well by ending inequality, but he isn’t even remotely oriented in the right direction to improve America’s economic future.

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    Going Bananas As The Fiscal Year Ends

    I can imagine Inigo Montoya sipping his rum. He contemplates, then chuckles. He pulls a bit on his mustache as President Obama’s teleprompter bromides blare out of his television. “He uses this phrase banana republic.” Inigo muses. “I do not think he knows what it means.”

    You can use the term in a number of ways. As catchy bits of jargon get run through the political mill until shopworn, it’s perhaps quite accurate of Montoya to question whether anyone knows what banana republic means. I tend to think their clothes are overrated. My wife, on the other hand, always appreciates a $100 gift card. All jesting aside, when the American author O. Henry invented Archuria, he had a very specific type of dystopia in mind.

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    Causation, Correlation and Detroit

    Let us stipulate that the collapse of Detroit, MI and its recent Chapter Nine bankruptcy filing represents an all-American train wreck of inexcusable dimension. Detroit went from being considered by some the Athens of The West to having a credit rating and crime problem more reminiscent of the Mogadishu of The Midlands. So many people are blamed for the current state of Detroit. But most of what you read is patently illogical.

    Those who have no desire to deal with the truth tend to deliberately invert the mechanisms by which Detroit, MI was reduced to an ash heap reminiscent of Hiroshima without the expenditure of thermonuclear ordnance. The general technique of obscuring what went wrong in Detroit is to deliberately conflate causation with correlation. I’ve read a lot of biased writing over the last few days about Detroit. In every case, the thesis of the article, editorial, or blog post involves describing a result of Detroit’s stupidity as the fountainhead of the stupid itself.

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    The Permit Power, The IRS and The Troll Under The Bridge

    Since August or September of 480BC, Western Culture has been well aware of the power multiplier that comes with establishing and holding a choke point. When King Leonidas of Sparta held a vast army of Persians at bay for several days with a smaller force at Thermopylae; the world then knew that chokepoints were strategic fulcrums from whence power could be leveraged far beyond its initial limits. The economic analog to such a chokepoint is the monopoly. The government permit power is just such a chokepoint generating function to empower the state beyond its circumscribed constitutional limits.

    When the government controls activity via permit, they are able to do several things that go far beyond their enumerated Constitutional powers. They can pick winners and losers. They can dictate the size and scope of activities without having to depend on the approval of courts or legislators. An agency wielding permit power can skim a surplus off the top through fees that go beyond the cost of providing inspection and certification related to the permit. Like a gang of brigands controlling a bridge, a regulating agency can use the permit power to dictate who gets to pass, how much traffic traverses the road and how much in bribes have to be paid in order to get across the river

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    Mark Steyn Reminds us that the War on Children is Real

    Mark Steyn Reminds us that the War on Children is Real

    One thing I’ve learned over the years is that you don’t read Mark Steyn to feel good about the future. Indeed, there are few writers out there who are better at pouring a cold bucket of reality on our expectations for the future–with a nice bit of gallows humor to make it a little easier to stomach. So, it should go without saying that he’s | Read More »

    (Mann)ing Up

    There are certain oxymoronic clichés that get trotted out de tiempo a tiempo to tepid applause and politely forced laughter. Military Intelligence, honor among whores and rank among Civil Servants are an indicative subset. We can now add credibility among climate scientists to the burgeoning list. Dr. Michael Mann of Penn State University’s proud and illustrious faculty was made livid by the acerbic and satirical | Read More »

    (Mann)ing Up

    There are certain oxymoronic clichés that get trotted out de tiempo a tiempo to tepid applause and politely forced laughter. Military Intelligence, honor among whores and rank among Civil Servants are an indicative subset. We can now add credibility among climate scientists to the burgeoning list. Dr. Michael Mann of Penn State University’s proud and illustrious faculty was made livid by the acerbic and satirical | Read More »

    Declinists, Collapsists, and Their Rose Colored Glasses: Another Pessimistic Ntrepid Ramble

    “…the economy, according to the CBO, shuts down in 2027 on this path.” (1) Despite the reference to that three lettered evil whore (see Obamacare), I draw attention to this quote…lifted from an excellent blog post whose title included the phrase “the debt chart Obama and Geithner should be ashamed of”…because it signals much more than even the rare serious discussion of unavoidable financial doom-ism | Read More »

    How Cowards are causing a Strategic Economic Crash of the West

    Cowards have no business making hard choices. They are psychologically, physiologically and spiritually deficient, and cannot (are incapable) of making the right choice. They are not built for it — because they are cowards. Furthermore, they are so afraid, they will not allow those with courage to make the right choice for them. Cowardliness is rampant in the West and epidemic in the Western financial | Read More »

    The Ugly American Future

    Download Podcast | iTunes | Podcast Feed On today’s edition of Coffee and Markets, Pejman Yousefzadeh and Kevin Holtsberry are joined by Mark Steyn, author of After America, to discuss whether a dystopian future is really upon us and why in America this future might be particularly ugly, what needs to be done to prevent this future and more. We’re brought to you as always | Read More »

    The Ugly American Future

    Download Podcast | iTunes | Podcast Feed On today’s edition of Coffee and Markets, Pejman Yousefzadeh and Kevin Holtsberry are joined by Mark Steyn, author of After America, to discuss whether a dystopian future is really upon us and why in America this future might be particularly ugly, what needs to be done to prevent this future and more. We’re brought to you as always | Read More »

    Mark Steyn: Lindsey Graham Is Unfit For Office

    As always, I completely agree with the ever brilliant Mr. Steyn. He wrote the following at National Review in response to the craven and vile response by Senators Reid and Graham to the deadly Afghan riots. Lindsey Graham, in particular, wants to take away rights from American citizens — to appease people who wish to kill us. I did not think it would be necessary quite so soon to take the | Read More »

    Mark Steyn: Lindsey Graham Is Unfit For Office

    As always, I completely agree with the ever brilliant Mr. Steyn. He wrote the following at National Review in response to the craven and vile response by Senators Reid and Graham to the deadly Afghan riots. Lindsey Graham, in particular, wants to take away rights from American citizens — to appease people who wish to kill us. I did not think it would be necessary quite so soon to take the | Read More »

    The Crack Cocaine That Is The Nanny State

    Karl Marx famously stated that religion was the “opiate of the masses”.  But Marx (unsurprisingly) had it wrong:  the government nanny state is the real opiate of the masses.  It is injected into our lives by the Leftist drug pushers who wish to control us, hook us on their DC-manufactured “progressivism”, and depend upon them for all of our needs. They know that once we’re | Read More »