Markets around the world are deep in the red. England’s FTSE is down. 1.7%. France’s CAC 40 is down 2.3%. Germany’s DAX is down 2.4%. Spain’s IBEX is down 1.4%. Italy’s FTSE MIB is down 2.5%. In the U.S., the S&P 500 is down 0.8%. This follows sell-offs across Asia. Japan’s Nikkei fell by a stunning 7.3%.
I’m sure the parrots at CNBC Squawk Box are remarkably charming this fine and wonderful morning. And Jim Cramer has probably exploded and totally made a mess all over the set at “Mad Money.” However, you can get the same level of news content and far more entertainment by watching this Alien’s clip linked here. What staggers the mind is that all of this is caused by US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke dropping hints that he might choose to reduce the rate at which he hands out free money to banking institutions via QE.
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
I apologize. Lizz Winstead is no longer part of The Daily Show. An earlier version of this article strongly implied that she still directed the content of Daily Show jokes. Don’t Let The Crisis Go To Waste Senator Whitehouse ‘This tornado is in Oklahoma so clearly it has been ordered to only target conservatives,’ wrote comedian Lizz Winstead, in a tweet, | Read More »
We sit by and watch the Barbarian, we tolerate him; in the long stretches of peace we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence, his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creeds refreshes us; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond: and on these faces there is no smile.
The fridge had been totally nuked. The Jihadist Warlord Abu Sakkar tore off the fig leaf of civilization and revealed the gibbering, demonic barbarian behind the thin veneer of every civilized human being. Hit the play button below if you have a pretty strong stomach and your co-workers won’t get too upset. This ain’t your typical rugby party stunt. While not quite The Donner Party; it’s close enough for post-modernism.
What does Eric Holder really think of his fellow Americans? It’s a rhetorical question. I can’t read his mind and smut is not my thing. What does the average American Leftist really believe about Americans with whom they disagree? If Dr. Sternberg accurately pegged The Modern Left; perhaps this clip from The Matrix provides us the answer (Start at 1:55). Take out the words “Human Beings” and substitute “Conservatism” or “Conservative” instead, and you will see what Modern Liberals truly think of Modern Conservatives as human beings.
If you willing continue to compromise with those who believe that you are a virus, do not expect your life to substantially get any better any time soon. If you think well of those who consider you a cockroach, do you not admit to the universe that they are your masters? Within the limits of law and reason, we must oppose, defang, and destroy every functioning liberal that we can possibly get our hands on.
While the ORS* busies itself with the deliberate political harassment of Barack Obama’s political opponents, his Department of Justice seems to be busily engaged in doing similar things to members of the previously untouchable 4th Estate. Some of these previously loyal Professional Democratic Party Activists with press credentials have the utter effrontery to have gotten their backs up. Jake Tapper sticks it to Jay Carney in the exchange below.
Jake Tapper, the senior White House correspondent for ABC News, asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney how public support of those journalists’ work “square[s] with the fact that this administration has been so aggressively trying to stop aggressive journalism in the United States by using the Espionage Act to take whistleblowers to court. There just seems to be a disconnect here,” Tapper added. “You want aggressive journalism abroad; you just don’t want it in the United States.”
As the vassals of Barack Obama busily minding the 4th Estate threaten to go rogue and commit spontaneous acts of professional reportage, the alarm claxon sounds and the highly trained manipulators of Media Matters man the trebuchets in defense of the empire. They tell us all what key issues must be raised. A discussion can’t flow freely – it must be channelized in the manner suggested below.
The funny thing is that my participation in Conservative circles has allowed me to know a statistically large number of people who recently have been audited. The ones who haven’t often know someone who has. I mean, unlike the Kenyawn Birf Surtifikate, or Tom Fife’s “business trip” in Moscow, I’m hearing from people who are solid, real-life Conservatives who have actually gotten that metaphorical midnight knock on the door. I’m not a guy who believes the Gubbermint LIHOPed 9/11. Yet, it’s amazing how this one, peculiar segment of the population would have so much time and energy invested in them by the IRS. Maybe we should all feel honored. Not everyone receives so much care and attention from the Post-modern Amerikan State.
I would argue Baltimore is not a statistical outlier, but rather a predictable precursor – a canary in the coalmine if you will that indicates what American cities will increasingly degenerate towards going forward if our nation does not significantly reform how we handle them. Cities in Post-Modern Amerika suffer from an interlocking directory of failure modes which retard their economic and social development. This scares many productive and worthwhile people out of setting foot on one of their streets unless necessity brooks no other course of action. A typical American City will usually be worse than the surrounding countryside in crime, illegitimacy, educational outcomes, and economic opportunity. This is precisely opposite of how it was originally intended to work.
So day eight of the Gosnell Trial deliberations begin. It seems he’s charged with performing 24 late term abortions and then getting carried away and killing one of the Mom’s as well. He’s also charged with delivering late-term babies alive and severing their spinal cords over a toilet.
Meanwhile over in Cleveland we’ve been treated to what can only be described as an appalling spectacle. Three women were abducted as teen-agers. They have been found after a decade of sexual slavery. During this period of torment, the alleged kidnapper, Ariel Castro, is said to have stored the three women in a dungeon in the basement. He spent much of the decade raping them repeatedly, and then did gruesome things to the resulting offspring as well. ABC News describes to us just what makes Ariel Castro such an alleged sick puppy.
Inside the dungeon-like basement of alleged kidnapper Ariel Castro, the Cleveland man reportedly raped his three victims for a decade, caused one woman to abort five pregnancies by punching her in the gut, and required a second victim to deliver his baby in a plastic kiddie pool. The women, individually abducted a decade ago, were kept bound by chains in the home’s cellar until their “spirits were broken” and they were allowed access to the rest of the house, a police official told ABC News.
To make American Secondary Schools worth a monkey’s butt-wipe again, we are just going to have to leave some children behind. Right now, they are yet another precursor of the impending Big Government Chernobyl that could very well destroy American Society as we now enjoy living in it. Implementing a new Common Core of unenforceable and utterly ignored standards is not going to fix this difficulty. While the Obama Administration’s ideal of “fewer, higher and clearer” standards sounds like one of the smarter ideas that this man’s administration has come up with, it will not do the job because it addresses the wrong problem. It is not the content of the standards that is the biggest problem with our schools. The problem is that we lack the institutional courage to actually enforce any standards at all.
What American Secondary Schools need to enact is what I’ll call the Tyler Durden reforms. This is based on the line from the novel Fight Club where Tyler Durden teaches his followers that they are not unique and beautiful snowflakes. If we continue to tell our children that they are special and immune from consequence, they will eventually become seduced into holding that ultimately self-defeating belief. This fatal conceit will lead these children to have an overweening sense of entitlement and a minimal skill-set of abilities that any logical employer would want to hire.
Here’s what my proposed Tyler Durden Standards would look like.
Don’t get me wrong. I like O-Care about as much as I like getting a prostate exam. The bill is typical of unthinking, boilerplate socialism’s response to the negative externalities that result from market failure. We should therefore trash Obamacare, but let’s just make that the warm-up set. The real heavy lifting required to fix our healthcare system involves addressing the causes of a market failure so catastrophic that something as obviously stupid as Obamacare seemed like a palatable solution.
Karl Denninger explains why poor people often can’t afford health insurance. The care provided is so badly overpriced that health plans are paying out more vastly more than the goods and services provided can possibly be worth. He describes the price mark-up of a common chemotherapy drug below.
…and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!
Critique of the Gotha Program – Karl Marx
It was 1875, and Germany was well on its way to breaking Marx’s wretched little heart by enacting just enough social welfare to pacify its proletariat and preventing idiots like Karl from making any important decisions. Marx wrote the on the Gotha Program in an effort to prevent his revolutionary ideas from becoming more co-opted than the DNC-sponsored anti-Iraq War Movement of 2006. He failed, but his motto remains the standard Twitterplate description of what Marxism is ultimately supposed to accomplish.
What Marx attempted to establish was thoroughly unworkable in a static or shrinking economy. That, in a sense was a saving grace. It had its own limiting factor, you ran out of other people’s money. What the United States has achieved through entitlements is worse.
Sometimes the first step in building a thing of beauty is to dynamite the ugly, dying strip mall that occupies the real estate you want to build upon. We, the American Conservative Movement can rebuild once the junk gets cleared away. We just have to be ready, and we just have to avoid bailing the Progressives out of their own state-fueled death spiral of non-sustainability.
Currently, our society is chasing its own tail into the abyss. The books give us certain rules and facts, and we follow those; when that doesn’t work out, we redouble our efforts using the same rules and facts. Like robots, we cannot deviate from our programming because we’ve eliminated the people who can think outside the box.
If you ever live long enough, there will be a certain sad series of events that will happen to every man. It’s something far worse than having to hang up your favorite pair of rugby cleats and it’s nothing you can take a GNC testosterone pill to delude yourself about reversing. One of these days your parents will become so helpless that you will have to look after them in the same way they looked after you when you still wore diapers. My father had this happen to him and it got so bad that it nearly destroyed his marriage. He grew up in Surry County, VA. His mother stayed there and never willingly drove more than fifty miles away. She was simple, honest and totally unprepared to deal with senility, widow-hood and the dishonest sharks who will drive forth into the country to callously prey on the elderly widows who are losing it one day at a time.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
-George Santayana (HT: Wikiquote)
America now faces a typical conundrum that has plagued all of our recent Presidents from Dwight D. Eisenhower all the way forward to President Barack Obama. We depend upon the Middle East for much of the energy that provides our motive power. As a result of this debilitating dependence upon people who hate us and practice a system of ethics and morals totally alien to our own, we are increasingly compromised and forced into courses of action that do not benefit our national commonweal. If we produce enough of our own energy, while curbing our domestic consumption, we can break this cycle of self-sabotage. If we don’t break the cycle, every US President going forward will wage his own, pointless version of a Punic War in Western Asia. I describe the current state of play below.