Archive for the 'politicians' Category

02
Nov
08

Liberty’s Best Week Ever!

NO, I am not talking about the impending undemocratic, non-election about to be perpetrated on us a couple of days hence between Wall Street Candidate A and Wall Street candidate A’ This one has been decided already – ordinary Americans have lost, and the banksters have won.

I am, rather, calling attention to the surprising upside to the continuing global financial collapse. The completely deserted checkout lanes today at my local wholesale club underscored the rapid retreat of consumer spending that’s occurring now. What is occurring now in the public intellectual mind is both thoroughly awful, and blindingly brilliant.

Awful, due to the present and future suffering of millions, nay, billions of people around the world, but brilliant, because the fact is that the economic predictive power of Austrian-School economics has been thoroughly vindicated, no matter what stupid, nonsensical things the Keynesians and Friedmanites say. We were right, we told them all what was coming, and they failed to listen. More Important, we have the correct answers.

And, better late than never, even some mainstream journalists, conservative Republicans, and left progressives are trying to re-orient their thinking in the midst of an unprecedented global financial calamity, where suddenly “Liberal” nor “Conservative” (as we have been brainwashed to call Socialist and Fascist policy ‘solutions’) ideas seem to have no discernible relevance at all.

This week two astounding interviews took place, between serious people of the left, and two of the current stars of the Austro-Libertarian movement.

On Thursday, the charming, brainy lefty journalist Rachel Maddow of MSNBC interviewed Ron Paul, focusing on his eerie (not to us of course) prescience on the economic meltdown, and on the significance of his recent campaign, and what it portends for the future of Republican Party as well as the electoral system.

On Friday, Lew Rockwell, founder and president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute interviewed Naomi Wolf on his podcast. This is a MUST LISTEN interview with the principled, thoughtful left-wing journalist. Ms Wolf, author of several books, including “The Beauty Myth”, and more notably “The End of America”, was last heard of in libertarian circles promoting, along with Ron Paul the American Freedom Agenda, calling for an end to America’s belligerent foreign policy and its depredations on domestic liberty.

Listen to her questioning Lew about definitions of libertarianism, and her response to his answers – I half held my breath throughout the unedited 50-minute conversation, waiting perhaps to hear Lew say something to make Ms Wolf ‘fall out of the ether’ as they say in the car business.

He doesn’t, and she didn’t. It is an extended dialog on the principled embrace of universal liberty, in honest, non-agendized terms that will speak to the heart of every thinking, compassionate person on the left, right, or middle. This shows how there is not, and never has been, such a thing as Democrat liberty, or Republican liberty, only Liberty For All.

Do yourself and your loved ones (particularly intelligent, leftish and rightish ones) a favor and get them to listen to this podcast to give them an understanding why you are a principled, onsistent advocate of liberty.

Then go to www.campaignforliberty.com , and get involved.

UPDATE: If you are still, for some unfathomable reason a McCain supporter, PLEASE watch this video of Dr. Paul taking apart McCain’s dumbass foreign policy prescriptions in the St. Petersburg debate;

27
Oct
08

Lead Pollution Rules Spiked, Or Why Government Doesn’t Work

What Scares The Bush Administration Sh*tless

Scares The Bush Administration Shitless

The United States Environmental Protection agency’s proposal to tighten permissible lead pollution standards tenfold while also increasing the number of targeted lead air monitoring stations was slapped down by the Bush administration on Thursday. The executive-branch agency, created under Richard Nixon, is charged with guarding and improving the quality of the air that Americans breathe, but here we have pretty stark evidence that this isn’t its real mission.

The new rules were proposed, as they all are, by career bureaucrats within the agency, who probably saw a politically weakened Bush presidency in its final months as an opportunity to push through some in their minds overdue regulation. And it’s true that primary and secondary lead smelting has been getting away with murder, in some cases quite literally, when it comes to their trespassing on the properties of others with their pollution, including their bodies.

But look at how it works;

EPA documents show that until the afternoon of Oct. 15, a court-imposed deadline for issuing the revised standard, the EPA proposed to require a monitor for any facility that emitted half a ton of lead or more a year.

The e-mails indicate that the White House objected, and in the early evening of Oct. 15 the EPA set the level at 1 ton a year instead.

According to EPA documents, 346 sites have emissions of half a ton a year or more. Raising the threshold to a ton reduced the number of monitored sites by 211, or more than 60 percent.

In layman’s terms, under pressure from the lead industry, the Bush White House rejected the EPA suggestion for more site-specific monitoring of the amount of lead pollution spewed by lead smelters, recyclers, battery manufacturers, and steel mills.  In essence, the president rejected any reduction of lead pollution trespass at all, simply by preventing monitoring from being done where it would do the most good.

This particular strategy has a new twist, in that while the tighter pollution trespass standard would fall under the standard regulatory procedure, i.e., tighten a regulation so that small businesses are disadvantaged relative to bigger ones, the new monitoring provisions would have more closely targeted both large and small pollution trespassers, resulting in more monitoring stations being placed at their gates and fence lines, rather than in urban centers at some distance from the plants themselves.

But this shows the government’s hand – they have absolutely no interest in preventing pollution trespass at all. They simply wish to preserve their power to manipulate commercial activity for their own benefit, and that of their favored interests. And it’s a peculiarly bipartisan sort of  manipulation. How, for example, will the agency deal with the likely vast increases in lead smelting and recycling that Federal hybrid car mandates will occasion, for example?

The answer is to reconstitute pollution torts as property-rights violations. Once we stop “permitting” polluters to trespass on our bodies and properties and start prosecuting them, there will be no need for these pointless ‘gotcha’ games within the federal government.

15
Oct
08

Yet A Couple More Reasons To Love New Jersey

New Jersey Has The Lowest Gas Tax Around, Who'da Thunk It?

And It's FULL SERVICE!

I love New Jersey. Full-serve regular gas at a name brand station for 30 cents less per gallon than the national average. Almost makes all the refinery pollution worthwhile…

And another bonus – the Republicans in the state legislature are forcing Governor John Corzine’s hand on the economy by proposing to cut the sales tax in half through New Years. Not that it will ever pass, but it is forcing Corzine (D. Goldman Sachs) to do something to relieve the burden of the current financial meltdown on consumers and businesses.

How about this guys – let’s make the rate ZERO. Permanently.

(PHOTO: What I paid for gas today at a brand-name station)

02
Oct
08

The Bailout Is Pure Economic Socialism

Hank Paulson Is A Pu$$y

Hank Paulson Is A Pu$$y

Look – I took a BRUUUUTAL beating recently on some mining stocks. If you believe the powers that be, this bailout is the answer to my prayers, a ‘hail mary pass’ that will rescue the markets, refill our home equity and 401-Ks and IRAs, and everyone will live happily ever after.

Even if ANY of it were true, I STILL say DUMP IT. I am standing on principle, on what I know is right, and I’ll be goddamned if I’ll support something so pernicious and evil, even if it would benefit me in the short run.

Because I know what it means. Bailout means socializing losses and privatizing profits. It means massive new inflation, which means more poverty for millions of people around the world, while Wall Street fatcats and the Merchants of Death, who get to spend it first, reap tremendous profits. And, because the government has to spend the money into circulation, it means unprecedented amounts of military spending, and monstrous wars, wars without end.

And it’s empire that creates such horrible things as nuclear weapons and engineered plagues. The anthrax that was used in the only biological weapons attack ever recorded (except for the settlers giving the Indians Smallpox and Syphilis of course) came from the US government lab at Ft. Detrick, MD. The CDC actually sanctioned an Army scientist to reconstitute the 1918 pandemic flu, which killed more people in the aftermath of WWI than the frickin’ WAR did.

This is the kind of madness that is gripping our government. Will you trust your children’s futures to these people?

Even if my balance goes to zero, I defiantly stand and say to the economic fascists “NO BAILOUT – NO WAY!”

24
Sep
08

Hank Paulson’s Taxpayer Takedown Strategy

(CLIP: Leroy Smith Shows How To Set Up An Opponent For A Takedown.)

My local Ron Paul Meetup (yes, it’s still around) has been loosely organizing a letter-writing and phone campaign against the absolutely unconscionable, immoral, illegal, undemocratic bank-bailout bill  that Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson (R, Goldman-Sachs) dragged up the steps of the Capitol the other day.

One writer suggested this emphasis, I thought it good enough to use, initially;

“I am writing to strongly discourage you from supporting the Treasury Secretary Paulson’s “bank bailout” proposal. This bill will ensure the indentured servitude of Americans for generations to come as it will become increasingly certain that the US will never be able to service is debt obligations. Why should I as an honest and responsible citizen be required to bailout the willfully negligent behavior of executives in the financial industry?

Moreover, I find Section 8 of the proposal particularly disturbing:

Sec. 8. Review.
Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

This bill in effect makes Secretary Paulson a “Financial Dictator” subject to no Congressional oversight and no judicial oversight. He is immune from any future prosecution with respect to his appropriations of bailout funds.”

Later I remembered what my old wrestling coach taught me about executing a takedown, that the most effective setup is often one where you use your opponent’s own reaction to help you execute the move, so I wrote this;

This bill must be defeated, not modified.

This is a classic setup, a case of action – reaction – action.

If you wrestled in high school or college, you will, upon reflection realize that the Paulson proposal is in part a ‘set-up’ for a financial takedown.

They tie us up with the banking implosion.

Push us (and our representatives) with this unbelievably egregious proposal.

We (and our congresscritters) push back (“we want mortgage forgiveness, salary caps, blah, blah, blah”).

Paulson and Bush then drop down and “Fireman’s Carry” our asses up into the rafters, and down onto the mat – 4 points, and a pin to win.

We never ever see it coming.

Hank’s real goal is to ensure that the bad debt is bailed out at ‘face value‘, instead of at a steep market discount. This will cost further trillions of dollars (money that we do not have) and prevent market prices of the underlying assets from correcting for years, if ever. The bankers will escape completely unscathed, while the taxpayer watches his money rot.

This is why the proposal must not be modified, but defeated utterly.

If the banking system, and our fiat economy, is ready to collapse, then we must Let It Fall.

15
Sep
08

If We Could See The Crisis Coming, Why Couldn’t Anybody Else?

We thought that the collapse of Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch over the weekend, the two latest “victims” in the financial calamity unfolding in our newspapers and on our TV screens, was an excellent opportunity for us to point out how right we were about the mortgage mess even before it started;

Every Homeowner…(6/9/2004);

…especially those who are mortgaged to the hilt, should read this article;

An excerpt;

Signs of a “”new era”” in housing are everywhere. Housing construction is taking place at record rates. New records for real estate prices are being set across the country, especially on the east and west coasts…As one loan officer explained to me: “”It’s almost too good to be true.””In fact, it is too good to be true. What the prophets of the new housing paradigm don’t discuss is that real estate markets have experienced similar cycles in the past and that periods described as new paradigms are often followed by periods of distress in real estate markets, including foreclosure sales, bankruptcy and bank failures.

OOOH, This Is BAD (7/2/2004);

From today’s WSJ;

The Johnsons thought they had it all figured out. After changing jobs, Paul had planned to rollover the $36,000 balance from his former employer’s 401(k) plan into an IRA. But a desire to live closer to their parents and worries that mortgage rates would head higher spurred them to cash out the 401(k) account last year and use some of the money to buy a home…”We’re making more money, but a lot of that is going into improvements on the home.””The couple also still owes state and federal taxes on the retirement-account withdrawal, and they haven’t started to rebuild their nest egg.

No real-estate bubble you say?;

A President’s Job Is Never Done (8/24/2004);

I just spotted this on the Mises Institute blog. James Bovard (always a must-read) wrote in Barron’s about George Bush’s initiative to close the gap between rich and poor. I can’t even start to comment on it. Here are some clips:

* A White House Fact Sheet issued June 17, 2002, declared that Bush’s agenda “”will help tear down the barriers to homeownership that stand in the way of our nation’s African-American, Hispanic and other minority families. … The single biggest barrier to homeownership is accumulating funds for a down payment.””

* Federal Housing Commissioner John Weicher said in January 2004 that “”the White House doesn’t think those who can afford the monthly payment but have been unable to save for a down payment should be deprived from owning a home,”” National Mortgage News reported.

* While zero-downpayment mortgages have long been considered profoundly unsafe (especially for borrowers with dubious credit history), Weicher confidently asserted: “”We do not anticipate any costs to taxpayers.””

Although Barron’s is a pay site, the full text of the article is on the blog if you scroll down a little. I just have one question that Bovard leave’s unanswered: Did we indeed elect Al Gore in 2000?

Some Eagles Fans Have Really, Really Lost Their Minds (2/3/2005);

…and could lose their houses.

From “”The Rude Awakening””, published by Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin, authors of Financial Reckoning Day comes the following;

“”Mr. Dave Brekher, president and co-owner of North American Federal Mortgage Co. in blue-collar Northeast Philadelphia, realizes that enthusiasm is not the same as good credit.

His company has been asked to lend money to local football fans wishing to mortgage their houses so they can afford to go to the Super Bowl. “”No,”” he said.

“”If someone is that desperate, there’s always repercussions,”” he explained.

I Hope the Voters Remember This When He’s Up for Reelection (2/4/2005);

This is from the Philadelphia Daily News:

Kevin P. O’Donoghue, 36, of Glen Mills, sank $4,000 into a Super Bowl package that includes round-trip airfare, a four-night hotel stay, and one ticket.

He said that he told his wife after the Eagles defeated the Atlanta Falcons for the NFC championship: “”I don’t care if we have to mortgage our house, I’m going.””

He applied for a home-equity line of credit that required him to put up his home as collateral. He’s getting the money in a few days.

“”Sometimes the cards are maxed out, and you got to do what you got to do,”” he said.

For those of you who don’t know him, O’Donoghue is the township supervisor where I live so he wields fiduciary responsibility over my money. I will surely not forget this next time it comes time to elect a township supervisor. .

We Hate To Say We Told You So… (10/17/2005);

…but the “”crack-up boom”” is about to bite us all in the ass. Just this week;

When you get right down to it, people vote their pocketbooks.

And they are all about to be given a HARD kick.

Taking Advantage Of FHA, Buyers, Beazer Destroys Lives, Neighborhoods (3/28/2007);

When we last left this sorry tale, builder Beazer Homes had sold crappy 2-bedroom starter houses to low-income buyers in Charlotte, NC, an average of 20% of whom, it turns out, have since had those homes foreclosed.

Now the FBI, and the US Attorney in Charlotte are involved, and Beazer’s stock price is tanking, down 17% from an already low point.

As great as it is to see such a corporate pig get skewered, Beazer was only doing what the Bush Administration was urging them to do, which is to sell houses to people who have no realistic way to ever pay for them.

(link from Breitbart.com)

The Fed’s Fatal Overreach (4/1/2008);

Just when you think you have seen it all, a proposal has arisen from the Bush White House to empower the Federal Reserve to take over the entire US financial system.

Now right about now, anyone like us who has followed the Fed-inflated real-estate bubble, followed by the collapse of the housing marketthe Fed origins of the mortgage crisis, and the Fed-caused recession can be forgiven for making a gurgling noise as their head explodes from the unbelievable hubris, the BALLS behind such a move.

The prescient words of the great Ron Paul chill the spine at this moment;

We had missed the 5:30 Ferry, but the good people at Shepler’s quickly boarded us on another boat and made a special run to take us and Ron Paul over to the Island..

… I asked him how much longer he thought those guys in Washington could keep going before everything started to collapse, and he said “”Not much longer, things are starting to fall apart and this time they will not be able to stop it.””

To singlehandedly destroy an economy, quickly steal away from the scene, then return with a flourish annoncing that salvation is at hand is exactly what compulsive arsonists do.

And the people should rise up and put them in exactly the same place as arsonists – in prison, every last one of them.

10
Sep
08

The Real Way To Stop Anthropogenic Global Warming

Ah, Close, But Not Exactly

Ah, Close, But Not Exactly

We have been listening for years now the the claims that science has ‘proved’ that man’s activities on the planet are causing a malignant accelerating warming of the atmosphere, which portends disaster and possibly the end of life on earth. Having some background in the sciences, we are nonetheless loath to point out that while the evidence for some warming is pretty convincing, and the fact that man contributes some measurable CO2 to the atmosphere is plausible, the mechanism is far from proved.

Moreover, the proposals (cap and trade, 2, carbon tax, technology subsidies) that have been seriously floated to try to slow or halt “Global Climate Change” (renamed that because the warming isn’t happening everywhere, and in some places cooling is being recorded) require an even heavier hand of government, have unknown efficacy, are vulnerable to cheating, and will have detrimental effects here and especially in developing countries. These proposals will disrupt the fundamental social and economic patterns of our civilization, and cost trillions of dollars, potentially for little to negative effect on the buildup of greenhouse gases.

So what do we do then? We have come up with a plan that;

1) Will measurably reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in the US

2) Is guaranteed to work, if conscientiously and carefully implemented

3) While not costless, will require no forced transfer of funds from taxpayers to polluters

4) Will actually free up trillions of dollars for productive investment

5) Will massively incentivize innovators in clean energy-production technologies.

Our plan to reduce greenhouse gases, and clean up the environment?

The SSS Plan.

What does that stand for?

Stop Subsidizing Sh*t.

Stop subsidizing ethanol.

Stop subsidizing coal (by “permitting” pollution and destroying property rights in our lands and bodies).

Stop subsidizing oil (see coal above, also military intervention in the middle east, South America, and coming soon, Russia)

Stop subsidizing nuclear (state PUCs, the NRC, the DOE, and Price-Anderson have fundamentally retarded this very important energy source).

Stop subsidizing hybrid and electric vehicle development (it rewards the biggest culprits (GM, etc) while disadvantaging innovators).

Stop subsidizing highways (causing massive pollution, energy wastage, corruption, and economic malinvestment / dislocation)

Stop subsidizing airports and airlines (airports and skies jammed with planes jammed with people, absolute violations of 2nd, 4th, 7th , 9th, 10th, and 14th amendments).

And while we are at it, stop subsidizing solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, waste-to-energy, all of it.

When you get right down to it, pollution is a property-rights problem, but more importantly, it is an ECONOMIC problem, and a GOVERNMENT problem. Government disadvantages sustainable methods when it subsidizes unsustainable methods. Moreover, government investment in new technologies, meant to correct the previous mistake, serve to misdirect investment down particular avenues favored by particular interests, the very opposite of allowing the market, correctly incentivized, to determine the pace and direction of innovation.

It is said that if government could have seen the automobile coming, it would have outlawed it. It is, by its policies, outlawing sustainable energy policy economically. Before our leaders commit us to a path of dubious efficacy and certain harm, let us insist that they go through the books and strike every law, order, and policy that has the net effect of destroying property rights against polluters.

In just the coal-fired power generation sector alone, the costs of pollution, if fairly assessed, would make the industry as currently constituted extinct almost overnight. The resulting increase in the cost of electricity would both force conservation and incentivize innovation and production. all without a single cent of tax or seziure of property.

SSS.

(Image from Paul Goscicki’s blog)