Thursday, October 30, 2008

We need you Ayn!

If a man proposes to redistribute wealth, he means explicitly and necessarily that the wealth is his to distribute. If he proposes it in the name of the government, then the wealth belongs to the government; if in the name of society, then it belongs to society. No one, to my knowledge, did or could define a difference between that proposal and the basic principle of communism. It might be said, perhaps, that communism is more practical and less cruel, at least in theory: a communist government takes over an entire economy and forbids men to act, but assumes the responsibility of providing for their livelihood. Mr. McGovern’s proposal is closer to the theory of fascism: it leaves to individual men the responsibility to production and of struggling for existence, but lets the government assume the power to dispose of anything they produce.

No one, to my knowledge, has asked the only relevant question: By what right?

RINO's need not apply.

That's the Truth Ruth

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Obama Will Clean Up This Town!

Washington Post

Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign is allowing donors to use largely untraceable prepaid credit cards that could potentially be used to evade limits on how much an individual is legally allowed to give or to mask a contributor's identity, campaign officials confirmed.

Faced with a huge influx of donations over the Internet, the campaign has also chosen not to use basic security measures to prevent potentially illegal or anonymous contributions from flowing into its accounts, aides acknowledged. Instead, the campaign is scrutinizing its books for improper donations after the money has been deposited.

The Obama organization said its extensive review has ensured that the campaign has refunded any improper contributions, and noted that Federal Election Commission rules do not require front-end screening of donations.

In recent weeks, questionable contributions have created headaches for Obama's accounting team as it has tried to explain why campaign finance filings have included itemized donations from individuals using fake names, such as Es Esh or Doodad Pro. Those revelations prompted conservative bloggers to further test Obama's finance vetting by giving money using the kind of prepaid cards that can be bought at a drugstore and cannot be traced to a donor.

Other blogs have noted that it isn't just limited to pre-paid credit cards. You can punch your own credit card into his campaign website and it doesn't even have the most basic security features enabled. We are talking about features that the companies that create the software have as standard features like those that check the name against the card number being used. This means you could punch in Mickey Mouse from 1600 Walt Rd. and make a $2000 donation to your own credit card and his website would not stop that from happening.

I'm sure this is just the type of oversight we want in our government.

Biden is going Rouge!


At least that is what the headline would be if the media were covering him the same way they are covering Sarah Palin. I'm still awaiting the several front page articles from the NY Times telling me how much ol' Joe has spent on veneers, hair plugs, tanning and other assorted goodies like the suspected botox for the VP debate. Only the botox is questionable, the rest are as plain as day.

What, no coverage of it yet? No articles speculating that Biden tans to avoid being deranged due to lack of Vitamin D?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Moody's Warns on NY Times

NY Times

CHICAGO Hours after The New York Times Co. released third-quarter results Thursday that including a sliding profit but that beat Wall Street expectations, Moody's Investors Services warned of a possible downgrade into junk territory of the publisher's unsecured debt and commercial paper.

Maybe if they stopped being a propaganda machine and started actually digging for and reporting news, they would get the junk off their front page and out of their bond rating as well.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Biden's Bungles

NY Post

What does that mean? Obama's election would provoke an international incident because of his inexperience and even Obama's biggest supporters won't be reassured by his response?

Then there were Biden's predictions on the economy: "I promise you, you all are gonna be sitting here a year from now going, 'Oh my God, why are they there in the polls? . . . Why is this thing so tough? . . . I'm asking you now, be prepared to stick with us. Remember the faith you had at this point, because you're going to have to reinforce us.

Biden's prediction about his own ticket is that Obama will be elected and that within six months we will have an international incident equivalent to the Cuban Missle Crisis. Then on top of that his own polling on items like direction of the country and job satisfaction rating will be in the toilet. Biden expects large majorities of the population to be questioning the effectiveness and direction of an Obama administration.

If a Republican were claiming such things about the ticket it would be national news and would be the subject of several media spin cycles. With Biden and the Democrats though what we get is nothing but non-coverage and crickets chirping.

The gaffes are just gravy.

People Don't Watch Propaganda

Drudge Report

Wed Oct 22 2008 07:25:40 ET

The Obama-McCain match-up is proving to be a lackluster election ticket for the Big 3 network news programs, according to NIELSEN MEDIA RESEARCH.

As the shouting from the trail and the frantic spinning from the anchor desks intensify, the audience is voting with their remotes.

All 3 evening news shows experienced audience drops year-to-year for the week of Oct. 13-19, 2008.

CBSNEWS w/ Couric shed a half a million viewers, falling from 6.4 million to 5.9 million; ABCNEWS dropped from 8.1 million to 7.6 million; NBCNEWS slumped from 8.2 million to 7.8 million.

This is like the NBA Finals having worse ratings than a regular season game. It is as if the series season finale pulled down worse numbers than reruns. The fact that it occurs across all three just shows what happens when news organizations can report on Joe the Plumber, but not really give us any background on Barack Obama. We can know that Sarah Palin installed a tanning bed, but will never understand the property deal that somehow got Obama his current home in conjunction with Tony Rezko.

Let them die because propaganda isn't news and doesn't deserve our time and money.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Even Dan Rather Gets the Bias Thing


JOE BIDEN: The whole world is waiting, folks. The whole world is waiting. I know almost every one of those major leaders by their first name, not because I'm important, because they were young parliamentarians when I was coming up and we've been hanging around a long time. I'll tell you what, mark my words, within the next, first six months of this administration if we win, you're gonna face a major international challenge, because they are going to want to test him just like they did young John Kennedy. They're going to want to test him, and they are going to find out this guy has got steel in his spine.

The media stampede to investigate why the V.P. candidate of a major party would dare say such a think about the top of the ticket. I have no doubt if this were Palin they would also be diagramming that statement for fun and using it to claim she can't speak and is an idiot.

Mr. Biden, what do you mean by "test?"

Oh wait, I forget this is the American Liberal Media and so that means the only thing reported on this is the sound of chirping crickets. I know that Joe the Plumber has a $1200 tax lien but of course I won't even see reported or followed up what Mr. Biden means by "test."

Even Dan Rather gets it.

RATHER: But let me point out that what happens on the internet may be as important or more important than what's happening in the newspapers. And I'll be surprised, and you know, Joe, I'm frequently surprised, but I'll be surprised if this doesn't have a run on the internet, with among the points two that you raised. Number one, if Sarah Palin had said this, the newspapers would have jumped all over it and so would have the major television outlets. And number two, they can't be happy inside the Obama campaign about this, and let me emphasize I've not spoken with them this morning.

This is akin to the N.Y. Time or CNN just finally giving up the who pretense of reporting news instead of generating propaganda. When a propaganda master notes that it is so transparently biased that even he will gladly admit it, then we see that news is not being reported, but distorted.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Where are you when we need you Ayn?

I had a conversation with a fellow teacher of mine. He was catching all sorts of hell after sending out progress reports because you know kids were actually accountable for their actions and the grades that resulted from them.

I explained to him that in a country where the banks aren't responsible for the loans they originate and their parents aren't responsible for the lies they told to get them, that no one was going to hold a nine year old responsible for their own academic progress. This helped him understand. He can now properly shrug his shoulders and thus keep his job. I'm getting ready to shrug a bit myself. The looters are coming. What will they take from you?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Sunday Funnies are now a "Feature."

Study = Republicans creamed

The total: Republicans, 286. Democrats, 42.

"Generally the Republicans get targeted much more often than Democrats, but this election is driving it off the charts," said CMPA Executive Director Donald Rieck.

Letterman and Leno told 106 jokes about McCain and 180 about Palin in the 25 shows that aired between Aug. 29, when McCain chose her, and Oct. 2, the date of the vice presidential debate.

We are even getting ready to send a comic to the Senate.

I wonder how soon it will be before we realize that telling jokes and governing are not the same thing.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Chickens Coming Home

You think after throwing everything out there now, that people will finally start realizing this isn't a liquidity crisis but an insolvency crisis?

There is plenty of money to lend. The Fed will keep printing it until we all add zeros to all our financial dealings. There simply aren't enough credit worthy people to loan to anymore. We are a sub-prime nation as I have noted in the past.

This is the danger of utopian socialism and while Obama is the more dangerous candidate in this regard, McCain isn't exactly opposed to it which is why it is so hard for him to truly attack Obama. They both believe magical platitudes and legislation make problems go away. Much of the West is stuck in this dangerous mindset. It is one that uses sarcasm and smears to ignore reality. To me the most interesting example of this is how the Sunday talk shows all now spend a segment on the jokes throughout the week. It is apparent that even they would rather watch reality be dismissed with a laugh than report on it.

One of the reasons the derision has been aimed so strongly at Palin is that she reignites the culture wars in many regards and that is really what much of this is about. She may mangle an answer or two at a gotcha press conference, but the real danger is that she will remind us that two parents are better than one and legislation and money can't change that no matter how hope-filled, mavericky or anything else it happens to be. You can't spend more than you earn. One can't really be two. We love our kids and try to help them through their mistakes rather than letting them run to the village that deluded them in the first place for help.

On the business side, income matters, jobs matter, ratios matter not just to borrowers but to lenders and no acts or legislation that compels either side of these equations to ignore these facts will work. No amount of good intentions in the beginning or blame in the end will change this. Of course we won't have much chance of moving to a true understanding of this while the Sunday talk shows would rather laugh at people than report news and discuss true solutions. Nero truly is fiddling while Rome burns.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Musings on Debt

CNN-Margaret Atwood

A different way to ponder debt beyond the mere realm of dollars and cents.

In heaven, there are no debts -- all have been paid, one way or another -- but in hell there's nothing but debts, and a great deal of payment is exacted, though you can't ever get all paid up. You have to pay, and pay, and keep on paying. Hell is like an infernal maxed-out credit card that multiplies the charges endlessly.

I was very lucky in some ways in that I stumbled upon some simple truths while growing up. My first job was as a dishwasher at a restaurant. I worked exceedingly hard while I was there and the job involved busing as well as washing. The wage was $3.15 an hour and my first paycheck came to roughly $42.00 after taxes. My first thoughts were of immediately of what I could buy with that hard earned money. All the things I wanted were, of course around $120 dollars and so with that very first paycheck I realized that no matter what you earn, you can always think of a way to spend much more. I consider that a very lucky insight. It taught me then to focus on the expense side of the equation instead of just the income side.

Overtime this has lead to a perspective that pretty much despises debt. There are so many other things I treasure more than what borrowed dollars would buy me. We carry no debt other than a very reasonable mortgage. There have been times I have even wanted that gone and have threatened to carry it out but knowing what I do about governments and fiat currency, I like my inflation hedges.

Still I recently purchased yet another beater motor home. This one is a 1972 something or other Class C on a Dodge platform. I got it for $1200 and cannot wait to begin ripping into and exploring it. The experience is so freeing in that you can't really screw up too bad when the initial cost was so little. The return is infinite. You only have to make it suck less. Any improvement is huge. My wife is tolerant and loving with regard to my strangeness. Some men drink and others gamble. Her husband wants to check propane lines, caulk roof vents and go camping over the weekend in the ugliest thing on the road.

To me, this is heaven. The guy driving the brand new recreational vehicle with multiple slides rolling down the road with a big price tag and a 15 year loan to match is my definition of hell. In an earlier post I sold my earlier motor home, a 1971 Winnebago and purchased a 2002 Ford Escort outright. I love that little car. It isn't just because it is great on gas. It is because despite the flaws it might have, it belongs to me with no worries or concerns of others.

Perhaps this is the problem with our debtor government today. It is like a version of hell and you have the debt forced on you and even the participation forced on you since it does not stay within any preset spending limits. I could let it alone but when it is giving away the future a trillion dollars at a time, you have to get involved. Long ago I decided I would rather us not be an empire no matter the cost to my standard of living here at home. I wonder if some others would be willing to do the same with regard to somehow making the world fair or just when it never has been. In the meantime they argue that someone is greedy and someone else argues that someone is threatening and both spend us into hell.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Obama the Gaffe Master

Sad but true and yet the media can only appear to claim such things about Palin.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Media Malpractice

The mainstream media has long been accused of bias towards the left. With the exception of Fox News, the Washington Times and the Wall Street Journal, the MSM has had this bias for some time. We know its leaders: NBC and MSNBC, CNN, CBS and to a lesser extent ABC. In print, we have the NYT, The Houston Chronicle, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the LAT, USA Today, Time and Newsweek. All have been accused of bias in the past. At the least, we can agree that they are liberal outlets, even if some have tried to have their news coverage be fair. Sure, we’ve had egregious examples of bias before, such as Dan Rather clinging to the Bush National Guard story despite the memo in question being a proven forgery. But I have bad news…it’s gotten much, much worse.

Today, it's become clear that we've gone beyond what conservatives have decried as "media bias." We've entered a era where it's not just points of view that come through in news coverage. It's not just liberal editorial boards and the failure to label liberal ideas and points of view as such. No, it's more than that. I submit that we've entered an era where the MSM actively campaigns for one party's candidate and tries to harm the other through manipulation of the news. We're now seemingly living in a time where certain news divisions have made a deliberate and conscious choice to embrace the hard left. In their wake, they've ignored critical stories for their chosen candidate and focused intently on anything that even appears detrimental to their political opponents. We've past the era of bias and entered the era of full blown Media Malpractice.

A prime example is the coverage of the Presidential campaign. Specifically? The MSM ignored the Jeremiah Wright story for a full year. Mr. Obama has not had to answer almost any question about his background as a "community organizer" or his association with the terrorist radical William Ayers, with whom he maintained a long relationship. Mr. Obama has not had to explain or apologize for his statement about American troops "air raiding villages and killing innocent civilians" in Afghanistan. Any attempt to ask him such questions is met with fierce resistance. "You're trying make an issue of my associations! That's old school politics! Swiftboater!" are all cries that are heard from the Obama camp. Aided by the MSM, Obama has seen to it that we can't even talk about who he IS. Does he believe that more social spending is a good thing? We'll never know. Would he attack Iran if he thought they had a nuclear weapon about to come online? We'll never know. What did he mean when he said that Iran and Syria and North Korea were "tiny countries compared to the Soviet Union" and "don't represent a real threat." He won't answer, but they won't ask.

Just when I thought the bias couldn't get worse, it did. It happened last week with the financial meltdown on Wall Street. As the media focused on McCain's actions, they began to get word of who exactly was responsible for the meltdown in the first place, and who was trying to fix it. Hint: They are one in the same.

That's right. The media is now committing the ultimate injustice against the American people. It's not just malpractice, it's practically treason: They are ignoring that tangled in the roots of the financial meltdown are Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters and....Barack Obama.

As we all know, Barack Obama worked as a “community organizer.” But what does that mean? The man worked with ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. One of ACORN's main focuses is lobbying Congress to pass legislation making housing "more affordable." ACORN, together with the Clinton Administration and Barney Frank (who claimed in 2005 that there was no crisis at Fannie and Freddie), Maxine Waters and others (including several Republicans), helped push through the Community Reinvestment Act, which relaxed lending standards. They even went to court to force lenders to relax standards for lower income and minority Americans. They, together with Republicans who let it happen, helped lay the groundwork for this disaster. And now these people are the ones crafting the "bailout," assailing the GOP and Wall Street all the way for greediness, the failure of the free market, and of course..."deregulation." Wow. These are the same exact people that helped cause the problem. And now they want $700 billion dollars of our money.

And where is the media? They're busy claiming that the failure of the bailout was "both parties fault" or even just the GOP's fault alone. They've ignored the fact that Barack Obama is associated with Franklin Raines, former Fannie Mae chairman, and Jim Johnson, former Freddie Mac chairman. Both advised Mr. Obama, at least until recently. The MSM is ignoring that Obama is the second largest recipient of funds from Fannie and Freddie in the U.S. Senate, despite him only being a Senator for three years.

They have utterly ignored all of this. We thought it was just liberal bias and MSNBC being "in the tank" for Obama. But it's much worse. They are committing malpractice against the citizens of this country. They know the truth and are ignoring it to get their candidate elected. We've entered a scary, new world. God only knows what they’ll do next.


George Will Hits it Out of the Park!

A Vote Against Rashness

George gets it right when he notes that ultimately, we the people are the problem in this matter.

Concerning which, a timeless political trope is: Government should budget the way households supposedly do, conforming outlays to income. But the crisis came partly because so many households decided that it would be jolly fun to budget the way government does, hitching outlays to appetites.

Beneath Americans' perfunctory disapproval of government deficits lurks an inconvenient truth: They enjoy deficits, by which they are charged less than a dollar for a dollar's worth of government. Conservatives participate in this, even though deficits fuel government's growth by obscuring its cost.

The people can emulate the government because credit has been democratized. Democratization of everything is supposedly an unquestionable good, but a blizzard of credit cards (1.5 billion of them, nine per cardholder), subsidized loans and cheap money has separated the pleasure of purchasing from the pain of paying. Furthermore, the entitlement mentality fostered by the welfare state includes a felt entitlement to a standard of living untethered from savings.

The credit crisis is still not really yet a crisis. People are still trying to find a way to reinflate the bubble. People are upset because assets are finally, FINALLY starting to be priced at what they are worth instead of what can be loaned against them. As has been anguished over by the media we have had huge amounts of paper wealth melt away as well it should since it wasn't true wealth. If some parties manage to hold strong and do not bail out these banks, the cost of credit might once again be higher than the cost of doing business with cash which is as it should be.

For almost two decades the cost of credit was cheaper than cash since interest rates were so low and real inflation was a bit higher. You essentually got the money for free and paid back a bit less than was owed. You can find thousands of articles that advocated never paying off mortgages, or even paying off low-rate credit cards because the rate of return on anything else was better. We cannot endure as an entire nation of debtors who makes our way through the world treating everything as a giant carry trade that generates free money forever.

So let this line of reasoning and the institutions that pursue it fail. There cannot be several more national "refinances" to try to fix our problems. We must face up to them now.