Category Archives: China

Things the Government and Hollywood can do to lower ticket prices

Movie ticket prices are high…as the Entertainment Editor of Elementary Politics I regrettably know this better than most 1888635_623836521024148_812367747072020643_nhaving to pay money to go see movies I actually know will suck (Go and read some articles on Elementary Politics…if we get enough readers I can probably get a press pass into films).

But there appears to be some doom and gloom on the horizon. The first is that, as we all know the last few years have seen deeper and deeper slumps in box office turnout. It gets even worse when you look at supposedly important names like Spielberg and Lucas* telling us that we can soon expect $25 tickets. Now I think $25 may be little overblown (even with inflation under the Obama), and might be a little bit of Spielberg forgetting the studios might not want to fund him because his last six movies have all been terrible. Still the fact is movie prices are still going up. And this comes with the rather idiotic question what can the government do to stop that…yes I’ve actually heard people ask variants of this question, because there are some idiots who feel the government needs to fix all of their problems.movie tickets

But rather than asking what can the government do, I’m going to ask the more important question what can the government stop doing to help reduce movie ticket prices? There are already a horde of policies and regulations in place that are helping to drive the price of your movie ticket up (along with the price of just about everything else) and if the government stopped doing these things you would have far more reasonable prices and far less inflation.

1. First and foremost we need to ignore Senator John McCain (who never met a line of the Constitution that he felt like defending) in his call to regulate cable TV even more. And after that we need not regulate anything else to do with the entertainment industry. I’m sure there are probably a few (very few) laws that should pertain to the entertainment industry, but right now I can also guarantee you we have dozens, possibly hundreds we don’t need and that need to be scrapped before we need any new laws. At this point new laws and regulations only create new headaches and roadblocks for business, industry, innovation and creation.

There is a minimum level of laws needed in society. We are nowhere near that level and need to take a machete, a chainsaw, and possibly a nuclear weapon to the stack of laws we do have at present.

2. End all public funding at all levels for all kinds of subsidies, tax breaks, or incentives. This might seem counter intuitive for why it would raise the price of your tickets. Subsidies only ever result in getting more of something people don’t want. Movies make money when they’re good…so if the only reason you’re going to make it is because you can get a tax break or a right-off or a subsidy in creating content that is sub-par and will in the end reduce the profitability of the market…which in turn has to be made back by charging higher prices for tickets. (Not to mention it creates crap like NPR and PBS which despite its claims of being educational actually make people dumber).

3. Conversely taxes should just be lowered in general. Be it the flat tax or the fair tax, it is irrelevant, but if taxes were just lower you would find more money to invest in films, better, cheaper technology to make films, and lower costs all around for production. Tax reform always benefits everyone, without question, without exception.

4. Another obvious one: Get rid of Obamacare. If you don’t think the production companies and the distribution companies and the theater chains don’t plan on passing their massive costs of Obamacare onto to you through ticket sales, you’re delusional. If prices do rise to $25 a ticket, then Obamacare will be to blame for at least a third of that rise.

5. Sue China for copyright infringement. China has committed billions, perhaps trillions of dollars of patent and copyright theft. Certainly they’re not the only foreign offender but they certainly are the biggest. (It’s ironic that it is very likely that all the money we have borrowed from China was only made by not paying us for use of patents and copyrights) and the entertainment industry takes billions of dollars in losses every year because of this (losses they pass off to you). Now while the Chinese government per se isn’t doing the actual pirating, they have created, fostered and in many ways encouraged the environment in which such violations run rampant and it needs to stop. While this is an issue that hardly affects only the entertainment industry, that is one of the most obvious ways it affects you and if they tightened up their system (and god forbid paid what they owe) you would see profits over here soar and prices drop in response.

 

6. Conversely America’s copyright laws are a little insane. In a push driven mostly by Disney, Congress extended copyright law to insane levels. Currently it’s life of the artist plus 70 years or 95 years from publication for works owned by corporations. That’s insane. I know Disney has a lot invested in keeping Mickey to themselves…but guys you have to let go at some point. Copyrights do help inspire creation…but when taken to an illogical extension they can also hurt innovation and creation (don’t believe me, go and read some of the insanity that has come about because of the copyrights surrounding Superman). Correcting this problem would mean that soon theaters could get their hands on good old movies at a very, very low cost and show them at almost pure profit, which means they don’t have to make the other ticket prices as high just to break even.

7. Get rid of minimum wage laws. Every usher and every person behind the counter at every theater is being paid at least $7.25 an hour. They’re not worth $7.25 an hour. Based on the service I usually get, they’re not worth $3 an hour. But regardless of what I think they’re worth, it is a simple fact of economics that minimum wage laws hurt the economy. They cause fewer people to be hired, they prevent people from getting experience, they lower service and they drive up costs.


If you got rid of minimum wage laws you would see lower ticket prices. You would also see a drop in the unemployment rate and a massive rise in the economy at all levels.
8. Get rid of ethanol. Ethanol is possibly one of the dumbest things we’ve ever done in this country. It takes 1.2 gallons of fuel to create one gallon of ethanol. So not only is it a waste that causes your gas bill to rise (and thus the cost of EVERYTHING else to rise including your movie ticket) but you’re also wasting tax dollars on this because not only is it a Ethanolwaste, but we subsidize it as well. You pay for it to be grown and then you pay to use it…and it’s worthless. Another fun fact about ethanol is that the heavy production of it has caused the worldwide cost of corn to go up, which not only exacerbates issues of global famine, but probably doesn’t help the price of the popcorn either.

9. While Congress really should get rid of all subsidies and trade barriers let’s look specifically at the ones dealing with sugar. We subsidize sugar production in the U.S. (causing the price to go up) and have stiff trade barriers that prevent cheaper sugar from getting in. This in turn leads to just about everything at concession stands costing vastly higher amounts than it otherwise would.

10. Finally let’s end the government protection of the teacher’s union. What does this have to do with the cost of your theater going experience? In terms of cost not so much, in terms of getting your money’s worth a lot. If we had an even halfway decent education system do you think movies like Grown ups 2, R.I.P.D. The Internship or White House Down would ever have been made? I doubt it, because there wouldn’t have been as much of a market for them…yes intelligent, educated people can enjoy movies like this, but an intelligent educated populace wouldn’t provide a market for as many pieces of crap to be made. And the simple fact is that there is probably no bigger threat to American education than the teacher’s union. End all of their bargaining power, disband the unions (because professionals don’t have unions), and as far as I’m concerned try the union leadership for treason and give them the maximum sentence, because they have done massive and unforgivable damage to this nation in protecting their hack union members who have no business whatsoever being in a classroom.

Now that’s what the government should stop doing…but to be fair there are some things Hollywood should do.

PrincessBride

Why has this not been re-released? This would make more money than you can imagine.

1. Release old movies. Why has there not been a re-release of The Princess Bride in the theaters? Or Casablanca? There is next to no overhead cost and you would sell tickets like crazy. Disney, you could re-release a movie every month from your vault (even if we changed the copyright laws) and it would still take years before you made a full cycle.
I think people would rather pay money to see something older and good than new and dumb.

2. Stop paying actors outrageous salaries and start paying your writers better. As the last few years have shown, people aren’t going to see movies because of their favorite actors. If actors aren’t drawing people in then they’re not good investments. Neither is CGI. In the end the most surefire way to get people in the seats is to tell a good story. Pay your writers better.

3. Hollywood, get some goddamn accountants! Real accountants, not the crazy people who have made Hollywood accounting seem more complex than the US tax code. Get some people who will pinch pennies and tell you no, that’s a bad investment, no, the actor can’t have this many riders in their contract, no, we don’t need this lavish a catering truck at the shoot, no, no, no.

4. Stop hiring directors who can’t make money. Guillermo del Toro and Paul Thomas Anderson do not make money (in fact while some of their films have made a profit I believe they are in the red for their overall careers). (I personally don’t get Scorsese, I don’t think he’s ever made a watchable film, but at least he brings in a profit, I just don’t understand how). But time and time again you see Hollywood give too much money to hacks because they’re ‘great directors.’ If you want to make vanity pieces fine, do it on your own dime; don’t do it so the studio takes the loss and passes that onto the theaters and then onto me.

5 Support a la carte purchasing in cable. It will reduce your competition and the number of channels you need to advertise on (and it’s actually the advertising budget of most films that makes them take a loss not the production costs).These are just a few of the things the government and Hollywood can do, but in the end it boils down to two things, government needs to get out of the way and Hollywood needs to be focused on giving us a higher quality product.
*I say supposedly because let’s be honest, these two schmucks have more a reputation for making good movies than an actual history of making good films. I’m sure someone will take offense to that but go look at all the movies Spielberg has actually directed and take an honest look at how some of the worst films in history are on that list.

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Obama did say “You didn’t build that” and worse…Part II

“”They might be giants, and we might be pygmies; but we stand on the shoulders of giants, so we can see farther.” Attributed to Sir Isaac Newton

So just to be clear, Obama did say:

“If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.”

But why is this so bad?

It’s terrible because it shows us exactly what Obama thinks.  He thinks that without an activist government you cannot survive.  That without an activist government there is no progress.  That without an activist government there is no growth.

Intellectually, factually, morally and ethically he could not be more wrong.

Now some very, very stupid people trying to sound reasonable might say something like:

“Neither private sector nor public sector are sufficient. Both are necessary.”

Now in a grander sense, yes, this is true.  The necessary evil of government is necessary to provide a system of laws, a police and military force, and a court system for prosecution of crimes and arbitration of disagreements, a handful of various other services.  Not a single Classically Liberal or capitalist philosopher, be it Adam Smith, Milton Friedman, or F.A. Hayek, would ever argue that government is not necessary to a successfully run economy and society.  Capitalism is just as opposed to anarchy as it is to socialism and tyranny.  But every Classically Liberal and capitalistic philosopher will also point out that government’s function are there to provide rules, protect others from violence and fraud, serve as arbiter, and provide those few services that the private sector cannot easily provide.  And also, while many of them hadn’t seen the monster of an overgrown federal government, most would argue that where government does need to step in it should as locally controlled and locally funded as possible.

Now what is an example of a function that only the federal government can do.  Well you have the army and navy.  You have the post office in the early days of the Republic (although nowadays you could cut the Post Office down to 10% of it’s current size and FedEx, UPS, and local companies could more than pick up the slack at lower prices and higher efficiency).   I’m sure a private mail carrier could have made money in the early days of the Republic, but the Founding Fathers realized how useful the committees of correspondence were, and how communication is one of the most deadly tools against tyranny, and thus had to make sure there was always an option for communication that could not go bankrupt (as there exists with any private company)…which is also the reason I advocate drastically cutting the USPS but not completely destroying it.

But is infrastructure something that only the public sector can provide?

No it’s not.  And this is a self evident truth.  Governments were building infrastructure before they started using dimwitted Keynesian tactics of spending money they didn’t have.  Logically this meant that they were getting money from commerce to build infrastructure.  Commerce and business predated infrastructure, their success is not dependent on it…it is the reverse that is true, that infrastructure is dependent on business success.

Look at the entirety of U.S. history and you will see this.  In terms of transportation, stage coaches, ferries, and even railroads started out as private sector industries that did not have government funding (yes railroads became the transcontinental giants with government help…but they also became inefficient, monopolistic, corrupt and low quality when government money got involved).  Most of the infrastructure that raised Britain to an economic powerhouse in the Industrial Revolution was privately built.  I recall that a good portion of Hong Kong’s early infrastructure post-WWII was more privately funding by booming business more than by the hands off government of the colony.  Even in now uber-liberal California, we should all remember the completely private Red Car system provided efficient and cheap transportation (using it’s own infrastructure) to most of Southern California for nearly 4 decades before being taken over by the state.

Yes the interstate highway system is wonderful and has been a great boon to commerce…of course Ike built it as an easy way to move the military in the Cold War, the economic benefit was secondary so you don’t get to claim that it was built for the purpose of the economy.  However even if the highway system should have originally been a federal project to ensure that all states are connected…it no longer needs to be federal—at this point states are more than capable of up keep of their own roads as they need them to stay economically competitive (i.e. they won’t let them just fall apart) and the local control will keep overhead, graft, and inefficiency down (at least it will be far less than what a distant federal government would create).  So even the highway system isn’t an argument that Obama has.  Yes does the system of roads and bridges need work?  Yeah, it does.  Of course if it was such an important function why didn’t you get it done in the first 4 years Barry?  And why did you saddle the debts with such massive future debts via Obamacare so that they couldn’t deal with the problem themselves?

But maybe we’re not just talking about roads for infrastructure.  Electricity maybe?  No, that was originally built by private companies…and the modern government controlled national grid is such an unmitigated disaster that even liberal Thomas Friedman of the New York Times went off on what a joke it is in his book Hot, Flat, and Crowded.

Communication?  No.  Private company AT&T built the original infrastructure and controlled it so well that the government felt the need to unjustly break the company into the baby bells…which was really dumb because within only a few years the private built cell phone infrastructure made AT&T’s land-line infrastructure about as important as your appendix.

But the internet!  Oh I love this argument.  So the military builds a communication network and does nothing for over a decade (beside being a plot point in 2nd rate Matthew Broderick film…Shall we play a game?) and then private industry built on computers (which was also built on computers the government had been working on for years to no avail. Government had silicon chips since the 1960′s but it took a Steve Jobs to create the personal computer.) and suddenly makes use of it.  Trust me if the network the military (and Al Gore) built hadn’t been in existence there would have been some genius on par with Gates, Jobs or Ellison, who would have created a network that would have allowed computers to speak to each other easily.

Everyone seems to forget that the empty cities in China or Detroit have lots of infrastructure that does nothing for them.  However there are literally hundreds of towns  in this nation where a factory was built first and then the infrastructure and growth followed…if you look at the world and the joys of globalization and outsources (which makes life better both for America and the country work is being outsourced to) the examples reach thousands.  Business success always precedes infrastructure in a sane system.  To say the opposite is to say the cart pulls the horse.

The fact is that business has traditionally built the infrastructure it needs to grow if it is not already present.  Private companies wanted to build high speed rail back in the early 90’s but were stopped over and over again by environmental regulators in the government…and unlike the BS high speed rail Obama and California want to put in that doesn’t really go anywhere, the plans in the 90’s were for things like LA to Vegas…you know rail that would have paid for itself and paid for further expansion.

FedEx was stopped by government regulation and bickering from creating a second hub in its distribution infrastructure in the 90’s.

Private airlines where hampered in their growth early on by government regulation (usually taking off from fields that the airlines had built with their own money in the early days).

I could go on.

You would have to be a brainless troll or an idiot of the highest caliber to not see that industry builds the infrastructure it needs with its own money (often cheaper than the government) and has more often has had its growth hampered by government than it has been helped by it.

You can build all the infrastructure you want. It won’t create business.  It will help business…but it’s not like the business isn’t paying for that infrastructure (through income, corporate, sales, and a myriad of other taxes).  If the government doesn’t provide the infrastructure business will create it themselves or someone else will find some way to provide the service that infrastructure would provide, often at costs less than the inefficient government creation.  Government created infrastructure is never NECESSARY for business success.  Government laws and protection against harm are necessary, but not infrastructure.

Now some claim that we need government infrastructure to provide things like TVA giving electricity to rural communities…to which I respond, when did electricity become a right?  My grandparents lived quite contently in a house until the late 80’s, in California, without public electricity (they had a wind generator that they built)…it didn’t harm them.  If there is no economic reason to have electricity in an area, then it probably shouldn’t be there…and if you don’t like it, it’s a free country, move to an area that has those services or create a business that makes it feasible to bring those services out there.   Arguing we have to provide things to people where there is no financial reason to provide it to them is the mentality of building bridges to nowhere and repairing roads no one drives on it.  It is the mentality of government waste.  And that is the kind of infrastructure that Obama is touting…or do you think the man who thought Solyndra was a good idea knows more about infrastructure?

Everyone likes to point to highways, the internet, the advance of the space race….but everyone forgets these were military ventures with military goals, not economic ones (those were merely unintended side effects)—I bring this up because which area of spending do those who tout infrastructure call on most to be cut?*  And this leads to the reason why I have repeatedly said one of our biggest mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan was not spending more time on building infrastructure.  I wanted the communication and military benefits of modern infrastructure as a counter to the insurgency (which are getting their own benefits provided by other countries). Yes such projects put the cost of a system that would benefit commerce on those countries on the US taxpayer instead of the Iraq or Afghani businessman, but I believed in the long term the military benefit would pay for itself (if you think we’re not going to have to go back to Afghanistan within a generation because we botched it so badly this time, you’re crazy).

But back to Obama’s “You didn’t build that” quote.

In context he is referring to the businesses.  But even if you take his reading that it was government provided infrastructure you built your business on and you couldn’t have done it without that infrastructure…it’s still a bullshit statement.

With only a small exception in education, everyone has equal access to the benefits of infrastructure.  Everyone has access to the roads.  Everyone has access to the electric system and all the other utilities. From the things that only government can provide (police, courts, health control, an income safety net**) to those things that government and the private sector and justifiably provide (roads, schools, post service, electricity and water) to those things which the only private sector should be providing but the government can’t keep it’s stupid hands out (green energy, wifi, medical services) everybody pretty much has equal access to all of these benefits and all of this infrastructure.  And yet some build great businesses and some don’t.  Because some had the intelligence and the work ethic and the drive to succeed and some didn’t.  Because some people built that for themselves.  This is why there is that quote at the beginning about standing on the shoulders of giants…everyone is standing on the same giant but some choose to see further and some don’t.  Now success for many may not be building a business but doing something else…but it is because of their drive, their intelligence, their work, and their choices that makes them successful or not, not because of government.

Now I did bring up that education is not always equal. Its not. And education can be a greater equalizer in terms of access to opportunity than any road or Internet hub…and our system of education in America is screwed up.  But notice also in this most important of things the government provides it is Obama preventing growth, preventing change, preventing charters and vouchers and experimentation, and wholeheartedly backing the vile teacher’s union which seeks to maintain the status quo.  So in the one thing he could really affect to help give people more opportunity to build their own lives, he doesn’t actually want to improve that system.

Nothing in infrastructure determined who would succeed and who wouldn’t (except for education) it is will, intelligence, and work that does.

It is those things which build infrastructure.

And it is those things which Barack Obama is most opposed to and most wants to destroy.

*Not that that I don’t think the military couldn’t lose quite a bit of fat from its budget…however much of its waste is in Congressional pork projects that can’t be cut without Congressional approval…if you just cut the military’s budget the DOD doesn’t have the authority to cut those pork projects, only needed things like troops and body armor.

**Even Friedman and Hayek believed you need some form of income safety net, and they were right, you do…they were also right it needs to be for the lowest of the low (like the bottom 5%) not the for a third of the nation.

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Some thoughts on Foreign Policy

Sad how this is still very relevant (just add Beijing and Teheran to Moscow)(sorry about the music, I couldn’t find this part of the speech on it’s own)


Over the last 4 years:

A dictator has returned to the Russian Presidency

China is building it’s Navy and saber rattling

Pro-Democracy forces were slaughtered in Iran and the U.S. did nothing

Anti-American Islamists have taken over Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and are about to take over Syria (and yes these psychos

are worse the bastards they booted out)

We abandoned Iraq

Israel backstabbed at every opportunity

Pakistan is actively supporting Islamists

We are in talks to give Afghanistan back to he Taliban

But, it’s not our problem…just like Kaiser, the Red Army, the Fuhrer, the Ayatollah, Mao, Tojo, Ho, the Khmer Rogue, all of Africa were never our problem.

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Ron Paul vs. Mitt Romney…or Vicious Psychopath vs. True Conservative

Very recently I was asked why I hate Ron Paul so much.  Now it’s partly his racist anti-Semitic attitude.    Partly it’s his idiocy on foreign affairs.  Partly it’s his extreme idealism about economics that takes reality and history and ignores them.  And then there is his hypocrisy.  But most of all it’s his followers.

Paul vs Romney…the battle for the soul of the GOP between a lunatic and a conservative.

Paulbots are insane.  I understand focusing on your candidate’s strengths, that’s called intelligence.  But to deny minor flaws in  a candidate is intellectually dishonest…for instance, I will admit that I’m not the biggest fan of Mitt’s social policies, however, I don’t think that those will be his first priority as President and thus I’m not too worried about them.  You ever hear a Paulbot say anything even that negative about Ron Paul.  No, Ron walks on water.

Paulbots are psychotic.  Facts have no meaning to them.  You point out that Ron Paul’s newsletter was filled with numerous racist and Anti-Semitic statements.  They either tell you you’re a liar (even when you have proof) or say that he didn’t write those, it was just someone who wrote for the newsletter.  Okay that would mean that Ron Paul hired someone to speak in his name and was so poor an executive he chose vicious and unqualified people to work for him.  So he can’t even run a small business, i.e., he’s certainly not qualified to run a country.  And when the option is either Ron’s a racist or Ron is a bad leader it’s back to I’m a liar.    Because Ron walks on water.  Hallowed be his name.  His will be done in D.C. as on Earth.

And trust me I’ve got a million other things about Ron I’m going to go over.

This kind of mindless adoration has been seen before.  You saw it in Germany in the 1930’s.  You saw it Russia in 1918.  You saw it in the Manson Family.  You see it in Twilight fans.  And you definitely saw it in the Democratic Party from 2008 to the present.  And each and every time this mindless devotion to a person, idea or thing that is devoid of real substance leads to only disaster, chaos, and destruction.

But most of all this blind devotion to Ron Paul has made each and every Paulbot in the country more sanctimonious than Rick Santorum on his worst day.  For instance let’s go with this little article that seems to be attempting to go viral “Why I Am Endorsing Mitt Romney For President (And Not Ron Paul).”  There is wit, there is snark, there is rude sarcasm….this article which tries to insult Romney is none of those things– this is ignorance and arrogance deluded into thinking it is wisdom and humor.

The poorly planned/researched concept is that this idiot lists twelve things under the guise of supporting Mitt Romney, instead supposedly he tries to insult Romney and show that really Ron Paul is not the second coming of Christ, he is so much better than that.

Yes, why should I back a real conservative like Romney when I can back a friggin’ nutjob like Paul?

Problem is that in attempting wit the author shows himself to be utterly devoid of knowledge of anything other than talking points.  The author will of course claim it’s satire…but satire is using humor to bring facts to light…this article against Romney is an attempt at humor to make fun of people for being so stupid that they believe that 2+2=4 (when every Paulbot knows it’s 3).

Let’s take a look at the 12 points.

1. Consistency – Mitt Romney has been unwavering in his public devotion to the principles and issues that would help to advance the political career of Mitt Romney.

 

Oh, I get it Mitt Romney’s a flip flopper and Ron isn’t.  Except for the fact that Mitt Romney has changed his stance on one major issue abortion…and even that was more that he changed his priorities, he has always personally been opposed to abortion.  All other flip flops are talking points by the left, Santorum, and Paulbots taken out of context or just outright lies as I have shown here.

Meanwhile it is a fact that Ron “Dr. No” Paul puts in massive pork (Billions of dollars over his very long political career) all the while decrying that very use of pork spending and voting against it (knowing that his pork money is safe even if he votes against it).  That my friend is consistency.  That is character.

Let’s see how the two stack up on the next point.

2. Flexibility – Unlike Ron Paul who has been ridiculously rigid in his defense of the U.S. Constitution, personal liberty, a balanced budget and the sanctity of life (so much so that he earned the nickname “Dr. No” in Congress); Romney has shown that he is capable of rolling with the punches, going with the tide, changing with the times, and bending with the breeze.

 

Yes, Ron has been strict in his defense of the U.S. Constitution (except for the fact that he thinks we should tax the rich which while it may now be Constitutional is clearly against the intent of the Constitution), personal liberty (unless it’s personal liberty for people outside U.S. borders, if you’re outside the U.S. borders tyrants can be running a 2nd Holocaust and Ron couldn’t care less) , a balanced budget (despite his numerous instances of pork spending) and the sanctity of life (again except if it’s outside U.S. borders).   And in all of this time, 20 years in the House, unlike career politician Romney who has only served one term in one office, Ron has gotten exactly zero laws he proposed passed.

Meanwhile Romney who holds the record for vetoes (over 800) just goes with anything anyone said.  That’s right when the Massachusetts legislature wanted to nationalize healthcare and basically control the entire medical industry Romney let them…oh wait, no, he took the plan proposed by the hideously conservative Heritage Foundation and created Romneycare (which has nothing to do with ObamaCare) thus saving the private industry and the medical professional in his state.  And then he vetoed every liberal change to the law.  Did all of his vetoes get overturned?  Yes.  But he at least stopped them from killing healthcare in one fell swoop.

Like any politician in an executive position who has no power to legislate directly has he cut deals?  Yes.  Kind of what the Founders envisioned.  (Since you Paulbots love to praise Ron Paul the Constitutionalist…maybe you could actually read it sometime along with the owner’s manual “The Federalist Papers”…you might enjoy No. 10 where Madison goes into detail of how the system is designed to at times create compromise.   But, I know, reading is hard, and just chanting “RON PAUL REVOLUTION” is so easy…and really that chant does logically dismiss all argument against Ron.)

The fact is that Romney has always held true to his principles but realizes, unlike Ron, that getting half of what you want and making a deal is better than taking a stand and letting your opposition get everything and you get nothing.

 

3. Supporters – The top six donors to Romney’s campaign are banks (including Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Bank of America, etc.). Who knows what is best for the average American? Why, multi-billionaire bankers, of course. Obviously Romney’s supporters have the kind of deep pockets that can not only pay for his campaign, but also buy the kind of Congress that will make SURE that America will have another TARP bailout if we need it.  On the other hand, 97% of Ron Paul’s donations come from individuals. His top three donor groups are the active military in the US Army, US Navy and US Air Force.

 

I love Ron Paul supporters, who are supposed to be libertarians, always hate banks and business on principle.  Not because they’re currently corrupt and sucking off the government teat, but because banks are evil by nature.  (When you combine this with the rampant anti-Semitism in Ron Paul’s beliefs, you have to wonder what percentage of Paulbots sleep with a copy of Paul’s Liberty Defined and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion on their nightstands).

And it couldn’t be the very engines of a capitalist economy and the investors who know how to create a good economy might be backing the true capitalist?  Oh, no I forgot for people supporting a supposed follower of Austrian economics, Paulbots are often little more than socialist Occupy Wall Street whiners who want to engage in the class warfare of “Who knows what is best for the average American?”  I thought we were capitalists who believe that a good economy benefits all.  No, we should only care about the average American, only have laws to benefit the hoi polloi at the expense of the rich.  Damn rich people.  We’ll have none of those true capitalist laws that treat all equally.

Oh I like that 97% of Ron’s money comes from individuals. It’s true according to Open Secrets.org Ron has raised 37.7 Million from individual contributors (according to Open Secrets that’s 97% of his contributions.)

Meanwhile that evil evil Romney has only raised 97.1 Million from individual contributors or 99% of his cash. Wait…Romney is 2% higher on individual contributors.   Clearly the people are on the side of Ron and not Mitt.

Also I would like to mention that from what I know it’s considered poor form in the military to donate under you own name, usually it’s done under the name of spouses so as not to give the appearance of military support from active duty members.  But I’m sure it’s just cowards who are afraid of going to war.  Yeah, I said it.  If you’ re supporting a bigoted, anti-Semitic racist  who would let the world burn and are in the service, you are a complete disgrace to everyone who died in that uniform. Oh by the way, this is also an odd statement in the light of Romney’s overwhelming support by veterans and his endorsement by 50 Medal of Honor winners (only 81 winners are alive).    So please, don’t for a second spin facts to suggest that Paul is a man of the people and a darling of those who have served this nation (they deserve far better than to be associated with a little piece of shit like Paul) because he’s not.

4. Public image – With unrelenting national and international press coverage labeling him as the “frontrunner” (and now the “presumptive candidate”) Mitt Romney has tremendous credibility. He has pearly teeth, perfect hair, tailored suits and looks, well… “Presidential”. Ron Paul wears suits that could have come off the rack at J.C. Penney, has kind of a squeaky voice, talks for an hour without notes (let alone a teleprompter), and looks like your favorite uncle. You would never catch Mitt talking about things like “monetary policy”. Borrrrrrring!

 

Ever since the Nixon/Kennedy debates, right, wrong or indifferent looks have mattered.  It’s such a shame Romney lives in the real world…why would I want to support someone who is sane when I can back a person who doesn’t wish to demonstrate class, tact or self-respect when going in front of a national audience.  Here is Mitt talking about monetary policy and his plans for dealing with economic policy for 160 pages!   And yes I have heard Ron talk about monetary policy many times, however I don’t think I’ve ever caught him discussing monetary policy as if he actually understood it.  (Ron might be interested to know the gold standard only works if A.) there is enough gold for the size of the economy, which there isn’t anymore and B.) it only works if all the countries in the world are on the gold standard as well…but Ron would have to know something about foreign policy, which he doesn’t).

So public image Mitt:  Successful business man who is boring and knows what to do about the economy and has to have his handlers stop him from discussing his 59 point plan to solve the economy because they know it would bore most people to tears.  Reality is the same as the public image.

So public image Ron: A selfless public servant who knows what he’s talking about.  Reality: a lunatic who thinks the words “Gold standard” a magical spell that will solve everything.  Try it “Gold Standard.”  (No, don’t think that worked…?)

5. Freedom – Romney knows that the greatest threat to our freedoms are the “Islamo-fascists”. Not the Chinese, that manufacture everything that we consume and that we depend on to finance our national debt. Not the politicians, that treat the constitution like a blank piece of paper and the U.S. Treasury like their personal piggy bank.  [It’s drivel on about the Chinese and how you’re an idiot if you think terrorists are a threat]

 

Of course Islamo-facists aren’t a threat.  Ron Paul has said he wouldn’t have gone to war with the Nazi’s either.Ron doesn’t care about any form of evil overseas, not matter how horrific…and neither should you.  Like Ron you should

Show me anything that Ron Paul has said that even comes close to this understanding of what makes America great.

be a coward and you should show all the empathy of those “Good Germans” who sat by and did nothing.  And also remember Romney doesn’t care about the Chinese.  Even though one of the 5 things   he’s going to do on day one is impose sanctions for their illegal trade manipulations, and his grand standard for keeping budget items is “is it so important, so critical, that it is worth borrowing money from China to pay for it?” which to a normal human being who can read means he wants to stop borrowing from China. Yeah, Romney doesn’t recognize the threat of China…but Ron Paul is right to ignore the fascists who have promised to kill us all and who are trying to get a nuke.  And in all likelihood – they would use it to obliterate Israel first and America second.

 

6 &7. Foreign Policy [I can’t even stand to copy this stupid shit at this point.  Short version: Ron is right to end all foreign aid, where as Romney wants to just give bushel loads to everyone].

 

I’d love to see where these Paulbots think Romney has said he’s going to increase foreign aid.  In fact, given his statement about deficits, I’m pretty sure Romney will try to cut a lot of foreign aid.  Of course what this really all comes down to is aid to Israel.  Paul and his supporters think it’s wrong that we give money and weapons to Israel which only prevents Iran from completing the Final Solution (a plan I’m sure just warms the cockles of Paul’s anti-Semitic heart).  Sane people like Romney know you don’t let the one stable democracy in a region fall, good people like Romney know you have to draw a line in the sand on principle of what is right and what is wrong (hey wasn’t that point 1 of this idiot’s rant?), and people of character know you don’t betray your allies.  Ron Paul is none of these.

8.  National debt – Romney is against it. How do we know? Because he said so a whole lot of times in a very convincing tone of voice. And just as soon as he is elected president he will show us how we can eliminate the budget deficit without raising any taxes, eliminating any cabinet departments, reducing military spending, or cutting Social Security, Medicare, or any other popular program. How will he do this? Well he hasn’t explained his whole program but it has something to do with getting rid of all of those federal regulations that are smothering small businesses like Goldman Sachs.

 

Again, did you miss the 160 page plan?  The 59 points in that plan?  The statements that he will cut federal workforces through heavy attrition?  The fact that he endorses the Ryan plan to solve Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security?  The fact that he balanced the Massachusetts budget, with a hostile legislature, and without raising taxes with a liberal Massachusetts legislature (which I think, if he were Catholic, would qualify as miracles 1,2 and 3 if he was ever up for beatification)?  Exactly where are you lacking details on how he’s going to get this done?

May I ask what Ron’s plan is?  Oh I forgot he’s going fire everyone (yeah I’m sure he’s going to get Congressional support for that), audit the Fed, and of course …”Gold Standard” (Maybe it works better if you wave your hands like you’re performing a magic trick while you say it).  Yeah, I’m sure that will work real well.

 

9. Immigration – Romney is the only candidate who has had the guts NOT to come out with a firm stand on this thorny issue.

 

 I don’t even get this one.  Romney has been for tighter border control, against the Dream Act, against tax payer money to illegals, opposes amnesty, is for self-deportation (which is working even right now) and guest worker programs for as long as I can remember.

What’s wrong with that common sense plan?  This idiot is just making crap up at this point.

10. Charisma – Romney has tons of it. Almost as much as Obama. Why is this important? Because in 2016, when the national debt has soared to record heights and unemployment is still in double digits it will take a lot of “charisma” to convince the voters to put him (or any other Republican) back in office.

 

I’ve learned to distrust politicians in sweaters…(kudos if you get the joke).

I have no comment.  The stupidity of this speaks for itself.

11. Economy – Romney is a businessman. [Edited because I can only inflict so much idiocy on you, the link is at the top if you want to read it all]

 

Yeah, Romney is a businessman.  One of the most successful in modern American history.  And if you took even 30 minutes to actually do research instead of trade in propaganda platitudes and talking points you would know he has business and executive experience, that he knows how to surround himself with competent people who both give good advice and do their jobs well.  On paper this is everything you want in a leader.

Now if there are specific problems you have with the 160 page plan and it’s 59 points, fine, I am more than willing and eager to engage in real debate, but this socialist claptrap has no place in serious discussions.

The genius then goes on to explain how the entire economy is made up of the Fed and banks.  That’s it.  There are Special Ed. children in elementary school that have a deeper understanding of the economy than this twit.

And then of course TARP.  Evil evil TARP.  And because Romney said he supported it, clearly he can’t be president. Yes TARP was a horribly conceived and horribly executed program…but to do nothing as libertarians seem to

The darling of lunatics the nation over.

suggest would have been equally stupid.  For years government conspired to force the financial sector to give out all those crappy loans (and yes they did force and threaten them with criminal and civil lawsuits if they didn’t give them out) so while the financial sector is not exactly saintly and has more than enough blame to go around on its own, the government is equally at fault.  But the libertarians argue that after you’ve stabbed someone in the kidney it’s their responsibility to heal themselves.  Huh?  Yes TARP should have been drastically smaller and shorter, it should have been more targeted and not an industry wide panacea, it should have probably been designed to cure the shock wave after one of the major banks went belly up to prevent a panic not preventing them all from failing, but you know what, not doing anything would have been as bad if not worse.  And yes Bush, Congress and the Fed deserve a lot of blame for not doing a more limited plan, but that does not mean an outsider who had no say at any level of the decision making process should take the blame for supporting what may be the lesser of two evils.  So I can’t fully hit Romney for being pragmatic and saying, yes we need TARP.

12.  Electability – Romney is electable.

This last one boils down to saying you can’t get Romney elected without Paul supporters.  Give into us now.  Sadly reality, which has little value to Paul supporters, tells a different story.  I go one of the most accurate polls in America on a likely voter poll.  Romney wins if Paul runs, Romney if Paul runs…the polls tend to show that Romney is going to win with or without Paulbot support….in fact Paul pulls more votes from Obama than he does from Romney.  Go for it Ron run!

Now, one may ask why I feel the need to insult Paul supporters so much.  Paul supporters think it’s because we think we need them for Romney to win.  We don’t.

I hit Paul supporters because they are the blind following idiots as this article has shown.  It lacks facts.  It lacks reason.  It lacks research.  It lacks wit.  And there is no way on God’s green Earth that I would ever be able to convince this lunatic, no facts, no reason, no words would ever convince him that he is backing a lunatic.  And I go back to my first point this is the devotion that got Obama in office…it won’t work for Paul, but the Democrats will try to pull from this business hating pacifist crowd next time…so every conservative needs to stop thinking Paulbots, especially the ones on the fence, not as funny little lunatics but as people who need to be challenged.  Because if those Paulbots who are on the fence are not shown facts and reason now, you can damn well expect them to follow whichever charlatan the Democrats run in 2016…to hell with the fact that the economy will have rebounded under Romney.

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More idiocy from Krugman

So the title of Krugman’s latest article just made me laugh for a few minutes

“Keynes Was Right” 

Might of well have been “I had a full frontal lobotomy.”

I’m not going to go over the whole article but I want to point out this genius little statement…

“So the real test of Keynesian economics hasn’t come from the half-hearted efforts of the U.S. federal government to boost the economy, which were largely offset by cuts at the state and local levels.”

Half-hearted?  Half-hearted! 

What constitutes half-hearted?

$700 Billion for TARP

$7.77 TRILLION in secret loans from the Fed

Another 730 Billion in Stimulus already spent…all part of Obama’s 4 Trillion increase to the deficit…but let’s just count the stimulus to be fair.

So let’s see that’s about 9 Trillion Dollars in Stimulus.  $9 Trillion dollars is half-hearted?  What would be a serious attempt?  Hey, we’re only 15 Trillion in debt…why don’t we spend $18 Trillion (because $9 Trillion is rather half-hearted) and by over doubling the debt that will solve all of our problems.  It’s like when you don’t have enough money to pay the mortgage on your house, obviously the thing to do is buy another house.  ?  ?  ?  I’d say that Krguman was clearly on powerful psychedelics, but quite frankly I think people on an acid trip would still be able to see how stupid this is.

But oh wait, he said that was wiped out by states cutting their budgets…did you notice states collectively cutting their budget’s by 9 Trillion?

Hmmm…let’s take a look to see if this is true.  If cutting costs led to worse economies than the states with the lowest debt rating would be the worst economies.  So let’s take a look at the Atlantic’s (a fairly liberal resource) ranking of state economies vs. Forbe’s ranking of their debt (which includes current debt and unfunded future obligations.  Of the Top 10 economies only one gets less that a 3 star rating in debt (#10 Hawaii) …and of the bottom 10 only 3 get higher than a 2 star rating.  In fact the state with a highest economy rating but lowest debt rating of one star is Wisconsin (you know that place that recently drew a line in the sand over a lot of union BS).  And the lowest state with a 4 star rating is Texas at 35 (it scores so low according to the Atlantic because of its low high school graduation rate…it’s like there is this constant influx of uneducated people who don’t speak the language coming into the state or something, I’m sure that has nothing to do with liberal federal policies)…

(Oh by the way I could have picked some other ranking of state economies which show that states do even better with low debt…but I thought I would go with the most biased numbers and still prove my point).

Also if Krugman was right then that would mean that California which never met an entitlement or tax it didn’t like should be doing great.  And anyone who knows anything knows that state is currently riding in a hand basket for a destination that is currently unknown to the California state legislature, but known to everyone else.

So I’m not quite sure I buy his statement that state budget cuts erased the $9 Trillion dollars we pumped into the economy.

Also if he was right then a country as a whole would do well to spend and spend and spend and not worry about who would be paying for it…and then everything will be okay.

And it’s working so well in Greece…and Italy…and Spain.

But Keynesianism is working in China!  Oh wait it’s not!  They’re about to default on their debts too…and there is no one to bail them out. 

So I guess spending when you don’t have money doesn’t ever work to actually save an economy.  The fact of the matter is that Keynesian principles have never, ever, EVER been shown to work long term, will never work in the long term, and can never work in the long term.  There is no case where they have not made the long term prospect worse.  Yeah pumping money in might solve the problem for a very short time, like drinking red bull will keep you awake for a little while longer, but to truly be healthy a body needs sleep and an economy actually needs to go through the bust without interference.

But you know what, while Krugman is wrong in quoting Keynes in saying you should spend, spend, spend when you’re down and cut when you’re up (when in fact you should cut when you’re down and cut when you’re up because government should always be kept small), Keynes was right about one thing:

“The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back. I am sure that the power of vested interests is vastly exaggerated compared with the gradual encroachment of ideas.”

Little did Keynes know that the defunct economist in question was himself.

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A video that reminds me why I love this country, and why we’re better than everyone else.

Take a moment and watch this video…

Yes, if you have even a shred of a brain and a shred of conscience you probably would love to see a sequel to this video where someone punches this girl so hard that she loses several teeth and is permanently disfigured. Sadly there is no such video of someone making her external appearance match the sick black hole that passes for her soul. But once the rage has passed let me remind you that a moment like this should be cherished for the many reasons it reminds us of why America is so great…

Let the cognitive dissonance pass, and let me explain.

First I’d like to point out something about her courage. She says what many liberals think but are afraid to say, and she should be commended for that. Granted she doesn’t have the stones that her hippie forefathers had to actually go up to a soldier spit right in their face and call them a baby-killer, but we must give the devil his due. She is leagues ahead of many of her liberal colleagues. But why is this one of the reasons why America is great? Well just imagine if she had tried this in one of those countries which, according to her, are not our enemies. Iran, Saddam’s Iraq, Libya (pre and post Kaddafi), Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan (again, pre and post), Pakistan, China, North Korea, Tunisia, and Russia (yes even still to this day). Well first, half of those countries as a woman she would never have even been allowed near a computer and even if she had posted a video about how great Allah was (while wearing her legally required burqa) she still would have been stoned to death. If she had said the same things about any of those countries’ soldiers as she said about her own country’s she would likely have been kidnapped in the night, probably raped and tortured before being killed herself. If she was lucky she would have a show trial. And in China they’d charge her family the cost of the bullet used to shoot her. But not here in America. This is a country where you can literally go up and spit in a soldier’s face and at most face a misdemeanor assault charge.

What other country lives so fully the ideal of “I will defend your right to say things I find morally abhorrent to the death” as the United States. Granted we’re not too hot on libel, slander, fraud, inciting violence that present a clear and present danger, obscenity (which is rather haphazardly enforced) and…and…I think that’s about it. What other country does that. Even most of the other nations of the Western world have some limitations on free speech, usually in the areas of racism and hatred against religions…but only one has to look at how such P.C. speech codes protect the truly violent and vicious from being attacked and cause true and civil discussion to be gagged. What other country does that?

And what other country can trust its soldiers to control themselves well enough that they don’t immediately rip out the throat of wretches like this girl with all of that deadly force we have trained them to have. Few and far between.

Now granted, she is right to point out that there has been some atrocious behavior committed by members of armed services.  But two things should be noticed. One we don’t go to the lengths other governments do to cover these things up (destroying documents, threatening news outlets, etc.). UN troops (read not US) have a history of raping and murdering the population they’re supposed to be protecting. (also see Eric Shawn’s the UN Exposed if you want to know how corrupt this organization is). The difference is that while our military has a few bad apples (show me any group of over a 100,000 people who are all saints) other governments actually dedicate themselves to butchering others. The difference is that we know about all of our atrocities (which are few and far between compared to other countries) because we don’t go to great unethical lengths to hide them (yes there’s always some idiot in the government doing a half-assed job, but it’s nothing compared to the evil of other governments). And we’re one of the few governments that prosecute those who defile the uniform of our military—and last time I checked military prisons were not pleasant places. Again you don’t see a lot of that in most of the world. The fact is that even in many countries that profess free speech, this girl would be dead. But not in America.

Still on the freedom of speech side you have to love the fact that you can make wildly inaccurate statements and not have the government coming for you and throwing you in prison. You have the right to be wrong in this country. For instance she says we’ve killed millions in Iraq, it’s closer to a hundred thousand or so …but liberals were never very good with numbers. She is right that it’s offensive with what we pay over half of every tax dollar on. But actually we don’t spend 51% of the government’s money on the military (that’s about 20% of the budget) we spend over half the budget on inefficient, evil and destructive socialist programs. But when did liberals ever let little things like facts get in the way.  Oh and her statement that the troops are dumb, as I pointed out in Republicans and Reincarnation, the average person in the military actually scores higher on every test of intelligence than their civilian counterparts. As to evil, yes it’s so horrendous wanting to defend people like her so you have the liberty to smear the people who make you safe at night. As for morally compromised, show me one reservist who is making more money being in the military, show me one person who signs up for a second tour who couldn’t find a better paying job with their highly trained skills. To find someone dumb and evil I would suggest this girl buys a mirror, to find morally compromised I would suggest she goes to a DNC meeting where people say they support the troops and then create policy that does the opposite (not that Bush not having a plan for occupation was particularly great either). But only in a country like this, where people have near unlimited freedom of speech, do we know that someone like this is a vile excuse for a human as she really is. In no other country would there be such a wonderful sign for all other human beings to ostracize someone like this or the Westboro Baptists. How would we know if they weren’t allowed to express their filth.

And because of this freedom to express evil and ignorance we know when people are stupid and horrendous, only in America, which is why I support this dimwit’s right to not support the troops, and why this is a great nation.

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The dangers and evils of debt relief

China is bailing out Europe and Obama wants to forgive student debt. I don’t know which is worse but they’re both terrible calls.

All of these Other 99% and Occupy Wall Street, in between blaming the Jews for every problem in their lives (and probably fantasizing about furnaces), they’re complaining about bank bailouts and their college loan debt. It’s an odd combination. The Tea Party complained about bank bailouts because they were in support of to good old fashioned Hayek/Friedman capitalism policy. They complained about the size of government because it was against capitalism. They complained about health care because the idea of positive rights is against capitalism. They complained about taxes, regulation, too big to fail all because of one basic reason–all of it’s against capitalism.

The Occupy Wall Street people however are complaining about banks getting bailouts (even though I remember these were the very people who supported Obama…you will recall the right started grumbling during that bullshit that was TARP) because they hate capitalism. So why are they complaining about having debt…oh because they hate capitalism because they didn’t get a bailout themselves. It’s not that they’re opposed on principle to people having money…they’re just opposed to people who aren’t, you know…them, having money. And you wonder why I constantly refer to them as a bunch of whiners.

But let’s deal with their claim that their debt is a problem, a problem the government should fix. Well, technically, they might have a point there if they took the line of argument I made that the government CAUSED the problem by offering loans, grants, and subsidies in the first place. The government caused a bubble in college tuition. It’s their fault. Now if they wanted to end ALL government grants, loans, subsidies and scholarships which would burst the bubble on the cost of college tuition and after and only after ending all the BS forgive all outstanding debt over say $10,000 (because THEY ARE THE ONES WHO CAUSED IT TO BE THAT HIGH) as a mea culpa for truly f!@#ing the system up, I could understand and be in favor of that. However that’s not what Obama is proposing. He’s proposing just forgiving some of that debt. Do you know what that will do? It will make colleges think they can bilk even more in tuition because, hey, it’s not like the kids will ever have to pay it back. Just forgiving debt will drive costs higher, will cause more debt in the long run, and it will even further ruin the educational opportunities of students looking to go to college and put future graduates even more behind.

Everything this administration does boggles the mind. They’re either idiots or evil geniuses. There is no in between. Either they know absolutely nothing about economics, because EVERYTHING they do is the wrong thing (bailouts, corporate takeovers, more regulation, health care, backing unions, everything) or he sincerely wants to destroy this economy . I personally believe Obama and his team to just be the dumbest idiots in the world, but who knows I may be proven wrong. 

But let’s not just focus on forgiving debts and bailouts of losers in this country, because this form of insanity is becoming an international pastime.

Greece is once again about to default on its debt so let’s bail them out again. But this time it’s not just the EU and the IMF (read U.S. money) now we’re adding China. You know how in crime movies they always describe that one loan shark you do not want to owe even a single nickel to because if you do you will never pay it off and you will always be in their pocket. Yeah, China. But more importantly is the simple fact that this is never going to work. Never. Greece is a total entitlement state that spends more than it can possibly take in. And they have shown no inclination to make the massive cuts required (you know kind of like how this country should have started making massive cuts right around the time Enron and Arthur Anderson went under…but Bush knowing nothing about economics, yet still more than Obama, didn’t). But let’s be honest here, Greece is beyond help. They’re going to default. Even if they went for true austerity measures, stopped all socialist policy and instituted Hong Kong style capitalism the economy will not grow fast enough to stop them from going into default. This is just a fact. They passed the point of no return a long time ago. All we can do now is choose whether that default is going to be big, as it is now (we could have made it much smaller had we let them default years ago, but that time is past) or we can choose for that default to be unbelievably massive as another round of bailout after bailout will make it. Greece will default. That is a fact, the only question is now how big do we want to make that disaster and how many of us should go down with her.

But no. Like a the crazy idiot who can’t pay their bills Greece is just going to take out another credit card and put all their new debt on that one. I’m sure that plan will work.

The unfortunate fact is that people, whether it’s the EU or the Occupy Wall Street idiots, don’t want to deal with the facts of debt. Debt is an agreement to pay back what you have borrowed. To socialists who don’t hold property and contract law as sacrosanct this may come as a bit of a perplexing issue, but for the rest of us we understand. In any loan agreement there are two parties. The loaner who agrees to take a risk and loan you money which you will pay back with interest as payment for having the money up front when you needed it but didn’t have it. This person knows they are taking a risk and if they’re smart will not loan out more than they can afford to lose (banks and governments should take a hint). And there is the loanee who thinks that they will do better by taking out the loan and buying something now rather than waiting to have the money and buy it later. It’s a capitalistic act. Both parties make out better. The loaner gets interest on their loan, the loanee gets the benefit of buying something that will benefit them. Each party is supposed to be better off than before (remember capitalism is a win-win system). Now the loaner takes a risk, and they should know it’s a risk, and with any risk you should not throw good money after bad, you should not loan out more money just to get your original investment back. It never works. For the loanee you take on an ethical requirement to pay that money back (and for college students out there, it’s a good investment because you will make more money with a college degree and spend less time unemployed…unless you study Sociology or Modernist Literature, in which case you will rightfully be unemployed and have all day to just sit around and bitch about how life is unfair with other idiots at Occupy Wall Street). If you can’t pay the money back (i.e. Greece, idiots who buy houses they can never afford, U.S. Congress) DON’T TAKE THE MONEY. You’re an idiot to loan money when you can’t afford to, and you’re an idiot to take money when you can’t pay it back. And you’re an idiot and an unethical bastard to say someone else should pay back the loans you should never have taken. But more than just that it ignores that while capitalism is a win-win system where everyone does better on every capitalist transaction, it is also a system about profit and loss. You may do better off of every transaction because you always get what you want; however, what you want may not be in your best long term interest, and if you’re an idiot and make stupid choices based on immediate wants that will lead to your own failure with no one to blame but yourself.

If we bailout people who took out loans on houses they couldn’t afford you encourage more bad home loans. If you bail out people who can’t get a job with their stupid liberal arts degree you encourage more useless degrees. If you bailout banks with bad loan programs you encourage more bad loans. If you bailout businesses with bad growth policies you encourage more bad business decisions. If you bailout countries with unsustainable socialist policies you encourage more socialist policies. Stop bailing out and supporting losers. Every dollar spent on bad policies form the individual to country level is a dollar not going to policies that work, a dollar that encourages more bad choices and less good ones. Stop the bailout and loans by governments which seem to always encourage the worst. Get out of the loaning system, leave it up to the banks, which, as they are convened with profit will only subsidize good choices, and thus subsidize economic growth, and which will be better for everyone. Stop doing encouraging all the things that ruin people’s lives and let them live their lives…not everyone will make it to the top, but it will because of their own choices, not because a government got in the way.

Worrying about people’s debts, especially people who have made bad choices and can’t pay off those debts, worries only helps those about people who have made bad choices allowing them to make more bad choices..and it hurts everyone else. The government seems to have no ability to look at people suffering and subsidize their bad choices…so it needs to leave because all it is doing is encouraging more bad choices. Will this have consequences? Yes. Lots of loans from the personal level to the international level will have to be defaulted on. But the effects of this will be lower prices in numerous fields and capital will be freed up to be given to people who will repay their loans, to people who will invest in education that will lead to a job, to businesses that will grow an economy.

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Law for the GOP to pass: Get the government out of the economy

“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”—James Madison Federalist No. 51

Read the above.  It makes clear that people are not perfect.  That the system needs to be made so as to encourage the best and keep the worst down, because if we could expect people to always be at their best we wouldn’t need government.  So when people do bad things, yes, they are to be blamed, but when they do bad things because the government set up a system that ENCOURAGED that bad behavior then first and foremost it is the government to be blamed for making the game one where bad behavior is rewarded.

Which is why these Occupy Wall Street people are such idiots.

Besides  apparently having a large portion of anti-semites in their midst  the Occupy Wall Street people and all their fellow whiners in other cities seem to be complaining about the wrong things.  They complain that the cost of college is too high…ignoring that it was government interference with college tuition that led to high prices.  They complain about bailouts…yeah, thanks for being a couple of years late, the Tea Party already has been bitching about that one for some time now.  Of course the Tea Party realizes that it is the fault of the government for giving out the money that is primarily to blame and not the banks for taking the money (not that the banks and corporations are without blame).  But the government is the one that is primarily to blame.  When you set up a system that can choose winners and losers (which any system with loopholes, regulations that serve one industry or company over their competitors, useless laws and tariffs that keep competitions from sprouting up, give loans to people) you’re going to have the companies this affects try and work the system to their advantage.  Businesses are in the business of making money.  If a government doesn’t get involved in picking winners and losers then the only way to make money is by making a superior product with superior customer service and a great marketing campaign.  That’s hard.  Bribing politicians through campaign cash to work the rules in your favor is so much easier.   It’s not the ethical choice, it’s not the long-term thinking choice, it’s not even a good choice…but it’s the choice that most people will make.  If you set up a system that makes it easier for people to give into their worst inclinations, don’t be surprised when they do. Thus government needs to set up a system where it makes more sense to worry about product, service and marketing than on which candidates to back.

If we had the right system, one where it wasn’t in the best short term economic interests of businessmen, then they would just have to focus on their business.  (Yes I would prefer it if they acted in a long term economic way directed by ethics…but you know I’m dealing with humans, humans don’t always do what’s right, thus we need a system that encourages the best in us and does not give opportunities for the worst in us).  So how do we get that system?

No loans.

Loans to banks and corporations.  Or bailouts…a government loan by any other name would smell just a rancid.  These need to stop.  All of them.  Without question, without exception.

While Bush and Obama weren’t the first to use them, they are the most recent and most egregious examples.  Let’s look at that waste of legislation called TARP.  That worthless half brain Bush would whine “but it would have destroyed the entire financial system.”  This is one of the two reasons Bush was a moron (the other being that he had no plan for the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq).  No it wouldn’t have.  What would have happened was that one bank would have collapsed.  Immediately everything that Bank owned would have been up for sale at fire sale prices.  All of that bank’s competitors would have been buying up notes on loans for a tenth of the price of the loan from the bank that collapsed.  Let’s remember that all the banks were forced to take money not because they all needed it, but to hide which banks were unstable.  Most of the banks were stable and would have been able to buy those notes.

So what?  Well if a bank bought the note on a loan for a house that sold for $200,000, the house would probably have been worth only $120,000 after the crash, but as the new bank got the note for probably somewhere around $60,000 they can work with the homeowner and probably re-fi the cost of loan down to something more reflective of its current value and hey they still make a profit.  So suddenly the loam market is more stable and the remaining banks are probably on more solid ground.

Does this happen overnight?  Nope.  There would probably be a couple of down years, maybe even three, but by the end of the third year (about now) the recession would be clearly over.

But we didn’t do that.  We chose winners and losers and decided, like a bad elementary school teacher, everybody was going to be winner!  Everybody gets gold stars!  What does that invisible hand know anyway?  It’s not like bad businesses with bad business practices should go the way of the Dodo.  No let’s keep the bad businesses around, because despite all the time during their fall into instability they never had the good sense to change their policies and do something intelligent, well that doesn’t mean they won’t be good now that we just rewarded them for bad behavior.  No I’m sure they’ll be a much better business now.  Uh-huh.

But, sadly, next to Obama, Bush is a Rhodes Scholar.  No let’s give out even more money.  Let’s continue picking the winner we want to win, not the winners who can make things like a profit or things people want.  No.  Let’s give a shitload of money to a company that builds solar cells for $6 apiece and sells them for $3 apiece.  I’m sure that business model will work wonders.  Let’s face it, yes Bush was a moron for thinking the financial system couldn’t handle the collapse of a major bank…but Obama giving out money to his cronies thinking it will help the economy was both immoral and somewhere far beyond just stupid.

And let’s not forget that with loans comes the same problem as we saw with college loans.  It ruins the nature of prices.  Costs for the consumer go up, profits go down, quality gets screwed and everybody winds up getting the short end of the stick.

The market (the collective whole of billions of economic choices) knows far more than any government planning ever can.  All you need to do is look at how well the Soviet system worked for both Russia and the satellite nations or at China right now which has built massive city expansions that no one lives in, they provide no economic growth, and show that if we can just keep avoiding shooting ourselves in the foot China will go the way of the Soviets and we won’t have to worry about their economic superpower.  If you need more proof see Thomas Sowell’s Knowledge and Decisions.  Central planning never has and never can work.  It will always make the wrong choice; it will always screw up the system.

And as long as the government is giving out money, it will inevitably go to those who buy influence.  Is that wrong?  Of course!  But the government is the one who set up the game.  It may be unethical, but you can’t seriously expect human beings to act against their own interests when there is a way they can make money.  Human beings at both the top and bottom, and every slice in between, have people who are unethical.  That’s why we have government because we’re not all saints.  If you have a system that gives out money it will always go to those who pay for it.

So let’s stop giving money!

No tariffs

I hate taxes in general, but I hate few as much as I do tariffs.  Tariffs are put in to help American businesses when they don’t want to compete with foreign goods that are made better and cheaper.  You know, those things as a consumer you want.  So do businesses make better products themselves?  Nope.  They contribute to campaigns and get politicians to tax their competitors so they don’t have to make a better product.  If we didn’t have tariffs, Government Motors would have collapsed decades ago as it should.  (There is probably nothing more un-American than GM, a company that has used tariffs to avoid competition, given into the bully tactics of unions and taken government money rather than gracefully die.  With the exception of GE there is probably no company I can think of so opposed to capitalism).

Again this is a power of government being used to help those who can afford to buy it to the detriment of the public.  Yes, it’s done by rich people and they can all go to hell for their unethical behavior…but if government didn’t play this game, then businessmen would have no choice but to make better, cheaper products.

No subsidies and a flat tax with no loopholes.

Again, I think it was conservatives who have been beating the drum for years about how we need to do a flat tax without loopholes.  Why do we want flat taxes and to lower the tax rate…well because taxes are too high but the only people not paying them are the ones who can to pay off politicians.

I’d prefer to go to a completely sales tax model, but short of that I would take a completely flat tax, and short of that I’ll take Paul Ryan’s lower taxes (because high taxes are killing everyone) with no loopholes (so the people who aren’t paying taxes, like Obama’s cronies Warren Buffet and GE will finally actually pay something).  Any of those three systems would be better than the current system where you can buy your loophole and screw the small and medium sized businesses.

No control of anything that doesn’t cross state lines.

The federal government has better things to worry about right now than whether or not the Amish are selling unpasteurized milk.  While I would prefer a constitutional Amendment clarifying that the commerce clause only covers commerce that actually does cross state lines, for right now I will settle for that as a simple law.  States can run their own business without the interference of the Feds.  Federal oversight of commerce only helps to over-regulate, over tax, over burden and destroy business of all sizes (except you know if you can buy the right legislation in your favor).  If the federal government would get out of ALL intrastate commerce you find a sudden and massive jump in economies of 49 out of 50 states (California is beyond saving, mainly due to over taxation, over regulation and too much control of the economy).

The 17th Amendment…

…is perhaps one of the dumbest ideas in history.  Yes, let’s take Senators who are appointed by state legislators and make them publically elected.  So now they’re beholden to the whims of the mob and wants of campaign contributors.  I’m sure that will always make for better government when we stop choosing who is best and go for who is popular.  Repeal this joke of an Amendment and replace it with a hard and fast states can only appoint Senators via the collaboration of legislators and governors (no public election whatsoever).  And to keep them in check give the people the right to recall.

Sunset dates on all regulations with Congressional Oversight.

Here’s a radical idea.  Make every regulation that comes out of the executive branch, be it executive orders or just policy by the different departments open to Senate Veto.  And in addition to that make every single one of those regulations come with a 5 year sunset date.  It would not be in most corporations’ best interests to keep pushing for regulations every few years, it would just be too expensive—making better products would finally be cheaper by comparison.  Further this would get a lot of useless regulations off the books.

In short—GET THE GOVERNMENT OUT OF THE ECONOMY.  As long as it is in the economy, people will want to buy government power to exploit it to their own ends, and they will succeed.  If you want honest government and honest business then you need to eliminate the power of the one to so heavily influence the other.  If government can’t interfere with the economy and provide free cash, err, I mean corporate welfare, err, I mean bailouts and loans and can’t regulate your competitors out of business then there is no point in getting involved.  If you get the government out to the economy business will for the most part have no choice but to worry about business and the products and services they sell.  Businesses behave badly because the government provides an incentive to do so, take away the incentive and most of the behavior will follow.

Yes government has certain responsibilities and duties in a free market.  We crossed that line almost a hundred years ago and it’s not even visible anymore.  When you have no loan, no tariffs, a book or regulations that doesn’t take up an entire stadium and the government not looking into every legal act of commerce as if it’s a crime against humanity we can talk about where the line should be, but right now we’re so far off that it’s not even a pertinent discussion.

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Laws for the GOP to pass: Copyright and Patent Sanity

I’ll be honest, I’ve been doing this series of laws since the November election of last year. One a week. You come up with 48 individual laws on a wide range of subjects. I’m ending this at 52 laws. Just FYI.

This week we’re going to cover copyright and patent law. And this, believe it or not is a case where I will say that the government having been bought by corporations is to blame. Yes I’m actually going to attack corporations.

First a word on what copyright and patent law is. It says I created something, thus I am entitled to any profits that come from that idea. If I write a book, I have to get paid for the selling of that book. If I create a new microchip, I get to get paid for any sales of that piece of technology. I get make money on the ideas I come up with (Communists, having no respect for the human mind call this profit “surplus value” and think the creator has no right to it, but as we all know communists and socialists are stupid…and if you listen to people who have to work on Wall Street, they smell too).

Congress is empowered by the Constitution to come up with laws to govern this. Why? Because the Founders were smart enough to know that if there is no incentive to invent, no profit in it, there would be no one who invented things. However, as with all things just because one extreme (no protection) the other extreme (eternal protection) isn’t valid either. If ideas stay in under copyright or patent forever (especially for technology) stagnation begins to occur. You need incentive to make things, but you need the freedom to use what other people have done.

For instance Shakespeare, while motivated by his urge to decry the unjust treatment of Catholics in his plays, he also was heavily motivated by profit. However, if we still had to pay some distant descendent of his every time a book was published, a play was staged, a movie was made do you think Shakespeare would have the opportunity to reach as many people? Probably not.

Same with technology. How much would have been produced if we still had to pay the Watt family for every engine (as everything was derivative off the steam engine).

Now in 1976 copyright was extended to life of the creator plus 50 years (because you do have the right to leave something to your kids for a while). Creations of corporations had a 75 year shelf life under copyright. (And honestly I think 50 years was a bit much…25? 30? Sounds much nicer—50 years just sounds like it’s not just your children living off of your inventions but also your grandchildren…which I don’t know seems a bit much).

However, while this law was a major advancement (it got rid of the rather silly requirements of having to register to have copyright rights and having to renew every couple of years) it apparently wasn’t enough for some companies. Because in the late 90’s one corporation in particular started plastering both houses of Congress with money to get an even further extension to the copyright law. And they won, getting up to 120 years for corporations and life +75 years for individuals (and I’m sorry but I won’t ever really know my great grandchildren, why should people I don’t know personally benefit from my creation?) Can you guess which corporation lobbied for this rather insane law? If you said Disney, you’re right. That’s right, Steamboat Willie, the original Mickey Mouse Cartoon (the one where he whistles Turkey in the Screw). I like Disney. I even understand why they would want keep the rights to that cartoon, Mickey is a trademark (which doesn’t expire), but that still doesn’t mean they won’t lose a lot of rights the minute that cartoon enters the public domain. From a business perspective it makes sense, they probably spent less money than they would have lost if it entered into public domain. But a 120 years? Are you insane?

For better or for worse copyright law needs to go back to the 1976 levels (again I wouldn’t mind cutting it back to life +25…and I’m an author). Overly long copyright laws stifle creativity and originality. (Why is Hollywood remaking so many movies? Because they want to get as much as they can out of the copyrights they have while they still own them…don’t believe me that expiring copyright motivates companies and individuals to do strange things with their works do some research into the copyright surround Superman, it makes Finnegan’s Wake look like an easy read.)

Conversely patent law, which covers technology and invention, is often, but not always too short. The worst case is of course patents on pharmaceuticals. Remember when you pay for an expensive drug you’re not really paying for the research that went into that drug, you’re paying for all the failed research that didn’t pan out. If patents lasted longer, companies wouldn’t have to gouge you as much because they would have a steadier source of income. But, people say, they make huge profits. Yeah they do. Because so many drug companies go out of business. You have to have a huge incentive to go into a business that is almost guaranteed to fail. And you have to pay people huge salaries to justify learning something so mind blowing boring as biochemistry at a Ph.D. level. If you had lower incentives you would have far fewer new drugs.

I would go as far as to say that patents need to be put on complete par with copyright…after all why is a book or movie worth more protection than a pill or microchip. Both are the creation of the mind, both can only be done by a relatively small group of people (I’d argue more people have the potential, but few live up to that potential).   And all patents need to have the same length, none of this drugs have different rules than technology, have different rules from other fields.  An idea is an idea.  Are you really going to trust government to say that ideas in this field are better than ideas in that field?  No.

Extending patent law would help create a new environment for growth and innovation as there would be more incentives.  This in turn would spur more economic growth.

Now two other things need to happen, and this is a little more difficult. First this needs to be an international thing. A lot of countries don’t uphold copyright and patent law. China has grown rich on it. It’s just amazing what you can accomplish when you steal all the technology you use and have a massive slave labor force. If China had to pay for every patent and copyright they have stolen and grown fat on, the U.S. Debt (and that includes the debt of all 50 states) could be paid off and still have some money left over. All countries need to uphold these laws (and I realize this will be almost impossible to do, but we need to keep trying to move toward this).

The 2nd point is I think China should pay for all its violations. And until it does I don’t think we owe them anything.

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Idiots, Ethics and God

So, against my better judgment I have been engaging in a comment war with a real moron on a friend’s blog. A moron and a troll. What really pisses me off about this useless f!@# is that he is the kind of prick who likes to use big words, Latin phrases where the English would actually be more appropriate, and quote obscure philosophers to make himself sound really smart when he clearly knows nothing. You know, the kind of ass who likes to ask questions of subjectivity and postmodern philosophy that makes even intellectual people in college want to just punch repeatedly because he clearly isn’t mentally qualified to engage in the actual conversation at hand but wants to sound like he knows more than you. I know I shouldn’t have argued with him, there is nothing to be gained from arguing with idiots, because you can’t even humiliate them because sarcasm and insults are beyond their feeble little minds, ( I know this because irony, wit, and blatant petty mocking actually went right over his head…it was sad actually, made me feel like I was making fun of a retarded kid) but I had a couple of glasses of wine in me and my intellect was not at its peak (still well above the moron’s, but not at its peak).

But what really pisses me off is this idiot keeps referencing ideas and philosophers of deontological and utilitarian ethics as sources and people to challenge. And this really pisses me off.

But let me go back a step because I realize most people aren’t familiar with these philosophies (although they are far too often in practice). I myself do not read much from these philosophers because the I am familiar enough with their bullshit beliefs to not only know that they don’t meet even a prima facie case, but that when you get into the depths of these philosophies there is nothing of value to them. But let me give you the short and simple summaries of why both belief systems are beyond stupid.

Utilitarian philosophy might actually be familiar to most educated people. It’s the idea that the ends justify the means. It states that so long as you usually come out with a good end (usually for the most amount of people) then whatever you have to do to get there is justified. It’s stupid for both theoretical and pragmatic reasons. It’s stupid for theoretical reasons because it views people as merely tools to an end. Need economic growth then using people as a cheaply paid slave class is justified because it leads to growth (as China will more than testify to). Need a better class of people in your country, just kill all the inferior people (yeah, we know how well that one goes). Any and every major evil of the 20th century is justified by this belief. Because anything can be justified if you say that you’re doing it for the public, for the people, for the state, for the race. Ironically since any justification based on utilitarian principles has never resulted in anything but genocide, economic disaster, tyranny and suffering, utilitarian ethics would demand that utilitarian beliefs never be used. You cannot have any ethical beliefs without believing the basic inherent value of human life and the human soul, and that immediately throws out the basic premise of utilitarian beliefs that helping the many justifies hurting the few. If classical liberalism is correct, and human beings inherently have value by virtue of being human, then nothing can be justified by the principles of utilitarianism which demands that humans have no value in and of themselves, only in the respect that more is better than few. But that hasn’t it stopped this abhorrent belief system from being used time and time and time again.

There is probably only one evil worse than utilitarianism…and that’s the philosophy of deontological ethics. If utilitarian’s believe that the ends justify the means, then the deontological school believes the equally, if not more, evil idea that the means justify the ends.

Deontological beliefs were never really championed seriously until the advent of Immanuel Kant (please read “the most obscenely immoral person in the history of human civilization–If he had been given the power to do so he would have made Hitler, Genghis, Mao, Attila, Stalin, and Pol Pot put together look like choir boys.”). I do not believe in the Devil or the existence of absolute evil…but the existence of Kant makes me constantly question that belief. If there were ever books that deserved to be burned, they would have the name Immanuel Kant on them (not that I advocate book burning, but Kant comes damn close). As you can guess, I hate Kant…and the fucking excuses for human beings who follow him. Why do I hate him so much, well first because his entire philosophy is based on the idea that the purpose of human life is not to be happy but rather to fulfill our duty. I’ll come back to this in a minute, but for now just accept the fact that it allows a justification for causing human misery. Second because his rule, while a favorite of academics and the root for all post-modernist’s bullshit, is not only immoral but blatantly illogical and preposterous…but since he put it in such impossible to understand terms idiots who like to think themselves smart glorified it because the rule of a moron is
“if I can’t understand it, it must be smart.” Here is Kant’s entire basis for ethics and the grounding for all of his philosophy that followed:

“Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law without contradiction.”—Immanuel Kant, The Groundings for the Metaphysics of Morals

In human terms that means do something only if you want everyone to do that thing at every opportunity. Don’t lie unless you want every person to tell a lie at every single time they speak and/or write. The classic example for this is you’re living in 1930’s Germany, an S.S. officer comes knocking and asks if you have Jews hidden in your basement, which you do. Do you lie? According to Kant you are an evil human being if you lie. You must tell the S.S. officer that you are hiding Jews and condemn them and yourself to death. According to Kant that is the only way to be an ethical human being. (One wonders how this sick little excuse for a human ever survived to be able to write such filth…oh wait he wrote in Prussia, a country not historically known for its morals.) For me, there is only one ethical way to not lie to the S.S. officer, and that is to get him to come inside the house long enough to shove a knife into the base of his neck. Again Kant would say that killing a Nazi is morally wrong. Human beings on the other hand view the cold blooded murder of any Nazi not so much as wrong, but more under the category of “DUH.” But ignoring the obvious Evil (yes the capital E is intentional) of this so-called ethical idea, is how it’s actually quite useless. What if, when the S.S. officer is standing there, I don’t ask “Should I lie?” but instead ask “Should I support tyranny?” “Should I betray the innocent?” “Should I follow the law?” “Should I follow an unjust law?” It’s useless as a rule (and further utterly pointless as the basis of a philosophy) if it yields different answers depending on how I formulate the question. If something is a rule it should tell me what to do in a given circumstance, the categorical imperative can’t do that because most actions involve multiple levels of action (lying, helping tyranny, following the law, and protecting the innocent). Still, given the fact that those who would believe in the categorical imperative can’t even see this obvious problem I can’t expect them to formulate the right question. But the worst is, like utilitarianism, it denies the value of human life. This is only concerned with the actions, not with how those actions affect something of value. Every person can be sacrificed if the categorical imperative says that to do otherwise would be wrong. There is no question of justice, of value, or right…only of duty to a poorly formulated idea from an immoral autistic soulless Prussian.

You see the problem is that most of ethical philosophy was settled back around 400 B.C.E. in Athens. Plato and Aristotle pretty much came up with the core basis for all ethics back then and realized quite correctly that happiness was the end and goal of human existence. Christ added a little humanity to the cold rationalism, and Aquinas made sure those two branches worked together. Yes there were still a lot of political and economic philosophical questions to be answered, but for the most part ethics was a complete philosophy with only the minutia to be debated and obvious errors to be corrected–for instance if Aristotle had just applied his own logic to his culture’s racism and misogynism he would have seen them to be wrong, but it’s unfair to blame a man who was centuries ahead of everyone else in a myriad of ways for not being ahead of his time in every way. After all what beliefs do you hold now that 2,000 years from now you’ll be laughed at for believing? (Hint if you believe in Kant, you should be laughed at right now). However, rather than take this rather well versed theories you had what the Renaissance laughably referred to as philosophy (starting with Descartes) had the idea that instead of refining the existing philosophy they should completely ignore all the previous learning and start from scratch. Now this can be helpful strategy to test existing beliefs and come at something from a new angle, but only when you compare what you come up with against the old ideas and see which one is more convincing (which modern philosophy has never done, because if it had it would have abandoned so much of the tripe that has been stated in the last five hundred years). And rather than building on ideas based on reason and truth modern philosophy first centered around the false dichotomy of empiricism vs. rationalism, then went to the insanity of Kant, and to call anything after that philosophy is an insult to the word. Useless academics spent the last five hundred years more worried about saying something new than saying something true. Part of this is because nothing in modern philosophy (with the exception of Locke, but he more or less drew the idea from Aquinas) has given any credence to the value and worth of the human soul.

And this is probably why even deists and believers who doubted the divinity of Christ (i.e. Jefferson, Adam, and Franklin) who did not subscribe to any particular denomination of belief, along with the rest of the Founding Fathers, believed that America (or any nation) could not survive unless it has some kind of spiritual belief. (“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”—John Adams). Without a belief in God and the soul, there is no value to humanity and thus nothing to stop institutionalized misery and evil. Atheists will try to say that statement is wrong (but I dare you to find any kind of atheistic regime in the whole of history that has not quickly degenerated into madness and destruction. Religious civilizations are 50/50 for being evil. Atheists have a 100% evil track record. Hmm tough call.)

I bring this last point up only as a tangential explanation of both utilitarianism and deontology are grievously wrong. However because I dismiss these so-called philosophers because they’re based on such a preposterous idea, one certainly would assume I’m some kind of philistine as if I don’t understand the genius of these philosophies. I reject them because I do understand their idiocy and evil.

And why else are they completely wrong (and arguably rather interchangeable since they’re both 100% wrong) is because they only focus on half the picture. One looks at means the other ends. Both are an incomplete picture. One must look at both to act ethically and rationally. Some means are wrong, like lying. But lying to save an innocent isn’t wrong. Murder is wrong, but it’s the height of ethics to murder a tyrant—its fact, it’s actually a moral imperative if you don’t have the ability to imprison them. (As I know that I occasionally have readers in Iran get to this blog…take a hint.) On the flip side sacrificing the rights of the innocent is never justified no matter how good the end you intend. However it would be foolish to say that those rights can never be violated, as sometimes the alternative is far worse even for the innocent (which is why the necessary evil of limited government is ethical. Very limited). Now this can only be achieved in Classically Liberal Democratic Republics that rely almost exclusively on capitalism (liberals out there capitalism requires laws and government, it’s not anarchy, but it doesn’t require a lot either).
Now, as it is pointed out in my favorite book, Republicans and Reincarnation, the best you’re going to get in the highly dependent on circumstances and surrounds for a calculus of ethics is the following five questions:

1. Is the action leading to a positive, neutral, or negative end?
2. Is the action unethical or ethical?
3. Is the benefit this action provides removing a material or spiritual obstacle, or both?
4. Is this a long-term benefit or short-term benefit?
5. Is the action benefiting a large number of people or a small number?

(Notice that this is the other reason you have to believe in the soul to be ethical, because if there is a soul then there is a difference between what is good in the material sense and what is good in the spiritual sense. To not make this distinction will always lead to unethical and unproductive behavior.) And the basic way to interpret the these five questions is (again from the book, there was a 3 page justification for these conclusions, but I fear I’m boring you already as this is a blog not a book):

No negative ends, even if it means unethical means. (Such as war to end tyranny)
No negative spiritual ends, even if it means negative material ends. (Quitting your job rather than violating your principles)
Unethical means only to prevent a negative end.
Long-term goals over short term. (The needs of the minority must never be sacrificed for the wants of the majority.)
The needs of the minority must never be sacrificed for the wants of the majority.

You’ll notice how both the foolish ideals of utilitarianism and deontology violate almost every one of those points, which is why they are wrong, which is why they must be opposed, which is why I dismiss the fools who originally formulated them and why I have no respect for the idiots who continue to follow them.

There, now I have something in writing that I can send to people every time they make such ridiculous arguments. If you also run into such an idiot send them this way. They probably won’t learn, but you can now mock them for their further lack of understanding.

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Laws for the GOP to pass #28 How to deal with Foreign Aid

I’ll fully admit that I’m not anywhere near original as this is already being proposed in Congress, but I feel it does deserve some public notice.

So apparently, when we vote for international aid it’s a single huge bill sent to Congress. We want to give X dollars to countries A, B, C, through G. One bill. So all the aid for Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Ireland, and Mexico is in one bill. They may have later bills every year for more money, but the powers that be like to try and get everything in as few bills as possible.

This is insane.

Congress needs to take countries each on their own.

Now granted, foreign aid is an incredibly small portion of the budget and taking out a few countries isn’t even going to make a major difference. But, first of all, remember I have a death of a thousand cuts philosophy to the budget—if you make enough small cuts on every aspect of every program you’ll eventually have a huge amount of savings. And on a second issue, some countries don’t deserve a dime from us.

For instance I have a link here to the U.S. list of countries we give aid to.

It’s a strange list.
2009 2 Billion to Egypt…to a dictator so he can be overthrown by terrorists. Money well spent I’m sure.

1 Billion to the Sudan. I think some bombs on the people committing genocide would have been more effective and cost less.

900 Million to Pakistan…the smartass remark is too obvious for me to need to write it down.

900 Million to Palestine…so the terrorist run government can plot the 2nd Holocaust.

800 Million to Russia…so they can help Iran develop a nuclear reactor.

33 Million to Mexico…to help print pamphlets on how to leave their country and have another country pay for all of their healthcare and childcare costs.

22 Million to China…to help repress the people and torture Tibetan monks.

Now, am I going to say all the money we spend is wasted? Yes. I am. The U.S. government couldn’t spend properly if it tried. But I will admit that some of that money is not necessarily going into the pocket of dictators to help fund the murder of innocents…in those countries, it’s often going into the pocket of corrupt bureaucrats to fund their retirement in an equatorial non-extradition country. But the point here is we should be looking at each country separately.

Ireland? Probably not.

Iraq? Yeah, we blew the place up pretty good, the least we can do is to pay for the cleanup.

Palestine? No. Hell no. Not in a million years do those terrorist deserve a dime…now if we want to discuss lots and lots of ordinance, I’m open to that expenditure.

China? Only if it’s paying off debt. And I still maintain that all the copyright violations, trade mark infringement, and industrial espionage that’s all but funded and sponsored by that corrupt government should just cancel out what we owe them.

The long list of sub-Saharan African countries? Eh. I don’t think our money is actually doing any good…but I have no ethical problems other than my concerns over the pragmatics of it.

But we should not have to have an all or nothing bill. Each country’s aid should go up separately. And each country should get an up or down vote in both houses, and the White House should have the opportunity to veto any country’s individual aid. (Although, if we do that I’m betting five bucks the Obama, otherwise known as the Anti-Semite-in-chief, would veto all of Israel’s funding, but while it would mean Israel would go without funding for a year, getting that asshole to show his true colors might be worth it).

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Filed under China, Foreign Policy, Government is useless, Laws the GOP should pass

Random thoughts for February.

We’re ending what has been a rather eventful month and while I would love to deal with each of these following issues in their own blog I feel I should at least say a short something on them before they cease to be news.

Whatever happened to Tunisia? Or that new country that used to be Sudan? I’ve checked Fox, CNN, the Drudge, RealClearPolitics, RealClearWorld, Washington Times, all seem to be blank. Yes, Egypt and Libya are big news. But how new governments are faring in Africa might give us some better idea of how the latest round of insurrections are going to turn out. This is actually a big problem with all of American foreign policy: we get bored. We deal with something while it seems important, but like an ADD child, flip to something else when it no longer seems really interesting even though that’s when it really needs our attention and care. Don’t believe me go back and watch “Charlie Wilson’s War” and ask yourself how bad off Afghanistan would be today if in the 90’s we had spent money on roads, schools, hospitals, and other basics of infrastructure in the country. Do you think the Taliban would have taken over? Do you think we’d be wasting so much in military expenditures right now if we had just kept our eyes on the long term solution and not just drifted off to the newest problem of the week?

And while mentioning Egypt. Why are you people so happy? We traded a military dictator for…a military dictatorship…a military dictatorship which threw out the country’s constitution. Which is now allowing Iranian military to use the Suez. Which God knows what they’ll do next week. I’m sorry but I’ve seen nothing yet to convince me that they simply will not be any different from Mubarak.

Can the media please find a way to agree on how to spell G/Kh/Quadaffi? Please. Is it that really hard? I understand that Anglicanizing Arabic words isn’t an exact science, but is it that hard to pick one and run with it?

It’s a little sad that Libya’s representative in the UN condemned Gaddafi before Obama did. Was it really that hard to decide on where you stood on the Gaddafi issue Barrack? The man has been our enemy since the 1980’s. This shouldn’t be a hard one. If this were a longer blog there would be lots of Neville Chamberlain comparisons, but I assume you can fill those in yourself.
Say what you will about Bush’s foreign policy—he had one. It might not have been well planned out, but it was a policy…and not, you know, changing statements every time the tides change like some presidents.

The real revolt to watch is the Chinese crackdown on dissidents right now. If China goes the way of the Mideast it will be a moment as important as the fall of the Berlin Wall. … … If it goes under do we still owe money to whoever takes over? (If we have to pay somebody I say we maintain all that money goes to Tibet).

On that note, even though China’s bought a lot of our debt, one would think with the millions of government sanctioned copyright and proprietary secret violations China commits, if we were to ever actually collect on the fines their government owes us….well you get where that line of thought is going…

The definition of sad: Obama dropping his defense of the Defense of Marriage Act. It’s not sad because I support the bill, I really don’t, but it’s his clear motives. He’s just desperately trying to lock down a voting bloc he will need in 2012. Yet he can’t actually come out and say he supports gay marriage because that will lose another voting bloc. Cynical and cowardly. In my experience, people I know who are homosexual are a lot brighter than to fall for this kind of pathetic move.

Oh and what idiot in the Press Secretary’s office approved the words “grappling” in saying that Obama is grappling with his views on gay marriage? Granted, any jokes on that word choice would be immature and rather sad. But my point here is that media relationship experts would also generally advise you to not put yourself in the position to allow such associations to be made. In context it’s a perfectly acceptable and accurate word (if it was true, I somehow doubt Obama doesn’t actually stand on one side or the other)…however in the subconscious association game that is media relations the words “grapple” and “gay marriage” should never be in the same sentence. Clearly this new press secretary is as much of an idiot as the last one.

Finally, the fact that “Waiting for Superman” is not nominated for best documentary shows you that Hollywood is about as insanely liberal and in bed with corrupt unions. Also Chris Nolan not getting best director is a travesty.

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Filed under China, Gay Marriage, Tyranny

Two things Obama loves: Himself, Chinese Tyranny

Obama just doesn’t get it.

So, what would you do if you wanted to honor a Nobel Peace Prize winner who is being given the award for a lifetime of opposition to tyranny but couldn’t come to accept it because he’s stuck in a Chinese prison because he’s spent a lifetime opposing tyranny? Well if you’re Barrack Obama, you mention that you, Barrack Obama, won the Nobel Peace Prize.

“One year ago, I was humbled to receive the Nobel Peace Prize — an award that speaks to our highest aspirations,”… all I can say is thank God someone on his staff removed the paragraph condemning the Nobel commission for their idiocy in not giving it to him again from the teleprompter.

But the clinical narcissism isn’t really all that surprising. What I find sad enough to bring this up (after if I was going to blog every time he was a narcissist I’d be blogging almost every hour on the hour) is that for an award that is all but designed to condemn China and its tyrannical habits, is that Obama doesn’t get this point. He doesn’t get that in this moment, awarding a Peace Prize to a Chinese dissident, China is the bad guy. (China’s been the bad guy since Mao took over, but I can’t expect such rational behavior from the State Department 24/7). No what does Obama have to say about China?

“We respect China’s extraordinary accomplishment in lifting millions out of poverty, and believe that human rights include the dignity that comes with freedom from want.”

Lifting millions out of poverty? I love his accurate count of millions. Because those millions are living high on the hog because of the billion living in not just poverty, which while not great, at least still has some dignity to it, but in slavery. What did Obama say: “We think it’s cool that you can do a lot of stuff when you have a billion slaves.” On that note, I’m sure that Obama will soon be praising the economic accomplishments of the Nazi’s, the antebellum South, the Caesars, and the Pharaohs.

At least no one in China will hear about Barrack praising their little fascist state. Why? Because the Chinese government has blocked all outside access to Western news service so no one learns that they are in fact living in a country that jails people who believe in freedom.

Oh, but besides praising the butchers of Tiananmen for running an efficient slave state he goes on to degrade the very nature of human rights by saying, “and believe that human rights include the dignity that comes with freedom from want.” Freedom from want? So you have the right to anything you want. Notice it’s not the right to pursue what you want, you just the right to anything you want. That’s right according to Barrack Obama you don’t have to work, you’re just entitled to every whim you have. But I’m sure you’ll object that he meant the freedom from not meeting our basic needs. That we are entitled to at least the bare bones minimums to survive. Guess what even if you take that definition, it’s still wrong. You aren’t entitled to anything in the physical world beyond air that you don’t earn. If you need food, earn it. You aren’t entitled to take anyone else’s. Now the mercy, compassion and decency of others may give to you out of charity and the belief that with only a little temporary help, you can earn your needs on your own, but that is a choice the giver must make, no one has the right to take. By Obama saying you have the right to those things he places the government as the thief in chief of redistribution so that it can be the arbiter of what people should and should not have. What a shock, our socialist President believes that the Chinese are right. And I’m sure if he could get away with it he would put all of his opponents in the same place as Nobel Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.

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Filed under China, Obama, Obama Ceasar, Tyranny