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Archive for April, 2010

Can’t blame this on “greedy, fat cat Wall Street bankers”.

April 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Greece may be the domino that leads to an even deeper recession:

True, Greece’s economy by itself isn’t much. But if Greece takes the EU down, the U.S. will suffer, and badly. It used to be said, “No man is an island.” Well, today, no nation is an island.

All this is starting to sink in. The Fed’s decision on Wednesday to keep U.S. interest rates near zero indefinitely was in large part due to the euro crisis.

Even President Obama, who had held himself aloof from Europe’s fiscal ills, said through a spokesman Thursday he’s “monitoring it (the euro crisis) very closely,” and that it is of “great concern.”

Problem is, Greece isn’t our only worry. IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn on Thursday warned of economic “contagion” sweeping through Europe and perhaps by inference leading to another financial panic in the U.S. Even Great Britain, once the world’s financial center, is vulnerable.

Very few EU nations are in good enough fiscal shape to help the others. It’s quite possible that one of these key players — like Germany — will decide it’s had enough and opt out of the monetary union. If so, the euro will die. In the long run, that will give European nations back their sovereignty. But in the short run, it means chaos.

All this because a few countries can’t keep their fiscal houses in order. In the end, tiny, picturesque Greece may be the trigger for a much worse global crisis than anyone has imagined.

But, as Keynes said, “in the long run, we’re all dead”, right? Fortunate for him, he died well before he could see the impact of his stupid economic philosophy. I mean, really, how in the hell do you spend gobs of money and produce economic growth? Once our “leaders” recognize that they are the problem and not the private sector then we’ll be on our way to a true recovery.

Weakness not only invites aggressiveness, but imprudence as well.

April 29, 2010 Leave a comment

In an analysis of a column that all but states North Korea attacked South Korea when it sunk one of its ships, Contentions blogger Jillian Melchior had this to say:

It has been said often that Obama’s foreign policy emboldens international troublemakers. But to go a step further, one of the gravest consequences of Obama’s appeasement strategy has been to make it strategically imprudent for a country to justly act in defense of its citizens.

Indeed, it has. When our allies cannot come to depend upon the United States for even moral support in the actions it must take to defend its citizens, they are left in a state of paralysis while their own enemies gain ground. The evidence mounts that North Korea sank South Korea’s ship yet they are paralyzed to act because Obama only states “condolences” for losing a ship. One will not be surprised when North Korea starts trekking across the DMZ proper and start to reintroduce bullets into the war with South Korea.

So much for “Drill, baby, drill”.

April 29, 2010 Leave a comment

An offshore oil rig blows up, spills oil into the ocean and Florida GOPs lose the stomach to stand up for something that is right for the country:

After a 90-minute plane flight Tuesday above the spill, which was spreading in an 80-by-42-mile blob, Crist said, “Clearly it could be devastating to Florida if something like that were to occur. It’s the last thing in the world I would want to see happen in our beautiful state.

He said there is no question now that lawmakers should give up on the idea of drilling off Florida’s coast this year and in coming years. He had said previously that he would support drilling if it was far enough from shore, safe enough and clean enough. He said the spill is proof that that is not possible.

Because, after all, it is more important for Floridians and Americans to have a “clean, beautiful state” than it is for them to be able to drive their cars to get to work and do such menial things as getting food, clothing, and just being able to socialize with one another. So much for “ending our reliance on foreign oil”. If the pols can’t bear an oil spill off their coast (even though oil naturally seeps out of the earth and finds its way to the coast in any event), then we’re going to be dialing up Canada and Mexico (what? You thought I was going to say the Middle East? Those are our two major oil partners, not the Islamists of the Middle East) for more oil.

America is getting dumber and more cowardly by the minute. Thanks, Progressives!!

UPDATE: Coming soon to a theater near you: rolling blackouts like those in Venezuela. You can’t honestly believe that solar and wind can generate as much power and energy as fossil fuels can, do you?

And just an aside: the article is also a lesson as to why socialism CAN NOT WORK. I would think our own Socialists would realize this, but they must think that capitalists will always work. Please reference the letter that is circulating Wall Street and see if that analysis will hold up.

Sounds like John Galt to me.

April 29, 2010 Leave a comment

A letter circulating on Wall Street:

We are Wall Street. It’s our job to make money. Whether it’s a commodity, stock, bond, or some hypothetical piece of fake paper, it doesn’t matter. We would trade baseball cards if it were profitable. I didn’t hear America complaining when the market was roaring to 14,000 and everyone’s 401k doubled every 3 years. Just like gambling, its not a problem until you lose. I’ve never heard of anyone going to Gamblers Anonymous because they won too much in Vegas.

Well now the market crapped out, & even though it has come back somewhat, the government and the average Joes are still looking for a scapegoat. God knows there has to be one for everything. Well, here we are.

Go ahead and continue to take us down, but you’re only going to hurt yourselves. What’s going to happen when we can’t find jobs on the Street anymore? Guess what: We’re going to take yours. We get up at 5am & work till 10pm or later. We’re used to not getting up to pee when we have a position. We don’t take an hour or more for a lunch break. We don’t demand a union. We don’t retire at 50 with a pension. We eat what we kill, and when the only thing left to eat is on your dinner plates, we’ll eat that.

For years teachers and other unionized labor have had us fooled. We were too busy working to notice. Do you really think that we are incapable of teaching 3rd graders and doing landscaping? We’re going to take your cushy jobs with tenure and 4 months off a year and whine just like you that we are so-o-o-o underpaid for building the youth of America. Say goodbye to your overtime and double time and a half. I’ll be hitting grounders to the high school baseball team for $5k extra a summer, thank you very much.

So now that we’re going to be making $85k a year without upside, Joe Mainstreet is going to have his revenge, right? Wrong! Guess what: we’re going to stop buying the new 80k car, we aren’t going to leave the 35 percent tip at our business dinners anymore. No more free rides on our backs. We’re going to landscape our own back yards, wash our cars with a garden hose in our driveways. Our money was your money. You spent it. When our money dries up, so does yours.

The difference is, you lived off of it, we rejoiced in it. The Obama administration and the Democratic National Committee might get their way and knock us off the top of the pyramid, but it’s really going to hurt like hell for them when our fat a**es land directly on the middle class of America and knock them to the bottom.

We aren’t dinosaurs. We are smarter and more vicious than that, and we are going to survive. The question is, now that Obama & his administration are making Joe Mainstreet our food supply…will he? and will they?

I wonder what happens when the men of the mind go on strike…

h/t NRO

Seems the United States isn’t the only one with an illegal immigration problem.

April 29, 2010 Leave a comment

A poll on Britain voters’ concerns puts immigration at the top of the list:

Almost one in three (29%) place race relations/immigration among the most important issues facing the country, a four percentage point drop since November, though the November index was conducted in the wake of the BNP’s appearance on ‘Question Time’.

So, I guess if Britain started enforcing its own laws it would be considered a fascist, Nazi state, no?

Boy Scouts to offer merit badge in video games.

April 29, 2010 Leave a comment

I think this is a good development. Contrary to what most people think, a lot of bright and accomplished individuals play video games. I think one of the main reasons I got my internship at KPMG was because I mentioned that I was an avid gamer. Turns out that both interviewers and several other folks I worked with were into games. Gaming has become a rich experience and a form of social networking in its own right. On top of this, many games are very educational and informative, are great at storytelling, and, as with the Nintendo Wii, getting folks into shape. This is a good thing that the Boy Scouts of America is doing and it’s just another step in the direction of the mainstream acceptance of videogames.

A thorough analysis of the unconstitutionality of the “mandate” in Obamacare.

April 29, 2010 Leave a comment

From Randy E. Barnett:

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) includes what it calls an “individual responsibility requirement” that all persons buy health insurance from a private company. Congress justified this mandate under its power to regulate commerce among the several states: “The individual responsibility requirement provided for in this section,” the law says, “. . . is commercial and economic in nature, and substantially affects interstate commerce, as a result of the effects described in paragraph (2).” Paragraph (2) then begins: “The requirement regulates activity that is commercial and economic in nature: economic and financial decisions about how and when health care is paid for, and when health insurance is purchased.”

In this way, the statute speciously tries to convert inactivity into the “activity” of making a “decision.” By this reasoning, your “decision” not to take a job, not to sell your house, or not to buy a Chevrolet is an “activity that is commercial and economic in nature” that can be mandated by Congress.

It is true that the Supreme Court has interpreted the Commerce Clause broadly enough to reach wholly intrastate economic “activity” that substantially affects interstate commerce. But the Court has never upheld a requirement that individuals who are doing nothing must engage in economic activity by entering into a contractual relationship with a private company. Such a claim of power is literally unprecedented.

Indeed, it is – that is why the miscreants who defend the “mandate” have switched their argument from Congress being able to demand people by insurance due to the Commerce Clause to saying that it is because of Congress’ taxing power. That argument is also a no-go for a simple reason: the purpose of the fine is not to raise revenue, but to punish people for not buying insurance. Mr. Barnett continues:

Congress simply did not enact the personal insurance mandate pursuant to its tax powers. To the contrary, the statute expressly says the mandate “regulates activity that is commercial and economic in nature.” It never mentions the tax power and none of its eight findings mention raising any revenue with the penalty.

Moreover, while inserting the mandate into the Internal Revenue Code, Congress then expressly severed the penalty from the normal enforcement mechanisms of the tax code. The failure to pay the penalty “shall not be subject to any criminal prosecution or penalty with respect to such failure.” Nor shall the IRS “file notice of lien with respect to any property of a taxpayer by reason of any failure to pay the penalty imposed by this section,” or “levy on any such property with respect to such failure.”

In short, the “penalty” is explicitly justified as a penalty to enforce a regulation of economic activity and not as a tax. There is no authority for the Court to recharacterize a regulation as a tax when doing so is contrary to the express and actual regulatory purpose of Congress.

There’s an old saying: when the law beats out the facts, use the law. When the facts beat out the law, use the facts. When you have neither facts nor the law, make it up as you go along. Well, I may not be stating that accurately, but Obamacare supporters are surely making everything up in order to justify the lawfulness of Obamacare.