Monday, March 30, 2009

Michelle's "Baby Bump"

JWF came across an article about Michelle Obama asking Barack to take it easy on what any father is prone to do: forcing sports on his kids.

More amusing than recognizing that The One's dictatorial nature goes home with him at night was the comment Michelle made about the fact that some had observed she seemed to be sporting a "baby bump."

"I was like, 'Baby bump?' As hard as I work on my abs?" The First Lady told Oprah in no uncertain terms there is no baby.

Now far be it from me to delve into crude college humor (yeah right), but as hard as the First Lady apparently works on her abs, she, like many women, is not immune to the plague that is the FUPA.

Dinosaurs Will Die

Dinosaurs will slowly die
And I do believe no one will cry
I'm just fucking glad I'm gonna be
There to watch the fall

Dinosaurs Will Die, NOFX

Those words above were written about what would be the eventual death of the music industry. But I find that there are no more poignant words to express the current situation with both the US auto industry, and the US Government.

As the government is taking the unprecedented step of directing not only the resignation of the CEO of a private corporation in the stepping-down of Rick Wagoner at GM, but also is forcing the merger of Chrysler to Fiat in order for them to be able to receive yet more federal aid to stay afloat just a little longer. Chrysler has 30 days to complete this merger and, likewise, GM has 60 days to retool their operations if they, too, want to receive any further federal aid.

Count me among those that aren't shedding any tears for a complete lack of competence at every level, from the executive level of the companies themselves, to the counterproductive stances the unions have taken to the associated negotiations on labor agreements. GM and Chrysler and the UAW have been dinosaurs for years, and it was only a matter of time before the climate got a bit too cold for them to continue to survive.

Count me among those, as well, that are watching this whole saga with glee right now, as the biggest dinosaur of all enters the fray. If anybody thinks the US Government is possibly going to help fix any of this, they are sorely mistaken. Government is the most inefficient organization known to man, and to imagine that inefficiency and counterproductivity can be supplemented by greater inefficiency and a more disgusting form of counterproductivity is the very definition of insanity.

It's fairly apparent, however, that actually fixing anything is not the point of the government's obscene power grab in this current situation. This government is concerned with nothing but its own growth, and the spreading of its own coercive power. This government could care less whether the US Auto Industry is successful and productive. This government wants only to show that Only Government can do what is necessary to ensure the economy works, despite the fact that all of human experiment with government attempting to be the producer has proven to be a failure.

General Motors and Chrysler grew too large and too cumbersome for their own good. In the free market, these entities would have been allowed to collapse under their own weight, and would have declared bankruptcy. New, more streamlined organizations would have grown in their places, and while production in the economy would have dropped markedly for a short time, it would soon have recovered, and bounced back in better shape. Instead, our government, intent on expanding itself seemingly exponentially at this point, has decided to swallow these organizations whole.

As our government continues to pack on the pounds, it can only be a matter of time until it must collapse under its own weight. Given the current state of affairs, I'm just fucking glad I'm gonna be there to watch the fall!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Peter Schiff at the Austrian Scholars Conference

The whole shebang. Just a fantastic talk. It's about 73 minutes total so make sure you've got the time. Enjoy!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bush:Hoover as Obama:FDR

Peter Schiff is on point, as usual. Enjoy!

Hat Tip: Campaign for Liberty

Big Brother Fiddling While Rome Burns

Everybody knows the saying. The story goes that the Roman Emperor, Nero stood on his balcony playing an instrument and singing of the destruction of Troy as his city burned.

While this may or may not have actually happened, "fiddling while Rome burns" has become an apt phrase to turn about anyone who acts foolishly in times of stress or crisis.

That said, with our economy in shambles and the American people growing restless, I think it would be fairly easy to simply look at President Obama's week or so of actions and scheduled events that we're currently experiencing and come to a similar conclusion about him.

03-18-2009 - Obama makes highly televised NCAA tournament picks

03-19-2009 - Obama interviews on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno

03-22-2009 - Obama interviews on 60 Minutes

03-24-2009 - Obama schedules prime time press conference.

03-25-2009 - Obama scheduled to appear at the DNC fundraising event

The first event was fairly understandable and routine presidential camera muggery. Not much of a big deal about it other than the fact that our supposedly ballin' president didn't have a clue about any of his picks, as evidenced by the fact that he's even getting demolished by John McCain in that regard.

While that wasn't so bad, it was particularly irksome to know that the President of the United States, with the country in dire straits, would fly across the country to yuk it up on what used to be a comedy show. While I certainly understand that the president is probably fully equipped to work on the fly, anyone who does work on the go also understands that you are never so productive as when you are at your desk, focused singularly on the tasks at hand. There is no doubt in my mind that, while he may have been working during what had to be some eight to ten hours of flying back and forth across the country, our president was nevertheless distracted from his primary task of leading the United States.

This is similarly the case for his interview on 60 Minutes. There is no way that Barack Obama could have devoted the attention necessary to prepare for the questions asked of him and been focused on actually doing his job at the same time.

Tomorrow night we will be treated to yet another hour what I am sure will be another fake news conference, where Obama will only field questions from people that won't put him on the spot or throw him off his teleprompted answers.

The day after, the perpetual campaign continues, as he'll yet again shirk his presidential responsibilities to try to get people to give him more money for a presidential race that is still only a twinkle in the eye of the political spectrum.

Our president certainly seems much more concerned lately about being as visible as possible, about remaining in the limelight, than about actually being the president of this country. But perhaps that is the point, as he is becoming the physical manifestation of George Orwell's Big Brother right before our eyes.

In any event, be he Barack Obama, or be he Big Brother, Rome is burning, and I don't see anyone making an effort to take the fiddle from his hands.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Falling Behind

Hey everybody.

Just want to let you know I'm still alive and kickin. I've got a few different long posts I'm working on that I should have out this week.

That aside, I haven't written anything keeping in step with the news in a few days. We're bidding on what will probably end up being about a $20 million or so custom home right now, so I'm pulling 12 and 14 hour days to keep up with all the details.

So much for the recession. But then again, this is the time for the rich to get richer!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

We Are Atlas

Going Galt. I've written about it, without actually calling it that. Michelle Malkin has written about it extensively and has been covering a largely growing movement that is rising among American Achievers that consider themselves to be doing just what the name of the movement implies: Going Galt.

In my post from March 3rd, I discussed the story, now well covered, reported on by ABC News of Dr. Sharon Poczatek, a dentist who is planning to scale back her Denver-based practice for the purpose of reducing her taxable income to come in under Barack Obama's fabled $250,000 mark. She is the prime example, offering the prime reasoning behind the phenomenon of Going Galt:

"The motivation for a lot of people like me – dentists, entrepreneurs, lawyers – is that the more you work the more money you make," said Poczatek. "But if I'm going to be working just to give it back to the government -- it's de-motivating and demoralizing."

After I wrote that post on March 3rd, I received two very interesting comments, one from someone calling themself inkdrinker, and the other from someone name Jesse. The first commenter, inkdrinker, was kind enough to point out that Dr. Poczatek, the ABC columnist, and myself were all too damn stupid to understand how tax brackets work. I responded by saying I understand the brackets perfectly well, and was well within my rights to oversimplify at times to make a point. Jesse responded by doing the math on Dr. Poczatek's tax figures, determining that she was only saving herself $2,100 in taxes.

Now, I would be hard pressed to believe that these two kindly and ever-so-cordial commenters were anything but leftists, since the entire point of the discussion flew by them like a beer can past Nick Oseransky, so I really feel like the idea of Going Galt needs to be explained, if only for their two sakes alone.

The initial fact of the matter is that those of us conisdered right-of-center, whether we be Conservatives or Libertarians or what have you, establish for ourselves a personal moral code of ethics by which we live our lives. Wherever we may disagree on social issues, we are 100% in lockstep on one very clean and simple idea: whosoever perfoms a task of value shall be compensated for it fairly for what the market will bear, and that compensation rightly belongs to him.

What these two poorly-if-at-all educated folks failed to recognize in my previous post, and am sure that they, like all leftists, continue to either misunderstand or flat out deny the truth of, is that those of us that are achievers could care less about the taxes themselves. This is not to say that we don't feel it in the pocketbook, we do. But the fact of the matter is that We the People Achievers are the ones providing the government with its real incoming revenue, as opposed to the fake stuff they're printing up or trying to borrow every day. We the Achievers are the only source of income the government has. And the simple truth is that We the Achievers would simply like to know that what we worked hard to earn, what the government took from us by force, is being used wisely.

We like to know that the government is using our money for police and fire departments and protecting the rule of law. We do not particularly like to know that the government is taking our money and using it to house people that choose not to work. And we absolutely loathe the idea of the government taking our money and giving it away, not only to people who chose not to work, but chose to risk money they never had to buy things they could never afford.

The bailouts are despicable. And they are funded not only by the tax dollars We the Achievers have had taken from us, but also must now be funded by our children, whom we will raise to be Achievers as well, and their children, who will also be Achievers. It is a dim future indeed for those of us who produce, to have the fruits of our labors taken from us, and given to those who do nothing, or worse, destroy.

So we come to the root of the matter. Just what is the point of all the work we're doing? We love it! Our work, our goals, our achievments are what we strive for and what brings us joy. The money we earn from doing so represents a moral exchange of gratitude from the people we achieve things for. For the government to step into the picture, render the barrel of a gun unto our temples, take what we have earned, and arbitrarily hand it out to those who are failures, is the epitome of immorality.

Do you see, inkdrinker?

Do you understand, Jesse?

It's never been about the money. It's always been about the principle.

We have achieved. We have succeeded. We have earned what is ours. And we refuse to allow the fruits of our labors to be stolen on someone else's behalf. So if the easiest way to make sure this filthy government cannot grow any further, cannot take any more, cannot continue to stab at the very heart pumping its own lifeblood, is to just stop, then we will. In the words of John Galt:

Do not attempt to find us. We do not choose to be found. Do not cry that it is our duty to serve you. We do not recognize such duty. Do not cry that you need us. We do not consider need a claim. Do not cry that you own us. You don't. Do not beg us to return. We are on strike, we, the men of the mind.

We are on strike against self-immolation. We are on strike against the creed of unearned rewards and unrewarded duties. We are on strike against the dogma that the pursuit of one's own happiness is evil. We are on strike against the doctrine that life is guilt.

There is a difference between our strike and all those you've practiced for centuries: our strike consists, not of making demands, but of granting them. We are evil, according to your morality. We have chosen not to harm you any longer. We are useless, according to your economics. We have chosn not to exploit you any longer. We are dangerous and to be shackled, according to your politics. We have chosen not to endanger you, nor to wear your shackles any longer. We are only an illusion, according to your philosophy. We have chosen not to blind you any longer and have left you free to face reality - the reality you wanted, the world as you see it now, a world without mind.

We have granted you everything you demanded of us, we who had always been the givers, but have only now understood it. We have no demands to present to you , no terms to bargain about, no compromise to reach. You have nothing to offer us. We do not need you.

We are Atlas, and we are shrugging.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Banking on American Failure

On Sunday, Kevin McCullough at TownHall discussed the idea of "not letting a good crisis go to waste" and that this tactic is now being used by Barack Obama to ensure that America fails, utilizing further economic failure to stir the pot of fear and panic, in order to create drastic social and governmental structural changes.

If it makes no sense to the free market economists that populate the best economics programs across the nation, if it weakens the ability for the average family to make ends meet, and if it does not increase the number of people actually working, why is President Obama so stubbornly continuing to pursue his economically diabolical plan of destruction?

Because it's part of the master plan to "not let a good crisis go to waste."

President Obama knows the history of recessions and how Americans get out of them. He knows, for example, that if he gave back to the American family in just pure cash handouts what he is instead planning on taxing them (with interest) in the days to come, that the number would loom between $25,000-$65,000 per family, for every family in America.

But pretending to be doing something about the problem is only half the strategy for Obama. He truly intends to see socialized health care, and European styled labor agreements become reality in America. He knows the consequences of doing such things, he's seen all the projections and what the outcomes would be, but he's doing it anyway.

But there is one tiny problem standing in his way to getting there--"We The People!"

He knows that in order to be forced down paths that we don't wish to go, the only way he gets us to change our mind is to create abject suffering and misery.

Then in Venezuelan styled cries for help, he can promise to take America to a better place economically, a place of greater care, a place of true serenity. A place like Venezuela.

Ed Morrissey at HotAir has a bit of a different take, one that I think I agree with a bit more than I agree with McCullough's:

I’m not sure I’d say that Obama wants America to fail, as much as I’d credit this to a belief that America had already failed. Obama is a typical liberal ideologue who thinks that America has failed in the sense of equality of result. He sees inequities and thinks that government exists to eliminate all of them. My guess is that he’s aiming much more for France than Venezuela, but neither are particularly palatable destinations for a national economy. Obama seems to see our entire 230-year history as a long crisis that his statist policies will end.
Barack Obama, and most other people of a far-left ideology are collectivists, through and through. Barack Obama, like all statist collectivsts believes that "only government", as Morrissey points out, can push to achieve an equality of result, rather than the tabula rasa with which each of us begins our life, the mission being to fill the slate with as many positive accomplishments as possible. Unfortunately for each and every one of us, an "equality of result" is completely impractical, and can only be achieved via the use of force by the government. But such is the goal of the statist collectivist, and, one can imagine, such is the goal of such a person for the entire world.

Sitting through three poorly made hours of Watchmen yesterday, I finally found the ending to be somewhat relevant to our current situation. (This is a spoiler, so if you don't care to know the story, stop reading now and come back after you've suffered through the movie.) Watchmen comes to a close as Adrian Veidt has destroyed the largest cities in the world, utilizing a generator created for him by Dr. Manhattan that replicates Manhattan's energy. Veidt, by destroying half the planet and blaming it on Manhattan, unites all of humanity in the rebuilding effort and presumably subsequent efforts to defeat Dr. Manhattan.

So, in that same vein of not letting a good crisis go to waste, with the collapse of the American economy, and, one would think, the subsequent collapse of the world economy behind it, have the statist collectivists found their worldwide crisis? Will we continue, as McCullough posits, to watch our President defy all logic and further drive the economy of the United States into the gutter?

Supposing that the ultimate goal is some sort of New World Order, which does not seem unreasonable considering the gathering of collectivists now in charge, it seems a logical conclusion. The statist collectivists hoping for a New World Order are absolutely banking on American failure.

The real question is, will We The People allow it to happen?

Or will we take it upon ourselves to take stock of our young president, and to judge him unworthy of his office before he drags our country down for the sake of weaker countries, just as he hopes to do to each of us personally?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Where's My Watch, Man?

If it wasn't bad enough that I lost an hour of sleep to daylight savings time last night, I sat through Watchmen today.

Good God, what a disjointed, boring, slapped together pile of crap this was.

I don't mind the money I spent so much as the THREE HOURS of my life that I will never be able to regain from having sat through such a poorly made movie.

For anybody who hasn't already seen it, that might be contemplating it, tide yourself over with the trailers below. They're literally the best part of the entire endeavor that became the movie. Then, some day a year from now, when you're too hungover to want to get off the couch, order up a greasy sandwich and a coke and flip this trash on on Showtime to waste an afternoon.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go watch The Dark Knight so I can remember what an actual good movie looks like.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Cancer of Intellectual Elitism

In the past few days, conservative "intellectual elites" Christopher Buckley and David Brooks, who entirely abandoned the Republican Party during the last election in favor of fellow "intellectual elite" Barack Obama, have begun expressing buyer's remorse over the decision. Peggy Noonan has yet to recant, but we can bet that it's only a matter of time until she begins to grace us all with some self-flagellating prose as well.

The overriding reason for the abandonment of these conservative "intellectual elites" turning on their party in support of the far-far left Barack Obama, was that they could not stand the populist reaction to Sarah Palin. Such was the case as well with many Libertarians who, almost by default, also view themselves as intellectual elites. I know this because I consider myself a Libertarian, and in doing so, consider myself as understanding things better than either Republicans or Democrats do. It takes a hell of an ego to take that stance and I will admit that I certainly have that, or I wouldn't venture into these writings with the belief that I have the chance to provide some direction. However, unlike many Libertarians, and unlike the conservative "intellectual elite" I was not foolish enough to believe that just because Sarah Palin was a populist candidate, she was inherently stupid or unqualified.

Quite to the contrary, and perhaps this is where my self-imposed grounding in Objectivism kicks in, I viewed Sarah Palin as perhaps the most qualified of any of the four candidates, recognizing her as a self-made woman, who had achieved her success by adopting a moral code, and living it out as strictly as possible. I saw her gaffes in interviews as being those of a general unpreparedness that was unlikely to have been her fault given the whirlwind environment in which she was brought into the game, coupled with a press that was unfairly eager to demolish her reputation as completely as possible. It seemed all the while to me that she was actually far more intelligent than the McCain campaign allowed her to be.

This is what Christopher Buckley, David Brooks and Peggy Noonan could not bring themselves to see. In their respective desires to believe that the President of the United States must inherently be one of the "intellectual elite," they jumped onto the Barack Obama tidal wave in what, ironically, reduced them to supporting the populist candidate in order to feel better about themselves.

But what exactly is the "intellectual elite?" Apparently, as we have just seen, one must have an Ivy League degree and write books and philosophize broadly without ever digging in and actually accomplishing anything.

But what of the rest of us?

I, for instance, shunned that path in life. I could have attended Harvard or Princeton or Georgetown for Law. I passed a practice bar exam in eighth grade that I took just to see if I could. I'm sure it upset my aunt who went on to fail it for the third time. But I could not see myself doing something as disingenuous as practicing law or going into politics. Instead I went into engineering, civil/architectural engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology to be exact. I'll receive a masters in construction management later this year. I've read quite a few books on a myriad of subjects, and, while they may not be leatherbound, my apartment does at times smell of rich mahogany. I could easily consider myself one of the "intellectual elite."

But I do not.

As the conservative "intellectual elite" in Brooks, Buckley and Noonan have shown, they are all-too willing to believe that other "intellectual elite" are too smart to do what conservatives consider the wrong things. Such was their rationalization in supporting Obama. He was too smart to actually act on his socialistic leanings. Now they are finding out what the rest of us saw plainly.

Neither are Libertarians exempt, being, as I previously mentioned, some of the most "intellectually elite." We see it now in the idea discussed at in several different articles at Positive Liberty and by Will Wilkinson and others of what they are calling "Liberaltarianism." I've read as much about it as I could find, in that it seems to be Libertarian intellectuals and Liberal intellectuals reaching out to each other to find some kind of common ground. Forgive me if this sounds like an attempt, a-la Brooks & Co., just to find a bigger group of intellectual friends to be comfortable with. Or, as RollingDoughnut puts it:
Okay, count me out anyway, because "liberaltarianism" is little more than progressives attempting to sell economic errors to libertarians because we allegedly agree on social issues.

The idea of either Conservatives or Libertarians reaching out to the Left on an intellectual level is not a bad idea. We need to do this at some level. We cannot expect them to just see the light one day. We need to educate them as to why we believe the things we do, particularly about free markets, liberty and mutual respect.

But we must also realize of ourselves that this idea of intellectual elitism is a cancer among us all. Our "intellectual elite" cannot continue to shun populist candidates simply because they are populist candidates, without first understanding whether or not that candidate might also be an intellectual in their own right. As Ace puts it in the case of Sarah Palin:
Actually, now that I think of it, is it possible that the so-called elites were partly turned off to Sarah Palin not merely because she was NQOCD (Not quite our class, dear), but because she vigorously attacked a man the so-called elites were warm to precisely because he was of part of the Harvard-Princeton axis about which the world turns?

It undermines Conservatism and it undermines Libertarianism for our more recognized intellectuals to jump ship simply to cozy up to other intellectuals. When you abandon your principles just to be part of the group, you've abandoned any semblance of intellectualism you may ever have had.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Shovel Ready Nonsense

The United States Government now owns 80% of AIG.

The United States Government now owns
36% of CitiGroup and is the largest shareholder in Bank of America, having all but nationalized the former financial giants.

Since it was established on January 5th, 2009, NASDAQ's
Government Relief Index, an assembly of the most-bailed-out banks, has absolutely plummeted, from an initial value of 1,000.00 all the way down to 494.28 at closing today, over a 50% drop in value in only 42 business days.

The stock market has lost over 30% of its value since Barack Obama took office and overwhelmingly began to further the mistakes of the Bush administration. As what were once murmurs of nationalization of the banks have grown in both volume and veracity, today the often repugnantly over the top James Cramer offered some sound advice to the Obama administration, urging that the more the government becomes involved, the more the market will continue to respond as it has thus far, poorly:

A tip of the cap to the oftentimes nonsensical Talking Points Memo for the video, which includes a former blogger of theirs who has somehow become Joe Biden's Chief Economist. Former blogger Jared Bernstein offers us the ever poignant note that, once again, the Obama Administration inherited this mess. You know, it's Bush's fault that Obama keeps doing the wrong things bigger and bigger.

He goes on to dismiss Cramer's remarks as "shovel ready nonsense." Considering that this remark made no sense whatsoever, in any context, it made me wonder if it was a prerequisite for working under Joe Biden that you be able to spout Hiroshima-like verbal gaffes at the drop of a hat that leave your audience cringing in despair for the fact that you haven't got a clue.

After I realized that thinking about it would only serve to kill off brain cells to the point that I'd eventually understand people like Bernstein, I decided I'd better do some real thinking; real thinking about the actual "shovel ready nonsense" we're encountering.

I've done a lot of research and a lot of other writing already in my short time in the blogosphere related to Barack Obama's Stimulus, and to the Bailouts. Given my look into how the Bailouts work, I can stand solidly behind James Cramer in discussing just why, as the government continues to intervene, it will only further drive the market into the ground.

The structuring of how the TARP funds work means that when the government puts money into a bank, it receives preferred stock and a dividend of either 5% or 8%. The fact that the government receives preffered stock means that these banks will continue to have to pay the dividend to the government first, prior to any common stock holders receiving any dividends. Furthermore, the government has the option, as it has looked to do recently with Citigroup, to convert portions of its preferred stock to common. What this does is actually to dilute the value of the stock's value to the other holders. It's almost like instant hyperinflation for stocks. Now there is so much more common stock, that the value of the stock you had goes down.

Both of these happenings are greatly disincentivizing any new investors from coming into the marketplace. Even with Citigroup's shares closing today at a measly $1.22, nobody who plays the market wants anything to do with it. That $1.22 is worse than if it was zero at this point. Any reasonable investor cannot look at that company without realizing that at any point in time, the government could convert preferred stock to common, and wipe out half his value. Even if that doesn't happen, that same investor cannot possibly want to bother with the risk of not realizing a reasonable dividend.

All-in-all, the more the government puts into the marketplace, the more the private capital is going to flee the marketplace. When FDR issued the order to confiscate all gold in 1933, it is believed that about half of all the gold that had been in active circulation flat out disappeared. People were not stupid then, and people are not stupid now.

Gold was, at the time, the backing for all US Currency. It gave our currency a solid value. FDR nationalized gold and the people who knew better got away from the mess. FDR proceeded to give the previously established Federal Reserve its now immense power, and, with his Keynesian tax-spend-inflate governmental model, essentially laid the first ace in the financial house of cards we now find crumbling around us, leaving the idea of the flow of credit as the only basis for the value of our money.

Perhaps it's not so nonsensical after all, then, to be ready with shovels for the burial of our economy. As the government continues to pour printed money into the markets, further inflating the dollar and disincentivizing real investment, the basis of our money is once again threatened. Barack Obama, following in the footsteps of someone he so greatly models himself after, is on a path to nationalizing the banks, which, as did the "great" FDR, will once again serve to destroy the basis for our money.

It should come as no surprise now that, once again, the people who know better are running for the hills.

American Individuals Saying Enough is Enough

About a month ago, I proclaimed that Obama Cannot Succeed. Specifically, I discussed that he could not succeed because the American Businessman would not allow him to:

Once he has betrayed the multiple collectives that have latched onto him, once those collectives understand that he does not represent their values, that he cannot or will not fulfill their wishes, and he can no longer unite his followers against a common negative (Bush), he will necessarily attempt to focus his rhetoric fully against Wall Street, and subsequently the American Businessman in general. He will attempt to turn the "failed political policies of the past" into the "failed business practices of the past" in an attempt to garner some sort of majority socialist support, despite that business has not been the failure, but that government has been.

The American Businessman is the heart that pumps the blood of the economy, subsequently the government, and therefore is the engine of the country. Deep inside, every American knows this to be true. Deep inside, every American knows he or she is a particle of the engine that makes our country great. Deep inside, the American people will understand that it is each and every one of them, individually, that is subject of the attack at the core.

Americans will not long tolerate a man who continues to deride each and every one of them as the reason for a failure that does not exist.

Now it seems that the American Businessman, if I may indulge myself with a pat on the back, is beginning to prove me correct. ABC News reports that upper-income tax payers are beginning to look for ways to sidestep his tax hikes. Specifically, we are given the example of a dentist, Dr. Sharon Poczatek.

"I've put thought into how to get under $250,000," said Poczatek. "It would mean working fewer days which means having fewer employees, seeing fewer patients and taking time off."

"Generally it means being less productive," she said.

"The motivation for a lot of people like me – dentists, entrepreneurs, lawyers – is that the more you work the more money you make," said Poczatek. "But if I'm going to be working just to give it back to the government -- it's de-motivating and demoralizing."

It's important to recognize the true facts of a plan like Obama's that so many people turned a blind eye to over the course of the election is that his plan does not help the small businesses he proclaimed to be the engine of the country. The plan disincentivizes a small business from breaking into the next tax bracket, and keeps them from being able to hire newer employees.

Even with this recognition, we are being told not to worry about it, because we're not thinking big-picture enough:

"Those who are going to be taxed more are obviously going to complain but I think they may miss the point," said Lisa Rotenstein, the chair of the Harvard Healthcare Policy Group at the Institute of Politics.

"This could have broader implications for the American economy as a whole - improved health care means a healthier workforce that is more productive," said Rotenstein.

Rotenstein, like Obama or John Conyers or anyone pushing for any sort of national healthcare, still continues to push aside the real point. The real point, that they most certainly do not miss, but rather simply dismiss as a short-term inconvenience, is that if small businesses like Poczatek's dentistry office cannot afford to pay their employees if the government decides to steal more of their money, then it doesn't make any bit of difference if the healthcare could mean a more productive workforce. If these potentially healthier people cannot be hired, they cannot go to work to begin with, and there is no production.

As I write this, Ben Bernanke has just called for higher taxes and socialized medicine, and the Dow is down yet another 20 points so far today, following a 300 point plunge yesterday. As the American People watch their money disappear one day after another as Obama's ever bigger federal government becomes ever more meddlesome in the private sector, who can possibly blame people like Sharon Poczatek for saying to hell with it?


First off, go here:

Second, move your face away from the screen, you're getting drool on your keyboard.

Now I imagine that each viewing is different, but at the end of my short experience of watching that beautiful display of pure cinematic manliness I was presented with an advertisement for some Oil of Olay makeup product that promised to improve my complexion and hide blemishes and whatnots.
A similar thing occurs whenever I take in some classic nerd fare and watch any of the episodes of the Original Star Trek here on I'm led to believe that these ads are controlled by advanced algorithms and analytical programs that monitor where I go online and what kinds of things I'm likely to buy. So far, I haven't seen much proof.

Although, it probably wouldn't hurt us pasty male Star Trek and Terminator fans to tart ourselves up a little now and again.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Buckley's Buyer's Remorse

Christopher Buckley, who ever so eloquently drove ever so many "intellectual conservatives" away from McCain and toward Obama, ever so eloquently dances around what is most assuredly an ever so burdensome case of buyer's remorse in his choice for president:

If this is what the American people want, so be it, but they ought to have no illusions about the perils of this approach. Mr. Obama is proposing among everything else $1 trillion in new entitlements, and entitlement programs never go away, or in the oddly poetic bureaucratic argon, “sunset.” He is proposing 1.4 trillion in new taxes, an appetite for which was largely was whetted by the shameful excesses of American CEO corporate culture. And finally, he has proposed $5 trillion in new debt, one-half the total accumulated national debt in all US history. All in one fell swoop.

He tells us that all this is going to work because the economy is going to be growing by 3.2 percent a year from now. Do you believe that? Would you take out a loan based on that? And in the three years following, he predicts that our economy will grow by 4 percent a year.

This is nothing if not audacious hope. If he’s right, then looking back, March 2009 will be the dawn of the Age of Stimulation, or whatever elegant phrase Niall Ferguson comes up with. If he turns out to be wrong, then it will look very different, the entrance ramp to the Road to Serfdom, perhaps, and he will reap the whirlwind that follows, along with the rest of us.

As eloquent as he is, there is absolutely nothing intellectual about this reasoning. HotAir seemingly welcomes Buckley back into the conservative fold for his thinly veiled buyer's remorse. I'm not sure he should be allowed back. His summation is that Obama is rolling the dice with at best a 50/50 shot of success, and damning all of us to the results. Far be it from me to deem the actions of a degenerate gambler as being anti-intellectual, but let's call a spade a spade.

As far as I'm concerned, Buckley can rot in the desolate wilderness of his pure anti-intellectualism.