Do not give in to evil, but proceed ever more BOLDLY against it.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Weekend Update, No. 10

PB makes it into double digits for its WU.  We'll celebrate when we hit triple.  This week's post should make it obvious that the brief holiday post left a lot bottled up.

The Reluctant Anarchist, by Joseph Sobran
Journey from childhood values of respect for authority and patriotism, through conservatism, and to the inevitable rational conclusion.  Details the influence of key historical thinkers, including St. Augustine, who viewed the State as inherently unjust and therefore a "gang of robbers writ large."  Correctly notes disregard of the 10th Amendment as key to the death of our republic, criticizes adoption of the Constitution itself, and further, any constitution as impotent to control the State.

Democracy and Faits Accomplis, by Robert Higgs
Awesome article against democracy, the people's consensus ideal government.  Recalls objections from Aristotle, our founding fathers, and key thinkers in the freedom movement.  At the heart of his article is the concept of faits accomplis, that
No matter what a candidate promises, the voters have no means of holding him to those promises or of punishing his misbehavior until it may be too late to matter. In many cases, unfortunately, the officeholders' decisions give rise to irreversible consequences — outcomes that cannot possibly be undone ex post.
His most potent illustration is Roosevelt's campaigning in 1932 on a frankly libertarian platform, then proceeding to institute the socialist New Deal on his election, a feat replicated in 1940 when he promised to keep the US out of World War II, yet after the election repeatedly provoked both the Germans and the Japanese to attack.  Ends by quoting H.L. Mencken, who postulates that "democracy may be a self-limiting disease."

Secession: The Hope for Humanity, by Russell Longcore
As the author himself puts it, his article "will define secession and make a case why secession is the only reasonable, logical and pragmatic solution to further the cause of human liberty and functional governance."  Regarding the US, the only other option I see is governmental collapse.  His most persuasive point is the benefits that would accrue to the first state(s) to secede.

The Power Elite Hates LRC, by Lew Rockwell
But LRC is only ramping up the efforts to pull back the curtain on our masters.  Essentially a fund-raising plea, but one I'm happy to back.  Sites like LRC are what woke me up and gave me hope, and I would love to see them do it more and more by reaching a wider audience. 

Starve the Beast: Airlines, by Karl Denninger
The fiery Denninger puts it exactly right, and he's on a roll:
"It is not little grandmas, 40 year old white businesspeople, or families with a couple of young kids (all of whom have the same, non-muslim or arabic last name) that have or are attempting to blow up airliners....  The American people have been subjected to outrageous and insane restrictions and inconvenience with regards to air travel since 9/11."
Meanwhile, the TSA refuses to take the measures that actually might make a difference, just as our government did leading up to 9/11 itself.  He justifiably rails against the new restrictions on remaining seated during the last hour of flight, during which passengers cannot have access to carry-ons or even any items in their laps.  His answer strikes a chord: "Screw that and screw the airlines. I don't have to fly.  You don't have to fly."  He continues to take the incompetent bureaucratic behemoth TSA to task on point after damning point.  As for me, I have recently booked domestic flight.  I'm planning to read a book during that last hour.  And if anyone tries to get me to put it away, I'm resisting until the end, even if that means imprisonment, declaration as an "enemy combatant," and rendition for reading a book (I'm open to suggestions as to what that book should be).  The madness must end somewhere.  Be sure to check out the 30 second video at the end demonstrating the effects of 50 grams of PETN, noting that Abdulmutallab had 80 grams.

Flight 253 passenger Kurt Haskell: 'I was visited by the FBI' by Aaron Foley
You simply must read the account of a passenger on the underwear bomber's flight.  He witnessed the fishy check-in in Amsterdam, where Abdulmutallab was aided successfully by an as yet unidentified older "sharp dressed" man despite his lack of passport, as well as the arrest by the FBI of another Indian-appearing man after the flight landed.  What?  Haven't heard about either of these interesting aspects of the case?  That's because the government not only ain't telling the truth, they're lying and trying their best to squelch the truth, just as they usually do. 

Mayo Clinic in Arizona to Stop Treating Some Medicare Patients, by David Olmos
Even the government's medical role models have had enough of being forced to accept payments below cost, all while being micromanaged and regulated to death.  Mayo subsidized Medicare to the tune of $840 million in 2008 alone, as payments failed to cover roughly 50% of their costs for treating those patients at its Glendale clinic.  It's a trend growing nationwide.  Already 8% of family physicians do not participate in Medicare at all.  Of those who do, 27% are not accepting new Medicare patients.  These numbers will continue to grow.  The federally mandated program faces funding shortfalls in the trillions.  Those over 65 who can afford private insurance and prefer not to enroll still must.  Yet many hail it as a government solution that works, and call for its expansion!  Particularly precious is the comment from the government groupie representing the Urban Institute, who believes in sugar plum fairies and that the real problem is not lousy reimbursement but rather that Medicare "faces a lack of medical providers because not enough new doctors are becoming family doctors, internists and pediatricians."  Gee, I guess it never occurred to him to take the necessary two seconds to wonder why new graduates aren't signing up in greater numbers for the G-men's ever harsher beat-downs.  One might ask what in the world is the Urban Institute?  A minimum of homework reveals the answer that explains it all.  It's the "think tank" recommended by a "blue-ribbon commission of civic leaders" created by President Johnson, the man who burdened this formerly great country with his ironically named Great Society programs including the war on poverty, food stamps, community action, bilingual education for non-native English speakers, the NEA, public broadcasting, the Dept. of Transportation, Medicaid, and of course, Medicare.

Obamacare Slaps $15,000 Annual Fee on Middle Class Families, by Terry Jeffrey
In its analysis of the recently passed Senate bill, the CBO itself noted that families with combined gross incomes in excess of $88,200 will be forced to spend an average $15,200 per year on insurance premiums.  By my math, that's a new 17% federal tax.  So much for the O-man's campaign promises.  Perhaps the prediction of a popular rebellion isn't at all far-fetched.  His prediction of the inevitable response certainly isn't.
The liberals will not say: We made a mistake. We never should have forced families out of their employer-based health insurance and required them to purchase a $15,000 policy. They will say: We told you so. We cannot trust these greedy insurance companies. We need a single-payer system so the government can provide everyone with health care.
Yet another observer easily sees through their transparent plans.

Krugman's Christmas Carol, by William Anderson
Krugman spins the famous tale of Scrooge and Tiny Tim to fit his own devices.  And Anderson, yet again, is on standby to unravel the nonsense.  This excercise get more and more fun every week.  Lately it's hard to choose who is the most blindly ignorant, narcissistic Nobel winner.  Challenge to liberals: name one Republican, conservative, independent, or libertarian winner who comes close.

Supreme Court Guts Due Process Protection, by Yves Smith
Obama's railing against W's defense of torture and disdain for civil rights is exposed as posturing and lies.  Here his administration successfully argues for the methods commonly employed in the GWOT (Global War on Terror).  For instance, two British citizens were tortured and imprisoned for two years, then released back to the UK without ever facing any charges.  Our Supreme Court just gave the government carte blanche to engage in such horrendous behavior simply by invoking the sacred phrase "suspected enemy combatants."  That right, suspected.  As Mr. Smith states, "Anyone can be stripped, with NO RECOURSE, of all their legal rights on a Presidential say so. Readers in the US no longer have any security under the law."  Another commenter is even more bold:
Our most august defenders of the Constitution did not have to exert themselves in the slightest to eviscerate not merely 220 years of Constitutional jurisprudence but also centuries of agonizing effort to lift civilization a few inches out of the blood-soaked mire that is our common human legacy. They just had to write a single sentence.
See also the original, more objective article detailing the case.  Did you already read about it in your favorite newspaper or see a story on TV?

Shorting the Economic Recovery, by Robin Goldwyn Blumenthal
Fantastic interview of hedge fund superstars (average annual returns of 18.3% over the past 7 years) Kevin Duffy and Bill Laggner from Bearing Asset Management.  Remarkable for yet more Austrian analysis making its way to the pages of a mainstream financial resource such as Barron's.  Keynesian statists, the dike is springing ever more leaks.  They rail against the prevalent Washington-Wall Street fascism, and more crucially, against the Federal Reserve, central banks, and even fractional-reserve banking itself.  They are long gold and short the S&P 500, US Treasury bonds, and Goldman Sachs.

The Settled Science, by James P. Hogan
Mr. Hogan is quickly becoming my favorite commentator on scientific topics (his other recent article, Nuclear No-Contest, was also posted on these pages).  Here, he shreds claims of the settled science of global warming.  Details at some length the Medieval Warm Period, when vineyards were maintained in Scotland and the Vikings farmed parts of Greenland, well before man learned to spew CO2.  A climate propagandist emailed a geophysicist, desperate that "we have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period."  The graphs Mr. Hogan includes, including the infamous "hockey stick," demonstrate that is just exactly what they did.  He also delves into the Siberian tree data that the propagandists were loathe to release, noticing that their projections were made using just 12 trees out of a sample size of 252.  Further, 22 trees from the same geographic area as the 12 were excluded.  The contrasting plots on yet another key graph will blow your mind.  Over 4000 scientists, including 72 Nobel Prize winners, from 106 countries have signed an appeal detailing their concerns that the science is far from settled.  Another 34,000 scientists have signed a petition that "no convincing evidence that gases released through human activity pose any threat to the future."  This year, we have witnessed multiple records for cold temperature, including Baghdad having its first snow in recorded history!  God indeed does have a sick sense of humor.

German Scientists Trash Global Warming "Theory", by John O'Sullivan
Reports on "Falsification Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics," published in the March 2009 edition of the International Journal of Modern Physics.  The key findings include that "the greenhouse effect" is in fact not a greenhouse effect, the models used to predict global warming violate basic laws of thermodynamics.  A link to the paper is provided (115 page PDF), but unless you've got an extensive background in physics and mathematics, it will be mostly impenetrable.

No Rise of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Fraction in Past 160 Years, New Research Finds, by ScienceDaily
Lay synopsis of a recent paper published in Geophysical Research Letters.

Plentiful Petroleum, by George Giles
It is amazing how once a concept is brought to attention, one cannot help but encounter it ever more frequently if eyes are kept open.  More material attempting to expose Peak Oil as a fraud.  While this is not new, to these eyes the concept of abiotic oil certainly is, or was, until I read this Daily Bell article.  Here, Giles wanders a bit to include climate change as a similar area where most have been led astray.  He has also written on the topic of Peak Oil back in 2006 and 2007.  Both articles are worth a look.  Wikipedia weighs in with a surprisingly thorough treatment, which they alternatively refer to as abiogenic oil.  Much research has been carried out by Russian scientists, and although the chemistry can be complex, it appears sound evidence exists that at least some hydrocarbons are produced through solely geologic processes.

America's Crazed Corn Habit, by Justin Rohrlich
Government subsidy has given us corn based ethanol in gasoline, which is more expensive and less efficient, and high fructose corn syrup, which is unhealthy, more expensive, and worse tasting.  Meanwhile, sugar and sugar based ethanol would be cheaper if not for government tariffs.  As a result, US food prices rise approximately 10-15%.  More madness dreamed up by large corporate agriculture and funded by your tax dollars.  A quote from the CEO of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM): "The only place you see a free market is in the speeches of politicians. People... do not understand that this is a socialist country."  Indeed.  When you read how Brazil is doing it the right way, you'll be even more angry.  Cool off with a Mexican Coke.

Lincoln Uber Alles: Dictatorship Comes to America, by John Avery Emison
Book "review" and sales pitch.  But the packaging doesn't dilute the message.  America's favorite president was also one of our most tyrannical.  Not exactly a new concept for some of us.  Thomas DiLorenzo has written two similar books.


  1. I forgive you for recommending GoldMoney over Perth Mint :) Like your range of topics.

  2. Thanks for the positive comment and for following the blog. Regarding GoldMoney, it's a bit more convenient for me as they have no requirement for the use of a third party authorized dealer. Perth Mint is a great option, and one I'd definitely choose if I had such an interesting job there.

  3. love your writing . . . looking forward to your next update.

  4. Thanks for the positive feedback. Sorry but the next update is going to be a bit late -- hopefully tonight.