Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Problem With Democracy ...

... is often described as two wolves and a lamb discussing what to have for dinner. But mathematics would more truly describe it:

.5X+1=X and .5X-1=0. ¹

Substituting the 300 million person population of the United States for X, that means that
150,000,001 equals ALL,
149,999,999 equals NOTHING.

So if you are one of the 149,999,999 who pays for the other 150,000,001, be aware the Government, your elected rulers, and you fellow citizens of the mooching class consider you to be nothing.

The United States of America is not now, and never has been a democracy. Remember, the founders were terrified of the tyranny of the majority. (For further information, read the Federalist Papers - while you are still allowed to.)

¹Note that these can be true only if X=2, so what you vote to do with your significant other is perfectly acceptable; but leave the rest of us out of it.

This Explains It All

From the Australian Broadcasting Company a look at Northern Hemisphere economics from a down-under perspective:

Broadcast: 20/05/2010

Reporter: John Clarke and Brian Dawe


KERRY O'BRIEN, PRESENTER: Time for John Clarke and Bryan Dawe with a few reflections on Europe's financial woes.

BRYAN DAWE: Your name is Roger yes?


BRYAN DAWE: Ah, that's your name?


BRYAN DAWE: Good. And what do you do Roger?

JOHN CLARKE: I'm a financial consultant.

BRYAN DAWE: Ah, financial consultant, eh?

JOHN CLARKE: Roger, yes.


BRYAN DAWE: Fair enough. Okay, Roger your special subject tonight is the economies of the European community. Your time starts now. Best of luck.

JOHN CLARKE: Thank you.

BRYAN DAWE: How much does Greece owe, Roger?

JOHN CLARKE: $367 billion.

BRYAN DAWE: Correct. And who do they owe it to?

JOHN CLARKE: Mostly to the other European economies.

BRYAN DAWE: Correct. How much does Ireland owe?

JOHN CLARKE: $865 billion.

BRYAN DAWE: Correct. Who do they owe it to?

JOHN CLARKE: Other European economies mostly.

BRYAN DAWE: Correct. How much does Spain and Italy owe?

JOHN CLARKE: $1 trillion each.

BRYAN DAWE: Correct. Who to?

JOHN CLARKE: Mainly France, Britain and Germany.

BRYAN DAWE: Correct. And how are Germany, France, Britain going Roger?

JOHN CLARKE: Well they're struggling a bit, aren't they?

BRYAN DAWE: Correct. Why?

JOHN CLARKE: Well ‘cause they've lent all the vast amounts of money to other European economies that can't possibly pay them back.

BRYAN DAWE: Correct so what are they going to have to do?

JOHN CLARKE: They're going to have to bail them out.

BRYAN DAWE: Correct. Where are they getting the money to do that Roger?

JOHN CLARKE: That is a good question. I don't know the answer to that one. (laughs)

BRYAN DAWE: How much does Portugal owe?

JOHN CLARKE: Hang on a minute, what was the answer to that earlier question?

BRYAN DAWE: Just keep answering the questions Roger.

Where is Portugal going to get the money it owes to Germany if Germany can't get back the money that it lent to Italy?

JOHN CLARKE: Just a minute. What was the answer to the previous que-

The question was: How can broke economies lend money to other broke economies who haven't got any money because they can't pay back the money the broke economy lent to the other broke economy and shouldn't have lent it to them in the first place because the broke economy can't pay back?

BRYAN DAWE: You are wasting valuable time Roger. How much money does Spain owe to Italy?

JOHN CLARKE: $41 billion. But where are they going to get it?

BRYAN DAWE: Correct. What does Italy owe to Spain?

JOHN CLARKE: $27 billion but they haven't got it - they're broke.

BRYAN DAWE: Correct. How can they pay each other if neither of them has any money?

JOHN CLARKE: They're going to get a bailout, aren't they?

BRYAN DAWE: Correct. And where is the money coming from for the bailout?

JOHN CLARKE: That is what I'm asking you!

BRYAN DAWE: Correct. Why are people selling the European currency and buying the US dollar?

JOHN CLARKE: Because the US economy is so much stronger than the European economy.

BRYAN DAWE: Correct. Why is that Roger?

JOHN CLARKE: Because it's owned by China.

BRYAN DAWE: Correct and very well done! And after that round you've lost $1 million.

JOHN CLARKE: I've lost $1 million? I thought you said well done!

BRYAN DAWE: Yes well done - you've only lost $1 million. That's an extraordinary performance Roger.

JOHN CLARKE: I've only lost $1 million.

BRYAN DAWE: Very well done.

JOHN CLARKE: That's quite good is it?

BRYAN DAWE: Oh it's excellent.

JOHN CLARKE: Sell everything immediately. Quickly!

KERRY O'BRIEN: I think it's called laughing as you sink.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Good Bye, Senator Spector

The pundits on TV are trying to figure out why the voters rejected you. Could it be your vote for TARP? Could it be your change from Republican (OK, RINO) to Democrat? (Does no one remember that you were a Democrat before you switched to Republican?) Is it a rejection of President Obama? Or is it because President Obama abandoned you? Or is it because Philadelphia voters won't vote in the rain? (Will they melt?) Was Governor Ed Rendell's machine not as powerful as they thought it was?

Or could it be your blatant arrogance? You even acknowledged that you were changing parties so you could get re-elected. Who were you representing there in Washington? That is, other than Arlen Specter?

Or just maybe, you are the only honest man in Washington.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Is California Really Not buying Anything From Arizona? Oh, Really?

For decades, California has been famous for an attitude of NIMBY, not in my back yard, when it comes to building power plants. They have even had "rolling blackouts" doing without electricity for periods of time. But where does that electricity come from? Some of it comes from Nevada and Oregon, but most of it comes from generating plants in ... Arizona. So California, go ahead, boycott Arizona. But start with the item that constitutes your biggest import - Electricity.

Additionally, you will not hear this on the news, but the population of Arizona is primarily legal people of Hispanic descent. Calling Arizona law enforcement racist is disingenuous at best.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pork Barrel Spending

Pork Barrel Spending is buying votes back home by getting the Imperial Federal Government to pay for services of a local nature. Simple ... and dishonest. It is a game played by incumbent politicians to buy reelection by fooling the sheeple back home into thinking they are getting something for nothing.

There is no surprise that most people are to ignorant and shortsighted to recognize the simplicity of this fact - they have been educated in schools that teach according to standards set by the same government and politicians that benefit by their ignorance.

Again, there are only three possibilities: A state or even local community can get back more, less or the same amount its citizens pay in taxes. There are no other options. Period. You are either stealing from someone else, being stolen from, or for no reason giving power to someone far away and removed from knowledge of your local community the power to decide to give your wealth back to your community back to you.

For some reason the people think that there is magic in Washington, DC; when there are only people serving their self-interests while pretending to serve yours. Now, this is not lost on the local politicians who can improve their power and status by not having to come to you to fund the things about which you rightly should have a choice. It builds their arrogance too. They don't have to come to you to completely fund that minor league baseball stadium that should be funded by the people that will profit from its existence (like Gwinnett County, GA). You only have to fund part of it. The part that is not coming from you already. Think old fashioned shell game.

The truth is that the farther away from you that decisions are made, the less input, control, and influence you have over the things that affect you life! Do everything you can to keep governance at the lowest level possible.

Pork barrel spending is in all cases an obfuscation of the real trail of money.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mencken Nails It Again

It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office.
~ H. L. Mencken

Apparently this is the Golden Standard for Politicians. How else could we have elected officials who when the National Budget is drowning in red ink and creditors increasingly balking against extending us long term credit, decide to double ... no quadruple ... down on the debt.

All those news pundits who (rightfully) criticized George Bush on his deficit spending are strangely quiet when this year's deficit month over month is four times as much. I guess they have selective outrage based on whose team is playing.

I personally believe that the acts of government do not subscribe to different logical and moral rules than the acts of individual men. If Thou shalt not steal be the law, it is no different if you have the Government do it for you. It is just as wrong, no matter what the intention behind it. Good intentions do not purify bad acts. And this is giving politicians credit for good intentions they may not even really have. After 80 years of public dole ruining the lives of the poor, I believe that Progressive politicians actually do recognize the damage they have done. It is incidental to their goals and so be it. And if the taxational theft, inflation, and Government dept also ruin the lives of the working and retired classes, that is just a little more incidental damage; so what, there are reelections (and power) at stake.

The presumption our elected officials make is that this can sustain forever. I happen to agree with Karl Denninger that keeping this Ponzi scheme going is iffy at very best and we need to be prepared for all eventualities. (excellent articles. If you don't read Denninger's Market Ticker, you should. )

I take only one partial exception with this caveat - partial. He says avoid metals. He means the gold hucksters on TV primarily, although he may include big bullion investment in silver too. I believe that some tradable silver coin may be of some advantage to you when no one wants to accept little green rectangles of printed paper. As I always say when some one asks me about gold:

"How many thousand dollar transactions do you make? And how many twenty dollar ones?"

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Police Arbitrariness

The state of Arizona has passed a law regarding illegal aliens that has garnered much reproval from the mainstream media and the usual protest leaders (AL Sharpton) but is generally supported or even demanded by us everyday, ordinary, Joes. That is, ipso ergo, when the police have arrested someone, check whether they are illegally in this country. Simple. Common sense. And we all know the police are generally judicious in their use of their power to arrest. (or we might have been right there with them at some point)

On the other hand, there is a sport here in the Atlanta area. Many people regularly watch Gwinnett Mugs and Delkab Mugs, the daily intake mugshots of two of our local county lockups.

This has led me to believe that the police do this too; and I have come to believe that there is some kind of police lottery regarding who can bring the strangest looking catch of the day. Now I'm not saying the prisoners don't deserve to be there ... I'm just saying there might be a pool with a daily winner attached to this version of People of Walmart.

However you get them, if they are not here legally, the least you can do is send them back. It might even make them straighten up, fit in, and behave in order not to be arrested and sent home. And isn't proper behavior all we really want of them in the first place?

Politicians Always Do The Opposite of What They Say

Has anyone noticed that politicians always do the opposite of what they say? Invariably. I don't necessarily mean on a top level - they say they will vote for a bill and they generally do; no, I mean that the bill generally does the opposite of what the politician says it will do. Stimulus bills that must be passed immediately or doom and gloom will beset the nation, but then the money needn't be spent until just before the next election.

Or how about, Democrats help the poor? More like "I'd like to help you out, which way did you come in." Having finished fscking up our countries medical systems in ways they haven't even read yet, they are going after our national energy system with Cap and Trade. Cap and trade will cap carbon emissions, or at least the approximately 2% that are the results of human action at a level of a few hundred millions less people ago; and let the very wealthy extort money from all of us trying to go about our lives. Extort money? Well, there is this commodities exchange in Chicago (who'd have thought?) that will handle (for a fee) all the little annoying details. It is owned by a number of familiar names in the global climate "sky is falling" movement. (who'd have thought that too?) But what is it going to do? It will affect the price of ALL energy. Sure, it will raise the price of gas. But you won't have the money to buy a car anyway. And besides you won't have money to take a vacation - you will be working to hard just to survive. No, the real energy sink that will go through the roof and make you life a living hell is when the cost of heating and cooling your house becomes so astronomical that you huddle around the heater in the one heated room in your house or apartment, much like I had to do forty years ago when I was a poor college student. This will become the norm for the poor and the working class. (Maybe just the working class - the beloved indolent poor will probably get a government handout) And even those people like my friend Connie way up North who heat their houses with fire wood will be affected. After all, it produces CO2 when one burns wood. There will be chimney police like they have in the Denver area who drive around with their little infrared cameras checking the temperature of chimney gases on no-burn days. In the mean time Al Gore will have his multiple mansions and nine fireplaces because, due to the fact that he is rich AND one of the end recipients of the taxation this puts on the rest of us, he will not live like you and me. Which brings me back to the biggest politician lie:

That they are for the little guy; when everything they do pushes themselves up by pushing down on the little guy.