Friday, July 29, 2011

"If It Doesn’t Work Out, It Will Not Be Because Of The Politics. It Will Be Because, Lacking The Will To Confront What Is Killing Us, We Were Already Doomed."

Dynamite Andre McCarthy piece, and one showing a lot more cojones than the rest of the pushovers at NRO.

What He Said

A commenter at NRO:
Ah yes, thank you Mr. Capretta, who represents the same careerist insiders with the same line... stand on no underlying principles whatsoever, compromise by caving in to the progressives, then declare victory and go home, all accompanied by marvelous nuanced political plays and ploys that exhibit the most erudite thinking of the cognoscenti.

Back in reality, let's talk about what will really happen: Reid will gut the bill and send it back to the House, daring the Repubs to do something about it. Obama will demagogue about the intransigent Republicans to not pass Reid's bill. The Old Left Media will pleasantly spin the issues his way as usual, and the great unwashed American voter (whoever that may be these days) will lap up the propaganda with nary a dissenting thought in their heads, in large part because the Repubs yet again exhibited no principled action, with the most logical conclusion being it was because they must not have had any underlying principles in the first place. The typical voting blocks living on the progressive plantation will then go marching merrily off to the voting booth in November and re-elect Obama and the Dems with a comfortable majority in the Senate, and increased power in the House.

Meanwhile, the doddering old fools who comprise the Boehner apologists will go off muttering into their beards about 'Rome wasn't built in a day', and 'psychology of the American voter', and 'wait until next year (next election, next decade, next century)'. Yes, I'm so glad this has all worked out for the best. And it will definitely trump those terrible Tea Partiers, such fanatics every one of them having the unmitigated gall to try to actually make meaningful change to this nation's march into the abyss.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

"Obama Seems To Be Taking His Defeat In The 2012 Election Rather Well"

Is the title of this good read.

Pretty Darned Cavalier About Such A Sum

If you think that a $2T increase in the debt ceiling is no big deal, please try to remember that divided amongst 100 million taxpayers, this amounts to $20,000 apiece. And that's just an incremental increase to the overall debt, good for just over one year's worth of deficit spending.

Do you really think you're going to get your $20,000 dollars per year's worth? Do you see why this game is essentially over, not 20 years from now, but today, regardless of what sham the Capitol Hill crime syndicate manages to pass?

Socialism, We Hardly Knew Ye

Roger L. Simon:
President Obama’s been taking a lot of flak lately for not having a plan.


Well, the reason for the latter is simple: because he can’t. The minute the president evinces a budget plan, the game is up. No liberal budget will stand up to scrutiny. There is no money left for deficit spending in our aging society. The welfare state is kaput. It’s gone — probably for generations to come.

Of course, there’s always that canard about taxing the rich. That will save things. But the truth is even if you tax the rich at 100%, it barely sets back our entitlement crisis a year or two, while virtually bankrupting the few job creators who remain.

So no wonder Obama doesn’t have a plan. What would it be?

Rich Miniter put a fine point on it in a recent article for Forbes, “Why the Democratic Party is Doomed [2].”
The Democratic Party, as we have known it for the past 70 years, is now in its last days.

Yes, the House Republicans may raise the debt ceiling for a mix of spending cuts and revenue raisers. Yes, Barack Obama may win the 2012 presidential contest. Yes, bureaucrats and judges will continue to impose new and costly regulations on the economy.

But it doesn’t matter. The long-term trends are almost all bad news for the left wing of the party.

This week’s fight over raising the federal debt limit exposes a key weakness in the warfare-welfare state that has bestowed power onto the Democratic Party: Without an ever-growing share of the economy, it dies.
Miniter’s right. As an ex-lib, it almost makes me feel sorry for liberals. But I’m not because too many of them are still playing ostrich. One lib friend just sent me an email — I’m still somehow on her list — trumpeting a 1954 (!) quote from Eisenhower [3]: “Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history.”

I guess the implication here is that’s what Republicans are trying to do, when, especially in the case of Social Security, they are the only ones making a serious effort to save it (see Paul Ryan). But liberals must preserve their delusions — and actually not read the small print, in Ryan’s proposal or anybody else’s. After all, they are people with no plans. Why should anybody else have them?

Plans are dangerous because someone might scrutinize them. Someone might point out that Social Security was enacted in 1935, when life expectancy was 61.7 (It is now 77.9 and increasing), and, if it isn’t overhauled, it’s finished. No, you better stay away from these plans. Better to have vague theories and pronouncements. (No, I’m not going to say “hope and change,” but you know I was about to.)

All is not lost, however, in this most unPanglossian world. When you are finally able to shake free of liberal-statist ideas or, as Miniter explains, are forced to abandon them because the state itself is broke (not yet Greece, but close enough), you get a tremendous bonus: the pleasure of self-reliance.

When finally free from the bromides of their ultra-bourgeois ideology, even liberals realize you feel better when you do things for yourself. Most of us know from our own families and friends that the happiest people are those who have made their own way, not those who have had life handed to them, either by inheritance or from the state.


But time is on the side of our country and culture again. We are a giant boat finally turning in the right direction. Have patience — we will get there.

Atheists Can Be Just As Moral As Theists.


Good point by commenter over at Ilion's:
One 'trick' I'm particularly tired of is this: "Atheists are just as moral as theists, so you theists better say this if you want any dialogue with atheists." Except A) Who wants dialogue with atheists, particularly New Atheists who are bound by politics more than anything? And B) On what grounds do I say atheists are as moral as theists? My stock reply is, oh, so atheists are typically against abortion, gay marriage, premarital sex, and other things I view as immoral? And that usually seems to shut down that move, if only for that particular moment.

Indeed. And if the atheist manages to get those ones right, there is still the question of "Good according to whom?"

Atheists are--by definition--in violation of the Greatest Commandment, after all, no matter how well they do at the Second greatest commandment.

Adolph Hitler: "The Clergy Are Like Lice"

Did I say Hitler? My bad. I meant to say Myers.

But don't worry, give the atheists power and all will be sweetness, light, and universal brotherhood, as any militant atheist will tell you, and has been proven again and again and again in modern history.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Destruction != Design

Gil Dodgen:
Where to begin? I’ll begin with two self-evidently wrong propositions of evolutionary theory.

1) Gradualism. Attempts to cram the fossil evidence into the gradualistic model display transparent desperation to make the evidence fit the theory. The fossil record testifies consistently and persuasively to three things: stasis, abrupt extinction, and abrupt appearance of new functional life forms. In addition, common sense argues that there is no gradualistic pathway for almost any biologically complex and functionally integrated system. A simple example is the avian lung. There is no conceivably logical gradualistic pathway from a reptilian bellows lung to an avian circulatory lung, because the intermediates would immediately die of asphyxiation.

Furthermore, attempts by Darwinists to explain away this kind of obvious problem strike ID folks — we consider ourselves, by the way, to be the real “free thinkers” concerning origins — as desperate attempts motivated by a desire to defend a theory in evidential and logical crisis.

2) The biologically creative evolutionary power of stochastic events filtered by natural selection.

This proposition is dead-simply, obviously, and empirically unreasonable (except in isolated pathological instances such as bacterial antibiotic resistance, in which case the probabilistic resources are available to allow informational degradation to provide a temporary survival advantage). Natural selection is irrelevant. Throwing out failed experiments does nothing to increase the creative power of random events. Simple combinatorial mathematics render the stochastic proposition completely unreasonable.

The two examples I’ve provided I find to be self-evidently wrong.

A commenter adds:
This proposition is dead-simply, obviously, and empirically unreasonable (except in isolated pathological instances such as bacterial antibiotic resistance, in which case the probabilistic resources are available to allow informational degradation to provide a temporary survival advantage).
This makes me think of taking a wrecking ball to a building and making a big hole. The building now has the advantage of a new entrance and improved ventilation. But the electrical systems are damaged and it is structurally less sound.

Is this clear evidence that a wrecking ball can add a new security system or self-repairing windows? Does it explain where the furniture came from? Who thinks that way?

Enough With The Wholly Disingenuous Talk Of Default From Both Parties, And Even The Conservative Press

I'm getting tired of this lie. Under the 14th Amendment, the government is not allowed to decide to default in lieu of being fiscally responsible. And common sense dictates that if for some reason the criminal syndicate on Capitol Hill does decide to unconstitutionally renege on making debt payments, then the entire big government game is finito for them, since the bond market will shun all new debt issuance.

In short: Enough! Stop talking pure nonsense!

Related to the overall topic is this comment by an Instapundit reader:
I’m worried. See if you follow my concern. Thus far the Democrats have proved intractable on these negotiations. But more than that, they seem to be living in denial as regards the national debt and more importantly the deficits. Right now we’re projecting deficits of 1.5 trillion every year for the next ten years. But those projections are based on growth rates of something like 3 – 3.5% from 2013 onwards. Which is unrealistic when you consider the current debt load plus piling on 1.5T more every year. It’s obvious that these projections are pure fantasy. They’re in denial about Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid sustainability and about Obamacare. They genuinely believed O-care was going to “bend the cost curve”! It’s ridiculous.

Now, we all know this. None of this is new information. What has me worried is the idea that the Democrats ACTUALLY DON’T UNDERSTAND THIS IS THE END OF THE ROAD. What if they actually aren’t capable of recognizing when they’ve lost? Or when we’ve run out of other people’s money? None of these people work for a living. Their concept of where money comes from and how wealth is created (and destroyed) is completely divorced from reality because they live in a government bubble. And the very small minority among them that do understand this from previous jobs and experience are okay with Progressive policies aimed at leveling/equalizing/delivering-economic-justice because they just assume that the economy can handle some siphoning. And usually it can. But not at this volume or for this time scale.

Here’s the position I think we may be in. We’ve been negotiating with the President and The Democrats in Congress on the assumption that they’re sane. It’s okay to play hardball with these guys because eventually, whether they like it or not, reality insists upon itself and they have to cave. It’s a painful process so you expect some tantrum throwing and caterwauling, but eventually they HAVE to accept reality. Except if they’re not sane. If they want five apples and there’s only two plus two but they CAN’T ACCEPT that two plus two equals four. Orwell wasn’t just writing a parable about the eventual end point of IngSoc. He was describing what human psychology can drive Ministers to inflict upon the populace for the sake of “justice”. I’m worried they’ll pull the trigger on default as just one more “political” step in the march towards freedom from want or whatever other principle they’re operating under. They’re playing this game as if they could win, as if taxes in a downturn are a good idea with benign consequences. As if debt equivalent to GDP is survivable for the world’s anchor economy/currency, let alone sustainable.

And so maybe, just maybe, Republican strategy (what little there is of it) has badly misread the opposition. Obama tried to add 400 billion in taxes to a deal he had already agreed with Boehner at the last minute. Boehner walks out cause Obama is negotiating in bad faith and has been all along, but what if Obama is actually incapable of good faith negotiation? I think right now that it’s actually possible we won’t see a deal at all. Because the Republicans are looking at the math and at reality and saying “Okay, Democrat demands can’t be serious because they can’t possibly work” and Democrats are looking at politics and how it works and saying “We don’t have to give in cause that’s not how you win these things. You pin it on the other guy politically and then reap the political dividends.” I wasn’t around for the start of WWI, but I get the feeling I understand Kennedy’s fascination with Tuchman’s Guns of August. I’m not talking about a shooting war, but about leaders overestimating and underestimating and just plain misjudging each other in a brinksmanship scenario. In short, it could be too late to do anything when people finally wake up. The crisis may have already arrived with an economic and fiscal momentum all it’s own that no amount of dealing or compromise or statesmanship can stop..

Also, let us note that Bill Clinton is urging the 14th Amendment, not as a reason to default, but as a reason for Obama to keep borrowing regardless of what Congress authorizes, so that kind of backs up my point, yes?

These commenters at Legal Insurrection spell out why Clinton's gambit probably wouldn't actually work:
I expect the Dems joker is the 14th Amendment ploy and I fully expect them to use it. Slick Willy said as much and there have been hints in other quarters.


The 14th amendment gimmick may not work. I’ve already seen commentary that some traders of government debt will avoid dealing in those cusips. Nobody wants to be stuck with paper that the courts could deem to be illegitimate because it wasn’t authorized by Congress.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Fable (Cartoons)

All too true.

Welcome To Your Indentured Servitude

Charles Hugh Smith:
If we knock down all the flimsy screens of artifice and obscuring complexity, what we see in Europe is a continent of debt-serfs, indentured to the banks under the whip of the European Union and its secular religion, the euro.


Here is the fundamental fact: there are trillions of euros of debt which can never be paid back. In a non-feudal system, one in which the banks were not the Masters, then this fact would be recognized and acted upon: something like 50% of the debt would be written off in one fell swoop, all the banks whose assets had just been wiped out would be declared insolvent and liquidated, the remaining debt would be sized to the economic surplus of each debtor nation, and a new, decentralized banking sector of dozens of strictly limited, smaller banks would be established.

To the degree that is "impossible," Europe is nothing but a Neo-Feudal Kleptocracy serving its Banker Lords.

The Greek worker whose pay has been slashed in the "austerity" demanded by the banks serves the Banker Lords, as does the German worker who will be paying higher taxes to bail out Germany and France's Banker Lords. Though the German is constantly told he is bailing out Greece, the truth is Greece is just the conduit: he's actually bailing out the EU's Banker Lords.

We can clear up much of the purposeful obfuscation by asking: exactly what tragedy befalls Europe if all the sovereign debt in the EU was wiped off the books? The one and only "tragedy" would be the destruction of the "too big to fail" banks, not just in Europe but around the world. As the big European banks imploded, then their inability to service their counterparty obligations on various derivatives to other big banks would topple those lenders.

While the political vassals call that possibility a catastrophe, it would actually spell freedom for Europe's 500 million debt serfs. From the lofty heights of the Manor House, then the loss of enormously concentrated power and wealth is indeed a catastrophe for the Lords and their political lackeys. But for the debt-serfs facing generations of servitude for nothing, then the destruction of the banks would be the glorious lifting of tyranny.


In the old, horribly risky system of independent states and currencies, any bank foolish enough to loan vast sums to weak states and its citizenry would soon find the currency in which their loans were paid would weaken to the point that even if the loans were repaid in full, their losses would be crushing.

For example, say a bank loaned Greece 1 billion drachma when the drachma was equal in value to the U.S. dollar. The loan would thus be worth $1 billion. But let's say that by the time the loan was repaid, the drachma had fallen to 50 cents. Measured in dollars, the bank suffered a loss of 50%, even when the loan was paid in full.

The euro removed all that nasty risk, and created a massive vassal class of EU bureaucrats to enforce the rules and make good any defaulted debt via the European Central Bank (ECB), the supra-national lender that served the big banks as guarantor. Ultimately, the ECB was funded by the member states' taxpayers, which spread the costs of the arbitrage over such a large number of citizens that it seemed impossible that the guarantee could be broken.

But the Banker Lords got greedy, and they overshot the carrying capacity of the EU's economy by a trillion euros; the debt loads are now so enormous that the surplus skimmed from the debt-serfs isn't enough.


The cloak has been removed, and the bloodied whip is now visibly in hand. In a household analogy: your mortgage has been rolled over into a new form of servitude, and your wages have been cut even as your taxes have been raised to service your debt to the Banker Lords. The vassals are bowing and scraping before their Lords, promising deeper cuts and higher taxes; yes, Master, we will obey.

But this isn't enough, of course; the Lords are demanding the rings off the fingers of the debt-serfs, and the rights to sovereign assets; they are casting a covetous eye on the comely daughter as well, and we can fully expect a discreet demand to exercise droit du seigneur, a right befitting the Lords of the new Feudalism.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Now, That's A Cop

You'll want to watch this from beginning to end.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


LEFTISM DEFINED? “He prefers the inequality that comes from a government hierarchy, over inequality that comes from voluntary trade.” I always figure that people who feel this way do so because they think they’re better at sucking up to authority figures than at creating value on their own. And my guess is, they’re right about that.

Worth A Thousand Words

Seen here.

Wipe The Plutocrats Out (Financially)

Charles Hugh Smith:
A simple 8-point plan would restore both the banking and the real estate sectors, and end the political dominance of the parasitic "too big to fail" banks.

Craven politicos and clueless Federal Reserve economists are always bleating about how they want to fix the U.S. economy and restore "aggregate demand." OK, here's how to start:

1. Force all banks to mark all their assets to market at the end of each trading day, including all derivatives of all types, including over-the-counter instruments.

2. Allow citizens to discharge all mortgage and student loan debt in bankruptcy court, just like any other debt.

3. Banks must mark all their real estate to market weekly as defined by "last sales of nearby properties" adjusted for square footage and other quantifiable measures (i.e. like

4. Require mortgage servicers and all owners of mortgage-backed securities to mark every asset within each pool to market weekly.

5. Any mortgage, loan or note which was fraudulently originated, packaged and sold, including the misrepresentation of risk, the manipulation of risk ratings, fraudulent documentation by any party, etc., will be discharged as uncollectable and the full value wiped off the books and title records without recourse by any of the parties.

If a bank fraudulently originated a mortgage and the buyer misrepresented material facts on the mortgage documents, then both parties lose all claim to the note and the underlying asset, the house, which reverts to the FDIC for liquidation, with the proceeds going towards creditors' claims against the bank.

6. Any bank which misrepresents marked-to-market asset values will be fined $10 million per incident.

7. Any bank which is insolvent at the end of a trading day will be closed and taken over by the FDIC the following day, and liquidated in an orderly manner via open-market auctions of all assets, including REO (real estate owned).

8. All derivative positions held by the insolvent bank will be unwound immediately, and counterparties who fail to make good on their claims will also be closed, given to the FDIC and liquidated.

You know what this is, of course: a return to trustworthy, transparent accounting. And you know what the consequences would be, too: all five "too big to fail" banks would instantly be declared insolvent, and most of the other top-25 big banks would also be closed and liquidated.

At least $3 trillion in impaired residential mortgage debt would be written off, maybe more, and $1 trillion in impaired commercial real estate would also be written down. Derivative losses are unknown, but let's estimate it's at least $1 trillion and maybe much more.

If $5.8 trillion of fantasy "value" is wiped off the nation's books, that's only a 10% reduction in net household and non-profit assets, which total $58 trillion. Even an $11 trillion hit would only knock off 20%. If that's reality, if that's what the assets are really worth in the real world, then let's get it over with. Once we've restored truthful accounting and stopped living a grand series of debilitating lies, then the path will finally be clear for renewed growth.

The net result would be the destruction of the political power of the "too big to fail" banks, the clearing of the nation's bloated, diseased real estate market, and the restoration of trust in institutions which have been completely discredited.

Bank credit would flow again, and we could insist on a healthy competitive system of 250 small banks instead of a corrupting system of 5 insolvent parasitic monsters and 20 other bloated but equally insolvent financial parasites.

Those who lied would finally get fried. At long last, those who misprepresented income, risk, etc. would actually pay some price for their malfeasance. Criminal proceedings would be a nice icing on the cake, but simply ending the pretence of solvency would go a long way to restoring banking and real estate and ending regulatory capture by TBTF banks.

What's the downside to such a simple action plan? Oh boo-hoo, the craven politicos would lose their key campaign contributors. On the plus side, the politicos could finally wipe that brown stuff off their noses.

Monday, July 18, 2011

It Is, Indeed, A Red State Hell-Hole

William Jacobson:
Why are there homeless people in San Francisco?

As you know, I’m visiting here. And one thing I’ve noticed is that there are quite a few homeless people.

Why are the people of San Francisco so heartless? They must all be Tea Party supporters.

Why don’t the politicians here care about the poor? They must be Republicans.

How can citizens just walk by without helping? Probably too busy with their capitalism.

San Francisco is a beautiful city, but I don’t know if I could live in such a heartless, Republican, capitalistic place.

"We're Not About To Throw Away The Rest Of The Picture"

Great post at Rick's.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sad, But True

Michael Egnor:
The damage that the Democratic party has done to racial relations and to the black family in America is incalculable. The KKK could only dream of destroying the black family and making black neighborhoods incubators of crime and misery. But perhaps the KKK did accomplish it anyway, via the party to which it was always violently loyal.

This explains the racial policies of the modern Democratic party: several decades ago, the Democratic party realized that black people were more valuable in a voting booth than on a tree limb.


Edward Feser hits it out of the park with this one.

And some input by commenters on the abject-stupidity-fest in progress over at Jerry Coyne's place:
A quote from Bertrand Russell, of all people, accurately sums up 90% of the comments over on Coyne's blog: "A stupid man's report of what a clever man says is never accurate because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand."


Amusingly, while commentators in the one Coyne thread are trying to deny causation - no first cause if no causation! - commentators on another Coyne thread are exalting causation in order to deny free will.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Intellectual Pygmies "Discuss" Aquinas

Edward Feser give it the old college try, and this is the result.

Bring It

Charles Hugh Smith:
1970 + 40 = 2010: That takes us to the present. Right now the nation is wallowing self-piteously in a fetid trough of denial and adolescent rage/magical thinking that the nation's bogus, debt-based "prosperity" has crashed and cannot be restored, though Ben Bernanke and the clueless "leaders" the citizenry has fecklessly elected keep trying to glue Humpty Dumpty back back together again.

Unfortunately, all they've accomplished is to glue their own fingers together.

The "too big to fail" banks and Corporate Cartels effectively own the Federal machinery of governance, the Savior State's fiefdoms are expanding their reach and power like uncontrollable cancers, and the "leadership"--mostly self-glorifying. grossly incompetent, self-absorbed, greedy Baby Boomers, but with a few equally clueless 40-somethings present just to prove that age is no protection against self-delusion and supreme greed-- has resolved to surrender to the Financial Power Elites and State fiefdoms, and fiddle around with "extend and pretend" strategies until they can exit the stage with bulging bags of swag.

Their only goal is to not be the one blamed when the whole corrupt contraption finally collapses under its own weight. If there was ever a more pathetic, corrupt, cowardly and incompetent set of "leaders" in the nation's history, they must have done their skimming during periods of relative prosperity. Now we need real leaders, not TV-ready simulacra spouting bloated slogans that contain the magic word "change."

Gen X and Gen Y, this is your "lights, camera, action!" call, if not for political power, then for a cultural revolution. I for one am ready for a Fifth Awakening, a Cultural Revolution, and a restoration of self-rule and the real, non-financialized economy.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


How about you?

College educators got 55%, the general population, 49%.

Via Vox Day.

We Are Not Worthy Of Him

Peter Wehner:
At one point I thought it could be attributed to an unusual degree of cynicism, but now I wonder if it goes deeper than that. What I have in mind is President Obama’s obsession with portraying himself as our moral superior. Virtually every time he speaks these days, we are treated to another journey through what William Makepeace Thackeray aptly dubbed Vanity Fair.

For example, if you listened to the president’s news conference today, a theme we are by now wearily familiar with was repeated with numbing repetition: Obama, according to Obama, is quite simply better, much better, than those around him. He is a man of pure motives and unparalleled reasonableness, extraordinary intellectual depth, and unsurpassed seriousness. Others are driven by narrow self-interest, by the political calendar, by outside pressures. They are too ignorant or too weak to do the right thing, the good thing, the hard thing.

Not Obama.

Members of Congress, from both parties, are trapped by their own ideological predispositions. Obama, according to Obama, is not. He is free from bias, able to see reality whereas others merely see shadows. It is not easy to be Obama in a fallen world.

Politics tends to draw into its orbit people who are inordinately impressed with themselves and caught up in excessive self-love. But in Barack Obama we have stumbled across someone unlike anyone we have seen before. This is a man, after all, who believed he had it within his powers to heal the planet and reverse the ocean tides. And as the hopes and dreams of his 2008 campaign continue to crash down around him — as his popularity wanes, as some of his most worshipful followers turn from him, as he is unable to extract himself from the results of his failed policies — his narcissism seems to grow, not diminish. It is hard to tell where this will all end. But I suspect it won’t be pretty. Watching what happens to those who fall in love with their own reflection rarely is.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Through The Looking Glass

Jerry Coyne is an utter fool. Edward Feser shows why, with a table-turning though experiment.

It's A Complete Mystery

The NYT wonders why certain things are not covered by the NYT. Rest assured, though, it has nothing to do with the NYT.


Quip Of The Week

These days, when the President says that we have to "eat our peas", I no longer know whether he's offering a metaphor or invoking the Commerce Clause.

Atheist Slap Fight

There are some reasonable atheists (at least sometimes). One of them reads the others the riot act.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

We Need More Like Him

Let’s stop talking about new taxes and start talking about new taxpayers, which means jobs. This debt is the No. 1 issue on everyone’s minds and rightfully so. It is a major issue, but everywhere else, in the real world, the No. 1 issue on people’s minds is jobs. And I tell you, every other problem facing America — a mortgage crisis, a home foreclosure crisis, this debt problem — all of these issues get easier to deal with if people are gainfully employed across America. And the impact that unemployment is having across this country is devastating. …

Our job here [in Congress] is to do everything we can to make it easier for them to find a job, not harder. And I think that’s what we have to do when it comes to ‘a balanced approach’ and when we talk about revenue. We don’t need new taxes, we need new taxpayers, people who are gainfully employed, making money, paying into the tax system and then we need a government that has the discipline to take that additional revenue and use it to pay down the debt and never grow it again. …

So you look at all these taxes that are being proposed and here’s what I say: I say we should analyze every single one of them through the lens of job creation, issue No. 1 in America. I want to know which one of these taxes they’re proposing will create jobs. I want to know how many jobs will be created by the planes tax. I want to know how many jobs will be created by the oil company tax that I’ve heard so much about. How many jobs are created by going after the millionaires and billionaires that the president talks about? I want to know! How many jobs do they create? …

I traveled the state of Florida for two years campaigning. I have never met a job creator who told me that they were waiting for the next tax increase before they started growing their business. I’ve never met a single job creator who has ever said to me I can’t wait ’til government raises taxes again so I can go out and create a job. I’m curious to know if they say that in New Hampshire because they don’t say that in Florida. So my view on all that is, I want to know how many of these tax increases the president proposes will create because if they’re not creating jobs and they’re not creating new taxpayers, they’re not solving the problem.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Hear, Hear

Mark Shea:
The Age of Unreason

Everybody is familiar with the pop culture drama and comedy caricature of the fundamentalist preacher or rigid authoritarian priest who, possessing special knowledge his tribe trembles at, pops off about things he doesn’t understand.

He turns up in popular entertainment all the time, denouncing people as witches for building some gadget (a popular theme in time travel stories), or confidently murdering Copernicus (if you are a Dan Brown sucker) or thumping a Bible and howling about fake moon landings. The Ignorant Religious Popinjay so beloved by the Manufacturers of our pop culture dramas and comedies about Science vs. Religion is always treated like The Authority on Everything by gullible doofuses who follow him because they think that his mastery of the one class of information they value makes him a master of all classes of information they know nothing about. That’s the agitprop continually pounded into our heads by modernity: The Middle Ages (we are told) was that time when those who were masters of mystic hoodoo about the Faith were likewise anointed masters of Science and enabled to hold back Progress for centuries with their ignorant anti-science prattle until our Age of Reason dawned. It’s a beloved and venerable lie, rebutted again and again by real historians of science such as Fr. Stanley Jaki. But it remains a lie believed by millions at this hour.

The irony, of course, is that if any age should be called the Age of Unreason, it’s ours. It proceeds precisely by taking people who know a lot about one thing and anointing them Masters of Everything. It is further complicated by the fact that many of our contemporaries worship their intellects rather than use them. They “know” what the “know” because they uncritically regurgitate something some “expert” on television said was “the assured results of Science”. Case in point: the adulation and respect still being accorded the increasingly weird and ignorant remarks of physicist Stephen Hawking. Here he is, delivering the verdict from Mt. Sinai that God did not create the Universe:
“Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.”
Classic. There is a law of gravity. It’s just there. Therefore this is no Legislator. Like he knows. He is a guy in a lab coat—a technician who knows a great deal about how the lights in the metaphysics classroom work. That doesn’t qualify him to tromp into the metaphysics class and bawl, “I don’t see the point of this junk.” And yet, that’s just what he’s doing, to the awed applause of suckers who, while denouncing the Old Man in Rome as an authoritarian ignoramus, will simultaneously declare “Hawking said it. I believe it. That settles it.”


If The GOP Had An Ounce Of Cleverness

They'd do this:
WANT NEW SOURCES OF REVENUE? If I were a Republican member of Congress, I’d be proposing big excise taxes on movie tickets, DVDs, CDs, digitial movie and music downloads, etc. Then let Hollywood scream about how the tax increase would destroy American jobs. . . .


This is highly amusing. A picnic turns into a frank and sincere exchange of political/economic views.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Asinine Trope. Refuted Thusly.

“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”- Stephen Roberts

(as cited here)

"I just believe in one more God than you do.... When you understand why I don't dismiss my God, you will understand why I do dismiss all the others." - SteveK

(as cited here)