We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, December 3. 2008
Our friend and occasional guest blogger Nathan emails:
Hell is a perfect memory. Frontal Cortex
17,000 tons of CO2 to save the planet. Satire, meet Reality.
Bombay aftermath: Winds of Change
How democracies perish, Brit version. Roger
I hate to waste ink on quoting Insty, since most of y'all probably read him anyway, but
Retire at 50 with 90% salary? Good grief. I'd take that, and get another job - but I'd never get a deal like that in the private sector.
Slow long-term growth. I would not be surprised.
EPA wants to tax livestock. I guess it's a farting and breathing tax, same as for humans.
And here's another tax idea for the US: A VAT
Too late to sell, and too soon to invest? A quote from The Street.com:
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Now we know why so many 'Rats run for president - it pretty mush assures you a position in the administration if one of them wins.
Calling the market at the moment may be a difficult task but the forex market is proving rather remunerative at the moment...there is always money to be made....I love capitalism...even at its worst moments.
With regard to the big three auto makers. They should file for bankruptcy, and reorganise. Why is it they have to appear before Congress with a restructure plan, while the banks and AIG don't have to. They are given money, no questions asked. We don't know who gets what , or how much. Without any over sight. I never studied that business model in school. We have long passed that town called Free Marketvill, and are headed straight for the town called Fascism.
What's the rooster tax? There's one hanging round from over a year ago, dropped off in a bunch of eight by some stealthy egg farmer at night.
flickr slide-show in reverse time order on a rooster-in-photo tag
While the concept of consumption based taxes may be apprealing, only a bureaucrat and economic ignoramus would want a VAT.
In practice, it is an opaque, complex system that can be manipulated by those entrenched in power.
If there is going to be tax reform, let there be true tax simplification. The flat tax proposed by Steve Forbes is still the best system. It is transparent and by excluding all deductions, it takes the money out of the politicians hands.
Given the current madness, how good does that sound?
Mr. Kimball's piece on how democracies perish is but one in a long and distinguished line of how those in power in a democracy or republic are dangerous people and end up destroying freedom.
I have written this many times before but almost every philosopher in history has written about the abuse of power. Being a democracy or a republic does not insulate the citizenry from being defiled and plundered for their labor, savings, future earnings, and their very life so that those in power can maintain power.
In the case of our country expect to see an attempt to disarm us, such as Australia and Britain and dozens of other nations have done. Why do they do it? To maintain power and remove the threat that those who see and feel the hand of tyranny are helpless in curbing the abuses, which never retreat but rather inexorably advance.
I recently was pleased to see the state where my second home is located, Montana, was listed as the third safest state in which to live. The primary reason given was the high level of gun ownership. Deep snow and cold was second and third.
Over the course of the last one hundred years our freedoms have not expanded, they have been severely abbreviated through the use of bureaucratic edict, the Federal Register and a host of newly created government programs all of which have ENFORCEMENT mechanisms.
A citizen can be completely in the right but will end up bankrupt and perhaps imprisoned should they take on the federal leviathan. You need look no further than Kelo v. the City of New London to see how easily power rolls over the citizen.
Herbert Spencer in Man verses the State said;
"The authoritarian sets up some book,
or man, or tradition to establish the truth.
The freethinker sets up reason and
private judgment to discover the truth...
It takes the highest courage to utter unpopular truths."
These "unpopular truths" initially in this nation were the customs, mores, and folkways of the sovereign states, each in some form of disharmony with another. Over the course of our history to speak of state sovereignty was the norm but today it is to embarrass oneself in public to speak of it, yet the intent of our republic was to maintain this arrangement so that the federal government would not grow to where it is today, forcing each state into the same mold. The Federal government is an instrument that crushes individual liberty, innovation , and now free markets. It reminds me of the old saying uttered by a young soldier in Vietnam, “We had to destroy the village in order to save it” That’s what is happening in this country and has already happened in others , such as Mr. Kimball’s Britain.
Yes, Mr. Kimball only scratched the surface, as have I, in how democracies and republics perish. It is the unabated accretion of power to the central government and those few who control it.
“We had to destroy the village in order to save it”
That phrase --possibly apocryphal --has been a powerful weapon in the anti-war movement's war arsenal. Whoever said it should've said "We had to temporarily destroy the infrastructure in order to permanently save the territory".
Habu, nice post. Any thoughts on the Pentagon using 20,000 troops, for our domestic protection? I thought that power was left to the states, and their governor's ( using the National Guard)
bothers me some, too, jappy. Where are the defenders of "Posse Comitatus"?
I'll tell ya when I heard during the campaign Obama saying he wanted to develop an internal "police" force as big and bad as the U.S. Army I couldn't believe my ears.
It's 1932 and Hitler is building up his private SS. Well they can dress it up in whatever garb they choose but it won't pass muster. Next they'll be internal passports and visits in the night.
Nope if he tries that I'll do everything I can to become a resistence fighter, which unfortuneately plays right into his hands; fixing it so he can say "See I told you we needed this mächtige Polizei to keep us safe"
But should it start how else does one prevent the abuses that are sure to follow?
I can not say it any better than Matin Niemoeller, WWI U-boat capyain and later turned Christian who wrote of Hitlers rise:
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me--
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Of course the will come for anyone not buying into the program, or because you are left handed or whatever evil they define as such.
Let us pray he doesn't come close to it although the US troops in flagrant disregard for Posse comitatis is not a good sign. He also has the entire goon Nation of Islam he can deputize to "keep order"
We must severely cripple his ability to lead by mounting a push back in the mid term elections. A revolt of the Generals would be nice with retirements and then having them warn the population. We need to recruit Gen Patreus to our side.
Yep fellas , this one has me in the condition Rogers Clarke wrote of in his diary during the Corps of Discovery back in 1802 when he had his sword drawn against the Souix Indian Chief and said, " I felt my body grow warm"
All of this $$$$ sloshing around in Washington and being gobbled up by various and asundry supplicants leads to only one inevitable outcome: Every Democrat-connected crook will be in line for the chance of a lifetime.
A VAT is a great idea IF and ONLY IF we either eliminate income taxes OR institute a FLAT TAX (no writeoffs or loopholes) of 15% on all income, regardless of source.
I'm already paying a VAT, via my income, for the Value I ADD to the economy. Why pay it again?
The VAT is a terrible idea unless you love more government. See my note above.
One of the reasons democracies perish is that because of their tolerance, they accumulate too many self-righteous bores on the left who feel its their duty to tell the hard-working grown-ups on the right just exactly what to do.
My mission in what's left of my life is to tell them what to do, how often to do it and how soon to start.
It's not "hari-kari" but harakiri---which is seppuku for the proles. Not a bad suggestion for our politicians, too. The perfect example of where it should have applied: George Tenet, the once and former Inspector Clouseau of the Completely Incompetent Agency.