Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

For my friend and mentor Glen Delong, for my uncles Ellery and Thadeus, for my Grandfather Poppa Eich, for my father, for my wife's grandfather John, and for my recent acquaintance David Rester, and many, many friends and co-workers and teammates and shipmates - a humble thanks for doing the things that you did, for playing your small parts, for making the military we all served something we can be proud, and something that served not a man or a regime, but a document.  The Constitution, tainted as it was with slavery, remains the genesis of an exquisite idea, that the state should serve the citizenry, not vice versa.  I hope it will be so for my children.

I didn't really understand what the flag meant until she was raised at the end of my SERE training - and then, it's clear.  That flag stands for the idea that a man and woman are given at their birth the right to live or die on their own terms, to suffer the consequences of their own choices, and not at the hands of those who would choose for them.  Injustice is the result of coercive action by individuals or when backed by the state, and justice is when those who would coerce are repelled by the state.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

English Is Easy - Author Unknown

This is one of the reasons politicians can get away with saying nothing, or anything, during a campaign. 

You Think English is Easy???

Can you read these right the first time?

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present thepresent.

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.

We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

Other goofs I remember - putting cargo on a ship, but we make shipments via truck.  Consider all of the above next time you try to sort out what the meaning of the word is, is. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Troubling Read

Secret Sharer
Double standards in law enforcement, the big mean Fed picking on whistle blowers and why the Obama Administration is more like the Bush Administration than anyone would have thought.

Would be interesting to learn more about this - then again, I'd just as soon forget.

Friday, May 20, 2011

"If Mitt Can Make This Fly He's Some Kind of Genius"

If Mitt can make this fly, he’s some kind of genius. The problems with Romneycare are well known: Mitt argued that Massachusetts needed to reform its health-care system because the uninsured were placing huge strains on the state’s emergency rooms and the rest of the population had to pick up the tab for the free-riders, and that was driving up Massachusetts health costs. So, as a famous can-do technocrat, he looked at the problem and came up with a can-do technocratic solution. Three years later, everyone was insured, but emergency-room use was higher than ever, and 70 percent of those newly insured were all but entirely subsidized by the state, and Massachusetts residents were paying 30 percent more for their health care than the U.S. average, and Boston had the longest wait time in the nation to see a new doctor. Last year, I gave a speech to the American Society for Cataract and Refractive Surgery at its annual conference in Boston, and got a cheap laugh by telling the assembled ophthalmologists that just by flying in to the convention center they’d dramatically improved the city’s doctor/patient ratio.

Do you suppose it will hurt the poor any when this house of cards comes crashing down?  Nah, probably not ...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What This Proves

I heard the President say something in regards to the finding and killing of OBL that went something like this:  "If we can find and kill OBL, we can do anything we put our minds to."

Interesting proposition.  Does that mean then that we have not "put our minds to" ending the unbelievably common fraud in medicare? 

Does that mean we have not "put our minds to" accounting for the DoD budget which has never been adequately reconciled? 

I realize it isn't fair actually subjecting a politician's words to an objective analysis, and that the whole point of political speech is to say as little as possible using the most vague, meaningless words imaginable.  I know that only morons expect politicians, especially once elected, to say anything but drivel.  Sorry.  Couldn't help myself.

I have thought many times that the President (who seems to me to be a man who truly believes that government can do good and the only question is whether or not the right people can get enough power to change enough stuff to do that good) could build unlimited credibility if he could reduce the fraud rate in medicare or social security checks or welfare payments to a rate equivalent to businesses (MC/VISA fraud rates reportedly under 1%, Medicare reportedly between 10-40% fraud).

In fact, I think the leader that could make that happen would be legend.  Why isn't that part of the game?  Seems to me the obvious answer is that they know it cannot be done, but they must ignore that fact of these glaring failures in the existing government systems to get elected and appear useful. 

The "Responsible" Thing

One of the common refrains from those who are emotionally invested in the fundamental goodness which can result from government interventions (social security, medicare, etc), is that they say something to the effect that "we can only right our fiscal ship if we use a mix of tax increases and spending cuts." 

In other words, nevermind the fact that the politicians have behaved with spectacular disregard for the financial solvency of the world's most powerful government.  Never mind that the politicians of this nation have a nearly flawless record for failing to prioritize and spend accordingly.  Never mind that all actions of the government are conducted according to political calculus, for the short term benefit of those in office, and politicans never have to account for the long term failure of their legislative acts.  Nevermind the fact that in cases like social security and medicare, or even something as basic as the income tax, it starts as a whisper of "we can't afford not to take this action to help our fellow man" (translation: I know I can get political credit for taking your money and spending it on someone else using the coercive power of the state, please let me do it?"), and becomes the torrents of waste we now see in these programs and in the tax code. 

Never mind all of that!  The game's all changed, we're going to have responsible far sighted government now and the first step is - let us take more of your money!!!!  We'll be good we promise!!!

Well, I was born, but I wasn't born yesterday.

How Do You Spell Unsustainable? L I F E G U A R D

200,000 dollars to be a lifeguard?  Whoa.  I'm sure that's going to be sustainable in the long run.

No problem if they are paid by cooperative arrangement - but in this case, they are not.  I hope the citizenry will get a clue, and find greener pastures where government is not quite so generous to others with the money it takes from its citizenry.

High pay and benefits for lifeguards in Newport Beach is the latest example of frustrating levels of compensation for public employees. More than half the city’s full-time lifeguards are paid a salary of over $100,000 and all but one of them collect more than $100,000 in total compensation including benefits.
When thinking about career options with high salaries, lifeguarding is probably not one of the first jobs to come to mind. But it apparently should. In one of Orange County’s most desirable beach destinations, Newport Beach, lifeguards are compensated all too well; especially compared with the county annual median household income of $71,735.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Key Issue of 'What Is the Role of the State'?

And how much power is too much power?  At what point to ends justify means?  What is the definition of torture?

If the GOP is far too generous in giving the government leeway in "national defense", the Dems are absurd to admit that the government is not to be trusted with heavy handed interrogations but SHOULD be trusted with health care and coercive pensions.

Immediately following the killing of bin Laden, the issue of interrogation techniques became in some quarters the "dirty little secret" of the event. But as disclosed in the declassified memos in 2009, the techniques are neither dirty nor, as noted by Director Hayden and others, were their results little. As the memoranda concluded—and as I concluded reading them at the beginning of my tenure as attorney general in 2007—the techniques were entirely lawful as the law stood at the time the memos were written, and the disclosures they elicited were enormously important. That they are no longer secret is deeply regrettable.
It is debatable whether the same techniques would be lawful under statutes passed in 2005 and 2006—phrased in highly abstract terms such as "cruel, inhuman and degrading" treatment—that some claimed were intended to ban waterboarding even though the Senate twice voted down proposals to ban the technique specifically. It is, however, certain that intelligence-gathering rather than prosecution must be the first priority, and that we need a classified interrogation program administered by the agency best equipped to administer it: the CIA.
We also need to put an end to the ongoing investigations of CIA operatives that continue to undermine intelligence community morale.
Acknowledging and meeting the need for an effective and lawful interrogation program, which we once had, and freeing CIA operatives and others to administer it under congressional oversight, would be a fitting way to mark the demise of Osama bin Laden.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Following the Lead of Iran and North Korea?

Would it help our "economy" if we forced each other via the coercive monopoly of the government to only buy products "we've" made in "our" country?  If so, then shouldn't we also restrict sales to only those things made within our own state?  Why not our own county? 

This plan has worked well for Iran and North Korea - I mena, it has worked well for keeping the masters of these nations weathy and relatively unchallenged in their tyranny. 

That aside - assuming we only got coercion in who we could buy and sell from and not in other arenas - would "buying American" help or hurt?
"If we restricted trade to just the 50 states, what would happen immediately -- and would increase over time -- would be a huge reduction in our standard of living, because we wouldn't have access to the cheap goods we get from other countries," Perry said. "We also wouldn't have any export markets, so companies like Caterpillar and Microsoft would have a huge reduction in sales and workforce." (Microsoft is the publisher of MSN Money.)
what do we make of heartfelt pleas to save U.S. manufacturing by buying American, or the many websites (see one here) that catalog U.S. sources for an array of products? Or the Buy American Act, which curbs government purchases of products that are made overseas?
Do such efforts actually hurt the country they're trying to help?
Marc Kruskol, 53, a publicist based in Palmdale, Calif., goes out of his way to purchase products that are made in the U.S. because of his concern over the decline in manufacturing employment.
"I truly believe that we could go a long way towards fixing the economy if we would just put people to work making things in this country that are made in other places," said Kruskol, who spends hours scouring made-in-America websites or visiting brick-and-mortar stores in search of U.S. products.
He recently spent $10 on a pair of salad tongs made in America, which he tracked down in a restaurant supply store, after rejecting 99-cent foreign-made tongs. And he was happy to spend $650 on a domestically produced barbecue grill rather than a $450 imported one, just to support his countrymen.
It might be argued that over time "we" would develop domestic manufacturing capacity that "we" don't have now.  But it leads to the question of why it's so expensive to make things in "our" country that someone else can make things thousands of miles away, pay to export them, pay to ship them, and still get the products to market at a price "our" manufacturers cannot match?  OSHA, a sluggish, expensive, over-regulated, unresponsive to consumer needs power system, artificially high labor costs including the costs of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, expensive and ineffective public schools, a remarkably foolish tax system for a nation which states it wants more manufacturers making more products with "US" workers, and a psychotic regulatory scheme that meets politicians needs to be re-elected while repressing business activity and confusing good intentions with environmental care.  Much of the political landscape is schizophrenic as it on the one hand decries tax subsidies for those who "off shore" manufacturing, while claiming to be outraged when a "wealthy" corporation makes money and doesn't pay massive taxes, and then arguing for hokey nonsense like "cap and trade" which will do nothing for carbon emissions but will again ratchet up the incentives to hire folks elsewhere to build things for our markets. 
In short - the "buy American" argument is as economically illiterate as the rest to the discussions taking place in our political gestalt.  We have a literal case of the economically blind leading the economically blind.

What If We Tried Cooperation?

The former Governor outlined a national approach like the one he ran on in 2008. Its core virtue is that it would equalize the tax treatment of health insurance, ending the destructive federal bias for employer-provided insurance over the individual market and encouraging a consumer market for competitive insurance and more efficient medicine. Health economists across the political spectrum have recognized this distortion for decades.

This would be a powerful step forward, unfortunately, even those generally in favor of liberty don't realize how powerful and empowering it would be.  Cancel the absurd tax treatment of employer provided health care and remove health care coverage mandates, and you could significantly reduce the cost of health care without using ANY coercive government force.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

From Your Lips To God's Ears

The lesson I learned is how little we know, the world is complex not some circular flow.
The economy is not a class you master in college, to think otherwise is a pretense of knowledge.

F. A. Hayek via

Obama should listen to Bill Clinton, who last fall seemed to be channeling Hayek:

Friedrich Hayek, The Fatal Conceit: “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.”

Bill Clinton, 9/21: “Do you know how many political and economic decisions are made in this world by people who don’t know what in the living daylights they are talking about?”

"I Don't Know Nothin' Bout Birthin' No Babies"

McQueen's first role would become her most identifiable —as Prissy, the young maid in Gone with the Wind, uttering the famous words: "I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' babies!"

If only the politicians were incentivized to be so truthful about the limits of their knowledge!

The President is taking advantage of the instance of OBL's death to assert that if a government can find a mass murderer, it can "do anything it sets its mind to."  I will not go into any depth about how absurd such a statement sounds, but for starters, how about "regulating" medicare so that it does not throw 10-40% of the money it takes from us into the hands of those defrauding the system, day in and day out.  Apparently, "we" have not set "our" minds on solving that little issue.

Bin Laden Junior - I Condemn My Dad's Murders and I Condemn Yours

Citing the trials of Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi leader, and Slobodan Milosevic, the former Serbian leader, the statement questioned “the propriety of such assassination where not only international law has been blatantly violated,” but the principles of presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial were ignored.
“We maintain that arbitrary killing is not a solution to political problems,” the statement said, adding that “justice must be seen to be done.”
The statement, prepared at the direction of Omar bin Laden, who had publicly denounced his father’s terrorism, was provided to The Times by Jean Sasson, an American author who helped the younger Mr. Bin Laden write a 2009 memoir, “Growing Up bin Laden.” A shorter, slightly different statement was posted on jihadist Web sites.

She's Right

It was during this part of the conversation, when the subject of China, and its frightened reaction to the Arab Spring, came up, that she took an almost-Reaganesque turn, calling into question not just Beijing's dismal human rights record, but the future of the Chinese regime itself. The Obama Administration has been ratcheting-up the rhetoric on China's human rights record lately, especially since the arrest of the dissident Ai Weiwei, but Secretary Clinton, in our interview, went much further, questioning the long-term viability of the one-party system. After she referred to China's human rights record as "deplorable" (itself a ratcheting-up of the rhetoric), I noted that the Chinese government seemed scared of the Arab rising. To which she responded: "Well, they are. They're worried, and they are trying to stop history, which is a fool's errand. They cannot do it. But they're going to hold it off as long as possible."

Clinton's assertion that the repressive Chinese system will eventually collapse brought to mind nothing so much as Reagan's statement, made to Richard V. Allen in 1977, about America's goal in the Cold War: "My idea of American policy toward the Soviet Union is simple, and some would say simplistic," Reagan said. "It is this: We win and they lose." (See
this post from Jim Fallows for more, and better, analysis of these comments.)

Limits of Free Will

Another fascinating example of how our "free will" is limited, constrained, impacted by biology and physiology.  Certainly the conscious mind impacts the unconscious and vice versa, but this is often happening in ways we've never even conceived.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Stimulating ... Politician's Sense of Significance

The real mystery is not that stimulus doesn't work, but why anyone would ever expect it to. After Obama signed the compromise bill on December 17, 2010, one of the first things that the Treasury did was to revise its borrowing plans upward to compensate for the reduction in tax revenue that it knew was coming on January 1, 2011. Additional bonds were sold, and extra money was withdrawn from the economy before the payroll tax cut showed up in workers' paychecks. If there was any impact upon demand at all, it was to reduce it.
Fiscal stimulus always works this way - additional bonds must be sold before additional money can be spent or tax cuts implemented. What Keynesian economists miss is that if there are multipliers for government spending, there are also multipliers for bond sales. Because stimulus consists of bond sales followed by spending, the two sets of multipliers cancel each other out - at best. Fiscal stimulus can never produce any net increase in total demand.
Nails for Keynes' Coffin

Why Unions Are Bad For Workers

Cafe on Boeing

This case, the NRLB ruling that Boeing cannot build airplanes in a southern, right-to-work state, perfectly illustrates why unions are bad for workers and why they exist in the first place - to give some workers an advantage against other workers.  In this case, Washington based union members are given the benefit of no competition, not just against the non-union workers in their state which they've had for the life of Boeing, but also against the non-union workers in the Carolinas.  The idea that unions help workers is only possible to accept if you don't see who the workers are helped 'against' - other, non-union workers.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Private Pensions? That Will Never Work

Implemented by José Piñera (now a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Cato) to replace unsustainable public pensions, private retirement accounts have averaged real annual rates of return of more than 9 percent, contributed to economic growth and the rise in savings, and helped turn working Chileans into capitalists. They’ve been a key to Chile’s economic progress and political maturity. The reform has been copied in part or in full by some 30 countries around the world. And contrary to what American critics on the left claimed at the time, private pensions weathered the global financial storm admirably.

Keep Drug Dealers In the Money

To test the claims of the academic theory, I spoke with "Freeway" Rick Ross, one of L.A.'s biggest crack dealers in the '80s and '90s. Ross was arrested in 1996, and paroled in 2009. So he's a perfect real-world test for the academic theories.
First, I asked him about claim number one: Making drugs illegal drives up the price.
Ross told me that he once grossed $3 million in a single day.
"When I sold drugs, if they'd told me they were going to legalize it, I'd have been mad, because I knew that was going to drive the price down," he said.
Claim number one: Confirmed.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

How To Tax

Tax credits for buying solar panels or hybrid cars are just like government spending to subsidize those purchases. Similarly, the exclusion from employees’ taxable incomes of employer payments for health insurance is no different from subsidizing the purchase of those insurance policies. The deduction for interest on residential mortgages, probably the best-known tax expenditure, amounts to a giant subsidy for homeownership.
At their worst, such tax expenditures create incentives for wasteful borrowing and spending; they have been factors in the mortgage crisis and the rising cost of health care.
Tax expenditures collectively increase the budget deficit by more than all other nondefense spending combined, other than Social Security and Medicare. And unlike those direct outlays, these tax expenditures are not subject to annual review as part of the appropriations process. Once they are part of the law, they automatically continue and become more costly with time.
Despite the strong case for limiting tax expenditures, it is politically difficult to do so because no one wants to give up benefits.

This is all good, but, there's no amount of tax revenue we can raise that will pay for the open ended entitlement system we presently 'enjoy.'  Until there's a limit to the spending, tax reform will not make much difference.

It's Either Medicare, or Medicare

Debt Ceiling Tango
Bottom line - without a massive reform or Medicare, the bottomless pit of open ended "entitlement" spending which is going to function as a virtual syphon from young to old, pitting generations against each other in a fiscal food fight, there's no hope for a rational US budget.

Classic Quotes, "Hayek"

Creating employment is a straight forward craft 
When the nation’s at war and there’s a draft
If every worker were staffed in the army and fleet 
We’d have full employment and nothing to eat.
Jobs are a means, not the end in themselves
People work to live better, to put food on the shelves
Real growth means production of what people demand
That’s entrepreneurship, not your central plan
"F. A. Hayek" via

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Classic Quotes, "Hayek"

People aren’t chess men you move on a board at your whim, their dreams and desires ignored
With political incentives, discretion’s a joke
Those dials are twisting – just mirrors and smoke
We need stable rules and real market prices so prosperity emerges and cuts short the crisis
Give us a chance so we can discover the most valuable ways to serve one another.

F. A. Hayek, via

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

They Won't Vote For Us If We Don't Do Something

Henry Morgenthau, Secretary of the Treasury under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, said confidentially to fellow Democrats in 1939: "We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work."
As for the Federal Reserve today, a headline in the Wall Street Journal of April 25th said, "Fed Searches for Next Step."
That is a big part of the problem. It is not politically possible for either the Federal Reserve or the Obama administration to leave the economy alone and let it recover on its own.
Both are under pressure to "do something." If one thing doesn't work, then they have to try something else. And if that doesn't work, they have to come up with yet another gimmick.

Nevermind that it's not their money they are playing with, and in a sense, it doesn't matter what they do - just that they do "something" so that when the economy turns - which is to say if they don't do so much damage that they extend the downturn, if not for lack of trying - they can claim the credit.  This is the evil of political calculus, as in the end, those in power will always say, Trumplike, "Look what I did" whether or not they did anything that helped - and those who wish to believe in the omnipotence of political leaders will do so.

Classic Quotes, "Hayek"

Oversight? The government’s long been in bed
With those Wall Street execs and the firms that they’ve bled
Capitalism is about profit and loss
You bail out the losers there is no end to the cost
The lesson I’ve learned is how little we know
The world is complex, not some circular flow
The economy is not a class you master in college, to think otherwise is the pretense of knowledge
F. A. Hayek, via

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Evil Twins

... of government and government unions.
Within air traffic circles, this problem is so well-known that 2-2-1 has long been called "the rattler," since it can come back and bite the controller, degrading his performance. But controllers and their union have fought to keep 2-2-1 because it gives them a three-day weekend afterwards.
The National Transportation Safety Board called for abolishing 2-2-1 in an April 2007 report, and the inspector general for the Department of Transportation has called for a 10-hour minimum between shifts in general, and 16 hours after a midnight shift. It's not clear if the new FAA rules eliminate 2-2-1. And they only increase the minimum time between shifts to nine hours, not the recommended 10.
The other cause of fatigue on midnight shifts is black backgrounds on controller display screens, which require dark rooms for best visibility. But dark rooms tend to induce drowsiness, especially on a midnight shift. It is now common international practice to have light gray background screen displays that can be used in high-light environments, but in the U.S. we've all but ignored this advancement.
The FAA would not tolerate such threats to air safety from airlines, or from mechanics, or from aircraft producers. It regulates all such entities at arm's length—and it has cracked down on airline scheduling practices conducive to pilot fatigue. But the FAA has tolerated 2-2-1 schedules and dark control rooms for decades. Why? Because the Air Traffic Organization, whose job is to "move air traffic safely and efficiently," is within the FAA, which in effect means the agency is regulating itself.

The remedy for this is to separate air safety regulation from the provision of air traffic control services, so as to bring about true arm's-length safety regulation of air traffic control. That may sound like a radical change, but over the past 15 years nearly every developed country (except the U.S.) has made this change, consistent with policy set forth by the International Civil Aviation Organization.
There's another important reason for doing this now. The FAA is in the early stages of the biggest change in air traffic management since the introduction of radar in the 1950s. It's called the NextGen system. Using new technologies and process automation, NextGen will permit planes to fly closer together safely, adding much-needed capacity to airports and airspace. But this will require careful assessment of the trade-offs involved. The safety regulator making those assessments will have far more credibility if it is independent.

"The Leader" of The Base

Ten years ago, I remind you, he had a gigantic influence in one rogue and failed state—Afghanistan—and was exerting an increasing force over its Pakistani neighbor. Taliban and al-Qaida sympathizers were in senior positions in the Pakistani army and nuclear program and had not yet been detected as such. Huge financial subventions flowed his way, often through official channels, from Saudi Arabia and other gulf states. As well as running a nihilist international, he was the head of a giant and profitable network of banking and money-laundering. He could order heavy artillery wheeled up to destroy the Buddhist treasures of Afghanistan in broad daylight. A nexus of madrassas was spreading the word from Indonesia to London, just as a nexus of camps was schooling future murderers.
And he decided to gamble all these ripening strategic advantages in a single day. Then, not only did he run away from Afghanistan, leaving his deluded followers to be killed in very large numbers, but he chose to remain a furtive and shady figure, on whom the odds of a successful covert "hit," or bought-and-paid-for betrayal, were bound to lengthen every day.
It seems thinkable that he truly believed his own mad propaganda, often adumbrated on tapes and videos, especially after the American scuttle from Somalia. The West, he maintained, was rotten with corruption and run by cabals of Jews and homosexuals. It had no will to resist. It had become feminized and cowardly. One devastating psychological blow and the rest of the edifice would gradually follow the Twin Towers in a shower of dust. Well, he and his fellow psychopaths did succeed in killing thousands in North America and Western Europe, but in the past few years, their main military triumphs have been against such targets as Afghan schoolgirls, Shiite Muslim civilians, and defenseless synagogues in Tunisia and Turkey. Has there ever been a more contemptible leader from behind, or a commander who authorized more blanket death sentences on bystanders?

Randite Confused

Atlas Shrugged
You have sacrificed reason to faith.” (For example, attempts to prevent stem cell research on Biblical grounds or blind faith that Mr. Obama’s deliberately empty rhetoric about hope and change will magically produce prosperity.)

Even if I support this examination of the ideas in Rand's book, I regret that even the Randites can't get the facts right.  The decision about stem cell research was simply a decision not to spend more government money on research on stem cells except those those lines of cells already in research. 

The only thing more in line with my understanding of Rand's idea would be to stop all federal spending on this type of research. 

Picking nits?  Probably.  I expect more from advocates for liberty.

A Fiend Is Gone

If I am grateful that a fiend has departed this planet, and also grateful that he can not do further injury to his fellow man, I remain sad that he was able to do such evil, and that in doing so, he gave justification to those who would offend liberty.  There is no end to the amount of government that would be demanded to keep "us safe."  Always the citizen must ask "safe from what?" 

Classic Quotes, "Hayek"

I don't want to "do nothing", there's plenty to do
The question I ponder is "who plans for whom?"
Do I plan for myself or do I leave it to you
I want plans by the many, not by the few

F. A. Hayek, via

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Classic Quotes, "Hayek"

You see slack in some sectors as a “general glut”
But some sectors are healthy, and some in a rut
So spending’s not free – that’s the heart of the matter
too much is wasted as cronies get fatter.
The economy’s not a car, there’s no engine to stall
no expert can fix it, there’s no “it” at all.
The economy’s us, we don’t need a mechanic
Put away the wrenches, the economy’s organic

F. A. Hayek, via