The New Terrapin Gazette
3 December, 2011
Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.
The Economic/Financial Disaster
How in the world could there be so much debt at the same time as so many people are out of work — all while the prices of everything seem to be skyrocketing?
Here are the fundamental causes of the USA’s distress:
1. The Federal Reserve. When the Wilson administration created this monster, it circumvented the federal constitution.
2. The ideologues in Congress and the federal apparatus. Every man a homeowner, regardless of his inability to meet the cost? Insanity.
3. The imprudent policies of greedy bankers. The financial behemoths were “too big to fail,” but their leaders were often unethical and irrational.
4. Incompetent governmental regulation of financial institutions. Barney Frank, just shut up and sit down. (Well, now: he’s just said he won’t run again; that’s good, but Maxine Waters may get his committee chairmanship, which would be bad bad bad.)
5. Federal spending that attempted to stimulate the economy. Discredited Keynesian economic myths are the mantras of demagogues.
6. Congressional/bureaucratic policy: the proliferation of dysfunctional regulatory agencies and practices, the threat of more taxes (which makes the future business climate appear risky), consumer “protection” that is disruptive rather than beneficial, and the extension of government’s stereotypical inefficiency into medical care are just a few examples. The result has been disincentives that reduce investment and inhibit productivity.
7. Peronist abuse of governmental power. Unionized state employees are overpaid and above control; only a few governors such as Walker of Wisconsin have the will to oppose the expropriation of public funds by politically powerful blocs.
The fundamental misconception that government is productive helped create the seven causes listed above, and made them devastatingly effective. The Federal Reserve can inflate the currency, but it cannot create wealth. The belief that the Federal Reserve’s decisions can produce prosperity arises from the confusion of money with wealth; the former is simply a means of exchange, while the latter cannot increase unless productivity rises, and will fall if productivity declines. Productivity in turn depends on tools (from the horse collar to the computer). As technology and knowledge expand, tools become more powerful and numerous, and more wealth can be created. Printing more money and accepting more debt are delusional attempts to achieve prosperity without advancing productivity.
When a significant fraction of the electorate thinks of the government as the guarantor of economic security and the provider of jobs, a paradigm shift occurs. People come to expect government-backed mortgages at low interest rates, and they know their house payments will be reduced by tax write-offs. They also expect the legislators to give money away; as Obama put it, “Spread it around”. As employer, lender and benefactor, the federal apparatus is increasingly held responsible for creating wealth, prosperity and employment. This irrational development was inevitable as soon as the Federal Reserve was created.
Once the federal government believes it can fabricate prosperity, it necessarily seeks to bring the individual under tight control. If the political authority is to create a Utopia, it must be pervasive and powerful. Little can be left to operate as it will; free markets are perceived as inimical to the common good. This intolerance of freedom spreads to speech and thought, for it is impossible to deny Liberty in one sphere of human activity and leave the other spheres unfettered.
The typical response to these criticisms is that benefits are not confining or restrictive, and a man who has some benefit is better off, ceteris paribus, than a man who lacks the particular advantage. The man with benefits may not see their cost, of course, and he may not realize or care that he has been denied choice. His loss of options may strike him as a small price to pay. This is to the advantage of dictators who style themselves as beneficent: the chains they place on their victims do not chafe. But chains they are.
Why did it happen?
That is a question about motives, not causes. Besides the obvious — the naked greed of men like Franklin Raines — the motives of the people who have caused the current crisis include first a desire for power, status and control, and second, a Utopian eagerness to achieve prosperity by political fiat.
As the pursuit of prosperity shifts from a reliance on increases in productivity to the creation and distribution of currency and benefits, the proponents of political action come to include a diverse and colorful aggregation of activists. The elite core of this collectivist faction is highly authoritarian, if not outright fascistic. Some in the movement are dedicated to ideological causes such as the punishment and downfall of hated icons (the rich, Jews, successful conservatives such as the Koch brothers, and so on). Anti-capitalism is a priority for others, along with hatred of the World Bank and the IMF. Corruption, including crony capitalism, is common. Add a toxic mix of conspiracist fables, hatred of Israel, religious devotion to the anti-science of global warming, class consciousness that stigmatizes “flyover country” and exalts multiculturalism, and you get a bizarre sideshow. “Progressives” believe in a lot.
What is needed?
First, regime change. The Justice Department leads the list of offenders, and it can be purged only if the White House is evacuated. Foggy Bottom is next; its confused, ignorant policies and stealthy Jew-hatred are targets for rational reformers.
As for Obama the leader, little more than two observations are required. First, his lack of qualifications has been made clear in past issues of this newsletter. The voters should think of him as nothing more than testimony to the USA’s triumph over racism, and get back to the fundamentals of good governance. Second, “progressive” dissatisfaction with Obama is increasing, and speculation that he might step down rather than run for a second term is beginning to surface (this newsletter suggested that possibility long ago). One journalist thinks a recent Obama speech sounded desperate.
Regime change must necessarily include the retirement of the whores in Congress. Those who pander to the lusts of the populace are quintessential slave-masters; they exploit fear and ignorance and weakness in order to wield power. They are the stereotypical enemies of Liberty.
If reason is to prevail, the political factions that understand the financial and economic crisis need to convince the “swing” voters in the middle. The crucial issues should not be labeled “left”, “right”, “conservative” or “progressive”. They should be presented as prudent vs. irresponsible, rational vs. delusional. The fatal error made by those who believe prosperity can be mandated politically should be exposed to withering criticism.
Anthropogenic Global Warming, The Hoax That Is Above Debunking
More AGW-related files from East Anglia University have been released by the unknown party that tried to blow the whistle a couple of years ago. In spite of damning new evidence, the attempt to discredit the phony science did not work then, and it won’t work this time around, either. Why? Because scientists hate the scandal that results when a hoax perpetrated by their colleagues is exposed by non-scientists; that reduces the credibility and stature of the professors (recall the half-gorilla, half-human hoax reported in this newsletter). The scientific community will therefore ignore its critics or dispute their claims (often with the “It’s a quote out of context” lie). The deceitful experts deny obvious truths because they feel the public will eventually ignore bad science. Of course it’s not an ethical approach, but the AGW cultists don’t care. Speaking of ethics, have a look at this record of James E. Hansen’s antics. He’s the bigwig at NASA who insists that in order to save mankind, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere must be reduced by over eight percent, though the amount of that gas produced by all of humanity doing everything it does is no more than five percent of the total CO2 in the air. Yes, he’s a fanatic, a trusted adviser of Al Gore on AGW matters, and just as fast and loose with the truth as any global warming cultist. Take special note of the financial rewards Hansen earned for promoting the AGW hoax.
Israel And The Iranian Nuclear Weapon
Two things are clear, but not always remembered, mentioned or believed: first, Israel cannot tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran; second, whatever Israel does, it will be devastatingly clever.
As noted below in the Links section, some folks believe Israel can learn to live with suicidal Jew-hating fanatics who have atomic bombs. In fact Israel is not hysterically paranoid about Iran. Israel will strike because it must, and it will strike when it is ready. (In fact events in Iran may indicate that the campaign is under way.)
One can only speculate about what will happen, but some ruminations seem more realistic than others. For example, consider the Israeli destruction of Iraq’s nuclear facility in 1981. The world believes it was accomplished by aerial bombardment, but it is possible — perhaps even probable — that the reactor was taken out by sabotage, and that the aircraft were a brilliant distraction. Think about it for a moment. There are some plausible reasons why the Israelis would do that.
Now consider today’s media talk about “bunker-buster” bombs dropped from aircraft. Could this ignorant babble be another diversionary tactic? Absolutely. Any underground complex must have air and doors. It is certain that the Israeli military has complete maps of all the nuclear facilities.
Then there is the fact that Iranian radar, communications, and the nation’s entire power grid could be incapacitated. Imagine all of the Iranian military deaf, dumb and blind while invading Israeli units can communicate and operate freely. A nuclear burst high above Iran could accomplish that with an overwhelming electromagnetic pulse.
Whatever happens, there is no chance at all that anyone outside the highest levels of the Israeli government will ever know the full truth.
This newsletter believes that McCain-Feingold is unconstitutional, and hopes that it will eventually be struck down. If you have any interest in the role government should play in regulating campaign financing, by all means read this post carefully.
According to the major news media, self-reliance is a condition, not a capability, and it’s a horrible fate. This signals the reversal of a fundamental value. Yes, you should be concerned.
The Polish government has an exasperating take on Iran’s nuclear program. Of course it’s extraordinarily unlikely the Israelis are listening to the Poles, but things like this can only enhance the Israeli sense of estrangement. That’s a shame.
The idea sounds reasonable: raise taxes to take care of the debt. Well, it’s rubbish. The government’s gargantuan indebtedness cannot be paid off by taxing the public, or any portion of it, at confiscatory levels. But the collectivist/redistributionist loons insist that the people who produce, invest and spend must pay for the mistakes and failed policies of the federal government; as a result, attempts to draw up legislative compromises have failed. For a survey of the dismal prospects, click here.
A weblogger says, “More workers and lower unemployment are always good. But lying about their meaning is a huge problem. … about 3/4 of the drop in unemployment is from people leaving the workforce.” No matter what the biased mass media imply, there is no upward trend in hiring.
As if the AGW disgrace were not bad enough, there’s yet more evidence of corruption in the academy.
Wow. Gingrich attacks Obama for his Alinskyite community organizer days, and Team Obama’s lies about that fund-raiser held at the home of Billy “Bomber” Ayers are exposed. How great an impact this will have on the voters in the political middle is the question, and this newsletter’s answer is “Not much”. But it’s fun.
China: human beings harvested for their organs. This claim keeps cropping up.
If you are a photography buff who mourns the death of film, here’s a website that might make your transition to digital technology less frustrating.
A journalist acts as a political consultant to his ideological friends, and some folks claim to be shocked. Heck, the big media types have been doing it for years. Stopping them would mean denying them free speech and sundering the freedom of the press, but…exposing their activities is good for the body politic.
Here’s a fascinating video that shows you how to — unh, what was that again? Oh, yeah, how to rescue your iPhone if it is submerged in water. Right. Fascinating.
The nearly ubiquitous utility called Facebook raises privacy concerns. It should. The typical user won’t understand the issue, though.
For JFK assassination conspiracy theorists: Lyndon Johnson was involved, and here’s the proof. Ahem. Yes, LBJ was crooked as a dog’s hind leg, but….
Android, Blackberry and Nokia owners need to know that their toys log and report every keystroke.
Ponder one of the myths by which Europeans live.
“Israel bad, China good.” Oh, really? Well, no.
This weblog post is long and rather technical, but if you are concerned about freedom of speech, the role of corporations in politics and the excesses of the US federal government, it will make a valuable contribution to your understanding.
A physician ruminates on the forthcoming Utopia. Horrors.
Improved computer software is aiding the defense of Western Civilization. The developments are interesting and heartening.
The masthead includes a quote from the works of Frederic Bastiat.
The staff of The New Terrapin Gazette expresses its sincere gratitude to the many people who have gifted the world with Arch Linux, Emacs, and Chromium.
Publisher:The Eagle Wing Palace of The Queen Chinee