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Your Uplfiting Sunday Message

February 7, 2010 Leave a comment

From Albert Jay Nock’s Our Enemy, the State:

What we and our more nearly immediate descendants shall see is a steady progress in collectivism running off into military despotism of a severe type.  Closer centralization; a steadily growing bureaucracy; State power and faith in State power increasing, social power and faith in social power diminishing; the State absorbing a continually larger proportion of national income; production languishing, the State in consequence taking over one “essential industry” after another, managing them with ever-increasing corruption, inefficiency and prodigality, and finally resorting to a system of forced labour.  Then at some point in this progress, a collision of State interests…will result in an industrial and financial dislocation too severe for the asthenic social structure to bear; and from this the State will be left to “the rusty death of machinery,” and the casual anonymous forces of dissolution will be supreme.

We’ve survived 75 years since this was written back in 1935 when lovers of liberty already thought we were doomed.  Are we too far down the road to serfdom or can we still reclaim our nation?

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Socialists, Russians and Islamists

January 28, 2010 2 comments

Recently at the urging of a reader, I watched the above video from the 80s in which Yuri Bezmenov, a former KGB agent outlines the use of Russian ideological subversion outlined well in this American Thinker piece.  The whole series of fascinating videos that make up the interview can be found beginning here and all seem quite prescient when put in context of contemporary America.  Islamists have used the same tactics that the ex-KGB agent outlines in terms of working to demoralize us by inculcating academia and the media with pro-Islamofascist views (and having them propagate this message to the last generation of elites amongst others), and furthering this message with groups like CAIR and useful idiots in the ACLU, while also working to destabilize us with terrorist attacks to drive us towards crisis.

That Islamists have both stealthily and overtly brainwashed Americans into paralysis when it comes to realizing the threat of Islam dovetails well with Bezmenov’s description of ideological subversion.  Bezmenov characterizes it as “[An] overt…slow process…[to] change the perception of reality of every American to such an extent that despite the abundance of information, no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interest of defending themselves, their families, their community and their country.”

Given the parallels between the Russian communists and the Islamists, I delved a bit deeper into their ties, and there seems to be definitive evidence that the KGB schooled Muslims for decades, and that even in modern day Russia, Islamic terrorists including perhaps even AQ#2 Ayman Al-Zawahiri were trained by Russian intelligence.  Yasser Arafat is perhaps the very embodiment of this tie, as he was a master of ideological subversion, trained as an agent of the KGB.  Litvinenko argued before he was assassinated that Putin and the Russians may have been in on 9/11 himself.  It would make sense that Putin would publicly take a “hard line” stance against the Islamic terrorists in his country as a means of misdirection when he in fact is supporting them against the West (hence the cozy ties with Iran amongst others).  And of course even if this support wasn’t merely on political and ideological grounds, if nothing else the chaos brought on by terrorists would help the Russians economically by driving up the price of oil.

In my view, Russia and the Marxists generally never ended their war against the West.  That Putin, a former KGB bigwig effectively still runs the country is a testament to this.  The Marxists were smart — while fiscally they may have collapsed, I believe they falsely surrendered at the end of the Cold War, reorganizing and “reforming” only to the extent that they would look more tame to the Western world.  The socialists were never militarily routed, so it is not as if everyone in Russia, Eastern Europe, Asia and the moles and propagandists they planted in other countries was suddenly forced to repudiate communism.  The changes in their governmental system and rhetoric are akin to those made by socialist shell organizations that have evolved over time in the US, altering organization and name, and hiding their nefarious agenda behind a visage of moderation.

Thus, I’d like to proffer the ultimate hypothesis that the Marxists are aiding and abetting Islam as part of their strategy to bring the West to its knees.  I believe however that they will underestimate the strength of the force they have raised in Islam.  While the socialists and Islamists have a common enemy in the West now, I am sure that Muslims would just as soon turn on the Russians, Chinese and others if the West were destroyed.  G-d forbid we get to that point.

I grant that proving this point will require a significantly greater amount of research, but I put forth this view because it strikes me at first blush as a major revelation, that I believe may prove essential in understanding the war on America.  That the Progressives (socialists) and Islamists have followed the same tactics in my view is not coincidental, and in context of the events of the last handful of decades has much explanatory value.  The only difference between the Progressives and Islamists of today is that Islamists serve as both a psychological and military arm of the socialists in their war on civilization.

Statists and Power

January 7, 2010 2 comments

Most businessmen will do anything they can to preserve their position.  This extends to people in all realms.  Whether manufacturers, farmers, financiers, academics or politicians, those who wish to preserve their power will promote as many measures as necessary to do so.  In the case of those in the latter two fields, they impose the same anti-competitive barriers as those in the former ones.  For the statists of the academy and the capitol, they put up barriers to entry by stifling debate in marginalizing anti-statists such as the Tea Partiers, imposing punitive tariffs in engaging in ad hominem attacks against opponents and peddling their products in the marketplace of ideas by sophistry, obfuscation and at times fraud.

More generally, given that in most cases one need be accepted by the elite in order to enter academia, the political realm and even many industries, this creates another superficial barrier to entry.  This is well-depicted when one considers that while the Austrians seem to be the most accurate economists, most all professors of the subject are evidently blacklisted from the most prestigious institutions, and in the fact that there are so few Ron Paul’s in Congress.

Those wedded to the state – be it the politicians or their propaganda arms in academia and the MSM further cement their power by creating a permanent underclass via their policies.  This would explain why the most liberal urban areas are afflicted with the most widespread poverty, crime and education problems.  It is the policies of the statists that make these areas fertile for these conditions, but the people, imbued with the notion that the state is there to help them with their plight given its coddling from day one remain even more wedded to the paternal politicians the more desperate their situation.  The politicians throw their impoverished constituents crumbs, but at some point the pols will run out of crumbs when they plunder those who produce them to a large enough degree.

The slums of America reflect the ultimate end of statist policies, and the reason is as follows.  Statists remove the incentives to produce by encouraging failure, extending largess and attacking mutually beneficial exchange in free commerce.  The economic and political environment of urban America destroys the values that led to the creation of wealth squandered on the welfare state in the first place.

Ultimately, my sense is that those in power today, radical Cloward-Piven and Alinsky-ites that they are are not so much concerned with developing a socialist Utopia.  Contrary to this, I think they are using the socialists in academia, and the elites, former students brainwashed by academia, CNN and the New York Times as useful idiots.  They have institutionalized their progressive ideas over the last hundred years so that those with the most influence in society know of nothing else and more disastrously lend credence to their policies.

They are at peace with their yielding a hellish country like the ones incubated historically by leftists replete with widespread poverty, chaos and violence to reach their goal.  The goal of this administration and most all in government is power.  They will usurp our freedoms stealthily or outright in order to preserve and enlarge it.  Most evil in my view is the man bankrolling the whole operation, George Soros, who will push the country to the brink with his puppet politicians running the show, for his own profit.

In sum, I urge you to understand that ideology is a mere means to an end – secondary to all those who use the state as an instrument, be it the One-Worlders, Greens or Marxists.  Do not be fooled, their concern rests with one thing and one thing alone: power.  With every state encroachment, their power increases whilst individual liberty is extinguished.

Credit Cards and the Collapsing Country

October 27, 2009 Leave a comment

The policy of credit card companies charging an annual fee for those cardholders with solid credit is a good proxy for the state of the nation, and also a microcosm of both the progressive (read socialist) movement in this country and the unintended consequences of an economic policy destined to fail — or succeed if you measure success by increased impoverishment.

Those two solvent, reputable, dare I say creditworthy institutions Bank of America and Citi are reportedly

starting to charge fees to reliable customers in response to a slew of new credit card industry regulations that will limit when banks can hike interest rates. Cardholders who get a new annual fee notice in the mail will be in a no-win situation.

“They can either pay that fee or they can close the account, and if they have had the account for a while and they close it, they are potentially going to hurt their credit card score,” said Woolsey (Director of Consumer Research at CreditCards.com).

This response to government intervention provides great insight into the problems with regulations the government claims will help the consumer. By preventing banks from increasing their rates in response to a lack of creditworthy borrowers in the markets, those who have proved creditworthy customers over time will be forced to subsidize those less reliable to make up the difference, proving yet again that there is no such thing as a free lunch. We could examine the further consequences for the macroeconomy of these creditworthy people being incentivized to become less creditworthy or if nothing else losing purchasing power as a result of this policy, but the above synopsis should do.

This policy reflects what happens every time the government tries to set prices – in this case the price of credit. Some people are aided, while others lose as a consequence. Further, as with the way in which government seems to favor the debtor over the creditor today, here the less responsible is favored over the more responsible. Adding insult to injury, the more responsible cardholder must subsidize the less responsible one. In essence, this is the basis of the welfare state. Those who generate more wealth must have a significant percentage of it expropriated to help out those who do not create as much wealth. We can argue over whether wealth generators are more responsible than the indigent, but I think you understand my point.

As I have mentioned before though, this liberal system in the end devours itself. First, it is economically unsustainable. At some point, those continually forced to subsidize the reckless and feckless will either go broke or go Galt. As a consequence, so too will the whole system (go broke that is). Second, from a moral perspective, the values engendered in rewarding people for being unproductive and penalizing those who create will pervert society, leading to its malaise.

As I have harped on continually here, the problem with the development of a capitalist system is that if not constantly fought for on both economic and perhaps more importantly moral grounds, it ends up sowing the seeds of its own destruction. Wealth begets wealth until it begets redistribution of wealth. Redistribution of wealth destroys the mechanisms that create it in the first place and weakens the moral fiber of a society. Much like organisms in nature that grow beautiful and strong only to decay in old age, capitalism seems to grow great only to end in grief.


Tax the rich
Feed the poor
Til’ there are no, rich no more

Community Organizers Owe Their Livelihood to Capitalism

August 28, 2009 Leave a comment


The community organizers’ struggle is one of class warfare. As Saul Alinsky wrote, “A People’s Organization is the banding together of large numbers of men and women to fight for those rights which insure a decent way of life…A People’s Organization is dedicated to an eternal war. It is a war against poverty, misery, delinquency, disease, injustice, hopelessness, despair, and unhappiness.”

Interestingly enough, the very system that defeats the conditions that Saul laments is capitalism. It has improved the lot of many, leading to higher living standards and a more moral economy than any to come before it. Yet it is this very philosophy that these groups decry – one which is also ironically their lifeblood.

As a WSJ editorial notes, ACORN is “a union-backed, multimillion-dollar outfit that uses intimidation and other tactics to push for higher minimum wage mandates and to trash Wal-Mart and other non-union companies…its organizers are best understood as shock troops for the AFL-CIO and even the Democratic Party.” Indeed, much of the steering committee for HCAN (Health Care for America NOW), a good proxy for the socialist movement is tied in one way or another to labor, labor which would not exist without capitalism.

Without capitalism (the antithesis of the socialism they relish), the jobs that it creates, the living standards it furnishes and the varying degrees of wealth that it naturally leads to, these comrades would have nothing to fight against.

Without capitalists to build businesses, there would be no jobs save for those provided by the state, and no labor unions. Living conditions would be miserable. The poorest would only dream of televisions, cars, cell phones and computers, not to mention cheap generic drugs, food, clothing and running water. FDR’s “Second Bill of Rights” would not have been conceived of because these so-called “rights” (if they had developed at all) would have been reserved solely for kings and queens, not middle class Americans.

The community organizers use the fruits of capitalism to fund themselves. Many of these groups are taxpayer-subsidized. Donors also consist of private charities and fat cats like George Soros. All government funds come out of the pocket of the taxpayer, who earns his income from his work, work attributable to the market. Others such as private foundations and “Soros-ites” use their own funds, again resulting from labor in the (nominally) free market to bankroll these radicals.

The socialist groups use instruments created by capitalism to propagandize. They use the computer to disseminate information (I grant that R&D for the internet was partially attributable to government, but practically all of the applications were created by the private sector), signs, t-shirts and other merchandise all produced by private enterprises to advertise and lastly books put to market by private publishers and sellers to spread their message.

Read “I, Pencil” and tell me that the tools the organizers use are attributable to anything other than the spontaneous order of capitalism.

The aforementioned groups all fight to kill capitalism, but without capitalism they would not have their natural enemy. Without capitalism they would not have a conception of what “decent” living standards were. Without capitalism they would not have jobs besides those provided by the state (which admittedly they might prefer), let alone their precious unions. Without capitalism they would not have the means to mass propagandize. Without capitalism these parasitic groups would perish. But instead they feast on the fruits of capitalism, drinking the sweet nectar of the productive members of society.

The Emperor Has No Clothes

March 19, 2009 1 comment


What we are seeing right now are the kinds of last ditch efforts that reveal how truly inept and desperate our leaders are. First there is the AIG bonus fiasco, a case study in the bumbling incompetence of the representatives in charge of containing the financial fallout (ironically the very people that preempted it). Then there is the move to quantitative easing — a seemingly sophisticated way of getting around the fact that the state is effectively socializing the government debt market and literally printing a trillion dollars out of thin air (as is the government’s wont). The implications of these two bamboozles are very telling.

In the case of AIG, first let me go on record as saying that AIG was a poorly run company that strayed from its business of insuring, and became a large hedge fund. When times were good, the illusory value created for shareholders in churning out CDS contracts and getting involved with all sorts of other derivatives made it seem as if this company was rock solid. But once the laws of economics came into play as we have seen time and time again, the straw men were revealed; malinvestments were proved to be malinvestments.

As such, the fact that anybody in this company who was responsible for running it into the ground should receive any bonus money is appalling. Adding insult to injury however, once they made the deal with the devil and accepted a government bailout (really a bailout of their counterparties who would have been decimated were AIG to have gone under as they should have), the situation has turned into a political and ethical hellstorm for the American public. Taxpayers paying bonuses for employees that destroyed the company the taxpayers are backstopping; politicians who conveniently forgot that their bailout legislation insured that these bonuses would be paid, only to turn around now and work to pass bills to tax bonuses at 90%.

First, contracts should be honored, and if a company wants to pay inane amounts for failure, then so be it; BUT that company should be allowed to fail for its disastrous business practices. Further, on principle, I am against this knee-jerk reaction to kill the greedy businessmen. On the other hand, the fact that we are all paying for private incompetence is an outrage. Again, we wouldn’t be talking about this if we had allowed the company to go belly up. Be outraged at the government for bailing AIG out, not AIG for being a garbage company.

Just think about the little game the politicians are playing — nationalize a failed company with taxpayer money, then tax bonuses to get taxpayers’ money back. Seems a bit screwy doesn’t it? Our dollars are sloshing around in all different directions. As you can see from this mess, the government isn’t exactly the most competent or honest steward. They are also capitalizing on the populist backlash against “corporate greed” to cover their own blunders for a measly $165 million, chump change compared to all the cash they have thrown around. Even if you hate Wall Street, when it comes to Barney Frank and Chris Dodd versus guys like Martin Sullivan and Angelo Mozilo (call him a derivative of his Wall Street brethren), it seems like a push to me. Then again, Mozilo was gracious enough to help Dodd get a good mortgage. Advantage incompetent/corrupt businessmen.

As I mentioned, the reason we keep dropping truckloads of money into AIG is because of AIG’s counterparties. This is the real game being played. For all of the populist backlash against the banks by politicians, Wall Street has been a part of Washington since the days of Alexander Hamilton. The whole financial system has been socialized since 1913. The Federal Reserve is the government’s bank that controls the fate of all of the other banks on the street. I don’t even know if I would really call its conduits private institutions because their policies are to a large extent determined by their lender, the Fed. But of course, the Fed is a private bank based on its charter too.

All in all through my incoherent rambling, what I am trying to get across is that we are witnessing the crack-up of this system, and the quantitative easing measures to buy a trillion dollars in treasuries and mortgage-backed securities to bring down yields on all sorts of debt (and also to effectively screw my double-inverse short position in long treasuries temporarily, boy that’s a mouthful) reflect the utter panic at the prospect of the socialized financial system going under.

Basically, the government needs to keep yields low to service its own debt and to bail out other debtors, such as for example most Americans. Foreign countries no longer want to purchase more treasuries given the massive supply and the lack of yield (due to the previous flight to the “safety” of our nation’s debt). So after the Treasury creates all this debt to finance the deficits that we’ll never be able to pay back, the Federal Reserve comes in and buys the treasuries, effectively pumping in a trillion bones or clams or whatever you call them to the market. It is the highest stakes shell game ever played. And also the most dangerous.

Since all the government can do at this point besides letting the chips fall and the system collapse (which will happen anyway in this author’s humble opinion) is to inflate (in fact that’s all the Fed does anyway), they are inflating like crazy. They have never lost the battle to falling prices before, and I don’t see them losing the battle this time given the pertinacity of the Depression scholar, the eminent Mr. Bernanke. He will probably get his rising prices sooner or later. Markets certainly think so given the massive run-up in gold, oil and decline in the dollar relative to other currencies. And of course when inflation does hit, the yields on government debt will have to rise anyway. I wonder if Bernanke and Co. thought that through?


But more fundamental than all of this is just the sheer desperation that these actions show: government officials going in ad hoc to side-step contracts by taxing at 90% those receiving TARP money over 250K…or something like that, the minutiae pales in comparison to the principle; government officials going into the debt market and buying treasuries it creates with another one of its entities (flooding the world with dollars) since nobody else wants to hold our junk bonds as we are totally insolvent as a nation to begin with. And then just look at the simply embarrassing, amateur actions of the Obama administration: going after Rush Limbaugh and Jim Cramer (a pretty socialistic guy himself)…giving Gordon Brown a set of DVDs during his visit to the US…attacking the very businessmen who are the only ones that are going to be able to help our economy rebuild…focusing on NCAA picks, Twittering, Facebooking and Lenoing instead of doing his job. What exactly is President Obama thinking?

Americans really need to understand the dire nature of the situation. These guys (and gals) in power on the whole are simply second-rate actors. They are in Washington for self-interested reasons, not with the longterm well-being of their constituents at heart. Companies lobby (basically bribing) politicians to get ahead through patents, monopolies, regulations and other ways to insure that they can win because of a playing field that is not level. The politicians are more than happy to oblige because they will be rewarded upon leaving office with lavish jobs or other support from their business friends. So long as the nation doesn’t implode in their faces, or if it does, so long as they can deflect their failures on others and act sympathetic, they can stay in power forever (see Barney Frank). It is all one big joke. The sooner we accept that these people are not to be taken seriously — that they are a bunch of crooks and frauds who work in the public sector to gain advantages because they couldn’t make it in private life, the sooner we can get the government off our back and out of our lives.

When I imagine the founding father’s thinking about who they wanted to represent the people, I see a group of largely retired folk who had been fairly successful in life and thus had no reason to govern to benefit themselves; they were to serve as competent and honest stewards and largely maintain the status quo (i.e. the Constitution) because they felt it was their duty and valued the sacrifices made to build a country guided by the rule of law and the belief in preserving the life, liberty and property of the people. The government was never intended to be the intrusive, insolvent ignoramous of an institution that it is today. America, wake up and take this country back from these pathetic excuses for representatives!

10 American Principles to Ponder

March 3, 2009 3 comments


1. The duty of the government is to protect the rights of the people, not the other way around.

2. The people have the right but not the obligation to dispense of their property as they see fit.

3. Borrowing from the 10th Amendment of the Constitution: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

4. America was built on profit and loss, not profligacy and largess.

5. True laissez-faire capitalism is the surest way to prosperity; the middle path will always lead to socialism.

6. Entrepreneurs and competent business managers make our economy grow, not politicians.

7. For a man or a nation, the responsible fiscal path is to produce more than one consumes, and to spend less than one earns.

8. Every public dollar spent is a private dollar stolen. If a politician tells you that spending is “investment,” ask yourself if you would undertake that same investment with your own money.

9. Equality of condition is not the same as equality of opportunity; our laws are meant to preserve the latter.

10. The safety of American citizens is the single most important priority of the American government.