Thursday, September 29, 2011

Argument Fail

Update:  Fail Fail.
I admit it.  I was wrong here.  Sort of.  Well, definitely.  But the author's point was subtle and I missed it.  I shouldn't have missed it, but it was easy to miss.

He did not say 400% on savings.  He said 400% on savings income.   On that point, he is correct.

I hate it when this happens.

But it does. And in CATO, which makes it worse.
I showed how many Americans of all income levels are paying effective tax rates of approximately 400 percent on their savings income because the government is keeping short-term interest rates under 1 percent while generating inflation of 3.8 percent at an annual rate. 
While indeed Americans are loosing savings money at about 3% or a little more, the fact is that the rate is 400% higher than the interest rate they are getting.... they are not being taxed at an effective rate of 400% on their savings.   That would mean for every $100 I had, I'd be paying $400 in taxes.  It's not that bad.   Yet.

Now the fact remains that a bad argument (in this case, about low interest raont-tes relative to inflation rates being bad) doesn't mean the point is incorrect.  But the reason I point this out is I don't want our side making bad arguments.  That's the other side's job.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

And the intellectual argument winner is...

Heh.  Brilliant.  And exposes the opposing school of "thought" for what it is.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Back To Elizabeth Warren

Because this sums it up mightily:
Fully exploring the thinking behind Warren’s remarks would demand a book at least. We might point out that most of the rich got that way by creating value for others, meaning they gave back in the process of getting rich. Or we might wonder if her thinking implies that, because the state is responsible in part for the environment in which all of us earned what we have, the state is the actual owner of what we have.

Concise. Accurate.

Yeah, it's not even a short step from what she said to the last part of that statement.  She's already there, but she won't say it out loud.

Even Without the Gaffe

I don't care about the gaffe, really. Beck pointed out that if you're saying something you don't really believe, you have trouble spitting it out -- and apparently he's had trouble spitting this line out twice... but no matter.   Let's just look at what theObama transcript says
When you start saying, at a time when the top one-tenth of 1 percent has seen their incomes go up four or five times over the last 20 years, and folks at the bottom have seen their incomes decline -- and your response is that you want poor folks to pay more?

Give me a break.

If asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a janitor makes me a warrior for the working class, I wear that with a badge of honor. I have no problem with that.
I will say that someone who is actually familiar with the concept of honor would probably not say that they wear it "with" a badge of honor.  Here's my badge of honor.   And I'll wear this other thing somewhere along with it.  Somewhere.
But let's just look at what he's saying here.  So the top 0.01% (which pays a very disproportionately high portion of federal taxes to begin with) has seen their incomes go up 4 or 5 times in the last 20 years.  Let's just take that as a given.

Of course, when you pay taxes at a rate, when your income goes up, you pay more in taxes.  If you were making 50 million and paying 17.5 Million in taxes, and your income goes up 4 times to 200 million ... your taxes then go up to 70 million.  See, you're paying more taxes, too.  So I'm not sure what the issue is with the top 0.01% making more money is except that you don't like it. 

Second, show me where "the folks at the bottom" have seen their incomes decline.  I'd really like to see that data and how this claim was teased out of it.   See, I know how they do it.  They use words to mean things differently than what the words actually mean.  They use relative ideas such as GINI indicies and then substitute "their incomes decline" when the fact is that it's a decline relative to someone else's, which is not the same thing.

And then there's this: and your response is that you want poor folks to pay more?

Well first of all, when we're talking federal taxes, and that is what we're talking ... more would mean more than nothing.  So a buck would be more.   Secondly, who is running around saying that the solution is for the poor to pay more?  Really.  Show me who.  And what they said.   And what dictionary you used to translate it. 

The fact of the matter is that there is an inherent assumption in this whole argument (more than one really, but I'm going to talk about this one because it's core).... That there is no question that the government should be spending what it wants to spend, and that it's necessary to raise more so that we have it to spend (even though I'm convinced that from here on out, without a culture change, the government will spend at least 1.2x  -- or more, right now it's 1.6x) of what it takes in.  From us.

If I ask a billionaire (who pays a 35% tax rate) to pay the same tax rate of a janitor (which is in the 10%-15% range, most nearer the 10%), then I either have to lower the billionaire's tax rate or raise the secretary's.  Since we all know Obama wants to raise taxes 'on the rich' "out of fairness", we can only assume, then, that he wants to raise the janitor's tax rate to 35% (well, plus whatever it takes to get it up to whereever he wants the billionaire's rate, right?).  So there's who's talking about making the poor pay more.   I swear it is better logic than they use to get to his opponents wanting the poor to pay more.

Stop complainin', stop grumblin', stop cryin'.

 You first, Mr. President.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bristol Palin Stops an Echo

Looks like I can't embed the video, but it's here.

You have to go to the point where she finally falls off the bull (1:44) and some very hateful man at the bar yells out that her mother is a "whore".

Bristol did not back down from him, she walked up to him to get him to expound on the founding of his opinion. He had nothin'

Stop an Echo!!!!

Good, Better

<-- Saw this cartoon the other day, which was good, but it didn't quite capture what I felt it was really trying to say.  I think maybe he was a little too married to the David Banner/Incredible Hulk metaphor to go where I think it needed to go.

So I modified the first frame a bit to show the real irony.  Apologies to Eric Allie.   -->;

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Capitalism & Government

"Capitalism is an economic system that falls naturally from Liberty. It is defined by human nature. Government's role is to constrain it from acts of fraud and coercion." - me

Gonna have to stuff this into "Things I Know".

Monday, September 19, 2011

Statist Dictionary

Many of us have talked about compiling one of these.

Robert A. Hall has made a pretty good first stab.

They Can't Help Themselves

Apparently ole what's his face's ... McGinniss?  ... book allegedly about Palin but in fact about some fictional character -- is too bad for even the Palin Haters not to take pot-shots at.

My guess is that they actually love this, because it gives them a chance to look "fair" by criticizing some of her critcizers.  "Hey, I once defended Sarah Palin.  I'm balanced!"

But one need look no further than the very article in which Palin is being "defended" from hints, allegations, and innuendo ... that the author of the article isn't really so far from McGinniss
Her quick retreat from the Alaska governor’s mansion, which she quit after serving barely half a term, was punctuated by the most bizarre and self-pitying exit speech since Richard Nixon promised in 1962, after losing the California governor’s race, that we wouldn’t have him to kick around anymore. Widely discussed lapses in judgment, including a push to fire her former brother-in-law, who was a state trooper, and her disturbingly narcissistic reaction to the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona raise serious questions about her capacity to govern effectively.
Uh, here's my take.  By all accounts she governed quite effectively while she governed and was extremely popular.  This was before she rather unselfishly quit when external forces -- her new-found political enemies on the national stage, made it impossible for her to be effective using a law that doesn't exist in any other state and definitely doesn't exist at the federal level -- that made it possible to harrass a governor to a standstill and to bankrupt one who doesn't have very, very deep pockets.  Which at the time, the Palins did not.

This is what she said in her "self-pitying" exit speech.  I think it was the right thing to do under the circumstances. 

Does this sound like an abuse of power to you?
Monegan said the subject of Wooten came up when he invited Palin to a birthday party for his cousin, state senator Lyman Hoffman, in February 2007 during the legislative session in Juneau. "As we were walking down the stairs in the capitol building she wanted to talk to me about her former brother-in-law," Monegan said. "I said, 'Ma'am, I need to keep you at arm's length with this. I can't deal about him with you.[132] She said, 'OK, that's a good idea.'"[128]

I read that they had hired a private investigator to look into possible Wooten wrong-doings ... but ... that's not using state resources. They found nothing, and they dropped it. What's the big deal?

The big deal is that her political opponents will grab on to anything and use the same kind of allegations and innuendo as McGinniss used .. and that includes Nick Gillespie.

And finally, I'm curious as to what Gillespie (a very staunch Libertarian at the venerable Reason Mag) feels was "narccisstic" about "Palin's reaction" to the Gifford shooting.  Palin's reaction was to the ridiculous wild accusation that her "rhetoric" had anything to do with it, and that her district "targeting" meant she wanted her minions to actually shoot people.  What, she's not even allowed to defend herself?

Gillespie -- you're really not that far from McGinniss.

Special Interests

Just saw a headline talking about "the Hispanic Vote" being up for grabs.

And it occurred to me ... is there any sense of irony when Democrats talk about special interests when they go after the women's vote, the black vote, the Hispanic vote, the Jewish vote, the "youth" vote, the senior vote, the ....  ???

Friday, September 16, 2011

"Obviously Dumb"

I just saw the link from RCP to the Mother Jones article, "How Progressives Should Talk About Solyndra" -- and curiosity got the better of me.
I about spit my water out laughing when I hit this bit:
Watching this unfold over the last week, I keep thinking back to "Climategate." When it first broke back in late 2009, lefties and bloggers and Dem lawmakers just ignored it, because it was obviously dumb.
emphasis, mine.
"Hey, look, these emails show that lead "scientists" in the Global Warming field have been cherry-picking and improperly manipulating data using methods they know are questionable at best - but that deceptive would be a much better word, while they systematically kept research that did not support the anthropogenic global warming theory from being published in any major scientific periodicals."
"Nuh-Uhhhhhh!  That's dumb!"
I looked to see if they went on at all to expound on just what it was that made it "dumb",  although I suspect it is just that it was strong, searing evidence that undermined their worldview.

Is the left stuck in 4th grade?   Do they think the rest of us are?  

Which reminds me of Geraldo on Fox News this morning


"If you don't think all these floods and everything else represents Global Climate Change™ ..."

Then what, Geraldo?  Do you think floods and "everything else" are new?  Because geologists and climatologists  ... not to mention historians, can assure you they are not.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Walter E. Williams Weighs in on the 3/5ths Compromise

I know I've talked about this several times, but it's important.  If you haven't learned this, you need to.   Progressive useful idiots, or actual malicious progressives who know the truth but don't care ... never tire of bringing this up.

The truth will slap them down, hard.

By counting slaves, who didn't have a right to vote, slave states would have had greater representation in the House and the Electoral College. If slaveholding states could not have counted slaves, the Constitution would not have been ratified and there would not be a union. The compromise was for slaves to be counted as three-fifths of a person in deciding representation in the House and Electoral College. The compromise reduced the power of slave states relative to the South's original proposal but increased it over the North's original proposal.

My questions for those who condemn the three-fifths compromise are: Would blacks have been better off if slaves had been counted as a whole person? Should the North not have compromised at all and a union not have come into being? 

Know the truth.  Stop an Echo.  It is important to learn.  It greatly increases your capacity to stop these.  And we need your capacity to be realized.

Failed Coup in Jefferson City

From fellow Mid Mo Patriot James.

Who says we are marginalized and can't make a difference.  BTW, one of the testimonies James & Ron had in his stack of 400 was mine.

From: James Coyne
Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2011 6:21 PM
To: Philmon ; rbonberry
Cc: jamesh ; RonC;
Subject: A failed coup in Jeff City
News from the front:  Spread this around.

A funny thing happened on the way to Obama Care.

This morning I attended the Senate hearing of the committee charged with considering health insurance exchanges in Missouri.  I testified and presented over 400 personal letters from citizens all over the state who are strongly opposed to Obama Care in Missouri.  (Thanks to the beautiful tool Ron Calzone of Missouri First helped me use in the email we sent out)

I asked the senators to read at least a few of them to get an idea of what their constituents thought on the issue.

The showing in favor of the exchanges was much weaker than I had expected - just a few sob stories about how someone could not get the insurance and care they wanted and a "consumer advocate". In retro speck I think the pro-exchange people where at an entirely different meeting - stay tuned.

Several great testimonies opposed.  It was apparent that the committee was not buying the whole Idea that Missouri had to set up the exchanges at all or that it was a good idea.

When, like a scene from a bad movie, a staffer came in and handed a piece of paper to Senator Ridgeway.  She stopped the proceedings and stated that Governor Nixon was directing the Missouri High Risk Pool to set up the very exchange they were talking about !!   And he was doing it right then !!! Who needs senators anyway huh ?

(he had previously accepted 21 Million Dollars of Federal money even though the exchanges it was for had never been approved by the legislature)

They were meeting at a facility about 3 miles away.

Several senators expressed their outrage and got up in the middle of the meeting and drove there!!Myself and several tea party folks got there first.  The senators arrived, pulled the power that be in the back room and stayed there for about a half hour.  When they emerged one of the Senators commented to me " it is off the agenda, we told them if they do this there is going to be a war. "A lady came around to the attendees and ripped one piece of paper out of their agenda folders.

Would I have loved to see that page !!! I can guess what it was about.

The senators left and that was a day.

Anyone want to make this into a lifetime T.V. drama - freakin unbelievable.

I think this is the act of one desperate man and I think he is going to pay a very heavy price for the attempted coup.Keep a close eye - they may not be done. If you want to call the Gov. his number is 573-751-3222

May God Save the Republic (and I think he is !)    
Well, he may be, but God helps those who help themselves, I always say.

Just Bookmarking This Malkin Post

What happened on flight xxx?

Mostly because of this ... old clip.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ron White's Response to Brian William's Question to Perry

One of my favorite Ron White lines:

"That's right, if you come to Texas and kill somebody, we will kill you back."

I also love the way he's always got a glass of scotch on hand.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Very Telling

Not even going to comment.  I think the picture speaks for itself.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

But Not I

I wasn't going to say anything more.  Really.   But this pompous, ok ... bite my tongue ...  (update.... I'm not the only one who had this reaction -- wanting to hold my fire and bite my tongue but felt this was really out of line.)

Seriously, Paul?   Isn't there a nice European country you'd rather live in?  You've certainly got the money to move.

On the 10th Anniversary, Paul Krugman:  It was [Y]Our fault.  We deserved it.

If you only had a conscience.  Like me.

You stay classy, Paul.

The One I Remember

 Then briefly, there was this.
Which is the inspiration of the 9/12 Project.  But that is all for today.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ford Joins the Tea Party

I'm pretty sure they've been here all along, they've just been quiet about it like the rest of had been for too long.

At the very least, they're advertising to us. Which means THEY don't think we're an insignificant fringe.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Do I Have This About Right?

The president wants a program to spend a half a trillion dollars on stuff to make Jimmy Hoffa et. al. happy, with a possible temporary blip in the economy to help his re-election chances -- which he is asking to be offset in the budget by having Congress (Republicans ... spending bills start in the House) cut a half a trillion dollars in spending elsewhere.  Oh, and this has to be passed, like every other bit of Obama backed legislation ... last week or sooner.   Even though it took him like 3 weeks to come up with it, 3 years into his term, after multiple vacations.  Gotta be passed pronto. No time to waste. Pass it so we can see what's in it.

So in his head, during the election season he gets to point to a great "jobs" program (of course it is, he said it was) and beat the Republicans up over all the programs they cut, and this is how he hopes to run.  "I'm just trying to provide jobs, meanwhile the evil Republicans are cutting programs."

Do I have that about right?

It's a rhetorical question.  :-)

Update: (09/13/2011) - Bill Frezza apparently agrees, and he put it way better than I did.

The Veg-O-Matic President

Ed Who?

There's a rumor going around these parts that Ed Darrell dedicated an entire post to trashing me a week or so ago.  I hadn't noticed.  And I'm not inclined to check it out.

I frankly couldn't care less what Ed Darrell thinks of me or my blog.   It is good to know, however, that someone with his worldview doesn't like my blog.  I'll take it as a compliment, and wear it as a badge of honor.

If I can find a shirt to go with it.

Change You Can Saruman

Another one from Mark.

Mark-O Has Some Ideas

It's supposed to be Hoffa-man's Army.  I mis-read and pre-maturely corrected.  And Mark has a better sub caption.  I'll update this one when I have time.
And then there's this one....

He's got one more, but we'll need to frame and caption.  :-)

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Happy Birthday to Jeffmon

It's brother and "partner in crime" jeffmon's birthday today.   Party on.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

No, They're not Socialists ... What would make you say they were?

Yes, We Need Jobs. But What Kind?

Yes, what kinds of jobs should the Government create for us?

ON Thursday, President Obama will deliver a major speech on America’s employment crisis. But too often, what is lost in the call for job creation is a clear idea of what jobs we want to create.

Then of course, Paul Osterman goes on to complain about the wage profiles of the jobs Rick Perry "created", and to pontificate on how higher wages mean happier people and less stressed marriages. Duh.

How about this?  How about we just mandate that everyone make $1,000,000 a year.   Hell, at 35% tax rate, and 112 million households -- and since 60 percent are married households let's just say 150 million income-earners .... somewhere close to 63 trillion in income taxes.  Hey, all problems solved.  Sunshine from cucumbers! I say!

If they don't have anything to that we can pay them for, why they can prepare us for a Martian invasion!

I was having a discussion with someone last week, wishing once, just ONCE ... a candidate would say, "No, I am not going to create any jobs.  Creating jobs is not the role of the government.  My 'jobs plan' is to try to keep the government from making jobs less affordable to business."

Palin would probably be the candidate most likely to say this.   This is the thing about her I find most attractive.  She gets this.  But will she say it?

I think people would jump out of their chairs and cheer.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

It's Even Worse Than I Thought

First, let me apologize.  I didn't stop an echo here.  It is hard to do with family, I'll grant you.  And she's in her 90's, so ....  I'm not about screwing up family time, really.  You have to pick your battles when it comes to family.

But sitting at dinner tonight, talking to The Progressive (family member), who finished reading "Last Man Out" which was written by a man who lives in the same retirement community she does.

She said it was impressive what Castro had accomplished, raising the literacy rate from very low to almost 100%, and the universal health care, yada, yada ....

"The only thing that went wrong was the sugar cane didn't do as well as they expected, so they didn't have the money they needed."

I am telling you, my tongue has tooth perforations in it, and it was all I could do to keep blood from shooting out of my eyes.  My wife was looking at me to watch my reaction.

Later she [my wife] told me that in an earlier conversation The Progressive had told her that "the rich people all 'left' because they couldn't have it the way they wanted it. They all went to Florida."

Oh, yes, they were just irritated and just voluntarily packed their bags and left.  Right.

'The way they wanted it'.  You know, little things like property rights. "Hey, give us your property and submit or we'll kill you." Yeah, they left with their lives -- when they could.

"I didn't read the parts about Castro and the military and all that. That stuff doesn't interest me."

It would never occurr to her that perhaps the sugar cane production didn't meet expectations because, unlike in a Capitalist system, there was no personal incentive to do the work to make it produce what privateers, who had incentive, used to make it produce before you stole their land, or murdered them and took it, or just kicked them out of the country, happy to escape with their lives -- and took it.


The woman is a full-blown Socialist.

When It's Not Your Money

You can rationalize all kinds of activities to be for the general welfare, or for that matter to be charitable -- when it's not your money you are spending on them.

Just a further thought on this post.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

...and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown

"Towards the preservation of your Government and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the Constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown."  - George Washington, Farewell Address
"If in the opinion of the People, the distribution or modification of the Constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed." - ibid

We should pay more attention to that guy.

Making of America NCCS Seminar - Columbia, MO

MidMo Patriots is sponsoring a day long seminar put on by the National Center for Constitutional Studies, The Making Of America on Sept 17, 2011 in Columbia Mo at the Howard Johnson near US 63 & I-70.

The Callaway Tea Party put one of these on last spring and by all accounts it was fascinating and instructive.  For those of you who live in Missouri, or maybe even just across a border, this is a great opportunity  for anyone 5th grade or up.

Sign up here.

Friday, September 02, 2011

As Long as it's Voluntary

I've long said Socialism is fine as long as it's voluntary.  And here in my second reading of Bastiat, I come across this:
Mr. de Lamartine once wrote to me thusly: "Your doctrine is only the half of my program. You have stopped at liberty; I go on to fraternity." I answered him: "The second half of your program will destroy the first."

In fact, it is impossible for me to separate the word fraternity from the word voluntary. I cannot possibly understand how fraternity can be legally enforced without liberty being legally destroyed, and thus justice being legally trampled underfoot.
Right there in 1840's black and white, and from a Frenchie, to boot.

It is often used as an argument by the progressive left that, after all, isn't being charitable good, and shouldn't we help our fellow man, and didn't Jesus say to do these things, yada yada yada ....

Yup.   All of the above.

But nowhere did he say "and you should delegate these things to the government."

You do them yourselves, or you organize into charitble groups of like-minded people and do it.  Because otherwise, you're legalizing plunder, and that road goes to no good end.   Ever.

The story goes that God created us and gave us free will so that we would be free to choose or reject Him.   Why?  Because choosing Him because you have to isn't really choosing, now, is it?   You want friends who really like you, right?

 Mandatory fun isn't fun.  Forced friendship isn't friendship.  Forced charity isn't charitible.    And guaranteed charity is an invitation to sloth and exploitation.  Because we are imperfect beasts, and we always will be.

Tax Those Filthy B*stards!

I got in the middle of yet another tif over "yoo stoopid teabaggers" not wanting to tax the rich and the rich are only rich because they exploit and it's better if the state has more power to slap down those evil, evil companies (and rich) by taxing the shit out of them because none of them deserve a dime they have, and ...

Oh, crap, I think I was channelling one of them and just got carried away.  "Posessed" might be a better word. Good thing I cast it out before I got to hating brown people and blood for oil. Anyway, sorry.

I was arguing that if a person gains his wealth by legal means, it is no less his than any lesser wealth anyone else gains (never mind the fact that we already have a progressive tax structure that taxes the rich much more both in real dollars and percentagewise than the lesser wealthy).  But the answer kept coming back, do you think that all business people are moral and upstanding and you're naive for thinking that.  Which I don't, by the way.  If a business is behaving immorally and a majority of people agree on that, they elect representatives to pass laws to punish that behavior.  Oh, I was also told I need to "grow up".

The hell of it is, if you follow what they're saying is that businesses/"The Rich" do immoral things to make their money, and their solution is to confiscate a larger portion of it -- otherwise turning a blind eye to the actual [alleged] immorality. "Yeah, it's wrong, but we'll let you keep doing it if we can grab more of your dough."

Whereas our solution is, if it's immoral [ie, exploitative], then it should be illegal and once it is illegal then you can address the root of the problem, the immoral behavior.

Their solution is to punish all of the businesses or "rich" regardless of whether or not any of them individually have done anything wrong, and oh by the way make a tidy profit on it. In other words, they are compliant accomplices and beneficiaries.

This is why class warfare propaganda is so popular with politicians. "Tax the bastards!" It gets more money, and more power -- into their own hands.

Thought experiment: if punative taxing of “the rich” got them to cease the allegedly immoral acts that won them their wealth, would the state then turn around and tax them less at that point? Or is the assumption, “They have more. Therefore, it was ill gotten.”

In the end, they’re not really interested in addressing the root of the corruption, the immoral behavior – because what they’re ultimately interested in, in the end, is justification for taking something that isn’t theirs. Because they want it. But somehow that’s not “greed”.

Must See Whittle: The Truth is Out There

Well worth watching.  Whose truth?  Which way are all the boats headed?  How many people have been shot to death trying to flee Capitalist countries?

From the extreme leftist KFPK radio station funding drive, pony up, because "KPFK is the only radio station in LA not directly funded by the corporate weapons manufacturers, whose mission statement is to kill brown people in their global war for oil."

Bill wishes he was making that up. But he's not.

How to Argue With a Progressive

Go read this post by my fellow Missouri Tea Partier Van Harvey.

Takes down a commenter who attempted to defend Van Jones' "Contract for America", and does a rather nice job of it.