Saturday, September 29, 2012

Red Blue Divide

There was a question posted on Yahoo along the line of "What would happen if the country divided along the lines of Red and Blue?".  In other words, what if the Republicans and Democrats simply parted ways based on counties that voted Red and Blue.

Some named Tmess2 posted the following:

You would have no government regulations of banks to assure that your deposits were safe.
You would have no funding for education so within a generation your industries R and D would be non-existent.
You would have no regulation over investments so no outsiders would want to invest in your country's industries.
You would spend twice as much on the military as the rest of the world, meaning that you could not live within your means (currently 80% of non-social security taxes goes to military spending in the US)
Your workers (90% of the population) would barely earn living wages causing your economy to crash into a massive recession (though the handful of people running companies that manufactured for exports would be living high on the hog).
Women would be trapped in an abusive marriage.
Roads and bridges would crumble (none of that pesky reliance on government to keep things working).
Sounds like a good country. Last I heard, it was called the Russian Federation. 

This is a very interesting and revealing summary of what presumably Lefty-Democrat type thinks would happen in a Republican nation.

Mostly this reveals that they assume that government is the only mechanism by which rules are enforced and people can live together. 

Let's take a look at these assumptions:

You would have no government regulations of banks to assure that your deposits were safe.  Government regulations do not make banks safe.  Sound banking practices and the profit motive is what keeps your deposits safe.  All the regulations in the world cannot protect you from stupid lending policies like giving mortgages to people that cannot pay them back, even if that lending was required by the regulators.  In fact, government regulations create additional risk by creating a moral hazard for the bankers. In an unregulated bank, the bankers lose everything if the bank fails.  In our current markets, banks simply get bailed out.  Our current system is a mess because of regulations, not due to the lack of them.

You would have no funding for education so within a generation your industries R and D would be non-existent.
So apparently no one learned anything and there was no R&D prior to the creation of the Department of Education?   This is nonsense.  Of course there would be money for education. People spend it now in the form of taxes, but the money is laundered through layers of government and inefficiency before it gets to the schools.  The current bloated bureaucracies that pass for education systems in this country do a terrible job of educating our children.  The value we get for our education dollars is near zero.  Funding in the Republican zone would be much more direct.  People pay for their own schools, with vouchers to subsidize the truly needy.   The Chicago schools cannot fire teachers until they show up drunk five times, or get caught selling drugs three times(!).  You tell me, whose educational system is going to suck?

You would have no regulation over investments so no outsiders would want to invest in your country's industries.
Investors do not make investments based on the regulatory environment.  They invest where they thing that they can make the most money. Republicans are not anarchists, there would be some laws regarding fraud, etc.  But the vast majority of the rules and regulations would be swept away in favor of a system where the markets regulated themselves.  This would create a much more dynamic market with some spectacular crashes and frauds like Lehman Brothers, Bernie Madoff, and Enron.  Oh, wait, we have those now!  Regulations do not prevent these events.  Regulations simply create opportunities for politicians to shake down companies for campaign contributions.

You would spend twice as much on the military as the rest of the world, meaning that you could not live within your means (currently 80% of non-social security taxes goes to military spending in the US)  The defense of the country is one of the duties of the government, so, yes, we would spend money on this.  Interestingly, we would also have most of the trained soldiers and military installations.  Presumably the Democrat republic would spend less on defense.  It would not take long before the costs of not defending yourself would become apparent.

Your workers (90% of the population) would barely earn living wages causing your economy to crash into a massive recession (though the handful of people running companies that manufactured for exports would be living high on the hog).
This is a completely unsupported assertion. The Republican zone would include virtually all the farmland in the US, plus a fair amount of the modern manufacturing plants in the south. The Red zone would also be energy independent and have very low levels of social pathology such as the inner city slums. The Democrat zone would have to import food and energy, it would have high union wages that would make its products uncompetitive, and it would be saddled with millions of people in the dependent classes that have never worked or learned a skill.  It is the Democrat economy that would come to a crashing halt, not the Republican one.

Women would be trapped in an abusive marriage.
What??  This is pure drivel with no factual basis.  I am not even sure how you come to this conclusion, but let's look at some indicators for where the abuse might actually lie.  In every dimension of life (charity donations in time and money, coaching, scouting, volunteering, happiness) Republican score higher than Democrats.  This is fact.  I think it is a stretch to assume that the happy, charitable, community oriented side is the one trapping people in abusive marriages.

Roads and bridges would crumble (none of that pesky reliance on government to keep things working).
Again, it sounds like you have the Republicans confused with the anarchists. We do not believe in no roads and bridges.  We do believe in making them efficiently and linking the costs of them to the use of them through tolls, etc.   I think it is very safe to assume that the opposite would be the case.  Look at the condition of the infrastructure in the Democrat controlled cities and tell me that is the Republican side that would lack for roads and bridges.

I think is it pretty clear which group of people needs the other.  Democrats and their dependent looter-moocher supporters would no be able to exist without the productive power of the people with jobs and the protection afforded by the military. 

Look at the cities that have been ruled by the Democratic party for a long time. Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington DC.   They are all economic and social basket cases.  Asserting the idea that Republicans would be the ones to suffer in a separation deal is absurd.

A separation would not last long.  Within the short time the Democrat side would come crawling back, demanding that we start paying for everything again.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Goodbye Rule of Law, Hello Rule of Man

This nation was founded on ideas.  A set of guiding principles that gave us the courage and the moral framework to carve a nation out of the wilderness.  Among these principles is the Rule of Law.

The Rule of Law is the only framework in which men can exist together peaceably.  If there are no rights and no certainty then all of economic society collapses.  This has happened before, most notably in France. 
The King ruled over all of France and nothing happened without his approval.  He was the law.  This resulted in a crony and influence peddling based economy that collapsed in short order.  France fell from its perch as a global power and revolution swept the nation as the people revolted against the rule of man.

Britain took a different course when the people forced the King to sign the Magna Carta.  That document limited the power of the King and elevated the Rule of Law to the most powerful position in the country.  Britain rapidly rose to be the world’s largest economic and military empire as it spread the Rule of Law throughout the world.

Thanks to the British influence, the idea is enshrined in the Constitution and, as  John Adams phrased it,  created as ‘a nation of laws, not of men’.  Every elected official in the Federal Government swears to uphold the Constitution, and by inference, the Rule of Law.

This adherence to the Rule of Law has served us well.  We have displaced the British as the world’s leading economic and military superpower.  Our respect for these guiding principles has laid the intellectual and moral ground work for the most productive and wealthy society known to man.

We seem to have lost our way over the past few years.  We have lost our adherence to the rule of law and become a nation under the rule of man.  We can see this everywhere around us:

·       The Supreme Court interprets Obamacare to be the exact opposite of what the words of the law say in order to uphold it.
·       When the Democrats want to replace their Senate candidate in New Jersey a few weeks before the election because he is clearly going to be defeated, they simple get a judge to rule that the six weeks in advance deadline required by state law does not really mean six week, but four weeks.

·       When former Democratic Senator John Corzine is brought to trial for looting a company of over $700 million, the judge simply rules that stealing his client’s money did not constitute fraud per se, and that the lies that were told under oath were so blatant that the jury should have seen for the lies that they were, and therefore Corzine could not be charged with a crime
·      When Muslims around world start protesting because of some stupis YouTube video, the President of the United States calls for the suspension of the First Amendment and then has the filmmaker arrested.  We now live in a country where you can be put in jail for violating no laws and doing nothing wrong; you can be dragged out of your home in the middle of the night by the police.
·      General Motors is about to go bankrupt, so the government intervenes. Clearly illegal, but it gets worse.  When the government restructures the company it violates the rules and give preference to the unions, shafting the bondholders for millions of dollars.  When some of the bond holders protested, they were visited by certain government officials who threatened them.  They dropped their objections.
These are the things that happen in a banana republic, not the United States of America. We no longer have the rule of law.

We are dangerously close to the end of the Republic.


I hate the crass stupidity of the tone and level of public discourse in this country.  No one seems to be able to carry on a debate without personal attacks or base language.

Even the debates we see waged on bumper stickers tends toward the stupid over time.

For example, there has been a great debate between the Jesus people and the Darwin people over the past 20 years and part of it was fought on the back of motor vehicles. 

The first salvo was The Fish.  The Christians went back to the earliest and simplest symbol for Christ and the early Church and started putting fish on the back of their cars.  Simple. Elegant. It tell the whole story.  "I am a follower of Christ". Well stated.

In a brilliant counter play, the Darwinists fought back.  They put little feet on the fish, thus creating an beautiful riposte to the fish.  An evolved fish.  Take that, Christians!   Well played, Darwin, people, well played.

Then things started to to go awry. The Christians began putting the word 'Jesus' inside the fish.  What??  The fish already means 'Jesus'.  You don't have to put the word Jesus inside the symbol for Jesus.  This is the equivalent of putting the word AMERICA on a US Flag.   Ya, we got it the first time.  This symbol is intended for the profoundly stupid who are unaware they are being redundant.

Then the Darwin people countered with a fish with feet and the word 'Darwin' or "Evolve' written on the inside.  Nooo!!!!  We go the joke the first time.  It was simple, clever, and to the point. Now you go and explain the joke??  When you have to explain the joke, it is no longer funny.

Why couldn't we leave it alone?  The first salvo was interesting and clever.  But we have to lower the debate to the lowest common denominator -- the people the need the word Jesus inside the fish.

One Way or Another

We are three and a half years into what is arguably the worst Presidency in history.

And yet Obama is ahead in the polls.

How is this possible?

Well, there are two possibilities.  One is that the polls are accurate, the other is that the polls are being skewed by the pollsters.  Let's examine the implications of both.

The Polls are Accurate
This is stunning and incredible to me.  On every level this Presidency has been an unmitigate disaster. The economy is in tatters, the debt about to sink us, foreign policy is a disaster with Ambassadors who are raped and murdered are dismissed as 'bumps in the road'.

And yet the President is ahead in the polls.  How is this possible?  One possibility is that we have already reached the tipping point and that there are more people that are willing to vote for more dependency than there are willng to vote for freedom. 

If this is the case, then the Republic is already lost.  We will see four more years of the same -- record deficits as far as the eye can see, weakness in our foreign policy,

Each passing year we add more people to the dependent class that will vote for big government at all costs.  We are on the path to following Greece down the drain.

We are doomed as nation if Obama wins re-election.

The Polls are Fixed

This is understandable. The media (and the candidates) benefit from the perception that there is a competitive race.  People donate more.  They watch television more.  This is all big business.

So there is a strong temptation to fudge the numbers to make it a horse race. 

But there is a more indisious side to this sort of deception.

When the polls on election eve have the President in the lead, and then he gets blown out on election day, it will raise cries of foul from the Left.  It will leave Obama's base, particualarly blacks, feeling as though the election was stolen from them and that they got cheated. 

I can even forsee a scenario where Obama wins the popular vote but loses big in the Electoral College.  This could happen because the Democratic machine will massively cheat in areas that it controls like New York, Chicago, and California.  This will give Obama huge numbers in these poulous states.  But they wont be able to cheat enough to overcome the negatives in the swing states, and he will get wiped out.

This will set the stage for potential civil unrest as Obama refuses to concede the election and challenges the results in court. 

It will also set race relations back another 50 years when the blacks perceive that they were screwed out of getting more Obama money.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Where's the Damn Fiddle?

When the American Embassy in Libya was attacked, we were unable to stop the mobs from ransacking the place and killing our ambassador.  Aside from the fact that this is an act of war, this is an incredible emabarrassment to the US.  Where are the Marines?  Were they, as some reports suggest, not allowed to carry ammunition?

Is this the most incompetent admistration in history?

Libya now says we were warned 3 days in advance of impending attacks, but did nothing.

When the consulate was attacked our embassy in Libya issued a statement apologizing for a movie that has been out for four months and that the US goverment had nothing to do wit

Mitt Romney issues a statement correctly saying that the apology was disgraceful

Even the White House backs away from the apology by claiming it was not reviewed before it went out.

Then Ambassador is killed by a raging mob.

At this point, Obama does the most important thing on his priority list: he flies to Vegas for a fundraising event while the press  attacks Mitt Romney.  Romney is condemned more aggressively in the press than the people that actually committed the murder.  

Hillary Clinton then announces yet another apology, and Obama chimes in with we are 'heartbroken'.

It turns out that while Valerie Jarrett is protected by a large Secret Service detail while on Martha's Vineyard, our Ambassador was wandering around Libya without the benefit of a Marine guard. 

While the Middle East bursts into flames our President plays golf and attends fundraisers. 

Where is a fiddle when you need one?

Surrender in Advance

The Obama Administration has announced our surrender in Afghanistan, and now our troops are paying the price for this cowardice with their lives.

You win wars in two ways:

1.  Kill or incapacitate the enemy
2.  Make them realize that they cannot win

When you announce in advance that you are ending the war on some future date you are effectively surrendering.  This makes options #2 unavailable as a path to victory, and you can therefore only win by taking path #1.  You must kill them all.

Well, we have ridiculous rules of engagement in place that prevent us from killing them all, so we have lost the war in advance.

This has several effects on the battlefield.  It emboldens our enemies and disheartens our allies. (Something that would be called treason in a sane world)

The Taliban will never negotiate or stop fighting now that they know they are a few short months away from victory.  They will simply keep the pressure on our troops with IED's and ambushes, with the occasional spectacular attack.

The worst effect of pre-emptive surrender, however, is the effect that it will have on our allies and the troops stationed with them.

The Afghans that allied with us will know that they are screwed.  Much like the South Vietnamese that fought for their freedom only to be abandoned, the Afghan National Army and the Police forces will be hunted down and executed to a man after they lose the war. Their families are also at risk, with the vengeful Taliban killing, maiming, and raping the families of those on the losing side.

The ANA troops know this.  They can see that we have lost our will to win and that the Taliban will be back in command of Afghanistan within weeks of our withdrawal.

They have only one way out of this quandary: betray the Americans.  Kill a few Americans in a 'green on blue' attack.  If you die, you are a martyr to the cause and your family is saved.  If you somehow survive, you become a hero who will be welcomed in the Taliban with open arms.  It is the perfect solution to this issue.

How do we know that I am right?  Because the pace and effect of the 'green on blue' attacks is increasing every week as we get closer to losing the war.  Our troops must watch their 'allies' as closely as they watch the enemy.  These attacks will continue to grow in frequency until something really tragic happens.  We will see an entire ANA unit defect at once, and kill every American they are based with.  We will lose an entire platoon in a single attack in the near future.

More US troops are being killed by our erstwhile allies than by enemy action.  Eventually we will need to stop working jointly with the ANA, and perhaps even try to disarm them.  This will result chaos and civil war.  Our troops will be engaged in a bloody civil war where everyone in the country is trying to kill them.

All of this is the result of the incredibly stupid decision to announce our surrender in advance.

Afghanistan is lost unless we reverse course.  And all of the lives we lost there are squandered. 

Thanks, Obama.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Tightwad Liberals

I have stated before that Conversatives are better human beings than Liberals.

Here is more evidence... | <!— attribution —>There are 366 major metropolitan areas in the United States, and a comprehensive new study by the Chronicle of Philanthropy ranks them on the basis of generosity -- the percentage of income the median household in each city gives to charity. According to the Chronicle, the most generous city in America is Provo, Utah, where residents typically give away 13.9 percent of their discretionary income. Boston, by contrast, ranks No. 358: In New England's leading city, the median household donates just 2.9 percent of its income to charity.
Provo's generosity is typical for its region. Of the 10 most generous cities in America, according to the Chronicle's calculations, six are in Utah and Idaho. Boston's tight-fistedness is typical too: Of the 10 stingy cities at the bottom of the list, eight are in New England -- including Springfield (No. 363) and Worcester (No. 364).

What's the matter with Massachusetts? How can residents of the bluest state, whose political and cultural leaders make much of their compassion and frequently remind the affluent that we're all in this together, be so lacking in personal generosity? And why would charitable giving be so outstanding in places as conservative as Utah and Idaho?

The question is built on a fallacy.

Liberals, popular stereotypes notwithstanding, are not more generous and compassionate than conservatives. To an outsider it might seem plausible that Americans whose political rhetoric emphasizes "fairness" and "social justice" would be more charitably inclined than those who stress economic liberty and individual autonomy. But reams of evidence contradict that presumption, as Syracuse University professor Arthur Brooks demonstrated in his landmark 2006 book, .

However durable the myth, wrote Brooks (who now heads the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank), there is no getting around the data. For years, academic research and comprehensive national studies have confirmed that Americans who lean to the left politically tend to be much less charitable than those who tilt rightward. The Chronicle of Philanthropy's new report is only the latest in a long series of studies corroborating that fact.

In 1996, for example, the wide-ranging General Social Survey asked a large sample of Americans whether "the government has a responsibility to reduce income inequality" -- a key ideological litmus test. Thirty-three percent of respondents agreed; 43 percent disagreed. The two groups differed sharply in more than their politics. The conservatives -- those who opposed government programs to reduce inequality -- were significantly more likely to donate money to charity than the liberals. And among those who did donate, conservatives gave away, on average, four times as much money per year.

Though there is a strong link between religious belief and philanthropy, it wasn't just churches the conservatives were giving to. "They gave more to every type of cause and charity: health charities, education organizations, international aid groups, and human welfare agencies," Brooks noted. They even gave more "to traditionally liberal causes, such as the environment and the arts."

None of this was what Brooks had anticipated when he began his research. "I expected to find that political liberals � would turn out to be the most privately charitable people," he says. "So when my early findings led to the opposite conclusion, I assumed I had made some sort of technical error�. In the end, I had no option but to change my views."

The Chronicle's new study, which is based on IRS records from 2008 (the most recent available), accounts for regional differences in the cost of living. It calculates charitable giving only from discretionary income -- the dollars left over after paying for taxes, housing, and food. But the economic differences are not nearly as significant as cultural differences. In parts of the country where conservative values dominate, charity tends to be high. Where liberalism holds sway, charity falls. "Red states are more generous than blue states," the Chronicle concludes. The eight states that ranked the highest in charitable giving all voted for John McCain in 2008. The seven lowest-ranking states supported Barack Obama.

Of course this doesn't mean that there aren't generous philanthropists in New England. It doesn't mean selfishness is unknown on the right. What it does mean is that where people are encouraged to think that solving society's ills is primarily a job for government, charity tends to evaporate. The politics of "compassion" isn't the same as compassionate behavior. America's generosity divide separates those who understand the difference from those who don't.