The Economist's Cookbook

Recipes For A More Free Society

  • "The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they know about what they imagine they can design."

    - F.A. Hayek

Market Solutions to Crime?

Posted by The_Chef On 11:29 PM 1 comments

Here is a bit from NPR of all places about the use of private hitmen being used to combat the notorious gangs of Guatemala.

Now in general, I like market solutions to problems. But the libertarian in me does question the ability of businesses to guarantee their work. Or even the use of that kind of coercion to prevent the death of family members to gangs that are willing to chop a child up and send the bits back to dad so he'll pay his "Protection Money"

In all fairness though, this system of privatizing hitmen in order to keep the gangs in check has been successful. From the Article:

Lots of us have left the gangs. We don't want to return to that life. We're trying to do better.
I don't care if these people get weepy over the death of their counterparts. I honestly don't care. You willfully and brutally violate the property rights of other individuals and then suddenly you get upset when that populace you've been molesting refuses to look to the corrupt government for protection (protection incidentally that they won't find).

Now granted, much of the gang crime we see in the world is drug related, so ending the war on drugs and legalizing the distribution of substances will be a giant step forward in terms of eliminating the economic incentive for gangs to operate. Still I'm glad to see a free market solution to the problem. It would be interesting to see a contrast study done of losses paid out in protection money and the cost of using mercenaries to kill your extortionists.

[Hat tip to WoG]

Ahem.

Posted by The_Chef On 11:43 PM 0 comments

Comment moderation is now in effect.

*sigh*

What the hell?

After attempting to sneak the Xbox 360 classic Halo 3 into his house, Daniel Petric, aged 17, was caught by his parents who consequentially confiscated the game. The game was locked away in his parent's closet, where a 9mm handgun was reportedly kept.

Daniel Petric took the game and handgun from the closet and took them to his parents, asking them to close their eyes to await a surprise.

Mark Petric, Daniel's father, told the court that he had expected a pleasant surprise, but found his head had gone numb. He had been shot in the head, as had his wife Susa Petric, 43, who died instantaneously.
So wait... your kid is a self-centered brat who values an inanimate object, namely the Xbox over the life of his family members.
Just bury the damn thing, change the constitution and ban guns. Stop blaming violent video games and Marilyn Manson. Enough is enough. These tragic murders need to stop.
So ... let me get this straight. The Xbox is not at fault. The gun is. But wait... the author contradicts himself:
What's the biggest factor? Guns. Guns don't kill people, people kill people, but especially if they have a gun.
So this gamer is willing to acknowledge that the gun is merely a tool, but it's a tool that enables violence, therefore it's at fault. So a tool that is not a violence enabler is not at fault when used for a violent purpose? That doesn't seem consistent. Who gets to decide what things are enablers and what aren't?
Really, why do you need guns except to shoot a pigeon, or a deer? You're not a policeman. You can't ensure that you're children won't get hold of your gun. You can't hold yourself to be a responsible adult when you return home angry, drunk and volatile.
Actually My brother who is 14 knows how to use my Sig which is kept loaded at all times, he knows the four rules of using a firearm. And what the hell is that last sentence? I mean DAMNIT people, you ARE responsible when you drink for your actions.

Today, I'm ashamed to be a gamer.

This Guy Has Some Big Brass Ones

Posted by The_Chef On 2:09 AM 0 comments

Photobucket

Sorry this didn't show up earlier, Blogger had an aneurysm trying to handle an animated GIF file.

Why I feel Beaten.

Posted by The_Chef On 12:40 AM 3 comments

I'm worried, very worried. It seems like no one cares about liberty, freedom, trade, and wealth anymore. Not that your average person really gives a damn about the finer points of argument over freedom vs. slavery. Hell we've replaced rational discourse with emotional appeal, demagoguery, lies, and politics.

I'm just an "extremist". One of a precious few that seem to see the primrose path we're being led down. A path that will ultimately self-destruct in what I think will be a very Atlas Shrugged fashion.

What do we do? Do we run? If so, where? Fighting will leave us branded as domestic terrorists, and while I would love to see the established political power in this country torn to bits, I don't relish trying and only succeeding in spending the rest of my life in some prison where the government and people can forget about you.

Education is failing as every new crisis is used as evidence against free markets and free minds. I think it was Stalin that said education is a weapon. It's a weapon that is, I fear, no longer ours to wield in any effectual manner.

What are freemen to do? I don't have an answer and that troubles me greatly. I get to sit and watch our society grind itself up.

Che Mania and the Irony of It All

Posted by The_Chef On 1:27 PM 1 comments

I hate people that wear Che shirts. It's like a shining beacon that says "I want to be counter culture, but I'm too much of an idiot to read history."

Conservative estimates put the total death toll of communism around 130 MILLION people, this one is closer to 150 million. Forgive me if I want to spit on people who glamorize the revolutionary mindset of Che or Lenin or Mao. They have their right to wear what they want, I have a right to think them idiots for it.

In that vein here is reason.tv on Che Merchandising:

Public Choice Theory

Posted by The_Chef On 4:18 PM 0 comments



I found this on youtube. Though I'm not sure that the Game Theorists are "right wing" I would suggest that they were rather Libertarian, especially the likes of James Buchanan, arguably the king of public choice theory.

Watch from about 0:22 - 7:14 for bits on the influence of Public Choice Economics

Blogojeviching!

Posted by The_Chef On 2:25 PM 0 comments

Ah so the Governor of Illinois got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, or so it seems.

I find this hilarious. And when people freak out and say "How can he do this? He's a Governor for God's sake!" I just chuckle and ask: Well do you expect anything else from our elected parasites, thieves, and assholes? I mean just look at this guy ... that must be a toupee.

Do you really expect any different? There is really no incentive for them to behave themselves. I mean, this guy is trading favors. He's a powerbroker, it's what they do. In fact in the affidavit filed the conversation directly implicates our Messiah, the President-Elect, the One, the Only, Obama. According to some of my reading Obama was willing to trade positions on corporate boards to Blagojevich's wife in return for the good Governor naming OBAMA'S choice for his replacement.

*cackles madly*

Oh this is too much. Yes, that's right ignorant Caplanesque masses, Vote! Vote for your masters! Love them for they ... care about you.

What a crock of shit.

Music!

Posted by The_Chef On 10:36 PM 0 comments

Time for another one of my favorites.

Amorphis.

Amorphis is a Finnish metal band started by Jan Rechberger, Tomi Koivusaari and Esa Holopainen in 1990. Amorphis absorbed and incorporated influences from many metal genres, and with time passing their sound evolved dramatically. Initially, the band was a Death Metal act, but with time they have evolved into making music that is more classifiable as doom metal with folk influences, and, more recently, progressive metal and hard rock, utilizing increasingly complex arrangements and a less brutal sound


Prohibition is Still Alive and Well

Posted by The_Chef On 11:53 AM 3 comments

I completely miffed this one folks. Yesterday was Repeal day. The day that politicians finally panicked enough at falling government revenue to re-legalize the sale of alcohol. So I hope everyone got out and had a beer.

In other news, I was reading Radley Balko's coverage of the Repeal Day lectures at CATO and he was struck by the reaction of a member of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). Apparently she stormed out saying it was the most one sided set of lectures she's ever heard.

So I just went looking for their website. What DOES the CSPI support? Since it's in YOUR interest I thought everyone should know exactly what this group is advocating on their behalf.

  • Higher Alcohol Taxes
  • Alcohol companies prohibited from advertising during sports broadcasts
  • Keeping the minimum age for alcohol purchases 21
  • Skeptical and even fear mongering about Genetically engineered food.
  • Sueing companies to not target children in the advertising for ... candy.
  • Warning people of the DANGERS OF SALT.
Come on people. Aristotle had it right, consume things in moderation. But the response of the CSPI is not "Your health will thank you" Their response is, if you don't do it we'll lobby so you'll have to.
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
-C.S. Lewis
Yup, he got it right.

It's been a while.

Posted by The_Chef On 1:55 PM 0 comments

Sorry everyone it's been rough recently and I needed to get some things worked out.

So on to the news of the day.

http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2008/12/fbi-making-arrests-in-harvey.html


Interesting to see the FBI actually doing something to reign in the corruption found in a place like Chicago. Still my question is: How did we get ourselves into this mess to begin with?

Seriously people, the war on drugs creates a black market which drives up the cost and hence the price of goods. You tag on the fact that the profit margins for uncut vs. street value for something like cocaine are ENORMOUS and you have a ready-made mixture that is going to blow up in your face.

Face it, everyone has their price, whether it is monetary or something else, you can "purchase" the services of anyone. This includes the vaunted police officers that are supposed to be UPHOLDING the law. whoops.

Drug War 0 Drugs 1x10^475

Happy Turkey Day Everyone!

Posted by The_Chef On 11:55 AM 1 comments

Please go enjoy this delicious bird!

Music!

Posted by The_Chef On 11:08 PM 1 comments

It's been a while since I did a Music post.

Behold Ulver! I love this band. They are all over the map musically having gone from black metal releases in the early 90s to experimental electronica and ambient music.

Since their first, folklore-influenced black metal release in 1993, Ulver’s musical style has been fluid and increasingly eclectic, blending genres from avant-garde rock and trip hop through symphonic and chamber traditions, right to noise and experimental music, with heavy reliance on electronic recording techniques.

This is from their most recent album titled 'Shadows of the Sun'

It's the most ...

Posted by The_Chef On 3:36 PM 2 comments


... well it's the most "lets beg money off you" time of the year.

Don't get me wrong I'm a big fan of charitable giving. But I don't like being harassed as I walk out of Walmart.

I went in with the specific intention of buying a movie. I did just that and on my way out I get waylaid by some guy pandering for some sort of community anti-drug program.

Here's a quick rundown:
"Hey man, you want to contribute to X program to get people off of drugs."
"No thanks, I believe in legalizing drugs."
"WHAT?! How can you possibly believe that?"
"Because I believe in something called freedom."
"Man you think it's chaos now, it would be even worse!"

Fundamental assumptions of this idiot:
1.) Legalizing drugs would lead to increased use. This is unlikely.
2.) Anything "harmful" should be controlled by the state. Sure, because prohibition worked so well.
3.) If it's not controlled it will be "chaos". Markets aren't chaos, they are simply extremely complicated order.

Sorry

Posted by The_Chef On 4:15 PM 1 comments

... for the lack of posts.

Job searching and work is doing a number on me.

Well, that and the fact that I'm just having a hard time getting worked up over all the political crap going on. What did we expect? Oh that's right people expected change. Heh ... suuuure

It turns out that my up coming post on Keynesian Theory is forcing me to have to go back to my damn MacroEcon and my Disequilibrium notes. I do think that for those of you not familiar with the feud between Keynes and Hayek, this series of notes on MacroEcon theory from Roger Garrison is VERY valuable.

You must have a 2003 or 2007 version of powerpoint to view these slideshows.

For those of you not terribly well versed in Economics, leave questions, I'll deal with them if I'm capable of an answer.

Thanks everyone.

Are you ready for Change?

Posted by The_Chef On 3:21 PM 7 comments

Here is the website of the new President elect: www.change.gov

Some, no most, actually all of it should scare any thinking human being.

Allow me to quote a few passages for you all.

Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals who shouldn't have them. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent, as such weapons belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets.

Citation: http://www.change.gov/agenda/urbanpolicy/
There is no Gun Show Loophole, it's a political term. What is "childproof"? Do you want biometric sensors in each gun? The 'Assault' Weapons Ban is ridiculous. I wonder if Obama knows what a barrel shroud is. What happens when our streets become a domestic war zone president elect? What part of "shall not be infringed" do you and your followers not get?

Another:
Barack Obama and Joe Biden will enact a windfall profits tax on excessive oil company profits to give American families an immediate $1,000 emergency energy rebate to help families pay rising bills.

Citation: http://www.change.gov/agenda/economy/
This issue has been addressed by several leading economists who heartily disagree with this kind of nonsense. If you put another tax on large corporations, the cost of those goods will rise, there is simply no other way to offset the additional cost. As a result people will consume less (basic economic theory). Given the drop in consumption, the $1000 will make little to no difference for anyone. All this is nothing but social engineering and economic planning which Hayek pointed out in both The Road to Serfdom and The Use of Knowledge in Society is fallacious and mystical at BEST.

Another:
Obama and Biden will fight for a trade policy that opens up foreign markets to support good American jobs. They will use trade agreements to spread good labor and environmental standards around the world

Citation: Ibid.
Free trade isn't fair ... I forgot. *sigh*

These are just three of the myriad of bullet points that are on this site. Every one of them is either increased regulation, increased spending, increased intervention, or an outright stripping of our rights. Sic Semper Tyrannis everyone.

Welcome to our Brave New World. I suppose we're supposed to go quietly. I intend to do no such thing.

Brief update

Posted by The_Chef On 2:16 PM 2 comments

I know I've promised a piece on the resurgence of keynesian policy following this Mortgage and Equity debacle. and I plan on getting to it. Work is hampering my intellectual and blogging pursuits.

Thanks everyone.

Remember Remember ...

Posted by The_Chef On 12:54 PM 5 comments

... the Fifth of November.



To hell with censorship.
To hell with politicians.
To hell with their 'reasonable' controls.

So ... what are you going to do about them?

Hey look...

Posted by The_Chef On 12:53 AM 2 comments

... the Messiah got elected now all of our problems will fade away because of the increasing benevolence and wisdom of the State.

God damn I hate this country today.

So I'm exhausted and I don't want to post the Palin Rally pics.

Instead, here is an awesome video on how the US corporate tax affects all the rest of us normal people. Barack Obama specifically wants to raise this tax and doesn't think it will have an effect on American Business. At the same time he wants to give a tax credit to businesses that don't offshore jobs to reduce costs. Kind of a mixed message there isn't it Barry? I'm gonna screw you with more taxes, oh and by the way, when you try and compensate for the additional cost of those taxes by moving portions of your business overseas, I'm going to punish you more for not being 'American' enough to suck it up and pay "your fair share". I don't like McCain, but damn Barry, I really hate you.

Anyway, enough ranting, here's the video: (Hattip to The Agitator)

So I attended a Sarah Palin rally in my hometown. It was an interesting experience.

Honestly, there were points were I wanted to just throw things at the various speakers.

Here is a brief rundown of some of the things that pissed me off during the night.

1.) Morgan Griffith a Republican member of the VA house of Representatives gave the invocation prayer. Now I know this is the south and I don't so much have a problem with the fact there was a prayer as I do the content of that prayer. Griffith seemed to suggest in his prayer that God was on the side of McCain/Palin. I find that to be a strange comment. In fact I find it strange that God would be on anyone's side seeing as how God is all powerful and all knowing, shouldn't God be on ... well ... God's side?

2.) They then had some singer come up and he dedicated a song to Palin ... the song you ask? 'Oh, Pretty Woman' by Roy Orbison. Poor choice. The fact of the matter is that people associate that song with a movie about a prostitute (Though the song doesn't actually say that)! I couldn't believe it. I just kind of went ... "DOH!"

3.) Then they played God Bless America. Now, call me a bit crazy, and I say this as a non-religious person, but I've read the Bible and it seems to me that if you hold what the bible says to be true, or even just good moral teachings, God shouldn't want to bless America. We look more like Nineveh or Gomorrah than we do a "Christian" nation or at least a nation with many "Christian" people. Feel free to disagree, but that's just how I see it. If you're going to claim to be something or ask for that blessing, maybe it's time we started looking at whether we act like it. It's kind of like being a beef farmer and asking the Hindu god(s) to bless you.

4.) The Co-Chairman of the McCain/Palin campaign in VA got up to talk and this guy was actually kind of funny. Until he started railing against individuality, then I got pretty pissed.

"Put aside your individuality to build a better society."
Oh ... that's right because self-interest is eeeevil. You self-righteous political drone. It is the entrepreneurs and the industrialists and the inventors, the capitalists, they are the ones who build a better society. NOT the politicians and their lackeys. Do I really need to point you to the 20th century as an example? We saw Government control and regulation expand over virtually EVERY aspect of our lives, has this made us better off? I doubt it. What made our lives better was the inventions. The refrigerator, the automobile, the telephone, the cell phone, the Internet (Not invented by Al Gore by the way), and other such things were not invented by the government. (I do concede that the ARPANET project was the predecessor to the Internet but it has been private companies that have expanded the usefulness of the network.)

5.) This was said about McCain: "He puts country first." Shouldn't he put the citizens and the US Constitution first? I'm just asking. If you don't think he should, that's fine. I'm just asking people to be honest about what they really think rather then use political buzz terms.

6.) "John McCain sponsored legislation in 2005 that could have prevented the Freddie Mac and Fannie May meltdown." Right so as a student of economics I have to call BULLSHIT! If you don't understand the roots of the mortgage and equity mess we are seeing right now I want you to go and read this post of mine. It's short and dirty and doesn't cover all of the nuances, but it does hit the major effects at work. The very short version is that the US government and the Federal Reserve Bank put us in this mess, why should we expect them to save us?

7.) US House of Rep. member Bob Goodlatte led the crowd in a rousing chorus of "Drill Baby Drill". This was kind of cool actually. Maybe people will figure out that the "Green" movement is largely a bunch of anti-capitalist, self-righteous, panicky morons. What pissed me off was all the talk of energy independence. We get 68% of our oil from Canada ... I'm just fine with free trade.

8.) Virgil Goode US House of Rep. got up and talked about national security. So ... nation-building breeds security? Not as argued by many political economists and NOT by Chris Coyne! Read his book to get my opinion on nation-building.

9.) Jim Gilmore, running for US Senate and he will lose in a landslide (My prediction), continued with national security fear mongering. We have Delta Force for a reason. They go in, they kill people, they get out. That's how you solve terrorist problems, not by bumbling around trying to build a state that shouldn't exist in the first place. Hell the reason Iraq has all those nice straight lines is because the British carved out the territory as part of their Empire.

10.) Jackasses with signs! I'm trying to see and/or take pictures! No one cares if "Hokies (heart) Palin" or if you think we ought to "Keep VA Red". I don't care and it just pisses off the people behind you, especially when it goes up every 30 seconds! I came to see people speak, not hear them speak and look at your dorm-room art work.

Now there were a few highlights.

1.) Mandi (would you spell that with a 'Y'?) and her friend (I really need to get better at names!). They had the right idea and were drinking Rum during the event, or maybe they just pregamed it. Still not sure. They were cool, cute, loud, opinionated, a bit ignorant on some issues (Aren't we all?), but still kind of cool (even if Mandi's screaming left me deaf in my right ear). The funny thing is that they struck me as the kind of people that would be hard to sway by libertarian reasoning. Mandi had some knee-jerk reactions to my thoughts on drug policy, but she kind of failed to address my arguments. *Shrugs* It would probably have been easier talking about this over a cup of coffee sober than one of us buzzed. Who knows, she might open up to the ideals of liberty if she did a little more reading and thinking.

N.B. I should have tried to get my flask in, scotch would have made the rally more tolerable.

2.) The nice lady and her husband on my left side I got to rub elbows with a bit during the waiting between speakers. She seemed very libertarian in her outlook on some issues, but I'm not sure if she, like so many others, is ready for the ultimate implications of libertarian philosophy. he seemed like a typical knee jerk republican. He kept shouting about Obama being a Marxist (which is true!) but if you asked him to look at the policies his party has put forward he would probably squirm or just say "Well that's not what I believe and better leaders can do better for us." Uh huh. That was the argument made during the Socialist Calculation Debate: If only socialist planners were more moral people, then the system would work better than Mao's, Stalin's, Lenin's, Tito's systems did. Mises and Hayek BOTH addressed this issue. They said, and I agree that the system is geared so that corrupt people rise to the top. In fact I believe that of ANY political system.

In conclusion. I'm glad I'm not voting. I'm convinced most of the people at the rally had no business voting. They DO NOT understand the implications of economic policies and they don't understand that what a politician promises and what happens once they get in office, can be very different things. If I had polled, and asked "What caused the mortgage meltdown?" I would have heard lots about corporate/ Wall Street greed, Fannie and Freddie, and The Democrats. I'm not sure if more than a dozen people would have told me "The Federal Reserve."

I'm very worried about the state of this country.

EDIT: I'll be posting pics of the rally inside this post tomorrow, I don't have the energy to crop and take care of them tonight.

Public Service Announcement

Posted by The_Chef On 4:54 PM 0 comments

Opeth live = Awesome.

Their performance was amazing. High on Fire was pretty awful as far as openers go.

Closing two songs were a couple of my favorites: Demon of the Fall and their encore was Drapery Falls.

The last time I saw Opeth The Devin Townsend Band and Dark Tranquillity (yes I know it's spelled weird) opened and they were both amazing.

Apparently Baroness canceled their appearance. No worries. If High on Fire is any indication I didn't really want to see Baroness anyway.

Out for the weekend

Posted by The_Chef On 11:53 PM 0 comments

Going to a concert.

I don't know how much blogging I'll get done.

The next planned blog is on Keynesian theory and its resurgence following this financial debacle. I'll be taking on the Financial Times. Really, someone should hire me to just rebut pieces published that are socialist leaning.

Anyone know a publicist that's willing to hire a libertarian with no journalistic experience? (yes that is said tongue in cheek).

Why Vote?

Posted by The_Chef On 11:22 AM 3 comments

In fact, don't vote. I'm not voting and I get tons of crap from people for it. Here is a quick break down of the typical arguments. Thanks to Justin over at Intellectual Chaos for prodding me to finally blog on this.

I. The Argument from Duty

"It's your duty to participate in the process."

I'm sick of this argument. This is right up there with Joe Biden's "It's the rich's patriotic duty to pay higher taxes" gaff. Voting is a Right to be exercised when I want. It's like the right to free speech, exercised at will.

IIa. The Argument from Complaint

"If you don't vote, you don't get to complain about the outcomes."

This one drives me up the wall! This is BULLSHIT! In fact, by abstaining from the voting process I have every right to bitch. When McCain gets us into another foreign "democracy building" intervention I don't want to hear ONE gripe from his supporters. On the other hand, if Obama drives the economy into the ground I don't want to hear one whimper from his worshipful masses. You idiot voters put one of these assholes in the office. In fact, by not voting I show that I support none of the candidates, or god-forbid I despise the entire enterprise.

IIb. The Write-In Argument

"Well if you don't like any of the candidates, go write someone in."

That's the equivalent of telling me: "Go piss on that forest fire just to show that you are doing something about it." I think not.

III. The Argument from Guilt Trip


"Soldiers died/are dying for your right to vote."

Bullshit. The soldiers today are nation building, just like the ones in Vietnam and Korea and WWII in Europe and WWI and about every other war where we weren't attacked or invaded. That nation-building is not better for my liberty as is argued by Chris Coyne in his book After War: The Political Economy of Exporting Democracy. Oh are you talking about the Soldiers from the American Revolution? They died to give me freedom from tyranny, they didn't die to impose responsibilities on me and the other future residents of the USA. The last soldiers to die for that freedom from tyranny surrendered on June 23, 1865.

The system is rigged, broken, and slowly grinding up our liberties. Why the hell do I want to support such a travesty?

Please watch these. They should piss you off, make you want to throw things, and make you question the entire house of cards that the politicians in DC have built.

Part 1 of 6:

Part 2 of 6:

Part 3 of 6:

Part 4 of 6:

Part 5 of 6:

Part 6 of 6:

Time for a Gun Post

Posted by The_Chef On 12:16 PM 0 comments

We have heard lots about how Obama is NOT against the Second Amendment from the likes of the AHSA. So what's the truth?

Here is a letter from the lead lobbyist with the Illinois State Rifle Association: Link.

Allow me to quote a few passages.

I lobbied Barack Obama extensively while he was an Illinois State Senator. As a result of that experience, I know Obama's attitudes toward guns and gun owners better than anyone. The truth be told, in all my years in the Capitol I have never met a legislator who harbors more contempt for the law-abiding firearm owner than does Barack Obama.
That's okay, I harbor contempt for politicians in general.
Although Obama claims to be an advocate for the 2nd Amendment, his voting record in the Illinois Senate paints a very different picture. While a state senator, Obama voted for a bill that would ban nearly every hunting rifle, shotgun and target rifle owned by Illinois citizens. That same bill would authorize the state police to raid homes of gun owners to forcibly confiscate banned guns.
Sure. Nothing like a little jackbooted thuggery to get this country to hope for more change.
While a state senator, Obama voted 4 times against legislation that would allow a homeowner to use a firearm in defense of home and family.
Because your life, is the property of the state, you are not allowed to defend it, and the gods help you if you try to defend this life that you live that doesn't actually belong to you. Yeah, that doesn't really make any sense to me either. But Hey, the Messiah holds this view, it must be true.
The AHSA is headed by a group of left-wing elitists who subscribe to the British view of hunting and shooting. That is, a state of affairs where hunting and shooting are reserved for the wealthy upper-crust who can afford guided hunts on exclusive private reserves.
Yeah, and let me tell you the British have built themselves a violence free society ... oh wait ... No they haven't.

Now, please be advised. This is in NO way an endorsement of John McShame. I'm not voting and I suggest you do the same. I recommend that instead of wasting your time at the polls you go to a gun store and start stocking up on ammo and go buy an AR-15 before they get banned.

How should we then regulate?

Posted by The_Chef On 10:31 AM 3 comments

A valid question from Mark over at The Soul of Atlas:

Question: What is the appropriate role of regulation (by government) of the financial system (specifically, banks)?

While ultimately I really am an anarchist, I tend toward minarchy for the sake of initial practicality. As a result I believe that general laws against theft and fraud are essential to a free and just economic system. The only other regulation that I really want to see is something along the lines of full disclosure. I don't want JP Morgan to be able to arbitrarily not tell me things about certain investments. Aside from that, I don't really want to see any regulation.

However I should note that this is assuming stable money. So I've essentially already thrown out the Federal Reserve and gone, at least in this gedankenexperiment to a privately issued currency backed by some sort of bullion or commodity backing.

So yes I'm making some major assumptions. Honestly, if we truly had a free market, capital movements would be so much more fluid and maybe, just maybe people would get over this absurd idea that certain businesses are "too important to fail". On the contrary, it is the most important businesses should be the ones that get wiped out when they fail so that someone else can absorb their resources and put them to a more highly valued use.

Now I'm quite sure that there might be some readers that are true anarchists and will say "Ah but the imposition of the power of the state ... blah blah" and they will cite Robert Higgs work on the 'ratchet effect of government power'. I agree with their fundamentals, but all changes are marginal. Without those marginal changes, we won't get anywhere because just saying you want anarcho-capitalism is akin to putting a loaded gun in someone's hand and putting it to your head intellectually.

Guns and Religion

Posted by The_Chef On 12:30 AM 3 comments

Ya know, people are still making a stink about the Obamessiah's "guns & religion" quote.

And it got me thinking. What do I cling to (if anything)?

My ideology of freedom perhaps.

My belief in individualism.

My belief that the state is the greatest threat to our liberties.

My belief that I have the right to defend myself against all foes, foreign and domestic, with lethal force.
Do I cling to these? Or are these simply truths? What do you 'cling' to?

So I've been promising this for a long time. It's about time I got around to it.

I'm looking at the Sept. 29th 2008 version of TIME magazine. Ya know what's on the cover?

Here have a look:


Right off the bat I'm scratching my head. Wall Street sold us out? Really? So if you will flip to page 32 of this issue you'll see a nice picture of our new finance czar Paulson and the article is titled "The Price of Greed". I'm already rolling my eyes. And they start in on "The Roots of the Problem".
Allow me to quote the article:

Warren Buffett, the nation's most successful investor, back in 2003 called these derivatives -- which it turned out almost no one understood -- "Weapons of mass financial destruction." But what did he know? He was a 70-something alarmist ... who had cried wolf for years.

Besides a few prescient financial sages ... who could have seen this coming in the fall of 2006...?
I have an answer for that: The Austrian School of Economics. Rothbard, Hayek, White, Horowitz, and Garrison have all written extensively about the problems created by "easy credit" and a fiat money system that is backed by nothing but the word of a government. I know people are going to try and dismiss me as one of those nutty Gold Standard people, and they are more than welcome to take that shot. The simple fact of the matter is that it is absurdly dangerous to give a central bank the power to print money as it sees fit and then on top of that, you allow them to inject money into the economy in such a way that completely distorts the market for loanable funds.

Please please go to Dr. Roger Garrison's Website here. Download the Time and Money powerpoint presentation for a rundown on how the Federal Reserve's Open Market Operations distort the entire loan market.

So TIME spends paragraphs talking about easy money. But they neglect to clearly state that the easy money is the fault of the Federal Reserve! It's asinine to blame all of this on the greed of wall street. Greed is a constant factor of life. It's like blaming gravity when a plane crashes.

The federal government's over regulation of financial securities might actually have contributed to all this mess as is argued by Frank Partnoy [Hat Tip to Marginal Revolution for this bit]
...[Frank] Partnoy is a former derivatives salesperson, and he clearly suggests that regulation is often the derivative salesman's best friend. Complicated rules encourage complex transactions that seek to conceal or re-shape their true nature. Regulated entities create demand for complex derivatives that substitute proscribed risks for admitted risks. If a new risk is identified and prohibited, the market starts inventing instruments that get around it. There is no end to this process.
So is more regulation the answer? I doubt it. though that's what all the pundits and candidates are saying. This is the fault of wall street and "corporate greed".

So ... let me get this straight. The Federal Reserve sets the stage, the lighting and the soundtrack. The Government writes the script and the stage directions and then when we find out the production sucks you all want to blame the actors who did exactly what they are going do given the incentive structure put in place? That sounds ... odd to me.

So here's the final deal folks. The Austrians called it a long time ago. The Federal Reserve and Government regulation of both the accounting methods and politically motivated BS like the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) have constructed a house of cards out of the housing market and then the government and the people get really pissed off when it falls apart. And this anger is well justified, the problem is that they are directing their ire at the wrong people!

Now I should note several things at the end of this.
1.) The CRA did not cause the sub-prime meltdown. It did contribute to it, but in a smaller way than many conservative critics want to make it out to be.

2.) Actors on Wall Street did do things that I believe are morally and ethically questionable. Some of these acts include the absurd AA or AAA ratings of some of these collateralized debt obligations (Essentially investments which package portions of mortgages and then are supposed to return a portion of all interest profits) No one really knows what the value of these are right now (my guess given the instability is damn near zero). How can an investment with an unknown value be given a AAA security rating?!

Still despite these things people want to address the smaller more short term issues rather than deal with the long run effects. The gold standard is NOT politically viable in the beltway. The idea that by relaxing regulations we get a more stable system, is not politically popular.

The problem was created by the Fed and government agents ... why look to them for salvation?

Hayek's Knowledge Problem has never been more important.

EDIT: Please please read this article at Reason: What Would Mises Do?: Confessions of a free-market, anti-bailout operator

Hiatus

Posted by The_Chef On 11:10 AM 1 comments

I'm taking a break from this for right now, I know I've promised to take on Time, I will eventually.

Sorry, but things have been busy.

Update

Posted by The_Chef On 1:04 PM 0 comments

I'm still planning on taking on TIME magazine. However, as I collect thoughts, notes and source material I realized that I might as well write a novel. So my analysis will be split up into a series of posts on the issue, rather than one giant post.

Cheers everyone and remember "Hi, I'm from the government and I'm here to help" should signal to you that whatever they are offering is a bad idea!

Posts should begin tomorrow. Tomorrow I want to set the historical stage for much of this mess by putting things in historical context. I want to contrast the moves of political and economic actors with what we should see in a free market.

Ahem...

Posted by The_Chef On 4:56 PM 3 comments


I just got my copy of the most recent TIME magazine ...

The Economist's Cookbook is going to take on TIME magazine in the near future.

I need to collect more thoughts and data, but yes, a long post is coming in the near future.

Ron Paul On Money

Posted by The_Chef On 12:17 PM 0 comments

Keep in mind that he said this back in April... Hmmmm How many people in Washington are going to listen to him? I'll venture to say none.

It's about time that some of the power players in Wall Street call the Fed and the US government to the carpet for their actions/regulations/bailouts. I want major players in Wall Street to say "No US CONGRESS, we are going to hold our own 'hearings' on what is causing this financial crisis." I want to see guys like Russ Roberts, Tyler Cowen, Chris Coyne, Ron Paul, etc. get a chance to stand up and say the system has been flawed and broken for a very long time and it's time for a massive shift in the way we view our money and our financial system.

Volbeat - Sad Man's Tongue

Posted by The_Chef On 7:16 PM 1 comments

Via Wiki:

Volbeat was formed in 2001 after frontman Michael Poulsen split up his former band, Dominus. Volbeat plays a fusion of heavy metal and rockabilly. They are inspired by the rock n' roll legends Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash.
...
Volbeat lists their influences in their own recognizable way:

"Everything from Elvis Presley to Napalm Death .. hail: Johnny Cash, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Ramones, Social Distortion, Motörhead, Black Sabbath, Dio, Megadeth, Metallica, Manic Street Preachers, Iron Maiden and bla bla bla bla..."




ENJOY!

How Deep Does the Rabbit Hole Go?

Posted by The_Chef On 3:16 PM 1 comments

No, this is not some sort of cliche reference to The Matrix.

This is about the financial mess the US seems to have found itself in. The house of cards created by the US government and the Federal Reserve, and individuals that were out to pad their own pockets at the expense of their stockholders. These were men and women who were put into positions of power, through political channels rather than actually channels of competency, to "manage" these mortgage giants that I wouldn't trust to cut my lawn!

I've waited to bother commenting about this FreddieMac/FannieMae mess. Well, during this contemplative time I've been reading more and listening and trying to figure much of this out.

Then Lehman Bros. Holdings folded.

Then AIG got a bailout.

And I realized that for the first time in all this mess I'm frightened. How deep does the hole go? Fannie and Freddie were two of the largest lobbying groups in the beltway. They threw around tons of money. And you know who they contributed campaign monies to? Mostly left-wing democrats with a penchant for pushing for more regulation/control/nationalization of certain elements of the market that are "too important" for the market to handle.

I have had enough. Now we're bailing out people left and right. In doing so we're subsidizing people to DO POOR WORK! Essentially we're subsidizing incompetence and risky investments!

I think it was Rush Limbaugh who had a soundbyte from the former President/CEO of AIG who said "Regulation cannot fix or prevent bad management." It's about time SOMEONE came out and said it.

The more I look at this, the more I begin to see the game. And the game is socialism. The more Government can strangle the private sector with rules and regulations and the more they destroy the market for money with inflationary policy and deficit spending, the worse things will continue to get. This leads of course to the economically ignorant masses screaming for yet more control.

We'll get control all right. And who do you think will be in charge? Why the enlightened politicians in Washington of course. After all, central planners know so much more than your average American.

Don't worry citizens, we'll take care of you. Please go back to watching Dr. Phil and American Idol.
Of course this sounds nutty and extreme and "Oh no, he's a conspiracy theorist." A few years ago if I had said Fannie and Freddie were going to collapse like the houses of cards they were, what would the critics have said? Hmmm?

Free Speech

Posted by The_Chef On 5:35 PM 1 comments



Via Samizdata.net. I don't mean to jack their post, but this is awfully good.

Avec Tristesse

Posted by The_Chef On 4:18 PM 0 comments

Yes another music post.

Now I don't know if this fits people's tastes.
(Sorry for not using seeqpod, couldn't find it so youtube will have to suffice.)


Brazilian Progressive Dark/Doom Metal. I just love their vocalist's clean vocals and the arrangement of the song is just gorgeous. I recommend the whole album How Innocence Dies very highly!

Ah now what is this weapon you ask?
Was it a gun? No.
A knife? No.
A club? No.
A Molotov Cocktail? No.
A sword? No.
A chainsaw? Cool, but no.
An ice pick? *sigh* No.
A rabid ferret? Okay, now we're getting desperate.
A trained attack Tyrannosaurus? Ummm ... NO.

It was in fact a ... drumroll please ...





A broken pencil sharpener.

Wait ... WHAT?!

A teacher at Hilton Head Island International Baccalaureate Elementary School noticed the boy had what appeared to be a small razor blade during class on Tuesday, according to a Beaufort County sheriff's report.

It was obvious that the blade was the metal insert commonly found in a child's small, plastic pencil sharpener, the deputy noted.

Ummmm ... yeah, because this is productive use of the cop's time.
District spokesman Randy Wall said ... "We're always going to do something to make sure the child understands the seriousness of having something that could potentially harm another student, but we're going to be reasonable..."
They will make an example of you to better create passive sheep in their midst. The individual is not important ... all that is important is that the masses get their dose of indoctrination.

Christ, I hate public schools.

Another Quote Worth Thinking About

Posted by The_Chef On 2:49 PM 1 comments

"In a country like the United States, where the right to property is placed above the law, there the sole function of the public police is to safeguard this natural right, each person can in full confidence dedicate his capital and his labor to production. He does not have to fear that his plans and calculations will be upset from one instant to another by the legislature."
-Frédéric Bastiat

My how we've fallen.

Quick Music Post

Posted by The_Chef On 2:41 PM 1 comments

More Music

Posted by The_Chef On 2:13 PM 0 comments

Divinity Destroyed - Sweet Heresy


These guys are kinda cool, really been digging them lately. This is from their Eden in Ashes album. They are obscure and not very well known. Check out their website and see if you can find some of their music online, it's good stuff.

Frédéric Bastiat - The Law

Posted by The_Chef On 3:42 PM 3 comments

From Wiki:
Bastiat maintained a deep distrust of all government, in any form, and worked all his life to demonstrate that government control of private individuals and regulation of private industry was inefficient, economically damaging, and morally wrong. Bastiat asserted that the only purpose of government is to defend the right of an individual to life, liberty, and property. From this definition, Bastiat concluded that the law cannot defend life, liberty and property if it promotes socialist policies inherently opposed to these very things. In this way, he says, the law is perverted and turned against the thing it is supposed to defend.

I'm currently finishing up his short work The Law. It's very very poignant for the modern world.
Here is a bit from Bastiat's The Law :

But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.

Then abolish this law without delay, for it is not only an evil itself, but also it is a fertile source for further evils because it invites reprisals. If such a law — which may be an isolated case — is not abolished immediately, it will spread, multiply, and develop into a system.

We've built our modern system on this legal plunder. God help us.

You can read the entire text here in html.
or
You can order your own paper copy from FEE here.

So This is Cool

Posted by The_Chef On 6:41 PM 0 comments

So this is kind of cool. Looks like I'll be able to stream music here using this player thingy!
For right now, Opeth - Drapery Falls from their Blackwater Park album. Progressive Death Metal!



Expect more music in the future and I sample, listen, and consume more artists.

Go Hug Your Pet.

Posted by The_Chef On 2:52 PM 0 comments

I want everyone here to go hug their dog/cat/bird/lizard/large fuzzy spider when they get home today.

Via Reason's Hit&Run Blog which is via an article from the Washington Post.

Internal Investigation: Slaughter of Mayor's Dogs During Botched Drug Raid Justified

Quote:
In a decision that shouldn't surprise anyone, an internal investigation by the Prince George's County, Maryland Sheriff's Department has determined that raiding officers acted entirely appropriately when they shot and killed two pet Labradors during a mistaken drug raid at the home of Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo.

Neither Calvo nor his mother-in-law—both in the house as the raid transpired—were interviewed for the investigation. Calvo says one of the dogs was shot as it was running away, an assertion supported by a veterinary examination showing an entry wound to the back of one of the dog's legs.
The dogs ... were running away from the cops! RUNNING AWAY.

It should be noted for those of you not familiar with the case that one officer remarked the raid was "very exciting" and she "looked forward to more in the future" according to reports from the Mayor.

When was the last time anyone ever saw an aggressive Lab? Hmmm? Those dogs will bark their heads off until they get close enough ... to lick you to death.

This shit makes me fucking sick. Of COURSE the "internal review" found nothing wrong. That, ladies and gentlemen is nothing but cronyism. Gotta protect your brother and sister cops because they can't do any wrong, the system can't appear to be broken so bullshit like this and corruption gets covered up all the time.

So ... Fuck the Prince George Police Dept., fuck their supposed "internal investigation", fuck the war on drug, and please ... go home and hug your pets.

A Masterful Quote

Posted by The_Chef On 12:33 PM 1 comments

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
-- C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis was a Christian writer and theologian. He is responsible for the Chronicles of Narnia series and many other very thought provoking works such as The Screwtape Letters. He was also a friend of J.R.R. Tolkien. Where are the Christians today like this? I may not be very religious, but I appreciate this man. Men and women like him with an understanding of liberty that are willing to talk and openly profess their faith, yet defend it while not shoving their ideas down people's throats via a legislature, are getting harder and harder to find in today's society.

Thoughts on Palin

Posted by The_Chef On 11:20 PM 2 comments

I don't like John McCain. In fact, I don't really like any politicians that I can think of (I exclude Ron Paul because anyone with a Murray Rothbard Picture in their office ain't a politician). So I flipped on the tube and wanted to see what all the hoopla was about over this woman.

Upon hearing her speak and watching her take shots at the opposition ... I can see why the Democrats are scared of this woman. She's everything the modern feminists believe a woman should be, except she hunts, she's not pro-abortion, and ... well she's a Rep. She's well spoken.

I believe it was DailyKos where some asshat commenters referred to her as 'trailer trash'. You're just jealous that the woman on the Republicrat ticket looks good enough to wear skirts.

This doesn't change my feelings on politics or those that participate in it. But she doesn't seem like too bad of a woman ... And she isn't hard on the eyes either. (Hell the website VPilf.com went up right after she accepted the VP slot!)

Who knows, honestly I don't freakin' care anymore, it's a damned circus.

Oh did I mention she's hot?

Nawlins ... again.

Posted by The_Chef On 12:53 PM 3 comments

So according to a CNN interview with the Mayor of New Orleans the national Guard/ local police are simply tossing any looters caught into the federal penitentiary. So much for due process. I mean they might be reading him (as there was only one arrest made for looting at the time of the interview) his rights and just tossing him there for the time being.Still it worries me that in a time of "emergency" the cops/Nat. Guard get to just throw cuffs on you, toss you in a cell, and that's that. There is supposed to be steps that are gone through before a trial.

Here's the thing, it's not that I disagree with this one case so much as I do the idea behind it. In this case such actions might be warranted, but it is still the responsibility of liberty loving Americans to stay vigilant.


The federal government today announced that it is changing its emblem from an eagle to a condom, because it more accurately reflects the government's political stance.

A condom allows for inflation, halts production, destroys the next generation, protects a bunch of pricks, and gives you a sense of security while you are actually being screwed.

On Poverty and Wealth

Posted by The_Chef On 4:04 PM 0 comments

The things the politicians won't tell you:

1.) The number and percentage of Americans without health insurance actually declined slightly in 2007 compared to 2006. The share without insurance in 2007, 15.3 percent, is actually lower than it was a decade ago.
So this whole "OMGWTFBBQ" response about insurance is a fabrication. Hell I'm part of that percentage right now.
2.) Median household income is not falling: “Between 2006 and 2007, real median household income rose 1.3 percent, from $49,568 to $50,233—a level not statistically different from the 1999 pre-recession income peak.”
Oh look more money for people. And it's not just the rich moving that ration up because:
3.) The share of households earning a middle-class income of between $35,000 and $100,000 in real 2007 dollars has indeed shrunk slightly compared to a decade ago, but so too has the share earning less than $35,000 a year, while the share earning more than $100,000 continues to rise. The middle class is not shrinking; it is moving up.
Hot damn ... the middle class is getting richer, but you wouldn't know it from listening to either of the political candidates.

So, what does this mean? BUCK UP. The Mortgage crisis ain't good, but it's not Armageddon. (of course the mortgage crises was largely created by government anyway ... but they don't want to talk about that.)

It means that we're getting wealthier while really cool things (like the iPhone) are getting cheaper! So the extra cash these people are making is going farther for luxury goods. Of course the problem is that the price of everyday goods is rising, especially food.

The problem is that rising food prices have been driven up by three key things:
1.) Ethanol Subsidies - Farms that once produced grains or cattle feed now are taking gov't handouts to produce ethanol (which is a very very shitty alternative to gas).

2.) Inflation - Give the Federal reserve a big ol' hug for driving down the value of your dollars.

3.) Rises in the cost of fuel - which is linked not to oil company collusion or "speculators". But to Supply/Demand and the rising oil consumption of international up and comers (India and China), and various other things which have marginal effects on the price of fuel, including ... inflation.
So, the news isn't all bad, and the world isn't ending and capitalism keeps doing what it does best, create wealth.

Ah the DNC

Posted by The_Chef On 1:19 PM 0 comments


Look, a coronation festival. We are going to crown and worship the man who will shepherd us into a greater age of enlightenment, government control, and safety.

There will be freedom from want, freedom from fear, freedom from need. All we ask is that you allow us to shackle you.

Fall onto your knees and WORSHIP he who will save us!

What a crock full of shit.

P.S. - The RNC will be the same shit in a slightly different place.

Addendum - Dear old dad - "They're not having a convention ... they're having a worship service!"

The Public Policy of Buying Votes

Posted by The_Chef On 11:48 AM 6 comments

So ... here's my theory for reforming this country.

Get rid of universal suffrage. Not everyone should vote. This is simply just a fact. Just because you live here, doesn't mean you should get a say in the policy of this country.

So here's my theory.
1.) Get rid of the draft. I see this as an important step in leveling the playing field.

2.) If you are on government assistance, you don't get to vote. This includes Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, etc. and so forth. If you accept any of these, you give up your right to vote.

This solves a key problem in America: it keeps politicians from winning office by pandering to the lowest common denominator. I hate poor people voting in politicians and bureaucrats who promise to stick their hand farther into my wallet. That's theft. I don't give a damn if it helps the poor, it's theft and to try and couch it in terms of "redistribution" or a "more equitable outcome" is nothing but intellectual dishonesty in the extreme. I only use the poor "welfare" recipient as an example here. To clarify I don't hate poor people. I do not think they should get to vote themselves money from other people's wealth.

When a politician can stand up and promise a voting block, like pensioners or retirees or anyone for that matter, that he will increase their allowances he is BUYING VOTES! He's not promising to defend the nation or defend the constitution, he is telling them that he will tax Americans so that the government can give them, the special interest group, more money for their Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid/subsidies/etc. That creates a system in which the politician that promises to loot the American public will get elected! Essentially a self-sustaining system is created where each successive generation of politicians has to promise more and more benefits to various groups. In order to break this system, you make participation in the welfare systems voluntary, and if you participate in those systems you lose your right to vote.

So since I went to an Obama "house meeting" earlier this year I figured I ought to give the other side a shot. Now let me preface this by saying that the Republican committee meeting I attended was not a rally like this Obama "house meeting" was. But still it provides a chance for me to get a look at the "everyday republicans".

Well this was a small local community meeting of the Rep. Committee. It was a painful joke.

Well things started off with an invocation, a prayer to get things started off. Please do remember that this is the South so such things are to be expected. However what followed was nothing short of fear mongering for the sake of creating solidarity. The leader of the meeting, who we shall call Mr. X, for the sake of anonymity, started on about how he's so thankful that he can live in a country where they can pray and there are people who want to kill us and destroy "our" way of life. The blatant reference was to Muslims. I mean ... come on. Yes there are terrorists out there who want to blow things up and kill people. But using this as a tool to get people to support your political views is little more than yellow journalism in the new millennium.

Then they had the Pledge of Allegiance. I stood but remained silent. Mr. X then went on about how ... "this is why we are here" ... for the invocation and the pledge. Umm ... I'm not sure he understands how things are supposed to work, but anyone who pledges themselves to a flag is an idiot. You pledge yourself to ideals and concepts and beliefs, not to flags. Flags can of course represent ideals, BUT those ideals might be changing.

He, Mr X that is, then went on about how the Republican party believes in a right to choose. My response??? HERE:Seriously, at this point I wanted to stand up and begin shouting at this motley collection of milksop socialists and moralist social engineers. What about the drug trade? What about the subsidies and tariffs that you all support to prop up "American" businesses which limit our right to choose? What about your "reasonable" restrictions on the ownership of firearms? What about the PATRIOT Act? What about the abuses of police power we see on a daily basis? What about the desire to put the government in people's bedrooms? (By the way, Oral sex is illegal in VA. I imagine Mr. and Mrs. X have broken that law.) What about the 'blowback' that our political decisions bring us in the in the international scene and how does that affect the "choice" that they support?

Here is my theory, they support choice, as long as you're making choices "they" (yes I know it's nebulous but it's the best I can do to describe the movements of mass opinion within the Republican party) approve of. And keep in mind this party has become the party of bigger and more government, more invasion into our private lives "for our safety". What the hell?! So choice is only okay when you approve of the possible choices? That's not choice that's poorly veiled tyranny.

The next one was a real joke. "We don't ask much of our citizens..." You have to be kidding me! We have a government that enslaves us for 4 months out of the year because they have a"right" to our labor, our minds, and our money and "we don't ask much"? This is absolutely asinine! If this guy actually believes what comes out of his mouth, this country is in deep shit.

There was a shot in there about people out there dying to protect our ability to pray and I thought that was so laughably stupid. Those troops are over there dying to support some sort of pipe dream that we can "build Democracy". For support of my opposition to this practice I point you to Dr. Chris Coyne's book After War: The Political Economy of Exporting Democracy.

They went though attendance crap, Bylaws, approved minutes of the last meeting, identified officers, and other and sundry recruiting nonsense.

This one was a good one about supporting candidates. "We support those candidates that support the pledge and invocation." This statement is radically different from 'We support those candidates who support the US Constitution as our governing document." Oops. I don't give a damn about your pledge or invocation. What I do care about is the philosophical underpinnings of this country when it was founded ... namely this concept called freedom.

Sigh, the circus was just that, a circus. No one asked where this party was going or what it's beliefs are or what people think of the party and how can we make it better. No it was all about, let's jump on the bandwagon and vote our way to a better society.

What a joke.

All about oil...

Posted by The_Chef On 12:36 PM 0 comments

... the war in Georgia that is.

Right so, as the Olympics go on and everyone continues to rack up medals, there is a little war going on in Georgia, and no I don't mean the gang wars that happen in Atlanta. I mean this Georgia.

Here is a link to a very detailed map of the oil pipelines in eastern Europe/Eurasia. (NOTE: Please Right-click and "Save As" on that link, it's a large PDF map.)

Allow me to elaborate:
Here is a general map (the orange portion is Georgia)
Yes I know the countries are not labeled. Directly North of Georgia is the Russian Federation.

Let's take a closer look shall we?
I cropped and rotated this in Photoshop to give a similar view of the country as the map above.

If you looked at the PDF map I have linked above, you'll see this is simply a blown-up version of that map. The dark green lines are oil pipelines, the more thick the line, the larger the pipeline. The red line with yellow hashes through it is a natural gas pipeline under construction.

This is not about national determination or South Ossetia seceding from Georgia, this is about Russia playing power politics to regain control of former provinces (formerly held by the USSR) which have everything to lose if Russia gets control of those pipelines. Most of them have some oil and it plays an important part of their economies. Losing access to the Georgian pipelines will severely hamper their countries.

w00t! New books!

Posted by The_Chef On 3:09 PM 1 comments

Liberty LOLcats

Posted by The_Chef On 12:54 PM 0 comments

For those of you in the know in the internet meme game liberty LOLcats are a sign of the times ... these are actually pretty damn good.
Here are a bunch of them.

One of my personal favorites:
Thank you bureaucrash!

... alas, it's frighteningly real.



How unfortunate people simply refuse to think that we could be better off without government. Instead we have to lick the boots of bureaucrats and pray they take pity on us. We are living in a society in which the power that the government wields over its people is completely tyrannical.

And you'd better not disagree with the system or the status quo it has created. Because if you do, you hate children/old people/the poor/women/gays/lesbians/livestock/animals/the environment. In fact, these assholes in power make you feel like you should be in a mental institution if you disagree with them.

So here we sit. How much longer are we going to put up with this? How much longer are we going to allow our minds to be made slaves to people that just "know better" than us. Ah you see, we're not wise or intellectual enough to choose for ourselves. Those choices must be made for us, for our ... benefit, for the benefit of ... society. Truly, that is no more than slavery.

Hat Tip to Vulcan's Hammer.

Public Service Announcement

Posted by The_Chef On 12:52 AM 0 comments

Mormon's are weird. Nothing quite like a religion started by a conman ... well except Scientology ... Damn Mormons, you're in good company.

Note: If this offends you, stick it up your ass. To be fair, I don't like any religion, but I dislike some a helluva a lot more than others.

This is not good...

Posted by The_Chef On 9:24 PM 1 comments

EDIT: Sorry about the html coding, you will need to click on each of the pictures to get the full view of the graph which I highly recommend.
Photobucket

Well this doesn't look good... But wait...


Photobucket

Hmmmm Okay, this is still shitty, but it doesn't look as bad as the first one. Sometimes looking at trends can be misleading.

Still the fact that such an immense amount of borrowing has been going on with the worthless Federal Reserve should be a giant wake up to people.

The government got us into this mess, now they want to bail the banks out and regulate things more. MORE REGULATION IS NOT THE ANSWER! Regulation helped get us into this mess!

Musing ...

Posted by The_Chef On 10:52 AM 0 comments

In an age where politicians are trying to legislate our lives into nothingness and billionaires get together to try and get rid of smoking it's nice to see some lyrics from a band that kind of carry a bit of individualism.

"Who are you to tell me what is right?
You listen close
It's my fucking life
I'll let the rain fall where it may

Too late to think of stopping now
I can't give up
I don't know how
I will not live and die a slave

Have I always been wrong?
Maybe just maybe I don't belong
Am I lost in the deep?
Maybe just maybe I'll stay asleep
"
-Divinity Destroyed 'Threshold'

... But It's For the Children!

Posted by The_Chef On 12:15 PM 1 comments

And the brainwashing of kids continues...

Though, I should state that this is less of brainwashing and actually a very very scary way to control whether children are getting the "right" kind of parenting.

So what happens when some parent isn't teaching their child the appropriate "state approved" behavior patterns. What happens when those parents teach their kids to question authority and always ask "WHY?"

This is kind of ... frightening to say the least.

The Pre-K Act poses similar concerns about government trumping parents' rights.

"Once they are involved, they don't have any say over curriculum," she said. "There's plenty of evidence of preschool curriculum that deals with issues that have nothing to do with a child's academic development – like gender, gender identity, careers, environmentalism, multiculturalism, feminism and all of that – things that don't amount to a hill of beans as far as a child learning how to read."

In Soviet Russia the state actively tried to remove the parents from the development of their children in order to make them more productive and politically compliant members of the Motherland. If you see no parallels between these policies and the Soviet ones, please do us all a favor and stick your head in a meat grinder.

Upcoming posts.

Posted by The_Chef On 2:53 PM 3 comments

I have several things to post about that are in draft right now:

Gas Prices, maybe still not as high as the 70's.

The Politicization of our energy "crisis".

The Mortgage bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Since no one reads this blog ... I'm sure no one gives a damn.

READERS! This Post is IMPORTANT!

Posted by The_Chef On 12:10 PM 0 comments

The blog MPD Enforcer 2.0 is critical of the current police administration and is bringing corruption to the fore. The police Director, a one Mr. Godwin, is trying to have the anonymous identities of the bloggers obtained most of these people blogging are police officers trying to draw attention to the corruption int he department. Essentially he is trying to use a legal beating stick to silence the opposition.

This is becoming a first ammendment issue. What happens when we can no longer criticize the government or it's lackeys?

Here is a News bit on it.


And here's another:


Go support the blog! If only 1/4 of the corruption being discussed on MPD Enforcer is accurate Godwin needs to be tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail.