Thursday, December 31, 2009

Parting Thought of the Year

I don't know much about the rest of his political beliefs (he is purportedly the first person to call himself an anarchist and is also termed a socialist), but man did Pierre-Joseph Proudhon have it right in describing what it really means to be "governed", particularly if to the open-ended extent that totalitarians and collectivists, whether claiming to be left or right, would carry their endless scheming for control over humanity :

To be governed is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so.

To be governed is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished.

It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be place(d) under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored.

(h/t to John Stossel)


Southern Avenger Lays Out the Scam of "Social Conservatism"

As I have written here and elsewhere before, social(ist) conservatives are an aberrant sect of what are, in essence, statists who have hijacked the moniker of conservatism.

They have done so, I believe, in an attempt to mask their fundamentally-statist authoritarianism in matters of personal or private life behind the nominal and false claim that they are not, in fact, quite in philosophical league with the socially-permissive leftists they so abhor.

Irrespective of "social conservative" claims of distinction from their leftist brethren and sistern, their agenda is nonetheless fundamentally the same. Social "conservatives" are merely big government statists with a different agenda for control and social uniformity...but just as frightening an agenda if taken even close to its natural conclusion.

So-called "social conservatives" are the other side of the same hollow coin of collectivist control over the individual.

And "social conservatives" positively exude (albeit from different justifications and rationalizations) the self-righteous social moralizing and pseudo-moralism that subsumes leftist ideology vis a vis the need for a massive comprehensive welfare state.

All true conservatives, i.e. those truly interested in reducing the power, scope and control of government over the lives of individuals and - yes - families, should beware these trojan horsemen "social conservatives" who would bastardize conservatism and risk making the word "conservative" as much of an epithet as the term liberal has become for most Americans.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Federalism Resurgent? Some State Officials Begin Fighting Back Leviathan

This is an interesting development, by which the Democrats' disgusting secretive self-dealing process of health care lawmaking-by-payoff is not being accepted merely as the ugly side of politics-as-usual deal cutting and vote buying.

Now actual prosecutors from various states are taking notice of the putrid stench of corruption permeating the Harry Reid health care monstrosity.

But of course, these are just partisan Republicans driven purely by political considerations, unlike those exemplars of moral and political virtue intent on ramming this shit sausage straight down the public's throats.

Several prosecutors probing health care deal

They question the constitutionality of ‘Nebraska compromise’

COLUMBIA, S.C. - The top prosecutors in seven states are probing the constitutionality of a political deal that cut a funding break for Nebraska in order to pass a federal health care reform bill, South Carolina's attorney general said Tuesday.

Attorney General Henry McMaster said he and his counterparts in Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, North Dakota, Texas and Washington state — all Republicans — are jointly taking a look at the deal they've dubbed the "Nebraska compromise."

"The Nebraska compromise, which permanently exempts Nebraska from paying Medicaid costs that Texas and all other 49 states must pay, may violate the United States Constitution — as well as other provisions of federal law," Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said.

McMaster's move comes at the request of Republican U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint of South Carolina. In a letter to McMaster, Graham singled out the deal to win Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson's vote on the massive health care bill the Senate is expected to adopt Thursday. Nelson held out as fellow Democrats worked to get 60 votes to foreclose a GOP filibuster and the bill was amended to shield Nebraska from the expected $45 million annual cost tied to expanding Medicaid programs.

"We have serious concerns about the constitutionality of this Nebraska compromise as it results in special treatment for only one state in the nation at the expense of the other 49," Graham and DeMint wrote.

Nebraska wasn't alone in getting Medicaid breaks. Vermont, Louisiana and Massachusetts also got help with their programs. Along with Texas, officials in Washington, Alabama, Colorado and Michigan confirmed they were working with McMaster.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Tennessee's Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey called for his state's attorney general to investigate the deal.

"Whether in the court of law or in the court of public opinion, we must bring an end to this culture of corruption," McMaster said. The negotiations "on their face appear to be a form of vote buying paid for by taxpayers," he said.

‘We'll assist anyone’McMaster is encouraging a South Carolina citizen to step forward to sue to challenge the measure if it is signed into law. "We'll assist anyone to the extent that we're able," McMaster said.

Also Tuesday, U.S. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., said Republicans need to stop complaining about deals their colleagues made.

"Rather than sitting here and carping about what Nelson got for Nebraska, I would say to my friends on the other side of the aisle: Let's get together and see what we can get for South Carolina," Clyburn said.

For instance, Clyburn expects states will get more help covering Medicaid expansion costs. Critics say the federal government's coverage of 91 percent of those future costs will disappear, leaving states with huge holes in their budgets.

Clyburn says the legislation the federal share should be 95 percent, with states picking up no more than 5 percent.

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford said the federal legislation is "well intended," but called it "fundamentally flawed in the same way the stimulus efforts were in that the states and the taxpayers are left footing the bill."

Sanford this spring was the nation's only governor to take a state legislature to federal and state court to block federal stimulus money.

The Democrat partisan mania to pass something/anything to meet the artificial Obama health care legislation timeline (which, nauseatingly, has been largely admitted as based on the politics and timing of Obama's desired State of the Union Address triumphalism) and driven by the Democrats phony hysterical sky-is-falling urgency (only to have the public wait 4 years before any of the purported benefits arrive) has produced the most reckless, chaotic, single-mindedly-partisan trainwreck of a legislative process I have ever witnessed in my lifetime (covering at least 25 years closely following national politics).

Rand Paul is Rockin' It in the Bluegrass State

Dr. Rand Paul looks poised to become the next junior Senator from Kentucky, if polling trends continue as they have.

As I have said before, Paul if elected would be the single most libertarian U.S. Senator in the last 50 years, if not more.

Paul has rocketed to the top of the polls from just months ago when he was pooh-poohed by establishment-type Republicans, much like the treatment his father Ron Paul received during his bid for the presidency.

Rand Paul entered the fray trailing behind establishment Kentucky Republican Secretary of State Trey Grayson. However, Paul has since taken a "commanding lead". His support is grassroots and based purely on the power of his ideas and the conviction with which he offers them up.

Rand Paul's election as a Republican U.S. Senator would be a serious harbinger that the libertarian conservative uprising in the G.O.P. is not only real but quite consequential and arguably the future of the party, no matter the exhortations, caricaturizations and defamations by hysterical leftists to the effect that the Republican Party is dominated by some minority fringe of redneck troglodyte bible thumpers.

Except for intractable statists and totalitarian-minded utopian collectivists, the basic notions of libertarianism are wildly popular amongst most human beings for the simple reason that freedom is cherished by human beings the world over.

Unless numbed up and dumbed down to a drooling mindset of entitled servitude or servile entitlement, most thinking human beings value and instinctively yearn for physical autonomy, personal self-direction, and the basic ideals of individual distinction and accomplishment.

20% of the country self-identifies as "liberal". I would argue that it is about this same percent of the populace (20%) that possesses the requisite self-importance, arrogance, self-righteousness, and general dementia enough to actually think that the force (violence, when you get down to it) of geographically-inescapable public power should be the handmaiden for enforcing their hodge-podge political and social control agenda...whatever their fancy happens to be this month/year/decade/century.

At bottom it's always the same agenda : power, patronage, and control.

Freedom becomes only more popular, its proponents more in demand, and its foundational philosophies more influential in times such as we now live...with the ham-fist of forced nationalist collectivism hammering away --- big corporatism and big government working in tandem behind a grotesque masquerade of pseudo-populist socialism.

Those now riding high in the seat of power proposing coercive federal mandates to heap increasingly crushing burdens on individuals, coupled to reckless fiscal profligacy with the public treasury, can look forward to a rising tide of broad, deep and fierce opposition to their perverse, manipulative machinations of national public policy and resources.

2009 has been an eye-opener, if not a big bucket of cold water thrown on the slumbering giant.

It is a godsend to liberty that the national leftists are so megalomaniacal in self-reinforcing delusions of social and historical grandeur that they are utterly oblivious the ground is shifting like quicksand beneath their feet.

Not that anyone would contend Kentucky is much of a state for leftist Democrats to pay attention to. But they would be wise to pay heed to the rapid rise of a populist-minded libertarian conservative like Rand Paul in a state in which the GOP has heretofore been largely a haven of country-club, internationalist, establishment politicians.

The totalitarians posing as democrats should take serious heed that their avowed mortal political enemy, the Republican Party, could be on the verge of sending to the United States Senate someone like Rand Paul - a consistent and unflappable opponent of that distorted quasi-religion that elevates and glorifies government power as the ultimate arbiter of all human interaction, if not the ultimate power over all humanity.

Rand Paul, if successful God willing, will not be the only defender of liberty embraced by the electorate in 2010 and beyond, when all is said and done.

There will be more...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Democrats : Party of Big Government and Big Business All Nice and Cozy In Bed Together

Jonah Goldberg gets it right in this analysis.

The notion that big business is "right wing" has always been more sloppy agitprop than serious analysis. It's true that historically, big business is against socialism and communism -- and understandably so. Socialism and communism were once close to synonymous with expropriation of wealth and the nationalization of industry. What businessman or industrialist wouldn't be against that?

But many of those same industrialists saw nothing wrong with cutting deals with statist regimes. For example, the Swope Plan, put forward by Gerard Swope, president of General Electric, laid out the infrastructure for much of the early New Deal.

Yet the debate is always framed as if the choice is between "government intervention" on the one hand and free-market capitalism on the other. From 30,000 feet, that division is fine with me. My objection is the glib and easy association of big business with the free-market guys (Milton Friedman was no champion of public-private partnerships and industrial policy).

This identification allows self-described progressive Democrats to run against big business when they are in fact in bed with the fat cats.

For instance, the standard line from the Democrats is that the plutocrats and corporate mustache-twirlers oppose healthcare reform because, in President Obama's words, they "profit financially or politically from the status quo." That sounds reasonable, and in some cases it is reasonable. But it makes it sound as if Obama is bravely battling "malefactors of great wealth."

But that's not really how it works, as Timothy Carney documents in his powerful new book, "Obamanomics."
In 2008, Obama raked in more donations from the health sector than John McCain and the rest of the Republican field combined. Drug makers gave Obama $3.58 for every dollar they gave McCain. Pfizer gave to Obama at a 4-1 rate, as did the hospital and nursing home industries. In 2008, the insurance industry gave more money to House Democrats than House Republicans. HMOs give to Democrats over Republicans by a margin of 60 to 40.

This pattern is hardly unique to healthcare. The U.S. Climate Action Partnership, led by GE, includes many other Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs -- the company that has profited mightily from Obama's brand of hope and change.
CAP is an aggressive supporter of the Democrats' climate change scheme. Why? Because GE and company stand to make billions from carbon pricing, thanks largely to investments in technologies that cannot survive in a free market without massive subsidies from Uncle Sam. GE chief Jeffrey Immelt cheerleads big government as "an industry policy champion, a financier and a key partner."

Going back to U.S. Steel and the railroads, the story of big business in America is often as not the story of fat cats rigging the system. And the story of progressivism is the same story. The New Deal codes were mostly written by big business to squeeze out smaller competitors. The progressives fought for these reforms on the grounds that it's easier to steer a few giant oxen than a thousand cats.

But healthcare is the most troubling example of the trend. Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson notes that while everyone has been debating the government takeover of healthcare, what's really transpired is healthcare's takeover of government -- thanks to what he calls the "medical industrial complex." Already 1 in 4 federal outlays are for healthcare; government pays, directly or indirectly, for half of all healthcare costs; and the entire industry is heavily regulated. Obama's answer to this state of affairs is more -- much more -- of the same, on the phantasmagorial grounds that it will cut costs.

My biggest objection is not to what isn't true about the claim that the right is the handmaiden to big business, it's to what is true.
Too many Republicans think being pro-business is the same as being pro-market. They defend the status quo against bad reforms and think they've defended economic freedom. The status quo stinks. And the sooner Republicans learn that, the sooner they'll deserve to win again.

Well said by Goldberg, especially about misguided Republicans who think supporting any business, especially big, is akin to support for free market capitalism.

But even moreso, enough of the tired lies of self-described "progressives" that they stand against big business, when the massive federal government they always seek to empower is the lifeblood of the crony corporatism that we all saw run to DC for bailouts and a whole panoply of assorted corporate welfare schemes.

There is damn good reason corporate lobbyists have never been fatter or sassier than when the so-called "progressives" are in charge. The social policy happy-talk smoke screens that these "progressives" peddle are but fancy distraction from the real goings-on as corporate interests fund and control "progressive" politicians who happily wield and expand federal power.

You want corporate influence in government to diminish? The ONLY way is to diminish the influence and power of government itself.

As I have said countless times to the stooges who actually buy the cock-and-bull that their leftist leaders in DC actually care about the interests of working Americans :

Be careful the big government you wish for. It just might get you.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's About the Horrible Policies, Stupid

Obama is now convincingly a minority president. No, I don't mean racially.

I mean Obama now joins George W. Bush not only in the continuation of neocon foreign policies and big government profligacy, but (inevitably) that this is leading him to now consistently poll below 50% approval...and falling.

At 46%, President Obama's latest job approval rating is the lowest ever in Quinnipiac polls, and he has an upside down rating for his handling of health care.

The new survey (Dec. 1-6, 2313 RV, MoE +/- 2%), released this morning, finds 44% disapproving of the job Obama's doing.

More than half (51%) of independents now disapprove of Obama's job performance, while 37% approve.

Similarly : Obama's 47 Percent Approval Lowest of Any President at This Point

The public's fast-growing disapproval of Obama's arrogant power-mongering should come as no surprise, except perhaps to the most reality-oblivious and purely-partisan hopechangelings now hunkering down in the bunker.

The public is quickly losing confidence in everything about the Obama presidency, as well it should.

Even the mile-wide, inch-deep veneer of public confidence that may have existed in the wake of Obama's ascension will not be regained, if ever, as long as Obama continues to be an arrogant partisan ideologue, pursuing a messianic agenda in willful disregard of the deeply-held reservations of scores of millions of Americans of all political stripes...essentially a redux of the way George W. Bush did business.

It took Bush several years to fall through the floor in public approval. Obama is on track to exceed Bush's free fall in its breadth and depth.

And why not? Obama's policies are akin to Bush's worst imperial presidential one-party hegemonic power fantasies and control ideology...on steroids.

Couldn't happen to a more deserving charlatan.

And indicators like this certainly don't bode well for the Democrats and their massive ad hoc slapdash schemes to centrally plan all American life around leftist pipe dreams.

I believe most thinking Americans implicitly understand that the rise of comprehensive welfare statism (on credit) with the Obamanation run amok spells a future of economically moribund life in which maintaining lower middle-class trappings is akin to luxury...but of course life is worth living 'cause you have "free" health care.

As in : "Hey your life will be muddling drudgery largely in service to voracious tax parasites, but at least you will be able to get that boil lanced on the cheap...and maybe even prolong your life of servitude by a year or two!"

Millions of Americans can see that if this Obama-led runaway train over the cliff to hell isn't stopped and fast that they will soon consider it a blessing simply to sustain a bare semblance of personal and familial economic stability, scraping by on what is left after the central planners get through with everyone's resources and wealth.

As I have said about Bush, I will say about Obama et al :

Always wrong. Never in doubt.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Obama's War

I hope the president is pleased with himself now that he has earned himself the neocon mantle , praised by those bloodthirsty chicken-hawk war cheerleaders who are content with any bit of a loaf of aggressive middle east adventurism and interventionism. Only the most militarist will remain unsatisfied with Obama's splitting the loaf, in a truly half-assed attempt to politically hedge his decision to continue the waging of remote overseas wars by the United States.

No thinking citizen who listened to Obama's speech last night, complete with "19 hijackers", "9/11", "terrorist safe havens", and all manner of stock-in-trade Bush war-justifying catch phrases, could not help but feel Obama may as well have been reading from the Bush/neocon script, word-for-word.

As if the Obama national domestic profligacy and power-mongering isn't bad enough, now he has bear-hugged the worst elements of American foreign policy decision-making since Woodrow Wilson.

One thing consistent about Obama : the man never ever ever fails to grievously disappoint people of good faith who seek real change in this country.