Tuesday, 29 September 2009

The left and its support of minority groups

It's almost axiomatic that if you can identify a minority group then the left will promote itself as the champion of that group.

Gay? Democrat/Labor/Labour Party. Black? Democrat/Labor/Labour. Female? Democrat/Labor/Labour. Hispanic? Democrat/Labor/Labour etc etc.

Equally, it's almost axiomatic that there are very few minority groups that one associates with the right.

In the US it might be evangelical Christians, though it should be remembered that they voted overwhelmingly for Jimmy Carter.

You've probably not given it much thought so you simply accept that it's just the way of things that the left's philosophy is about helping minority groups.

And you'd be wrong.

Here's a key insight for you from Uncle Jack that will help you understand the left.

The left's goal is big government, even to the point of a socialised economy.

The support of minority groups is a requirement in order for the left to get elected and then enact its economic agenda.

How many people think the left would win an election if they campaigned on their real economic agenda?

Why did Barack Obama pose as a centrist throughout the election cycle? He even said that he wouldn't raise taxes on anyone who earned under $200,000. Unbelievably, people bought it hook, line and sinker.

In Australia, Kevin Rudd ran as an 'economic conservative' yet has just announced a $27 billion dollar deficit, which is, apparently, good news because he thought it would be $32 billion.

Once in office these people's true colours are revealed. They don't govern as they campaigned.

They can't campaign as big government, big spenders because they can't win.

Ironically, it's the coalition of minority groups that makes up the core of their support who are most hurt once the left's fiscal policies are implemented.

(Nothing Follows)

Monday, 28 September 2009

Climate Change - Dying but not Dead

Krumhorn reminds me in comments to review the latest nail in the climate astrology coffin being banged in by Steve McIntyre. Namely, the fabrication that is Keith Briffa's Yamal data set.

For the uninitiated, the Yamal tree ring data set is a critical requirement in order to create a temperature Hokey Stick of the type first introduced in the IPCC's Third Assessment Report and made iconic by Al Gore's bullcrap fantasy An Inconvenient Truth.

Climate 'science' is a corpse only being kept alive by those whose noses are stuffed firmly in the trough of public funding.

The divergence between the data available and what Briffa chose to use is not the only divergence in the climate astrology debate.

The greater divergence is between what the science is telling us and what our political masters are doing about it.

On the one hand it is becoming more and more obvious that CO2 has a negligible impact on our climate and that solar influences is doing all of the dirty work while on the other the world's major emitters are pushing the climate hot potato around and proposing more and more expensive solutions hoping to trap their trading partners into having to make concessions.

The Chinese have played a corker of a hand. Forgot the World Poker Tour, these guys out-poker everyone. They've now offered to reduce CO2 emissions per unit of GDP.

Ha! Gotcha, US and Europe!

That means they can simply proceed as per current course and speed while forcing the US and Europe to impose a financial burden that can only work to the benefit of China (and India, Russia, Brazil etc).

Meanwhile, our erstwhile economic wrist slashing politicians here at home continue to bang on about introducing an emissions trading scheme in advance of any decision at Copenhagen.

What a pack of immoral bastards.

It shows how incompetent our opposition is that they can't come up with the morally correct position, which is to explicitly state that they are not going to support the loss of any Australian jobs until the rest of the world has a concrete agreement.

The way things are working out now China, India and Russia etc will get rewarded for having kept their populations in penury for decades due to their socialist governments, as well as pay no price for the use of technology developed by the West.

Excuse me while I work out how to rationalise all that.

(Nothing Follows)

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Book Review - The Looming Tower

If you can read Lawrence Wright's Pulitzer Prize winning The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 and still be a 9/11 Truther then you have some serious issues.

Wright interviewed hundreds of people in researching this book including FBI and CIA officers who were intimately involved in hunting Al Qaeda, both before and after 9/11, members of overseas intelligence services, mainly in the Middle East, and former/ incarcerated members of terrorist organisations. He provides a substantial list at the end of the book.

Wright gives the history of Al Qaeda, it predecessors, the lives of its main players, how Bin Laden came to be fighting in Afghanistan against the Soviets, his time in Sudan, his family relationships and how it came about that he would focus exclusively on targeting America and its assets. There's also a history of Ayman al-Zawahiri from childhood through to radicalisation, competition with Bin Laden and, eventually, merging with him due to financial necessity.

There are a few things that really stick in the memory:
  • How remarkably lucky Bin Laden was to survive Afghanistan let alone to get to the point of carrying out the 9/11 attack;
  • The remarkable incompetence of the CIA, which jealously kept information from the FBI that would likely have led to the uncovering of the 9/11 plot;
  • The fecklessness of the Clinton administration in dealing with Al Qaeda after various attacks (note that I don't know whether any other administration would have acted any differently, unfortunately, though the wall between CIA and FBI was established at this time);
  • The bravery of the FBI's John O'Neill to recognise Al Qaeda as a major world threat early on and push and push and push his superiors to give it a high priority. Tragically, O'Neill would leave the FBI shortly before 9/11 to take up a role as chief of security for the Twin Towers, where he would perish when he went back in to help people;
  • The intrigue and politics between nations that are not necessarily recognised as allies; and
  • The fact that the large majority of Al Qaeda, and other terrorist groups, membership came from the middle class, which dispels the myth that it's poverty that drives them to commit such atrocities.
It's a great read.

9/10 from your erstwhile book reviewer.

(Nothing Follows)

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Book Review - Liberal Fascism

I've just finished reading Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism.

It's unfortunate that the term 'liberal' has been coopted by today's left, as a traditional liberal agenda looks nothing like the activist, high taxing, interfering agenda of the left.

Goldberg neatly dissects the fascist tendencies of a number of liberal icons - Wilson and FDR through to the Clintons - by first reminding people what fascism really is, how similar the fascist platform of the 1910s, 20s and 30s are to today's progessive and left-liberal agenda, and then providing clear examples of fascism through to the present day.

It covers the politics of meaning, race, the environment and a number of other areas all of which would be applauded by Mussolini, FDR and Wilson et al.

I came to the conclusion many years ago that unless one understands that fascism is a uniquely left wing ideology one can't understand the make up of the political spectrum and, critically, cannot understand where the political centre lies.

You may find yourself arguing with one of your lefty friends about which side of politics fascism resides on. They are guaranteed to not understand what fascism really is but they will understand that it involves a massive involvement by government in society.

Given that the underpinning philosophy of the right is liberty, self reliance and small government you should ask how fascism can be a right wing construct given that philosophical basis.

You might also want to remind them that it was Stalin who gave fascists the tag of being right wing because the national socialists/fascists were to the right of communism. The fact that they were also well to the left of the political centre is missed by those who spend their time forming opinions instead of doing any worthwhile research.

I bought a number of copies of Liberal Fascism and gave them to my friends. I suggest you do the same.

(Nothing Follows)

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Michael Moore does not understand evil

It goes without saying that commenting on Michael Moore's latest assault on truth actually plays into his hands by increasing the publicity he receives.

No matter, sane voices are needed to counter his distortions.

Having told lies about guns, 9/11 and the health system, Moore now takes aim at capitalism in his new falsumentary, "Capitalism: A Love Story".

Being Moore, he conflates the excesses of Wall Street with capitalism while studiously avoiding the fact that Wall Street gives more money to the Democrats than Republicans.

The film ends with:
"Capitalism is an evil, and you cannot regulate evil."
Unwittingly, Moore boils down all leftist thought into one line and in the process exposes the intellectual fantasyland the left inhabits.

How does the left explain the rise of China in recent decades? Of India? Of Brazil?

How does the left explain the fact that for the first time ever more than 50% of the world's population is defined as middle class?

Where are the examples of anything other than capitalism - sheer and naked, as in the examples of China and India - lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty?

If that's evil then we need more of it.

And here's a key insight that the left doesn't understand - capitalism is like gravity. It's an ever present force the effects of which operate in all societies.

It is shackled and suppressed in socialist countries, which is why they have hardly advanced themselves in the last 50-60 years.

Inhibiting capitalism is the reason that California is in such a parlous financial state in spite of all of its advantages.

Putting taxes on it is why so many state and local governments are losing their populations to other, freer jurisdictions.

Calling capitalism evil because a bunch of thieves on Wall Street co-opted government and, effectively, stole hundreds of billions of dollars from ordinary folk is the same as saying that gravity is evil for the negative effect it has on plummeting aircraft from time to time or that the sea is evil for occasionally sending a weak swimmer to a watery grave or that peanuts are evil for having a potentially fatal effect on 0.001% of the population.

I lived in the Soviet Union. I lived in backward Asian countries. I lived in Africa.

Not once did I see a local person who was as fat as Michael Moore.

Now, I'm not having a crack at Moore and his obvious battle with weight.

I'm highlighting that in non-capitalist countries Moore simply wouldn't have the opportunity to over eat. The food nazis out there might think that's a great idea but reasonable people believe that everyone should be able to make their own decisions and then live with the consequences of those decision - good or bad.

"Capitalism is evil" might go down well with the usual suspects: university professors; the mainstream media; Chavez, Castro and their ilk; America haters; and the Hollywood set, but anyone with a lick of commonsense understands it to be nonsensical.

(Nothing Follows)

Friday, 4 September 2009

US economic reality yet to sink in

The leading sign that Keynesian economics is alive and well are the ubiquitous references by the Obama administration, parroted by their acolytes in the media, about the effectiveness of the stimulus program and the so-called 'green shoots' that are turning the economy around.

The US, and the rest of the world, which is not devoid of Keynesian nonsense itself, will pay a heavy price for the policies currently in place.

New jobs data has been released for August showing yet another decline in employment. How will this information by spun? Probably by saying that the rate of decrease is slowing.

Consider the following from the indespensible Chart of the Day:
Today, the Labor Department reported that nonfarm payrolls (jobs) decreased by 216,000 in August. Today's chart puts that decline into perspective by comparing job losses during the current economic recession (solid red line) to that of the last recession (dashed gold line) and the average recession from 1950-2006 (dashed blue line). As today's chart illustrates, the current job market has suffered losses that are more than six times as much as average (20 months after the beginning of a recession). In fact, if this were an average recession/job loss cycle, the number of jobs would have begun to increase five months ago.

Hands up all of the people who think that this is nothing more than a normal recession?

Does anybody really think that the recession has ended, as has been trumpeted by a number of leading media commentators?

Folks, the US is not out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination.

There is another real estate shock to come in 2010 when commercial property mortgages reset, which at the very least will retard growth.

Then there is the massive issue of banks falsifying their balance sheets by not marking asset values to the market in order to stave off insolvency.

I would be surprised if the majority of banks in the US today are not technically insolvent.

The problem is that the FDIC doesn't have the funding to deal with a large scale bank collapse.

Into this environment the Obama administration wants to introduce its healthcare bill, which is nothing more than an outrageous takeover of 16% of the US economy, and cap and trade legislation, which will have no effect on global climate - ever - but will definitely transfer wealth from the ordinary, hard working, tax paying folk to enviro-scammers on Wall Street.

We live in interesting times, that's for sure.

(Nothing Follows)