Monthly Archives: October 2009

I Would Have Been Surpised If This DIDN'T Happen

And so it begins.

Obama led with tariffs on tires; ’cause, you know, it just SUCKS to give low priced tires to people who need low cost tires!

Now China is retaliating by imposing tariffs on nylon from the US and other countries.

BEIJING — China took steps to impose antidumping duties on certain nylon imports from the U.S., European Union, Russia and Taiwan, hitting companies in the U.S. with duties of as much as 36%.

Can you say FDR all over again?

Serious.  Try it.  F-D-R all-over-again.

Hat Tip Free Market Mojo


I’ll never say that this is the worst economy since the Great Depression.  Never.  But its deep and it is going to be painful for awhile.

Further, I admit that I know very little of what made it that way.  So, I went out and bought some books, did some reading on line and just “followed this stuff” for awhile.  And, after awhile, you begin to get a gist for whats going on.  It begins to make some kinda sense.  You realize that things aren’t the way they are just ’cause.  They are the way they are for very specific reasons.  And when you realize that, you can begin to learn.

And that what depresses me tonight.

This interview has 3,050 views.  This one has 57,577,972 views.  No wonder we elected Obama.

If you want to begin to understand how things work without having to drop the time or cash on a college course, buy this book.

Obama's Numbers

The Democrats are reeling.  Support for the Leftist Congress is plummeting. Voters are ready to fire them with only 2 points to spare and closing fast.  {though if you ask Rasmussen, you get a different picture}.  Governors in two key Democratic states are going to flip.  Support for the health care bill is down and even Obama himself is seeing his numbers plummet.  {again, if you ask Rasmussen you will see a bigger decline}

But the real telling sign is the battle in the blogosphere.  Where once the debate wasn’t so much if the country loved Obama, it was about how many did.  The media was fawning all over the man what with men’s legs shivering in his aura.  Now?  Now the battle isn’t over whether or not CNN is biased, but rather if it’s biased to the left or to the right.

Wanna put into perspective how bad this President is?  His approval rating is lower than Carter’s.

Music.  Sweet music.

The Rich Just Keep Getting….Poorer?

It’s a bar room brawl folks.  Target is getting into the fight over low priced books.

The Minneapolis-based discounter said Monday that it will offer some of this season’s most anticipated book titles at $8.99, in line with recent moves by and

What is the goal of corporations?  To make money, of course.  How do you make more money?  By attracting more customers, of course.  And how do you increase the number of customers?  By reducing price or increasing quality.  And how do you raise the quality of a book already written?  You can’t.  So what is your only alternative?  Reduce the price.

And a million people across the United States will get quality books for a cheaper price.

Did Target do this willingly?

All three sellers are almost certainly taking a loss on the sales of these books in order to bring in customers.

I’m guessing no.  The power of capitalism baby.  Responsible for yanking hundreds of millions of people out of bone jarring poverty.

Know what I’m also guessing?  I’m guessing all we’d hear about from the left is:

But the price war, occurring as the critical holiday shopping season gets under way, is bad news for independent bookstores, as well as the large chain bookstores Borders Group Inc. and Barnes & Noble Inc. These chains have seen their sales and profits squeezed by discounting and a decline in their music business.

Analysts also note that the price wars also don’t bode well for the overall book industry, which may likely cut authors’ advances and editors’ salaries.

“I don’t see an end in sight,” said Michael Norris, a senior analyst with Simba Information. “There is going to be a longer-term cost to cheap books. This book war drives out chain stores and independent bookstores.” He noted that, Target and Walmart don’t “value books” in the same way.

“Bookstores are invested in the future of books, but the others are not,” he continued.

More crap from the Leftists.  Fake outrage for the benefit of just another capitalist evil corporation, Barnes and Noble or Borders.  Or maybe they’ll defend the independent booksellers.  You know, that group of people who price books so high that only the wealthy and privileged can afford them?  Or maybe that group of people who will only hire part-time employees at minimum wage without benefits.  Yeah, let’s defend them by all means.

But wait, the left could lash out and defend the poor authors and editors!  Yeah yeah, those poor poor authors!

  • John Grisham – $9 million in 2007
  • Stephen King – $45 million in 2007
  • Dean Koontz – $44.2 million in 2004

Oh, salary of an “editor” for a major author?  ‘Bout a hundred k.

The benefit of getting books into an affordable range at the cost of reducing Mr. King’s millions?  Easy call for the left.  But we’ll never hear it from them.

Because It Worked So Well The First Time


People often forget the lessons that history serves up to us.  We are destined to relive the errors of our past.  This happens in war, in love and, it seems, it politics.

You would think that with a recession just ending, an economy that won him the election and a financial crisis “the biggest since the Great Depression” Mr. Obama would know not to take these history lessons to heart.

But he isn’t, he’s going right back to the well that put us in this situation to begin with.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Monday launched a program to help the depressed U.S. housing market by effectively allowing state and local housing finance agencies to borrow from the U.S. Treasury.

The initiative, announced as new data showed a downturn in homebuilder sentiment, aims to restart a source of mortgage financing for first-time and low-income buyers that has been largely shut down by credit market gridlock.

Described as temporary by the U.S. Treasury, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the program will allow state and local agencies to issue bonds through government-sponsored mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Those bonds would then be purchased by the Treasury.

“Through this initiative, the administration aims to help … jump start new lending to borrowers who might not otherwise be served and to better support the financing costs of their current programs,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in a statement.

At the very root cause of this most recent crisis is the fact that it was easy for people to borrow money to buy houses.  Many of these people would not have been able to afford to borrow that money in the past.  With the added demand on the housing market, the price of homes sky rocketed.  This in turn caused further investment in that market and so on and so on.  Finally, when those folks who borrowed money they couldn’t afford failed to pay that money back, the wheels came off.  The rest, as they will say, is history.

So what are we doing?  Ignoring history and doing the exact same thing; borrowing money to people who can’t afford it.

Canadacare in Action

Think the Government can handle health care?  Check again.

“The model predicts that there will be a significant wave in autumn, with 63% of the population being infected, and that this wave will peak so early that the planned [U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] vaccination campaign will likely not have a large effect on the total number of people ultimately infected by the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus,”

You know what that means?

The authors said that this is the week, through Oct. 24, during which the greatest number of people would be infected. The vaccination program has barely started in the U.S.

“The model predicts that the peak wave of infection will occur near the end of October in week 42, with 8% of the population being infected during that week. By the end of 2009, the model predicts that a total of 63% of the population will have been infected,” the authors wrote in a conclusion that ignored the effects of a CDC vaccination program.

In other words, we are too late.  The flu will hit well before the country will get the vaccine.  Awesome.  But there IS good news:

Canada is in a much more dire straits on vaccination, Ms. Towers noted in her interview, because of relative slowness of the country’s equivalent of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve the vaccine.

“They are more cautious and conservative and sitting on at least 1 million doses waiting for delivery. They won’t begin vaccination until the first week of November,”

So, while the US Government is too slow and ultimately ineffectual, we can rest assured that Canada is worse.

Awesome.  Go Obama!

Media Bias: Brad and Britt Have It Wrong

This morning on the Brad and Britt show the conversation was concerning the continued attack on Fox News from the White House.  I only was able to catch a small part of the show, but the general gist was that, in fact, Fox News as an organization is slanted to the Right.  I got this impression from the conversation between Brad and Britt regarding the Fox Radio reporters that the show dealt with for the first 3 years of the station’s existence.

Britt commented:

During this time he and Brad often spoke to those reporters and during those conversations, where it was just one on one, the reporters would often come across as genuine and fair, as if they were liberated from the corporate expectations of Fox.

I waited for the comparison to ABC Radio and its reporters.  I would expect that if Fox had certain expectations than ABC must also.  And if the Fox reporters felt liberated in one on one conversations with peers, it would hold that ABC reporters would feel the same way.  I was rewarded with no such point.  So I was left with the feeling that:

  1. Yes.  Fox News does expect a Conservative slant.
  2. Yes.  That expectation is wrong.

So I started to wonder.  Many folks say that America is a “Center Right” nation.  So maybe Fox is just right on the money when they report as a “Center Right” network.  Which in turn got me to thinking, how far “right” is Fox?

So I checked.  And this is what I found:  A report titled:  A Report on Media Bias

It turns out that two researchers conducted a study.  And a rather clever study at that.  The researchers

count the times that a media outlet cites various think tanks and other policy groups.  We compare this with the times that members of Congress cite the same think tanks in their speeches on the floor of the House and Senate.  By comparing the citation patterns we can construct an ADA score for each media outlet.

Then, by ranking these ADA scores, the report was able to rank not only how liberal or conservative a news outlet is, but also how far from “Center” it is.

The results?  Surprising only in the fact that SO many sources are liberal, by how far and even how traditional conservative sources are really liberal:

Media source and ADA Score

Media source and ADA Score

Sources are listed in the order of the distance they are from center.  The lower the number, the more conservative; the higher the more liberal.  Average is 50.06.   So, where does Fox news sit?  5th.  They are the fifth closest to center with a 39.7 ranking.  Every other source from 6th through 20 is further from center than Fox and all of them save 1 has a liberal bias.

The report is informative in 2 other aspects:

  1. Aaron Brown doesn’t host on CNN any longer.  That honor goes to the decidedly more liberal Anderson Cooper.
  2. MSNBC isn’t even on the list.  Yowza.

So I ask you gentle reader; who is really in the tank for who?

A Reminder of the Meaning of Money

Atlas Shrugged is a very VERY long book, but worth it.  Basically it tells the story of how we let ourselves be enslaved by the people who claim to “help us”.  When we hand over responsibility for ourselves, we hand over ourselves.

Anyway, one the strongest speeches in the book is known as The Money Speech.  Franciso De’Anconia is at a party and overhears a guest exclaim that money is the root of all evil.  His response:

“So you think that money is the root of all evil?” said Francisco d’Anconia. “Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?

“When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears not all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor–your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money, Is this what you consider evil?

“Have you ever looked for the root of production? Take a look at an electric generator and dare tell yourself that it was created by the muscular effort of unthinking brutes. Try to grow a seed of wheat without the knowledge left to you by men who had to discover it for the first time. Try to obtain your food by means of nothing but physical motions–and you’ll learn that man’s mind is the root of all the goods produced and of all the wealth that has ever existed on earth.

“But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles. Wealth is the product of man’s capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the incompetent? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Money is made–before it can be looted or mooched–made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability. An honest man is one who knows that he can’t consume more than he has produced.’

“To trade by means of money is the code of the men of good will. Money rests on the axiom that every man is the owner of his mind and his effort. Money allows no power to prescribe the value of your effort except the voluntary choice of the man who is willing to trade you his effort in return. Money permits you to obtain for your goods and your labor that which they are worth to the men who buy them, but no more. Money permits no deals except those to mutual benefit by the unforced judgment of the traders. Money demands of you the recognition that men must work for their own benefit, not for their own injury, for their gain, not their loss–the recognition that they are not beasts of burden, born to carry the weight of your misery–that you must offer them values, not wounds–that the common bond among men is not the exchange of suffering, but the exchange of goods. Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men’s stupidity, but your talent to their reason; it demands that you buy, not the shoddiest they offer, but the best that your money can find. And when men live by trade–with reason, not force, as their final arbiter–it is the best product that wins, the best performance, the man of best judgment and highest ability–and the degree of a man’s productiveness is the degree of his reward. This is the code of existence whose tool and symbol is money. Is this what you consider evil?

“But money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. It will give you the means for the satisfaction of your desires, but it will not provide you with desires. Money is the scourge of the men who attempt to reverse the law of causality–the men who seek to replace the mind by seizing the products of the mind.

“Money will not purchase happiness for the man who has no concept of what he wants: money will not give him a code of values, if he’s evaded the knowledge of what to value, and it will not provide him with a purpose, if he’s evaded the choice of what to seek. Money will not buy intelligence for the fool, or admiration for the coward, or respect for the incompetent. The man who attempts to purchase the brains of his superiors to serve him, with his money replacing his judgment, ends up by becoming the victim of his inferiors. The men of intelligence desert him, but the cheats and the frauds come flocking to him, drawn by a law which he has not discovered: that no man may be smaller than his money. Is this the reason why you call it evil?

“Only the man who does not need it, is fit to inherit wealth–the man who would make his own fortune no matter where he started. If an heir is equal to his money, it serves him; if not, it destroys him. But you look on and you cry that money corrupted him. Did it? Or did he corrupt his money? Do not envy a worthless heir; his wealth is not yours and you would have done no better with it. Do not think that it should have been distributed among you; loading the world with fifty parasites instead of one, would not bring back the dead virtue which was the fortune. Money is a living power that dies without its root. Money will not serve the mind that cannot match it. Is this the reason why you call it evil?

“Money is your means of survival. The verdict you pronounce upon the source of your livelihood is the verdict you pronounce upon your life. If the source is corrupt, you have damned your own existence. Did you get your money by fraud? By pandering to men’s vices or men’s stupidity? By catering to fools, in the hope of getting more than your ability deserves? By lowering your standards? By doing work you despise for purchasers you scorn? If so, then your money will not give you a moment’s or a penny’s worth of joy. Then all the things you buy will become, not a tribute to you, but a reproach; not an achievement, but a reminder of shame. Then you’ll scream that money is evil. Evil, because it would not pinch-hit for your self-respect? Evil, because it would not let you enjoy your depravity? Is this the root of your hatred of money?

“Money will always remain an effect and refuse to replace you as the cause. Money is the product of virtue, but it will not give you virtue and it will not redeem your vices. Money will not give you the unearned, neither in matter nor in spirit. Is this the root of your hatred of money?

“Or did you say it’s the love of money that’s the root of all evil? To love a thing is to know and love its nature. To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men. It’s the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money–and he has good reason to hate it. The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it.

“Let me give you a tip on a clue to men’s characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.

“Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper’s bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another–their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun.

“But money demands of you the highest virtues, if you wish to make it or to keep it. Men who have no courage, pride or self-esteem, men who have no moral sense of their right to their money and are not willing to defend it as they defend their life, men who apologize for being rich–will not remain rich for long. They are the natural bait for the swarms of looters that stay under rocks for centuries, but come crawling out at the first smell of a man who begs to be forgiven for the guilt of owning wealth. They will hasten to relieve him of the guilt–and of his life, as he deserves.

“Then you will see the rise of the men of the double standard–the men who live by force, yet count on those who live by trade to create the value of their looted money–the men who are the hitchhikers of virtue. In a moral society, these are the criminals, and the statutes are written to protect you against them. But when a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law–men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims–then money becomes its creators’ avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once they’ve passed a law to disarm them. But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it. Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to those most ruthless at brutality. When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. And then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter.

“Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion–when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing–when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors–when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you–when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice–you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that is does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.

“Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men’s protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it bounces, marked, ‘Account overdrawn.’

“When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded. Do not ask, ‘Who is destroying the world? You are.

“You stand in the midst of the greatest achievements of the greatest productive civilization and you wonder why it’s crumbling around you, while you’re damning its life-blood–money. You look upon money as the savages did before you, and you wonder why the jungle is creeping back to the edge of your cities. Throughout men’s history, money was always seized by looters of one brand or another, whose names changed, but whose method remained the same: to seize wealth by force and to keep the producers bound, demeaned, defamed, deprived of honor. That phrase about the evil of money, which you mouth with such righteous recklessness, comes from a time when wealth was produced by the labor of slaves–slaves who repeated the motions once discovered by somebody’s mind and left unimproved for centuries. So long as production was ruled by force, and wealth was obtained by conquest, there was little to conquer, Yet through all the centuries of stagnation and starvation, men exalted the looters, as aristocrats of the sword, as aristocrats of birth, as aristocrats of the bureau, and despised the producers, as slaves, as traders, as shopkeepers–as industrialists.

“To the glory of mankind, there was, for the first and only time in history, a country of money–and I have no higher, more reverent tribute to pay to America, for this means: a country of reason, justice, freedom, production, achievement. For the first time, man’s mind and money were set free, and there were no fortunes-by-conquest, but only fortunes-by-work, and instead of swordsmen and slaves, there appeared the real maker of wealth, the greatest worker, the highest type of human being–the self-made man–the American industrialist.

“If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose–because it contains all the others–the fact that they were the people who created the phrase ‘to make money.’ No other language or nation had ever used these words before; men had always thought of wealth as a static quantity–to be seized, begged, inherited, shared, looted or obtained as a favor. Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created. The words ‘to make money’ hold the essence of human morality.

“Yet these were the words for which Americans were denounced by the rotted cultures of the looters’ continents. Now the looters’ credo has brought you to regard your proudest achievements as a hallmark of shame, your prosperity as guilt, your greatest men, the industrialists, as blackguards, and your magnificent factories as the product and property of muscular labor, the labor of whip-driven slaves, like the pyramids of Egypt. The rotter who simpers that he sees no difference between the power of the dollar and the power of the whip, ought to learn the difference on his own hide– as, I think, he will.

“Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of men. Blood, whips and guns–or dollars. Take your choice–there is no other–and your time is running out.”

1000 Today

This started in early January 2009.  It’s taken me 10 months to hit 1000 views; most of ’em are my mom.

Here’s to the next thousand.

Weather not Climate

I know that this is a silly sample size, but still.  At some point those folks that are screaming Global Warming should be forced to demonstrate that we really are warming.

High temperature averaged a chilly 47 degrees for the first two weeks of the month – 16 degrees below normal.

With 19 consecutive days of below normal temperatures and accumulating snow falling a few weeks before normal, news that this has been the coldest start to an October on record in the Twin Cities probably isn’t all that shocking.