Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: June 4, 2010

Hideous witch from the animated movie Spirited Away also an anti-Semite

Yes, this woman apparently thinks the Jews ought to just get their butts back to Germany and Poland where they belong. You know, back to the countries where six million of them were murdered.

Helen Thomas lookalike

Oops, sorry, wrong picture. It’s from the movie Spirited Away. I often get that one mixed up with the one below. They’re pretty much the same except for the walnut stain dye job and the horribly out-of-place trollop lipstick on the second one.

Ugly leftist harridan anti-semite

Ugly leftist harridan anti-semite

Anyway, courtesy Briebart, here’s the video, where you can see her spewing her leftist tripe for yourself.

It is a testament to the leftward bias of our legacy media that this harridan holds a place of honor in the White House Press Corp.

Now let us breathlessly await her suffering any consequences whatever. I’m anticipating a long wait.

Dale’s Observations For 2010-06-04

The Dow lost 323.31. The Euro fell below $1.20. The 10-year T-note yield fell from 3.36% to 3.2%. Gold up $12.20 to $1,220/oz. Bad, bad day. #

I wonder how Steve Jobs feels about AT&T stabbing his iPad marketing in the back with their new data plans. http://bit.ly/bxJBuI #

http://bit.ly/9QOFdz Obama on jobs report: “This report is a sign that our economy is getting stronger by the day.” That's…insane. #

Even Robert Reich sees us heading into a double-dip recession. Of course, his solution is more spending. As always. http://bit.ly/aKQbT8 #

The government has gotten oil spill advice from James Cameron and Kevin Costner. Why mess around with these losers? Call in Bruce Willis. #

What is the formula for electoral success?

I have to wonder if it isn’t being refelcted among the Dutch right now. In the Netherlands, the VVD, as the Liberal party is known, has come from so far down in the polls they couldn’t see any of their competitors to leading in the polls for the next parliamentary elections.

So, how did they manage that? Well, with an unlikely combination for a liberal party – austerity and immigration. On the austerity side:

As in other European countries, the need for painful spending cuts has risen to the top of the political agenda, and with it the fortunes of the VVD. “On June 9 we’ll find out who the voters think is the best party to guide the Netherlands through the crisis, to put matters in order, to give our beautiful country new prospects so it can emerge stronger from this crisis,” Mr Rutte, dressed in Diesel jeans and a blue shirt, tells a small crowd in one of the town’s squares. “We’re being honest and saying everyone is going to feel this.”

Of course, theonly lingering doubt about all this is while they may agree with the concept, and even vote for it, will the Dutch really put up with the cuts?

The VVD certainly hopes so and is betting it will give them some electoral longevity assuming sucess.

On the immigration front, it is fairly straight forward – the Dutch are looking for a hard line to be taken there. More control, less immigrants, and certainly the expulsion of any illegal immigrants.

Of course, I’m sure by now you’ve figured out why I brought this up. Mid-terms here in November, presidential election in 2012.

Where do you think those two issues will play here and how will they influence votes?

Your learned speculation and wild-ass guesses are welcomed.

TGIF

~McQ

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Spinning the unspinable – jobs report weak

President Obama is out telling workers at a trucking company in Hyattsville, Md that the new job numbers, 431,000 hired last month, shows the economy is “getting stronger by the day”.

Is it? It tells you something about credibility when you immediately question declarations like that, but that’s been the mantra for quite some time and it really hasn’t borne itself out as time progresses.

In this case 431,000 looks like a “good” number and seeing the unemployment rate drop from 9.9% to 9.7% would certainly seem to confirm that.

But the numbers really don’t support the spin. Of the 431,000 new jobs, 411,000 were temporary census jobs with the government that will go away at the end of the summer.

“The U.S. employment data was disappointing,” said Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman, in a statement. Mr. Chandler noted that private-sector job creation, a crucial measure, reached only 41,000, compared with expectations for 180,000 and a three-month moving average of 155,600.

It only had a net gain of 20,000 private sector jobs, far below the 100,000 or so jobs necessary just to maintain the employment status quo.

As for the unemployment rate:

“The fact that the unemployment rate ticked down is not really good news,” he added, “as the decline in unemployment was not a function of more jobs but a reflection of people leaving the work force.”

The lack of private sector job growth is being hidden by massive hiring by government for the census.

“These new data do not present a picture of a healthy private-sector growth, and nothing closely resembling the job growth needed to dig us out of our very deep hole,” Lawrence Mishel, the president of the Economic Policy Institute, said in a statement.

He’s right – do the math. 8 million people have lost their private sector jobs since the recession began. As Mishel points out, these numbers don’t at all indicate an economy that is “getting stronger by the day”.

“You would need to be producing 150,000 to 200,000 jobs a month to be making a dent in this,” said Doug Roberts, chief investment strategist for Channel Capital Research.

When you begin seeing numbers like that – on a sustained basis – then you have some basis for saying the economy is “getting stronger by the day”.

Until then, it’s just so much spin.

~McQ

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Speaking truth to power – NJ version

If anyone doubts that teacher’s unions are the power within the education establishment, they simply haven’t been paying attention. And if that same person is satisfied with the results of that education establishment over the years, they’re simply asleep at the switch.

In at least one state, a governor – Chris Christie of NJ – is attempting open warfare with his state’s teacher’s union in an effort to actually improve education, and you can imagine the result. That hasn’t stopped him from doing something the liberals always like to claim as their prevue – speaking truth to power:

“Parents and children who are being failed by a public school system whose costs are exorbitant and whose results are insulting deserve a choice. We don’t have to look far around the country to know that vouchers and experiments in school choice are working, that they’re producing results.

In D.C., those in that program are now reading 19 months ahead of their peers outside of the program. This isn’t a coincidence, we know it’s not a coincidence. We know that there’s over five-million children trapped in over ten-thousand failing public schools around America.

And I use the word ‘trapped’ and I use it directly. They are trapped by an educational bureaucracy, they are trapped by a selfish, self-interested, greedy school union that cares more about putting money in their own pocket, and the pockets of members, than they care about educating our most vulnerable and needy children.”

The rhetoric is interesting to me. Using the style of most union attacks Christie cites “greedy”, “selfish” and “self-interested” school unions as the problem. He’s using “for the children” against the liberal establishment to move his agenda – one which will actually provide children in NJ with a choice. Imagine that. And since it advances liberty, it puts me squarely in his camp applauding his effort.

What he is doing is what government should be doing – freeing the citizenry to decide for themselves and forcing marginal or poor schools to heed their customer base or “go out of business”. The message is “the free ride is over” as it is certainly not a free ride for taxpayers.

Christie points out that in Newark, NJ, taxpayers pay $24,000 per pupil per year. So in a class of 20 you have almost a half a million dollars spent. I’d like to say “invested” but its hard to do with a system Christie characterized as an “absolutely disgraceful public education system.”

So cheers to Christie. I continue to follow his battles in NJ with interest and, yes, hope. If he can be successful in triming back government and making it more effective while saving taxpayers money and breaking the power of government unions, he’ll be someone many politicans should, and I hope would, emulate. He is indeed one of the few governors using his state as a “laboratory of freedom”. I wish him good luck.

~McQ

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A duel to the death – progressivism v limited government

George Will’s column today is a “must read” if for nothing more than this succinct description of why government exits (and why it should be a “limited” government:

Government’s limited purpose is to protect the exercise of natural rights that pre-exist government, rights that human reason can ascertain in unchanging principles of conduct and that are essential to the pursuit of happiness.

Will uses his column to describe the dueling concepts of government that have arisen in this country. He identifies, properly in my estimation, Woodrow Wilson as the first “progressive” President and the one who began this move away from limited government that had served the nation so well to that point, to the more progressive version. It is a version we’ve yet to escape. FDR was just a continuation of the Wilsonian ambition who happened upon the proper crisis at the right time (sound familiar?).

With our recent discussion of rights and privileges in the comment section of a post, I found this to be dead on target:

Wilsonian progressives believe that History is a proper noun, an autonomous thing. It, rather than nature, defines government’s ever-evolving and unlimited purposes. Government exists to dispense an ever-expanding menu of rights — entitlements that serve an open-ended understanding of material and even spiritual well-being.

The name “progressivism” implies criticism of the Founding, which we leave behind as we make progress. And the name is tautological: History is progressive because progress is defined as whatever History produces. History guarantees what the Supreme Court has called “evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.”

The cheerful assumption is that “evolving” must mean “improving.” Progressivism’s promise is a program for every problem, and progressivism’s premise is that every unfulfilled desire is a problem.

And, progressivism’s method of choice for all this improvement is the vehicle of “big government”. What other institution can carry out such a massive project. And who has the time or patience for cultural change or to let markets sort it all out. Besides, only government allows the use of force.

Of course, as Will implies, the method of expanding government is the expansion of “rights” or entitlements and the declaration that only government is capable of ensuring their fulfillment. This flows directly from the Wilsonian idea that it is government’s job, as society evolved, to identify, enable and protect new “rights” as they emerged.

He repudiated the Founders’ idea that government is instituted to protect pre-existing and timeless natural rights, promising “the re-definition of these rights in terms of a changing and growing social order.”

The result, as William Voegeli correctly identifies it, is government’s “right to discover new rights.” The result is preordained:

“Liberalism’s protean understanding of rights,” [Voegeli] says, “complicates and ultimately dooms the idea of a principled refusal to elevate any benefit that we would like people to enjoy to the status of an inviolable right.” Needs breed rights to have the needs addressed, to the point that Lyndon Johnson, an FDR protege, promised that government would provide Americans with “purpose” and “meaning.”

Although progressivism’s ever-lengthening list of rights is as limitless as human needs/desires, one right that never makes the list is the right to keep some inviolable portion of one’s private wealth or income, “regardless,” Voegeli says, “of the lofty purposes social reformers wish to make of it.”

Lacking a limiting principle, progressivism cannot say how big the welfare state should be but must always say that it should be bigger than it currently is. Furthermore, by making a welfare state a fountain of rights requisite for democracy, progressives in effect declare that democratic deliberation about the legitimacy of the welfare state is illegitimate.

How many time have you heard the international criticism of the US for not having a national health service? That’s symptomatic of Will’s last point. Progressivisim, or at least the European equivalent, has had its way in Europe and we see the result today. Will correctly identifies the fatal flaw of progressivism – the lack of a limiting principle. Instead, progressivism sees the job of government in an ever expanding role of catering to almost any need or desire it can imagine and make a “right”. The most recent government invented right is the right to health care. The fact that the fulfillment of that “right” involves the labor, time and abilities of others doesn’t seem to register with progressives. Having identified the right and legislated it into existence, it is simply the role of those others, forced by the state, to fulfill that new right.

All of this, of course, leads to the inevitable conclusion – such a system is unsustainable:

“By blackening the skies with crisscrossing dollars,” Voegeli says, the welfare state encourages people “to believe an impossibility: that every household can be a net importer of the wealth redistributed by the government.” But the welfare state’s problem, today becoming vivid, is socialism’s problem, as Margaret Thatcher defined it: Socialist governments “always run out of other people’s money.”

~McQ

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