Archive for November, 2009

Finally, pirates resisted

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Somali pirates attacked the Maersk Alabama on Wednesday for the second time in seven months and were “thwarted by private guards”.

It appears that “thwarted” actually means “killed”, which is the only effectual way to “thwart” pirates.

This will have the effect that pirates will cease to attack ships flying the American flag, which a considerably better result than I expected with Obama in charge. This action by captain Rochford of the Maersk was of course completely legal under international law of the sea, US law, and two thousand years of ancient customary law, not to mention the primary law of natural law: The natural right of self defense.  If, however, the captain had told us plainly what happened, there would likely have been “human rights” charges in some subsequent port of call.

US inflation rising

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

The latest official cpi is 0.3% rise for the month of October, which, annualized, is 3.6% – higher than is desirable, high enough to cause moderate damage to investment and employment,but not high enough to be a serious problem.

Actual inflation, in my doubtless biased judgment,  is probably around seven percent, high enough to be a serious problem, high enough significantly damage investment and cause substantial unemployment.

The government continues to hold real interest rates negative for privileged and well connected borrowers, which procedure usually foreshadows severe inflation and economic collapse.  What we have seen before, many times in many countries, is a vicious cycle where as doom sets in, the well connected buy up cheap assets with cheaply borrowed money, incurring debts that rapid inflation will reduce to zero.  By so doing, the well connected create an ever greater pro inflation insider lobby group:  Positive feedback  leading to ever greater fiscal irresponsibility, resulting in ever greater inflation.

The vicious cycle is in progress, but has not yet reached the point of being irreversible.  The government could easily raise interest rates to fund its deficit spending by irresponsible borrowing instead of irresponsible money issue. There is a great deal of ruin in a nation.  On the other hand, a trillion dollar deficit is a great deal of ruin.

As the government continues with its low interest policy, insider interest in continued low interest rates and high inflation will become ever stronger, making it ever harder to change the policy from inflation to borrowing.

My guess is that there is still plenty of time to change course – from irresponsible money issue leading to hyper inflation soon, to irresponsible borrowing leading to hyper inflation later – but if there is no change of course before 2012, changing course after 2012 will be difficult.   The closer we get to the brink, the harder it is politically to turn around before hyperinflation.

Productivity leaps?

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

Unemployment is soaring – yet supposedly total production has increased.

Normally a big rise in productivity leads immediately and directly to a big rise in prosperity.  Are you feeling prosperous?

Another common cause of statistics showing a big rise in productivity is, as in Argentina, the government lying to itself and the public about inflation.

Another common cause of statistics showing a big rise in productivity is government spending.  The problem is that in calculating GDP, government expenditures are valued at cost.  Thus for a private individual to raise GDP,  he has to find a way to make more money, whereas for the government to raise GDP, it merely has to find a way to spend more money.

To illustrate the problem, let us imagine a little kingdom, where all production is valued in sacks of wheat, and sacks of wheat are used as money.  The peasants produce in actual sacks, plus chickens and goats valued in sacks at the market exchange rate. The kingdom has one thousand peasants, each of whom produce two hundred sacks of wheat a year, one lord, and ten lord’s retainers.  Each peasant pays the lord a tax of twenty sacks, so we value the work done by the lord and his retainers at twenty thousand sacks.  So even though the peasants only produce two hundred thousand sacks of wheat, the kingdom’s GDP is somehow two hundred and twenty thousand sacks.

The Lord decides to stimulate the economy of the kingdom, by hiring two hundred and fifty peasants at one thousand sacks per year to dig holes, and another  two hundred and fifty peasants at two thousand sacks per year to fill the holes in.  He raises taxes on all peasants to pay for this, from ten percent of production to ninety percent of production.   Despite this tax rise, the remaining peasants not digging holes or filling them in continue to produce two hundred sacks a year.  So now that we only have five hundred peasants left doing anything useful, so you might suspect that GDP has now fallen from twenty thousand sacks of wheat, to ten thousand sacks of wheat, but no, this is not the way to get a Nobel prize in economics.

Since the holes are valued at cost, and filling them in also valued at cost, and since the peasants working in the Lord sector are well paid, better paid than ordinary peasants, though not quite as well paid as the lord and his retainers, and since the Lord and his retainers also took a modest pay rise for arranging all this prosperity, total value produced, total GDP is now a whopping eight hundred and fifty thousand sacks of wheat, a fourfold rise in GDP.

One of the Lord’s retainers is an economist, who gets a Nobel prize for explaining that the Lord has done such a good job.

Judaism is racism, says the British Court of Appeals

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

A Jewish school, partially funded by the British taxpayer, has been ordered it cannot define Jews by descent, because this is “racism”.  Unfortunately, Judaism does define Jews by descent.  If the effect of the ruling was merely that Jewish institutions, being “racist” cannot receive government funding, this would not be too bad, but unfortunately, Britain prohibits “racist” association generally, so the ruling logically prohibits Jewish association generally, thus the practice of Judaism generally.

“The requirement that if a pupil is to qualify for admission his mother must be Jewish, whether by descent or conversion, is a test of ethnicity which contravenes the Race Relations Act,… [Whether the reasons were] benign or malignant, theological or supremacist makes it no less and no more unlawful.”

Judaism is not going to be suppressed tomorrow, the government will not immediately proceed with all the logical implications of the ruling, but this is the beginning of a long slow end.  When England went Protestant, it allowed Jews in.  As it goes Muslim, it is going to send them out.

The Guardian is lecturing Britain’s chief Rabbi on what the Jewish religion should be.  It is a reasonable enough lecture if given by one private citizen to another, and I am sure that lots of Jews have said the same thing, but a very menacing lecture when backed by court and state.  And if Jews comply with this perfectly reasonable lecture, chances are that next year something else, not quite so reasonable, will be found that is wrong with Jews.

Shmuley Boteach very passionately argues that the court, and the guardian, is full of $#!%, similarly Spengler, and Secular Right but whether or not they are full of $#!% they are full of menace.

Muqata suggests it is time for all Jews to get out of Britain.  Not yet it is not, but that is the way the wind is blowing.

Nobel prize for corruption and fraud

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Several recent Nobel prizes in economics have been as hilarious as the Nobel peace prize given to Yasser Arafat.

David Henderson observed an interesting paper telling us that Fannie and Freddie have very little risk.  Nobel Prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz, and eminent economists Jonathan M. Orszag and Peter R. Orszag assured us that everything was just lovely. Don’t pay any attention to strange crazies like Peter J. Wallison who was at approximately the same date telling us that Fannie and Freddie were doomed and were going to take down the financial system with them.

If you tell the Cathedral what it wants to hear, you get honors and wealth. If you say what it does not want to hear, you are a crank, and will be reviled and ignored.  Theocracy in action.

Political correctness kills people

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

Section 3 of the US constitution.

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.

Major Nidal Malik Hasan adhered to our enemies and gave our enemies aid and comfort. He then waged war against the united states, shooting 43 soldiers who were not carrying arms at the time.

When he adhered to our enemies and gave them aid and comfort, he should have been (if not charged with treason) dishonorably discharged on the basis that he was unwilling to perform his contract with the united states army, which paid for his education.

Because political correctness holds that Islam is the religion of peace, Major Nidal Malik Hasan cannot be charged with treason, since it cannot be acknowledged that a very large proportion of Muslims are guilty of treason, probably most of those who take their religion seriously. Indeed. If you are an American Muslim, you are guilty of treason against the US, or treason against Dar al Islam, one or the other.

Because political correctness holds that women can fight fires just as well as men, some of the requirements for firefighters, notably the ability to carry an unconscious man to safety, have necessarily been eliminated. And so people burn to death in fires.

And similarly, millions die each year from malaria, which could be easily prevented, but political correctness forbids it.

The lesson of NY 23 election

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

The election for New York’s 23rd Congressional District was a straight up and down test of Tea Party conservatism and Palin Republicanism against “moderate” Republicanism.

It proved, decisively, that Palin Republicanism wins votes and that “moderate” Republicanism loses votes.

It proved, decisively, that “moderate” Republicans wish the party harm.

Dede Scozzafava

Dede Scozzafava

The Republican party machine (the NRCC and the RNC) gave near a million dollars to a candidate who in the end endorsed the Democratic party candidate, thus exposing “moderate” Republicanism as treason against the party. A purge will ensue, or else a third party run. Possibly both, an incomplete and ineffectual purge, leading to a third party run. The swift unification of the party around Hoffman suggests an effectual purge may be happening.

Those who supported Scozzafava are revealed as dupes or traitors. If the purge fails to remove from power everyone who supported giving a million dollars to the candidate who endorsed the Democrat, a third party run is likely. If those who run the party are not loyal to it, who will be?

Palin Republicanism may not necessarily be able to save the Republican party, but it certainly has lot better chance than “moderate” Republicanism. It might be able to postpone the apocalypse for a decade or so, though eventually elections will be fought between the likes of the Institutional Revolutionary Party and the Party of the Democratic Revolution.

Democracy has an inherent drift towards self destruction. The masses are seduced by demagogues who promise them they can vote themselves rich, leading to bankruptcy and social war. But when the drift gets out of hand, when the end approaches too rapidly, there is a reaction as final collapse comes in sight, leading to a retreat from the abyss. The 1948 Congress that rejected Truman’s Fair Deal and proceeded to disband war socialism, and the Reagan revolution were such reactions to the alarmingly rapid approach of self destruction, and Palin may well be the next one – probably the last one.

Since 1994 I have been predicting collapse around 2020—2025 or so. If Palin succeeds, my prediction will need to be substantially rescheduled. I hope for the best, but expect the worst.

You read it here first 1

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

Big lizards boasts that his prediction came in first – that on October 29 he wrote “Evidence is mounting (a favorite liberal-stream media word) that far from making a ‘blunder’, Sarah Palin had her finger on the crystal ball”

But on October 27 I wrote “Sarah Palin in charge

Me me me me. Me first.

Fighting to lose in Afghanistan.

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

Hillary has just announced that it is fine by her for Karzai to steal the election.

“that bestowed legitimacy from that moment forward”

Details, x

Democrats of the Vietnam generation long for a re-run of Vietnam. Karzai is militarily incompetent, an enemy of western civilization, and is fighting to lose, thus to allow him to steal the election is defeatism, guaranteeing the Vietnam quagmire that Democrats long for.  Next stop, conscription, compulsory voluntary community service.

The correct response, as I have long argued, to this and to each of Karzai’s previous grave provocations, is to put him in a sack, and drop the sack on Pakistan’s presidential palace from ten thousand feet as a message to the president of Pakistan.

This Afghan government is clearly a disadvantage in our efforts to slay our enemies.  If Afghanistan can only be governed by enemy tyrants, why should we permit it to be governed?  Propping up governments is hard, costly, and bloody.  Propping up illegitimate enemy tyrannies is stupid.

In Afghanistan we are already defeated. From now on, it is just a theatrical display of American weakness and impotence, to the great rejoicing of our enemies within and without.