Saturday, November 16, 2013

Obama is Oz

The following quote from this post made the connection for me.  Obama is the Wizard of Oz.
Sooner or later, however, reality bites. Sooner or later, something happens that touches the material interests of individuals in a way they cannot willfully ignore. Sooner or later, something happens that causes all but the most blind partisans to step back, pay attention, and rethink. It is like that moment in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy sees behind the curtain. You and I have long been aware that the country is being conned. We knew that the President was lying when he told Americans on 24 occasions, in no uncertain terms, that they could keep the health insurance that they had. We knew as well that he was perfectly aware that he was peddling a whopper, and everyone in our larger political class knew so as well. The mainstream media knew, and they helped him sell his lies.
Oz the Great and Powerful, who can do anything - but pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

In the 1900 book by L. Frank Baum, the Wizard appears to each of the main characters individually: as a giant head, a beautiful fairy, a ball of fire, and a horrible monster.  When he finally meets them all together, he's a disembodied voice. Obama, too, has this quality.  In the prologue to The Audacity of Hope, Obama himself wrote "I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views."

To this day, nobody knows anything about the man's past.  What were his college grades? Who were his childhood friends?  Why isn't the PDF of his birth certificate a single layer?  Who signs the paycheck for a "community organizer"? Hell, we don't even know what he stands for now - every single thing he says has an expiration date.

Even now, Obama's trying to pick and choose which parts of his signature legislation (the Affordable Care Act is more commonly known as Obamacare) will be enforced and which will not, a power not authorized to the office of the President and a power outlawed in the 1600s for the monarchy in England.

Every portrayal of the Wizard of Oz, from Frank Morgan to Richard Pryor to James Franco, shows the wizard to be a small time con man who suddenly finds himself thrust into a position of power.Each knows he is a fraud, but he's got some tricks up his sleeve to make people believe him.  As Mark Steyn writes:
Until October 1, Obama had never done anything — not run a gas station, or a doughnut stand — other than let himself be wafted onward and upward to the next do-nothing gig. Even in his first term, he didn’t really do: Starting with the 2009 trillion-dollar stimulus, he ran a money-no-object government that was all money and no objects; he spent and spent, and left no trace. Some things he massively expanded (food stamps, Social Security disability) and other things he massively diminished (effective foreign policy), but all were, so to speak, preexisting conditions. Obamacare is the first thing Obama has actually done, and, if you’re the person it’s being done to, it’s not pretty.
And now, what was so obvious to so many in 2008 simply can't be hidden by the legacy media any longer,

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A very old game, with very high stakes

Ezra Levant posted an essay on Facebook today about comments made by a high-profile Canadian:
Recently, Cherry gave an interview to a newspaper in France. The interviewer asked Cherry about immigration. Did he support a policy, espoused by some extremists in Australia, of zero immigration? Cherry's reply was shocking:

"Oh, I think Canada is full too! Although it's the second largest country in the world, our surface area has been reduced. Our immigration policy is disgusting: We plunder southern countries by depriving them of future leaders, and we want to increase our population to support economic growth. It's crazy!"

We've all heard Cherry's rants against European hockey players. But this is different - this was a condemnation of his fellow Canadians. Who just happen to pay his hefty salary through their CBC taxes each year.

What Cherry said wasn't illegal. But it was tantamount to looking every new Canadian in the eye - translation: Looking minorities in the eye - and saying, "you're disgusting" and "it's crazy that we let you in here" and "there's no room for you."
Levant's article initially attributes the quote to Don Cherry, a plain-speaking common-sense man loathed by the Left in Canada, before revealing that the man being quoted is actually David Suzuki, noted environmentalist and darling of the Left. He used Don Cherry's name to illustrate the hypocrisy of the leftist mainstream media in Canada, who would roundly condemn Cherry if he were to make such a statement.

However, the issue runs much deeper than David Suzuki or the media. David Suzuki just knows how the game is played, so he knows he can get away with anything.

It's the same game that has made Al Gore a billionaire since he left the VP job behind. It's the same game that is played by the too-big-to-fail banks and GM, the same game played by the Federal Reserve and the professional protestors who astroturf every G8 summit. It is the game that kept the Liberal party in power in Canada for most of the 20th century.

The game is called "bread and circuses". From Wikipedia:
"Bread and Circuses" (or bread and games) (from Latin: panem et circenses) is a metaphor for a superficial means of appeasement. In the case of politics, the phrase is used to describe the creation of public approval, not through exemplary or excellent public service or public policy, but through diversion; distraction; or the mere satisfaction of the immediate, shallow requirements of a populace, as an offered "palliative." Juvenal decried it as a simplistic motivation of common people. The phrase also implies the erosion or ignorance of civic duty amongst the concerns of the common man.

In modern usage, the phrase is taken to describe a populace that no longer values civic virtues and the public life.

The game is simple: keep the population distracted and buy their votes. David Suzuki plays a small part in the game but he plays it well; he is a key player in the circus that is man-made catastrophic Climate Change. He knows that as long as he stays relevant in the environmentalist movement, and as long as the movement is the big tent in the Circus, he will do very well for himself indeed.

The same game is played out over and over again. Every new government program beyond the basic minimum requirements for a functioning government is only a way to buy votes, period. Social Security? Buying the votes of the retired and soon-to-be retired. Affirmative Action? Buying the votes of minorities. Welfare? Buying the votes of the thriftless and lazy. All government "charity" is a vote-buy. That's the bread.

The US debt is in the trillions. Money is being printed and pumped into the digital system as fast as possible. Miraculously, the US debt has stood at exactly $16,699,396,000,000.00, $25 million below the debt limit, for eight solid weeks, while still taking on debt through some very shady accounting.

And yet, the American public is more interested in Trayvon Martin; he's part of the Circus. So is anything to do with Kim Kardashian. These people serve as distractions, filling other circus tents like the Racism circus tent or the Celebrity circus tent. These circus tents and the other ones - the Environmentalism tent and the Gender Wars tent and the War on (some) Drugs tent and the Abortion tent and the UFO tent and all the others - these make up the Circus.

The Circus keeps people distracted from the real problems. The Bread keeps people's immediate needs satisfied. It keeps the game-players in power and everyone's happy and we're making Important Efforts in Solving All Our Problems, Together, as long as we can keep the game going. It's perfect!

Except, it's not. All that Bread and all those Circuses cost a lot of money, sixteen trillion dollars more than the US government has ever brought in with all the taxes it has ever collected in over 200 years. Add in the debt it has already promised but isn't on the books yet - those pensions that have been promised to retirees, for which they've paid all their lives in a giant Ponzi scam - and the total coming due by 2019* is many times that 16 trillion. That is rather a lot of money by any standards.

And people expect to get paid. The Fed has a tricky balancing act - keep pumping dollars into the economy without triggering hyperinflation and bank runs. Every new dollar printed isn't a new dollar of wealth. There's the same amount of wealth as before, just divided among a larger amount of dollars. So, every existing dollar becomes worth slightly less. By the time the bill comes due, sure the number of dollars is correct but the value of those dollars is much less. People grumble and complain but the discrepancy adds up gradually, over time, in barely noticeable increments.

It's a lovely plan but it has the flaw that people are not stupid. They recognize that everything costs more, that $100 of groceries is a lot less than ten years ago. Then as more and more dollars are pumped in faster and faster, people notice that a hundred dollars in groceries is a lot less than last year. Then they notice that $100 doesn't go nearly as far as last month, or last week. Then, a few stock up on supplies ahead of time and the rest wait until it's too late and panic.

Make no mistake, that is the endgame of Bread and Circuses. Keep people happy and distracted - until you can't anymore. It's such a long, slow game, it can span many generations - it's been going on for over a hundred years in the USA, a pretty good run for a complex game. The repercussions are always so far down the road that they hit long after the policy makers are dead, so why should they worry, as long as they can keep the game going? Until they can't, and it all crumbles down around them, everything - the economy, military security, and the nation itself.

But there is another way out. Stop playing the Bread and Circuses game. That was what energized the Tea Party protests - the recognition that the nation spent too much and soon wouldn't be able to pay for it, even though people were already taxed to the maximum, condensed into a plaintive cry of "Stop spending, stop spending, stop spending, stop spending!".

How? It's kind of rough, but much less rough than going off the cliff. It's a financial restructuring.

First, stop printing money immediately. Then, repeal the 16th Amendment and repeal every single line of the tax code. Instead, institute a flat federal sales tax on every purchase. The Federal government's only revenue then becomes that flat sales tax and government-run lotteries (which are a voluntary tax).

Next, eliminate every single government department with the exception of State, Defense, Justice, Treasury, and about half of HHS (including eliminating Obamacare). Everything else, gone. No welfare, no medicaid, no social security, all gone. Instead issue every citizen a monthly stipend (identical *small* amounts for every man, woman, and child, but they must be citizens). The stipend would just be a nice bonus for those that don't need it and a crucial difference for those who do, but everyone would be treated equally before the law.

The federal government's bureaucracy would be much smaller so expenditures then become a fraction of prior expenditures.

The sales tax rate would have to be set so that the government's revenues exceed the (much smaller than previous) expenditures, with the surplus applied to the debt and no new programs introduced until the debt is paid off.

There is no room for pork in this option. The same basic template applies to Canada and Australia and the EU as much as it does to America. There is no room for the players of the Bread and Circus game. But it is also the only way to avoid the crash of America or the other democracies of the world.

(*) Why 2019?  The Baby Boom was roughly 1945 to 1963, with a median of 1954.  Babies born in 1954 turn 65 in 2019, so in that year about half the Baby Boomers will be retired, and those born at the start of the boom will only be 74, short of the average lifespan.  That's a lot of pension checks, and not as many people paying into the system as before.  That which cannot go on forever won't, and when the pension system goes bust it won't be pretty.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Appalling

This is absolutely disgusting.
A Toronto teacher is back in the classroom after being removed earlier this month when school board officials took issue with a set of posters meant for gay bars and bathhouses.

The Toronto District School Board said Wade Vroom was transferred to “home assignment” after media reports surfaced that he had pinned graphic sex-ed pamphlets on a bulletin board in the back of his Grade 7 and 8 classroom.

...

The material — which was in the classroom since October — was produced by AIDS Committee Toronto, with a headline that read “If you like to f—,” followed by tips for safe sex. The poster also included a section on “How to use your head when giving it,” complete with fellatio instructions and a photo of a man’s partially exposed buttocks.
Who thought it was a good idea to let this guy back in the classroom? One couldn't get away with posting a nudie calendar in the lunchroom at a steel mill; the HR department would have the "offender" fired and there's nothing the shop steward could do about it. But to post blowjob instructions (complete with a photo of a man's half-naked ass) in a classroom of 12-14 year old children: that doesn't merit firing, at a minimum? Doesn't it merit criminal charges?

This path can not end well. Prior to World War 2, one was either a child or an adult. There was no in-between. After WW2, that distinction was lost; teenagers inhabit a limbo between childhood and adulthood. The rites of passage from childhood to adulthood have been lost, little by little but inexorably.

The result has been a blurring of the line between child and adult, a sexualization of children and an infantilization of adults. What's next, four year olds wearing falsies?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The War on ... Everything

A nation is logically only able to declare war on another nation, not on an idea.

Nation versus nation: that's fair. Nation versus idea: that's absurd. It's like asking: "how heavy is a second"?

In war there is a victor and the defeated, the war ends, and to the victor go the spoils. When a nation wars with an idea, the war never ends. The War on Poverty is forty-eight years old! How's that workin' out fer ya? The War on Drugs - under many names - has been going on for a hundred years in one form or another, and by that name in particular for four decades. At what point does an idea win or concede defeat?

The War on Poverty, the War on Illiteracy, the War on Drugs, the War on Terror, the War on Gender Inequality, the War on Racism, the War on War. Who benefits?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Cyprus

The European Union is imploding, falling under the weight of debt. Portugal, Italy, Greece, Ireland, Spain: all need to be bailed out, because they've borrowed too much money and can't afford to make interest payments. Now Cyprus needs to be bailed out, to the tune of 17 billion Euros, equivalent to the entire yearly Cypriot economy. They are frantically trying to prevent a run on their banks, and just passed three laws that basically hand over banking to Greece (!). This is all in the hopes of getting a bailout on better terms than were offered by the European Central Bank, which would have stolen money from anyone with savings in the banks. A lot of those with savings in Cypriot banks aren't Cypriots; there's lots of Russian Mafia money squirreled away there.

You do not steal from the Russian Mafia. Henry Hill can explain what happens next: