Defining Liberalism – Part 2
“Liberals advocate gender-selective abortion, i.e. the systematic abortion ofbaby girls arguing they must abort the girls in order to protect their rights.”
The US has the most progressive tax system in the world; the rich pay a higher share of taxes than in any other country and our corporate tax rate is the highest in the developed world. Nevertheless, liberals argue vociferously that the well off don’t pay their fair share.
Liberals are for diversity in every possible way except for thought where they oppose it.
Organic food fails every independent taste test versus conventionally grown food; isn’t healthier; requires more land; is worse for the environment; and costs more. Yet, it is a darling of liberals who oppose genetically modified food that actually is better for people.
Every one of the top 100 measures of human and environmental well being is the best it has been in the past 50-75 years and is getting better all the time. In the face of all this, liberals continue to argue counter factually that things are bad and getting even worse.
Our schools are terrible and getting worse. This has nothing to do with funding; it is the fault of educrats who regard it as a jobs program for adults and teachers unions that stand in the schoolhouse door blocking poor children from leaving. School choice is the civil rights issue of our age and liberals are on the wrong side despite their falsetto empathy.
Photo IDs are needed to buy tobacco, alcohol, drive, cash checks, fly, open bank accounts and attend the Democratic convention. Liberals believe it is racist to require one to vote.
Defining Liberalism – Part 1
“Liberalism: An emotional state characterized by obvious contradictions, disdain for truth, Utopian fantasies, obsessive desiresto control and to take from others and antipathy for all who differ.”
By: George Noga – February 15, 2013
You could see it in their faces; the look was unmistakable. I noticed it throughout our trip but it was confirmed by Mario on our final day in Europe. My wife and I were staying in Paris and took a hotel shuttle to the airport. We were the only 2 passengers on the shuttle van for the 30 minute ride and immediately struck up a conversation with Mario, our driver.
Mario, age 33, was trilingual and personable. We soon learned he was from Italy where he had completed his schooling but moved to France because there were no jobs in Italy. His job driving the shuttle van had zero possibility for upward mobility and he expected to remain in the same menial, monotonous position his entire working life. He was living with his girlfriend but stated he had no intention ever to marry; he was adamant about never having children. He had already begun to think about his pension which was at least a quarter century in the future.
Contemplate Mario’s situation. He left his native country and family for a low paying, dead end job in another country where he never would totally belong. He already had driven the van for 14 years and was facing another 29 years – a total of 60,000 hotel/airport round trips. He would subsist perpetually on the economic fringe of society, eschewing wife and children. Yet, according to his calculus, this hardscrabble existence was better than the life he left behind in Italy. Multiply Mario by tens of millions of others in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and elsewhere and you will begin to understand the magnitude of the quiet desperation I witnessed.
“We are a lost generation for sure.”
Take Carlos from Madrid, who was quoted in a recent Bloomberg report. He graduated from university but faced Spain’s 52% unemployment rate for those under age 25. He now washes and chops vegetables for a salad bar in London. Of the 17 employees, 13 are from Spain, including 3 from Carlos’s university. “We are a lost generation for sure“, Carlos stated.
As bad as the situation is currently, it is certain to get far worse as governments and central banks impose anti-growth policies including massive tax hikes and pile on ever more onerous regulations. Even the courts add to the perdition. The European Court of Justice just ruled workers who don’t feel well during vacations are entitled to a paid makeup vacation day for every day they were ill. Meanwhile, thanks to many millions like Mario and Carlos, Europe’s demographics are imploding. Unfortunately, Europe’s problems have reached the USA.
America is Becoming More Like Europe
More and more Americans are working part time and in low wage jobs. Our unemployment rate is 15% when including involuntary part-time workers. Unemployment for those under age 25 is higher at 16% and that number is set to soar as ObamaCare kicks in and the cost of insuring full time workers skyrockets. America gradually is descending into a low wage, part-time economy with stagnant growth accompanied by decreasing social mobility.
Obama’s policies fix these trends in place for at least the next 5 years – 4 more years of Obama and at least one year to change course. The high rate of government spending, massive debt, huge deficits and higher taxes are certain to result in tepid economic growth. We will be lucky to average 2% growth per year and to avoid recession and/or an existential debt crisis.
In short, the youth (and increasingly the middle class) of America are becoming more like Mario and Carlos. They will be part of a lost generation and it is just a matter of time until we will begin to see the unmistakable looks of quiet desperation in our children’s faces.
By: George Noga – February 1, 2013
Why do some people still cling to the man-made global warming myth? As the headline above suggests, it has transmogrified into a religion. As all religions, it is based on faith in things unseen; it has its high priests and dogma. It is replete with its own sacraments (bio-fuel, windmills, ethanol) and demons (coal, oil, CO2). As a religion its core beliefs are unassailable and impervious to all countervailing facts and logic. It is harsh toward apostates, labeling them deniers. However, its high priests and numeraries succumb to all the usual temptations of money, power, politics and arrogance.
Their co-coreligionists, i.e. the state sycophant media, serve as enablers by their grotesquely distorted reporting. Let’s examine recent reportage (and non reportage) to see how this works.
- An acolyte of the warmist religion recently emailed me, gleefully citing a media story about the melting of the polar ice cap. That’s true enough insofar as it goes. However, the media never report that the antarctic ice cap has been increasing for many years. And oh by the way, the antarctic ice cap is 10 times larger that its arctic counterpart.
- Recently the media have been flogging the story about 2012 being the hottest year in the lower 48 states by a full degree Fahrenheit. Again, a true statement. But did the media report 2008 was cooler than 2006 by 2 degrees? Did they report 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 all were cooler than 1998 by a greater margin than 2012 was hotter than 1998? Did they note the continental US is only 1.58% of earth’s land mass?
- It is an uncontested fact there has been no warming trend for the past 16 years. So, what does the media do? They glom on to the fact that the decade including 1998 was the warmest on record. Given 1998 was the hottest year, it follows statistically almost automatically the same decade would be the warmest decade. This media misdirection is solely to assuage readers’ anxiety from unwanted facts counter to their religion.
- What the media ignore can be equally significant. The US Department of Energy reports US CO2 emissions are the lowest in 20 years (by 14%) despite 50 million more people. You didn’t read this in your local paper because these incredible gains result from free market hydraulic fracking and not windmills, solar or government diktats. By the way, have the media reported it has been nearly 2,300 days since a Cat 3 storm hit the USA? So much for climate change and the purported increase in extreme weather events.
- Arguably the greatest failure of the global warming religion (and its media stooges) is to account for temperature readings from planets and moons in our solar system. NASA has taken readings from several bodies over many years and they closely track changes in Earth’s temperature. Unless there are CO2 belching SUVs on Mars and Triton, this can mean only one thing: temperature changes result from solar activity. When faced with such overwhelming evidence, warmists do what one would expect – they totally ignore it.
Thus far I have failed to mention the ultimate apostasy, i.e. the amount of warming now projected for the remainder of the century is a net benefit to mankind. I am going to miss the warming religion when its final adherent figuratively closes the door and turns out the lights much as I have come to miss the former Soviet Union. They have much in common. Both were religions based on deeply flawed premises; they became funny (in a pathetic way) as their stars faded. And, they were such inviting targets to write about. But religions never die and there are a few die-hard commies around as there will be a similar number of warmists in a few years.
Note to readers: We have tweaked the format slightly and also added more social media sharing options which now include: email, Twitter, Facebook and Linked-in; The links are at the very top of the posting.
IPCC Draft Report: Global Warming is Minimal and a Net Benefit to Mankind!
By: George Noga – January 24, 2013
The (“IPCC”) or United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the very same folks who perpetrated the man-made global warming hoax on the world, is poised to release its Fifth Assessment Report later this year. A draft has leaked; it is posted on the Internet for all to see. I have read much of it and it is pure dynamite.
Scientists who reviewed the draft, state that data contained therein lead inexorably to the four observations listed below. Please be forewarned however; as always, the final report will be highly politicized. Its summary and conclusions will contradict data buried in the body of the report. The media and warmists will selectively extract data and quotes solely for scare purposes. Despite this dissembling, the conclusions are:
- There has been no warming for the past 16 years.
- Computer models used in the past to predict disaster are invalid.
- There will be a rise of only 1 degree Celsius between now and 2100.
- There will be a net benefit to mankind from this amount of warming.
It was simple long ago to conclude man did not cause warming in any significant measure. NASA had many years of accurate readings from several planets and moons in our solar system showing their temperature changes tracked closely with earth’s. Ergo, it had to be a solar phenomenon which man could not possibly be causing.
Kyoto and Carbon Dioxide
The world little noticed, but the Kyoto Protocol on climate change expired at the end of 2012. So, just how successful was it and how did the United States (which did not sign the treaty) fare compared to the self righteous countries that did and castigated the US? Japan promised a 6% CO2 reduction but experienced a 7% increase for a net negative margin of 13%, and this from a nation losing population and in a generation-long economic slump.
Australia experienced a negative CO2 margin of 56% – bummer! Our neighbor, Canada, a rabid Kyoto supporter, had a margin of negative 30%. The Netherlands had a negative margin of 26%. The European Union as a whole met its target due solely to three factors: (1) economic stagnation; (2) rigging the starting date to coincide with the collapse of communism; and (3) the related closure of grossly inefficient Soviet era power plants and industries. Meanwhile, Uncle Sam had an increase over the past 20 years of only 10% despite economic development and population growth that vastly surpassed most of the world.
Europe Back to the Stone Age; Pineapples in Alaska
Global warming has attained the status of a religion in Europe. And religions don’t die. Zoroastrianism, which faded away over 1,000 years ago, still has hundreds of thousands of adherents. Europeans believe warming could drive them back to the stone age. They may be right, just not the way they envision it. Their misplaced faith in global warming – not warming itself – could result in much of Europe reverting to a Neolithic lifestyle.
European Union law mandates an 80% cut in CO2 emissions by 2050. In Britain, many industries face a 140% increase in energy costs by 2020. Planned offshore wind farms will cost Britons $10,000 per person. France and Germany with massive shale resources ban exploration. Germany has half the photovoltaic capacity on the planet even though a top German utility executive compares this to growing pineapples in Alaska. Europe is destroying the foundation of its prosperity because of obeisance to a dead religion – not to mention that it also is going bankrupt from unsustainable debt and social programs. Zoroastrianism may be a better choice.
Climate Religion, Zoroastrianism and Polar Bears
The climate religion is dead. The IPCC report should be the final nail in its coffin. Yet I suspect many of its acolytes will continue to cling to it much like modern day Zoroastrians. The same pantheon of gods (IPCC) that giveth, now taketh away. There is no significant man made global warming and there never was! To the very limited extent (1 degree Celsius between now and 2100) solar caused warming may exist, it is a boon to the human race.
Much or all of what adherents to the warmist religion ever believed is wrong about, inter alia, CO2 emissions, ethanol subsidies, rising sea levels, biofuels, melting ice caps, ocean temperatures, hurricanes, green energy, fossil fuels and polar bears whose record numbers continue to proliferate. Please don’t forget the polar bears!
Guns and Schools – Part 3
By: George Noga – January 17, 2013
“The greatest cause of school killings is untreated mental illnesswhich exists for one reason, and one reason only: liberal dogma.”
“The severely mentally ill go untreated, wander the streets, become homeless, populate our prisons and are condemned to tortured, miserable lives – and all in obeisance to the liberal religion.”
Change the culture. We have lowered expectations and standards for personal and civil conduct – the vicious attacks, untruths and extreme negativity of the recent election campaign being a good example. Long established rules, limits and barriers have been destroyed. Daniel Henninger in the WSJ describes it as removing all the guardrails for society. There is a linkage between cultural disarray and personal disarray. When the entire spectrum of acceptable behavior shifts, those at society’s margins go off the tracks. Our intellectual, political, religious, media and cultural elites need to rediscover self control. This will take time and won’t solve 100% of the problem, but it is a needed start.
- Reduce the copycat effect. The copycat effect is real and proven. This is where the media need to exercise self restraint. No one advocates legal restrictions on the press, but a voluntary industry wide code of conduct would be a good start. Before this can happen the media must acknowledge its culpability in creating future horrors. Right now the media is too busy flogging the story for all it’s worth and deflecting blame onto the NRA.
- Treat and/or institutionalize the violently mentally ill. The statistics are too numerous to list but they all prove most rampage type attacks are perpetrated by the mentally ill. The heart of the problem is the existence of numerous people with severe mental disorders who are not being treated – and under existing law cannot be forced to accept treatment. In the 10 worst mass US killings, the majority were by people with untreated schizophrenia. Instead of changing gun laws, the imperative is to change laws pertaining to mental illness. That will do more than anything else to prevent future tragedies.
- Eliminate (fake) gun free zones. A sign proclaiming a gun free zone is a welcome mat for rampage killers. Gun free zones such as at airports are real as they are backed by metal detectors and a police presence. However, most gun free zones are merely notional and work only to increase the danger to those within the zone. It has been proven ad nauseum that more guns equate to less crime. Numerous mass killings have been stopped (see Part 1) by citizens with legal guns. Over 2,500,000 times each year legal guns prevent or stop crimes. The Gun Free School Zones Act of 1990 needs to be repealed.
- Understand that guns are not the issue. As I wrote last week, neither of the two deadliest school attacks in America involved guns. On the very same day as the Newtown tragedy, there was a mass school killing in China where 22 children were stabbed. Other mass school killings have involved dynamite, cars and fire. The sooner we all disabuse ourselves that guns are the culprit, the sooner we can begin to focus on the real causes.
- Learn from business. Mass killings in the workplace are down nearly 70% in the past 20 years and without any changes to gun laws. Of 20 mass shootings this year, only 1 involved businesses which have become more adept at understanding personality and risk. Most businesses use the run-hide-fight paradigm; they don’t ignore threats; they have violence prevention programs and they practice deterrence. They change the calculus in a potential killer’s mind that he will be able to control the situation until the SWAT team arrives. And yes, this calculus involves guns; there are few, if any, fake gun free zones in businesses.This approach is proven to work and it is idiotic to ignore it.
- Enact universal school choice. School deaths may be caused by individual monsters but they are abetted by a collective monster – government. Families are forced to send their children to specific schools where it is impossible (under existing law) for anyone to defend them. Some countries (Israel included) promote guns in schools and this has saved lives. If every family had choice, they could decide for themselves which school to send their children for the best education and also the best protection. I wonder how many liberals would choose to send their children to so-called gun free schools.
- Understand 100% protection is not attainable. Despite the best preventative measures, we cannot eliminate all school murders. Even if all the measures described herein were in place, some incidents would happen. We could use these to learn and to further enhance preventative measures. These should not be occasions for knee-jerk attacks on guns.
- Seek real solutions not political solutions. It is abundantly clear that viable solutions exist to vastly reduce school violence. We must resist the urge to adopt quick, feel-good political faux fixes which may satisfy for a short time but will do nothing to solve the problem. Passing a law can be quick and easy but real solutions take time and effort to bear results. We may need to shed some old shibboleths about guns in the process.
- Government is part of the problem not the solution. Government doesn’t do anything well except perhaps the military. Theoretically, it may be helpful to tweak gun laws to keep guns from the untreated mentally ill. I don’t advocate this however because government would botch mental illness the same way it botches everything else. Do you really want the same folks as at the DMV in charge of deciding who is too ill for guns? The solution to preventing school violence lies in more liberty and less government.
“It is not possible for any scient person to read this and continue to believe more gun laws are the answer. Yet that is all we are hearing.”
“The two worst school mass murders in America didn’t involve guns.”
“The guns used in Newtown were not assault rifles.”
“If your home had a ‘gun free’ sign, would you be more or less safe?”
“Workplace shootings are down 70%; prevention is possible.”
Prehistoric Barbarians and Bandits Knew Better
By: George Noga – December 8, 2012
The very instant I heard Obama’s infamous “You didn’t build that” statement I knew it was not only wrong but bass ackward. Economic literati understand viscerally that economic activity must precede political activity. However, it took Tom Palmer in “The Origins of State and Government” to provide much of the necessary historical and logical underpinnings to juxtapose economic activity (business) and government.
“Economic means must always precede political means. Nomads and hunter-gatherers never have a government.”
Palmer’s axiom is that the economic means always must precede the political means. That explains why there never are governments among primitive societies; they have leaders but never a state. Hunter-gatherers and nomads don’t generate enough of an economic surplus to support a permanent predator class. Nevertheless, such societies were victimized by roving bandits (precursors of government) who moved on once they plundered what little was available. There was no reason for them to stay once they pillaged all the meager supplies available. Also, the nomads and hunters were not stationary and not easy targets for predators.
Everything changed once people settled permanently and established agriculture. Now they generated a constant economic surplus and remained vulnerable in one location. Once again, roving bandits came, pillaged and plundered. However, the bandits were not stupid. They quickly understood and grasped the opportunity. Now there was a reason for them to stay inasmuch as the farmers couldn’t migrate and they could pillage permanently. Hence, roving bandits morphed into stationary bandits who, through sheer force (subjugating the people and keeping out other roving bandits), acquired a monopoly on sanctioned physical violence within a given territory and, viola, government was created.
“Once agriculture was established, roving bandits became stationary bandits enforcing a monopoly on physical violence in a given territory and, viola, government was created.”
The evolution and causation is clear enough. An economic surplus is an a priori condition for the existence of a state. Indeed, government cannot exist without the entrepreneur class; they have to build it before government can plunder it. Without those who invest, take risks and build businesses (despite hindrance by the state), government wouldn’t have any resources and would not exist. Even the earliest farmers had to invest (plant seeds, tend the crops) and take risks (drought, pestilence, etc.) while the now-permanent bandits did nothing productive.
It is no different today. Permanent bandits, who now sanctimoniously go by titles such as kings, emperors, presidents and prime ministers, plunder billions through their enforced monopoly on violence. It continues in kleptocracies across the globe; witness Putin and the ill-gotten wealth of Chinese leaders on full display during the sordid Bo Xilai affair. Witness most of Latin and South America, the Caribbean, most of Africa, all of Arabia and all the countries ending in stan. Don’t forget the narcostate of Mexico and significant pockets of Southeast Asia.
“Even authentic bandits in ancient times sometimes understood that pillaging less today enabled them to pillage even more tomorrow – thus benefiting both the pillagers and pillagees.”
Is America really any different just because our rulers may govern with the pro forma consent of the governed? They may call themselves mayor, governor, congressman or president but they continue to behave like bandits. They enrich themselves in many illicit ways including money, perquisites, preferments, legal exemptions and power. They plunder from the rest of us in reliance on a legal monopoly on violence largely to ensure their reelection and thereby continued membership in the predator class. And now the chief bandit in all the land has the sheer chutzpah to proclaim that government is the font of all economic success – a notion that even the barbarians of yesteryear would have found absurd. Even they, lacking any education, understood that the plunderers did not help the plundered create their businesses.
We may be better off with authentic bandits of ancient times, like those in the Capital One commercials. At least sometimes they got sated and left us alone. And some of them even understood that pillaging less today caused the economy to grow faster such that they could pillage even more tomorrow, thus benefiting both the pillagers and the pillagees. Were it so in America today. Our current crop of bandits never gets sated and is less enlightened than some of their counterparts who swept into the west from the steppes of Central Asia.