Friday, January 28, 2011


I had a great time in college at Washington University in St. Louis.  Great school, great time, but they are never, ever, getting another dollar of my money.  This decision was made a while ago after this shining example of tolerance and willingness to openly exchange ideas that made me sick

I thought that conservatives were the ones guilty of epistemic closure, not liberals.  I thought liberals lived in the reality based world and had open minds and were willing to debate because they were confident that they had the facts and truths on their side to win the day.  I thought conservatives had their "Digital Brown shirts" (Hat tip Al Gore!) out to silence debate and dissent on the other side.  I guess that is why Republicans are pushing to bring back the Fairness Doctrine or labeling their ideological counterparts as the people who inspire others to murder innocents  or hell even just calling them Nazis because they do not think the government should be in charge of health care.

I love this quote

Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz shares with his students a strategy for successfully defending cases. If the facts are on your side, Dershowitz says, pound the facts into the table. If the law is on your side, pound the law into the table. If neither the facts nor the law are on your side, pound the table.

I would love to have an honest debate over the size of the government and the correct role of taxation, spending, regulation et al based on facts and reality but the majority of the time the conversation on the other side goes right to pounding on the table, saying that I am Darwinist, Racist, Hate the poor, Hate women, minorities etc etc.  It is partly my fault because, according to people that will remain unamed (Nicki) I am "Loud" and "A bully."  Such is life.

Finally, more WashU cowardice.

Play a little game with me, if this girl's last name was Smith, Jones or even Pelosi, would there be the same protest?  

Look, I really do not like the frequency with which I am put in the position of defending the Palins.  I am an extreme Hayek fan and fiscal conservative but not a culture warrior or raging social con.  I believe in a culture of self reliance and personal responsibility but I think that is best fostered by getting people off the government teat, getting bureaucrats out of the way of the economy and allowing people to count on themselves for security and prosperity rather a Giant Nanny State.  I like Sarah Palin, I admire decisions she has made in her life and respect what she has accomplished, but I am not a Sarah 2012 banner waver (I prefer Christie or Rubio) but her and her family deserve to be treated better than they are.  Can you imagine if someone said this about a liberal woman?  As it is we hear the same outrage from the feminists that we heard about Clinton.  Or about the way Islam treats women.  Curious double standards abound.  

In conclusion, the sooner the liberal higher education bubble pops the better.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Is it weird to only me....

That the 2009 Nobel Laureate is giving a State Dinner. a huge feast with speeches, dignitaries and probably a number of celebrities (including Obama himself!) to honor the man responsible for keeping the 2010 Nobel Laureate in a gulag?

No?  Just me?

Not even challenging China on human rights, we instead get a speech that boiled down to  "ZOMG we can haz Pandas!"

Further, I completely support Obama going to the Super Bowl.  I think he should golf, attend sporting events and vacation as much as possible as it keeps him out of the office and away from making more bad decisions.  Obama seems to me like my friends that became consultants out of college.  They worked long hours on excel without any real ability to influence events or strategy, in a  politically correct environment and in undesirable locations, but they had some really cool perks.  Per diems, status on airlines and hotel chains, mountains of miles and company sponsored booze events made it more tolerable.  The parallels don't end there, the lead up to the jobs, the campaign and recruitment phases, were awesome; auditoriums packed with screaming fans who faint from your pure amazingness or company sponsored booze trips to FL or CA.  Then the honeymoon ends when you are sourcing 2 ply toilet paper to get the best price in Billings, MT or being held accountable for the complete failure of your 1 Trillion dollar stimulus and getting pantsed in the mid term elections.

That being said, I thought his speech about Tuscon was the most presidential thing he has ever done.  Granted his call for civility came after almost a week of attempting to pin the murders on Sarah Palin, the Tea Party and anyone who thinks they have a right to keep anything more than half of what they make had completely failed, but I am anxious to hear how our new arbiter of tone reacts to this.  Or this, which ABC tried to squash even thought it happened at their town hall, must have not fit the narrative or something.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tuscon Revisited

I know I have referenced the blog before in my fundraising days but you really should read Ace's take on the Tuscon shootings

He is absolutely knocking it out of the park on the double standards and hypocrisy of the left and the media (redundant? I know) towards violent rhetoric

Illinois Stuck on Stupid

Money Quote:
"We're saying to the people of Illinois, 'For eight years we've overspent, now we're going to make it your problem,'" said Rep. Roger Eddy. "We're making up for our mistakes on your back."

Well done Illinois, welcome to the fiscal death spiral.  Everyone knows when you are in financial trouble you follow the tried and tested method of taxing and spending your way into prosperity.  In no way is that crazy and there is absolutely not a myriad of examples of the end game of this strategy.

I touched on this in the previous post on the topic but why on Earth would anyone start a new business in Illinois right now?  Corporate and private income taxes skyrocketing while E-commerce taxes takes the state out of play for one of the easiest arenas for new businesses.  I am the tax payer they want, or will be when I start working again and I am having a really hard time justifying staying in the state where I have spent the majority of my life. This situation is only going to get worse, this, like every other tax increase, will not bring in the revenue it is projected to bring in and the fiscal insanity of the public sector salaries, benefits and pensions are not being addressed by anyone (except Rahmbo, Christ, good for him) so they are just going to need more money down the road which will lead to more punitive tax hikes and so on and so forth.

This brings me to my larger point.  It is in vogue to call yourself fiscally conservative and socially liberal, or, even better, libertarian.  People love to straddle the line and appear to be cultured and the best of both worlds.  We saw this most prominently in the 110th Congress with the "Blue Dog Democrats."  Allegedly conservative on issues such as Abortion, Gun Control and spending, these Democrats rode the wave of disgust against Bush into offices representing traditionally Republican districts.  The problem is, when push came to shove every one of these Blue Dogs toed the Pelosi line on every major vote.  From bailouts to Stimulus to Health Care they rubber stamped the most liberal pieces of legislation imaginable, which is why after the recent election cycle, Blue Dogs went from being a myth to being extinct.

This was also a factor in the Illinois gubernatorial race.  Brady lost to Quinn due largely to a nasty campaign run by Quinn over the issue of abortion.  I know multiple people that identify as fiscally conservative and socially liberal that said that Brady's pro-life views were the reason they voted for Quinn.  People can vote however they want (restricting the vote to only people who pay taxes and or have served in the military is another topic) but this seems inane to me.  Even if every Republican in the state office was on the same page as Brady (they aren't) there would be no way he could change the current laws on abortion in Illinois because the Democrats control both houses in Springfield, as evidenced by their passing these taxes hikes without a single Republican vote.

Basically people have to decide on one thing or another.  The disagreement with one candidate on one issue that the candidate, if elected, will not even be able to change from the status quo is enough reason to vote for someone who is promising to lead your states economy down the primrose path to fiscal insanity.  How is this a moderate or even handed position?

From Ace of Spades, read the whole thing

Oh and Illinois Democrats? Yeah, don't count all that new money just rolling in. Behold what Oregon's massive tax increase did for the state's coffers.
In 2009 the state legislature raised the tax rate to 10.8% on joint-filer income of between $250,000 and $500,000, and to 11% on income above $500,000. Only New York City’s rate is higher. Oregon’s liberal voters ratified the tax increase on individuals and another on businesses in January of this year, no doubt feeling good about their “shared sacrifice.”Congratulations. Instead of $180 million collected last year from the new tax, the state received $130 million. The Eugene Register-Guard newspaper reports that after the tax was raised “income tax and other revenue collections began plunging so steeply that any gains from the two measures seemed trivial.”
One reason revenues are so low is that about one-quarter of the rich tax filers seem to have gone missing. The state expected 38,000 Oregonians to pay the higher tax, but only 28,000 did.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Arizona Tragedy

First condolences and prayers for everyone affected by this maniac going on a rampage.  From what I have read these are the deranged acts of a sick man who never should have been allowed near firearms.  As someone who is a staunch second amendment supporter, I do not think anyone with a criminal or mental heath record should be eligible to own a firearm at all.  I think being able to protect yourself is a right, but one you can lose, like voting.

Now that I have that out of the way, the coverage that I watched made my head spin.  Compare it to the Times Square Bomber, where No Labels Bloomberg labelled the terrorist without a shred of proof as"Probably someone upset about the Health Care Bill" or the Fort Hood Massacre where Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey, Jr. said "I'm concerned that this increased speculation could cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers ... Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse."  After both of these events we were implored to not jump to conclusions, to not put two and two together about someone who murders unarmed soldiers at deployment center while screeching "Alluha Akbar."  As Obama says, let me be perfectly clear.  I agree with this sentiment, I think when something like this happens everyone should focus on those that need help before assessing blame and pointing at root causes.  The truth will come out eventually, without half baked accusations before anyone knows anything.  

My question is, why do the talking heads on the left give so much more leeway and benefit of the doubt to Islamic Terrorists and Mass Murderers than they do to conservatives?  In the immediate wake of this shooting CNN was talking about Sarah Palin's electoral map that had a target on this Arizona Congressional District, Krugman had a blog post up on about the "climate of hate" fostered by the tea party and Sarah Palin in particular and the Daily Kos had a "Mission Accomplished Sarah Palin" headline up.  Based on what?  This guy ranted about government mind control and killing cops on his youtube page while listins Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto as some of his favorite books.  Not exactly Milton Friedman, Hayek or Thomas Paine is it?  Where was the concern about a backlash against conservatives?  About not jumping to conclusions to judge all conservatives based on the actions of a nut they had just assumed to be a tea partier?  How come no one stressed how "The Tea Party is Peace?"


Instapundit says it better than I did here

To be clear, if you're using this event to criticize the "rhetoric" of Mrs. Palin or others with whom you disagree, then you're either: (a) asserting a connection between the "rhetoric" and the shooting, which based on evidence to date would be what we call a vicious lie; or (b) you're not, in which case you're just seizing on a tragedy to try to score unrelated political points, which is contemptible. Which is it?

read the whole thing

Friday, January 7, 2011


After seeing the lame duck session in Washington and seeing what is going on in a similar session in Springfield I am coming to a realization we should treat lame ducks like lame horses

Income tax up on individuals and businesses, e-commerce taxed and amazon affiliates shut down

Sorry for the hiatus, combination of too much holiday fun and technical issues, hard to blog from a smart phone with my stubby fingers.

(Before September) I was the exact kind of citizen a state wants.  I worked at a great job that paid me well, I owned property and paid my taxes on time.  I supported local businesses that serve whiskey and red meat.  I contributed exponentially more to the city and state than I consumed in terms of resources and services.  It was not an onerous burden, the state income tax was low and while I was offended by the city sales tax hike, it just led me to moving my purchases online, and got me to buy some AMZN stock because it I didn't think that I would be the only one, thanks Stroger!  The point is that the system depends on people like me to subsidize the out of control spending that our state and nation inevitably pursue.  They raise taxes and try and bleed the producers and job creators banking on the fact that they will continue to bear the burden and not either Go Galt or vote with their feet.

One of the great things about our political system, at least when the 10th Amendment still meant something, is it makes the states laboratories of democracy.  Proving grounds for ideas that provide models to emulate or shun.  Voters could look at our neighbors in Indiana with Mitch Daniels, an archetype on how to start to turn around and revitalize a fiscal basket case with smaller government and common sense or they could join in my unabashed man crush on Chris Christie for speaking to voters like adults about the realities of budgets and living within our means as individuals and governments, but instead Illinois decided to stay the course and elect Quinn, casting our lot in with California and New York in the "2011 Race to See Which State Can Get Turned Down For a Federal Bailout First."

A more coherent comparison on the views of states, using TX and CA as examples

The bottom line is that Illinois is scrambling to raise money by raising taxes on everyone as fast as they can.  The politicians have been making promises and need to pay for them and they don't know how and think a tax increase on earners and producers will get them there.  What does Illinois have that makes it indispensable? What is there to stop me from shifting my job search to Texas?  Nevada?  Florida?  Why does Illinois think that people and business will stay as they get squeezed to pay for the excess of mouth breathers in Springfield?  California has tourism, the best climate in the country with beach, mountains, wine, massive oil deposits and some of the most fertile farmland in the world (currently lying fallow because of the Delta Smelt but that is another conversation).  Illinois has Chicago, which is amazing in the summer but anyone who tells you the winters don't bother them is lying to your face, oh yes, also, Rockford, Stared Rock and corn.  What are they betting on?  Personal connections?  Inertia?  It is something that is a huge factor in my thoughts about my next job.  Sure my family is around, but the baby brother is already off at school, forgotten middle child will probably be living in a commune somewhere between taking his actuarial exams, the favorite is already exploring other options at her job and the parents will probably be snowbirds by next year.  I have a ton of great friends but to be honest I would like to get away from them for a while to dry out.  I have nothing tying me down here that I cannot visit for a couple weeks every summer for the price of a Southwest ticket.

This brings me to my last point, which my old boss made all the time.  The people that they are trying to squeeze and that they depend on the most to fund their progressive schemes, machinations and wealth redistribution fantasies are the ones who are able to do something about it and leave.  The more secure you are financially and the better job you have, the less tied you are to one spot.  These are smart people who are capable of high level cost benefit analytics and can decide when it is no longer in their self interest to subject themselves to the class warfare and selective economic attacks just for working hard and being successful.

My New Year's Resolution is to blog more, we will see how I keep up with it