Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Occupy Chicago!!

I took a walk down to the CBOT yesterday to check out the protest. I was ready to despise the hippie losers with their misspelled signs and misguided slogans but when I got down there I just felt bad for them. There was a forlorn drum circle and (by my count) 37 protesters.

37. On a gorgeous day with the sun out. The crowd doubled every time the light on Lasalle said "Don't Walk"

My favorite sign that I saw was "Educated. Multi-Lingual. Moving to China."

I offered to help pack but the protester of ambiguous sex was not interested.

I then walked a block away to the farmers market and bought some local cheese. It was delicious.

The people with the wacky "Give peace a chance" and "War never solved anything" (except for ending slavery, fascism, communism, or tyranny I assume he forgot to write) were smelly and beyond parody. The drum circle was mostly vacant. The people wandering in an out of the CBOT were just smirking and rolling their eyes. No one was taking them seriously aside from themselves.

Putting aside their most ridiculous demands like the blanket forgiveness of all debt, a $20 living wage regardless of employment, completely open borders everywhere and the trillions they want for green energy and infrastructure, we can get to issues where I find a lot of common ground with them.

End Crony Capitalism. End the Bailout Culture. End Too Big Too Fail.

These are signs that I have seen word for word at Tea Party rallies. These are ideas that I have espoused on this blog and sentiments that I think have a ton of traction across the country. The issue here is the chicken or the egg. I think that crony capitalism, bailouts and the idea of "too big too fail" stem from a government that is too large, powerful and intertwined with business. Incentives were skewed, the free market was perverted and the taxpayers got screwed. The implied guarantee of FRE and FNM, the bailout of the UAW in the form of the big 3, Solyndra, the Stimulus and the TARP in general are not facets of capitalism or a free market economy. They are examples of the "Tyranny of Pull" expounded by Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged. The targeted gifts to campaign bundlers in the case of Solyndra, public sector unions (Stimulus), private sector unions (Big 3) and the financial sector (TARP FRE FNM) who gave more money to Obama than any candidate in any campaign ever just proves that I should not be looking for a new job, I should just give money to Obama's re-election campaign so I can be taken care of in the future.

These cretins are complaining about money in politics when the vast majority of them voted for the only candidate ever to turn down public financing. The candidate who is now targeting a BILLION dollars of donations for his re-election campaign. The candidate who received more money from Wall Street, K street and BP than any other candidate ever. They are beating the drum to pass a financial reform act that is named Dodd-Frank, which is beyond parody. Dodd was a "Friend of Mozillo" up to his eyebrows in CFC slime, donations and favors. Barney Frank's boyfriend was on the board of FRE and Frank himself talked about rolling the dice more in the direction of subprime loans. How are these people not in jail, let alone still in office and writing laws to save us? This is like the internet scammers that write viruses than infect your computer then charge you to fix it.

My solution here is less centralized government. Less power in Washington, less opportunity for these people to screw things up. They should not be choosing winners and losers in the economy, they should not be guaranteeing loans for campaign bundlers, giving billions to selected constituencies like the UAW or SEIU, sending guns to Mexico, bailing out banks that Maxine Waters' husband is invested in, or funding studies on the affect of cocaine on the social lives of monkeys. Slash the size of the government to protecting our rights, maintaining our borders, roads, foreign relations and a safety net for those who cannot take care of themselves.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fast and Furious

Not only of my top movie franchises (In specific, non-random order 1. Die Hard 2. Indiana Jones 3. Star Wars IV-VI 4. Fast and Furious 5. Back to the Future 6. Mighty Ducks I-II) but my current favorite government scandal that gets no coverage.

Here is a more comprehensive synopsis than I am going to provide, read the whole thing

Basically the idea of the program was to allow gun sales to suspected or known cartel members and track them up the chain to find bigger fish. Over 2000 guns were involved, with some sold personally by ATF agents whose complaints and objections were ignored by their superiors. The death toll includes at least one Border Control agent and according to Mexican authorities literally hundreds more people.

Let that sink in, the administration, in a program sponsored by the Obama-Pelosi-Reid Stimulus, knowingly put guns in the hands of cartel killers. This lead to deaths on both sides of the border. This is something that bothers me 100x more than Troy Davis being executed but it barely registers on the national news radar.

What was the objective? Why are we violating the sovereignty of a neighbor and putting our officers and civilians at risk? What is the end game that merits this strategy? What benefit do we derive from this?

Since the observation and surveillance techniques successfully followed zero guns and lead to zero high ranking cartel arrests, we are left with the following options.

1. Complete incompetence
2. A different motive

Even someone with as little faith in the governments ability to do anything efficiently and well as I do would have a hard time believing that 2000 guns would be knowingly given to cartel warriors accidentally. So what would the other motive be? As I see it there are two options

1. Playing realpolitik between the Cartels
2. Influencing the debate on gun control in the states

If this was an operation designed to arm the Sinaloa Cartel against the Zetas who are becoming the most powerful institution in Mexico, legitimate or otherwise, it is still a disaster. Even if they were trying to counterbalance the Zetas why use American retail gun dealers? Why not buy guns internationally or use the thousands of guns taken from the field in Afghanistan or Iraq? At the very least, the sourcing the guns from the  American stores when it would be cleaner and more covert to do it from elsewhere seems to be done with an eye on tilting the debate on the second amendment here.

Now Holder is being investigated for perjury for his supposed ignorance of the program in Congressional testimonies earlier this year. Could not happen to a nicer guy.

Reagan was almost impeached for Iran Contra, documents coming forward are indicating more Administration knowledge than previously indicated. This is worse. I am beside myself that this does not get more coverage.