Your Lying Eyes

Dedicated to uncovering the truth that stands naked before your lying eyes.

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28 June 2010

The 2nd Amendment Applies Everywhere

I think the basic argument as to why the majority of Supreme Court justices ruled today that the Right to Keep and Bear Arms applies to state and local governments as well as the federal government can be found in Scalia's concurrence (starts on page 52 of the PDF), where he basically argues that if homosexual anal sex is a fundamental right incorporated in the 14th amendment, then the right to keep and bear arms sure as hell is.

Thomas's concurrence is, as always, worth reading as well.

26 June 2010

Well What the F---

Or, they still make real men down among the Kiwis:

Trapped drunk driver opens another beer as awaits rescue

Paul Nigel Sneddon, 47, pleaded guilty to careless driving and drunken driving after being nearly three times over the legal alcohol limit in a district court in the city of Palmerston North...

Police found Sneddon, a former baker, trapped in his overturned Ford Laser on June 1, drinking a can of beer after he failed to take a corner properly and crashed through a wooden barrier, flipping his vehicle.

Defense lawyer Peter Young said that when Sneddon found he could not open the doors, "he had nothing else to do at that point, so he had another beer."

When asked by police how much he had consumed, Sneddon replied: "Plenty, I've been drinking for four days straight."

Sneddon, who is estranged from his wife, told the Wellington- based newspaper that he went on a drinking binge after losing his job at a bakery on the same day that he heard his father was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Judge Gregory Ross fined him NZ$1,100 (US$780) and disqualified him from driving for 10 months. It was his first offence.

24 June 2010

Some Great Job Opportunities in the Offing

If you've got some talent in advocacy, particularly when it comes to constructing elaborate, unwieldy lies, then there will no doubt be some employment opportunities for you in the very near future. Mayor Bloomberg has announced that he will be going on the offensive, with the help of several other billionaires including Rupert Murdoch, to push for amnesty and increased immigration. He has said part of his effort will be to convince Americans that more immigration would be good for them, so he's going to need some advocates out there pushing this preposterous notion.

Of course this is terrible news if you're young and finding it hard to land a job, since what these billionaires are saying is that Americans suck so bad that even when there is 10% unemployment they still can't fill their job needs, so they need to import people to do work that pathetic Americans, with their jokes of diplomas that they've paid tens of thousands of dollars for, are incapable of performing.

His main argument is that we need to increase immigration so that great feats of immigrant-led entrepreneurship can forge our future, but that's just silly since immigrants with such special skills can already come here. The only say more H1-B immigration will help is in keep employment costs down, since most of these jobs are for low-level technical work that any American could do. This is clearly a gross violation of immigration law, but obviously either no one is checking or there are simple gaping loopholes in the rules. Remember, the Times Square bomber was working as an accounting temp under H1-b, despite his mediocre skills.

The immigration advocacy is entirely built on lies, from top-to-bottom, but lying can pay well, so if that's something you're good at, you might want to look into what could be a lucrative employment opportunity.

Here's the Fox and Friends interview of Bloomberg and Murdoch. Best part: about 4:55 in, when Murdoch says he understands how people are upset when their town suddenly becomes 50% spanish-speaking, and he basically says "Hey, too fucking bad. Deal with it." Runner-up, about 2:05 in, Bloomberg calls immigration restriction 'national suicide'. Bloomberg had a lot of weird arguments - he pooh-poohs concerns about immigrants pumping up Democrat voting by basically saying 'No problem, they don't vote anyway' and arguing they don't commit crimes because they're illegal, so they want to stay away from the police. You certainly get the idea that Bloomberg views the current illegal population as cowering, tame serfs who can safely be ignored, not considering for a moment how that might change if their status were made legal. Funny guys.

22 June 2010

Krugman's Desperate Plea: Spend, Spend, Spend

You can tell Krugman's desperate, because he avoids invective and name-calling - he sincerely believes we need to have much, much more stimulus spending. But that kind of spending is a huge gamble - we're betting the pot on the effectiveness of stimulus spending to spur growth.

But why can't he see what this recession is. This is not a retrenchment from excessive private sector demand like a classic recession. What we have now is a new reality born out of the destruction of trillions of dollars of wealth. It is as if you were spending money knowing you had so much money saved for retirement, then suddenly found that those savings have disappeared (not that I'd know anything about that). The only thing you can do then is to completely reassess your situation and perhaps remake yourself. Work more, if possible; find a new career; figure out a new strategy for your older years. But continuing the spending as it was is not an option - you've got to cut back.

That's where the U.S. is right now - in that reassessment phase. But no one in charge seems to be doing any re-assessing.

20 June 2010

On Obama - I Told You So

Well, I didn't really. But with all the talk now of Obama being the new Jimmy Carter, I thought of a way those of us who pulled the lever for McCain could do a little gloating. It would be a bumper sticker you could proudly display on the back of your vehicle and it would simply say: DON'T BLAME ME - I VOTED FOR THE OTHER IDIOT.

Now don't go stealing it - I plan on making a mint off this idea.

18 June 2010

There Is No Recovery

We keep hearing talk about whether the recovery is stalling out or even that we've had a strong recovery but the job market is still shaky. In reality there hasn't been any "recovery". What happened was a massive economic shock caused by the vaporization of several trillion dollars of wealth. In the immediate aftermath revenues dropped about 30%. If you've been paying attention to earnings statements, you've noticed that revenues have run about 10% higher than last year. All this means is that we have settled into an economic state where business activity is about 23% lower than it was prior to the crash. The government has been pumping massive amounts of money into the system via deficit spending, zero-interest loans to banks and backstopping housing by purchasing a trillion $ worth of mortgages from Fannie/Freddie.

The question now is can we even sustain the level we're at? Have there been any fundamental improvements that could sustain any real growth in real economic activity? Consumers have barely put a dent in their indebtedness; there's still a huge commercial real estate debt problem; and companies are reportedly hoarding cash rather than spending on development. Now that the $8,000 tax credit is gone, housing is due for another tumble. I get really annoyed when I read or hear about "The Recovery".

03 June 2010

Presidents in a Crisis

We've now had two major catastrophes within 5 years and two different administrations down in the Gulf, and neither case did the president distinguish himself as a leader.

In both cases neither president could have done anything to avert the catastrophic event itself, but in retrospect there's a lot they could have done to either lessen the human toll and certainly to have at least appeared to grasp the enormity of the calamity as it unfolded.

If you imagine yourself as president, there are some obvious things you could have done differently than the course Obama took. As soon as you heard about it, you'd have immediately called in your best "go to" guy (I guess for Obama Rahm would have to do*) and said "Find me the two top experts on this deep-water drilling stuff and bring them here immediately. I want to talk to them face-to-face." And when you got them in a room you'd find out that this thing could be spewing millions of barrels of oil for weeks on end with no obvious way to cap it off. Then you'd declare some kind of major state of emergency, demanded congress pass an emergency measure suspending any potential environmental/regulatory restrictions on your actions, met with the governors and business groups in the affected states and started on emergency measures to contain the spill, like building berms and organizing a flotilla to drop containment buoys.

Well that's easy to see in retrospect, but Obama didn't even come close to doing anything like this. Similarly with Bush - you hear that a Cat 5 hurricane is bearing down on New Orleans. How does he not get a full picture of what could happen in that city, and what would be the consequences for anyone left behind, then find out that the city and state are woefully unprepared to handle it so you're gonna take charge, dammit, and make sure the place is evacuated and there's plenty of federal assistance to alleviate the mess. Just out of pure political self interest, how do you not take these steps? Sure, it's hindsight, but leaders are supposed to see with foresight what the rest of us see in hindsight.

Is there something in the modern presidency that hindered these men for taking forceful action? An organic dedication to the principles of federalism is hardly plausible for either man. More plausible is that neither Bush nor Obama had any real leadership experience nor have any obvious leadership talent. Harry Truman at least had some success as a captain in the front lines in WWI and later ran his own business - neither Bush nor Obama had demonstrated anything even approximating this level of leadership prior to assuming office (unless you count Bush's governorship, but that job didn't seem particularly challenging).

But when it comes to the kinds of real leadership that we expect from presidents - taking charge of a complex or critical situation and leading people to a successful outcome - we don't see much demand for that from the public in choosing candidates. The man who probably has most exhibited that quality among all the presidential hopefuls - Mitt Romney - barely even registers in the public consciousness. Some have demonstrated substantial political leadership - for example, Newt Gingrich leading the Republicans to victory in 1994 - or even Lyndon Johnson's years running the Senate. But I'm talking about actually doing something - not winning an election or passing a bill, but actually leading physical activity that results in a real physical result, like a multi-national amphibious invasion of a continent or an Olympics that runs on time.

* Steve Sailer points out that Obama doesn't actually know anybody who can help him, which is true, but how hard would it be to find someone who does? He's the president - who's going to turn down an emergency meeting in the Oval Office?