Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Critical Mass

In 'Decline And Fall' Gibbon at one point remarked that to a common citizen at the time of the Roman Empire the rule of the worst emperors appeared as powerful and stable as those of the greatest. People couldnt see the slow decline of Roman power on a day to day basis. But all of a sudden the barbarians were at the gates. Everything that seemed so permanent turned out to be resting on foundations that had been undermined.

Its called 'Critical Mass'. The laws of physics can be applied to history. A compromised system can keep working on momentum for a while but a point arrives where it stops working. The Bastille falls, the Gothic mercenaries mutiny. The old certainties collapse, the old relationships are instantly redefined.

Now, the United States, the preeminent power in the world from the beginning of World War 2, in the hands of a ruling class that has become effete and ignorant and led by a president who is misguided and talentless, has declined to point where the order engendered by its former power and greatness is collapsing around it. Symptoms of that collapse echo in its own domestic affairs as the absurdities of the welfare state cause chaos and misery.

For eight years the leftists, in the name of opposing the hated US hegemony over the world, made, in their minds, common cause with the Islamic nihilists who sought the overthrow of the Pax Americana in the Middle East. Of course the Ivy League-educated were unaware of the savage nature of the Islamic mobs that have now been unleashed; it is the hallmark of an elite education that one not be judgmental of different cultures and realize that there is no objective good or evil when it comes to a conflict between belief systems. We think that strip clubs are constitutionally protected free speech, they think that six year old girls should have their clitorises removed with an exacto knife by the local witch woman so that they wont enjoy sex and become whores. Its just a simple difference of opinion.

Unfortunately, in a Madrassa-based curriculum the accent is less on mutual understanding and conflict resolution and more on killing the verminous infidel. Now, as we watch the Middle East dissolve into flame and chaos, as our 'leaders' blurble on about 'the rise of democracy' and stand with their hands clasped deploring violence, we see the end of sixty years of US influence in the ME. We'll soon get to see what these people are like without the restraint of colonialism or imperialism or whatever the hell it was that we forced on them. I'll bet their natural proclivities arent towards 'democracy'. A brief glance at Arab history before the arrival of the brutal Ottoman Turks in the 16th century, which cowed them into submission for three centuries, is a tableau of murderous, unstable regimes; vendettas and blood feuds conducted through centuries; human rights not even dreamed of by the terrified serfs who lived hypnotized in an Islamic torpor until some maniac stirred them to mindless violence for a brief moment.

Who cares, anyway? Well...we should care a whole bunch. The same geniuses who dismantled our human intelligence capabilities, stood by grinning and winking while our national secrets were posted on the internet, and who ignored the true nature of our adversaries, at the same time these visionaries very vigorously pursued a policy of suppressing energy development in our own country. Coal, petroleum, natural gas, and nuclear power were all attacked by a bureaucracy that was going to use ample government subsidies to create a revolution in 'renewable' fuels. They were saving the planet. After spending tens of billions of dollars and sacrificing all domestic energy development for nearly three decades the production of energy overseas is increasingly in the hands of thugs whose negotiating and conflict resolution skills are minimal but who understand weakness when they see it. Persuading them to 'listen to reason' might be a bit tough. As Gibbon remarked, 'Persuasion is the tactic of the weak but the weak are rarely persuasive.'

Now our government, mortgaged to the hilt and hamstrung by commitments to subsidize everyone and everything, has resorted to the final poison pill that clueless socialists always resort to in the end...they're printing money. With no rise in economic activity this wave of luckybux has touched off an anemic suckers rally on Wall Street, a rally about to be bludgeoned into reality by soaring energy prices.

A black hole has opened and all the old realities are being sucked into its vast gravity field. Public employee unions, once sacrosanct, find themselves painted into a political corner. They are trying to hold on to a position that has ceased to exist. That their contracts are as worthless as any of the other flood of words issuing from the mouths of the Best And The Brightest is obvious to everyone. The situation has changed. They ignored the actuarial tables for decades...until critical mass arrived. Contract canceled.

What is money but a contract? The words of our ruling class are increasingly seen to be worthless; their economic statistics, their spitting on ancient alliances, the solvency of all their social engineering schemes, their budgets, the census they just took, their phony poll numbers, even the data from the weather agencies have become conflicting and politically biased. If your word is worthless then your contracts are worthless. If your word is worthless and your contracts are worthless then your money is worthless.

The Obama Implosion continues.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pretzel Logic

Has anybody noticed that any time any Democrat talks about anything involving a number its either been made up out of thin air or is so twisted and convoluted that it is worthless? The 'raw' numbers on unemployment bear no relation to the 'adjusted' ones released by the Labor Dept. The 'raw' weather data bears no relationship to the twisted numbers that are used to try to make the case for Global Warming. Most especially the president's budget baloney is so reprehensibly dishonest that even the foolish clowns on Wall Street, frolicking in a wave of Quantitative Easy Money printed up fresh by the Fed, are asking questions about the ludicrous assumptions and ridiculous 'cuts' contained in a document so mendacious that BJ Clinton's autobiography is a masterpiece of honesty by comparison.

Unemployment and almost anything related to the economy is one of the most distorted parts of the Obama narrative. The feeble 'recovery' of profits isnt related to any increase in economic activity. Housing starts are down, foreclosures are up, fewer goods are being sold, many more people are out of work or under-employed than at any time since the Depression that the government caused in the 1930's by adopting similar policies to those that are driving the current one. Two years out the Stimulus and the entire Keynesian paradigm has obviously failed but it is still the Party Line as the Obamunists wax eloquent about 'the recovery' that doesnt exist.

The worst lie coming from the economic geniuses of The Regime is their chronic understating of the inflation rate. They accomplished this by not counting food, health care, energy and taxes in the calculations. So while Chase Bank rakes in billions and borrows money at zero percent from the Fed, while Archer Daniels Midland collects billions in agricultural and ethanol subsidies, while all public employees get hefty pay increases, Grandma and Grandpa on Social Security have effectively had their benefits frozen while the prices of things they buy shoot up. So the Obamunists dont want to talk about the agencies whose funding they have doubled in the last two years; whenever anybody mentions cuts they point to Grandma and Grandpa and say, "This is a problem with entitlements." Its not. Social Security is funded by a tax and is running a tiny deficit, amply covered by the IOU's written by Congress as they looted the trust fund. Medicare has risen somewhat but Medicaid...free health care to illegal aliens and welfare recipients...has risen by 40% in two years.

Another rising cost mentioned by NO ONE in government or business but mentioned very much by regular people is what is happening to interest rates. Not mortgage rates, which are low for the solvent cash-rich few who can qualify, but credit card and consumer loan rates. My wife and I had never been late on any of our payments on a card that charged 6% interest on balances. Imagine our surprise we received a letter telling us that the rate was hiked to 13%. When we complained to our friends they laughed at us. People are paying 25%, 30%, I even heard a story from a bankruptcy lawyer of a 37% rate. These rates would have gotten a usurer crucified in the Roman Empire, an entity not noted for its debtor-friendly policies. People who ran huge balances and retired that debt occasionally by refinancing their mortgage and rolling their credit card debt into the new mortgage have now been caught holding the bag. They are barely paying the interest on huge balances. They are effectively slaves of a bank that can borrow money interest-free from the Fed. The Financial Reform Bill passed last year not only didnt do anything about this it made it worse by shutting down competition between banks.

So as we look at a budget, described by The President this morning as 'bare bones' and 'filled with cuts', but which in effect continues the current mad dash to insolvency you have to ask, "Do these guys believe their own numbers? Are they that stupid or do they just think we're that stupid?" What did they think all that ruckus last year was about? Do the Dems think that all that has just gone away, that we cant read our doom in the pages of this budget? There are still people in this country who can read history and a balance sheet. They rioted last year at the polls. The Obamunists think that they can dance to the polls on a wave of ignorant voters and phony ballots like they did in 2008...the phony polls in the NYT and Time magazine prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt but like any other number put out by liberals Obama's solid shot at reelection is a chimera generated out of thin air. Our strength is that the libs actually believe their own lies.