The Best Analogy Ever

"...both major political parties must be led by men of common purpose and follow a common political philosophy, but they must put on a great show of competition in order to convince the masses that there is a genuine conflict between them – a phony wrestling match in which the contestants take turns appearing to pulverize each other to excite the spectators. That way, voters can jump from one party to another to “throw the rascals out” every few years but never really change anything important. The ruling elite, he said, must arrange political affairs in such a way as to make voters think they are participating in their own political destiny, but that is merely an illusion to keep them content and to prevent them from meddling into the important affairs of state." Comparing the body politic to the antics of the WWE (formerly the WWF, but with such a stupid fan base, apparently had to make the "Entertainment" part explicit) is just about the best analogy I've ever heard. Of course, it's doubly good, since the comparison between "wrestling" fans and voters is just as apt. (via DeCoster)


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The ONLY One Who Gets It

See this post, and then the very first comment. Then read all the other comments. Typical republican-libertarian, political-ignoramuses who have a complete inability to reduce constituent bits to their essential de-finite characteristics -- save Bruce McQuain, the author, who ought (and does) know better. Beck's commentary. Note: I'm one of his one-in-a-thousand -- that's probably more like one-in-a-hundred-thousand.


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Side Note

I'm increasingly spending time thinking about and roughing out rough plans (Did I emphasize rough, enough?) for our Europe trip, now at week -1 day. I've detailed road-maps of France, Spain, and Italy (thanks to Borders), since this is a touring trip, and I've highlighted the generally proposed rough route upon them so that my wife can see whereabouts we might be going and check the various resources in print and on the Web in order to persuade me one way or another -- 'cause I can get to where I might just want to drive drive drive once we're on the road. So, yesterday, I loaded up Google Earth on her very-super-fast PC and gave her a bit of an intro, including, of natural course, highlights along our roughly proposed route that we might be taking. "Good. Now we don't even have to go," she says. For those who don't get it, it's just a sideways endorsement for using Google Earth to engineer your vacations. What a resource. I paid $20 (yearly fee), but honestly, there's not a whole big lot of difference if you just use the free version.


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Concerning the Recent Hoopla

As much as I support the imperative to peremptorily, mercilessly, quickly and brutally kill any all all lunatics who seriously and credibly vow to kill others, should they get the chance (i.e., terrorists and their direct material supporters), I don't necessarily support "The War" in the sense most people apprehend that concept (and this imposition of "democracy" is unnecessary: killing terrorists and would-be terrorists is necessary). And I certainly don't support this "administration" in any respect beyond the foregoing imperative. In other words, and as I've said repeatedly, brutal, consistent, non-stop, devastating, demoralizing, lustful killing killing killing is what's important. It's the quintessential moral imperative: self-defense. And it is those Darwinian misfits, if you get the reference, who mistakenly believe that you ought to allow serious threats of assault to be carried out before you have the moral authority to act. All this nation-building and democracy crap is just getting in the way of more killing, which, should instantly stop the very moment the threat, in its almost institutionalized and certainly cultural form, goes away. And that's all there is to it. Alas, my "support" for this War and the political apparatus engaged in prosecuting it is severely curtailed and...


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June Report Card

Profits of $29,645; a 27% return on cash. As I reported last month, I felt these monthly report cards might be coming to an end, as I thought they had served my purposes. They have, and this will probably be it -- at least for a while. In summary, I've gathered a lot of cash, but because of the market's significant drop last month, I'm still tied up protecting some troubled positions, which, at this point, look as though they'll require additional adjustments and protection going into July expiration on 7/20. But I have a plan. If the market goes down, I make a killing. If it goes up, I make less, but still good money. If it goes sideways (very unlikely at this point as it's coiling for a significant move) I'll be able to generate some good additional profits and gradually take risk out of the equation. As usual with credit-spread trading: win, win big, or win huge -- provided you know what you're doing and have the balls to stare down a $100,000 loss while you adjust a few things. It's analogous to this: you buy a house and get a $0 down, 100% financing deal, which,...


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A Classic Case of Insanity

Mark Davis at Strike The Root: "Understanding the seemingly subtle difference between gentle (non-violent) persuasion and zealous (violent) persuasion is a significant factor influencing one’s sanity; both inwardly and outwardly. The theatrical shows that elections really do point to the true birthplace of “reality TV”. That so little difference can be seen between supposed archenemies is evidence of collective insanity institutionalized. People keep going back into the voting booth election after election thinking that this time their vote will make a difference, yet it never does. This is a classic case of insanity. "Emotional disagreements between voters guided by their handlers ensue from the most trivial of perceived differences. Honor is staked on the acceptance of following orders and duty morphs into blind obedience to political leaders. News shows have become thinly veiled propaganda organs supporting state policies formulated by those who handle the handlers. ... "There are three basic ways to persuade: personal example, rhetoric and force. Voting sanctions force. This simple fact must be trumpeted. Stop voting and become an example while offering peaceful discussion on the matter for those who choose to listen. Forget the masses and go personal. It is true that there is no silver...


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Jeezus: Geraldo

Right this minute. Fox News. O'Reilly. Jerry Rivers is laying it on. Good for him. I'm with Billy Beck: a sucker for redemption. This is nothing new, of course, but if I didn't know better, I could easily mistake Rivera for an American Marine G.I. He's giving in-your-face, what-the-hell-do-you-know arguemnts, and he's 100% spot on. I know this has been going on for a while now, but I'm still amazed at the transformation every time I see it.


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Quote

The argument for collectivism is simple if false; it is an immediate emotional argument. The argument for individualism is subtle and sophisticated; it is an indirect rational argument. Milton Friedman Via Samizdata. Good one. That's how I've always approached this core antagonism. Arguing for collectivism is the easiest thing in the world. It makes friends. Puppies love you. You get laid a lot more -- probably leading to the apparent contradiction that "individualists" are more prone to marriage than collectivists. But I've got no data immediately on hand.


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Global Warming

I can remember that just five years ago, the summers at my house used to be relatively cool and very wet. Our summer temperatures never got much above 80 degrees, and it would rain every few days, at least. The last couple of summers, temperatures have soared as high as 112 degrees at my house, and we have at times gone whole months without rain. I am terrified at these effects of global warming. Several of my "friends" have said they think this change has more to do with my move from Seattle to Phoenix, but they are clearly in the pay of the oil companies. I have explained to them that ABC News and their climate reporting have educated me that small anecdotal blips in the local weather are scientifically valid proof of long-term global climate changes. For example, my Exxon-butt-kissing friends tried to claim that for over a century, hurricane activity has followed a 20-40 year cycle, and that the recent upsurge in hurricane activity is due to the return of the "busy" end of the cycle. I know from ABC that in fact our two-hundred years of burning fossil fuels have cause CO2 to build up and...


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Darren Mack

This post shall be a tough one. Those who follow the news ought to recognize the name in the title. Darren is my cousin. I was born on a January 29th, and he, the 31st -- of the same year, 1961. Our mothers -- 1st cousins and very close companions and friends in those years -- were in the very same hospital at the very same time. Our parents took outings and trips together in those days, so I'm personally suspicious that conception occurred for both couples on one of those getaways -- though I've understandably never breached the subject. How's that for background? I've a many-faceted heartbreak over this sad event, perhaps to an extent even close family members don't realize, and what follows ought only to heighten it. I've a secret: part of what I owe, insofar as success in business and finance (those who read regularly, know), I owe to: my grandfather, Clarence Goodsell, and the Mack family -- both role models of sorts as I was growing up. Truth be told, whenever my grandparents were throwing a party -- and they did it in the best traditions of the post-depression era -- I always looked forward...


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Microsoft Lied, People Died

Alright, the title is tongue-in-cheek, but I just don't know what to think when I read stuff like this. It's been how many years now that Microsoft has been bashed in the head repeatedly, non-stop, by virtually everyone with a voice? And make no mistake in the world that the bashing is but for one purpose, which is: the implication that its success and wealth is unearned, undeserved. Now here's the cool thing about freedom, individualism, and why every fucking value you can name ought to be on the [free] market: I haven't got the time or interest to determine, for myself, whether any of the endless charges and crap about Microsoft, et al, are true. What I do know is that since I bought my first x386 in 1990, began using it for business in 1992 -- having gone through dozens of desktops, laptops, notebooks, and now run four or five enterprise level servers -- all running MS software -- I have increased my financial wealth by a factor of many thousands. And I cut paychecks and pay benefits and family heath care for a couple of dozen people. There's more. Throughout the whole of it I could have...


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The Dire Importance of Principles

"It's a big mistake, Meaghan. It's so big that it might be bigger than your lifetime and you might not actually lay your own eyes directly on the folly of it. But there is no way around it." [emphasis added] Do you get it?


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Anathema

It strikes me that two things were fundamental to the founding ideals of America. First was the idea that freedom was not to be applied for -- not to the apparatchiks running the place your were leaving from -- and certainly not to the apparatchiks fucking up the relatively freer place you were going to. The second, hand-in-hand, was that to the extent law existed, its sole purpose was to protect freedom, above all else, i.e., the freedom of individuals to self-determination. Law, for any other purpose, was to be righteously condemned, ignored, and disobeyed: with prejudice. Citizens and Subjects were what left other places. Individuals were what arrived on the shores of America. Yet we live in a land, today, that's anathema to those founding ideals. It is so perverted, in fact, that the latter ideal, espoused above, has been turned on its head as justification for trampling the former. As regards America and its European ancestry, I can only say: I guess the apple didn't fall far from the tree, after all. Well, this is what my mind was on after reading this, along with the posts and comments referenced therein.


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Listen Up

Alright, the other day I popped off a piece referencing Perry de Havilland's take on this idiotic post over at The Daily Kos. Now it turns out that Drizzten has done more of a point-by-point on the idea of "libertarian democrats." I'm half tempted to throw the whole thing up here, out of a sense of mercy to those who value their eyes (go and see what I mean), but I'll just hit this, here: [Kos:] 'Traditional "libertarianism" holds that government is evil and thus must be minimized. Any and all government intrusion is bad.' [Driz:] "That's because libertarianism is generally concerned with one thing: reducing the prevalence of aggression (the initiation of physical force or the immediate threat of it) in society. That's the prime political principle and all else flows from it. It isn't a simple-minded hatred of government. It's an integrated, clear-minded hatred of what government does. "And that is in turn based upon an understanding of reality and the human condition, an understanding that says individuals have the capability and the right to think and act for themselves. "It isn't about just flipping the bird at Uncle Sam." [Emphasis in bold, mine.] Indeed. Ah, yes. I...


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Mission Imperative

A comment [with some edits] I just wrote and threw up at this post talking about the causes and cures of terrorism: "Certainly rational renaissance and its effect, wealth, will tend to diminish terrorist acts over time. But it's really the belief system that's key, the root cause. "Still, it's no excuse. I understand that most of them were just born into this sorry state. They were taught to be dirt-scratching primitives and so that's what they are. And such change must come from within their own culture -- seeded by the few with brains enough to independently reject their teachings and lead their world into an enlightenment. "In the meantime, they must also understand that their behavior carries other risks, like being killed by a soldier or marine on the ground, or a -- surprise! -- 500-pounder from above (ooh-rah!). Yea, they're glorious martyrs, but that's a loosing strategy, since the more who aspire to such ends, the better off their enemy: us. Martyrdom is a silly notion that exposes just how bankrupt is their worldview. "If, because of their sorry state of poverty, they vowed to come over here and break into our houses and financial centers to...


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Consent of the Governed

You do realize, don't you, that slaves very nearly always outweigh their masters in number and thereby effectively give their consent to be enslaved? Same goes for the "governed." "I think this shows that the police are fast reaching the limits of the 'consent' by which they claim they serve." A comment to a blog entry. He's talking about this 5-page collection of evidence of civil disobedience in the UK. (via Perry de Havilland)


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Stealing What You Don’t Even Have Yet

Clearly, the U.S. Federal, State and local governments are fully confident in their ability to steal from you far, far into the future -- and from your children and grandchildren too. They say you're in debt to the tune of a cool half-mil, but that would imply that you took on the debt yourself, voluntarily, for your own reasons whatever they may be. Of course, if you vote, then it's hard to imagine you have anything to complain about. But you'll keep voting. Why woulnd't you? -- you're insane. You keep doing the same thing, expecting a different result. But who knows, 2006 mid-terms may just well be "the most important election of our lifetime," followed by the 2008 most important election of our lifetime, and so on.


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Oxymorons

Perry de Havilland throws up a good one on just why there can be no such thing as a "Libertarian Democrat." And there you have one of the classical errors of the left: the idea that corporations have great power to coerce in and of themselves. Now it is true that corporations often behave disgracefully (no one has ever accused Samizdata of being soft of corporate wickedness or being reflexively well disposed towards Big Biz) but the overwhelming way they do this is by using their vast wealth to manipulate the power of the state in their favour. When the state uses the power of eminent domain to take land from people so a wealthy corporation can profit from it, that is an example of state power. When corporations get subsidies and regulations which make it harder for new market entrants to compete with them, that is an example of state power. When corporations use laws to bust unions and restrict reasonable rights of workers to organise, that is an example of state power. [...] It is just a variant of the notion that the only way to stop corruption in high places is to get rid of high places....


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