Thursday, October 4, 2012
Friday, September 28, 2012
Thursday, March 1, 2012
This bogspot commendably seeks to stamp out corruption in Congress and work for the 99% instead of handing out favors to the 1% elite that are in bed with the Wall Street and Washington elites. Sound Good? Unfortunately, the writers seem to believe that the way to help the 99% is for the elites in government to hand out favors to the 99% and "to stimulate spending." Thus, a misplaced faith in government continues unabated. Instead of scaling back government, and allowing the entrepreneurs to do their thing, the proposed reform efforts are aimed at merely redirecting the failed government programs that got us in the present mess. It is so easy to state good intentions, but rarely do we see the intentions matched by actions that will gain those worthy ends.
The Mainstream Media (MSM) is so degraded that I have recently taken to watching the Newsbusters site which reports news from a more liberated viewpoint. Plus, it features a comedy-video by Jodie Miller that happily and cryptically skewers today's political elite. Tuesday's edition was highlighted by Tom Blumer's article about Global Warming--reporting on a recent presentation by MIT Professor Richard Lindzen before the House of Commons. The professor brings a lifetime of expertise in atmospheric conditions and was introduced as "one of the world's greatest atmospheric physicists" by James Delingpole of the UK Telegraph.
Professor Lindzen remarked that "I will simply try to clarify what the debate over climate change is really about. It most certainly is not about whether climate is changing: it always is. It is not about whether CO2 is increasing: it clearly is. It is not about whether the increase in CO2, by itself, will lead to some warming: it should. The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes.
. . .The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal. The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak – and commonly acknowledged as such. They are sometimes overtly dishonest.
... Given the above, the notion that alarming warming is ‘settled science’ should be offensive to any sentient individual, though to be sure, the above is hardly emphasized by the IPCC.
... Perhaps we should stop accepting the term, ‘skeptic.’ Skepticism implies doubts about a plausible proposition. Current global warming alarm hardly represents a plausible proposition. Twenty years of repetition and escalation of claims does not make it more plausible. Quite the contrary, the failure to improve the case over 20 years makes the case even less plausible as does the evidence from climategate and other instances of overt cheating."
Professor Lindzen thus added one more expert opinion that the hysteria over GW has been grossly overblown. And Tom Blumer points out that Professor Lindzen's comment have gone virtually unreported in the U.S. establishment press. Indeed, Blumer's search for the professor's name at the Associated Press's main national site came up empty!
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
It is commonly believed that Niccolo Machiavelli, the Renaissance philosopher and political advisor to the Medici Princes of Florence, was a scheming and devious man. The adjective "Machiavellian" in Webster's New World Dictionary is defined as "crafty, deceitful . . .characterized by the political principles and methods of expediency and duplicity set forth in Machiavelli's book, 'The Prince.'" However, when I read the book, most of Machiavelli's advice concerned the need of the leader to keep the good will of the people, resist the elites' demand for privilege, and not interfere with the common people. Such advice could well be given to today's leaders who constantly interfere with the people's rights, their independence, and their pocketbooks.
Machiavelli warned his Prince about excess oppression of the people: "A Prince sooner becomes hated by being rapacious and by interfering with the property and with the women of his subjects, than in any other way. From these, therefore, he should abstain. For so long as neither their property nor their honor is touched, the mass of mankind live contentedly, and the Prince has only to cope with the ambition of a few. . ." But our President ignores these admonitions and instead bails out the "few" on Wall Street and loads the people with regulations, mandates, and taxes. He talks democracy, but practices fascism, so he is to Niccolo's right!
Machiavelli also gave sound advice on budgetary matters: He advised the Prince to husband his country's resources and avoid the need to load down his subjects with taxes: "A Prince of a liberal disposition will consume his whole substance (in sumptuous display) and, after all, be obliged, if he would maintain his reputation for liberality, to burden his subjects with extraordinary taxes, and to resort to confiscations and all the other shifts whereby money is raised. But in this way he becomes hateful to his subjects, and growing impoverished is held in little esteem by many." Clearly, one of our President's shortcomings is that he is a bigger deficit spender than anything Machiavelli would have tolerated.
Now, it is true that Machiavelli also suggests that a Prince, in order to maintain stability, must on occasion be aggressive, cunning, and willing to change direction; that because of the vicissitudes of leadership, and the many dissidents who would overthrow or undermine his administration, the competent Prince cannot be above fighting fire with fire. Sometimes that requires some deception, dissembling, and heartlessness. Such realism sounds completely practical to me, and does not in my opinion make Machiavelli an evil man. Knowing that most intellectuals and academics almost universally demand perfection in their design or evaluation of political and social issues , I can see why they denigrate the wise and balanced advice of Niccolo M. When you seek perfection in human affairs, no system will prove satisfactory, and you will seek in vain.
The failed "theory" of utopian socialism calls for perfect equality and happiness-- and from that viewpoint, Machiavelli's acceptance of an occasional need to play hardball appears to socialist dreamers as both deceitful and immoral. But, let's look at how we are governed. In order to get ObamaCare passed by Congress, the administration gave huge exceptions to some to gain their vote. The supporters who are contributing a billion dollars to Obama's reelection are primarily the nobles--the elite that Machiavelli warned Princes to avoid: "The demands of the nobles cannot be satisfied with credit to the Prince, nor without injury to others, while those of the people well may, the aim of the people being more honorable than that of the nobles, the latter seeking to oppress, the former not to be oppressed.." President Obama ignored this counsel, and instead, went for the Bailouts and Stimulus packages which were rife with payola to special friends and supporters among the financial elites of America. The sad truth is that the utopian socialists seek a perfect and unattainable world, and to force their theories into practice, they end by oppressing the people and favoring the few--the 1%'s who provide the money for electioneering.
My reading of Machiavelli indicates that Americans would be better off and freer if the President followed the advice of Niccolo Machiavelli than the precepts of his community organizer background. The academics and the Leftist radicals have given Niccolo a bad rap and are actually to his right in favoring the all-powerful State and its elites with their constant regulation, oppression, and taxation of the common people.