Steve Jobs, The Artist

Posted by Jason | Posted in Miscellaneous | Posted on 06-10-2011

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Steve Jobs was an artist. You may say that’s absurd, but what is an artist. An artist is someone who takes common, plain resources and makes something that only the artist could see in their mind until the masterpiece was completed and shown to the world.  Steve Jobs took a vision of something no one else could see and made it a reality. He worked with his palette of people, hardware, software, and processes. He arranged them in a way that created beautiful products that people could not wait to see, touch and share with others. While other CEOs focus on making a better mouse trap, decreasing costs, and increasing market share, Steve Jobs focused on creating his masterpiece.

I’ve heard many people say about rich people like Steve Jobs that they don’t deserve all that money. They couldn’t do it all by themselves. No one is an island. This is true. The painter could not paint his masterpiece without his paints and canvas that someone else might have made. The musician could not produce music we all sing to without instrument builders, producers and concert venues providers. Shakespeare would not be able to create his plays without actors, printers or the maker of his writing utensils.

Here is the problem though. All of those people and resources can be provided by anyone. The painter can get someone else to make the paint and canvas. The musician can find another instrument maker, producer or concert venue. Shakespeare could have found other actors, printers and writing utensils. And Steve Jobs could have found other programmers and hardware manufactures. The difference between the artist and everyone else is you can replace everyone else and still end up with the masterpiece. You cannot replace the artist. You cannot replace Steve Jobs.

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Sarah Palin’s Understanding of the First Amendment

Posted by Jason | Posted in Miscellaneous | Posted on 09-12-2010

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It’s a shame that every time I hear Sarah Palin speak, my opinion of her goes to new lows. I do not hate her as liberals do, but I do think she’s a disaster for the Republican party and for our country if she’s ever President.

After her site was attacked by hackers in response to her calls to label Julian Assange a enemy combatant, she emails ABC News about her constitutional rights.

“No wonder others are keeping silent about Assange’s antics,” Palin emailed ABC News. “This is what happens when you exercise the First Amendment and speak against his sick, un-American espionage efforts.”

via Exclusive: Sarah Palin Under Cyber-Attack from Wikileaks Supporters in ‘Operation Payback’* – Political Punch.

So, Sarah Palin thinks her First Amendment rights are being violated by hackers? Does she not realize the Constitution applies to the government? Hackers responding to idiotic calls to label everyone a terrorist is not a government infringement on freedom of speech.

Next, does Sarah Palin realize what is in the First Amendment with the freedom of speech, freedom of the press? She literally wants the government to violate the First Amendment with Assange, but then says private individuals are violating her First Amendment rights. It’s actually funny how clueless she is when she makes statements like this. What’s not funny is how many zombies are shaking their heads yes while she says them.

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Fannie and Freddie may cost tax payers $1 trillion

Posted by Jason | Posted in Miscellaneous | Posted on 16-06-2010

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I saw this article this morning on the Tribune Review. Just think about the amount of money that is going to go into these two government entities, and what the people actually get out of it.

WASHINGTON — The cost of fixing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage companies that last year bought or guaranteed three-quarters of all U.S. home loans, will be at least $160 billion and could grow to as much as $1 trillion after the biggest bailout in American history.

Fannie and Freddie, now 80 percent owned by taxpayers, have drawn $145 billion from an unlimited line of government credit granted to ensure that home buyers can get loans while the private housing-finance industry is moribund. That surpasses the amount spent on rescues of American International Group Inc., General Motors Co. or Citigroup Inc., which have begun repaying their debts.

“It is the mother of all bailouts,” said Edward Pinto, a former chief credit officer at Fannie Mae, who is now a consultant to the mortgage-finance industry.

Fannie, based in Washington, and Freddie in McLean, Va., own or guarantee 53 percent of the nation’s $10.7 trillion in residential mortgages, according to a Federal Reserve report. Millions of bad loans issued during the housing bubble remain on their books, and delinquencies continue to rise. How deep in the hole Fannie and Freddie go depends on unemployment, interest rates and other drivers of home prices, according to the companies and economists who study them.

Fannie and Freddie account for 53% of the $10.7 trillion dollar residential mortgage market, which comes out to $5.35 trillion. If it costs $1 trillion to bail them out, that is 20% of the mortgages that they hold. Shouldn’t 1 and 10 home owners nation wide or 1 in 5 home owners that have a loan held by these two entities have a home free and clear? How about every home owner have their mortgages reduced by 10%? While I don’t really think that is a good idea, because the money will be either borrowed or printed, I don’t think it make sense for the American people to have to eat $1 trillion dollars in mortgages to keep these entities propped up. Let them go bankrupt. Other banks will pick up the pieces.

The Congressional Budget Office calculated in August 2009 that the companies would need $389 billion in federal subsidies through 2019, based on assumptions about delinquency rates of loans in their securities pools. The White House’s Office of Management and Budget estimated in February that aid could total as little as $160 billion if the economy strengthens.

If housing prices drop further, the companies may need more. Barclays Capital Inc. analysts put the price tag as high as $500 billion in a December report on mortgage-backed securities, assuming home prices decline another 20 percent and default rates triple.

Sean Egan, president of Egan-Jones Ratings Co. in Haverford, Pa., said that a 20 percent loss on the companies’ loans and guarantees, along the lines of other large market players such as Countrywide Financial Corp., now owned by Bank of America Corp., could cause even more damage.

“One trillion dollars is a reasonable worst-case scenario for the companies,” said Egan, whose firm warned customers away from municipal bond insurers in 2002 and downgraded Enron Corp. a month before its 2001 collapse.

Fannie and Freddie are deeply wired into the American and global financial systems. Figuring out how to stanch the losses and turn them into sustainable businesses is the biggest piece of unfinished business as Congress negotiates a Wall Street overhaul that could reach President Obama’s desk by July.

Deeply wired means there are very wealthy and powerful people who stand to lose a lot of money if they go under. They want the American people to subsidize their losses, and our government is all too willing to give them what they want.

Neither political party wants to risk damaging the mortgage market, said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office and White House economic adviser under President George W. Bush.

“Republicans and Democrats love putting Americans in houses, and there’s no getting around that,” Holtz-Eakin said.

With no solution in sight, the companies may need billions of dollars from the Treasury Department each quarter. The alternative — cutting the federal lifeline and letting the companies default on their debts — would produce global economic tremors akin to the federal decision to go off the gold standard in the 1930s, said Robert J. Shiller, a professor of economics at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., who helped create the S&P/Case-Shiller indexes of property values.

“People all over the world think, ‘Where is the safest place I could possibly put my money?’ and that’s the U.S.,” Shiller said. “We can’t let Fannie and Freddie go. We have to stand up for them.”

The companies’ liabilities stem in large part from loans and mortgage-backed securities issued between 2005 and 2007. Directed by Congress to encourage lending to minorities and low- income borrowers at the same time private companies were gaining market share by pushing into subprime loans, Fannie and Freddie lowered their standards to take on high-risk mortgages.

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner has vowed to keep Fannie and Freddie operating.

“It’s very hard to judge what the scale of losses is,” Geithner told Congress in March.

One idea being weighed by the Obama administration involves reconstituting Fannie and Freddie into a “good bank” with performing loans and a “bad bank” to absorb the rest. That could cost taxpayers as much as $290 billion because of all the bad loans, according to a May estimate by Credit Suisse analysts.

Keeping Fannie, Freddie afloat might cost up to $1 trillion – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Great idea Obama. One bank where his cronies can maintain their profits without risk and another bank where the tax payer can eat the losses. Awesome!

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Is Obama’s Demand For A BP Fund Just A Way To Limit Liability?

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government, Miscellaneous | Posted on 14-06-2010

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There is no doubt BP has bungled the handling of this oil spill. What is even more bungled is the government’s back and forth trying to act like they are or even can do something about this that will actually help. Most recently, Obama is now calling for a fund to be setup to pay claims.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The Obama administration, facing growing public anger over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, plans to ask BP PLC to establish an independently administered fund for reimbursing victims—in effect, taking some of the compensation decisions out of the company’s hands.

White House officials on Sunday said they wanted BP to put “substantial” funds into an escrow account to cover claims by Gulf Coast businesses and residents affected by the spill.

President Barack Obama plans to bring up the idea at a White House meeting Wednesday with top BP executives, including Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg.

The call was echoed by congressional leaders and state officials. In a June 10 letter to BP released on Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) and other Democrats asked BP to establish a $20 billion account, administered by an independent trustee, that would be used to pay the damages and clean-up costs associated with the spill. Florida Governor Charlie Crist and other officials in the Gulf Coast region joined the chorus.

It remained unclear how any such funds would be supervised, in particular who would oversee the compensation decisions. Administration officials on Sunday didn’t comment on the size of the escrow account they will seek, or on where money might come from. Nor did officials detail the legal status of the proposal.

Such a fund would provide a measure of security, proponents argue, for people concerned BP might file for bankruptcy protection or otherwise stop paying claims at some point in the future. It also has the potential to give the government or its designees control of distributing a significant pool of relief money.

OK, so the fund does not sound like a bad idea other than the “It remained unclear how any such funds would be supervised…”. That sure sounds like a nice slush fund for someone.

While not opposed to the idea of the fund, BP objects to the implication that if it isn’t required to set money aside, it might try to avoid paying it in full, according to a person familiar with the company’s position. BP insists it has the financial muscle to settle the final bill for the clean-up, as well as pay its dividend.

From BP’s side, maybe they do have the means to pay the bill. If there is no fund setup all at once, BP will be able to handle claims as they come, which will help cash flow. If the government tells them to setup a fund, and it’s required to be funded all at once, that could really harm BP’s chances of recovering from this. Cash is king, and if cash flow runs out, BP may be too tarred and feathered to raise capital.

Legal experts struggled to come up with a precedent for such a move. Examples of government-run funds exist, but they differ from the proposal facing BP.

Are we trying to act like our government cares about the law now?

In the early 1980s the government passed Superfund legislation that would create a fund to pay for the cleanup of hazardous-waste dump sites.

Through the law, the Environmental Protection Agency can compel the polluter to clean up the site or pay for it through the Superfund and sue for reimbursement.

Around the same time, the first of about 40 trust funds were set up with court approval by Johns Manville Corp. and later other companies with asbestos liability to alleviate some of the problems of lengthy asbestos-related litigation. But their creation stemmed from bankruptcy proceedings for Johns Manville. The trusts now oversee about $20 billion in assets, a sum that has nearly tripled since 2005, consultants say.

What they don’t say is this huge fund created an industry of lawyers looking to make millions off these claims. Instead of settling suites for those effected by asbestos, it was really a pay off to the trial lawyers.

Typically, corporations fund such victims accounts to settle class action lawsuits, although there have been a few examples of legislatively mandated funds such as the 9/11 victims fund, according to Howard Erichson, a law professor at Fordham University. “If the idea is to get BP to do this voluntarily, the question is what’s in it for them? Is there some liability protection in it for them?” Mr. Erichson said.

See, here’s the pay off to BP. While the government is trying to make it seem like it’s coming down hard, they will really setup an escape route for BP. They will put in liability protection for BP.

What I would like to know is why are we pushing to have a fund setup now? Did we not know there are risks involved in what they were doing, and shouldn’t we have planned accordingly? Of course, they didn’t because instead of focusing on liability they focused on buying off the government regulators. In a free market with private property protection, companies would buy insurance for liability protection. Insurance is the fund that would pay claims. Why is there not drilling rig insurance that pays out when something like this happens? My guess is there is no need for an insurance company to provide insurance like this, because government is used as the insurance.

Let’s just think about how this should work. If I’m BP, and I’m proposing to drill one mile below the ocean. One of the first things I should be thinking about is how will I pay claims if this goes bad? I better get insurance. Then the project should be submitted to an insurance company. The insurance company would have the expertise to evaluate the riskiness of the project. Then based on that, they would say, “BP, we are willing to issue a policy on this project for X number of dollars. Here are the things that we would require to issue this policy. 1.) You must use this latest technology. 2.) You must have this expertise on site at all times. 3.) We will inspect the rig weekly…..”. You get the picture.

Now, the insurance company is basically saying we are taking the risk off BP, and to do this BP will pay them so much money and meet certain criteria. The insurance company now must limit it’s chances of having to pay out claims. That is how they make money, and YES, this is a good thing. Insurance provide a valuable service to society, so quit letting the government smear insurance companies.

Anyway, so the insurance company will take actions to limit their chances of being liable. How will they do that? They will first take actions, such as inspections, to make sure that the rig is up to the highest standards. Also, they will develop clean up plans ahead of time, so they can quickly take action and limit their losses before the problem gets out of control. If they don’t, they run the risk of losing money on this policy.

So as you can see, this is how a true market works, when there is real private property protections in place. Instead, we have a government regulated market, where there were laws on the books capping the oil companies’ liability at $75 million. Why buy insurance or why provide insurance, when the government already said what your cap is? Oh sure, Obama is grandstanding and trying to make it seem like he’s coming down hard on BP. The truth is they will setup a way for BP to limit it’s liability. They will protect big oil. Even if BP doesn’t make it through this, the billionaires at the top have already put into place a way to limit their losses. Entities, government created of course, will be moved around, gobbled up, etc, but make no mistake about it. The government is and will protect their rich masters, instead of doing the one simple thing a just government is supposed to do, protect property rights.

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Buffett Defends Moody’s

Posted by Jason | Posted in Miscellaneous | Posted on 03-06-2010

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Warren Buffett was defending Moody’s by saying it was caught up in the biggest bubble he’s seen in his lifetime. Can you imagine any other watch dog group saying they were caught up in something that the group they were supposed to watch was involved in? Imagine if the FDA was promoting crack (I know. This wouldn’t be a stretch.), and then was like “We just got all caught up in the crack epidemic. It’s the biggest drug craze we’ve seen in our lifetime.”

Anyways, then Buffett says something I agree with.

But the Berkshire Hathaway Inc. chief executive expressed doubts that even radical changes to the credit-ratings industry, such as creating a government-appointed board to select rating firms, would improve the quality and accuracy of ratings.

via Buffett Defends Moody’s Management – WSJ.com.

Of course, this is always the solution from government. Give them more power. Is this just corruption in the making or what? Instead of rating agencies being chosen based on the quality of their past ratings, they will be chosen by whoever spends the most money lobbying. Look at BP and the MMS fiasco.

Only the free market can fix the rating agency system. Let the market decide which agencies are best. Large investors will not want to use corrupt rating agencies, and Moody’s will lose it’s clients. The government is not a solution here. The government will be used to keep out real competition and prevent trust worthy ratings.

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The United States Cause of Death, Plundered to Death

Posted by Jason | Posted in Miscellaneous | Posted on 01-06-2010

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Now that the government has already plundered trillions of dollars from the people to bailout wall street bankers and General Motors, they are now getting set to plunder hundreds of billions more to bail out the unions.

Feeling tapped out after stimulus, ObamaCare and everything else? Senator Bob Casey has one more deal for you. If the Pennsylvania Democrat gets his way, U.S. taxpayers will also pick up the astonishing tab for poorly managed union pension plans.

Mr. Casey is gathering support for his curiously named “Create Jobs and Save Benefits Act,” a bailout for union-run retirement plans. Similar to House legislation from North Dakota Democrat Earl Pomeroy and Ohio Republican Patrick Tiberi, the bill would transfer tens of billions of dollars worth of retiree liabilities to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, i.e., to taxpayers.

via Review & Outlook: The Union Pension Bailout – WSJ.com.

So let’s put this in layman’s terms. Unions have lied to themselves all these years about the real value of their labor, crushing the businesses they work for. Then they fell for their union leaders’ lies and “pension plans”. Because of their choices, everyone else in society is supposed to suffer. They should have no responsibility for their choices. Their leaders should walk away scott free thinking they did a great job, and the rest of American workers should be enslaved to pay for their mistakes.

In Frederic Bastiat’s book, The Law, he laid out the choices societies make in regards to their laws.

“The few plunder the many. Everybody plunders everybody. Nobody plunders anybody.”

Which one do you think we fall under? It seems to be we are under “The few plunder the many” heading towards “Everybody plunder everybody”. There is a good chance this country will be bankrupt though before we get there. It seems there is not a concern in the world that politicians have where they don’t look at the American workers as human sacrifices to be offered up to they cause. The only problem is they will eventually run out of sacrifices. They will have killed the Country.

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Looks like the WSJ is trying to talk people out of gold

Posted by Jason | Posted in Miscellaneous | Posted on 28-05-2010

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Obviously, since the meltdown of the past few  years, gold has been in a huge bear market. I have questioned on this blog before if it’s the next bubble. I do think there is a chance it is, but I don’t doubt it’s long term up trend. The problem with critics of gold though is they are talking about gold as if you are buying a stock and hoping to crank out 20% returns per year. Here is a recent article from the Wall Street Journal along these lines.

This is a very sad day for me.

In Part One of this series, when I argued that gold might be about to go vertical, I made a whole bunch of new friends among the gold bugs.

And now I’m going to lose them all.

That’s because even though I think gold might be about to take off, I don’t recommend you rush out and put all your money into gold bars or exchange-traded funds that hold bullion.

And this is for one simple reason: At some levels, gold, as an investment, is absolutely ridiculous.

Of course you shouldn’t rush off and put all your money in gold bars. You shouldn’t do this with stocks either, but for some reason, I don’t think the author would be so anti-stock as he is about gold.

Warren Buffett put it well. “Gold gets dug out of the ground in Africa, or someplace,” he said. “Then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility. Anyone watching from Mars would be scratching their head.”

No utility? Have you seen wrap videos. OK, I’m just kidding. Anyways, who says it has no utility? Gold is used plenty.

Many things can be classified as having no utility. The Mona Lisa has no more utility than a gold sculpture. Utility can be very subjective, but one thing we know for sure. People have always demanded gold, and it’s not going to change any time soon.

And that’s not the half of it.

Gold is volatile. It’s hard to value. It generates no income.

Unlike our very stable stock market, that just went below it’s year 2000 levels again!

Yes, it’s a “hard asset,” but so are lots of other things—like land, bags of rice, even bottled water.

Yes, and people invest in all those. What’s the point?

It’s a currency “substitute,” but it’s useless. In prison, at least, they use cigarettes: If all else fails, they can smoke them. Imagine a bunch of health nuts in a nonsmoking “facility” still trying to settle their debts with cigarettes. That’s gold. It doesn’t make sense.

Is this guy serious? It’s a currency substitute for a reason. It can’t be replicated by turning on a printing press. Also, is any fiat currency useful? It’s only useful for robbing people without them knowing it.

As for being a “store of value,” anyone who bought gold in the late 1970s and held on lost nearly all their purchasing power over the next 20 years.

Now this is just silly. People bought it during double digit inflation to protect their value. The government, in order to correct it’s horrible policies, decided to raise the interest rate and bring the inflation down. That drove the price down. People didn’t have to worry as much about their currency being devalued, so demand for gold went down. Of course the guy goes back to the 70s and then only goes 20 years. He didn’t want to get into the years where gold has sky rocked. That would mess up his narrative.

I get worried when I see people plunging heavily into gold at $1,200 an ounce. What if the price goes back to where it was just a few years ago, at $500 or $600 an ounce? Will you buy more? Sell?

My concerns about gold go even further than that.

Let’s step inside the gold market for a moment.

Everyone knows the price has risen about fivefold in the past decade. But this is not due to some mystical truth or magical act of levitation. It is simply because there have been more buyers than sellers.

Ah, he understands supply and demand and it’s effect on prices.

Banal, but true—and sometimes worth repeating.

If the price rises you’d think there must be a shortage. But data provided by the World Gold Council, an industry body, tell a remarkable story.

Over that period the world has produced—or, more accurately, recovered—far more gold than anyone actually wanted to use. Since 2002, for example, total demand for gold from goldsmiths and jewelers, and dentists, and general industry, has come to about 22,500 tonnes.

But during the same period, more than 29,000 tonnes has come on to the market.

The surplus alone is enough to produce about 220 million one-ounce gold American Buffalo coins. That’s in eight years.

Again, he’s going back to utility as if the gold has to be used to make something. He didn’t include currency in there. People are demanding it as a protection against monetary policies that governments are using to monetize their debts, stimulate their economies, etc.

Most of the new supply has come from mine production. Some, though a dwindling amount, has come from central banks. And a growing amount has come from recycling—old jewelry and the like being melted down for scrap. (This is a perennial issue with gold. I never understand why the fans think gold’s incredible durability—it doesn’t waste or corrode—is bullish for the market. It’s bearish.) So if supply has consistently exceeded user demand, how come the price of gold has still been rising?

In a word, hoarding.

Gold investors, or hoarders, have made up all the difference. They are the only reason total “demand” has exceeded supply.

Hoarding? Is that what people do with their savings account? Is that what you kids do with baseball cards? People hoard scarce items, because they go up in value. Hoarding is a good thing.

Lots of people have been buying gold in the hope it would rise. But the only way it can rise is if still more people buy it, hoping it will rise still further. And so on.

I’d have to disagree. I think looking at how unstable governments are, seeing the US dollar losing its reserve currency status, and watching a central bank print money like they’re manufacturing monopoly game boards is driving people to buy gold to protect the value of their current wealth.

What do we call an investment scheme where current members’ returns depend entirely on new money brought in by new members?

A Ponzi scheme.

OK, this guy is seriously crossing straight over to the nutball side of an argument. This is no different than stocks. It doesn’t matter how much money a company makes, if there is no new money brought in by “new members”, then the value of the stock will decline.  I can’t believe this guy writes for the Wall Street Journal.

Yes, as I wrote earlier, gold may well be the next big bubble. And that may mean there is big money to be made in speculation.

But I don’t trust it as an investment.

How can you square this golden circle? I’ll tell you in Part Three.

via ROI: Why I Don’t Trust Gold – WSJ.com.

As I’ve said, this author is making statements about gold as if everyone is wanting to buy it strictly for investment. Intelligent investors are investing to protect their wealth. Speculators who invest because Glenn Beck tells them to or because they think they are going to hit the jack pot because of some commercial aren’t going to properly invest no matter what some person in the Wall Street Journal says.

As far as if Gold is going to plummet. Gold is only going down when the dollar strengthens, and I’m not sure if the author has seen the news lately. There is no sign of that to come.

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Beck: O’Reilly, you will not out neocon me.

Posted by Jason | Posted in Miscellaneous, Video | Posted on 15-05-2010

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While catching up on my Google Reader subscriptions, I came across this debate between Glenn Beck, who claims to be a libertarian and Bill O’Reilly, who claims to fight for the little guy, but I think just wants the little guy held at bay by a large police state.

To start O’Reilly says not reading Miranda rights to someone suspected of terrorism should be the law of the land, and it’s for public safety. So, what would be the difference with someone suspected of murder? What if you bust the guy in the act of murder? Do you ignore his Miranda rights for public safety? How do you know he’s not a terrorist? You may find out later he’s a Muslim. Doesn’t that automatically mean he’s a terrorist because he’s a Muslim and committed a murder? Ok, I’m rambling here, but I think you see what I’m getting at. You cannot immediately classify someone as a terrorist, and say they shouldn’t have their Miranda rights. I might have missed it, but I’m pretty sure this guy in New York did not have his “I’m a terrorist” name tag on.

When the debate begins, Beck sounds like he’s heading down the right path, but he quickly veers off into “Citizens, Bill, Citizens”.  So how do you know someone is a citizen at the moment of arrest? Shouldn’t everyone be read their Miranda rights if they are going to be tried? Now, I know this guy was arrested after they knew he was a citizen, but what if he was arrested in the act? How would the police know he’s a citizen? Beck then gives the correct point of, “When does a citizen become guilty. I thought we had to prove that.” Ah, he gets it! We can’t just take the government’s word that someone is guilty and say “to the gallows with this one”. The government must prove someone is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, or you might as well not have a constitution protecting your liberty, because you have none.

After O’Reilly starts challenging Beck though, it quickly seems like Beck is looking for an out. He’s not going to be out neocon’d by this clown O’Reilly.  How does he hedge it? He says “We’re treating this like a police action”, so until Obama starts treating it like a war, which apparently he has no problem with, he thinks we must read Miranda rights and uphold the Constitution. I guess if Obama changes it back to The War on Terror, Glenn is game for taking liberties and trashing the Constitution. Even when O’Reilly brings up Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus, Beck says until Obama declares war, don’t talk to me. What? O’Reilly is fine with suspending habeas corpus now, and Beck is OK with it when Obama declares war? Lincoln also declared total war on his fellow citizens. He burnt entire towns to the ground, and did things that horrified the rest of the world. Is this supposed to be our example of how to treat citizens when it comes to terrorism? Of course Beck, who seems completely inconsistent, falls by the way side.

Finally, Beck goes on to describe what these powers could be used for ultimately, which is against the American people when they finally tell the government “Your time is up.” O’Reilly quickly poo-poos him, and instead of Beck arguing his point, he just starts laughing and giving O’Reilly verbal nuggies. What could have been a great debate was thus lost by neocon status envy. Maybe O’Reilly will have on someone who really cares about the Constitution one day, like the Judge. I doubt it though. That would be the shortest segment in O’Reilly history.

Hot Air » It’s on: Beck vs. O’Reilly over Miranda rights.

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BP, Property Rights, and Rachel Maddow

Posted by Jason | Posted in Miscellaneous | Posted on 05-05-2010

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It seems like the BP oil spill has both sides of the isle clamoring to point fingers at the other. As usual, Democrats are mocking Republicans for their “Drill Baby, Drill”, and Republicans are out talking about Obama’s slow response and all the donations BP gave to Obama. Both sides make pointless arguments that do nothing the improve life in our country.

If we want to have affordable energy, then we must “Drill Baby, Drill”. Also, what was Obama going to do that was going to make this situation any better? The last thing we should all want is for Obama to get involved. He’s liable to nationalize the whole energy industry. Lastly, I don’t think BP handed Obama money saying “Hey, we are going explode an oil platform. Just let it slide and respond slowly.”

So what are the issues that should really be discussed? Well to start, why do we think morons sitting in Washington can regulate accidents out of existence? I mean, our highways are regulated to the point where I can be pulled over for not having my headlights on while my windshield wipers are running. Guess what. There are accidents constantly all over the place. You can pass regulation after regulation until the cows come home. The problem is no one can predict the future, and no one in congress has a clue about anything other than how to steal money, so don’t expect them to even come close to writing regulations that make a difference.

If we want to lessen the chances of something like this happening, we need to move more towards property rights. When property is owned collectively, everyone assume someone else is watching out for it. This is known as the Tragedy of Commons. On the other hand, when you have private property, private owners typically look out for their land. After all, their land has value, and they do not want to have the value diminished without being compensated for it. How you could get private ownership of the oceans is something I have not studied, so I can’t comment exactly how it could be done. The point is government owned property always leads to a higher chance of environmental catastrophe.

Let’s take an example. If you owned 1000 acres of land, and let’s say BP wanted to drill on it. They come to you to negotiate. If you are a prudent owner, you are going to want to know what safe guards there are, risks involved, compensation, compensation in event of disaster, and if they are insured for their project. An insurance company, who would be pledging and backing the oil company would not want to risk having to pay a claim, so they would then do further due diligence into the oil companies safety measures, technologies, past history, etc. They may even do inspections of the drilling site periodically to make sure things are done to the highest standards. All of these are costs that will be taken into account prior to an agreement being made. These are real costs that force the company to bear the full costs of their production.

On the other hand, when government controls land, all it takes is greasing the palm of some slimeball politician to get your drilling project approved. The government may charge you something, but with the purchase of the right politician, that can be altered to the benefit of the oil company. Once a government employee is bribed, companies can put all kinds of escape clauses in their contracts that could limit their liability, expenses, etc. Instead the full cost of production is then not bore by the producer. In the case of this oil spill, the costs will be bore by the tax payer. Yeah, BP will pay some, but make no mistake the tax payer will eat it. What tax payer has the time or money to send a lobbyist to DC to fight for their money? On the other hand, BP has plenty of money to lobby and make sure they come out on top. OK, I know, I’m getting off topic here. The point is the government, although it’s classified as owner of the land, is not a person. They aren’t invested in the property like a person, and they can be bribed with just a little money. Private property is the best solution to environmental problems.

OK, the next thing that is cracking me up with this BP oil spill is people blasting Big Oil. It’s the people like Rachel Maddow, who talk like we don’t need oil. They sit on their stupid TV shows acting like we have some alternative that is comparable, and we’re all just being a bunch of idiots for not switching.  Here’s her video.

Don’t you wish someone would ask her what the alternative is? Of course it is sad that people die in these accidents, that animals die, and that pollution occurs, but what is the alternative? Are we to believe that even with the accidents she mentions (as limited as they are), we’d be better off without oil? How many people would die each day without the power and energy that oil delivers? How many goods including food and water are delivered to stores and homes, so people don’t starve to death. It’s oil that gets those deliveries there. How would we heat our homes, power out hospitals, or build things with machinery, if it was not for oil? It would be great if Rachel Maddow would get down off her high liberal horse, and say thank you to the companies that provide this energy we need at a low price.  Instead she sits in her well lit, power hogging studio running her mouth every night, not producing anything for society other than hot air, which unfortunately we cannot use to produce energy.

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Your Garden Is A Problem For The System

Posted by Jason | Posted in Miscellaneous | Posted on 27-04-2010

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If you think you can always grow your own food when food prices sky rocket with inflation, think again. Government is already making sure you cannot get outside the system. Government must always make sure you are trapped within the system.  This is very similar to Obama going after people who move their money overseas to avoid our oppressive tax system. Instead of realizing that our tax system is driving money out of the country, our government attacks the people who have the money. The government never realizes it’s the problem, but why would it when it’s a coercive monopoly.

With the Fed holding interest rates extremely low by printing money, there is going to be inflation. I know personally my grocery budget has doubled in the past decade, and we are not consuming any more food. In order to save money, more and more people are planting gardens, but this takes away government’s power and the big farming industries’ profits. How is government going to keep Monsanto’s bribes coming if it cannot deliver? Your garden is becoming a problem for them, so it’s time for them to pull out the guns and tell you to stop. Oh I know, the government isn’t going to shoot you for your garden, but they are going to fine you over and over until you submit. If you don’t submit and pay your fines, they will imprison you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JnwqqSdtD4

liberty-cafe-vlog.

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