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CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS

Friday, November 18, 2011

WORD AROUND THE NET

"The increasing sense that this country is run by a hereditary celebrity class is one of the most corrosive and dangerous forces eating away at our common life."

Thanksgiving is coming up next week. According to a report by Jim Cross at KTAR Arizona, its going to cost you 13% more than last year. Gas is over $4.00 a gallon in places across America as the price per barrel goes up over $100. Inflation is a very real fact, but the legacy media is largely ignoring it and continuing their complete reversal of gas price treatment from when President Bush was in office. They know people vote with their wallets and hope nobody is noticing.

Earlier this week a man shot an AK-47 at the white house and hit a window. He was found in the Occupy DC camp and arrested. The man appears to be either a joker or insane, as he claimed to be the second coming of Jesus Christ in a video at one point, but crazy or not, he's one of the occupiers - or at least, they consider him one in San Diego. There, they held a moment of silence in solidarity with this man. This event got virtually no media coverage, but you can imagine the outrage and continuous play if the guy was found in a Tea Party rally and one held a moment of silence for him. The president would be on TV within seconds to condemn this atmosphere of violence and call for calmer rhetoric, a new tone. And he should, but he won't when its the occupiers.

Speaking of a suddenly-quiet media, check out the video of a panel discussion on Newsbusters. This was on The Morning Joe, a show on MSNBC where they spend ten minutes mocking Republicans and chatting about various topics, but when Solyndra is brought up, suddenly they have nothing to say and stare at the table awkwardly until the topic is changed. Its as if they think by ignoring something it just goes away. Are they right? That's up to you as a voter.

Sarah Palin continues to do what she does best, although the press is paying her less attention now that they aren't terrified she'll run for president. Her most recent column brings up various facts that Big Government has been hammering from a new book called Throw Them All Out by Peter Schweizer. As I wrote about a month or two ago, insider trading isn't actually illegal for congressmen, and they've gotten very rich off it. So have cronyists like Warren Buffett and Jon Cornyn. The system has been designed to take politicians and make them massively wealthy, at our expense.

Radar Ridge was going to be a big wind farm project to generate power with wind turbines, but it has been shut down. Why? Was it evil Republicans? Greedy conservatives? Hateful Christians? No, environmentalists. The Marbled Murrelet, a threatened species, lives in the area the turbines were to be built, so the entire operation was shut down. Individually the left may be for various forms of energy, and few of them are intentional Luddites, but collectively they are all opposed to any energy production and technological progress. As we've seen around the world, though, these wind farms only produce about enough power to run a cell phone anyway.

Calls for Attorney General Holder to resign have been growing, mostly from Republicans, but some independents such as myself have been wishing it for more than a year. Holder responded by... going on a five day taxpayer funded junket to the Caribbean, because the topics he wants to discuss cannot be handled in any other climate, apparently.

General Motors has been struggling since their bailout. Their PR department has been working hard with the federal government to make things look rosy, but their sales aren't great, the Volt is selling about a fiftieth of what they predicted, they claim to have paid off their federal loan but only did so by taking TARP money to do it, and now it turns out the cost of their bailout is even bigger than originally thought. Because of plunging stock prices, the cost to taxpayers in loss will be over $25 billion dollars. And, because of how the Obama Administration allowed them to restructure their finances, that loss will actually be closer to sixty billion for the federal government.

Meanwhile, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in the House of Representatives is trying to figure out why non-union workers at GM took a huge cut in their pensions while the UAW workers were allowed to keep theirs. Its pretty obvious that cuts needed to be made, but since the Delphi finance department workers were a small portion of the GM workforce and the union pensions were much better, its clearly deliberate union favoritism by the Obama administration that led to these cuts.

Occupy Wall Street saw some horrible fat cat exploiters and marched after them shouting slogans and intimidating them. These evil oppressors? Children as young as four trying to go to school.
In the middle of thousands of protestors yelling and chanting — some kicking and screaming – CBS 2’s Emily Smith found little school kids trying to get to class. Nervous parents led them through the barriers on Wall Street. The NYPD helped funnel the children, anything to ease their fears while some protestors chanted “follow those kids!”
That'll show em! Just because they are young, cute, and innocent is no reason to hold back with your bitter anger and hatred.

However, this kind of behavior isn't too surprising, given the occupy allies in the Union's attitude toward children. Alameda California's school district has $1.1 million dollars left over from last year's budget. The school board voted to buy textbooks and pay for teaching programs for the students. The teacher's union insists that money should be given them as bonuses, and call the spending for students "unfair." I just want to know how they managed to have a surplus of money in a state drowning in debt.

Dan Mitchell has five cautionary lessons from Europe's financial crisis that he wants American lawmakers to heed:
  1. Higher taxes lead to higher spending, not lower deficits.
  2. A value-added tax would be a disaster.
  3. A welfare state cripples the human spirit.
  4. Nations reach a point of no return when the number of people mooching off government exceeds the number of people producing.
  5. Bailouts don’t work.
Instapundit reader Bart Hall has a sixth: "Immigration will not solve a demographic problem unless those immigrants become well-assimilated and productive citizens."

Europe is struggling to keep its absurd attempt at a top-down socialist economic union designed to stave off the failure of running out of other people's money a few more decades. However, the productive, powerful economies of the north are being dragged down by the heavy welfare, low-production states of the south such as Greece and Italy. Well, the Germans at least have had enough, and are stepping in. They created a special commission controlled by Germany, replaced the leaders of two countries (Italy and Greece) with EU puppets, and are basically dictating to the EU what happens next.

A lot has been written about the EU and why it behaves the way it does (terror of having another war, revulsion and horror of nationalism (what Americans call "patriotism"), and a burning need to move further to the left and still somehow find a way to make it work economically), but the truth is, the system doesn't work and they're living proof of it. The only question is whether or not this will last, and if peace can be maintained by handing out other people's money and pretending there aren't really any borders or nationalities in Europe.

Europe spent its entire existence at war at least in parts of the continent as long as people have lived there... except during the last 60 years or so. How long does anyone really think that's likely to last?

Proof of this sixth lesson can be found at the Daily Telegraph where Ed West shows how immigration and cultural diversity inevitably leads to greater income equality and poorer economy. Its not hard to figure out, really. A society needs a united culture and approach to life and work to best achieve, and people who come to a society with their hands out refusing to adapt to their new home become a burden.

Congress instituted the Government Accountability Office in 1921 to try to make sense of proposals and show the real cost and economic impact of various legislation proposed. The office estimates it has saved $49.9 billion over last year, which is about ninety times its operating budget. more than 80% of the recommendations the GAO gave had been implemented within 5 years of their suggestions. Yet congressmen really don't care for it because the GAO keeps giving reports of how much their ideas will cost and hurting their chances of handing out goodies to friends and donors.

In fact, Representative Coburn (R-OK) reports that the House is trying to cut its budget. And while I'm all for budget cuts is this really the ideal place to start? To give you an idea what this plays out like, Democrats want to cut more from the GAO than Republicans. For the first time in my life, Democrats want to cut something out of the budget other than intel and military.

Gamers are wierd, that's the basic narrative of the media. A recent study reported in the LA Times claims that the brains of frequent video game players are different than ordinary people. Supposedly the kids studied showed greater development in the portion of the brain scientists believe is related to rewards than other kids. The thing is if you studied any particular, specialized group I bet you'd find brain differences, based on their work and special focus. Sort of like if you study longbowmen you find their skeleton and musculature is different than, say, lawyers. What you exercise and use most results in differences in people. The scientists claim this gives support to the "video games are addictive" theory.

Enjoy a nice tasty can of Pepsi Cola, its flavored with... foetuses. Actually, its not but their research department takes receptor cells from aborted babies and uses them to test their product, to see how they react. Sit back and think about that a while. Using bits from dead babies for your research in a cola. Does that bother you? Why, if unborn babies aren't really human, if they are just parasitic lumps of unviable tissue? Maybe somewhere deep down you know that's not the case. Like when you ask a pregnant woman when her BABY is due.

Neil Boortzman has collected eight principles of government that President Obama follows:
  1. American greatness comes from government.
  2. The economy is to be used as a political tool. Political objectives should be pursued through a command economy
  3. In a free market economy people acquire wealth by exploiting and taking advantage of the weak. It is the government’s job to right these wrongs.
  4. The people, are the property of government. Therefore, wealth produced by the people belongs to the government and the political class shall determine the manner in which that wealth is distributed back to the people.
  5. Money spent by government will lead to economic growth. Money spent by the private sector leads to wealth and income inequality.
  6. There is a point, which point shall be determined by the political class, at which individuals have made enough money.
  7. Government dependence is to be encouraged in all matters
  8. The United States is no more important in international affairs than Turkey or Greece.
These all seem pretty accurate and well-practiced by the president. Its boilerplate academic leftist cant, based on relativism, multiculturalism, and the belief that an enlightened group of leftist leaders in government can fix everything, but people who want to make money are evil greedy oppressors. I'm sure they all seem perfectly reasonable, in a classroom or talking to your fellow professors, but they just never seem to work out in the real world.

Frank J has a piece up in the New York Post about how the US Government is the biggest fat cat abusive cronyist of all. Sure banks rip people off, sure, the big corporations abuse customers and workers, and sure, bailouts suck. But they all do so based on the government, who takes the biggest slice of the pie. The US Government is like the mob, they get a cut of everything. Sure, that thief is evil, but the mob boss he gives a tribute to is worse because he's behind all of the bad stuff. The bigger the government gets, the more power it gains and the more stuff it gets a piece off, encouraging the graft, corruption, abuse, and cronyism people despise.

Tired of being groped by the TSA? Tired of being told you have to take your underwear off so they can letch at you? Sick of the stupidity of this organization? Well there's an answer! All you have to do is be rich enough to fly often and you'll get special treatment. The TSA has a program you can opt into if you fly often enough, get the right kind of frequent flier program, or are otherwise rich and influential enough to cause them grief for being molested and annoyed just to fly.

Another stem cell therapy has shown incredible success and promise. This time its about repairing severely damaged hearts using stem cells. And no, its not embryonic stem cells, its from the people's own fat cells. But you're a heartless murdering anti-science retard if you oppose blending up babies to experiment on them.

Leftists are working hard trying to get Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from the Supreme Court when they look at the Government Health Insurance Takeover Act next year. Why? Because Elena Kagan is so incredibly compromised on the issue she must recuse herself, removing one of President Obama's predictable leftist justices. Why do I say she must? Because she worked with the Democrats to create the bill and she's on tape gleefully celebrating getting enough votes to pass the bill. This would be known as "conflict of interest" and "lack of objectivity," something no judge should ever be even reasonably accused of. Will she? Probably not, unless somehow Thomas is force out of the panel for that decision.

President Obama, eager to please both the environmentalists in his base and people wanting cheap oil and everyone with half a brain, decided to vote "present" on the Canadian Oil Sands pipeline. He just put off the decision, long enough that Canada is just going to sell the oil to China instead. Smooth move, mister president. Canada is going to harvest that oil, whether the US buys it or not. You just helped an enemy of the US and destroyed thousands of potential jobs. Well I guess the threat of a genuine primary challenge was looming large, and you can't have that can you?

"Corporate welfare" is a term the left likes to throw around. What they mean is tax breaks, subsidies, and other special treatment by the US government. Its not really welfare, but no conservative is fond of that kind of thing in any case. But its not just big corporations that get bailouts and government subsidies - "corporate welfare." Lots of leftist heroes do too, such as Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Quincy Jones, Scottie Pippen, Michael Moore, songwriter Johnny Mandel, and Ted Turner are among the celebrities getting tax write offs, farm subsidies and other government money despite being worth millions.

A while back I pointed out how odd it was that cell phones can't be used as remotes, but it appears at least one company is using its head. Onkyo has an app you can get to control any of its audio/video receivers. As time goes on it seems likely more will do this, even if it requires a special component added to the devices to let your phone interface with the TV screen, for example.

And finally, in a dazzling display of "famously blind meritocracy that rules American life, rewarding the ultra-talented and pushing the less brilliant and skilled into the outer darkness" as Walter Russel Meade puts it, Chelsea Clinton has landed a plum, coveted job at NBC News. Because clearly, she's demonstrated not just the experience, but the well-known acumen for television news work. This is the kind of thing everyone despises, but goes on all the time because nobody ever pays a price for it. Celebrities rule America. If you need any proof, just look to the 2008 election where the president was chosen based on his celebrity status.

And that's the Word Around the Net for November 18, 2011.

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