Saturday, March 17, 2012

Around the blogs

Catching my eye this week:

Crucis writes about the return of inflation, remembering the Carter years and worrying that we're heading for the same fiscal trainwreck once again. He notes that dollar inflation is the primary reason for the rise in fuel prices.

Crucis' post leads us directly to three excellent articles on the inimitable Charles Hugh Smith's blog, 'Of Two Minds'. Two are by a guest writer, a single article in two parts: 'Money from Nothing: A Primer on Fake Wealth Creation and its Implications', Part 1 and Part 2. Mr. Smith follows them with his own reflection, "We Have No Other Choice". Here's an excerpt.

Claiming that "saving the financial sector was necessary to save the economy" is akin to claiming that saving the massive tapeworm coiled inside the patient is necessary to save the patient: the logic is backward. The financial sector (tapeworm) is the cause of the economy's (the patient) weakness and collapse.

Ben [Bernanke] is no genius nor is he a hero. He is simply doing what he has to because he has no other choice. What would happen if Ben didn't funnel hundreds of billions of dollars into the financial tapeworm? It would die, and the "too big to fail" banks--for all intents and purposes, the Fed's partners, and the generous funders of political toadies--would cease to exist. Extremely wealthy and powerful people-- the top 1/100 of the top 1%--would lose great wealth and the power it buys.

In a system that has become dependent on crony-capitalism and fraud for its very survival, then that is obviously not even a choice.

How about the political class of toadies, sycophants, leeches and cowards who passed a 2,300-page "reform" bill that nobody read, much less actually understands?

. . .

Actually, the entire fraudulent tapeworm could be killed with a single page of legislation, or more correctly, a single five-point paragraph.

There's more at the link. Bold print is Mr. Smith's emphasis. All three articles are highly recommended.

Rifle shooters may appreciate a good primer by Aesir Training on zeroing your rifle's sights (found via a link at Borepatch's place). Whilst it's an excellent introduction to the subject, I prefer to zero my rifles for Maximum Point Blank Range, the most practical and universally applicable method I've yet found.

Cdr. Salamander points out that the Chinese seem to 'get it' when it comes to solving the problem of piracy. I agree, and think it's long gone time we adopted a similar approach. Needless to say, pirates would disagree (vehemently!).

Ace of Spades analyzes the 'health insurance' controversy, and decides that 'insurance' is merely a sneaky way of foisting socialism upon us. He concludes:

... this is how socialism will insinuate itself further and further into our lives: Virtually every expense that one incurs in one's daily life -- costs one once simply paid for out of pocket (what a hateful, retrograde idea!) -- will be moved into the pile of things we must be "insured against," and for which we must all "pool our risks" and cross-subsidize each other.

The endgame is just that no one actually pays for anything; the government, or a co-opted government-controlled industry which provides the functions of a socialist government ("insurance companies" which no longer insure anything, but merely send checks to people), simply takes over almost all costs in life.

And there we are.

More at the link, and well worth reading.

My long-standing online buddy Jim March has been active for many years in the promotion of both Second Amendment-related rights, and election issues (particularly those relating to electoral fraud, the use of electronic voting systems, etc.). He's been part of many of the investigations launched by Black Box Voting, and has analyzed the scandal-plagued Diebold voting machines at some length (to such an extent that Diebold tried to silence him in the past). Following some links from comments he's left here and elsewhere, I've just come across a blog of which he's co-author, 'Seeking Justice Audit AZ' (for the benefit of overseas readers, AZ is an abbreviation for the state of Arizona). It looks like Jim and his colleague(s) have uncovered yet another voting scandal, this one affecting Pima County, Arizona, which you can read about at the link. I strongly endorse Jim's efforts, and urge those of my readers in Arizona to support them (and him personally).

Dr. Grumpy reports on what he describes as 'the biggest science story of the decade'. Hint: it involves alcohol. And insects. And humans. And sex. Go read.

Educated & Poor reminds us of the importance of capital letters. And how!!! (Yes, sex is involved, yet again . . . )

Chris Wysocki, writing at Wyblog, reminds us that in matters involving current events, politics and the like, Wikipedia is not a trustworthy source of information, because it's so easily edited. He calls it 'Encyclopedia Propagandica' for that reason. I fully agree. I use Wikipedia a lot as a reference to purely factual or historical information, but I don't trust it (or rather, its sometimes all-too-partisan editors) on any controversial subject.

In related vein, The Tireless Agorist explains 'Why People Are Irrational About Politics'. Here's an excerpt.

Dr. Michael Huemer ... gives two examples of irrational political policies, followed by his theory of why we end up with irrational policies. Finally, he draws some lessons for us as individuals to use in combatting the problem of political irrationality.

Two Examples of Irrational Political Policy

The first example of an irrational political policy he explores is the War on Terror, illustrating two cases of irrationality within the example.

In the first case, the 3,245 U.S. fatalities caused by terrorists are compared to the 801,961 non-terrorist murders that occurred in the U.S. over the same period, a ratio of 247 to 1. Yet the overwhelming focus of attention and political action is on stopping the 4/10th of one percent of deaths that were a result of terrorism.

In the second case, he presents three numbers to illustrate policy irrationality.

3,245 - the number of U.S. fatalities attributable to terrorists over the last 50 years.
6,280 - the number of U.S. servicemen that have died fighting the War on Terror.
236,000 - the number of deaths attributable world-wide to the War on Terror.

In summation, he argues, "If you have a policy that kills 70 times as many people as the problem that you're trying to solve, then that's usually a prima facie indicator that it might be an irrational policy."

One can hardly argue with such conclusions! There's more at the link.

More from other blogs soon!



trailbee said...

Many years ago I contributed a word to Wikipedia. Through that back/forth communications process found out that they were in San Francisco, which immediately made me go en pointe, & put them in the snopes category. They always ask for donations, which funds their spot in the top slot of search engines. Yes, they are biased.

Agorist Don said...

Thanks for mentioning 'Why People are Irrational About Politics.' I've added you to my blogroll, btw. Good reading here.