Vision and Truth

President Barack Obama made his case for a second term last night in Charlotte. Today, opinions vary about its impact, from—commentators are using baseball analogies—a grand slam hit to a swing and a miss. This is hardly surprising in the context of partisan interpretations. However, it is also not surprising that opinions would vary about Barack Obama and anything he says, or does. It is his stock and trade to say one thing and mean another, not unlike most politicians who will utter almost anything it will take to get elected or re-elected. Nothing new there either; politicians lie. A … Continue reading Vision and Truth

The More Things Change

There was a day when most university students would be out hustling for summer jobs at this time of year if they were not already working. In Montreal the perpetual student protesters mingled with the moneyed elite Thursday night in advance of the festival season. The event they tried to disrupt kicks off the Canadian Grand Prix race this weekend. The protesting Quebec university students evidently have a lot of free time at their disposal. Universities used to be places where you (or your benefactors) paid for a well-rounded liberal arts education; the only concession to training for a profession might … Continue reading The More Things Change

Polls That Count

Albertans awakened to a dreary, overcast morning with rain showers on Tuesday following election day in the province. The incumbent Progressive Conservatives will form another majority government. (Emphasis added. The Progressive Movement emphasizes social reform with a heavy hand of government doing the reforming for you, i.e. by force.) Election day on the other hand was an unusually warm and optimistic spring day for this latitude. Good turnouts in both advance and election-day polling appeared to bode well for the fledgling Wildrose party, touted variously as real conservatives, right-wing extremists or libertarians, depending mainly on who was making the observation. … Continue reading Polls That Count

Kafka and Kelley

Kelley Williams-Bolar may not be familiar with the literary works of Franz Kafka, but her life recently has been a Kafkaesque nightmare. After serving 10 days in jail, convicted on a charge of falsifying residency documents, she faces 3 years probation and slave-duty to the State with 80 hours of “community service”. Why? She wanted her two daughters to attend a safer school than the one designated for her home in downtown Akron, Ohio. The area is riddled with crime mostly related to the illicit drug trade; police have recorded 12 break-ins at her residence. Kelley’s father, Edward Williams, lives … Continue reading Kafka and Kelley

What’s the Big Idea?

The most significant development of 2010 was a life-affirming idea demonstrating the concept of spontaneous order and implying the cardinal virtue of independence of the individual. One frustrated individual, Rick Santelli, ranted on-air at CNBC on February 19, 2009 about certain oppressive interventionist actions of government and called for a new Tea Party. Some credit this rant as the start of the movement. Whether Mr. Santelli was the catalyst or not doesn’t matter. Despite broad media and political efforts to trivialize the phenomenon, Tea Partiers collected support across party lines, social classes and cultural subgroups. The influence of the Tea … Continue reading What’s the Big Idea?

Pork Them

The low calibre of the United States’ educational system has consequences. Too many people can’t read, write or do simple arithmetic at a level adequate to function effectively in modern society. Even these undesirable consequences are secondary to the fact that many never really learned how to think. Today we see evidence of all of this in Alaska. Lisa Murkowski is a Republican Senator from the state, or at least she is fighting to retain that status in a ballot-counting exercise reminiscent of the lunacy over “hanging ‘chads’” in a Florida ballot recount during the 2000 Presidential Elections. During the … Continue reading Pork Them

Things Could Go Better

A market bubble is commonly understood as a large asset segment overvalued by speculation. Speculators in related assets are primarily concerned with reselling to a “greater fool” at a higher price. The underlying assumption is that prices will continue to rise. An expanding bubble of air eventually deflates. Irrationally inflated asset prices must do something similar. As the asset supply becomes excessive, prices drop. Incentives change well before the situation can become a crisis. Price changes communicate market incentives. Misallocated capital must then be liquidated and invested elsewhere. Losses must be rebuilt by alternative employment, savings and investment. That is … Continue reading Things Could Go Better

Cult Fodder

Disturbing as it is, the video featuring very young schoolchildren praising Barack Hussein Obama as some sort of messianic savior, which is the subject of a media feeding frenzy today, is just the tip of the iceberg. That the school project was conceived and performed as part of Black History Month in February this year is in itself a collectivist, and overtly racist event. I seriously doubt that America will ever transcend considerations of race, or any other arbitrary and irrelevant parameters to move beyond group-identity politics and progress to regarding human beings as the individual minorities they are in … Continue reading Cult Fodder

Broadcast of the Absurd

Contrary to all reason and common sense, several Presidents of the United States have sought to address schoolchildren at the commencement of the school year. President Obama is today just the latest to have eagerly seized on such an opportunity. The President was overzealous in his initial plans to enlist members of his audience as personal aides in promoting his agenda by inviting students to write about how they might “help the President.” The resulting furor, attributed by the media to his detractors, Republicans, and conservatives, was largely regarded as “no big deal” by Obama supporters, Democrats, liberals, and of … Continue reading Broadcast of the Absurd

Too Many Lawyers, Again

Recently, on Fox Business Channel, hostess Alexis Glick asked an exchange trader for his views of recent actions directed at the US economy by the central government. In response he invoked the old cliche about there being too many lawyers in society. In summary, the disgruntled trader said that too many lawyers, without any training in or knowledge of economics, were making legislation and policy initiatives affecting the economy. He added that as far as he was concerned, this was the greatest problem in America today. I sympathize with this trader and agree with him as far as his statement goes, but the problem to which he only alluded runs … Continue reading Too Many Lawyers, Again