Sunday, February 22, 2009

Obama = Bush + Gun Ban

Paul Craig Roberts writes about how Obama refuses to hold the Bush regime accountable for the civil liberties it took from us. Seems like Bush didn't do enough. While retaining the Bush crimes, Obama democrats want to ban firearm ownership, in violation of Second Amendment rights. The surest way to create crime is to ban something.

Criminals, of course, have no respect for law and will ignore the gun ban. Law-abiding citizens will obey it and become easy prey for armed criminals.

And when the criminals are armed agents of the state, they are helpless on a greater scale.

Roberts:
William Blackstone, the revered 18th century defender of liberty whose Commentaries on the Laws of England was a bestseller in colonial America, wrote that "the last auxiliary right" of free men is "having arms for their defense." Blackstone, England’s greatest jurist, said that the right to bear arms enables the "natural right of resistance and self-preservation, when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression."
Roberts continues:
Police seldom, if ever, prevent a crime. Their job is to appear after a crime is committed and to investigate with a view to identifying the perpetrator. A large number of careful studies show that private gun ownership prevents far more crimes than police ever solve. Criminals are routinely deterred, apprehended, and sometimes killed, by armed private citizens.

In contrast, police, especially the notorious SWAT teams, accidentally kill more law abiding citizens than they do criminals. If anyone should be disarmed, it is the police. When police become militarized, as they increasingly are in the US, their attitude toward the public changes from protective to hostile.

Militarized SWAT teams have established a record of showing up at the wrong address.

In Maryland recently, a SWAT team mistook the mayor and his wife for drug dealers. A large number of armed men in black, and not identified as police, broke into the mayor’s home, killed the family’s Labrador dogs, and held the mayor and his wife spread eagled on the floor with loaded automatic weapons a few inches from their heads. Fortunately for the mayor and his wife, a local policeman happened by and informed the paramilitary unit that it was the mayor and his wife whom the SWAT team was terrorizing.
Government is and has been bent on making our lives miserable.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Post cartoon sparks wrong controversy



It was bound to happen. President Obama signs a stimulus bill that will guarantee a deeper and longer depression, and a newspaper cartoon lampoons it in a way that ignites charges of racism. The cartoon suggests the bill was written by a monkey.

Monkeys could never be that destructive, though. The bill was the last thing a grossly indebted economy needs.

The New York Post could have attacked the stimulus bill in any number of ways. Given the politics of race, their decision to base it on the shooting of a chimp was bound to stir controversy. As worldly newspaper professionals, they knew the sentinels of political correctness would go ballistic. Without the uproar, the cartoon would've passed quietly into oblivion. As it stands, the whole world knows about it.

The stimulus bill, I'm guessing, was the product of mostly white elites. It was the bill's authors, not the signer alone, that the cartoon was lampooning -- though Obama, of course, shares in their guilt for the bill's passage. Written words and pictures are not a violation of the non-aggression principle, no matter how upsetting they can sometimes be.

Nor do I think the Post's position on the bill is in any way correct. The editors refer to the bill as "ineptly written." There was no way to write it eptly. That it was written at all is wrong.

Here's the Post's explanation, published yesterday:
Wednesday's Page Six cartoon - caricaturing Monday's police shooting of a chimpanzee in Connecticut - has created considerable controversy.

It shows two police officers standing over the chimp's body: "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill," one officer says.

It was meant to mock an ineptly written federal stimulus bill.

Period.

But it has been taken as something else - as a depiction of President Obama, as a thinly veiled expression of racism.

This most certainly was not its intent; to those who were offended by the image, we apologize.

However, there are some in the media and in public life who have had differences with The Post in the past - and they see the incident as an opportunity for payback.

To them, no apology is due.

Sometimes a cartoon is just a cartoon - even as the opportunists seek to make it something else.
The people protesting the Post's cartoon should be unloading their wrath on Congress and the Administration for passing a bill that will be harmful to most people and further delay recovery.

On a side note, I was saddened to read about the chimp's shooting. I once had a pet squirrel monkey named Charlie Brown, and it was like a child to me. When our landlord made us give it up, I grieved for days.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Apple's Pages needs more

The latest version of Pages, which Apple describes as a "streamlined word processor and an easy-to-use page layout tool," still comes up short in fundamentals. Either that or I've lost it, because I can see no way to change the default font, for instance. Every time I open a document it defaults to Helvetica. I want to be able to set my own default. The menu sequence Pages > Preferences has nothing in it that allows users to change the default font. Maddening.

Also, when I type I hit a lot of "htere"-type words ("there") that I would expect a word processor to auto-correct. Pages does allow you to add auto-correction entries under Preferences > Auto-Correction, but it doesn't work. When I entered "htere" as the typed word to be replaced by "there," it simply flagged any occurrence of "htere" in my document as a word not found in its dictionary. It didn't auto-correct it. Not only do I want this to work, but I would like the table of replacements to come loaded with common typing errors that are autocorrected. I don't want to have to populate the table myself.

Pages is still too "streamlined" to be useful to me as a word processor.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Salesman of the Year"

These were the words on a poster that featured a picture of Obama. The poster hung in a California gun store.

Best stimulus is no stimulus

Writing in the Christian Science Monitor Robert Higgs says:
Our greatest need at present is for the government to go in the opposite direction, to do much less, rather than much more. As recently as the major recession of 1920-21, the government took a hands-off position, and the downturn, though sharp, quickly reversed itself into full recovery. In contrast, Hoover responded to the downturn of 1929 by raising tariffs, propping up wage rates, bailing out farmers, banks, and other businesses, and financing state relief efforts. Roosevelt moved even more vigorously in the same activist direction, and the outcome was a protracted period of depression (and wartime privation) from which complete recovery did not come until 1946.
All of this is true.

According to Congressional Budget Office director Douglas W. Elmendorf, the Senate's stimulus bill "would raise output and lower unemployment for several years," but in the longer run, it "would result in a slight decrease in gross domestic product." Why? Because
the legislation would result in an increase in government debt. To the extent that people hold their wealth in the form of government bonds rather than in a form that can be used to finance private investment, the increased government debt would tend to 'crowd out' private investment—thus reducing the stock of private capital and the long-term potential output of the economy.