Saturday, October 31, 2009

Glenn Beck Exposes Obama's Anti-Free Speech Impulses; Sowell Applauds

I haven't watched Glenn Beck previously. The left long claimed that it favored free speech. But now that it has power, it is taking rapid steps to regulate speech; control the media; and suppress dissent. If you are one of the few people who have not watched this sequence as I had not, please do. It is chilling. The American people have taken steps much like Hitler's in the last phases of the Weimar Republic. Chilling indeed.

Another friend sent me Thomas Sowell's excellent article in the Jewish World Review describing how Obama is dismantling the American constitution (in the broad sense, the fundamental values upon which our nation rests). Sowell credits Fox News with uncovering Obama's appointment of a wide range of advocates of totalitarianism and suppression of speech. He writes:

>Any miscalculation on (Obama's) part would be in not thinking that others would discover what these stealth appointees were like. Had it not been for the Fox News Channel, these stealth appointees might have remained unexposed for what they are. Fox News is now high on the administration's enemies list.

>Nothing so epitomizes President Obama's own contempt for American values and traditions like trying to ram two bills through Congress in his first year — each bill more than a thousand pages long — too fast for either of them to be read, much less discussed. That he succeeded only the first time says that some people are starting to wake up. Whether enough people will wake up in time to keep America from being dismantled, piece by piece, is another question — and the biggest question for this generation.

The nation is now in serious trouble. Generations of Americans have been brainwashed into thinking that authoritarian socialist solutions are necessary for "progress". In fact, the stagnant real hourly wage since 1970 and major economic declines in states like New York are symptomatic of the socialist steps that have taken us to the brink of totalitarian rule.

Barack Obama is a symptom of the underlying socialist power structure. It was clever of Wall Street to use race as a pretextual ruse to institute their lackey who would donate trillions to their coffers and fight to suppress dissent against their interests.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Aristotle: Federal Government Not A State

In Politics (1279-81) Aristotle argues that states exist for the sake of a good life. The Declaration of Independence restates this when Jefferson writes that rights include "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", an Aristotelian as well as a Lockean formula. In fact, Jefferson had been trained in Greek and Latin, as were the majority of the Founders. Positing the pursuit of happiness as the chief constitutional goal was taken from Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and Politics, in which Aristotle posits "eudaimonia", normally translated as "happiness", as the chief object of human existence. As Jefferson and the Founders well knew, happiness was the product of a virtuous life. In Aristotle's view, the existence of virtue suggested the existence of God.

Aristotle insists that states do not exist for alliances or security from crime, or for economic exchange and commerce. Rather, "virtue must be the care of a state which is truly so called...for without this end the community becomes a mere alliance which differs only in place from alliances of which the members live apart; and law is only a convention, 'a surety to one another of justice,' as the sophist Lycophron says, and has no real power to make the citizens' good and just.

"This is obvious; for suppose distinct places such as Corinth and Megara, to be brought together so that their walls touched, still they would not be one city, not even if the citizens had the right to intermarry, which is one of the rights peculiarly characteristic of states. Again, if men dwelt at a distance from one another but not so far off as to have no intercourse, and there were laws among them that they should not wrong each other in their exchanges, neither would this be a state. Let us suppose that one man is a carpenter, another a husbandman, another a shoemaker and so on and that their number is ten thousand: nevertheless, if they have nothing in common but exchange, alliance and the like, that would not constitute a state...It is clear then that a state is not merely a society, having a common place, established for the prevention of mutual crime and for the sake of exchange. These are conditions without which a state cannot exist; but all of them together do not constitute a state, which is a community of families and aggregations of families in well-being, for the sake of a perfect and self-sufficing life. Such a community can only be established among those who live in the same place and intermarry. Hence arise in cities family connexions, brotherhoods, common sacrifices, amusements which draw men together. But these are created by friendship, for the will to live together is friendship. The end of the state is the good life, and these are the means towards it. And the state is the union of families and villages in a perfect and self-sacrificing life, by which we mean a happy and honourable life.

"Our conclusion, then, is that political society exists for the sake of noble actions, and not of mere companionship. Hence they who contribute most to such a society have a greater share in it than those who have the same or a greater freedom or nobility of birth but are inferior to them in political virtue; or than those who exceed them in wealth but are surpassed by them in virtue."

But is the United States a nation that encourages virtue? The United States has increasingly disowned the Christian religion, which for many, likely a majority, is the foundation of virtue. The United States does not offer in the place of Christianity a coherent definition of virtue. Many argue for secular humanism, an inarticulate, disjoint set of claims that devolves into special interest brokerage, the commercial contracting which Aristotle argues cannot be the foundation of a living state.

The recent bailout rejects virtue in the interest of opportunism. Forgetting the claim (which I say elsewhere is nonsensical) that the bailout was necessary to prevent a "depression", to what degree is a nation that rewards sloth and incompetence with a large share of the national wealth one that is committed to virtue?

Moreover, and this is the point of greatest interest to me, I do not think that Americans share a common definition of virtue. On the one hand, the Progresssives and secular humanists reject traditional Christianity, preferring instead a Social Gospel based on violent redistribution and capricious definitions of "positive rights," which are whatever the whims of Wall Street and the New York Times say they are. On the other hand, liberals (libertarians) and traditionalists of various kinds reject the socialism of the Democratic Party and the Rockefeller Republicans and believe in the traditional virtues of religion and freedom.

I do not think that a reconciliation is possible. America is no longer a nation with a shared sense of virtue. It is no longer a state.

Aristotle and the Second Amendment II

"...when citizens at large administer the state for the common interest, the government is called by the generic name--a constitution. And there is a reason for this use of language. One man or a few may excel in virtue; but as the number increases it becomes more difficult for them to attain perfection in every kind of virtue, though they may be in military virtue, for this is found in the masses. Hence, in a constitutional government the fighting-men have the supreme power, and those who possess arms are the citizens."

--Aristotle, Politics, 1279b-5.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Aristotle on Politically Correct Socialism of Ancient Crete

There was no laissez faire capitalism or system of individual rights in the ancient world, but collectivism and socialism were common. Hence, socialism is a reactionary system. In Book II, chapter 10 of Politics Aristotle reviews a number of socialist economic systems that were employed in the Hellenic world. One of the more politically correct was that of Crete. Here is Aristotle's description:

"The Cretan constitution nearly resembles the Crete... (of) all the fruits of the earth and cattle raised on public lands, and of the tribute which is paid by the Perioeci*, one portion is assigned to the gods and to the service of the state, and another to the common meals, so that men, women and children are all supported out of a common stock. The legislator has many ingenious ways of securing moderation in eating, which he conceives to be a gain; he likewise encourages the separation of men from women, lest they should have too many children, and the companionship of men with one another--whether this is a good or bad thing I shall have an opportunity of considering at another time. But that the Cretan common meals are better ordered than the Lacaedaemonian** there can be no doubt."

* According to Aristotle, "the subject population of Crete". The Spartans had colonized them. From Wikipedia: the name περίοικοι derives from περί / peri, "around," and οἶκος / oikos, "dwelling, house." They were the only people allowed to travel to other cities, which the Spartans were not, unless given permission. In other words, the subjects enjoyed greater freedom than their socialist conquerors.
**The Lacaedaemonians included the Spartans, the subject of the recent action film, "300". Notice that the more warlike culture of Sparta was socialistic, while the culture of Athens, the founder of western civilization, was closer to a free market system.

Aristotle on the Right to Bear Arms

In Book II, chapter 8 of Politics Aristotle describes the city of Hippodamus, the son of Euryphon. Aristotle credits Hippodamus with the invention of the art of planning of cities. As well, Aristotle says that he was "the first person not a statesman who made inquiries about the best form of government."

In critiquing the city that Hippodamus proposed, which was to be of 10,000 citizens divided among artisans, farmers and warriors, Aristotle writes:

"The first of these proposals to which objection may be taken is the threefold division of the citizens. The artisans and the husbandmen, and the warriors, all have a share in government. But the husbandmen have no arms, and the artisans neither arms nor land, and therefore they become all but slaves of the warrior class. That they should share in all the offices is an impossibility; for generals and guardians of the citizens, and nearly all the principal magistrates, must be taken from the class of those who carry arms. Yet, if the two other classes have no share in the government, how can they be loyal citizens? It may be said that those who have arms must necessarily be masters of both the other classes, but this is not so easily accomplished unless they are numerous; and if they are, why should the other classes share in government at all..."

Peter Schiff: Ben Bernanke = Jack Madoff

This video is about investing in the current climate. The discussion of hyper-inflation spooks me. I've been waiting to get back into the stock market. My pension fund, TIAA-CREF, does not permit commodity or UDN (counter-dollar) investment. There is an international stock fund, though, but no commodity fund.

I missed the rally from May until now but I caught it from Thanksgiving until May. Schiff is recommending international stocks. I agree with his basic analysis. I'm not convinced it's straight up for the stock market, but it's suicide to hold bonds and dollars. I'd rather be in commodities and gold than international stocks. In my personal fund, I'm gradually getting back into gold and commodities and in TIAA-CREF gradually back into international stocks.

Also, I rode the dollar rally out in Euros and lost some money, but it's coming back quickly. In the stock market I'm down about 5-6% since June '08 (less since January '08) because of overly aggressive buying of gold stocks in fall '08, which was against my better judgment. But I was right on principle then and now. The dollar is going out the window, unless you trust the Republicrat Socialists to turn around and raise interest rates. That would cause the depression that is going to occur under any circumstances anyway. You can expect further dollar declines. The Republicrats are in a state of denial, and denial compounds pain.

The cause of these problems is the Federal Reserve Bank. Unless Americans decide to change the fractional reserve approach to banking, there will always be booms and busts. Unless they decide to eliminate the Fed, there will always be accentuated depressions. The Great Depression of 1930-1940 was entirely the result of Fed policy, compounded by dumb government fiscal moves by Roosevelt and Hoover.

The geniuses in the Republicrat Socialist Party are turning the United States into a third world feudal estate. The lords of the manor are George Soros, his Messiah, Barack Obama, and, most of all Obama's, Bush's and Henry Paulson's 12 apostles on Wall and Broad, who have been granted many, many trillions of dollars, not only in the recent "bailout", but via the Federal Reserve Bank for the past century.

You will note that the fundamental principle and theme of all academic and media left-wingers is the claim that Federal Reserve transfers to Wall Street are absolutely essential because of the threat of deflation and because they cannot imagine any other system than one in which large sums of money are counterfeited and handed to hedge fund managers. While advocating the Federal Reserve system, they simultaneously shed crocodile tears about income inequality, which is chiefly the result of the Federal Reserve System. Well meaning socialists, who would not be fooled by con men with their own money, happily believe the Ochs Sulzbergers' nonsensical claims of concerns for the poor, as the ideas that they advocate suck the nation dry.

What is the moral sense of people who fight to preserve a system that causes income inequality, and then claim that they hate income inequality? American universities and the American left are the intellectual class for the new feudalism, dictatorial rule by Wall and Broad and their puppet-king, President Obama.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Roman-Style versus Barbarian-Style Progressivism

Today's American ideology is Progressivism, the belief that the state knows and does best, and that the average person is capable of assessing only so much as the state allows. People are not able to decide how to save for retirement or how take care of their own health care. Nor are they able to choose what kind of physician to hire or the quality of the butcher from whom they wish to purchase meat. They cannot decide how much school to attend or whether they would like to support a government program to study martians or the regulation of energy. All of these and many, many more decisions must be made by their "betters", by bureaucrats and officials educated in state-run schools and taught the catechism of the state religion--that the STATE IS GOD; that GOVERNMENT KNOWS ALL; and that BARACK OBAMA IS OUR SAVIOR.

But within America's secular faith, the faith in the omnipotent state, there is a serious competition between two schools of Progressives. One school of Progressives descends directly from the Roman dictatorship of Augustus Caesar, and so is the more reactionary of the two. The other descends from the manorial rule of the Barbarian savages who invaded the Roman Empire in the late first millenium.

The Roman Progressives hold that the plebeians must be given their due. They must be provided with bread and circus. They must be told that they are most important. The Roman Progressives know that no matter how much money they transfer to themselves, to Wall Street and to the Ochs Sulzbergers' friends, the plebeians will support them so long as they say it is done in their name and so long as they have their free bread to prove it. The Roman-style Progressives are of course the Democrats.

The Barbarian Progressives agree with their forebears, Clovis and Charlemagne, that the plebes need not be taken into account at all. They believe with Aristotle that some were meant to be masters and others meant to be slaves. They, like the Roman Progressives, understand that the public is simply too simple minded to understand that the policies that they advocate, beginning with the Federal Reserve Bank, are harmful to them. Instead of relying on bread-and-circus, the Barbarian Progressives motivate their simple minded followers with anger about the Roman-style Progressives. The Barbarian-style Progressives are of course the Rockefeller Republicans.

The term Progressivism refers to the progressive looting of those who work on behalf of those who do not; the looting of those who buy milk and bread on behalf of those who run hedge funds and the New York Times.

Progressivism rode to power on the promise that more democracy would "solve problems". Since its ascendancy in 1900 or so, it has caused involvement in at least five foreign wars; it has doused the fiery innovation and productivity growth of the 19th century; it has left Americans with a stagnant real wage; it has caused the Depression of the 1930s; the stagflation of the 1970s and the bailout of 2009; it has caused increasing wealth inequality as the Progressives oversee the massive transfer of America's wealth to the super-rich via the Federal Reserve Bank; and it has seen the crippling of cities as destructive government programs dominate their landscapes.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ask Your State Republican Committee Chair: Does The Democratic Press Support You?

Let's say you're a fan of a Superbowl 43 football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and that the name of the Steelers' coach is Mike Tomlin. Let's say the other team's, the Arizona Cardinals', coach's name is Ken Whisenhunt. Let's also say that the month before Superbowl 43, the Arizona media ran repeated headlines saying what a great coach Mike Tomlin of Pittsburgh is and how lucky America is that Mike Tomlin and Ken Whisenhunt are the two teams' coaches. If you were a Pittsburgh fan, might you wonder why?

In recent months the nation's leading Democratic Party newspaper, the New York Times, whose editorial views are well within the Democratic Party's socialist wing, has had nothing but positive things to say about the New York State Republican Committee's new chair, Edward F. Cox. Might Republicans have cause to wonder about this?

Why on earth would a socialist Democratic propaganda source be saying that it likes Edward F. Cox?

Dear reader, I propose to you that Republicans and Democrats are like two superbowl teams that compete every year. On one end of the field are the Democratic Party socialists, ham-handed medieval reactionaries, advocates of mid-twentieth century style "planning" whose only solution to the problems of the world is to tax the productive out of existence and reward the welfare cheats on Wall and Broad.

On the other end of the field are the Republicans, supporters of progressive, market-based innovation and spontaneous order. The advocates of ideas that work, not of feudalistic ideas that deceive.

But if the coach of the socialist Democrats praises the Republican coach to the heavens, might we conclude that the teams are not really independent, that something is crooked?

I urge you to determine whether the Democratic Party press and electronic media in your town is supporting Republicans. If so, you might ask yourself, "Why?" "Why are the Democrats supporting Republicans?"

In the case of New York, questions need to be raised about why the new chair of the Republican Committee is being praised by the socialist Democrats, and whether Mr. Cox has been on the receiving end of socialist largesse while an attorney.