A note to my regulars:
I will be out of town until Tuesday, as I will be attending and presenting at a conference in New Hampshire on spontaneous orders. I'll talk about it when I get back and make appropriate links.
In the meantime, feel free to play the game of "Guess who Troy voted for?" (I voted early.) Post answers. Those who already know don't get to play.
Friday, October 31, 2008
A note to my regulars:
Posted by Troy Camplin at 8:38 PM
In light of Obama's predictable class warfare rhetoric in regards to the latest report by Exxon that they broke a record for amount of profits (but nowhere near the record in percentage profits), I would like to take this moment to do something you rarely hear someone do.
I would like to thank Exxon for all that they have done for the world.
Thank you, Exxon, for providing fuels so that people can travel, move goods, and have the energy needed to have better lives.
Thank you, Exxon, for providing jobs to millions of people around the world, directly and indirectly.
Thank you, Exxon, for providing your products at a relatively cheap price so that not just the rich and middle class, but the poor as well can use your product to make their lives better.
Thank you, Exxon, for your generosity.
Thank you, Exxon, for making so many people's lives far better than they would be without you.
Exxon is a vastly superior, far more moral institution than is any institution within any government in the world. They have provided more benefits than any government ever has, and they have caused far less damage to people and the environment than has any government. In fact, Exxon harms almost nobody on earth; it benefits 99.99% of all who come into contact with them. No government -- not even the best government -- can make that claim. For all these reasons, I would like to thank Exxon.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 1:06 PM
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Father Jonathan too debunks the claim that Obama is Robin Hood. He does so in light of the interview in 2001 where Obama expresses dismay over the lack of wealth redistribution in the U.S. The fact is, for a Catholic, Obama is a nonstarter, whether it be on economic issues or on abortion.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 10:18 AM
Is Venezuela a brutal dictatorship? Well, the two men who were expelled from Venezuela for publishing about Chavez's abuses don't think so, but their treatment more than suggests that things are headed that way. The bottom line is that the Left are fundamentalist thugs at heart, and they have no intention of letting anything get in the way of creating their dictatorial "utopia."
Posted by Troy Camplin at 9:08 AM
Monday, October 27, 2008
Obama is a Marxist. Obama is a Marxist. Obama is a Marxist. Obama is a Marxist. How Many Times Do I Have to Say It?
It's been all over Fox News and the conservative radio talk shows: Obama complaining that the Founding Fathers did not put in and, later, the Supreme Court did not find in the Constitution the ability of government to redistribute wealth, which he termed "economic justice." The only people who use terms like wealth redistribution and economic justice are Marxists. Seriously. He's not a socialist. He's a full-scale Marxist. And he said that he would put people on the Supreme Court who would interpret the Constitution to have redistribution in it. I say "interpret," but in fact he wants to put people on the court who will invent things whole-cloth and claim it is in the Constitution -- much like the "right to privacy" in the 14th Amendment. I read the 14th Amendment, and that simply isn't in there. Not even remotely. Obama wants to put people on the court who will do more of the same, but do it in regards to political economy. The really sad thing is that he doesn't understand that the only just economic system that has ever existed was the free market, and that all deviations from it have resulted in deviations from a just economy -- with the least just economies being those founded in Marxist thought.
You may note that an Obama spokesperson says Obama was saying the opposite of what he actually said. But here's the transcript:
MODERATOR: Good morning and welcome to Odyssey on WBEZ Chicago 91.5 FM and we’re joined by Barack Obama who is Illinois State Senator from the 13th district and senior lecturer in the law school at the University of Chicago.
OBAMA: If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to vest formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples. So that I would now have the right to vote, I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order and as long as I could pay for it I’d be okay.
But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent as radical as people tried to characterize the Warren court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as it’s been interpreted, and the Warren court interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. It says what the states can’t do to you, it says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf. And that hasn’t shifted. One of the I think tragedies of the civil rights movement was because the civil rights movement became so court focused, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributed change and in some ways we still suffer from that.
MODERATOR: Let’s talk with Karen. Good morning, Karen, you’re on Chicago Public Radio.
KAREN: Hi. The gentleman made the point that the Warren court wasn’t terribly radical with economic changes. My question is, is it too late for that kind of reparative work economically and is that that the appropriate place for reparative economic work to take place – the court – or would it be legislation at this point?
OBAMA: Maybe I’m showing my bias here as a legislator as well as a law professor, but I’m not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. The institution just isn’t structured that way.
You just look at very rare examples during the desegregation era the court was willing to for example order changes that cost money to a local school district. The court was very uncomfortable with it. It was very hard to manage, it was hard to figure out. You start getting into all sorts of separation of powers issues in terms of the court monitoring or engaging in a process that essentially is administrative and takes a lot of time.
The court’s just not very good at it and politically it’s very hard to legitimize opinions from the court in that regard. So I think that although you can craft theoretical justifications for it legally. Any three of us sitting here could come up with a rational for bringing about economic change through the courts.
So Obama is saying that he believes that "economic change" -- "redistributive change" -- was not brought about because it has been politically difficult, not because one cannot justify it legally, through the Constitution. He implies, in that last comment, that one of the problems is "separation of powers issues." What do you think he might have in mind to "solve" that "problem"?
Posted by Troy Camplin at 7:51 PM
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Is partisanship on the rise? Well, the accusations of partisanship have increased, but I think that has been used to mask an actual increase in bipartisanship. Once the Republicans got rid of the Gingrich crowd who were interested in a strongly ideological conservatism that approached libertarianism (please note that one of the members of that group was Bob Barr, now the Libertarian Party candidate for President) in order to try to keep power, they acted just like the Democrats in most things, especially in economics. And, despite the rhetoric, the Democrats are almost identical to the Republicans on social issues. Even on things like abortion, they are really arguing about the nuances of when it is appropriate to have an abortion, not if it is appropriate. The policies put in place by both parties following 9-11 and the recent bailout make it even clearer that the Republicans and the Democrats are almost identical in their desire for the government to seize power throughout the country. And whether it is Obama with his factually-inaccurate understanding of economics or McCain with his admitted ignorance of economics, the outcome was the same: both voted for the bailout bill, which has resulted in the partial nationalization of many banks (and before the bailout, the U.S. government already nationalized Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, thus bringing back into the fold two huge mistakes which will remain mistakes, since nobody will get rid of them). The elevated rhetoric has only worked to mask these facts. I don't think that's an accident, either.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 2:49 PM
America Asks for a King? So it seems. While I don't agree with every detail of this article, I think the overall analysis is dead-on. When the Israelites asked for a King, God told them no and warned them about what would happen if they got one. When they asked for one anyway, after learning what would happen, God punished them by giving them what they wanted: a King. I pray God never punishes us similarly.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 2:11 PM
Isn't it about time the Obama campaign was asked some real questions? And, more, that someone observed in an interview that Obama's "spread the wealth" comment was in fact based in Marxist thought. How can Biden lie about Obama saying he wanted to spread the wealth? Does he think a simple denial is a refutation? In any case, the interviewer is right, and it's about time the Obama campaign was asked these kinds of questions. Of course, the Obama campaign's response is to pick up their toys and go home.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 11:50 AM
Saturday, October 25, 2008
James Pinkerton over at Fox News is trying to draw a connection between Obama and Satan through the radical Saul Olinski. He gives as evidence the dedication in one of Olinski's books: “Lest we forget at least an over the shoulder acknowledgement of the very first radical, from all our legends, mythology, and history … the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom—Lucifer.” I don't think the connection is really all that strong, since I think Obama is actually an atheist and doesn't believe in anything buy his own ego -- and any government he would be in charge of. Obama has already admitted that he joined Rev. Wright's church with its racist, Marxist version of Christianity for political reasons, so there's good reason to believe he never really believed in the Christianity part of the church he went to. Since there is little doubt in my mind Obama doesn't believe in God, I don't think he believes in Satan, either. Of course, to many a Christian, that's only proof-positive that Satan has his back.
All of which makes me think that the Faust myth is due an updating. Maybe I'll get around to writing "President Faust" soon.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 10:06 AM
Friday, October 24, 2008
Obama's connection to the New Party has finally been noted by the mainstream media. In this article, linked to by Fox News, Obama's shown to have been an actual member of the New Party, which was founded by members of the Democratic Socialist Party, the Communist Party, and ACORN. It also notes that Obama had also been active with DSP. Nice to see the MSM is catching up with me. Now, if Obama's not a socialist, he seems to have a lot of explaining to do as to why he was a member of a socialist-communist political party and attended DSP events. Thought I'm not convinced McCain won't stumble his way into socialism through his economic ignorance, he at least didn't attend DSP events and join a socialist political party.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 7:45 AM
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Can the Americans United for Separation of Church and State be sued for attempting to violate the Roman Catholic bishop of Paterson, N.J., Arthur Serratelli's basic civil rights in trying to violate his freedom o f speech? I think they should. If they want to criticize him, that's fine. But anyone who tries to shut someone up for giving their opinion through the use of government should be imprisoned for attempting to violate that person's basic civil rights. Seriously, people, pay attention to this. Do we really want someone in office who uses these tactics, whether directly or indirectly, to silence his critics?
Posted by Troy Camplin at 9:58 PM
Venezuela has one of the largest oil reserves in the world, and yet, they are having all ind of energy problems. Can't seem to keep the lights on. With all those energy reserves, what could the problem be? Hmm. The economic system? The same economic system Obama wants to give us.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 4:35 PM
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Here is a convenient list of people whom I should never bother asking for a job. I was, however, in an acting troupe with number 2001 in the mid 90's. It's nice to know that there are so many people in our universities who don't think attempted mass murder is a big deal. I'm guessing that most who signed are themselves Marxists, so I guess I shouldn't be all that surprised at that, considering the history of Marxism. Oh, but history doesn't matter. That's right. I forgot. Never mind that Ayers much more recently than 40 years ago said he'd wished he'd done more. I guess he's upset that he's a failed mass murderer. Where's the anti-Ayers petition? I want to sign it.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 8:57 PM
Apparently one cannot criticize Obama on anything or use any sort of label to describe him without being accused of racism. Now "socialist" is a racist term? The selectively-historic imbecile who wrote the op-ed in the Kansas City Star has noticed that a few African-American leaders in the past were called "socialists," and concluded that it really only ever meant "black." Never mind, apparently, that socialism is a form of political economy, and a socialist is someone who supports this form of political economy. Never mind that most people associate socialism with Europe which, I am pretty certain, is the motherland of white people. To the extent that anyone of any race is a socialist or a Marxist, they are adopting a European idea as their own. It's really pathetic when you cannot criticize someone's ideas if they are a member of some minority group without being accused of being a racist. The Nazis would be impressed with how we have figured out how to censor any sort of criticism this way. Criticize a liberal's ideas, and you're a racist, a sexist, etc. Apparently only conservatives and libertarians can be criticized. Why are we on the verge of electing these wannabe tyrants?
Posted by Troy Camplin at 2:20 PM
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Well, we know that Obama's father was a communist, and we know that most of his associates in the last decade and a half have been communists, but it turns out that even growing up, Obama's childhood mentor was a communist. It turns out that Obama, while growing up on Hawaii, was close to the poet Frank Marshall Davis, a lifelong communist. Obama mentions Davis in his book, Dreams From My Father, but only ever calls him "Frank." I do find it odd that he failed to disclose the full name of such a famous poet. If I ever write an autobiography, I'm not going to talk about some poet named Fred who influenced me -- no, I'm going to say that it was Frederick Turner. So why does Obama fail to mention who this guy is? Even in his autobiography he's trying to hide his connections to communists. There is only one reason why he would do that, which is that he's trying to hide those associations. And the only reason he would try to hide those associations is if he agreed with their agenda.
The poems of Davis I read did not exactly spell out a communist agenda. He's fortunately too good a poet for that. Which is not to say that he doesn't spell out some social concerns of his. He's too good a poet for that. So if Obama was sitting around listening to this guy read his poetry, it seems to me that Obama could have said that he had the immense privilege of having known Frank Davis, whose poetry was incredible, even if, looking back, he didn't exactly agree with his politics. But that didn't happen. Instead, we have Obama hiding who Frank really is, figuring the media would be too lazy to try to find out. Well, he was mostly right about that.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 9:37 AM
Monday, October 20, 2008
The issue of the "separation of church and state" is back in the news. Especially, it seems, here in Dallas, where pastors of several denominations have promoted certain views from the pulpit, and have even endorsed candidates. This seems to happen every election, and it's getting annoying.
The "separation of church and state" does not mean that churches do not get to have an opinion about political issues. Quite the contrary. Insofar as the church covers the realm of ethics, and governments do things within that realm, churches have a right and obligation to make it clear what is right or wrong in the realm of governance. This so-called separation of church and state, then, does not cover churches being involved in informing their parishioners about how they should vote, whether that be in general terms, as the Bishops of Dallas and of Forth Worth have done, or to specifically endorse a candidate. The 501(c)(3) status of churches prohibits the latter, but it is still done anyway -- and to my mind, it points out a flaw in the nonprofit system that churches are prohibited from engaging in political endorsements. The state should not prohibit the expression of a pastor's opinions in any way, and 501(c)(3) status has been turned into a way to do that. A different category should be made for churches so that the pastors of churches can be allowed full religious and political expression without fear of the government. It is the lack of fear of government by the churches that the 1st Amendment s designed to address, so that the state cannot set up a state-recognized and -supported church, thus prohibiting other religious beliefs. The state is not to enter the realm of the church, according to the 1st Amendment, but that same Amendment does not in any way, shape, or form prohibit religious leaders from being involved in the political process, including explaining to their parishioners what the church supports ethically, meaning, politically. To deny that is to deny one's 1st Amendment freedom of speech, and to impose a lack of religion on all discussions regarding politics, which for most people means removing ethics from politics. Certainly many would like for that to happen, but when it does, we end up with brutal governments with no boundaries. This is certainly not what we want in and from government.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 1:46 PM
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Here's a synopsis and character list for my new play "Vice." What do you think? Sound like anything you might want to see?
SYNOPSIS OF “VICE”
“Vice” is a tragedy in three acts with a fourth act satyr play. “Vice” is about a very liberal family, including two promiscuous daughters and a gay son, who move into a conservative, religious community. The community tries to change the family, but the family is not only resistant, but openly defiant at times, while the parents try to persuade the townspeople that each should live and let live. Their neighbors, however, have to deal with them on a more personal level, and so begin to engage in ever more drastic methods to change their ways. When one of the neighbors’ sons starts seeing the family’s gay son, this is the last straw. The play ends with the neighbor calling forth satyrs, which he considers demons, to punish everyone. Indeed, the play ends with seven of the ten main characters murdered.
In Act I, Carter James, his wife, Nancy, and their children, Britney, Lindsey, Albert, and Barney, have moved into a new house. The neighbors, Sam Nidal, his wife, Allie, and their sons, Ben and Randy, decided to check out who these new neighbors are. They do not like what they see.
In Act II, The James family are confronted by the town’s Elders. The parents first try to deal with the townspeople and reason with them, but eventually, they have to tell their children that the townspeople do not approve of their actions, especially the promiscuity of the two teenage girls and their gay son, Barney. Act II ends with a home invasion that results in the two girls being raped and Barney being beaten badly “to teach them a lesson.”
Act III takes place in the Nidal home, where the audience learns that it was the father and his two sons who were the home invaders. Sam decided to have the James’ over for dinner to try another approach to changing their ways, but after he learns his son has been seeing Barney, his plans take a more sinister turn. When the James’ come over, it is only the parents and the two daughters. Albert is off at college, but Barney is missing. It turns out that Sam has killed Barney and has fed him to the James family.
The final act, Act IV, is a satyr play. Sam has let the James family go, but follws them out of the house. The Jameses discover their house on fire. Sam calls for satyrs, who emerge from the enflamed house and grab all four women, including Allie, and drag them into the enflamed house to rape them. Ben joins the satyrs. Randy, appalled at what is happening, runs off. The satyrs emerge to say all the women, and Ben, are dead. They then turn on Sam, who is then beaten to death with a shovel by Randy. Albert returns in time to see everything end, and the satyrs proclaim their eternal devotion to him, saying they follow the one who is the strongest. Thus, they leave when Albert tells them to. In the end, the only ones left are Carter, Albert, and Randy. They leave as both houses burn to the ground.
Carter James – Ideologically, a very liberal man; husband of Nancy James; father of Britney, Lindsey, Albert, and Barney.
Nancy James – wife of Carter James
Britney James – a promiscuous teenaged girl.
Lindsey James – a promiscuous teenaged girl.
Barney James – a promiscuous gay teenaged boy.
Albert James – a moody teenaged boy.
Sam Nidal – neighbor of the James family; a very conservative, very religious man who thinks there is no boundary over which one can step to protect people from vice.
Allie Nidal – wife of Sam Nidal
Ben Nidal – Sam and Allie’s elder son.
Randy Nidal – Sam and Allie’s younger son; Barney’s boyfriend.
Elders – town elders who confront the James family.
Satyrs – half-men, half-goat
Saturday, October 18, 2008
So, let me get this straight:
ACORN is directly involved in voter fraud and in signing up people too young to vote, dead people, and cartoon characters, and the INVESTIGATION of that is part of a Republican plot to "suppress the vote"? And this is a claim not just from ACORN, but from the Obama campaign. Apparently Obama never heard of avoiding the appearance of impropriety, because his defense of ACORN's involvement in voter fraud by claiming the investigation is a GOP conspiracy makes him look like he's somehow involved in it and wants to suppress the investigation.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 9:31 AM
Friday, October 17, 2008
Everyone should have watched John Stossel tonight on 20/20. I loved the fact that he used the term "spontaneous order," introducing Friedrich von Hayek's term to the popular culture. Especially since I am going to a conference Nov. 1-4 in Hew Hampshire on spontaneous orders, where I will be presenting. Naturally, I'll be making links to the papers when the conference is over. I try to make the distinction between spontaneous orders as environments and self-organizing emergent systems. In between are what are known as teleological organizations (a distinction I did not make clear in my paper, but will make clear at the conference). If people understood spontaneous orders, neither Obama nor McCain would have stood a chance to get nominated. They probably wouldn't even be in the Senate. Perhaps that's a pipe dream, though, as part of the paper I'm presenting refutes the Marxist interpretation of systems theory. Oh well.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 10:31 PM
Greg Gutfeld of Fox News asks how it is that terrorists like Bill Ayers and his wife can be professors. Well, Greg, let me tell you. Pretty much nothing bars you from being a professor other than being an opponent of Marxist and postmodern thought -- especially in education and the humanities. All you need is a Ph.D. Ironically, my Ph.D. in the humanities, while being sufficient for teaching community college, university, and graduate students, does not qualify me for teaching high school. No, to teach high school, I would have to get certified to teach high school, and I would have to take classes to get that certification. In the meantime, I am told by English departments that I am "overqualified" for positions that require a Ph.D. with my Ph.D. in the Humanities, M.A. in English, and B.A. Recombinant Gene Technology. It seems that not only do you have to be a Marxist and a postmodernist to get a job in an English or humanities department, but you can't be educated in any of the sciences -- let alone use something like biology to help you in your literary analyses.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 1:46 PM
The federal government bailout has pushed mortgage rates up, which is now threatening home sales and its making it even more difficult for those with adjustable rates -- including those with subprime mortgages -- to afford their mortgage payments. With it being harder to sell homes due to the higher interest rates and the threat of even more defaults, it looks like the bailout is going to make things worse.
Didn't I predict that the bailout would make things worse?
Posted by Troy Camplin at 1:34 PM
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Here's a synopsis and character list for my new play "Sandy Keenan." What do you think? Sound like anything you might want to see?
SYNOPSIS OF “SANDY KEENAN”
“Sandy Keenan” is a tragedy in five acts, with a foreword, four interacts, and an afterword. The foreword, interacts, and afterword are the voice of a radio talk show host done with closed curtains, and provide commentary and background on the action of the five acts. The play’s acts concern the development of Sandy Keenan from a mother who lost her son in a war to a war protestor, to a U.S. Congresswoman, to the assassin of the President of the United States, resulting in her own death.
In Act I, Sandy Keenan and her husband, Richard, are visited by two soldiers sent to announce their son’s death. After the soldiers leave, their neighbor, Karla Rose, an official in the Democratic Party, comes to give them her condolences. While there, Sandy expresses her interest in protesting the war, an idea which Richard opposes.
In Act II, Sandy is protesting outside the President’s private home in Texas. She is joined by several other protestors as well as a California Congresswoman, Marie Delrossa, and a young man running for Senate in Illinois, Barry Trenton.
In Act III, the Democratic Party has taken the Congress, and Barry Trenton is part of that takeover, but they have not ended the war. This prompts Sandy to decide to run for the seat of Marie Delrossa, who is now Speaker of the House. Karla Rose persuades Delrossa that Sandy running will actually help Delrossa, and Marie joins Sandy’s campaign to undermine it to ensure Delrossa wins.
In Act IV, Sandy has won Delrossa’s seat and is now a Congresswoman. Barry Trenton has also won the Presidency. However, on the day of their inauguration, President Trenton announces that he will continue the war effort to victory. Sandy angrily denounces him in a press conference.
In the final act, Act V, Sandy confronts the President and Vice President in the President’s office over his refusal to end the war. She manages to sneak in a plastic gun, which she uses to assassinate the President and Vice President. She is then killed by the Secret Service. As a consequence the new Republican Speaker of the House is made President.
Rusty – conservative talk show host
Richard Keenan – father of slain solider Mar; husband of Sandy Keenan
Sandy Keenan – mother of slain soldier Mark; wife of Richard Keenan; war protestor; Congresswoman
Soldier 1, Soldier 2 – deliver news of Mark’s death
Karla Rose – DNC official; Sandy Keenan’s neighbor
Marie Delrossa – Congresswoman from San Francisco; Speaker of the House
Matthew Crist – NBC reporter
Cameraman and crew for Matthew Crist
Sister Sarah – Catholic nun protesting the war
Father Don – Catholic priest protesting the war
Soldier 3 – Catholic solider for the war
Barry Trenton – politician; Senator; President
People on the Platform with Sandy Keenan and Karla Rose
Audience for Sandy Keenan’s announcement
Staffers for Sandy Keenan
Joe Ryan – Vice President
Advisors for President Trenton
Secret Service Agents
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I hate it when people equate people like Obama to being a modern-day Robin Hood. Robin Hood did not steal from the rich to give to the poor. He stole from the government, which was taxing its citizens too much, to give that tax money back to the people the government had impoverished with its oppressive taxation. Barack Obama isn't Robin Hood -- Obama is tryinh to be Prince John. Robin Hood would be stealing from Obama to give to the new poor Obama is going to create by causing prices to go up due to his increasing corporate taxes. The only way those companies will be able to avoid raising prices will be to move overseas, resulting in jobs being lost. That's what Obama promises with his confiscatory tax proposals.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 2:31 PM
Monday, October 13, 2008
When a plumber asked Obama, "Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn't it?" and then complained that he was being taxed "more and more for fulfilling the American dream," Obama replied, "It's not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they've got a chance for success too. My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody ... I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."
Let me translate that from political speak into regular-person speak: "How can you be so incredibly selfish as to want to keep more of your money! Don't you know, you selfish bastard, that it is your duty to let me take your money and give it to others as a way for me to gain political power by appearing to be generous?"
Of course, this exchange belies Obama's rhetoric about being for the workers, as what else would you classify a plumber? Pay attention, those of you who are modestly successful, as Obama will take your money.
Let me address his phrase, "spread the wealth around." This gets at Obama's basic political ideology, which is generally anti-economic. First, it is literally impossible to spread wealth around. You can redistribute money, but wealth is something other than money. Money is merely something with which we are able to efficiently engage in exchange. Certainly, it is far more efficient than what it replaced: barter. But barter really gets at what wealth truly is. When I go to trade one item for another, I am trying to trade the item I have for something I value more. When I find someone who has what I want and who wants what I have, we trade, and each of us is better off. Each is now wealthier. The exchange of money masks this reality, because people think we are trying to accumulate more money. We're not. We're trying to acquire things and services which make our lives better. Better in what way? That is up to us. Better by whose definition? Well, now, there's the stickler. People like Obama think that they are eminently qualified to decide if you or I is better of from our exchanges. If he disagrees, he makes the decisions for us. If he does not like the fact that I provide a good or service that enough people want that they are willing to pay me more than someone else for their good or service, then he will take the money I have accumulated by free exchange with others, and give it to those who have been less successful at providing good and services. In other words, he intends to reward failure and low-value goods and services for being low-value goods and services. He doesn't like the fact that we have decided that one person's goods or services are more valuable than another person's. Thus, he will distribute the money temporarily accumulated by such people as he disapproves of to those the society has already deemed as providing less value to that society. Thus, Obama will not spread the wealth around, but rather reduce the wealth of the country. That is the real consequence of redistributionist policies.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 7:47 PM
Hugo Chavez nationalized oil production, and now oil production dropped a quarter from what it was before nationalization. In the meantime, Britain has nationalized the Royal Bank of Scotland having apparently learned nothing from the history of other countries nationalizing industries, or of the recent problems that followed the U.S. government nationalizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Do historically-demonstrated facts not matter anymore to anyone?
Posted by Troy Camplin at 10:53 AM
Congratulations to Paul Krugman for receiving this year's Nobel Prize in economics. I have criticized him several times here because of his mindless support for liberalism, but much of his work belies his political leanings, as evidenced by the reasons why he received the Nobel Prize this year "for his analysis of trade patterns and location of economic activity" where he shows the importance of geography to economic development, and relates it to the importance of free international trade. "He has thereby integrated the previously disparate research fields of international trade and economic geography," according to the Nobel Committee. So how can someone who understands the benefits of free trade be a Leftist on the national front? Apparently he's comfortable with cognitive dissonance. I just hope the economist in him takes note of what's happening if and when Obama becomes President and overrides his mindless partisanship. He needs to learn that the kinds of trade barriers within a country promulgated by socialists and interventionists are as bad as trade barriers among countries.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 10:21 AM
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Finally, Henry Paulson says something sensible: "Although we in the United States are taking many extraordinary measures to ease the crisis, we are not pursuing policies that would limit the flow of goods, services or capital, as such measures would only intensify the risks of a prolonged crisis." Somebody tell Obama this fact (which begins "we are not...", as the extraordinary measures he's mentioned haven't done a thing to ease the crisis), as Obama has threatened to impose tariffs and trade barriers against other countries if he's President.
With either Obama or McCain, we have two idiots who know nothing about economics. The only difference is that McCain admits it.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 3:14 PM
Saturday, October 11, 2008
More than 4000 "dead voters" have been registered in Houston at the same time ACORN is being busted all over the country for voter fraud (any guesses as to what this neo-marxist organization Obama was once associated with is registering people as?). In the meantime, a friend of Obama's and a former fundraiser,Tony Rezko, has been indicted for fraud -- and it looks like he will be naming names to get a good deal for himself. Many Democrats in Illinois are quaking in their boots. If the associations with terrorists and communists don't bother you about Obama, should his association with election fraud? Is he involved? Who knows. But, again, everyone around him is.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 10:09 PM
Friday, October 10, 2008
What should the government have done? Not formed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the first place, thus separating the mortgage brokers from the mortgage owners. Then, they shouldn't have offered to bail out anyone. Had they told them and AIG and others that they were on their own, this all would have been over the first week. Instead, we're in the third week of a selloff of stocks around the world. Exacerbated, of course, by the government offering to do more and more.
What should the government do now? The stock market is in a panic. The one good thing FDR did was have a bank holiday so people could calm down and not keep pulling money out of the banks. Perhaps a short stock holiday? Hard to coordinate, as it would likely have to be done globally, but people need to calm down. Next, the government should all go home. All of Washington. Please, shut down, go home, and leave us alone. You've done quite enough, thank you. Please, all of you, go away until the new government is elected and sworn in.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 10:52 PM
What should the government have done? Not formed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the first place, thus separating the mortage brokers from the mortage owners.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 10:52 PM
A former President of Finland, Martti Ahtisaari, received the Nobel Peace Prize. For work he did to actually try to bring peace to countries. He is most noted for brokering a peace in Indonesia between groups fighting for 130 years. A far better choice than the truly embarrassing one last year of Al Gore for his lies and attempts to make the world poorer and worse off overall.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 8:34 AM
Thursday, October 09, 2008
The DOW dropped below 9000 and the feds can't understand why their offer to partially nationalize the banks didn't reassure investors. Reassure them?!? Are they kidding? When did any country's attempt to nationalize, even partially, anything reassure investors in that country? Please, someone, make Paulson resign before he comes up with any more ideas. He's a dangerous communist looking to seize power. This is madness. Seriously. I never thought I'd say that about a Republican, but my God, if it quacks like a duck . . .
Posted by Troy Camplin at 4:53 PM
Dick Morris, a former member of the Clinton Administration, and Ellen McGann provide a few more details that flesh out a bit more what I just posted on Obama's associations. Can we please get this information out before it's too late? And can someone please explain to the American people why communist ideology is dangerous to human freedom and dignity?
Posted by Troy Camplin at 8:55 AM
This year's Nobel Prize for Literature winner is French novelist Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio. We should be embarrassed that none of his novels seem to be available in English translation, even though his breakthrough novel, Desert, was published back in 1980. Perhaps the member of the Academy who said the U.S. is too insular to produce Nobel-worthy writers because we don't translate enough was on to something. How embarrassing for us that Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio will not be able to sell any of his works here in the U.S. immediately after this announcement because nobody seems to have been aware enough of him in this country to have translated him.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 7:54 AM
So it seems socialism will come under Republican government. The latest idiotic idea is the proposal to partially nationalize many of the nations banks. Why? To "restore confidence." Apparently that neo-Marxist Paulson hasn't noticed that the bailout package did nothing to restore confidence, as the stock markets continued to plummet. Indeed, why would an entity with almost $10 trillion in debt give anyone any confidence. That would have been like Washington Mutual offering to buy up banks when it was in such serious debt that it collapsed, as it did. Nobody's going to consider that stabilizing. No, this isn't about stabilization. It's about nationalization. It's a slow-creep version the American people will stomach, but that's where it's going. And if history shows us anything, it shows us that no matter what the country, no matter what the economy, if you want to destroy an industry, nationalize it.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 7:43 AM
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Walter Williams thinks the laws our government put on us and business should also be applicable to the government. If those laws are actually good, they should apply to everyone equally. In fact, isn't that how laws should all be, if they are going to be fair?
Posted by Troy Camplin at 3:14 PM
It matters who a politician associates himself with. Now, it may not matter if those associations were 50-60 years ago, as were Democratic Senator Robert Byrd's associations with the Ku Klux Klan, as the person's ideology may have changed radically since then, but if those associations were within the last decade or so, they are important. If they were in the last year or two, even more so. The reason why they are important is because it tells you something about the person's character and his ideology. A politician with a radical ideology is not going to advertise that ideology in a democratic election -- especially in the U.S. Such a politician is going to try to hide his basic ideology, while writing laws and voting in ways that reflect that ideology. But a few things will let us know what he really believes. One of those things is the people and organizations with whom he associates.
William Ayers was a member of The Weather Underground. They were a radical Leftist group who organized a riot in Chicago and performed several bombings. They believed that there should be a revolutionary war against the U.S. government and against the capitalist system. "Their founding document called for the establishment of a "white fighting force" to be allied with the "Black Liberation Movement" and other "anti-colonial" movements to achieve "the destruction of US imperialism and achieve a classless world: world communism."" (Wikipedia). Bill Ayers said in 2001 that he was not ashamed of what he had done, and in fact wishes he had done more.
Of course, Bill Ayers is now a Distinguished Professor in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. As a professor of education, he has pushed for teaching for social justice (which is code for promoting a communist world view), urban educational reform (which has amounted to pushing schools to teach social justice -- his organization, of which Obama was chairman, never put up a dime for math, science, reading, writing, or anything else associated with education, but did push for teaching social justice), and helping children in trouble with the law (mostly by pushing to eliminate any sort of punishment or responsibility for their crimes). Ayers primarily sees his role as teaching teachers to be advocates for the communist world view.
Obama chaired the board of Ayers' organization, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge Project, which oversaw the distribution of funds to promote the communist-social justice world view in the schools. In 1995, the same year he described himself in an interview as considering himself a communist, Ayers hosted "a coffee" that launched Obama's political career. Between 2000 and 2002, both served together on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago, an anti-poverty group.
Certainly being an associate of a man who is an admitted communist who believed there should be violent war against the U.S. and the capitalist system does not mean that Obama is a communist himself. But why would Ayers have him as the chairman of the board of his organization, or be the host of the meeting that launched Obama's career if Ayers did not think Obama agreed with him in deep, fundamental ways?
Of course, if Ayers were the only association Obama had with radicals, perhaps we could brush it away as almost coincidental. Certainly my having gay friends doesn't make me gay (of course, being gay isn't an ideology, either). But one would have a lot more explaining to do when it comes to the church Obama spend several years attending Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, led by Rev. Wright. The admitted theology of Trinity is that of black liberation theology. This theology sees blacks as being oppressed by whites, and thus perpetuates the victimhood of African-Americans. James Cone, a founder of this movement, said that African Americans must be liberated from social, political, economic and religious bondage. Thus, for him, Christian theology is one of liberation -- "a rational study of the being of God in the world in light of the existential situation of an oppressed community, relating the forces of liberation to the essence of the gospel, which is Jesus Christ." It is founded in Liberation Theology, which was a Latin American Catholic movement that sought to unify Marxism with Christian theology (the Catholic Church does not consider Liberation Theology to be at all legitimate, and people have been excommunicated over it). Black Liberation Theology seeks to add the element of race to the mix. As such, it openly promotes Marxist and racist views. Obama could not have sat in that church for as long as he did without understanding the fundamental world view of that church and its theology. When he says he didn't, he is lying.
In 1995, Obama also sought the endorsement of The New Party (since defunct), a pro-Marxist political party. He did in fact receive their endorsement, along with that of the Democratic Socialists of America. So certainly, there can be little doubt about Obama's ideology.
One final connection we need to make is Obama's connection to pro-communist Kenyan Prime Minister Odinga, the man behind the riots in Kenya after he did not win the Presidential race there. It seems that Obama was advising Odinga prior to the election, even knowing that Odinga was using racially divisive tactics (which led to the riots and murders) and promises of enacting Sharia law in Kenya to get Moslem votes. After the election and during the subsequent riots, Joe Klein of Time Magazine reported that "In the days since his Iowa victory, Obama has had near-daily conversations with the U.S. Ambassador in Kenya or with opposition leader Raila Odinga. As of late this afternoon, before his rally in Rochester, N.H., Obama was trying to reach Kenyan President Kibaki." He had been in near-daily contact with Odinga, but hadn't even reached Kibaki? Doesn't that seem odd? Not when you realize that Obama has been advising Odinga and is a member of Odinga's tribe. Of course, Klein sees this work as admirable, but the fact is that Obama's connection to Odinga is very disturbing. It's yet another Marxist connection, and one that again involves racially-divisive politics.
One could also go into the corruption of Chicago politics, which Obama could not have escaped, being a Chicago politician. One could also go into his association with ACORN and the fact that it is currently engaged in highly unethical practices in registering voters for Obama. Many of the people with whom he associates or associated himself with, whether Rezko or Franklin Raines, whose decisions caused the current financial crisis, are also deeply corrupt individuals -- which should also speak to his character (or at least judgement of character). But for my money, his associations with people engaged in kleptocratic-style corruption pales in comparison with his associations with Marxists throughout his life. Apparently he has not gotten the message that Marxism does not work and that it results in dictatorships and the destruction of democracies. Well, perhaps he has gotten the message on that last point.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 1:52 PM
THis year's Nobel for Chemistry went to the researchers who discovered a luminous protein that can be used as a cell marker. It can be used to trace cell growth, and thus puts biological studies into the 4th dimension of time.
The Nobel Prize for Physics was for the discovery of spontaneous broken symmetry. Interestingly, my book "Diaphysics," which should come out this Spring, deals in no small part with spontaneous broken symmetry, identifying it as a mechanism which drives complexity in the universe.
May I suggest that the idiot who says human evolution is over will never get a Nobel Prize, and in fact deserves an Ignobel for having made the comment in the first place. It's amazing how ignorant even scientists can be. There are an incredible number of evolutionary mechanisms, and not all point mutations are found in the sperm of older men.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 8:17 AM
Monday, October 06, 2008
So, according to the three leftist ladies of The View, it doesn't matter that Obama met with William Ayers because it was back in 2002, and the bombings Ayers participated in happened 40 years ago, when Obama was 8. All that was in the past, and therefore doesn't count now. On this logic, Osama Bin Laden should feel very relieved, since what he did was way back in 2001. I mean, why are we so obsessed with Bin Laden? All that happened 7 years ago.
And we should be very concerned with someone being friends with people like Bill Ayers and Rev. Wright, because he is tacitly approving of their ideas. Don't let Obama or his lemmings fool you on that. He was in Wright's church because he agreed with him. He was friends with Ayers because they agreed. We don't excuse members of the Nazi Party because the man they admire did what he did 70 years ago. Or should we just forget all about that too, since it was in the past?
This is the bottom line with the Left: don't judge me for anything I might have ever done. All that was in the past, and you should not be holding me responsible for what happened in the past, or the people I chose to be friends with. Suspend all judgement. This is what the Left is telling us to do. But if we can't judge what is right and wrong, and if we can't look to what people have done and the kinds of people they befriend, then what can we do? Believe the rhetoric of the moment? Anyone who wants you do to that is asking you to accept whatever dictator comes along. I don't know if Obama is that dictator, but he will come along one of these days, and the Left will have created the environment for it to happen.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 3:31 PM
Here is a marvelous article on the bailout and a proper understanding of political philosophy and political economy. The author observes that when we engage in bailouts and economy interventions, we are thinking of the economy as being teleological. But the economy does not have a goal, so imposing a telos on it is inappropriate. Worse, it is harmful to the very system. Spontaneous orders, like economies, science, democratic governments, art, literature, and ecosystems are not teleological in nature. We should not confuse such systems with emergentist systems like organisms which, in their development from a fertilized egg to an adult organism, do in fact have a telos, or end-state. When we make false analogies, fully imposing one model on another, we misunderstand the world. Both spontaneous orders and emergent systems are self-organizing systems, but they are also very different kinds. We must be careful that we don't get confused in our metaphors. In other words, we need to be careful that when we hear "Achilles was a lion," we are thinking of the attributes of courage, nobility, and kingliness -- not having large canines, long claws, and a tufted tail.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 11:23 AM
The Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine was announced today. It was given to the discoverer of the human papilloma virus and the discoverers of HIV. Recently a vaccine was developed for HPV that, if we could get past the ignorance of people, could wipe HPV from off the face of the earth. I've said before that I'm a hard-core libertarian in all things but this: if there is a vaccine that could eliminate a virus and thus a human disease from the earth, everyone has to get vaccinated. You simply don't get to choose to knowingly spread a virus and endanger people's lives that way.
Of course, the good news is that a vaccine was developed for HPV recently. Let us pray that an HIV vaccine or cure is not too far behind. Unfortunately, HIV is such a different virus.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 10:52 AM
That's how the headlines should read. The DOW dropped below 10,000 today "despite" the bailout. All the news medias keep saying that the stock market is still tumbling "despite" the bailout. Perhaps the falling stock market has nothing to do with the bailout -- or, more likely, the people who own stocks understand that the bailout will cause more harm than doing nothing. People are looking for a simple, linear cause-and-effect between what the government does and how the economy does, and it's time people learned that that simply is not and never has been the case.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 10:22 AM
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Too many are starting to equate FDR with Obama. They are probably right, but not in the way they think. FDR was so stupid that he had food destroyed to drive up the prices during the Great Depression. That's what poor people need: higher food prices. Yet, that's what Obama promises: higher prices for everything. He's promising to raise taxes on corporations, which is a great idea if you want to raise prices on American-made goods, since that's what will happen. Corporations don't pay taxes, they just pass on the cost of taxes in higher prices. And if they can't do that, they will move someplace else where the cost of doing business is better, which will cost people jobs. The poor and the working classes are then hurt. Further, Obama has promised to raise tariffs. Great idea: raise prices once again on goods. Of course, that should make it easier for domestic companies to raise their prices once he raises their taxes. It will all get passed down to the poor. Personally, I don't like Obama's version of trickle down economics. But it certainly does sound like FDR. Of course, the tariffs that went up during the Great Depression were what drove Japan to go to war with the U.S. since they considered those tariffs to be an attempt by the U.S. to attack their economy. Who is Obama threatening with his tariffs? At least Obama has more sense than FDR on this: he has said he will put off his tax hikes if the economy weakens because they would harm the economy (FDR raised taxes, driving the economy into an even worse depression, as that is what happens when you take money out of the economy). That's a pretty interesting admission. Sadly, it went little-reported and is even less remembered. But that's what Obama thinks: higher taxes will slow down the economy. Knowing that, he wants to do it anyway (but only if the economy is doing well). Now, why would he want to slow down the economy? Also, unlike FDR, I think we can safely say that Obama won't put people into concentration camps or put a lifetime member of the Klan on the Supreme Court.
If you really bother to find out what actually went on during FDR's regime, there's little to admire from our own Fascist leader of WWII.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 9:23 PM
WHen you disgust the usually level-headed Thomas Sowell, you've really accomplished something. It seems that the combination of the financial crisis being blamed on the Republicans and the free market when it was in fact caused by the Democrats, threats from them to sue mortgage companies, and regulations on the books which caused the problems we're seeing, combined with the American public's apparent willingness to ignore facts and be fooled by a smooth-talking snake oil salesman was the last straw for him.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 12:46 PM
Thursday, October 02, 2008
It is at all appropriate for the Virginia Teachers' Union to essentially tell their members to show support for Obama while at work? To essentially be campaigning while "teaching"? My wife was outrages to get her Union newsletter promoting Obama. I told her that the unions all have their roots in Marxism, so we shouldn't be all that surprised that they are supporting Obama. Still, unions across this country support Obama, and I'd be willing to bet that more than half their members have no intention of voting for him. Still, the dues they pay the union is going to support a campaign they don't support. How is that fair?
Anybody out there interested in starting pro-free market unions? Does that seem like a contradiction? Why should it be? You can be in favor of negotiating higher wages and better benefits as a group and still not support socialism.
If the VTU is able to get away with this, religious teachers across Virginia should start preaching conversion in their classes as well. Government is the religion of the Left -- so attempts at conversion to Leftism should be excluded from our schools if other religions are prevented from doing the same.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 10:50 PM
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
The ethical auto repairman would never ever engage in surgery on a human being, since he knows he is not qualified to do so. Government and the economy are two very, very, very different kinds of things. But politicians are like an auto repairman who thinks, "well, both the cars I work on and the sick person here have bodies, so I might as well give it a shot." We'd put that person in prison, if not a mental hospital. But we keep electing politicians and giving them high pay to boot for thinking and acting in exactly the same way.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 9:41 PM
A few facts from Econ 101. If there is a shortage of a good, that means the price is too low. It's simple supply and demand. You want more of a good at price X than at price X+Y, and less of a good at price X than at price X-Z. In a free market, there are no shortages ever, because as the supply of a good goes down relative to demand, the price goes up, lowering demand for that good. Higher prices further send a signal that more of that good is required, so more of that good is made. If there is in fact a shortage of a good, it will be caused by prices being artificially low. Who can make prices artificially low? Government.
So when I see reports that there is a gas shortage in the Southeastern U.S. resulting in long lines at gas stations and stations being out of fuel, I know that it is caused by government interference in the pricing system, because gas stations would be raising their prices as they ran short on gas, making fewer people buy gas due to the higher prices. The high prices would have resulted in a redirection of gas from other parts of the country, creating an equilibrium in prices nationwide after the initial disequilibrium. I don't know exactly what laws are preventing prices from rising to where they should be -- it could be price caps, or even the implementation of anti-price-gouging laws, since this has come in the wake of the last few hurricanes -- but I guarantee that it's because of some sort of stupid law on the books that some moron claimed would "help the poor." Apparently no gas at all benefits the poor more than higher gas prices.
Posted by Troy Camplin at 2:56 PM