Saturday, June 13, 2009
You don't need a treaty to have free trade. – Murray Rothbard
An anarchist is anyone who believes in less government than you do. – Robert LeFevre
People do not walk barefoot because there are no government shoe factories. – Anonymous
The good governor should have a broken leg and keep at home. – Cervantes (Lordy, I love that line, and am amazed that I've not read it before.)
Government is force, and politics is the process of deciding who gets to use it on whom. This is not the best way to solve problems. – Richard Grant, The Incredible Bread Machine, 1999
The problem is big government. If whoever controls government can impose his way upon you, you have to fight constantly to prevent the control from being harmful. With small, limited government, it doesn’t much matter who controls it, because it can’t do you much harm. – Harry Browne (Yep. If it really matters who is elected president, your government has gotten too big.)
Politics is a strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. – Ambrose Bierce
Friday, June 12, 2009
In related news, President Barack Obama also said he looked forward to signing a bill that would allow cops to pull drivers over for killing pedestrians.
Good lord in heaven....the government has controlled the manufacturing of cancer sticks for years, and even supported tobacco growers with subsidies until a few years ago. They already control the marketing of cigarettes (remember when cigarette commercials were on TV?)
And unless I'm mistaken, Uncle Sam already controls the sale of tobacco. Try bringing in a lot of smokes from China or Canada. Or Cuba.
And here's the Associated Press on Obama's take on the legislation:
Does this make you angry if you're a Big Tobacco CEO ? No, it doesn't.
Why do businesses advertise? Several reasons. Partly to attract first-time buyers, and partly to attract people who have been buying other brands for years.
Who has to do the most advertising? New businesses, or businesses with new product lines.
What's one way to guarantee that no new competitors will enter a marketplace? Ban advertising.
What company helped write some of the latest anti-tobacco legislation?
Pics of the Hot Smokin' Teleprompter Jesus from here and here.
For another post that explains the concept of "Regulatory Capture", an economics concept explaining why regulators almost always turns into defenders of their industries, go here.
Congressman Demands To Know Who Left Fish Sandwich To Rot On House Floor
A fresh coat of Whitening to Little Green Footballs for the linkage.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Novelist Ken Follett later told the story of this adventure in his book "On Wings Of Eagles".
During the last week, two of Al Gore's Current TV reporters were convicted of trumped up espionage charges in North Korea, and have been sentenced to 12 years of hard labor.
An anonymous author has been emailing me the story of former Vice President Gore's ongoing rescue effort, Gore's first venture into espionage and Black Ops. Depending on the success of the operation, these dispatches will be released in book form as "An Inconvenient Sleuth".
I am pleased to offer this excerpt from Chapter Four, entitled "Assembling The Green Team" :
The mercenaries began assembling at Gore's Tennessee mansion, The Carbon Footprint,
First to arrive was "Blade", a knife expert and environmental lobbyist who had been recruited for close-up wet work and replanting any trees that might be destroyed in the rescue operation.
A young man known only as "Nitro" arrived in a Prius a few minutes later. Only 19 years old, Nitro was already an artist with explosives and Environmental Impact Studies.
Next to arrive was Cap'n Carbon, who would not contribute anything at all to the mission's success or failure, but would be in charge of monitoring everyone else.
Then there was Colonel Grunt McClintock, the team leader and recycling expert. A crusty EPA Coal War veteran, McClintock only wanted one more mission before retirement.
"That's all I want," thought McClintock, thoughtfully, "just one more mission before retirement."
Tipper led each arrival into the conference room. When everyone was seated, Al rolled up his sleeves and swept his Nobel, Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, and little league batting trophy off the conference table and unrolled a thick set of plans.
"Gentlemen," he said, "there have been many rescue missions in our nation's history, but this will be the first Earth Friendly one. We're going to take nothing from North Korea but memories and hostages, and leave behind nothing but our footprints."
To be continued....
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
This is like the day Joe Walsh joined the Eagles. Greatness just found a way to get better.
Among other things, IanB gave the world the concept of "Gay Hobbit Porn", an internet meme that pops up during discussions of things the UK government can't take away.
Chris, Nick, and Ian on one website. Lord have mercy, what a crew.
God help Polly Toynbee.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Well Stuart, the Southern Baptists have seen your rain prayer, raised it, and and gone all in. A former "Second Vice President" of the Southern Baptist Convention has made the news. And it ain't good.
It's now time to introduce "imprecatory prayer".
This is from Bob Allen, with the Associated Baptist Press.
(For the uninitiated, The Associated Baptist Press is the media wing of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, a group that grew weary of Disney Boycotts, 2nd class status for women, etc.)
NEW YORK (ABP) -- A former Southern Baptist Convention officer who on June 2 called the death of abortion provider George Tiller an answer to prayer said later in the day he is also praying "imprecatory prayer" against President Obama.
You can look to Psalm 35 for a Biblical example of imprecatory prayer. In this psalm, King David was surrounded by enemies, and called down all sorts of bad mojo on them. This is the best verse by verse commentary I could find on short notice. In the Obama example, if you still don't understand...someone is asking God to cause Barack Obama to die.
Wiley Drake, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif., and former running mate of American Independent Party presidential candidate Alan Keyes, said June 2 on Fox News Radio he didn't understand why people were upset with his comments quoted by Associated Baptist Press from a webcast of his daily radio talk show.
"Imprecatory prayer is agreeing with God, and if people don't like that, they need to talk to God," Drake told syndicated talk-show host Alan Colmes. "God said it, I didn't. I was just agreeing with God."
Dang it, God talks to Alan Keyes, Moses, Oral Roberts, abortionist killers and street people all day, every day. But does he ever talk to the guy who is trying to find the cure for cancer?
Asked if there are others for whom Drake is praying "imprecatory prayer," Drake hesitated before answering that there are several. "The usurper that is in the White House is one, B. Hussein Obama," he said.
Later in the interview, Colmes returned to Drake's answer to make sure he heard him right.
"Are you praying for his death?" Colmes asked.
"Yes," Drake replied.
"So you're praying for the death of the president of the United States?"
There really isn't much to say, is there? I've said some harsh things about the Obamessiah on this site, and will continue to do so. I think Obama's policies are misguided, and I think they'll be disastrous for the country. But I don't want the man to die. Heck, he's got a wife and two kids. And do you know who gets the job if Obama goes to be with the Lord? I'm considering going into the back yard to organize a counter-strike prayer service.
But how can anyone calling himself a Follower Of Christ pray for the death of Barack Obama? Well, Reverend Drake has probably read a lot of Old Testament, some of Saint Paul's nastier letters, and perhaps The Book Of Revelation. That would do it. Never mind.
Colmes asked Drake if he was concerned that by saying that he might be placed on a Secret Service or FBI watch list, and if he believed it appropriate to talk or pray that way.
"I think it's appropriate to pray the Word of God," Drake said. "I'm not saying anything. What I am doing is repeating what God is saying, and if that puts me on somebody's list, then I'll just have to be on their list."
"You would like for the president of the United States to die?" Colmes asked once more.
"If he does not turn to God and does not turn his life around, I am asking God to enforce imprecatory prayers that are throughout the Scripture that would cause him death, that's correct."
Most of the half-hour interview on "The Alan Colmes Show" is premium programming available by paid subscription, but a five-minute clip appeared as a "top video" on the Fox News Radio website.
Drake said he didn't pray for Tiller to be murdered -- only that God would take his life by some method -- but that he "absolutely" believed that God wanted the doctor dead.
"I believe the whole Bible, Alan," he explained. "I don't just preach part of it. I don't just preach the soft, fuzzy, warm stuff where we're supposed to be nice to everybody. I preach the whole Bible."
Baloney. I bet Reverend Wiley Drake owns and wears clothing made from mixed fabrics. I bet he's gone years without preaching against eating shrimp and crabs. I bet he's never prayed an imprecatory prayer when someone collected firewood on the Sabbath.
Part of the Bible, Drake claimed, is imprecatory prayer -- words of judgment in the Psalms prayed back to God -- a practice he said the church has lost.
Drake fielded calls from a few listeners, including one identifying himself as a lifelong Southern Baptist who said he was saddened to hear a minister would pray for someone to die.
I've never heard a minister pray something like this, but I've heard a minister admit doing it. I used to be a part time music minister in some small Southern Baptist churches. In one of them, three large families were giving the preacher hell over I don't remember what all. The minister was a nice enough guy, but he told me that he had prayed for God to do something harmful to those families and was comforted when one of their kids had a minor motorcyle wreck. True story.
"This whole concept that we're always to pray little, nice, soft, fluffy, prayers -- that we're not to pray imprecatory prayer -- has been something that just, in all honesty, that Southern Baptists have lost, and we need to regain imprecatory prayer," Drake said. "It is in the Bible, and we are proud to say as Southern Baptists that we believe the Book. You've got to believe the whole Book, brother, or you don't believe any of it."
Let's bring back Infant Damnation while we're at it. And "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live". And it might be nice to raid the Canaanites and take some of their women. And daughters.
Asked if he thinks there might be other people praying imprecatory prayers for him that might be successful, Drake said, "Well, that's certainly possible, but that's in God's hands, not in mine."
Asked if he claimed to know God's will, Drake replied: "In some cases I do. Not in all cases. I know this, that if I do die right now, I'll go to heaven when I die because I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That's why I'll go to heaven and not to hell. And the reason George Tiller went to hell when he died was not because he killed babies, as terrible as that was.
Brother Drake, let me remind you that George Tiller was acting as an usher at a Lutheran church when he was shot. I know, I know, the Lutherans drink beer. Their preachers wear funny robes. Baptists make fun of them as God's Frozen Chosen. But I don't think they'll be excluded from heaven, if there is one.
"If he went to hell, and I think he did -- that's God's judgment and not mine -- but if he did go to hell it's because he did not accept Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior."
Drake said he did not believe Tiller's accused killer is a pro-life Christian.
"I'm of the opinion -- and now everybody's going to say 'There goes Wiley down the conspiracy-theory road,' I'm of the opinion that somebody in the Obama camp had this guy killed."
O for the love of God. Gag me with a dirty diaper.
"Who benefits the most from this man killing a doctor?" Drake asked. "We certainly don't. Pro-life people certainly don't. It hurts us. It damages us, but Obama will indeed advance it. This will be one of those crises to take advantage of, and he's already done that."
Drake said he had no evidence and admitted his opinion for now is "pure speculation."
"Everybody said [Lee Harvey] Oswald was a lone gunman, et cetera, et cetera, too," he said. "But I think we're going to find there was somebody else involved."
Drake said Tiller's murder would be a setback for pro-life Christians seeking to end abortion by legal and proper means. He said he also expects to see answers to other imprecatory prayers in the days ahead.
Well, yeah, we're all going to die one day. Me, you, Wiley Drake, Barack Obama, and the cute little kid on the Gerber baby food jar. But that doesn't mean a prayer has been answered.
Brother Drake, if you want to oppose President Obama's policies, start a blog. Go to some protests. Hand out some yard signs in the next election. Write a letter to the editor. But the most useless, counterproductive, and idiotic thing I can imagine anyone doing? Going on talk shows claiming that you've prayed for Obama to die.
"God says very clearly in his Word that we are to continue to pray and he will answer our prayers," Drake said.
Ok, I'm going to give it a shot. God, I know that I'm a sinner. But please, please help me see things from Wiley Drake's point of view. But don't stick my head all the way up my rear end.
Sing Oldham, vice president for convention relations with the SBC Executive Committee, was unavailable for comment until late on May 4. Mr. Oldham said blah blah blah blah.....you can hit the links up top to see him distancing himself from Drake much like Obama distanced himself from Reverend Wright.
I've been trying to restrict my theology posts to Sundays, or do away with them altogether. The Southern Baptists just keep pulling me back.Pics from the You Will Anyway blog (a blog worthy of further study, BTW). A fresh coat of whitening to Little Green Footballs for the link.
WHISTLER, British Columbia (AP) — Canadian mayors have passed a resolution that would potentially shut out U.S. bidders from local city contracts.
The resolution is in retaliation to "Buy American" provisions in President Barack Obama's stimulus bill. Mayors voted 189-175 to approve the resolution at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference in Whistler, British Columbia.
The resolution says the federation should support cities that adopt policies that allow them to buy only from companies whose home countries do not impose trade restrictions against Canadian goods.
The mayors also voted to hold off on any action for 120 days while Canada is negotiating a possible compromise with the U.S. government.
Canada's reaction to the "Buy American" provisions in the porkulus plan is, of course, an irrational response to our stupidity. Economies prosper when consumers are protected, not producers.
But still.... what kind of response was our Doofus In Chief expecting?
Hit the Protectionism label below if you want to read several dozen rants on the same topic.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
I get the question about once a month.
Agreed. Bush II was the worst thing to happen to spending since Bush I, who was the worst thing to happen since Reagan. They made all other presidents look somewhat, well, presidential and responsible.
Which leads us to this situation:
A coat of whitening to The Grouchy Old Cripple's friend Charlie Delta for the link.
It was 20 years ago today that the Chinese government killed 2,000 to 3,000 of its own citizens for the crime of demanding their own liberty. This iconic photo is about all that’s left of them.
George Orwell said, “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.” He’s all too right. Last century, an estimated 262 million people were murdered by their own government . That doesn’t include the hundreds of millions more killed by opposing governments during war.
Today ought to be a day to celebrate and promote human liberty, and to remember the abuses governments have heaped upon their subjects over the centuries.
So go find your own metaphor for the government tank pictured above.
Then put yourself in front of it.
Every weekend I'm posting a clip from "The Burning Hell", Reverend Pirkle's early 1970's masterpiece. The film depicts the eternal consequences of disagreeing with Brother Pirkle's theology.
This movie scared the bejeebers out of my when I saw it as a middle-schooler in Mississippi. I spent years worrying about friends and relatives who might be "lost". I might have had a shot at becoming a normal human being if it weren't for this damn movie.
So now I'm making fun of it every Sunday morning.
In the first episode, Pirkle gave us some background on the doctrine of eternal torture. There's a reenactment of the story in Exodus where disobedient Israelites were swallowed by the earth. (They had disobeyed
The second episode begins the story of two hippies, Ken and Tim, who confront Reverend Pirkle one Sunday morning before church. Ken and Tim have been turned from The One True Path by a Dr. Long, who teaches that a loving God would never condemn anyone to be burned forever and forever in a place like Hell.
Pirkle tries to set them straight, explaining that if you die without accepting Jesus as your personal lord and savior, God is going to make Hitler look like Mary Poppins. The hippies disagree, leave Pirkle's study, and ride away on their motorcycles.
Ken, the more abrasive of the two heathens, drives his motorcyle recklessly and is beheaded.
Yes, his head and helmet are removed from his body.
Episode 3 begins after the accident, with the viewers wondering if Tim will call the police, wait on the hearse, mourn the death of his lost friend, or abandon Ken in the ditch and go back to Pirkle's church for another heaping helping of Jewish mythology.
If you find my commentary helpful, it continues below the video.
:05 Tim abandons Ken in the ditch and goes back to Pirkle's church for another heaping helping of Jewish mythology.
:40 Tim dramatically staggers down the aisle, and Pirkle stops his sermon. Tim asks if Ken is merely in his grave, or is he being tortured in Hell. Estus Pirkle puts on his Pastoral Counseling Hat and gently, lovingly tells Tim that "Chances are, he's burning in the flames of Hell right now."
1:20 Pirkle gives Tim a seat on the aisle among an assortment of Mississippi Hausfraus, and continues his sermon.
2:01 Pirkle: "There is no such thing as friendship in Hell. There will be no TV programs to watch or movies to go see. There will be no cookouts to enjoy or sunsets to watch together. No vacation trips with the family. All will be one long night of sorrow, remorse, and regret forever and ever. Ohhhh.....how such memories will haunt you in Hell, you will not be able to get away from them. Go back in your mind ! Think !! Perhaps you made fun of somebody handing out tracts on a busy street corner. You thought it all a big joke ! ! "
2:30 A flashback to Tim and Ken (?) making fun of Orville Redenbacher handing out Gospel tracts on a busy street corner, and thinking it's all a big joke.
Reverend Pirkle's films are not subtle.
3:59 One of the church ladies puts her hand on Tim's knee, and he looks uncomfortable.
4:05 Pirkle tells the story of Belshazzar. I believe the actors are all Mississippians, except for The Demon In Charge, who may have been played by Dom Deluise. You might also be wondering about the special effects. How did they ever convince so many asylums to coat their inmates in mud and cow manure and herd them through a burning Tupelo cotton field?
It remains a mystery.
5:25 "Ah hate chew, Ah hate chew ! !"
6:20 Ken's head, but not his helmet, is reunited with his body. Dom Deluise is waiting to carry Ken into The Outer Darkness.
7:00 It's 1974, but Pirkle's church is already equipped with a video screen ?? He shows his congregation a clip from Reverend Jack Hyles, who claims that "if there is no Hell, I'd close my Bible. If there is no Hell, I would not preach another sermon as long as I live. If there's no Hell, I would take life easy, I would not go day and night...."
And that's the end of this week's clip from The Burning Hell. I hope it has been instructive.
But speaking of Jack Hyles....
Jack Hyles invented the Bus Ministry concept. He took a small church in Indiana and grew it into a massive organization with more than 100,000 members. Go here to read about the inevitable scandals.
Even if you distrust Wikipedia, their Jack Hyles entry has a good collection of links to mainstream media accounts of the scandals, the child abuse, and the missing money.
And this is from a website devoted to the former followers of Reverend Jack:
I remember some of the meetings that the college girls would have with "The Preacher" (Dr. Hyles). If anyone would have walked into the room, they would have thought that all these college age girls were waiting for Elvis to return. We were taught to actually worship him and treat him as an idol. There was a song that we would sing to him to make him come out to the stage:
"We love you preacher, oh yes we do, we don't love anyone as much as you. If you're not with us, we're blue, Oh Preacher we love you"!
Gag me with a dirty diaper. She continues with this:
He would not come out until the girls were in a frenzy. What happened to only preaching Christ and him crucified? Even at the time, these meetings made me very uncomfortable. They seemed to be very sexual in nature. He would speak to us as if we were his girls that he was trying to court or swoon. Being a mother today, I would NEVER allow my daughter to attend these meetings. Hyles' Church and college have hurt many people. Many of the young pastors that have looked up to him (like the one that I spoke of) carry on his legacy of man-worship. I feel mostly for the women who suffer the degrading remarks and humiliation that comes from their beliefs.
According to the theology of Estus W. Pirkle and Reverend Jack Hyles, none of this really matters. Jack Hyles believed in Jesus, and is now in paradise. Gandhi didn't, and he's now being roasted by demons.
Come back next Sunday for another episode of THE BURNING HELL ! ! !
I've written a lot of posts about the thefts required to build the new stadium. A few months ago, this comment appeared beneath one of them:
I'm not angry or offended, just curious :)
I came across your page while Googling images of the new stadium.
I'm curious as to why you seem so angry about the stadium.
I know people had to move from their homes, but this new stadium is for a lot more than just football.
We will have concerts there which will bring in money for the city and the stadium has created a TON of new jobs.
I also noticed your profile states you live in Ft. Worth, and not 5 miles away from it like I do. So the traffic probably won't even effect you.
I look at the stadium as an investment in Arlington's future, a way to keep our city "alive".Email me back ok?
amy@removed to protect her privacy.com
Here's one of the more popular images in question that Amy found on her Googling expedition. It won't hurt my feelings at all if you right-click on it and email it to everyone you know.
My friend Dr. Ralph, who sees attacking my worldview as his job, came to my defense:
Amy Anonymous - that's not anger, that's righteous anger.
The Whited Sepulchre takes great pride in his righteous anger and never misses a chance to spew a little.
Trust me -- he's much nicer in person, and thankfully not near so righteous.
So.... in honor of the 1.15 billion dollar stadium that you've all paid for, here is my response to Amy's comment and email. Perhaps slightly edited for clarity, and with the beer goggles removed.
1) "I'm curious as to why you seem so angry about the stadium."
I don't just seem angry over the new stadium, I am angry.
2) "I know people had to move from their homes...."
Yes, and think of the outrage that would've gone down had the city taken the homes to put up a Wal-Mart, a business that would return far more tax dollars per theft dollar to Arlington.
One of the things that has made America great, and a safe investment for people all over the world, is a concept known as property rights. If you own something here, the government can't take it away from you except in truly extraordinary circumstances. Unfortunately for us, Big Business has ridden roughshod over property rights for the last 20 years, and our reputation is declining.
3) "....but this new stadium is for a lot more than just football. We will have concerts there which will bring in money for the city...."
I heard Van Halen and Tom Petty at Reunion Arena. I heard The Dixie Chicks at American Airlines Center. The Beach Boys at the old Arlington Stadium. Now, close your eyes and think of all the economic development that sprang up around those venues after they were built. Having difficulty? It's because the development hasn't happened. The Ballpark in Arlington had the most development, but even those retail strips have struggled (I used to manage retail there. Look at the vacancies at Lincoln Square, I-30 and Collins.)
5) "....and the stadium has created a TON of new jobs...."
To use an analogy that is about to become tiresome on these pages, if someone breaks a window in your house, it creates a two hour job for somebody. If someone breaks all the windows, it creates a couple of jobs for an entire day. If someone breaks every window in the City of Arlington, it creates a TON of jobs. That doesn't mean that the jobs are worth more than the activity they are replacing.
Money has been moved, thanks to the vandal, from your wallet to the repair man's wallet.
In the stadium example, assets have simply been moved from the Taxpayers' wallet to the City's wallet to then be given to contractors and Jerry Jones.
5) .... "I also noticed your profile states you live in Ft. Worth, and not 5 miles away from it like I do. So the traffic probably won't even effect you...."
I'm not concerned about the traffic. But if you get a chance, check out David Cay Johnston's book "Free Lunch", which covers this topic at great length. The Chapter titled "Pride and Profits" explains why most sports stadiums are surrounded by economic dead zones. Ask a restaurant owner around the new stadium if the traffic around their business hurt or helped on Saturday night. Regular traffic = good. Erratic killer traffic 30 times a year = bad.
6) ...."I look at the stadium as an investment in Arlington's future, a way to keep our city alive."
Lemmee tell you a story, Amy. Waaaay back when George W. Bush was just a pup, he was the front man for a group that bought The Texas Rangers baseball team. Bush brought a 2% share of the team using borrowed money. ($600,000.00) They wanted a new ballpark. Bush's buddies could've built a new ballpark themselves, but why should they? You were there for them. Bush threatened to move the Rangers out of Arlington. His cartel spent about $125,000.00 campaigning for a 1/2% increase in the Arlington sales tax. The voters approved it. Bush and Company then trampled property rights, seizing land via Eminent Domain.
All in all, the Bush gang profited from a total subsidy of $205 million dollars. (Did he send you a thank-you note? Me neither.) They had paid $86 million for the Rangers. They sold The Rangers nine years later for $250 million. The team still stunk. So what was different? Why the added value? It was all in the stadium that YOU bought for them. The $164 million dollar profit was $38 million dollars less than the money that we put into the team ! ! !
Your fellow commenter Dr. Ralph likes to refer to the Iraq war as one of history's worst "bait-and-switch" deals.
Well, the following is also from Johnston's "Free Lunch", pg 79: "What followed (after the Rangers purchase) was an early indicator of Bush's extraordinary success at marketing. Bush is arguably the greatest salesman of our time, having sold not just friends but political opponents on a war costing more than a trillion dollars and thousands of lives with the kind of pay-no-attention-to-that-pool-oil-under-the-engine polish that used car salesmen only dream about."
Guess which city should have, and could have sounded some warnings ahead of time about Bush and his buddies, but didn't?
Why didn't they? Embarrasment? Shame? Didn't feel truly humble enough? Not enough righteous anger? We'll never know.
But that's why I get angry over the City of Arlington taking away peoples' homes and giving the land to Jerry Jones.