Saturday, February 27, 2010

Why Libertarians favor a small government

This is why LIbertarians are so adamant about a small government.  We want a very small government.  In the words of Grover Norquist, we want a government small enough to drown in a bathtub. 
Here's Rep. Maxine Waters, quizzing Ben Bernanke and confusing the heck out of the Discount Rate and the Federal Funds rate.   

Watch CBS News Videos Online

If you need help, you can go here, or read this. 

Please remember, Rep. Waters has been on the House Financial Services Committee for years.  Years.  She has a staff.   
I'm no Ben Bernanke (or Federal Reserve) fan, but you have to enjoy the look on Bernanke's face.  Remember the Fed hearings where Alan Greenspan had to answer questions that Mary Bono (the late Congressman Sonny Bono's widow) was reading from index cards?  This is kinda like that, but worse. 

Go here, where even CBS is wondering "Is Maxine Waters Really As Dumb As She Seems?"

Remember, when it comes to government involvement in almost anything, small is good.  Very small. 

I found the Dummies book cover on Stephen Smith's blog.

The Democratic debates, revisited

Dr. Ralph, who is the Laurel to my Hardy on this site, enjoys asking "where were The Libertarians?" back when G.W. Bush was blowing the budget, trashing the constitution, and generally behaving like a John The Baptist forerunner of The Obamessiah Who Did Not Yet Dwell Among Us.

While researching the answer to that thorny question, I stumbled across this, one of my live-blogs of the Democrat Presidential Debates.  I think it's worth revisiting.  Lordy, they all seemed so innocent then.   

And yes, I really did think that Joe Biden won it. 

That's Mike Gravel on the far left (figuratively, not literally.)  There's Obama, waiting to be annointed.  Then Chris Dodd, waiting to be indicted.  Next is John Edwards, smiling and pointing at his videographer.  Dennis Kucinich, if you read my link, is trying to find the right combination of hand claps that will allow him to once again commune with The Mother Ship.  Joe Biden is standing back, aloof, wondering who all those other guys are pointing at.  Bill "Pay To Play" Richardson is protecting his crotch against a possible upcoming FBI investigation.  On the far right (figuratively, not literally) is the 2012 Democrat candidate, patiently waiting her turn. 

The Coffee Party

From The Washington Post, quoting someone named Annabel Park, the founder of yet another political movement:

let's start a coffee party . . . smoothie party. red bull party. anything but tea. geez. ooh how about cappuccino party? that would really piss 'em off becuse it sounds elitist . . . let's get together and drink cappuccino and have real political dialogue with substance and compassion.

From The Charlie Foxtrot Blog:

But unlike what is stated, it does not "piss me off because it sounds elitist", it just proves the point that they are elitist....
And they continue to wonder why they are called limo liberals, gucci marxists, and champagne socialists....

So yes, Coffee Party members, let's meet at Starbucks and sip our cappuccinos and wallow in our elitism and discuss what's best for Joe Sixpack.  We need more control over him and his overall tackiness.  And let's insist on FairTrade coffee while we do it.  None of our money should go to anyone with incorrect attitudes. 
I don't make any of this stuff up.

Caption Contest - March edition

I need a caption for this picture.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Obama picks his nose on live TV

I think it went into his ear. I'm just glad he didn't eat it.

Update from 2/27/10, after receiving lots and lots and lots of email, much of it angry, about why I would post this video. 
Remember Jon Stewart's "Moment Of Zen" feature, where he would show a silly video clip of something pointless?  Or, a high percentage of the time, George W. Bush trying to open a locked door, or making a silly face? 
Do you think Stewart will show this one? 

One other reason to post videos of Obama picking his nose.....  People think he's special, or brilliant, or even remotely competent.  Therefore, they're willing to turn our economy, our health, our industry, and just about everything else to this con man and his pack of jackals. 
Read Saul Alinsky's Rules For Radicals, which was the Obama's playbook for decades.  My side now owns copies. 

He's a human.  Just like you and just like me.  But we don't pick our noses on camera. 

John Stossel on Pharmaceutical Regulations - Who owns you?

John Stossel's program last night was about the regulation of the pharmaceutical industry, and the FDA (and DEA) witholding medications that can save lives, prolong lives, or at least ease pain. 

It will be replayed several times between now and next Thursday.  Please, please, please TIVO it.  If I ever earn enough money, I'm going to set up a college scholarship for the high school students who write the best essays about this rare hour of good television. 

There was a recent Harrison Ford/Brendan Fraser movie on the subject of the government witholding approval for medications.  It's called Extraordinary Measures.  Here's the trailer:

The movie asks this simple question: "If my children are dying, who the hell are you to tell me what meds I can and can't give them?"  The father of the kids featured in the film, John Crowley, was a guest on the program.

Stossel showed several clips of Bruce Tower, a guy with prostate cancer.  There are several promising drugs currently being tested on other cancer victims, but the FDA won't allow this dying guy access to them because they might not be safe.  Swear to God.  Tower asks the question "If I'm dying, who the hell are you to tell me what meds I can and can't take?"

Stossel told of a drug that the FDA finally released after a ridiculously long testing period.  The FDA claimed that it would save the lives of 14,000 women per year.  Stossel then asked a great question.  If women were asking for the drug prior to it's approved release, should the FDA be blamed for the murder of 14,000 women per year?

If you're dying, and are in terrible pain, who is the FDA to tell you what you may and may not ingest to ease your pain? 

If Montel Williams (a Stossel guest) and Melissa Etheridge both suffer from conditions that they claim are improved by smoking marijuana, and they smoke marijuana, does this harm you?  Does it harm the FDA?  Does it harm the DEA?  I think not.  So why do we tolerate these people who claim to own us? 

Stossel didn't ask this one, but I will.  Why do so many of the people who claim to support A Woman's Right To Choose then turn around and defend the nanny state's intervention in so many other choices? 

Who owns you? 

Go here for a transcript of a Bill O'Reilly/Stossel interview on this subject, in which John Stossel takes O'Reilly's lunch, carves it into small bites, dips it into Ranch dressing, and consumes it with gusto. 

Make a note to yourself. Set you TV to TIVO this NOW.

Why tax breaks go to the rich

Here's why the bigest tax cuts go to the wealthy (besides the obvious fact that 43% of us don't pay Federal Income tax at all).  I found it here. 

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until on day, the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20." Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share'?

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same percent, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20,"declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man," but he got $10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got TEN times more than I!"

"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

Drinking overseas, or not drinking at all is also known to fans of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged as "Going Galt".  Also, you can go to for a discussion of who actually wrote this beer parable.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Yet another invitation for Keith Olbermann to attend a Tea Party protest

It looks like everyone with a camera is now inviting MSNBC's Keith Olbermann to their Tea Party....

We done learned to read and spell more better

We can read Falkner, Youdora Welty, Tenese Wiliams, Jon Grisam, Richard Right, and lots of other Missippi arthurs.

A few thoughts on today's Socialism Summit

A few thoughts on the upcoming Healthcare summit:

1)  Things are expensive because they are scarce. 
2)  There is nothing in the proposals currently on the table to get more doctors pumped into the healthcare system.  The AMA's deathgrip on the number of M.D.'s produced each year isn't going to be relaxed.  Doctors will remain scarce, and therefore, expensive. 
3)  There is nothing in the proposals that would allow insurance companies to compete in states other than the ones where they currently have monopolies. 
4)  There is nothing in the current proposals that would allow consumers to opt for less coverage.  Electric wheelchairs, hovercraft, and teleporters have been declared a mandatory part of insurance packages, thanks to lobbying efforts by the manufacturers of electric wheelchairs, hovercraft, and teleporters.  Depending on your state, your insurance company now has to charge you enough to cover the possibility of an electric wheelchair, hovercraft, or teleporter in your future. 
5)  I've never met a nurse who didn't believe that she/he couldn't do 90% of what an M.D. does, at half the price. 
6)  Tort reform, and therefore, the expense of practicing defensive medicine, aren't on the table. 
7)  No one will allow me to purchase retroactive homeowner's insurance policy after my house has already burned down.  If my uninsured home burned to the ground, no one in his right mind would take one insurance payment from me and then build me a new house.  People with pre-existing conditions need help, but they don't need insurance.  Insurance is intended to guard against the bad thing that has not yet happened.
8)  Danny Williams, the Canadian premier who took a long, long look at his nation's socialized system and decided to come to the U.S. for his heart surgery?  He's doing well.
9) It costs somewhere around a billion dollars to lawyer-proof a new medication.  Big Pharma saves the lives of millions every year, but there's nothing in this vile healthcare package to protect them from Big John Edwards and his ilk.  We need a lower cost option for "unregulated" medication and medical treatment.  We have a former Marine medic at our workplace, and I see no reason at all why I shouldn't be able to go to him for stitches, broken bones, etc.  After all, I belong to me.  I guarantee you that given the choice, most of us would choose the unregulated option if it cost us as little as 20% less.  I don't have that much faith in government regulators.
10)  Speaking of John Edwards, no one has given us any genuine assurances that all copies of his sex tape have been destroyed.  This issue should be treated as a greater threat to the nation than anthrax or the remaining vials of the polio virus. 
11)  Ever wonder why the insurance companies aren't fighting this thing very hard?  Well, they're about to get 30 million new customers, and any new competitors will have to clear a huge regulatory burden before entering the market.  They're doing everything but begging Obama not to throw them into that briar patch.

A message from Portugal

A couple of months ago, I started getting hits from a website in Portugal.  A Portuguese guy named Joao has a (mostly) photography blog called Dois Tabefes and had linked to a couple of my rants.    After I commented on his site a couple of times, I got the following email, which I'm reprinting with Joao's permission. 
You may have read about how the stupendous debts of Greece and Portugal are threatening to blow up the Euro, the European Union, and the entire Axis Of Socialism.  (Go to this chart to see a worldwide ranking.  The U.S. is now ahead of Jordan, Nicaragua, and Tunisia in this ranking of the unfortunates.)  Here's Joao, with his personal testimony about how he escaped the darkness:

As with many other libertarian sites I've been discovering lately (yours was from Cpt Capitalism's blog roll, by the way), I thoroughly enjoy reading it daily. It sure is helpful to me, but I'm afraid it won't be of much help in spreading libertarian sites to my circle of friends. Unfortunately Portugal is a very centre-left leaning country and trying to speak about libertarianism to most people is almost the same as being considered a fascist (40 years of "soft"-fascism sure did a lot of intelectual damage around), so in the end, it isn't surprising at all why Portugal is coming next to Greece in government debt.

Oh, and by the way, I came to get acquainted with libertarianism (and the Austrian school of thinking) in a rather amusing way. First I got into AGW skepticism after some research for an academic work, then I got to find a couple of liberal (not american liberal) portuguese blogs, which have been speaking about that subject, and in the middle I got interested in their posts about economic freedom and liberty, Hayek, anti left-wing rants and so on.

One brief interlude here.  The word "liberal", as many of you already know, has the same meaning in Europe that "libertarian" means in the United States.  The word was highjacked by American Statists sometime in the 1930's, as best I can tell.  Look on the blogroll to your right for the "I am 100% Liberal Quiz" to learn a few things about the word, and about yourself. 

Somewhere in between I got to read Road to Serfdom and now i'm reading Atlas Shrugged daily in my cell phone when I go to my university - I'm currently a Ph.D student in environmental engineering. I've started it in November, read 2/3 of it already and I consider it already one of the best books I've read in my 24-yo short life so far.



Good Lord in heaven !  Can you imagine plowing through Atlas Shrugged on a cell phone?  How many page views would that be? 
Anyway, that's what's going on with one lonely libertarian in Portugal, where the government is spending everyone into oblivion.  Hope you stay in touch, Joao.   
One other thing....I have no idea what this is in these pics, since my Portuguese is a little rusty.  I want one to take cruising in the Trinity river. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and whether dissent is treasonous

From Dennis T. Avery, of Pajamas Media:

Where are the American journalists who should be covering the collapse of the man-made warming scare — the biggest hoax in human history? The public, shoveling snow amid blizzard winds, wants to know. The stock market, laboring under the threat of trillion-dollar energy taxes, urgently needs to know. Even the Columbia Journalism Review, complicit in fostering the global warming scare for 20 years, is prodding America’s mainstream media to finally do their duty.

The press in England, Australia, and even India is already breaking the story:

– “The Professor’s Amazing Climate Change Retreat,” London Daily Mail, Feb. 13. “Professor Phil Jones of East Anglia University confesses on the BBC that the world hasn’t warmed since 1995, and the Medieval Warming was perhaps warmer than today.”

– “World May Not Be Warming, Say Scientists,” Sunday Times of London, Feb. 14.

– “The Hottest Hoax in the World,” Ninad Sheth, India’s Open Magazine, Jan. 30.

– “The Great Global Warming Collapse,” Margaret Wente, Canada’s Global & Mail, Feb. 20.

Also eagerly awaiting the media confessions is that little band of hardy souls who have been telling us for years inconvenient truths about gaps in the greenhouse theory while insisting that “the science isn’t settled” by a long shot. They’ve been accused of treason, likened to Holocaust deniers, and threatened with jail and with death for telling us that the evidence didn’t stack up.

Go here to read the rest of Mr. Avery's piece.  It's worth the trip.  But speaking of accusing skeptics of treason and threatening opponents with jail and death....Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is speaking at TCU tonight.  Here's one of Kennedy's memorable quotes from the Live Earth concerts:

“Get rid of all these rotten politicians that we have in Washington D.C., who are nothing more than corporate toadies for companies like Exxon and Southern Company, these villainous companies, that consistently put their private financial interest ahead of American interests, and ahead of the interests of all humanity. This is treason. And we need to start treating them as traitors,”
If any of you are going to hear RFK Jr. tonight, please wade through this collection of con-artistry first.  The climate scam is unraveling like a knit sweater inside a cotton gin.  As best I can tell, Saint Albert, The Goracle Of Music City, Tennessee, hasn't granted an interview in about a month.  His Co-Nobelist might be going to jail.   Tonight's event at TCU might be your last chance to see a Warmist before the next artificial panic begins. 

Please thank Mr. Kennedy for waiting a couple of months before executing CEO's for treason. 

Whew, that was a close one. If the hackers had waited a few months longer to pry open the East Anglia CRU emails, could we have saved the Exxon CEO from the RFK Jr. lynch mob?
I think not.
RFK Jr. is at TCU tonight.  Bring a bullshit detector with you. 

The picture of the appropriately green-tinted electric chair came from here.  The RFK Jr. pic came from the TCU Daily Skiff

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Blaise Pascal on the mini-series "Lost"

Here's the secret to the mini-series "Lost", compliments of Blaise Pascal (1623-1662):
When I see the blind and wretched state of men, when I survey the whole universe in its deadness, and man left to himself with no light, as though lost in this corner of the universe without knowing who put him there, what he has to do, or what will become of him when he dies, incapable of knowing anything, I am moved to terror, like a man transported in his sleep to some terrifying desert island, who wakes up quite lost, with no means of escape.  Then I marvel that so wretched a state does not drive people to despair.

Quoted in Karen Armstrong's A Short History Of Myth, pg. 127. 
A fresh coat of Whitening to VampE for bringing this to my attention. 

A 2nd look at Republican Ballot Proposition #4, on acknowledging God, prayer, and the 10 Commandments

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a rant about Republican Ballot Proposition #4, a proposal which reads follows:

No. 4 - Public Acknowledgment of God — The use of the word “God,” prayers, and the Ten Commandments should be allowed at public gatherings and public educational institutions, as well as permitted on government buildings and property.— YES or NO

This was my point: One passage toward the beginning of Exodus declares that we shouldn't misuse the name of God (by attaching God's name to the works of the Burleson Texas Independent School District, for instance), and that Jesus said we should pray in private, not standing on the streetcorners "like the hypocrites" who pray "to be seen by men".  (Hit the "rant" link above.)

There's one other thing I didn't mention in that post, something about the Ten Commandments:  Why do we want to live by these commands that Moses brought down from Mount Sinai?  We seem to have rejected most of them.  What follows is from the New International Version of the book of Exodus, Chapter 34.  The division I've used between the commandments is the one followed by most Rabbinic scholars:

14  (Commandment I) Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
15  Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land; for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices.
16 And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same. 
17  (Commandment II)  Do not make cast idols.
18  (Commandment III) Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in that month you came out of Egypt.
19 "The first offspring of every womb belongs to me, including all the firstborn males of your livestock, whether from herd or flock.
20 Redeem the firstborn donkey with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem all your firstborn sons. No one is to appear before me empty-handed.
21  (Commandment IV)  Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.
22   (Commandment V)  Celebrate the Feast of Weeks with the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the turn of the year.
23  (Commandment VI) Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign LORD, the God of Israel.
24 I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your territory, and no one will covet your land when you go up three times each year to appear before the LORD your God.
25  (Commandment VII)  Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to me along with anything containing yeast, and....
(Commandment VIII)  Do not let any of the sacrifice from the Passover Feast remain until morning.
26  (Commandment IX)  Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God.
(Commandment X)  Do not cook a young goat in its mother's milk.
27 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel."
28 Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant—the Ten Commandments.

These are the only commandments that the Jewish Scriptures refer to as "The Ten Commandments".  There were earlier rough drafts which, as far as I can tell, no human ever saw except Moses, and Moses might have just been blogging when he wrote those.  The ones listed above are the ones that made it down from Mount Sinai intact.  These are the ones that got toted around the wilderness in the Ark Of The Covenant.  These 10 Commandments are the ones that are to be "acknowledged at public gatherings and public educational institutions, as well as permitted on government buildings and property" in the state of Texas. 

Let's start with Commandment #10.  Do not cook a young goat in its mother's milk.  Do we need to acknowledge this, and make it a requirement for the concession stands at Texas High School football games?  If we carve this commandment into the walls of the state capitol, how long will it take to become part of Republican anti-immigrant rhetoric?  Them damn Mexicans ain't like us white folks.  Turn your back on 'em, and they'll bar-b-que a goat in its Mama's milk every time....
And finally, if this commandment becomes law of the land, will Libertarians have to stage ridiculous protests to prove that they have a right to cook a goat in its mother's milk? 

(Note to John Spivey of the Tarrant County Libertarian Party: I'll kill, clean and cook the baby goat, but you're going to have to do the milking.)

Moving on to Commandment #9, we see that we are to bring the best of the firstfruits of our soil to the house of the Lord.  I know my Bible pretty well, but this one eluded me.  I've resorted to, a website that breaks the Jewish calendar into daily topics for study.  Bikkurim is a term for the first-born, or the first-produced of just about anything:
Even in the seventh year, the offering of bikkurim is obligatory. Therefore, it is stated here, too: “the first fruits of your soil.” How are the bikkurim chosen? A person enters his field and sees a fig that has ripened. He winds a blade of grass around it as a sign and sanctifies it. Bikkurim are brought as an offering only from the seven species enumerated in Scripture: “A land of wheat and barley, and vines and figs and pomegranates, a land of oil-yielding olives and honey” (Deut. 8:8).
This spring, I can't wait to see Governor Rick Perry go into bikkurim mode and wander into a mesquite thicket looking for a ripe fig to sanctify by wrapping some buffalo grass around it.  

Despite my Southern Baptist upbringing, I grew up with Commandment #8:  Do not let any of the sacrifice from the Passover Feast remain until morning.  The Whited Mama was, and is, a great cook.  It is unusual for leftovers to remain past 8:00 p.m., much less midnight. 

Commandment #7 is a problem.  Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to me along with anything containing yeast.  It really has come to this.  I'm 48 years old, I make good money, and I have a fairly popular website.  Yet here I am sitting in a corner at Starbucks writing, and instantly deleting, adolescent jokes about bloody yeast infections. 

I could go on and on in this vein, but I hope you get the idea by now.  When we start talking about God, prayer, or even the Ten Commandments, we all bring our histories, traditions, and loyalties to the discussion.  Like it or not, these are THE Ten Commandments.  Exodus calls them The Ten Commandments.  Everything that came before was a rough draft.  You can look it up. 

Do we really want to open this can of worms at every Texas city council and county courthouse meeting?

If you've got a few more minutes, go to this post about the 10 Commandments.  Don't read the comments.  See if you can detect something strange about the way we portray the 10 C's in art and sculpture. 


From The Guardian (UK):

Scientists have been forced to withdraw a study on projected sea level rise due to global warming after finding mistakes that undermined the findings.

The study, published in 2009 in Nature Geoscience, one of the top journals in its field, confirmed the conclusions of the 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It used data over the last 22,000 years to predict that sea level would rise by between 7cm and 82cm by the end of the century.

In a statement the authors of the paper said: "Since publication of our paper we have become aware of two mistakes which impact the detailed estimation of future sea level rise. This means that we can no longer draw firm conclusions regarding 21st century sea level rise from this study without further work.
One mistake was a miscalculation; the other was not to allow fully for temperature change over the past 2,000 years. Because of these issues we have retracted the paper and will now invest in the further work needed to correct these mistakes."

We can all sleep so much better now....

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The increased cost of the government schools, relative to the cost of everything else

Here's a graph showing the increased cost per pupil (since 1919) as compared to the increased cost of everything else.

Go here for more details.
One other thing, slightly off topic....The Federal Reserve was founded in 1913, and given the task of stabilizing the nation's money supply, which had been fairly stable until that point.  That's why most studies of runaway inflation begin around 1920, after the Fed had a few years to screw everything up. 
Say you're a prudent and thrifty ninety-year-old, and you saved $100 dollars under your mattress in 1920.  Relative to their original worth, those dollars will now purchase about $6.50 cents worth of stuff, by 1920's standards. 
We used to say that a dollar saved is a dollar earned.  WRONG !  A dollar saved is .94 lost. 

So here's a big "hope you go out of business" to the Fed, and to the public schools. 

A belated review of the 9-12 rally and protest, from Liberty Magazine

The December issue of Liberty magazine had a short piece by Martin Morse Wooster, an Amtrak traveller who happened to be in The Town Of The Cow on September 12 last year. 
I know, I know.  I'll get it out of the way now.... 
What the hell is a libertarian contributor to Liberty magazine doing on Amtrak, when there are so many less expensive, less harmful, less wasteful and less offensive forms of transport available?  Lordy have mercy, he could've brought starving orphans in from Haiti and paid them to pull him around on a rickshaw, and it would've seemed downright egalitarian as compared to freakin' Amtrak.  Hit that link to see where I'm coming from. 
Oh well.  I've had to express contrition for allowing vendors to take me to Cowboy games at the Debt Star.  I've expressed remorse for benefitting from farm subsidies in my wayward youth.  A few times I've even shipped freight on a union-operated LTL carrier.  We all have skeletons in our closets, and all of our Sepulchres could benefit from Whitening.  I trust that Martin Morse Wooster will eventually have a Tiger Woods-style press conference to explain what he was doing on that vile train. 

Here goes:

Big tent — I’ve recently returned from an 11-day train vacation. One thing you learn when on long-distance trains is that whenever Amtrak changes crews, it’s time to get out and look around, in the hope of finding better (or at least different) food than Amtrak offers. So when I had an hour’s layover in Fort Worth, I decided to head for some tents nearby. They looked like a farmer’s market, and I’m always happy to support local farmers.

What I found was the Fort Worth 9/12 demonstration.

There’s been a good deal of press about tea parties, 9/12 rallies, and the like. I’m sure there are “fringy” people at some of these events, but it wouldn’t surprise me if journalists found the three weirdest people at a demonstration and used their remarks to paint a portrait of a frothing right-wing mob.

I didn’t see a mob in Fort Worth. The crowd, which was in the thousands, was civil. I didn’t see any banners comparing President Obama to Hitler or calling for killing anybody. There were many banners mocking the president, but the last I heard, questioning authority wasn’t yet a crime.

Most of the 9/12 people would say they were angry, and I talked to a woman who was proud to be “the angriest person in Stumptown, Texas.” But it’s important to note the difference between anger and rage. I didn’t see any red-faced screamers, or anyone who was about to pop a blood vessel. Most of the people I talked to were having a good time, marching in the rain on a muggy Saturday afternoon.

I didn’t take a count, but it appeared that the protesters were about equally opposed to the healthcare plan, the stimulus, and high taxes and big government in general. Some of the marchers had concerns that seemed a little eccentric to me (I wished I could find out the concerns of the gentleman whose banner read “No Cass Sunstein”), but I agreed with nearly everything the protesters said.

There were booths for several Republican candidates for the Texas state legislature as well as one Libertarian Party booth. But no one was marching to support a political party. All were against specific administration programs and big government in general.
(If you blow up the pic above, there is a Debra Medina sign on the right.  One other thing about that pic.  You can only see one protester's face, and he's in the botom right hand corner.  Note to Keith Olbermann: He ain't white.) 
As I left for the train, the marchers went to hear a speech by Fox News Channel commentator Andrew Napolitano. If his interview in Reason is typical of his thinking, Judge Napolitano seems like a sensible person. I’m sure he gave the marchers good advice.

I’m not a pundit, so I don’t know whether the 9/12 movement will amount to anything. But what I saw in Fort Worth is that there’s a lot of anger against the Obama administration’s relentless efforts to bloat the government. Most of that anger is justified. Administration strategists — and their allies in the press — who dismiss this anger or pre-tend that it doesn’t exist may find themselves looking for work in January 2013. — Martin Morse Wooster
That's the way I saw it.  A lot of concerned people voicing their discontent.  The problems still haven't been dealt with, and these are the only people offering serious objecting to the looting going on in Washington. 
And for those of you who participated....can you imagine being a writer for liberty-oriented periodicals, getting off a train to stretch your legs and find something to eat, and then walking into the middle of that protest?  It must have seemed surreal. 
Good essay from Mr. Wooster.  I've been waiting a long time for it to appear in the Liberty Online edition so I wouldn't have to re-type the whole thing. 
Here's a video they made to promote the event.  That's my friend Adrian Murray, giving them hell at the end.