Friday, October 03, 2008


The House has now joined the Senate in passing the stupid bailout, and President Bush signed it. A few days ago, I cheered the House. Today, they are back to being regarded as assholes. Here's the House vote:

Democrats: 172 yeas, 63 nays
Republicans: 91 yeas, 108 nays

So good that the Democrats can see so clearly eye-to-eye with the President they regard as stupid. Looks like Andre Carson was one of the turncoats that changed his vote to stand with the President. Well, they're in league now. Can't wait for the days of 'change' coming ahead.

These are the days you vote Libertarian. These are the days we need 'None of the Above' on the ballot.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Bob Barr To Visit NW Indiana

Of all times for me to be working in the home office and not up north! Bob Barr will stop in Valparaiso tomorrow. From the Libertarian Party of Indiana:
"We're very excited," noted Law Libertarians of Valparaiso University president Jonathan Morris. "We've been working hard to bring Bob Barr to this area since his nomination in May. More people need to be exposed to his common sense approach to government. We're pleased that our efforts are assisting with getting that message out."

Barr's on-campus remarks to students, faculty and the public will be followed by a Meet and Greet with the candidate at Pesto's Italian Restaurant in Valparaiso.

WHAT: Barr Address at Valparaiso University
SPONSOR: Law School Libertarians at Valparaiso University
TIME: 6:30 p.m. (CT)

Go see Barr if you have the chance. He will sound vastly different than McBama. Presidential, even.
It Had To End

That was a nice run of good news there- two in a row! With trends in this country being what they've been, I knew it had to end. The Senate, predictably, tweaked the bailout to make it a little worse than it already was, thereby making it more palatable to our Senators, including McBama. The House gets to take its' vote tomorrow. From CNN:
The legislation, if passed by the House, would usher in one of the most far-reaching interventions in the economy since the Great Depression.

Advocates say the plan is crucial to government efforts to attack a credit crisis that threatens the economy and would free up banks to lend more. Opponents say it rewards bad decisions by Wall Street, puts taxpayers at risk and fails to address the real economic problems facing Americans.

CNN got my opposition right, that's for sure. So, under the Bush Administration, yet another bureaucracy stands to be born:
the Senate version would set up two oversight committees. A Financial Stability
Board would include the Federal Reserve chairman, the Securities and Exchange
Commission chairman, the Federal Home Finance Agency director, the Housing and
Urban Development secretary and the Treasury secretary.

Financial Stability Board? What next? An 'Equalization of Outcomes Bureau'? A 'Forgiveness of Stupidity Department'?

I don't know about you, but for me, this doesn't inspire confidence. It terrifies. Glad I got out of the market when I did, and got into gold, silver, and oil. Best decisions ever. CNN covers some reactions by random Americans, none of them speak of confidence. Best advice there: Live within your means, and plan now for your future.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

A Parade Of Good News

I was angered to read about the case of Robert McNally, who upon finding a man in his daughter's bedroom, had confronted the attacker, who died as a result of the confrontation. I was putting myself, a man with a daughter, in his shoes and dreading some unsane, unjust set of charges being leveled against the hero- such is our world these days.

But no! Sanity prevails twice this week! The Marion County Prosecutor will not bring charges against McNally's successful defense of his daughter! From the Indy Star:
A Northwestside man who killed a would-be rapist in his home last weekend was justified in his actions, Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi announced today.

Robert McNally will not face criminal charges in the death of David Meyers, Brizzi said in a statement.

Two great outcomes in a mere three-day span? I can hardly stand it! What next? A cutting of the federal budget by half? Eliminating the property tax? Come on! Hit me while I'm weak!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Random Road Trip Photos

Here are some more.

Dubuque, IA, along the Mississippi. The locals try to cash in on the riverboat past, but only to a point. This one isn't going anywhere. There are dozens of 'riverboat' casinos, but only one plies the River, and then for only two hours a day. Mark Twain spins in his grave.

Prairie du Chien, WI. Now on the eastern bank of the Mississippi, you know you are in Wisconsin when the gas stations let you know they sell cheese AND food.
Not Worried About Short Term Effects

The most irritating comments I hear about the financial crisis are along the lines of 'having to do something', or 'needing to minimize the pain'. I'm seeing through that rhetoric for what it is, and calling it out as dangerous.

Needing to minimize whose pain? I have come to believe that for the President and lawmakers like Barney Frank, John McCain, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Dick Lugar, it's all about not having a deep recession happen on their immediate watch. That's exactly the problem. Forestalling what needs to happen only will beget a bigger problem- later.

These bad loans are nearly worthless assets. They have been overvalued for far too long. They should be valued as worthless or nearly worthless. Those who gave out these loans should be losing their asses. Those who took loans they couldn't pay back should be losing their homes. Politicians who encouraged the Federal Reserve to endlessly print money or borrow severly from China and Russia deserve to have a crash happen on their watch. This is actual economic and social justice. Prolonging the necessary means that it will be worse later. Want a depression? Promote a new bailout package.

The market is making correction- as it should. Propping up prices means artificially making things appear to be worth more than they are. That's what Bush, Frank, et al want us to do. This is why I am so pleased that so many members of the House voted against the bailout. It's senseless. It does not have to happen. It is sane that it does not.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Excellent News!

I cannot believe it. The Bush Bailout plan is dead in the water, thanks to the House of Representatives! From CNN:
The measure needs 218 votes for passage, but it came up 13 votes short of that target, as the final vote was 228 to 205 against. About 60% of Democrats voted for the measure, but less than a third of Republicans backed it.

President Bush is "very disappointed" by the House vote, his spokesman Tony Fratto said.

Good. President Bush deserves to be disappointed. In fact, he deserves to be desperately distraut, and flat out depressed. Well, he'll have the rest of his lifetime for that, upon reflection on his legacy.

Let's give credit and thanks to 40% of the House Democrats, and about 2/3 of the House Republicans for killing this. I liked Mike Pence's reasons. I don't care about the others' too much right now, although I probably will soon enough, when the next bailout is proposed.

Interesting to see a greater percentage of House Dems lining up with George W. Bush. I should like to see this allignment spun against their re-election efforts in the way their party leader Barrack Obama is assailing his opponent with the 'He voted with George Bush' lines in his ads. What's good for the goose, right?
Random Road Trip Pics
Here's the pride of Blue Earth, MN. Yes, it's the Jolly Green Giant- 55 feet of concrete. Kinda weird in that it isn't on the main highway or in the center of town. It was the pure dumb luck of the 'what the hell, go that way' road trip ethos.


Oh Shit! Steve 'cowers' under the Giant's shadow.
Pence Has It Right

(Fishers, IN)- Here's something positive to note, in the dim bleakness that is our political landscape, from an AP article:
Indiana Rep. Mike Pence said Sunday that he opposed the financial industry rescue plan that the House is expected to vote on today.

"We now have a deal that promises to bring near-term stability to our financial turmoil, but at what price?" the Columbus Republican wrote in a statement to his colleagues Sunday. "Economic freedom means the freedom to succeed and the freedom to fail. The decision to give the federal government the ability to nationalize almost every bad mortgage in America interrupts this basic truth of our free-market economy."

It isn't just nationalization that is worrisome. It's that we can count on getting more of anything that is subsidized. We know that to be true by watching the subsidization of corn and ethanol. What are we subidizing with this bailout? Bad decision-making. If we prop it up, we tell lenders they don't have to be careful with extending credit. We tell borrowers they don't have to afford their mortgage payments. We tell all that someone else will deal with their messes. It's rotten policy.

So, freedom to fail is important. Bad decisions should fail. They shouldn't be rewarded.

Kudos and thanks to Mike Pence. Nice to see some rational thought eminating from our state every now and again.

Update: Doug Masson offers what he calls 'cynicism' in a comment, not believing that his stand is principled. I find this cynicism wholly reasonable, what with the general absense of principle in the Congress. Besides, news stories don't always pick up the whole thing, so I went to Pence's site for the whole statement. Here's what's pertinent for me:
Republicans improved this bill but it remains the largest corporate bailout in American history, forever changes the relationship between government and the financial sector, and passes the cost along to the American people. I cannot support it.

Before you vote, ask yourself why you came here and vote with courage and integrity to those principles.

If you came here because you believe in limited government and the freedom of the American marketplace, vote in accordance with those convictions.

Now I like Pence's statement even more. Sure, we'll never know what kind of horse trading takes place behind closed doors, but what the man put in black & white is exactly what I want to see and hear. Link to Pence's statement.

Democrats can oppose this bailout in accordance with their own stated principles as well. I'd really like to see it from one of Indiana's Congressional Democrats.