How about a Thursday Chuckle

As Jon N Hall takes a metaphor to the ultraextreme edges of metaphordom!!

On the economy, here’ show he ends, but you should just click through and read the whole thing.

Despite its enormous costs, the “government cure” is one of palliatives that only mask symptoms. The economy has gotten hooked on government methadone and now needs to go cold turkey. Had America taken the “do-nothing cure” one thing is sure, we wouldn’t have racked up so many trillions in new debt. And that new debt will put a drag on recovery. That is, if America ever has a real recovery.

If real health is all about homeostasis (equilibrium), then our economy’s cycle of boom and bust is disease-ridden. Perhaps sectors of our diseased economy need to lie fallow for a while, like a farmer’s overworked field.

Sometimes difficulty in understanding isn’t just due to the thorniness of the problems themselves, but to the misuse of the conceptual devices and models we employ to explain them. Folks can spend more effort trying to make their metaphors work properly than in trying to understand their problems directly. Metaphors can clarify, but they can also cloud. Sometimes metaphor is a lens, but at other times it is a disease. (Hey, I just used a metaphor to describe metaphor itself. Is that legal?)

Although our complex economy’s prognosis is dire, the prescription may actually be quite simple — diet and exercise. That, and to take more care with our metaphors.

Not Good

The US is officially out of Iraq and the 1st thing that happens is an arrest warrant out for their VP, a Sunni?

This can’t be good.

Iraq’s Sunni vice president denied charges [from Prime Minister Maliki] he ran a hit squad that killed government officials during the nation’s wave of sectarian bloodletting, accusing the Shiite-led government Tuesday of waging a campaign of persecution.

Tariq al-Hashemi told a news conference that he has not committed any “sin” against Iraq. He described the charges against him as “fabricated” and said the Shiite prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, was behind a plot to embarrass him.

The President of Iraq, a Kurd, Jalal Talabani, is supporting the VP.

Speaking of the Payroll Tax Cut

Congress is playing brinksmanship while business gets to go on wondering what the coming week will bring. Good times.

Imagine you are the IT dept at some business with complex payroll programs running. Now you get to wait for a final, final decision AND make no plans until that happens.
AND if the whole thing is only for two months, your Bahama winter vacations gets screwed too.

Imagine you are the IT fumbling person in a tiny business. Good times.
The link is to Allahpundit who has been thinking along the same lines.

Payroll Tax Cut

The Senate passed the payroll tax cut that the house passed, only they made it for 2 months instead of 1 year.
All the basics were there though including a Keystone (which by the way, no one has ever come forward and nowhere can I find why the hell we need a damn pipeline across the whole of this country vs just building a damn refinery there in Montana!) decision.

BUT those silly Teapartiers insist they win the whole shebang. They just don’t get politics do they? They don’t care if they win their next election. Instead they are going to drag the country down with them – again – as they allow the Democrats to win because there is no way Republicans win if taxes go up on the middle class on January 1.

Well at least that’s the feeling from the Republicans.

I tend to understand that this country is not all right or all left and that some compromise is needed. That being the case, getting a copy of the GOP bill to pass for 2 months and then find EVEN more concessions might be ideal! Plus people like my sister get to have Christmas. And people like the rest of us know that at least we’ll have 2 months of similar paychecks vs reduced ones and can pay the Christmas bills.

But that’s me.

Even though everyone knows that the payroll tax cut is killing Social Security and extended unemployment benefits is in fact keeping people unemployed, there is still no way that regular Republicans would ever let taxes go up on the middle class January 1. That was the Democrats secret plan all along. I know that, you know that. It would be kind of funny that those Tea Partiers don’t seem to get that and are changing “politics” to brinksmanship except that Obama can not, just can not win the next election or this country will have gone over the brink.

Or not. I don’t know. Maybe those Tea Partiers are doing ok and doing what they promised. I was sore afraid last night, but today I’m a little more mixed.

1 I suspect that even the Democrats in the Senate realize the TeaPartiers are craaaazy.
How do you deal with crazy people?
2 Give them what they want especially when it’s what you want too.

Just Because

The NYTimes has an editorial today that

1) determines that there is a growing discrepancy between the rich and the poor.
(Particularly the ratio of the average income of the nation’s richest 1 percent to the median household income has grown from 12.6 times during Reagan years to 36 times now.)
2) Without direct evidence determines that this leads directly to the rich buying the government.
3) Again without direct evidence, decides, somehow, that 36 times is nearing the tipping point of 40 times.
(the tipping point means “that it’s bad for our democracy”)
4) Conclusion…..a special tax for the income that is greater than 36 times median household income.
Thus allowing people to get richer as long as the median household income also gets richer.

And where would the results of this tax go?
Who the hell knows? The oped never suggests where to spend the money, just to take it so that point 2 doesn’t happen.

Pretty much the authors of this oped, Ian Ayres and Aaron Edlin, are sure that your money is not your own. What cracks me up is they don’t really think it belongs to “we the people” either. Just some government that is going to take this money so no one gets too rich.

Enough is enough. Congress should reform our tax law to put the brakes on further inequality. Specifically, we propose an automatic extra tax on the income of the top 1 percent of earners — a tax that would limit the after-tax incomes of this club to 36 times the median household income.

Importantly, our Brandeis tax does not target excessive income per se; it only caps inequality.

No, Your Money is NOT Yours

All your money belongs to the state.
Judges of the state get to decide where your money needs to be.
If you’re lucky, you will get to keep some.

But in the meantime never fear because
now that a judge has determined the school districts of Colorado aren’t doing well and
that “doing well” equals “being funded adequately” and
“adequately” means “an amount more than now, but still unknown”
they, the state, will work it out.

I am not kidding.
Read Jeff Goldstein and his link. Amazing.

All money does not belong first to the state. And yet that’s exactly what this ruling says, at base.


This was a great post on The Moral Case for Capitalism. Since the 2012 election for Obama can not be built on achievements, it will be built on the so called morality of the left.

Memorize a few of the chestnuts from this article and you should be well armed.

Capitalism is the practical expression of liberty. Without private ownership of capital, all other expressions are merely indulgences permitted by the government. We understand instinctively that the suppression of free speech indicates a dangerous lack of respect for individuals by the State, but we have been conditioned to forget that a lack of respect for property is at least as disturbing. Once property is gone, speech is not very difficult for the State to control, or ignore.


If stealing your sandwich is clearly wrong, and robbing the sandwich shop is also obviously wrong, robbing the corporate offices of the sandwich franchise must also be wrong. Respect for the property rights of law-abiding citizens cannot be allowed to atrophy based on the amount of property involved, or else it ceases to be a “principle.”


Independence flourishes only under capitalism! Nothing could be less expressive of individuality that trooping into a voting booth periodically, to vote for or against a handful of people who will be judged according to many different policies, casting your ballot onto a pile of thousands or millions.


The more power your “representatives” accumulate, the less accurately their performance can be measured. And if the vote doesn’t go your way, you have very limited options to walk away from the unsatisfactory results.

The true freedom expressed through hundreds of decisions you make every day in the free market, with trading partners you have the power to abandon when they don’t live up to your expectations, is far more precious. Trading that level of control over your life for ballots is a foolish bargain.

You know what…..just go read the whole thing. It’s a very good piece.

Whoops, forgot the HT to Maggie’s Farm.

Budget Helps

$69 Million cut out of Wildlife services [to equal $0] would be a start.

Here is a lovely photo of the professionalism seen within this “service”. Yes, those are head counts there on the side of the plane.

ht Ken Cole