Thursday, December 25, 2008


Posting on my various blogs may be a bit reduced over the Christmas period


Jews: Is survival enough?

I must be a crazy man to continue writing on this topic. To mix metaphors, I am both skating on thin ice and pissing into the wind. And if you can imagine that at least I have given you a laugh!

But I just want to make a brief comment on something that every single Jew who has written to me on the topic has said. They say: "We have survived them all so far and we will survive the present lot of SOBs too" (I paraphrase).

What that overlooks is what Winston Churchill originally said in 1934 (he said much the same later too). I briefly alluded to it earlier:
For nearly a thousand years England has not seen the campfires of an invader. The stormy sea and our Royal navy have been our sure defense. Not only have we preserved our life and freedom through the centuries, but gradually we have come to be the heart and center of an empire which surrounds the globe.

Churchill went on to warn (rightly) that the sea barrier was not alone enough and that Britain was nonetheless in dire peril. But what I want to draw attention to is that the English have survived for a long time too but have done so in style. They have had relative peace and prosperity (not a single woman raped by foreign troops in nearly a thousand years and very few civilian deaths from hostile foreign action) and have made their culture one of the world's most influential and made their language the common language of the world. English is even the language most widely spoken by Jews. Compared to that success, the Jewish achievement of mere survival amid horrendous losses is a very poor second prize.

I am sorry if that is a harsh way to put it but my more "fudged" British way of putting it previously obviously failed to communicate effectively in at least some cases.

So what I was doing in both my prior posts on this matter was to analyse what the English got right and what Jews got wrong. My conclusion is of course only my own opinion but I hope that the arguments I have made in support of it are persuasive. And my principal focus was of course on just one of the things that have kept Britain safe and thriving: Their unremitting emphasis on the importance of allies. Britain was invaded many times before the Norman conquest in 1066 but the Normans brought to Britain a wider continental awareness and engagement. And that system has continued in one way or another to this day.

And my (pissing into the wind) hope is that I might get more Jews to value allies highly too, now that some chances for allies have opened up. I have been a partisan for Israel since my early teens and I want it to survive in peace and prosperity, not amid more horrendous losses. So I say what little I can that might assist that.

This is not meant to be a stand-alone post. It is meant to be read as just a footnote to my two previous posts. See here and here.


Something to worry about when Christmas is over

A post recycled from one of America's military men

The economy is in the dumps. However the incoming Obama administration wants to save this capitalist economy with a dose of big-government socialism.

I have just begun reading the new book "The End of Prosperity" by Arthur Laffer, Stephen Moore, and Peter Tanous. In the very first chapter titled "The Gathering Economic Storm", the authors point out that the U.S. economy encountered "Four Killers of Prosperity" during the two tumultuous periods during the 1930s and 1970s. Those 'Four Killers' are:

- Trade Protectionism
- Tax Increases and profligate Govt Spending
- New Regulations and increased Gov't intervention in the economy
- Monetary policy mistakes

Unfortunately, a couple of those killers have already struck, and Obama isn't even in office yet. However, very soon all of those killers will be paroled, and sold to the public as the cure to economic ills. Lets run through those Killers again...

- Trade Protectionism - Check! Colomba can kiss its trade pact goodbye, and when the newly empowered Unions get their way, NAFTA will be the next big target

- Tax Increases and profligate Govt Spending - Check! Obama has paid lip service to delaying Income Tax increases, but there are many other ways to raise taxes, or if you live in California, "fees". Also, if you think that the Dems won't continue spending gov't oney like drunken sailors, now that the GOP has been kicked out of the budgetary bar, you must be high....

- New Regulations and increased Gov't intervention in the economy - Check! Since the new Dem bogeyman for a lot of this fiscal mess is "de-regulation", you certainly know what will be coming soon to a bureaucracy near you....more rules!! Welcome to the Nanny State...make yourself at home, just don't sit on the furniture.

- Monetary policy mistakes - Check! Already taken care of by the current administration. All Obama has to do is mind the store, and not advocate for a strong dollar.

Laffer, Moore, and Tanous may call them the Four Killers, but I think they will be refered to in the future as the Four Horsemen of the Obacalypse...



Some realism about bureaucracy

I read your blog on a daily basis and I've noted your skepticism about the monstrous bailout package being considered by the incoming Obama administration. In reading all of the econblogs I can find, I'm struck by the lack of practical knowledge both there and within the circle of advisers Obama has assembled.

I work for the DoD and when the Department of Homeland Security was established,we helped them with many things, not the least of which was contracting. To make a long story short, you cannot juice up a government agency's budget by tens of billions (or in the case of the stimulus package, hundreds of billions) and expect them to be able to process the paperwork to contract it out, much less oversee the projects or even choose them with any kind of hope for success. It's like trying to feed a Pomeranian a 25 lb turkey. It's madness.

It was years before DHS got the situation under control and between the start and when they finally assembled a sufficiently capable team of lawyers, contracting officials, technical experts and resource managers, most of the money was totally wasted. Now take the DHS situation and multiply it by 20 and you've got the Obama stimulus package. Even if they hand the money to existing governmental agencies, the situation will be the same. Those existing agencies are working full time administering the
budgets they have. They can't just add a zero at the end of each contract and be done with it.

Lastly, I've seen no business case analysis for this investment. I've seen lots of people referring to models and charts and graphs and history, but I've seen no analysis indicating that any of this will give you even a modest ROI....

Stop looking at models and equations and theoretical constructs for a while and look at the practical considerations of the stimulus package. I've been doing this sort of thing for quite a while and I'm convinced it's doomed from the start. If they feel the need to blast a trillion dollars into confetti, then tax cuts would make the most sense. Even if the public used the money to pay down debt, that would be a good thing as it would transfer the debt burden from the consumer to the government making the consumer feel a little bit like spending again.



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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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