30 October 2012

Time to Rethink a Myth

Cyndee Marcoux already was stretched thin, thanks to the $80,000 in student loans she racked up after getting divorced and going back to school a decade ago. Her breaking point came in 2010, when her daughter defaulted on student-loan payments of her own.

That's because Ms. Marcoux, a 53-year-old library administrator in Seekonk, Mass., co-signed for about $55,000 of her daughter's loans. When the daughter was unable to keep making payments, Ms. Marcoux was on the hook—a burden that forced her to reshuffle her entire life. To scrape up the extra $550 a month she owed, she sold her house, then took a second job registering emergency-room patients on the weekend overnight shift. "You work your whole life and never pay a bill late," says Ms. Marcoux. "You don't ever think your kid isn't going to pay."

As certain internet writers have noted, this outcome wasn’t exactly unpredictable.  When supply of college-educated labor outpaces demand, due in large part to federal subsidy and state propaganda, it should come as no surprise that the average income of college-educated individuals decline.  And since demand for college has outstripped supply (though it should be noted that supply is radically increasing right now, almost like a bubble), two things began to happen at once:  wages for college-educated workers declined while the cost of college education went up. The outcome?  Lots of college grads are stuck with a lot of debt and no way to pay for it.

Making matters worse, the federal government—in conjunction with the major banks who lend out college loans, service the debt, and even act a collections agencies in the event of default—has conspired to basically make the recipients of student loans into debt slaves by preventing students loans from being discharged in bankruptcy.  Furthermore, the federal government strongly encourages parents to co-sign for their children’s college loans by requiring their financial information when filling FAFSA.*

All this has started to bite a good number of parents in the rear.  Deservedly so, I might add.  Hopefully this will help other parents to wake up and start to actually consider whether a) their child should really go on to college and b) whether they will legally bind themselves to pay for their child’s worthless majors.

* Note:  while this is only technically required to determine students’ grant status, it is assumed that parents are going to pay for their children’s education (hence the parents’ expected contribution) portion of the FAFSA calculation.  Parents implicitly agree, since they are often expected and encouraged to sign for their children’s loans.  Thus, the rarely-challenged assumption is that parents are good for their children’s education costs.

Mitt Romney Hates Black People

At least, that’s would Kanye West would say in response to this:

As Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast, Mitt Romney's campaign is pushing back against suggestions that he wants to abolish the Federal Emergency Management Agency—insisting that he would simply prefer to see states take a greater role in disaster relief.

At a GOP primary debate in June 2011, Romney, when asked about FEMA's budget woes and how he would deal with it, had said, "Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right direction. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that's even better."

This is, of course, the generally correct course to take, especially since FEMA is not authorized by the constitution.  Paring down—or, better yet, getting rid of—another bloated federal agency is always a good thing.  Too bad that a) congress controls the purse strings and b) the federal bureaucracy is already to entrenched to be done away with; elsewise, Romney’s words might actually mean something.

It Was All A Sham

Global warming, that is:

Despite playing a key role in advancing climate change hysteria, the United Kingdom’s National Weather Service, known as the Met Office, quietly released a report last week conceding that so-called “global warming” actually stopped more than 15 years ago. The startling admission shows once again that United Nations theories and climate models are wildly inaccurate at best, experts say, meaning multi-trillion dollar schemes to deal with alleged human-caused “climate change” are at the very least severely misguided. 

According to the latest UK Met Office report, first reported by the Daily Mail, there has been no noticeable increase in global temperatures since early 1997. The alleged warming trend supposedly observed from 1980 to 1996 was about as long as the current “plateau” period, the paper reported. Prior to that, climate scientists admit, global temperatures had been stable or dropping for decades, a fact that prompted previous generations of climate alarmists to sound the alarm about the supposed dangers of man-made “global cooling.”

I’m sure the MSM will be trumpeting this news as loudly as they can, just like they did when proclaiming global warming to be the world’s greatest threat.  I suspect they’ll also issue a giant mea culpa for not being more skeptical about the various and repeated proclamations of global warming and the general nonsense that accompanied it.  Just kidding!  The MSM will probably just double down since they’re all a bunch of leftists who hate their fellow human beings and want to impoverish everyone on the planet.

In fact, as the various scientific edifices of global warming continue to fall, I can’t help but wonder if the continued claims of global warming are really nothing more than the cultural Marxists’ way of getting useful idiots to advocate the impoverishment and/or death of billions of human beings.  See, since the scientific case for global warming continues to become weaker and weaker, it makes less and less sense to argue a) that global warming is happening (especially since it clearly is not) and b) that global warming needs to be fixed.  Since there are still many who argue that global warming is occurring and does need fix, we can reasonably conclude that global warming movement was not the result of dispassionate scientific analysis but rather it was the result of an underlying political movement.  Now where have I heard that before…

Why Indeed?

Elusive Wapiti asks “why vote?”  Here’s his answer:

To Hale's list I add the deplorable assault on the liberty of those who adhere to a faith other than that of liberalism, and the possibility that the next president could nominate a SCOTUS justice that would shape the direction of our 2d legislative branch for the next generation.

I’m not sure how to mention this, but it’s not like Romney is going to step up and stop the assault on the free expression of religion.  At this point, the bureaucratic regime is entrenched to such an extent that the president couldn’t stop it unless he ordered the Army to kill every last non-USAF federal employee.  And Romney doesn’t have the stones for that.

The SCOTUS argument was used back in 2000 in regards to Bush.  His nomination of John Roberts was widely lauded as a conservative nominee.  Then, just a few months ago, Roberts took a giant steaming shit on the constitution.  (Does any conservative remember how Roberts voted on the constitutionality of ObamaCare?  Or has that conveniently disappeared down the rabbit hole?)  Perhaps the SCOTUS case would be more convincing is conservative nominees didn’t keep betraying their alleged principles.  Until then, conservatives would do well to quit worrying about getting their activists on the bench; it’s never, practically speaking, going to happen.

Even though hope is a poor foundation to anchor one's political strategy, liberty- and freedom-minded people need headroom to work.  They need breathing space and time to gather, organize, and implement change, to help this country crap out the Boomers' 60s-vintage radicalism out the southbound end of the American cultural alimentary canal.

Unfortunately, it’s too late to help the country out.  The Boomers’ radicalism was a symptom of America’s decline; not the cause.  There were plenty of prior events that helped to bring about the beginning of the end.  John Adams’ appointment of John Marshall to the federal bench was an early and partially successful attempt at increasing federal power.  Lincoln’s administration and subsequent Republican administrations helped to increase federal power.  Wilson’s presidency did quite a bit of damage as well.  Both Roosevelts radically strengthened the federal government. By the time Johnson arrived in office, a good portion of the damage was already done.  What we’ve seen from the 60’s to the present is just icing on the cake.

Furthermore, there has been plenty of time already to deal with the problems facing this country.  The problem is, no one wanted to tackle these problems until the negative consequences were too obvious to ignore.  Of course, once the mess is too obvious to ignore, it’s generally too late to fix it.

Not only that, a good portion of the current problems this country faces are systemic, not administrative.  By this I simply mean that the current social breakdown has occurred not because of specific men occupying the office of president but because of the federal system itself.  The existence of a central bank—over which the president has incredibly little control—and the existence of massive federal bureaucracies—over which the president has merely nominal control, practically speaking—have done more damage than any one man in the president’s office ever could.

Speaking practically, the president doesn’t have that much power.  For the most part, he can’t enact very much legislation of his own accord (he can issue executive orders and unilaterally engage in military actions); he can’t even set the budget.  He doesn’t control the money supply.  He doesn’t set taxes.  He doesn’t even determine laws.  This isn’t to say that he’s completely powerless, only that he controls remarkably less than most seem to think.

Thus, putting a lot of stock in the current election is rather foolish.  Having Romney in office instead of Obama is no guarantee that there will be more time to prepare for an economic collapse, or even avoid it.  Even if there was a lick of difference between the candidates—which there isn’t—this wouldn’t even translate into significant policy differences, for Leviathan always continues unabated.

A more interesting question, then, is:  why not stay home on Election Day?  What if everyone stopped voting?

If no one voted, this would be the clearest message that everyone disapproves of the government.  No one could appeal to consensus as proof that the government, and its byzantine rules, remained legitimate in the eyes of its citizens.  There would be no clearer message that the people reject their government than to stay home on voting day. And so, while it may be possible to rationalize voting for the white version of Obama as a stand against a perverted, socialistic government, it would more logically consistent to simply stay home and not vote in order to demonstrate one’s disapproval of the current government.

25 October 2012

Hotel America

The State Department no longer wants you to tell the passport examiner about the circumstances of your circumcision, but does still want to know the dates and locations of all of your mother’s pre- and post-natal medical appointments, how long she was hospitalized for your birth, and a complete list of everyone who was in the room when you were born. The revised forms no longer ask for all the addresses at which you have lived, but only for those addresses you are least likely to know: all the places you lived from birth until age 18.

For those who have passports, my recommendation is to leave America posthaste.  Pretty much anywhere will be better than America in fairly short order, at least as freedom is concerned, and even insofar as economics is concerned.  For those who don’t have passports, my advice is to steal a page from the Mexicans and just start immigrating illegally.  Canada (or literally any other country on earth) would be a better place to be once America gets its Stalingrad on its complete, unfettered glory.

* Yes, the title of this post is a reference to the greatest Eagles’ song ever.