Friday, December 21, 2012

Why?


Although Adam Lanza is personally responsible for what happened at Sandy Hook, we are all complicit in the tragedy.

By Dean Kalahar

The question you hear most often in regards to the Sandy Hook shootings is “why?’ The usual linear “intentional causation” analysis as to why Adam Lanza became a killer is inadequate and intellectually lazy. This horrendous crime can’t be explained away simply by blaming guns, video games, or disabilities. If we truly want to honor the fallen, a systemic approach into the causes of the crime is necessary and may offer clarity, solace, and hope.

Nature played a vital role in the temperament of Adam Lanza. His unique biology created a human with developmental disabilities; possibly including Asperger’s, Autism, and anti-social personality disorder. Hallucinations & delusions must have also lived in Lanza’s psychotic mind. The gunman was in all likelihood, void of conscience or empathy and had great trouble with neurological processing. If he was “brilliant,” handicaps were a part of the package.

Nurture also played a role in the creation of the killer. The parental environment from birth to age 5 molded his neuroses where critical periods of development were impaired. The impact of divorce on worth was devastating. Teaching a disabled child how to use a gun, and allowing violent adult video games, spawned a set of learned behaviors that lead to tragic results. Poverty was not at play as the mother and her son lived in luxury. God only knows what happened in that household.

Society also offered a more subtle influence to Adam Lanza. Institutional decline since the 1960’s has removed the social constraints once taken for granted. The family institution has eroded the nuclear unit. Illegitimacy, divorce, “children’s rights,” feminism, parental negligence, and loss of values all weigh in on violence.

Religion’s role has been all but removed from society; replaced with a secular humanism of ego-centric narcissism. The community and church no longer act as co-parents watching out for all children and keeping them on track.

The education institution was destroyed by the self esteem movement, “student rights,” a lack of discipline, progressive education ideology, and a non-judgmental philosophy that says “anything goes.”

Lastly, the government has become an overpowering absentee nanny that offers a welfare culture of specific rules and laws that attempt to define freedom and create equality of results at the cost of losing personal responsibility.

The media is also a part of cultural decline, providing violent movies & television shows; while the 24 hour news cycle endlessly promotes criminals. Hollywood embraces morally corrupt anti-social behavior to boost celebrity status at the cost of human decency, decorum, class, and the golden rule. They willingly defined deviancy downward, coarsened language, desensitized, and embraced deindividuation.

Modern technology (internet, social networks, and cell phones) have created a situation where we communicate more but talk less. We no longer look people in the eyes. We have de-humanized interpersonal relationships; and hide behind screens, becoming ever more emboldened malcontents that lash out without the fear of accountability.
                       
Although we have always been a nation of weapons, we have embraced a culture of violence. The six shooter and western rifle has been replaced with Pacino’s “little friend.” Rap lyrics aimed at killing “pigs” combined with ever more vivid video games, (where the word violent no longer can adequately define the carnage) embrace an alternative reality which has warped the brains of our youngest children. The “boob tube” generation set the stage for the video game to eat our children whole.

Lastly, we have chosen to ignore the fact that just under the surface of man is a barbaric animal that is susceptible to the darkest force of human nature, EVIL. Far too many in our therapeutic society of gum drops and lollipops, refuse to accept the brutal fact of man’s nature and the history of his actions against his fellow man. We must stop believing man is good because he does “good.”

All together, these factors created a neural, environmental, social, institutional, and cultural concoction of evil derangement, and destruction in the life and mind of Lanza. One can hope this recipe was a one-time event, but sadly, the cocktail has been served all too often as of late.

Nobody should say they are surprised the tragedy occurred, just that it happened at Sandy Hook. Because, truth be known, this could happen anywhere. And nobody should say that any one of the singular causes can be focused on in order to fix the problem our nation has with unspeakable immoral violence.

Although Adam Lanza is personally responsible for what happened at Sandy Hook, we are all complicit in the tragedy. We have allowed our society to devolve, and in doing so, have removed the cultural constraints that at one time inhibited this type of behavior. We are all torn apart by the senseless murder because our social fabric has been torn apart.

As we mourn the death of the children and their teachers at Sandy Hook, it’s time we, as a nation of individuals, look in the mirror and make some major changes to the way conduct our lives.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The slavery of redistribution ideology


By Dean Kalahar

"Not since the days of slavery have there been so many people who feel entitled to what other people have produced as there are in the modern welfare state."  -Thomas Sowell

The idea that we should take from those who have and give to those who don’t is viewed as proper and just among liberals. In fact, if you do not subscribe to redistribution ideology, you are attacked as being greedy at best and racist at worst. The problem is that income redistribution in practice promotes one of the same moral injustices found under slavery.

A simple inquisition will explain. If morality is defined by private property; meaning a person has a right, based on natural law, to their person and their possessions. And if property is generated by the productive and wealth creating behavior of a person’s labor; then immorality is defined as any force that seeks to injure or take away ones property (murder, theft, rape, etc). As such, using the productivity of another for one’s personal gain is immoral.

We can then extrapolate this theorem. If taking the productive output of a slave and using it for another’s personal gain was immoral; then taking the productive output of any worker and using it for another’s gain is immoral, no matter what race, color, gender, or socio-economic status the producer happens to be.

Logic leads us to one conclusion. A modern form of slavery is taking place within in the welfare state. And no matter how you slice it, property theft to promote a false ideology of “fairness” or advance a twisted form of “compassion” to gain power is abhorrent. It does not matter how many ribbons and bows decorate the rhetoric of “Robin Hood” redistribution, the final analysis is the promotion of servitude.

Redistribution ideology is not about a safety net for the truly needy or the necessity of government to tax in order to perform their proper functions of protecting people, property, and enforcing the rule of law. President Obama may call redistributive efforts “economic justice,” or “economic rights,” but in the end, using the power of the state to take ones property is as immoral as taking the wealth created by a slave to benefit the slave owner.

Those on the left will look you straight in the eye and profess they defend liberty and property; but one need only to read the words of the President in regards to his definition of “social justice.”

“I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody"

“I actually believe in redistribution”

"Spreading the wealth around is good.”

 ‘Bring about significant re-distributional change”

“Actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change”

 “I do not believe that those two things- fair distribution and economic growth are mutually exclusive”

“I’m not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts”

“The Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society.”

“I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change.”

And of course the classic lines “You didn’t build that” and “those who do not pay their fair share” show the Presidents belief that private property is to be confiscated while ignoring the unalienable rights defined in the Declaration of Independence.

By advancing the welfare state and income redistribution through class warfare, one of the greatest intellectually inconsistent ironies of liberalism is exposed. The indefensible position of trying to defend equality and the dignity of man by violating the human rights of those very people you claim to be defending. The hypocrisy of the left knows no boundaries.

Far too many American’s have shed blood to protect the sacred rights of life, liberty and property. History reminds us the Civil War’s fight to end the abuse of human dignity was a victory that came with a high price.

The nation’s current trajectory of wealth redistribution will eventually polarize its citizens into a fight between the takers and the makers because entitlement creates resentment. Americans must find moral clarity on property rights within the framework of the Republic before the battle grows ever more volatile and the resolution becomes violent.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Jamie Foxx SNL monologue was bigoted

Regarding Jamie Foxx SNL monologue:

It was bigoted, racist, militant, ignorant, and self-adoring.
It made me feel sick and sorry for Mr. Foxx
It was not comedy and he can't hide behind the "it was comedy" banner.
He should not get a pass by the media and society for his bigotry because he is black.
He owes the nation, and all those who have given their lives so he could become a wealthy "celebrity" and host SNL, an apology.

If SNL had previewed and approved his monologue, they too owe the nation an apology.

Definition of BIGOT : a person who is intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The psychology of the new American liberal


By Dean Kalahar

With the fiscal cliff, $16 trillion deficit, and bankrupt entitlement programs dragging down our way of life; businessmen and conservatives take heed. If you want to be successful, you better know who you are dealing with and be prepared to fight an opponent that does not think like you.

The psychology of the American liberal is based on a set of perceptions of how the world works that is the antithesis of Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. Recognizing the new majority and realizing what makes them tick is an important examination for anyone who wants to understand America in the 21st century and fight for survival.

What is a modern liberal? James Q. Wilson explained that “in the early 19th century a liberal was a person who favored personal and economic liberty; that is freedom from the control and power of the state. A conservative was originally a person who opposed the excesses of the French Revolution and its emphasis on personal freedom and favored a restoration of the power of the state, the church and the aristocracy.” Today that has been flipped; liberals want the restoration of power in the state, secretly masking their shame by sincerely claiming they are fighting to protect your liberty.

The name of the liberal vision changes each and every time its precepts are discredited but the ideology never wavers. As such liberals have called themselves Communists, Progressives, Collectivists, Keynesians, Historicists, Socialists, Democrats, and Leftists at one time or another. Today the term “progressive” is being recycled. Tomorrow we’ll hear other lofty oxymora to hide their true intentions.

At the heart of liberalism, as defined by Thomas Sowell, “is the na├»ve belief that people are basically good and that humans can be perfected through the rule of self anointed experts who should be telling the rest of us, through the power of government, what we ought to do, what we can do and what we cannot do.”

Unfettered individual judgment and conscience known as secular humanism, moral relativity, and non-judgmentalism are at the heart of the liberal vision. And since they do not subscribe to and are least habituated to existing institutions, traditions, and values, they feel especially suited to act as social change agents.

Liberals wish to define for us what is good and what is bad in order to remake us in their image; because they believe they hold superior wisdom and virtue over the rest of the “society” they view as ignorant. They express their arrogance of a self imposed superiority through self congratulatory actions and smug condescending rhetoric.

The irony according to Peter Berkowitz is that progressives see themselves as the only legitimate representatives of ordinary people and yet when the people make choices contrary to progressive dictates we see contempt among the experts for the very people whose interests they claim to alone represent.

Sowell says the left “believe ills such as poverty, irresponsible sex, and crime derive primarily from “society,” rather than from individual choices and behavior. To believe in personal responsibility would be to destroy the whole special role of the anointed, whose vision casts them in the role of rescuers of people treated unfairly by “society.” As a result of this belief, according to Dennis Prager, liberals rarely blame people for the evil they do. Instead, they blame economics, parents, capitalism, racism, and anything else that can let the individual off the hook.”

And yet the left speak in democratic terms to create authoritarian outcomes. In order to carry out what they blindly believe are compassionate and good intentioned plans, the left has as its core a never-ending expansion of the arbitrary powers of the federal government.  “Do-gooders,” based on dreams of lollypops and unicorns in a wonderland they envision, direct decisions on others who need “fixing” while ignoring costs and paying no personal price for their grandiose schemes. In short, as Sowell describes the madness, “liberalism is totalitarianism with a human face.”

Liberals deal in feelings and emotions not reason and reality. They passionately speak in terms of innovation and excitement and read their childish feelings as principled thought. It never dawns on a liberal the possibility that passion without principle is just the raw emotion of human nature.

Liberals have a tendency to be infuriated and lash out at anyone who does not agree with their Pollyannaish worldview. As Jonah Goldberg states: “Liberalism is never wrong, because essential to the concept of liberalism is the idea that it must always be right.” As such they must become masters of white wash, blame shifting, and talking out of both sides of their mouths. Liberals never apologize for actions they take that cause calamity. Instead, morally outraged liberals demand a right to results instead of defending the morality of property rights, personal freedom, and liberty.

What outrages the left is resistance or even non-compliance with their agenda. Their motto is: If you are not with us, you’re against us; which means we are against you and will do any and everything in our power to silence you. The ends justify the liberal means and they will wage war on anyone challenging their utopian worldview that ironically believes war is wrong.

For a liberal, according to Sowell, “it is desperately important to win, not simply because they believe that one policy or set of beliefs and values is better for society, but because their whole sense of themselves is at stake.” “It is not hard to find an attitude” with liberals because it is the “threat to their egos that they hate,” which comes from anything that challenges their cause as “saviors of the poor, the environment, and other busybody tasks.”

It is no wonder the lefts’ agenda takes on a pseudo-religious faith in their certainty (i.e. global warming, GMF’s, DDT, pink slime, windmills?) and reacts to any alternative viewpoints not only as wrong but as a sin against the church they worship- themselves. This is why they advance their beliefs from a purely emotional and ideological dogma. Their anger is misdirected fear that their worldview might come crashing down, if anything indeed was allowed to challenge their false reality. The liberal’s vision affirms a life of identity confusion being played out as self-assuredness. This forces their arrogance to grow with every opposing viewpoint because, as John Stossel points out, “the conceit of the anointed knows no bounds.”

Victor Davis Hanson further explains that “Liberals feel terrible about their own exclusivity and the abyss between what is professed and what is lived.” And explains why “angst over their voluntary segregation … is ameliorated by loudly and cheaply alleging that someone else is racist,” bigoted, sexist, fascist, or any emotional bomb throwing nomenclature that seeks to destroy another so as to avoid self awareness.

Sowell states: “many, if not most, people on the left find it inexplicable how any decent and intelligent person could be on the right.” While “Most people on the right have no problem understanding people on the left because many, if not most, were on the left themselves when they were younger.” The conservative views the liberal as fine, just uninformed, while the liberal views the conservative with distain and contempt. In short, liberals have yet to grow up, mature, and realize the world for what it is, not what they fantasize.

Sowell explains:

Most of us learn that from experience but experience is precisely what the young are lacking. "Experience" is often just a fancy word for the mistakes that we belatedly realized we were making, only after the realities of the world made us pay a painful price for being wrong. Those who are insulated from that pain; whether by being born into affluence or wealth, or shielded by the welfare state, or insulated by tenure in academia or in the federal judiciary can remain in a state of perpetual immaturity. Individuals can refuse to grow up, especially when surrounded in their work and in their social life by similarly situated and like-minded people. Even people born into normal lives, but who have been able through talent or luck to escape into a world of celebrity and wealth, can likewise find themselves in the enviable position of being able to choose whether to grow up or not. Those of us who can recall what it was like to be an adolescent must know that growing up can be a painful transition from the sheltered world of childhood. No matter how much we may have wanted adult freedom, there was seldom the same enthusiasm for taking on the burdens of adult responsibilities and having to weigh painful trade-offs in a world that hemmed us in on all sides, long after we were liberated from parental restrictions. Should we be surprised that the strongest supporters of the political Left are found among the young, academics, limousine liberals with trust funds, media celebrities, and federal judges?

To liberals it is always “societies” fault or America’s fault for any and all ills. Heaven forbid the liberal mind take personal responsibility and grow. Self awareness is far too painful and thus external blame is the default setting that protects their fragile cognitive house of cards. Liberals misperceive and distort the world in lieu of answering the difficult yet fundamental question of life, “Who am I.” Since they do not know who they are, they want to control what you are to make them feel as if they are “something special.”

The liberal lives in a world where reality is deconstructed into a matter of perceptions. These perceptions, mind you, can never be misperceptions. Liberals live in a world where pompous self indulgence separates and insulates “the special” from accountability and suffering of the type those who live in the real world know all too well.

And liberal leaders who sit in their academic “ivory towers” or endless “collaborative” meetings have little contact with the knowledge of the people. Their world of style over substance symbolism insulates them from the harshness of the human condition and allows them to bask in the warm glow of self approval. Yet, sadly, they are the first to proclaim they “feel your pain” and “understand your needs.” It’s an ironic condescension that is an all too typical reaction from a group who deals in feelings instead of facts.

Sowell argues correctly that “no one can really understand the political left without understanding that they are about making themselves feel superior, however much they may talk piously about what they are going to do to help others.” Therefore they must psychologically believe they are the “thinking people” who are “the brightest and the best.” As such they must play a special role in society by outlining the moral stand. Proof of this is that “the left's lack of interest in testing the actual results of their bright ideas against hard facts betrays what their real interest is.”

Victor Davis Hansen points out that to liberals “our mastery of nature must extend to human nature as well. A society that can call anywhere in the world on a cell phone, must just as easily end war, poverty, or unhappiness, as if these pathologies are strictly materially caused, not impoverishments of the soul.”

And Michael Knox Beran explains, “Modern liberalism regards suffering not as something inherent in the very nature of life but as an anomaly to be eradicated by reason and science and social legislation.” The left thinks it has a right to a perfect life free of pain. This lack of even a basic understanding of human nature and history makes their denial of reality all but certain.

And while the left dominates the academic world, Sowell documents they are found in the “soft humanities, where there are no facts to challenge the fantasies that abound. Leftists head for similar fact-free zones outside of academia.” The faith of “science” is heralded by the left, while the actual use of science is ignored.

Yet the liberal vision, according to Friedrich Hayek, has a fatal error in thinking. Leftists believe they can alter forces more powerful than they and can comprehend and reason without limits. In short, the liberal mind does not believe it is held back by such fussy things as limits, costs, scarcity, and natural laws.

Liberal faith is placed in “reason” and the unlimited potential of an infallible ego-centric man; not in a faith of a greater power and a humbled acceptance of the limits to man’s reason because of a flawed human nature. They believe if it can’t be “reasoned,” it does not exist. In short, liberals can’t see something greater than self, so a power greater than self does not exist, which makes their power absolute.

Sowell states: "Many on the political left are so entranced by the beauty of their vision that they cannot see the ugly reality they are creating in the real world.” “Good Things have costs, often costs out of all proportion to whatever good they might do. But notions like trade-offs and diminishing returns seldom deter zealots, whose own egos are served by their zealotry in imposing their vision, however costly or counterproductive it may be for others.”

The elite left of today, Sowell says, are hardly “Karl Marx's proletarians, who were supposed to bring on the revolution.” In contradiction, “the working class are in fact today among those most skeptical about the visions of the Left.”

The liberal anointed also romanticize about earlier peoples who they believed were, as Sowell describes, “noble savages” …”who supposedly lived in some sort of Eden before evil was introduced from outside by modern Western society. Of course the left conveniently forgets facts about the carnage, oppression, or brutality in such societies have been gilded over, totally ignored, or brazenly denied.” The left wants American society to go back to a more simple and sustainable time. Sadly, that was a time of greater poverty, crime, death, disease, and suffering not just for American’s but for everyone. John Milton said, Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven. Going further, liberals would sooner live in hell than share in heaven.

Not only is their ignorance, but the hypocrisy of the ideology is breathtaking. Liberals hold evolutionary theory as a cornerstone of reason and yet feel the need to ignore its principles and supplant natural law with man as the social engineer. And according to Sowell, “People who believe in evolution in biology often believe in creationism in government. In other words, they believe that the universe and all the creatures in it could have evolved spontaneously, but that the economy is too complicated to operate without being directed by politicians.”  What is even more intellectually inconsistent is the same demigods who blame institutions for man’s evil nature dismiss the fact that men, like themselves, created the institutions.

Ludwig von Mises exposed the hypocrisy by stating: “they call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent.”

Sowell explains, “the dirty little secret of liberal politics is that it is not about the poor or ‘social justice’ but is about the political careers and moral exaltation of liberals themselves.” In other words, “idealism in words is not idealism in deeds.”

Sowell continues by pointing out that for liberals, who champion for the people and cry for equality, “there is remarkably little concern with allowing those other people to live their own lives as they see fit” Instead, they shamelessly promote “the most dangerous of all inequalities; the inequality of unaccountable power.” “Ever increasing and ever more minute regulation of other people's lives has now reached the point where we cannot even take a shower, flush a toilet, or take out our garbage the way we want to.”

Sowell reminds us that: “the left’s ideological bigotry has become the norm on even our most prestigious campuses, where students can go for years without reading or hearing anything that challenges the left vision.” Universities no longer espouse the universal freedom of ideas. Instead, speech codes, political correctness, and censorship permeate what are supposed to be our most open forums of thought.

And liberals have distain for “crass material things.” But these same materialistic things “has released hundreds of millions of human beings from the curse of grinding poverty, endless toil, and given them longer lives,” according to Sowell. This hypocrisy is unseen or ignored by the left who thrive in the insulation of a self congratulatory fog.

What will be the Results of the new American Liberalism? Hayek said, “The vision of human limits offers a best case view, while the vision of ever expanding human capacity pushes civilization in a direction that will ultimately create a scenario of human decline.” Sadly, the left has won the culture war and we have past a tipping point in America. The results of the last 50 years of liberal warfare have left the nation scarred. Take a look at our family, economic, religious, educational, and government institutions, and the only a conclusion you can reach is one of American decline. 

History is full of examples of collectivist failures: Jamestown, East Germany, Plymouth, Chavez’s Venezuela. Glen Risley states “The Soviet Union, Cuba, Vietnam, and North Korea are all examples of oppressive failures based on wealth redistribution.” He asks, “How can modern liberals embrace the tyrannical system that robs incentive and dooms an entire society to a mediocre standard of living dictated by central planning?

Sowell offers a simple question for liberals who emerged in the 60’s and rule today. “Do people on the left ever wonder why we do not suffer the poverty of India, the oppression of North Korea, the anarchy of Liberia, the slaughters of Rwanda, etc.? Would it ever occur to them that it might have anything to do with those very values and traditions which they are striving so hard to undermine or dismantle.” How can the left come to terms with the “undermining of such basic institutions as the family, law enforcement and education? Food stamps are no substitute for a father, busing is no substitute for a decent education and racial breast-beating is no substitute for being able to walk the streets without fear of hoodlums and murderers.”

It does not matter if Liberalism’s foundations are from a genetic nature or environmental nurture. It does not matter if liberalism’s dogma is a natural occurrence for humans who have not yet moved through the sequential and orderly process of maturation. It does not matter if liberalism is an outward expression of inner turmoil masking their neuroticism. The bottom line, liberalism’s cognitive reality is void of the brutal lessons of life’s reality coupled to human nature, scarcity, and the infinite dynamics of a universe we can’t possible begin to understand.

If you are not prepared to defend your nation, your business, and your family from the liberal mind, be prepared to live in barbarism. The new American liberal wants to go off the fiscal cliff, bankrupt the nation, and redistribute wealth until we are all equally living in poverty. It is time to understand the foe you are up against. Protecting their psyche at all costs is at the core of the liberal existence. Until that utopian view is demolished by an equal amount of focus, energy, and fight, liberalism will continue to win the battles and destroy the nation.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Evolution of Cultural Decline

American's are devolving in their communication skills.

We have gone from letters where words mattered
to phone calls where emotions mattered
to chat rooms where sentences mattered
to email where fragments mattered
to instant messenger where acronyms mattered
to Facebook where self indulgence mattered
to Insta-gram where only pictures matter.

Whats next? 
Visual symbols
Then grunts?

As Dennis Miller once remarked, "pretty soon the King will be the one who doesn't ___T (poop) himself."



Friday, November 16, 2012

Thanksgiving is no longer a part of America


By Dean Kalahar

Not so long ago American’s celebrated Thanksgiving to rejoice at the bounty provided by their economic way of life. It was a time to reflect and admire what private property and the free market had accomplished in answering the scarcity question to meet the insatiable needs of the human condition. It was a holiday to remember the settlers of Jamestown and the Pilgrims for how they fundamentally formed America’s economic system.

In today’s America, the historic wealth creating and life saving principles called capitalism have been destroyed by a rapidly expanding state, driven by a utopian command cronyism model. Sadly, our New American economy is based on the same flawed collectivist idealism that the colonists first used upon settling our shores. A model that was also to blame for the “starving time’ in Jamestown and Plymouth.

For the sake of the Republic, it might be prudent to remember how capitalism was born and why Thanksgiving had meaning. The history of Jamestown and Plymouth offers the historical context. Let’s begin in Jamestown as described by Historians David Boaz and Ray Harvey.

In 1607, 105 men and boys, mostly indentured servants who held no private property and were to work for the “common store,” disembarked from three ships and established the first permanent settlement in America.

By 1609, there were 500 settlers, including women. And yet within six months fewer than 100 were still alive during what came to be known as "the starving time." Why? According to a governor of the colony, George Percy, most of the colonists died of famine, despite the “good and fruitful” soil, the abundant deer and turkey, and the “strawberries, raspberries and fruits unknown” growing wild.

And yet people were desperate. They ate dogs and cats, then rats and mice. They apparently ate their deceased neighbors. And some said that one man murdered and ate his pregnant wife. By the spring, they had given up. They abandoned the fort and boarded ships to return to England. But, miraculously, as they sailed out of Chesapeake Bay, they encountered three ships with new recruits, so they turned around and tried to make another go of it. The additional settlers and supplies kept them alive.
           
When a new governor, Thomas Dale, arrived a year after the starving time, he was shocked to find the settlers bowling in the streets instead of working. Dale's most important reform was to institute private property. He understood that men who don't benefit from their hard work tend not to work very hard. As such he allotted every man three acres of land and freed them to work for themselves.

Not many years later, in November of 1620, another group of 101 American settlers arrived on the Mayflower, in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and settled in a place named Plymouth. The Pilgrims were not unaware of the early Jamestown disaster, the starvation, the disease, the famine; they were, however, unaware of what had caused it. Accordingly, they proceeded to make the identical mistake that the settlers of Jamestown had made, namely collective ownership of land. And the Pilgrims also paid dearly for their misguided economic choice. Within a few short months, half were dead.

Over the course of the next three years, 100 more settlers arrived from England to Plymouth, all of whom were barely able to feed themselves. As Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford detailed in his History of Plymouth Plantation, 1641.

Many [settlers] sold away their clothes and bed coverings [to the Indians]; others (so base were they) became servants of the Indians … and fetch them water for a capful of corn; others fell to plain stealing, both day and night, from the Indians…. In the end, they came to that misery that some starved to and died with cold and hunger. One in gathering shellfish was so weak as he stuck fast in the mud and was found dead in the place.

William Bradford would also solve “the ruin and dissolution of his colony,” and he would do it in the exact same way Sir Thomas Dale had saved Jamestown.

After much debate of things … [it was decided that the Pilgrims] should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves…And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, for present use. This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.

Bradford, like Dale, came to fully grasp how lack of property rights negates and destroys the work incentive. He went on to correctly identify the source of the “disastrous problem” as “that conceit of Plato’s,” who, in direct contrast to Aristotle, advocated collectivism and collective ownership of land, which history has repeatedly proven creates economic inefficiency and suffering. Bradford even wrote later that those who mistakenly believed that communal property could make people “happy and flourishing” imagined themselves “wiser than God.”

Private property and economic freedom saved the Jamestown and Plymouth colonies. A letter by Edward Winslow describing the first Thanksgiving, dated December 12, 1621, details the proof of how capitalism saved the colonists.

Our corn [wheat] did prove well, and God be praised, we had a good increase of Indian corn, and our barley indifferent good, ...Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors... And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.

Another description by William Bradford offered this account of amazing economic bounty and thanksgiving.

They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty… they had about a peck of meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion.  Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned but true reports.

Virginia historian Matthew Page Andrews wrote regarding Jamestown:

 As soon as the settlers were thrown upon their own resources, and each freeman had acquired the right of owning property, the colonists quickly developed what became the distinguishing characteristic of Americans—an aptitude for all kinds of craftsmanship coupled with an innate genius for experimentation and invention.

The Jamestown and Plymouth colonies became a success, people from all over Europe flocked to the New World, and life saving capitalism was born in America.

Since we no longer understand history, nor follow histories leadership, there is no reason to celebrate a holiday that is based on the principles of free markets and the miracle of private property.

Freedom exercised through the natural rights of life, liberty, and happiness - promoted through an entrepreneurial free market economic system based on private property - saved us in the beginning years of our nation, and allowed America to raise the standard of living for the rest of the world. It is to those principles and history matched against what America has become that explains why Thanksgiving is no longer a part of America.

We used to give thanks to system that provided for all. Maybe this Thanksgiving we should be saying “no thanks” to a New American economic vision intent on providing suffering and misery to us all.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Parties die, principles do not


The Republican party is dead.

What we have seen is the slow migration to the left within America's two party system with the Democrat Party is on the far left and the Republican Party left of center.

But parties are created by fallible men, while the principles of natural law - life, liberty, property- are beyond the control of men.

The classical liberal philosophical principles of the enlightenment that were embraced by our founding fathers will never die.

As with all vacuums of power, principle and conscience, this void of non-representation will be filled.

The question is, will it be filled in our statehouses or in our streets?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The New America


By Dean Kalahar
November 7, 2012

In the aftermath of the election of 2012, a new reality must be digested by all Americans. Working within the precepts of a democratic republic, The American public freely exercised their choice and voted for a New America.
The electorates’ decision once and for all confirms a definition of America that values hopes, feelings and equality of results over the realities of human nature, history, and the foundational principles that hold western civilization together. There is now no doubt that the tipping point of geometrically increasing cultural decline has been crossed. America has now firmly changed from a nation where the founding principles of the great enlightenment have been substituted for a utopia of widespread human suffering. There is no going back.
 This change is not due to one person or event. For fifty years we have seen systemic institutional decay to the vital institutions across our cultural landscape that sustains America. And like a canary in a mine providing an early warning signal to dangers, we have been warned time and time again that we were losing our footing and chose to ignore the obvious.
Today the foundational pillars of civilization that have sustained America have been voted insignificant and will be allowed to collapse. The result is a New America for sure, but it is not a greater America. It is an America that has sown the seeds of its own demise, blinded by self inflicted wounds, disguised by false compassion, and based on trust in a human condition that is not in our nature.
A callous society focused on self has been defining deviancy downward, as the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan warned us, for a long time. Sometimes covertly and other times overtly, a cultural war was being raged in America by a progressive “tolerance” movement that is intolerant of institutional traditions, principles, and laws that were created and tested over thousands of years of trial and error. Those who have lectured us have shown a condescending hypocrisy of moral relativism towards any concept that might interfere with their self-anointed sensibilities of creating a utopia so as to avoid self awareness. The walls of the republic have been crumbling for some time. Now the collapse is all but inevitable because, and let’s be clear, they have won.
America’s religious institution has been eroded by the secularization of society, the welfare state, the misguided belief in the separation of church and state, and attacks toward any outward expression of religious passion. The church has lost the culture war.
Our public education institution has been decimated by bureaucracies and unions that have failed to teach children how to read, write, or add, while choice, accountability, rigor, and our nation’s history have been forsaken for self esteem and multiculturalism. The schools have lost the culture war.
Our family institution has been redefined into a bizarre amalgam of gender, sexual, and parental proclivities. 40% of children are born out of wedlock and 25% of teenagers have a sexually transmitted disease. The overt-sexualization of our society has created confusion and despair among our children, while infanticide has become an all too easy choice. Biological and psychological realities for sanctioning marriage between a man and woman for the sake of our posterity have been ruthlessly attacked by those seeking to re-define the universal order. Our families have lost the culture war.
Free market entrepreneurial principles no longer guide our economic system. Efficiencies, life saving economic growth and opportunity based on the laws of human nature and scarcity have been forsaken by an ever encroaching government institution that believes a command and control approach of central planning can better answer the questions of what, how, and for whom. Our economic system has lost the culture war.
The winners of this battle have handed over America’s keys to the government. A government that no longer sees its role as providing for the steady rule of constitutional law and unwavering protection of the basis of morality found in the steadfast protection of personal property. The New America government will direct the collapses of what they deem are antiquated institutions of society like life, liberty, and property. They will smugly orchestrate the demise of the bedrock principles that sustained our family, education, religious, and economic institutions that have held us together and allowed us to thrive as a country; naively believing a nation can sustain itself after its foundations are removed.
Progressive ideology has destroyed the social fabric of the nation from within. Ignorance has sown the seeds of our own destruction. As the Romans did long ago, our fate will be written in the epilogue of history. Gone, a nation whose torch was smothered when a complacent arrogance forgot who they were, what made them great, and the humility to stand vigilant in defending liberty was lost.
There is no upside for America or its people; and it is going to get ugly out there. But for those who have been fighting the good fight for so long, honoring those who have died fighting for the same providential cause, my suggestion is to pull in, relax, live, and love your families.
            Patriots, the New America is the reality; just have peace of mind knowing the winners of the war, and the choices they made, will be held personally responsible for the severe costs that are to follow. To those who asked for a New America, I leave you with the words of Col. Jessup in A Few Good men: “You have no idea how to defend a nation. All you did was weaken a country today ... That's all you did.  You put people in danger.  Sweet dreams, son.”

Monday, November 5, 2012


Election predictions 2012

The polls are statistically skewed in favor of Obama and Romney is ahead or is ahead by a larger margin than shown.

The electorate has been hesitant to be negative toward Obama when asked by pollsters due to “white guilt” and the fear of being called racist.

Romney will win the Presidency in 2012 easily by a solid margin.

The Obama team will act as if they are shocked by the margins they will argue that foul play must have been used.

The voting for all intents and purposes will go well.

An Obama win is the defining signals that the nation has lost its cultural roots and principles, is forever changed, and will continue its decline in the footsteps of other great civilizations.

An Obama win will move us closer to a social revolution sometime in the future.

A social revolution could become violent.

I believe a strong third party will emerge in 2016 to the right of the GOP if Obama is re-elected and the Republican Party will fade.

The Benghazi scandal will unfold and a President Obama may be forced to resign in his second term sometime after replacing his Vice President.

Of course these are just predictions, I could be wrong.


Here is what I said 4 years ago.

Morning of November 4, 2008

If Barack Obama is elected president, one of the primary reasons will be to end the psychological pathologies afflicting many Americans and send a message of compassion and reconciliation to show the world the principles of the Western Enlightenment are alive but not necessary well. The cost of this moral self-exaltation will be to move America further to the left and much closer to a collectivist state. The irony of this electoral shift, although an ideal of natural law, could sow the seeds of an intellectually inconsistent ideology that, when cultivated, will destroy the very principles that allowed for such a society to prosper. The true test of the American experiment will then be in the hands of the Constitution, to see if it can withstand human nature and continue to uphold the principles of classical liberal understanding from which it was created. If it shows the fatal flaws the founders warned of, America will get the change it does not deserve by dishonoring the blood it so valiantly offered. May providence again save us from ourselves.

Dean Kalahar

Friday, November 2, 2012

A military crisis? and Benghazi



If you want to figure out Benghazi, connect the dots on the following 2 questions:

1. Why was General Ham, head of African Command arrested by his 2nd in command for conduct unbecoming an officer?
2. Why was the Admiral Gaouette of the US Navy carrier task force in the Middle East relieved of his duty for “inappropriate leadership judgment?”


Dean Kalahar


Thursday, October 25, 2012

The female wage gap myth


By Dean Kalahar

We constantly hear that discrimination and exploitation force women to make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. It’s time to end the wage gap myth with a dose of common sense economics.

First of all, the wage gap is based on inappropriate use of data and statistical analysis. In the U.S. the 77 % number is calculated by looking at the median yearly earnings of women to men. The median is defined as the middle value of all the wages in a given sample. Using the median is useful if we are comparing winter temperatures between New York and Tampa, where one dimensional data has validity, but applying it to humans that have free will and biological differences proves nothing except that demagoguery works.

Is the median wage lower for women, absolutely, but the statistic is not an apples to apples, job for job comparison and thus has nothing to do with “paying women less than a man for doing the same job.” Using the median without taking into consideration specifics of individuals in the workplace is intentionally misleading or ignorant.

So what causes the variation in pay? Personal and workplace choices account for much of the gap. Labor Department research shows that men choose more dangerous and high stress jobs. Men choose higher paying career fields. And men hold more full time jobs, and work longer hours, weekends, and nights than women. All these factors lead to higher wages regardless of gender.

Stanford economist Thomas Sowell shows that “women are typically not educated as often in such highly paid fields as mathematics, science, and engineering, nor attracted to physically taxing and well paid fields as construction work, lumberjacking, coal mining and the like.” All these factors create differences in pay that have nothing to do with the exploitation of women.

Maybe the biggest reason is biology. Women make up 50% of the workforce but give birth to 100% of the babies. And if women choose to have children, their incentives change and this affects their choices of jobs, careers, continual service and hours spent on the job. The New York Times reported that among Yale alumni in their forties, ―only 56 percent of the women still worked, compared with 90% of the men. It goes without saying that traditionally men do not face the same incentives of biology and child rearing as women.

When these variables are included to the unadjusted 23 cent wage gap difference, the gap falls to 5-7 cents; according to a 2010 study by The United States Congress Joint Economic Committee’s Comprehensive Review of Women in the US Economy. Thomas Sowell concurs showing that “Women who remain single earn 91 percent of the income of men who remain single, in the age bracket from 25 to 64 years old.” And what’s left of the 5% gap is bridged by systemic socio-cultural factors, not by intentional causation based on discrimination.

If we actually compare apples to apples in the workforce, the facts will disturb those who are married to the vision of women victimization.  According to Marty Nemko and data compiled from the Census Bureau, unmarried women who've never had a child actually earn more than unmarried men. In a 2010 study of single childless urban workers between the ages of 22 and 30, Reach Advisors found that women earned an average of 8% more than their male counterparts. And according to the Labor Department, “of men and women who work 30 to 34 hours a week, women make more, 109 percent of men’s earnings.”

Sowell backs up these findings “comparing never-married women and men who are past the child-bearing years and who both work full-time in the twenty-first century shows women of this description earning more than men of the same description.”

Basic economics tells us that it makes no sense for an employer to pay a man more than a woman, if they can get the same productivity out of hiring the woman; unless the employer likes discrimination more than they like profit. To believe that women are paid 75 percent of what men receive for doing the same work is to believe employers can afford to pay 3 male workers the same as they pay 4 female workers that would produce 25 percent more output, and stay competitive in a economy that sees most businesses last less than ten years.

Even prior to all the hand wringing about pay inequality, free markets proved there was no pay discrimination. Sowell’s research shows that single women in 1971 who had worked continuously since high school earning slightly more than men of the same description. This fact was conveniently missed in 1972 when an executive order was signed creating affirmative action for women who were being underrepresented in the workplace.

The facts just don’t add up in the wage gap argument. To say that men are paid more than women for the same job is an attempt to redefine the laws of supply, demand, profit motive, and human nature. Class, gender, and racial victimhood pay big dividends for politicians, but only if gullible, ill-informed citizens buy false rhetoric like the female wage gap. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Thanks Ben for the stagflation.


Why do we have stagflation? Because the FED views money as simply a numerical unit to be manipulated, not a representation of productive wealth creation and economic efficiency.

Excerpts and edits of a piece by Jeffery Snyder writing about: Central Banks Gone Wild: Money Is Now a Total Fiction

For all intents and purposes, global central banks view "money" as nothing more than "charta", a Latin word for "token"… 
Chartalism in this form is nothing more than a theory that capital can easily be replaced by mere monetary units, as if there is no information content relevant to economic efficiency stored in the flow of capitalized money. Past success in the form of stored "earnings" or "money" is, following this line of inquiry, eminently replaceable by determined government planning. In that way, money is now flowed or channeled on the basis of poor past performance rather than on the basis of good expected future performance. 
Fresh capital in the modern monetary sense is a unit on an accounting statement, devoid of any larger connotation. For investors and the process of investing, however, accounting should have meaning - where a business gets its money matters greatly in the process of investment analysis.
This philosophy thoroughly upends capitalism…

The entire premise of capitalism is the efficient deployment of capital; capital having full meaning absent in the sense of modern money. Capitalists create capital through successful deployment of "money", turning that "money" into true wealth of productive enterprise. That successful deployment of money creates additional capital that can be "monetized" in asset markets, but the number of new monetary units has no basis in trying to predict or determine successful business acumen. That is the traditional role of intermediation. 
In the past four years, central banks have attempted to resurrect economic health by adding new charta to the system with perfect exclusivity biased to institutions and businesses that have destroyed their past stores of capital, despite the very visible fact that said destruction of capital is the quintessential measure of real economy inefficiency.

If the destruction of money has meaning, then so does the creation of money, or at least the methodology of determining how money is acquired. Bernanke's theory, shared by all the major central banks on this globe, is that economies can only recover when capital is disadvantaged in favor of meaningless money. 
The primacy of meaningless money is such that the entire system of savers, the majority of which have created actual capital and acquired value, need to be hamstrung by (zero interest rate policy) ZIRP in favor of institutions that destroyed real capital in the inefficient pursuit of the very policies that central banks directed in the first place. Success is to be shunned and disfavored in the socialized and institutionalized process of debt creation from the very firms that have proven beyond a doubt that they are not capable of maintaining economic efficiency. The ascendancy of chartalism is the only manner in which such a backward system could actually exist. 
Unfortunately, real economies run not on meaningless money, but on sustainable and efficient success. All of these banks and central banks need to emulate the ideals cleverly conjured and portrayed in the Smith Barney TV commercials of decades past, when firms used to "earn" their money. The capital on a bank's balance sheet at one time (before fiat money and transcontinental wholesale money markets) denoted success at intermediating the pool of savings, turning past success into additional future success in a virtuous circle that is the hallmark of every thriving economy in history. In short, money is supposed to be about winners and losers. Economies need to reward the virtue of economic winners and delete the societal and systemic cost of the losers. 
Without monetary meaning, there is no sorting process of winners and losers; there are only losers that are supposed to take comfort in the vacuous experimentations of academic central bankers that passes for progress and evolution. 
More than anything, human nature needs value and meaning in money. Maybe central bankers should try their hands at investing without any meaning to money and capital - it doesn't work. Try as they might, particularly with reducing economic agents to mathematical equations and models, modern mainstream economics has tried to dehumanize the economic and financial system. It certainly makes economics appear more scientific, but ultimately that is just the cloak of self-delusion - models are not science. 
Perhaps central banks have re-invented an achievable means to a healthy economy with meaningless, inhuman tokens, but the results of the past four years, particularly 2011 and so far in 2012, are rather conclusive and unambiguous doubts. It's easy to blame fiscal profligacy for all the current ills, but such bad habits were borne and nurtured by money without any real meaning in the first place - intermediation removed from its eponymous task.

The word debasement itself is not just a semantic accident; it literally means to reduce status or esteem - very human concepts. Welcome to the world where capital, in a still nominally capitalist system, is as pliable and fictionable as TV advertising.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The dollar is just paper


Understanding destructive monetary/fiscal policies(increasing the supply of dollars without a proportional increase in productivity/GDP growth)

Or how the FED and Obama administration have devalued the dollar causing inflation now with hyperinflation to come.

What is it about fiat currency debauchery that makes it so hard to understand? Imagine the mockery Michelle Obama would get if she announced plans to cure the country's obesity epidemic by changing the number of ounces in a pound. Wow, I'm down to 175 without dieting! Yet this is exactly what is happening to the dollar, with much worse to come.
 -Bill Freeza

The value of the dollar, in other words, has collapsed to less than half of the number ounces of gold it was worth when President Obama acceded to the presidency and to less than a sixth of what its value on the day, say, George W. Bush acceded. -Editorial, New York Sun

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Idle dollars will become inflation drivers


If Mitt Romney wins the White House an unintended consequence will loom large on his presidency. With a Romney win, optimism and confidence will in all likelihood roar back into the market. Unfortunately this will unleash the trillions being held by banks and corporations. As a result, we can expect to see substantial inflation and a sharp rise in interest rates. In short, idle dollars will become inflation drivers.

This inflow of new cash will bring about yet another round of resource misallocation and the creation of the next asset bubble. You see, instead of cleaning out the previous misallocations of easy money, weeding out inefficiencies, and creating incentives that push markets forward; the FED's monetary and government fiscal policies have stepped in to soften the blow every time the results of their previous meddling of the economy have gone south.

The next bust but will be the result of the FED's handling of the housing bubble. Of course the housing bubble was caused by the FEDs actions after 911 and the Dot com bubble along with legislation like the Community Reinvestment Act and public risk taking by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.You get the picture.

In short, the multiple boom bust cycles have been created and exacerbated by the central planners who are unable or unwilling to admit their vision of a command and control economy is fatally flawed..The next bubble will not be caused by a President Romney but you can be sure he will be blamed.

The Bernanke / Obama team know that providing fluffy landings by removing the pain of tying costs to choices made in the free market inflate egos, score politically in the short term, and hide the evidence of their failures. Unfortunately, warm fuzzy rhetoric has ever growing consequences in the long term.

Well folks, the long term has arrived. If you need any proof, look at the $16,000,000,000,000 we are in debt, that's 12 zeros. This time however, the sharp cuts and stings of a crash  landing will be felt. The fuse has been lit, the inflation bomb is primed and the FED can't put salve on the injury any more. Of course asking the Obama administration to step in and solve our looming crisis is like giving a crack addicted accountant the company credit card.

It is too late to stop the inevitable inflation that is heading our way. And the only way to muffle the blast of the next bubble is to allow the productive entrepreneurial market economy and its people the freedom to minimize its effects. One specific suggestion is to unleash America's existing energy resources and technology to counteract the effects of damaging inflation.

Will we see more pain, yes. Should we run from the free market, no. We have to, for once and for all, trust fundamental principles of capitalism that as Nixon said "works better than it sounds," instead of chasing the utopian fallacy of socialism "that sounds better than it works."

Buckle-up, it's going to be a rough ride.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Michelle's strange psychology


I am confused. If Michelle Obama was raised by her father Fraser Robinson,..

Who according to Rich Lowry in National Review, citing Michelle Obama’s DNC speech, had an: 
insistence on paying his small portion of her college-tuition bills on time, because “that’s what it meant to be a man.” 
Who led a life of self-sacrifice. He was a working-class father who raised two Princeton University graduates. 
Who was a high-school-educated man who married and stayed married, who worked and kept working despite considerable adversity. Whatever his relative lack of education and skills, he was a hero of character, shaped by mores that have been eroding for decades. 
(Who) according to Michelle’s convention speech and to published accounts, her father was a pump operator at the city water plant in Chicago. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis as a young man and still got up to work every day. The first lady described how she watched him “grab his walker, prop himself against the sink, and slowly shave and button his uniform.” When he came home, he’d reach down to lift one leg after another to make it up the stairs and greet his kids. 
It’s difficult to imagine a more affecting depiction of everyday dutifulness than that. With his wife of 31 years, Marian, Robinson built a family deeply invested in his children’s future. 
Too few men in his position now do the same. Forty years ago, Fraser Robinson left for work in pain every day — walking on two canes — and now a small army of his fellow Americans schemes to get paid for doing nothing. 
Through his faithfulness, Fraser Robinson gave Michelle and her brother an incalculable gift. That being according to Susan Meyer, “The parental characteristics that employers value and are willing to pay for, such as skills, diligence, honesty, good health, and reliability, also improve children’s life chances, independent of their effect on parents’ income,”
…then why would Michelle marry and tolerate her husband, President Barack Obama’s actions and record in office; which goes against everything she was taught by her courageous father she so obviously admires and loves? It really is a confusing nature/nurture question that offers what I am sure is a fascinating answer.

Generational consistency strengthens a nation. In this case much of it must have been lost.

I’m saddened for the culture of our nation to lose such values. It's a shame her two children may never get to learn the lessons from their father the first lady should have learned from her's.



Friday, September 7, 2012

Machiavellian danger


Regarding the DNC:

What I am hearing and seeing are speakers looking directly into the camera and flat out lie about who they are, what they believe, and where they want to take the country.

It really is a stunning display of ignorance or hubris.

They are either pathologically unfit to serve, or are driven by the most dangerous of motives, that being the direct undermining of the American way of life.

The old Machiavellian game of saying one thing so as to gain power and do the opposite is the fountainhead of totalitarianism.

They have decided their self-anointed central planning trumps the most fundamental of natural laws, FREEDOM.

God help us all.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Get ready for poverty


Peter Schiff sends a clear warning based on facts and reasonable assumptions:

On the current trajectory, the national debt likely will hit $20 trillion in a few years. If, by that time, interest rates were to return to 5 percent (a low rate by postwar standards) interest payments on the debt could run around $1 trillion per year. Such a sum would represent almost 40 percent of total current federal revenues and likely would constitute the single largest line item in the federal budget. A balance sheet so constructed would create an immediate fiscal crisis in the United States.

The depression that will follow will not be called “The Greatest Depression,” it will be called “The End of America.”

Read more: SCHIFF: The real fiscal cliff - Washington Times 

Dean Kalahar

Bernanke is not the Chair, he sits on a throne of his own making


Chairman Bernanke and the FED either have their heads in the ground (or up someplace else), or are intentionally destroying the economy of The United States so that it can more resemble the rest of the wretched world. The ideology is to redistribute the wealth worldwide by bringing down America.

The main policy paper at the FED’s Jackson Hole conference was: William White’s, Ultra Easy Monetary Policy and the Law of Unintended Consequences.

The paper and warnings are obviously being ignored.

Some excerpts:

“Ultra easy monetary policies have a wide variety of undesirable ... unintended consequences. They create malinvestments in the real economy, threaten the health of financial institutions and the functioning of financial markets, constrain the ‘independent’ pursuit of price stability by central banks, encourage governments to refrain from confronting sovereign-debt problems in a timely way, and redistribute income and wealth in a highly regressive fashion.”

Using monetary policy, White concludes all the central banks have done is “to buy time” for governments: “If governments do not use this time wisely, then the ongoing economic and financial crisis can only worsen as the unintended consequences of current monetary policies increasingly materialize.”

Dean Kalahar

Source: Niall Ferguson

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back to school: How about showing up?


By Dean Kalahar

It’s that time of year again when we assume children are back in school and that being absent is only due to illness or extraordinary events.
How many absences do you think a teacher has to deal with in the course of a year; 200, 500? If you said that sounds about right or even high, go to the back of the class.
Data shows that last school year, this humble teacher had 1793 absences! That is not a typo, and means the average number of days missed per student was 13.7 or almost 3 weeks of instruction. It goes without saying the extra work load and loss of academic potential is monumental. If we extrapolate these numbers over a k-12 education, the average student misses 178 days or a full year of instruction over their school career.
The crisis of these numbers is not an aberration. Chronic absenteeism (missing 10 percent or more of school or a month or more per year, which translates into 18 days a year) is prevalent in our schools.
The reason these numbers are not reported is because attendance statistics only show average daily attendance. Sarasota County reports a 95.5% average daily attendance rate, but that means that as many as 40 percent of its students may be chronically absent because on different days different students are in school.
It does not take rocket science to know that being in school leads to succeeding in school while poor attendance affects standardized test scores, graduation rates, and teacher effectiveness.
The Georgia Department of Education found “that just a 3 percent improvement in attendance – five additional days -- would have led more than 55,000 students to pass end-of-year standardized tests in reading, English, or mathematics in grades 3 to 8. The biggest impact was for students who missed between five and 10 days of school, suggesting that missing even a week to two weeks can have a significant negative impact on achievement.”
A study by Douglas Ready showed that “compared to children with average attendance, chronically absent students gained 15 percent fewer literacy skills and 12 percent fewer mathematics skills in first grade.” Multiplying these losses over the k-12 experience has devastating consequences on learning.
And this epidemic of absenteeism is nationwide says a report on Absenteeism in the Nation’s Public Schools, by Robert Balfanz and Vaughan Byrnes from Johns Hopkins School of Education. They conclude that “a national rate of 10 percent chronic absenteeism seems conservative and it could be as high as 15 percent, meaning that 5 million to 7.5 million students are chronically absent … with significant numbers of students (are) missing amounts of school that are staggering: on the order of six months to over a year, over a five year period.”
The report states that “chronic absenteeism is typically based on total days of school missed, including both excused and unexcused absences. This is critical because the evidence indicates that it is how many days a student misses that matters, not why they miss them.”

Findings from the report are sobering:

  • There is essentially a linear relationship between each missed day and lower test performance. Through the first 20 days missed there is a greater than 1 point decline in mathematics performance per day and three-fourths of a point in reading.
  • During the critical middle and high school years, 46 percent of students in at least one of those years missed a month or more of school and 18 percent missed two or more months of school.
  • In 2009-2010, Florida’s reported rate of 10 percent translates into more than 300,000 students a year missing more than a month.
  • Data from Florida following a group of all first-time sixth-graders in the state over seven years showed almost half the students in the Florida sixth-grade cohort had been chronically absent in at least one year; with one in five students severely chronically absent in at least one year (missing two or more months of school).
  • The Florida cohort data suggests that in most cases chronic absenteeism is not an isolated occurrence but a frequent and recurring one with cumulative effects for such students.

Notwithstanding the fraud being committed on the tax payer who is funding empty desks; if we want high stakes testing to close achievement gaps, tie teacher pay to performance, and foster academic excellence through discipline from our children, dealing with absenteeism must be a priority.
Parents and educators must be willing to defend sound educational principles regarding attendance. These principles include high expectations and accountability for parents, students, and teachers with a steadfast application of the highly specific laws regarding attendance. Anything less is educational malfeasance and parental negligence.