April 6, 2018

The limits of free markets

Defenders of capitalism, from libertarian free-traders to self-dealing globalists, are agog at the "protectionist" stance of President Trump vis-á-vis China. I see it as a damned if we do, damned if we don't, situation. But there are nuances that don't make the evening news, fake or otherwise.

Most ThreeSourcers are probably aware that China is the world leader in commercial supplies of rare earth metals, used in many of the world's high tech consumer and military products and systems. But why? I, for one, had believed it was a matter of geology and geography and the raw minerals were just preternaturally abundant in the People's Republic. Au contraire.

America's problem has never been a lack of rare earth deposits - it has plenty. The problem has been maintaining a domestic industry to mine the minerals and transform them into final components. For a while, Colorado-based Molycorp made a go of mining rare earths at Mountain Pass [a mine in California]. But it struggled to turn a profit, and eventually went bankrupt. In the middle of last year, a bankruptcy proceeding sold the mine to another China-involved consortium. The Chinese partner in the consortium, Shenghe, will have exclusive sales rights to the mined product for a period of time, according to sales documents.

That brings us up to date, and on to the final question: How do we fix things?

Free market types like to focus on environmental regulations. Mining rare earth metals is a nasty business, with a lot of chemical and radioactive byproducts. Properly disposing of that detritus is extremely costly, which makes mining rare earth metals for profit hard. In fact, regulators closed the Mountain Pass mine and fined it at one point for skirting the rules.

Of course, Molycorp was also badly damaged by the massive price swings brought on by China imposing and then ditching its export quotas.

But regardless, blaming the hippies for America's rare earth metal woes is doubling down on a bad strategy. Blinkered enthusiasm for free market solutions is how we lost domestic operations in the first place. Furthermore, China itself solved the environmental problem by just not caring, and created dystopian wastelands in the process.

The author goes on to draw analogy with nuclear power, and make a case for nationalization. One thing this "Randian" has come to understand is that there really are flaws in unbridled free-markets. Namely, that competing nations have enough money and little enough scruples to take over strategically important segments in toto. Or, stated differently, "The capitalists will sell us the rope to hang them with."

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:05 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Yes, government must step in and manage trade. Because they are wiser than the individual citizens, and are driven by purer motives -- well, let's face it, they're just better people.

I've committed the broadest heresy in libertarianism by suggesting that the Bernakeist, 2% inflation-targeted monetary regime is not-the-best, but in the grand scheme of things really not the worst.

The best response to both of us is Milton Friedman's "where are you going to find these angels?" Public Choice theory says that they will be just as self-interested and Hayek has shown they will not have the knowledge required.

You like the current group, fine, but what about the policies of those appointed by President Elizabeth Warren and confirmed by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer?

I'll stick with "unfettered," thank-you, Silence, and thank you brother jg.

Posted by: jk at April 9, 2018 12:27 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Clearly it is a major departure for me to endorse government management of anything, but here is another question for both of us: Should the Pentagon be privatized as well?

I see international trade as a direct analogy to international military combat. Both are pursuits of warfare but with different weapons.

Posted by: johngalt at April 10, 2018 5:07 PM

August 24, 2017

"I may be Hitler, but I'm still not Trump"

The segue machine is set to kill.

I may have set a personal record in tagged categories for this post. It's part five of a YouTube original creation by Chris Ray Gun called "Social Justice: The Musical"

I post this one first because it's the first episode I found [while searching for "modern protest songs" after listening to Buffalo Springfield's 'For What It's Worth' following 'The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down' as referenced in the previous post] and also because it is timely and entertaining. The guy seems very talented and well worth a look at his other work.

Enough. On with the show!

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:32 PM | Comments (0)

April 3, 2017


The political bogeyman du jour is called "alt-right." Supposedly it is an uber nationalist and racist movement that propelled Donald Trump to his otherwise "inexplicable" victory in the presidential election. But what about the left? On the other side of the political divide, says VDH, the alt has become the majority.

What are its tenets other than the obvious of addressing man-caused climate change by radically restructuring the American economy, favoring a lead-from-behind stature abroad, and seeing "you didn't build that" capitalism as parasitic rather than nourishing of American democracy?

Its overarching ideology seems to be a filtered version of campus postmodernism. Therefore the "truth" is simply a pastiche of "stories" or "narratives." They can gain credence if those with power and influence "privilege" them, in efforts to enhance their own status and clout. "My story" is just as viable as "the truth," a construct that does not exist in the abstract.

So we can see why attacks on the left's "unreason" or "hypocrisy" are powerless. Their morality has nothing whatsoever to do with reason or consistency. Reality has little standing in the world of the new left, thus explaining how its adherents can support LGBT and Islam at the same time, often in the same breath.

Read the whole thing. It's a very enlightening description of the modern American Democratic party, and how the real "alt-left" consists of enfeebled voices like those of James Webb or Joe Manchin.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:11 PM | Comments (0)

March 22, 2017

Otequay of the Ayday

The Free Speech Movement, led by a fiery Italian-American, Mario Savio, erupted at the University of California at Berkeley in 1964, the year I entered college. It was a cardinal moment for my generation. The anti-establishment stance of the Free Speech Movement represented the authentic populist revolution of the 1960s, which resisted encroachments of authority by a repressive elite. How is it possible that today's academic Left has supported rather than protested campus speech codes as well as the grotesque surveillance and over-regulation of student life? American colleges have abandoned their educational mission and become government colonies, ruled by officious bureaucrats enforcing federal dictates. This despotic imperialism has no place in a modern democracy. An enlightened feminism, animated by a courageous code of personal responsibility, can only be built upon a wary alliance of strong women and strong men.

-Camile Paglia in 'Women Aren't Free Until Speech Is'

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:53 PM | Comments (7)
But jk thinks:

Loves me some Camille Paglia

Posted by: jk at March 22, 2017 3:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Me too. I'll check out the Tyler Cowen interview soon. Meanwhile, if you click through my link and read her short piece on free speech you'll find this other notable quote:

"We are plunged once again into an ethical chaos where intolerance masquerades as tolerance and where individual liberty is crushed by the tyranny of the group.

The premier principles of my new book, Free Women, Free Men, are free thought and free speech—open, mobile, and unconstrained by either liberal or conservative ideology."

My mental working title for the post was "Camile Paglia - Objectivist." An obvious overgeneralization, but the parallel to Rand's two "mystics" are inescapable: Conservative ideology being the Mystics of Spirit and liberal ideology being the Mystics of Muscle.

Posted by: johngalt at March 22, 2017 4:55 PM
But jk thinks:

An Objectivist Theology Professor. I can sell that.

Posted by: jk at March 22, 2017 6:51 PM
But jk thinks:

Heh™: Insty links to the same piece with the comment "I mean, if women were free, who would listen to feminists?"

Posted by: jk at March 23, 2017 10:31 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Theology professor? Paglia? non! Art and literature.

Posted by: johngalt at March 24, 2017 4:32 PM
But jk thinks:

Corrected I stand. I misremembered that false factoid from her dust-up with the Dawkins-Hitchens wing.

Posted by: jk at March 27, 2017 9:54 AM

February 27, 2017

I Did Not Think I Clould Dislike These People More

But, it's a new day:


Leaving dogs in North Dakota in the winter. Dirty Hippies.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:46 PM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

Cool; I posted this to FB and wrapped in the story of all the waste (and over 200 vehicles!) that took scores of dumpsters to clear the once-pristine prairie

Posted by: nanobrewer at February 28, 2017 1:11 AM

February 8, 2017

Dirty Hippies


Other evidence of less-than-pristine motives comes from the garbage dump the protesters left behind. A North Dakota Fox affiliate reported this week on the clean-up efforts for the makeshift encampments: Thousands of protesters produced enough garbage to fill an estimated 250 trucks with trash. The detritus--tarps, tents--has frozen into "massive chunks of junk," said the report, and much of it is buried under snow.

The Army Corps closed the area and said in a press release that grass has been destroyed or removed from some 50 acres. The mess has to be cleared out before a spring flood sends toxic sludge into the nearby Cannonball River and Lake Oahe, the same lake the protesters said would be polluted by the pipeline. Moral grandstanding can be a dirty business, but shouldn't the protesters pay to clean up their own mess?

Posted by John Kranz at 11:16 AM | Comments (0)

December 8, 2016

Dakota Pipeline - Why do they stay?

As winter approaches, in the wake of an Army Corps of Engineers announcement that it is investigating alternative routes for the DAPL, and with tribal chairman Archambault imploring that they "head home" the agitators at the intended river crossing site are pledging to remain where they are. From a CNN article:

"The call to service and to help Mother Earth is a huge honor," Calderon says. And the Army Corps announcement about rerouting the pipeline doesn't change a thing.

"We're still sticking it out and hoping that what they say is true and that there's no sneaky business going on," Calderon says. "We'll stay here until we're told otherwise."

Which I take Mr. Calderon to mean "We'll stay here until we're sure that "there's no sneaky business going on." And by "sneaky business" he means, constructing a pipeline.

But what does it mean, exactly, to "help Mother Earth?" It means this:

But despite [Indian novelist Amitav] Ghosh's dark sense of realism about our political options, he still manages to find hope in surprising places. "The very speed with which the crisis is now unfolding," he notes, might save many parts of the world from the destructive social and cultural consequences of the Great Acceleration. Still more provocatively, Ghosh proposes that religious traditions might offer the most effective social basis for popular resistance. Ghosh observes that religious movements could "mobilize people in far greater numbers" than secular organizations. Religious belief reaches beyond the boundaries of nation states and embraces "intergenerational, long-term responsibilities" that "do not partake of economistic ways of thinking." Indeed, the "idea of the sacred" involves an "acceptance of limits and limitations" that strongly resembles the ethos of stewardship and simple living central to radical forms of climate justice. Could it be that religious belief, with its appreciation of "nonlinear change" (i.e., apocalypse and planetary disaster), might be our best resource in breaking the spell of Holocene thought?

Some translations are in order, to fully recognize what the author is saying.

The "Great Acceleration" propelled by "economistic ways of thinking" is what you and I might call... prosperity.

The "ethos of stewardship and simple living" is a monastic tendency, featuring an "acceptance of limits and limitations" on human beings. Essentially, the opposite of prosperity.

It has long been observed that environmental extremism has morphed into a cult-like religious pursuit. And it's no accident that the DAPL agitators chose "medicine man and spiritual leader" Leonard Crow Dog to participate in their staged guilt-building exercise on Monday.

Also this week, Donald Trump was named Time Magazine's "Man of the Year." They dubbed him the "President of the Divided States of America." To the extent that characterization is a fitting one, the division is between two competing moralities - Liberal economic prosperity and human rights, on the one side, and a zealous mobilization to impose the limits of "simple living" upon everyone. Between these two visions for mankind, President Elect Trump falls into the "liberal" camp.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:40 PM | Comments (9)
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, the Kevin Cramer editorial in WSJ is excellent. I had read it too. He channeled Three Sources:

The Obama administration has decided to build a political legacy rather than lead the country. It is facilitating an illegal occupation that has grown wildly out of control. That the economy depends on a consistent and predictable permitting regime seems never to have crossed the president's mind.
Posted by: johngalt at December 9, 2016 11:37 AM
But jk thinks:

I too loved "Dances..." And I recently re-watched the splendiferously awesome Hatfields and McCoys miniseries. I remarked that it is inherently unfair -- whichever side Kevin Costner is cast into will be perceived as the heroic side and will get audience sympathy.

I just see my conservative friends #StandingWithBlackRock Addressing energy needs, rule-of-law, and public opinion will be fraught with peril.

Political archeologists will write dissertations on "Mocking the disabled reporter." It will outlast the "Daisy Ad." I am astonished at how central it was to the Clinton campaign. I saw several commercials specifically on it, and recently a Facebook that claimed "that was all you needed to know" to oppose Trump.

I -- a disabled-American -- found it a stretch all along. It was at worst a three second mistake. What makes me laugh is that the target was a powerful reporter who had attacked him.

We've elected a few "nice" Presidents, but a quick gander through a history book shows that lack is not disqualifying.

Posted by: jk at December 9, 2016 12:36 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

You've gone three levels down in the segue swamp. What reporter? Was he at the pipeline protests?

Posted by: nanobrewer at December 10, 2016 1:37 AM
But jk thinks:

Kids, don't try this at home -- these are professional dissemblers. :)

"Trump Mocks disabled reporter" provides 2,090,000 Hits on Bing® Here's a WaPo video.

Posted by: jk at December 10, 2016 12:32 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And yet, I'll take 84-plus percent agreement every time. Thanks!

Posted by: johngalt at December 12, 2016 3:20 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Here's the explanation I read - Trump mocked the reporter, but not by mimicking his disability.

Conclusion: Media manipulation makes us believe things that aren't so. That Donald Trump hasn't been savaged worse than he was is miraculous. Maybe they held some punches because they didn't know the Russians were actually going to succeed in "stealing the election" for him.

Posted by: johngalt at December 12, 2016 3:31 PM

November 4, 2016

O.J. Rides Again

The news of last Friday's FBI decision, and the coverage of it over the weekend, struck me as the same kind of bombshell real-time news phenomenon as O.J. Simpson fleeing police in a white Ford Bronco. So naturally I wanted to read the Wayne Allen Root article by the same name - Hillary and the White Ford Bronco.

At any minute I expect to hear that every national TV news network is hosting live coverage of a police car chase. It will feature Hillary riding in the back seat of a white Ford Bronco, driven by Huma, headed for the Mexican border, with hundreds of FBI vans and police cars chasing behind. And of course Democrats lining the streets to catch the last glimpse of their former presidential nominee.

Hillary has had quite a series of October surprises. Just one would be enough to drive anyone into doing something strange. But Hillary has already suffered two devastating October surprises.

And rumor has it there’s another on the way.

But the real legacy of the Clintons, Hillary and William Jefferson, is far grander than a mere flouting of federal law regarding classified information.

What this new FBI investigation is not about is taking bribes (disguised as donations) at the Clinton Foundation from countries that fund ISIS. Wikileaks proves Hillary knew that Qatar and Saudi Arabia were funding ISIS, but took their money anyway.

What this investigation is not about is taking $1 million from Qatar to celebrate Bill Clinton’s birthday. What did that country expect in return? What did the Clintons promise?

What this investigation is not about is Hillary taking $12 million from the King of Morocco, who are our own government considers corrupt, while Secretary of State. What did the King expect? What did the Clintons promise?

What this investigation is not about is the crime of treason for running an organized criminal enterprise called the Clinton Foundation built around “pay for play” while Hillary was Secretary of State.

What this investigation is not about is running a charity scam called the Clinton Foundation that rarely pays out anything to charity and uses the billions it receives in "donations" to fund a billionaire’s lifestyle for the Clintons.

What this investigation is not about is funneling almost $700,000 in what looks like bribes (disguised as "donations") through Clinton’s best friend Terry McAuliffe to the Democratic politician wife of the FBI agent overseeing Hillary’s investigation.

All of that is still to come.

Unless she is pardoned by Barack Obama on January 19th, 2017.

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:57 PM | Comments (8)
But johngalt thinks:

Of course you know what is objectively right. And so does jk. He said, "She skates" not "She's innocent."

Your friend A people are lying to themselves to protect something. Or if not to themselves, then to you, but still to protect something. The more interesting question you should be asking is, what are the Clinton apologists protecting?

Posted by: johngalt at November 5, 2016 11:08 PM
But jk thinks:

And I suggest objective supporting evidence to B is to compare how less connected people were treated for the same offenses. Officers have lost their commissions for inadvertently doing what Sec. Clinton has done with mens rea.

General David Petraeus and Scooter Libbey must be wishing they had sent a million to the Clinton Foundation.

Posted by: jk at November 6, 2016 11:32 AM
But jk thinks:

Nope! Director Comey has spoken -- she is innocent of all charges, ever (that issue in the fourth grade with the fountain pen and her rival's dress? Exonerated!)

I really do not know what to say.

Posted by: jk at November 7, 2016 9:50 AM
But johngalt thinks:

You could say the same thing my dear ol' dad said.

"Drain the swamp."

Posted by: johngalt at November 7, 2016 12:26 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:


friend A people are lying to themselves to protect something

Their egos. I have the same issue writ large: my favorite is the one who's been telling me the GOP is done as a party... for, well, as long as we've been FB friends. Years. Long before DJT won a single primary. He's an entrepreneur (well, not really successful one) who's a dedicated Sanders guy. That HAS to be ego. He's also a bit of an arrogant prat, so the ego big holds.

There are some "type A" who are just long-time Dems who will listen to the whisper campaign about the nasty, poopy-headed GOP (even for a guy like Romney).

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 9, 2016 12:21 AM
But nanobrewer thinks:


Director Comey has spoken -- she is innocent of all charges

No, she skates. The weasiling used was there was no "intent" to cause harm or break the law. Charming. I can just see now that 'hate' speech will invariably be put in the intent column. The insanity has begun... perhaps even, as PowerLine postulates if Trump wins (he's won OH, WI and FL).

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 9, 2016 12:31 AM

April 7, 2016

Fresh Danish

After recently learning [first comment] that former long-time Democrat Boulder County Commissioner Paul Danish has changed his registration to the eevil Republican Party and is running for his old seat, I also discovered that he's been writing columns for the Boulder Weekly newspaper. Here is an excerpt from a great one of those, and it involves the principal reason he decided to challenge an incumbent commissioner at the polls.

Government should pay a decent respect to people's fears and concerns. But it should also pay a decent respect to scientific fact, the imperatives of successful agriculture, and the truth.

And the truth is that after 20 years of growing and consuming GM crops the question remains: Where are the victims?

Usually this is the point in the conversation where GMO opponents start talking about the precautionary principle: "Above all, do no harm." The problem with the precautionary principle is that it doesn't take into account harms that can come from inaction. Maybe that's why it's a principle and not a law of nature.

And when the world is faced with an existential threat - the sort of threat that a combination of rising temperatures, rising population, and rising expectations presents - the precautionary principle may have to take a back seat to the survival principle: "Whatever it takes, baby."

I'm old enough to remember a time when people who thought this way were not principally called "Republicans," they were called "human beings."

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:10 PM | Comments (0)

December 14, 2015

Buying a clue

Dear fellow occidentalists, Please, whatever you do, do not "reproduce[ed] and reinforce[ed] stereotypes of indigenous people as culturally and racially subordinate..." lest you be singled out for sanction "by the government's anti-discrimination commission." I'm not sure what government - hopefully not ours, but I'm seldom shocked anymore.

Here's the "offensive" advert. What does it show? "The ad shows fair-skinned, attractive, young people turning up at an indigenous town bearing gifts of sugary fizzy drinks and a Christmas tree for the overawed locals." The utter gall.

While it's unclear whether the ad was pulled because of the "controversy" or because its run was through, I would like to rebut with a multi-cultural message of my own:

"I'd like to buy the Left a clue,

And teach it how to think."

From "segregation and isolation is racist" to "engagement and dialog is offensive."


Can we apply the same logic to homeless populations in the west? Any effort to reach out or acknowledge them is offensive and degrading, and suggests that they are "culturally subordinate."

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:22 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

How can you put this racist filth on ThreeSources??? I've a mind to unset the database password again...

And yet, and yet, and yet... You are not way off base in your follow up. And there is no need to restrict it to the West. I'm thinking of Angus Deaton's disagreement with Tom's Shoes (Buy a pair and they give a pair away-- doesn't do a lot to prop up the foreign shoe industry...) And it would be a very good thing if affluent Westerners were a little more suspect on the poor's need for us to swoop in and run their life for them. If a few treacle-y TV commercials are casualties, I'm in.

Posted by: jk at December 14, 2015 5:49 PM
But johngalt thinks:

To me, it calls into question the very existence of the UNHCR, UNRWA, UNICEF, WFP, FAO, WHO...

Let's extend that discussion about implied racial and cultural subordination.

Posted by: johngalt at December 14, 2015 6:44 PM

October 9, 2015

The birth of other-loathing

Perhaps it's a re-birth, I'm not sure. Has there been another period in history when an anti-humanity movement was so large and so popular? The Dark Ages perhaps.

Yesterday I was asked by a colleague, "Why don't we use more nuclear power?"

"Honestly" said I, "I think it is because there is such a powerful movement to limit the available resources in order to limit the growth and prosperity of the human race."

That movement is called "global environmentalism" and, according to its Amazon summary, the book that launched the movement is called 'Limits to Growth' - Donella H. Meadows, October 1, 1972.

The headline-making report on the imminent global disaster facing humanity - and what we can do about it before time runs out. The book that launched the environmental movement globally.

First on the list of prescriptions, as explained in an editorial review of "The 30-Year Update" version, is fewer people, doing less.

The authors demonstrate that the most critical areas needing immediate attention are: population; wasteful, inefficient growth; and pollution. They show how attention to all three simultaneously can result in returning the human footprint on the environment to manageable, sustainable size, while sharply reducing the disparity between human well-being and fostering a generous quality-of-life worldwide. Absent this, the prospects are grim indeed.

How grim? RCP's William Tucker explains in 'Dealing With Abundance.'

In fact we're doing quite well as far as resources are concerned. Nobody talks about "running out of anything" anymore. The one place where doomsayers would argue that we have overshot is in the creation of carbon dioxide byproducts in the atmosphere that are going to lead to global warming.


While this is a matter of concern, once again it is not out of the reach of our technology. Glenn Seaborg, one of the pioneers of nuclear energy, used to say that "nuclear power has come along at exactly the right time because we were beginning to reach the limits of fossil fuels." He was talking both about the problem of supplies and the pollution effects of these technologies but he could have been talking about global warming as well.

So the choice is apparent: Is the path to "a generous quality of life worldwide" in the direction of science, technology, and safe, non-polluting and nearly limitless nuclear power, or through "disfiguring the entire face of the earth with low-density energy collectors such as windmills and solar panels?"

The answer depends on your bias. Do you want to limit the population, or make it prosperous? Do you love and respect yourself, and therefore others, or do you loathe successful people because, deep inside, your self-image is that of a dirty little beast?

Are you a man, or a mediocrity?

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:21 PM | Comments (4)
But Jk thinks:

I was just a pup in '72, but I really remember Fitzpatrick Sale's Human Scale. Everybody I knew bought into that. Most still do.

Posted by: Jk at October 9, 2015 4:18 PM
But Jk thinks:

Solutions are extant. (Ht insty)

Posted by: Jk at October 9, 2015 4:22 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I wasn't alive back before the roaring 20's, but I'll nominate the eugenics movement that peaked (in America) with the bankrolling (by Carnegie, Rockefeller and Harriman) of Sanger's American Birth Control League in 1921 which was supported by AG Bell, POTUS/28 (Wilson), and by a supreme court justice I can't find (Holmes?).

Three acts are cited by Wiki:
1. Sterilization in Indiana (1907)
2. "AN ACT to authorize and provide for the sterilization of feeble-minded (including idiots, imbeciles and morons), epileptics, rapists, certain criminals and other defectives" (NJ, 1911; signed by Gov. W. Wilson and overturned in 1913)
3. Racial Integrity Act of 1924 (VA)

Fitter Family and Better Baby contests were held by the Red Cross. By the mid-30's Nazi Germany were sterilizing 5000/month. California led the US in forced sterilization....

A 1937 Fortune magazine poll found that 2/3 of respondents supported eugenic sterilization of "mental defectives", 63% supported sterilization of criminals, and only 15% opposed both.

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 10, 2015 2:28 AM
But jk thinks:

Justice Holmes famously said "Three generations of imbeciles are enough" in Buck v Bell.

Yet, Buck v Bell never seems to find its way into teh infamous list as frequently as Dred Scott, Plessy, or Korematsu.

Posted by: jk at October 10, 2015 7:25 PM

August 12, 2015

World Socialism, thy name is "Sustainability"

To the unsuspecting, sustainability is just a new name for environmentalism. But the word marks out a new and larger ideological territory in which it is claimed curtailing economic, political, and intellectual liberty is the price that must be paid to ensure the welfare of future generations.

This is from the executive summary [PDF] of a new report by the National Association of Scholars. Never heard of them? Me either. The report is titled: 'Sustainability - Higher Education's New Fundamentalism.'

They call it "fundamentalism" because examination, investigation, discussion and debate are forbidden. The "science is settled." The doctrine is final. The living must be harmed so that "the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" is not compromised. [The sustainability movement makes no mention of how aborting them in the womb compromises the needs of the members of those future generations.]

The sustainability movement began in 1987 with a UN report - "Our Common Future" and has metastasized into 1438 degree programs at 475 colleges and universities worldwide. Interestingly, the majority of them - 1274 or some 95 percent - are in the United States; at least one such program in every one of our 50 united states. So the camp of this ideological enemy of freedom and liberty and, yes, science, is not across the Atlantic, but here on our own soil.

Thank you National Academy of Scholars for exposing the nature and scope of this movement and the professional organization "Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education" (AASHE) that promotes the fully immoral idea that "we" are not as important as some unknown and non-existent "future we."

And they have the nerve to criticize believers in "unknown and non-existent" deities.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:08 PM | Comments (0)

November 21, 2014

"Universally accepted"

While looking up the prescribed quarantine period for persons exposed to the Ebola virus I found this gem of an edit as the second sentence of the Ebola Virus Disease Wikipedia entry:

It is universally accepted that the Ebola virus scare was the brainchild of the pharmaceutical industry. (Witness the H1N1 panic that resulted in millions of unused vaccine doses.)

I checked the date of the latest edit and found it to be ... today.

It has since been edited again and that passage removed. Interwebs. Sheesh.

Posted by JohnGalt at 7:02 PM | Comments (0)

June 6, 2014

Three Cheers for Boulder!

Okay -- I know his account was hacked now...

Nope. The lovely bride and I had a very nice evening last night. A good friend was playing at the St. Julien Hotel. It is across the street from my old office and I believe our band was the first one to play there.

We saw the ensemble Laughing Hands: a hyper-eclectic acoustic ensemble. I've seen them several times and cannot recommend them highly enough. Superb musicianship, unusual instruments, diverse repertoire -- they're great.

The backlighting challenged even the mighty Lumina 1020

The great conundrum is that, somehow, without Boulder, that doesn't really happen. I was beating up Austin last week, but it is the same deal. To say it coarsely: without the lefties we'd have Dunkin' Donuts and no Starbucks.

Mind you, we need some Federalism so that they cannot run the whole country, but there has to be a Boulder.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:27 PM | Comments (0)

May 25, 2014

Because Boulder County Humans Still "Destroy Ecosystems"...

In a comment on Genetically Modified Good Causes I linked a Longmont Times-Call story about proposed "rights of nature' in the Boulder County Comprehensive Plan. It gives scant indication of what is truly being proposed.

Boulder County Planning Commission members agreed Wednesday night on a thus-far-unofficial comprehensive plan addition declaring county government's responsibility to support the continued existence of all of the county's "naturally occurring ecosystems and their native species populations."

That proposed language is vague enough to mean nothing, or everything, depending upon who is doing the "interpreting." For a hint how the anti-prosperity egalitarian socialists on the board of "Boulder Rights of Nature" might interpret it, consider this summary of their numerous demands as they appeared in a guest opinion by self-proclaimed Boulder environmentalist and president of the Boulder County Horse Association:

However, these multiple protections are not enough to satisfy a few environmental extremists who are quietly pushing for a "new paradigm:" the inclusion of a "Sustainable Rights of Nature Ordinance," which would, among other things:

1) "Eliminate the authority of a property owner to destroy, or cause substantial harm to, natural communities and ecosystems"

2) Accord "inherent, inalienable, and fundamental rights of Nature to all Natural Beings" including humans and "all living species of plants, animals, and algae"

3) Include a Statement of Law that "All Natural beings, Natural Communities and Ecosystems possess the inalienable right to exist, flourish, regenerate, and evolve"

4) Declare that "The Precautionary Principle Is Needed To Protect These Rights"

5) Find that "It shall be unlawful for any person, government entity, corporation (etc) to intentionally or recklessly violate the rights of Natural Beings, Natural Communities or Ecosystems"

6) Enforce "Damages" measured by the cost of restoring the Natural Community or Ecosystem to its [original] state before the injury.

But such extremism is warranted, says BRoN board member Dale Ball, because "We wouldn't think of our children as property to exploit, nor should we think that way of nature." Apparently nobody asked mister Ball how he feels about human abortion.

No, this is not about the principle of "protecting" nature. It is about regulating and controlling the behavior of other people. "Then we shall see who the superior one really is!"

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:41 AM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

Review Corner after next will be "Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper: How Innovation Keeps Proving the Catastrophists Wrong" by Robert Bryce.

And yet the neo-Malthusian mindset endures. In 2011, three analysts, Will Steffen , Johan Rockström, and Robert Costanza, published a report in which they claimed to have identified specific boundaries for the planet-- on issues like climate change, land use, water use, ozone depletion , and others-- "beyond which humanity should not go." [...] But it's the implementation part of their prescription that creates the rub. They write:
Ultimately, there will need to be an institution (or institutions) operating, with authority, above the level of individual countries to ensure that the planetary boundaries are respected. In effect , such an institution, acting on behalf of humanity as a whole, would be the ultimate arbiter of the myriad trade-offs that need to be managed as nations and groups of people jockey for economic and social advantage. It would, in essence, become the global referee on the planetary playing field.

Nope, nothing could possibly go wrong there....

Posted by: jk at May 25, 2014 2:16 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Perhaps this will be the actual manifestation of the Fourth Reich.

Posted by: johngalt at May 25, 2014 3:31 PM
But Jk thinks:

Naaah, just a kind of "global referee," enforcing planetary boundaries...

Posted by: Jk at May 25, 2014 5:12 PM
But Terri thinks:

Prairie dog colonies
Mosquito colonies
Ash borer

just trying to imagine what Boulder Cty will end up looking like when they face reality.
"We're all lawbreakers now"

Posted by: Terri at May 26, 2014 9:30 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Your list is a good starting point Terri but if "Natural Beings" goes down the evolutionary ladder as far as "algae" wouldn't it also include botulism? Polio? Cancer? Don't they have a right to "exist, flourish, regenerate, and evolve" in their chosen "Ecosystem" i.e. your body?

"Oh no, don't be ridiculous" they'll say, but they are the ones who wrote this ridiculousness! I am merely interpreting it faithfully, objectively and consistently.

Posted by: johngalt at May 27, 2014 5:07 PM

April 15, 2014

In Case Y'all Don't Have Facebook Friends:

Be a part of it! Spread the Word! #globalloveday

Posted by John Kranz at 12:18 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Yeah, that's why we call each other names, cuz "we are one."

Posted by: johngalt at April 15, 2014 3:12 PM

March 20, 2014

Otequay of the Ayday

"This issue is one of common sense and fairness - if a community decides to ignore all the science and all the facts and ban responsible energy development, those communities shouldn’t be able to line up at the trough and benefit from responsible oil and gas development occurring in other parts of the State. It is the height of hypocrisy for the Boulders and Ft. Collins of the world to benefit from oil and gas taxes so long as they have an oil and gas ban in place." [the Peak emphasis]

FRAC YEAH! Where do I sign?

From Colorado Peak Politics - No Fracking Dollars for No Frack Communities Headed to Voters

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:58 PM | Comments (0)

February 19, 2014

Speaking of Anti-Poverty Policy...

That is one of the two "biggest challenges facing the world in the 21st century" according to Patrick McCulley at international rivers dot org, who posted [in 2004] Twelve Reasons to Exclude Large Hydro From Renewables Initiatives. Spoiler alert: None of the 12 reasons is "Large hydro is non-renewable." To the contrary, reason #12 admits that it is, precisely, renewable:

12 - Large hydro reservoirs are often rendered non-renewable by sedimentation

Dam reservoirs are depleted over time by sedimentation, a problem that eventually
seriously impedes or ends the ability of a hydro plant to produce electricity. The
great majority of annual sediment loads are carried during flood periods. The high-
er intensity and frequency of floods due to global warming are therefore likely to
increase sedimentation rates and thus further shorten the useful lives of reservoirs.

No word on the required maintenance or "useful lives" of wind, solar or small hydro.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:04 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

D'ja see Jon Caldera on this? If water and gravity are "renewable" then we make all the quotas and cannot continue the graft to wind & solar providers.

Posted by: jk at February 19, 2014 7:53 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Precisely. And that is, unapologetically, the direct basis for "reasons" number 1 and 2 and indirect basis for numbers 5 and 8 of the twelve, as stated in the summary list created by International Rivers Network in Berkeley.

Posted by: johngalt at February 20, 2014 1:09 PM

January 28, 2014

What's your sexual orientation?

Gee whiz, this woman gives smug, self-righteous, potty-mouthed Prius owners a bad name.

Posted by JohnGalt at 7:19 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

"I'm just asking you to be pleasant and courteous" (~0:40) Oh! It's Mother F-ing Theresa!

Posted by: jk at January 29, 2014 1:25 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yeah... "Do as I say, not as I do."

I should explain my choice of headline: Since she asked the irrelevant personal question "What do you do for a living" I think I would have replied by asking the above.

And by the way, madam, I don't "need" to drive this truck, I "want" to drive this truck. Not least of all because you and your ilk want to make doing so, and a crap load of other stuff I want, illegal. Shove off, busybody!

Posted by: johngalt at January 29, 2014 1:37 PM
But jk thinks:

She's just trying to make the world a nicer place...

Posted by: jk at January 29, 2014 1:45 PM

December 11, 2013

T-Shirt Meme of the Day




End the insanity - ban wind power!

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:45 PM | Comments (6)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

It's telling that my first reaction was "They're playing the 3-9-1 Vikings this week, and Petersen is doubtful. How much more saving do they need?"

I wonder whether eagle paté tastes like chicken.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 11, 2013 4:09 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:


The eagle failed to make its saving throw versus Wind Farm.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 11, 2013 4:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I haven't read the O-admin's jackass rule yet but it is entirely possible that they've made it legal, under federal law, to kill eagles but not to possess their feathers. Although if they did have enough forsight to exempt employees, the only persons in North America legally authorized to possess eagle feathers would be Native Americans and wind farm workers.

Posted by: johngalt at December 11, 2013 6:05 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I stand corrected on my initial comment - the Vikings are now 4-9-1. The Eagles failed to make their saving throw versus Minnesota.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 16, 2013 1:22 AM
But dagny thinks:

The Eagles made their saving throw, it just came in an odd form called the Green Bay Packers. Just as the Broncos saving throw came from some guys in orange and blue with Dolphins on their shirts. :-)

Posted by: dagny at December 16, 2013 12:19 PM
But jk thinks:

Yaaaaay Dolphins!!!

Posted by: jk at December 16, 2013 1:26 PM

September 10, 2013

No, no, no... anything but that!

Hollywood Reporter (magazine): "Another reason some Hollywood progressives have been reticent to speak out against war in Syria, according to Asner, is fear of being called racist."

Last week I asked, "So, you're on board for going to war with no more justification than 'the black president decided we should?'" Days later Ed Asner answered, "A lot of people don't want to feel anti-black by being opposed to Obama." In other words, "yes."

It's not a partisan thing, according to Ed.

"Whether it's a Republican or Democrat president, or Republican or Democrat Congress -- and it doesn't make a God-damned difference -- it behooves us to get off our ass and ask these questions," Asner said.

Just don't ever disagree with a black president.

More good anti-war schadenfreude at the first link.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:46 PM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

This is friggin' hilarious: from "Americans for whatever Barack Obama wants"


P.S.: who's Jay-z?

Posted by: nanobrewer at September 12, 2013 1:55 AM

June 25, 2013

Bag Fee Bingo

"It's re-cycling!"

Reader, prepare thyself. I'm going to unload on the city government of Boulder, Colorado. I know, completely out of character for me.

I read today, in a Boulder Daily Camera dot com banner ad no less, that Boulder's grocery bags will come with a shiny new 10 cent per bag tax starting Monday, July 1. So it adds a buck to the monthly family grocery trip, I mused. Big deal. Then I read the city's justification for the new "Disposable Bag Fee."

Fee proceeds will be used to offset the impact of bags in our community. For more information please see the "Frequently Asked Questions" link below.

"Impacts?" Yes, friend. The lowly grocery bag has a societal "impact."

Boulder currently uses approximately 33 million checkout bags a year, or about 342 bags/person/year. Plastic bags are produced from non-renewable resources, are very difficult to recycle (they cannot go in Boulder’s curbside bins), and contaminate our recycling facility equipment, leading to increased operating costs.

Bingo! Boulder's recycling facility, mockingly dubbed the "Taj Mahal of Trash" by then Boulder Weekly editor Wayne Laugensen, costs a lot to operate. And with the supply of recycled material on the rise, market value is surely falling. How can Boulder afford to keep the doors open? I wonder.

33 million bags per year is 3.3 million dollars collected from grocery shoppers, assuming an inelastic response to the paltry dollar per visit cost. An earlier version of the linked page cited a trash load of about 781 tons of bags per year. So after the 4 cent per bag payoff to the, pardon the pun, "bag men" who extract the "fee" from shoppers, almost $2 million goes to the city each year. If those 781 tons were landfilled [blasphemy!] the offsetting cost per ton would be $2560.

On my last visit to the landfill I believe the dump fee was less than 1 percent of this amount. I'm wondering, when will someone calculate and devise a way to cope with the impact of city government in Boulder's community? Oh well, at least I debited the program one more click fee for the banner ad.

Posted by JohnGalt at 7:50 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Coloradans let Californians try out new ideas -- then we adopt all of their worst failures!

Bag bans cause disease and impinge on customers' time and convenience. All for a minute reduction of a small and safe part of the waste stream.

Whenever you think reason and rational thought will prevail reread this post. We are so doomed.

Posted by: jk at June 26, 2013 9:35 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Most of us believed this problem was solved by the biodegradable bag, but that novel invention just opened a new can of worms. Critics complain that they only degrade in the presence of water and oxygen, but landfills are designed to reduce such exposure. The seemingly obvious response is, so what? They're in a landfill!

The other major complaint is that biodegradable bags contaminate the waste stream of other recyclable plastics. In other words, they are trash. Okay, landfill them then.

Clearly I don't appreciate the enormity of the problem of sorting through every persons trash and trying to make it "disappear." Am I a troglodyte, or do I just have more important things to devote my life toward?

Posted by: johngalt at June 26, 2013 11:41 AM
But jk thinks:

Just once, I want to be on the easy-to-explain side. We have the economic benefits of fracking -- they have "You're poisoning our children's water!"

This is another: "33 Million Bags a Year! Ehrmigawd!" You and I say "So what? It's a big world!" but their side is very compelling.

Posted by: jk at June 26, 2013 4:10 PM
But johngalt thinks:

How about when they say, "Somebody should do something" we say, "Are you busy around, say, 6 pm? Or would you rather make a donation? TANSTAAFL."

Posted by: johngalt at June 26, 2013 5:46 PM

February 28, 2013

Otequay of the Ayday

"There are many fine people who are concerned with the environment. Indeed, we all should be. But the movement known as environmentalism is not only a false religion, it is one that allows human sacrifice."

I would be more impressed had this passed the lips of an A-list Hollywood celeb - Darryl Hannah is clearly more than one could hope for, being too far gone into the mist - but it is still a good quote from a good article by fellow traveler Dennis Prager.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:11 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Methinks my blog brother might enjoy Walter Russell Mead today.

The epidemic of power outages and "rolling blackouts" which nearly shut down California in the early 2000s may be returning. Back then, the culprits were unscrupulous energy providers like Enron and a poorly-thought out process of deregulation. This time, renewable energy would be to blame, as the state has pushed to increase the use of solar and wind energy without ensuring that there is enough traditional power generation to keep the grid stable on cloudy, windless days.

Posted by: jk at February 28, 2013 2:37 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yep. See related post above.

This Central Planning business is just so complicated! How can anybody know everything about every industry? Why can't we just find a way to have experts in every field make every decision based on all of the factors, taken into account at once and evaluated to arrive at the best course of action? And to make sure they do their jobs well and act wisely we could even make their paychecks depend on getting it right!

But I digress. Clearly there is no such utopian system on earth.

Posted by: johngalt at February 28, 2013 3:25 PM

September 18, 2012


I haven't posted in "Dirty Hippies" for a while. I don't know how popular this is where y'all are, but this is a big deal in Boulder. My Boulder-based Facebook contingent is heavily invested.

I'll not have the gumption to share this story with any of them, but this AEI piece is right in there with Penn & Teller's incredible "Organic Food" episode of Bullshit.

Where does one start with the moronic concept of locavorism? Basically: discarding the myriad health, lifestyle, and economic benefits of Ricardian comparative advantage to genuflect at the altar of eating low-mileage grits.

Thankfully, Pierre Desrochers and Hiroko Shimizu do the work I will not -- take the arguments seriously enough to debunk them. It's an awesome collection, and I will find it here the next time I need it.

Choir preaching: Locavores or Loco-vores?

Posted by John Kranz at 6:19 PM | Comments (6)
But johngalt thinks:

*smugvoice*"Live simply, so that others may simply live."*/smugvoice*

The ants came marching two-by-two hurrah, hurrah...

Posted by: johngalt at September 19, 2012 1:01 AM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Thanks, very fine and educational article. See, my mistake was thinking the locavore crowd actually believed in "the affordable and abundant food" they promise. It turns out that their main point is to feel good about themselves.

It is much more efficient to just look in the mirror every morning and state, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!" Then go get some eggs trucked in from a factory farm.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at September 19, 2012 1:12 PM
But jk thinks:

I suspect "marginal cost" is a couple standard deviations above the mean locavore logic, but it struck me that the actual, marginal energy expenditure to bring a bag of delicious, fresh summertime Chilean fruit here is likely far less than the fuel required to drive their Subaru Outback and all of its bumper stickers round trip to the Farmer's Market.

I'm fond of the last paragraph, but it is a complete lie. The locavores I know are extremely intelligent. I think, down deep that is what really frightens me.

Posted by: jk at September 19, 2012 2:05 PM
But dagny thinks:

Intelligence and rationality are not necessarily highly correlated.

Posted by: dagny at September 19, 2012 2:56 PM
But Jk thinks:

I'm a Ricardo-vore.

Posted by: Jk at September 19, 2012 10:11 PM
But jk thinks:

Ricardovores (I don't care for the hyphen) use reason to exploit their comparative advantage and uncoerced trade to feed themselves from the world's bounty. They enjoy diversity in taste, supply, and seasonality.

And they require a small percentage of their output to consumption, allowing them to pursue other endeavors. Explain the terms "disposal income" and "vintage guitars" to a sustenance farmer.

Posted by: jk at September 20, 2012 10:05 AM

June 7, 2012

Beyond Magical Unicorn Farts

That is where the American environmental extremist group Sierra Club must intend to take American energy consumers.

On Monday I wrote about the use of natural gas as a political alternative to more prevalent and less costly coal as a source of electric power. That effort is supported by Sierra Club in their "Beyond Coal" campaign. But they aren't waiting for Phase I of Operation Nineteenth Century to be completed before launching Phase II: "Beyond Natural Gas." (Not "natural" enough?) Sierra's strategic coordination leaves much room for improvement.

Natural gas drillers exploit government loopholes, ignore decades-old environmental protections, and disregard the health of entire communities. "Fracking," a violent process that dislodges gas deposits from shale rock formations is known to contaminate drinking water, pollute the air, and cause earthquakes. If drillers can’t extract natural gas without destroying landscapes and endangering the health of families, then we should not drill for natural gas. [Emphasis mine.]

After the requisite "what do you mean 'we' Kemosabe" the next thing I notice is how this message is designed to appeal to the feeler-perceiver contingent of the public but offers no evidence for the thinker-judgers among us. Fear, uncertainty and doubt anyone? Showing a glass of drinking water doctored with contaminants so expertly as to make Don Draper proud, the campaign against the hydraulic fracturing process seems to revolve mostly around the shorthand name for the method containing letters "F" and "K".

Blogger Jay F. Marks explains that Sierra Club took millions in donations from natural gas corporations for the purpose of bashing coal, but new Sierra Club director Michael Brune opened a new chapter in the war on reliable and affordable energy.

The Sierra Club once had a cozy relationship with the natural gas industry, taking more than $25 million in contributions from Chesapeake Energy Corp. and its subsidiaries to fund the fight against coal.

Brune ended that relationship when he took over as the environmental group’s director in March 2010. He said the club originally worked with Chesapeake because staff and volunteers concluded natural gas might be a viable alternative to coal in electricity generation, but some local chapters developed increasing concerns about gas production.

Let's fast forward, shall we?

Incoming Sierra Club executive director Barnaby Owleton said today that building and maintaining thousands of acres of monstrously large industrial machines to convert wind to electricity is a thorougly discredited process and a clear danger to migratory birds across the nation. "Extinction of multiple species is not just a possibility, but a certainty, if we don't act immediately to move Beyond Wind."
One or two election cycles later...

Woody Weederstein, in his first official statement as new Sierra Club director, slammed the solar electric energy industry for the consequences imposed upon the areas of our planet that are permanently and unavoidably shaded by solar power conversion panels. "In the name of all that is green" he said, "we as Americans have no moral choice but to move Beyond Solar."

And after they succeed in eliminating energy produced by magical unicorn farts the only remaining strategy to "save the planet" will be energy efficiency, which is just another name for rationing. I have a better idea: Hey Sierra Club - Frack off.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:46 PM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2012

Happy #@#&ing Earth Day

From Gateway Pundit: Green Activists Completely Trash Park on Earth Day

Hat tip: Fox Nation, via Drudge

UPDATE: KA's comment made me think of the "Keep America Beautiful" PSA from my youth. That was the beginning of the environmental movement and it seems we can see where it has ended up. Although, if you read to the end of the UPDATE link you will find it is probably all Coors' fault.

Posted by JohnGalt at 7:12 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Watermelons. Green only on the outside.

The word that keeps coming to my mind about this tribe is "feral."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at April 24, 2012 8:17 PM

March 14, 2012

JG agrees with Boulder DA

Like myself, Boulder's [Democrat] District Attorney Stan Garnett doesn't understand why the Obama Justice Department is so tough on the medical marijuana business. After all, aren't Democrats and weed activists fellow travelers? And, perhaps because I had dinner with the man 12 days ago (well, actually, different tables in the same Boulder burger joint) I agree verbatim with General Garnett on this sentence from his letter to United States Attorney John Walsh:

"The people of Boulder County do not need Washington, D.C., or the federal government dictating ..." WAIT! Stop right there.

But he continued, "how far dispensaries should be from schools or other fine points of local land use law," Garnett wrote.

I don't think Garnett helped his effort by suggesting what the US Attorney's priorities should be, but that probably won't be what makes or breaks the G-Men's "prosecutorial discretion."

In the "things that make you say, hmmm" department: The article also says that Boulder has an estimated 12 dispensaries within 1000 feet of a school.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:11 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

I think it is part of the First Lady's initiative to make schoolchildren walk more.

Flippancy aside, yaay DA Garnett for asserting our rights -- maybe he'll join The Filburn Society. (Do follow that link if you have not seen it!)

Posted by: jk at March 14, 2012 4:23 PM
But Bryan thinks:

It’s wonderful to see the Boulder DA standing up to the Feds on what really is a 10th Amendment issue.

It’s too bad that he and other Democrats (and some Republicans), don't apply this principal consistently on all of the issues that the Federal Government should not be meddling in.

Posted by: Bryan at March 15, 2012 12:52 PM

February 22, 2012


That's the name given by Chicago's Heartland Institute to the attempted smear through forgery by global warming activist Peter Gleick. Heartland's official response, in part:

"An additional document Gleick represented as coming from The Heartland Institute, a forged memo purporting to set out our strategies on global warming, has been extensively cited by newspapers and in news releases and articles posted on Web sites and blogs around the world. It has caused major and permanent damage to the reputations of The Heartland Institute and many of the scientists, policy experts, and organizations we work with.

"A mere apology is not enough to undo the damage.

"In his statement, Gleick claims he committed this crime because he believed The Heartland Institute was preventing a "rational debate" from taking place over global warming. This is unbelievable. Heartland has repeatedly asked for real debate on this important topic. Gleick himself was specifically invited to attend a Heartland event to debate global warming just days before he stole the documents. He turned down the invitation.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:45 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Thanks for breaking ground on this. This is either a huge story or a huge story as to why it is not.

Megan McArdle was the first I saw to expose the faked docs, and she is still on fire. Here, Insty links to her and several other good posts/articles.

Posted by: jk at February 22, 2012 3:05 PM

January 24, 2012

Keystone XL Pipeline Economic Impact is "Settled"

As luck would have it, President Obama actually saved US and Canadian energy companies billions of wasted dollars by using the power of the regulatory state to stop construction of their "disastrous" tar sands pipeline. How do I know this? Al Gore says so.

"The analysis from the final EIS, noted above, indicates that denying the permit at this time is unlikely to have a substantial impact on U.S. employment, economic activity, trade, energy security, or foreign policy over the longer term." Source: Climate Progress

This is an important win not only for the thousands of activists who risked arrest—and for the hundreds who went to jail--but for all of us who want to try and role [sic] back the effects of the climate crisis, not magnify them.

And who could doubt the objective fiscal evaluations of Climate Progress?

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

January 18, 2012

Occupy: Mission Accomplished!

I'm considering instigating a Facebook fight. I haven't really started one in a long while, and Megan McArdle's piece on New York would be an excellent foundation.

Shorter McArdle: You won! Income equality is waaay down in New York.

After a disappointing year, the big banks are pulling back on their bonus pools. A lot. This is going to be hard on bankers whose salaries are usually a very small part of their overall compensation--and yes, yes, before you drag out the world's smallest violin, let me agree that they have no entitlement to anything more. Nonetheless, people tend to build their life around their expected salaries, and in New York, this choice is particularly important. You not only acquire a large mortgage that's often difficult to unload quickly (closings in New York take months at minimum, longer if it's a co-op), but also things like enormous school fees, higher food costs, and so forth.

So, those fat, greedy bankers have finally got what's coming to them. And they won't have money to spend on, um, schools and restaurants and museums and tips and taxes and things.

Income equality is on its way to Gotham. Woot!

Could the creatives pay the bills if Wall Street stopped? New York's bills are very hefty; about one in three people in the city (and one in five in the state) are on Medicaid, with the city paying half of that; the MTA has an operating budget of over $11 billion a year; and the city's annual pension bill runs about $7 billion. New York's generous social services are what nearly bankrupted the city in the 1970s, until they finally found an industry that would just pay hefty taxes instead of moving south and west.

Raising that money from the creatives means, among other things, raising money from the less affluent--people who are less able to shrug off a tax increase as the cost of living in the Big Apple. Creatives may also be a bit more mobile than folks who needed--until the last decade, anyway--proximity to a trading floor.

I recall Ms. McArdle has her detractors around ThreeSources. But, Facebook friends, this is an Obama supporter whose mentor is Professor Austan Goolsbee, President Obama's economic architect. And it's in The Atlantic, not AEI's American or the WSJ Ed Page or FOX News.

Income equality suddenly looks less like Steinbeck and more like Mad Max.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)

January 8, 2012

Your vision or mine?

The idea for this contrast of visions came to me yesterday, when I searched for a suitable cartoon to highjack and found an excellent cartoon in its own right from the Sarasota Chronicle by way of the (Montana) Missoulian. Being Broncos Playoff Sunday and having chores to do before the game I almost didn't post it, thinking it deserved a good writeup accompaniment. JK's Motor City Madness segue's well: New Orleans says, "Leave us alone" while Detroit still moans, "Take care of us."

Occupy Tea Party

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:50 PM | Comments (2)
But nanobrewer thinks:

Better (perhaps even more accurate) titles for the signs would have been:
"We can do it" vs. "You have to do it for us"

Posted by: nanobrewer at January 10, 2012 9:19 AM
But johngalt thinks:

"We can do it" vs. "Do it for us." I like it.

So much talk about TEA Party "extremism." A simple contrast here can be devastatingly effective.

Posted by: johngalt at January 11, 2012 1:45 AM

December 8, 2011

Gov. Christie on #OWS

When a HOSS encounters Dirty Hippies:

Once the room quieted and the protesters were locked outside, Christie resumed speaking and offered his thoughts on the Occupy Wall Street movement.

"Here's the way I feel about it: They represent an anger in our country that Barack Obama has caused," he said, drawing cheers from the crowd. "He's a typical cynical Chicago... politician who runs for office and promises everything and then comes to office and disappoints, and so their anger is rooted not in me or Mitt Romney, their anger is rooted in the fact that they believed in this hope and change garbage."

Christie called them disillusioned and said he "feels bad" for them.

"Now they are angry but they're not mature enough to know they should be angry with themselves," he said.

We should recognize that the big man was there to support Governor Romney. Just sayin'

Posted by John Kranz at 12:02 PM | Comments (0)

November 29, 2011

Giants Walked the Earth

What Milton Friedman might say to the Occupy movement Two awesome clips at Mankiw's site.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:17 PM | Comments (0)

November 17, 2011

Parent-Free Zone

When this occupy business first broke I commented, "Anyone in this picture look like a parent?" This photo doubles down on the theme. [Unattributed lead story pic at Drudge.]

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:21 AM | Comments (5)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

You'll need to define "parent." If you mean "a person who has randomly spawned," odds are good; if you mean "responsible, loving caregiver," the Vegas line on that changes.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 17, 2011 11:35 AM
But jk thinks:

Had the same thought, ka, but I am glad I left it to your deft voicing skills.

Posted by: jk at November 17, 2011 12:19 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I'm here to please. By the way, the college educations that these slackers borrows all that money for doesn't seem to be working; the guy in the sweatshirt in front of the herd misspelled "tool."

Or "fool." Take your pick, I guess.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 17, 2011 12:24 PM
But johngalt thinks:


Seriously though, I meant "parent" not fornicator.

Posted by: johngalt at November 17, 2011 10:48 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Case in point: Occu-Mom!


Posted by: Keith Arnold at November 18, 2011 1:34 PM

Yes we can!


Defecate on cop cars.

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:10 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Always worth mentioning that Professor and prog heartthrob Elizabeth Warren is the "intellectual leader" of this movement.

Posted by: jk at November 17, 2011 10:40 AM

November 15, 2011

Quote of the Day

As I wrote back in September, my generation seems not [to] realize that civil disobedience entails opposing an unjust law by breaking it. In doing so, the protester benefits his cause by taking the punishment to call attention to its injustice and gain sympathy. Civil disobedience does not mean, as Team OWS and many others of my generation believe, that you can do whatever you want as long as you are sufficiently self-righteous about it. -- Matthew Knee
Posted by John Kranz at 11:27 AM | Comments (2)
But Terri thinks:


Posted by: Terri at November 15, 2011 11:38 AM
But johngalt thinks:

HA! That's exactly what it means, if a court says so.

Posted by: johngalt at November 15, 2011 3:25 PM

November 11, 2011

Lord of the Flies Comes to Salt Lake

Salt Lake Tribune:

The Salt Lake City Police Department said officers responded at 3:27 a.m. to a fight involving as many as 30 people. A 43-year-old man who said he was in charge of crowd control for the protest claimed that Jesse Jaramillo, 31, hit him on the head with a board during the fight.

Jaramillo was arrested for aggravated assault along with several others arrested for public intoxication and alcohol violations, the police said. He was among four people booked into jail, the statement said.

"That was kind of my alarm clock," said Seth Neily, 31, a spokesman for the Occupy SLC movement and a part-time worker for the local International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees union.

John Hinderaker at Powerline points out "If you have ever wondered what would happen in a society consisting entirely of liberals, the Occupier movement is providing the answer: devolution"

Hat-tip: Insty for both.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:17 PM | Comments (1)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Another thing I've been meaning to blog about: here's a look at the society we would become if these collectivists had their way.

No houses: because there's no prosperity, nobody can afford anything beyond tents. Everyone's too busy "protesting" instead of trying to find jobs.

No sense of private property: in New York, they're living in a privately owned park that's open to the public. Per the agreement with the city, the park owners have no authority to kick out the protestors. They can't even get them to move, just a third at a time, for a goddamn cleaning. Meanwhile the "protestors" are robbing each other when the predators aren't raping and groping.

A belief in Santa Claus: food is being provided for free, and just how long will that last? Collectivists can't conceive that there's a chain of economic production where things just don't happen by themselves. They can't. There's a reason it's called Say's Law, because there's no getting around it.

The difference between the 1930s, when my dad spent his teen years, and today is that in the 1930s, most people walked all day trying to find a job. Most didn't sit on their asses hoping to be given something. There's no such courage today.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at November 13, 2011 2:57 PM

November 9, 2011

Quote of the Day

Adding to the Occupation's "Flea Party" reputation is the news of an infestation of head and body lice at Occupy Portland. The parasites have parasites. -- Robert Tracinski
Posted by John Kranz at 12:25 PM | Comments (0)

November 8, 2011

The Virtueocracy

It is not news to ThreeSourcers that the #occupywallstreet protesters are blaming the wrong folks. But, Ms. Margaret Wente, in the Toronto Globe and Mail catches something I have missed in months of Hippie Watching.

These people make up the Occupier generation. They aspire to join the virtueocracy -- the class of people who expect to find self-fulfillment (and a comfortable living) in non-profit or government work, by saving the planet, rescuing the poor and regulating the rest of us. They are what the social critic Christopher Lasch called the "new class" of "therapeutic cops in the new bureaucracy."

The whole column is superbly awesome and awesomely superb. Many, me included, have focused on the liberal arts and humanities degrees versus more lucrative majors in engineering and business. The better bifurcation is those who would actually join or start a company that did something and those that want to distribute grant money for the U.N.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:08 PM | Comments (0)

Occupy McDonalds!

Ari Armstrong compares and contrasts:

Posted by John Kranz at 11:40 AM | Comments (0)

November 7, 2011

Better Late than Never

Reason's Matt Welch sees the disconnect between the Libertarian uprising the #occupywallstreet crowd promised and the reality of demanding debt forgiveness.

As of this writing, the Occupy Wall Street movement appears to have legs. I am generally happy to see public displays of disaffection with a governing elite that has inflicted so much bad economic policy on the rest of us, even more so when the protesters lean toward the political party that currently occupies the White House. (Many Tea Partiers I've talked to express personal regret that they didn't get their start opposing George W. Bush.) But I will reserve my enthusiasm until the moment that protesters stop bashing capitalism and start confronting the incoherence of opposing bailouts for everybody but themselves.

See, they're educable!

Posted by John Kranz at 4:59 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

Daniel, a tall, red-bearded, white twenty-something--one of the six leaders of the teach-in--said that the NYC-GA needed to be completely defunded because those with "no stake" in the Occupy Wall Street movement shouldn't have a say in how the money was spent. When I asked him whether everybody in the 99% had a stake in the movement, he said that only those occupying or working in Zuccotti Park did. I pointed out that since the General Assembly took place in Zuccotti Park, everybody who participated was an occupier. He responded with a long rant about how Zuccotti Park is filled with "tourists," "free-loaders" and "crackheads" and suggested a solution that the even NYPD has not yet attempted: Daniel said that he'd like to take a fire-hose and clear out the entire encampment, adding hopefully that only the "real" activists would come back. -- Fritz Tucker
Yeah, just how are we going to spend that $500,000 we've amassed? Hat-tip: Ed Morrissey via Insty. Morrissey adds a great bon mot: "[T]he Occupy Wall Street organization looked like a child from a marriage between Animal Farm and Animal House"
Posted by John Kranz at 12:57 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:



"This reaction shouldn't surprise anyone. It is reasonable to expect any undemocratic organization to be co-opted eventually by a vocal minority or charismatic individual." - author, Fritz Tucker

Strike the word "undemocratic" and I'll second that.

Posted by: johngalt at November 7, 2011 2:57 PM

November 6, 2011

She Can't be Serious

Can she?


Related: Hippie chicks strip for free. (I can't believe I'm pushing Charisma Carpenter off the front page for this.) As a public service: Charisma Carpenter link. Come to think of it, maybe we'll just include that with every "Occupy" post. Sort of an ... innoculation.

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:38 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Oh, my.

Not to beat on a theme too badly, but I'm certain the HTG&L Studies sign is a joke. Had she really obtained such a degree, there would be an apostrophe in studie's.

Posted by: jk at November 6, 2011 11:46 AM

November 5, 2011

Happy Guy Fawkes Day

Just 'cause the #OWS crowd is sullying the good name of terrorist Guy Fawkes does not mean we can't party!

Remember, remember
The Fifth of November,
T'was gunpowder treason and plot!
I see no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!

Posted by John Kranz at 12:28 PM | Comments (0)

Eminent Domain Abuse at #OccupyWallStreet

Preparing a snarky post about how I did not recall segregation by gender at Tea Parties to prevent rape, I found a verdant pasture of blog fodder in this NY Post article. Really, a fellah could throw a (suction cup) dart at the screen and document whatever documentation of idiocy it hit.

But if I were aiming, I'd go for the woman who is pissed because they took her spot to put up the safe tent.

One woman was also against the structure, saying the protesters who put it up took her tent down without notice to make room.

"I'm pissed! I pretty much just got evicted," fumed Angelina Isfreed, 32, after returning to find her tent taken down. "I won't be staying there."

Kelo v. New London, hon, it's all for the greater societal good...

Posted by John Kranz at 12:20 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

If memory serves, 'Lord of the Flies' zipped right past this stage of societal evolution on it's way to the warring tribes phase, but a more thorough treatment of the subject would have included it.

Let me coin a new term of humorous approval: iHeh.

Posted by: johngalt at November 5, 2011 1:54 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And I hope Iowa's Steve Deace doesn't find out you've referred to a female that you aren't already intimate with as "hon" lest he accuse you of being compromised in your private life.

Deace, an influential conservative figure in the state, declined to say whether he had the women's consent before going public with the allegations [of "inappropriate and awkward" behavior toward women by Herman Cain], but added, "As a staff we are very tight and we are very close and we share everything with one another."

"To bring up any further evidence or to add any more specifics really puts the burden on our staff and not really where the burden of proof for the American people belongs which is with the guy running for President of the United States," Deace said.

More directly, "Cain is guilty until he proves himself innocent." Nice. And what comment led to all the hubbub?

"Darling, do you mind doctoring my tea for me?"
Posted by: johngalt at November 6, 2011 10:22 AM
But jk thinks:

It would be importune of me to provide detail on the exact nature of my relationship with Ms. Isfreed...

The existence of this blog will certainly keep my political ambitions at bay. "And on November 6, the candidate said..."

Posted by: jk at November 6, 2011 10:44 AM

November 4, 2011

Sod Off, Swampy

Tim Blair's equivalent of our "Dirty Hippies" category has this gem from 2005, and Professor Reynolds finds it germane to our current context. Oy!

When 35 Greenpeace protesters stormed the International Petroleum Exchange yesterday, they had planned the operation in great detail.

What they were not prepared for was the post-prandial aggression of oil traders who kicked and punched them back on to the pavement.

"We bit off more than we could chew. They were just Cockney barrow boy spivs. Total thugs,"? one protester said, rubbing his bruised skull. "I’ve never seen anyone less amenable to listening to our point of view."?

Faith restored.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:12 PM | Comments (0)

Villifying the "Occupy"-ers

Bloggers and editorialists around the country seem to be trying to discredit the "Occupy" movement by publicizing certain bad or illegal acts by individuals within its ranks. The Tacoma News Tribune, for example, writes:

Seattle has been occupied. Tacoma has been occupied. Good heavens, even Puyallup has been occupied. [Uh, that's "pew-AL-up" for all you southeasterners.]

If nothing else, Occupy Wall Street is a triumph of branding. Any collection of individuals with gripes about the status quo can call itself an “Occupy,” lay claim to some public space and instantly be anointed part of the international phenomenon begun by a group of enterprising protesters in Manhattan.

A mass protest of some kind was inevitable in the current pit of economic distress and widespread joblessness. There are legions of exceedingly unhappy people out there. To its credit, Occupy Wall Street has emphasized nonviolence; eruptions of public rage in years past have often degenerated into arson and angry mobs.

Arson? No, not the Occupiers. Well, maybe a few little trash fires in Oakland. Or a puny $10 million condo fire in Fort Collins, Colorado. Kids will be kids!

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:53 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

How can you denigrate "a business owner and war veteran?"

Posted by: jk at November 4, 2011 4:51 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I sense you are as skeptical of those claims as I.

Posted by: johngalt at November 5, 2011 1:55 PM

November 3, 2011


No violence in Oakland. As they trash a Whole Foods store, some are offended:

Hat-tip (and more backstory) Jim Treacher

Posted by John Kranz at 12:38 PM | Comments (0)

November 2, 2011


I have found some surprisingly well reasoned debate on Facebook (no, really) regarding the #occupywallstreet protests. A normally non-political musician buddy has decided that he supports them. Sick of the banks, he is, and he and his lovely bride credit them with BofA's reversal on debit card fees. A couple of his friends whom I don't know have respectfully challenged me. So much, that I apologized and retracted my having called the protesters "smelly hippies."

A problem is that discerning the protesters' intent is like nailing Jello® to the wall. If I don't like their anti-capitalism, they are not anti-capitalist. Repeat as needed. If I don't appreciate "X" they are not really "X," that's just how they have been labeled.

Reason's Matt Welch does us all a service finding a "New Declaration of Independence" online and challenging it.

The Only Thing Missing From "The New Declaration of Independence": Any Sense That Adults Are Responsible for Their Choices
I don't recall anything like the promises so cruelly unkept in Salon's list. I do remember my father warning me that an engineering degree would be much more useful in the workplace than English, to which I uttered a phrase available to 18-year-olds everywhere: Thanks, Dad; not your call. Ditto for the legions of well-meaning adults urging me to finish my undergraduate degree, to sign up for the Selective Service, and even (when I finally attained a decent living in the second half of my 30s) to pay a mortgage instead of paying rent. One of the best perks about being a grown-up is that you get to make your own choices, and to own the results, good and ill.

Which is why phrases like "wage slaves," "inescapable debt," and "force" "force" "force" leave me feeling like a brother from another planet. Adult human beings have agency, the ability (even responsibility!) to run their own cost/benefit analyses and choose accordingly. You could go to a state school (or community college) instead of an over-inflated prestige mill. You could pay for a 10-year-old car in cash, instead of a new one on installments. You could try to make it in Minneapolis before living the dream in Williamsburg. You could stare into the face of a no-money-down, adjustable rate 30-year mortgage at the tail end of a housing-price run-up and conclude "Maybe that one's not for me." You could even choose to turn down a bad if high-paying job when you're living below the poverty line. If we indeed live in a "candid world," let us state bluntly that offloading 100% of the blame for your own mountain of debt on a group of Greedy McBanksters who "forced" you to "play by the rules" is more than a little pathetic.

Reason, I will remind, has been more sympathetic to the protesters than most of the sources I frequent. Outta the park on this one, Mr. Welch. Outta the park.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:25 PM | Comments (0)

November 1, 2011

Quote of the Day

Read the whole thing. And then ask yourself why is it again that The New Yorker is known for smart, insightful writing. -- Nick Gillespie, less than impressed with Hendrik Hertzberg's comparison of #OWS and TEA
Posted by John Kranz at 4:46 PM | Comments (0)

October 31, 2011

Word of the Day

Investor's Editorial:

Yet the American Federation of Teachers has "fully endorsed" the Occupy protest and is calling for the rehiring of 1,000 laid-off teachers, presumably to include McAllister.

"We need to listen to what the individuals camped out in Liberty Plaza for Occupy Wall Street -- and those marching in the streets from Boston to Denver to Los Angeles -- have to say," declared AFT President Randi Weingarten in a statement issued after McAllister made her speech.

Fox News has reported that the fraud-plagued community-organizing group Acorn has partially recrudesced as something called New York Communities for Change, a group aligned with teachers.

The Acorn group collected funds for what it claimed was an American Federation of Teachers fundraiser to replace dangerous lightbulbs in schools. The money, according to Fox, went to Occupy protests instead.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:47 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:


Posted by: jk at October 31, 2011 3:05 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, poetic indeed.

I'm still working on my three sentences containing 'recrudesced' that I may permanently add the word to my vocabulary.

Posted by: johngalt at October 31, 2011 4:58 PM

October 30, 2011


Posted by JohnGalt at 12:24 PM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:


Posted by: jk at October 30, 2011 3:23 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I saw the color-coded fret bars on that instrument he's holding, and on a hunch, went searching in Google; lo and behold, that's not even a real guitar, but that annoying toy from the game "Guitar Hero," that ubiquitous product of capitalism and mass-marketing.

As are the trendy cargo pants and the posh Ozark Trail dome tent. Sure paints the OWS types as spoiled, overindulged slackers. THAT kind of attention to detail is doubly awesome.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 31, 2011 11:50 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I dressed as this guy for Halloween today, sans the guitar. I memorized the song lyric but never got to use it. I settled for, We're going to Occupy Boulder City Council tonight, who's in?" and "Where's the free food?"

Posted by: johngalt at October 31, 2011 2:33 PM
But jk thinks:

I dress like that every day...

Posted by: jk at October 31, 2011 5:51 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yeah, I was in Boulder. Nobody thought it was a costume. Heh.

Posted by: johngalt at October 31, 2011 6:03 PM

October 29, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Shrugs

Robert Tracinski has additional analysis of events such as in the New York Post story JK posted last weekend. In a TIA Daily email he explains how Occupy Wall Street Shrugged.

Over at Occupy Boston, a protester complains, "It's turning into us against them. They come in here and they're looking at it as a way of getting a free meal and a place to crash, which is totally fine, but they don't bring anything to the table at all." Another report concludes with a similar sentiment.
"We have compassion toward everyone. However, we have certain rules and guidelines," said Lauren Digioia, 26, a member of the sanitation committee. "If you're going to come here and get our food, bedding and clothing, have books and medical supplies for no charge, they need to give back," Digioia said. "There's a lot of takers here and they feel entitled."

These people had better watch out. If they start thinking that like this, pretty soon they might find themselves at a Tea Party rally.

"Our" food? What did they do to earn it? Who is it who really feels "entitled?"

Then he refrains a tale he dubs The Spaghetti Bolognese Incident.

The Occupy Wall Street volunteer kitchen staff launched a "counter" revolution yesterday—because they're angry about working 18-hour days to provide food for "professional homeless" people and ex-cons masquerading as protesters.

For three days beginning tomorrow, the cooks will serve only brown rice and other Spartan grub instead of the usual menu of organic chicken and vegetables, spaghetti Bolognese, and roasted beet and sheep's-milk-cheese salad.

They will also provide directions to local soup kitchens for the vagrants, criminals and other freeloaders who have been descending on Zuccotti Park in increasing numbers every day.

To show they mean business, the kitchen staff refused to serve any food for two hours yesterday in order to meet with organizers to air their grievances, sources said.

Behind the hypocrisy, there are real lessons to be learned: lessons about the relationship between productive people and freeloaders. About the need for police to protect decent people from criminals. About how con-men and the power-lusters always take over utopian schemes for their own benefit. About the taxing power and unaccountability of central authorities.

The spaghetti Bolognese incident sums it up. The workers who provide the goods everyone else lives off of are going on strike to protest against their exploitation by freeloaders. Has anyone else noticed that this is the basic plot premise of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged? Yet that is the story line they are unintentionally acting out. Call it Occupy Wall Street Shrugged.

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:03 PM | Comments (0)

Clean and Attractive Hippies

"I am going to leave College w/so much loans, all because eduction is the first thing to be cut. I AM THE 99%"
So much loans, so little eduction. Don Surber takes some whacks at the 99.
Posted by John Kranz at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2011

Peter Schiff Represents the 1%

Represents them pretty well, actually:

Posted by John Kranz at 4:23 PM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2011

A Cause I Could Support

Talk about burying the lead -- the WSJ Story on "Love under the Tarps" (hey, I can't read Mises all day!) closes with an interesting detail:

The unnamed donor [of the massive prophylactic stash] did not express solidarity with the movement's economic message.

"He was concerned with overpopulation," Barnwell said. "I thought he meant in the park, but I guess he meant in the world. He said, "'Just make sure people aren't breeding.'"

Possibly a Malthusian but possibly well intentioned concerned for the gene pool -- bravo!

Posted by John Kranz at 2:43 PM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2011

Dirty Hippies

Don't laugh.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:42 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Ivey Starnes, paging Ms. Ivey Starnes.

Screw the Fed, audit Occupy Finance!

And what's up with the fundraiser who "kept $650 [of $2000 in collected donations] for my group?" Does he think his effort somehow entitles him to a special dispensation? Filthy capitalist!

Posted by: johngalt at October 23, 2011 2:52 PM
But Lisa M thinks:

Bureauccupy Wall Street.

Posted by: Lisa M at October 23, 2011 5:39 PM
But Douglas Fletcher thinks:

I'm laughing, sorry.

I'm starting to think this is just another reality show being filmed on the sly.

Posted by: Douglas Fletcher at October 24, 2011 1:02 AM


Occupy Denver yesterday ~1000

Zombie crawl ~12,000

99% of what, exactly?

Posted by John Kranz at 1:32 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Heh - 99% of the state's student loan defaulters.

Q- What's the difference between zombies and Occupy protesters?

A- Zombies have lives to return to after the party.

Posted by: johngalt at October 23, 2011 2:45 PM
But Lisa M thinks:

Bureauccupy Wall Street

Posted by: Lisa M at October 23, 2011 5:38 PM

October 22, 2011

Alec Baldwin Making Sense

Hat-tip: Taranto

Posted by John Kranz at 7:08 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Hope! Change! Is Alec Baldwin "Anarchied Enough, Already?"

Did you notice how, when someone speaks calmly and rationally in opposition to their demand, they were left more or less speechless? I enjoyed watching the eyes of the young man holding the microphone. When Baldwin said, "I think most people want change in this country, but they don't want the country to go down the tubes; they don't want the country to become England" his eyes lowered in apparent reflection and contemplation. It almost seems like, he's listening.

Posted by: johngalt at October 22, 2011 1:50 PM

October 21, 2011

If you can read this without laughing...

New York Magazine: The Organizers vs. the Organized in Zuccotti Park
If I started excerpting, kids...
Posted by John Kranz at 3:26 PM | Comments (0)

October 18, 2011

Warren Buffet's Wife?

Are You Smarter Than a Wall Street Occupier?

Hint: yes

Hat-tip: @bdomenech

Posted by John Kranz at 6:59 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Does a wild hippie sh_t in the park?

Posted by: johngalt at October 18, 2011 10:54 PM
But jk thinks:

Most know there is not a lot of love lost between me and my home town, but the sprinklers in Denver's Civic Center Park mysteriously went off at 2AM on a 26° night in October.

Well, done Mayor Hancock! Bravo!

Posted by: jk at October 19, 2011 11:14 AM

Property Rights II

They're not only educated -- some are proving themselves educable.

I had my Mac stolen -- that was like $5,500. Every night, something else is gone. Last night, our entire [kitchen] budget for the day was stolen, so the first thing I had to do was . . . get the message out to our supporters that we needed food!"

Crafty cat burglars sneaked into the makeshift kitchen at Zuccotti Park overnight and swiped as much as $2,500 in donated greenbacks from right under the noses of volunteers who'd fallen asleep after a long day whipping up meals for the hundreds of hungry protesters, the volunteers said.
Security volunteer Harry Wyman, 22, of Brooklyn was furious about the thievery -- and vowed to get tough with the predatory perps.

"I'm not getting paid, but I'm not gonna stand for it. Why people got to come here and do stupid stuff? All it does is make people not wanna come here anymore," Wyman fumed.

Coundown to "Lord of the Flies" T minus 70:00:00...

Posted by John Kranz at 3:25 PM | Comments (3)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

So, all these protestors whose signs say that can't find jobs and can't pay back all their student loans... have $5,500 Macs and camcorders and stuff they can afford to buy and object to seeing redistributed to others in greater need?

Are we seeing an ironic moment - or just a bunch of slackers whose mommies and daddies give 'way too much allowance to?

Or, both?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 18, 2011 3:36 PM
But jk thinks:

Irony? What's that?

Posted by: jk at October 18, 2011 3:43 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

JK, it's what you do to your shirt before you head off to a job interview. Which is why this crowd is unfamiliar with it.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at October 18, 2011 4:34 PM

October 17, 2011

Property Rights


Hat-tip: Professor N. Gregory Mankiw

Posted by John Kranz at 3:27 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

"That's not fair - You have it, and I need it. I'm sure there's enough to go around."

Posted by: johngalt at October 17, 2011 8:01 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Before you know it, these guys will be taking up residence in caves to safeguard their "stuff."

And taking measures to secure it while they're away...

And defending their caves and their "stuff" using clubs...

And using their "stuff" to attract a mate...

Posted by: johngalt at October 17, 2011 8:04 PM
But johngalt thinks:

But the ultimate caption to this photo [Context: At the "Occupy Wall Street" protest demanding the "equal" sharing of wealth, no matter what its origin.] is an installment of Atlas Shrugged QOTD.

There wasn't a man voting for it who didn't think that under a setup of this kind he'd muscle in on the profits of the men abler than himself. There wasn't a man rich and smart enough but that he didn't think that somebody was richer and smarter, and this plan would give him a share of his better's wealth and brain. But while he was thinking that he'd get unearned benefits from the men above, he forgot about the men below who'd get unearned benefits, too. He forgot about all his inferiors who'd rush to drain him just as he hoped to drain his superiors. The worker who liked the idea that his need entitled him to a limousine like his boss's, forgot that every bum and beggar on earth would come howling that their need entitled them to an icebox like his own. That was our real motive when we voted - that was the truth of it - but we didn't like to think it, so the less we liked it, the louder we yelled about our love for the common good.
Posted by: johngalt at October 18, 2011 2:48 PM

October 14, 2011

Someone put the snack in the refrigerator!

Taranto links to a NYTimes piece on the great chow available for the dirty hippies anti-property-rights protesters of #occupywallstreet. Being Taranto, he jokes that our First Lady may disapprove of the man who gained five pounds since he arrived.

Following the link, I noted that food for the gallant 99% just shows up:

Tom Hintze, 24, was volunteering in Zuccotti Park last week. "Just now there was a big UPS delivery," he said. "We don’t know where it comes from. It just appears, and we eat it."

It put me in mind of my favorite part of one of my favorite recent books: David Mamet's "The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture." He tells of a time that his daughter had befriended a young heiress her age, and she was visiting:
The two were discussing their various bedtimes. And the heiress said that every evening, at ten o'clock, she went to the small refrigerator in her room, and took out her usual snack: fresh berries and organic yogurt dripped with honey.

My daughter asked, "Who puts it there?" The heiress paused for a while and said "...I don't know."

Mamet comes back a couple times and says "Who puts the snack in the refrigerator? Someone does."

Perhaps the best part is the credulity of the young lady who has never thought of this question before. Who puts the snack in the refrigerator?

Posted by John Kranz at 5:51 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Isn't this one of the things for which Elizabeth Warren took credit? "Nobody gets to be an heiress on her own. She eats the honey-dripped organic yogurt that the rest of us prepared for her and delivered to her boudoire."

Posted by: johngalt at October 14, 2011 10:06 PM

October 13, 2011

Quote of the Day

Still, OWS' defenders correctly say it represents progressivism's spirit and intellect. Because it embraces spontaneity and deplores elitism, it eschews deliberation and leadership. Hence its agenda, beyond eliminating one of the seven deadly sins (avarice), is opaque. Its meta-theory is, however, clear: Washington is grotesquely corrupt and insufficiently powerful.-- George Will
Hat-tip: Blog brother hb, via email.
Posted by John Kranz at 11:12 AM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2011

Quote of the Day

Just look at all those unemployed and heavily-indebted #Occupy protesters. I didn’t notice any Petroleum Engineering graduates among them. -- Glenn Reynolds
Posted by John Kranz at 6:39 PM | Comments (0)

Dear Dirty Hippies for Paul:

October 12, 2011

Occupy Wall Street
Zuccotti Park
New York, NY USA

Dear Dirty Hippies and Ron Paul supporters:

Not all of you, just the supporters of Rep. Ron Paul who have joined forcers with the #occupywallstreet movement. I see "End the Fed" signs during news coverage and I have read about your presence in Reason and CATO.

I fear you have made a mistake in your choice of solidarity. You have found those who share your temperament and emotions, rather than those who share your ideas, philosophy and values. Why does Doctor Paul want to end the Fed? Because he considers it an assault on property rights. He makes an eloquent and substantive case that to devalue the currency is to steal the loss in value to currency holders. I don't agree with every facet, but it is a serious argument and well worthy of discussion.

Hans Hermann-Hoppe says of Ludwig von Mises: "Mises condensed the definition of liberalism into a single term: private property" and I surmise that Paul considers this both a foundation of our liberty and cornerstone of his philosophy.

Your newfound friends at the protests share your distrust of government, bailouts, too-big-too-fail banks, and Corporatism in general. But they do not share your belief in property rights. Quite the contrary, their demands seem to center on loan forgiveness. Ordinary Americans borrowed money in a legal market with all protections of contract law for housing or education, and have now decided that the lenders have zero right to the contracted repayment.

This turns Ron Paul's beliefs on their head. He worries about 2 or 3% annual theft of the value to a saver's cash holdings -- your fellow travelers advocate a 100% immediate theft of the property of legitimate debt and bond holders. They are not your friends.

Leave them. Go home. Take a shower.

, evoL

Posted by John Kranz at 12:24 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Five stars. The best synopsis of the whole Occupy Movement I have yet read, heard or pondered.

And also the best Elevator Talk, evah - while also using the 'Dirty Hippies' tag! I am so jealous in my awe.

Posted by: johngalt at October 12, 2011 3:15 PM
But jk thinks:

Thank you for the kind words.

Posted by: jk at October 12, 2011 4:37 PM
But gd thinks:

Incredibly well said jk. I read a quote from the ancient orator Isocrates the other day that made me think of you and jg: "Democracy destroys itself because it abuses its right to freedom and equality. Because it teaches its citizens to consider audacity as a right, lawlessness as a freedom, abrasive speech as equality, and anarchy as progress."

Posted by: gd at October 12, 2011 5:12 PM

October 11, 2011


We are the 53%

UPDATE: Extra double awesome, they put up mine.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:03 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

A little blurry but yes, awesome.

Posted by: johngalt at October 11, 2011 7:31 PM

"When do we want it? Now!"

The leftist media copes with the TEA Party by finding the handful of whacked out nutjobs in their ranks and making examples of them. But with the Occupy protesters [could anyone have thought of a more appropriate name than they've given themselves?] one wonders if any of them are NOT whacked out nutjobs.

Weekly Standard's Matt Lebash gives a hilarious eyewitness report from Wall Street.

They seem to know they’re a spectacle, since they stand in front of a cardboard sign that reads “Pictures for change or a dollar.” Meaning the passing fanny-packing tourist hordes or smirking financial sector barbarians can get their snaps taken with Spooky and Newport as if they were mascots at Disney’s new Protester World Experience.

And more truth than humor...

Many Wall Streeters inarguably were ethically challenged plunderers, doing their fair share to help turn the American Dream into a waking nightmare (along with profligate government spenders, promiscuous lending institutions, and gluttonous consumers who were all too happy to buy high six- and seven-figure homes on five-figure salaries, slopping at the trough of easy credit and no-doc loans). But in the Great Rewrite that has followed the Great Recession, it has now become fashionable to blame Wall Street for everything from your dog getting hit by a car to your wife getting cellulite on her thighs.

There's more hippie-loathing goodness at the link if you haven't had your fill. Like "What do we want? (We're not gonna tell!)"

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:50 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

My brother shares a Krugman column on Facebook.

Consider first how Republican politicians have portrayed the modest-sized if growing demonstrations, which have involved some confrontations with the police -- confrontations that seem to have involved a lot of police overreaction — but nothing one could call a riot. And there has in fact been nothing so far to match the behavior of Tea Party crowds in the summer of 2009.

You mean when they picked up trash?

Posted by: jk at October 11, 2011 4:21 PM
But jk thinks:

The Labash piece is indeed great (miss the Galley Slaves Blog still). I'll add an excerpt, though you are right that you'd never really stop:

Between all the Tweeting and blogging and livestreaming, it almost feels like you’re missing something if you’re actually here.

Posted by: jk at October 11, 2011 4:45 PM

Greenwald is Right

Stopped clocked, twice a day, Glenn Greenwald...let's say every once in a while.

But he is correct that the Democrats will find it difficult to co-opt #OccupyWallStreet.

Given these facts, does the Center for American Progress really believe that the protest movement named OccupyWallStreet was begun -- and that people are being arrested and pepper-sprayed and ready to endure harsh winters -- in order to devote themselves to ensuring that these people remain in power? Does CAP and the DCCC really believe that most of the protesters are motivated -- or can be motivated -- to turn themselves into a get-out-the-vote machine for Obama’s re-election and the empowerment of Chuck Schumer and the Democratic Party?

Posted by John Kranz at 1:45 PM | Comments (0)

Tweet of the Day

Hat-tip: Jim Geraghty

Stolen from @DrewMTips, but I'll add an original thought: Ev'ybody says they will clear out when the weather turns cold. I would think that might keep the stench down a little.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:08 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Umm, that's the dirty hippies, not the Rangers fans... Me like Rangers fans.

Posted by: jk at October 11, 2011 2:00 PM

October 10, 2011

Dirty Hippies

I had my moment of open mindedness about the #OccupyWallStreet mob civil unrest. That was Saturday, and it lasted a good part of the day.

Now, I am back to grumpy old straight uptight white guy mode:

But as the protest ground on for a 23rd day, it was evident that there were challenges.

Zuccotti Park smelled like an open sewer -- with people urinating and defecating in public.

And some couples have taken advantage of the free condoms distributed by organizers to do the nasty in full view of other protesters.

"It kinda makes me think of what Woodstock must have been like," said one protester, Sarah, 19 from the Upper West Side.

"I haven’t hooked up with any guys ... but one of my friends did have sex in a tarp with a guy last night."

The free chow offered to protesters was boosting the crowd.

"People say they are here for the cause, but the real reason is the free food," quipped Cameron, 26, of Jersey City.

"On my third day, they had smoked salmon with cream cheese. You know how much smoked salmon is a pound? Sixteen dollars. I eat better here than I do with my parents!"

Reminds me so much of the Party rallies I attended last year. I'm over-freakin-whelmed with nostalgia.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:52 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

There's the name of the next Lady Gaga hit: "Sex in a Tarp With a Guy Last Night"

Posted by: johngalt at October 11, 2011 3:01 PM

Quote of the Day

In short, every single need, want or desire of their lives has been supplied every step of the way by Big Corporations. Were it not for Big corporations they would have had to have heard about the protest from smoke signals from fires lit by flints and burning wood cut with stone axes. They would be dressed in animal skins and would have walked barefooted on dirt paths to get to NYC. They would be doing their business behind trees and wiping with their bare hands. At night they‘d be snuggled up under a homespun blanket made from the fleece of their own sheep. -- Rick Parker, commenting on the picture below
Posted by John Kranz at 6:08 PM | Comments (0)

Down With Wall Street!

From mises.org Facebook page, they could not attribute...

Posted by John Kranz at 3:10 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:


P.S. Anyone in this picture look like a parent?

Posted by: johngalt at October 10, 2011 3:25 PM
But dagny thinks:


I think this is the one you should post on facebook for your lefty friends. It goes a long way to showing how ridiculous it is to demonize, "corporations." All corporations, much like Occupy protests are made up of PEOPLE. Some good, some bad, some greedy, some generous. However, at least the corporations are people working together to accomplish something.

Posted by: dagny at October 11, 2011 4:08 PM

October 7, 2011


Well, what's sort of fascinating about the Occupy Wall Street/Tea Party comparison is how much overlap there is between their complaints. Scrape off the 31 different kinds of Marxist mold growing on the surface of the 99 Percenters, hose off the stench of urine, bong water, and failure, and you'll find a complaint that many Tea Partiers can appreciate: disgust at corporate bailouts, crony capitalism, and economic mismanagement. -- Jonah Golberg G-File (subscribe)
Posted by John Kranz at 1:50 PM | Comments (0)

October 5, 2011

All Hail Harsanyi

He's pretty good with an "Occupy Wall Street: a Manifesto."

First, we are imbued with as many inalienable rights as a few thousand college kids and a gaggle of borderline celebrities can concoct, among them a guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment and immediate across-the-board debt forgiveness--even if that debt was acquired taking on a mortgage with a 4.1 percent interest rate and no money down, which, we admit, is a pretty sweet deal in historical context...

Posted by John Kranz at 1:34 PM | Comments (0)

October 4, 2011


We're the last blog to not write about the #occupyWallStreet protests. And I have not used the "Dirty Hippies" category in some time.

So please accept this link to blog friend Terri's FREE CHALK!

Posted by John Kranz at 6:27 PM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

Heh - a movement in search of a goal.

Reminds me of a story my dad likes to tell about college protesters in the late sixties on the DU campus. He asked a young man wearing a sandwich board sign what he meant with his slogan. "It's not my sign," he replied. Repeated inquiries met with the same response. It's not the message, it's the marchin'.

Posted by: johngalt at October 4, 2011 6:36 PM
But jk thinks:

I enjoyed this yesterday. A very serious minded and rational young lefty exposes the idiocy of the marchers.

Posted by: jk at October 4, 2011 7:05 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"The government is fully privatized." Brilliant!

Posted by: johngalt at October 5, 2011 3:13 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Watched the whole thing. Good stuff, keepin' it real with whiny entitlement kids. You could tell they were hearing ideas that never cross lips on their college campii. "Most educated and least employed" indeed.

Posted by: johngalt at October 5, 2011 3:20 PM

July 4, 2011

Dirty Hippies run the FDA

Last week JK wrote about the FDA's anti-prosperity ruling on the clinical use of Avastin to treat breast cancer. Two days later, American Spectator's Robert M. Goldberg wrote in FDA Decision Dooms Cancer Patients some background on the individuals at FDA who were responsible.

Goozner -- who has no medical background -- was appointed to an FDA advisory committee on pharmaceutical science. Two senior Public Citizen operatives, Peter Lurie and Larry Sasich, now set policy for the FDA. Fran Visco, the head of the National Breast Cancer Coalition, applauded the FDA decision after lobbying for it over the past year. Visco, a Democrat, is also on Experts Advisory Panel for the Universal Health Insurance Program at the New America Foundation, a left-wing think tank supporting Obamacare. The NBBC also supported the administration's decision not to cover mammograms for women under 50 though many breast cancers grow faster and earlier in African-American women.

Goldberg goes on to predict that Medicare and some other health plans will try to stop paying for Avastin, but he also makes this prediction:

To these groups, the FDA decision was a triumph. But their effort to manipulate the FDA will backfire. The EMA and every major group of cancer providers support Avastin's use. Cancer patients moblilized spontaneously to keep Avastin's label. They will take on the anti-innovation establishment and the FDA with greater intensity and vigor.

Related: Medicare Won't Drop Avastin for Breast Cancer

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:55 AM | Comments (0)

June 30, 2011

Clinton on Taxes

Bill Clinton on raising taxes:

"When I passed my budget in 1993, they routinely said it would bring on a terrible recession, [that] it was the end of capitalism as we knew it," he said. "And we had the best eight years in our history. But they just kept saying it. You've got to give them credit. The evidence doesn't deter them. ... It's an ideological conviction. So, I don't know that it can be resolved until there's some break in the action."

Here is how causation works on the left. X happens. Y happens. Therefore X causes Y. Nothing happened between the 1993 budget and 2000 that could have had any effect on the economy. Don't tried to persuade them otherwise, they can't be deterred by facts.

And of course, there is no ideology on the left. The Democrats are practical individuals who wouldn't dare give speeches railing against corporate jets to score political points.

Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 2:13 PM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

Woooah, doggies! And that's my favorite modern Democrat.

Posted by: jk at June 30, 2011 2:23 PM
But johngalt thinks:

In an entire page on this subject, the sole suggestion of anything other than the Clinton Tax Hike being responsible for the federal windfall was this:

An equally if not more powerful influence was the booming economy and huge gains in the stock markets, the so-called dot-com bubble, which brought in hundreds of millions in unanticipated tax revenue from taxes on capital gains and rising salaries.

But we have to admit how weak an argument is, "Just imagine how much more the economy could have grown without Clinton's tax increase!"

And using hb's formula, X was the tax rate increase and Y was the economic boom. It seems so incredibly simple when oversimplified in this way.

We're almost left with nothing but, "No, it was the late night Oval Office Oral Exams that caused the boom, not tax rate hikes."

Posted by: johngalt at June 30, 2011 4:33 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Clinton pulled what Dan Quayle called "a Clinton." (During his 1992 debate, that's what DQ called a lie.) I call it "a Paul Krugman."

The plain fact is that the economy didn't take off until the later 1990s, a combination of the tech boom and, oh dear, tax cuts that Republicans pushed for.

Clinton, and Republicans for that matter, did absolutely nothing to get a budget surplus. As I've pointed out before, it was because tax receipts were increasing faster than federal spending. Nor were tax cuts responsible for the return to deficits. Bush pushed for tax cuts, as we well know, and both Republicans and Democrats kept increasing spending at the same rate.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at June 30, 2011 10:56 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Good synopsis PE. Too bad the world doesn't read Three Sources.

"Republicans and Democrats kept increasing spending" [during the GWB administration] because nobody wanted to repeat the 'mistake' of "tax receipts increasing faster than federal spending" [during the second Clinton term] ever again.

Posted by: johngalt at June 30, 2011 11:35 PM
But jk thinks:

Well ne'er escape Rubinomics: the idea that the '93 tax hike created prosperity and not the later cap gains cut. Sigh.

Mister fair and balanced, however, will point out that:
-- President Clinton was good on spending, though he had a head start cutting defense after the USSR imploded;
-- President Clinton was GREAT on trade until Seattle '99' MVN and a fast track to WTO for China was a great boon for both of us;
-- Welfare reform (again, a promise kept by force from a GOP Congress) was a substantial down payment on a non-Socialist future.
Art Laffer boasts that he voted for Clinton twice. While that is two more times than I did, comparing him to the current crop makes him look like Cleveland.

Posted by: jk at July 1, 2011 11:58 AM

March 15, 2011

Growth Skepticism

While JK reads how to Make Peace With the Planet I am reminded of the strange dichotomy whereby "Progressives" oppose prosperity. For most of my life I took as a fact of nature that human prosperity is a necessary component of a happier and more rewarding life. For a long time it never seemed necessary to defend that idea, as it must certainly be universal held.

In Let it Grow, Daniel Ben Ami explains that the anti-growth agenda of Progressives is not merely a yearning for ecological preservation or social equality, but a reflexive response to what they viewed as the death of social progress.

Finally, and probably most important, is the demise of believing in social progress. For a long time, economic growth was closely linked to the more general idea of progress, including scientific and cultural advances. A more prosperous society was also seen as having the potential to be more humane. But as social pessimism has gripped America, the vision of the progressive potential of economic growth has also diminished.

What caused this social pessimism on the left?

This social pessimism has emerged over several decades. Its roots can be seen in the counterculture of the 1960s when the political Left, traditionally the most ardent supporters of social change, began to embrace green ideas. Rather than consider humans capable of reshaping nature for their own benefit, the outlook switched to one obsessed with natural limits.

The downbeat attitude was further reinforced with the end of the Cold War in the late 1980s. It was widely understood that this represented the death of socialism's traditional conceptions. Less commonly appreciated was the general acceptance that no form of improved society is possible. The "end of history" proclaimed at the time was really the end, at least for the time being, of the idea of progress.

Just as one America was going to the moon and inventing bioengineered crops and ever cheaper sources of energy, the other America viewed the death of the Soviet Union as the end of hope for a just society. For them, the vision of technological achievement no longer had any application. And if man can't even perfect his own social order, what business has he trying to perfect any other aspect of life on Earth?

In response I say, check your premises. What if socialism really isn't the perfect social order?

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:16 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Both Mises and Postrel discuss a yearning for a utopia that never existed. Before capitalism, everything was swell.

Umm, yeah, if you don't mind freezing in the dark, dying at 42, devoting most of your time to sustenance...

Posted by: jk at March 15, 2011 5:58 PM

February 26, 2011

"Sustainable" Energy Unsustainable

Live by the subsidy - die by the subsidy.

More than 200 supporters of solar energy rallied on the west steps of the state Capitol this afternoon to protest Xcel Energy's decision to cut incentives for solar system installations.

Had this been a "Teabaggers" rally the narrative would have been "Nearly 200 opponents of the Obama Administration rallied ..." But I digress.

"It has created a lot of fear in the industry. My job is on the line," said Gary Gantzer, a Boulder resident and installer for Namaste Solar who was at the rally with his two young children.

About 5,300 people work in the solar installation industry, and insiders estimate half those jobs could be at risk if the Public Utilities Commission lets the proposal stand.

So what you're saying is, those jobs might never have existed in the first place had those subsidies not been given. Given by whom, you may ask. Ratepayers.

A 2 percent charge on utility bills supports the program and other efforts to promote renewable energy development.

How much subsidy, you may ask.

Since 2006, the program has provided $274 million in incentives for 9,346 installations on homes and small businesses.

9,346 incentives over a 5-year period is about 1,870 subsidies per year. And the average cost of each subsidy: $29,317.

Just for fun - Number of years the average solar subsidy could pay the electric bill of an average American home? 306 (and 5 months.)

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:25 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

Mike Rosen took on this subject in his third hour today. His first impression was the same as mine - Subsidies created those jobs in the first place!

He also did a good job exposing how this is average rate payers helping solar proponents put expensive power systems on their homes at little or no cost to themselves.

And many callers defended the program on the basis that "fossil fuels have huge subsidies too." Yet not a single one of them could give an example of said subsidies. To paraphrase multiple callers - "I just read that they're there, and they're numerous, and they're huge." (No word whether it was from an authoritaritive source, like the internets.)

Posted by: johngalt at February 28, 2011 3:00 PM
But JC thinks:

Here is an example of subsidies.
Please comment to let me know if this resource is acceptable to you.


Posted by: JC at March 4, 2011 1:35 PM
But JC thinks:

"Just for fun - Number of years the average solar subsidy could pay the electric bill of an average American home? ...306 [years] (and 5 months.)"

Just for MORE fun:
Estimated number of people on the planet = 6.9 billion

Estimated global subsidies for oil in 2008 = 312 billion

Estimated U.S. Energy Subsidies (tax expenditures (TE)) = 6.74 billion (subtracting TE subsidies for ALL renewables)
Hold that thought - this is for U.S. subsidies alone

How many years could these U.S. subsidies power a single, average American home if every person on the planet had an average American home? Well? How many?

Thought experiment: What kind of impact would there be on global energy markets if every person on the planet had an "average American home"? (frightening)

Subsidizing Big Oil:

Posted by: JC at March 5, 2011 10:22 AM
But jk thinks:

You asked if the DOE site was an acceptable source. To be fair, I was still thinking about it -- I place moderate faith in gub'mint statistics and the DOE is toward the bottom.

Then you link to far more partisan sources.

We don't agree on much around here, but I suspect all ThreeSourcers would agree that neither oil, ethanol, nor unicorn farts should be subsidized. Let them all compete in the free market.

However, what many opponents call subsidies are simply standard features in the tax code. I'd love to clean up the tax code, but in the meantime, the only way a large company can exist in the US is to take advantage of all the loopholes.

GE and Whirlpool use these to pay pretty much zero taxes, but because they're making Energy Star appliances -- and grease the right palms -- they get less flack than the big bad oil companies.

Real subsidies need to go bye-bye, no arguments 'round here. But do you think they just happened last week? You want to subsidize "green" energy? In decades, that will be what's keeping us from transitioning to something better.

Posted by: jk at March 5, 2011 11:09 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Thank you for bringing the debate here from Facebook JC. When my online time is limited it will go to this page before any other.

If you have a point to make other than villification of American prosperity then you'll have to spell it out for me. That's a lot of info there.

But I think you may have mistaken the fun I poked at callers having no clue how government subsidizes oil for my personal approval of said subsidies, or denial that they exist. I want them ALL killed. All corporate welfare, whether for conventional, productive energy or for alternative, wishful energy companies - zeroed. We can argue about research later but I think we should agree on the corporate subsidy point. (Caveat: Namaste Solar and other small, local businesses fall under the heading of "corporation.")

It took until recently for me to realize it but when a Republican politician says he is for "all of the above" on energy policy he isn't just saying he is pro-drilling. Unless he says otherwise you must assume he is "pro-subsidy" for "all of the above." And if this can be verified, OFF WITH HIS HEAD! (Electorally, of course.)

Posted by: johngalt at March 5, 2011 11:23 AM

December 20, 2010

Hybrid Chic

Q- What do you get if you build a car with two motors (a gasoline-electric "hybrid") and let the driver use both of them at the same time?

A- Honda's new CR-Z "sport hybrid."

So market forces can even conquer the hair-shirt principle of the eco-mobile. Young buyers value "green" cars but still care what they look like when cruisin' Main Street. No surprise there. How long until the modifier "hybrid" is as non-descript as "GT?"

Worth mentioning: Honda's commercial (bottom right corner of linked page) for the new kid-rod, which implies that fire and ice can coexist. "Complete opposites, in complete harmony."

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:07 PM | Comments (0)

March 27, 2010


Oh boy! It's freeze in the &^%&^ing dark day!

Let There Be Light

Like my celebration of Earth Hour last year, this year I will again demonstrate my "awareness" of the global warming hoax by making sure that my house is visible from space. At 8:30 this evening, every light in my house will be ablaze for one hour.

Celebrate civilization. Celebrate humanity. Turn on all your lights at 8:30 tonight.

Usually I can let people be stupid if it does not affect me (good capacity for a libertarian). This drives me up the wall! Lights will be a-blazin' at the little grass condo shack.

Hat-tip: blog friend LisaM

Posted by John Kranz at 12:02 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Take a look at our blog's banner image if you think darkness is an expression of virtue. Is there much light in North Korea? Cuba? 8th district of California?

They didn't call them the 'dark ages' because everyone "came together to make a bold statement" about the evils of science, industry and individualism.

Posted by: johngalt at March 27, 2010 2:26 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm thinking next time somebody complains about global warming, I'm gonna say "Yeah, it was sooo much better when all those people in India and China were starving -- but how do we get them to do it again?"

Posted by: jk at March 28, 2010 11:17 AM

September 9, 2009

"Don't break things up in the name of progress..."

President Obama is scheduled to lecture congress this evening. First, let's watch Sgt. Joe Friday and Bill Gannon lecture him.

"Show me how to get rid of the unlimited capacity for human beings to make themselves believe that they're somehow right and justified in stealing from somebody."

Circa 1950?

Oh, and Happy 09/09/09. (It doesn't deserve its own post, but just so's everyone knows we noticed...)

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:19 PM | Comments (0)

June 26, 2009

"Balanced" and "sensible" climate change bill passes House

That's the spin thrown on the bill by President Obama yesterday. Surely it was far from either of those qualities at the time, but prior to passage another 300 pages were shoe-horned in ... at 3 am this morning! [What in the hell is the fixation that Washington politicians have with that time of day?] Minority Leader Boehner said the obvious:

And here are a few floor quotes:

Rep. Geoff Davis, a Republican from Kentucky, said the cap-and-trade bill represented the "economic colonization of the heartland" by New York and California.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) called the bill a “scam” that would do nothing but satisfy “the twisted desires of radical environmentalists.”
Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) called it a “massive transfer of wealth” from the United States to foreign countries.

Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio countered that, without the bill, the United States would remain energy-dependent on people who want to “fly planes into our buildings.”

I'd hoped to insert a bulleted list of ways that this bill is a colonoscopy for America but then I realized, Who the hell knows what it does... it jumped from 1200 pages to 1500 overnight!

But it's far from law yet. Next stop: the Senate.

(Note that as the lions share of H.R. 2454 was written by the environmental lobby this post qualifies for the coveted "dirty hippies" category.)

And kudos to JK for naming the 8 RINOs who voted for this treasonous piece of crap. Just four of them switching sides would have spiked it.

Posted by JohnGalt at 7:55 PM | Comments (6)
But AlexC thinks:

That jagoff Kirk wants to run for Obama's former Senate seat.

Good luck with that.

Posted by: AlexC at June 26, 2009 11:33 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Of the 44 Democrats voting no, one is from Colorado and four are from PA. I'll tell you what - my respect for John Salazar (CO-3) just grew three sizes larger.

Posted by: johngalt at June 27, 2009 10:06 AM
But jk thinks:

Well done, Mister Leader!

I tend to give up before trying on my representation, but Colorado's two freshman Democrat Senators could well feel a little heat on this issue.

To take up an Instapundit riff, having the next Tea Party outside of Senator Udall's or Bennett's office might be a better blow for freedom than a photo-op outside the Capitol.

Posted by: jk at June 27, 2009 11:50 AM
But johngalt thinks:

If Mark Udall might face heat on this issue in 2010 he doesn't seem to feel it at the moment. One of the stories I read yesterday said a few senators were working the halls of congress twisting arms for a yes vote. Mark Udall (D-CO) was the one mentioned by name.

I'm in for a TEA (Taking Energy Away) party at one of Markey's offices. Instead of pitchforks we'll carry empty gas cans. (Shall we try to organize something for next week?)

Posted by: johngalt at June 27, 2009 3:27 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm thinking we'd have better luck with Bennett, but that it would be a good exercise to scare Senator Udall. He is used to catering to CO-2 collectivists and a reminder that Boulder is not the whole state, dude, might be a good lesson.

They're pushing on Twitter for GOP defectors (great Twitter tag #capandtr8tors) to change their vote as you suggest with Markey. Is that realistic? I cannot imagine that the same effort would not be better directed at the Senate, but I am open to discussion.

Posted by: jk at June 27, 2009 6:29 PM
But HB thinks:

Best quote:

“I look forward to spending the next 100 years trying to fix this legislation,” said California Republican Brian Bilbray.

Posted by: HB at June 27, 2009 10:15 PM

April 1, 2009

Tea Party Plan

So, ThreeSources Colorado Wing group presence at the tea party? Loveland? Denver?

Posted by John Kranz at 7:29 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

galt clan - YES. (Denver)

Posted by: johngalt at April 2, 2009 12:38 PM

February 24, 2009

Corporate Water

We haven't had a "Dirty Hippies" post in a while (and a younger me may have personally starred in the last one). But it is time. Oh baby it is time. Gawker has a nine-minute video of the ridiculous NYU food court takeover.

Painful as it is, you have to watch it coast-to-coast, both to absorb the full inanity and to catch the end where they inventory their possessions (sorry, AC, no "PCs" in the group) to protect them from confiscation.

HT: Insty, who links to other reactions.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:52 PM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2008

Weather Underground: Kill the "die hard capitalists"

From LGF: Bill Ayers' Terrorist Group Discussed Genocide of Americans (includes video)

Quoting Larry Grathwohl, an FBI informant and member of the Weather Underground, in a 1982 documentary on the group:

"I want you to imagine sitting in a room with 25 people, most of which have graduate degrees, from Columbia and other well-known educational centers, and hear them figuring out the logistics for the elimination of 25 million people.

And they were dead serious."

I wonder if McPalin's last week of TV ads will include anything from this list. Though I suspect it may require pictures of Obama and Ayers building pipe bombs together to get through to some people.

Hat tip: Blog brother Cyrano

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:39 AM | Comments (1)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Population planning, from abortion to forced sterilization, has always been part of the liberal/collectivist agenda.

"In order to stabilize world populations, we must eliminate three hundred and fifty thousand people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it's just as bad not to say it." No one batted an eye when Jacques Cousteau said this completely contemptuous thing.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at October 26, 2008 2:23 PM

February 8, 2008

We Are All in Agreement

The Republican Party may have left me, but I think we can all agree that we do not want these people in the White House....again:

[Note the category.]

Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 10:14 PM | Comments (1)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Aw, why not? They've been in Chappaqua (not far from me) a while, and it's time they went furniture shopping again...

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at February 11, 2008 12:45 PM

October 21, 2007

Another Day, Another Debate

Another day, another debate.

But it had this nugget, which NRO's Jim Geraghty calls "the best line of the campaign so far."

"Hillary tried to get a million dollars for the Woodstock museum. I understand it was a major cultural and pharmaceutical event. I couldn't attend. I was tied up at the time."

It gets a standing ovation.

F*ck yeah, that's a good line.

Posted by AlexC at 11:34 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I TiVoed the debate so I could flip between the ALCS game seven and the Broncos-Steelers. My recorder has two tuners, and this is the first time in the history of TV that there have been three good things on at once.

It is a great line and Senator McCain's appearance of FOXNews Sunday in the empty debate hall was very good as well.

Posted by: jk at October 22, 2007 11:45 AM

October 19, 2007

Dirty Hippie

dirty_hippie.jpg Knowing the cover up is always more damaging than the crime, I realize it is time I came out of the closet. As a couple readers know, I was indeed a dirty hippie in my younger days. A college buddy sent this along to me. Yipes!

The location is Socorro, NM, and James Earl Carter was president -- that's all I'm saying at this time.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:05 PM | Comments (2)
But AlexC thinks:

I would have turned the fire hoses on you my friend.

Posted by: AlexC at October 19, 2007 7:50 PM
But johngalt thinks:

But he's such a happy looking fellow! None of that black armband anarchy bulls**t. Not that I'd have picked him up hitchhiking or anything...

Posted by: johngalt at October 23, 2007 2:42 PM

October 10, 2007

Electromechanical Spying

When hippies get together you can bet your bong there are going to be drugs on hand.

Vanessa Alarcon saw them while working at an antiwar rally in Lafayette Square last month.

"I heard someone say, 'Oh my god, look at those,' " the college senior from New York recalled. "I look up and I'm like, 'What the hell is that?' They looked kind of like dragonflies or little helicopters. But I mean, those are not insects."

Robotic fliers have been used by the military since World War II, but in the past decade their numbers and level of sophistication have increased enormously.

"I'd never seen anything like it in my life," the Washington lawyer said. "They were large for dragonflies. I thought, 'Is that mechanical, or is that alive?' "

When you believe that a neo-con cabal stole an election; plotted the destruction of four planes, three buildings and three thousand of it's own citizens; lied through their teeth to go to war for corporate profits and petroleum products, you too can believe that there is an agency in the US Government that sent flying bugs to spy on you and your birkenstocked hairy legs.

Frankly, I'm shocked I read that in the Washington Post.

Posted by AlexC at 12:16 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I love this myth of repression. The antiwar protestors want to think themselves brave because the government is cracking down so hard on them. That one professor's luggage was delayed by the evil neocon cabal, but has it occurred to anybody that there are no other incidents of dissent stifling?

And doesn't everybody know that a good, solid tinfoil hat is the best repellant for government spy bugs. Geeesh.

Posted by: jk at October 10, 2007 2:15 PM

July 5, 2007

I See a Thompson-Nugent Ticket

I'm still supporting Hizzoner. But if Fred Thompson were to declare that The Motor City Madman will be his running mate and that their administration would put an end to the hippie scourge once and for all, I would take a long look.

Ted Nugent wrote a guest editorial last week in the Wall Street Journal. It was put on the free site yesterday. Nugent says the "Summer of Love" should be known as "The Summer of Drugs." He mourns the loss, to drugs, of great musicians like Hendrix and Joplin and he details his troubles being straight through his long career.

Forty years ago hordes of stoned, dirty, stinky hippies converged on San Francisco to "turn on, tune in, and drop out," which was the calling card of LSD proponent Timothy Leary. Turned off by the work ethic and productive American Dream values of their parents, hippies instead opted for a cowardly, irresponsible lifestyle of random sex, life-destroying drugs and mostly soulless rock music that flourished in San Francisco.

I love Nugent's stance on guns better than I ever actually liked his music. Nor was my youth as clean and perfect as his. But he is in a good position to scold those who want to glorify the 1960s. Nugent salutes the civil rights movement but doesn't want to celebrate too much else.
There is a saying that if you can remember the 1960s, you were not there. I was there and remember the decade in vivid, ugly detail. I remember its toxic underbelly excess because I was caught in the vortex of the music revolution that was sweeping the country, and because my radar was fine-tuned thanks to a clean and sober lifestyle.

Death due to drugs and the social carnage heaped upon America by hippies is nothing to celebrate. That is a fool's game, but it is quite apparent some burned-out hippies never learn.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:57 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Excellent. I'm a WSJ subscriber but I hadn't seen this.

Ted's acknowledgement that "some burned-out hippies never learn" is timely in the wake of Boulder High School's student seminar condoning, nae, ENCOURAGING, "a cowardly lifestyle of random sex, life-destroying drugs and mostly soulless rock music."

I wouldn't say this still "flourishes" in Boulder, Colorado (except perhaps for the soulless rock music) but there are clearly many in positions of authority who want it to.

Posted by: johngalt at July 8, 2007 11:29 AM

February 1, 2007

Dirty Hippies

A perfect example of "dirty hippies".

Here are the two knuckleheads that shut down Boston.


Advised not to speak to the media about their "ad campaign." They held a press conference outside of the courthouse.

How much bong water did these guys drink? I'm almost rooting for them to go to jail.

Posted by AlexC at 1:47 PM

October 21, 2006


Sister Toldjah writes about something I've been saying for a while.

No introspection on the left.

    Nothing, absolutely nothing, demonstrates the sheer denial of reality regarding the left more than their reactions to the last three elections they’ve lost: they were “stolen,” “rigged,” etc - can’t possibly be because Democrats have been rejected on the basis of their ideas (or lack thereof), can’t possibly be because a majority of the American people actually embraced Republican ideas, bbbbecause Americans couldn’t possibly be that stupid, could they? What the left can’t or won’t explain though, is that they haven’t just been losing elections since Bush was ELECTED President, they’ve been losing big since 1994 - but during the 1994, 96, and 98 elections we didn’t hear this massive outcry of election rigging - apparently Democrats losing elections in the 90s had nothing to do with Republicans officials acting nefariously throughout the country - and of course had nothing to do with a rejection of Democratic ideas, oh no - but once Bush came along the left finally found someone they could pin their losses on. For the party of “thinkers”, Democrats aren’t big on self-introspection - it’s always someone else’s fault.

Posted by AlexC at 12:27 PM

October 19, 2006

Raising A Nation of Sissies

What have we come to?

    Officials at an elementary school south of Boston have banned kids from playing tag, touch football and any other unsupervised chase game during recess for fear they'll get hurt and hold the school liable.
    Recess is "a time when accidents can happen," said Willett Elementary School Principal Gaylene Heppe, who approved the ban.

    While there is no districtwide ban on contact sports during recess, local rules have been cropping up. Several school administrators around Attleboro, a city of about 45,000 residents, took aim at dodgeball a few years ago, saying it was exclusionary and dangerous.

In 1985, in third grade, I had the stereotypical hippie teacher. This guy voted for Mondale, Carter twice as well as McGovern. We had a fight club, before fight clubs were cool.

Everyday, we'd be out there beating on each other. Eventually the older kids started showing up. Our hippie teacher knew we had a fight club. I remember him telling another teacher, "those boys go out there an roughhouse!" but we were never "shutdown."

We even had a firepole on the playground. More than one kid broke their arm. I'm sure it's gone now.

How times have changed.

I say to Gaylene Heppe, driving is when accidents happen too. Are you walking to school?

Posted by AlexC at 11:29 AM