1-21-2005 Communism doesn't work because people like to own stuff


Since the beginning of our American history, we have been engaged in change -- in a perpetual peaceful revolution -- a revolution which goes on steadily, quietly adjusting itself to changing conditions -- without the concentration camp or the quick-lime in the ditch. The world order which we seek is the cooperation of free countries, working together in a friendly, civilized society.

This nation has placed its destiny in the hands and heads and hearts of its millions of free men and women; and its faith in freedom under the guidance of God. Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights or keep them. Our strength is our unity of purpose.

To that high concept there can be no end save victory.

Can you believe that asshole Dubya "flaunting" his f**king religion again? He's got to be stopped. Who is he to jam religion down our throats? As president he's supposed to enforce the separation of Church and Humankind statute from page 777 of the U.S. Constitution. We should be free to believe in nothing, stand for nothing and pray before the giant Best Buy plasma altar.

Oops! Sorry, my mistake. That quote should actually be attributed to one Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the president by which all other presidents that followed him should be judged according to the folks wearing the blue wristbands.

Heading into the big...NFL conference championships weekend, I'm really curious about the current mindset of the Eagles fans which I suspect must be very, very fragile. There's no need to send me any e-mails lashing out at the inept Jints. I fully realize that they sucked this year even worse than Todd Vonderheid's aim. But if I were a Philthydumpia Eagles fan right about now, I'd be shaking in my cheezy imported loafers. How in Plasma's name could you folks possibly be feeling anything other than trepidation after the three consecutive Little Big Horns you folks have somehow lived through. I'd be about as confident as a Buffalo Bills diehard just about now.

And just in case you didn't notice, the Eagles have been average at best for the past month or so. Even against the woeful Vikes last weekend they looked very, very beatable. All of their scoring drives were aided by ticky-tack calls against the Vikes defensive backs. And the one touchdown looked as if it was headed right into the hands of the ghost of Franco Harris. And this week you're facing Michael Vick, a running back...er, a quarterback who is so elusive and so completely unpredictable, his own offensive lineman can't figure out to protect him.

Now I'm sure you'll all be heading out for some booze, some munchies and probably some ranch dip for the big game on Sunday. And maybe you even went and got a flashy new Eagles shirt just for the occasion. And I imagine you'll gather at the local pub or your bestest buddy's house for the EA!!!--GLES!!! shoutfest. But if I may be so bold, I would suggest grabbing some copious amounts of Tums, and maybe even some Advil. 'Cause the way I see it, at the very first sign of things going wrong, you folks are gonna be lookin' plenty green alright. Like green in the gills.

Good luck.

Then there's the...team with the largest rabbit's foot in modern NFL history. Yeah, the Steelers. Forget the two field goals the Jets placekicker flubbed last weekend. The Steelers have been living on borrowed time and burning it at both ends since around Week 1 of the season. It's true that Loss-Less-Berger looks unflappable for the most part. But if grossly underthrown and grossly overthrown passes that end up being catches can get one into the NFL Hall of Fame, this guy's already a shoo-in for being immortalized one day.

It could be pointed out that the Steelers laid a bitch slapping on the Patriots on Halloween. But this weekend brings a championship game and not a spooky night when witches, and goblins, and rookie quarterbacks usually prevail. In a championship game that pits Bill Belichick and Tom Brady against Bill Cowher and Ben Loss-Less-Berger, I'm not really expecting to see too many terrible passes turned into spooky-looking touchdowns. And my prediction? Please refer to the aforementioned reference to Tums and Advil.

Good luck.

Falcons-Patriots??? Wash my mouth out with cyanide! Only some loose-lipped internet asshole would even dare to suggest such an unthinkable turn of events here in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Ah, jeez. Now I feel guilty. I can't go through with this. I might as well come clean. I'm a part-time sales representative for the company that distributes both Tums and Advil and I was trying to drum up some sales by playing on your fears.

I'm ashamed of myself.


How's that gigantic...SUV running? Had it tuned up lately? How's the gas mileage these days?

Prophets Of Doom
The Coming Oil Crisis
Dan Ackman, Forbes Magazine

The world economy has gotten fairly comfortable with oil at $45 a barrel. But how will it react to paying $100 a barrel three years from now? Or $150 in five years?

That's what the future holds according to Stephen Leeb, president of Leeb Capital Management and author of The Oil Factor (Warner Books 2004). The result, Leeb says, will be double digit inflation--if we're lucky. If we're not, it will be a severe depression. To benefit from the coming rise, Leeb favors oil stocks, traditional inflation hedges like real estate, and especially oil service stocks. We asked Leeb to explain the gilding of black gold.

You say the price of oil will rise much higher than it already has. Why?

"The problem we have is that there are 2.3 billion people in Chindia," Leeb says, using shorthand for a combined China and India. "Today, China and India use the energy-equivalent of 5.5 barrels of oil per person per year, while rich nations use 39. No matter how rosy your thinking is as to the global supply of oil, there is no way there is going to be enough to satisfy the demands of an extra 2.3 billion people coming online."

As China and India become rich nations, the demand for oil could grow at 6% per year, compared to 2% recently. Currently, the world has almost no excess supply. The planet is operating at anywhere from 95% to 99% capacity, Leen says. "There is no margin for error." The only way the system can respond is continued price increases.

How bad will it get?

At the end of 1999, oil was trading for around $10 a barrel. Since then, it has risen by about 29% per year. Simply extending the trend line means that oil will be at $100 a barrel in about three years and at $160 in five years, Leeb says. If prices rise the way they have in the last year, the resulting levels will be even higher, and that's without any major geopolitical crisis in the Persian Gulf or anywhere else. "It's not a heroic position," Leeb says. "But I don't know how you avoid it."

What will the result be?

We'll see historically high inflation of 11% to 15%, according to Leeb. "That's not even so unusual," Leeb says. He notes that the U.S. has had bouts of inflation at that level during the two world wars and in the 1970s at the tail end of Vietnam.

"We're kind of overdue," he says.

Economically, the U.S. is already on a kind of war footing, with the war on terror, Iraq, massive military spending and a shortage of a key commodity, specifically oil.

"I hope I'm wrong," he says. "I've never wanted to look more like an idiot than I do right now. But I don't see it."

The "optimistic" side of the scenario is that you can live with high inflation, and even make money with the right investment strategy. Leeb favors oil stocks like ExxonMobil and BP and traditional hedges like real estate, and is especially high on oil service stocks like Schlumberger and Transocean.

When and why will it bottom out?

"I don't see it bottoming out soon," he says. " I think it's a decade- or generation-long problem. A depression would stop it. But as long as the Federal Reserve keeps real interest rates negative, that can be avoided."

The better outcome may be that "as energy prices continue to rise, we'll organize a worldwide effort to develop alternative energies," Leeb says. "Maybe that will even bring the world together."

********

Bring the world together? I would suggest that we prepare ourselves for the absolute worst, kiddies. Who knows? Maybe I won't be the only crazy person who commutes by bicycle one day.


The same human rights principles that once guided me in the Soviet Union remain the cornerstone of my approach to the peace process. I am willing to transfer territory not because I think the Jewish people have less of a claim to Judea and Samaria than do the Palestinians, but because the principle of individual autonomy remains sacred to me--I do not want to rule another people. At the same time, I refuse to ignore the Palestinian Authority's violations of human rights because I remain convinced that a neighbor who tramples on the rights of its own people will eventually threaten the security of my people. . . . A genuinely "new" Middle East need not be a fantasy. But it will not be brought about by merely ceding lands to Arab dictators and by subsidizing regimes that undermine the rights of their own people. The only way to create real Arab-Israeli reconciliation is to press the Arab world to respect human rights. Israel must link its concessions to the degree of openness, transparency, and liberalization of its neighbors. For their part, Western leaders must not think the Arabs any less deserving of the freedom and rights that their own citizens enjoy--both for their sake and for ours.--Famed Soviet dissident, Natan Sharansky, from his book The Case for Democracy.

He sounds just like Dubya, heyna? Freedoms? Democracy? Nah. No way! Dubya is a puppet of the neo-con American Century Project extremists. Freedom will never work.

I ran across...this anti-Bush screed on Kevin Lynn's WILK web page. Believe me, I am not upset in the least by the daily anti-Bush freak out sessions coming from someone who admits he's all too lazy to mow his own lawn, or to even vote during most election cycles. These days, hating Bush has become so utterly chic amongst the seemingly growing number of apoplectic American apologists, they seem almost incapable of doing anything else.

But what caught my eye with this latest "I hate Bush" exercise was not it's venom, or it's Zen-like auto-reflex attack on anything Bush might do or say. It was...well, you read it. See what ya think.

We remember speeches by what they say. Some can suggest greatness in a person or a moment. Speeches can reveal character by what they say, and sometimes by what they donít say. George Bush won re-election in November, and stated flatly that he is determined to spend the political capital he believes heís accumulated. His view of the world suggests a missionary America. Bush believes Americaís destiny is more of the "success" weíre enjoying in the Middle East. He said that America would dedicate itself to "the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world." But he never mentioned Iraq. The defining issue of his presidency just---didnít come up. $200 billion spent, 1400 dead, 10,000 injured, Iraq in ruins, our international standing in tatters, and he never mentioned Iraq. Even what he did say was wrong. I donít believe he gets Americaís enduring world lesson. Bush said, "the spread of freedom and liberty are the oldest ideals of America." Actually, the oldest ideal of America is capitalism. Capitalism is the key that opens the door to freedom. Bush is trying to impose democracy from the outside in. You canít impose freedom; itís an oxymoron. Freedom happens when people have something worth fighting for. Bush doesnít get that. His plan isnít working. Bush thinks, like the Swiftboat attacks, if he says it, it must be true. If he doesnít, it isnít. And so he never mentioned Iraq. But I donít think it matters. Iím beginning to believe people are catching on. We know why he never mentioned Iraq. Only 40% of us think it was worth the horrible price weíve paid to oust Saddam. More than 60% of us are against privatizing Social Security. Most of us want to protect the environment. Political capital? I predict George W. Bush will get almost nothing done in the next four years. An election is not a mandate. We must hold him accountable for what he didnít say. All we have to do is to pay attention. Like Abe Lincoln said, "you canít fool all of the people all of the time."

Did you catch what I caught?

I donít believe he gets Americaís enduring world lesson. Bush said, "the spread of freedom and liberty are the oldest ideals of America." Actually, the oldest ideal of America is capitalism. Capitalism is the key that opens the door to freedom.

Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.--Albert Einstein

Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.-- Milton Friedman

Businessmen are the one group that distinguishes capitalism and the American way of life from the totalitarian statism that is swallowing the rest of the world. All the other social groups- workers, farmers, professional men, scientists, soldiers- exist under dictatorships, even though they exist in chains, in terror, in misery, and in progressive self-destruction. But there is no such group as businessmen under a dictatorship. Their place is taken by armed thugs: by bureaucrats and commissars. Businessmen are the symbol of a free society- the symbol of America.--Ayn Rand

In other freaking words, there can be no capitalism as we came to define it without first enjoying the complete freedom to wage it in the first place. Name a dictatorship known for it's free-flowing capitalism and I'll show you a closet communist trying but failing to re-define what made America work for the sole purpose of taking yet another shot at Bush.

Tough break, Kev. You can't hang up on me in this forum. Sucks for you.

You canít fool all of the people all of the time? Perhaps. But there is one local talk jockey trying to fool some of the radio listeners all of the time. This guy, it appears, operates on the Marxist principle that the ends justifies the means.

So it is really a surprise that he doesn't understand that rampant freedom pre-dated rampant capitalism?


We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands." "Across the generations we have proclaimed the imperative of self government. . . . Now it is the urgent requirement of our nation's security, and the calling of our time." "It is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in the world.

America will not pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains, or that women welcome humiliation and servitude, or that any human being aspires to live at the mercy of bullies." "We do not accept the existence of permanent tyranny because we do not accept the possibility of permanent slavery." And, to the young people of our country, "You have seen that life is fragile, and evil is real, and courage triumphs."--Dubya, excerpts from his "coronation" speech

And his political opponents are calling this sort of thinking "dangerous."

Freedom? Liberty? Democracy?

We can't talk crazy like that.

Later

Communism (i.e., tyrranny, dictatorships, oligarchies) doesn't work because people like to own stuff.--Frank Zappa