Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Human Action Pocket Edition

The Ludwig von Mises Institute is offering Ludwig von Mises’ Human Action in a paperback pocket edition, for just ten bucks.  Good for them.

I’ll stick with my hard cover edition, and its many annotations, as I’ve never found this important work to contain an “intimidation element,” as intimated here, though I could see tossing a paperback edition into a bugout bag simply because of its portability.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/30 at 12:13 PM
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“Sorting Paper Into Different Piles”

Fred Lapides links to the Old Picture of the Day blog, which posts a picture of a cobbler, taken in 1903.  The picture reminded me of a little ode I wrote to my cobbler back in 2004 titled Not Simply A Cobbler, wherein I noted cobblers were a dying breed.

The poster of the cobbler photo comments on the photo with these words, which ring true.

Today’s picture was taken in 1903, and shows an old Cobbler in his Shoe Making shop. As we look at all these old pictures, I am struck by the profound change in the nature of our jobs over the last hundred years. I notice that in these old pictures, there is a very tangible nature to the work people did. If you asked this man what he did for a living, he would say, “I am a cobbler. I make shoes, and I repair shoes”. Someone else might say, “I am a farmer, and I grow corn”, or “I am a blacksmith, and I shoe horses”. Very clear, concise, and important work. Today, it is hard for most people to describe what they do . . . “I restructure debt settlements in reverse mortgage arbitrage cases”, or other obscure things. When you try and unravel what we are all doing, almost no one actually Builds, Grows, or Fixes things. It is like we are a nation of people sorting paper into different piles. (bold by ed.)

Posted by John Venlet on 11/30 at 07:55 AM
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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wealth Beyond Compare

Joan of Argghh!, from a post titled Sail In The Light You Have.

There are no Black Friday specials in life; you have to lay hold of the good things as they come: a lazy afternoon, a fish on a line, a song that brings back memories, the real joys of family and moments with them. Those are the heirlooms of Life, the precious legacies that grace our grateful neck before its asked of us by some job, some duty, some obligation.

If you can see your way through the dimming light of Truth, find the door of Heaven and bust through it with the same festive desperation and thrill-seeking abandon. Why, there’s bargains like you can’t imagine, all you have to do is expect to find them.

Well said.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/28 at 09:42 AM
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Almost the Land of the Free

Yesterday’s drive was basically non-eventual, with the exception of sudden long strings of brake lights, as motorists hurriedly pleaded guilty to speeding violations at the mere sighting of a marked police cruiser, regardless if they were driving under the speed limit, at the speed limit, or over the speed limit.

I did have polite, but sharp, words with one State of Michigan DOT employee at a rest area.  As we pulled in to the rest area to park, I noted a couple of temporary signs propped up in the window stating “Building Closed for Repairs.”  A rather inconvient notification, especially when the call of nature is pressing.  Normally, if a rest area is closed, notification of such an inconvenience to travelers is advertised prior to pulling into the rest area in order to not inconvenience travelers whose bladders may be expressing a need to be emptied.

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, and highway travelers streaming into the rest area to use the facilities, like myself, in disregard of the signs posted, I entered the building, and spied a Michigan DOT employee aimlessly staring out the window.  I approached this individual and said, “Excuse me, but why isn’t there a notification out on the highway informing travelers that this rest area is closed?”

The DOT employee turned and said to me, “Because I would have had to spend an hour or two getting a sign setup, and I just didn’t have time for that.”  To which I replied, “So, because notifying travelers that this rest area is closed for repairs would have been an inconvenience to you, you haven chosen to inconvenience every traveler pulling into to this rest area during one of the busiest travel times of the year.  Your disregard for the many Thanksgiving travelers is a disgrace, sir,” and I turned and left the building.  Bah.

Arrived at our destination in Southern Ohio, to join the Lovely Melis’ family, in the late afternoon.  After many happy greetings, and a stretching of legs, the decision was made to drive to Northern Kentucky for a bite to eat at the pub at which Melis’ daughter is employed.  I was surprised and pleased that within this Kentucky pub Americans could still freely light up and smoke.  It was like I was almost in the land of the free.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/24 at 10:33 AM
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Traveling for Thanksgiving, today, but not by air.  I’ll accept my Doctor checking me for a hernia, but not the Testicle Squeezing Authority.  Now cough.


AP image credit.

I hope to arrive at my destination late this afternoon.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/23 at 07:46 AM
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Monday, November 22, 2010

America’s Corn Holed Confession

I’ve never thought much of the ethanol scheme, expressing my thoughts on this fleecing of Americans in posts such as Corn Holed and Artificially Mandated Demand Consequences - Redux.

Today I read the following confession, of sorts, from Al Gore, wherein Al Gore has this to say about corn holing Americans in the name of ethanol.

Former U.S. vice-president Al Gore said support for corn-based ethanol in the United States was “not a good policy”, weeks before tax credits are up for renewal…

“It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for (U.S.) first generation ethanol,” said Gore, speaking at a green energy business conference in Athens sponsored by Marfin Popular Bank.

“First generation ethanol I think was a mistake. The energy conversion ratios are at best very small.

“It’s hard once such a programme is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going.”
He explained his own support for the original programme on his presidential ambitions.

“One of the reasons I made that mistake is that I paid particular attention to the farmers in my home state of Tennessee, and I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa because I was about to run for president.”

Nice confession, Al Gore.  Thanks for screwing all America in an attempt to buy votes, by stealing from Americans’ paychecks, to fund an enterprise doomed to failure from the start, due to no consumer demand.  And thank you, too, ethanol, snake oil, “Lobbyists.”

The Testicle Squeezing Authority may be gripping Americans’ attention, which is good, but America is getting screwed by more than just the TSA.

Quote from a Reuters Africa article titled U.S. corn ethanol “was not a good policy”-Gore

Posted by John Venlet on 11/22 at 08:17 PM
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As It Should Be

Current front and center headline at Drudge (5:03 P.M. EST, 11.22.2010).  HOLIDAY SHOWDOWN: TSA WORKERS FEAR BACKLASH

This is as it should be.

When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” (bold by ed.)

Drudge headline link leads to this article.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/22 at 05:58 PM
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Simpletons Like to Watch

The simple-mindedness of Chance in the movie Being There was mistakenly interpreted as wisdom.  This same simple-mindedness interpreted as wisdom is displayed in a comment in favor of the Testical Squeezing Authority’s testical squeezing and breast massaging.  To wit.

I’d rather go through a pat-down than to sit on a plane and watch a terrorist slice a passenger’s throat.

Joel, at The Ultimate Answer to Kings, slices away the simple-mindedness of this foolish argument, revealing actual wisdom.

To which I can only reply - and very seriously - You’d really just sit there and watch? Then why should I care what you think about anything?

Linked via Jeffrey Quick.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/22 at 05:32 PM
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Free Men Quote

“Funny thing about free men. The only way to defeat them is to kill every single one.” - - Bill St. Clair

Posted by John Venlet on 11/22 at 04:39 PM
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They Just Don’t Get It

From a Washington Post article titled Scientists say they have solution to TSA scanner objections.

A cheap and simple fix in the computer software of new airport scanners could silence the uproar from travelers who object to the so-called virtual strip search, according to a scientist who helped develop the program at one of the federal government’s most prestigious institutes…

The fix would distort the images captured on full-body scanners so they look like reflections in a fun-house mirror,...

This is not a “solution,” folks, but simple obfuscation.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/22 at 04:30 PM
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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Microcredit Too Big To Fail?, and A Surprising Admission in the New York Times

The Mises Economics Blog links to a New York Times article noting potentially major issues for India’s microfinance industry, which I have posted on in a positive light in the past, though I did have to redact some of my positive comments.

The NYT article is headlined India Microcredit Faces Collapse From Defaults, and the article contains a seemingly obligatory phrase to be trotted out when billions of dollars are at stake, “too important (big - ed.) to fail.”

But what actually caught my eye in the NYT piece were the following words.

Now some Indian officials fear that microfinance could become India’s version of the United States’ subprime mortgage debacle, in which the seemingly noble idea of extending home ownership to low-income households threatened to collapse the global banking system because of a reckless, grow-at-any-cost strategy. (bold by ed.)

I seem to recall that extending home ownership to low-income households was previously not a “seemingly noble idea” to the editors and writers at the NYT, but actually a noble idea requiring the full force of the United States government to ensure the idea had sufficient traction within the entire American lending industry.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/18 at 04:24 PM
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Gun “Safety” Juxtaposition


Take a good look at that AP photo, which is annotated with these descriptive words.

Afghan boys take aim with toy guns as they enact a scene of gun battle on the second day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, or Feast of the Sacrifice, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, November 17, 2010.

How is one to know, with certainty, that those Afghan boys are taking aim with toy guns?  They certainly do not comply with United States Code: Title 15, Chapter 76, Section 5001, which requires that blaze orange plug at the muzzle end of the barrel.  If those Afghan boys were playing their game on the streets of America, they probably would be shot and killed.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/18 at 03:25 PM
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Handbook for a More Dangerous Obama

On October 17, Malone Vandam stated the following in a post titled This election will make Obama more, not less, dangerous, which I have linked to in the past.

If his complicity with Pelosi and Reid in the abuse of the legislative process impressed you, wait until you see what he does when all he has at his disposal is executive power. And don’t think he hasn’t been getting ready for this and hasn’t already got the machinery in place to show you just what kind of abuse of executive power a radical Marxist can conjure up. (bold be ed.)

Well, the handbook for a more dangerous Obama (pdf of 54 pages) has been prepared, courtesy of the Center for American Progress, and fawningly presented to Obama by John Podesta, for our own “good,” of course.

Linked via a post at Classical Values titled This Is An Order.

I have a distinct hunch that Vandam is correct.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/18 at 02:37 PM
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Do You Mind Reading Me My Rights While You Grope Me?

From a post at GunRights4US titled John Galt’s solution to the tyranny of the TSA - The Solution to TSA Groping and Scanning.

The presumption behind a pat down and grope your groin search is that you, the passenger, are guilty of hiding something. The same philosophy or idea can be applied to the full body scanner which pilots are objecting to now due to the invasion of privacy. Thus the premise that you are guilty before being declared innocent and allowed to proceed is the methodology used by the TSA which is a direct violation of the concept of Due Process.

Thus if you are flying a simple solution. These cards (Miranda rights card - ed.) can be typed up or written up on an index card or feel free to print this screen and hand it to your grope happy TSA agent when you fly:

I do not know if this is the “solution,” but undoubtedly the suggestion presented is a peaceful form of civil disobedience.  Miranda rights card at link.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/18 at 01:23 PM
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“Or Not So Much…,” Unfortunately

Claire, at SondraK’s place, posts a Norman Thomas quote, which reads as follows.

The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism.  But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened. (bold by ed.)

Norman Thomas, unabashed Socialist, ran for the presidency six times, as the Socialist Party of America candidate, and that quote, above, especially the words in bold typeface, are quite humanly prescient.

But American individuals who have been paying attention to history, and current events, knew America was moving to embrace Socialism.  The unabashed Socialists knew, as is evidenced in the editor’s note which appends the Thomas quote.

[Ed. note: Norman Thomas and Gus Hall, the U.S. Communist Party Candidate, both quit American politics, agreeing that the Republican and Democratic parties had adopted every plank on the Communist/Socialist and they no longer had an alternate party platform on which to run.]

That statement, “they no longer had an alternate party platform on which to run,” is true, and explains why the Socialist Party of America is basically viewed, today, as a mere blemish.  The Republicans, “janitorial socialists,” and the Democrats, “malignant socialists,” stepped up and embraced the Socialists’ thunder, and thus are equally culpable for the demise of the idea which is America.

This is not breaking news, as is evidenced by these words from Garet Garrett’s essay The Revolution Was, written in 1938.

There are those who still think they are holding the pass against a revolution that may be coming up the road. But they are gazing in the wrong direction. The revolution is behind them. It went by in the Night of Depression, singing songs to freedom…

In a revolutionary situation, mistakes and failures are not what they seem. They are scaffolding. Error is not repealed. It is compounded by a longer law, by more decrees and regulations, by further extensions of the administrative hand. As deLawd said in The Green Pastures, that when you have passed a miracle you have to pass another one to take care of it, so it was with the New Deal. Every miracle it passed, whether it went right or wrong, had one result. Executive power over the social and economic life of the nation was increased. Draw a curve to represent the rise of executive power and look there for the mistakes. You will not find them. The curve is consistent.

Those two short quotes speak volumes, but I suggest reading Garrett’s entire essay.  It will take you some time to read, so bookmark it, like I did in 2008 when I first saw it linked at Western Rifle Shooters Association, for re-reading from time to time.  Read it a bit at a time if you must, but read it.

Americans have knowingly adopted Socialism, but they plead ignorance.  “The revolution was,” it needs to be reversed.

Posted by John Venlet on 11/18 at 10:46 AM
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