Crony capitalism

Matt, of Conservative Hideout fame has got to be the hardest working man in the blogosphere, next to R.S. McCain and Smitty of course. Over the last year and a half of the failed Obama administration’s regime he’s put together a definitive description of the trappings of Obamacare, and if you’re not aware, it isn’t pretty. I use the word “trappings” with purpose, because that is exactly what the monstrosity is, a trap sprung on a beguiled public who stood there with their hands out waiting for the benevolent dictator to “give them something, anything.” Well, what we all got is just another form of slavery. How ironic then, for the most racially driven president in our history, who likened himself to Lincoln on so many occasions to actually reverse the trend away from freedom and in effect enslave the entire population with so much debt and bureaucracy, much of which we are still waiting to be enacted.

I for one am working and praying for repeal of Obamacare, which is nothing more than a blasphemy of our Democratic Republican values.

These links will also be included in the resources on the Prime page along with the worthy links from other fine blogs and references.

Please take the time to thank Matt for his excellent work.

  1. Exploitable Crisis
  2. ObamaCare Taxes Exposed
  3. ObamaCare Causes People to Lose Plans
  4. ObamaCare Keeps Granny From ER
  5. Doctors Quit Medicare
  6. Less Hospitals Under ObamaCare
  7. Waxman Backs off Corporations
  8. The Death Panels are Real
  9. Democrats Lied About ObamaCare Costs
  10. Exposing ObamaCare Lies

One doesn’t need to look far when searching for tangible results of Democrat social policy. As a matter of fact, you need only look to Detroit for a prime example of liberal social engineering and the destructive effect it has on a city. Once a thriving economy, Detroit has sadly become the poster child for “What Not to Do” when it comes to government, as Steve from Motor City Times tells us in this collection of posts documenting the once vibrant manufacturing center’s destruction by a government under 50 years of Liberal Democrat control.

Let’s not let this happen to America as a whole. Let’s learn the lessons of Detroit.

  1. The Liberal Art Community is Fascinated
  2. Video: Requiem For Detroit
  3. People Leaving Detroit
  4. After 50 Years of Democrat Leadership Detroit Needs a Task Force to Construct a Grocery Store
  5. Detroit is Murder City…Again
  6. Video: Detroit from the Air Looks Like A War Zone
  7. The Liberal Economy in Detroit
  8. Silver Bullet Solutions Rather Than Focus On Fundamentals
  9. Silver Bullet Solutions Rather Than Focus On Fundamentals part 2
  10. Life After People in Detroit

This list will also be duplicated on the Prime page as a reference.

Yes! It can be done.

If you’re like me, you have an interest in economics, but all the economic jargon thrown around gets a little confusing. With all of the news these days about the Wall Street takeovers, bank and insurance company bailouts, plus Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac doing whatever it is they weren’t supposed to, it helps to have the reference tools available to make sense of all that information.

That’s why I’m glad to know Mike, The Classic Liberal. He’s got  a B.A. in Finance and has professional experience as a stockbroker, entrepreneur, and bank officer. He also has a solid background in Austrian economics.

The CL has put together a small collection of posts that explain these seemingly complex issues in a way that’s easy for even a Mind-Numbed Robot to understand and for that, I’m thankful.

  1. What is Money (Currency)?
  2. Money (Currency) Inflation Explained
  3. Money, Inflation, and the Federal Reserve
  4. Inflation Illustrated
  5. Federal Reserve Bank: Counterfeiting Machine
  6. Fractional Reserve Banking: Money Out of Thin Air
  7. Possibility of Money Inflation in America
  8. The Very Real Threat of Currency Inflation
  9. Gold and Central Banks
  10. History of the Federal Reserve Bank

These links will be duplicated on the “Prime” page, but I first wanted to give you a heads up here on the front page.

Be sure to stop by Mikes place take a look around. There’s lots more where this came from.

“Honestly,” Maggie said. “Who’s going to clean up all of this trash? These Congressmen and Senators sure made a mess in the streets when they shredded those old papers, didn’t they?”

The two were sitting on a bench across New Jersey Avenue from the Capitol Building, watching remnants of the founding documents float and flitter, tossed by a blustery wind.

They were old enough to know they weren’t welcome in that area, but still too young to give a flying fig if anyone cared. Besides, who’s going to arrest them? After the riots, the police had either quit or joined one side or the other. The patrols those days consisted of United Nations troops who wore their body armor and carried full autos. Two old homeless geezers posed no threat. The threat had come from within and now that everyone had picked sides and the civil war was on full scale, if you didn’t carry anything worth stealing, almost everyone left you alone. It’s funny how anarchy works if you don’t play a part.

The crusty pair knew they were in danger, but they somehow pushed those thoughts to the recesses of their minds. Or mayhap they knew full well, but entertained the danger like some 65 year old bungee jumpers.

“Yup, You’ve gotta hand it to ‘em. They sure know how to throw a party.” Then Maggie added, ‘You wanna head over to the park? I hear there’s a card game and I wouldn’t mind going to Andy’s Place to see some Flopping Aces by fire light.”

The old man, who had been quiet to this point, finally spoke up. “Nah, I’m tired and you know, I’m not in the mood to hear Gorges’ Grouse tonight. That guy’s always moanin’ about something.”

Hey, do you remember when I worked for Goomba News Network as a paper boy? We used to run halfway across town to have lunch at Grandpa John’s with that girl, who was it? I’ll never forget old what’s-her-name. Ha! Oh yea, Nice Deb. Anyway, we used to eat lunch at that diner, The Sundries Shack and then run over to Fishersville. Mike always loved going over there, remember? We would play that game YankeePhil made up; Track-A-‘Crat I think he called it, never made any sense, that game.”

“Yea” she said. “It was fun though. One time, I was chasing a ball and I jumped the fence into that little Backyard. Conservative couple lived there. I remember the lady yelling at me, ‘Woman Honor Thyself’ she said. Maybe I should have listened to her. Look at me now. Ah well, I never was The Thinker that you are, Harold.”

“Then how come it’s you that keeps a journal?” he asked. “You remember when we crashed the car into The Foundry? I would have given a thousand dollar bill for Paps Thoughts after we nursed that heap home that night with the busted radiator.”

“Ha! You don’t remember too well do ya?” Maggie corrected. “Pap was drunk and passed out in Carol’s Closet! He was sure pissed the next day though, ‘Not one dollar. NOT ONE RED CENT am I giving you to fix that jalopy you call an automobile!’ he said, and he meant it.”

Harold gave a couple of Sharp Elbows to the side.  “Har! *cough* Quit it. You’ll make me hack up a lung with talk like that. Heh heh.”

“There you go again, trying to bring out My Bossier side. I’m not here to coddle you mister. I’m in survival mode, don’ cha know. Now git yer ass up an’ let’s go. We’ve still got to Discover the Networks around here if we gonna stay alive in this new world. If we were still working for Paco Enterprises, the old man would be havin’ none of your sloth and I don’t mean to either. It’s going to be dark soon and we need some shelter. You know it ain’t safe in that there Capitol Building now that all o’ them Obama flies moved in.”

“Files,” He said.

“What?”

“Not flies, files. The Oh, bama FILES” He slowed it down for her. “They moved those files in there for storage. Don’t you member? That’s why come they got all them extra military types around here.”

“Yea, I remember” She mumbled. “Well what do you want to do then?”

“There’s always the Jefferson Memorial. No-one goes there anymore and I stashed a pry bar over there to open one of the lower sashes with.”

“Well, ain’t you just The Live Wyer! When were you planning on letting me in on this particular Volokh Conspiracy?” She admonished him with a not-so playful slap to the back of his head.

“Owww! Take ‘er easy there Mama, I told you didn’t I? Now let’s mosey. Those camos over there ain’t looking too friendly.”

They both got up slowly, exaggerating their age with the charade of pain that comes with practice. Act like you’re feeble and hurting and you’re not a threat. At least, that was the theory. Problem was it wasn’t far from the truth.

Harold stooped to pick up Maggie’s Notebook from the bench and they turned south toward Independence Avenue. “We’d better get moving” he said. It’ll be getting dark in a couple of hours and I don’t wanna see any o’ them Moonbatterys tonight.

The Conservative Lady began walking beside him and they picked up speed. Neither one turned to look at the guards pacing about the Capitol steps, hoping they wouldn’t follow.

“Do you remember when we had the internet Harold?”

“Yea, we were some blogging fools weren’t we?”

“That we were honey; that we were.”

“Once there were people who advanced the cause of freedom wasn’t there? Right Klik, IMAO, John Lott’s Website, Fausta’s Blog, pamibe, The Anchoress.”

“Can’t forget those excellent writers,” she said.

“Da Techguy, WyBlog, thelotusblog, Liberalguy, blonde sagacity, theblogprof,” he remembered aloud.

“Yea, and the newcomers like Libertarian Buddha and Lilac Sunday showed so much promise.”

“I know babe.”

“It’s a shame all of that is gone now.”

“Yup,” he said. “So it Goes.  In Shreveport, they’ve still got electricity, I hear,” changing the subject.

“Maybe they’ve got the internet there too,” she said.

“Heh, Who are they going to email, each other? No-one else has power.”

“You got a point there.”

They turned west onto Independence Avenue and began the mile and a half trek to the Memorial. The once scenic surroundings, majestic trees and marble facades of the historic buildings had taken on a new meaning, as if to mark the past greatness of America with some cryptic Signal.  94 blocks away, Jefferson waited for them, as patient and secretive, as he was in life. Harold and Maggie walked on astride, knowing they needed shelter before dark. The ones who roamed the night weren’t as friendly as the camos. It was best not to be seen at all after dark.

Just off the street, Maggie caught a glimpse of movement. She tugged at Harold’s arm to stop. They both looked on as a little field rabbit foraged in one of the parks along the way. Maggie wondered what the little bunni made of its new surroundings.  An Amusing Bunni’s Musings of the brave new world, she thought. No doubt the bunni was able to find more humor than they.

The pair moved on, amazingly un-accosted, finally turning left onto Raoul Wallenberg, then Maine Ave, and then right onto East Basin.

There was old Thomas, laid on his side by the rioters or some unknown force of explosion. The once mighty pillars that held his bronze likeness in a cage now lay strewn about and broken like so many logs in a forester’s harvest. Thomas was free and yet remained. It was as if he couldn’t bear to leave the home he’d become accustomed to, much like the people of the country he had a hand in founding. When it came time for them to rise to the challenge he issued 200 years ago, they forgot what price freedom demands.

Lain off to one side, an engraving remained. Words of the great American Thinker, philosopher, Architect, statesman and President:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men. We…solemnly publish and declare, that these colonies are and of right ought to be free and independent states…And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honour.”

Harold remembered once more the last time he saw the memorial intact and shuddered. “How could we lose our sacred honor?” He wondered

Another dusty panel still remained as well. Harold brushed off the debris.

“Almighty God hath created the mind free…All attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens…are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion…No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship or ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion. I know but one code of morality for men whether acting singly or collectively.”

“Maybe one day those words will again hold meaning, Maggie.”

They crawled over and under the pillars and stones around to the side of the memorial. Harold rummaged around beneath some brush and produced the pry bar he had promised. They each looked around to make sure no-one was looking on and Harold began working on the means of entrance to their new shelter.

[Note: this is the third and last in a series of experiments in linking (Rule 2). The first two are Robo-Love Experiment #1 and Robo-Love Experiment #2. Please excuse the use of poetic license. No resemblance was meant to any real persons, Maggie especially, it just served as a convenient way to work in your blog title. I hope you don’t mind.

And my apologies for being so dark lately. It’s just my attempt to wake some folks up.]

Over the past eleven months, a recurring theme of mine has been to ruminate on the perils of big government and what we can do to combat the over reaching arm of federal encroachments on our liberty and freedom. Since some of you are new to the blog, and since I transferred quite a few of those essays from the old site yesterday, I thought I would take the opportunity to point you to the “Prime” tab which will hold links to those essays for your reference.

As an introduction, in reverse order of appearance, here are ten essays on

The Perils of Big Government


Note also that within the “Prime” tab are what I consider to be some of the best writing by other bloggers I’ve run across in my travels. I don’t always have time or think of bookmarking a post so the list is a bit short for now. Most of my time online lately is focused on defeating the Godzilla of a government we’ve been growing, so if your wondrous work is absent, please take no offense at the omission, it may be that I simply haven’t read that particular work or wasn’t in a situation where I was able to make a note. Either way, the fault I’m sure, lies with me.

In addition to the random readings titled “From Other Blogs,” my friends at The Resistance have been very busy assembling valuable information for us to use and peruse. Those links will be posted on “Prime” also as they come available. I will try to make a note of when I make an addition to the “Prime” tab here on the front page but do check out that page from time to time as I may have forgotten to make note. They don’t call me “Mind-Numbed” for nothing.

Worth watching again, and again.


A couple of items you should know about in the WTF category.

While I was doing the T-Shirt post, I ran across an article at Pamella Geller’s site, Atlas Shrugs, about some Christians jailed for talking to Muslims! in Michigan! This is Sharia law being practiced in Free Speech America and we cannot let it stand.

Also, I received an email from Human Events yesterday alerting me to the same Christian evangelists plight.

Here is part of the email:

Jailed for Jesus in America…Michigan police arrest Christians for talking to Muslims

Four Christians were arrested and jailed for talking to Muslims about Jesus, by order of police chief Ronald Haddad of Dearborn Michigan, who defended the arrests one week after the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered those same police to let Christian evangelist George Saieg preach openly at a Muslim festival there.

The email also contained this link and explanation:

PLEASE SELECT HERE TO SIGN PETITION (and we’ll fax it to 535 Congressmen), DEMANDING FBI INVESTIGATE POLICE CORRUPTION IN DEARBORN MICHIGAN   (or just watch video and send a free email to Dearborn Mayor and Police Chief.)

Next:

The second item I want to alert you to is the new legislation being hammered out in the Congress that will, in effect, allow more government seizure of private companies, industry, or something. The lawmakers are once again chanting the mantra of “We’ve got to pass it so we can find out what is in it.”

I can hear the monks now…

Jamie Jeffords has a short piece on it with some other links:

Financial Reform Bill Finalized; No One Has Any Clue What It Does

I’ve heard of someone “Giving you the business” but this is getting bass-ackward  ridiculous.

Steve over at Motor City Times has a new post that hit on something I’ve been pondering for quite a while. If most people can agree that big corporations and big unions are wielding too much clout with our politicians, then why in the world do we keep feeding the monster? Shut off the freaking food supply!

Corporations and unions should be cut out of campaign contributions altogether! Campaigns should be funded by contributions from the US Citizen only. And don’t give me any of that “it’s too expensive to run a campaign” garbage. The politicians made the rules. They can revise them so that it is less conducive to corruption.

I know, now I’m going to hear what a naive and unrealistic proposition that is. Fine. I’m naive. I’ll have you know that that is one of my most endearing qualities. Naive is one of the best things you can be sometimes. It helps the creative process to look at something with a childlike curiosity and wonder.

What I’m wondering right now is why we keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. That, according to Einstein if I remember correctly, is the definition of insanity.

Next subject.

I’ve seen an idea I floated a while back gaining some traction of late. This is encouraging. The idea is to REPEAL THE SEVENTEENTH AMENDMENT. Hear! Hear!

Wait, let me go check when it was I wrote about it… I’m back. It was March, at the other blog, in a post titled Aristocracy and Oligarchy – How We Got Here. In the comments of that post, The CL and Smitty proposed the excellent ideas of also repealing the Sixteenth and The Federal Reserve Act. Now you’re talkin’ some change I can believe in!

Now, these two proposals are admittedly lofty ideals and for sure not doable in the immediate future, and as Gene Healy points out, the 17th repeal in and of itself would be of minimal use without further regressive action. Regression is not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to removing power from a Federal government that has grown beyond its constitutionally limited bounds.

We may not be able to affect that change at the moment, but I believe it is a needed discussion for when we once again have conservatives in the wheelhouse of our ship of state.

UPDATE II: And the author is… Ron Paul, who was named within a nano-second by The CL of The Classic Liberal, who’s comment languished in “pending” mode until now. Sorry CL, I know that was painful, but I didn’t want to cloud the issue with any facts, besides, once you see it, it’s obvious. Thanks for being a good sport.

Congressman Paul was quoted from his April 27, 2010 article entitled Socialism vs. Corporatism as published on the Campaign for Liberty Website, and many others I’m sure.

The CL’s quick response leads me to think that he may be a subscriber to the Robot’s postings. What a great idea! Those interested can subscribe by entering their email at the box in the upper right column. I promise, your info is safe with me.

There were some good guesses by all, and one other correct answer by someone who’s handle I can only describe as a stock number, 1911A1, who BTW would have received a link back if they had provided a web address.

Thanks to all the participants!

Chris Wysocki, Jeffrey Ellis, Courtney, Red, Reaganite Republican,  and JB.

Thanks also to Motor City Times for linking to the post!

I’ll try to make the next one a little more challenging.

UPDATE I: The identity of our writer was nailed by a blogger friend within the first hour of this post. I hid his comment so it wouldn’t influence any true guesses, and because I had a strong suspicion that this particular blogger absolutely knew the name of the author. I would reveal the name of said blogger but I fear even that bit of info would be a huge clue to our writer’s identity. *gasp* Censorship!

There have been some good attempts, and some comments by newcomers to the site claiming to know the answer. (Welcome and thanks for stopping in!)

Today I’m lifting the moratorium so, if you know who it is, then speak up. I’ll be revealing the name of our essayist in the morning along with the blogger’s name who chimed in so, if you think you know the answer, today’s the day to prove it.

Thanks for playing!

——————————————————————————————

Alright, you brainiacks, let’s play a game called  “Name the Naked Author”

Here’s the set-up:

I’ll post an article,and you guess who wrote it. Simple,  but we’re on the honor system here. No search engines. You must guess. No clues to start with, and another thing, if you know the answer, give it a day or a few, please, ’twill be more fun with true guesses, me-thinks. And this works for me too, cause I get to try to stump your happy, intelligent, asses. Mwaahahahahahaha… ha ha   ha      ha        ha         *cough*            ahem

Here ’tis…

Lately many have characterized this administration as socialist, or having strong socialist leanings.  I differ with this characterization.  This is not to say Mr. Obama believes in free-markets by any means.  On the contrary, he has done and said much that demonstrates his fundamental misunderstanding and hostility towards the truly free market.  But a closer, honest examination of his policies and actions in office reveals that, much like the previous administration, he is very much a corporatist.  This in many ways can be more insidious and worse than being an outright socialist.

Socialism is a system where the government directly owns and manages businesses. Corporatism is a system where businesses are nominally in private hands, but are in fact controlled by the government.  In a corporatist state, government officials often act in collusion with their favored business interests to design polices that give those interests a monopoly position, to the detriment of both competitors and consumers.

A careful examination of the policies pursued by the Obama administration and his allies in Congress shows that their agenda is corporatist.  For example, the health care bill that recently passed does not establish a Canadian-style government-run single payer health care system. Instead, it relies on mandates forcing every American to purchase private health insurance or pay a fine.  It also includes subsidies for low-income Americans and government-run health care “exchanges”.  Contrary to the claims of the proponents of the health care bill, large insurance and pharmaceutical companies were enthusiastic supporters of many provisions of this legislation because they knew in the end their bottom lines would be enriched by Obamacare.

Similarly, Obama’s “cap-and-trade” legislation provides subsidies and specials privileges to large businesses that engage in “carbon trading.”  This is why large corporations, such as General Electric support cap-and-trade.

To call the President a corporatist is not to soft-pedal criticism of his administration.  It is merely a more accurate description of the President’s agenda.

When he is a called a socialist, the President and his defenders can easily deflect that charge by pointing out that the historical meaning of socialism is government ownership of industry; under the President’s policies, industry remains in nominally private hands.  Using the more accurate term – corporatism – forces the President to defend his policies that increase government control of private industries and expand de facto subsidies to big businesses. This also promotes the understanding that though the current system may not be pure socialism, neither is it free-market since government controls the private sector through taxes, regulations, and subsidies, and has done so for decades.

Using precise terms can prevent future statists from successfully blaming the inevitable failure of their programs on the remnants of the free market that are still allowed to exist.  We must not allow the disastrous results of corporatism to be ascribed incorrectly to free market capitalism or used as a justification for more government expansion.  Most importantly, we must learn what freedom really is and educate others on how infringements on our economic liberties caused our economic woes in the first place.  Government is the problem; it cannot be the solution.

Speculate in the comments…

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