Friday, July 25, 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

If people want to murder their children, South Dakota will inform them of the consequence.

South Dakota Law Goes Into Effect: Women Must be Told They Are "Terminating the Life of a Whole Separate, Unique Living Human Being"

By Jenna Murphy

PIERRE, SOUTH DAKOTA, July 22, 2008, ( - This past Friday, a law mandating that South Dakota's physicians tell all women seeking an abortion that they are "terminating the life of a whole separate, unique living human being" went into effect.
Though the state law was passed in 2005, Planned Parenthood successfully challenged the legislation in the courts, causing a preliminary injunction to be established that prevented the law from being put into effect.

That injunction, however, expired on Friday, and now all physicians performing abortions at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Sioux Falls - the state's only acknowledged abortuary - must present the client with the specific language as it has been formulated by law. A woman must certify in writing that she understands no earlier than two hours before the procedure is conducted (Slevin, Washington Post, 7/20).

The law also mandates that a woman who seeks an abortion must be told that she is willingly putting herself at a higher risk of suicide and depression and that in choosing to end the life of her child she is terminating an 'existing relationship' that is protected by the US constitution and that her "existing constitutional rights with regards to that relationship will be terminated."
Another related law took effect on July 1, requiring doctors in South Dakota to ask a woman seeking an abortion if she wants to see a sonogram of her baby.

About 700 abortions are performed in South Dakota each year.

Although 32 states have informed consent regulations, South Dakota is the only state that includes the reference to an unborn baby as "a whole, separate, unique living human being."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Soaking The Fat Cats

On the campaign trail, one thing you're guaranteed to hear from the Obama team is how the evil rich have gotten away with paying little or no taxes during the last six years because of the Bush tax cuts.

The only problem with this claim is that it's completely false. In fact, the exact opposite is true: the rich already pay all of the taxes. A recently published study by the non-partisan Tax Foundation demonstrates this: the nation's wealthiest taxpayers now pay a higher percentage of the tax burden than ever before. As of 2006, the wealthiest 1% of wage earners paid a whopping 40% of the nation's tax burden, up from 36.9% in 2004, while earning only 22% of the country's income. Yesterday's Wall Street Journal goes into greater detail.

So the liberal redistributionists are correct to say that a plurality of the gains made during the last 7 years have gone to those at the top, but they conveniently fail to mention how those at the top are now forced to pay a percentage of the tax burden that nearly doubles their share of the national income.

The scariest part of all of this new data goes left unstated, however: the bottom 50% of wage earners now pay only 2.7% of the federal tax burden. This, of course, allows them to vote themselves benefits they won't have to pay for and to support tax increases that won't affect them.

Senator Obama claims he'll raise taxes on the rich so he can give more cut taxes to "the people that actually need them" (i.e., lower income earners). But how do you cut taxes on people that don't pay any in the first place?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Truth, Justice and the American Woman

On the front page of the SMN this morning was this article, detailing the debut of The Dark Knight in Savannah. Featured in the article is Gordon "Batman" Varnedoe, a cousin of mine. In the article, Batman exclaims that he stands for "truth, justice and the American woman." I believe we here at BMBS can lay claim to the same ideals.

Batman is not Gordon Varnedoe's only personality. He has also impersonated Elvis, General James Oglethorpe and Tomochichi.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Whip Inflation Now (WIN)

Yes, this is another economics post, but you don't have to be particularly interested in economics to be angry about what's going on across the country right now. Today the labor department announced that the consumer price index shot up 1.1% just this past month, and yesterday it was announced that the producer price index rose at the fastest rate in a quarter-century. In other words, prices everywhere are increasing at a rapid pace. Granted, things aren't as bad today as they were during the 70's, but we could well be headed in that direction unless monetary policy changes course.

To fully grasp this issue, one must understand what causes inflation. Politicians and liberals in the media will usually blame evil companies, sinister speculators, greedy oil CEO's, and Kevin Barry's bartenders for the general rise in prices we're seeing. Others will resort to the traditional Keynsian explanation and blame "rising demand" among consumers (recall WIN lapel pins with Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter telling people to stop buying so much stuff and to turn off their thermostats). This is to be expected, because government officials and their experts are always going to attack private business and citizens instead of placing the blame where it truly belongs: on themselves.

It is crucial to understand that the true definition of inflation is not a general rise in prices, but instead an increase in the money supply. Rising prices are thus the effect of inflation, not the cause. Once we see things this way, it is much easier to understand the inflation problem and why our anger should be aimed at Washington and the Federal Reserve, not at the private sector.

How Inflation Happens

So just how and why does our government increase the money supply? Well, first think of all of the savings accounts across the country. All of the deposits people make out of their paychecks that they don't intend to immediately spend. Banks, of course, lend these deposits out to borrowers. So let's call this entire pool of savings the loanable funds market.

Now loans, just like any good or service, have a price, which is determined by the supply and demand for these loanable funds. We call this price the interest rate. When savings are low and demand for loans is high, interest rates are high. By the same token, when savings are high and there is less demand among borrowers, interest rates are low.

What the Federal Reserve does, in the name of "stimulating" economic activity, is print new money out of thin air and use it to buy treasury bonds from the banks, artificially increasing the supply of loanable funds. This, of course, decreases the interest rate. The Fed has a "target" rate that it shoots for (currently it's at a paltry 2%), and so long as the target rate is exceeded by the true rate that represents the relationship between savers and borrowers, the Fed must continue printing money and injecting it into the banks to keep the target rate from rising to what it would otherwise be under normal conditions. Since September of last year, the Fed has pumped an exorbitant amount of new money into the system to in order reduce the target rate from 5% to its current 2% target today.

You don't have to be an MIT grad to understand that this process erodes the value of the dollars in our wallets. It is a corrosive charade that eats at our savings, promotes prodigality, penalizes thrift, and distorts economic decision-making. By pumping more paper money into the system, the paper money becomes more and more worthless. This is what is meant by the idea that inflation is "always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon." To better help illustrate, imagine you and some friends are playing monopoly, buying and selling properties between one another, when, all of a sudden, every player is given an additional $1,000 out of nowhere. What happens? Obviously, the price of each property traded is going to rise because people are going to be willing and able to pay more.

How to Cure Inflation

The only way to stop prices from rising is to stop printing money and extending "fake" credit to the banks, allowing the interest rate to return to its real, natural level. In the short term, this reckoning will be painful: as rates rise, many of the projects previously undertaken will become unprofitable. Some workers may lose their jobs, borrowers will have to pay higher interest rates on their credit cards, and a sharp recession will take place. But in the long term, everyone will benefit. All of the malinvestment will be cleansed out and liquidated and people will have more incentive to save instead of spend. True, sound economic growth can resume and the dollars in our pockets will retain and even gain in value.

For a real-life example of this, look no further than the early 80's. After a decade of easy and loose money, with the printing presses running at full speed to keep interest rates low and annual inflation near 20%, Reagan came into office and gave Fed Chairman Paul Volcker the green light to finally stop money creation and allow interest rates to float. This led to devastatingly high double-digit interest rates, which induced a sharp, deep recession in 1981-1982. Farmers, mortgage brokers, and basically anyone dependent on credit or employed in the finance industry took a hard hit. But by 1983, the dragon of inflation had been slain and the economy was back on sound footing. Interest rates began to naturally decline as people began to save more and as prices stabilized.

The question is, does the Fed and our government have the same courage today as Messrs. Reagan and Volcker did 30 years ago? Do they have the guts to end the party era of cheap credit and let the inevitable hangover start to run its course? Let's hope so, unless we want to see a nightmarish repeat of the dreaded 1970's, an era when Keynsian fallacy dominated economic thinking and the only thing good was BC Football.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Awesome New Show

Some of you may know that I'm typically the last one to catch on to TV shows. I just discovered Arrested Development and it was cancelled over two years ago. Last night, however, I caught the first episode of HBO's new miniseries, Generation Kill.
The show is based on a book written by Evan Wright, who moved in with a group of Marines to tell their story. In the first episode, entitled "Get Some" we meet a platoon of Marines from the First Recon Division. Set in 2003, this group of young men are the tip of the spear of the invasion of Iraq. Contrary to what you might expect from a new show about the war in Iraq, this show is not anti-war. We're not expected to take a side.
What struck me most about the show is the dialogue. It's coarse, funny, and most of all, believable. During one scene, the platoon receives a shipment of letters from elementary school kids. After first bemoaning the fact that the never get "hot j**k-off letters from hot chicks," one Marine replies aloud to a letter from a child named Freddy who wrote in with a prayer that no one get hurt.
"I am actually a U.S. Marine who was born to kill, whereas clearly you have mistaken me for some kind of wine-sipping Communist d**ksuck. And although peace probably appeals to tree-loving bisexuals like you and your parents, I happen to be a death-dealing blood-crazed warrior who wakes up every day just hoping for the chance to dismember my enemies and defile their civilizations. Peace sucks a hairy a**hole, Freddy. War is the motherf**king answer."
I highly recommend this show. Semper Fi.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Farley Fridays

David Cameron (Tory British MP) on Public Morality and Personal Responsibility

A Return to "Public Morality" and "Personal Responsibility" will Turn Around Britain's Social Collapse: Tory LeaderIn order to avoid injury to people's feelings, in order to avoid appearing judgemental, we have failed to say what needs to be said.

By Hilary White

GLASGOW, July 10, 2008 ( ) - In a seminal speech on Monday, David Cameron, the leader of Britain's opposition Conservative Party, laid out a new, direction in Tory policy towards addressing the ongoing moral breakdown of society, which he said is a cause of its social breakdown.

"I want a mandate for restoring responsibility to our society. A mandate to call time on the twisted values that have eaten away at our social fabric. A mandate for tough action to repair our broken society."

Cameron, speaking to a Conservative party audience in Glasgow, said the deeper cause of Britain's "family breakdown, welfare dependency, debt, drugs, poverty, poor policing, inadequate housing, and failing schools" is a "society that is in danger of losing its sense of personal responsibility, social responsibility, common decency and, yes, even public morality."

Cameron's Tories would put an end to the prevailing political trend of "moral neutrality," he indicated. While politicians themselves may be fallible, he said, this is no reason to abandon the concept of moral life and "social virtue" in political life.

"We as a society have been far too sensitive. In order to avoid injury to people's feelings, in order to avoid appearing judgemental, we have failed to say what needs to be said. We have seen a decades-long erosion of responsibility, of social virtue, of self-discipline, respect for others, and deferring gratification instead of instant gratification."

"Instead we prefer moral neutrality, a refusal to make judgments about what is good and bad behaviour, right and wrong behaviour. Bad. Good. Right. Wrong. These are words that our political system and our public sector scarcely dare use any more."

"Poverty, crime, social disorder and deprivation...are steadily making this country a grim and joyless place to live for far too many people."

Cameron said that the Glasgow East by-election, which he called the "broken society" by-election, was the time to decisively call for an end to Labour's socialist policies.

Glasgow East is a riding where, Cameron said, "welfare dependency is so bad, half the adults are on out of work benefits," which, he said, is merely "an extreme version of what you can see everywhere." As such, it is a fitting place for his announcement that a Tory government would work to reverse the trend by bringing back the idea of personal responsibility and self-reliance on a national level.

"Welfare dependency," he said "is now a crisis for the whole country."
Families, Cameron said, are the "most important area of all" in the fight against poverty. He said that the Tories will "take action not just to support marriage and family stability, but on business too, to make Britain more family-friendly."

A Tory government would reorient welfare to aim at getting people back to work. "We need to end the idea that the state gives you money for nothing," he said. "If you can work, you must work. We will insist on it, and believe me, we will stick to our guns when the going gets tough."
Information released recently from the government showed that the current system of welfare, or "benefits," pays more if the father is not present, leading to accusations that the system itself tends to break up families and leave children without fathers.

Reactions from the pundits have been cautiously positive and some have said that Cameron's appeal to such "recently unfashionable" themes as personal responsibility and morality will "strike a chord" with British voters who are connecting the rise in crime and social and moral disorder with the ten years of Labour party rule.

Reaction on the left was predictable. Kevin Maguire, writing for the Daily Mirror, the only newspaper in Britain known to have supported the Labour party throughout its history, called Cameron's call for greater personal responsibility in British life "grotesque."

That Cameron chose economically depressed Glasgow East - a by-election the Tories cannot possibly win - as the test for his call merely proved, Maguire said, that "he has a callous brass neck in flying into one of the most deprived parts of Britain to accuse locals of creating social problems that have existed for decades."

But the Independent called the choice of location "a smart move" and said that "David Cameron knew exactly what he was doing".

"The gritty urban backdrop of Monday's speech provided the most graphic illustration to date of how successfully Mr Cameron has managed to seize the initiative on social policy from Labour."
Melanie Philips, writing on her weblog at the Spectator website, said that Cameron has successfully "decontaminated the Tory brand." The party can no longer be "painted as hatchet-faced bigots who would starve the feckless while kicking them into the gutter."

Cameron, she said, "is picking up on a change in the public mood - one of widespread utter dismay at the prevailing amorality and nihilism" that has been promoted by the militantly hard left Labour party.

James MacMillan, writing for the Daily Telegraph, said that Cameron's appeal to traditional morality had also hit the right notes to lure away the Labour party's own traditional voter base, especially in Scotland. "Lifestyle liberalism has never played particularly well with the moral and social conservatives who make up a large section of Labour's traditional working-class and urban voters," he said.

"The recent parliamentary votes that defeated amendments to ban human-animal embryos, the creation of 'saviour siblings', and to reduce the abortion time limit did not go down well in places such as Glasgow East."It remains to be seen, however, if Cameron's statements represent his real views and whether he can be counted on to follow through and actually implement and vote for pro-family and pro-morality measures. Last year the Tory leader spectacularly contradicted his previous pro-family statements by voting for the deadly Sexual Orientation Regulations and seemed then to have made commitments to the powerful gay lobby in exchange for their political support.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

You Know It's Bad When...

Barack Obama has a shot at winning Georgia, of all places. Boy are we gunna get creamed in November...

Aftershock of Ireland's Rejection of EU Treaty

And a comparison of the EU to the Soviet Union:

Friday, July 04, 2008

70 Year Old Indian Woman Has Twins

While the most bizarre news always seems to come out of India, this reaches a new level for me. A 70 year old woman from Muzaffarnagar, India gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl, via caesarean. Her and her husband, who's still got the stuff at 77, had been trying to have a male heir. The irony here is that in accomplishing this feat, the father mortgaged the family farm, spent his entire life savings, and maxed out a few credit cards in the process. Exactly what the new baby boy will be heir to, I have no idea.
Here's a picture of the new little bundles of joy.

Having kids at 70 isn't without it's advantages. Think of this, everyone in the house will be in diapers.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Islam; a religion of peace. But, damn those puppies!

God forbid a Scottish police department that put a picture of a 6-week year old puppy on a postcard.

Those Christian infidels will surely burn in hell, and the angry Muslims will have forty virgins in the after-life. That makes a lot of sense.