Category Archives: America

The Costs Of The Drone & Family

America, Barack Obama, Foreign Policy, Media (where my weekly column can be read too) is a good source for unreported or underreported US news.

Item: “The Council on Foreign Relations has released its estimates on the year’s covert targeted killings in Yemen and Pakistan, carried out primarily by drones. The Council estimates a total of 3,520 casualties since the drone strike program began in 2004, of whom 457 have been civilians. …” MORE.

Item: The Obama daughters were listed as “senior staff” for “the June 21-27, 2011, trip taken by First Lady Michelle Obama, her family and her staff to South Africa and Botswana. The passenger manifests confirm the presence of Obama’s daughters, Malia and Sasha on the trip. …” MORE.

Those are some of the costs to this- and other countries of The Drone and his family.

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Can Freedom Lovers Chill In Chile?

America, Britain, Free Markets, GUNS, Private Property, Regulation, Taxation

After watching a property search on House Hunters International, I fell in love with Chile.

Life in certain parts of the country offers quite a few of the prerequisites on my list:

* A cold climate: I detest the heat; the brain functions optimally at 65 degrees.
* Beautiful landscapes.
* Very little crime (because of the country’s demographic make-up).
* Wonderful value (in this episode, home hunter “Michelle” purchased upwards of 20 acres of lake view in Panguipulli, for under US $200,000).
* Gun ownership. While it is not “a constitutional right, personal firearm ownership is permitted in Chile.”

Can Chilean property taxes be higher than in the Evergreen State, where, in order to keep up with the price of the miseducation of the effing kids by their unionized educrats, rates increase irrespective of property value? I doubt it. Considering how cheap property is in Chile, taxes on it are likely lower.

I have twice written positively about Chile: “A Vote For Chile’s President” (a column) and “Chile Is No Haiti” (a blog post).

As if to confirm my positive impression of the country, released today by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal is “the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom.” Chile is said to “excel in Latin America.”

Overall, the country ranks number 7 with the US falling behind to number 12.

… The U.S. and the U.K, historically champions of free enterprise, have suffered the most pronounced declines. Both countries now fall in the “mostly free” category. … But as the U.S. economy languishes, many countries are leaping ahead, thanks to policies that enhance economic freedom—the same ones that made the U.S. economy the most powerful in the world. …
… Hong Kong continues to dominate the list, followed by Singapore, Australia, Switzerland, New Zealand and Canada. These are the only countries to earn the index’s “economically free” designation. Mauritius earned top honors among African countries and Chile excelled in Latin America. Despite the turmoil in the Middle East, several Gulf states, led by Bahrain, earned designation as “mostly free.”
… A realignment is under way in Europe, according to the index’s findings. Eighteen European nations, including Germany, Sweden, Georgia and Poland, have reached new highs in economic freedom. …


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The Making Of A Stupid Society

America, Family, Intelligence, The Zeitgeist

A youth-obsessed society is, invariably, a stupid society.

Via Jonah Goldberg: “‘In America,’ Oscar Wilde quipped, ‘the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience.’”

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WASPocracy Replaced By An Idiocracy

America, Christianity, Education, Etiquette, History, The Zeitgeist

Now that America’s “unofficial but nonetheless genuine ruling class” has been destroyed, Joseph Epstein reminisces longingly about the lost and great benefits to society of this untitled aristocracy’s sense of noblesse oblige.

Epstein, however, wrongly suggests America’s “WASP establishment” has been replaced with a “meritocracy—presumably an aristocracy of sheer intelligence, men and women trained in the nation’s most prestigious schools.”

The WASPocracy was replaced by an Idiocracy.

The prevailing wisdom until now has been that the WASPs (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) “stood for all that was uptight and generally repressive in American culture.” But those who could not wait for their demise are suddenly bewailing it:

… the WASP elite had dignity and an impressive sense of social responsibility. In a 1990 book called “The Way of the Wasp,” Richard Brookhiser held that the chief WASP qualities were “success depending on industry; use giving industry its task; civic-mindedness placing obligations on success, and antisensuality setting limits to the enjoyment of it; conscience watching over everything.”
Under WASP hegemony, corruption, scandal and incompetence in high places weren’t, as now, regular features of public life. Under WASP rule, stability, solidity, gravity and a certain weight and aura of seriousness suffused public life. As a ruling class, today’s new meritocracy has failed to provide the positive qualities that older generations of WASPs provided.

I like this. I’ve always said that IQ is in the math-intense fields of inquiry and study:

Apart from mathematics, which demands a high IQ, and science, which requires a distinct aptitude, the only thing that normal undergraduate schooling prepares a person for is… more schooling. Having been a good student, in other words, means nothing more than that one was good at school: One had the discipline to do as one was told, learned the skill of quick response to oral and written questions, figured out what professors wanted and gave it to them.


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Millennials Deserve What They Get. But Are Boomers Ready For What They’ll Dish Out?

America, Debt, Elections, Family, Healthcare, Pop-Culture, Welfare

My Millennial readers are the best and the brightest. They’ll probably agree that, for the most, theirs is “a generation of idle trophy kids” (a Jennifer-Graham coinage).

Still, America worships youth, no matter how dumb. (The economically nascent Chinese do the exact opposite: revere experience.) To enhance his cool quotient, every Boommer and Gen Xer on TV has been belaboring the theme of generational theft. The country’s national debt amounts to stealing from “our children.” Obamacare sticks it to the kids.


In this vein, you’ve watched John Stossel “taking toys from babies” to instantiate the burden on da babies of $280 trillion in debt and unfunded liabilities.

Avik Roy at Forbes beats on breast: “Why Aren’t Millennials Marching In The Street Over Obamacare?” Roy wants to know. After all, people his age have declared war on the “generation born between 1977 and 1995.”

… by design, this law can work if and only if enough young people are willing to pay premiums far higher than are actuarially fair in order to subsidize workers my age who on average earn far more than the young workers who are subsidizing them. Even if one takes into account that Millennials in the long run eventually will become old themselves and benefit from these subsidies, Obamacare still is an extraordinarily bad deal that effectively would force today’s 18-year olds to pay 18 percent more for their medical care over a lifetime than if each generation paid its own way. Such an age-related tax is unconscionable. Imagine if sales taxes or income taxes included a surcharge for everyone who happened to be a twenty-something. If this idea sounds preposterous, welcome to Obamacare.

Highly productive, wealthy, well-employed, slightly older sorts, who’ve worked hard for what they have, are hard at work generating contempt for their kind.

Lord knows that Millenials—Ms. Graham calls them the “new American idle”—will rise to the occasion. They will dish out contempt and much more. Ask and they’ll oblige.

I sincerely hope the contempt they’ve ginned up for themselves sits well with Boomers and Gen Xers. Since Millenials are big on Obama—and thus deserve everything they get, from more debt to ZerO. Care—I’m sure they’ll also grow into the idea of rationing care for their elders (death panels).

Politically, Millennials were among Barack Obama’s strongest supporters in 2008, backing him for president by more than a two-to-one ratio (66% to 32%)

Be careful what you wish for, stupid. There is no need to teach your precious progeny still more disrespect for their elders.

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UPDATED: JFK’s America (Not Yet A Police State)

America, Democrats, English, History, Homeland Security, Pop-Culture

On Friday, November 22, it will be 50 years since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. CNN has used the upcoming commemoration to avoid covering Obamacare, filling every spare moment of the last week or so with documentary footage of the 1963 events. (The Jonestown massacre’s 30th anniversary was also put to the same use by the nitwork.)

The footage shows an America that is so much more united in mannerisms, grief; better spoken, more refined, reserved, and appropriately attired. It is an endearing and innocent America that is revealed in these records. What was so bad about that bourgeoisie society? Not much when compared to today’s America.

JFK and his stunning wife were rather conservative individuals. Jacky was certainly very proper. She also despised Martin Luther King and Linden Johnson.

Jacqueline Kennedy, as revealed from audio recordings of her historic 1964 conversations with historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., held a low opinion of Martin Luther King. America’s most engaging first lady called Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “terrible,” “tricky” and “a phony.”

“His associations with communists” is why Jacky’s husband ordered the wiretaps on King. Mrs. Kennedy’s brother-in-law, Robert Kennedy—recounts Patrick J. Buchanan in “Suicide of a Superpower”—”saw to it that the FBI carried out the order.”

Stark too is the contrast between this erudite, educated, exquisite Renaissance woman and Michelle Obama, our current, generally disgruntled First Lady.

UPDATE: (11/18): Not Yet A Police State. In light of the police state that the USA has become, it is quite illuminating to see a different America reflected in CNN’s documentary about the JFK assassination. Reporters form scrums around the individuals they follow. Streets are not cordoned off in deference to power. Like the press, “commoners” have access to the politicians who serve them. And so it should be.

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