Sunday, May 27, 2012

Red Patch Syndrome - *CDC ALERT*

This is an advisory of a virulent new communicable disease: Red Patch Syndrome - "RPS"

This is believed to be a HOST - PARASITE relationship.

CLINICAL FINDINGS & PATHOLOGY: After a lengthy incubation period of up to 12 years, affected individuals seem to have the pathological need to associate in large groups and march along broad thoroughfares in cities making repetitive chants and noises with a variety of implements, pots, pans, etc. 
The diagnostic indicator of the syndrome is the red patch that appears on the attire of affected individual's.

Affected individuals assert that they have collective rights which supersede individual rights, and that individual property is an artificial construct, so they are entitled to property by virtue of their existence.  

Additionally some affected individuals choose to cover their faces, no doubt due to the shame of their condition, and many of these take part in violent outbursts destroying property (its theirs anyway, right?) and causing general mayhem. Manifestation of symptoms seems to be worse at night and in good weather.

INFECTION: Its believed this is a vector born organism that enters the ears and/or eyes of human hosts with absolutely minimal involvement of their brain. It primarily affects students of college age (18 to 25) particularly those of Francophone descent, but RPS is easily spread to Anglophones and Allophones often by cell phones or texting devices (wireless transmission! its airborne, run!!). More commonly infection is by close contact and aggravated by exposure to the toxins produced by the large number of Marxist professors in Quebec Colleges.

A common characteristic presented by those affected (usually young adults) is confusion between positive and negative rights and an inability to grasp concepts like personal responsibility and property rights likely due to the long incubation period (12 years) in government run schools and repeated exposure to the toxins produced by the unionized staff in those schools. Those afflicted with RPS ignore that the positive right to a cheap (or free) education demands that someone is obliged to provide it. Clearly this demonstrates the parasitic nature of this ailment.

MORPHOLOGY & ETIOLOGY: Unknown morphology, a causative organism has yet to be identified.
Etiology is difficult to pin point, but outbreaks of RPS-like syndromes have been known throughout history as owner-slave/parasite-host relationships. This culminated in central Europe (Moscow) in 1917 with an aggressive form of RPS that ravaged the region for more than 70 years with localized outbreaks in South East Asia and as far afield as Cuba in the Caribbean Sea.

EPIDEMIOLOGY: A strain of a less virulent form of RPS is believed to have been endemic in Quebec for over 50 years. Epidemiological research has shown that this more virulent RPS outbreak originated in South Eastern Quebec in Canada along the St. Lawrence River Valley and on the Île de Montréal several months ago. The index case may have been in the National Assembly of Quebec (Quebec City) during a budget attempt at an austerity measure for post secondary funding.
Similar outbreaks have occurred earlier in the year in Britain and other parts of Europe, but the characteristic red patch was absent.

This more virulent strain of RPS has been observed as far south as New York City during a recent Saturday Night Live broadcast with Mick Jagger and the Canadian group Arcade Fire, who apparently brought it across the US border despite the precautions of Homeland Security (nice job, eh?). Recently small pockets of RPS have been spotted to the West in Toronto, and officials there are anticipating an outbreak over the summer. Be advised, it may even spread further.       

TREATMENT & CONTROL: Local officials in Quebec have been unable to contain the outbreak despite a variety of measures to subdue and quarantine especially the violent affected individuals. Official use of a remedy agent called B(ill) - 78 has had little or no effect and may have aggravated the condition. B - 78 it also poses the risk of an assortment of nasty side effects from its hasty application.

PREVENTION: RPS-like syndromes can be prevented by repeated application of large doses of Austrian Economic Theory over several years, but such prophylactic measures are difficult because strains of RPS have become endemic in large parts of the world causing flare-ups to occur regularly.  

RELATED DISEASES: Greek Disease: This is a widespread phenomenon, closely related to RPS, that seems to be coming to a head in the Mediterranean country of Greece. Forms of Greek Disease are found throughout the Eurozone and even in North America. Its just a matter of time before the most severe symptoms are manifested.

Dutch Disease: Recently in Canada Thomas Mulcair, who is a known infected carrier of RPS-like syndrome, claims to have discovered an ailment where Canadian oil manufacturers in the West, have created a situation that results in high currency values that depress Canadian manufacturing and export abilities. This is unrelated to RPS, except that Mulcair has a distorted view of economics and should expose himself to the healing effect of Austrian Economic Theory as soon as possible.

Occupy Movement Syndrome - OWS: Definitely related.

- 30 -

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Anti-humanists and other Merchants of Despair

Who is more dangerous the person who says: "the sky is falling, protect yourself" or the one who says: "live your life?"

Who is more dangerous the person who says: "restrict the size of your family" or the one who says: "have the family you are able to support?"

Who is more dangerous the person who says: "we don't have the right to manipulate genes to grow more food" or the one who says: "let the market decide how food is grown and distributed?"

Who is more dangerous the person who says: "restrict the use of fossil fuels, and ration the use of fire" or the one who says: "drill baby drill and let the free market and individual rights mitigate pollution?"

Who is more dangerous the person who says: "we must limit the growth of industry to save the planet" or the one who says: "we will never run out of resources?"

Who is more dangerous the person who says: "humans are vermin and are destroying the planet" or the one who says: "look how humanity has prospered and still coexists with nature?"

Robert Zubrin says we can make the pie big enough for all.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Success without winning - the Ron Paul Evolution

I've run in three election campaigns in recent years, but I'm really new to politics. What I've learned about politics is that it's a lot like high school in some ways.

In high school students quickly sort themselves into groups by a number of factors, almost all of them superficial.

First you sort by age and grade, then by gender within the first sorting. Then you may sort by ethnic origin, skin colour, and religion. Those are all fairly superficial factors that really don't say much about the individual, except that s/he can be sorted along those lines.

It's not until you start sorting by personality, interests, abilities, and intellect, that people are given their due, and those are often overlooked because of the superficial factors. It's the superficial factors that usually lead to a hierarchical structure within a student population.

Take a look at Mitt Romney or Barak Obama, forget the skin colour and the money. Both of these men sort out well, superficially by their appearance, and because of their personalities, and abilities, I'll bet they were very popular in high school and in the upper parts of their hierarchy. They didn't have to be deep thinkers, or super intelligent, in fact that may have hurt them because they would become marginalized. That is the unfortunate truth in politics and high school, the thinkers and those that think differently become marginalized.

In fact thinking itself often becomes marginalized in politics. The truth of that statement becomes apparent whenever a politician, with perfectly good intentions, makes an economic decision based on those good intentions. Every economic decision is at the very least two sided. A decision that favours one side, always has a negative effect on the other even if its just tiny.

In high school, the popular students had little impact on the entire school body, but they ran the show, or at least the part they were permitted to run. They were admired and followed, but only controlled things like dances and some events.

It's not always the popular students that become the politicians and power-brokers, the problem is that the electorate acts as though they were back in high school. They admire and follow the politicians and the powerful based on the same set of superficial criteria they used in high school. They aren't looking for deep thinkers or the super intelligent, they're looking for the superficial person that has been properly sorted to make decisions for them based on good intentions, you know, for the common good. It's a lot like high school except its life, and not just a dance.

Dr. Ron Paul may or may not be a deep thinker, I don't know, but he does think differently. Because of that he has been marginalized since his first efforts to change government in 1988. Yet here he is near the end of his political life, and according to Brian Doherty, Dr. Paul is succeeding without winning.     


Monday, May 14, 2012

The Biology of Trust - a biological basis for free market economics

Ever wonder why some people are trusting and generous, others not so much? It may have to do with a molecule that is normally released in people during sex or breast feeding. The molecule is oxytocin, and it might help explain trust in an economic sense.
Paul Zak is a neuroeconomist, interested in finding the biological foundations for human behaviour. Since human behaviour (Mises called it human action - praxeology) is essential in economics, well, you can see why this is interesting work.

Zak says his work builds on work done by Vernon Smith, also an interesting guy. Check out this interview of Smith on ReasonTV last year. That Smith has based much of his work on another Smith, Adam Smith.
Here is Paul Zak explaining his very interesting experiment, and how it might help understanding economics.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

For Mother's Day....End the War on drugs.

Repeal the laws for non-violent drug offences. The war on drugs here in Canada, in the US and around the world has failed. It should not have started in the first place, but the evidence is clearer than ever for those who can see.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Would you use heroin if it were legal?

That is just one of the questions that Ron Paul is famous for. Ron Paul is making a serious run for the GOP nomination. He might even control 30 - 40% of delegates by the time of the GOP Convention in August. Here is very good interactive Google Delegate map that shows how things are going now.

Will Ron Paul be able to have another go in 2015-16? He has been doing this for 24 years now, a generation. If not, the question I have is who will take up the fight after this election campaign is over?

Here is a short piece from ReasonTV on Dr. Paul's popularity amongst the young.

Monday, May 7, 2012

John Stossel shops his new book....

Always interesting to hear a top notch libertarian communicator, enjoy.

May Day! Mayday! M'aidez!

The annual May Day shenanigans took place last week. Traditionally May Day was the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere. It has since morphed into International Workers' Day (kind of a spring time Labour Day) for a variety of reasons.

Mayday is also the traditional distress call used by sailors and airman which comes from the original French: "m'aidez," literally "help me."

The idea of "help me" links the distress call, to the current economic malaise and to the indebted employed and unemployed worldwide, through International Workers Day (IWD). Whether one is lost at sea or deep in debt, assistance is needed.

May Day has offered the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement the opportunity to restate their case this spring. What is their case? That seems to depend where you're looking.

In the United States the OWS May Day protests are complicated. America seems to be in perpetual state of war and has been in an economic depression since the last days of Bush 2. This video link to ReasonTV is indicative of how complicated their protests are.

Many of my libertarian friends see OWS as a grassroots movement, one that we need to embrace and get in front of to help our cause. I don't think so. I think this story is like the early days of the Tea Party in the US.

American libertarians jumped on the Tea Party bandwagon, until it was clear that it was just a neo-conservative revival, and not libertarian at all. The Tea Party has blended into the GOP wallpaper.

I believe that will happen to OWS (they will blend somewhere), but calling OWS neo-collectivist may be a bit of a stretch. Collectivism is already the dominant political force in most Western democracies. The only thing that is "neo" about OWS, is that it seems to be led by the young. Their "new ideas" linked to International Workers Day last week, still clings to the Marxist idea that workers of the world are oppressed somehow by capitalists, and that the workers can break their chains and demand their rightful position as rulers of themselves (and the capitalists). OWS claims that they are the majority (99%), and by virtue of that fact, deserve a bigger share of the wealth owned (they say) by the 1%. It's an old idea.

So far in Canada, Occupy protests are relatively peaceful, though some of the protests have become more violent in the States where the economy is worse.

The Soviet era May Day Parade picture I've included, shows that Marxism was never benignly peaceful, and OWS by extension is not either. The occupation of someone else's property is a violent act, even if it is "public" property. No one should be under any illusions that somehow OWS is benign, or that they are on the side of liberty. They are still a confused rabble, but I believe they will be brought to heel at some point, and show themselves as the collectivists they are, despite the confused press they are getting.

The three month old "student strike" (oxymoron anyone?) in Quebec is a demonstration of the neo-collectivism in action. Post secondary students in Quebec have the lowest tuitions in the country. They have been given a cheap ride for many years. A Quebec budget proposal of small incremental increases in tuition prompted violent demonstrations in recent weeks. For the students in Quebec the cheap ride was not enough, they have demanded the keys and the entire car too. So it is with collectivism, once the moral argument is accepted that we are all responsible for the "wants" of one another, then property is irrelevant and what's yours is also mine. M'aidez is no longer a request for assistance, but a demand.