Why He Must Fail

Written by Fritz on March 6th, 2009

It seems like the current administration thinks its proposed collectivist policies should be exempt from criticism. I get the sense that their position is the same for which they derided President Bush: “If you’re not with us, you’re against us.” Does he expect us to stand behind his proffered policies just because he can orate them slickly from a teleprompter?

Sun Tsu wrote a treatise on how to prevail. As a corollary, we might say his work was about how to cause your opponent to fail. It has been a significant document ever since (2500 years ago), much followed by military strategists over the centuries. More recently it has been openly cited as a source for developing effective corporate strategy in the marketplace.

Is striving to win no longer appropriate?

When you go to a football game and root for your team to win, don’t you want the other team to lose?

When you buy gold and take possession, you must be expecting that it will be a store of value. If its value increases, that implies our currency has lost value. So if you buy gold, are you wishing for the currency to lose value?

If you buy a stock short, are you wishing for a company to fail, or are you betting, based on observable activities in which the company is engaged, that it’s price will fall. It would be silly to think that you are really betting one way, and hoping, say, for the sake of the people who are employed at the company, that it will actually improve its performance.

If you opposed Fidel Castro when he took over Cuba, you probably hoped he would fail. To the extent that he succeeded, Cuba is obviously a failure.

I don’t know whether Obama is trying to hurt America on purpose, but it seems pretty clear that what he’s doing or hoping to do isn’t helping.

In light of that, I want liberty to win, which means, of course, that I too hope Obama fails.

What I do want is to see him dismantle the government stranglehold over healthcare that has created the healthcare problem. I want him to simplify the tax code so it can appear on a post card. I want him to end subsidies, tariffs, tax preferences and tax incentives across the board. I want him to end federal involvement in education and stand behind vouchers for all kids so they can go to any school of their choice.

Do I want America to fail? Of course not. But since I think Obama’s policies will lead to America’s failure, I naturally want to see those policies defeated. That is, I want to see Obama fail.

I’m playing to win. Are you?


Obama’s Jafar Moment

Written by Fritz on February 28th, 2009

Alladin is one of my favorite animated Disney films. Much like the protagonist in the triumphant Slumdog Millionaire, the underdog Alladin tricks his nemisis Jafar by appealing to his ambition and succeeds in turning his greed for power into the means of his own self-destruction.

As the all-powerful Obama demands obedience, he’s coming up against his own rhetoric. His own self importance is now getting boxed into a corner. It’s a classic overreach. Obama thinks his 54% of the vote proffered him a glorious mandate, and to heck with the rest.
I will not obey.


(To Alladin, laughing hideously)
You little fool!
You thought you could defeat the most powerful being on earth!


The genie! The genie has more power than you’ll ever have!
Face it, Jafar–you’re still just second best!


You’re right! His power does exceed my own! But not for long!
(to Genie) Slave, I make my third wish! I wish to be an all powerful genie!

(Reluctantly) All right, your wish is my command.
(aside to Alladin) Nice move Al.

Yes! Yes! The power! The absolute power!
The universe is mine to command, to control!

A black lamp appears at JAFAR’s base. JAFAR is busy conjuring.

Not so fast, Jafar! Aren’t you forgetting something?
(JAFAR looks down questioningly) You wanted to be a genie, you got it!
And everything that goes with it!

Shackles appear on JAFAR’s wrists.

No! No!

IAGO the parrot tries to fly away, but is sucked into the lamp with JAFAR.

Phenomenal cosmic powers! Itty bitty living space.

Al, you little genius, you!


Does he know what he’s saying?

Written by Fritz on February 28th, 2009

This crisis is neither the result of a normal turn of the business cycle nor an accident of history. We arrived at this point as a result of an era of profound irresponsibility that engulfed both private and public institutions from some of our largest companies’ executive suites to the seats of power in Washington, D.C. – Barack Obama, Feb. 26, 2009

I think he’s right. The irresponsible protection racket has got to stop.

To avoid competing in the marketplace, business executives from “our largest companies” have bought special political considerations in the form of regulatory concessions, tax breaks, creating barriers for their competition, or simply transferring their downside risk to taxpayers. Never mind that so much of their resources (and the country’s) are squandered in this dead-weight-loss proposition. When businesses assess their “external environment” and discover political power is the only way they can compete with other companies, how can they be faulted?

As such, the “responsibility” rests entirely with the “seats of power in Washington DC,” and is, of course, delegated to them by the taxpayers. Why continue the charade that we operate within the constraints of a constitution? Now, instead of correcting the root of the problem and reducing the size, power and reach of the federal government, the democrats aim to make themselves all powerful.

It reminds me of Jafar in the Disney film Alladin, who, in his quest to be most all-powerful Leviathan, overlooked the tiny detail that his powers were ultimately authorized by the owner of the lamp. The democrats seem to have overreached so far and so quickly that the owners of the lamp could put them back in for a long while.

We can only hope.


More and More is not Better and Better

Written by Fritz on February 24th, 2009

Obama said to McCain during Monday’s fiscal summit:

“And one of the promising things is I think Secretary Gates shares our concern and he recognizes that simply adding more and more does not necessarily mean better and better…” “…Those two things are not — they don’t always move in parallel tracks, and we’ve got to think that through.”

I only wish this sentiment were embraced by every cabinet. My first thought was the Department of Education.


Wanna be a Barber?

Written by Fritz on February 24th, 2009

Looks like some state governments are reducing your access to a barber. Regulations have combined cosmetology (cosmotology?) and barber boards (are there really state sanctioned boards for these?), forcing barbers to learn and provide things they will never need. Who”s joke is this?

A perfectly respectable vocation now gets cluttered with onerous regulation that creates ridiculous burdens on small one or two man shops, reducing the number of barbershops. And this is good for whom?


Faltering Principles

Written by Fritz on November 18th, 2008

Here’s an article from standard and poor’s suggesting some underlying problems emerging in derivatives because of mark to market, yet people were even suggesting then that it shouldn’t be a problem. The date? Oct 2007. When the problems became apparent, who did what?

It can’t be denied that some people started making statements of concern about Fannie and Freddie starting in 2003, as problems began to emerge, and even drew up legislation (see S-190). And some other people said that everything was fine, and we shouldn’t worry. Now it’s clear those other people were wrong, but will they be held responsible? Can they be? Will people still vote for them? It actually appears so…

I don’t think there’s a coincidence that those who resisted warnings and legislation were also receiving campaign contributions from those who would be impacted by the warnings and legislation. But that’s just me.

Ultimately I think people are making a mistake trying to point fingers at individuals or political parties. It wasn’t a failure of party or politics, but principle. If conservative principles had been followed, it simply wouldn’t have happened. Neither republicans nor democrats followed these principles (the community reinvestment act is a perfect example). Now of course it’s nice that people can realize a dream to have their own home, but if they can’t afford it, and they have no “skin in the game,” why are they somehow entitled? the results were completely predictable. The policy obviously had good intentions, but now who’s responsible? Again, it’s the responsible people who are responsible.

So it’s odd to me that when government policy creates a problem, there’s not a call to undo the policy or throw out the “officials” who created it. Instead support rallies behind a nominee that says we need more policy.



Collection of Individuals

Written by Fritz on November 5th, 2008

Obama said last night that we’re “Not a collection of individuals.”

Watch out. If we’re not a collection of individuals, than we must be a “collective mass.” This does not portend an auspicious beginnning.


What’s this “My President” silliness?

Written by Fritz on November 4th, 2008

Roger Kimball is over at PM is quoting Andrew McCarthy trying to separate himself from those who would “tear down the country…” to which I responded:

Your post is correctly conditional, but I’d make it more so. I have no intention to tear down the country, but perceive that Obama plans to do just that. If Obama wins by 10 points, then we should indeed become the loyal opposition. But if he wins only by one or two, then there will be undeniable questions about his legitimacy. Without a “clean” result, amid such obvious election fraud and intimidation, how can we lose gracefully? I just hope McCain is willing to put up a fighter’s fight for America to make the election legitimate.

But why don”t we go even further? How do we demand a fair accounting?

ACORN has been front and center in the news (at least the right-leaning news) this season. I also read that people are using absentee ballots to vote twice. And black panthers are intimidating people with billy clubs. Winning has evidently become so important that it doesn’t matter how the game is played.

We can’t accept it. We can’t concede. The cheating has to stop. It has to be fair. And that has to start with laws that are enforced. And real journalism.

The only thing worse is that the cheater in this game is going to get a shiny new set of guns to come after what is ours. And they will because all their promises say they have to. Since liberty is so dangerous, they plan to round it up and put it in a corral.


Crisis Managed for Gain

Written by Fritz on November 4th, 2008

Do you want Obama to be elected?

What better way than to make the economy look worse just before the election. Does that sound pretty cynical? Note how we have a finance committee led by democrats. These guys, we’ll assume, know something about finance. They would know, for instance, that large government expenditures on all sorts of projects are simply a future drain on investment and consumption. (Y=G+I+C)

The larger each proposal gets, the more the market adjusts downward to compensate for the recognition that investment capital (and consumption) will be reduced or displaced in the future. So the democrats continue to promote and pass expensive pork laden legislation in the name of crisis rescue, making certain the market reacts in a way that discourages people at the polls, while Obama blames it on the bad economic policies of the last eight years.

You go!


Wherefore art thou, Liberty?

Written by Fritz on October 31st, 2008

I have every hope invested in liberty, for me and everyone else.

But unfortunately liberty appears to have become a bad word, and the intellectual and political class has succeeded in attributing all society”s problems to it, when the problems have really arisen in its absence.

The embrace of liberty as a socially organizing imperative was cast aside long ago, and I will work for its return to ascendancy in my lifetime.