Decline of public schools speeds up

Readers know that TPOL and its participants have never been supportive of so-called public schools, and have always advocated the massive separation of the state and schools. We are far from alone in that, but we seem to be part of a growing movement.

Epoch Times recently carried a news and commentary piece on how public (government-run, tax-funded) schools in large cities are hemorrhaging students – and where the kids are going. (If you want to read that without signing up for ET, visit FEE.ORG.)

This is part of a general decline, accelerated by the disastrous Pandemic Panic lockdowns of 2020-2021 in all states but at drastic levels in many “major” states. This decline in numbers comes on top of (and at least partially as a result of) the decline in performance, in quality, and in service.

Continue reading
Posted in Nathan's Rants | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pork, pork, pork, pork…

The article last week from AP spreads the good news of government largess to the tourism industry. It is absolutely amazing what the FedGov (and States and counties and cities) do with the money that they steal from taxpayers now and in the future (through borrowing). Millions of dollars of “investment” reap hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue for states, tribes, and non-profit organizations.

But the REAL benefit is the constant flow of dollars to government employees (job security), politically-connected individuals in communities, and of course, the government contractors who enjoy all the privileges of Beltway Bandits and their country cousins. Even in Flyover Country.

Government intervention, we are constantly reminded, is essential for modern economies. Even when it isn’t! Regulations, courts, spending, taxes, and especially “guidance” by those wiser and smarter (and of course, more powerful) than … well, than anyone!

Clearly, government spending is the engine that drives the American and world economy! And the money extracted from taxpayers (at all but gunpoint, of course), and from the future through borrowing and the parasitical financial institutions the fuel for that engine. Of course! That demi-god Keynes and every president, Fed chair, congressional leader, and Treasury secretary for close to a century have told us this. It MUST be true!

The solution to ANY economic problem, as expounded in recent weeks, is to increase government spending. And, of course, if possible, increase taxes.

Is it any wonder that the world economy is on the edge of collapse and chaos? To the extent of a threat that supposedly has the uberwealthy seeking the potential for taking refuge on MARS?

But back to our immediate beef: the lead item in the story concerns a Piute travel center: “Positioned alongside a distant stretch of Freeway [US] 395, the Fort Independence Journey [“Travel”] Plaza touts a dozen fuel pumps, clear restrooms and made-to-order meals for vacationers visiting California’s Jap[?] Sierra. The power,{plaza?] which gives income for a Paiute Indian tribe, is about to quadruple in measurement [size?] due to an $eight million federal grant that can assist [in] construct[ing] a brand new fuel station with room for cultural shows and domestically made [tribally-made?] merchandise.”

This kind of government grant not only skews (even destroys) competition and the free market, it is a hideous example of top-down/central planning and “state capitalism.” Other businesses in town, not tribally-owned but privately-owned, have to pay for capital to expand, which means they find it hard to compete with someone who has no interest or loan payments. Ditto for the cafe. If the business is as successful as the tribe claims, there should be no need for a government grant, no?

A much larger example is Uncle Joe’s much-touted (and justifiably condemned) Whip Inflation Now Act – whoops! SORRY, wrong POTUS – Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, with 433 billion in “investment” including $90 billion in “clean energy” subsidies. More than half of the money in the huge bill is just welfare and pork. Pork. Pork! PORK!!

A Side Note: the decline of journalism

Look at the article about the tourism industry pork again. For those readers who know a bit of English and writing skills: is it just us here at TPOL that think this writing is pitiful? Look just at the two paragraphs quoted above for several examples.

Posted in Nathan's Rants | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Government science” and academia – conspiracy and more

Thanks to Steve for sharing this particular news item. Once more, we see the evil hand of government in causing and prolonging human suffering – and in killing people. This time, in dealing with the scourge of Alzheimer’s disease.

It was a common theme in science fiction back in the late 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. The post-apocalyptic mob lynching the poor, innocent, knowledge-seeking scientists because it was science that created the nuclear weapons and other devices that destroyed the world.

Continue reading
Posted in Commentary on the News, Nathan's Rants | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ignorance isn’t bliss – it’s fear

The question has appeared in various forums over the years. A recent version goes:

I found an unfired bullet (live round) in my backyard. How do I dispose of it?

Fortunately, an Air Force vet with a sense of humor answered it:

Call 911, ask for the EOD (Explosives Ordinance Disposal) Unit to be sent immediately. Evacuate the kids from the house, warn your neighbors away, block the end of your street with your vehicles, and crouch behind them until the police arrive.

Or, just pick the round up, and drop it in your trash can.

Whether the original question is sincere or simply a way to instigate mischief, it displays both a lack of knowledge and an effort to promote that condition, doesn’t it?

It is illustrative of what we find in so many fields today: health and other sciences, religion, politics, economics, and business. In a world and multiple societies more than ever filled with (supposedly) highly-educated people, we find incredible ignorance.

Not just of highly technical and advanced subjects. We fully expect that the great majority of us – at least those of us not in medical fields – to be ignorant of at least the minutia of human anatomy and the details of drug interactions. The same comes in my own fields of mining and environmental engineering: I should not expect great knowledge on the part of most (nearly all) people about the stability of highwalls or the detailed nature of actions to prevent ground water contamination.

But the majority of medical professionals or environmental engineers do not seek to intentionally leave people ignorant of such things – or at least deny them a general understanding of the facts involved.

Such is NOT the case of those who seek to foist government upon us, those who seek to disarm people and deny others God-given rights of speech, worship, self-defense and other freedoms. Those who seek to rule over us – to lord it over as many people as possible.

Such people rightly deserve to be made fun of. Even while educating them, which they need even more.

Posted in Nathan's Rants | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The China question – and the world ahead

The recent (so far “successful”) visit of Her Imperial Highness the Worshipful Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress Assembled, third in succession to His Magnamity and Omnipotent Mightness Joseph R Biden, to China has again propelled the Middle Kingdom into the forefront of the news and the opinion media.

As has the deployment, complete with live fire exercises, of many of the 900 ships of the awesome and fear-inducing People’s Liberation Army Navy, in the Taiwan Straits and areas of the South China Sea. Surely Americans (to say nothing of Koreans, Taiwanese, Japanese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Indonesian, and Australians) are quivering like jelly in their diapers. With 1.4 BILLION people, rapidly becoming the world’s biggest economy, led by the magnificent vision of their beloved and supreme leader, China must be recognized as the premier culture, nation, and people on the planet. And indeed, in our entire solar system.

Sorry, but if you believe that line of guff from the mainstream and alter-naive [sic] media, you have been fed a line. If you believe that China is a financial and economic juggernaut destined to pass the U.S. in total output and eventually rule the world, it’s time to put those ideas aside.

None of that is true. First, China and its Communist regime and empire and worldwide reach are in very serious trouble. Many people think that the system – indeed, the entire nation – cannot last to the end of this decade. Some wonder if it can make it to the end of next year (2023).

First, as Jim Rickards and others have pointed out, China is entering the greatest demographic collapse in the history of the world since Noah’s Flood, worse than the scattering of the nations from Babel, the Justinian Plague and collapse of the sixth century, Black Death of the fourteenth century and the Spanish Flu of 1918. China’s current official population is about 1.4 billion, but that number will decline to perhaps 800 million by the year 2090. That’s a loss of 600 million people. [This is in line with Peter Ziehan’s report of 100 million overcount and the potential starvation (and accompanying “unrest”) that might mean China collapses by 2029 – or even 2023!]

Just that would bring the empire to its knees. That demographic collapse is far worse than what Russia, the European Union, or even Japan is going through. Not just the number of workers is going to vanish like ice in the summer sun, but their productivity will also drop like a stone.

But there is more. Much more.

China’s environment is trashed; its rivers are poisoned. Its food production is crashing (even as the sources of imports of food are seeing declining production). While it imprisons millions of its subjects in their own apartments and barracks in its major cities, it’s pursuing genocide and ethnic cleansing in Tibet and Xinjiang. The bizarre revival of Communism of Xi Jinping is rapidly destroying every trace of capitalism might have emerged in the decades since Deng Xiaoping’s reorientation of the Chinese economy in 1979 – and even the “state capitalism” is fallng apart, dissolved by corruption, micromanagement, confidence artists, and a medical tyranny as the frosting on the poisoned cake. Amazing, isn’t it, that so many “experts” continue to tout how China is increasingly “capitalist,” eh? IF you believe the “economic experts” of the West.

Jim Rickards and the gurus at Agora are quick to point out the “large number of more conventional but still potent detriments to growth.” Start with the real estate debacle. For decades, China has powered “economic growth” with investment in commercial and residential real estate. (Including “government investment” which is as crazy as the American federal government version. Better known as pork.) Chinese investors have very few options in foreign markets and alternative asset classes. What do they have? Gold, artificially high-yield bank deposits (really unsecured loans to property developers), Chinese stocks (bubble, anyone?), and real estate.

Three of those four (all but gold) are in a state of collapse. Real estate developers have stolen down payments on housing while defaulting on the projects. The bank “wealth management products” were mostly in real estate and have the same problems – failed projects and fraud: theft. (Again, this could be considered a tiny sliver of “real capitalism” – not just government employees and bosses have been stealing everything not nailed down: private “entrepreneurs” are now in the game. The stock bubble is popping, too. Add China’s failed “Zero Covid” policy (destroying not just economic growth, but the economy itself, to an impossible goal. How can an easily-transmittable disease like COVID be controlled by locking down large cities and trapping people indoors. On what seems to be a random basis? For how long? Even in a land long-used to no freedom, this rapidly becomes intolerable to the people.

All this leads to the conclusion that China desperately needs a massive confrontation with Taiwan and the West, to attempt to distract and paper over the yawning cracks in economy, society, and government. A confrontation which the Biden regime and the “Progressive” movement in the States seems willing to push. Why? Whether that is actual combat or just means short of actual shooting is hard to say. The demographics as presented by Peter Ziehan seem to show the urgency of that need for unity and possibly expansion and parasitism on a truly incredible scale, just as much as many claim is the case for Russia.

Which is why China is so dangerous right now. What risks are they willing to take? When sinking one or two American carriers guarantees the certainly of having not just their oil and gas supply, but their fertilizer and food supply cut off in the Indian and South Pacific Oceans? Do (as some think) the Chinese leadership have a Gotterdammerung mentality?

Slavery ultimately ends. Let us pray it ends in China with a whimper and not a bang.

Posted in Commentary on the News, Nathan's Rants | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Government evils: Inflation

What a couple of years!

Getting fuel in South Dakota 31 July 2020 – 2 years ago

Ouch. Even though prices are (slowly) dropping. Even the Rally in the Black Hills is showing signs of a drop in attendance and not just because it isn’t a zero- or five-year. Five-dollar Diesel and Four-dollar-plus regular with ethanol HURTS.

Continue reading
Posted in Nathan's Rants | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

War and liberty

“Inter arma enim silent legis” is a Latin phrase meaning “In times of war, the law falls silent.”

Generally bureaucrats and politicians try to suspend civilian rights during war time. (The relatively “good” ones, that is – the bad ones try to do it all the time. If I dare speak of ANY politician or bureaucrat as “good.”)

For instance, President “Honest Abe” Lincoln requested an opinion on the suspension of a basic right (habeas corpus), during the War between the States. And the court held that the president cannot suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, nor authorize a military officer to do it. Even so, Lincoln and many of his commanders pretty much did so, time and time again. And of course, how many battalions does the Supreme Court have?

But the courts are ALSO not the good guys. Sadly, time and time again, courts have upheld this maxim of tyranny. Usually, at least.

Continue reading
Posted in Nathan's Rants | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Winter is coming… time to move?

Thanks to Steve C who told us about this hilarious send-up ad (our opinion here at TPOL) by the Russians urging people that it is “time to move to Russia.”

The short video advert has gotten a lot of mixed reviews – my thought is that (as several have written) it is a great self-parody: satire. The voiceover, the pictures chosen, even some of the phrasing, all point that direction. In many ways, it resembles the old heavy-handed Soviet propaganda that is certainly not a modern Russian style of doing things.

Continue reading
Posted in Commentary on the News, Ideas for liberty, Nathan's Rants | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The impacts of social media on society

We’ve seen sea-changes before: some concept, some invention, some new way of doing things that has an incredible impact on our society. And the lives not just of this generation, but many future generations.

Social media is one example.

In an obviously apocryphal story, a man wrote:

“I enjoy social media like Twitter and Facebook so much that I decided to have the same fun in meat space as in virtual space. So now when I walk down the street, I tell everyone what I am doing and where I am going and what I had for lunch and show the passers-by the cute pictures of my grandchildren and my cats. I tell them what I like to eat, and share recipes. I give thumbs-up to people I see do neat things – even if I don’t know them. I tell strangers I really like what they are wearing. And that I think they have great smiles.

“And you know what? It’s working! I’m being “friended” by a lot of people and I am even gaining followers now. In fact, right now, I’m being followed by FOUR people as I walk down the street doing my thing. Really nice folks, too: two cops, a private detective, and a psychiatrist!”

Now, don’t get us wrong. Social media is NOT inherently evil – it is a tool. No different than email or regular (snail) mail or radios or television. BUT it can be easily put to bad, evil uses. And its use – especially addiction and misuse – of social media can and has created many problems.

Continue reading
Posted in Commentary on the News, Nathan's Rants | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Booze and liberty

The connections (for many people) between beverage alcohol (booze! – beer, wine, hard liquor, and all the other stuff) and liberty is close. Not so much for ALL lovers of liberty – including those of us here at The Price of Liberty. We are, basically tee-totallers: we don’t drink the stuff except maybe in medicine (and prefer not to then).

Just as we don’t do drugs – recreational in particular – but really try to also minimize all the other stuff the medi-crats and medi-technocrats try to get us to ingest, rub on, inject, and even breath in.

But NOT doing booze or drugs does NOT mean – as lovers of liberty – that we believe that people should be prevented from making their own decisions about doing this stuff. ESPECIALLY not when it is GOVERNMENT supposedly trying to prevent them.

God gave us all free will. Even if we are stupid about it. But as Heinlein once said, “Stupidity cannot be cured. Stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death. There is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.”

(This ties back into our recent discussion of free speech, silence, and similar topics, of course. Knowledge is power; spreading knowledge is therefore vital to the cause of liberty.)


Continue reading
Posted in Commentary on the News, Nathan's Rants | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments