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It is true that many are out of work, and also true that our caving into the unions that chased these jobs out of America means that many of these jobs aren’t coming back. It isn’t as if things aren’t bad when compared to the 1983-2007 gravy train brought to us by Reagan-Clinton/Gingrich-Bush.

But let’s face it folks, this talk about the “next great depression” or that this is the “worst economic crisis since the depression” is just plain stupid. I was going to U of I in the early 80s, and that period was far, far worse than this downturn.

If 1991 and 2001 were speed bumps (and they were), this downturn is a big pothole that blew a tire. As soon as we fix the flat, we are right back on the road.

Best Decade Ever

In the 2000s, these hard-to-measure sources of wealth represented a large and growing share of total wealth in all rich countries. As Thomas Lemieux has noted, more-educated groups tend to be more unequal than less-educated groups. One simple reason is that preferences vary, and two people who decide to become social workers and live together in Lexington, Kentucky are likely to have a far lower income than a couple that goes into high finance and lives in San Francisco. It’s not obvious, however, that the second couple is any better off, not least because the cost of living is so much higher in the Bay Area. Demographer Wendell Cox has pointed to another source of hidden affluence. Though the number of Americans moving between states slowed to a still-high 500,000 in 2009, it reached a torrid pace between 2003 and 2007, when it averaged 900,000. Americans were making the move from high-cost to low-cost metropolitan areas, thus leading to major increases in standard of living and time spent with loved ones. By way of example, a February study from the Center for an Urban Future found that $50,000 in Houston is roughly equivalent to $123,322 in Manhattan. A family could head south, cut its income in half, and still come out ahead. It’s hardly surprising that hundreds of thousands decided to do exactly that.

More dramatically, in the 2000s the explosion of file-sharing eventually forced a transformation of popular music, dethroning the small oligopoly of major record labels and empowering a new generation of DIY artists. Owl City, a kid from small-town Minnesota, began his spectacular climb up the pop charts by posting his homemade recordings to his MySpace page. A number of truly brilliant and bizarre musicians, like Chad Vangaalen, took a similar path, although not to the same radio-friendly destination. And that’s the whole point—new distribution channels have enabled a larger number of artists and musicians to find audiences and to support themselves by touring, or by adding a modest income from the sale of digital downloads to more-or-less tolerable day-jobs as web designers or prop stylists. This decade saw a turn towards a more diverse and more interesting pop culture.

And we haven’t even talked about Facebook, which is taking the youth of Generations Y and Z and melding them into a superintelligent hive-mind that, given time, will solve all of the world’s problems. Oh sure, the kids are just using it to gossip and play Sudoku. But social networking tools are allowing them to maintain enormously large circles of friendly acquaintances that transcend boundaries of race and geography, thus fighting the alienation that is inevitably part of a highly mobile, post-traditional society. Despite massive blunders by America’s elites, the rest of us have created a solid foundation for a healthier, more creative, more energetic country.

Happy New Year Everyone!

May the project that is America, Western Civilization, and the march of individual freedom continue apace in 2010.

Thanks for reading my blog. As Tolkien wrote in “Lord of the Rings” dialogue…

“I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”

This one fits

I can’t find much to disagree with here.

I believe in getting into hot water; it keeps you clean.
G. K. Chesterton (1874 – 1936)

Obama missing huge opportunity in Iran

The regime is vulnerable. He could topple them with the proper application of verbal and moral support of the protesters. Instead, he offers thin gruel.

It wasn’t worse than the 70′s, but…

Worst. Decade. Ever.

We can only defeat ourselves…

America is always in some form of decline, and our strength is derived from our ability to address those areas of decline in a dynamic and positive fashion. I’m not as optimistic as Mr. Kotkin is in the article below, but the American Declinists on the left and the right are probably wrong, as they always have been.

Don’t Give Up On The U.S.

If the U.S. were a stock, it would be trading at historic lows. The budget deficit is out of control, the economy is anemic and the political system is controlled by academic ideologues and Chicago hacks. Opposing them is a force largely comprised of know-nothings–to call them Neanderthals would be too complimentary.

Not surprisingly, many Americans have become pessimistic. Two in three adults now fear their children will be worse off than they are. Nearly 40% think China will become the world’s dominant power in the next 20 years, as indicated by a recent survey.

Yet, in spite of everything, I would still place my long-term bets on the U.S. Here’s why:

Read the article. Demography is Destiny.

An Army of Davids v. Sheep ruled by Nurse Ratched

Will the day ever come when no one steps up to stop the terrorist or the shooter? Note that the victims of the Ft. Hood Muslim Terrorist were disarmed. In the Flight 253 situation, a few brave souls probably saved lives.

What happens if and when no one steps up anymore? We need a yearly (or monthly, even) Schuringa Award for civic courage. People who speak out against political correctness should be able to qualify for the prizes.

Fear and heroism aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 after attempted bombing

Jasper Schuringa, an Amsterdam resident, lunged toward the fire in Row 19, jumping from one side of the plane to the other and over several other passengers. He burned his fingers as he grabbed a piece of melting plastic held by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man accused Saturday of trying to bring down the passenger jet with a homemade explosive device.

Schuringa, a video producer, restrained Abdulmutallab as others used blankets and fire extinguishers to douse the flames.

“When I saw the suspect, that he was getting on fire, I freaked, of course, and without any hesitation I just jumped over all the seats,” Schuringa told CNN on Saturday. “And I jumped to the suspect. I was thinking like, he’s trying to blow up the plane.”

If we don’t support courage, we will end up ruled by this…

Just one vote folks…

Now THIS is Border Security

Of course, if this were true, we’d have to deport our entire education system. NOW THAT’S A THOUGHT!!

G.K. Chesterton on Conservatism

If you ever needed a reminder that you actually have to be active in your “conserving” what is good, the quote below will be helpful.

All conservatism is based upon the idea that if you leave things alone you leave them as they are. But you do not. If you leave a thing alone you leave it to a torrent of change. G.K. Chesterton

As clearly demonstrated by the current headlines, our ideals are under attack by this “torrent of change.” It will require hard work, and “non-conservative” methods to conserve what is good about our society.

They were weeks away from execution…

…until Barack Obama gave them a chance to damage America through a trial circus.

9/11 suspects are meeting to lay out strategy for New York trial

Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four co-defendants accused of organizing the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks are meeting to plot legal strategy in advance of their transfer to New York and are learning as much as possible about criminal procedure in U.S. federal court, according to sources familiar with the detainees’ deliberations.

While the five men wanted to plead guilty in a military commission earlier this year to hasten their executions, sources now say that the detainees favor participating in a full-scale federal trial to air their grievances and expose their treatment while held by the CIA at secret prisons. The sources, who cautioned that the detainees’ final decision remains uncertain, spoke on the condition of anonymity because all communications with high-value detainees are presumptively classified.

Courtroom as pulpit?

In hearings at Guantanamo Bay, the five detainees have trumpeted their role in the 9/11 attacks and broadcast their fealty to Osama bin Laden, causing some consternation among observers that the men will use their federal trial as a pulpit of sorts. Federal officials, though, say they are confident that some of the rhetorical flourishes that Mohammed, in particular, offered at Guantanamo Bay will be kept firmly in check in U.S. District Court.

As horrible as this Administration has been on virtually every issue, it is this issue that most directly calls into question his motivation. There isn’t much more to say than this. If it wasn’t out of shear stupidity, it had to be out of malice.