14 October 2013

It's not enough to help, you must punish success and prudence too

Other people are starting to notice that not only does POR-care raise insurance rates, it also negatively affects coverage with regard to deductibles.

My question for anyone who support POR-care is, why is it necessary to control how I spend my health care insurance premiums? How does that benefit anyone except the power grubbing appartchiks that populate the State? Given how few additional uninsured will now get insurance, what is the putative point of POR-care? Is it just because the State can’t tolerate success by others and must destroy it?

Finally, can any one help me understand all the people who deeply distrust the government and politicians yet consistently support giving them ever more control over our lives? “Yeah, those guys are corrupt, childish, selfish, and out of touch — let’s have them control our health care too!”. How can that seem like a reasonable thing to so many people?

To ban something, ban it

The Supreme Court will be deciding another “affirmative action” case, again in Michigan regarding race based admission policies. I am on the side of “no race based admission policies in public schools”. The plaintiffs, however, simply “don’t believe in the colorblind Constitution”. As through history, the Republicans are opposing race based law, while the Democratic Party and its supporters favor such things. The only difference between now and then is which specific races are to benefit, but the essentialist racist view remains.

10 October 2013

Austerity in action

Look at that, Wisconsin cut taxes and spending and now they are improving economically and getting more tax revenue. Another one the austerity promoters got wrong, I suppose.

09 October 2013

The joys of the market

In much more important news, Blizzard is removing the online auction house from Diablo III. Although I played endless hours of Diablo and Diablo II, I only played about the first half of the first act of Diablo III primarily because it was online only. Therefore this isn’t much of a personal issue with me, although based on my game design experience I think the critics have it mostly right.

What I find interesting, though is this quote —

Many players supposedly spend more time in the Auction House than they do the actual campaign

I could have told them that before they started. I used to play a multiplayer online dungeon games1 back in the late 1970s In fact, I knew the guy who first sold virtual gaming gear for real money. Although that was unusual, I knew a number of gamers who, having mostly mastered the game, still spent hours and hours playing but just trading items, not actually playing the game as intended. They did it mainly because they enjoyed the social interaction and trading, but if you have a game where particular types of gear are a status marker, you will have players who spend all their time trading to get it. Those will soon be followed by gamer sweatshops of people grinding the game to generate in game resources.

Successful multiplayer games also tend to have the same (if much simpler) economic problems as real world economies. In this case due to early mover advantage and grinder bots, the system was hit with massive inflation, stifling the ability of new players to succeed. While I think Blizzard handled this poorly without, apparently, thinking it through, it is not in fact an easy problem. I think it would do wonders for economists to have to manage such things before being allowed to experiment in the real world.

1 One of them, “avatar”, was clearly the inspiration for the successful Wizardry series.

Toddlers with machine guns

Time for another dip in the pool of Old Media bias and incompetence. Today’s edition will also touch on cowardice and how the “truth to power” meme is just a poser’s tale told by comfortably ensconced appartchiks.

Let’s start with fear and a report on how the press corp fears Obama. It is interesting to me how these same journalists had no fear of former President Bush, because they knew (despite what they wrote) that he wouldn’t really use the power of his administration to punish them. Obama, however, is clearly different and this certainly gets results and quite a lot of Sargent Schultz dereliction. It also means that when something that fits the Narrative comes along, it gets reported without any actual fact checking because Obama!

But, let me be clear - it’s not always cowardice matched with stalker level obsession, sometimes it’s just rank incompetence of people who simply have no clue about the subject of their writing.

Keep this in mind the next time someone tells you “all I read in the New York Times”.

P.S. The hits just keep coming —

Comrade, they buy the rope for us!

This article makes a point that occurred to me after I read Russian President Vladimir Putin’s editorial in the New York Times. That is, Putin’s writers clearly have read the works of the MAL and cleverly served up their own tropes to smash President Obama. This puts Obama and his supporters in a bind, because to argue against Putin’s agitprop they would have to disown their own well recorded oikophobia which would be more hurtful than taking the hit from Putin. It is a measure of the MAL’s parochialism and lack of thoughtfulness that enables brutes like Putin to get away with being brutes will styming any reponse from the USA as long as it has a MAList government.

But of course, for the MAL, there are no foreign enemies, only domestic ones. That’s why Obama will eagerly (if not pathetically) grasp any negotiating straw from place like Iran, but won’t talk to the Congressional GOP. One can’t help but laugh, though, at Obama cancelling his Asian trip so he can sit in the White House and not negotiate. Surely he could have done that in Asia too, or would it have been too much for him to talk with foreign leaders and not talk to domestic ones at the same time?

07 October 2013

Warmenists hit by reality

Now that the agitprop phase has passed, the actual IPCC AR5 is being released and so far it looks like it basically retracts the “catastrophic” part of global warmening. It would be interesting to compare that with the NASA “we’re all doomed! DOOMED!” chart…

P.S. Regulators and activists hardest hit.

06 October 2013

Bureaucrats are people too

If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.

— James Madison Federalist Paper #51

This is the key point that the regulators always forget — they look at stupid things people do and want to stop them from doing such things, without ever considering how giving people power and money makes them better people.

02 October 2013

The spiteful wrath of the ruling class

We have the amazing spectacle of the National Park Service shutting down open air mall sites that do not require any staff so that WWII veterans are denied access. Let it be clear that these sites have never been closed until now but suddenly, in the midst of a government slimdown, the NPS has the staff and time to put up barrycades. Can some one explain this as other than in effect, hostage taking by the Obama Administration?

In the same vein we have other parks being shutdown that have no dependency whatsoever on the NPS and indeed, in some cases being net revenue generators for the federal government. That means the Obama Administration, in the midst of the upcoming debt ceiling limit, is willing to forgo revenue in order to punish the public for not getting his way. Yet people claim Obama has the best interests of the citizenry at heart…

P.S. Meanwhile The New Republic is apparently calling for using tanks against the Republicans in the House of Representatives, while former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recommends bypassing Congress. And schools show “I pledge to serve Barak Obama” videos. Where did all the civility go? Perhaps it’s never been there.

01 October 2013

Borrowing money to pay back borrowed money

I see this kind of statement made frequently with regard to the federal debt ceiling —

A failure to raise the debt ceiling to pay for bills that Congress has already contracted could lead to a worldwide recession or worse.

No! How can any one be that clueless? You don’t borrow money to pay off previously borrowed money. The term for doing that is “bankruptcy”. You pay off debts by using your revenue stream and the federal government revenues are not dependent in any way on the debt ceiling.

Of course, we have President Obama who is dumb enough to say in public “raising the debt ceiling does not increase our debt […] All it does is it says you got to pay the bills that you’ve already racked up, Congress”. That’s pathetic, even for a guy who regularly muffs his facts.

Meanwhile we are having an actual issue with passing a continuing resolution to keep the government funded (which could actually impact debt payments), which is primarily because the Democratic Party, particularly those in the Senate, have been massively derelict in their duties while the GOP in the House has at least made an effort. Yet I am confident Old Media will hold the former blameless, because Obama!

P.S. The story of legislation trying to express the Constitutional requirements in law but blocked, of course, by the Democratic Party, which has no interest in Constitutionality and fiscal responsibility.