People Under 21 are too Young and Immature to Drink, Smoke or Vote

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 27th, 2013

Week in Review

You can join the military when you’re 18.  But you can’t drink alcoholic beverages.  Or, if Mayor Bloomberg gets his way, smoke (see NYC bill would raise smoking age to 21 by Tom Howell Jr. posted 4/22/2013 on The Washington Times).

City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and top health officials touted a bill on Monday that would increase the smoking age from 18 to 21 as a way to prevent younger generations in the five boroughs from taking up the habit.

“Too many adults smokers begin this deadly habit before age 21,” Ms. Quinn said in a news release. “By delaying our city’s children and young adults access to lethal tobacco products, we’re decreasing the likelihood they ever start smoking, and thus, creating a healthier city.”

Officials cited estimates that said that raising the smoking age to 21 would cut the smoking rate among 18- to 20-year-olds by more than half and reduce the rate among 14- to 17-year-olds by two-thirds.

So anyone under the age of 21 is not mature enough to make an informed decision about smoking.  As these people will not consider the long-term consequences of their actions.  Choosing recklessly to harm themselves in the long run.  And causing a greater burden to society.  Well, everyone knows smoking is bad for you.  Even these 18, 19 and 20 year olds know it’s bad for you.  They have to with all of the PSAs.  Not to mention the warnings on cigarette packs.  Yet they make a very poor decision and choose to smoke.  So maybe the mayor is on to something here.

If a person is too young and immature to choose wisely when it comes to smoking perhaps they’re too young and immature to choose wisely when it comes to something else.  Like voting.  If we’re raising the smoking and drinking age because anyone under 21 is too young and immature to choose wisely then we should raise the voting age, too.  For they are either too young and too immature to drink, smoke and vote.  Or they are old enough and mature enough to drink, smoke and vote.  You can’t selectively choose what people are old enough and mature enough to do.  If people are too young and immature then they are too young and immature.  Whether it be for drinking, smoking or voting.

Of the three the longest lasting consequences for choosing poorly has to be with choosing poorly in the voting booth.  So if they’re raising the legal age of anything it should be for voting before drinking and smoking.  For people killing themselves by drinking and smoking won’t bring on a sovereign debt crisis.  Pour money into unwise green investments.  Or pass job-killing legislation like Obamacare.  But voting for the wrong people will.  So clearly we shouldn’t let people who are too young or too immature vote.  We should make these people grow up and become responsible first.  Like we do before we let them drink and smoke.

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Brutal Knife Attack in Britain demonstrates Fallacy in Gun Control Argument

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 27th, 2013

Week in Review

The political left blames an epidemic of gun violence on law-abiding people owning guns.  Creating a gun culture in the United States.  Where any kid can go out and buy an assault rifle without a background check.  They say this is the reason why people are walking into grade schools, universities, movie theaters and high schools, shooting unarmed people.  It’s the guns.  Not a failure of our mental health system.  Where the political left has made it more difficult to commit someone who is a danger to themselves or to the public.  And they don’t blame violent videogames.  Or societal decay.  Where people have little empathy for others.  Which is why they can spend hours killing people in videogames.  Or walk into a room full of innocent and unarmed people and start shooting them.

According to the left none of this would happen if only we got rid of our guns.  Like Britain did.  Where even the cops don’t carry guns.  Making for a peaceful and loving society.  Where the people would rather link their arms together and sing Kum Ba Yah than harm another living soul (see Pictured: The horrific arsenal of kitchen knives used by 20-strong gang to hack teenage boy to death in front of commuters at Victoria Station by Leon Watson and Amanda Williams posted 4/26/2013 on the Daily Mail).

The 15-year-old had his life cut short at Victoria station in central London when he was chased and killed by the gang of youths.

Detective Chief Inspector John McFarlane yesterday blamed the ‘blitz attack’ on Facebook and Blackberry’s messenger service which allowed his killers to organise themselves.

He said the teenagers had lost touch with reality because of violent computer games.

He told the Times: ‘You’ve got people playing computer games where they’re shooting and stabbing people. Where is the real world for them? There is a blurring between the real world and this false computer world…’

Sofyen [Belamouaddenw] was stabbed nine times in the body and suffered wounds to his heart, a lung and major blood vessels…

The attack was the horrific end of a minor confrontation the day before in the fast-food area of Victoria mainline station between pupils from the two schools, in which a youth received a bloodied nose…

Sofyen died after being chased by about 20 pupils across the Terminus Way concourse and into the Underground station.

A youth led the charge with a Samurai sword. Others were armed with a flick knife and a Swiss army knife, machetes and screwdrivers.

Apparently guns aren’t the only thing that cause people to kill other people.  If these people were in Chicago they would have used handguns.  And one wonders if they had no handguns in Chicago would they use knives?  Like they do in Britain?  Probably.  For not having guns didn’t stop these people from killing this 15-year old boy.

Obviously with an attack this brutal there is a societal decay in Britain just as there is in the United States.  People are somehow losing their empathy for other people.  And have no problem in harming them.  Or even killing them.  And if it isn’t guns causing this what is?  Is it coming from playing videogames?  Perhaps.  Either from that or from watching movies.  Television.  Or from listening to rap music that glorifies violence.  They’re learning it somewhere.  For no one is born that way.

If horrific acts of violence can occur even without guns then gun control is not the answer.  Guns are only a tool a sick or depraved person chooses for his or her heinous act.  If a gun isn’t available they’ll just pick up a knife.  Or some other weapon.  We need to determine what is causing this societal decay.  So we can address the root cause of this rise in violence.  Is it a breakdown of the family?  The lack of a father figure in these kids’ lives?  Abortion?  Which teaches kids there are no consequences in life.  And there is little value to human life.  Or is it Liberalism itself?  Which attacks conservatism.  Our faith.  And our traditions.  Leaving our kids to grow up in a world void of a moral authority instructing them to be good.  So they end up being bad.  For doing whatever you want is more fun than sticking to the straight and narrow.

The left blames conservatives for a gun culture that creates gun violence.  While it is far more likely that it is the left’s relentless assault on our faith and traditions causing the societal decay that allows someone to more easily harm another living soul.  So perhaps instead of gun control we should be legislating against liberals.  Preventing their harmful influence on the general public.  That results in acts of violence.  For these people aren’t born this way.  They’re learning this behavior from liberals.

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The Problems in the Eurozone may Influence Scottish Voters in their Independence Referendum

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 27th, 2013

Week in Review

During the Roaring Twenties the American economy was giving the economies of Europe a run for their money.  The Europeans, accustomed to running the world for so long, looked at the economic prowess of America with concern.  And began to talk about a United States of Europe to compete with the economic juggernaut across the pond.  But when Calvin Coolidge chose not to run for a second term the progressives got back into power.  And Herbert Hoover put an end to that surging economy.  Causing a stock market crash.  And throwing the country into recession.  Which FDR turned into the Great Depression.

So there was no United States of Europe.  But there would be a European Union one day.  And after that, a currency union.  The Eurozone.  To compete against the economic prowess of the United States.  But a currency union without a political union.  Without a single fiscal and monetary policy to support that currency union.  Which turned out to be a problem.  For without that political union the currency union was only as strong as its weakest state.  In the Eurozone that state was Greece.  Whose unrestrained government spending caused a debt crisis that threatened to bring down the entire Eurozone.  Unless the other members stepped in to bail out Greece.  Which they have.  But the crisis hasn’t gone away.  For the central governing authorities can only ask Greece to cut their spending.  Which there is a lot of opposition to in Greece.  Putting a lot of pressure on the Euro.

Greece isn’t the only problem.  There was Ireland.  Spain.  Portugal.  And Cyprus.  All sovereign nations.  Sharing a common currency.  Making it all but impossible to maintain a uniform fiscal policy throughout the Eurozone.  Like they can in the United States.  Because the United States of America is a political union.  With one central government.  One central fiscal authority.  And one central monetary authority.  Making it hard for any one state to undermine the currency.  (Though California is making a valiant effort.)  Which is the problem they’re having in the Eurozone.  Many of the states are threatening to undermine the common currency.  Making a very strong case against future currency unions without a political union.  Which is something they are considering with an upcoming referendum on Scottish independence (see UK says “no clear reason” to let independent Scotland use the pound by David Milliken posted 4/23/2013 on Reuters UK).

The euro zone’s experience of countries sharing a currency but not a government shows there is no clear case for an independent Scotland to use the pound, the Treasury said on Tuesday.

The nation of 5 million will hold a referendum on September 18 next year to decide whether to split from the United Kingdom, at the instigation of the Scottish National Party that runs the country’s devolved government.

Pro-independence campaigners want Scotland to keep sterling, at least in the early years of independence, and then to decide later whether to switch to its own currency.

But in a report on Tuesday, the Treasury said there was no clear case for the United Kingdom to agree to a formal currency union with an independent Scotland, which would have an economy of a similar size to New Zealand’s…

“The recent experience of the euro area has shown that it is extremely challenging to sustain a successful formal currency union without close fiscal integration and common arrangements for the resolution of banking sector difficulties,” it added.

Scotland and England have a long history.  Not all of it good.  But if we’ve learned anything from history it is that large economic blocs do better than smaller counties.  As the United States demonstrated.  And as the Eurozone tried to duplicate with their currency union.  But as that experiment showed us a currency union without a political union is a recipe for disaster.  If Scotland breaks from the United Kingdom they will have to go all of the way.  And leave sterling.  Which will make independence more difficult.  Having to set up a new currency with everything else they will have to do.  (Such as dealing with separating their military forces from the UK’s.  And providing for their own defense.  Or forming a military union with the UK.  Which will tie them closely to the UK.  Something many Scots no doubt will consider before voting in the referendum.)

Of course if they do and they devalue their new currency it would make their exports cheaper to those nations with a stronger currency.  But that weak currency will make anything they import more expensive.  As Scotland exports and imports a lot of stuff they won’t get a clear advantage in devaluing their new currency.  So they may peg their new currency to sterling.  The next best thing to keeping sterling.  Which will tie them closely to the UK.  Something many Scots no doubt will consider before voting in the referendum.  Perhaps choosing to stay in the UK.  As Quebec chose to stay in Canada in their past referendum.  Who had less in common with the rest of Canada than the Scots have with the UK.  For they don’t even speak the same language.

They could join the Eurozone.  But recent events in the Eurozone does not make that option as appealing as setting up a new currency.  Or staying a part of the UK.  It would probably be best for the rest of the world if Scotland remained part of the UK.  For the world will need at least one strong reserve currency.  As the Euro is making itself less attractive by the day.  The U.S. dollar may hit the wall soon with the amount of debt the Americans are racking up.  And the Chinese are likely to go the way of Japan before the decade is out.  And have their own Lost Decade with all their malinvestments.  The ultimate cause in the fall of state-capitalism.

Now the UK has its problems.  But their decision to stay out of the Eurozone was clearly sound as a pound.  And pound sterling may grow even more attractive as a reserve currency as these other countries continue to rely on easy credit and debt to pay for their burgeoning welfare states.  And/or their malinvestments.  But one thing the UK is doing that none of these other bloated states are doing is making real cuts in spending.  Even in their venerated NHS.  Giving the UK the edge in responsible governing these days.  And really making a strong argument against Scottish independence at this time.  Even for those who hate England.  For it is better to deal with the devil you know than the devil you don’t.  Especially during uncertain times.

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The Soldiers in North Korea are Busy…helping the Farmers with the Spring Planting in Hopes of Avoiding another Famine

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 27th, 2013

Week in Review

The Sixties radicals hated capitalism.  And the profit incentive.  They sang songs about love.  And revered communist leaders.  For they wanted to replace capitalism in America with communism.  Where no one owned anything.  But everyone owned everything.  It would be utopia.  This is what the Sixties radicals believed.  And what they wanted in the United States.  A system where they put people before profits.  So it would be like in that John Lennon Song.  Imagine.

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

The Sixties radicals loved the former Soviet Union.  Because the Soviets hated capitalism.  And embraced socialism.  Putting people before profits.  These radicals loved Che Guevara.  One of Fidel Castro’s trusted lieutenants.  Who wanted the Soviets to launch their nuclear weapons on America.  (Remember this the next time you see a college student wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with his image.)  They liked Chairman Mao in China.  And Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam.  And every communist leader in Central America and South America.  For these communist leaders hated capitalism.  And put people before profits.  Just like in North Korea.  Who unlike the former Soviet Union (now Russia) and China, did not lose the faith and embrace capitalism.  No.  In North Korea they still put people before profits (see NKorean soldiers put down arms to help plant crops by JEAN H. LEE, Associated Press, posted 4/24/2013 on Yahoo! News).

The North Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone is a hive of activity — not of fighting, but of farming.

Beyond the barbed wire, ruddy-faced North Korean soldiers put down their rifles Wednesday and stood shoulder to shoulder with farmers as they turned their focus to another battle: the spring planting.

As neighboring nations remain on guard for a missile launch or nuclear test that South Korean and U.S officials say could take place at any time, the focus north of the border is on planting rice, cabbage and soybeans. In hamlets all along the DMZ, soldiers were knee-deep in mud and water as they helped farmers with the spring planting…

Last month, Kim Jong Un enshrined the pursuit of nuclear weapons, along with building the economy, as key goals for the nation.

Col. Kim, at the lookout point along the DMZ, called nuclear weapons “the lifeblood” of North Korea. “If we don’t have nuclear weapons, we’ll continue to be threatened by outside forces.”

For the moment, however, the labor of many North Korean soldiers is turned to the land. Spring is arriving slowly this year in North Korea, pushing back the crucial planting season by a month. Impoverished North Korea struggles to feed its 24 million people, with the U.N. estimating that two-thirds of the population cope with chronic food shortages.

Farmers in Panmunjom-ri, the North Korean village inside the DMZ, were busy planting rice, cabbage, soybeans and radish in fields surrounded by barbed wire and anti-tank barriers.

Elsewhere, faces flushed and still in their uniforms, men and women soldiers waded into muddy paddies and bent down with fistfuls of spinach to plant.

Around them, red banners fluttered in the wind. One read, “At a breath,” a phrase urging North Koreans to work hard. The other read, “Defend to the death.”

This is what you get when you put people before profits.  A nation with nuclear weapons.  And recurring famine.  Where the army has to pitch in during the planting season.  Because they are still farming in North Korea the way they were a hundred years ago.  By hand.  Meanwhile the United States grows so much food that they use some of it to make ethanol to put into their cars.  This is what you get when you put profits before people.  So much food that you can use it for fuel.  And where even the poorest people suffer from obesity problems.

You see, when you put profits before people you are putting people first.  For to earn a profit you have to please the people.  You can’t order them to buy your products.  Like the North Koreans can order their army to plant food.  You have to make a product the people want to buy.  And only when you please the customer can a business make a profit.  While the ruling regime in North Korea can kill hundreds of thousands of their people in a famine and they still live the good life.  Because when you put people before profits you can do pretty much anything you want to do.  Because the only people that truly matter are the people with the army to enforce their rule.

But south of the border it’s different.  In South Korea life is good.  And they suffer no famines.  Because they embrace capitalism.  Some people live better than others.  Such as those in Gangnam.   The area of three districts in Seoul, South Korea.  Immortalized in the video Gangnam Style.  A lifestyle that simply does not exist in North Korea.  Unless you’re high up in the ruling regime.  Because when you put people before profits only those with an army behind them can afford to live the good life.

So if you want to see the difference between capitalism and socialism/communism look to the Korean peninsula.  Where you will see a vibrant South Korea full of happy people.  And an Orwellian North Korea where the people live in fear and are often cold and hungry.  Because they put people before profits.  Where it’s easy to imagine they have no possessions.  Because they have little.  Well, the people don’t.  But the ruling elite certainly lives Gangnam style.  Like all dictators do.

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Earth Day Past and Present, the Lies may Change but the Agenda remains the Same

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 27th, 2013

Week in Review

If you’re old you probably get exasperated by the environmentalists.  And their hand-wrenching cries that the planet will die if we don’t start acting right now.  Before it’s too late.  Things we’ve been hearing for the last 40 some years.  Which is why us old farts get exasperated.  We’ve been hearing these dire warnings for 40 some years.  Which means we haven’t acted yet to save the planet.  Because they are still wringing their hands about the coming environmental apocalypse.  Yet if these people knew what they were talking about 40 some years ago we wouldn’t be here now.  We’d be dead.  As well as the planet.  Based on their dire warnings some 40 years ago.  So when it comes to credibility the environmentalists have none.

The environmentalists are like the boy who cried wolf.  I say ‘like’ because in the Aesop Fable no one believes the boy when he is telling the truth because he has lied so often in the past.  In real life environmentalists never tell the truth.  So you never have to worry about not believing them when they are, in fact, telling the truth.  Here’s a joke to help you remember this.  How can you tell when environmentalists are lying?  Their lips are moving.

After being so wrong for so long you just can’t take them seriously anymore.  Which is why they teach environmentalism to our kids in school.  Because they’re young.  We may be a lost cause but they have a chance to still scare the bejesus out of our kids.  Who are hearing these dire warnings for the first time.  And believe what their teachers tell them.  They believe them so much that they come home from school and argue with their parents about how we are destroying the planet.  Little do they realize that their teachers are just trying to get these kids to become Democrat voters when they turn of age.  So they and their unions continue to have friends in high places.  That will help them keep their generous pay and benefit packages.  For people lie for a reason.  And usually that reason is money.  If these teachers aren’t frightening our kids about the global warming boogeyman for money then just why are they lying to them?

So what were they saying 40 some years ago?  Well, on the anniversary of Earth Day a lot of people have been pointing out some of their worst predictions.  Here are 13 that should have every environmentalist hanging their head in shame (see 13 Worst Predictions Made on Earth Day, 1970 by Jon Gabriel posted 4/22/2013 on FreedomWorks).

1.”Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”  — Harvard biologist George Wald

2.”We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.” — Washington University biologist Barry Commoner

3.”Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.” — New York Times editorial

These are from two prestigious universities and the esteemed New York Times.  That are supposed to be the wisest and brightest among us.  People we can trust.  Now either they’re not very wise or bright.  Or they are not trustworthy.  For the world has never been a better place for human habitation.  Life got better.  Not worse.  In fact, the only threat for human habitation is birth control and abortion.  And advances in medicine.  We’re having fewer kids to grow up and enter the workforce to pay taxes.  While advances in medicine our letting those who leave the workforce live a long time into retirement.  This is the danger to mankind.  The collapse of the welfare state that may degenerate in rioting.  And it was the same people incidentally that gave us the welfare state that are now trying to scare the bejesus out of us that we’re killing the planet.  If anyone is killing anything it’s the political left and their unsustainable welfare state.

4.”Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” — Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich

5.”Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born… [By 1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” — Paul Ehrlich

6.”It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” — Denis Hayes, Chief organizer for Earth Day

7.”Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions…. By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.” — North Texas State University professor Peter Gunter

The only thing causing famine in these poorer countries are environmentalists.  Who are forcing us to make gasoline out of corn.  That’s right, we have such large food surpluses we use it for fuel.  Raising the price of food for the poorest of people.  And leaving less to give to the hungry because we’re making ethanol out of it to save us from global warming.  The environmentalists were the only ones wringing their hands about these coming famines.  While there are some famines they are usually in countries with the kind of government these environmentalists like.  Those who put people before profits.  Like the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.  The People’s Republic of China (under Mao).  And North Korea.  Who all suffered/are suffering recurring famines because they put people before profits.  North Korea still cannot feed her people.  But the environmentalist will love how clean and unspoiled their country is.  For their society is so undeveloped that most houses don’t even have electricity or a furnace.  And while advanced economies have an obesity problem even in their poorer populations most North Koreans are malnourished.  Advanced economies that use energy can feed their people.  And support a growing population.  Even Hong Kong can prosper.  An island on a rock.  With little resources.  That imports just about everything they eat.  And yet they have one of the highest standards of living.  With no famine.  Because Hong Kong is a bastion of laissez-faire capitalism.

8.”In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.” — Life magazine

9.”At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt

10.”Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” — Paul Ehrlich

11.”By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate… that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, ‘Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, ‘I am very sorry, there isn’t any.'” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt

12.”[One] theory assumes that the earth’s cloud cover will continue to thicken as more dust, fumes, and water vapor are belched into the atmosphere by industrial smokestacks and jet planes. Screened from the sun’s heat, the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born.” — Newsweek magazine

13.”The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.” — Kenneth Watt

With all the talk of global warming and rising sea levels it is hard not to laugh at this nonsense.  The greatest threat to civilizations is dealing with aging populations.  Who are living far longer than any actuary predicted.  Not only is air pollution NOT claiming hundreds of thousands of lives we’re actually living longer.  Showing how ignorant and/or politically motivated these ecologists and environmentalist were.  And still are.  For it wasn’t that long after they got us all scared about the coming Ice Age that they started scaring us about global warming.  Either they were using flawed climate models or they were just lying to us.  For you can’t go from we’re killing the planet with global cooling to we’re killing the planet with global warming in a matter of a decade or two.

What is obvious is that these people have been and still are politically motivated.  They look at small snapshots of data and tell us the sky is falling.  For what reason?  Well, most of these environmentalists are anti-capitalists.  Whose environmentalist hysteria has led to what?  A lot of environmental regulations targeted at business.  Making it harder for them to stay in business.  Old people understand this.  Our kids don’t.  So they brain wash our kids in the public school so they come home and tell us what horrible people we are.  But they will learn the truth one day.  In about 40 years or so from now they will be reading about the silly predictions of people like Al Gore.  Shake their heads.  And listen to their kids coming home from school.  Telling them how they’re destroying the planet with all of their global cooling.  Which may be the fear in vogue then.  Or perhaps they will find something new to scare our grandchildren about in school.  Whatever it is the teachers of the future will be scaring our kids with it so they will grow up and vote Democrat.  So they and their unions continue to have friends in high places.  That will help them keep their generous pay and benefit packages.  For some things never change.  Unlike the warming and cooling of the planet.

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