Barack Obama: an incompetent president

Thanks to a post by John Hinderaker of the PowerlIneblog – one of the very best blogs in the universe – we came across a fascinating brief article by Peter Wehner in Commentary magazine about our present Commander-in-Chief:

The New Obama Narrative: Epic Incompetence.

From Wehner’s telling and very sad conclusion:

On every front he is overmatched by events. It’s painful to watch a man who is so obviously in over his head.

“(Commentary is the magazine we mentioned in our recent post about Ruth Wisse.)

There have been surprisingly few articles like this of the emperor-has-no-clothes variety in respected journals. There need to be many more, in the hope that their sheer number might eventually percolate down and persuade a section of the American electorate to rethink their disastrous voting patterns.

We should actually be grateful for our President’s incompetence, without which the damage he has wrought would be greater and more durable. Given the recent medical reports of brain damage among adolescents given to heavy marijuana use, we wonder if Obama’s self-professed membership in the choom gang might be a contributing factor.Troglo



Legislator promotes a second wrong to make a right!

An Open Letter to Missouri Representative Glen Kolkmeyer.

Representative Kolkmeyer, you are correct, every participant in the market place “needs to play by the same rules”, as you were quoted by the Springfield News-Leader.

You are wrong; however, by intimating that two wrongs make a right.

The First Wrong: The current rule (law), that you told the media “decided (that) any car sold in the state of Missouri would be sold through a dealer”, is a wrong that should be fixed to ensure an even playing field and restore natural contract rights.  That wrong-headed market intervention, Chapter 406.826, exists pursuant to a 2001 House bill sponsored by a St. Louis Democrat and was adopted by a Democratically controlled committee and House of Representatives, hardly “decided by our forefathers”, as you were quoted in the Leader.

The second wrong, for all the reasons explained in this post, would be to adopt Senate Substitute for House Bill 1124 and would not make that existing statute right.

Neither can this wrong be justified by including a reference to the existing public policy statement related to the manufacture and distribution of automobiles, found in Chapter 407.811.  Another one of our so-called forefathers, Senator Mike Parson, sponsored the public policy statement, cited in the Senate Substitute for House Bill 1124, which he introduced when a Representative.

To demonstrate that the public policy statement was little more than an attempt to provide preferential treatment of motor vehicle dealerships, the introduced version of that 2010 bill, House Bill 2198, contained the following language:

Given the importance of the motor vehicle industry in the state, the provisions of the MVFP act (Motor Vehicle Franchise Practices Act) shall be liberally construed to protect motor vehicle dealers.

Thank goodness that someone saw the flaw in the attempt by that “forefather” to provide unabashed preferential treatment of automobile dealerships by regulators and the courts and it was stricken in the truly agreed version of the bill.

The right thing to do when the Senate Substitute for your House Bill 1124 is taken up by the House is to refuse to recede to the Senate Substitute and allow the bill to die.  Then, assuming your re-election, offer a bill next session to repeal or sunset Chapter 407.826.Bruce-thumbnail

Bruce Hillis


The Closing of the Collegiate Mind, by Ruth R. Wisse

Occasionally there appears an essay that sums up the full measure of a complex phenomenon in few words with large ramifications. We commend to all readers the short essay by Ruth Wisse in today’s Wall Street Journal. The title alludes to the justly celebrated book by the late Alan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind. Harvard Professor Wisse is the author of many humane and insightful articles for Commentary, which enlightened and delighted us years ago. (See note below.)

The subtitle, “Opponents of free speech have chalked up many campus victories lately as ideological conformity marches on,” gives the thrust of her article. By quoting a few excerpts below we hope to encourage our readers to read the entire piece. The decadent, poisonous state of our universities is a much bigger problem than is commonly known. Of a piece with this is the subversion of our K-12 schools, via Common Core and other depredations. But all that is another story. Continue reading

Minor Highway Regulation Bill Now Looms as Major Roadblock to Economic Freedom

Missouri House Bill 1124, filed earlier this legislative session, to allow off-highway utility vehicles to be marginally increased in width and weight, has morphed into an intervention in the market place that will, if it becomes law, increase the number of roadblocks to Economic Freedom and reduce prosperity for Missouri citizens.

How did this happen?

After the non-controversial bill passed out of the House on a 139 to 9 vote, it was sent to the Senate.  The measure cleared the Senate Transportation Committee following a public hearing and was sent to the Senate Floor with minimal changes.

Then the mischief began.

On May 7th the bill was taken up for debate in the Senate. At this juncture, Senator Wasson, a member of the Transportation Committee which is chaired by Senator Kehoe, a Jefferson City automobile dealer until 2011, offered a Senate Substitute at Senator Kehoe’s urging, as reported in the Springfield News Leader. This Senate Substitute bill contained a change to Chapter 407, Merchandising Practices, making it illegal for any automobile manufacturer to own or operate a new motor vehicle dealership in Missouri. It also makes it illegal for a manufacturer simply to sell a car to an individual purchaser.

While the existing law is in no small way in conflict with free market principles, still only manufacturers which had franchised dealers in the state were prevented from owning dealerships.

This new provision, which never received a public hearing, has been sent to the House for final passage, is not only blatant protectionism for dealerships, like the one previously owned by the Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. This chills innovation in the manufacturing, marketing and delivery of automobiles, all to the detriment of consumers and the reduction of prosperity for all Missourians.

How, you ask?

First, the effect of the law will be to reduce choice and potentially better and more economical choice for consumers.

Second, it reduces Economic Freedom, the right of individuals to pursue their interest through voluntary exchanges of private property, by substituting the government’s judgment, via the force of law, for an individual’s free choice on exchanges of private property and it limits the voluntary application of the private property of automobile manufacturers as they see fit.

Economic studies reveal a high correlation between the level of Economic Freedom in a state and the amount of prosperity enjoyed by its citizens.  The study conducted by the Fraser Institute places Missouri at 38th among the combined US States and Canadian Providences on its Economic Freedom index of North America, and finds that the higher a state or providence is on the index ,the higher its level of prosperity.

Missouri legislators should be urged to remove roadblocks to Economic Freedom, not erect new barriers to prosperity. To stop this barrier, call your Missouri Representative and ask him or her to oppose this economic rot when it is brought up in the House.Bruce-thumbnail

Bruce Hillis

Socialism does not work – Hannan’s Oxford Union debate

The great Daniel Hannan, author of the brilliant book, Inventing Freedom, is captured in this 13-minute video making telling, forceful points about the true nature of socialism. While we are most impressed with his concluding points, about the invention of capitalism and freedom in early modern Britain and its export to the New World, this quotation, about two minutes into the video, gives the flavor of his talk:

Socialism rests on compulsion; its defining ethic is not equality, but compulsion.  Troglo