Friday, November 18, 2011

Entitlement and Anti-social Behavior = OWS

The occupy movement, if you can call it a movement, has highlighted a peculiar inconsistency that has muddled thinking in the West for 100’s of years. Since the Enlightenment toleration of divergent views has become the hallmark of the compromise we call modern society. Today we are pushing the envelope on the toleration front to the point where we tolerate advocates who would outlaw toleration.
Most sane people agree that the foundation of Western freedom is adherence to the rule-of-law. Law that is arrived at by a democratic process we call Parliament. It would follow that those who skirt the law are either undermining freedom or protesting an unfair law. How then do we classify those who game the law for an affirmative benefit for themselves or their constituency?
The reason the occupy movement has not roused a larger base of support from the local populations (other than the fact that they are an unsympathetic, unwashed rabble without a cogent message) is because they are perceived to be getting away with something the rest of us cannot. Most of us know that we would be penalized without exception if the parking meter runs out or if we block traffic. Yet protestors flout regulations in the name of expression with what appears to be little consequence. We expect a “level playing field” or “equality before the law” will instill a sense of fairness that makes social interaction tolerable.
The inconsistency is the erroneous belief that the “freedom to destroy freedom” in the name of protest has any legitimacy in western thought.  For centuries the principles of Locke, Smith and Jefferson have come under exceptionally innovative attack by those seeking an unfair advantage. Vested interests have always tried to subvert freedom with intimidation to enhance their position. Unions routinely obstruct the rights of others for partisan benefit, just as the guilds and marketing boards restrict entry to professions or production for their own profit. The growth of government itself is a form of subversion that tilts the playing field toward absurd levels of unfairness (In direct contradiction of the stated goals). 
I hope we have reached the limit of tolerance for anyone who would disregard the law in pursuit of unfair benefits. The economic crisis we face today is the direct result of government policies that sought to “help” certain constituencies by giving those advantages others do not have. This mandate to fast track some people encouraged ingenious but disastrous behavior in the money markets by insinuating that sub-prime loans would be underwritten by government policy.
Perhaps the best illustration of the escalating divergence from the path of freedom is the contrast between the Tea Party protests and the Occupy Wall Street movement. One group scrupulously obeyed the law, demanded unconditional liberty with no advantage and promoted a consistent philosophy. The other group broke the law, demanded free stuff and had no coherent message to speak of.
If we truly want to maintain our liberty within a civil society we must reaffirm our commitment to the rule of law. Sadly this will only bear fruit when the law itself is purged, as best we can, of favoritism and partisan advantage. Social engineering by government inherently seeks to subvert natural law and supplant it will short-term utopian goals. We are now enduring the long-term effects of the Welfare State; extreme feelings of entitlement and anti-social behavior. I.E. The Occupy Wall Street Movement.  God help us!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Freedom in a Dangerous World

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” - William Pitt the Younger

How does anyone who holds individual freedom as their highest ideal defend themselves from the on-slot of vested interests both foreign and domestic?

For most this will appear to be an odd question as it would seem self-evident that the sacrifice of one’s freedom is essential to protect one’s wellbeing.  Is freedom doomed by the very act of defending freedom? The key to avoiding an intellectual melt-down is the acceptance that we live in an imperfect world and it will always be an imperfect world. Man may never achieve a Utopia and would probably lapse into conformity if he did. Epictetus said: If virtue promises happiness, prosperity and peace, then progress in virtue is progress in each of these for to whatever point the perfection of anything brings us, progress is always an approach toward it. So the battle for freedom must be fought on every question with the measure being progress toward greater liberty.

Today Freedom is under attack from all quarters. Terrorists and internet hackers in pursuit of short-term aspirations, see individuals as nothing more than a means-to-an-end. Governments and other world bodies seize the opportunity to redistribute wealth and watch our every move. Criminals lurk in places we least expect, ready to pounce. The plea of necessity is loud and growing in volume. Are we evolving into a tyranny predicted by Karl Marx?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Oakley has a point

One of These Things is a lot Like the Other...

Both Al-Qaeda and the Liberal Party of Canada are organizations that seek to challenge Western civilization. One uses overt violence to pursue its goals while the other uses the numbing mantra of moral equivalence. They both seek to be unchained from the strictures of reason, individual freedom and the right to self-defence.  They represent vested interests that wish to operate with impunity in their spheres without interference or even criticism. These interests are as diverse as the Taliban and the Ontario teachers unions, but the assignment is always the same: gain and maintain power.  The only thing that stands in their way is our tradition of freedom and our confidence to defend it.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Response to a common Complaint

Who do you think pays when corporations pay more tax?

That's right you and me. I presume by fair you mean anything but fair -
punitive attacks on success are considered fair by the left.

If by success you mean making money through predatory pricing and poor wages/benefits for employees, then yes, I am for punitive measures.  However, I don't see how making sure businesses pay taxes like everyone is punitive.  If their greed makes them raise prices because they have to pay taxes, eventually they will fail, when people can no longer afford what they are selling.  Right now, I work just as hard as my elite business executive friends, yet I earne 1/5 the salary and pay more is that fair?  Thea
I don't know of anyone who has been successful in business who relies on pricing that does not recoup costs and can't retain employees because of poor conditions. That is unless they are subsidized by governments or taking advantage of illegal immigration. Chinese oil companies and Brazilian aircraft manufacturers come to mind. Perhaps you can think of someone.
A business is not a person – (even people on the right don't seem to get this – Bill O'Reilly) They rely on customers to pay their expenses and if they are efficient they can make a profit and stay in business. Ultimately the customer will always pay – an added expense like a new tax will come right off the bottom-line. This is basic economics – if investors can get a better return at another company they will move their capital there – it is not a question of greed. The freedom to create wealth has produced unprecedented advances in standard of living and life extension over the past two hundred years.
I feel for you when you are prevented from getting the true market value for your work. Unfortunately your industry has been monopolized by the government and is artificially holding the real cost down by restricting wages and engaging in predatory pricing. I support your quest for private sector wage levels – that is if you also accept private ownership.
The alternative is to turn the entire economy over to centralized government planners and we will all be equally poor – see Cuba.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Technology Already Exists!

AREVA offers its clients electricity management solutions which enable them to adapt their production levels to meet demand. The group is developing solutions for the production of hydrogen through water electrolysis and the generation of electricity through fuel cells.

Building for the peak

The price of electric energy is going up at an astonishing rate and all indications are that if we continue with our existing policies it will reach economy crippling levels very soon. The reasons for this are many and varied, but the government’s desire to appear to reduce emissions is the primary explanation. So-called clean technologies are expensive and nowhere near as efficient as plants that burn fossil fuels. To compound this problem the cyclical nature of electric power consumption requires the industry to build an infrastructure that will meet the needs of peak usage. Most of this infrastructure will lay fallow during off hours - pushing up the cost.

So why not find a way to make the electrical grid pay for itself 24/7? The answer of course is to use excess electricity generation capacity to produce a clean efficient portable fuel – Hydrogen. The production of hydrogen fuel would create a whole new revenue stream for the power utilities that they could use to reduce the cost of electric power. Ironically this would have the greatest effect on the efficiency of alternative electricity sources such as wind or solar power. They are notoriously difficult to attach to the power grid because of their fluctuations in output. Taking them off-line to produce hydrogen would allow them to use 100% of their output to create usable energy.

The problem is we don't have an infrastructure that can distribute and store hydrogen. So what can government do to fix this problem? It would appear obvious. They should remove the cost of government from any project that will enhance a hydrogen fuel distribution grid. They have already spent recklessly on alternative energy projects such as wind and solar power – an investment in a hydrogen infrastructure would help make that technology more cost effective. Government should aggressively encourage the expansion of hydro-electric capacity in the far north with a primary objective of producing energy that can be piped to population centers without line-loss.

A hydrogen infrastructure cannot be built over night – so a sector by sector approach would have to be adopted. Government could influence taxis and buses to burn hydrogen fuel with tax rebates and then move to a similar program for the trucking industry. This would allow the infrastructure to keep pace with growing consumption and before long many private vehicles would make the switch.

So let’s do this before we are too broke to pay our hydro bills!

Monday, May 2, 2011

What will happen to us?

What will happen to us? From the Boston Globe

The underlying premise of this article, which takes a macro-economic view of our species, is at odds with what it means to be human. One must never forget that there is no such person as humanity – thinking of us in those terms can only lead to a calculus where millions will die. What separates us from the lower forms of life is our awareness of our own mortality on an individual level. This understanding guides us toward strategies that should enhance and extend the precious time that we have left. The subversion of our individuality by elites that collectivize us for “our own good” has left a trail of woe and destruction throughout our known history. The battle for the future of mankind lies with philosophy, not with technology.

The notion that free men are self-destructive boarders on absurd – only a sinister philosophy that would promote self-sacrifice for some “greater good” could end in the corruption of our self-interest. Liberty makes life worth living and mankind will survive by defending it.

Presently the greatest threat to freedom is the “precautionary principle” that says we should curtail liberty in order to prevent a theoretical and as yet unproven threat. This maxim will be used over and over again to exert control over our actions and extract our wealth until we become helpless. Our self-interest has always been the guide for free men to deal effectively with known threats and it will continue to protect us in the future.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Little Englanders again?

Responding to anti-American comments on Linkedin Group "Friends of Great Britain"

Christopher J BurtonI see the greatness of Britain when I look at her progeny. Freeborn British pioneers have created the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. They unified the Indian Sub-continent to an unprecedented degree and spread Western liberty throughout the world. It distresses me to see a resurgence of “Little Englanders” who would like Britain to retreat into obscurity and quaintness.

The world needs leadership that confidently embraces the Western concepts of freedom that are embodied by Great Britain. The United States is not the villain in this story. Beware of the Eastern economies that are causing the de-industrialization of the West with the deft use of currency manipulation. Beware of the irrationalism and violence emigrating out of the Middle East and remember that it is the centralizing forces of government control that have enslaved Europe over and over again.                 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Breakthrough promises $1.50 per gallon synthetic gasoline with no carbon emissions

From: gizmag
UK-based Cella Energy has developed a synthetic fuel that could lead to US$1.50 per gallon gasoline. Apart from promising a future transportation fuel with a stable price regardless of oil prices, the fuel is hydrogen based and produces no carbon emissions when burned. The technology is based on complex hydrides, and has been developed over a four year top secret program at the prestigious Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford. Early indications are that the fuel can be used in existing internal combustion engined vehicles without engine modification.

According to Stephen Voller CEO at Cella Energy, the technology was developed using advanced materials science, taking high energy materials and encapsulating them using a nanostructuring technique called coaxial electrospraying.
“We have developed new micro-beads that can be used in an existing gasoline or petrol vehicle to replace oil-based fuels,” said Voller. “Early indications are that the micro-beads can be used in existing vehicles without engine modification.”
“The materials are hydrogen-based, and so when used produce no carbon emissions at the point of use, in a similar way to electric vehicles”, said Voller.
The technology has been developed over a four-year top secret programme at the prestigious Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford, UK.
The development team is led by Professor Stephen Bennington in collaboration with scientists from University College London and Oxford University.
Professor Bennington, Chief Scientific Officer at Cella Energy said, “our technology is based on materials called complex hydrides that contain hydrogen. When encapsulated using our unique patented process, they are safer to handle than regular gasoline.” Read more here.