Reaction: Less Butter And Less Guns

Dear Mr. Margolis,

Herein is my reaction to your article at

Most of your writing is great and spot on so has no need of feedback, IMHO. And most of this article and its central thrust against the warrior culture is commendable. The list of useless wasteful programs funded in the budget is instructional. And the slashing of budgets –State Department down 25 percent is huge only because the historical measuring stick is so horrendous. Almost no federal programs have ever been cut even a little bit in my post-WW2 lifetime.

Here is the troubling part:

That’s the sensible part. Now the bad. High-quality public broadcasting is to be gutted, saving $445 million. Americans will be left with sports, game shows, and soap operas. Funds for protecting the environment, a growing urgency for America, are being slashed, delighting many flat earth Republicans. Rail subsidies are cut even though decent railroads are a hallmark of civilized nations.

#1. So-called “high-quality public broadcasting”:

That phrase for this organization is a euphemism for “government-subsidized broadcasting”, which itself is a euphemism for “government propaganda organ”. Being a propaganda organ, it never bites the hand that feeds it. Its executives seem to know that it is not the elected representatives who ultimately order their priorities, nor they themselves, but they are hand-picked for a purpose. Who an deny that the pontificators always talk from the perspective of “the Left”, meaning advocacy of the growth of government power, and they will cheer any solution that the looters in Washington decide to come up with for a problem they have to “fix”. There is a veneer of wise-sounding phrases and such but when you see it in its true light, it is a lipstick veneer applied to a really ugly destructive pig.

Yes, Americans will be left with sports, game shows, and soap operas, in broadcasting. They will also have the Internet, Lew Rockwell, the Ron Paul Report, and many of us “Ron Paul knock-offs”. This phenomenon of spontaneous (and led) awareness of issues of liberty growing is hidden right now in the pablum and fake poll numbers and ridiculous explanations for the “private sector” part of the government-media complex dishes out, but at least it won’t directly be funded by tax extortion.

And on occasion we get a few brave souls like Judge Andrew Napolitano and John Stossel and Tucker Carlson, that buck against Deep State ideology. The public broadcasting programs would never hire someone like them, or even YOU. Except maybe as a quick token guest for whatever your group identity is that supports their broadcasting, or more government funding for the environment, rail subsidies.

#2. Funds for “protecting the environment”:

These are funds targeted at crippling the free market, not pollution. The biggest poison spill of the 21st century so far was done by the EPA itself. Did the EPA have to pay a fine out of its greedy profits? No, because they are “sovereign”.

I used to live a block from a soap factory that stunk all around for blocks, worse when there was wind. And about two miles down Vandevanter Boulevard was a meat packing plant. That one really stank.

Lawsuits have put the hurt on polluting companies. Michael Crichton made the case (an addendum to novel “State of Fear”) that pollution was already on the down-swing before anti-pollution laws became a thing.

And now we have the outrage of the EPA decree that carbon dioxide is a pollutant! You are a polluter! This should fit nicely with Agenda 21’s plans to reduce the population of the earth to the figure on the Georgia Tyranny monument.

This all based on politicized “science so-called”. When politicians cooperate with Deep State in funding a meme, it is a good bet that the public reason they give for it hides a much more atrocious motive. In the end, they do not accept losing their power.

And the old cynical law about government promoting individuals to the level of their incompetence sounds like it’s right. Small businesses and farms and ranches on the wrong end of their relations with these little dictators.

What does a D. C. bureaucrat know about conditions in Idaho as opposed to conditions in Arizona for farms?

Government has this power over the individuals in it that make decisions. When they decide someone’s life, it’s a “godlike” power. They are convinced their decisions are right because their motivations are so pure. So it a farmer has to pay a fine of half a million dollars, that’s good, because his whole job is to protect the watershed, even if the farmer created that little pond for the cows he had two years ago and decided now to fill it in.

Throwing out flattery like “flat earth Republicans” will get you nothing but equal opprobrium.

Michael Crichton was nobody’s “flat earth Republican”, as even you in your blankety-blank must admit. And anybody who reads the charts and graphs and detail digging into the web sites on the subject by people who obviously know the issues like wattsupwiththat, Crichton gave an excellent talk at UCLA I believe it was where he spoke on the condemnable practices that pass for science these days. The title of the talk was “Aliens Cause Global Warming”.

He uses Drake’s equation as a showcase example, pointing out with some caustic effect that every single factor on the right side of that equation was a completely unknown one. At the time they were unknowable, and yet many otherwise accomplished accomplished figures in science would use the equation as “proof”. I will add to that that at this time that of the public pronouncements about all the “habitable” planets they are finding in the stellar neighborhood, more of them have turned out to be not so much certain. And presence of water is ridiculous in the extreme as an indication. Scientifically speaking.

Search the story of the climatologist, famous in her field, who recently resigned from Georgia Tech (I believe it was) because of all the [political] pressure put on her for being slow to declare a planetary emergency.

#3. ” Rail subsidies are cut even though decent railroads are a hallmark of civilized nations.”:

A better hallmark of civilized nations might be rather a hands-off attitude by government. Rail subsidies are a major grand theft operation using stolen money supporting people who prefer to ride trains, and the corporations that run them, and the unions that provide the workers that run them. I personally would prefer to ride a train but even the Amtrack subsidies are not enough to make it worthwhile to get to anywhere farther than a four-hour drive by car from where I am.

Yes, I use the local commuter lines when it’s appropriate for my need and their nice but then it’s subsidized by me and my neighbors even when we’re not using it. And it’s still subsidized.

The failure of the local department that plans the bus lines, by the way, gave rise to a shuttle company, and a jitney operation, lightning fast after a suit that opened up competition, a decision that took the county deciders by surprise no doubt. So the government got their lawyers in gear and got a court order blocking any expansion. The private lines that were implemented already were allowed to stay. Hurray!

Now, the city of Miami is banning Airbnb by simply implementing zoning laws. A free gift to the big hotel chains and peripheral industry in this heavily tourist-y area. I saw a presentation once by a guy at a gullible “hacker” activist groups that think they do good with their new tool for good social causes by showing that in some areas in New York, rents went up in association with the penetration of Airbnb use. They did a study.

I thought later I should have asked whether they studied hotel room prices and hotel room occupancy rates at the time. And since they were studying this supposedly on behalf of the cause of poor tenants, I could have asked it they got any data on the socio-economic status of the people who use this “home sharing” service.

#4. Other than that, your article was pretty good.



cross-posted to my blog at


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