Thanks to All the Fine Commentors in 2009!

I want to thank the folks who added so many excellent thoughts and flashes of wit to this blog over the past 12 months. I’ve gotten a heap of insights from y’all! And it is fun to share the revelry when bad guys crash and burn, or when some federal agency has a four-star pratfall.

And the Jim Beam photo-editing was also much appreciated, even though it did get me kicked out of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The one certainty of 2010: Ben Bernanke will not be Time magazine’s Man of the Year for a second year in a row.

Do folks have any thoughts on the political highlight of 2009 and/or predictions for 2010?


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11 Responses to Thanks to All the Fine Commentors in 2009!

  1. W Baker January 2, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    Jim, back at ya’. Happy 2010 to you. I’ve certainly enjoyed reading your thoughts and scholarship over the past year. I think I can safely say no one has a better grasp of the regime’s minutiae that Bovard.

    The highlight for me in 2009 was to watch Paul’s Audit the Fed bill and how the political wagons were circled when it came to shedding a little sunshine on that monster (pardon the mixed metaphors). This maneuver certainly presages the political defenses of the ‘new and improved’ imperial attacks on places like Yemen, etc.

    Springtime 2010 won’t be so kind to the troops in Afghanistan, I’m afraid. The Pashtuns will come out of their Winter bunkers and ‘up the ante’ in their guerilla warfare. Unlike the Iraqi Arab tribes and the somewhat homogenous ‘nation’ that Saddam was able to hammer into place in Iraq, I don’t think we can deal with and buy off the myriad factions of the Pashtuns (around 60 main tribes and 400 sub-groups). Add the Uzbeks in the North, and the Persian speaking factions of the Tajiks and Hazaras, and the place is just too disjointed to broker any kind of payment plan like Petraeus did in Iraq.

    Speaking of payments, I can’t knowledgeably comment on the economy. Seems like a lot of the Austrian fellows were very disheartened by Paul’s dismal election results and jumped on the collapse of 2008/2009 as a bright spot in possibly restoring some economic sanity. I’m not so sure that they factored in the long arm of the Pentagon when making their prognostications. Seems to me that if you don’t play ball with the Federal Reserve/fiat system, we’ll park a carrier group off your shore, or other strong arm tactics, until you start buying T-bills out the wazoo (the modern form of imperial tribute). And what happens when the whole world plays at Keynesian economics, most of the central banks are coordinated, and everyone inflates? Can Austrian economics scale upwards and deal with this phenomenon? Or what happens when you have a massive population of males (like the one-child policy has produced in China) and your trying to keep the lid on unrestful farm boys who get a taste of the good life in the cities, but have to go back home to peasantry when the main outlet for China’s goods dries up? Seems to me like the easiest thing to do, if you’re the Chinese central bank, is to buy more dollars. But like I said, this global economic stuff is all over my head….

    Anyway, pardon the ramblings, and all the best in 2010. We’re out of the ‘noughties’ – a name I like very much since it was so close to “naughties” – a pretty good state of mind!

  2. D. Saul Weiner January 2, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    I am very encouraged by the reaction to the TSA handling of the underwear bomber. I am not sure what will come of it, though it is good to see that the lethargic masses appear to be coming out of their slumber, at least in this regard.

  3. Scott Lazarowitz January 2, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    Here are my predictions for 2010:

    First, the federal government will be declared unconstitutional and be dismissed by the states. As Col. Klink would say, “Dis…missed!”

    Then, all US forces abroad will return home and the Middle-East will have to take care of themselves, as will Europe, etc. After all coercive taxation is ended and the former federal government debts are quickly paid off, all former federal “assets” and property will be sold off and public lands privatized.

    Then, people will read books by Murray Rothbard, James Bovard, Lew Rockwell, Hans Hoppe, etc. and realize that government itself is illegitimate, and decide that the best way to preserve liberty is by recognizing the sanctity of private property, freedom of association and freedom of contract. State governments will go away and never come back.

    And…is this too unrealistic? (There’s nothing wrong with positive thinking!)

  4. Dirk W. Sabin January 4, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    There will be few real changes in the overall debauchery of the United States Government but rest assured , Yemen will be added to the growing list of Black Holes we deem it prudent to dump boxcars of money into. Security is our national Meth and like Meth, it allows the addict to think up all kinds of wild larcenous schemes as the teeth fall out.

  5. Jim January 4, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

    Dirk, your knack for epigrams continues thriving in the New Year.

    Maybe you could sell that line about teeth to the American Dental Association. They are always hawking posters for dentists to place in their waiting rooms.

    Yep, it is amazing how Yemen is becoming the latest repeat….

  6. Jim January 4, 2010 at 4:55 pm #

    Wes -Thanks for the kind words on my riffs.

    Your Afghan forecast sounds very plausible.

    On the Austrians and the non-continued bust of 2009 – If you see hear of some reliable forecasters, let me know!

    On the “naught” numbers – that always makes me think of Jethro Bodine counting out loud on the Beverly Hillbillies….

  7. Jim January 4, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    Saul – I hope you’re right about the latest TSA debacle waking up the American people. I haven’t been in airport lines recently, so I don’t know how many folks there are ready for to start applying the tar and feathers….

  8. Jim January 4, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    Scott – I appreciate your optimistic forecasts.

    If even half of them come true, then it will be fun to watch plenty of political rascals get what they deserve….

  9. Tom Blanton January 5, 2010 at 9:44 pm #

    Sorry to hear about the hassle with AA – perhaps if you invited the group out for drinks, you could smooth things over with them.

  10. Jim January 5, 2010 at 9:52 pm #

    Actually, the timing of the eject for fortuitous, because next meeting, it would have been my turn to pay for the refreshments.

  11. Jack February 9, 2010 at 9:16 am #

    Just finished reading your ADD, and even though I’m not an American and living in the USA, I found it most enlightening and on the mark.

    Several times in reading your work I was reminded of a comment of Argentine writer, Jorge Luis Borges, who said: “Democracy is an abuse of statistics.”