Thursday, December 26, 2013

Black on White

b One of the effects of Obama has been to bold face racial lines. Before Barry, I thought the country was making good progress on eliminating racial bias. Now I see that black hate toward whites is amped up. The mere fact that blacks continue to support him in the face of facts that he has made life worse for blacks shows me their support is purely based on skin color.

I feel much less comfortable around blacks now.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Islam

Muhammad is a narcissist, a pedophile, a mass murderer,
a terrorist, a misogynist, a lecher, a cult leader, a madman
a rapist, a torturer, an assassin and a looter."

Former Muslim Ali Sina offered $50,000 to anyone
who could prove otherwise based on Islamic texts.
The reward has gone unclaimed.

What if a man you knew began telling people that God was routinely speaking to him and only him - and that the "revelations" he claimed to be receiving were mostly about him and his relative importance to all other people?  Say, for example, that this self-proclaimed prophet insisted that God had declared him to be the 'perfect example' for mankind and that others were therefore to accord him with special privilege, unwavering obedience, wealth and earthly desires, including all of the slaves and women that his lust could handle.

The founder of Islam advocated thievery, slavery, rape, murder, etc. The Quran advocates war against non-believers. There is not way it can be compatible with any form of democracy.

Merry Christmas

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Truism

From The End Is Near And It’s Going To Be Awesome, by Kevin D. Williamson. Broadside Books, 2013.

We spend a ton of money on Medicare and Medicaid because medical prices are so high. And medical prices are so high because we spend so much money on Medicare and Medicaid. Subsidizing consumption of a good while paying no attention to its production leads either to higher prices or some other kind of economic distortion.

I love it when someone states a proposition so succinctly.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Race Wars Are Coming

Thomas Sowell recently wrote: In 1961, James B. Conant's book "Slums and Suburbs" warned that "social dynamite" was accumulating in American cities. Just a few years later, ghetto riots erupted all across the country.

Social dynamite can accumulate among whites as well as among blacks. White extremist hate groups already exist, though they are a fringe, as the Nazis were once a disdained fringe in Germany. It was the people's loss of confidence in the respectable institutions of society that gave the Nazis their chance for power.

The blind and dishonest political correctness of our media and educational institutions on racial issues today can eventually forfeit the confidence of Americans and give similar extremist groups their chance to ignite a race war in the United States. And once a race war starts, it can be virtually impossible to stop.

 

Each week I see a report of Black on White violence. Black teens killing an 84 year old man in a wheelchair just because he was breathing, tells me race wars are coming. Another Trayvon may set it off.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Roll Tide

What especially amazed Tocqueville was the sheer range of nongovernmental organizations Americans formed: "Not only do they have commercial and industrial associations . . . but they also have a thousand other kinds: religious, moral, grave, futile, very general and very particular, immense and very small; Americans use associations to give fetes, to found seminaries, to build inns, to raise churches, to distribute books, to send missionaries to the antipodes; in this manner they create hospitals, prisons, schools."

That was then. Being part of an association now is passé. Church and lodge membership have been declining for decades. The new associations are sport fans - NASCAR, golf, and of course college football fans. Every Saturday in the fall, these fans come out like locust. Flags flying from car windows, they clog the roads. Most are not going to the game, but to the mall, but true fans always show their colors. 


Tide topper

Football propels a billion-dollar revenue machine that turns out a few stars, throws away 97% of the players when it's done with them and converts institutions of learning into centers of entertainment.

I am watching as the Dems turn this country into a failed fascists state. Conservatives have no clue how to fight back. They just tune in the next football game. 

In 1775, with very little provocation, almost a third of the residents grabbed their muskets and claimed this land from George III. Now the Republican party has been ruined. It's history. Hilliary will be easily elected as the Republicans have no one worth damm. 

Since I don't like football, maybe I can learn to tune out and like porn.


Football

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Power Of Art

Since Bill Buckely died, conservatives have not had a very effective voice. That needs to change if we are to gain any ground. According to Paul Harvey, there is power of art over argument. He puts it this way…

“Nobody could have persuaded a generation to produce a baby boom—yet Shirley Temple movies made every couple want to have one. Military enlistments were lagging for our Air Force until, almost overnight, a movie called Top Gun had recruits standing in line. The power of art over argument. The elevation of the downtrodden never relies on logic. It is instead facilitated by the persistent persuasion of gifted penman. British sweatshops for children existed only until Dickens wrote about them. American slaves were slaves only until Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote about them. Oh, yes, Lincoln himself credited her with having started the Civil War. The power of art over argument. Animal rights activists bemoan the difficulty of making most people relate to animals. Yet, once upon a time, a cartoonist named Walt Disney created an animal character called Bambi, and in one year, deer hunting nose-dived from a $5.7 million business to a $1 million business. The power of art over argument. Statues mandating more humane treatment for draft horses were initiated by a book: Black Beauty. You want to convince the unconvinced? Don’t call to arms—call to art!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Truth In Humor

773191

 

Image001

 

Image002

 

Image003

 

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Why haven't these educational professionals been tarred and feathered?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

He sure as hell is no Lincoln

I read with disdain the many recent headlines of black on white violence. We are indeed back to the 1960's and Emmett Till. Only this time, the blacks are the ones beating and killing white's. We have a half-white President, his Attorney General, Al Sharpton and even Colin Powell to thank for returning the country to a place where skin color defines which side you are on.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Before The Fall

America's enormous and costly civil service comes at the expense of an eroding military and a crumbling infrastructure. The larger welfare state means fewer engaged in private enterprise, wealth creation and defense. This is happening precisely at the time that our enemies are growing in power and audacity. 

This could describe several great countries in the last three millennium.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

FAMED ECONOMIST MILTON FRIEDMAN’S BEST QUOTES

 

“CONCENTRATED POWER IS NOT RENDERED HARMLESS BY THE GOOD INTENTIONS OF THOSE WHO CREATE IT.”

 

“HELL HATH NO FURY LIKE A BUREAUCRAT SCORNED.”

 

“I AM IN FAVOR OF CUTTING TAXES UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES AND FOR ANY EXCUSE, FOR ANY REASON, WHENEVER IT’S POSSIBLE.”

 

“IF YOU PUT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IN CHARGE OF THE SAHARA DESERT, IN 5 YEARS THERE’D BE A SHORTAGE OF SAND.”

 

“MANY PEOPLE WANT THE GOVERNMENT TO PROTECT THE CONSUMER. A MUCH MORE URGENT PROBLEM IS TO PROTECT THE CONSUMER FROM THE GOVERNMENT.”

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Civics - Article II of the US Constitution

 

This article enumerates ALL of the powers of the President. It has four short sections.
Section 1 - How elected
Section 2 - Enumerated powers
Section 3 - Duties of the office
Section 4 - Removal from office

The three paragraphs of Section 2 enumerates the powers of the office and Section 3 contains the requirement that the office enforce the laws passed by Congress. Nothing obtuse here, even a fifth grader can understand the language.

Section. 1.
The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

It goes on about the details of the Electoral College, but no powers are mentioned in Section 1.

Section. 2.

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Section. 3.

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Section. 4.

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Sex, Lies and the War on Men

This is shows that as far as femi-nazi's, oops, women concerned with women's rights, are concerned, a man, James Taranto, is not allowed to discuss a topic related to women. Only women properly vetted by women's rights groups are allowed to comment on such issues. It is significant to note that the officer was not charged with rape. I post here only to show that the infuriated feminists ignored the facts and, as usual, made an ad hominem attack on the writer.


The rights of the accused are under vicious attack.

A massive twit-storm washed over your humble columnist yesterday, set off by our Wall Street Journal op-ed defending an Obama nominee and the rights of criminal defendants. To recap briefly: Sen. Claire McCaskill has placed a "permanent hold" on the nomination of Gen. Susan Helms to be vice commander of the Air Force Space Command. McCaskill is punishing Helms for having granted clemency to an officer under her command, Capt. Matthew Herrera, who was convicted of aggravated sexual assault.

We reviewed the facts and concluded that Helms was correct in holding that the prosecution case was so weak as to make the conviction unjust. (Herrera did not escape punishment: He pleaded guilty to an "indecent act" and was involuntarily discharged from the service.)

Our argument infuriated feminists, yielding hundreds of tweets and perhaps a dozen posts on various leftist websites. Particularly noteworthy was a tweet from @Invisible_War, which promotes a documentary described as "a groundbreaking investigation into the epidemic of rape in the US military." The tweet read: "Appalling: @WSJ's @jamestaranto thinks we're criminalizing male sexuality by prosecuting military rape."

That is an utter falsehood. Our column discussed sexual assault but made no specific mention of rape, a distinct and more serious offense under military law. Herrera was not accused of rape. We sent a corrective tweet to @Invisible_War, but no correction has been forthcoming. Readers are left to draw their own inferences as to the film's credibility.

The falsehood that we were somehow defending rapists was propagated widely. At Salon, Katie McDonough published a piece titled "Five Easy Steps for Becoming a Rape Apologist: James Taranto's editorial provides a handy guide for blaming the victim." (Amusingly, McDonough faults us in Step 3 for using the "gendered" word "histrionic." She must imagine that it has an etymological commonality with "hysterical." In fact they come from different languages: hystera is Greek for "womb," but histrio is Latin for "actor." Remember when that municipal worker in the District of Columbia got fired for saying "niggardly," which a coworker mistook for a racial slur?)

Some of the comments were just abusive. At the website of Cosmopolitan magazine, Natasha Burton called us a "freaking jackass." Victoria Lee tweeted: "why is it always guys who look like Taranto, the ones who know crap about women, ... try 2talk abt women." We contrasted that tweet with one from Jessica Valenti (who was not referring to us): "Calling a feminist 'ugly' is generally the first response of humdrum misogynists and the last resort of covert ones."

Sauce for the goose, we suppose. (Though we now need a gender-specific phrase for an argumentum ad hominem against a man, the male equivalent of the argumentum ad feminam.) But then Lauren Rankin replied: "good god, man. that's not a comment on your attractiveness; it's a comment on your white, male privilege." Rankin thinks she's defending Lee by construing her comment as racist.
The feminist website Jezebel featured a piece by Katie Baker (last seen lashing out at Susan Patton) calling us "a prolific woman-hating troll," "the worst" and, for good measure, "THE WORST." We'll give her "prolific." Then she wrote: "I'm not interested in engaging with Taranto, because he's a cockroach." As we've noted before, describing one's adversaries as vermin is a rhetorical trope of the genocidaire.

All this viciousness was in the service of denying that there is, as we wrote in yesterday's article, a "war on men." Well, imagine if a prominent feminist journalist wrote about the "war on women" and dozens of conservative male writers responded by subjecting her to similar verbal abuse. Would that not be prima facie evidence that she was on to something? If the answer is yes--and we'd say it is--then either the same is true in our case or the sexes aren't equal. (Select one or both of the above.)

We can take the abuse. In fact, in this instance we delight in it, not only because we see the humor but because it proves us right.

But the underlying subject matter is far from funny. The objective of these ideologues is to destroy the lives of men. Some such men are serious criminals who deserve severe punishment. But others are victims of false accusations or overzealous prosecutors. Some were involved in ambiguous situations in which a fair trial cannot establish their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Herrera clearly fell into at least that last category.

Everyone accused of a crime, even the guilty, is entitled to the basic protections of due process, including the presumption of innocence, the right to a fair trial, and the right to appeal a guilty verdict.
One way of responding to our op-ed would have been to concede that Taranto has a point about the Herrera case and McCaskill's treatment of Helms, but to argue that sexual assault in the military is nevertheless a serious problem that requires new administrative or legal remedies.

We can imagine being persuaded to agree with such an argument. But we haven't seen anybody make it. The tweets and articles quoted above are typical of the response from the feminist left. The few who've deigned to discuss the facts of the case at all--Slate's Amanda Marcotte and TalkingPointsMemo's Catherine Thompson among them--have distorted them beyond recognition, obscuring the questions about the credibility of Herrera's accuser that led Helms to reject the court-martial verdict of guilty.

This appetite for punishment regardless of facts, this contempt for the rights of the accused, is worthy of a lynch mob. That is an inflammatory analogy, but we employ it advisedly. The victims of lynching were not infrequently men accused of sexual violations.




Knowing your word roots is helpful: The falsehood that we were somehow defending rapists was propagated widely. At Salon, Katie McDonough published a piece titled "Five Easy Steps for Becoming a Rape Apologist: James Taranto's editorial provides a handy guide for blaming the victim." (Amusingly, McDonough faults us in Step 3 for using the "gendered" word "histrionic." She must imagine that it has an etymological commonality with "hysterical." In fact they come from different languages: hystera is Greek for "womb," but histrio is Latin for "actor." Remember when that municipal worker in the District of Columbia got fired for saying "niggardly," which a coworker mistook for a racial slur?)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Regulated States of America


A long and detailed book review, but worth thinking about to me.


Niall Ferguson: The Regulated States of America

Tocqueville saw a nation of individuals who were defiant of authority. Today? Welcome to Planet Government.

In "Democracy in America," published in 1833, Alexis de Tocqueville marveled at the way Americans preferred voluntary association to government regulation. "The inhabitant of the United States," he wrote, "has only a defiant and restive regard for social authority and he appeals to it . . . only when he cannot do without it."

Unlike Frenchmen, he continued, who instinctively looked to the state to provide economic and social order, Americans relied on their own efforts. "In the United States, they associate for the goals of public security, of commerce and industry, of morality and religion. There is nothing the human will despairs of attaining by the free action of the collective power of individuals."

What especially amazed Tocqueville was the sheer range of nongovernmental organizations Americans formed: "Not only do they have commercial and industrial associations . . . but they also have a thousand other kinds: religious, moral, grave, futile, very general and very particular, immense and very small; Americans use associations to give fetes, to found seminaries, to build inns, to raise churches, to distribute books, to send missionaries to the antipodes; in this manner they create hospitals, prisons, schools."

Tocqueville would not recognize America today. Indeed, so completely has associational life collapsed, and so enormously has the state grown, that he would be forced to conclude that, at some point between 1833 and 2013, France must have conquered the United States.
The decline of American associational life was memorably documented in Robert Puttnam's seminal 1995 essay "Bowling Alone," which documented the exodus of Americans from bowling leagues, Rotary clubs and the like. Since then, the downward trend in "social capital" has only continued. According to the 2006 World Values Survey, active membership even of religious associations has declined from just over half the population to little more than a third (37%). The proportion of Americans who are active members of cultural associations is down to 14% from 24%; for professional associations the figure is now just 12%, compared with more than a fifth in 1995. And, no, Facebook is not a substitute.

Instead of joining together to get things done, Americans have increasingly become dependent on Washington. On foreign policy, it may still be true that Americans are from Mars and Europeans from Venus. But when it comes to domestic policy, we all now come from the same place: Planet Government.

As the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Clyde Wayne Crews shows in his invaluable annual survey of the federal regulatory state, we have become the regulation nation almost imperceptibly. Excluding blank pages, the 2012 Federal Register—the official directory of regulation—today runs to 78,961 pages. Back in 1986 it was 44,812 pages. In 1936 it was just 2,620.
True, our economy today is much larger than it was in 1936—around 12 times larger, allowing for inflation. But the Federal Register has grown by a factor of 30 in the same period.
The last time regulation was cut was under Ronald Reagan, when the number of pages in the Federal Register fell by 31%. Surprise: Real GDP grew by 30% in that same period. But Leviathan's diet lasted just eight years. Since 1993, 81,883 new rules have been issued. In the past 10 years, the "final rules" issued by our 63 federal departments, agencies and commissions have outnumbered laws passed by Congress 223 to 1.

Right now there are 4,062 new regulations at various stages of implementation, of which 224 are deemed "economically significant," i.e., their economic impact will exceed $100 million.
The cost of all this, Mr. Crews estimates, is $1.8 trillion annually—that's on top of the federal government's $3.5 trillion in outlays, so it is equivalent to an invisible 65% surcharge on your federal taxes, or nearly 12% of GDP. Especially invidious is the fact that the costs of regulation for small businesses (those with fewer than 20 employees) are 36% higher per employee than they are for bigger firms.

Next year's big treat will be the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, something every small business in the country must be looking forward to with eager anticipation. Then, as Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) warned readers on this page 10 months ago, there's also the Labor Department's new fiduciary rule, which will increase the cost of retirement planning for middle-class workers; the EPA's new Ozone Rule, which will impose up to $90 billion in yearly costs on American manufacturers; and the Department of Transportation's Rear-View Camera Rule. That's so you never have to turn your head around when backing up.

President Obama occasionally pays lip service to the idea of tax reform. But nothing actually gets done and the Internal Revenue Service code (plus associated regulations) just keeps growing—it passed the nine-million-word mark back in 2005, according to the Tax Foundation, meaning nearly 19% more verbiage than 10 years before. While some taxes may have been cut in the intervening years, the tax code just kept growing.

I wonder if all this could have anything to do with the fact that we still have nearly 12 million people out of work, plus eight million working part-time jobs, five long years after the financial crisis began.
Genius that he was, Tocqueville saw this transformation of America coming. Toward the end of "Democracy in America" he warned against the government becoming "an immense tutelary power . . . absolute, detailed, regular . . . cover[ing] [society's] surface with a network of small, complicated, painstaking, uniform rules through which the most original minds and the most vigorous souls cannot clear a way."

Tocqueville also foresaw exactly how this regulatory state would suffocate the spirit of free enterprise: "It rarely forces one to act, but it constantly opposes itself to one's acting; it does not destroy, it prevents things from being born; it does not tyrannize, it hinders, compromises, enervates, extinguishes, dazes, and finally reduces [the] nation to being nothing more than a herd of timid and industrious animals of which the government is the shepherd."
If that makes you bleat with frustration, there's still hope.

Comments on the book review above

A Jeremiad to Heed
U.S. future obligations exceed future revenues by $200 trillion, and state and local governments face $38 trillion in unfunded obligations.
By GEORGE MELLOAN

Doomsayers are never popular, but sometimes they're right. The original jeremiads uttered by the biblical prophet Jeremiah were on the money. His fellow Judeans were vanquished and enslaved by the Babylonians, just as he had warned. Moral: Don't take jeremiads lightly.
That maxim applies to the writings of the economic historian Niall Ferguson. The 49-year-old Glaswegian scholar isn't someone to be dismissed as some sort of eccentric or deft provocateur. He teaches at Harvard University and is a fellow at the Hoover Institution; he has written many weighty books and articles and has created five television documentary series. One, "The Ascent of Money," won an international Emmy in 2009. As a Scot, he views America with a certain detachment not available to native sons and daughters.

With a focus on the United States, "The Great Degeneration" warns that Western civilization has entered into a period of decline due mainly to the strangling of private initiative by the ever-encroaching state. "We are living through a profound crisis of the institutions that were the keys to our previous success—not only economic, but also political and cultural—as a civilization," he writes.
The threatened institutions are representative government, the free market, the rule of law and civil society. Mr. Ferguson is dismayed at the explosion of public debt, the destruction of markets by excessive regulation, the replacement of the rule of law by "a rule of lawyers," and the decay of civil society as represented in part by the decline of thousands of private, voluntary organizations (Rotarians, Elks, et al.) that have contributed so much to social order and progress in America.

"We humans live in a complex matrix of institutions . . . ," Mr. Ferguson writes. "Once—I'm tempted to date it from the time of the Scottish enlightenment—this matrix worked astonishingly well, with each set of institutions complementing and reinforcing the rest. That, I believe, was the key to Western success in the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. But the institutions in our times are out of joint."

The most worrisome evidence of decline, he believes, is the "crisis of public debt," with government budgets out of control in the U.S. and Europe. He sees outsize debt as a symptom of the "betrayal of future generations: a breach of Edmund Burke's social contract between the present and the future." Should this news leak out to college-bound American youths they might well be moved by resentment to challenge the progressive orthodoxies that infest so many campuses.

When it comes to health care and Social Security in its various forms, it is not at all clear that the government will be able to keep its promises. By Mr. Ferguson's reckoning, U.S. future obligations under present law exceed future revenues by $200 trillion (calculated at current value), "nearly thirteen times the debt as stated by the U.S. Treasury." That figure doesn't include the unfunded obligations of state and local governments, estimated at $38 trillion.
Of course, future obligations stretch over many years, and the burden consists mainly of debt service, not the debt itself. But the numbers are so huge that just the carrying charges will likely make them unmanageable without painful adjustments. One adjustment that already seems inevitable is a reduction of Medicare and Social Security benefits to future generations. The Federal Reserve also has a solution—inflation, yet another form of pain. And then there is the Obama all-purpose remedy, higher taxes. One way or another, tomorrow's citizens will pay for today's excesses.
Mr. Ferguson worries as well about the erosion of the rule of law. Not only do politicians increasingly flout the Constitution, but they are creating a proliferation of unwise and unenforceable laws and regulations. Lawyers on congressional staffs write massive pieces of legislation for other lawyers to implement and still others to interpret for clients. Thus, lawyers rule.
The Brobdingnagian Dodd-Frank Act meddles with global finance, something that Friedrich Hayek would have called a "complex system" beyond the power of mere mortals to control. Billions of transactions of infinite variety can't be managed by a law, even one that ran to 2,700 pages in its original draft. To attempt such a thing is stupid, costly and dangerous. Mr. Ferguson cites the Darwinian principle that, in the natural world, a small input in a complex system "can cause huge, unanticipated consequences." Financial systems, he argues, are much the same.
The author's argument that civil society is undergoing decay is no less depressing. As government has grown, civil society has withered, he asserts. Robert Putnam's "Bowling Alone" (2000) recorded a sharp decline in participation in civic organizations between the 1960s and late 1990s—for example, a 61% drop in PTA membership. The French author Alexis de Tocqueville marveled at the scope of American civil society in the 19th century, the many associations that owed their "birth and development" not to law but to individuals freely joining forces. Mr. Ferguson agrees with Tocqueville that "the state—with its seductive promise of 'security from the cradle to the grave'—was the real enemy of civil society."
Mr. Ferguson borders on glibness when he touches lightly on such treacherous matters as income disparities and population shifts. But on the whole his intellectual virtuosity is refreshing. "The Great Degeneration" won't be popular in the Obama White House or other centers of power. Jeremiah wasn't popular with the elders of Judea either. They tossed him in jail for his sedition. They had reason later to be sorry.
Mr. Melloan, a former columnist and deputy editor of the Journal editorial page, is the author of "The Great Money Binge: Spending Our Way to Socialism."


Monday, May 20, 2013

Rules And Regulations

In 2012 the cost of federal rules exceeded $1.8 trillion, roughly equal to the GDP of Canada. These costs are embedded in nearly everything Americans buy. These costs come to $14,768 per household, meaning that red tape is now the second largest item in the typical family budget after housing.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Three Reasons

In 2008 Mr.. Obama won by 9.5 million votes. Four years later, with all the whiz-bang and money, he won by less than five million.

America's blacks voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time, reflecting a deeply polarized presidential election in which blacks strongly supported Barack Obama while many whites stayed home.

Had people voted last November at the same rates they did in 2004, when black turnout was below its current historic levels, Republican Mitt Romney would have won narrowly, according to an analysis conducted for The Associated Press.

I think many of the so called independents stayed home. Anyone that can not make up their mind until election day should not be able to vote anyway.

Another group that stayed home were those who supported folks like Santorum. Single issue people. They are Republicans in name only.

Last, how many illegal ballots were cast? We know of a few precincts where even the poll workers voted early and often. How many precincts were thrown for Obama?

I would not be at all surprised that if the factors mentioned above were not at play, Obama would not have been re-elected.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sunday, April 28, 2013

As I See It

 

fed programs

libcons

libcons2

libcons3

One of the hundreds bought by Homeland

libcons4

We met a newly minted Economics Ph.d who had never heard of Friedman. His specialty International Studies. Any degree in studies  means you don’t know shit.

libcons5

Ahead of his time?

libcons6

Just the place, let the drug users out and put the liberals in.

The allure of "freedom" and "irresponsibility" are too strong to resist

Donald Kagan is engaging in one last argument. For his "farewell lecture" at Yale, the 80-year-old scholar of ancient Greece uncorked a biting critique of American higher education.

Universities, he proposed, are failing students and hurting American democracy. Curricula are "individualized, unfocused and scattered." On campus, he said, "I find a kind of cultural void, an ignorance of the past, a sense of rootlessness and aimlessness." Rare are "faculty with atypical views," he charged. "Still rarer is an informed understanding of the traditions and institutions of our Western civilization and of our country and an appreciation of their special qualities and values." He counseled schools to adopt "a common core of studies" in the history, literature and philosophy "of our culture." By "our" he means Western.

 

Democracy, wrote Mr. Kagan in "Pericles of Athens" (1991), is "one of the rarest, most delicate and fragile flowers in the jungle of human experience." It relies on "free, autonomous and self-reliant" citizens and "extraordinary leadership" to flourish, even survive.

Friday, April 26, 2013

From Walfare To Disability

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the seasonally adjusted official unemployment rate for February fell to a four-year national low of 7.7%. While the White House cautiously congratulated itself, Republicans quickly pointed to what is often called the real unemployment rate; it stood at 14.3%.

The BLS looks at six categories of different data, from U-1 to U-6, to analyze employment every month. U-3 includes people who have been unemployed but who have actively looked for work during the past month; this is the official unemployment rate used by the media. U-6 contains data excluded from U-3, including part-time workers and the unemployed who have unsuccessfully looked for a job in the last year; this is the real unemployment rate.

Now there is fresh reason to believe that even the 14.3% rate may be a considerable understatement.

Since the economy began its slow, slow recovery in late 2009, we’ve been averaging about 150,000 jobs created per month. In that same period every month, almost 250,000 people have been applying for disability. That’s right, more go on disability each month than get a job.

Why do disability figures skew the unemployment rate? The people on federal disability do not work. Yet because they are not technically part of the labor force, they are not counted among the unemployed.” They become the invisible unemployed.

What Explains the Rise in Disability Payouts?

The precipitous rise in disability claims comes from the unintended consequences of political maneuvering.

“The End of Welfare as We Know It” was announced in 1996 when President Clinton signed a reform act intended to move people off welfare rolls and into jobs. Clinton “encouraged” the individual states to push for the transition by making them fund a much larger share of their welfare programs. To encourage the individual recipients, the reforms also capped the length of time a person was eligible for welfare.

The incentive worked on the states, but not in the manner intended. Each person on welfare became a continuing cost for a state, but each person who moved onto disability saved the state money, because Social Security disability insurance is fully funded by the federal government.

The “PCG [Public Consulting Group] is a private company that states pay to comb their welfare rolls and move as many people as possible onto disability... The company has an office in eastern Washington state that’s basically a call center, full of head-setted people in cubicles who make calls to potentially disabled Americans, trying to help them discover and document their disabilities.”

A recent contract between PCG and the state of Missouri offered PCG $2,300 per person it shifted from welfare to disability.

Disability is easier to qualify for than welfare and has no time limit. Moreover, those on disability qualify for Medicare and other benefits, as well as receive payments roughly equal to a minimum- wage job. Only 1% of those who go onto disability leave to rejoin the workforce.

Conclusion: What Is the Actual Unemployment Rate?

If neither the official (U-3) nor the real (U-6) unemployment rate can be trusted, then how can we ascertain a more reliable rate? No one knows for sure, but the economic trend-monitoring site Investment Watch concluded that the actual American unemployment rate -- one that includes all unemployed -- is around 30%.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Where Does Carbon Really Come From?

The volcanic eruption in Iceland, since its first spewing of volcanic ash has, in just FOUR DAYS, NEGATED EVERY SINGLE EFFORT you have made in the past five years to control CO2 emissions on our planet - all of you.

Of course you know about this evil carbon dioxide that we are trying to suppress - it’s that vital chemical compound that every plant requires to live and grow and to synthesize into oxygen for us humans and all animal life.

image001

I know, it's very disheartening to realize that all of the carbon emission savings you have accomplished while suffering the inconvenience and expense of: driving Prius hybrids, buying fabric grocery bags, sitting up till midnight to finish your kid's "The Green Revolution" science project, throwing out all of your non-green cleaning supplies, using only two squares of toilet paper, putting a brick in your toilet tank reservoir, selling your SUV and speedboat, vacationing at home instead of abroad, nearly getting hit every day on your bicycle, replacing all of your 50 cents light bulbs with $10.00 light bulbs ...well, all of those things you have done have all gone down the tubes in just four days.

The volcanic ash emitted into the Earth's atmosphere in just four days - yes - FOUR DAYS ONLY by that volcano in Iceland, has totally erased every single effort you have made to reduce the evil beast, carbon.  And there are around 200 active volcanoes on the planet spewing out this crud at any one time - EVERY DAY.

I don't really want to rain on your parade too much, but I should mention that when the volcano Mt Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines in 1991, it spewed out more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the entire human race had emitted in all its years on earth.  Yes folks, Mt Pinatubo was active for over one year - think about it.

Of course I shouldn't spoil this touchy-feely tree-hugging moment and mention the effect of solar and cosmic activity and the well-recognized 800-year global heating and cooling cycle, which keep happening, despite our completely insignificant efforts to affect climate change.

And I do wish I had a silver lining to this volcanic ash cloud but the fact of the matter is that the bush fire season across the western USA and Australia this year alone will negate your efforts to reduce carbon in our world for the next two to three years.  And it happens every year.

Just remember that your government just tried to impose a whopping carbon tax on you on the basis of the bogus “human-caused” climate change scenario.

Hey, isn’t it interesting how they don’t mention “Global Warming” any more, but just“Climate Change” - you know why?  It’s because the planet has COOLED by 0.7 degrees in the past century and these global warming bull artists got caught with their pants down.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

FREEDOM

“We want a society where people are free to make choices, to make mistakes, to be generous and compassionate. This is what we mean by a moral society; not a society where the state is responsible for everything, and no one is responsible for the state.”

Baroness Margaret Thatcher

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Same Sex Marriage

I have advocated for same sex unions for some time. I use union, rather than marriage to get around those who consider marriage reserved to men and women. I figure that in another generation or two it will be a difference without distinction and union can be discarded.

No matter what most religions proclaim, homosexuality is quite normal, not only in humans, but animals and don’t ever think about all the odd behavior in the plant world.  Homosexuality is not a choice unless you are willing to grant such choice to all animals.

Justice Scalia arguments have always made sense to me, no matter what the topic. He has brought my thinking around to his more than once.

Yesterday, he cut to the chase with one sentence.

"When did it become unconstitutional to exclude homosexual couples from marriage?" conservative Justice Antonin Scalia demanded of Mr. Olson in one of several heated exchanges. In "1791? 1868, when the 14th Amendment was adopted?"

Indeed! No moral argument required. No need to bring up injustice. It is simple, states can not enact laws that are unconstitutional.

Monday, March 25, 2013

What About History

From the Halls of Montezuma,
To the shores of Tripoli

At least the Marines got two place names where they first fought firmly grounded in popular history in the Marine Hymn. I will bet that half of Americans could not correctly place Tripoli in same country as Benghazi. I would wager that even fewer know the meaning behind the reference to Tripoli. They probably have never heard of Lieutenant Presley O'Bannon.

You might have heard of the A Shau Valley or perhaps the Ia Drang Valley. Perhaps of Huế, and certainly of the My Lai Massacre. Maybe you know the name of one the 58,000 Americans that died in Vietnam.

For a decade, hundreds of thousands of Americans have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most for multiple tours. Some have died. More wounded. All marked for life by the horror of war. You may not know the names of any of them.

I wonder how many place names you can name where these faceless Americans have fought? Perhaps Fallujah rings a bell? Maybe Tora-Bora? The news junkies might recall Operation Anaconda. Anywhere else?

Most of the Afghanistan war has been in remote places, places where reporters don’t go. Places that are not important to civilians like the Dai Chopan district.

The Vietnam War was covered daily by all three networks. Even dishonest Dan Rather adopted a military reporter’s dress and covered both the Vietnam and the first Afgan war from safe positions.

I think civilians are more disconnected from this war than any war before. You may not have heard of Peleliu, but it was in the headlines when the Marines landed there in 1944. The places where our military fights now is lost on the civilians.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Where They Talking About Liberals?

When I heard the Dead's (1970) do Ship Of Fools this morning it took on a new meaning for me.

The first two stanza's:
Went to see the captain, strangest I could find,
Laid my proposition down, laid it on the line.
I won't slave for beggar's pay, likewise gold and jewels,
But I would slave to learn the way to sink your ship of fools.

Ship of fools on a cruel sea, ship of fools sail away from me.
It was later than I thought when I first believed you,
Now I cannot share your laughter, ship of fools.

PiersonShipOfFools

From Wikipedia: The ship of fools is an allegory that has long been a fixture in Western literature and art. The allegory depicts a vessel populated by human inhabitants who are deranged, frivolous, or oblivious passengers aboard a ship without a pilot, and seemingly ignorant of their own direction. This concept makes up the framework of the 15th century book Ship of Fools (1494) by Sebastian Brant.

Well they are laughing at me right now. I would slave to learn the way to sink their ship.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Making Of A Liberal - I

What can brain scans reveal about a person’s political beliefs?

If you want to know people’s politics, tradition said to study their parents. In fact, the party affiliation of someone’s parents can predict the child’s political leanings about around 70 percent of the time.

But new research, published yesterday in the journal PLOS ONE, suggests what mom and dad think isn’t the endgame when it comes to shaping a person’s political identity. Ideological differences between partisans may reflect distinct neural processes, and they can predict who’s right and who’s left of center with 82.9 percent accuracy, outperforming the “your parents pick your party” model.

The study matched publicly available party registration records with the names of 82 American participants whose risk-taking behavior during a gambling experiment was monitored by brain scans. The researchers found that liberals and conservatives don’t differ in the risks they do or don’t take, but their brain activity does vary while they’re making decisions.

Previous research has shown that during MRI scans, areas linked to broad social connectedness, which involves friends and the world at large, light up in Democrats’ brains. Republicans, on the other hand, show more neural activity in parts of the brain associated with tight social connectedness, which focuses on family and country.

Other scans have shown that brain regions associated with risk and uncertainty, such as the fear-processing amygdala, differ in structure in liberals and conservatives. And different architecture means different behavior. Liberals tend to seek out novelty and uncertainty, while conservatives exhibit strong changes in attitude to threatening situations. The former are more willing to accept risk, while the latter tends to have more intense physical reactions to threatening stimuli.

Building on this, the new research shows that Democrats exhibited significantly greater activity in the left insula, a region associated with social and self-awareness, during the task. Republicans, however, showed significantly greater activity in the right amygdala, a region involved in our fight-or flight response system.

 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Gun Control

From the World Health Organization: The 2012 murder rate per 100,000 citizens. Skim down to the bottom of the list.

Honduras 91.6

El Salvador 69.2

Cote d'lvoire 56.9

Jamaica 52.2

Venezuela 45.1

Belize 41.4

US Virgin Islands 39.2

Guatemala 38.5

Saint Kits and Nevis 38.2

Zambia 38.0

Uganda 36.3

Malawi 36.0

Lesotho 35.2

Trinidad and Tobago 35.2

Colombia 33.4

South Africa 31.8

Congo 30.8

Central African Republic 29.3

Bahamas 27.4

Puerto Rico 26.2

Saint Lucia 25.2

Dominican Republic 25.0

Tanzania 24.5

Sudan 24.2

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 22.9

Ethiopia 22.5

Guinea 22.5

Dominica 22.1

Burundi 21.7

Democratic Republic of the Congo 21.7

Panama 21.6

Brazil 21.0

Equatorial Guinea 20.7

Guinea-Bissau 20.2

Kenya 20.1

Kyrgyzstan 20.1

Cameroon 19.7

Montserrat 19.7

Greenland 19.2

Angola 19.0

Guyana 18.6

Burkina Faso 18.0

Eritrea 17.8

Namibia 17.2

Rwanda 17.1

Mexico 16.9

Chad 15.8

Ghana 15.7

Ecuador 15.2

North Korea 15.2

Benin 15.1

Sierra Leone 14.9

Mauritania 14.7

Botswana 14.5

Zimbabwe 14.3

Gabon 13.8

Nicaragua 13.6

French Guiana 13.3

Papua New Guinea 13.0

Swaziland 12.9

Bermuda 12.3

Comoros 12.2

Nigeria 12.2

Cape Verde 11.6

Grenada 11.5

Paraguay 11.5

Barbados 11.3

Togo 10.9

Gambia 10.8

Peru 10.8

Myanmar 10.2

Russia 10.2

Liberia 10.1

Costa Rica 10.0

Nauru 9.8

Bolivia 8.9

Mozambique 8.8

Kazakhstan 8.8

Senegal 8.7

Turks and Caicos Islands 8.7

Mongolia 8.7

British Virgin Islands 8.6

Cayman Islands 8.4

Seychelles 8.3

Madagascar 8.1

Indonesia 8.1

Mali 8.0

Pakistan 7.8

Moldova 7.5

Kiribati 7.3

Guadeloupe 7.0

Haiti 6.9

Timor-Leste 6.9

Anguilla 6.8

Antigua and Barbuda 6.8

Lithuania 6.6

Uruguay 5.9

Philippines 5.4

Ukraine 5.2

Estonia 5.2

Cuba 5.0

Belarus 4.9

Thailand 4.8

Suriname 4.6

Laos 4.6

Georgia 4.3

Martinique 4.2

The United States 4.2 (down from 5.6 in 2001)

ALL the countries above America have 100% gun bans

Contradicts what some politicians & the media would have us believe, doesn't it?

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Liberals

"Liberalism is a mental disorder. Common sense is the cure." - Ronald Reagan

 

I grew up in a conservative Christian family. I rebelled and embraced liberal slogans. The older I got, the more I noticed that liberal solutions were not getting the job done. In fact, they were doing harm. By 40, I had outgrown liberal ideas. By 50, I was a hard shell conservative.

Liberal ideals got a jump start with the 28th president Wilson. By the time Roosevelt and Truman were out of office liberal ideology was firmly in place and secure from threat. President Johnson advanced the cause mightily with Medicare. What seemed to be the right thing to do, the voting rights act, was a plan “to have them niggers voting Democratic for the next two hundred years.” Johnson’s crude racism strategy continues with Mexicans today. It’s not about immigration, it’s about votes.

Ann Coulter wrote a book about arguing with liberals. I read it but I can not recall her method. My method is not to argue. It’s a waste of time. They deal in slogans and ideals. I deal in facts. They ignore facts. One liberal was recently on a TV show and covered his ears to avoid hearing his opponent. Take the Snakehead, Debbie Wasserman Shultz. She is a prime example of being well trained to never answer a question, challenge a fact, but just talk about her message. Liberals only hear their hearts. You can not reason with them.

Arguing with liberals is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter how good I am at chess, the pigeon is just going to knock over all the pieces, crap on the board, and strut around the table looking victorious.

Bill Maher, Michael Moore, etc. make a living ridiculing conservatives. Barry Hussein, Chuck Schummer, Maxine Waters, etc. attack my values with regularity. The New York Times, MSNBC et. al. is a daily smear for progressive causes. Conservatives want to be left alone. Liberals are not content to do likewise.They think they know what is best for me. I am way past tired of rolling over for liberals to stick it to me.

What’s my solution? I think Dogbert was on to something with grinding them up into a slurry for fracking.

Where I find facts: I have read the Wall Street Journal for over 40 years. Charles Krauthammer, Victor Davis Hanson, Thomas Sowell, etc. provide with me great insights.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Nation Of Takers

Excerpts from the Friday January 25, Wall Street Journal

Some facts and figures for your consideration:

Today, entitlement programs account for nearly two-thirds of federal spending. In other words, welfare spending is nearly twice as much as defense, justice and everything else Washington does—combined.

Nearly half (49%) of Americans today live in homes receiving one or more government transfer benefits.

About 35% of Americans (well over 100 million people) are accepting money, goods or services from "means-tested" government programs-that is, benefits intended for the poor, such as Medicaid and food stamps. This percentage is twice as high as in the early 1980s.  A third of all Americans receiving government entitlement transfers are seniors on Social Security and Medicare.

Got that? 1/3 of us are on programs such as Medicaid and food stamps and 1/3 are on Social Security. That leaves 1/3 of us to pay the bill.

It gets worse.

In December 2012, more than 8.8 million working-age men and women took  disability payments from the government—nearly three times as many as in December 1990. That's more than the total number of employees in the manufacturing sector of the economy.

Yes, more are on disability than work in manufacturing.

The biggest increases in disability claims have been for "musculoskeletal" problems and mental disorders (including mood disorders). But as a practical matter, it is impossible for a health professional to ascertain conclusively whether or not a patient is suffering from back pains or sad feelings. However lawyers can determine if a person is eligible for disability. In fact, a cottage industry has grown up with lawyers and doctor's certifying the person is disabled. And the person never needs to even see the doctor.

Mr. Eberstadt is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and the author of "A Nation of Takers: America's Entitlement Epidemic" (Templeton, 2012).

Sunday, January 20, 2013