Fails to push the one thing that would work: Ban gun-free zones
SPEAKING just miles from the scene of the Colorado movie theatre shooting, President Barack Obama said Americans needed "to put an end" to "senseless" violence that killed 12 in Aurora and six at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, although he offered no specific solutions.
"I think we can all acknowledge we've got to put an end to this kind of senseless violence," Obama told a campaign rally in Denver on Wednesday.
"Whether in Aurora, whether it's in Oak Creek, whether it's in Tucson, whether it's in cities all across America where too many lives are cut short because of senseless violence - this is going to have to stop," he said. "And as an American family, as one American family, we're going to have to come together and look at all the approaches that we can take to try to bring an end to it."
Since the back-to-back shootings, Obama has called for soul searching on the issue of violence, but made no forceful push for new laws. White House aides have noted that the president supports reinstating a ban on the sale of assault weapons but sees no sign that Congress is moving toward action.
“We Now Have Our Smallest Government in 45 Years”
Now Leftists are trying to define away the truth
That’s the absurd title to a blog post over at The Atlantic today. The writer claims that the U.S. government is now the smallest it’s been since LBJ was president. The article is making the rounds among leftists, who, against all reason and common sense, have managed to convince themselves that the US government is getting smaller.
The claim is based on a calculation of total government employment as a ratio of the total US population. Right off the bat we know that comparing these ratios from 1968 and today will be off. This is largely because in 1968, most people whose salaries were funded by taxpayer sweat actually worked for the government. There weren’t mercenaries shooting up foreigners back then, or an enormous government-funded non-profit sector or legions of “consultants” who are really just government employees making extra-large salaries.
On top of this is the fact that government size is not only measured in the number of government employees. Better measures would include the US prison population, or taxes paid, or pages of government regulations or the number of federal laws, or the number of people groped by TSA pedophiles. Needless to say, all of these things have exploded in recent decades. On top of that, you have the war on drugs, the war on terror, the war on salt, fat, guns, raw milk, and a number of other things.
Yep, government sure is a shadow of its former self!
But, to make it simple, let’s just look at government spending. In 1968, the US government spent $883 dollars for every one of the 201 million Americans, or annual outlays totaling 178.1 billion. In 2011, the US government spent a whopping $11,493 for every one of the 313 million Americans for total outlays of 3.6 trillion. That’s an increase of 1,923 percent since 1968. The CPI over this period increased 545 percent, so we’re talking an enormous increase, even when adjusted for the official inflation rate.
We can also look at this another way. The amount of money taken from each American has increased almost 2,000 percent since 1968, which is more than triple the inflation rate.
The Rich Don’t Make Us Poor
We’ve been hearing a lot lately about the need for the wealthy to “pay their fair share” so that the federal government can pay down its debts and continue to fund programs to provide basic human necessities for the poor, such as food, shelter, and prophylactics. Their argument is that the greedy rich have been stealing increasingly large percentages of the nation’s GDP, and have been hoarding their riches, rather than generously giving them to the federal government to be used for the common good. The only solution is to increase taxes on the rich, so that instead of letting billionaires covetously hold onto (and thus waste) their excess wealth, which they don’t really need, the government can take that cash and use it much more effectively, to give the rest of us free stuff. After all, it just isn’t fair that some Americans control billions of dollars’ worth of wealth, while others struggle to make ends meet.
Sounds plausible, right? Of course it does. Unfortunately for those who make a living out of inciting class warfare, it’s not true. There are a number of errors embedded in the above explanation of our nation’s woes, but let’s cut to the central one: the fallacy that there always has been and always will be a fixed amount of wealth in the world, and that wealth is merely shifted back and forth among people, but it is never really increased. Economists call this the “fixed pie” fallacy.
This is not a new fallacy. In fact, it’s been around for almost as long as economics has been a science. Let’s look at one relatively recent example: in his 1912 work The Servile State, English historian Hilaire Belloc presents his case against capitalism, arguing that by its very nature it is immoral. Belloc – who was not an economist – has become especially popular among some Catholics who decry capitalism as being antagonistic to Christian social and political virtues, and who pine for the idyllic days of subsistence farming and feudal lords. For many of these people, The Servile State is their only exposure to economic thought. This is a shame, because Belloc is a prime example of someone who fell for the fixed pie fallacy.
Belloc defines capitalism as a “society in which private property in land and capital, that is, the ownership and therefore the control of the means of production, is confined to some number of free citizens not large enough to determine the social mass of the state, while the rest have not such property and are therefore proletarian.” The definition Belloc offers is a sign of a deeper mistake on his part: the belief that economics is a stagnant business. His definition of capitalism paints a picture of the wealthy few hiding their money in mattresses, while the rest of us languish with no hope of ever acquiring wealth or living well.
I suppose there could be instances of that happening, but they certainly won’t continue for any sustained period of time. Think about it – if the wealthy hoard their money and don’t do anything with it, how do they support themselves? You don’t live well by having money; you live well by using money. In order to use it, you have to give it to someone else in exchange for goods or services that they give to you. Entrepreneurs get wealthy by using their resources to provide others with jobs. This increases their own well-being, as well as the lives of those they hire; both employer and employee benefit by being part of a useful business from which they can make a living. So the idea that the wealthy are able both to hoard their money and to live well, even affluently, is absurd.
Historical reality bears out the fact that in capitalism, people become rich by putting what capital they have to good, productive use, and that anyone, no matter how poor they start out, can become wealthy. Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital, which leftists love to hate, and other venture capital groups risk their own money to provide small entrepreneurs with the means of jump-starting their companies, providing jobs both for those working in venture capital firms, and those employed by entrepreneurs.
Many famous entrepreneurs, such as Henry Ford, Sam Walton and James Cash Penney became fabulously wealthy not by hiding their money in a mattress, inheriting it, or cheating on their taxes, but by delaying gratification, providing workers with decent paying jobs, and putting in long hours for years, to build and maintain successful companies that serve their employees and their customers well. The historical reality of entrepreneurs gives the lie to two of Belloc’s assumptions: that the wealthy can maintain luxurious living standards by sitting on their wealth, and that capitalism prevents the poor from working their way up the economic ladder.
Sadly, it seems that many Americans, including the Occupy crowd and even our own President, are not aware of the unique and amazing power of entrepreneurship: the ability to use our resources and God-given talent to better the lives of those we work with and those we serve. Only when we as a nation remember that the phenomenon of money can be used in a dynamic way to participate as co-creators with God, will we begin to work our way out of the economic mess we are in.
The Chicago Way Works
By Victor Davis Hanson
If I were Romney, I would not count on the idea of class warfare, the so-called politics of personal destruction, and McCarthyite tactics not working, because they always have for Obama/Axelrod in the past — and seem to be in the last week.
In the last ten days Mitt Romney has been reduced by various Obama surrogates, through rumor, innuendo, and falsity, to a tax-avoiding cheat who “probably” never paid taxes for a decade, a near felon who lied on a federal form, and a veritable killer who in piratical fashion destroyed a cancer victim’s chance of getting medical attention — all untrue and yet all damaging, as the corrections are not even out before Obama goes on to the next new inaccurate charge. Obama is running a Robin Hood, class-warfare blitzkrieg, even though he knows that the upper income levels have never paid a higher share of the nation’s aggregate income-tax revenue, and bumping them up to 39 percent would only lower the deficit in minuscule ways, given the gargantuan spending since 2009 and the general absence of new revenue when unemployment is in its 41st consecutive month of more than 8 percent and we are now in our fourth $1 trillion-plus budget deficit.
None of this is new. The media favorite Obama eliminated all his Democratic rivals in his first election for the Illinois legislature by suing in court to invalidate their nomination petitions and ran unopposed in the primary. Obama demolished his U.S. Senate Democratic primary rival through leaked divorce records. He demolished his initial Republican rival through leaked divorce records. When he got through with Hillary Clinton, the liberal former first lady and U.S. senator had transmogrified into a prevaricating hack and veritable racist, as Bill Clinton lamented the race card being played. John McCain released his health records and his general dismal ranking at Annapolis, leading to a false narrative that he was naturally inattentive and reckless, and scarcely hale, while Obama released neither his medical nor his college records; as Sarah Palin — heretofore a reformist governor of Alaska who in bipartisan fashion had fought special interests — was reduced to a caricature of an uninformed poor (and trashy) mom. All of the above transpired while Barack Obama ran as a “reformer” and proponent of “civility,” who vowed to run a “transparent” campaign of full disclosure, and to leave the old “petty” and “gotcha” politics behind.
The Natural Map of the Middle East
"Apart from political maps of mankind, there are natural maps of mankind. ... One of the first laws of political stability is to draw your political boundaries along the lines of the natural map of mankind." So wrote H.G. Wells in "What Is Coming: A Forecast of Things to Come After the War" in the year of Verdun and the Somme Offensive.
In redrawing the map of Europe, however, the statesmen of Versailles ignored Wells and parceled out Austrians, Hungarians, Germans and other nationalities to alien lands to divide, punish and weaken the defeated peoples.
So doing they set the table for a second world war.
The Middle East was sliced up along lines set down in the secret Sykes-Picot agreement. But with the Islamic awakening and Arab Spring toppling regimes, the natural map of the Middle East seems now to be asserting itself.
Sunni and Shia align with Sunni and Shia, as Protestants and Catholics did in 17th-century Europe. Ethiopia and Sudan split. Mali and Nigeria may be next. While world attention is focused on Aleppo and when Bashar Assad might fall, Syria itself may be about to disintegrate p.
In Syria's northeast, a Kurdish minority of 2 to 3 million with ethnic ties to Iraqi Kurdistan and 15 million Kurds in Turkey seems to be dissolving its ties to Damascus. A Kurdish nation carved out of Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Iran would appear to be a casus belli for all four nations. Yet in any natural map of the world, there would be a Kurdistan.
The Sunni four-fifths of the Syrian population seems fated to rise and the Muslim Brotherhood to rule, as happened in Egypt. The fall of Assad and his Shia Alawite minority would be celebrated by the Sunni across the border in Iraq's Anbar province, who would then have a powerful new ally in any campaign to recapture Sunni lands lost to Iraqi Shia.
With its recent murderous attacks inside Iraq, al-Qaida seems to be instigating a new Sunni-Shia war to tear Iraq apart.
The fall of the Alawites in Damascus would end the dream of a Shia crescent -- Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah -- leave Hezbollah isolated, and conceivably lead to a renewal of Lebanon's sectarian and civil war.
The losers in all this? Certainly Iran, which seems fated to lose its only Arab ally, Syria, and its land link to Hezbollah.
An Extraordinary Record of Failure
Comment below by Dick McDonald
That is what Romney called our latest jobs report “An extraordinary record of failure” but the leftists at the New York Times buried his comment deep in the article below preferring to advance their liberal propaganda by hiding their own and Obama’s leftist policy failures by making the headline “Hiring picks up in July.” In turn the leftist media will assure Americans of that deception by peddling that sound bite while failing to mention that the underemployed and those who have given up looking rose to 15%.
The NYT even buried the followig comment in the last line of the article - “Nearly the entire reduction in unemployment since October 2009 has been accomplished through a significant drop in the percentage of adults participating in the labor force,” said Peter Morici, a professor in the business school at the University of Maryland – proof of an extraordinary record of failure.
But the so-called “Paper of Record” remains the main cheerleader of lies that Obama needs every morning to fool the uninvolved that his Sunday Morning Revival populism isn’t working and his demand-side Keynesian economics is a massive failure.
Yet the paper spits out the nonsense that what we need is more government stimulus such as spending taxpayer’s money on infrastructure and hiring more teachers. That didn’t work before but as Einstein said only a liar like the NYT would repeat insanity.
They admit the Federal Reserve has shot its wad but assure their leftist sympathizers that the Fed will come to the economy’s rescue. Of course this is more liberal smokescreen. You can read more of that below.
Hiring Picks Up in July, but Data Gives No Clear Signal
America added more jobs than expected last month, offering a pleasant surprise after many months of disappointing economic news. Even so, hiring was not strong enough to shrink the army of the unemployed in the slightest.
Employers added 163,000 jobs in July, the Labor Department reported on Friday. That was more than twice the job growth in the previous month, and substantially more than Wall Street analysts had forecast. The underlying details of the report, however, ranged from unimpressive to outright discouraging and provided plenty of fodder for Republican attacks on President Obama’s economic legacy.
The Obama administration, for its part, argued that Republican obstructionism to its economic policies was holding back the recovery.
July’s jobless rate ticked up slightly to 8.3 percent, about the same as it has been all year. A broader measure of unemployment — including part-time workers who want full-time jobs, and people who have given up looking for work — rose to 15 percent.
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)