Friday, December 21, 2012




IQ tests are 'meaningless and too simplistic' claim researchers

This appears to have been based on an internet survey and such surveys  are notorious for giving non-representative results.  A large sample size is no substitute for representativeness

The underlying controversy, however, is as old as the hills:  Should IQ be measured as a set of subscores or as one overall score?  Among psychometricians it is known as the Spearman/Thurstone controvery and dates back to the beginning of the last century.

The accepted answer is to present results both ways:  As one overall score plus a set of sub-scores.  Results can reasonably be represented both ways because the subscores are correlated.  Knowing a person's subscore on (say) verbal ability will give you a useful (but not of course perfect) prediction of his mathematical ability.  That has repeatedly been demonstrated.

The novelty in the report below is that the various sub-abilities were said to be NOT correlated  -- which runs contrary to 100 years of findings by others.  I note however that the authors are more cautious in the underlying journal article.  They say:  
Using simulations based on neuroimaging data, we show that the higher-order factor “g” is accounted for by cognitive tasks corecruiting multiple networks. Finally, we confirm the independence of these components of intelligence by dissociating them using questionnaire variables. We propose that intelligence is an emergent property of anatomically distinct cognitive systems, each of which has its own capacity.

That sounds to me as if they admit the existence of a general factor but find that the subfactors don't all use exactly  the same parts of the brain -- which should be no surprise to anyone.

There is also a question about how comprehensive were the test items used.  Without seeing all the questions, I get the impression  that a deliberate attempt was made to find questions that would not produce correlated results.  One can ask plenty of questions not conceptually related to intelligence and in that case intercorrelations are not be be expected.  In psychometrican's terms, the test would lack construct validity.

The journal article is "Fractionating Human Intelligence" by Hampshire et al.  I look forward to seeing a more detailed examination of the article by those who specialize in IQ studies

After conducting the largest ever study of intelligence, researchers have found that far from indicating how clever you are, IQ testing is actually rather ‘meaningless’.

In a bid to investigate the value of IQ, scientists asked more than 100,000 participants to complete 12 tests that required planning, reasoning, memory and attention.  They also filled in a survey on their background.

They discovered that far from being down to one single factor, what is commonly regarded as intelligence is influenced by three different elements - short-term memory, reasoning, and verbal ability.  But being good at one of these factors does not mean you are going to be equally gifted at the other two.

Scientists from Canada’s Western University in Ontario, also scanned some of the participants’ brains while they undertook the tests.

They found that different parts of the brain were activated when they were tested on each of the three factors.

Traditional IQ tests are ‘too simplistic’, according to the research, which found that what makes someone intelligent is too complex to boil down to a single exam.

IQ, which stands for Intelligence Quotient, is an attempt to measure how smart an individual is.  The average IQ is 100. Mensa, the high IQ society, only accepts individuals who score more than 148, putting them in the top two per cent of the population.

The new study, published in the journal Neuron, suggests that intelligence is too complex to be represented by a single number.

Study leader Dr Adrian Owen, a British neuroscientists based at Western University in Canada, said an ‘astonishing’ number of people had contributed to the research.

‘We expected a few hundred responses, but thousands and thousands of people took part, including people of all ages, cultures and creeds and from every corner of the world,’ he said.

‘When you take 100,000 people and tested their brain function, we couldn’t find any evidence for a single uniform concept of intelligence.

‘The best we could manage is get it down to three elements that contribute to intelligence. But they are completely different factors, unrelated to one another, and you could be brilliant at one and awful at another.  For example, the absent-minded professor.

‘IQ tests are pretty meaningless - if you are not good at them, all it proves is that you are not good at IQ tests.

'It does not say anything about your general intelligence.’ The majority of IQ tests were developed in the 50s and 60s when the way we thought and interacted with the world was different, said Dr Owen.

SOURCE

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Gun Owners are racists -- of course

When Leftist hate takes the place of thought we get the sort of intellectual garbage below ...

Jim Sleeper, a “lecturer in political science” at Yale, wrote the following in today’s Huffington Post:
    The astonishing “new normal” of heavy gunfire that took hold in Newtown long before last week’s massacre only reinforces the parallel I drew here last week between today’s gun enthusiasts and yesterday’s racial segregationists.....

    To understand what we’re up against here, understand that many other gun enthusiasts think of themselves this way, too — and that they see their critics as moralists addled by silly delusions about human nature. They alone uphold honor against depravity: Southern segregationists thought their way of life necessary to channel the violence at the bottom of all society toward a safer, more stable order, refined by codes of honor and masterful stewardship of Negroes wise enough to accept their place in it.

    Many white Americans outside the South accepted this reasoning’s death-grip on the Congress, where long-serving Southern senators chaired many committees. They dismissed as regrettable but necessary, and, someday perhaps surmountable, the ranters and ravers at the fringes of White Citizens Councils and among unruly poor whites at the fringes of town or in the hollows beyond, and among egregious and sometimes-embarrassing Klansmen at night and sheriffs at noon.

    The apologists considered themselves as innocent of all this hatred as today’s gun enthusiasts think themselves innocent of the gun lobby’s death-grip on the Congress and innocent of the depredations and confusions of Jared Loughner, George Zimmerman, Adam Lanza and the rest, not to mention of militias camping out in the hills.
This is what passes for thought among Yale lecturers today, is it? At least Sleeper’s disregard for constitutional originalism is comprehensive:
As we try to free the Second Amendment of interpretations and statutory encrustations as destructive as the Dred Scott and Plessy v. Ferguson decisions, we’ll also have to free First Amendment of jurisprudence that equates the speech of citizens with disembodied corporate marketing’s algorithmically driven desperation to glue our kids’ eyeballs and rewire their guts as it inundates them not with artists’ art, political actors’ appeals, or real reporters’ findings but with endless, empty titillation and intimidation for profit.

It’s something of a tactical mistake for Sleeper to include these Supreme Court cases in his article, because anybody who bothers to look up 1857′s Dred Scott v. Sandford decision will notice right away the court’s awful observation that if slaves were permitted to enjoy full citizenship rights, then they would — shock horror! — enjoy the right “to keep and carry arms wherever they went.” This, the court thought, would be disastrous.

The fear of blacks with guns is not, of course, new. The very first gun-control measures in American history were designed to keep arms out of the hands of blacks and Indians: The Massachusetts and Plymouth colonies both prohibited the sale of guns to Indians in the early seventeenth century, and the “Black Codes” of the mid-eighteenth century required French colonists in Louisiana to disarm and beat “any black carrying any potential weapon.” Many pre-Civil War state constitutions went further, reserving the right to bear arms — which was not, as Sleeper claims, understood as anything other than an individual right — to “freemen,” which, naturally, meant whites. After their damnable cause was lost, the KKK picked up and ran with disarmament as a way of keeping blacks down. As Adam Winkler hasobserved, “gun control” was “at the very top of its agenda.” The Democratic party’s “Black Codes,” which barred former slaves from owning guns in the (segregated) post-bellum South, were passed for the same purpose.

It is no accident that the first draft of the 1871 Anti-Klan Act contained a provision that made it a federal crime to “deprive any citizen of the United States of any arms or weapons he may have in his house or possession for the defense of his person, family, or property,” for that was exactly what segregationists set out to do. Robert Franklin Williams’s classic work, Negroes with Guns, tells a tale of the KKK’s systematic attempt to disarm black Americans — and of the National Rifle Association’s work in forming a counter-group called the “Black Armed Guard” — as late as the as the 1950s. As Williams points out, it was guns in the hands of his family that saved their lives and allowed them — literally — to fight the KKK and their allies.

Sleeper’s thinking is arse over elbow. It is gun controllers who have historically been analogous to segregationists, and gun owners and defenders of the Second Amendment that have been the enemy of institutionalized racism and segregation — not the other way about. The very purpose of slaveowners and segregationists was to deprive a whole class of people of their unalienable liberties; the very purpose of the NRA is to ensure that all maintain their access to them. Even as recently as 1968, as the anti-gun Robert Sherrill admitted in his book, The Saturday Night Special, gun control measures were a thinly veiled attempt to disarm black people: “The Gun Control Act of 1968 was passed not to control guns to but control blacks, and inasmuch as a majority of Congress did not want to do the former but were ashamed to show that their goal was the latter, the result was that they did neither. Indeed, this law, the first gun-control law passed by Congress in thirty years, was one of the grand jokes of our time.” Jim Sleeper’s profoundly illiterate essay shares the same honor.

SOURCE

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Good laws will never abolish all evil

by Jeff Jacoby

IT IS REMARKABLE how confident so many people are that they know what causes – and just how to prevent – horrific massacres like Friday's bloodbath at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

In a TV interview over the weekend, one observer insisted that the mass-murder in Newtown was all too predictable, given America's failure to implement an obvious and desperately overdue reform. "Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?" this individual demanded, showing no hint of uncertainty about exactly what needs to be fixed.

Who was that?

Was it Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, amplifying his call for Congress to take a "vote of conscience" and enact a nationwide assault-weapons ban? Or the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson, who excoriates "the National Rifle Association and other apologists for murder" for resisting more aggressive gun control?

Was it Connecticut's departing senator, Joe Lieberman, resurrecting his longtime warning that the brutality that pervades American entertainment "does cause vulnerable young men to be more violent"? Or presidential adviser David Axelrod, enlarging on a plea he posted on Twitter: "All for curbing weapons of war. But shouldn't we also quit marketing murder as a game?"

Was it Liza Long, whose blog post about her son's psychiatric problems -- "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother" -- went viral, leading to an appearance on NBC in which she argued that the way to deal with mass shootings is to deal with madness of potential perpetrators: "It's easy to talk about guns but it's time to talk about mental illness."

Was it former Education Secretary Bill Bennett, who contended on Sunday that the most effective means to prevent Newtown-style bloodbaths might be to ensure that school employees are armed? Was it Larry Pratt, head of the 300,000-member Gun Owners of America, decrying gun-free zones as a "lethal insanity" that gives homicidal gunmen an unconscionable advantage over their victims?

In reality, it was former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who asserted within hours of the atrocity in Newtown that 26 innocent souls perished because "we've systematically removed God from our schools." If only Americans would let God in "on the front end," said Huckabee, schools ravaged by murder wouldn't need Him so often "on the back end."

It was a graceless thing to say, and Huckabee was rightly criticized for rushing to exploit a ghastly horror in order to promote his particular agenda. But Huckabee was far from the only offender. In the wake of Newtown there was no end of sanctimony from politicians and pundits who declared not just that America must do something to avert such terrible killings, but that they know precisely what that something is: More gun control. Less gun control. Better screening for mental illness. Restoration of school prayer. No media publicity for mass killers. A crackdown on hyperviolent video games. Armed guards at schools.

How can such terrible evil be thwarted? The desperate need for answers – better yet, for an answer – is always palpable after a Newtown, an Aurora, a Columbine. That urge to turn back cruelty, to find effective responses to anguish and pain, is so intensely human. The yearning for an end to suffering runs deep in our species, and at its best has been a powerful force for justice and progress. "We can't tolerate this anymore," President Obama said in Connecticut on Sunday. "These tragedies must end." At the level of heart and gut, who doesn't share that feeling?

But tragedy will always be part of the human condition. Some evils we can never hope to eliminate – not even with the best will in the world. No regulation or reform can undo all homicidal insanity. Still less can legislation guarantee universal integrity and decent character. It will always take more than law and politics to make men and women kind, honest, and moral.

None of the nostrums prescribed after this year's shooting rampages in Connecticut and Colorado would guarantee that nothing like them will ever recur. Stringent gun laws haven't prevented frightful massacres of students in Norway, Germany, and the United Kingdom. There were mass killings in America long before there were video games – and long before the Supreme Court ruled prayer in public school unconstitutional.

Nightmares like the one in Newtown are rare. Yet a free society cannot make them absolutely impossible and still remain free. Good laws can do a lot, but they will never abolish all human evil.

SOURCE

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Your Cellphone Is Spying on You

How the surveillance state co-opted personal technology

Big Brother has been outsourced. The police can find out where you are, where you’ve been, even where you’re going. All thanks to that handy little human tracking device in your pocket: your cellphone.

There are 331 million cellphone subscriptions—about 20 million more than there are residents—in the United States. Nearly 90 percent of adult Americans carry at least one phone. The phones communicate via a nationwide network of nearly 300,000 cell towers and 600,000 micro sites, which perform the same function as towers. When they are turned on, they ping these nodes once every seven seconds or so, registering their locations, usually within a radius of 150 feet. By 2018 new Federal Communications Commission regulations will require that cellphone location information be even more precise: within 50 feet. Newer cellphones also are equipped with GPS technology, which uses satellites to locate the user more precisely than tower signals can. Cellphone companies retain location data for at least a year. AT&T has information going all the way back to 2008.

Police have not been shy about taking advantage of these data. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), U.S. law enforcement agencies made 1.5 million requests for user data from cellphone companies in 2011. And under current interpretations of the law, you will never find out if they were targeting you.

In fact, police no longer even have to go to the trouble of seeking information from your cell carrier. Law enforcement is more and more deploying International Mobile Subscriber Identity locators that masquerade as cell towers and enable government agents to suck down data from thousands of subscribers as they hunt for an individual’s cell signal. This “Stingray” technology can detect and precisely triangulate cellphone signals with an accuracy of up to 6 feet—even inside your house or office where warrants have been traditionally required for a legal police search.

Law enforcement agencies prefer not to talk about cellphone tracking. “Never disclose to the media these techniques—especially cell tower tracking,” advises a guide for the Irvine, California, police department unearthed by the ACLU in 2012.

More HERE

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC,  AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena .  GUN WATCH is now put together by Dean Weingarten.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

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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)

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Thursday, December 20, 2012



Black Nazis go too far this time

Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (RGIII, as he is known) has a problem. It turns out that some black commentators, and probably some black elites, don’t think he is black enough — because he dared to publicly state that he didn’t want to be judged solely by his skin color as an NFL quarterback.

Last Thursday morning on First Take, ESPN’s Rob Parker uttered a comment for which he was later fired, although he probably only said what some African Americans think but don’t publicly express: “My question is, and it’s just a straight, honest question: Is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother?”

I’d never heard the term before, so I did a quick search and landed at UrbanDictionary.com. Here is the definition I found there:  "Cornball brother: An African-American man who chooses not to follow the stereotype . . . life choices include marrying white women, being a Republican, and not being ‘down with the cause.’"

UrbanDictionary also lists “corn dog brother” as a related term and gives this example in its definition:  "Leroy is a Republican who listens to country music, enjoys golfing on weekends, and drives [an] eco-friendly car. He is a corn dog brother."

I love it when I get an example with my definitions!

Little did Parker know, he was performing a public service by reminding the country of the interesting concept of the not-black-enough brother.  And you wonder why there are not more black Republicans?

Things got more interesting as Parker continued his riff.

“He’s black, he does his thing, but he’s not really down with the cause,” Parker continued. “He’s not one of us. He’s kind of black, but he’s not really like the kind of guy you really want to hang out with.” Parker admitted that he needed to learn more about Griffin’s personal life before he could accept him as authentically black. “I just want to find out about him,” he said.

It could be a comedy routine on Saturday Night Live — the notion of a black man standing before some kind of Blackness Panel to determine if he’s black enough. What would be the qualifications? Who would the questioners be, and what would they ask? How would the scoring work, and would there be a talent requirement? Singing and dancing, possibly? And an oath of black allegiance at the end?

A comedy routine is exactly what this should be. But it is a reality that black people face, although I hope it affects only a thin minority of African-American commentators and elites.

But there are those words on UrbanDictionary.com, those made-up, ugly words.

 “I don’t know because I keep hearing these things,” Parker explained. “We all know he has a white fianc√©e.”

There you have it! Exhibit A for expulsion from the Blackness Club. What kind of authentic black man falls in love with a white woman?

“Then there was all this talk about he’s a Republican,” Parker continued. “There’s no information at all [about that].”

He is marrying a white woman, and he might be a Republican? That’s automatic disbarment from the Blackness Club. And a lifetime pass to the Cornball Brother Hall of Fame.

Parker finished his rant with this observation about another not-so-black black man: “Because we did find out with Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods was like, ‘I’ve got black skin, but don’t call me black.’ So people got to wondering about Tiger Woods.”

Didn’t white people used to get in big trouble for this kind of backwards, exclusionary thinking?
It isn’t just athletes who face this scrutiny. And it’s not just from black sportscasters. President Obama faced it, too.

In a column called “Colorblind,” in September of 2007, Debra Dickerson, the popular African-American columnist for Salon, explained to her large following why she had waited so long to write about then-candidate Obama. At the time, if you remember, the battle was between two firsts: the first major-party female presidential nominee and the first African-American presidential nominee.

“Which brings me to the main reason I delayed writing about Obama,” Dickerson wrote. “For me, it was a trick question in a game I refused to play. Since the issue was always framed as a battle between gender and race, I didn’t have the heart (or the stomach) to point out the obvious: Obama isn’t black.”

There goes that historic win for racial equality in 2008! Dickerson thinks there should be an asterisk in the record books next to Obama’s title as the first black president — because he has white blood.

Wasn’t it white racists — along with eugenicists — who deployed the “single drop” rule to perpetuate their worldview?

Colin Powell, too, came under fire for being inauthentically black. Powell had the temerity to accept a position working for President George W. Bush as America’s first African-American secretary of state. Harry Belafonte lead the charge against Powell on Ted Leitner’s popular San Diego talk show, in 2002:

There is an old saying, in the days of slavery. There were those slaves who lived on the plantation, and there were those slaves who lived in the house. You got the privilege of living in the house if you served the master, do exactly the way the master intended to have you serve him. That gave you privilege. Colin Powell is committed to come into the house of the master, as long as he would serve the master, according to the master’s purpose.

And you thought the Taliban was tough? These race brownshirts show little tolerance for people who don’t meet their code of blackness, and even less for intellectual disobedience. Their law is simple: Kiss the ring, and behave and believe as we tell you, or face excommunication from the race.

Belafonte had similar unkind words for Condoleezza Rice, who responded with a simple and strong statement: “I don’t need Harry Belafonte to tell me what it means to be black.”

Poor Condi. She was thrown out of the brotherhood and sisterhood for the role she played in a Republican administration.

And then there was Bill Cosby.

It was the NAACP’s 50th-anniversary celebration of Brown v. Board of Education, in 2004, and Cosby had the audacity to talk about some of the serious challenges facing African Americans, particularly in America’s inner cities.

“Brown versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person’s problem,” he said. “We’ve got to take the neighborhood back. We’ve got to go in there. Just forget telling your child to go to the Peace Corps. It’s right around the corner.”

Not exactly fighting words, you’d think. Cosby then addressed the problems confronting black Americans: senseless black-on-black crime in America, failing public schools that so poorly serve young black men, and a dysfunctional welfare state.

“There’s no English being spoken, and they’re walking and they’re angry,” he said. “Oh, God, they’re angry and they have pistols and they shoot and they do stupid things. And after they kill somebody, they don’t have a plan. Just murder somebody. Boom. Over what? A pizza?”

He went on to talk about the problem of illegitimacy as it affects black America:

Five or six different children, same woman, eight, ten different husbands or whatever, pretty soon you’re going to have to have DNA cards so you can tell who you’re making love to. You don’t know who this is. It might be your grandmother. I’m telling you, they’re young enough. Hey, you have a baby when you’re twelve. Your baby turns 13 and has a baby, how old are you? Huh? Grandmother.

He closed out the speech with some words about the legacy of all of those who fought the civil-rights battles of the 1960s: “I just want to get you as angry as you ought to be. When you walk around the neighborhood and you see this stuff, that stuff’s not funny. These people are not funny anymore. And that’s not [my] brother. And that’s not my sister.”

You would have thought Cosby would be celebrated for the speech, and for the courage it took to make it on such a big night.
But no. Out came the Blackness Panel’s chief enforcement agent. In a New York minute — or a Philadelphia nanosecond — University of Pennsylvania professor Michael Eric Dyson challenged not only Bill Cosby’s comments, but Bill Cosby’s black bona fides.

“All who have made it need not have ‘Afroamnesia,’” Dyson told a University of Michigan audience, referring to successful blacks such as Cosby who forget where they come from. Dyson described the subsequent speeches Cosby made in defense of his original speech as Cosby’s “Blame-the-Poor Tour.”

Dyson even managed to mock Cosby’s successful TV series for not being black enough. It pandered to whites, he said, because the show was about an intact black family — father and mother together — living a traditional, upper-middle-class life.

How utterly unblack!

Dyson wrote the book Is Bill Cosby Right? to offer a counterpoint to Cosby’s speech. In it, he attacked Cosby’s character — and his heart.

“No matter how you judge Cosby’s comments, you can’t help but believe that a great deal of his consternation with the poor stems from his desire to remove the shame he feels in their presence and about their activity in the world,” he wrote. “There’s nothing like a formerly poor black multimillionaire bashing poor blacks to lend credence to the ancient assaults they’ve endured from the dominant culture.”

Like Cosby, Tiger, Barack, Condi, and Colin, RGIII will hear more challenges to his blackness in years to come. Luckily, he has his priorities lined up. When recently asked by a sports reporter what his biggest fear was about coming to Washington, D.C., to be an NFL quarterback, RGIII had a simple answer: “You try not to fear too many things. I fear God.”

After receiving an outpouring of support from African Americans all over the country, and white Americans as well, RGIII had this to say to his fans on Twitter about the whole ESPN incident: “I’m thankful for a lot of things in life, and one of those things is your support. Thank You.”

Pure class. He never bothered to dignify the claims of his critic, whose shrill commentary is a reflection not of Griffin’s blackness, but of Parker’s refusal to respect the rich diversity of his own people and the choices they make.

Blackness enforcers such as Parker are the ones fixated on race as America lurches forward to a truly post-racial society, one in which black people fall in love with white people and get married and few people care.

Just the racists — white and black alike.

SOURCE

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When "Forwards" is backwards

Thomas Sowell knows his history.  He could also have mentioned that "Vorw√§rts" (Forwards) was the song of the Hitler Youth.  See and hear the whole terrible deception below



The political slogan “Forward” served Barack Obama well during this year’s election campaign. It said that he was for going forward, while Republicans were for “going back to the failed policies that got us into this mess in the first place.”

It was great political rhetoric and great political theater. Moreover, the Republicans did virtually nothing to challenge its shaky assumptions, though a few hard facts could have made those assumptions collapse like a house of cards.

More is involved than this year’s political battles. The word “forward” has been a political battle cry on the left for more than a century. It has been almost as widely used as the Left’s other favorite word, “equality,” which goes back more than two centuries.

The seductive notion of economic equality has appealed to many people. The pilgrims started out with the idea of equal sharing. The colony of Georgia began with very similar ideas. In the Midwest, Britain’s Robert Owen — who coined the term “socialism” — set up colonies based on communal living and economic equality.

What these idealistic experiments all had in common was that they failed.

They learned the hard way that people would not do as much for the common good as they would do for their own good. The Pilgrims nearly starved learning that lesson. But they learned it. Land that had been common property was turned into private property, which produced a lot more food.

Similar experiments were tried on a larger scale in other countries around the world. In the biggest of these experiments — the Soviet Union under Stalin and Communist China under Mao — people literally starved to death by the millions.

In the Soviet Union, at least six million people starved to death in the 1930s, in a country with some of the most fertile land on the continent of Europe, a country that had once been a major exporter of food. In China, tens of millions of people starved to death under Mao.

Despite what the Left seems to believe, private-property rights do not exist simply for the sake of people who own property. Americans who do not own a single acre of land have abundant food available because land is still private property in the United States, even though the Left is doing its best to restrict property rights in both the countryside and in the cities.

The other big feature of the egalitarian Left is promotion of a huge inequality of power, while deploring economic inequality.

It is no coincidence that those who are going ballistic over the economic inequality between the top 1 or 2 percent and the rest of us are promoting a far more dangerous concentration of political power in Washington — where far less than 1 percent of the population increasingly tells 300 million Americans what they can and cannot do, on everything from their light bulbs and toilets to their medical care.

This movement in the direction of central planning, under the name of “forward,” is in fact going back to a system that has failed in countries around the world — under both democratic and dictatorial governments and among peoples of virtually every race, color, creed, and nationality.

It is one thing when conservative leaders like Ronald Reagan in America and Margaret Thatcher in Britain declared central planning a failure. But what really puts the nails in the coffin is that, before the end of the 20th century, both socialist and communist governments around the world began abandoning central planning.

India and China are the biggest examples. In both countries, cutbacks on government control of the economy were followed by dramatically increased economic-growth rates, lifting millions of people out of poverty in both countries.

The ultimate irony is that the most recent international survey of free markets found the world’s freest market to be in Hong Kong — in a country still ruled by Communists! But the Chinese Communists have at least learned, the hard way, a lesson that Barack Obama seems oblivious to.

We are going “forward” to a repeatedly failed past following a charismatic leader, after a 20th century in which charismatic leaders led countries into unprecedented catastrophes.

SOURCE

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC,  AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena .  GUN WATCH is now put together by Dean Weingarten.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

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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)

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012




Invincible Ignorance

Thomas Sowell

Must every tragic mass shooting bring out the shrill ignorance of "gun control" advocates?

The key fallacy of so-called gun control laws is that such laws do not in fact control guns. They simply disarm law-abiding citizens, while people bent on violence find firearms readily available.

If gun control zealots had any respect for facts, they would have discovered this long ago, because there have been too many factual studies over the years to leave any serious doubt about gun control laws being not merely futile but counterproductive.

Places and times with the strongest gun control laws have often been places and times with high murder rates. Washington, D.C., is a classic example, but just one among many.

When it comes to the rate of gun ownership, that is higher in rural areas than in urban areas, but the murder rate is higher in urban areas. The rate of gun ownership is higher among whites than among blacks, but the murder rate is higher among blacks. For the country as a whole, hand gun ownership doubled in the late 20th century, while the murder rate went down.

The few counter-examples offered by gun control zealots do not stand up under scrutiny. Perhaps their strongest talking point is that Britain has stronger gun control laws than the United States and lower murder rates.

But, if you look back through history, you will find that Britain has had a lower murder rate than the United States for more than two centuries-- and, for most of that time, the British had no more stringent gun control laws than the United States. Indeed, neither country had stringent gun control for most of that time.

In the middle of the 20th century, you could buy a shotgun in London with no questions asked. New York, which at that time had had the stringent Sullivan Law restricting gun ownership since 1911, still had several times the gun murder rate of London, as well as several times the London murder rate with other weapons.

Neither guns nor gun control was not the reason for the difference in murder rates. People were the difference.

Yet many of the most zealous advocates of gun control laws, on both sides of the Atlantic, have also been advocates of leniency toward criminals.

In Britain, such people have been so successful that legal gun ownership has been reduced almost to the vanishing point, while even most convicted felons in Britain are not put behind bars. The crime rate, including the rate of crimes committed with guns, is far higher in Britain now than it was back in the days when there were few restrictions on Britons buying firearms.

In 1954, there were only a dozen armed robberies in London but, by the 1990s-- after decades of ever tightening gun ownership restrictions-- there were more than a hundred times as many armed robberies.

Gun control zealots' choice of Britain for comparison with the United States has been wholly tendentious, not only because it ignored the history of the two countries, but also because it ignored other countries with stronger gun control laws than the United States, such as Russia, Brazil and Mexico. All of these countries have higher murder rates than the United States.

You could compare other sets of countries and get similar results. Gun ownership has been three times as high in Switzerland as in Germany, but the Swiss have had lower murder rates. Other countries with high rates of gun ownership and low murder rates include Israel, New Zealand, and Finland.

Guns are not the problem. People are the problem-- including people who are determined to push gun control laws, either in ignorance of the facts or in defiance of the facts.

There is innocent ignorance and there is invincible, dogmatic and self-righteous ignorance. Every tragic mass shooting seems to bring out examples of both among gun control advocates.

Some years back, there was a professor whose advocacy of gun control led him to produce a "study" that became so discredited that he resigned from his university. This column predicted at the time that this discredited study would continue to be cited by gun control advocates. But I had no idea that this would happen the very next week in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

SOURCE

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Bloomberg admits he doesn't know what guns do

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who politicized the Sandy Hook tragedy within hours last Friday, just wrapped up a press conference announcing new plans to fight gun violence and to counter the National Rifle Association with his own Super PAC. Bloomberg was asked by a reporter to respond to Rep. Louie Gohmert's comments over the weekend that he wished the principal of the school, who died trying to take down shooter Adam Lanza, had a gun. Bloomberg responded by saying, "There are dumb statements and then there are stupid statements.....I don't know what the gun would have done."

With this logic, I'm sure Bloomberg feels the same way about his armed body guards; that the guns they carry to protect him "do nothing." If sane and trained people with guns are capable of "doing nothing," then why do police and security guards carry them? Why do thousands of people a year save their own lives or the lives of others protecting themselves with guns?

SOURCE

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Why Capitalism?

Allan Meltzer is an eminent professor of economics at Carnegie-Mellon University. He is a world-renowned U.S. Federal Reserve scholar, a 1973 founder and chairman of the Shadow Open Market Committee, and an American Economic Association Distinguished Fellow. What else could he possibly add to those laurels?

Meltzer has written Why Capitalism?

Meltzer answers that question with personal and scholarly reflections on capitalism—the one economic system that achieves both prosperity and individual freedom. While Meltzer celebrates such bounty, anyone expecting a polemic will surely be disappointed.

Meltzer gives himself a wide enough berth to assess capitalism across many cultures, countries, and mixed economies. To satisfy his definition, functioning capitalism more or less requires individual ownership of the means of production, property rights protection, and the rule of law. As Meltzer sees it, these basic features can be found in economies with both large and small public sectors, in countries with massive amounts of regulation, and in places where the necessary institutional building blocks are just beginning to form. In no way does he expect his definition to be satisfied perfectly in practice.

Of the many stars in the constellation of capitalist thinkers, Meltzer mentions Friedman and Hayek. Otherwise, his central foundational figure is Immanuel Kant. The book begins with Kant’s fundamental assertion about human nature: “Out of timber as crooked as that from which man is made, nothing entirely straight can be carved.” And Meltzer echoes this truth throughout Why Capitalism?

The point is simple and powerful: Imperfect human beings build institutions that undergird economic systems. Capitalism will include flaws, imperfections, corrupt practices, and wasted resources. And so will any other economic system. Capitalism’s saving grace, however, is found in decentralization of decision-making, in competition for resources, and in dynamic markets. Markets are filled with customers who create competitive forces that reduce the cost of error and the scope of corruption. The power of capitalism lies in the system’s unique ability to punish resource owners who make bad decisions, to reward those who create value, and to adapt to rapidly changing conditions. Capitalism disperses power while other systems concentrate power.

Because of these inherent traits, Meltzer views capitalism as the best of the imperfect systems fashioned from crooked timber. Unlike other systems, capitalist systems are adjusted and reformed by success and failure. Along these lines, we find Meltzer’s own famous quip: “Capitalism without failure is like religion without sin: It doesn’t work.”

Meltzer offers a good treatment of the empirical work relating to economic growth across countries as it relates to variations in economic freedom. He also pays a lot of attention to regulation and the unfortunate incentives that accompany collective efforts to steer markets or to correct perceived excesses. In this he offers his first and second laws of regulation: First, lawyers and bureaucrats regulate. Markets circumvent regulation. Second, regulations are static. Markets are dynamic. (There is plenty here to contemplate.)

One finds a number of remarkable sections in Meltzer’s little book. Two of these gems are his summary history of the U.S. monetary history—which draws, of course, on his own two-volume history—as well as his criticism of the newly-formed institutions that arose in the wake of the Great Recession. Meltzer tears into the notion that the Fed is independent of government by citing instances where presidents pressured and got their desired response from Fed officials. He tells fascinating stories of how, with the exception of the Volcker years, the flawed logic of the Phillips Curve has strongly influenced Fed behavior.

Meltzer also looks critically at the perverse incentives found in Dodd-Frank, “too big to fail,” and the new and strangely unaccountable Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In doing all this, Meltzer demonstrates his masterful ability to perform institutional analysis while focusing on the future health of American capitalism. Along the way, Meltzer offers some well-reasoned policy recommendations that could improve the nation’s long-run prospects for wealth creation.

Why Capitalism? is an ideal selection for small-book discussion groups, students, scholars, business people, and all who have an interest in capitalism’s ability to adapt and survive as ideologues attempt in vain to fashion more perfect systems from crooked timber.

SOURCE

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Unions Chant "Pork, Pork, Pork!"

 John Ransom

Unions suck.  Really they do. I have said this before, as an objective fact:  “They suck the money out of our wallets,” I wrote in July, “they suck productivity out of workers; and suck up all the leavings from the public trough. Increasingly, the public has had it with the private country clubs known as ‘public’ unions.”

The trouble with education, much public policy, government spending and the every-twenty-five-year bailout of auto companies in this country starts and ends with unions. I continued:

"They are out-of- touch museum relics, fitting for a day that used rotary presses to distribute the news, but wildly inappropriate for an age that‘s both wired and wireless. Unions have prevented, and continue to prevent, much-needed reforms in education, public finance and government. They cultivate a sense of entitlement wholly out of order for the times, which call for more self-reliance and entrepreneurship."

Union advocates like to reply to this thesis- with good reason- by sticking fingers in their ears, jumping up and down in place, saying “pork, pork, pork,” while vaguely threatening the voting public with vengeance if unions don’t get more “pork.”

The good reason they chose this line of attack is that they have no logical argument to make.  They are like the man told to us by Patrick Henry.

"Amid the general joy and shouts of triumph by the freezing, threadbare American army that accepted the surrender of the British army under Cornwallis at Yorktown, Henry tells us, was one John Hook, who could only think of the beef he lost, confiscated to provide food for the starving, yet victorious army.

“But hark!” says Henry. “What notes of discord are these that disturb the general joy and silence the acclimations of victory? They are the notes of John Hook, hoarsely bawling through the American camp ‘Beef! Beef! Beef !’” in protest of his loss."

So it goes with unions.  Cities may go bankrupt, police may be laid off, public safety endangered and public finance corrupted but the unions get paid first, no matter what.

As real-life mobster and union delegate Henry Hill explained it in the movie Goodfellas: “Business bad? F-- you, pay me. Oh, you had a fire? F-- you, pay me. Place got hit by lightning huh? F-- you, pay me."

That’s why it shouldn’t surprise us that while most of America hails Michigan for victory in passing a right-to-work law in the union-controlled state that borders Canada, the unions are complaining about their beef- and their benefits. They did much the same in Madison in 2011 as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker forced unions to compete in an open way for benefit contracts. And despite union grousing, the world did not come to an end in Wisconsin. In fact, quite the opposite is true.

Magically, school districts on the verge of financial ruin suddenly were able to find millions of dollars in new money. How did that magic act happen?

“When the Appleton School District put its health-insurance contract up for bid for instance,” writes the City-Journal, “WEA Trust [the benefit provider run by the union] suddenly lowered its rates and promised to match any competitor’s price. Appleton will save $3 million during the current school year.” That open bidding process outside of the union monopoly was a result of Walker’s reforms.  And it reduced costs without degrading benefits.

So now, $3 million will go directly into the classroom, which is what teachers tell us they really care about. So now, $3 million will allow the district to retain employees, which what the union ought to care most about.

And that’s also what’s at stake in Michigan.  Right-to-work means an end to the union monopoly on employment. It means that more people can have jobs. It means that unions have to provide a competitive environment or their customers will leave.

But in the up-is-down, black-is-white and right-is-wrong world of unions, progressives and mental patients, a competitive environment must be avoided at all costs. That's way too much pressure.

“Exclusivity for a union with majority support is not a monopoly, it is democracy,” said Brenda Smith, local head of the AFL-CIO affiliated American Federation of Teachers and apparently an Orwell fan. “It is order rather than chaos. It allows employees to select their representative freely, without coercion from the employer. It allows them to amplify their voice through collective action under our constitutionally protected right to freedom of association.” And for unions freedom of association means workers are given only one representative, one association, one, non-dissenting voice carefully following the party line

Spoken like a true Menshevik.    Freedom of association, in a free society, also includes the right to NOT associate, especially with known associates, like union thugs.  And the right not to associate is what’s at issue in Michigan.

SOURCE

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC,  AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena .  GUN WATCH is now put together by Dean Weingarten.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

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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)

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012





All over America ....



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The baby bust generation

Jeff Jacoby points out some rather disturbing facts below but a note of caution is in order.  Birth rates vary considerably from year to year so to take the present rate as a prediction for the future would be foolish.  It is quite possible that what is happening is a filtering out of non-maternal women from the population and once that is done the birthrate among the remaining women may be quite high

FERTILITY IN AMERICA has been declining for years. According to the Pew Research Center, the nation's birth rate hit an all-time low in 2011 – just 63 births per 1,000 women of childbearing age. It was almost twice as high – 123 births per 1,000 women – at the peak of the Baby Boom in 1957.

As babies and children disappear from a society, what takes their place? One answer, as journalist Jonathan V. Last observes in a forthcoming book, "What to Expect When No One's Expecting," is pets.

In surveys taken from the 1940s to the 1980s, fewer than half of Americans said they owned a pet. Today America's 300 million humans own 360 million pets. Last puts that in perspective: "American pets now outnumber American children by more than four to one." Often those pets are pampered to a degree that quite recently would have been thought eccentric. The average dog-owning household's spending on pet grooming aids, for example, more than doubled between 1998 and 2006. Last notes that when a kids' clothing store in the suburban Washington neighborhood where he used to live went out of business, it was replaced by a doggie spa – leaving the neighborhood "with six luxury pet stores and only two shops dedicated to clothing children."

A mania for pets isn't all that materializes when the birth rate sinks. So do economic stagnation, dwindling innovation, a declining lifestyle, the exploding health and pension costs of an aging population, and the ever-heavier taxes needed to maintain the government safety net when there are fewer workers and entrepreneurs. Optimism, booming markets, and technological dynamism recede, supplanted by intergenerational conflict and loneliness.

Many people, it's true, are still in the grip of the Malthusian fallacy. The superstition that that the Earth is already too full, and that more human beings will mean more hunger, misery, and environmental despoliation, is a popular one. But serious demographers, economists, and others have been warning for years that declining populations lead to shortages, misery, and upheaval.

"If you think that population decline is going to be a net boon to society," Megan McArdle writes in the Daily Beast, "take a long hard look at Greece. That's what a country looks like when it becomes inevitable that the future will be poorer than the past: social breakdown, political breakdown, economic catastrophe."

If so, Greece will have plenty of company. Fertility rates are falling everywhere. The median age in many countries is already over 40, well above the prime childbearing years. In some places, plummeting fertility can be attributed to dictatorial coercion: To enforce its "One-Child" policy, China has employed methods ranging from steep fines and loss of employment to compulsory sterilization and abortions. The results have been brutal: Hundreds of millions of births have been prevented, China's median age is at 36 and rising, and the Chinese fertility rate is now 1.54 – well below the rate of 2.1 needed to maintain a steady population.

But as Last points out, the fertility rate for white, college-educated American women – a proxy for the US middle class – is 1.6. "In other words, America has created its very own 'One-Child' policy. It's soft and unintentional, the result of accidents of history and thousands of little choices. But it has been just as effective."



It is hard to overstate the demographic and social transformation this represents. It wasn't that long ago that getting married and having children were life goals shared by nearly every American. For most of the 20th century, well over 90 percent of US adults married at some point in their lives – at one point the percentage went as high as 98.3 percent. Now, according to Pew, barely half of all adults in the United States – a record low – are married. And nearly 4 in 10 Americans say marriage is becoming obsolete.

And as more people choose not to marry, more of them retreat from childrearing. For decades Gallup has asked Americans what they consider the "ideal family size." From the 1940s to the 1960s, roughly 70 percent said that three or more children would be best. But beginning in the late 1960s, the American "ideal" fell sharply. Today only 33 percent of Americans regard three or more kids as desirable. And in practice, one in five American women now have no children at all.

What happens to a society that increasingly turns its back on marriage and babies? In which singlehood becomes standard, and pets outnumber kids by four to one? Ready or not, America is going to find out.

SOURCE

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Donations Pour in to Help Black Hot Dog Vendor After Union Goons  Destroyed His Supplies

Clint Tarver’s hot dog stand was destroyed during protests over the passage of Right to Work legislation at Michigan’s state capitol building last week. As Kate reported, Tarver was not involved in the protests but was hired by Americans for Prosperity to cater their tent as they counter-protested. As union thugs tore down AFP’s tent, they also destroyed Tarver’s equipment and called him an “Uncle Tom” among other racial slurs.

 “The Hot Dog Guy’s” luck has turned around, however. A staff member for a local lawmaker set up an online fundraiser for Tarver and as of Friday, more than $33,000 has been donated.

    “I’m overwhelmed,” Tarver said Friday. “The public has shown such love to me. You never know your true friends until you get down and I’ve had people I thought were pretty close to me and they’ve given me one call. You learn from your endeavors.”

    Lorilea Zabadal, a staff member for Republican state Rep. Al Pscholka, established the fundraiser  after learning of Tarver’s plight.

    “Everyone who has passed the hot dog cart knows what a kind and caring individual Clint is,” Zabadal wrote. “He never fails to bestow a smile or friendly greeting. In no way [did] he provoke this attack, nor any of the behavior displayed toward him. Regardless of your position on current legislation, rebuilding Clint's Hot Dogs is something we can all support. Please give what you can to get this deserving businessman back out there!”

So what will he do with the money?

    “First of all, I’m going to get a brand new cart,” he said. “And I have sick sister, so I’m going to help her out and I’m going to help my church too.”

    Tarver said Zabadal is a Facebook friend of his wife, Linda. He’s blown away by her unexpected concern, he said.

    “Well, she’s a vegetarian and it’s really odd that she started this website for me,” he said. “So there’s going to be a Lorilea hot dog. And it’ll be vegetarian.”

    Tarver’s cart will have other new offerings come next spring, although nothing has been finalized as of yet, he said.

    “Right now, I’m just thanking everyone for the gifts and love they’ve shown me,” he said. “I’ve forgiven the people who broke all of my stuff. I’ve prayed for them and that’s where I’m at now.”

SOURCE

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They Never Say "Tax the Successful"

Comedian Adam Carolla has never been one to censor what comes out of his mouth. The gift of gab took him from humble beginnings in economically destitute North Hollywood to dizzying heights inthe entertainment industry, where he could afford to move a few miles away.

It's a story of hard work and success that comes through in his recent book Not Taco Bell Material, a chaotic tour that takes readers from Carolla's early years to how he finally found his calling - and his success.

Carolla's disdain for the politically-correct culture of sensitivity has made him an unlikely but powerful critic of the progressive watering-down of American culture. His first book, In Fifty Years We'll All Be Chicks, was an ode to an era of manliness lost to decades of gender-neutral education. And in recent years, he's lamented the loss of a society that takes responsibility for its actions.

"I made my own luck," Carolla tells Townhall. "I'm the guy who was rejected from Taco Bell," he says, referring his failed application to the fast-food restaurant in his youth that inspired the book's title. "Would you think that guy was born with a four-leaf clover or a rabbit's foot up his butt?"

Thematically, Not Taco Bell Material could be summed up in four words: hard work pays off. It's a mantra espoused by Carolla, from his well-publicized criticisms of the Occupy Wall Street movement to recent comments about the deplorable class warfare deployed by Democrats. "They always say tax 'the rich.'" Carolla says. "Who's 'the rich'? I'm not rich. I'm successful. They never say 'tax the hard-working' or 'tax the successful.' They say 'the rich' because it's easier to deal with their inability to be successful by attributing others' success to luck."

Despite his criticism of the mentality of big-government progressives, Carolla insists his fellow entertainment-industry workers mean well. "Others in Hollywood are very humble. And they say, you know 'I'm very lucky and there are a lot of good actors out of work.' They all know, however, that they worked their tail off to get where they are."

Disdain for the entitlement society has become one of Carolla's distinctions after a rant about Occupy Wall Street went viral last year. "Self-entitled monsters," he called some of the protesters, who "think the world owes them a living."

"It's this envy and shame, and there's gonna be a lot more of it," he said. "Everybody's a winner, there are no losers."

Carolla's own humility comes from his connection with his roots. His retelling of the life story - crazy stories and all - is aided by the fact that he's constantly reminded of it.

"I never left Los Angeles... I probably live three miles from where all those antics took place. I drive past them on an almost-daily basis, which is sort of weird." And despite the adolescent ballbusting and trouble he and his friends got up to, he's stayed true. "I'm happy to say that most all those guys I'm still on great terms with."

SOURCE

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Wishing You Capitalism on Earth

Katie Kieffer

We wish each other "peace on earth." Wishing is not enough. We must act on this wish by promoting capitalism on earth.

Too many people (including some religious leaders) are promoting the idea that re-distribution of wealth or “social justice” is the best way to foster peace. But Christians and Jews need only read the Old Testament to see that God condemns stealing and envy so much that he gave Moses commandments like: “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, and “You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.”

And in the New Testament, Christ promoted capitalistic ideas. Christ’s allegories conveyed the basic principles of capitalism: freedom, ownership, profit, private property rights, honesty and justice.

How capitalism promotes peace

Men who are trading partners do not typically fight each other. For, they have an economic interest in maintaining friendly relations. And men who are free to pursue vocations that utilize their unique talents will be happier than those who are assigned to work in a specific industry by the state.

In Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged, the federal government takes over all private industry. Dagny Taggart is the heroine whose private railroad company becomes bound and regulated by the federal government. Taggart realizes that socialist public policy has caused her once cheerful employees to loathe her and each other.

Taggart observes: “… she was both a slave and a driver of slaves, and so was every human being in the country, and hatred was the only thing that men could now feel for one another.”

Capitalism thrives on peace; ownership and prosperity encourage individual morality. But socialism thrives on chaos, riots and animosity. Dictators can control people who are poor, hopeless and weak easier than they can control people who are wealthy, confident and powerful. Rand observes in the June 1966 edition of The Objectivist newsletter: “Statism needs war; a free country does not. Statism survives by looting; a free country survives by production.”

Specific action steps

Let me recommend specific action steps we can take to cultivate capitalism on earth:

1.) Trade freely with other countries. For example, I think Iran would deal more openly with our allies like Israel if it had an economic interest in maintaining friendly relations with America. Our current “tactics” of covertly launching cyber attacks (think Stuxnet and Flame) on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, enforcing extreme economic sanctions and using drones that breach Iran’s national sovereignty are inciting blowback while rendering diplomatic relations unfeasible.

2.) Reduce taxes and regulations. Our high taxes and regulations are encouraging American entrepreneurs to leave this country. (Think billionaire co-founder of Facebook Inc., Eduardo Saverin who renounced his U.S. citizenship in May to become a resident of Singapore.) TIME reports that a record number of American citizens (1,788 in 2011) are relinquishing their U.S. citizenship.

And jobs are leaving too. The world’s most valuable company, Apple, once made its computers in California but now must produce its technology in China in order to turn a profit.

As wealth and jobs flow away from America, it will be difficult for us to remain a peaceful country because we will be susceptible to both civil unrest and outside attacks.

3.) Eliminate the Federal Reserve. This unconstitutional agency is destroying the value of our currency and yoking the markets. And politicians can clandestinely spend money on futile wars because most people will not recognize inflation as a tax until it is too late.

“Ideologically, the principle of individual rights does not permit a man to seek his own livelihood at the point of a gun, inside or outside his country. Economically, wars cost money; in a free economy, where wealth is privately owned, the costs of war come out of the income of private citizens—there is no overblown public treasury to hide that fact—and a citizen cannot hope to recoup his own financial losses (such as taxes or business dislocations or property destruction) by winning the war. Thus his own economic interests are on the side of peace,” writes Ayn Rand in a treatise called “The Roots of War” in The Objectivist.

In other words, capitalism allows men to see the true cost of war because there is no central bank and the federal government does not manipulate the currency and the markets. In this way, capitalism naturally encourages men to avoid war.

Capitalism is the political system that promotes peace because capitalists know that war is inherently opposed to their financial interest and livelihood. During this holy season, let us each think about ways that we can act on our wish for “peace on earth” and promote capitalism in our daily lives.

SOURCE

There is a  new  lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC,  AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena .  GUN WATCH is now put together by Dean Weingarten.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

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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)

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Monday, December 17, 2012




Proof that U.S. liberals don't care about the lives of children, whether born or unborn



Despite Obama's crocodile tears

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California and the harm caused by its union parasites

Violent crime may be down in much of the United States, but it is on the rise in California. Ever since the state passed a court-mandated law that eased overcrowding in state prisons, thousands of inmates have been released early -- and violent crime has skyrocketed.

It's up 49 percent in places like Kern County. The murder rate has soared 45 percent in Fresno. "This misinformation that's out there that the downsizing of the prison population only impacts those that are nonviolent, nonserious is not serious. We've already had three murders over the past two months that are individuals under realignment," Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer told ABC News.

California was forced to open its prison doors thanks in large part to the oversized wage and pension packages secured by one of the state's most powerful unions -- the California Correctional Peace Officers Association. And it's not the only "public safety" union that's making the public unsafe.

According to the latest numbers from Oakland, more than 11,000 homes, cars or businesses have been broken into so far this year. That is about 33 burglaries a day and a 43 percent increase over last year.

But Oakland residents should not expect any help from police anytime soon. The city has 200 fewer police officers today than it did in 2008, despite the fact that almost 75 percent of the city's budget goes to police and fire personnel compensation. During the last budget negotiations, the Oakland Police Officers' Association demanded higher salary and pension benefits for veteran officers instead of more money to make new hires.

A similar story is also playing out in San Bernardino. City Attorney Jim Penman, who is guiding that jurisdiction through bankruptcy, recently told residents to "lock their doors and load their guns." "Let's be honest," he told CBS News, "we don't have enough police officers."

And don't think for a second that any of California's government workers are underpaid. According to a Bloomberg News report released this week, California public workers earned more wages, overtime and other benefits than their counterparts in any of the next 12 most populous states. "State revenues are up more than 50 percent over the past 10 years, but still we've had to cut spending on services because so much of that revenue increase went to increases in compensation and benefits," former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, those same California state employees are misusing hundreds of thousands of tax dollars through bribery schemes, mail fraud, waste, and improper billings for travel and pay, according to a new Franchise Tax Board report released this week.

Unable to defeat government unions and their Democratic Party patrons at the polls, Californians are voting with their feet instead, according to new census numbers released Monday. More than 100,000 Americans left California in 2011. Their number one destination: Republican-controlled, right-to-work Texas.

There's a lesson there, if California and other spendthrift states are willing to learn it.

SOURCE

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America’s Growing Government Class

Paul Kengor

The latest unemployment figures are again depressing, but not for the usual reasons. They provide further confirmation of Barack Obama’s fundamental transformation of America, specifically through his creation of a growing government class.

The numbers show a massive increase in government jobs created over the last five months—621,000, to be exact, dwarfing private-sector job growth. Those new government jobs account for a staggering 73 percent of overall job growth. In all, 21 million citizens now work for government, out of 143 million employed in America, or one in seven Americans.

The vision and policies and programs of President Obama and “progressives”/liberals are rapidly generating a new government class. The current class—the one that re-elected Obama—is comprised of federal workers; of state, county, and municipal workers; of employees in public-sector unions; of Americans collecting food stamps, welfare, and unemployment benefits; of those looking to government for healthcare; and more. They don’t all vote Democrat, of course, but many do. And Democrats desperately hope many more will. Incredibly, there is even a rising group of young women suddenly demanding that Uncle Sam (i.e., taxpayers) pay for their contraception and abortions.

Most remarkable, this new class of Americans constitutes a huge and expanding segment of the population (and voters) who are becoming not merely dependent upon government but dependent upon Democrats. The more dependent this group becomes, and the more it enlarges, the more it redounds to the political enshrinement of liberal-Democrat politicians.

All of these segments of the citizenry—or, perhaps, constituencies—have steadily expanded over the last 100 years of progressivism/liberalism, and have surged under Barack Obama. Under Obama, there are a record 48 million Americans on food stamps, up from 32 million at the start of his presidency. The welfare rolls have exploded. Unemployment has not only increased but remains stuck and stagnant, with the actual unemployed around 15 percent and rising. Not only do federal workers continue to balloon, but so do employees joining public-sector unions beholden to Democrats: SEIU, AFSCME, teachers organized through the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association.

Writing on this phenomenon, my colleague, Dr. Marvin Folkertsma, observes that roughly half the population receives some form of aid from the federal government, a figure that will utterly explode once Obamacare takes full force.

It goes without saying that this is disastrous for the literal solvency of the republic, but it’s good news for those hoping to expand the boundaries (and collective dependency net) of progressivism/liberalism.

So, where does this leave us as a republic? Well, in very deep trouble. Most of those in the new government class become rapidly conditioned to their reality. Easily lured into their situation, they will be easily prompted into vociferously defending their position—especially those in unions. They will defend their status with ferocious loyalty when the right buttons are pushed by liberal-Democrat organizers and agitators (and their media allies) who benefit from their votes.

Ronald Reagan said the only guarantee of eternal life in this world is a government bureaucracy. He was correct, especially once the bureaucracy is unionized; ditto for the bureaucracy’s programs and goodies. You will not be able to undo Obamacare; trying to do so will be like unscrambling eggs. Look at Britain’s National Health Service; it is the third-rail of British politics. Even Margaret Thatcher couldn’t touch it.

Ironically, Margaret Thatcher might offer the lone glimmer of hope. America four years from now will look increasingly like Britain circa 1978-79, when the electorate had enough and somehow awakened and hired the Iron Lady, who took on the government class. In the United States, however, it will not be easy. We will need a leader with the combined skills and determination of Thatcher or Reagan, who will be demonized unlike any American heretofore. Moreover, we will need that leader soon. If this isn’t halted quickly, America as we know it is over.

How long? We have four years at best. Think about it: How many more Americans over the next four years will be employed and unionized by government; collecting food stamps, welfare, and unemployment; looking to government for healthcare, for contraception, and more? And they will be further trained to believe this is the norm and their natural right, and that anyone standing in the way is a monster.

It may already be too late. The federal government under Obama is hiring 103 new government employees per day, with nothing stopping them. These new additions to the government class will populate areas like Northern Virginia, turning Virginia (politically) into another Maryland, which dutifully pulls the lever for Democrats every four years.

Well, Barack Obama promised a fundamental transformation of America, and now we’re getting it.

SOURCE

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LA Times Demonstrates Liberals' Cluelessness About Basic Economics

There are a few irrefutable laws of basic economics that are understood by practically everyone. When the price of a good rises, people will buy less of it. This is common knowledge to anyone who has bought anything ever. There is also the law of unintended consequences which states that actions, laws, and policies often have secondary effects that differ from the original actions intentions. We have seen this inevitably played out in most laws passed by Congress. Both of these ideas have been around for thousands of years and the father of economics, Adam Smith, articulated them himself back in the eighteenth century.

However, an article in Tuesday’s Los Angeles Times demonstrates how little of these truths liberals understand. “Study offers new support for taxing soda and other junk foods,” written by Karen Kaplan, expressed surprise that foundational building blocks of economic thought were at play in our world. Kaplan looked at various studies done recently on the effects of taxing junk food on the public’s health to find that taxes on sugary drinks resulted in less sugary drinks being bought.

Kaplan’s article references a study that discovered, “Overall… consumers buy less of something when the price goes up and they buy more of it when the price goes down.” The fact that consumers base decisions on what to buy off of the price of the good is completely foreign to many on the left.

Granted, Kaplan did say this was “not exactly a new idea.” But then she continued to treat other findings as if they were earth shattering realizations rather than concrete facts that have been proven hundreds of years ago.

Discussing the merits of a tax on sugary foods, Kaplan was surprised research found that taxing fatty foods led to consumption of less expensive, but not necessarily healthier, foods. “But there was a twist,” she remarked, astounded that anything could have happened beyond the intended consequence, “the tax would prompt people to switch from fatty dairy foods to foods that were higher in salt, sugar and total calories, undermining the reason for the tax in the first place.”

This article actually explains a lot about the mentality that guides liberal policies. The fact that it seems ridiculous for them to even consider what the unintended consequences of their actions might be shows a lack of foresight present in all discussions of policy.

We see this unwillingness to think ahead present in today’s debates. With negotiations regarding the fiscal cliff, liberals fail to pay attention to, or even consider, the detriments their politically popular plan to “tax the rich” might have on the economy. They have no problem heading over the fiscal cliff, demonstrating their lack of concern for consequences and inability to see beyond immediate results of their actions.

At least Kaplan, unlike Washington Democrats, learned something about what needs to be done to achieve her goal. After discovering economics, Kaplan found that to influence consumer’s diets to be healthier, you need to “make vegetables cheaper and soda more expensive.”

Groundbreaking.

SOURCE

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Unions' woes are largely of their own making

Just 11.8% of workers now belong to a union. That's barely half what it was three decades ago

A century ago, the labor movement was a major force in lifting workers out of poverty. Union-organized strikes — such as the one in 1914 at a mine in Ludlow, Colo. — led to higher wages and broad reforms. And national activism, spawned by such tragedies as the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York, produced workplace safety laws.

In more recent times, however, organized labor has been in decline. Just 11.8% of workers now belong to a union. That's barely half what it was three decades ago, and the total would be even lower if not for an increase in unionized public-sector workers.

Making matters worse for organized labor, it has suffered a number of recent defeats at the ballot box and in state legislatures. The most recent is this week's enactment of a right-to-work law in Michigan, once a cradle of labor, that will make it harder for unions to collect dues.

Coming after last year's passage of a Wisconsin law stripping public-sector unions of most collective bargaining rights, the Michigan law is a stinging loss. Unions have responded with fury toward Michigan's Republican governor, Rick Snyder, and its GOP legislature for ramming the measure through with little advance notice during a lame duck session.

The wisdom of right-to-work laws is a tough call. They protect non-union employees from having to pay dues, which seems fair, except that those same employees benefit from the contracts the unions negotiate.

Labor's bigger problem is that the vote is a symptom of its declining power. Globalization and technology have weakened its hand, but the unions have also lost public support through their own actions. Inflexible private-sector unions have helped make companies less competitive (and therefore less able to hire workers), while public-sector unions have taken state and local governments for a ride, leaving taxpayers with trillions of dollars in pension and retiree health care liabilities.

On the private-sector side, one need look no further than the auto industry. Trying to preserve pay and benefit structures not sustainable since the 1960s, labor has wreaked havoc on Detroit, contributing to the need for the bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler.

Something similar happened in the recent demise of Twinkies' maker Hostess. Its bakers union refused to recognize that the company was hemorrhaging money in an industry plagued by an excess in antiquated plants. The result is that 15,000 jobs have disappeared when some could have been saved.

Public-sector unions, meanwhile, have all but declared war on the general public. In many cases, they have induced lawmakers to put their states and localities on a path to insolvency by approving massive, unfunded pension and retiree health care obligations. They are certain to pay a steeper price as taxpayers are forced to endure higher taxes or reduced services in the name of benefits that few get themselves.

Voters have already started to express dissatisfaction, even in some Democratic strongholds. Just a month ago, Michigan voters soundly rejected a couple of pro-union ballot initiatives, including one that would have enshrined collective bargaining in the state constitution. Earlier in the year, Wisconsin voters declined to recall Gov. Scott Walker over his role in that state's new law, while voters in San Diego and San Jose, Calif., overwhelmingly backed reductions in public employee pensions.

To be sure, labor did score a victory last year in Ohio, when voters repealed a law similar to Wisconsin's. But the trend has been against it.

If labor wants to start winning some fights — and it has vowed to to make repealing the new Michigan law a top priority — it is going to have to change. Showing greater flexibility, and concern for people outside their ranks, would be a good place to start.

SOURCE

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC,  AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena .  GUN WATCH is now put together by Dean Weingarten.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

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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)

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Sunday, December 16, 2012




Homosexual Bible is a fraud

There's a brief report below on a recently-released "Queen James Bible". It is a Bible in which passages that condemn homosexuality have been altered to remove the condemnation. The alterations are paraded as translations or interpretations but are in fact speciously-justified alterations, not translations.  They leave out words that are in the original and insert words that are not in the original.  They are a fraud.

It's just a stunt by some SanFrancisco Episcopalian clergyman and one rather wonders what it is meant to achieve.  How is misrepresenting the basis of the Christian faith going to help you obtain the salvation that the faith offers?

But many Episcopalians have long ignored the clear teachings of the Bible so they are clearly mock-Christians only.  Their only interest seems to be in dressing up in fancy clothes and sexual perversion, not salvation.  They are not people of faith at all.  If they are loyal to anyone it is the Devil.  They are Satanists in drag.  Judging by the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah, their future is grim.

Jesus made the sexual alternatives perfectly clear in the first verses of Matthew 19:  God made men and women to form unions with one another and the only alternative to that is celibacy.  Jesus was actually stricter about sexual morality than the Torah is.

In addition to the one below, there are various other useful commentaries online about this latest attempt to pervert Bible teachings.  See here and here, for instance

Don’t like it? Change it. That’s the approach to Scriptural translation taken by the creators of a new gay-friendly Bible.

“You can’t choose your sexuality, but you can choose Jesus. Now you can choose a Bible, too,” say the creators of the Bible, emblazoned with a rainbow cross, which was launched at the end of November.

The editors explain in a statement that they took each of the eight Bible verses traditionally used to argue that homosexuality is sinful, and edited them “in a way that makes homophobic interpretations impossible.”

For instance, in the first letter to Timothy, where St. Paul refers to “them that defile themselves with mankind,” the new Bible simply excises the word “mankind.”

This new translation, the editors say, will “resolve interpretive ambiguity in the Bible as it pertains to homosexuality.”

Other than the eight verses in question, the Bible uses the King James translation verbatim. The “Queen James” title is based upon a theory that King James, the British king who commissioned the famous translation of the Bible, was bisexual.

But while the “homophobic” passages have been altered, the editors say that “the Bible is still filled with inequality and even contradiction that we have not addressed. No Bible is perfect, including this one.”

The homosexual news outlet Pink News has identified Reverend J. Pearson of San Francisco’s Holy Innocents Episcopal church as the mastermind behind the rainbow-themed Bible.

SOURCE

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Save the innocents!  Arm all teachers!

Another tragic failure of a stupid policy ("gun-free" zones) has just been enacted in Connecticut.  When will the "educators"  ever learn?  Innocent kids are dying to uphold Leftist ideology that everything can be fixed by laws and regulations.  In Israel teachers are armed.  Why not in America?  Both countries face similar evils, as the current example should make clear

The tragic murders Friday at the Sandy Hook Elementary School break the heart of every American, and that includes gun owners. Those of us who belong to the 47 percent of families who have a gun in the home for self defense are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents aunts and uncles who think of our own little ones as we mourn the terrible scenes from Newtown, Conn.

It is human nature to want to find someone or something to blame for a tragedy like this. Parents want to find a way to prevent it from happening to their own children. The horror of a man so deranged that he could shoot a small child is almost impossible to understand or to accept. However, those who use this tragedy to call for more gun-control laws are misguided.

As I write this, the initial reports say that the alleged killer bought his guns legally. He used an ordinary handgun and one of the most popular types of rifle

The Sandy Hook school was a gun-free zone, meaning Mr. Lanza knew that no one could shoot back when he entered the school or the classroom where his mother taught. The shooting in July in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. was also in a gun-free zone. Rather than engaging in yet another debate about the Second Amendment, perhaps we should be discussing whether security is enhanced or weakened by not allowing a school to be armed for self defense.

Dick Heller, who sued the District of Columbia for the right to keep a gun at home, emailed me today about the shooting. “Just like in DC, there are ‘sensitive’ areas, ‘vulnerable’ areas where politicians know security is needed,” the Washington security guard explained to me. “Yet they still intentionally disarm everyone -- sometimes even the ‘security’ staff -- and create an inviting environment for criminals, the domestic violence-prone, and terrorists.” Had one guard had a firearm in either Colorado or Connecticut, there is a good chance lives would have been saved.

No law can stop a criminal hell-bent on killing. When a person determined to do harm cannot get a gun legally, he will obtain it illegally. Even if the 100 million guns in America were rounded up and thrown into the ocean, there will still be deranged killers. In Oklahoma City, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols used simple fertilizer to kill 168 people, including 19 children under the age of six in 1995.

In gun-free Japan in 2008, a former school janitor stabbed eight children to death in their elementary school. In 1927, Bath Township, Mich. was home to the worst school killing in history. The school's treasurer used bombs made with dynamite and pyrotol to kill 38 elementary school children. We can’t outlaw fertilizer or explosives or knives. Even if we did, the deranged would just find another way to kill.

Murder is already illegal. So is assaulting a child. We have enough laws. What we lack today is the power to overcome evil.

SOURCE

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Regulatory over-reach

A group of CATS Are Regulated by Federal Law, Appeals Court Says. Obama's regulators are clearly out to make as big a nuisance of themselves as they can

Descendants of Ernest Hemingway’s six-toed cat Snowball that live at his museum home are subject to federal regulation because they substantially affect interstate commerce, a federal appeals court has ruled.

The cats roam the late author’s former Key West home at 907 Whitehead Street, now a museum that hosts daily tours and weddings, report the Christian Science Monitor and National Public Radio. On Friday, the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled (PDF) that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has the authority to regulate the felines.

“The exhibition of the Hemingway cats is integral to the museum’s commercial purpose, and thus, their exhibition affects interstate commerce,” the court said. “For these reasons, Congress has the power to regulate the museum and the exhibition of the Hemingway cats.”

The USDA acted after a visitor complained several years ago about the museum’s care of the cats. The agency wanted the museum to obtain an animal exhibitor’s license; either cage the cats at night, construct a higher fence to contain them, or hire a night watchman to keep an eye on them; tag each cat; and construct “elevated resting surfaces” for animals, according to the opinion.

Despite the adverse holding, the court admitted some sympathy with the museum’s situation. “We appreciate the museum’s somewhat unique situation, and we sympathize with its frustration,” the court said. “Nevertheless, it is not the court’s role to evaluate the wisdom of federal regulations implemented according to the powers constitutionally vested in Congress.”

SOURCE

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Obama’s Electronic Medical Records Scam

By Michelle Malkin

Here’s more evidence that government “cures” are inevitably worse than the “diseases” they seek to wipe out. Buried in the trillion-dollar stimulus law of 2009 was an electronic medical records “incentive” program. Like most of President Obama’s health care rules, this top-down electronic record-sharing scheme is a big fat bust.

Oversight is lax. Cronyism is rife. The job-killing and privacy-undermining consequences have only just begun.

The program was originally sold as a cost-saving measure. In theory, modernizing record-collection is a good idea, and many private health care providers have already made the change. But as with many government “incentive” programs, the EMR bribe is a tax-subsidized, one-size-fits-all mandate. This one pressures health care professionals and hospitals across the country into radically federalizing their patient data and opening up medical information to untold abuse. Penalties kick in for any provider that hasn’t switched over by 2014.

So, what’s it to you? Well, $4 billion has already gone out to 82,535 professionals and 1,474 hospitals, and a total of $6 billion will be doled out by 2016. But the feds’ reckless profligacy, neglect and favoritism have done more harm than good.

Don’t take my word for it. A recent report released by the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General acknowledged that the incentive system is “vulnerable to paying incentives to professionals and hospitals that do not fully meet” the program’s quality assurance requirements. The federal health bureaucracy “has not implemented strong prepayment safeguards, and its ability to safeguard incentive payments postpayment is also limited,” the IG concluded.

Translation: No one is actually verifying whether the transition from paper to electronic is improving patient outcomes and health services. No one is actually guarding against GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). No one is checking whether recipients of the EMR incentives are receiving money redundantly (e.g., raking in payments when they’ve already converted to electronic records). No one is actually protecting private data from fraud, abuse or exploitation.

Little is being done to recoup ill-gotten payments. In any case, such “pay and chase” policing after the fact is a crummy way to run government in lean times — or in fat times, for that matter.

As for the claim that the EMR conversion will reduce paperwork, many doctors say the reality is just the opposite. In Greensboro, N.C., Dr. Richard Aronson told local TV station FOX 8 that the mandate doubled the amount of paperwork in his private practice. Everyone from optometrists to general practitioners to chiropractors to podiatrists must divert precious time and resources to conforming with Washington health bureaucrats’ imposed vision. Some medical professionals are now warning that the dangerous phenomenon of “distracted doctoring” is on the rise as a result of data-driven imperatives that direct health care providers’ attention away from their patients and onto their screens and hand-held devices.

You know who is benefiting from the initiative? Put on your shocked faces: Obama donors and cronies.

Billionaire Judith Faulkner, Obama’s medical information czar and a major Democratic contributor, just happens to be the founder and CEO of Epic Systems — a medical software company that stores nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population’s health data. Another billion-dollar patient-record database grant program has doled out money to the University of Chicago Medical Center (where first lady Michelle Obama and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett both served in high-paid positions). As I’ve previously reported, these administration grants circumvent any and all congressional deliberation as part of Team Obama’s election-year “We Can’t Wait” initiatives.

Even as the White House touted the move toward gee-whiz 21st-century electronic databases, health care professionals in the know have debunked that claim, too. Companies like Faulkner’s, which lobbied loudest for the mandates and “incentives,” represent traditional hard drive-dependent software firms that are already dated. As Athenahealth Chairman and CEO Jonathan Bush, who advocates cloud-computing alternatives, put it: The Obama electronic records mandate is “healthcare information technology’s version of cash-for-clunkers.”

Then there’s the still-growing and untold number of doctors nationwide who are closing up shop or limiting their practices and converting to “concierge care” to escape this and myriad other Obamacare intrusions. My own primary care physician in Colorado Springs quit her regular practice and converted to “concierge care” because of the EMR imposition.

Creve Coeur, Mo., doctor Shari Cohen made the same move.  “The demands of caring for my patients while navigating through the current health care delivery systems dictated that I take more and more time away from patient care and spend an increasing part of my day on the system itself,” she told the Creve Couer Patch. “Electronic Medical Records was the final shove for me. It added another whole layer in interference in the doctor-patient relationship and one I was not sure I wanted to take on.”

More paperwork. More waste. Less accountability. Less care. Government malpractice at work.

SOURCE

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC,  AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena .  GUN WATCH is now put together by Dean Weingarten.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)

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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)

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