Thursday, July 03, 2014

Why are conservative talk shows so popular and liberal talk shows a failure?

Telling other people what to do is the very essence of Leftism

Ken Fishkin

For years, I listened to Limbaugh on my way to work, and to "Air America" on my way from work, specifically so I could 'compare and contrast'.  In my opinion, the popularity difference is because they relate to their audience differently.

Julia Sweeney has a great line that "listening to NPR is like listening to your mother telling you to clean your room".
We have a gas crisis? It would help if you used mass transit more
We have an education crisis? It would help if you read to your kids more

We have a health care crisis? If you exercised more and ate better, we wouldn't have such a demand on the system. Coming up next: 3 ways you can add kale to your daily diet.

Country isn't doing what we want? If you were more sensitive to their history, you'd understand why. Let's have a 15 minute drill-down, shall we...?

The typical framing of the typical problem is about what you can/should do to help things get better.

On the other hand, if you listen to Limbaugh, you (the listener) are never at fault. You are perfect. You are the heart of America. The problem is them - those liberals, foreigners, feminists, etc., fools at best and traitors at worst, who are screwing things up and preventing the great life you deserve.

We have a gas crisis? They refuse to let us drill and use nuclear.
We have an education crisis? They have a bias against private schools

We have a health care crisis? No we don't! They just say this as an excuse for Big Government. Coming up next: an ad for Ruth's Chris Steak house.

Country isn't doing what we want? If they didn't make us act like such wimps we'd be respected and feared!

The Limbaugh approach is much more popular. In my opinion it's not so much the details of the liberal vs. conservative policies, it's that the one nags you while the other exalts you.



Economic Freedom

A couple of years ago, President Barack Obama, speaking on the economy, told an audience in Osawatomie, Kansas: "'The market will take care of everything,' they tell us. ... But here's the problem: It doesn't work. It has never worked. ... I mean, understand, it's not as if we haven't tried this theory."

To believe what the president and many others say about the market's not working requires that one be grossly uninformed or dishonest.

The key features of a free market system are private property rights and private ownership of the means of production. In addition, there's a large measure of peaceable voluntary exchange. By contrast, communist systems feature severely limited private property rights and government ownership or control of the means of production.

There has never been a purely free market economic system, just as there has never been a purely communist system. However, we can rank economies and see whether ones that are closer to the free market end of the economic spectrum are better or worse than ones that are closer to the communist end. Let's try it.

First, list countries according to whether they are closer to the free market or the communist end of the economic spectrum. Then rank countries according to per capita gross domestic product. Finally, rank countries according to Freedom House's "Freedom in the World" report. People who live in countries closer to the free market end of the economic spectrum not only have far greater income than people who live in countries toward the communist end but also enjoy far greater human rights protections.

According to the 2012 "Economic Freedom of the World" report — by James Gwartney, Robert Lawson and Joshua Hall — nations ranking in the top quartile with regard to economic freedom had an average per capita GDP of $37,691 in 2010, compared with $5,188 for those in the bottom quartile. In the freest nations, the average income of the poorest 10 percent of their populations was $11,382. In the least free nations, it was $1,209.

Remarkably, the average income of the poorest 10 percent in the economically freer nations is more than twice the average income of those in the least free nations.

Free market benefits aren't only measured in dollars and cents. Life expectancy is 79.5 years in the freest nations and 61.6 years in the least free. Political and civil liberties are considerably greater in the economically free nations than in un-free nations.

Leftists might argue that the free market doesn't help the poor. That argument can't even pass the smell test. Imagine that you are an unborn spirit and God condemned you to a life of poverty but gave you a choice of the country in which to be poor. Which country would you choose? To help with your choice, here are facts provided by Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield in their report "Understanding Poverty in the United States: Surprising Facts About America's Poor" (9/13/2011,

Eighty percent of American poor households have air conditioning. Nearly three-fourths have a car or truck, and 31 percent have two or more. Almost two-thirds have cable or satellite TV. Half have one or more computers. Forty-two percent own their homes. The average poor American has more living space than the typical non-poor person in Sweden, France and the U.K. Ninety-six percent of poor parents stated that their children were never hungry because they could not afford food. The bottom line is that there is little or no material poverty in the U.S.

At the time of our nation's birth, we were poor, but we established an institutional structure of free markets and limited government and became rich. Those riches were achieved long before today's unwieldy government. Our having a free market and limited government more than anything else explains our wealth. Most of our major problems are a result of government.

We Americans should recognize that unfettered government and crony capitalism, not unfettered markets, are the cause of our current economic problems and why the U.S. has sunk to the rank of 17th in the 2013 "Economic Freedom of the World" report.


Border Patrol Agent: ‘If the Administration Says This Isn’t Amnesty, Don’t Believe Them’

 Albert Spratte, the sergeant-at-arms of the National Border Patrol Council, Local 3307 in the Rio Grande Valley, said the Obama administration is largely to blame for waves of  illegal immigrants that have been flooding the Southwest U.S. border since February, saying the government opened the door for the crisis by making it “clear they’re not going to deport people.”

Spratte, who was speaking with as a representative of the union, further said “we don’t have control of the border,” and if the Obama administration claims it is not in effect giving amnesty to the illegals, then “don’t believe them.”

Also, by allowing so many young illegal aliens to be released into this country, “the U.S. government has become a part of the smuggling business,” he said.

“This is Washington’s problem to fix. This administration has made it pretty clear they’re not going to deport people, with things like the DREAM Act and all that,” Spratte told during an interview on June 22 in McAllen, Texas, currently the busiest zone of the Rio Grande Valley Sector of the U.S.-Mexico border.

“It used to be that if you got caught, we sent you back. Now we don’t do that,” he said. “The people in Central America, they’ve heard we aren’t sending people back. Word’s gotten around. When these people come up to us and turn themselves over, that’s what they tell us. So we’ve created a suction now.”

“Even if the administration says this isn’t amnesty, don’t believe them,” Spratte added.

President Obama recently praised  10 illegal immigrants, which the administration dubbed “Champions of Change,” during a June 17 event at the White House. The immigrants, including six Latinos, are beneficiaries of Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative, in which an illegal alien who came to the United States as a child can apply for a two-year deportation deferment with an option to renew at the end of that term.

Spratte called the event a “slap in the face” to the U.S. Border Patrol’s efforts, as the agency struggles under an ever-increasing wave of immigrants crossing the Rio Grande daily.

“That event, where he honored those illegal immigrants, that was like a slap in the face,” he said.

“We’ve always had people come in, but now it’s exploded,” Spratte said. “A lot of them are kids, many of them unaccompanied. We’re good at our job, which is catching people, but we’re too busy babysitting.”

“It’s like you’re stuck in a nightmare and you can’t get out,” he said.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, more than 181,000 illegal immigrants have crossed the Rio Grande Valley Sector of the U.S.-Mexico border since last October 2013. More than 52,000 of these were unaccompanied minors,  a 99 percent increase from the same time period in fiscal year 2013.

“The American people need to know it’s worse than they think,” Spratte said. “No one wants to say that because it means we don’t have control of the border. And we don’t.”

Spratte also said allowing minors to cross the border without fear of deportation causes more problems than just overcrowding.

“There are kids who come over with adults claiming to be their parents, and then we find out later that they aren’t,” Spratte explained, saying that without documentation, there’s no way for border patrol agents to verify anyone’s claim of parentage.

After processing, most children and family units are held at a border patrol station for sometimes more than a week, well past the typical one-to-three day detainment period, Spratte said. Some are transferred to holding facilities in other states such as Arizona, where most family units are then released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), after being given a “notice to appear” in court – dubbed permisos by Latinos.

Spratte said he doubts most illegal immigrants will make their court date after being released.

“You know they’re not going to show up,” Spratte said. “Of course, they’re not. Why would they, when they can just disappear and stay?”

Spratte said simply releasing illegal immigrants into the larger fabric of the country is dangerous not only for America, but for the child immigrants, especially when U.S. Border Patrol and ICE are unable to verify most of their stories before they are released.

“There’s no way of knowing how many just disappear, or go into the sex trade,” Spratte said. “The U.S. government has become a part of the smuggling business.”

Spratte also said anyone under 18 years old is treated as a minor, even if they have known gang associations. There is no way of knowing a person’s criminal history from his country of origin, so there is no telling who has been allowed to cross, he explained.

“We’ve had older adults posing as teens,” he said. “I’ll be standing there like, ‘I know you’re not 17, you look older than that.’ But without documentation, I can’t prove that. I have to treat that person as a minor.”

By law, U.S. Border Patrol is required to turn unaccompanied minors over to the Department of Health and Human Services after no more than 72 hours. But with such an overloaded system and no place to house the masses, Border Patrol stations have been turned into massive, overcrowded detention facilities.

The McAllen Station, which stands in the busiest zone of the Rio Grande Valley Sector, is authorized to detain only 380 people at a time, according to one border patrol agent. The facility is currently housing more than 1,100, he added, with men, women and children packed into a converted bus depot that serves as a makeshift shelter.

“You’ve got people crammed in a sally port all together with porta potties on either side, and you’ll see just a mass of bodies and space blankets,” Spratte said. “The sick people are separated by yellow crime scene tape, and that’s all. If we were a jail, we’d have been shut down.”

Having to transport, process and monitor so many people at one time also opens the door for smugglers to transport for drugs, like marijuana and cocaine, across the border without detection, Spratte said.

“The majority of agents believe more narcotics are getting away because we’re too busy dealing with this crisis,” he said. “And we know al Qaida has talked about bringing things like small pox across the border, so what are we not catching? We don’t know.”

Disease is also becoming a problem, Spratte said, citing cases of polio, scabies, leprosy and even rabies that have been reported.

“Chicken pox, small pox, H1N1, who knows,” Spratte said.

“The American people don’t realize how bad this is, but they’re going to when it becomes a problem where they live,” he said. “These people are being sent into other places in the U.S., so these diseases could end up in your backyard.”

“At a minimum, family units should be sent back,” Spratte said. “What you do with unaccompanied kids may be different, but adults with kids should be sent back.”



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.

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