Friday, July 11, 2014

Even Leftists Question Obama's Immigration Policies

Barack Obama is in Texas doing four fundraisers instead of visiting the geographical line that passes for a border. Republican Gov. Rick Perry declined Obama’s invitation to meet for an Air Force One photo op, suggesting that they have a more substantive meeting. The subject: Immigration. The new flood of illegals is overwhelming border states, the Border Patrol and the nation. And it’s almost entirely by design.

Obama has now urged Congress to provide $3.7 billion in emergency funding to deal with the “humanitarian crisis” his own policies created. Of course he didn’t quite put it that way. By some estimates, we are already spending $252 per day per illegal child, but the president’s go-to plan for any crisis is more spending. And as Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) notes of Obama’s emergency request, “That’s $60,000 per child.”

Update: Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) says, “This isn’t a funding problem, it’s an enforcement problem. … I’d be happy to give the president $3.7 billion to secure the border if I thought he’d actually do it. But time and again President Obama has shown that he cares more about the interests of illegal immigrants than of law abiding citizens. Congress shouldn’t give President Obama a single penny until we see him use the current resources to secure the border, increase interior enforcement, and reduce illegal immigration.”

Supposedly, the money is only part of an aggressive response to the crisis. The funds would be divided among various agencies – the Department of Health and Human Services to care for children, and the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement for “border security” and transporting children. But there’s also some funding included for fighting wildfires in the West. Naturally.

The plan originally included hiring additional immigration judge teams and expediting immigration repatriation proceedings, but after angry pro-illegal immigration groups began complaining, Obama backpedalled. “It would take away their right to council, right to proper screening,” Leslie Holman, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, whined. “It would undermine completely due process.” So, the extra judicial teams and the expedited hearings are out.

Of the children, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest explained they’re not trying to avoid authorities – they want to be found. The kids expect that after the detention nonsense they’ll be allowed to remain in the country. Join the gravy train. Earnest hopes Congress will act promptly with the emergency requests – otherwise Obama might just have to do something on his own.

Officials claim that these immigrants are entering the U.S. to escape violence in their homelands, but a leaked DHS security report tells a different story. The fact that virtually no one is ever deported motivates these kids more than poverty or violence. In 2013, only 0.1% of illegal Central American minors were deported. It may be dangerous to cross Mexico, but the potential rewards are great.

The report also says, “The same family members or sponsors are appearing several times to claim different children from the custody of U.S. authorities.” And almost all of the families are illegals too.

Even some Democrats are now criticizing the Big O’s handling of this mess, and his media toadies are questioning how he’ll escape it. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) complained, “With all due respect to the administration, they’re one step behind. They should have seen this [flood of children] coming a long time ago.” Not only that, Cuellar said, “If he wants to do the fundraisers first and then after that stop by the border, it’s not too far away. I think it would be good for him to put a face to it, but, again, it looks like he’s dug in, not wanting to come.”

The Leftmedia, too, is growing alarmed, though in their typical sycophantic way. NBC News presented the crisis facing Obama with grave concern. “Obama can’t afford the perception that his policies have encouraged an uncontrolled flow of young people across the border,” NBC reporter John Harwood said. “He’s got to do something to stem that tide.” It’s more than perception.

USA Today’s Susan Page described the border mess as a potential “Katrina moment” for Obama. “This is unacceptable to more than Republicans on immigration, the situation we have there,” she said. “And boy is that going to anger some of his core constituents who have wanted him to do more on immigration, not less.” The trouble with her analogy is that George W. Bush didn’t create the hurricane.

The Associated Press perhaps unintentionally lays bare the president’s craven political strategy, saying he “wants to keep the focus of the debate in this midterm election” on Republicans he’s “accused of blocking progress on a comprehensive overhaul of America’s immigration laws.” Still, however, the AP casts the president as a victim of circumstances, saying, “He announced … that, due to a lack of progress on Capitol Hill, he was moving forward to seek out ways to adjust U.S. immigration policy without congressional approval.” Furthermore, this “crisis has put him in the difficult position of asking Congress for more money and authority to send the children back home at the same time he’s seeking ways to allow millions of other people already in the U.S. illegally to stay.”

It’s not surprising to see hurt feelings in the media, though, as Media Research Center President Brent Bozell observed: “Imagine after Katrina that reporters are getting ready to go to New Orleans, and the Bush administration says to reporters, ‘Now one thing: no recording devices, no questions, no interacting with staff or children, no photos and no interviews. But other than that you can cover Katrina,’” he said. “The response would be that this is the statement of a dictatorship.” And yet too often they’re barely able to muster any real criticism of Obama.

The president may wax eloquent about “humanitarian” needs, but make no mistake – he will use the kids flooding across the border as nothing more than political pawns to advance his agenda.

SOURCE

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Immigration atrocity:  The story of Bryan Price and Oleksandra Bronova

Bryan Price is a U.S. Marine veteran who married his wife Oleksandra, a Ukrainian national. The two are legally married, however after violence broke out in Ukraine this past spring, the two fled the violence and relocated to Mexico.

Oleksandra Bronova graduated from Cambridge University. She speaks five languages and could be a productive member of whatever country would take her in. She literally had to flee a civil war and hoped that having legitimately married an American, she could immigrate legally to the United States.

Seeing everything that was going on at the border, how illegal aliens being let into the country no-questions-asked, Bryan and Oleksandra gathered up their belongings and headed to the nearest border crossing. Upon reaching the crossing, the two handed the border patrol agent their marriage certificate and a binder full of documents proving that Oleksandra was a refugee fleeing her war-torn country.

However, unlike the Hispanic children who were being let into the country scot-free, Oleksandra was immediately handcuffed by border patrol and separated from her husband.

The couple had planned on trying to get a special entry into the United States, and if things went wrong, the two planned to return to their home in Mexico to try a different approach. They never got that opportunity. Rather than being turned away, Oleksandra was arrested and she has spent the past two weeks in a MAXIMUM SECURITY PRISON!

Tell Congress to intervene and stop the Obama administration from holding Oleksandra Bronova in a maximum-security prison while gang members are being set free!

So let’s get this straight… a Hispanic mother comes to the country and gets a slap on the wrist and a Greyhound ticket to anywhere in the country. But when a Marine veteran’s wife, a refugee from a war-torn country, comes with legitimate paperwork to try and enter the country, she gets thrown in a maximum-security Prison?

This couple didn’t do anything wrong. They didn’t sneak into the country… they approached a border checkpoint with documents in hand in search of help. If they were denied, they planned on returning to Mexico and seeking help through other channels. And instead of welcoming this Cambridge graduate and veteran’s wife into the country, we threw her in the worst prison we possibly could…

This is shameful! What is wrong with this country? Where did we go wrong?

Words can’t describe how angry I am at how the Obama administration is handling this border crisis. The fact that 300,000 illegal aliens have been caught-and-released since APRIL is shocking. But what is even worse is the fact that while Democrats are chomping at the bit to hand out lollipops to illegal aliens (aka future Democrat voters), legitimate immigrants like Oleksandra are being refused entry.

This woman didn’t try to break into this country. She hasn’t asked for a handout or government assistance. She doesn’t want ANYTHING from you and I, other than a chance to live out her life with her American husband away from war-torn Ukraine.

And instead of hearing her out and putting her in touch with someone who could help, she was arrested and thrown into a maximum-security prison.

This woman doesn’t belong in prison… she belongs at home with her husband!

When we focused on the military father who was going to lose custody of his daughter because he was deployed and couldn’t appear in court, we got tons of likeminded Conservatives to hammer Congress with thousands of faxes. And that ultimately got the attention of a handful of Congressmen who got involved in the case.

We need to do the same thing here! We need everyone to stand up and call attention to the hypocrisy of the Democrats’ amnesty push. This isn’t about fixing our immigration system. If it was, Oleksandra Bronova wouldn’t be in a maximum-security prison simply because she asked to be admitted into the United States!

Tell Congress to intervene and STOP the Obama administration from holding Oleksandra Bronova in a maximum-security prison while gang members are being set free!

Saddened by the state of our country,

SOURCE

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IAF destroys homes of all Hamas commanders, kills senior members

In recent air strikes on Gaza, all of the homes of Hamas brigade commanders have been destroyed, Israel Radio reported early on Wednesday.

According to a report by the Palestinian news agency Ma'an, one of the homes targeted was that of senior Islamic Jihad terrorist Hafiz Mohammed Hamad. In the strike early on Tuesday, Hamad and five of his family members were reportedly killed.

In a separate incident, a joint IDF-Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) operation struck a vehicle containing a commander of Hamas's naval commando unit, Muhammad Sa'aban, aged 24, on Tuesday.

Palestinian media reported that four Hamas people in total were killed in the targeted strike on the vehicle.

Sa'aban's commando unit operated in northern Gaza, security forces said. He was immediately killed in the strike. Sa'aban was a resident of Jabalia in Gaza.

The strike came hours after the IDF launched Operation Protective Edge in an effort to quell increased rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel in recent weeks.

Later on Tuesday, the air force struck three homes in Gaza used by Hamas as command and control centers for enabling rocket fire against Israel.

The homes belonged to Muhammad Sba'at, a senior member of Hamas's rocket launching formations in Beit Hanount, who was involved in several recent rocket attacks against Israel, Amin Ibrahim Al-Alba'an, a Hamas member, and Abu Jarad, a Hamas member from northern Gaza who has been engaged in terrorism against Israel.

Palestinians said six people were killed and about 25 wounded in one of the houses attacked.

Some 100 targets in Gaza have been struck by the IAF since the operation began, including homes used by Hamas and Islamic Jihad members, underground rocket launchers, underground attack tunnels, remote rocket launch infrastructure, training camps, and additional centers of terrorist activities.

Since midnight Tuesday, some 30  rockets fired from the Gaza Strip have exploded in Israel.

The Iron Dome anti-rocket system has intercepted six rockets.

Palestinians say that a total of 24 people have been killed in IAF strikes since Operation Defensive Edge began.

SOURCE

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It’s Not True that 20 Million Americans Gained Coverage Under Obamacare

A new report from the Commonwealth Fund claims 20 million Americans “gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act as of May 1.” But a closer look at that number reveals it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

First, the authors, Dr. David Blumenthal, president of Commonwealth, and Vice President Sara Collins, get to the 20 million by adding together 1 million young adults who gained coverage under a parent’s policy, 8 million consumers who selected a marketplace plan, 5 million who purchased directly from an insurer, and 6 million who enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Also, the authors admit the 20 million figure does not distinguish between those who were previously insured and those who were not – even though the previously insured would not be “gaining” coverage but merely replacing one form of coverage with another.

And what about those 5 million who purchased coverage outside the exchanges? Is it fair to say they “gained” coverage because of the ACA? The authors site a Congressional Budget Office April 2014 report. Indeed, the CBO said, “[R]oughly 5 million people will enroll in ACA-compliant plans outside of the exchanges each year from 2014-2024.” (Page 9)

However, in the following paragraph, the CBO writes, “In the absence of the ACA, 9 million to 10 million people would have enrolled in nongroup coverage each year from 2014 through 2024, CBO and [the Joint Committee on Taxation] estimate. With roughly 5 million people expected to enroll in nongroup plans in years after 2015 under the ACA (excluding those people who purchase policies in the exchanges), that number will be 4 million to 5 million lower under the ACA than the number projected in the absence of the law.” (Emphasis added)

CBO is clearly projecting that net enrollment in the non-exchange individual market will decline (presumably because CBO believes that a portion of current individual market enrollees will seek subsidized replacement coverage in the exchanges as a result of the law). Therefore, here again, those 5 million projected enrollees do not represent a “gain” in coverage.

The 20 million figure sounds like a breakthrough, but the truth is the gains in coverage are not as strong as they are portrayed.

SOURCE

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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.

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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Thursday, July 10, 2014


Eric Holder Attacks Another Voter ID Law!

The right to vote is paramount in our society. No one is denying that.  However, just as it is important to protect voter rights, it is equally important to ensure that illegal voters do not cancel out American voters.

There is plenty of evidence to suggest that voter fraud exists. Melowese Richardson was a poll worker in Ohio who was caught voting for President Obama more than once. When she was released from prison early, she received a hero’s welcome from Al Sharpton and the Democratic Party.

Then you read stories of how 3000 registered voters in Florida listed a single UPS store as their address. Nothing to see here, just three thousand people registered to vote in FLORIDA out of a storefront…

The sad thing is that even a few hundred fraudulent votes can swing an election one way or another.

George W. Bush won Florida and then the Presidency by a 500-vote margin. Five hundred and thirty seven votes ultimately decided the 2000 Presidential election.

It is no coincidence that instances of voter fraud, when they are discovered, come from so-called “swing states.” There’s no need to push for illegal votes in states like New York and California. The risk isn’t worth the reward because these states already vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. However, when entire states can potentially be decided by a few hundred votes, all of a sudden voter fraud seems a lot more tempting.

To clamp down on voter fraud, many states have passed Voter ID requirements. Instead of just asking a prospective voter to sign his or her signature, many states now require voters to show a photo ID before they are allowed to enter the booth.

This is a common sense solution to a problem that could truly have catastrophic consequences. We are talking about electing representatives with the power to take the United States to war. We are talking about electing presidents with access to nuclear launch codes. Elections are serious business and the least we can do is ensure that only authorized individuals are casting their ballots.

This logic hasn’t stopped Attorney General Eric Holder from attacking states with Voter ID requirements. Even though the Supreme Court of the United States upheld Indiana’s Voter ID law as constitutional, Eric Holder’s Justice Department continues to target Voter ID states!

Asking for Voter ID is not a crime! Tell Congress to protect the sanctity of the vote and STOP Eric Holder from attacking states’ Voter ID laws!

Now, Eric Holder has announced that he is suing the State of North Carolina for its “discriminatory” Voter ID law.

This is a talking point that the Left loves to throw around. They argue that forcing citizens to show a photo ID at a polling place would place an unnecessary burden on poor and minority communities where few possess photo identification.

The problem with this ridiculous liberal argument two-fold:

First of all, it is next to impossible to survive in twenty-first century America without a driver’s license or some other form of ID. You need photo identification to board an airplane, rent an apartment, open a bank account, and to apply for government assistance programs like food stamps and Medicaid. You need a photo ID to drive a car, buy cigarettes or alcohol, receive medical treatment at a hospital, and buy a firearm. You need a photo ID to buy cough medicine, get married, travel abroad, and to get a job.

To suggest that living in America without some form of government-issued identification is normal is absolutely ridiculous! If the number of people without photo ID really is so large, the government should spend less time suing states like North Carolina and more time helping these people get to their local DMVs!

Second of all, Voter ID laws are not a new phenomenon and every shred of evidence out there suggests that these photo identification requirements actually increase voter turnout, especially in minority communities!

From 2011 to 2013, when Texas instituted its own Voter ID law, turnout in off-year state-wide referendum elections increased by 63%! In many predominantly Hispanic districts, voter turnout increased four-fold over this time period. If requiring photo identification is so racist, wouldn’t we expect to see less minority voters after the law went into effect?

The same is true for North Carolina, the very state that Eric Holder is suing. When you compare primary election turnout from 2010 (before the Voter ID law) to 2014 (after), the data shows that voter turnout increased across the board, particularly among African American voters where it increased by 29.5%.

How can Voter ID be racist if it increased African American voter turnout in North Carolina by 29.5%???

Eric Holder doesn’t care about facts. He just regurgitates the same stale Democrat talking points in order to go after the President’s opposition.

Voter ID isn’t racist! The only thing racist is the fact that the Democrats think minority voters are too poor or stupid to figure out how to obtain a photo identification card!

We need to protect our electoral system. With what is going on at the Southern Border, Voter ID is more important now than it ever has been. Together, we can rally behind this and stop Eric Holder from targeting North Carolina’s law.

But that isn’t good enough! We need to force Congress to institute a national Voter ID law! When the alternative is having illegal aliens pick our Representatives, Senators, and Presidents, we simply cannot afford to leave our electoral system vulnerable to fraud!

SOURCE

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Obama: treacherous or incompetent?

For many, it is difficult to decide whether Barack Obama is intentionally trying to destroy the United States or that he is doing so as a consequence of some type of ideology-induced stupidity.

The damage wrought through the implementation of his absurd and impractical liberal "solutions" to national problems is readily evident.

When Barack Obama was inaugurated on January 20, 2009 the national debt of the United States was $10,626,877,048,913. As of Jun 26, 2014, the debt was $17,512,592,730,102.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2007 on the eve of the recession, there were 146.6 million Americans working. Today, after six years of the Obama Administration, there are 145.8 million Americans in jobs, 800,000 below the previous peak. Since Obama came into office in 2009, 7.2 million people have left the workforce, making the true unemployment rate 8.3 percent, not 6.1 percent. Median household income is down almost $2,300 from what it was when Obama took office. Real wages are lower than they were in 1999. Growth in the first quarter of this year was a negative 2.9%, the biggest downward revision from the agency's second GDP estimate since records began in 1976.

In April, prior to the present massive and growing surge in illegal minor immigration, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said Obama has created an "open borders" situation by failing to enforce U.S. immigration law. One could fairly conclude that the current crisis was a deliberate policy decision because the Obama indicated that he would expand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that offers amnesty for illegal immigrant children and provides an incentive for exactly the type of mass illegal invasion we are witnessing on our southern border.

There should be little doubt that Obama's open borders policy is meant to fundamentally transform the country's demographics, produce millions of additional Democratic voters and welfare recipients and permanently undermine the national security of the United States.

The ATF "Fast and Furious" scheme, likely designed to erode Second Amendment rights, allowed weapons from the U.S. to "walk" across the border into the hands of Mexican drug dealers. The ATF lost track of hundreds of firearms, many of which were used in crimes, including the December 2010 killing of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

Obama's IRS targeted his perceived political enemies, conservative and pro-Israel groups, prior to the 2012 election. Questions are being raised about why this occurred, who ordered it, whether there was any White House involvement and whether there was an initial effort to hide who knew about the targeting and when. Obama apparently lied when he told Fox News' Bill O'Reilly that there was "not even a smidgen of corruption" in IRS activities.

The Obama administration knew about allegations of secret waiting lists at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as early as 2010, although, on May 19, 2014, White House spokesman claimed Obama learned about the scandal only recently through press reports.

The unfolding sectarian violence in Iraq is just the latest crisis where the Obama administration seemingly has been caught off guard. From the Veterans Affairs scandal to Russia's swift annexation of Crimea, news of the world somehow keeps taking Obama and his team by surprise. Or are they just lying to camouflage flawed or failed policies, which have harmed the United States?

The attack on our "consulate" in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 was perhaps the most egregious of Obama's many foreign policy failures because four Americans needlessly died due to a failure to provide adequate protection both before and during the attack.

Obama falsely blamed an internet video as the cause of the attack to hide the truth: the resurgence of jihadists in Muslim Brotherhood-governed Egypt, the continuing demand for the Blind Sheikh's release (which underscored the jihadists' influence), and the very real danger that jihadists would attack the embassy (which demonstrated that al-Qaeda was anything but "decimated").

It is likely that a clandestine operation supplying weapons through Turkey to the Syrian rebels was being run out of Benghazi. Efforts were made not to draw attention to what was happening there. That could explain why local militias were paid to provide security, why requests for increased security were denied and why the US military was either unprepared to respond or told not to do so.

A Benghazi cover-up may have also prevented a thorough examination of the possible passivity or complicity of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood government in the attacks in Cairo and Benghazi and the potentially dangerous consequences of arming Islamic factions in Syria over which the US has little control, where the weapons we supplied may someday be used against us.

It should be obvious that Obama lied about Benghazi, he lied about Obamacare, the IRS, the VA scandal and in countless other instances.

Nevertheless, the liberal media remain willfully ignorant, will not report the truth and continue to protect Obama, regardless of the costs to the country.

Obama will survive in office until public awareness of his administration's treachery matches its level of incompetence and exceeds the media's capacity to tolerate corruption.

Jimmy Carter made mistakes. Barack Obama, a creator of crises, practices deceit and the willful betrayal of trust.

It does matter whether the damage inflicted upon our country results from ineptitude or premeditation.

It is ideology-induced treachery.

SOURCE

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The Daydream and the Nightmare

by PEGGY NOONAN

Obama isn't doing his job. He's waiting for history to recognize his greatness

I don't know if we sufficiently understand how weird and strange, how historically unparalleled, this presidency has become. We've got a sitting president who was just judged in a major poll to be the worst since World War II. The worst president in 70 years! Quinnipiac University's respondents also said, by 54% to 44%, that the Obama administration is not competent to run the government. A Zogby Analytics survey asked if respondents are proud or ashamed of the president. Those under 50 were proud, while those over 50, who have of course the longest experienced sense of American history, were ashamed.

We all know the reasons behind the numbers. The scandals that suggest poor stewardship and, in the case of the IRS, destructive political mischief. The president's signature legislation, which popularly bears his name and contains within it the heart of his political meaning, continues to wreak havoc in marketplaces and to be unpopular with the public. He is incapable of working with Congress, the worst at this crucial aspect of the job since Jimmy Carter, though Mr. Carter at least could work with the Mideast and produced the Camp David Accords. Mr. Obama has no regard for Republicans and doesn't like to be with Democrats. Internationally, small states that have traditionally been the locus of trouble (the Mideast) are producing more of it, while large states that have been more stable in their actions (Russia, China) are newly, starkly aggressive.

That's a long way of saying nothing's working.

Which I'm sure you've noticed.

But I'm not sure people are noticing the sheer strangeness of how the president is responding to the lack of success around him. He once seemed a serious man. He wrote books, lectured on the Constitution. Now he seems unserious, frivolous, shallow. He hangs with celebrities, plays golf. His references to Congress are merely sarcastic: "So sue me." "They don't do anything except block me. And call me names. It can't be that much fun."

In a truly stunning piece in early June, Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown and Jennifer Epstein interviewed many around the president and reported a general feeling that events have left him-well, changed. He is "taking fuller advantage of the perquisites of office," such as hosting "star-studded dinners that sometimes go on well past midnight." He travels, leaving the White House more in the first half of 2014 than any other time of his presidency except his re-election year. He enjoys talking to athletes and celebrities, not grubby politicians, even members of his own party. He is above it all.

On his state trip to Italy in the spring, he asked to spend time with "interesting Italians." They were wealthy, famous. The dinner went for four hours. The next morning his staff were briefing him for a "60 Minutes" interview about Ukraine and health care. "One aide paraphrased Obama's response: 'Just last night I was talking about life and art, big interesting things, and now we're back to the minuscule things on politics.' ''

SOURCE

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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.

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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Wednesday, July 09, 2014


Clinton was fired for obstructing Nixon probe: book

Hillary Clinton might be hoping no one buys “Nixon’s Secrets” — Roger Stone’s new book marking the 40th anniversary of the Watergate scandal.

Stone — a Nixon staffer who is so partisan he has a tattoo of his old boss’ face on his back — reports that Clinton was fired as a staff lawyer for the House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee for “writing fraudulent legal briefs, lying to investigators and confiscating public documents.”

Yale Law School grad Clinton was 26 in 1974 when she started working for the committee that was investigating whether or not there was enough evidence to impeach or prosecute President Nixon for the Watergate affair.

Clinton’s boss, Jerry Zeifman, the general counsel and chief of staff to the Watergate Committee, claims he fired her because she was working to impede the investigation and undermine Nixon’s defense.

“Hillary’s lies and unethical behavior goes back farther — and goes much deeper — than anyone realizes,” Zeifman told Fox News in 2008. When asked why he fired Clinton, Zeifman responded, “Because she is a liar.”

In 2008, after Hillary campaigned in his home state of Connecticut, Zeifman wrote that he regretted “I had not reported her unethical practices to the appropriate bar associations . . . Nixon clearly had right to counsel, but Hillary . . . wrote a fraudulent legal brief and confiscated public documents to hide her deception.”

SOURCE

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Burgeoning Regulations Threaten Our Humanity

Insofar as mainstream economics may be said to make moral-philosophical assumptions, it rests overwhelmingly on a consequentialist-utilitarian foundation. When mainstream economists say that an action is worthwhile, they mean that it is expected to give rise to benefits whose total value exceeds its total cost (that is, the most valued benefit necessarily forgone by virtue of this particular action’s being taken). But nearly always the economists make no attempt to evaluate as part of their benefit-cost calculus any costs that might be incurred as a result of how and by whom the action is taken.

Often they verge on the assumption that benefits and costs exist apart from those who take the action, even though this assumption clashes with the foundational principles of their science. Thus, in benefit-cost calculations, economists often attach a value to certain expected benefits (e.g., the dollar value of lives saved as a result of a safety regulation) and compare this value to the dollar outlays by the government that imposes and enforces the regulation and by the private parties who are compelled to comply with it, often at great private expense.

I cannot recall, however, ever seeing a benefit-cost computation that attaches any cost valuation to the loss of freedom by the regulated parties. It is as if it matters not at all that an action is mandated, as opposed to freely chosen. Freedom itself is, in effect, considered worthless, and hence its loss entails no sacrifice regarded as worthy of receiving weight in the calculation.

On the basis of such procedures, at least in a pro forma sense, countless regulations and laws have been imposed on the public willy-nilly. Apart from the many questions that might be raised even in the context of the usual benefit-cost study, one who values freedom cannot help but be struck by how entire societies have been overwhelmed by suffocating regulations and by how drastically people’s freedoms have been curtailed, all under the presumption that each drop of this deluge constituted a net improvement in social well-being. Insofar as the trampled freedom is concerned, the motto seems to have been: nothing valued, nothing lost.

In a more fundamental sense, the essence of such mainstream benefit-cost calculations boils down to a glorification of the material and the measurable and a complete denial of the spiritual. With such a mentality, rulers justify making each of us a puppet at the end of the strings they pull and jerk. That we value above all the capacity to make our own decisions, to shape—insofar as the laws of nature and economics permit—the contours of our own lives matters not a whit to our rulers and their apparatchiki. They know what is best for us to do and to refrain from doing—indeed, they have the numerical studies to prove that they know best!

Freedom, however, needs no benefit-cost justification. To deprive us of it is to deprive us of a priceless part of what makes us human beings, rather than programmed robots or puppets on strings. For too long people have deferred to the imagined expertise and superior judgment of those who presume to rule them even in the tiniest details of their daily lives. Little by little, as mentalities adjust to such continuously growing controls, people are losing not only latitude for self-direction, but a core part of their very humanity.

In the most economically developed parts of the world, this process has already proceeded so far that one wonders whether the Communists’ vision of creating a New Man was so far-fetched after all. For the sake of our humanity, for the sake of our very souls, we must challenge the continuation of this onslaught. No doubt you and I may sometimes decide badly in one way or another, but unless we have the freedom to make decisions for ourselves—and, as the necessary correlate, the obligation to bear full responsibility for any harm we cause in the process—we shall ultimately find ourselves in that horrifying dystopia where everything that is not required is forbidden and where we are no longer truly human at all.

SOURCE

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When Government Spending Made Sense

Did you know that in the year 1803 President Thomas Jefferson presided over the purchase of 828,000 square miles (529,920,000 acres) of land west of the Mississippi River, the so-called Louisiana territory, consisting of all or part of 15 present day U.S. states and two Canadian provinces, by the government of the United States of America, for the sum of only $15 million dollars – just $300 million in the value of today’s dollars?

For that we Americans got all of today’s Aransas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska, parts of Minnesota, most of North and South Dakota, northeastern New Mexico, northern Texas, and the parts of Montana, Wyoming and Colorado east of the Continental Divide, plus Louisiana west of the Mississippi River, including the City of New Orleans.

You see, in 1803 our politicians were frugal and Thomas Jefferson got us real value for our money. That’s when government spending made sense. He bargained with France for more than half a billion acres – about a third of the land in present day America – for a paltry .04 cents per acre.

Sadly, today it’s a far different story. Our nation is now in debt to the tune of more than $17 trillion, $583 billion, and $720 million dollars – a sum which is rapidly escalating by the second. Federal spending during just this year alone as of today’s date totals more than $3 trillion, $514 billion, and $738 million dollars.

President Jefferson, in 1803 could have purchased  the entire planet Earth for less than a fraction of what our government is spending in 2014.

Compare that with today’s government spending sprees. Last year, for just one example, the Pentagon spent $572 million to buy only 30 Russian-built military helicopters for Afghan security forces. All of that money has been flushed down the toilet as America is pulling out of Afghanistan and the Taliban will be taking over the country and the helicopters.

Jefferson spent only about half that much money and we lucky Americans received in perpetuity about a third of the land in our entire nation. We’ll own that land forever and it cost us less than 30 Russian helicopters abandoned in Afghanistan. Would you rather have 828,000 square miles of prime American heartland or 30 Russian made helicopters for twice the price to donate to Afghani terrorists?

Our politicians today are spending on a cost adjusted basis in just one day more than what Thomas Jefferson spent during his entire presidency and the average American citizen is getting absolutely nothing to show for it.

Today we have American unmanned military drones costing almost $4 million each falling out of the sky and crashing like dead flies at the rate of more than 400 drones lost in only the last 12 years. They’ve slammed into homes, farms, runways, highways, waterways and, in one case, an Air Force C-130 Hercules transport plane in midair.

The military owns about 10,000 of these unmanned drones, and by 2017, the armed forces plan to fly drones from at least 110 bases in 39 states, plus Guam and Puerto Rico. No one in the government expects any of these drones to last very long. They’re disposable.

Our politicians today have no qualms about disposing of $4 million dollars like so many dirty tissues of Kleenex. I think it’s about time that they and their legions of government bureaucrats started spending again like it was done in 1803.

That was when government spending made sense

SOURCE

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Poor Billionaire (Relatively Speaking)

by DON BOUDREAUX

Suppose that you are Nicholas Woodman.  You awaken one morning and discover from a news report that Bill Gates is 55 times – 55 times! - financially richer than you are.  How do you feel?  Envious?  Of course.  Relatively deprived?  How could you not suffer such a deflating sentiment?

In an absolute sense, you must admit, you live quite well.  You are one of the richest human beings ever to trod this earth (and, indeed, one of the richest to trod it in the relatively prosperous early 21st century).  Yet you understand from the “Progressive” ethos that what really matters is not one’s absolute standard of living over the course of a lifetime.  Instead, what matters (according to this ethos) is relative financial rankings today – that is, how much $$$ you are currently worth relative to how much $$$ other people are currently worth.  If other people have a great deal more money than you have, you are deprived.  You are entitled to feel envious and to pontificate about the immorality of such financial inequality.

So even though you, Nicholas Woodman, currently have a net worth of $1.3 billion, your financial wealth remains a paltry 1.8 percent of Bill Gates’s financial fortune of $72 billion.  Should you complain?  Should you demand government action to ‘redistribute’ some of Gates’s wealth to you?

Anyone who knows that you, Nicholas Woodman, are on the 2013 Forbes list of 400 richest Americans would think you to be insufferably envious, appallingly ungrateful, pathetically insensitive, unspeakably greedy, and, indeed, likely mentally unbalanced if you complained and moaned about how much more financial wealth Bill Gates currently has relative to the amount of financial wealth that you have.  You, after all, have daily and easy access to an array of goods and services that most people in the world can only dream, with futility, of ever enjoying.  And historically, your consumption possibilities – what you can and do daily consume – is indescribably greater than what any of your ancestors until just a generation or two ago could consume.  So why are you complaining?

You answer: “Because, relative to the richest American, I’m financially poor.”  And indeed, financially you have virtually nothing compared to Mr. Gates.  (What, after all, is a puny $1.3 billion relative to $72 billion?)

And yet I’m quite confident that no one would think your complaints to be justified.  I for sure would not think that your complaints are justified (should you in fact, rather than in my simple hypothetical here, actually issue such complaints).

So why do we in America today think it appropriate for middle-income (or even “poor”) Americans to complain about the financial wealth of rich Americans?  Middle-income, and even “poor,” Americans are among the richest human beings ever to breathe.  The goods and services that ordinary and “poor” Americans today consume on a daily basis are far larger in volume and far grander in variety than what most people on the globe today consume on a daily basis – and unimaginably greater than what ordinary (and even “rich”) people throughout most of history consumed on a daily basis.  Even Louis XIV never spoke in real time with anyone who was not within earshot of Louis’s royal voice.

In 2012 (the latest year for which I can find reliable data), the mean household income of the top 5 percent (income-wise) of American households was only 28 times larger than the mean household income of the bottom 20 percent (income-wise) of American households.  (The mean household income of the top 20 percent of American households was only 16 times larger than the mean household income of the bottom 20 percent of American households.)

And the minimum annual income necessary for a household to be in the top one percent in the U.S. in 2012 – just above $394,000 – means that even some one-percenter households have annual incomes that are ‘only’ 34 times larger than the annual incomes of the typical households in the bottom quintile.

In other words, the difference in the current financial income of a typical bottom-quintile American household in 2012 from that of each of the incomes of even some households in the top one percent is smaller than is the difference in the current financial status of Forbes‘s lowest-ranked American billionaire, Nicholas Woodman, (on its list of the 400 wealthiest Americans for 2013) and that of America’s wealthiest tycoon (Bill Gates).

So riddle me this: if we believe (as I suspect most of us do believe) that Nicholas Woodman would have no business envying or otherwise fretting about the size of Bill Gates’s fortune relative to his own, why do so many of us accept as appropriate the envying and fretting by middle-class and poor Americans about the size of the fortunes of the top ten or top one percent?  I can see no good reason.

I understand that in the above I do not distinguish as carefully as I would in other contexts the differences between household incomes and individual incomes.  Nor do I – again, as carefully as I would in other contexts – either explain the especially great hazards of using data on household incomes (as opposed to individual incomes) or distinguish between income and wealth.  But none of these distinctions is relevant for the point of this post, which is that the difference between the financial well-being (however measured) of the person (Woodman) at the bottom of the Forbes‘s list of 400 richest Americans and that of the person (Gates) at the top of that list is greater than is the difference between the financial well-being of even poor Americans and that of many Americans in the top five percent or even the top one percent.

If billionaire Woodman ought not complain about the wealth (or income) of Bill Gates, then ordinary and even ‘poor’ Americans ought not complain about the wealth (or income) of the typical person or household in the top 20, 10, 5, or 1 percent.

SOURCE

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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.

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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Tuesday, July 08, 2014



Dangerous Times: Obama the Betrayer

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Which of those solemn promises has Barack H. Obama not betrayed?  I can’t think of a single one.

If Obama is different from other presidents, it’s not for the color of his skin, which is just a PR hustle to blackmail suckers into proving they aren’t racists.  No: Obama will be historic for his fanatical leftism, which has no precedent in American history.  The biggest headline is Obama’s ideology, not his race.

The left is a revolutionary cult, one that has no compunctions about violations of laws or human rights – for what they imagine to be a utopian cause, of course.  But every single power cult in history is all for love and peace – once it takes over.  Head-chopping Muslims sing the song of love and peace just as well as the left.

Just consider two quotes.

Karl Marx, 1848: “… there is only one means to shorten, simplify and concentrate the murderous death throes of the old society and the bloody birth pangs of the new, only one means – revolutionary terrorism."

Vladimir Lenin, 1918: “the fundamental feature of the concept of dictatorship of the proletariat is revolutionary violence.”

Terrorist killings of innocent civilians are exactly the same as deliberate murder under domestic criminal law.  But the left has legitimized terrorism when it is directed against bourgeois society.  That is the key to their moral perversion.  That is also why Obama does not object to terrorism “as such.”  If he cared about Islamist terrorism in Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and all the rest, he would also have to reject the Mau Mau terrorism that brought his dreamed-of father to power in Kenya.  (Jomo Kenyatta quickly kicked him out of the post-colonial government.)  In any case, Obama and the indoctrinated network that now controls the United States government consider terrorism “in a good cause” justifiable – which is why they do not mind  9/11/01 and the whole rise of jihad terrorism in the last forty years.  If anything, the hard left wing of our foreign policy establishment is full of excuses for clear crimes against humanity.

So far, Obama has shown utter contempt for the U.S. Constitution, for our military, and for the crucial duties of the Department of Justice, the Border Patrol, and the IRS.  The hard left at the core of the Democratic Party is essentially Obamanist, as expressed by Rep. Joe Garcia.

The real problem is therefore not a single human being called Obama, but an entire political apparatus that turns out Obamas like robots.  Hillary is an Alinsky acolyte, and Alinsky was simply another revolutionary agitator – now called “community organizer” by our party-line press.  Alinsky’s biggest innovation was to make common cause with organized crime in Chicago.

Starting with the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s, radical Muslims joined the Alinsky axis to make the toxic triangle of revolution, criminal mafias, and reactionary Islamism.

The historian Bat Ye’or wrote in her book, Eurabia:

[Beginning in 1973,] the combination of a powerful Eurabian lobby with ... European political, media, and educational systems produced throughout the EU that uniform political thinking known as “political correctness”...  Dissenters were harshly censured in universities, books, and the media.

Exactly the same media-political fear regime was implemented in the United States.  These events were not coincidental.  In many cases, we know exactly which politicians and media empires were bought by Gulf oil dollars.  Starting with the Clintons, we have seen state mafias gain national power – first the Dixie Mafia, and now the Chicago Machine.  Obama is simply the logical outcome of forty years of indoctrination in our politics, education, and media.

We can now see these toxic forces converging in the purposeful sabotage of our southern border.  The Sinaloa cartel is the biggest drug cartel in Chicago, and it received weapons from our DOJ during the “Fast and Furious” smuggling program.  Valerie Jarrett met with “immigration activists” (like La Raza) in the weeks before the assault on our border.  Iran’s terrorist arm Hezb'allah has agents colluding with drug mafias and people smuggling all over South America.  Breaking down our southern borders serves all three.

It’s impossible to know where Obama has done the most damage – at home or abroad.  The Middle East is now breaking down into that much-feared regional war, with Russia, Syria, Iran, Turkey, and Iraq converging on the Saudi- and Qatar-supported murder gangs of ISIS and ISIL, which now number in the tens of thousands.  To add to the turmoil, the United States has helped to supply and train AQ barbarians in Jordan and Turkey, to join their bloodstained brothers wherever they decide to strike next.

All these bloody disasters can be attributed to U.S. and European policies in support of Islamofascist radicals.  Jimmy Carter allowed Ayatollah Khomeini to take power in Iran, which is now within weeks of possessing a nuclear bomb.  Western politicians like Jacques Chirac enabled Saddam Hussein in Europe and the U.N., leading directly to suicidal immigration flows of millions of Muslims from the badlands of Pakistan to all the capitals of Europe.  The EU supported the Turkish Islamofascist party of Recip Erdo─čan, now fighting the Turkish Salafist party.  The Clintons failed to pursue Osama bin Laden after the first World Trade Center bombing in New York in 1993.  Major money flows have been going from the ultra-radical Muslim Brotherhood to the Carter and Clinton centers.

But it took Obama to betray Egypt’s Mubarak, the single greatest pillar of peace in the Middle East for four decades.  It was Obama who overthrew Gaddafi, and dissolved Libya into a bloody civil war that still continues.  It was Obama who directed Ambassador Stevens to smuggle vast quantities of Libyan arms to the Syrian rebels, including the worst of the worst, the Al Nusrah gang, which killed children in the Christian village of Ma’aloula.  It was Obama who supported the rise of the MBs in Egypt – the very people who assassinated Anwar Sadat forty years ago for making peace with Israel.  Today, it is Obama who is preparing to surrender Afghanistan to the woman-hating Taliban, and who is refusing to help our U.S.-promoted Baghdad government to ward off the latest assault by primitive savages.

(Baghdad is now getting jet planes from Russia and an invading army from Iran and Syria, whose loyalties nobody knows.  But they sure don’t like us.)

In sum, Obama has presided over the most malignant foreign policy in U.S. history.

This is not an accident. This policy was planned and executed by radical leftists like Susan Rice and Valerie Jarrett, corrupt media barons like the New York Times, and Islamofascists like John Brennan.  They include the same Big Media corporations that control our “mainstream” media.  They also include famous Silicon Valley high-tech companies like Apple and Google, who support Obama’s Progressive Policy Institute, and George Soros, who supports the anti-Israel front group J Street.  Google’s vice president for North African sales was indeed directly involved in agitating for the Arab Spring, which our media simultaneously discovered and headlined, only to lead to Muslim Brotherhood despotism in Egypt.

It is very hard to know if we  will come out of this mad state of affairs intact.  America has teetered on the edge of Marxist disaster once before in its history, during the FDR and Truman years, when the fruits of the Manhattan Project were instantly transmitted to Stalin in Moscow, who was able to explode his own copycat bomb as early as 1949.  Leftist betrayal is not new, nor is it unusual.

If you believe delusionally that the “bourgeois” nation-state is the enemy of all that is good and decent, and that destroying it will bring about utopia, smuggling nuclear secrets to Jozef Stalin becomes a great gift to humanity.  Once you accept delusional cult beliefs, the end simply justifies the means.  And delusional cults are a dime a dozen in human history.

As the Wall Street Journal wrote this week:

The American image has been tarnished by the progressives who took control of the U.S. government in 2009. They set about to expand the state's power, which was exactly what had destroyed the productive drive and creative skills of the post-World War II Russians and Chinese. They made a hash of health insurance, grossly distorted finance and destroyed personal savings by manipulation of the credit markets. They conducted a war on fossil fuels, handing a victory to Russia, which uses its hydrocarbon exports to exercise political influence in Europe. They weakened the dollar by running up huge national debts and wasted the nation's substance on silly projects like "fighting global warming."

Obama’s mentors shared a bitter hatred for middle-class values, starting with his mother and father, followed by his Muslim madrassa teachers in Jakarta, then Frank Marshall Davis in Hawaii, on and on, culminating in Jerry Wright, who calls our culture of freedom and productive work “middleclassness” – a direct translation of Marx’s “bourgeoisie,” the enemy that must be destroyed.

What is different about the Obama left is not the basic doctrine of revolutionary destruction.  What’s different is the new alliance between the radical left and jihadist Islam.  According to Bat Ye’or, that alliance goes back to the 1970s, after the Arab oil embargo, when Wahhabi and Khomeinist Muslims started to buy politicians by the barrel in Europe and America.  Obama is the culmination of decades of Muslim influence-buying, which now controls much of our media, politics, and educational system.

Today, we are seeing that alliance emerge in the Muslim world, where the Western left has consistently supported murderous jihadist movements and regimes.

Obama has supported mass-killing regimes in the Middle East against more moderate, stabilizing rulers: Mubarak, Gaddafi (much better than today’s civil war in Libya), Maliki (ditto for Iraq), Karzai (ditto for Afghanistan).  Instead, Obama consistently favors al-Qaeda-linked killer gangs in Syria and the biggest sponsor of terrorism, Iran.  His treatment of our longtime allies has been atrocious.  Betrayal is his middle name.

The hokey “spontaneous” immigrant wave of children and criminals is just another example of hard-left agitprop – in this case culminating in massive, deliberate child endangerment and probable abuse.

Obama’s self-appointed mission in life is to destroy the most productive and beneficial culture in history.  Obama personally taught Alinsky’s Rules to his ACORN followers, and Alinsky called us “the enemy.”  That word is used in war, and radicals like Obama and Malcolm X are bitter warlike agitators.  (The old word for “community organizer” was “communist agitator”).  Radicals like Obama read their revolutionary heroes literally, just like any Bible-quoting fundamentalist preacher.

The civilized world has a great ability to recover from disaster, as it showed three times in the last century.  But each time the resistance has had to be led by those who tell the truth.  Sane and sensible people today cannot rely on our twisted media, and we cannot believe our broken politicians.  We have new web technologies at our fingertips that allow us to throw out the bums – be they RINOs, leftist radicals, or Islamofascists.  Eventually our confused voters will figure it out – but don’t expect other people to make it happen.

Everything depends on telling the truth, and you and I must take full responsibility for doing so. Nobody else will do it for us.


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Revisiting ‘Freedom Summer’

Was it really the summer Martin Luther King's dream began to die?

Fifty years ago, civil rights activists began Freedom Summer. Or, I should say, some people who held themselves out as “civil rights activists” did so.

PJ Media’s Ron Radosh recently referred to a PBS documentary on the event, which the public network described as the summer when “more than 700 student volunteers from around the country joined organizers and local African Americans in a historic effort to shatter the foundations of white supremacy in what was one of the nation’s most viciously racist, segregated states.” More modestly stated, it was an effort to register black voters en masse.

Or was it? A recent revelation should cause objective historians to take a very hard second look at how and why Freedom Summer came to be, and at what really transpired in Mississippi that summer. From here, it appears that a campaign which has long been considered a civil rights movement milestone was really the beginning of the legitimate civil rights movement’s interment.

A June 19 Politico Magazine remembrance by historian Josh Zeitz shed new light on its leaders’ true intentions.

Zeitz apparently feels that he’s now in the historical clear to acknowledge and even celebrate motivations which, if widely known at the time, would have outraged millions of Americans of good will who had been moved by the nonviolence of Martin Luther King Jr. and his followers to accept the need for landmark legislation — the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — to enforce the right to vote, and to formally outlaw segregation in schools, workplaces, and public accommodations based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Though it wasn’t formally passed by the House and signed by President Lyndon Baines Johnson until July 2, the legislation’s passage had been certain since June 19 when it cleared the Senate.

Zeitz, an open Democrat, lays bare what he admiringly acknowledges “was in many ways a very cynical strategy.”

Was it ever, as it involved deliberately placing northern white kids in mortal danger:

"The architects of Freedom Summer were shrewd, pragmatic veterans of a brutal street fight … they wagered that if white students from prominent Northern families were arrested, beaten and illegally jailed—as they fully expected they would be—the federal government would finally recognize its responsibility to intervene in Mississippi....

The goal, explained (organizer Bob) Moses in advance of the summer project, was to create a political crisis. “Only when metal has been brought to white heat can it be shaped and molded,” he said. John Lewis … predicted that if white students were placed in harm’s way, “the federal government will have to take over the state … out of this conflict, this division and chaos, will come something positive.” ...

Though Moses rejected the charge that … (they) planned “to get some people killed so the federal government will move into Mississippi,” he also maintained that “no privileged group in history has ever given up anything without some kind of blood sacrifice.”

Zeitz’s attempt to draw a parallel between Freedom Summer and the previous year’s Birmingham Campaign led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. falls flat. Of course, Birmingham organizer King knew that serious violence in what was then known as “Bombingham” was virtually guaranteed. But he didn’t need to, and didn’t, recruit naive white Northern guinea pigs who could not possibly have been prepared to fully protect themselves in an incredibly hostile environment to ramp up the national pressure which became the catalyst for achieving passage of the Civil Rights Act. It should also not be forgotten that Mississippi’s culture of racial violence at the time was far worse than Alabama’s, or that King was not involved with Freedom Summer.

I’m not convinced that Freedom Summer needed to happen at all.

It’s not as if the federal government stood still after the act’s passage. In a late-June op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, Robert Schenkkan showed that President Lyndon Baines Johnson went all-in with tangible enforcement:

Jim Crow began to die, in part because LBJ well understood that passing laws was one thing and enforcing them quite another. Just as he had been determined to muscle the bill through Congress, Johnson was determined to see the law carried out by every executive power at his command.

More HERE

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, 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. 

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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Monday, July 07, 2014


World news



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Now for lots of U.S. news

Virginia activists win on ride-sharing

Virginia activists scored another victory this week. First they fought back against ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion and won. And now they won another big battle for economic freedom.

When the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles sent a cease-and-desist to the ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft, citizens were outraged.

Uber and Lyft provide a cheap, quality alternative to government-controlled taxis. That’s why the medallioned-cab industry used the government to crack down on the competition.

But Virginians fought back. They used the FreedomWorks action center and told Governor Terry McAuliffe and DMV Commissioner Richard Holcomb. There was a large social media campaign to revoke the cease-and-desist order. And in the end, the citizens of Virginia won.

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles gave up its crusade to ban Uber and Lyft. Grassroots action made the difference.

This powerful lesson proves what patriots can accomplish whenever government steps outside its normal bounds and hurts small business.

Via email

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ND workers enjoy high wages despite lack of minimum wage law

Prosperity is the way to increase wages. And getting the government out of the way is the key to that.  ND got its start through fracking  --  before the Feds noticed what was happening

As policymakers in Washington, D.C., debate raising the federal minimum wage, entry-level workers in North Dakota enjoy pay levels  nearly twice the current federal minimum.

“Effectively, our minimum wage in town is $14 an hour,” claims Shawn Kessel, administrator for the City of Dickinson, a community in North Dakota’s booming oil fields.

Neither North Dakota nor the City of Dickinson have a minimum wage policy.

Kessel isn’t basing his estimate on any official survey, but rather his own observations. He told Watchdog he discusses wages with local business leaders and tracks the wages offered in job listings in his city. He’s convinced the number is accurate, and it is certainly in line with other data and observations in the state.

Wages even for entry-level jobs are so high in North Dakota they sometimes go viral. Watchdog reported previously on a photo by University of Michigan economist Mark Perry of job listings at a Walmart in Williston, which showed cashiers commanding wages of more than $17 per hour.

Plus, North Dakota has led the nation in personal income growth in six of the past seven years.

In March, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released a report showing North Dakota’s personal incomes have nearly doubled over the past decade, to more than $57,000 per year. That’s a 93 percent increase from 2003 when incomes in the state were $29,569 per capita.

More remarkable is that North Dakota’s booming incomes come at a time when income growth is slowing in the rest of the country. Nationally, personal income growth slowed from 4.2 percent in 2012 to 2.6 percent in 2013, but North Dakota nearly tripled the national rate at 7.6 percent. The state also was double the second-ranked state, Utah, which saw 4 percent growth, according to the BEA.

North Dakota’s per-capita personal yearly income is $57,084 in 2013, up from $54,871 in 2012. The state now ranks third in the nation in per capita personal income, behind only Connecticut’s $60,487 and Washington, D.C., at $74,513.

Still, at least one policymaker in the state supports hiking the minimum wage. U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat, is a co-sponsor of legislation that would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.

“I don’t know anyone who puts in 40 hours of work who makes $15,000 a year can make ends meet in North Dakota,” she said of the policy in April.

But in North Dakota, high wages even for entry-level workers seem to be a product of supply and demand, not government policy. The state has launched a national campaign led by Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley to lure 20,000 new workers to fill open jobs.

SOURCE

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The Clinton Motto: Contempt and Elitism

As the expression goes, "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree." When it comes to the Clinton Family the apple never fell, and all associations with the tree leave one contemptuous, elitist and complete incapable of relating to real human beings, real life and reality.

The associations can be wide reaching, like the entire Democrat party. Only the Democrats, who claim to champion women's rights, could think of former President Bill Clinton as a hero. President Clinton was a national embarrassment; he molested an intern in the Oval Office while on the taxpayer's dime.

Make no mistake, Clinton molested Monica Lewinsky... President Clinton was 51. He was the adult in the room. He chose to molest Lewinsky. He chose the easiest path to what he wanted. Like David Letterman, he didn't even have the decency to pay a professional. That's not someone who should be hailed as a hero. That's a criminal who should spend time in jail.

With former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, contempt and elitism are the standard; the Clinton Family Motto. It was thought the zenith of her Clinton-tude were on full display during the Benghazi hearings when she - quite angrily, as if her child had died in Benghazi - lashed out, screeching, "What difference, at this point, does it make?"

But she reached new heights (depths?) when she spoke with Diane Sawyer about how tough life was after the White House:

 "We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt,” Clinton told Diane Sawyer in an interview with ABC News. “We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages, for houses, for Chelsea’s education. You know, it was not easy."

That's not a typo. That's mortgages and houses. Plural.

Only the elitist thinks that line is connecting with Americans. Next, she'll be talking about conscious uncoupling, or how she was pinned down by gunfire in Bosnia. Oh...wait...

We've come to expect these things from Hillary and Bill, but it came as a surprise (though it shouldn't have) when Chelsea Clinton out-contempted and out-elited the two of them.

As reported by National Review:

"In the latest Clinton money quote, the career first daughter pronounced in a Fast Company interview that she has “tried really hard to care about things that were very different from my parents. I was curious if I could care about [money] on some fundamental level, and I couldn’t. That wasn’t the metric of success that I wanted in my life."

Chelsea's entire adult life has been about and around money. Constant money. Floods of money. Tons of money. Her parents have earned over $100 million since they left office. Her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, is a successful investment banker and now has his own hedge fund.

Their wedding cost $3 million. They live in a $10 million apartment in Manhattan.

For her part-time work as the worst interviewer ever to exist on planet Earth (and that includes Bill Press AND Magic Johnson!) she earned $600,000. Some say earned, some say received an untraceable campaign contribution to her mother. Po-tay-toe, Po-tah-toe.

For Chelsea to claim that she doesn't care about money is not just a lie, it's part of the elitism and contempt that the Clintons, as a family, share. Contempt for the little people. Contempt for the truth. Contempt for honesty. And the belief that they are above it all; Specifically, things like money, decency and human life.

The only thing more embarrassing than the Clinton's are those who look up to them.

SOURCE

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"Affordable housing" follies

Following a long career as an ideologically-driven career politician, in 1999, Jerry Brown reinvented himself as the pragmatic mayor of Oakland, California.

When local activists called for Oakland to adopt inclusionary zoning policy—so-called “affordable housing” mandates—Brown invited the Independent Institute to provide a scholar for the Blue Ribbon Commission formed to investigate the proposal.

With the help of our supporters, the Independent Institute was able to provide Senior Fellow Benjamin Powell. He researched the effects of these policies where they had already been implemented, and then presented his findings to the Commission.

Dr. Powell showed definitively that these “affordable housing” policies would make housing less affordable in Oakland—reducing both the construction of housing and the supply of land for residential construction! As a result Brown opposed the Oakland measure.

Statewide, policymakers persisted in proposing these benign-sounding, but misguided laws, last year passing AB 1229 which would have mandated “affordable housing” units for all developments throughout the state.

Fortunately, Jerry Brown—now Governor, in a resounding display of the Independent Institute's turning ideas into impact, remembered the lesson, and vetoed the bill!  Brown declared:

"As mayor of Oakland, I saw how difficult it can be to attract development to low and middle income communities. Requiring developers to include below-market units in their projects can exacerbate these challenges, even while not meaningfully increasing the amount of affordable housing in a given community."

Ideas matter! And ideas rooted in principle in fact win out when presented in the non-partisan, non-politicized manner that is the Independent Institute’s stock-in-trade.

Email from The Independent Institute

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At Colo. restaurant, menu comes with armed waitresses



RIFLE, Colo. — At Shooters Grill, you can decide whether your freshly made cherry pie comes with ice cream, but you have no choice on who delivers it: An armed waitress.  All nine of the servers at the restaurant pack heat as they shuttle plates of food to diners, from Glock semi-automatics to Ashlee Saenz's thigh-length Rueger Blackhawk .357 six-shooter. On the wall, posted alongside copies of the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights, is a sign declaring that those inside are still "proudly clinging to my guns and Bible."

Owner Lauren Boebert, 27, says she didn't start out to make a statement when she began carrying a pistol on her hip a month after opening Shooters a year ago. But through the months, her other waitresses thought it was kind of fun and they, too, started carrying in this town of 9,200 about 180 miles west of Denver.
"We don't worship guns. We worship Jesus," said Boebert, a mother of four whose husband works in the oil industry. "We're here to serve people."

Word is getting around about the unusual service at the restaurant, which earlier this year won a series of readers-favorite awards from a nearby newspaper for its home-cooked food that includes all-day breakfast and prime rib.  A reporter sent to cover the restaurant in late June highlighted Boebert, Saenz and the other waitresses. Word got around and curious customers started pouring in.

Monday afternoon, Robert Vedrenne ate an early dinner, drawn by that newspaper article in the Glenwood Springs (Colo.) Post Independent. A native Texan, Vedrenne wondered whether Boebert and her staff were just using guns to sell mediocre food. They weren't. Menu items include the M16 burrito, the Swiss and Wesson grilled cheese, and "Locked and Loaded nachos."

"I wanted to see if this was gimmicky or if it really was good food," said Vedrenne, who is temporarily living in the area for work. "And it was good. I'll be back."

In May, the Denver-based Chipotle burrito chain asked gun owners to stop bringing guns into the company's stores following a series of demonstrations from strident Second Amendment supporters in Texas. And last year, Starbucks also asked gun owners to leave their weapons behind when buying coffee.  However, in Rifle, Boebert said the local Starbucks franchisee has no problem when she walks in wearing her Springfield XDS .45.

Rifle has a low rate of violent crime, and Shooters' waitresses say they never expect to use their weapons, which are carried in holsters like ones police officers use to prevent people from grabbing their firearms. Boebert said she just wanted to create a place where people like her would feel comfortable carrying their weapons publicly, as is their legal right in Colorado.

The restaurant also offers handgun safety classes to patrons, who get dinner and a four-hour seminar for $75. And while the waitresses' guns are loaded, they're under strict orders to keep safeties on and their weapons holstered unless there's a darn good reason to draw.

Police Chief John Dyer told the Post Independent that he has no problem with the way Boebert is operating. The restaurant doesn't serve alcohol, and all of the waitresses have been safety certified to carry concealed weapons, even though they need no special permit to carry openly.

"If it was a bar, I might be saying something different," he told the paper. "And besides, they make a really good burger."

SOURCE

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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.

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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Sunday, July 06, 2014


The Forgotten Flag of the American Revolution and What It Means



It's a continual amazement to me what people claim to find in the Declaration of Independence.  I have read it many times now and most of its alleged contents are simply not there.  Daniel Hannan below for instance nominates "Magna Carta, jury trials, free contract, property rights, habeas corpus, parliamentary representation, liberty of conscience, and the common law" as things that are demanded there. But of that list I can find jury trials only.  Most of the Declaration comprises complaints about the King stopping the American grandees from making more and more laws to regulate their countrymen.  It was the King who was the libertarian, not the revolutionaries.

The proponents of revolutions are as far as I can tell  always Leftists -- Leftists who have fine talk about the justice of their cause but who basically are just grabbing power for their own clique.  And I cannot see that the American revolutionaries were any different.  They even headline their Declaration with that classic but absurd Leftist slogan:  "all men are created equal".

The Leftism that the Declaration embodied is of course much more limited than the Leftism we know today but it was a definite Leftist episode in history nonetheless

We all know the story of American independence, don’t we? A rugged frontier people became increasingly tired of being ruled by a distant elite. A group calling themselves Patriots were especially unhappy about being taxed by a parliament in which they were unrepresented. When, in 1775, British Redcoats tried to repress them, a famous Patriot called Paul Revere rode through the night across eastern Massachusetts, crying “The British are coming!” The shots that were fired the next day began a war for independence which culminated the following year in the statehouse in Philadelphia, when George Washington and others, meeting under Betsy Ross’s gorgeous flag, signed the Declaration of Independence.

It’s a stirring story, but it’s false in every aspect. Neither Paul Revere nor anyone else could have shouted “The British are coming!” in 1775: The entire population of Massachusetts was British. (What the plucky Boston silversmith actually yelled was “The regulars are out!”) The overall level of taxation in the colonies in 1775 was barely a fiftieth of what it was in Great Britain, and the levies to which Americans had objected had been repealed before the fighting began. The Boston Tea Party, which sparked the violence, was brought about by a *lowering* of the duty on tea. George Washington wasn’t there when the Declaration of Independence was signed. The flag that the Patriots marched under was not, except on very rare occasions, the stars-and-stripes (which probably wasn’t sewn by Betsy Ross) but the Grand Union flag.

Known also as the Congress Flag and the Continental Colors, the Grand Union Flag had the 13 red and white stripes as they are today, but in the top left-hand quarter, instead of stars, it showed Britain’s flag, made up of the St. George’s Cross for England and the St. Andrew’s Cross for Scotland. It was the banner that the Continental Congress met under, the banner that flew over their chamber when they approved the Declaration of Independence. It was the banner that George Washington fought beneath, that John Paul Jones hoisted on the first ship of the United States Navy. That it has been almost excised from America’s collective memory tells us a great deal about how the story of the Revolution was afterward edited.

The men who raised that standard believed that they were fighting for their freedoms as Britons — freedoms that had been trampled by a Hanoverian king and his hirelings. When they called themselves Patriots — a word that had been common currency among Whigs on both sides of the Atlantic long before anyone dreamed of a separation — they meant that they were British patriots, cherishing the peculiar liberties that had come down to them since Magna Carta: jury trials, free contract, property rights, habeas corpus, parliamentary representation, liberty of conscience, and the common law.

SOURCE

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Declaration of DEPENDENCE is the rule today

How many of us still "hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."?

It's the essential question. After all, 53% of Americans voted for a president in 2008 who doesn't seem to hold these truths. In several speeches after he was inaugurated, he left out the three essential words "by our Creator" when quoting from the Declaration of Independence.

One was in a speech to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus during which he paused and fluttered his eyelids, as if he were suffering an involuntary tic lasting a second or two - and then proceeded to leave out those critical three words. It didn't seem like an accidental oversight to me. It seemed deliberate.

 The words are revolutionary. All the signers at the bottom of the Declaration of Independence agreed with them and placed their lives and property in danger when they signed because if they lost the ensuing revolution, they would be hanged and their property confiscated. They knew that. They believed in a Creator with a capital C. They believed in liberty. They were willing to die for those beliefs. How many of us are willing to die for them now? My guess is not so many.

 The principle upon which our country was founded is that our rights come from God, but it looks like Americans today don't believe that. They tend to believe instead that our rights come from government, and an increasing number don't believe there is any such thing as a God. Most sit back as secularists chip away at religious freedoms in schools, in the military, and virtually every public place whether local, state, or federal. Provisions of Obamacare now require churches to pay for abortion-inducing drugs, which those churches consider murderous.

This has sparked a major backlash among Catholics - the largest Christian denomination in America. Catholics initiated their "Fortnight For Freedom" campaign last week in which they declare their unwillingness to obey this Obama's mandate.

 Secularists think they can create a perfect society without God because people are inherently good. They think government is the vehicle for their utopian creation. Believers, however, hold that all men are sinners, and don't see any possibility of utopia this side of heaven. They see government as a necessary evil which, if allowed to get too powerful, can create hell on earth.

Then there's the Declaration's right to liberty, which the World English Dictionary defines as: "the power of choosing, thinking, and acting for oneself; freedom from control or restriction." What follows, of course, is taking responsibility for those choices. Liberty also carries the right to fail in our "pursuit of happiness." The Declaration doesn't guarantee it - only its pursuit.

Conservative Americans believe liberty is the most important right. Leftists believe equality is more important. If some Americans succeed in pursuing happiness - or property, as it was originally written - leftists like President Obama believe government should confiscate it and distribute it to Americans who didn't pursue it, or if they did, were unsuccessful in their efforts to obtain it.

Leftists do this not to only make them happy, but to persuade them to vote for leftist candidates who will pursue more redistribution. This is what America is becoming. Leftist redistribution schemes stifle our fabled American initiative and inventiveness, and consequently stifle our economy too. We're losing our liberty - our freedom from government control and restriction. That is what's bringing Europe down, and it will bring us down too if we allow it to continue. We're seeing lately that Americans don't want liberty so much as they want government to take care of them. That's the trend.

 America used to attract people from all around the world who wanted to experience liberty - to build a life for themselves without government control. People who came here did that. Now, more than thirty percent of immigrants go right on welfare - twice the rate for native-born Americans - and many of them are illegal aliens as well. To win a second term, President Obama appealed to people who see government as protecting their sexual liberties - and then making them dependent on government programs in every other aspect of their lives from cradle to grave. Those who put an X next to his name last November 6th were endorsing a "Declaration of Dependence," and spurning independence.

 On the Fourth of July, we should ask ourselves: Are we still a liberty-loving people, or have we become afraid of it?

SOURCE

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The erosion of American sovereignty

Is the sovereignty that the founders achieved being thrown away?

Territorially, Americans need only look to the south for a reminder of how lax border enforcement can lead to chaos as more than 50,000 children have streamed over the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months. It is difficult to call a nation sovereign if it is unable to control its own borders. Why is it that an additional $2 billion and a “sustained border security surge” is necessary to prevent tens of thousands of illegal immigrants from entering our nation? Such negligence indicates, at best, a serious lack of commitment to our territorial integrity.

And what about our legal sovereignty? The Obama administration has urged Congress to ratify treaties that would make the drafters of the Declaration blanch. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea would subject the U.S. to baseless international lawsuits and require the U.S. Treasury to transfer millions of dollars in offshore oil royalties to the International Seabed Authority in Jamaica for “redistribution” to the so-called developing world.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities would subject U.S. disability laws to the scrutiny of a committee of supposed experts holding court in Geneva. The administration also is preparing to sign the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty, which would require the U.S. to ban its anti-personnel landmines, depriving U.S. armed forces of a key tool for shaping the battlefield. Again, ask Ukraine, which ratified the Ottawa Treaty in 2005, how its zero-tolerance landmine policy is working for it as Russian tanks roll into its territory.

In the Declaration, the Founders complained about being subject to foreign taxation, to being subjected to “a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution,” and to being transported across the seas to face criminal charges in a foreign land. The Declaration gave notice that these infringements on American sovereignty would not stand. Yet the Obama administration would have Americans subjected to taxes from the International Seabed Authority and U.S. laws and policies adjudicated by international committees sitting in Switzerland. Some American progressives would even have our military leaders and servicemen tried by the International Criminal Court for war crimes in The Hague, Netherlands.

Today, as in 1776, such infringements on American sovereignty must not stand. The drafters of the Declaration would be shocked to find Americans submitting themselves to the will of international organizations. The United States should, of course, work with other nations in a principled way that advances its national interests. But the Founders would be amazed by the extent and depth of the threats to American sovereignty posed by this new progressive vision.

The Founders did not risk their lives, fortunes and sacred honor casting off the rule of King George III so that, more than 200 years later, America could subject itself to the whims of unelected foreign bureaucrats. Sovereignty was essential to the founding of America in 1776, and it is essential to America today. Happy Sovereignty Day!

SOURCE

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Is the United States Still the Land of the Free?

A Gallup poll finds a growing number of people questioning whether our country remains the land of the free.

According to Gallup, the percentage of Americans who are dissatisfied with the freedom to do what they choose with their lives has more than doubled since 2006, from 9 percent to 21 percent.

In 2006, the United States ranked #1 in the world in satisfaction with our level of freedom. Now we rank just 36th.

Gallup reports: “The decline in perceived freedom among Americans could be attributed to the U.S. economy…. Another possible explanation for the decline in freedom is how Americans feel about their government.”

Americans’ perceptions accurately reflect the decline in economic freedom in the United States as measured by the Index of Economic Freedom, published jointly by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal.

Over the 20-year history of the Index, the U.S.’s economic freedom has fluctuated significantly. During the first 10 years, our score rose gradually, and we joined the ranks of the economically “free” in 2006. Since then, we have suffered a dramatic decline of almost 6 points, with particularly large losses in property rights, freedom from corruption, and control of government spending.

The United States is the only country to have recorded a loss of economic freedom each of the past seven years.

Ronald Reagan once remarked: “I think it’s time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that were intended for us by the Founding Fathers.” For a large and growing number of Americans, the answer, unfortunately, is “no.”

SOURCE

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Our Independence Is Not Yet Won

Independence Day honors the brave sacrifice that 56 patriots made when they gathered in Philadelphia to affix their names to the most treasonous document of the time: the Declaration of Independence.

However, our independence is not yet won. Contrary to what you may have learned in school, our independence was not gained on July 4, 1776, nor was it finalized when the British surrendered at Yorktown in 1781. Our fight for independence is ongoing.

We continue to fight this battle for independence every day, not against the British crown, but against the very part of man’s nature that compels individuals to pursue power.

Every day we continue to fight the battle against tyranny that started exactly 238 years ago. We continue to fight against those politicians who seek to overturn our founding documents and revert this nation to a system of rulers and subjects. And under this President, we have slipped backwards in our fight.

This is an inherent part of the human condition. For as long as men congregate, there will always be people who seek to put themselves at the top.

SOURCE

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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.

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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