Saturday, July 10, 2010

Arrested for Getting Robbed by Illegal Aliens

Given that our legal system has been completely deranged by moonbattery, see if you can guess how it responded to this case from Wheat Ridge, Colorado:
82-year-old Robert Wallace said in February that he looked out his window and saw two men hooking his flatbed trailer up to their pickup. He yelled at them to stop, but they sped away, stealing his trailer. He told police he fired two shots at the pickup.

Minutes later, police say 32-year-old Damacio Torres dropped 28-year-old Alvaro Cardona off at a hospital emergency room with a gunshot wound to the face.

Torres did not stay to talk with police, but they caught up with him later. According to court documents, he admitted he and Cardona stole the trailer.

Wallace did not want to talk on camera, but when we asked him if the two men threatened him he said, "They almost ran me over."

Now the crooks — both illegal aliens with arrest records, one of whom was under investigation for taking part in a major auto theft ring — are safely behind bars on their way to getting deported, right? Of course not:
The Jefferson County DA's office said that neither Torres nor Cardona have been charged with anything at this point, even though Torres confessed to the crime. However, the homeowner, Wallace is facing twelve felony counts, including four counts of attempted first degree murder. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Since they believe in a criminal ideology of theft and coercion (aka "spreading the wealth around"), the liberals who run our courts and our government are criminals. It's hardly surprising that they look out for their own at the expense of their enemy, the respectable citizen.



Democrat-created turmoil is blocking job creation

Business investment is the key to job creation but who would make any new moves with all the upheavals going on now?

These days, too many Americans are certain about things they should be skeptical about, and uncertain about things they need to be confident in. And our economy isn’t likely to improve unless we can reverse these positions.

“The Federal Reserve recently reported that America’s 500 largest nonfinancial companies have accumulated an astonishing $1.8 trillion of cash on their balance sheets,” wrote Newsweek columnist Fareed Zakaria recently. That’s the highest amount in decades. “And yet, most corporations are not spending this money on new plants, equipment, or workers,” he added.

Zakaria’s Washington Post colleague Steven Pearlstein has noticed, too. “There’s little doubt that businesses are holding back,” he wrote July 7. “Business investment as a percentage of economic output is at its lowest level in more than 40 years, while hiring continues to lag behind growth in output.”

So why are companies hoarding cash instead of hiring people? Simple. Uncertainty.

President Barack Obama likes to say “let me be clear” in his speeches. Before the State of the Union address, a Washington Post piece mocked Obama by saying that, “the ‘let me be clear’ preface has become a signal that what follows will be anything but.” And that’s true.

It’s not clear what Obama wants to do -- although he seems less than interested in simply enforcing the rule of law. He demanded that BP establish a $20 billion fund to pay claims filed against it by Gulf residents. Well, perhaps BP should have established such a fund on its own. But the president doesn’t have the power to compel it to do so.

And remember the automakers? Last year GM and Chrysler were on the verge of collapse. The administration bypassed the usual bankruptcy proceedings and instead engineered a federal buyout that benefited the United Auto Workers union. American taxpayers are now owners of auto companies, whether we want to be or not.

No doubt other companies were watching nervously. They’re also concerned about the possible effects of cap-and-trade legislation and financial regulation. In each case, legislation that would hurt businesses has passed the House and is being considered by the Senate. It’s impossible to predict what a final bill might look like or what it might cost. Hence, uncertainty. Hence, inaction.

And all this says nothing about immigration. “Laws like Arizona’s put huge pressures on local law enforcement to enforce rules that ultimately are unenforceable,” Obama declared on July 1. Thus the administration insists it cannot enforce the law, but adds it wants a new, “comprehensive” law to enforce. Uncertainty on top of uncertainty.

Meanwhile, one thing the president is clear on is the danger supposedly posed by global warming. “Unchecked, climate change will pose unacceptable risks to our security, our economies and our planet,” Obama declared in Copenhagen in December. “That much we know.”

But how do we “know” this? Scientists have been warning about the supposed dangers of global warming for years. But the planet isn’t getting warmer. It’s getting cooler. As Kevin Trenberth, a climatologist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, wrote in an e-mail made public after hackers broke into the computers at a British university, “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment, and it is a travesty that we can’t.”

What else are experts certain about? “The first thing about Social Security is it actually may be solvent forever,” Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman told PBS last year. “The low-cost case in Social Security always shows the trust fund going on forever, so it’s not even clear that we have a crisis.” Well, “forever” didn’t last as long as it once did.

“This year, the system will pay out more in benefits than it receives in payroll taxes,” The New York Times reported in March. The Congressional Budget Office hadn’t expected that this would happen for at least six more years.

For decades, people have been certain that Social Security would always be there for them. Yet from now on, Social Security can be expected to pay out more than it takes in each year. It will become an ever-growing drain on the already-strained federal budget. Without reform, there’s no reason to be “certain” it will survive to serve another generation of retirees.

Our leaders in Washington are undermining the rule of law in several ways. Meanwhile, they’re dealing with phantom threats (global warming), and ignoring real ones (Social Security’s insecurities).

Until something changes, there’s no reason to expect American companies to invest in our collective future.



Hamas Sends Patients to Israel for Care

Ichilov hospital in Tel Aviv treats up to 100 patients a month from Gaza, and often Hamas takes the role of middleman between Gaza residents and the Israeli hospital, Ichilov Director Professor Gabi Barabash said Thursday. Barabash spoke to Deputy Minister Ayoub Kara, a resident of the Druze village of Dalyat El Carmel near Haifa, who was touring the hospital and viewing its care for foreign Arab patients.

In addition to caring for patients from Gaza, the Ichilov staff treats many citizens of foreign Arab countries, including those that have no diplomatic ties with Israel. They all receive dedicated care, and the relatives who accompany them are provided with free food and a place to stay, Barabash said.

Kara praised the hospital's care at the end of the tour. Ichilov treats all of its patients equally, he said, but it is not the only one, and hospitals throughout the country send hundreds of people home to Gaza in good health each month after they arrived in Israel suffering from serious ailments.

He condemned Hamas for benefiting from the arrangement while giving nothing in return. “The time has come for Hamas to give us something small in return,” he said, “to release a single son of ours, who has been held for four years with no medical care, in exchange for the hundreds of people whose lives Israel saves every month.”

Kara called on Arab countries to take action: “I call on those Arab countries that are aware of how much we give them when it comes to medicine to call for Gilad Shalit's release as well.” Shalit's release would “make the peace talks much more meaningful,” he added.



Is the MSM getting rattled by scrutiny from the alternative media?

Staffer fired for pro-terrorist bias

CNN hasn't officially commented on the firing of 20-year veteran Octovia Nasr for an impolitic tweet. But that hasn't stopped Nasr critics and supporters from battling it out over the past 24 hours.

Kagan says that Nasr’s no “firebrand extremist.” Rather, Kagan described her former colleague as a “brilliant asset in putting news from the Mideast in perspective.”

Indeed, Nasr—born in Lebanon and fluent in several languages—probably understands the Middle East's ongoing tensions and cultural sensitivities better than most. And yet she still got tripped up.

Nasr, the network's senior editor for Mideast Affairs, made a hasty remark that could serve as ammunition for those who believe her coverage, or the network's as a whole, is tipped against Israel.

She praised a leader of Hezbollah, a group that has battled Israel for decades and is designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. On Sunday, Nasr simply tweeted: “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah. One of Hezbollah's giants I respect a lot.. #Lebanon.”

These days, there's swift reaction to journalist missteps, or even giving off the appearance of bias. It's because Twitter and influential blogs can quickly amplify a comment to the point where the news organization feels immediate pressure to act.



BrookesNews Update

Obama's fascist economics is failing : Obama's policy are at best a recipe for stagnation — even if full employment was restored. At worst they will result in a steep decline in the standard of living, except for his billionaire pals and his Hollywood fan club
Will the Australian housing market crash or will interest rates fall instead? : Although the laws of supply and demand are the same everywhere and at any time the conditions of supply and demand are not. Conditions in America, for example, are not the same as those in Australia
Illegal immigrants are Obama's sixth column : Irrespective of what Obama supporters — or anyone else — claims an unrestricted flow of illegal immigrants will depress average wages and hence lower the standard of living. It could also gravely undermine social cohesion and create severe political instability
Hollywood leftists mourn Stephen Rivers, their Castro connection : Hollywood's celebrated leftists are mourning the death of Stephen Rivers. What none of the eulogies state is that Rivers was a Castro toady, an agent of influence for his sadistic regime. A liar who hated America and despised its patriots . Not once did this man offer a single word of sympathy for Castro victims. As far as he was concerned those that Castro tortured and murdered had it coming to them. No wonder Hollywood lefties loved Rivers
No one's capital is safe in Obama's America : Obama's poorly coded message to investors is to take your money out of America and keep it out. Whether through excessive taxation, suffocating over-regulation, or thuggish confiscation, the lesson to be drawn by anyone with excess capital is to look for friendlier places to put it to work
Will oil drilling become a pipe dream? : President Obama's Oval Office speech made one thing clear, it is that his administration and the activists who back it view the Gulf oil spill as simply an opportunity to advance their pre-existing agenda — which has nothing to do with cleaning up the Gulf, protecting the fragile coastal environment or fostering the region's economy
Leftwing media bigotry protects the sadistic Castro : Learning more about Castro's recent narco-terrorist activities draws attention to the Fairfax Media, a nasty organization that masquerades as a media company. It's leftwing bigotry is so brazen it would have shamed the Soviets' International Department of the Central Committee


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone 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)


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Whitewashing Black Racism

By Michelle Malkin

Why haven't national media outlets reported on the vile and violent rants of the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) thugs whose 2008 voter intimidation tactics got a pass from the Obama administration? Simple: Radical black racism doesn't fit the Hope and Change narrative. There's no way to shoehorn Bush-bashing into the story. And, let's face it, exposing the inflammatory rhetoric of the left does nothing to help liberal editors and reporters fulfill their true calling -- embarrassing the right.

This week, Justice Department whistleblower J. Christian Adams came forward with damning public testimony about how Obama officials believe "civil rights law should not be enforced in a race-neutral manner, and should never be enforced against blacks or other national minorities." In the wake of Adams' expose on how the Obama DOJ abandoned default judgments against the NBPP bullies for the sake of politically correct racial politics, a shocking video clip of one of the lead defendants in the Philadelphia voter intimidation case resurfaced on the Internet. It shows bloodthirsty King Samir Shabazz during a 2009 National Geographic documentary interview spewing:

"You want freedom? You're gonna have to kill some crackers! You're gonna have to kill some of their babies!"

These NBPP death threats and white-bashing diatribes are nothing new to those who have tracked the black supremacy movement. In August 2009, nearly a year ago, I reported on a sign on display outside NBPP defendant (and elected member of Philadelphia's 14th Ward Democratic Committee) Jerry Jackson's home. It reads: "COLORED ONLY: No Whites Allowed." In July 2009, I interviewed poll watcher/witness Christopher Hill, whom Shabazz and Jackson called "cracker" several times while Shabazz brandished his baton.

"They physically attempted to block me," Hill recounted. He also saw a group of elderly ladies walk away from the polling site without voting while the duo preened in front of the entrance. "If you're a poll watcher, you shouldn't be dressed in paramilitary garb," Hill said, as he wondered aloud at what would have happened if he had showed up in the same sort of costume.

In May 2009, I reported on the affidavit of civil rights attorney and poll watcher Bartle Bull, who witnessed the NBPP thuggery in Philadelphia and reported on billy club-wielding Shabazz's election day boast: "You're about to be ruled by the black man, cracker."

In the fall of 2008, just days before he showed up to hector white poll workers, Shabazz told the Philadelphia Inquirer:

"I'm about the total destruction of white people. I'm about the total liberation of black people. I hate white people. I hate my enemy... The only thing the cracker understands is violence... The only thing the cracker understands is gunpowder. You got to take violence to violence."

The desire to kill, subordinate and demonize white people is a staple of NBPP propaganda. An NBPP Trenton, N.J., chapter "block party" music video posted on YouTube calls on black followers to "bang for freedom," "put the bang right into a cracker's face," and "if you're going to bang, bang for black power ... hang a cracker ... if you're going to bang, bang on the white devil ... burying him near the river bank with the right shovel ... community revolution in progress ... banging for crackers to go to hell, we don't need em."

Chanting "Black Power," Minister Najee Muhammad, national field marshal for the New Black Panther Party, and Uhuru Shakur, local chairman of the Atlanta NBPP chapter, issued a pre-Election Day 2008 threat to "racists and other angry whites who are upset over an impending Barack Obama presidential victory." Said Muhammad: "Most certainly, we cannot allow these racist forces to slaughter our babies or commit other acts of violence against the black population, nor our black president."

That's rich, given that the only racists talking about slaughtering babies are the ones with New Black Panther Party patches on their puffed chests.

If a Tea Party activist threatened to kill the babies of his political opponents, it wouldn't just be front-page news. It would be the subject of Democrat-led congressional investigations, a series of terrified New York Times columns about the perilous "climate of hate," a Justice Department probe by Attorney General Eric Holder, a domestic terror alert from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and another Important Teachable Moment Speech/Summit from Healer-in-Chief Barack Obama.

But with the racism shoe on the other foot, Team Obama and its media water-carriers are exhibiting the very racial cowardice Holder once purported to condemn. Thanks to Obama's feckless Department of Injustice, these black supremacist brutes are free to show up on the next national Election Day at polling places in full paramilitary regalia with nightsticks, hurling racist, anti-American epithets at those exercising their right to vote and at those protecting the integrity of the electoral process.

The reaction of our national media watchdogs: Shhhhhhhh.



See You Next Tyranny Day!

Jonah Goldberg

According to New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman in his mega-selling book "Hot, Flat, and Crowded," China banned plastic bags a few years ago. "Bam! Just like that -- 1.3 billion people, theoretically, will stop using thin plastic bags," he gushed. "Millions of barrels of petroleum will be saved, and mountains of garbage avoided."

China's got us beat, suggests Friedman, because its leaders aren't hung up on democracy or checks and balances or any of the other dusty old impediments found in the American system. Friedman has proclaimed his envy for China's authoritarian system countless times. It's why he titled one of the chapters in his book "China for a Day." The idea -- he calls it his fantasy -- is that if we could just be China for a day, the experts could impose by diktat what they cannot win through democratic debate.

If only the Founding Fathers had included an annual "Tyranny Day" in the Constitution. Every 364 days America could debate and scheme, pitting faction against faction, governmental branch against governmental branch, and on the 365th day the Supreme Soviet of the United States could simply "do things that are tough" and shove 10 pounds of policy awesomeness into democracy's five-pound bag.

Now, just for the record, China hasn't banned plastic bags. Just ask anybody who's been to China recently. But what a strange thing to sell your soul for. What was it Thomas More said, "it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world ... but to ban plastic bags?"

Now, I bring all of this up for a couple reasons. The first is that I am mildly obsessed with Tom Friedman. He's easily one of the most influential columnists in America and he routinely and blithely expresses his envy for a barbaric police state that has killed tens of millions of its own people. I think pointing that out is worth a little repetition.

But it's also worth noting that Friedman is hardly alone. He may stretch his argument to the point of parody, but he shares a widespread view that the "experts" have all the answers and the "system" is holding them back.

Such arguments are as old as they are dangerous. And they are arrogant beyond description. People like Friedman automatically assume that their preferred policies are so obviously right, so objectively enlightened, that there's no need to debate them or vote on them.

Such arguments are usually deployed to avoid valid criticisms, not because there are none. Indeed, the Obama White House virtually lives by such claims. All of the experts agreed that their stimulus would work; that Obama's version of healthcare reform was both necessary and popular, that weaning the U.S. from fossil fuels will create "green jobs." The evidence on all of these fronts is mixed or weak and yet the president insists constantly that he doesn't want to hear from people who disagree with him on these issues because all the facts are in.

Such arrogance is dangerous. The literature on the unintended consequences of policies crafted by experts is at least as old as the field of economics. Frederic Bastiat, the great 19th-century economist, noted that all that separated the good economist from the bad is the ability to appreciate the possibility of the unforeseen. Nobel Prize-winning economist Friedrich Hayek demonstrated that healthy economies couldn't be controlled by experts, because the experts will always have a "knowledge problem." They can never know all of the variables and never fully predict how their theories will play out in reality.

Right now Congress is debating a financial reform bill that simply commands that regulators predict when an unforeseen crisis will occur. This is like demanding regulators know when stocks will go up or down. If they knew that, they wouldn't be regulators -- they'd be billionaires.

But forget all that. Let's get back to those evil plastic bags. A new study from the University of Arizona reveals that reusable shopping bags, the enlightened replacement for plastic ones, are breeding grounds for E. Coli and other dangerous bacteria. Roughly 50 percent of the bags inspected were found to contain dangerous, potentially lethal, bacteria.

No, this doesn't mean we should abandon reusable bags, let alone ban them too on next year's Tyranny Day. People can clean the bags and solve the problem. That's a hassle, to be sure. But that's the point. There's always going to be a downside to even the best policies, because the experts don't know as much as they think they do. Sometimes, they don't even know they're not experts at all.




Judge-made law again: "A U.S. judge in Boston has ruled that a federal gay marriage ban is unconstitutional because it interferes with the right of a state to define marriage. U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro on Thursday ruled in favor of gay couples’ rights in two separate challenges to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA. The state had argued the law denied benefits such as Medicaid to gay married couples in Massachusetts, where same-sex unions have been legal since 2004. Tauro agreed, and said the act forces Massachusetts to discriminate against its own citizens.”

Defending the gypsy cab driver: "The taxi business in the United States usually works to the detriment of the poor and minority groups in two ways — as consumers and as producers. As consumers, their plight is well demonstrated by ethnic ‘taxicab jokes,’ and by the subterfuge and embarrassment blacks undergo in order to get a cab, which they are frequently unable to do. The reasons are not difficult to fathom. Taxi rates are set by law and are invariant, regardless of the destination of the trip. However, some destinations are more dangerous than others, and drivers are reluctant to service these areas, which are usually the home neighborhoods of the poor and the minorities. So when given a choice, cab drivers are likely to select customers on the basis of their economic status or skin color.”

In the game of picking winners and losers, the government picks losers: "A knowledge problem exists. When the government picks winners and losers, it asserts that it knows the optimal level of something. In practice, such a level is impossible to determine. I do not know the socially optimal mix of any set of products and services, and neither do government officials. No one has access to perfect information. It would be beneficial if the state government stayed out of playing favorites in the market and instead let individuals determine their own optimal levels by engaging in unrestricted trade.”

Time to let South Korea defend itself: "What would a new American policy on North Korea — one that is based on seeing reality as it really is, rather than what we dream it to be — look like? In essence, it should be a policy of empowerment for South Korea. This policy of empowerment would involve at least two concrete measures. First, it would involve the immediate ratification of the U.S./South Korea Free Trade Agreement. … Second, a policy of empowerment of South Korea would explicitly and publicly remove our constraints on South Korean weapons development. Let them start developing nuclear missiles as well.”

More decay from a mainstream denomination: "A Presbyterian assembly voted Thursday to endorse the ordination of non-celibate gays and lesbians, sending the measure for ratification votes to regional presbyteries where resistance to such changes has diminished in recent years. Church representatives, meeting in Minneapolis at the weeklong General Assembly, voted 373-323 to lift the ban in the Louisville-based Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which has 2.1 million members. The assembly also was scheduled to consider on Thursday night a proposal to redefine marriage in the church’s constitution to encompass any two people, regardless of gender. Both measures would require approval by a majority of the regional presbyteries to become part of the church constitution.” [The Presbyterian church into which I was baptised accepted the Bible as the ultimate authority on faith and morals. Apparently they have found a "wiser" guide than that now!]

Parasitic tort lawyers: "Tort lawyers lie. They say their product liability suits are good for us. But their lawsuits rarely make our lives better. They make lawyers and a few of their clients better off — but for the majority of us, they make life much worse.”

The rats are cornered: "The stimulus and gimmicks initiated by a desperate political class prodded on by our Keynesian witch-doctors Summers and Geithner ran their course and at the end of that road was a massive pile of debt, chronic unemployment, a populace that doesn’t believe or trust anything the government says or does and a housing market set to resume its downward spiral. So basically the forces of deflation have taken over once again. Banana Ben Bernanke knows it and he knows what he wants to do about it. He wants to print so much money it would make your head spin.”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone 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)


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Friday, July 09, 2010

New British PM talks big about power to the people

You might be forgiven for flying your Gadsden flag over this but will it actually happen? Sadly, this is Britain and we have heard it all before: From Tony Blair. If it brings any changes at all, it is most likely to mean more power to local busybodies. But I hope I am wrong

David Cameron will today promise to 'completely change' the way Britain is run by giving people real power over schools, hospitals, police and other public services.

The Prime Minister will outline what is being seen as a 'Blair-plus' reform agenda as he insists the coalition is not only interested in paying off the country's unprecedented budget deficit.

The Prime Minister will promise to 'turn government on its head' by taking power away from Whitehall and devolving it to people and communities.

The Government, he will say, intends to introduce 'competition and choice' throughout public services - a pledge that echoes the failed ambitions of 'ultra' supporters of the former prime minister Tony Blair, including Alan Milburn.

State monopolies will be smashed, with charities, businesses and even individuals invited to run schools, back-to-work schemes and other public services.

The coalition also favours the principle of paying providers by results to drive up performance.

It will combine this with its own 'big society' agenda, which will empower individuals by giving them more local democratic control - through elected police commissioners and more local referendums, for instance - and introducing transparency, so they can see how their money is being spent.

Every Government department will be required to publish a plan setting outs its priorities and 'measurable milestones', so anyone can check whether they are meeting their commitments. So-called 'structural reform plan' will replace Labour's old, top-down systems of targets and central mismanagement, the Prime Minister will say.

Speaking to an audience of 450 civil servants at a conference in London, the Prime Minister will say: 'People are making a big mistake if they think this Government is just about sorting out the deficit. 'That's not why I came into politics. It's not what the coalition came together for. We came together to change our country for the better in every way: the best schools open to the poorest children, a first-class NHS there for everyone, streets that are safe, families that are stable, communities that are strong.

'These ambitions haven't died because the money is tight. The real question is: how can we achieve these aims when there is so little money? How can this circle be squared? 'The answer is reform – radical reform. We need to completely change the way this country is run.'

Mr Cameron will say he is not criticising everything Labour did - but insist they went wrong with their 'top-down, controlling, bureaucratic' approach to public services. They created a system of 'bureaucratic accountability' in which almost everything was measured or judged against a set of targets and performance indicators, monitored, measured and inspected centrally.

'That was the past. Now we have a new government. A new coalition government, with a new approach. We intend to do things differently, very differently,' Mr Cameron will say. 'If I could describe in one line the change we plan for the way we approach public services, and reform generally, it's this: we want to replace the old system of bureaucratic accountability with a new system of democratic accountability – accountability to the people, not the government machine.

'We want to turn government on its head, taking power away from Whitehall and putting it into the hands of people and communities. ' We want to give people the power to improve our country and public services, through transparency, local democratic control, competition and choice. 'To give you just one example: instead of teachers thinking they have to impress the Department of Education, they have to impress local parents as they have a real choice over where to send their child.

'It really is a total change in the way our country is run: from closed systems to open markets, from bureaucracy to democracy, from big government to big society, from politician power to people power.'



Transportation Stupid Agency

Once again, the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) has distinguished itself as guardians of our security for airline travel. Certainly, in a post-9/11 world we have to expect that there will inevitably be some level of security to guard against terrorism. But you have to wonder what the "S" in TSA really stands for. Consider these two news stories from late June.

First, it seems that TSA needs to learn a lesson or two in common courtesy when it comes to airline passengers who are amputees (although some might say that’s true more generally). According to amputee Peggy Chenoweth who was flying with her 4-year old son:

"I had just been put in the plexiglass screening booth – which I expected. My 4-year-old son was made to sit across from me, crying because they would not let him touch me. Everyone was looking at us. Then the TSA agent asked for my prosthetic leg. I knew they could wand my leg, but he insisted on taking it from me. And if that wasn’t humiliating enough, he asked for the liner sock that covers my residual limb, saying I had to give it to him. I felt pressured to give him my liner even though it is critical to keep it sanitary. I was embarrassed to have my residual limb exposed in public."

Although TSA claims to have procedures for properly screening disabled passengers and that "under no circumstances is it TSA’s policy to ask a passenger to remove his/her prosthetic during screening," three-fourths of those surveyed (7,300 amputees out of about 1.7 million in the United States) by the Amputee Coalition of America said they were unsatisfied by their most recent airport screening experience. Among the complaints:

* Not being screened by a TSA agent of the same gender

* Not being allowed to have a caregiver accompany them into the screening room

* Being forced to lift their clothing during random checks for explosives

* And some amputees have had to submit to an inordinate number of x-rays to get through the screening process:

o Jeff from Denver: "TSA confiscated my vacuum system required to fit my prosthetic legs. I told them I need those tools to put on my legs. Without them, it can’t be done. They eventually gave them back after I boarded the plane, but it would have been more appropriate to have a conversation with me about it and let me know. Had they not given the tools back, I could not have put on my legs for my entire trip. This was the worst of my many TSA experiences, but because I fly a lot, I am also concerned about the level of radiation to which I am exposed. I have had as many as 20 exposures during one trip."

o Leslie from Minneapolis: "While I consider myself a seasoned amputee traveler, my situation brought me to tears for the inequity that I experienced because of having a prosthetic leg. I was led to a small room without being told where I was going and my husband wasn’t allowed to accompany me. Ten X-rays were taken of my leg, so I was concerned and inquired about the amount of radiation, but was given no answers. The TSA screeners made me stand on six unsecured, stacked storage bins. I told them it wasn’t safe – I only have one leg."

How hard is it to come up with a standard procedure for passengers with prosthetics? First and foremost, such screening needs to protect those passengers’ privacy – as well as accommodating their unique situation, such as allowing a caregiver to accompany them. It would seem that a simple wanding of the prosthetic to detect for suspicious metal would, in most instances, be enough to determine whether a more invasive search (such as running the prosthetic through x-ray) is warranted. And if for some reason it becomes absolutely necessary to remove a prosthetic, it could be chemically swabbed to detect explosives.

To be fair to TSA employees, a big part of the problem is lack of training – as well as proper supervision to ensure proper procedures are being followed. Compound that with the fact that being a government employee (or contract employee) largely means following all the rules and regulations without leeway for interpretation or the ability to use judgment. Or put another way, common sense is often not allowed to prevail. Indeed, it can be cause for punishment.

Speaking of common sense, how about the fact that 6-year old Alyssa Thomas is on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) infamous no-fly list? According to a TSA spokesperson, "The watch lists are an important layer of security to prevent individuals with known or suspected ties to terrorism from flying." Since Allyssa was allowed to fly on the day the Thomases were told that her name was on the no-fly list, she clearly isn’t a threat. But even though the Thomases have appealed to DHS to have their daughter’s name removed from the no-fly list, they’ve been told that nothing in Alyssa’s file will be changed. [This is exactly why Senator Lautenberg's (D-NJ) proposed legislation to prevent people on the no-fly list from being able to purchase a firearm is a dumb idea, not to mention unconstitutional – unless there are other legal reasons, such as being Osama bin Laden or a convicted felon, other than being on the no-fly list.]

This is what $7 billion (TSA’s annual budget, which is part of the $55 billion Department of Homeland Security budget) of your tax dollars buys you. Transportation Stupid Agency.




Britain has a small conservative political party called UKIP which wants Britain out of the EU. I agree with them. I think NAFTA would be a much better fit for Britain. Anyway, UKIP have a brilliant speaker named Nigel Farage. Ironically, he is a member of the EU parliament! He knows how to give them what for, however. His latest speech there is about the fact that the EU parliament has a presidency that changes every six months and it has just become Belgium's turn to preside. Mr Farage is NOT impressed by Belgium! Fun video here. I think he is even more outspoken than Sarah Palin!

Another triumph of U.S. airport security: "In what’s being called ‘an incredible comedy of errors’ that has embarrassed U.S. officials, four semiautomatic pistols belonging to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bodyguards vanished after arriving at New York’s JFK Airport, the New York Post reports. A source characterized the hunt for the 9mm Glock 17s as ‘priority No. 1 in American law enforcement.’ The paper says the pistols were among seven guns in the bodyguards’ luggage that arrived at dawn Sunday on an El Al flight from Israel.”

3 years down the track, there’s no recovery, just more hard times ahead: "Yes, there have been times when the economic data looked promising. During some weeks first time unemployment claims have been down. The economy has grown between two and three percent some months. And there have even been some months when new home sales have swelled and the prices of houses in general have increased. But the fact of the matter is that the worst of the crisis is yet to come and of course like the initial crisis which has lasted for close to three years already it will be Washington’s fault.”

The rout of Obamanomics: "In February 2009, I published a commentary in the Wall Street Journal entitled ‘Reaganomics v. Obamanomics,’ which pointed out that President Obama’s economic policies were exactly the opposite of President Reagan’s. I predicted that as a result they would produce exactly the opposite results. Art Laffer has produced a far more sophisticated argument advancing a similar analysis. But the June unemployment report released last Friday shows an economy doing much worse at this point than even I expected.”

Rogernomics needed in Britain: "Full marks to the dynamic Simon Walker of the British Venture Capital Association, who brought his fellow New Zealander Sir Roger Douglas over to explain how to turn around a failing economy and overblown government That’s what he did as NZ Finance Minister in just three short years in the 1980s. Even though he was a Labour Minister, he ripped into trade protections and subsidies, ended exchange controls, cut the deficit, halved income tax, let markets and not the state lead development, and brought honesty and transparency to government accounting. His key messages? Act decisively, and act quickly. You only get one shot at this. Don’t give the special-interest groups time to band together and drag you down.”

Fear of China is overblown: "‘When the Chinese become our overlords, will they be benevolent overlords — or horrific taskmasters?’ The Daily Show host Jon Stewart made that joke three years ago, but American anxiety over China’s rise is more intense today. The good news is that our anxieties are often misdirected — we fret more about dying in rare plane crashes than in common highway accidents. Is the current Sinophobia also overblown? When I give talks about my new book on China, people often ask me fearful questions about everything from Beijing’s large holding of US Treasury notes to its military buildup. I try to put their anxieties in perspective with these five points.”

Repeal the drinking age: "Somehow, and no one seems to even imagine how, this country managed to survive and thrive before 1984 without a national minimum drinking age. Before that, the drinking question was left to the states. In the 19th century, and looking back even before –– prepare yourself to imagine horrific anarchistic nightmares — there were no drinking laws anywhere, so far as anyone can tell.”

New York Times cluelessness, Part IX: "Okay, I admit I haven’t counted the exact number of stupid New York Times stories that I’ve blogged about, but it’s roughly nine. This time they ran a big story about Wal-Mart Inc.’s Sam’s Club: introducing a program in which it facilitates loans for shoppers of up to $25,000, backed by the Small Business Administration. … The Times suggests that such ‘facilitation’ is an exciting new sales promotion: retailers are taking matters into their own hands. … taking bold steps. … What? What’s bold? This is just crony capitalism. Sam’s Club uses government to help itself, and compliant government rips you off. If Wal-Mart really wanted to loan its customers money to help them buy stuff at Sam’s Club, fine. But why the heck is the SBA involved? It’s involved because we sucker taxpayers allow the SBA to reimburse up to 85% of the loan if a borrower defaults. Sounds familiar (remember Fannie and Freddie’s guarantees?).”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone 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)


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Thursday, July 08, 2010

With the US trapped in depression, this really is starting to feel like 1932

The US workforce shrank by 652,000 in June, one of the sharpest contractions ever. The rate of hourly earnings fell 0.1pc. Wages are flirting with deflation. "The economy is still in the gravitational pull of the Great Recession," said Robert Reich, former US labour secretary. "All the booster rockets for getting us beyond it are failing."

"Home sales are down. Retail sales are down. Factory orders in May suffered their biggest tumble since March of last year. So what are we doing about it? Less than nothing," he said.

California is tightening faster than Greece. State workers have seen a 14pc fall in earnings this year due to forced furloughs. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is cutting pay for 200,000 state workers to the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to cover his $19bn (£15bn) deficit.

Can Illinois be far behind? The state has a deficit of $12bn and is $5bn in arrears to schools, nursing homes, child care centres, and prisons. "It is getting worse every single day," said state comptroller Daniel Hynes. "We are not paying bills for absolutely essential services. That is obscene."

Roughly a million Americans have dropped out of the jobs market altogether over the past two months. That is the only reason why the headline unemployment rate is not exploding to a post-war high.

Let us be honest. The US is still trapped in depression a full 18 months into zero interest rates, quantitative easing (QE), and fiscal stimulus that has pushed the budget deficit above 10pc of GDP.

The share of the US working-age population with jobs in June actually fell from 58.7pc to 58.5pc. This is the real stress indicator. The ratio was 63pc three years ago. Eight million jobs have been lost.

The average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks. Nothing like this has been seen before in the post-war era. Jeff Weniger, of Harris Private Bank, said this compares with a peak of 21.2 weeks in the Volcker recession of the early 1980s.

"Legions of individuals have been left with stale skills, and little prospect of finding meaningful work, and benefits that are being exhausted. By our math the crop of people who are unemployed but not receiving a check amounts to 9.2m."

Republicans on Capitol Hill are filibustering a bill to extend the dole for up to 1.2m jobless facing an imminent cut-off. Dean Heller from Nevada called them "hobos". This really is starting to feel like 1932.

Washington's fiscal stimulus is draining away. It peaked in the first quarter, yet even then the economy eked out a growth rate of just 2.7pc. This compares with 5.1pc, 9.3pc, 8.1pc and 8.5pc in the four quarters coming off recession in the early 1980s.

The housing market is already crumbling as government props are pulled away. The expiry of homebuyers' tax credit led to a 30pc fall in the number of buyers signing contracts in May. "It is cataclysmic," said David Bloom from HSBC.

Federal tax rises are automatically baked into the pie. The Congressional Budget Office said fiscal policy will swing from a net +2pc of GDP to -2pc by late 2011. The states and counties may have to cut as much as $180bn.

Investors are starting to chew over the awful possibility that America's recovery will stall just as Asia hits the buffers. China's manufacturing index has been falling since January, with a downward lurch in June to 50.4, just above the break-even line of 50. Momentum seems to be flagging everywhere, whether in Australian building permits, Turkish exports, or Japanese industrial output.

On Friday, Jacques Cailloux from RBS put out a "double-dip alert" for Europe. "The risk is rising fast. Absent an effective policy intervention to tackle the debt crisis on the periphery over coming months, the European economy will double dip in 2011," he said.



Republicans alienating the unemployed?

Republicans on Capitol Hill who backed the mobilization of $3 trillion of fiscal and monetary support to bail out the financial system are now going to great efforts to prevent the roll-over of temporary benefits to 1.2m jobless facing an imminent cut-off.

I don’t wish to enter deeply into an internal US dispute between Republicans and Democrats, but I do think think that the American political class will have to face up to the new reality of a semi-permanent slump for a decade or more that will blight a great number of lives. The cyclical recovery that normally makes it possible for most Americans to find a job if they want one is not going to happen this time because the overhang of debt, fiscal tightening, and a liquidity trap have combined to jam the mechanism.

The broader U6 rate of unemployment is 16.5pc. Jeff Weniger from Harris Private Bank estimates that over 9m Americans without jobs are receiving no support.

At some point this will become very political. Everybody knows that the wealthy have in fact been bailed out. Part of the purpose of quantitative easing was to raise asset prices, in the hope that this would course through the economy – and ultimately trickle down. The rich have benefitted enormously from federal action. Bond holders facing stiff losses on bank securities, or Fannie and Freddie bonds, and so forth, have been protected by the Fed and the Treasury.

I do not for one moment believe that Morgan Stanley or Goldman Sachs – for example – would have survived the Lehman storm without (implicit) intervention. This is not a criticism of federal action. It was right in such circumstances to step in to prevent a collapse of credit system.

But once welfare has been deployed so generously for the rich, it cannot be denied so easily for the poor. This was the Faustian Pact.

Republicans on Capitol Hill need to think long and hard about the nature of the contract they signed, and the language they now use. Otherwise American society risks splitting ever more bitterly into opposed camps.

The recession of the early 1990s spawned spontaneous militia groups across the country. What will we get this time?



The world of political journalism has radically changed in the post-WWII decades

As we know, the world of political journalism has radically changed in the post-WWII decades. The methods, the tone and the very role of media have morphed over time, although they have always been prone to liberal leanings. They began as mere reporters, whose sole function was to chronicle events in Washington. These pressmen represented the classic liberalism of the Scoop Jackson variety — committed to equality among men at home and the belief that a strong America was a force for good in the world — and generally represented the views of those to whom they reported the news.

Then, as the influence of radical socialists who had begun to infiltrate journalism schools in the 1930s began to take effect, they came to view their profession as a way to "change the world for the better." With the advent of television, the opportunity to be seen and heard furthered the ways in which the press increased its influence over the lives and psyches of everyday Americans. These men, embodied by the likes of Walter Cronkite, saw themselves as crusaders whose task it was to lift the minds of their fellow citizens out of their dreary middle-class ethos and into a more worldly one.

In earlier times, and especially those when Republican administrations held sway, they came off as courageous and zealous exposers of government tyranny and corruption. Even up until the Bill Clinton scandals, there were still members of the press — joined of course, by members of the "new media" — who didn't shirk their duty to report all the gruesome details which eventually led up to his impeachment. But things sure changed in a hurry. The hairsplitting minutiae that was the 2000 election seemed to drive them over the edge and out into the open. And they've never looked back.

Instead of speaking truth to power, they now hold the reins when it comes to shaping popular opinion and consequently view themselves as kingmakers; and their preferences are not hard to discern. Try as they might to deny this, it has never been more evident than in the last few election cycles. How? Let me count just a few of the ways.

President Bush was continually vilified for his supposed cowboy image, being compared as you might imagine, in an unflattering way with John Wayne. His use of the term, "bring it on," in reference to bloodthirsty killers, intent on murdering innocent women and children, was met with tsunamis of derision. USA Today bewailed his "combative tone" and quoted Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) who called the president's language "irresponsible and inciteful." We're still waiting for comment from the estimable Sen. Lautenberg on Barack Obama's use of vulgar street-talk when wondering "whose ass to kick" while dealing with an environmental issue that is clearly over his head.

Or how about other examples of bad language? Bush was famously and thoroughly trashed by the media when he referred to NY Times reporter Adam Clymer as a bodily orifice during an open-mike gaffe at an outdoor Labor Day rally in Tennessee. The reaction when Joe Biden dropped the f-bomb during the signing of the healthcare bill at the White House? Puff pieces like this one from CBS that asked if the entire kerfuffle was, "Just Biden Being Biden?;" while over at ABC they wondered, "Was Joe Biden's Swear a Big Deal?" I'll leave the answers to you.

George Bush, a man who rarely talked about his time in the Texas Air National Guard, was for years subjected to what had to have been the most scrutinized military records in American history, to the extent that a formerly respected member of the media employed forged documents in an attempt to discredit the President's service. Yet, any attempts to delve into the military escapades of John Kerry were deemed unpatriotic and even spawned a new pejorative term, swiftboating, which is, I guess, another word for the job formerly held by the media.

Bush was constantly compared to Herbert Hoover as presiding over a terrible economic downturn and although he had earned an MBA from Harvard, he was widely regarded as a fiscal dunce. Not so his successor — whose main qualification for the presidency was a career spent in community organizing — upon whom no blame for our current mess seems to fall. Here's Paul Krugman, hitting on his two favorite subjects, love of Obama and hatred of "Bush's War," defending his hero: "And fear-mongering on the deficit may end up doing as much harm as the fear-mongering on weapons of mass destruction."

And in a more recent development, our friends over at NewsBusters have pointed out that the conservatism of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito was pointed out by the media ten times more often than the obvious liberalism of nominee Elena Kagan. The blatancy of this kind of coverage cannot forever be overlooked by an increasingly edgier electorate. Is it any wonder then, that the media has been losing its hold on the American public?

Yet the pendulum might be swinging back again. It seems that the far left segment of the media isn't too pleased with what their champion, Barack Obama, has accomplished lately, even with a friendly Congress. How far might they go in failing to defend him should the November disaster everyone expects come to pass?




Emphasizing home ownership is questionable policy: "It would be preferable if government stopped intervening in the housing market because then housing prices would return to their equilibrium level. The high foreclosure rate is yet another example of a government-created problem that would be better solved with less government, not more. Throwing more state money at the problem is more likely to incite people to buy more expensive houses than they can afford than to reduce the rate of foreclosure. Programs that encourage homeownership already exist at practically every level in the government, but despite these programs, the rate of homeownership has remained steady over time.”

Work for free: "With young people nearly shut out of the market (by recession, regulation, ‘child’ labor laws, and ghastly minimum wage laws), I would like to suggest the unthinkable: young people should work for free wherever they can and whenever they can. The reason is to acquire a good reputation and earn a good recommendation. A person who will give you a positive reference on demand is worth gold, and certainly far more than the money you might otherwise earn.”

French political elite aghast. Must cut personal spending: "French government ministers are under orders to lose the easy-come, easy-go attitude. That’s particularly true for Alain Joyandet, secretary of state for overseas development, who spent $143,000 of taxpayer money on a private jet to the Caribbean. And for Christian Blanc, secretary of state for the greater Paris region, who’s been told to reimburse the $15,000 of public funds he spent on Havana cigars. Revelation in the last few weeks of such lavish habits has sent a chilling wind through the corridors of power, resulting in a brisk awakening for many in the politically privileged class, including the president himself.”

HI: Lingle vetoes same-sex civil unions bill: "Hawaii’s governor on Tuesday vetoed legislation that would have permitted same-sex civil unions, ending months of speculation on how she would weigh in on the contentious, emotional debate. Republican Gov. Linda Lingle’s action came on the final day she had to either sign or veto the bill, which the Hawaii Legislature approved in late April.”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone 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)


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Amnesty for employers: A sure-fire way to get everyone back to work

If that REALLY is Obama's top priority these days


Back in January, in his State of the Union speech -- my, how time flies when you're having fun -- Mr. Obama said his No. 1 priority was going to be jobs. "Jobs must be our No. 1 focus in 2010," Mr. Obama said, adding, "People are out of work. They are hurting. They need our help."

He didn't mean it, though. It's within the power of the federal government to facilitate the creation of millions of new private-sector jobs in only a matter of months, but Mr. Obama won't do it.

If the head of a lending library determines a huge chunk of the collection is out on loan and overdue, and that patrons are afraid to bring the books back because the accrued fines are so large, what does he or she do?

The traditional solution is to slice away the perverse disincentives by offering an amnesty: Anyone who brings back a book in the next month will be forgiven their fines.

Any president who wants to see a massive re-birth of private-sector jobs in this country (not government jobs, which suck money out of the private sector even after the bureaucrat retires) -- especially if his party controls both houses of Congress -- need only declare a three-year "employer amnesty."

Why are employers reluctant to hire? First, it would be stupid to add capacity if the economy is still headed down the tubes because of the looming threats of the health care taxes and mandates in ObamaCare; the threatened "global warming carbon tax"; the threatened "value added tax," and the threat that workplaces will now be unionized without a secret ballot majority vote ("card check").

The president could stimulate a giant sigh of relief out there among private-sector employers by declaring that ObamaCare is suspended for three years, along with all those other big-government initiatives. Tell Congress they've done a wonderful job, and send them home.

But the second big reason business owners are wary of creating jobs is all the costs, mandates, taxes and punishments the federal government has attached to job creation.

To fix this, we need an "employer amnesty." Simply tell employers that for the next three years, the federal government doesn't care how many employees you have, or who they are. Uncle Sam doesn't want to hear about it.

We're going to get busy rounding up and deporting some 12 million illegal aliens, so we won't have to worry about all these new jobs going to illegals. Otherwise, hire whoever you want, and don't tell us.

Minimum-wage laws? Three-year hiatus. Withholding, matching and submitting income taxes, Social Security taxes, Medicare taxes? All gone for three years. Tear up the forms. The IRS is on a three-year leave of absence. We won't need to keep transferring those moneys from young workers to old retirees; we'll just draw down the "trust funds" into which those retirees' wages were placed all through their working years in order to pay them their current, promised benefits.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission? Laid off for three years. OSHA? You won't be hearing from them. The ADA? In abeyance. Environmental impact statements for that new hospital, highway or factory you want to build? No one will ever ask to see them if you can get it done in the next three years.

Leftists, statists and fascists will be outraged over any and all of these proposals, of course. "You want workers to die!" they'll shriek, jumping up on their chairs and clutching their petticoats about their knees. "You want racists to be allowed to hire anyone they want, without quotas! You're against the disabled! Allow people to work for any wage they'll agree to? Oh, oh, I feel suddenly light-headed -- someone catch me! Who will protect the weak-minded and the oppressed from greedy capitalists offering them jobs?"

Which means "creating jobs" isn't really their top priority, or their second, or their third, or their 25th, is it?

By the time Rome fell, most of the farmland within a few days' march of the capital stood fallow. You couldn't make enough by farming the land to pay the taxes.

Yet keeping each and every one of these current job-killing federal taxes, regulations and mandates in place and operating at full strength is more important, isn't it?

So what Mr. Obama really meant, back on Jan. 27, was that "Protecting and creating more tax-funded government jobs must be our No. 1 focus in 2010, and you small people who work out there in Privatesectorland are just going to have to hunker down, shut up, and pay a whole hell of a lot more taxes to get it done, because we're not going to reduce the tax and regulatory burden on private employers who might want to create a job. In fact, you beasts of burden ain't seen nothin' yet!"



Another Liberal Blind Spot

In another sign that liberals are becoming increasingly concerned with the growing popularity of libertarianism, a liberal named Daniela Perdomo has gone on the attack against libertarian John Stossel at, one of the major liberal (or “progressive,” as many liberals now label themselves) websites. In an article entitled “Is John Stossel More Dangerous Than Glenn Beck?” Perdomo has revealed a major blind spot within the liberal mind.

As I have pointed out time and time again in my articles on the minimum wage, liberals have a blind spot when it comes to economic understanding. Or to put it bluntly, when it comes to the field of economics, they have a woeful ignorance, and it is that ignorance that prevents them from recognizing the terrible harm they do to the poor, especially racial minorities, with such statist programs as the minimum wage.

In her attack on Stossel and libertarianism, Perdomo reveals another blind spot: the propensity to view a defense of freedom of choice as an endorsement of the bad, immoral, dangerous, or irresponsible choices that people end up making when they’re free to make choices.

What set Perdomo off was Stossel’s recent criticism of anti-discrimination laws. Like most other libertarians, Stossel argued that freedom entails the right of a bigot to be a bigot, including in the operation of his retail establishment.

What Perdomo’s blind spot prevents her from seeing is that one can defend freedom of choice as a principle without endorsing the wrongful choices that people make. To paraphrase Voltaire, we libertarians don’t agree with racist or bigoted choices but we will defend the right of people to make them, just as our defense of Nazi sympathizers to express their views in a public march in Skokie, Illinois, didn’t mean that we were endorsing their views.

Here is what Perdomo says about Stossel: “While he can make racist statements as well as the rest of them, he couches his particular brand of hate in his passion for libertarianism.”

Does Perdomo point to any racist statement or any expression of hate by Stossel? She does not, and the reason she doesn’t is because she can’t. Stossel didn’t make any racist statement or statement of hate. What Perdomo is essentially saying is that when a person calls for freedom of association on the basis of race, he is automatically, by virtue of taking such a position, guilty of making a racist or hate-filled statement.

Now, is that not ridiculous or what? That’s what passes for serious analysis within the liberal mind. That’s what comes from the 12-year-sentence in public (i.e., government) schools, where the mind is molded into conformity, memorization, and superficial analysis, stamping out any semblance of independent, critical thinking.

Of course, this isn’t the only area where Perdomo and liberals have this particular blind spot. We libertarians see it all the time with respect to the welfare state. Whenever we call for the repeal, not reform, of such liberal socialist programs as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, public housing, corporation bailouts, income taxation, and the like, and argue that people should be free to do whatever they want with their own money, what is it that liberals automatically say to us? They immediately exclaim: “You libertarians hate the poor, needy, and disadvantaged, and you would let them die in the streets!”

Again, they automatically jump to the conclusion that because libertarians favor freedom of choice in peaceful endeavors, they automatically endorse all the choices that people make.

An irony of all this in order to achieve a more moral, responsible, compassionate society, the worst thing people can do is use force to achieve it. It is through the widest ambit of freedom of choice that people are best able to achieve a higher level of conscience, consciousness, morality, and responsibility. Perhaps that’s what frightens statists, both conservatives and liberals, so much about libertarianism.



‘Muslims-Only’ Enclave Thrives In Philadelphia

Thanks to U.S. taxpayers, an Islamic enclave is being carved out of the heart of the City of Brotherly Love. And how generous have you been with your tax dollars? You just gave $1.6 billion for the privilege of turning over all this cash to the Islamic community.
The person doing the carving is Kenny Gamble, the author of such hit songs as “Love Train” and “Me and Mrs. Jones.”

A convert to Islam, Gamble, now known as Luqman Abdul Haqq, is affiliated with the National Ummah Movement which seeks to establish sovereign Islamic enclaves ruled by shariah (Islamic) law within major cities throughout the U.S.A. The movement was started by Jamil al-Amin (the former H. Rap Brown), who is now serving a life sentence at a maximum security prison for killing two police officers in Atlanta.

Gamble managed to collect the $1.6 billion through Universal Company, a so-called “charitable organization,” which he formed in 1993. Gamble and his spokesmen say that the non-profit company provides a public service by cleaning up a blighted section of the south Philly, but local residents say that Universal has really used the $1.6 billion to create a Muslim ghetto. This allegation is supported by Gamble himself. Speaking to his fellow Islamists, the former songwriter quipped: “We are not here for Universal, we are here for Islam.”

The proof is in the pudding. The 800 block of South 15th Street now contains the United Muslim Masjid, an Islamic center, and a madrassah (charter school). All of these organizations have been created and sustained by Gamble’s enterprise. Rotan Lee of the Philly YMCA says: “You look up and down the street and see men, women and children in traditional Muslim dress everywhere; you see the masjid right across from Kenny's house and security guards on the corners in kufis.”

On the website of the Muslim Alliance of National American, the directors of Gamble’s company made the mistake of betraying their true intent by saying: “By the Blessing and Mercy of Allah (SWT), the efforts of Universal Companies serve as a national model for what can be done with commitment, compassion, focus and careful planning and execution. Just another proof positive of the words of the Qu’ran where Allah (SWT) states: ‘Let there arise from among you a small group of people, inviting to all that is good. They enjoin the good, and forbid the evil, and it is they who attain success.’ (3: 104).”

Proof of Gamble’s ties to National Ummah Movement was provided by a conference call from Jamil al Amin to the United Muslim Masjid., a mosque G founded on 15th Street. A transcript from the mosque reads as follows: "...A highlight of one meeting was when we had Imam Jamil Al-Amin on speaker phone talking to us from his Georgia prison. MANA (Muslim Alliance in North America ) and its members have raised and donated several thousands of dollars to his family and legal defense team. Imam Jamil has recently been transferred to a "supermax" prison in Colorado, and we ask that you make du'a for him."

More here



Judges: Obama can’t close Yucca Mountain nuke dump: "Democratic Rep. John Spratt and Republican Rep. Joe Wilson don’t agree on much, yet the South Carolina congressmen are cheering a new ruling that denied the bid by the U.S. Energy Department to withdraw its application for a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Three administrative judges within the Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruled last week that Congress had designated Yucca Mountain in 1987 to receive highly toxic waste from the Savannah River Site on the S.C./Georgia border and other complexes that built atom bombs during the Cold War. The panel found that President Barack Obama and Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu, a nuclear physicist, lacked the power to close the Yucca repository unilaterally; doing so, it ruled, would require another act of Congress.”

Petraeus takes over Afghan fight, vows “to win” it: "‘We are in this to win,’ Gen. David Petraeus said as he took the reins of an Afghan war effort troubled by waning support, an emboldened enemy, government corruption and a looming commitment to withdraw troops — even with no sign of violence easing. Petraeus, who pioneered the counterinsurgency strategy he now oversees in Afghanistan, has just months to show progress in turning back insurgents and convince both the Afghan people and neighboring countries that the U.S. is committed to preventing the country from again becoming a haven for al-Qaida and its terrorist allies.”

Supreme Court opens door to more liberty: "The real surprise lay elsewhere: in signals that the Court may be inching toward a legal doctrine that offers stronger blanket protections of individual rights than this country has seen in almost 140 years. Many people don’t realize that the McDonald case is much more about the Fourteenth Amendment than the Second. Originally, the Bill of Rights — including the Second Amendment right to bear arms at issue in McDonald — only applied to the federal government. The Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in the wake of the Civil War to expand the reach of the Bill of Rights, mainly so that individual states could not pass laws depriving blacks of their civil rights.”

Founders didn’t create America; America created Founders: "When the Swedish botanist Pehr Kalm visited the American colonies in 1748 to find seeds useful for agriculture, he called it a place where ‘a newly married man can, without difficulty, get a spot of ground where he may comfortably subsist with his wife and children,’ and ‘the liberties he enjoys are so great that he considers himself a prince of his possessions.’ Kalm’s observations of the colonists’ liberties and culture came 28 years before the Continental Congress wrote and approved the Declaration of Independence, and his thoughts were neither wrong nor unique for the time.”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone 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)


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Another lame attempt to wriggle out of the Race/IQ correlation

It's not much of a guess to say that stupid people are not very good at looking after their health and -- though lack of precautions -- may get a lot more disease than smarter people. And when you have got a whole nation of dumb people, the chances of them having good public health measures -- such as providing reticulated sewerage and clean drinking water -- must also be rated as low. So a finding that stupid people get a lot more illness is not remotely surprising.

And that is what the authors of Parasite prevalence and the worldwide distribution of cognitive ability by Eppig, Fincher and Thornhill found. Rather bizarrely, however, they reverse the causal link. They say that poor health causes low IQ! They do end up admitting that they have no proof for their "reversed" chain of causation so their work proves nothing but it is nonetheless amusing to note a few things about their study.

The whole point of the paper is of course to show that Africans have low average IQs not from genetic inheritance but because they are worm infested. And there is no doubt that Africans in Africa do carry a heavy burden of worm infestation -- mainly due to the great lack of public health measures there.

Where it gets amusing is that Eppig et al. did their study in various regions of the world and in 5 out of 6 regions, the correlation held. The exception was South America. The correlation collapsed completely there. Why? Because the South American region included several Caribbean nations almost wholly inhabited by Africans! So why were the results there different from the rest of South America? Could it be a racial difference?

Oh no! Eppig et al say: "It is possible that local parasites ... are causing these outliers". In other words, they abandon the obvious in favour of a totally vague and unfounded speculation!

Two other reasons why the perverse theory of Eppig et al is wrong: They pinpoint nutritional deficit as the mechanism by which parasite load inhibits brain development. But if poor nutition lowers IQ, how do we explain the famous Dutch famine study? In the closing phases of WWII, Nederland experienced a severe famine. So all the Dutch kids born during the famine should be real dummies, right? The reverse happened. They were of higher average IQ than other Dutch cohorts. Only the very healthy survived and, as we have seen, good health and high IQ correlate.

And a second very obvious disproof of the perverse Eppig et al. theory is that black Americans have very similar health environments to white Americans but are still a whole standard deviation lower in average IQ. The Eppig et al theory is, in other words, arrant and transparent nonsense


President Reagan, Our British Friends, and the 4th of July

In 2001, Kiron Skinner, Annelise Anderson, and Martin Anderson edited a superb book that all friends of freedom, and of President Ronald Reagan, should read. Titled Reagan in His Own Hand: The Writings of Ronald Reagan that Reveal His Revolutionary Vision for America, it published a selection of Reagan’s daily radio broadcasts between 1975 and 1979.

Reagan composed and wrote these broadcasts himself, and the book reproduces them just as he wrote them. They provide indisputable proof that Reagan gave lengthy, serious thought to the major issues of the day, that he had a clear and consistent vision for America and the world, and that he was a wide reader and a hard worker. Anyone who doubts this should try writing over a thousand radio scripts – and much else – in four years.

All of Reagan’s scripts are worth reading. But this 4th of July, one is particularly appropriate. In a broadcast on September 21, 1976, “The Hope of Mankind,” Reagan returned to one of his favorite themes. As the editors put it, “Reagan believed . . . that America is unique among nations – ‘the hope of mankind.’ He felt we had a duty to protect what we had inherited. . . . In these essays, . . . the guiding star is always individual liberty, how lucky we are to have it, and how to preserve and protect it.”

To that end, Reagan quoted Ferdinand Mount. Mount later ran the Policy Unit in Number 10 Downing Street for Margaret Thatcher in 1982-83, and wrote the tremendously successful Conservative manifesto for the 1983 general election, when Lady Thatcher won her most smashing victory. On July 5, 1976, Mount wrote a memorable column for the Daily Mail. Here, as quoted by Reagan, is what Mount thought it important to say, that day after the 200th 4th of July:
What the world needs now is more Americans. The U.S. is the first nation on earth deliberately dedicated to letting people choose what they want and giving them a chance to get it. For all its terrible faults, in one sense America is still the last, best hope of mankind, because it spells out so vividly the kind of happiness which most people actually want, regardless of what they are told they ought to want. We criticize, copy, patronize, idolize insult but we never doubt that the U.S. has a unique position in the history of human hopes. For it is the only nation founded solely on a moral dream. A part of our own future is tied up in it and the greatest of all the gifts the Americans have given us is hope.

Reagan closed with three sentences of his own: “Thank you Mr. Mount – we needed that. This is Ronald Reagan. Thanks for listening.” Thanks indeed – to Mount, to our friends around the world, and to President Reagan for recalling their faith, and the faith of the Founding Fathers that inspired us all.



The Founders’ Most Important Idea

Some opinions:

Jamie Radtke, Chairman of the Virginia Tea Party Patriot Federation:

In my opinion, one of their most significant achievements was the idea of a written constitution. Our U.S. Constitution was designed to serve as a limitation on federal powers, which is what makes it unique and powerful. It provides for a federal separation of power among three branches of government as was advocated by the French philosopher Montesquieu in his work, The Spirit of the Laws. Thus, unlike a parliamentary form of government, power is divided among an independent legislature, a chief executive and an independent judiciary. Additionally, the Bill of Rights guarantees the fundamental rights of the people and the states and further defines the boundaries of power of the federal government. This brilliantly composed document struck a remarkable balance of affirming our natural rights while establishing justice, safety, and a well-ordered society.

The Founders were sensitive to government’s proclivity to usurp the power of the people and therefore were very intentional in how they crafted these constitutions to safeguard our individual liberties. It is now our responsibility to preserve the original intent of the Constitution, restore federalism, and protect the unique treasure that was given to us by our Founding Fathers.

Matthew Mayer: President of the Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions:

Without a doubt, the single greatest idea of the Founders is the system of checks and balances established in the Constitution. From 1787 to 1913, this amazing system allowed America to rise from a largely agrarian country to one of the world’s powers on the eve of World War I. During those 126 years, the federal government really was largely constrained and the states played dominant roles in the lives of their citizens. All of that changed in 1913 when Americans unwisely passed the 17th Amendment that fundamentally changed the balance of power between the states and the federal government. With the direct election of U.S. Senators, states lost the only real check they had on the growth and usurpation of power by the federal government. That seemingly insignificant change made to reduce corruption at the height of the Progressive Movement, ironically has resulted in an unchecked federal government with almost limitless powers and the attendant corruption that comes with great power.

ObamaCare illustrates this reality perfectly as states are left to try to undo what their own senators voted for/rammed through despite the costs ObamaCare will pose on states. Now, states desperately cling to the pre-1937 interpretation of the Commerce Clause—it only took 20 years or so for the federal government to realize the power it gained in 1913—and senators ignore the wishes of their constituents—the states, not the people in the states—knowing that the diffusion of the cost is outweighed by the concentration of the benefit. If we want to get America back on course, we should repeal the 17th Amendment, thereby making state legislative races far more important than they are today.

Matthew J. Brouillette, President of the Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives:

America’s founding was shaped by the radical declaration that our right to private property was and is inherent and inalienable. This hostile idea, embodied in our Founding documents, challenged the historical practice of man’s rights being determined, limited, and granted by the state. This reorientation of the grantor of rights—from our Creator rather than those in authority—dramatically redefined who was sovereign while simultaneously placing chains on the powers of government. The state would now be the protector—rather than the arbiter—of man’s inherent and inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the fruits of his labors.

Ginni Thomas, President of

While the Founders understood that men were not angels, they also recognized the inherent danger of powerful, centralized government. The simultaneous recognition of both of these principles is remarkable and formed the philosophical foundation for our system of limited Constitutional government. This foundation provided for the greatest degree of individual liberty within a robust independent civil society that could form, naturally, a just and successful society.

Thomas J. Gaitens, Florida Tea Party Leader:

The phrase “Endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights” has to be the most significant idea, revolutionary idea. This simple yet profound idea is the seed by which LIFE, LIBERTY and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS spring. Furthermore, it is this principle that brings us the irreplaceable conclusion that “Governments are instituted among men …” This concept of unalienable rights, known as the rights of man is the building block of Liberty. Our Hale rallying cry, of “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” embodies this and has been our chief export for 233 years. Failure to understand this byproduct of our Founding is failure to understand American Exceptionalism.




The 4th of July: "The 4th of July is a dedicated day of remembrance. A day not only to remember the sacrifices our forefathers endured to free us from the yoke of tyranny, but also for us to recall how significant our Declaration of Independence and Constitution were for all of humanity. These documents, even with all the flaws of human nature self evident, were the strongest declaration of individual freedom ever created. Because of the freedom these documents provided, America became the wealthiest nation in the world.”

Celebrate race relations? "On my first Fox News Special, What’s Great About America, which airs this weekend, I argue that one of the things we should celebrate about America is American race relations. Yes, America has a history of slavery, then Jim Crow, then segregation and today, there’s still some racial hatred. But for a country that one generation ago had a presidential candidate (George Wallace) declaring ’segregation forever,’ race relations in this country are remarkably good. According to one poll, 81% of Americans have a ‘fairly close personal friend’ of another race. This kind of tolerance is rare in the world.”

Why is the Gulf cleanup so slow?: "As the oil spill continues and the cleanup lags, we must begin to ask difficult and uncomfortable questions. There does not seem to be much that anyone can do to stop the spill except dig a relief well, not due until August. But the cleanup is a different story. The press and Internet are full of straightforward suggestions for easy ways of improving the cleanup, but the federal government is resisting these remedies.”

If the US won’t drill oil offshore, other nations will: "If the United States commits to bypassing offshore drilling at depths greater than 500 feet, we will be cutting off our collective noses to spite our collective face. Spain, China, Venezuela and other nations will continue to exploit potential reserves of fossil fuels, wherever they may be found. As a result, more of the world’s supply of crude oil and natural gas will fall into the hands of unfriendly nations.”

Crude oil falls as US payrolls slip, factor orders decrease: "Crude oil dropped for a fifth day after a U.S. government report showed that employment slipped in June for the first time this year and factory orders declined more than forecast. … Crude oil for August delivery fell 81 cents to $72.14 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement since June 8. Prices slipped 8.5 percent in five days, the biggest weekly drop since the week ended May 7.”

US economy stuck in misery: "The middle class is dead. The US has produced a self-sustaining two-class society. Most Lower Class Americans are in bad or uncertain economic shape but the rich and powerful Upper Class crowd keeps making and spending money as if there has been no recession. Talk about a possible double-dip recession misses the larger reality: For many millions of Americans the first recession is still here; there has been no recovery for them.”

CA: Court okays Governator’s cuts to state employees’ pay: "The governor has the authority to lower most state workers’ pay to the federal minimum wage if a state budget isn’t in place, a state appeals court ruled Friday, the second day of California’s 2010-11 fiscal year. The ruling came one day after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered the state controller to cut pay for about 200,000 state workers to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The court case began in 2008, when Schwarzenegger made a similar order. Controller John Chiang, a Democrat, defied the demand and was sued by the Republican governor, but a budget was approved before the case was resolved.”

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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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)