Wednesday, November 02, 2011


It’s the Autumn of Love! Occupy Wall Street protesters are flocking to nearby health clinics for STD and HIV testing after getting their freak on in ’60s-style hookups with crusty strangers, sources told The Post yesterday.

“Last week was free love,” said a medical professional at a clinic located a short walk from Zuccotti Park, referring to the number of people who organizers have referred for sexually transmitted disease testing.

A volunteer at the park admitted concern among protesters about STDs. “We give directions to clinics if people ask for information regarding STDs,” said the volunteer, who identified himself only as “Captain” and added that pregnancy tests are also a hot item. “Like anything else, it happens. People ask, and we do the best we can for them.”

Volunteers at the medical tent hand out cash, usually $15 or $20, so the randy radicals can visit clinics that cater to a low-income clientele, the source said. Experts said it’s the right thing to do.

“My advice for the protesters would be to practice safer sex. It’s a lot cheaper to buy a condom than get treated for an STD,” said Dr. Lisa Oldson, medical director of Chicago-based Analyte Health, which provides testing services for labs nationwide, including STD Test Express New York.



Confusing democracy with mob rule


In various cities across the country, mobs of mostly young, mostly incoherent, often noisy and sometimes violent demonstrators are making themselves a major nuisance.

Meanwhile, many in the media are practically gushing over these "protesters," and giving them the free publicity they crave for themselves and their cause -- whatever that is, beyond venting their emotions on television.

Members of the mobs apparently believe that other people, who are working while they are out trashing the streets, should be forced to subsidize their college education -- and apparently the president of the United States thinks so, too.

But if these loud mouths' inability to put together a coherent line of thought is any indication of their education, the taxpayers should demand their money back for having that money wasted on them for years in the public schools.

Sloppy words and sloppy thinking often go together, both in the mobs and in the media that are covering them. It is common, for example, to hear in the media how some "protesters" were arrested. But anyone who reads this column regularly knows that I protest against all sorts of things -- and don't get arrested.

The difference is that I don't block traffic, join mobs sleeping overnight in parks or urinate in the street. If the media cannot distinguish between protesting and disturbing the peace, then their education may also have wasted a lot of taxpayers' money.

Among the favorite sloppy words used by the shrill mobs in the streets is "Wall Street greed." But even if you think people in Wall Street, or anywhere else, are making more money than they deserve, "greed" is no explanation whatever.

"Greed" says how much you want. But you can become the greediest person on earth and that will not increase your pay in the slightest. It is what other people pay you that increases your income.

If the government has been sending too much of the taxpayers' money to people in Wall Street -- or anywhere else -- then the irresponsibility or corruption of politicians is the problem. "Occupy Wall Street" hooligans should be occupying Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington.

Maybe some of the bankers or financiers should have turned down the millions and billions that politicians were offering them. But sainthood is no more common in Wall Street than on Pennsylvania Avenue -- or in the media or academia, for that matter.

Actually, some banks did try to refuse the government bailout money, to avoid the interference with their business that they knew would come with it. But the feds insisted -- and federal regulators' power to create big financial problems for banks made it hard to say no. The feds made them an offer they couldn't refuse.

People who cannot distinguish between democracy and mob rule may fall for the idea that the hooligans in the street represent the 99 percent who are protesting about the "greed" of the one percent. But these hooligans are less than one percent and they are grossly violating the rights of vastly larger numbers of people who have to put up with their trashing of the streets by day and their noise that keeps working people awake at night.

As for the "top one percent" in income that attract so much attention, angst and denunciation, there is always going to be a top one percent, unless everybody has the same income. That top one percent has no more monopoly on sainthood or villainy than people in any other bracket.

Moreover, that top one percent does not consist of the "millionaires and billionaires" that Barack Obama talks about. You don't even have to make half a million dollars to be in the top one percent.

Moreover, this is not an enduring class of people. Nor are people in other income brackets. Most of the people in the top one percent at any given time are there for only one year. Anyone who sells an average home in San Francisco can get into the top one percent in income -- for that year. Other one-time spikes in income account for most of the people in that top one percent.

But such plain facts carry little weight amid the heady rhetoric and mindless emotions of the mob and the media.



Democrat Blanche Lincoln To Obama: Stop Regulating

Today the National Federation of Independent Businesses will release a letter that calls on President Obama to cut back on government regulation. What’s notable is that one of the signatories is ex-Sen. Blanche Lincoln, an Arkansas Democrat.

Although Lincoln tended to be a more moderate Democrat while she was in the Senate, it’s still not helpful to the White House to have a party member do something like this just before an election year.

When asked about this, NFIB President Dan Denner replied, “She’s a long and strong supporter of small business. That was a good part of her state ... and she had a strong track record when she was here in Washington of support for small business. She’s someone we at NFIB have worked closely with for many years.”

He added that Lincoln doesn’t see this as political: “What she’s said at some of the events we’ve had in the past is that it’s not a political statement, it’s about the significance of regulation to small business.”

The letter states:
Since 2005, there has been a 60 percent increase in the number of federal regulations defined as “economically significant” — each costing the economy $100 million or more. Today there are 4,257 regulations in the pipeline with 845 directly impacting small businesses.

Federal regulations disproportionately affect smaller firms, according to a study conducted last year for the Small Business Administration. The study found that small businesses pay 36 percent more per employee, per year to comply with federal regulations than larger businesses. Whether new rules require more paperwork, redundant certifications, or costly new technology, they put an unanticipated drain on small-business resources.

The letter is accompanied by a “Statement of Principles For Regulatory Reform.” It urges the government to assist small business with regulatory compliance, make every major regulation undergo rigorous cost-benefit analysis, base regulation on objective data and hard science, and require more transparency in the regulatory process.

Neither document calls for deregulation or a moratorium on new regulations, but Denner stated, “We would like to see a moratorium until these principles are addressed.”



China fear overblown

Below is a letter to the editorial-page of the Washington Times by Prof. Boudreaux

In your uncritical review of Pat Buchanan’s new book – which expresses his hysterical fear that the American economy will be shattered if nothing more is done to block Americans’ access to inexpensive goods from abroad (and especially from China) – you assert that “It doesn’t matter what you want; almost every consumer product on U.S. store shelves is made overseas, especially in China. It doesn’t matter how much you want to find it; almost nothing you need is made in the USA” (“Buchanan: Take the China Test,” Oct. 30).

Wrong. According to an August 2011 report by the San Francisco Fed, the percent of Americans’ personal consumption expenditures used to buy Chinese-made goods and services in 2010 was 2.7 percent. And if we exclude expenditures on food and energy, the percent of our 2010 personal consumption expenditures spent on goods and services from China rises to only 3.1 percent.

In contrast, the percent of Americans’ personal consumption expenditures spent on goods and services made in America in 2010 was 88.5 (and 88.0 percent if we look at personal consumption expenditures excluding those on food and energy).*

Surveying the “Made in” labels on goods sold at Wal-Mart and Costco, while perhaps a cheap source of anecdotal fodder for fear-mongering protectionists, is not rigorous economic research.



Will Obama Evade Law on UNESCO Vote?

As expected, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization — UNESCO — voted to admit “Palestine” as a full member-nation today, a move that will trigger an automatic cutoff of American funds and participation in the organization mandated by U.S. law. But the immediate response of the American delegation that had fought to either delay or defeat the move was far from defiant.

According to the New York Times: "David T. Killion, the American ambassador, said that the United States, “remains deeply committed” to UNESCO. But he said that Monday’s decision, which he repeatedly called premature, “will complicate our ability to support UNESCO.” The United States will seek other means to support the agency, Mr. Killion said, although he did not offer specifics about any avenues under consideration."

While it is difficult to understand exactly what Killion means by that, it seems to indicate the Obama administration will seek to evade the restrictions enacted by Congress in order to go on supporting the problematic UN agency. Doing do will not only undermine the rule of law, it will send a very loud signal to the world the administration places a higher priority on its devotion to the UN than it does support for Israel.

While the Obama foreign policy team, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, had tried hard to avoid this vote, throughout the controversy their main concern has seemed to be their embarrassment about the law that requires an end to U.S. funding for UNESCO if it, or any other world body or agency, admitted the Palestinians as full members in this manner. Instead of directly challenging the notion that the Palestinian drive for recognition as a sovereign state without first making peace with Israel or even controlling the territory in question, the tone of American diplomacy in UNESCO has been more about saving the organization from any inconvenience.

That inconvenience will be considerable no matter how much Obama and Clinton regrets it. The United States provides $70 million per year or 22 percent of UNESCO’s annual budget.

Clinton and others in the administration have highlighted the good work done by the agency on women’s rights and international development but largely ignored the steady stream of anti-Israel decisions that stem from UNESCO’s role as the arbiter of world heritage sites. UNESCO has opposed the efforts of Israeli archeologists to explore the Jewish roots of Jerusalem, called Jewish shrines such as Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem and the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron “mosques” and ignored the vandalism of ancient artifacts on the Temple Mount by the Palestinian Authority’s religious arm.




SCOTUS case on GPS surveillance could break new ground: "In a potentially groundbreaking case on high-tech tracking by police, the Supreme Court will decide whether constant surveillance is such an intrusion on people's lives that police need a warrant before attaching a GPS device to a person's car. The case, to be heard Nov. 8, tests law enforcement's use of the latest technology to fight crime as it raises the specter of a 'Big Brother' government knowing one's every move."

Conference on Cyberspace: State reps preach freedom while proposing control: "UK Foreign Secretary William Hague opened the London Conference on Cyberspace today with seemingly incompatible demands: That the Internet stay 'open to innovation and the free flow of information' on one hand, but be controlled on behalf of 'intellectual property' claimants on the other. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales countered that the biggest problem Internet freedom faces is 'misguided and overreaching government policy.'"

Visible projects, hidden destruction: "Today's crop of central planners and big-spending politicians could learn a thing or two about economics from Henry Hazlitt's classic bestseller, Economics in One Lesson, published in 1946. Common sense doesn't have an expiration date. 'There is no more persistent and influential faith in the world today than faith in government spending,' Hazlitt wrote."

Nobody’s tax scheme will fix feds’ spending problems: "Trying to fill the federal government's gigantic budget hole with a 5.6 percent surtax on the tiny number of people with incomes greater than $1 million, as President Barack Obama proposes, is like trying to fill the Grand Canyon with a spoonful of dirt. It's a gesture, a charade, a joke. It's just not serious. Spending, not revenue, is the problem. Did you believe the federal government was too small 10 years ago? I'll bet not."

Is US culture stifling entrepreneurship?: "In the US, entrepreneurship is often portrayed as something reserved for an elite, intellectual class. The message seems to be, 'Only start a business if you've really got it figured out.' The entrepreneur drops out of college not because he's dumb -- but rather because he's too smart and visionary for school. In a way, that's not what entrepreneurship is all about. Despite the common portrayal, it's not about being smarter than everyone else; it's about creating something for yourself."

The TSA monster is coming for you: "The TSA's 'VIPR' program is a growing bureaucratic monster that will bring groping and body scans to train stations, highways, sporting events and concerts, as well as shopping malls near you. This is just the latest instance of the Federal State's poisoning of American rights and freedoms."


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


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