Friday, September 13, 2013

The monstrous evil that is Islam

America had its nose rubbed in the insensate hate that is Islam on 9/11/2001

Just one image has brought that monstrous evil to the front of my mind today.  It is the much-reproduced image of grief below, where Carrie Bergonia looks over the name of her fiance, firefighter Joseph Ogren, during ceremonies at the 9/11 Memorial marking the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks

What I see there is a woman, perhaps in her 30s, as skinny as a rake with her big tote bag and not a lot going for her.  She probably never had a lot of good options in her life but she had finally got a break in finding her firefighter partner.  Then that rare chance for lasting happiness was taken away from her by Muslim evil.  "The poor woman! The poor woman!",  I say to myself.  I feel so sorry for her.


Obama no longer the most powerful man in the world.  Putin is


How Just A Few Heroes Barely Saved the Internet from Being Hijacked: Beware SOPA 2.0

Two years ago Hollywood, no kidding, masterminded a plot to, in effect, steal the Internet (by criminalizing certain conduct, booby trapping the Web in ways that few non-mega-corporations could cope with).  There are signs, as perceptively flagged by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, that the perps are back at it. We should care.

This two-part column reveals an untold part of the story about how the bad guys were stopped last time.  And, if not stopped again, how it could lead to a fundamental loss of civil rights and freedom on the Internet.

The perversely named “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) itself may have been the most brazen attempted act of piracy in all recorded history.  Truth in Legislation would have required it to be named the “Ultimate Act of Online Piracy.”  Enactment effectively would have pirated the World Wide Web from a common space and converted it into the private preserve of the Big Entertainment Lobby.

The Plot to steal the Internet was foiled.  It was foiled by an “Irresistible Force” — public opinion, rallied by a twenty-something Freedom Fighter, Aaron Swartz, now dead.  This combined with an Immovable Object, the consciences of a tiny group of legislators. Together they — barely — defeated one of the meanest pieces of legislation in our lifetimes.

The “outside” story — of the late-rallying popular opposition — has been fairly extensively reported.  7,000 (some claimover 100,000) websites, including Wikipedia and other high traffic sites, were persuaded to close shop for a day.  Google draped its logo in black.  In the view of Harvard Law School professor, author, public intellectual, and co-creator of the Creative Commons Lawrence Lessig, “SOPA was stopped by the most important Internet campaign so far — lead by my (now dead) friend Aaron Swartz, and thousands of others.”

As the New York Times reported “’I think [stopping SOPA] is an important moment in the Capitol,’ said Representative Zoe Lofgren, Democrat of California and an important opponent of the legislation. ‘Too often, legislation is about competing business interests. This is way beyond that. This is individual citizens rising up.’”

But the “inside” story — four liberty-minded lawmakers who stood up in front of SOPA like the protestor in Tiananmen Square against the column of tanks — has remained, mostly, obscure. This tells that story.

But first.  Why should you care?  Undaunted by its 2011 failure Hollywood and the Big Record Labels are staging the sequel.  This time, the bad guys could win. The Huffington Post recently spotted the perps busy inside the federal (perhaps, more aptly, feral) bureaucracy hollowing out the Constitution:  “The [Commerce] department’s Internet Policy Task Force last week proposed making it a felony to stream copyrighted works.”

Give the Internet to Big Business?  Hollywood and the Recording Industry appear to have found a compliant handmaiden, Penny Pritzker, the new U.S. Commerce Secretary, to work the inside while they work the outside.  Pritzker’s Commerce Department employs, among other things, the risible euphemism of “improving the operation of the notice and takedown system” of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  That’s a system which is working rather beautifully for all concerned, content providers and distributors both.  Something’s extremely fishy here.

Secretary Pritzker, a billionaire heiress, recently was bragging about cavorting  with the head of the Recording Industry Association of America.  It’s not hard to imagine whose side — the rich and famous … or mere citizens like us? — she’s on.

Practical upshot?  Among much other potential damage, if Big Hollywood colluding with Big Government succeeds, it changes the very nature of the Web.  Quite possibly, for example, “SOPA 2.0? could mean the end of the Drudge Report. Drudge hardly can maintain his Report if an innocent miscall on copyright makes him subject to prosecution, by any United States attorney, for a federal felony.

Would the silencing of Drudge be an unintended consequence?  Or might it be intentional? Chairman Darrell Issa has written to Attorney General Holder: “The suggestions that prosecutors did in fact seek to make an example out of Aaron Swartz because Demand Progress exercised its First Amendment rights in publicly supporting him raises new questions about the Department’s handling of the case.”

(Matt? Meet Penny.  The new “Big Sis” candidate?)

The hero in challenging Big Hollywood’s Big Piracy Gambit in the U.S. Senate was Ron Wyden.  The main heroes in the House, reportedly, were Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), and  Jared Polis (D-CO).

As hacktivist Aaron Swartz stated in his keynote speech delivered at F2C: Freedom to Connect 2012, Washington DC, “How we stopped SOPA,” six months before Swartz/s untimely, tragic, death:

“Senator Ron Wyden, the Democrat from Oregon, put a hold on the Bill, giving a speech in which he called in a nuclear bunker buster bomb aimed at the Internet.  He announced he would not allow it to pass without changes.  As you may know, a single Senator can’t actually stop a bill by themselves.  But they can delay it. …  He bought us time.  A lot of time as it turned out.  His delay held all the way to the end of that session of Congress.  … There was probably a year or two of delay there.  And in retrospect we used that time to lay the groundwork for what came later.”

The reintroduction of this legislation came (in the Senate) as PIPA, and (in the House) as SOPA. “The introduction of the Stop Online Piracy Act and its Senate counterpart was the apotheosis of how Congress should not work,” recalls Seamus Kraft, then an Issa staff member and deeply engaged in the process. Kraft:

“Imagine the (metaphorically) smoke-filled room, special-interest authored legislation, launched without warning, without seeking input from stakeholders beyond a mere ‘sop for Cerberus’  — or, to Cyberspace: a single hearing on this bill, with five or six bigwigs from the content industry to catch softballs.  And one lower level representative from Google … to be bullied.”

“The proposed legislation was seeking to combat intellectual property theft via the internet.  The content creators wished to stop downloading of copyrighted content — especially music and movies.  That’s a legitimate goal.  But the mechanisms proposed for doing it were horrendous, a ‘kill them all, let God sort out the souls of the innocent’ strategy.”

The Web, oddly, still is a novelty to Washington, many of whose officials remain somewhat befuddled by the “interwebs” — that series of tubes  — internets and website “numbers” .  Kraft:

“This naivete left Congress vulnerable to special interests pushing a one-sided solution to an ill-defined problem.  The relevant committee proceeded without seeking the input of representatives of those who use, or whose business is, the Internet.  The most important locked-out constituency was users: you and me.”

The Internet’s precarious position then was summed up nicely by

“It’s pretty much assured that VP Joe Biden is in favor of PROTECT IP/E-PARASITE/SOPA. Since the start of this administration, President Obama has delegated most copyright issues to Biden, and Biden’s general view on copyright seems to be ‘whatever makes Hollywood happier must be fantastic.’ How else do you describe his continued support of ever more draconian copyright law, contrary to the evidence suggesting that it only makes things worse? How else do you explain his claim that he got ‘all the stakeholders’ concerning copyright into a summit meeting, when it only involved government officials and the big labels and studios (no consumer advocates, no artists, no technologists, no entrepreneurs, etc.)?”


“Darrell Issa, a member of the Judiciary Committee, is an inventor.  He holds the most patents of anyone who ever has served in Congress.  He himself owns intellectual property — and benefits from a strong streamlined system. Here, however, the legislative proponents seemed clueless about what the heck the Internet really is.

“Even Rep. Issa did not realize the stakes were so serious until the ‘sop to Cyberspace’ hearing.  His reaction was along the lines of You guys — out of the blue — are trying to give all this power — to shut down domains, to hold Google responsible for some joker who uploads some random item — to federal bureaucrats? What is being proposed would change, fundamentally, the architecture of the best thing that has happened to humanity in the past 50 years.



DNC Chairwoman: We Lost Colorado Gun Vote Because We Couldn't Cheat

Well, what Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz actually said - in a formal DNC press release – was:  "This was voter suppression, pure and simple.  Colorado voters are used to casting their ballots by mail, but because of lawsuits filed by opponents of common sense gun reform, voters were not mailed their ballots in this election… a result of efforts by the NRA, the Koch brothers and other right wing groups who know that when more people vote, Democrats win."

More of the statement is devoted to voting access than to gun control.

Wasserman Schultz is an interesting specimen because her exceptionally vicious and explicit anti-White American ethnic animosity takes very little decoding, as I noted in RNC Chairman: "GOP Natural Home Of Whites. Just LOOK At Democrats!" or sometimes none – see "New DNC Chair: More Hispanics Means We Win". My belief is that the Democratic managers try hard to keep her off the record.

But her reflexive citing of voter registration is extremely significant. The fact is voter fraud has become central to Democratic election strategy as I discussed at length in "Obama's Voter Fraud Facilitation Policy: Does The GOP Have The Courage To Resist?"

A resounding silence has greeted the totally counterintuitive news that Black turnout and vote totals are supposed to have risen substantially in 2012. Voter analysis shows Obama would have lost in 2012 if black turnout had mirrored 2008 ( April 28, 2013). According to the US Census Bureau’s Voting Rates by Race survey (pdf) 1.7 Million or 11.04% more Blacks voted in 2012 than in 2008 when the Black vote was in turn 14.37% above the 2004 total of 14 million.

The idea that the Obama reality stimulated almost as much more enthusiasm amongst Blacks than the prospect of voting for the first time for a fellow Black for President in 2004 is simply not plausible. Especially with election night memories of stories of slow reporting from Black precincts in Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida, a tell-tale sign of fraud.

Wasserman Schultz’s reaction underlines that manipulating the voting mechanism is the first order of business for Democratic operatives.




USA ranks 17th among world’s happiest countries:  "Something to smile about? Americans are not the happiest people on earth, but we do rank a respectable No. 17, among 156 countries evaluated for a new United Nations report. The second annual World Happiness Report, released Monday, finds the highest levels of happiness in Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden, all in northern Europe. The lowest ranked were Rwanda, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Benin and Togo, all in Africa."

De Blasio takes NYC Dem mayoral primary:  "Public Advocate Bill de Blasio completed his surge from seemingly nowhere in New York City's mayoral primary Tuesday by taking a commanding lead on his Democratic opponents, hovering near the threshold needed to avoid a runoff. Former Metropolitan Transit Authority Chairman Joe Lhota easily won the GOP nomination, capping a chaotic primary to succeed 12 years of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The night also marked the unceremonious end to the bid by a City Council leader trying to become the first female and openly gay mayor, and to the political comebacks of scandal-scarred candidates Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer."

Zimmerman:  "This morning FL Judge Alex Ferrer who frequently comments on legal issues gave a very unusually frank evaluation of the now ended case against GZ. Judge Ferrer flatly stated that the case should never have been brought; that the prosecution never had the evidence but brought the case only because of unjustified political pressure and in the vain hope that evidence would eventually appear; and that GZ he expects will probably bring a civil case for damages against the prosecuting local authorities. Noting that the defense barely mentioned the FL 'stand your ground' law, Judge Ferrer said it had had little relevance because the case against GZ was too weak to even require the defense to raise 'stand your ground.'"


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

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


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Grassroots Activists Take Home Major Second Amendment Victory in Colorado, Recall TWO Anti-Gun Senators

UPDATE 12:04 am: Colorado State Senator Angela Giron has also been recalled for her gun control votes. Giron and Morse are the first Senators in Colorado history to be recalled. Both Giron and Morse have officially conceded. Both areas formerly represented by Giron and Morse are deep blue.

This is a HUGE victory for grassroots activists and the Second Amendment. These results will no doubt send a loud message nationally. Giron and Morse both voted to limit ammunition magazine capacity to 15 rounds and for expanded background checks covering online and private firearms sales.

11:40 pm: Grassroots activists in Colorado took home a Second Amendment victory Tuesday night after efforts to recall State Senator John Morse over gun control votes earlier this year proved successful. More from Colorado Peak Politics:

    "In a historic recall election Senate President John Morse was booted from office, capping the end of a long and passionate fight over gun rights in Colorado. It marks a wake-up call for Colorado Democrats, who are suddenly coming to the realization that they’re not invincible after all."

    "In a session dubbed “one of the most liberal ever” by the Durango Herald‘s Joe Hanel, Democrats sprinted to the left on gun control, and virtually every other policy in the left-wing agenda."

    "The Morse recall results are a swift kick in their proverbial nuts. A reminder to legislators that getting elected office doesn’t give you a free pass to do whatever your progressive paymasters demand of you."

    And, as the Morse recall demonstrates, it’s ultimately the voters who control a politician’s fate, despite the competing intentions of a fat walleted few."

    We speak, of course, of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has bankrolled the gun control agenda from the get-go. Even his billions can only buy so many friends…and votes."

The National Rifle Association, which helped fund the recall effort, has issued a statement.

    "A historic grassroots effort by voters in Colorado’s Senate District 11 has resulted in the recall of Colorado Senate President John Morse (D). The people of Colorado Springs sent a clear message to the Senate leader that his primary job was to defend their rights and freedoms and that he is ultimately accountable to them – his constituents, and not to the dollars or social engineering agendas of anti-gun billionaires."

    "Recall proceedings began earlier this year after Sen. Morse pushed through anti-gun legislation that restricted the ability of law-abiding residents to exercise their Second Amendment rights, including their inherent right to self-defense. This effort was driven by concerned citizens, who made phone calls, knocked on doors, and worked diligently to turn voters out in this historic effort."

    "The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) is proud to have stood with the men and women in Colorado who sent a clear message that their Second Amendment rights are not for sale. We look forward to working with NRA-PVF “A” rated and endorsed Bernie Herpin (R) from Colorado Springs."

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg dumped tons of cash into the recall election with hopes of keeping Morse and Giron in office. His efforts failed.

    "Recall opponents, floating on oceans of money funneled into the recall contests by billionaire New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, outspent recall backers by a whopping 7 to 1 margin."

    "The fact that turnout numbers suggest such a competitive race given the anti-recall side’s jaw-dropping financial advantage is frankly, astounding.  And the fact that so much of the money comes from out of state – the Denver Post recently reported that Bloomberg and California philanthropist Eli Broad personally stroked six figure checks – suggests that liberal elites from thousands of miles away think they can buy Colorado’s elections."



Wrong and Liars Too: 6 Tricks God Has Played on Liberals Since November

The last year has been highly informative for Americans who have been looking for information on hypocrisy, shabby intellectualism, broken promises, opportunism, populist dreck, and IPhones.

Since almost the moment Obama celebrated his re-election with Republican leader John Boehner by proposing to raise taxes on all of us, God has played an enormous practical joke on liberals.

In only ways He could, God has shown that liberals are wrong. Not just wrong, but really, really, seriously wrong. Demented even. And yeah, I’m talking about Ezra Klein.

No, the world really doesn’t work the way liberals want, they’ve found out, and what’s more, liberal leaders and scribblers know it. They have known it for years.

Liberals have, in 50 years, morphed from the idealism of Camelot to the reality-game show hostness of Al Sharpton.

It’s not even just that they are wrong, it’s that at the top of the liberal pyramid they are liars, intellectually bankrupt, the moral and intellectual equivalents of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, spreading a gospel which not only they don’t understand, but the they exploit for their own, and no one else’s gain.

It’s been little less than a year for people who enthusiastically voted for Obama in 2012 to find this out.

And what liberals miss in being wrong on specifics, they make up in volume. So let’s make a list, shall we?

1) Tax the Rich! Oh, and you too!

Liberals were wrong in blaming the rich for everything that was wrong with everything in the world. They got their tax increase on rich people- and poor people too- and it hasn’t ushered in period of great prosperity. In fact, research show pretty conclusively that the tax increase that liberals elected Obama on in 2012 has been bad for the economy.

Our contributor, Political Calculations has a nifty tool that can show you how quantitative easing, tax increases and government spending cuts have affected the economy.

“One thing that you'll find is that over 90% of the negative drag on GDP may be attributed to the tax hikes that took effect in 2013,” writes PC. “Less than 10% may be attributed to reductions in government spending at all levels in the U.S. Finally, if you really want to play the ‘what if’ game, try combining government spending cuts with modest tax cuts in our tool …. One may wonder why today's politicians aren't discussing implementing this particular combination of fiscal policies.”

One can wonder, but frankly the answer is easy.  Liberals are greedy for the wealth acquired by others so they can use it to keep their government-dependent constituency happy.  Which brings us to:

2) The Great Sequester Doom.

The world didn’t end because liberals were forced to agree to across-the-board spending cuts. In fact, generally speaking the world is a better place, even if across-the-board-spending cuts were the wrong way to approach spending cuts.

Economists- outside of nuts like Paul Krugman- agree that the sequester has had little impact on the economy short-term and provides a great deal of benefit long term.

Yet today the White House still says: “Harmful automatic budget cuts — known as the sequester — threaten hundreds of thousands of jobs, and cut vital services for children, seniors, people with mental illness and our men and women in uniform. These cuts will make it harder to grow our economy and create jobs by affecting our ability to invest in important priorities like education, research and innovation, public safety, and military readiness.”

The White House is publically trolling for sequester sob stories on it’s website; and in a sign that few stories exist, few stories of sequester related disasters, personal or bureaucratic, are made public by the White House.

3) IRS-NSA-MOUSE scandals.

Well at least the evil, terrible Tea Party people got what they deserved when liberals from government agencies like the IRS started recognizing the great danger they pose through tax-exempt donations that mostly measure in the tens and twenties of dollars. And just to be sure that ordinary people don’t get too carried away by that whole “freedom” thing, the government, we know now, has been reading all of your internet traffic, tracking all of your phone calls, breaking laws, even those laws promulgated by a SECRET COURT.  In the USA: A SECRET COURT. Really.

Right now as you read this, someone is watching you. Not that George Orwell predicted any of this, like the part about being constantly at war, hurling missiles at other countries in a standoff and fight war, or anything.  Because that was just fiction, right?  Which brings us to:

4) Missiles Over the Mid-East.

The president who said he was elected to bring us peace, has brought us more war, and losing war at that. Iraq, Benghazi, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt- almost- will be lost despite Obama’s chest pounding in the region. While Carter only lost a country- Iran- Obama’s set to turn over the Middle East to implacable enemies of the United States.

But what worries most people is Obama’s willingness to spin up missiles for whatever foreign policy goals he’s trying to achieve. And most people, including, I think Obama himself and even Mrs. Obama, are unaware of his foreign policy goals. Make no mistake, no matter how the Syria thing turns out eventually, Obama didn’t just tarnish his own image by amateurish foreign policy, but tarnished the United States.

A recent Fox News poll shows Obama’s problem:

Among Democrats, 25 percent say the U.S. is more respected around the world today. That’s a 27 percentage-point drop from 52 percent last year.  Twenty-seven percent of Democrats say the U.S. is less respected, up from 11 percent.

A slim 51-percent majority of Independents thinks the U.S. is less respected, up from 38 percent last year.  At the same time, the number of independents who think the country is more respected fell to just 9 percent, down from 27 percent.

While liberals will likely dispute the objectiveness of a Fox News poll, the trend is clear: Even liberals admit that Obama’s a failure if judged by the global sniff test that liberals adore.

5) Global Warming, er, Climate, uh, Change?

Yes, it seems the more things change, the more they stay the same. At least climate-wise.

When I wrote earlier this year that the UK’s official weather service had quietly and only tacitly admitted that there had been a unexplainable pause in global warming according to most climate change models, liberals predictably attacked the messengers.

The UK’s MET Office, more formally called the UK's National Weather Service, updated global temperatures for 2012 and the new dataset shows that an “unlikely” event has occurred, according to their own models: Global warming has been halted for 15 years and counting.

While the MET Office accused critics of cherry-picking a starting point and nitpicked about language-for example the Daily Mail reported that the “Met Office report [was] quietly released,” while the Met office whined they just updated the data and there was no “report” at all- they don’t dispute that from 1997 until the halfway mark in 2012 there has been no statistically significant rise in global temperatures.

But , as Forbes contributor Larry Bell relates, even as the “U.N.’s Church of the Burning Planet are scheduled to finalize their latest hellfire and brimstone sermon, a chilling development has occurred. A flood of blasphemous reports circulated among ranks of former faithful parishioners are challenging human-caused climate crisis theology.”

Turns out the UK’s MET office WAS making an admission by omission on climate, er, global, uh, stuff:

According to a recent Opinion & Comment piece titled“Overestimating global warming over the past 20 years”that appeared inNature Climate Change,the model-based fear and loathing attached to global warming may be substantially overheated. Notably, Francis W. Zwiers, one of the three authors, is a vice-chair of this relevant section for AR5.  The writers observe that whereas the global mean temperature over the past 20 years (1993-2012) rose at a rate of between about 0.14o–0.06oC per decade, average temperatures computed by 117 simulations of 37 climate models predicted a surface temperature rise of 0.30o-0.02oC per decade. The observed rate of warming was less than half of the simulated rate.

The inconsistency between observed and simulated warming was even greater over the past 15 years (between 1998 and 2012).  Here the observed trend was 0.05o-0.08oC per decade, vs. the average simulated trend of 0.21o-0.03oC. The observed trend was four times smaller. The divergence began in the early 1990s. Accordingly, evidence indicates that the group of model simulations do not reproduce observed global warming over the past 20 years, or the slowdown over the past 15 years.

So what do you do when global warming doesn’t even remotely follow your “models” and Obamacare does the same? Start a war in the Middle East?  Which bring us to:

6)Choooo, Choooo…Obamacare a’coming

Obamacare is not just everything conservatives predicted- pork-barrel, bad for health, expensive, government over-reach, bad for the economy, rationing, subject to abuse, fraud and waste- it is much, much worse than even that.

Because the guys who decided that the Tea Party was a menace- the IRS- will be enforcing provisions of Obamacare. That means that while the NSA watches my tax return as I file it electronically, the IRS on the receiving end will be making sure that I’m not supporting any patriotic un-American activities like itemizing deductions for medical expenses. And the person Obama proposed to head up the IRS enforcement arm of the government? The exact same person at the IRS who was at the center of the IRS Tea Party tax scandal.

Remember her? Lois Lerner.   She was the one who, in front of Congress, invoked her constitutional right not to tattle on herself.  She’s also invoked her constitutional right to hide from the press and the public, while being on official paid leave with the IRS.

There’s more.  With Obama there is always more.  But I’d run out of ink before I’d get through it.



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

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


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

ACRU Court Victory Means Dead People, Felons Will Finally be Taken Off Voter Rolls in Mississippi County

The American Civil Rights Union landed a major victory this week when a U.S. District Judge in the Southern District of Mississippi signed a consent decree to clean up Walthall County’s voter registration rolls. Census data for the county shows there are 9,536 people over the age of 18. The problem, however, is that there are 10,078 active voters listed on official records, which prompted ACRU to sue officials in the county earlier this year.

"This is historic and should have been done 20 years ago," ACRU Chairman Susan A. Carleson said in a statement. "It's the first time since Motor Voter [National Voter Registration Act] was enacted in 1993 giving private parties the right to sue over voting irregularities that any private party has won a case to require clean voter rolls. With the Justice Department on the warpath against state election integrity laws, it couldn't come at a better time."

ACRU had to act because federal authorities have been delinquent, according to former DOJ attorneys J. Christian Adams, Christopher Coates and Henry Ross, who filed the lawsuit.

"This case should have been called United States v. Walthall County instead of ACRU v. Walthall County," Adams said in a statement. "We're doing the job that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. won't do. In fact, he's too busy suing Texas for its new photo ID law and abusing power in other ways to harass states that are trying to ensure election integrity."

And the demographics of this county are important to point out (via The Blaze):

Walthall County, Miss. is [a] red county in a red state, is majority white, and was carried [by] Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2012, according to the Heritage Foundation. This could blunt the argument generally used by Democrats and the Holder Justice Department, that voter integrity measures harm minority voters and benefit Republican candidates.

The consent decree will force the county to clean up its voter rolls by removing dead voters, those who have moved out of the county, noncitizens, nonresidents, and convicted felons who are no longer eligible to vote.

"This is a huge victory for the American people," Carleson said. "Across the country, other counties have more registered voters than people alive. If they don't clean up their rolls, they risk litigation. Every time an illegal voter casts a ballot, it steals someone else's legal vote."

The ACRU also sued Jefferson Davis County on the same issue. A trial has been set for June 2014.



Thieves Are Kindred Spirit for California Government

When someone embezzles more than $300,000 from a business, that company is not likely to hire back the embezzler and give her a promotion. But such is not the case with the state of California, which even changed the rules so the embezzler could get a new job.

As a recent report noted, Carey Renee Moore (then going by the name Carey Renee Aceves) embezzled $320,000 from the state’s Department of Child Support Services “by using her position to purchase, among other things, a television, a hot tub and gazebo and electronics, pornographic videos, handcuffs, chains and whips. Moore falsified records to cover up the purchases and sold some items to buy a $65,000 Lexus.” The California Highway Patrol said it was one of the largest cases they had uncovered.

Before the cops could close the deal, Moore transferred with the greatest of ease to the State Board of Equalization, which learned of her arrest and began termination proceedings. But the embezzler resigned from the board before those proceedings became final. Moore served two years in prison for felony grand theft but then bagged a position with the state’s High Speed Rail Authority, the so-called bullet train, a boondoggle in progress. Moore was able to get the position because the state Personnel Board removed from state job applications two questions dealing with previous convictions for misdemeanors and felonies. Moore claims she didn’t lie about that because the state didn’t ask. This is an obvious case of double standards and special treatment, but there is more going on here.

The state does not reveal how many criminals it hires, and when a Sacramento Bee reporter asked bullet-train bosses how and why they hired a convicted embezzler, they called it a “personnel matter” and would not comment. Last year it emerged that the state parks department had hidden some $54 million, which one legislator called “deceit and thievery.” It later emerged that a key figure in the scandal had an extensive criminal background. As with Moore, that proved no object to state employment, and that should come as no surprise

A state where waste, fraud and abuse are common practice is certain to have a soft spot for convicted felons and embezzlers with their hand in the till. In state government they fit right in.



Under Obama: Job Growth 52% Greater for Foreign-Born Workers

Under President Barack Obama, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today, the increase in the number of foreign-born people employed in the United States has been 52 percent greater than the increase in the number of native-born people employed.

In January 2009, when President Barack Obama first took office, says the BLS, there were 21,375,000 foreign-born people employed in the United States. In August 2013, there were 23,833,000 foreign-born workers employed in the United States. That means that since Obama took office the number of foreign-born people holding jobs inside the United States has increased by 2,458,000.

By contrast, in January 2009, there were 119,061,000 native-born Americans employed in the United States, and, in August 2013, there were 120,676,000—an increase of 1,615,000.

The 2,458,000 increase in foreign-born workers since January 2009 is 843,000 (or 52 percent) greater than 1,615,000 increase in native-born workers.

The BLS numbers are based on a survey of 60,000 households that the Census Bureau conducts each month. That survey does not distinguish between foreign-born persons who are naturalized U.S. citizens, legal permanent U.S. residents, work-visa holders or “undocumented” foreign nationals working illegally in the United States. Rather, it counts them all simply as foreign-born individuals who are in the United States and who are either working or not working. The survey focuses on persons who are 16 years old or older.

The BLS numbers also show that the labor-force participation rate for both the foreign-born and native-born population has declined under Obama, although the native-born participation rate has dropped more than the foreign-born participation rate.

In January 2009, when Obama took office, the labor-force participation rate among foreign-born persons 16 years or older was 67.2 percent. By this August, it was down 66.9 percent. In January 2009, 65.0 percent of native-born Americans 16 years or older participated in the labor force. By August, that was down to 62.8 percent.

BLS counts someone as participating in the labor force if they are 16 or older and either have a job or have actively sought one in the last four weeks.



Norway has just elected a new conservative government

Some background

    "Conservative Party leader Erna Solberg — nicknamed “Iron Erna” — will become Norway’s new prime minister as the leader of a center-right coalition government likely including an anti-immigration party.

    Preliminary results from the oil-rich Nordic country’s parliamentary elections shows the Conservative Party got 26.8 percent of votes, the best result for the party in 28 years. Solberg, who will be Norway’s second female prime minister after Gro Harlem Brundtland, thanked the voters Monday for a historic victory.

    “The voters had the choice between 12 years of red-green government or a new government with new ideas and new solutions,” Solberg said. …

    The discovery of oil and gas in Norway’s waters in the 1960s turned the Scandinavian nation into one of the richest in the world, with a strong welfare system and a high living standard. The oil wealth helped it withstand Europe’s financial crisis and retain low unemployment throughout Stoltenberg’s years in power. Still, the Conservative Party has managed to attract votes amid pledges to increase the availability of private health care and cut taxes on assets over $140,000."

Although much of Europe continues to stagger beneath the tremendous weight of their own imploding welfare states and the accompanying fiscal and economic burdens, borne of their very progressive- and labor-influenced state-spending policies, Norway is still a relative island of plenty amidst that sea of European debt. Norway, too, has an extravagant welfare state, but the constant stream of wealth that comes from their nationalized system of tapping their vast reserves of oil and gas mean that they have a robust revenue stream that enables them to keep the welfare state going.

Norwegians take a lot of pride in their economic inclusiveness, and they boast some of the highest living standards in Europe with an unemployment rate of only 3.5 percent and a relatively (and I do mean relatively) good GDP growth rate of 3 percent in 2012. That 3 percent, however, is still a slowdown, and the conservative-minded politicians in the running want to avoid injecting too much public spending into the economic in the misbegotten attempt to spur growth as well as keep taxes low and business-friendly. What’s more, as the United States’ shale oil-and-gas boom continues to grow and as countries like Germany and the United Kingdom think about fracking for themselves, using oil riches to cover a full third of your country’s revenue stream isn’t necessarily a dependable plan for the future, and it sounds like they’re at least taking small steps toward a more definitely sustainable public-spending plan for the long term.

On a semi-related note concerning energy riches and Scandinavia, President Obama stopped in Sweden on his way to Russia last week and hailed the tiny country as an example to us all in bringing about the cleaner, greener future to which we should all be aspiring: “Sweden is obviously an extraordinary leader when it comes to tackling climate change and increasing energy efficiency, and developing new technologies. And the goal of achieving a carbon-neutral economy is remarkable, and Sweden is well on its way. We deeply respect and admire that and think we can learn from it.” That prompted RealClearEnergy‘s editors to wonder: …Er, Obama does know that Sweden is 40 percent nuclear, right?



How Conservatives Get Revenge on the IRS

In one of the biggest political scandals of the last decade, the IRS has been exposed for politically targeting conservative organizations and preventing them from gaining tax exempt status, all while quickly approving liberal organizations.  This abuse of Federal power by the IRS threatens democracy at its core, because it uses the Federal government’s biggest weapon – taxation – to promote one political ideology over another.  It’s no wonder why conservatives have long been skeptical of the IRS and why conservatives throughout history have sought to protect their money from IRS control.  So how have conservatives gotten revenge on the IRS?  By shielding their money and wealth in the one asset class that the IRS has no legal authority to know about.

So, how are conservatives beating the IRS, not to mention the Fed?  By buying private non-reportable physical gold & silver and sitting on it.   In other words, they're getting some wealth out of the crooked casino and away from the grimy paws of the IRS.  But in order to beat the IRS at their own game, they're buying “the right gold."

First, let’s look at investing in "the wrong gold" -- gold on paper through an ETF -- and how that plays right into the hands of the IRS and Fed.  You buy $100,000 in paper gold through your broker in the form of an ETF.  Gold doubles, you sell and realize a 100k profit and now you get to send a check for $28,000 to the IRS.  That’s right, you buy gold to protect yourself from inflation, inflation happens, your paper money buys less so your gold went up but, for some crazy reason, you have to give the IRS 28% of your “growth."

This is partly why the IRS is a joke.  The central planners make inflation to get growth, and then things rise because of that inflation, but then they want some of your growth back into their own pockets?   One would argue that if the central planners are going make inflation all day by printing money that YOU should be allowed to benefit from the asset appreciation that ultimately helps YOU to counter their inflation and the rising price of the goods and services YOU need to survive.  But instead they want to ding you twice – once through an unfair tax called inflation and then again by taxing you on the asset appreciation that inflation created.

So, when we talk about the "right gold," we're talking about physical gold, which has none of the counter-party risk of ETF gold and is more shielded from the IRS.  What many conservatives are doing is removing some wealth from the fractional system controlled by criminals and into an asset that not only lives outside the insolvent banking system and outside the paper fiat currency system, but is also invisible to the IRS.  That's right, the IRS does NOT require the reporting of many types of gold and silver coin purchases and sales.  So not only are conservatives protecting their money and wealth from systematic collapse when they buy gold and silver, they are shielding themselves from IRS scrutiny.


This is reasonable advice as long as you realize that gold prices have big ups and downs.  I prefer real estate and blue chip company shares for asset protection myself -- JR


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

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


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Liberals Hate Job Creation

It is becoming more apparent that Liberals actually hate job creation. As if crafting fiscal policies that stifle economic growth and discourage job growth weren’t enough, they feel it is necessary to actively protest one of the few sectors of the economy that is actually growing: low paid, unskilled, retail and service jobs.

OUR Wal-Mart, an affiliate of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), held a series of protests last week against Wal-Mart’s “unlivable” wages. Of course, hardly anyone showed up. (Although, compared to recent Organizing For America events it looked like a million man march.) According to David Tovar, Wal-Mart’s Vice President of Corporate Communications, less than one-tenth of the company’s 1.3 million employees took part in the “protests.” I guess that means there are potentially 50 new job openings at the retail giant.

The Wal-Mart walkouts (or . . . um . . . attempted walkouts) followed a recent series of protests aimed at shaming fast food restaurants into raising their hourly wages. Such demands, after all, make sense in the minds of Liberals: Of course a person flipping 99 cent hamburgers deserves $15 per hour!

But back to our point about Liberals hating job creation: According to the August Jobs report we have finally achieved something in the Obama-economy that has been elusive and evasive since the conception of Obamacare. . . Full Time positions were actually created! And in what sectors were these elusive full time positions created? In the “lowest paid” sectors. In other words: At Wal-Mart, McDonalds, etc.

Exactly the places the UFCW and other Lefties are picketing.

The trend highlights a disturbing trend in both American’s understanding of work, and the overall economic conditions of the good ole’ USA. It seems highly improbable that the majority of full time “low paid” positions are being given to up-and-coming entrants to the work force. In fact, it is seeming more likely as Obama’s great recovery drags on, with penetrative devastation to our economy, that skilled labor is having to settle for less than optimal employment opportunities.

And there is a reason that these low-skilled and low-paid jobs are offering full time employment: The low wage allows employers to appropriate excess capital to the required benefits that laws such as Obamacare will soon mandate. What the UFCW and leftists world-wide seem incapable of grasping, is the concept that such a low-paid job is not designed to be a career. A position at a Wal-Mart, or a McDonalds, should be a stepping stone to something greater. Such a position is not designed to produce a “livable” wage, because it is not designed as a lifelong pursuit, or a 40 year investment of time and labor. Such a position is, by its very nature, a position that should offer new entrants to the workforce an opportunity for experience and resume building. It should not be the ambition of any American to work as a hamburger flipper for fifteen years – regardless of their ability to earn a livable wage.

Unfortunately, in Obama’s America, the opportunities for career minded individuals seems to be diminishing. As firms engage in “temporary” hiring, “contract” hiring, and part time hiring, careers are slowly being turned into lucrative “jobs” that offer employees a resume enhancer while prepping them for very little. The once praised action of engaging in a lifelong career, is being slowly eradicated by Labor laws, Obamacare regulations, and the anemic “recovery” that looks an awful lot like a recession continued.

And now, as America struggles to produce some sort of real job market recovery, Leftists are choosing to picket the few employers that are unafraid to offer full time work – albeit at entry level wages.

It seems to merely be more proof that the Left hates Job creation. . . Or they have a fundamental ignorance of free market economics. Either option should disqualify their altruistic impulse to engineer our economy into their economic vision.



Create a job and be harassed by your government

“So, what did you do during your summer break?” If you happen to be a certain 12 year old boy from Pocatello, Idaho, you spent the summer being productive and successfully carrying on an entrepreneurial venture, and then experiencing your state government cracking-down on you for not being licensed and demanding a portion of your revenues.

The 12 year old son of Jason Weeks is who we’re talking about. Weeks’ son announced at the beginning of the summer that he wanted to acquire a motorcycle. Weeks had the good sense to tell his son to earn money and purchase one for himself. So the son took the father’s advice, and – presumably with some help from some adults – he launched a fruit stand, right near a Red Wings Shoe store in small town Pocatello.

But soon after Weeks’ son launched, the Idaho State Tax Commission lunged. “They confronted him first and he called me” Weeks told the Idaho State Journal newspaper. “It was the second day that my son was in business.”

According to Weeks and the local newspaper, the state is demanding payment for a 6% state sales tax that they claim should have been collected by the boy from cash paying customers that bought his raspberries. Weeks would not return my calls prior to the writing of this piece, but, without commenting specifically about the incident, the state tax commission acknowledges that it happened and notes that they have to enforce the law with everybody.

Americans everywhere should make note of this situation and learn from it. Lesson number one is that nobody should attempt to launch any sort of business in the United States without making certain that they are in full compliance with city, county, state and federal regulations. That’s a tall order, but that’s how costly it has become to do business in America.

Governments nationwide and at all levels are almost universally on the hunt for money, and many of them are broke. There is no limit to governments’ willingness to turn people upside down and shake cash out of their pockets, and they’ll even do it with children. (The Idaho state tax commission had a similar run-in with a 6 year old back in 2010!). If a business is being operated without the proper licensure and permitting requirements being met, and without proper taxation procedures in place, an operator no matter their age will likely be fined for being out of compliance, and fined retroactively for however long the non-compliance has been happening. Business owners, beware.

The other great lesson in this situation is to realize that we live in an era of abusive government. Agents of city, county, state and federal government often don’t know any limits to how they can and will exercise their powers over the lives of private individuals, and the cause of the problem is we, the people. With often less than 50% of the American population participating in U.S. presidential elections, voter turn-out for state and local elections is usually even smaller. Such ambivalence is emboldening to bureaucrats and politicians who have power and enjoy using it.

Abusive government won’t stop until Americans wake up and choose otherwise. Hopefully the young Mr. Weeks from Pocatello – and others in his generation – will someday choose more wisely than today’s adult population.



Medisave Accounts in Singapore

By John C. Goodman

In 1984, Richard Rahn and I wrote an editorial in the Wall Street Journal in which we proposed a savings account for health care. We called it a Medical IRA. That same year, Singapore instituted a related idea: a system of compulsory Medisave accounts. Through the years, my colleagues and I at the National Center for Policy Analysis have kept track of the Singapore experience, including publishing a general study of Singapore’s social welfare system in 1995 and a study of its health care system in 1996.

It’s taken about almost three decades, but all of a sudden Singapore has come to the attention of a lot of other policy wonks, including a book by Brookings, a whole slew of posts by Austin Frakt and Aaron Carroll, a good overview by Tyler Cowen, and lots of links in all of this to other studies and comments.

Before commenting on the commenters, let me jump to the bottom line, which was completely missed by Austin and Aaron, as well as some others: No, Singapore does not have a free market for health care. What it does have is an alternative to the European/American welfare state, in which private saving and private insurance do what employers and governments do in other countries. The Singapore philosophy is:

    Each generation should pay its own way.
    Each family should pay its own way.
    Each individual should pay his own way.

    Only after passing through these three filters, should anyone turn to the government for help.

If the United States adopted a similar approach to public policy, there would be no deficit problem in this country.

How the system works.

In Singapore, people are required to save for health care, retirement income, and other needs. They can use their forced saving to purchase a home, pay education expenses, and purchase life insurance and disability insurance. For individuals up to age 50, the required saving rate is 36% of income (nominally divided: 20% from the employee and 16% from the employer). Of this amount, 7 percentage points is for health care and is deposited in a separate Medisave account. Individuals are also automatically enrolled in catastrophic health insurance with a deductible of about US $1,172, although they can opt out. When a Medisave account balance reaches about US $34,100 (an amount equal to a little less than half of the median family income) any excess funds are rolled over into another account and may be used for non-health care purposes.

Some hits and misses by the commenters:

    A number of commentaries (including comments by Singapore officials) seem overly focused on the issue of whether health care should be delivered in free markets or in regulated markets. However, that has always been a secondary issue, if an issue at all. Medisave accounts are self-insurance, as distinguished from third-party insurance. They affect incentives on the demand side of the market, regardless of how capitalistic or socialistic the supply side is. The issue both in the United States and in Singapore is: can individuals be counted on to manage some of their own health care dollars in a responsible way, or does health care work better if all the dollars are controlled by third-party payers? This topic has generated extensive, heated debate in the United States ― ever since we formally proposed Health Savings Accounts in the early 1990s.

For example,Paul Krugman (who has almost a perfect record for getting everything wrong in health care) called HSAs a sop to the healthy and the wealthy. After three decades of experience, Singapore has shown the world (to the great consternation of the critics) that individual self-insurance works and it works well.
 There has been a lot of back and forth about whether Medisave accounts have reduced overall health care spending, including some commentary by William Hsiao, who seems to have forgotten the Econ 101 distinction between the income effect and the substitution effect. Anytime you force people to save for a consumption item and the savings rate for a lot of them is higher than what they were previously spending, total spending is going to go up. Duh. That’s the income effect.

But, money in the accounts belongs to the account holder and anything not spent in the current period rolls over and is available for future spending. Choosing between current and future spending is the substitution effect. So, compared to taxing people and giving the revenue to insurance companies to pay for first dollar coverage, of course spending is going to be lower than it would have been. How could it be otherwise?

    The most important thing Singapore has accomplished in health care (in contrast to all the other developed countries) is an enormous shift of money and power from the public to the private sector. Since 1984, the Singaporean government’s share of the nation’s total health care expenditure dropped from about 50% to 20%. When you stop to think about it, that’s incredible.

    Finally, the most important feature of Singapore’s overall approach to social welfare is that the country has found a rational way to provide services that are provided by ill-conceived social insurance programs in the rest of the developed world. As is well known, programs for the elderly have devolved into little more than legalized Ponzi schemes in the United States and throughout Europe. Governments everywhere have made promises of benefits they were unwilling to fund. So now they must either default on those promises or impose draconian taxes on the productive sector. Singapore has avoided that problem.


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


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

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


Monday, September 09, 2013

Obama Ignoring Real Racism?

Evidence mounts day by day, week by week that the White House not only doesn't care about the racial divisions in our society, but may actually seek to deepen them and incite new ones.

And why shouldn't they?  Racial tension is one of the Democrats' most potent political tools for driving Americans to re-elect them.

Black racism or hatred of non-blacks is real, is poisonous and might be more commonplace than we are led to believe by the main stream media.  There is plenty of evidence of this and our president is not living up to his promise of “one America”.  Don’t look to the Liberal media because it isn’t reporting on this, in fact, they ARE IGNORING it, and in some cases, they conceal the truth!

The recent cases of Tuffy Gessling and Ayo Kimathi do nothing but draw that fact into sharper and sharper focus.

Tuffy Gessling, you may recall, is the Missouri Rodeo clown who wore an Obama mask in the ring while taunting a bull to come get him, as is a rodeo clown’s job.  This however, drew down a mountain of liberal wrath. The Missouri State Fair banned him for life, the Missouri political establishment almost universally denounced him, and even the former president of the Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association, Mark Fircken, resigned from the MRCA in protest when his organization failed to ban Mr. Gessling for life as the State Fair did.

Well, it only got worse from there! Recently, Mr. Gessling has reported numerous instances of threats and abuse directed against him. “I’ve had one lady spit in my face - called me a dirty name, spit in my face and walked off…I’ve had somebody threaten to run me over. One of them wanted to burn my house down!”

Even worse, the Missouri chapter of the NAACP called for a federal investigation of the rodeo incident!

This is plainly a witch hunt against anyone who dares criticize or mock our king of a president. Don't believe me? Consider the case of Ayo Kimathi, the employee of the Department of Homeland Security, who runs his own hate website,

Tell Congress and President Obama to stop playing political games and actually HEAL the racial divide in this country!

On August 21, the Left-wing group The Southern Poverty Law Center reported on Mr. Kimathi, who when posting under the pseudonym "The Irritated Genie," writes hate-filled posts declaring the coming of an imminent race war.

"[In order for Black people to survive the 21st century]”, he writes, “we are going to have to kill a lot of whites - more than our Christian hearts can possibly count."  Does this sound very Christian to you?

On Friday, August 23, Mr. Kimathi was put on leave—not fired, not reprimanded, simply put on PAID ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE—by DHS. Presumably, he is still receiving a paycheck from the same federal government into which we pay our hard-earned tax money year after year!  Your tax dollars hard at work ladies and gentlemen, to help start a race war!

Worse still, it turns out that Mr. Kimathi has been known to be a terrifying hate-monger for some time now. His former supervisor, who goes unnamed in the SPLC article, learned of the website in mid-June. “When I saw the website, I was stunned,” she said. “To see the hate, to know that he is a federal employee, it bothered me."  Did we not learn one lesson from the terrible tragedy in Foot Hood?  Political correctness will destroy our culture.

And yet no one in DHS did anything to change the situation until August 21, when the SPLC ran their column on this hate-filled federal employee.

Check out some other highlights from Mr. Kimathi's website:

“Plan every act of vengeance, retaliation, protest, aggression, etc. … for the month of August knowing that the ancestors, and especially Prophet Nat [Turner], Boukman Dutty, and Jean-Jacques Dessalines, will be with you as you do your hunting.”

A list of "enemies" that includes Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell (misspelled as "Colon"), Oprah Winfrey, Al Sharpton, and even President Obama, who are described as “treasonous mulatto scum dwellers… who will fight against reparations for Black people in amerikkka, but in favor of fag rights for freaking in amerikkka and Africa.”

Despite these examples of racism far more clear and obvious than any performance by a rodeo clown, there has been relative silence from the federal government. Also, not one representative of the NAACP has stepped forward to denounce Mr. Kimathi for his comments about President Obama.

So a white-hating, homophobic advocate of mass murder against white people is kept on the federal payroll, only being placed on paid administrative leave as punishment - while a rodeo clown who wore an Obama mask is fired from his job, banned for life from the Missouri State Fair, threatened with violence and made to fear for his home and his safety??

In what version of America is this remotely okay?

To put Tuffy Gessling's actions in perspective, bear in mind too that this is hardly the first time a rodeo clown—or anyone else—has made fun of a sitting president. “I didn’t think anything more of it than what we’ve done 15 years ago, 10 years ago, five years ago, when we’ve done it with Bush, Clinton and Ronald Reagan," he said in an interview, and wearing masks and making fun of presidents is an old, old game among rodeo clowns.  IT WASN’T ABOUT Left or Right, after all, he’s a rodeo clown.

You don’t hear about racism unless it fits the Left’s agenda. For example, a story in the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1994 describes the following scene from the Cowtown rodeo: "A dummy with a George Bush mask stood beside the clown, propped up by a broomstick… the bull saw the George Bush dummy. He tore into it, sending the rubber mask flying halfway across the sand as he turned toward the fence."

And yet, in response to the more recent incident, one fairgoer described the scene as "awful… sickening… racist," and likened it to "a Klan rally."

Where was the outrage over the years from 2000 to 2009?  Hateful, vile things were said and murderous anger was directed against President George W. Bush for years!

Some of the more offensive jokes implied threats and hatred was spewed at President Bush the entire time he was in office.  There were numerous pictures depicting guns being pointed at Bush's head, with captions reading "Kill Bush."  We had Bush piñatas, Bush decapitation signs and that “mockumentary” film showing a fictional assassination of President Bush!

The difference couldn't be the political party he belongs to, could it?

The difference between these two stories echoes a pattern that has repeated itself with depressing frequency over the past few years.  Just this year, we saw a huge furor and uproar over the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case … but where was the outrage over the case of Roderick Scott, a black man who shot Christopher Cervini, a 17 year-old white kid, back in 2009?

There have been literally hundreds of cases of shootings of black teenagers in this country in the months since February of 2012, when George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, but not one of those has received the scrutiny the Zimmerman case received.  Why not? In most of those cases, the one doing the shooting was also black, and the story of black-on-black violence is nowhere near as politically potent and exciting to the progressive Left’s agenda!

The rhetoric of racism has played a prominent role in the political speech coming from Democrats since 2006, when Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid took control of the United States Congress and Senate.

At every level of government, Democrat leaders frequently invoke the specters of slavery and Jim Crow to emotionally bludgeon their way through difficult political issues like Obamacare, budget cuts, and even the decision on whether to go to war with Syria.



Blunt words about Muslim backwardness

Mark Steyn

In 2010, the bestselling atheist Richard Dawkins, in the “On Faith” section of the Washington Post, called the pope “a leering old villain in a frock” perfectly suited to “the evil corrupt organization” and “child-raping institution” that is the Catholic Church. Nobody seemed to mind very much.

Three years later, in a throwaway Tweet, Professor Dawkins observed that “all the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. They did great things in the Middle Ages, though.” This time round, the old provocateur managed to get a rise out of folks. Almost every London paper ran at least one story on the “controversy.” The Independent‘s Owen Jones fumed, “How dare you dress your bigotry up as atheism. You are now beyond an embarrassment.” The best-selling author Caitlin Moran sneered, “It’s time someone turned Richard Dawkins off and then on again. Something’s gone weird.” The Daily Telegraph‘s Tom Chivers beseeched him, “Please be quiet, Richard Dawkins, I’m begging.”

None of the above is Muslim. Indeed, they are, to one degree or another, members of the same secular liberal media elite as Professor Dawkins. Yet all felt that, unlike Dawkins’s routine jeers at Christians, his Tweet had gone too far. It’s factually unarguable: Trinity graduates have amassed 32 Nobel prizes, the entire Muslim world a mere 10. If you remove Yasser Arafat, Mohamed ElBaradei, and the other winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, Islam can claim just four laureates against Trinity’s 31 (the college’s only peace-prize recipient was Austen Chamberlain, brother of Neville). Yet simply to make the observation was enough to have the Guardian compare him to the loonier imams and conclude that “we must consign Dawkins to this very same pile of the irrational and the dishonest.”

Full disclosure: Five years ago, when I was battling Canada’s “human rights” commissions to restore free speech to my native land, Richard Dawkins was one of the few prominent figures in Her Majesty’s dominions to lend unequivocal support. He put it this way: “I have over the years developed a dislike for Mark Steyn, although I’ve always admired his forceful writing. On this issue, however, he is clearly 1000% in the right and should receive all the support anybody can give him.”

Let me return the compliment: I have over the years developed a dislike for Richard Dawkins’s forceful writing (the God of the Torah is “the most unpleasant character in all fiction,” etc.), but I am coming round rather to admire him personally. It’s creepy and unnerving how swiftly the West’s chattering classes have accepted that the peculiar sensitivities of Islam require a deference extended to no other identity group. I doubt The Satanic Verses would be accepted for publication today, but, if it were, I’m certain no major author would come out swinging on Salman Rushdie’s behalf the way his fellow novelist Fay Weldon did: The Koran, she declared, “is food for no-thought … It gives weapons and strength to the thought-police.”

That was a remarkably prescient observation in the London of 1989. Even a decade ago, it would have been left to the usual fire-breathing imams to denounce remarks like Dawkins’s. In those days, Islam was still, like Christianity, insultable. Fleet Street cartoonists offered variations on the ladies’ changing-room line “Does my bum look big in this?” One burqa-clad woman to another: “Does my bomb look big in this?” Not anymore. “There are no jokes in Islam,” pronounced the Ayatollah Khomeini, and so, in a bawdy Hogarthian society endlessly hooting at everyone from the Queen down, Islam uniquely is no laughing matter. Ten years back, even the United Nations Human Development Program was happy to sound off like an incendiary Dawkins Tweet: Its famous 2002 report blandly noted that more books are translated by Spain in a single year than have been translated into Arabic in the last thousand years.

What Dawkins is getting at is more fundamental than bombs or burqas. Whatever its virtues, Islam is not a culture of inquiry, of innovation. You can coast for a while on the accumulated inheritance of a pre-Muslim past — as, indeed, much of the Dar al-Islam did in those Middle Ages Dawkins so admires — but it’s not unreasonable to posit that the more Muslim a society becomes the smaller a role Nobel prizes and translated books will play in its future. According to a new report from Britain’s Office of National Statistics, “Mohammed,” in its various spellings, is now the second most popular baby boy’s name in England and Wales, and Number One in the capital. It seems likely that an ever more Islamic London will, for a while, still have a West End theater scene for tourists, but it will have ever less need not just for Oscar Wilde and Noël Coward and eventually Shakespeare but for drama of any kind. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe Dawkins is wrong, maybe the U.N. Human Development chaps are wrong. But the ferocious objections even to raising the subject suggest we’re not.

A quarter-century on, Fay Weldon’s “thought police” are everywhere. Notice the general line on Dawkins: Please be quiet. Turn him off. You can’t say that. What was once the London Left’s principal objection to the ayatollah’s Rushdie fatwa is now its reflexive response to even the mildest poke at Islam. Their reasoning seems to be that, if you can just insulate this one corner of the multicultural scene from criticism, elsewhere rude, raucous life — with free speech and all the other ancient liberties — will go on. Miss Weldon’s craven successors seem intent on making her point: In London, Islam is food for no thought.



Revising the past again

The Los Angeles Times: "Since Democrats led the passage of civil rights legislation that marchers pushed for in 1963, Republicans have struggled to recover with black voters, leaving a stark racial divide in American politics."

History Lesson: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 received greater support from Republicans than Democrats, both in the House and in the Senate. Senate Democrats, in fact, staged an 83-day filibuster in opposition to the measure.


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

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


Sunday, September 08, 2013

The Australian election

Conservatives have just had a huge win in Australia's Federal election.  Romney would have had a similar win but for the rusted-on vote of America's two big minorities.  There are no such big minorities in Australia.

The picture below shows voting in Australia.  Australians just use pencil and paper in temporary carboard cubicles.  No voting machines so no hanging chads, no accusations of the machines being "fixed" and easy recounts.  And results were known within a couple of hours of the polls closing.

Elections in Australia are also less hectic.  They are on Saturdays when most people are not working.  And if you turn up to vote mid-morning there are usually no lines of people waiting to vote.  I had no wait at all.


Why America Is Saying 'No'

Peggy Noonan is pretty right below but at the same time I don't think it would go amiss to drop a large bomb on Bashir Assad's Presidential Palace

It is hard, if you've got a head and a heart, to come down against a strong U.S. response to Syria's use of chemical weapons against its civilian population. This is especially so if you believe that humanity stands at a door that leads only to darkness. Those who say, “But Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons—the taboo was broken long ago,” are missing the point. When Saddam used gas against the Kurds it was not immediately known to all the world. It was not common knowledge. The world rued it in retrospect. Syria is different: It is the first obvious, undeniable, real-time, YouTubed use of chemical weapons. The whole world knew of it the morning after it happened, through horrified, first-person accounts, from videos of hospital workers and victims' families.

The world this time cannot “not know,” or claim not to know. And though Bashar Assad has made his pro forma denials, it does not seem believable that this was not a government operation. Assad's foes may or may not be wicked enough to use such weapons, but it is hard to believe they are capable.

When something like this happens and the world knows and does not respond, you won't get less of it in the future, you'll get more. And the weapons will not only be chemical.

So the question: What to do?

After 10 days of debate in Europe and America, the wisest words on a path forward have come from the Pope. Francis wrote this week to Vladimir Putin, as the host of the G-20. He damned “the senseless massacre” unfolding in Syria and pleaded with the leaders gathered in St. Petersburg not to “remain indifferent”—remain—to the “dramatic situation.” He asked the governments of the world “to do everything possible to assure humanitarian assistance” within and without Syria's borders.

But, he said, a “military solution” is a “futile pursuit.”

And he is right. The only strong response is not a military response.

The world must think—and speak—with stature and seriousness, of the moment we're in and the darkness on the other side of the door. It must rebuke those who used the weapons, condemn their use, and shun the users. It must do more, in concert—surely we can agree on this—to help Syria's refugees. It must stand up for civilization.

But a military strike is not the way, and not the way for America.

Francis was speaking, as popes do, on the moral aspects of the situation. In America, practical and political aspects have emerged, and they are pretty clear.

The American people do not support military action. A Reuters-Ipsos poll had support for military action at 20%, Pew at 29%. Members of Congress have been struck, in some cases shocked, by the depth of opposition from their constituents. A great nation cannot go to war—and that's what a strike on Syria, a sovereign nation, is, an act of war—without some rough unity as to the rightness of the decision. Widespread public opposition is in itself reason not to go forward.

Can the president change minds? Yes, and he'll try. But it hasn't worked so far. This thing has jelled earlier than anyone thought. More on that further down.

What are the American people thinking? Probably some variation of: Wrong time, wrong place, wrong plan, wrong man.

Twelve years of war. A sense that we're snakebit in the Mideast. Iraq and Afghanistan didn't go well, Libya is lawless. In Egypt we threw over a friend of 30 years to embrace the future. The future held the Muslim Brotherhood, unrest and a military coup. Americans have grown more hard-eyed—more bottom-line and realistic, less romantic about foreign endeavors, and more concerned about an America whose culture and infrastructure seem to be crumbling around them.

The administration has no discernible strategy. A small, limited strike will look merely symbolic, a face-saving measure. A strong, broad strike opens the possibility of civil war, and a victory for those as bad as or worse than Assad. And time has already passed. Assad has had a chance to plan his response, and do us the kind of damage to which we would have to respond.

There is the issue of U.S. credibility. We speak of this constantly and in public, which has the effect of reducing its power. If we bomb Syria, will the world say, “Oh, how credible America is!” or will they say, “They just bombed people because they think they have to prove they're credible”?

We are, and everyone knows we are, the most militarily powerful and technologically able nation on earth. And at the end of the day America is America. We don't have to bow to the claim that if we don't attack Syria we are over as a great power.

Are North Korea and Iran watching? Sure. They'll always be watching. And no, they won't say, “Huh, that settles it, if America didn't move against Syria they'll never move against us. All our worries are over.” In fact their worries, and ours, will continue.

Sometimes it shows strength to hold your fire. All my life people have been saying we've got to demonstrate our credibility—that if we, and the world, don't know we are powerful by now we, and they, will never know.

But a Syria strike may become full-scale war. Is Barack Obama a war president? On Syria he has done nothing to inspire confidence. Up to the moment of decision, and even past it, he has seemed ambivalent, confused, unaware of the implications of his words and stands. From the “red line” comment to the “shot across the bow,” from the White House leaks about the nature and limits of a planned strike to the president's recent, desperate inclusion of Congress, he has seemed consistently over his head.

A point on how quickly public opinion has jelled. There is something going on here, a new distance between Washington and America that the Syria debate has forced into focus. The Syria debate isn't, really, a struggle between libertarians and neoconservatives, or left and right, or Democrats and Republicans. That's not its shape. It looks more like a fight between the country and Washington, between the broad American public and Washington's central governing assumptions.

I've been thinking of the “wise men,” the foreign policy mandarins of the 1950s and '60s, who so often and frustratingly counseled moderation, while a more passionate public, on right and left, was looking for action. “Ban the Bomb!” “Get Castro Out of Cuba.”

In the Syria argument, the moderating influence is the public, which doesn't seem to have even basic confidence in Washington's higher wisdom.

That would be a comment on more than Iraq. That would be a comment on the past five years, too.



Rachel Maddow Lies Again

Lies are stock in trade for Leftists

I don't watch Rachel Maddow much, but when I do, I am always amazed at how few minutes it takes before I hear her make a baldfaced lie.

Today I heard her say this on her August 16, 2013 broadcast (text from MSNBC transcript, with spelling corrected):

This is Viviette Applewhite. She was 92 years old when she started fighting the state of Pennsylvania for her right to vote. Republicans in that state passed a new law last year that would block you from voting unless you showed documentation that you've never had to show before and that hundreds of thousands of legal voters in the state do not have, including Viviette Applewhite.
Tell it to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Rachel, which accompanied Mrs. Applewhite exactly one year to the day before your broadcast, and watched Mrs. Applewhite apply for and easily and immediately receive the required Pennsylvania ID.

The Inquirer further reported that there was no indication the Pennsylvania state employees had any idea Mrs. Applewhite was a plaintiff in an ACLU lawsuit claiming she cannot get an ID, saying, "an Inquirer reporter who accompanied Applewhite to the PennDot center on Cheltenham Avenue in [Philadelphia]'s West Oak Lane section saw no sign that the clerk recognized her or realized she was a major figure in the battle over the law."

In the August 16, 2013 broadcast, Maddow crowed about Applewhite's "victory" in the lawsuit, about which which the Inquirer described in 2012: "[it] claims the law would bar [Applewhite] from exercising the voting rights she's enjoyed for more than half a century…"

But, as the Inquirer pointed out in 2012, the ease with which Mrs. Applewhite got an ID made the need for a lawsuit, even then, questionable.

By the time of Maddow's August 2013 broadcast, it was even more questionable, as Mrs. Applewhite had had her photo ID for a full year by then.  Despite what Rachel Maddow told her audience.



Jobs Recovery Bummer

At first blush, today’s jobs report once again seems to contain good news: 169,000 jobs added and unemployment dropping a tenth of a point to 7.3%, the lowest since December 2008. But beware what we call the “headline” numbers. The Leftmedia employes them to bolster the sorry record of their man in the White House.

Digging deeper, we find trouble quickly. July numbers were revised down from 162,000 to just 104,000, and June was revised down for the second time. The unemployment rate fell once again only because so many people are giving up looking for work—312,000, or nearly twice the number who found work—and they aren’t counted in the report. The labor participation rate fell to 63.2%, the lowest since Jimmy Carter’s malaise days of August 1978. If labor participation remained at the same level it was in January 2009, the headline unemployment rate would be 10.8%. It would be 7.7% if participation was the same as just one year ago.

As for the U-6 fuller measure, Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey observes that it “dropped from 14.0% to 13.7%, its lowest level in five years.” But, he warns, “[T]hat has to do with the shrinking workforce, too. In order to be counted in U-6, workers have to be at least marginally attached to the labor force. That’s defined as ‘those who currently are neither working nor looking for work but indicate that they want and are available for a job and have looked for work sometime in the past 12 months.’”

Meanwhile, Barack Obama and his crack shot economic team promised that if we just passed the “stimulus” unemployment would be 5% by now.



Al Qaeda-Linked Rebels Attack Christian Village Where Aramaic--Language of Christ--Still Spoken

The sound of artillery reverberated Thursday through a predominantly Christian village north of Damascus as government troops and al-Qaida-linked rebels battled for control of the mountainside sanctuary.

The hit-and-run attacks on the ancient village of Maaloula, one of the few places in the world where residents still speak Aramaic, highlighted fears among Syria's religious minorities about the growing role of extremists among those fighting in the civil war to topple President Bashar Assad's regime.

The fighting came as President Barack Obama's administration pressed the U.S. Congress for its authorization of a military strike against the Assad regime, while the president arrived at a G-20 summit in Russia expected to be overshadowed by Syria.

The fighting in Maaloula, a scenic village of about 3,300 perched high in the mountains, began early Wednesday when militants from Jabhat al-Nusra stormed in after a suicide bomber struck an army checkpoint guarding the entrance.

The group - listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department - is one of the most effective fighting forces among Syrian rebels. The suicide attack triggered battles that terrorized residents in the village, famous for two of the oldest surviving monasteries in Syria - Mar Sarkis and Mar Takla.



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

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