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1  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Economics, A fiscal and monetary dialogue with Walter Heller and Milton Friedman on: June 28, 2016, 11:38:49 AM
One more economics post for today - the previous one is on the Monetary thread.

Walter Heller was my Econ professor at U of MN.  He was chief economic adviser to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, author of the Kennedy tax cuts, the war on poverty and part of the Marshall Plan.  A Keynesian.  Milton Friedman hopefully needs no introduction.  A Monetarist.  They each make their case and respond to each other:  80 pages plus glossary etc.
2  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Money, the Fed, Banking, Monetary Policy, Janet Yellen at Radcliffe Day on: June 28, 2016, 10:02:38 AM
I watched a Janet Yellen video called 'an hour of your life you will never get back' for you in case you don't want to see it:

Janet Yellen is the most powerful woman in the world.  Decisions she makes affect your life.  If you include the long introductions and the advice to younger people, hers is an inspiring story of how she got to where she is and loves her field and her work.  She believes government, in this case The Fed, can alleviate the pain caused by the ups and downs of the private sector.  Something is upside down there, but let's run with it for a moment.

If you take the other side of it as I do, it is a bit creepy how this inbred group of elites has so much control over our lives.  The questioner is an economist I like, Greg Mankiw, Chair of the Economics Department at Harvard.  In the audience are Ben Bernanke, Loretta Lynch and others, a powerful group.  It is amazing how many of the Fed people, Wall Street people, Supreme Court Justices, Presidents, all went to the same schools.  Yellen went to both Harvard and Yale.  So did George Bush.  Bernanke went to Harvard.  Chief Justice John Roberts has two degrees from Harvard, so does Merrick Garland, 3 current justices went to Yale, Crafty went to Columbia, Obama Harvard, Hillary Yale, Trump Wharton and George Will Princeton.  Dorothy from Kansas was the last person of power to come from the heartland.  

Bernanke wrote a book on the Great Recession (he helped cause) and Yellen praised him for his work on that.  Showing up for the speech helps to keep the group in mutual back patting mode.  I was patiently listening for the negatives because I believe this economy is horribly under-performing and that the Fed is enabling the fiscal insanity of the other two branches. (Whoops, the Fed is not the third branch of government even thought the judiciary is now just a rubber stamp of elected liberalism.)

Zero interest rates are bad for the economy.  No one (but our Crafty) ever seems to say that.  We have a zero savings rate because of it; that didn't come up in the talk.  Why are interest rates still at roughly zero?  Because the economy is still too weak and too fragile to handle anything near a normal cost of money - in their own opinion - and the Fed has access and control of the most wide ranging and detailed economic information anywhere on the planet.  Why is the economy too weak and too fragile to handle real or normal, balanced, market interest rates?  Bad policies that are not being addressed by anything in her talk.  (See below.)

Of the financial collapse, Yellen says, "we didn't see it coming".  No they didn't.  She was on the forefront of warning about the housing bubble.  "We saw trees".  But they didn't see the forest by their own admission.  (So we put her in charge.)  She is quite humble but eager to brag about her predecessor and the team (she was head of the San Francisco Fed, 12th district).  The team responded fast and creatively and courageously and so on.  There should be a movie about it, starring some handsome young actor as Ben Bernanke.)  Not a word about how the Fed helped cause it!

So many great things are going on in our limping economy, she hardly had time to talk about the bad things.  We grew 14 million jobs since the bottom (while the population increased by more than that).  Maybe I have too much math and physics background, but waves are measured peak to peak or trough to trough, but those types of measure make this 'recovery' look like 8 wasted years we will never get back.  Unemployment (as measured dishonestly) dropped from 10% to 5%, now considered full employment [by others].  No mention of the weakness in that until pressed.

On the bad side, the number of people working part time who would like to be working full time is "unusually high", in the 8th year of the 'recovery'.

Not much improvement in wages (understatement of the decade), which is "suggestive of slack in the labor market", contradicting the unemployment improvement claim above.

Growth in "output" (GDP) is "remarkably slow".  

Productivity growth is VERY slow, 1/2% per year, "miserably slow", "a serious and negative development".
(I would like to come back to that since she didn't.)

Inflation is below the 2% target (the target is a crime in itself) due to the plunge in oil prices (nothing to do with inflation) and the appreciation of the dollar (all to do with failure in the world around us).

She sees currently weak growth picking up (greener grass just over that fence).  They intend to increase the "overnight lending rate" "gradually and cautiously" over the next few months (assuming growth picks up and it won't), and up from near zero to 3-3.25% within 5-7 years (assuming constant, uninterrupted growth, which also won't possibly happen).

She opposes negative interest rate policy for the "negative repercussions" (she is right on that) and agrees that zero interest rate policy limits the scope of policies the Fed has to address new problems and weaknesses that arise.  (Right again even though that is what they are doing.)  The Fed invented other tools in the face of this, "longer term asset purchases" that people like Yellen, Grannis and Wesbury don't like to call printing money (what did they purchase them with, thin air?).

As a true liberal leftist, she also believes in "greater latitude in fiscal policy" as a tool to address future downturns and weakness, as if public investment had the affect of private investment and as if $19 trillion in debt isn't already causing a burden and limiting the scope of future policy decisions.
My own comments continued:

What did not come up at all are the underlying causes of the current malaise, over-taxation and over-regulation.

40% of people in their 20s with a college degree do not work in a job requiring a college degree.  100 million adults don't work at all.  Disability and food stamp recipient needs have skyrocketed DURING THIS 'RECOVERY' (not a recovery).  Wage growth is zero; productivity growth is zero; WHY?

Wages are tied to productivity growth and the demand for labor which is tied really to entrepreneurial and small business activities which are constrained (or crushed) by excessive taxes and regulations.

Productivity growth is tied to capital investment.  Think of digging a hole or a ditch with a broken shovel, a clean sharp shovel with a longer handle, a bobcat or a caterpillar.  Productivity goes up with better tools that cost money, in some cases lots of money, which means there has to be a good long term outlook, favorable economic conditions and a good, long term, AFTER TAX return realistically expected on that investment.  And no big threat that it will soon be closed or confiscated by the government.  This investment is not happening, Janet Yellen is telling us, though she is either too polite of too ignorant to criticize the administration and the congress for strangling our formerly vibrant private sector.

Productivity growth alone doesn't create higher wages, we need increased output growth too and some control over the supply of new cheap labor coming in.  Exactly the opposite of our current economic policies that stifle and punish capital investment, leave the borders open and offer programs for able people to not work in lieu of real job creation.  If you are the most powerful woman in the world and Chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, get up on your bully pulpit and shout it!  Instead Janet Yellen is mostly silent.

The new economic normal is for all governments have all their hands around all the throats of those who produce, and do so with the precise bureaucratic expertise that they know just how hard they can squeeze without killing us.  Good luck if you believe that!  We vote to give them that power and we keep  voting to increase that power, to keep us moving in the wrong direction, running out of tools to keep mitigating it.  Soon it will be $20 trillion in debt and more than half the people not working at all.  What could possibly go wrong?
3  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Noonan on the Trump-Reagan comparison on: June 27, 2016, 10:11:02 PM

"if Trump wants to be compared to Reagan he should act more like him."

Good to see Peggy Noonan on Patriot Post.
4  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: European matters, Brexit campaign deception? on: June 27, 2016, 04:01:39 PM
"But within hours of the result on Friday morning, the Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, had distanced himself from the claim that £350m of EU contributions could instead be spent on the NHS"

The video:
'The EU money should be spent here in Britain.'  (It wasn't a budget proposal.)

Did one Brit vote Exit thinking it was a heathcare vote?  Did one Brit think zero immigration was the guarantee? 

The vote was about who decides those questions. 

Was someone somewhere teased with the idea of what could be done with all that money if they quit sending it to Brussels?  Sure.  It could go into healthcare.

Boris Johnson, former mayor of London, the next Prime Minister(?) wrote strongly in favor of Leave:
"Americans would never accept EU restrictions – so why should we?"
Not a mention of NHS, National Health Service, zero immigration.  He opposes "uncontrolled immigration"! 

The UK Spectator wrote persuasively about 'Leave', no utterance of doing so for heathcare dollars.
Nor were those claims in any other post here on the forum I can see.
5  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: June 27, 2016, 01:46:08 PM
Caught a bit of the EDC with Forked Tongue Warren this morning.

Seems to be good synergy between the two.  

FTW has some very good populist issues (Feds should not be profiting on your students loans , , , on an education which should be free anyway) and that Consumer Protection Board she helped set up.  

Regarding the latter, they ARE some seriously hideous practices by finance companies (See "This Week with John Oliver" episode on this) and FTW's attacks on them and other consumer protection issues will play very well AND allow the EDC to ride the coat tails of her popularity on this issue-- allowing her to shore up her very weak link of being 'for' the little guy.

Also, FTW is a very good attack dog against Trump.  EDC was chortling about how she gets under Trump's skin.

Prediction:  The EDC will choose FTW for VP.

Didn't see that, but agree to a point.  Choosing Warren locks in the woman question.  Trump probably picks a man because he needs some gravitas and the few women that would give him that (Condaleeza Rice?) will not do it.  She gets the historic matchup, men against women, and she has the most (bad) experience.

Warren locks up the Bernie sympathizers, a big part of populism and the hard left.  The downside is that they leave the middle wide open.  Warren isn't any younger, is another phony, has no relevant experience and opens up the potential to paint the ticket far left.  She is not the cautious choice like Biden and won't be excused for gaffes like Biden was.

All said, I agree, very good chance she picks her.  The other choices don't look very good.  This campaign from their point of view is about ripping Trump.
6  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: European matters, brexit backstroking on: June 27, 2016, 01:37:19 PM
Not enough to say "The Guardian is of the Left."

Is what the article says true or not?

I didn't find that they made a point.  They are no doubt right in their reporting that one Leave-advocate believes immigration will continue after Leave and another opposes putting all EU money into socialized healthcare, but how is that the story?  British voters can put their EU money into healthcare or not with Leave, a choice they did not have with remain.  How could the Leave campaign promise zero immigration?  In my posts on this, the Leave campaign was promoting that Britain instead of EU decide that issue for Britain.  "Zero immigration" is either a straw argument or a bad idea in the first place.  The vote was to leave the EU, being ruled from afar.  Out of control immigration was the largest factor but not the issue on the ballot.  They can vote out their 'rino's' (TINOs?) next if they continue the invasion, an option that would have been made moot with Remain.

"if people watching think that they have voted and there is now going to be zero immigration from the EU, they are going to be disappointed.”

Who wants zero immigration, zero movement, zero mobility or zero ties with the continent?  What people want is an end to the invasion.

The flip side is what is true.  If you vote remain and win, you lose your country.  Nearly half the country said yes to that - including 'The Guardian'.

Seek with agenda-based reporting and you will an angle to make your opponent look bad.  Put it on the front page, top center, and it is a big story.  That's what it looks like to me. 
7  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: June 27, 2016, 12:09:08 PM
The Left is having a party over this:

I have felt that way about the GOP for 10 years if not longer.
Problem is we don't have 4 to 8 years to "grit our teeth" and wait for 2020 or 2024 as he reasons.

Strangely, on the issues where I disagree with George Will, he tends to agree more with Trump.

We've been in general election mode for nearly two months.  What kind of conservative party nominee, campaign or election does Trump hope to win that doesn't include having George Will at least lukewarm on your side?  Good grief.

The idea that Sanders supporters are going Trump or Republican in large numbers to cover for conservative votes lost is a joke. 

The question is presented for conservatives, are you better off seeing your country get 65% more screwed up by a Republican (in name only) or 80% more screwed up by a Democrat?

A Trump failure as President, especially if he consolidates Republican support to win which he must, will not be followed by a political correction to the right.  A Trump failure as a candidate only leaves his supporters even more bitter toward conservatives who didn't back him, never to join them again.  A Hillary victory and failure will not leave us time to fix the country in our lifetimes no matter what follows.

Screwed and screwed are our two choices.  Choose wisely (gallows sarcasm).
8  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Economics, the stock market, etc. on: June 27, 2016, 11:49:03 AM
A funny quote I came across trying to read the market reaction to Brexit:

"Many companies in the FTSE 100 (the Dow of the UK) dig stuff up in Africa, price it in dollars and sell it in China" [and then take the global market value of that to tell us how the economy is doing in Britain in this case].

To me it reinforces my point that the nominal dollar value index of giant, crony, entrenched companies, Dow, S&P, etc., after QE-10, ZIRP, NIRP, CRAp, doesn't tell us squat about how the economy is doing.
9  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Trump's VP pick on: June 27, 2016, 11:33:43 AM
My prediction, John Kasich, is failing because he still hates Trump and because his own star really fizzled after his only win in Ohio.  He really won Ohio as the anti-Trump, not a pitch he can use as VP pick.

This story goes over the names:

The only name they add of note to what has already been dissected is Mike Pence who I like.  Maybe he can help Trump carry Indiana and not lose in 50 states.

Friends of mine, mostly sane, say they will vote Hillary to stop Trump.  Friends of mine on the left are receiving cell calls by the hour from Hillary and Hillary,PAC and GOTV groups while Trump is floundering.  Washington Post has him down now by double digits.  Brexit vote should have helped him immensely.  Orlando shooting should have sealed the deal.  He was vacationing when he should have been pouncing.  Master of the media message??  Where are you?

Lesson to my side who already lost, you can't wait for every four years to put out a message, then fall off-message and hope to win.  Do Olympic champions take the four years off before the main event?
10  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Some Brexit backstroking? on: June 27, 2016, 11:16:06 AM

The Guardian =  The Left.  More positive stories at the Telegraph:
Wimbledon gearing up, soccer news, Kate Middleton's dresses, life goes on.

The vote is to bring back sovereignty, to decide these issues as a nation, not solve all problems automatically.  It is still a divided nation. 

This was their independence day, only half of them including all of the elites didn't want it.

Panic in the UK, OMG, we don't have rule from afar anymore.  How will we possibly survive?

I hate to comment on markets because they will move a different direction as soon as I say anything, but it looks to me like the markets have stabilized in a day and that the German, French and Euro markets dropped further than the British market.

EU wanted free trade with Britain in the EU, why wouldn't they want that now?  Or is all the panic and doom-saying intentional? 

Why hasn't our own Bozo in Chief signed a free trade agreement with Britain yet?  Obama promised retaliation and he delivers.  Where was all that integrity on healthcare and selling the Iran deal?
11  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Down the memory hole-- Chris Stevens location given away in emails on: June 27, 2016, 10:20:21 AM

Breitbart and "Conservative Tribune"??

Unless I'm missing something here, this is another sickening commentary on our media, you have to read right wing sites to get news, not just opinion.

In a Google News search for stories about Hillary's email issues, the first, non-right wing story to come up is a USA Today opinion calling Hillary's email situation a "pseudo-scandal", written by a Clinton surrogate.

NOTHING about the story I learned here on the forum via links in Crafty's posts.
12  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Stevens location known? on: June 27, 2016, 10:00:32 AM
When they started dripping out the emails in reverse order of importance, you knew the security pleas and location giveaways of murdered Ambassador Chris Stevens were coming.  I am still guessing there is far worse to come.

This is part of of it, but I would like to know the best, short, definitive answer to what the casual liberal leftist Hillary supporter says, innocently, about the Hillary email mess, "So what?"

This is 2011.  Ambassador Stevens was murdered in 2012.  But his secret movements and mission were being broadcast to the hackers of the world by Hillary's top staff over Hillary's unsecured server.  Like a lot of people close to Hillary, he ended up dead.  

They (the terrorists) knew where he was on Sept 11, 2012.
13  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz on: June 27, 2016, 09:52:40 AM
I like Caroline Glick, but I'm not sure if that linked matched up with the subject.  Here is an older piece:
"I’m not going to speculate now only because you all know the situation may change by this afternoon, let alone between now and the convention.”  Scott Walker, free the delegates

   - True, but DT is mostly likely to gradually improve (slightly) as a candidate between now and the election.

"several hundred GOP delegates are planning a revolt against Trump, and to select a unifying candidate who can actually defeat Hillary Clinton."

    - No such thing (unifying candidate who can actually defeat Hillary Clinton) under these circumstances to persuade the 30-40% who prefer Trump to get behind a different guy who did not win in the primary process.

"Whatever happens, Ted Cruz is quite simply the most amazing leader the Republican Party has produced since Reagan as far as im concerned"

    - Cruz is more conservative than Reagan but as a leader: he failed to bring any Senators with him to the right (Mike Lee was already there), he failed to consolidate the primary vote on the right losing perhaps half of it to Trump, and failed to even try to reach out at all to the center and pull them to the right.  It turned out the other way around, the center started reaching out to him as the last alternative to Trump and he failed to woo more from the center than Trump or to successfully 'prosecute' Trump's candidacy, like Christy did to Rubio, when it came down to the Trump-Cruz head to head.  The final straw was Indiana.  Trump was wrong on the economic case he was making there.  Cruz had organization, plenty of money, a limited market size, a conservative state, and the head to head matchup that he sought for so long and could not, did not, make the case.  Now we go forward trying to defeat Hillary and the left stuck using the wrong economic arguments.  We would have better off without Ted Cruz in the race and without him in the race next time too.  He was part of what choked out support for others who might have gone further, IMHO.
14  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: European matters on: June 25, 2016, 11:26:17 AM
Apparently Northern Ireland is now making noises about exiting Britain to unify with Ireland

and Scotland and Wales are making similar noises.

We live in interesting times.

And, a trip down memory lane with the Iron Lady:

Interesting times made possible by the Brexit vote.  Without it we were turning into Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia, Orwell's '1984' nations. 

Northern Ireland interested in re-joining Ireland is a good thing, right?  I love Scotland but not their politics.  Let them join with whomever they wish, except for the military installations that belong to the UK and NATO.  London can put up the London wall and enjoy all the prosperity of East Berlin, pre-Reagan.

Like DDF suggests, let's get a little reorganization going here too and some self determination instead of rule by others from afar, Washington DC, UN, IPCC etc.
15  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing: homeowners are thriving while renters are struggling on: June 24, 2016, 01:03:05 PM
Putting this in housing but thinking of cognitive dissonance of his glibness and the left.  Who did they say they want to help and who did they hurt the worst.  Same groups.

Homeowners are thriving while renters are struggling, year 8 of the Obama administration, year 10 after Democrats took over Washington. 

The richer get richer and the poor, the working and the struggling get squeezed under their policies.  Just extly what they accused Republicans when they were in charge, except then homeownership and incomes were increasing.
16  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Brexit! on: June 24, 2016, 12:09:58 AM
England isn't quite dead yet.

Happy to see this.

This is fantastic news.

Pres. Obama says they will be at the back of the queue for a trade deal with the US.

Really?  If Barack doesn't have time, I'll write it:  The following parties agree to trade freely:  US, UK.
17  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Senator Marco Rubio on: June 22, 2016, 03:35:59 PM
[quote  sauthor=ccp link=topic=2390.msg96903#msg96903 date=1466624703]
For me this is great news.

We need him!   grin

you in?  cool

It's good news for America, and yes, I could change my legal residence to Florida by November.

 This is not a sure win for Rubio, but if he is going to lose another statewide race in Florida it might as well be now.
18  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: FB bans gay page for Islamophobia on: June 22, 2016, 12:18:38 PM

 Depending on the definition of phobia, the gay view of Islam is not irrational fear.
19  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: June 22, 2016, 09:25:58 AM
This race is Trump's to win.  Latest poll shows him leading Clinton on the economy and he most certainly should be able to make the case he would make us more secure.

Regarding the unforced errors, they are correctable.  The first thing he addressed after firing his campaign manager is the Warren-Pocahontas mess.  First, the joke was Faux-cahontas.  Warren isn't some beautiful native princess, she is a phony.  He corrected it by saying he was wrong and that it was an insult to Pocahontas.  I'm guessing people LOVED hearing him say he was wrong even if it was only about a throwaway line about an irrelevant leftist.  He is wrong on some other things too.  Correct them and get focused on two things, being the best choice for the economy and best on security.  Shouldn't be that hard; his opponent is running to continue our economic and security problems.
20  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Additional on the social pressures on Muslims in the west on: June 22, 2016, 09:10:51 AM

This is the conundrum.  We can't solve this (ever) without peace seeking Muslims coming forward and we can't provide a full witness protection program for 2 billion people.  10-15% can control 85-90% with terror. (The IRS has been doing it for years.) The latest Islamist example was a 4 year old girl beheaded in front of her mom.  I wonder what either of them did wrong.

Articulating this better is Trump's ticket to getting elected.  We know that not all Muslims are attacking us.  We know peaceful Muslims face huge risks when they come forward to help.  But Muslims and Muslim immigrants is a group that includes nearly all the terrorists and the rest can't join us in rooting out this problem, so it is suicidal for our society to be take in more numbers of that group until that changes.  And if we aren't going to take more in legally, we certainly shouldn't take them in illegally.  One candidate is pledged to control the border.  One just the opposite, not evn pretending she will secure it.  The argument of which one will make us more secure isn't that hard.  Instead of being inflammatory, how about making the definitive case?
21  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security, Border Protection, and American Freedom on: June 21, 2016, 03:36:51 PM
Do we have more Muslims waging jihad or helping law enforcement? I will will bet it's the former.

The peaceful majority need to go from staying out of it to helping law enforcement. 
22  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: June 21, 2016, 03:32:02 PM
"how politics trumped science in the early spread of AIDS in NYC back in the 1980s"

That was the story of Arthur Ashe.  At 36, he was in NYC working with inner city youth, suffered a heart attack that he survived.  He was given HIV through NYC's contaminated blood supply during a transfusion.  Dead at age 49.
23  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) Terror Watch List? on: June 20, 2016, 09:48:05 PM
Leftism and guns, the goal is restrict something, anything, just get restrictions passed on guns.  The latest is the terror watch list, ban the sale of guns to people on the "terror watch list", whatever that is.  1.1 million people.  Makes sense.  Unless you examine it.

A couple of points on that.  First is the trick question, which is your favorite right in the Bill of Rights?  Hopefully ALL of them!  In this case, not just the second amendment applies but also due process, the 5th (and 14th).

"[N]or shall any person . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law"

I am against selling weapons to terrorists.  Are the 1.1 million people on the terror watch list terrorists?

If you go back to the due process clause, the ones we know are terrorists aren't out buying guns; they are in prison or dead.

Was Omar dumbshit, the gay hating gay Muslim ISIS surrogate (don't want to know his name) on the terror watch list?  No.  He was taken off the list.  Why?  I don't know.  Bureaucrats make mistakes.  Law enforcement missed something.  He hadn't committed a crime. People who manage lists of a million people don't get everything right.  Maybe it was 4:00 in a government office when his name should have been re-entered.  Some didn't want to speak up against him because he was Muslim.  Whatever the reason, this wouldn't have stopped him.  Does that change the minds of liberals?  No.   Their goal is restrict something, anything, just get some restrictions passed on guns.  (I repeat myself.  So do they.)

I am for declaring war on Radical Islam in all its iterations.  If that were the case and if law enforcement and military  intelligence were on it, the man who was communicating with, visiting and training with the enemy would be in jail, so would all his mentors, all with due process, and they would not be out buying guns.

A person on the terror watch list can't fly but can't buy a gun.  Why?  One is an enumerated right.  One is not a recognized right.  In law we have all kinds of standards. preponderance of evidence, proof beyond a reasonable doubt, rational basis, strict scrutiny, intermediate scrutiny, etc. etc.  What standard goes into putting a person on the terror watch list?  No one knows.  All we know is they aren't right or dertain enough to arrest them and they miss people all the time.

Meanwhile our border is open and while you were reading this more terrorists and illegal guns came in.  I recommend keeping the right to defend yourself.

And for the areas where the constitution has it wrong or times have changed, I recommend the constitutional amendment process, not governing by the willy nilly whims of leftists.
24  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Nafta isn't what hit the middle class, NAFTA and the Angry Middle-Class Voter on: June 20, 2016, 07:10:10 PM
First this:
I could have swore we had a thread about this already, but I can't find it , , ,  angry

A pretty balanced look at the issue.  The conclusion IMHO is in the subject line.

NAFTA and the Angry Middle-Class Voter

Professor Mauro Guillen at the Wharton School—Donald Trump’s alma matter—believes that most of the lost jobs lost would have gone anyway, probably to China...
25  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Paul Ryan on: June 20, 2016, 06:55:14 PM
More conservative than his predecessors, isn't a high bar.

People here liked Newt.  His Contract with America contained poll tested issues, not hard line right issues.   When he took a hard line with Clinton, he lost with the American people.

More conservative than half of his elected Republican colleagues isn't a high bar either.  Still I think his economic views are more conservative than his voting record and he is more conservative than DT [and HRC!] and of the Senate no matter which side carries it. 

G M, We have not been winning the debate on issues nationally for a long time.  Now our side doesn't even try. 

Speaking of national issues and conservative ratngs, what would Trump's lifetime ACU rating be?  (Rhetorical, for another thread...)
26  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: June 20, 2016, 06:42:58 PM
Large arsenal of heavy military weapons found near mosque in Hamburg Germany.
..."suspected that secret arsenals were also built in other German cities."

shocked shocked shocked shocked shocked shocked shocked shocked

Just a little over-used, but what could possibly go wrong?  And who knew?  [gallows humor is all I have fleft]

The connection between Hamburg and terror goes back at least to the 911 planning.  Now the Islamist terrorists in Germany have a million new recruiting prospects to work with.  Maybe they will find a "lone wolf" to train and arm...
27  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Paul Ryan, most conservative Speaker in our lifetime on: June 20, 2016, 06:28:37 PM
Some discussion, mostly negative, of Paul Ryan on the DT thread:

'Conservative Review rates him at 55%', not very good. 

The American Conservative Union rates Paul Ryan at 90%, lifetime score:

In the age of Obama elected twice and Bernie Sanders being possible, we might consider ourselves a little bit lucky to have the most conservative Speaker in our lifetime, even though his record is far from pure.

Heritage is more pure than ACU, rates him at 63%; that's not great either, but only one Democrat in the House scores over 30%, Obamacare dissenter, Collin Peterson, representing western MN at 34%.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, link below:
"Ryan has taken a pragmatic tack in voting to keep the government going and avert shutdowns and crippling standoffs over the vast policy gulf between the parties. That approach puts him at odds with some more militant Republicans."
Another point would be that Ryan represents divided district that voted for Obama 2008 by 4 points.  The alternative to a stay elected stance by a Republican is to have a leftist in that seat.  Also, no more conservative member either wanted the Speakership or had the votes.  We perhaps need to move the voters to the right first before expecting purists to win national elections.
---  (written just before Ryan became speaker)

"Despite his critics on the right, Paul Ryan would rank as most conservative speaker in decades"

By Craig Gilbert of the Journal Sentinel

Paul Ryan would be the most conservative House speaker in generations, as measured by a congressional rating system widely used by political scientists.

But he's not conservative enough for some activists on the right, who are voicing qualms about a Ryan speakership.

That development probably says less about Ryan's own politics — which have changed little over the years — than it does about the growing militancy of the GOP's right wing.

The Janesville Republican is being lobbied to succeed John Boehner as speaker in the midst of a party leadership crisis. Ryan says he doesn't want the job, but many colleagues are trying to change his mind.

The opposition to Ryan — or, at the very least, the tepid reception to him — isn't widespread and may not be powerful enough to derail a "draft Ryan" effort. But the fact that questions are being raised about his House conservatism is striking considering the nine-term congressman's longtime popularity with the right and his own political history.

Ryan's House budgets and his "road map" for the future (a controversial manifesto of conservative change) were hailed on the right as trailblazing blueprints for limited government.

Ryan's selection as Mitt Romney's running mate in 2012 was embraced by conservatives who wanted to draw a sharper ideological contrast with President Barack Obama.

And Ryan's voting record has consistently placed him in the right half of the Republican caucus in the House.

The number of policy issues on which Ryan parts company with the GOP's conservative base is quite small.

But the biggest fault lines in the party these days are over tone and tactics.

Ryan has taken a pragmatic tack in voting to keep the government going and avert shutdowns and crippling standoffs over the vast policy gulf between the parties. That approach puts him at odds with some more militant Republicans.

Nevertheless, his voting history in the U.S. House places him to the right of current Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and former Majority Leader Eric Cantor, according to the leading academic ratings of congressional voting pioneered by political scientists Keith Poole and Howard Rosenthal.

That history also puts Ryan to the right of the three previous GOP speakers of the postwar era: Dennis Hastert (speaker from 1999 to 2007), Newt Gingrich (1995-'99) and Joseph Martin (1953-'55).

The notion that Ryan isn't conservative is "absolutely insane," says Keith Poole, the University of Georgia professor and a creator of the rankings. His data suggests that if anything, Ryan has grown a bit more conservative during his 17 years in the House.

But because House Republicans have shifted so much to the right during his career, Ryan's conservative ranking in his caucus is a little lower than it used to be. In Ryan's first two years in office, he ranked as the 18th most conservative member of the House, according to the ratings. But he ranked as the 51st most conservative Republican in the last Congress (2013-'14).

Poole has a separate set of ratings that measure a lawmaker's entire career and are comparable across time periods.

Ryan's career score places him to right of 84% of the House Republicans he served with in his first term (1999-2000). It puts him to the right of only 65% of today's House Republicans, due to the changing political makeup of the GOP caucus.

The Poole-Rosenthal ratings are based on a broad cross-section of roll call votes.

Ryan's roll call ratings from conservative organizations are based on a much more selective pool of votes, and vary from group to group.

Ryan has a 90% lifetime rating from the 51-year-old American Conservative Union. But he has a much lower lifetime rating — 63% — from Heritage Action for America, a tea party-style group that takes a more purist and confrontational line on legislation.

Complaints about Ryan from his critics on the right typically fall into a few categories:

■ Ryan's support for spending bills and legislative compromises designed to keep the government running and avert a crisis. One example: the deal Ryan cut with Senate Democrat Patty Murray in 2013, passed overwhelmingly by the House, to temporarily lift some spending caps to resolve a budget standoff.

■ Immigration. Ryan supports a lengthy "probation" for illegal immigrants and conditional path to legal status. He is among the more liberal House Republicans on this issue. But Ryan has also been careful not to drift too far from his caucus, agreeing with most Republicans that enforcement and security should come first. On arguably the biggest immigration vote in the House in the past decade, Ryan voted for the hard-line, conservative 2005 immigration bill authored by Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and decried by Latino groups and immigration advocates.

■ A series of votes that Ryan cast during George W. Bush's presidency for the No Child Left Behind education law, the Medicare prescription drug benefit, and the auto and bank bailouts in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis. These votes were in support of a GOP president, but have drawn sharp criticism from some on the right. Beyond these items, there aren't that many issues where Ryan has split from conservatives. He has opposed efforts to end Davis-Bacon, the prevailing wage requirement on federally funded public works projects. He has opposed efforts to end Trade Adjustment Assistance, the program that aids workers displaced by foreign trade. He supported renewal in 2013 of the Violence Against Women Act, opposed by a majority of Republicans, to cite a few examples.

On the vast majority of contested issues before Congress, however, Ryan has cast conservative votes. And he has spent much of his career pushing the GOP in a more conservative direction on the role of government and urging his party to be bolder in drawing contrasts with Democrats.

If Ryan ends up as House Speaker, the GOP will be getting a leader who has been more conservative over his career than the average Republican, and more conservative than his predecessors in party leadership.

   - Craig Gilbert is the Journal Sentinel's Washington Bureau Chief and writes the Wisconsin Voter blog about politics and elections.
28  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: June 20, 2016, 12:43:06 PM
I don't see Ryan as a RINO.  I agree (mostly) with him on policy, just not on how to conduct war with the left.  To be fair, he led the charge against Obamacare and has been the Speaker for about a minute - in an election year.  I expect his policy agenda to be the best available blueprint going forward (it just won't be implemented).

That said, he was soft on illegal immigration - the Trump opening, and soft on de-funding leftism - the Cruz opening.

On the current course, assuming Trump loses and R's lose the Senate and win the House, Ryan may all we have left.  I do not expect his long term approach in that situation to be the same as Boehner's.  If Trump can win, Ryan will be necessary for anything good to happen.

I have no problem with him presenting the House as a check and balance over a President within his own party.  The failure to stand up to Obama is a past mistake from which Republicans may never recover.  It divided the movement and empowered the opposition.

"So what do we do now?  I don't know."

We picked the wrong guy.  70% negatives.  Makes Hillary look popular.  Who could have seen this coming?  whatever...

The only guy who can solve it now is Trump.  If the delegates suddenly switched allegiances and installed Rubio, Kasich, Walker or anyone else as nominee right now we would divide and lose even worse.  God help us.

My thought is that I will support and help Trump make his journey to becoming a better candidate and President who will make America Great Again by openly criticizing him on every policy and statement that deserves it.  Same goes for Ryan his new role.
29  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The "lone wolf" terrorist is a myth on: June 20, 2016, 12:12:15 PM

That's right.  Lone wolf is an apologist concoction that cannot be accepted where it is not true.

You can't (falsely) holler "FIRE!" in a crowded theater because of the mayhem it could cause, but you can openly recruit for al Qaida and ISIS on the internet and disseminate bomb and terror info?

These psycho morons want to be part of something.  And they want their carnage to be super-broadcasted in false glory to themselves and as an example and inspiration for others to follow.  We strangely do everything we can to accommodate their wishes.

It was actually Bill O'Reilly who had one aspect of this right, declare war on ISIS and radical Islam and then these activities of training, even communicating, with the enemy would be criminal.
30  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: June 20, 2016, 11:24:40 AM
Has Ryan done anything of note to stand up to president pen-and-drone?

Not to my knowledge. 

The Obama leftist over-reach brought us the Republican House and eventually the Senate.  The failure of both to stand up to him brought us the Trump opening and Ted Cruz as the last reasonable alternative.  Neither were ready or positioned to win a general election.  The Trump nomination victory is bringing us more leftist over-reach. 

Full circle.  Stuck on stupid.

Republican-run House.  Republican majority Senate (not 60 votes).  31 Republican Governors to 18 for the Dems.  70% of the state houses are now Republican because of distaste for leftism out in the heartland.  And we are still ruled by Leftism everywhere.

Politically we were better off watching them run us into the ground than helping them do it.
31  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Loretta Lynch: We're not going to further proclaim this man's pledges to [ISIS] on: June 20, 2016, 10:44:43 AM
In an interview with NBC's Chuck Todd, Attorney General Loretta Lynch says that on Monday, the FBI will release edited transcripts of the 911 calls made by the Orlando nightclub shooter to the police during his rampage.

"What we're not going to do is further proclaim this man's pledges of allegiance to terrorist groups, and further his propaganda," Lynch said. "We are not going to hear him make his assertions of allegiance [to the Islamic State]."

Islam in America and Obama Dept of Truth Ministry:  Exposing his training and motives wouldn't further our goals of stomping on the rights of innocent people and calling this man a lone wolf.
32  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / War on the rule of law, "This is how I was treated by the IRS" on: June 20, 2016, 10:31:48 AM
This summarizes the Presidency of Barack Obama and the continuation of this national nightmare under the name of Hillary Clinton.  Obama has not answered to Fast and Furious or to the IRS scandal that helped him get fraudulently reelected in a way far worse than Richard Nixon.  No one has been fired, arrested or prosecuted.  Hillary Clinton worked on the Nixon impeachment and has not distanced herself from the Obama administration scandals.  Waiting for "the media" to pursue this is beyond foolish.  Trump's strength supposedly was to control the media coverage in his favor.  None of that is happening.  This treatment described here is obscene, unworthy of happening in the Soviet Union or PRC.  It is on a par with tanks rolling over protesters in Tiananmen Square.  Worse in a way because of how it is swept under the carpet where the PRC wanted all potential protesters to see their carnage.

Here it is, for all who read PJ Media or DBMA forum, to see:
(I better post the entire text in case the government censors take the story down.)

To save on accounting fees, I did much of the legwork. I mailed the heavy envelope with my $850 fee to the IRS on February 8, 2013. The IRS cashed my check -- but the three-month mark, by which we were told we could expect a response, passed.

Then the process became Kafkaesque -- not American.

We called as instructed. We were told we were not assigned an agent yet. We were told we could not be told when we would be assigned an agent. We were told to call back. We did. We were sent a form saying there were problems with the application.

We asked what kinds of problems. We were told that we could not be told. They would assign us an agent. When would we be assigned an agent? The IRS woman impatiently said she did not know.

We waited, long past the three-month mark. And past our opportunity to hold a 2013 year-end fundraiser. I continued to post and speak, and I published three educational guidebooks.

But over a year passed. I called my senator’s office. After several correspondences, we were told we had been assigned an agent.

On May 16, 2014, our – ahem -- Cincinnati-based agent sent an “Information Request” consisting of seven multi-part objections -- with a two-and-a-half week deadline to respond. I was floored. She ended up granting us several extra days.
To save on accounting fees, I did much of the legwork. I mailed the heavy envelope with my $850 fee to the IRS on February 8, 2013. The IRS cashed my check -- but the three-month mark, by which we were told we could expect a response, passed.

Then the process became Kafkaesque -- not American.

We called as instructed. We were told we were not assigned an agent yet. We were told we could not be told when we would be assigned an agent. We were told to call back. We did. We were sent a form saying there were problems with the application.

We asked what kinds of problems. We were told that we could not be told. They would assign us an agent. When would we be assigned an agent? The IRS woman impatiently said she did not know.

We waited, long past the three-month mark. And past our opportunity to hold a 2013 year-end fundraiser. I continued to post and speak, and I published three educational guidebooks.

But over a year passed. I called my senator’s office. After several correspondences, we were told we had been assigned an agent.

On May 16, 2014, our – ahem -- Cincinnati-based agent sent an “Information Request” consisting of seven multi-part objections -- with a two-and-a-half week deadline to respond. I was floored. She ended up granting us several extra days.

The IRS had three types of objections to our application: minor paperwork, a financial inquest, and ideological accusations.

The paperwork, involving a signature and a confusingly worded line on the application, could have been handled quickly by telephone.

The other categories were clearly intended to harass.

One amounted to an audit. An audit not on an existing organization, but on one still applying for status.

In the standard 501(c)(3) application, the IRS only asks for projected expenses, not exact amounts or names of vendors.

But now, still in the application process, we were asked to account -- down to the penny -- for such things as office supplies, honoraria to bloggers (ranging from $0 to $25), and professional fees. They wanted names of bloggers, contributors to guidebooks, and vendors -- how much each was paid, for which project, and what purpose. They wanted percentages of “time and resources” spent on named activities.

We then faced an ideological inquisition on … Common Core. Remember, the IRS granted non-profit status to the multi-million dollar agency that wrote the Common Core standards, namely the Bill Gates-funded Achieve.

They asked us to describe:

… the percentage of your total [Common Core] expenditures and total time spent on these activities during each of your past taxable years.
They also wanted future estimates. Then, they demanded:

Submit representative copies of the materials you prepare or distribute in furtherance of these activities.
Another demand they made was laughably harassing considering the information they already:

For purposes of calculating the percentage of expenditures, allocate salaries, administrative, overhead, and other general expenditures to these activities using a reasonable method. For purposes of calculating the percentage of time, include volunteer as well as employee hours.
Remember, it was pretty much me in the basement. I described my one-woman efforts in a recent post.

We finally received approval on September 2014. They forced me to waste money and time when we should have been building on the momentum of our launch and fundraising. Other groups also lost opportunities, namely in 2012.

That’s how this IRS, this administration, works.


33  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Germany on: June 20, 2016, 09:48:30 AM

Google translation

NRW: arsenal with "heavy weapons of war" near mosque excavated

Epoch Times, Sunday, June 19, 2016 20:27
An arsenal of radical Islamists was dug in NRW. The "top-secret mission" had taken place about a week ago and promoted heavy military weapons to days. This was reported by the Hessian MPs Ismail Tipi (CDU).

According to information of the Hesse CDU deputies Ismail Tipi there has been a "top secret use" of seks in England about a week ago. In the refrigerator of a greengrocer near a mosque it said to have been found and seized weapons. "According to my information, a weapons cache was excavated with heavy military weapons in this operation. The danger of arming the fundamentalist violent Salafists in Germany is very large. That makes this secret use more than clear, "said Tipi on Friday in a press release .
The extremism -expert suspected that secret arsenals were also built in other German cities. So the Hamburg domestic intelligence speak for example, of an increase of supporters of armed jihad.

Meanwhile these are in Hamburg more than 300 identified supporters. "The information here on multiply. The fear is great that Salafist sleeper, jihadists and IS-terrorists found in Germany support from foreign intelligence services, which are not minded us amicably. By arsenals the sleepers and militant jihadists can be equipped on the way to their possible attack with weapons. Just something I always feared, "the Turkish origin MPs.

"Politicians must speak plainly"
Tipi admonishes: "If substantiate the fears, we can assume that the secret arsenals for a major terrorist attack not only in Germany but in the whole of Europe are used. It would be grossly negligent if we do not recognize this danger and not uncover these arsenals. "One problem is that many battle-hardened young Salafists have returned from combat zones to Germany and the migration stream many endangerers were introduced, the press release continues.

"We have to see this threat and act as quickly as possible. Here our security authorities have been invited should take a close look to determine precisely and to report any indications of all security-related enforcement and intelligence agencies, "said Tipi.
He asks: "Politicians need to talk, to highlight the potential dangers and threats, to educate the population and to encourage you that you can be awake and must report any kind of police observation plaintext. The problem of Salafism and IS-terror is increasing, if we do not all react. Here is every single demand. "

Tipis political commitment against radical Salafists already led to death threats against his person.
34  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: June 20, 2016, 09:37:36 AM
Ryan is wrong here, very wrong on more than one level.

Legally he is wrong-- the president does have this power

On the merits he is wrong.

Politically he is wrong-- this elects Hillary.
   angry angry cry

People, especially Trump, put the wrong emphasis on his controversial, 'ban all Muslims' statement""

"Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on,"

We've been through this since Trump entered the race.  That statement was intended to inflame and divide.  He should have instantly switched the emphasis to THIS ADMINISTRATION NOT KNOWING OR ADMITTING WHAT IS GOING ON.

The time it takes for our country's representatives to figure out what is going on should be instantaneous.  On Day One of the Trump administration, we would figure out what is going on, right?  So there was no ban on "all Muslims" coming.  Yet Ryan and others are constantly being pressured to respond to whatever the apparent nominee of his own party is saying.

The refugee crisis was caused by this administration's failures in that region.  The refugees include some 10% who are jihadists coming here to potentially kill us and a much larger percentage who side with ISIS and the enemies of the US.

e pluribus unem - out of many, one.  That is what we are and who we are.  It is not what those coming in now seek.

Fine to blame Ryan on the details of his statement, the legal aspects of one branch challenging another (as if Obama appointed judges would side with the law), but his need to distance himself and House Republicans from this assault on all Muslims was Donald Trump's creation.

In fact, we will only solve this global security crisis when all peaceful Muslims (yes, there is such a thing and there needs to be!) are able to separate themselves from the radical jihadists.

G M wrote, "I can remember when I used to like Ryan".   Paul Ryan was a protege of Jack Kemp, one of the biggest proponents of opportunity economics and leader of the Reagan reforms that led to a quarter century of greatly increased prosperity.  That is my wing of the party.  Now, because of the recklessness of Donald Trump, Paul Ryan is reduced to chasing Donald Trump's shiny objects and siding with Democrats over Republicans on key points.  WHY AREN'T THEY TALKING ABOUT LOWERING THE HIGHEST BUSINESS TAX RATES IN THE WORLD?

Donald Trump wasn't going to ban all Muslims from entering the country.  He isn't going to impose 40% or 45% tariffs on Mexico or China.  He isn't going to evaluate female cabinet members by breast size.  But he is going to say things that require others to distance themselves from him.  That benefits Democrats, costs us the Senate and perhaps the House, in addition to installing Hillary Rodham Clinton in the White House.

This is Paul Ryan's fault?  Sorry, I don't see it that way.
35  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: European matters, Brexit, British exit vote from UN on: June 20, 2016, 08:53:14 AM
I wonder what our view here would be if we were British.  The Spectator UK seems to sum up my view at the moment (below).  All that is good with European affiliation is possible without taking with it all that is bad.  The UK can negotiate a free trade agreement with the EU.  Worst case if they don't out of retaliation is the 4% WTO tariff limit.   Not enough to give up sovereignty over.   Otherwise, what else do they receive with EU membership, loss of sovereignty, a failing currency, handcuffed national security, economic guarantees to failed states, and an invasion of people they are unable to control or assimilate.  The vote is this Thursday.

This article refers to the 1975 vote.  I traveled to the capitals in Europe in December 1991 in advance of the Europe '92 initiative, Maastricht Treaty that opened up European telecom networks to outside suppliers.  The free trade aspects of the European initiative have been amazingly positive.  The immigration and defense aspects have not.
"The question... is not whether Britain should co-operate with our European allies; the question is how."

"As the world’s fifth-largest economy, Britain has a reasonable chance (to put it mildly) of being able to cut trade deals with countries keen to access our consumers."

Out – and into the world: why The Spectator is for Leave

...when Britain last held a referendum...only two national titles backed what is now called Brexit: the Morning Star and The Spectator.

Our concern then was simple: we did not believe that the Common Market was just about trade. We felt it would be followed by an attempted common government, which would have disastrous effects on a continent distinguished by its glorious diversity. The whole project seemed to be a protectionist scam, an attempt to try to build a wall around the continent rather than embrace world trade. Such European parochialism, we argued, did not suit a globally minded country such as Britain. On the week of the 1975 referendum, The Spectator’s cover line was: ‘Out – and into the world.’ We repeat that line today.

Since 1975 the EU has mutated in exactly the way we then feared and now resembles nothing so much as the Habsburg Empire in its dying days. A bloated bureaucracy that has outgrown all usefulness. A parliament that represents many nations, but with no democratic legitimacy. Countries on its periphery pitched into poverty, or agitating for secession. The EU’s hunger for power has been matched only by its incompetence. The European Union is making the people of our continent poorer, and less free.

This goes far beyond frustration at diktats on banana curvature. The EU has started to deform our government. Michael Gove revealed how, as a cabinet member, he regularly finds himself having to process edicts, rules and regulations that have been framed at European level. Laws that no one in Britain had asked for, and which no one elected to the House of Commons has the power to change. What we refer to as British government is increasingly no such thing. It involves the passing of laws written by people whom no one in Britain elected, no one can name and no one can remove.

Steve Hilton, David Cameron’s chief strategist for many years, gave an example of this institutional decay. A few months into his job in No. 10, he was dismayed to find his colleagues making slow progress because they were all bogged down by paperwork that he didn’t recognise. He asked for an audit, and was shocked by the results: only a third of what the government was doing was related to its agenda. Just over half was processing orders from Brussels. To him, this was more than just a headache: it was an insidious and accelerating bureaucratic takeover.

With the EU’s fundamental lack of democracy comes complacency on the part of its leaders and the corruption of those around them — which has led us to the present situation. Voters are naturally concerned about the extraordinary rise of immigration, and their governments’ inability to control it. Free movement of people might have been a laudable goal before the turn of the century, when the current global wave of migration started. But today, with the world on the move, the system strikes a great many Europeans as madness. The EU’s failure to handle immigration has encouraged the people trafficking industry, a global evil that has led to almost 3,000 deaths in the Mediterranean so far this year.

In theory, the EU is supposed to protect its member states by insisting that refugees claim asylum in the first country they enter. In practice, this law — the so-called Dublin Convention — was torn up by Angela Merkel when she recklessly said that all Syrians could settle in Germany if they somehow managed to get there. Blame lies not with the tens of thousands who subsequently arrived but with a system hopelessly unequal to such a complex and intensifying challenge.

The Spectator was, again, alone in the British press in opposing Britain’s entry to the Exchange Rate Mechanism from the beginning. Why, we asked, should the Bundesbank control another country’s interest rates? When the single currency came along, the risks became greater: what if a country’s economy crashed, but it was denied the stimulus of a devaluing currency?

The answer can now be seen across Europe. Sado–austerity in Italy. Youth unemployment of about 50 per cent in Greece and Spain. The evisceration of these economies, in the name of a project supposed to bring people together, has been a tragedy.

Last week, a Pew poll showed how far dismay about the EU extends across the continent. In Greece, 71 per cent now view the EU unfavourably; in France, it’s 61 per cent. In Britain, it was 48 per cent — about the same as Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. This was why David Cameron had a strong case for renegotiation: the demand for change was widespread, and growing. A recent poll has suggested that Swedes will vote to leave the EU if Britain does. The absence of a deal worth the name was final proof that the EU is structurally incapable of reform.

Jean-Claude Juncker, the unelected president of the European Commission, sees intransigence as a great strength. His priority is the survival of the EU and the single currency: the welfare of Europeans and even the notion of democratic consent seem distant concerns. When he dismisses the ever-louder voices of protest as the shriek of ‘populism’, he echoes the Bertolt Brecht poem: ‘Would it not be easier… to dissolve the people/ and elect another?’ When Britain asked for reform, he took a gamble: that we were bluffing and would not dare vote to leave.

All this has placed the Prime Minister in an impossible position. Unable to make a positive case for staying in the EU, he instead tells us that Britain is trapped within it and that the penalties for leaving are too severe. His scare stories, peppered with made-up statistics, have served only to underline the emptiness of the case for remaining. It also represents a style of politics that many find repugnant. The warnings from the IMF and OECD and other acronyms have served only to reinforce the caricature of a globalised elite telling the governed what to think.

Talk of anyone being made ‘worse off’ by Brexit is deeply misleading. Of the many economists who have made projections for 2030, none have suggested that we’d be poorer. The question is whether we’d be, say, 36 per cent better off or 41 per cent better off by then. Not that anyone knows, given the monstrously large margin of error in 15-year predictions. So these studies offer no real reasons to be fearful. This is perhaps why George Osborne had to resort to concocting figures, such as his now notorious claim that households would be £4,300 worse off. If the economic case against Brexit were so strong, why would the Chancellor have to resort to fabrications?

As the world’s fifth-largest economy, Britain has a reasonable chance (to put it mildly) of being able to cut trade deals with countries keen to access our consumers. The worst-case scenario is to use World Trade Organisation rules, tariffs of about 4 per cent. That’s a relatively small mark-up, and the effect would be more than offset by a welcome drop in the pound. And if house prices fall, as the Chancellor predicts, then so much the better. A great many would-be homeowners have been praying for just that.

There would certainly be turbulence, which would be the price of our leaving the EU. This would affect City financiers more than the skilled working class (two thirds of whom support Brexit). This week, we’re being invited to panic at the prospect of a falling pound. But why? A weaker currency would give our exporters the stimulus they need.

The question at this referendum is not whether Britain should co-operate with our European allies; the question is how. Sir Richard Dearlove, former head of MI6, has explained how our intelligence alliances are bilateral. Our closest is with the ‘five eyes’ of the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. The Lancaster House agreements with France over military co-operation is another example. Alliances work when they are between nations with a shared agenda, with the ability and (crucially) the will to act.

The EU is an alliance of the unwilling, which is why it is useless on security — as we saw with Bosnia and Libya. Even the migrant crisis has to be handled by Nato, which has been the true guarantor of western security. It’s sometimes claimed that Vladimir Putin would want Britain to vote for Brexit. This is unlikely: what could suit the Kremlin more than European security being entrusted to the most dysfunctional organisation in the West?

EU campaign 520x100

As David Cameron rightly says, the British way is to fight rather than quit. Given that the EU has proved that it is structurally incapable of reform, we now have a choice. Do we cave in, because we’re too scared to leave? Or do we vote to retrieve our sovereignty, walk away from the whole racket and engage with the world on our own terms? A vote to leave would represent an extraordinary vote of confidence in the project of the United Kingdom and the principle of national self-determination. It would also show reform-minded Europeans that theirs is not a lost cause. And that we stand willing to help forge a Europe based on freedom, co–operation and respect for sovereignty.

The value of sovereignty cannot be measured by any economist’s formula. Adam Smith, the father of economics, first observed that the prosperity of a country is decided by whether it keeps its ‘laws and institutions’ healthy. This basic insight explains why nations thrive or fail, and has been the great secret of British success: intellectual, artistic, scientific and industrial. The principles of the Magna Carta and achievements of the Glorious Revolution led to our emergence as a world power. To pass up the chance to stop our laws being overridden by Luxembourg and our democracy eroded by Brussels would be a derogation of duty to this generation and the next.

No one — economist, politician or mystic — knows what tumult we can expect in the next 15 years. But we do know that whatever happens, Britain will be better able to respond and adapt as a sovereign country living under its own laws. The history of the last two centuries can be summed up in two words: democracy matters. Let’s vote to defend it on 23 June.
36  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Ben Stein : Trump is right! on: June 16, 2016, 05:48:42 PM
Ben Stein:
"Mr. Trump may have been crude in his application, but he hit it right into the grandstands with his legal analysis."

ccp:  But Ben, that IS the problem.  Not what he says but how he says it,  IMHO.

As we say in tennis, this should have been game, set and match for Trump.  

The left wants to talk gun control laws, take away self defense right while we are under attack.  Meanwhile they want to leave the borders open for not only the illegal persons invasion but for gun running, drug running, cartel running, human trafficking, and for ISIS, al Qaida, Boko Harem and the rest  to enter.

Trump ran on this issue, right from the first day.

Fast and Furious proves the case that the border under Obama not only allows guns and smugglers to cross but that our own DOJ were illegal participants in it.  Facts are still breaking; this is not old news or something already addressed.  This is just as illegal and twice as dangerous as Hillary giving the world our national security secrets and Hillary is one of the people who knew, nodded her head and looked the other way.  Remember them praising eachother about what a great job they both did.

Hillary is running for more of the same, can't barely utter the words radical Islam and wants the border open even worse.  Obama and HRC are going to let in the terrorists and let them bring their weapons and let them kill us.  Trump is going to stop all that.  Choose.
37  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Gun sales surge among gays and lesbians after Orlando shooting on: June 16, 2016, 10:24:29 AM

Separate from politics and talk, this kind of thing indicates people get it.  If someone is shooting at you or at your loved ones, you would wish that you or someone with you could shoot back and end the carnage.

It is war, a 'gun law' does't stop a criminal or enemy combatant.  Mass beheading are just as gruesome as mass shootings.

(Unless the count has changed) there were 49 victims killed.  The shooter was not a victim.

38  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: June 16, 2016, 08:54:59 AM
More on O'Reilly here, debate with Jon Stewart.  I have to listen more closely but he seems to defend gun rights, crack down on crimes committed with guns, asks Congress to declare war on radical jihad. 

It was Stewart conflating the issue, gun control when the violence is radical Islam declaring and executing a war against the US and we fail to take steps to fight back.

The FBI investigates but finds a guy who hasn't committed a crime.  I am traveling and don't have the facts but wouldn't or shouldn't two trips to Saudi to meet with or train with enemies of the US constitute a crime, if that is what happened and if we had any way of knowing that?

I don't want China's censorship of internet where opposition to the state even in words is banned.  But isn't recruitment of radical Islam, on the internet or in the Mosques, to take up arms against the US and against innocent US civilians a form of speech that is NOT protected by the first amendment?  Isn't a denial of gun sales to people siding with those who have declared war against the US a reasonable restriction not in conflict at all with the second amendment?  Isn't the monitoring of some of these groups and tracking of movements and activities a normal and necessary part of national security not in violation of our privacy rights?  Doesn't a person give up some expectation of privacy and being free of surveillance when they make association with sworn, violent, mass shooting, mass beheading enemies of the United States? 

Slippery slope stuff perhaps and some of the answers need to go in the other threads, but I would pose this question here on the well armed people thread:

What stopped this shooter?  Someone with a gun shot him.

What do you wish would happen if you were trapped in this massacre while it was happening?  You wish someone would pull out a gun and shoot him.

When would be the best time to stop the shooter?  Before he entered the club ideally, but more realistically the need to shoot him was clear as soon as he first shot at innocent people.

Would the strictest gun laws possible stop radical Islam from killing us?  Couldn't he have also used a bomb or a poison gas?  Didn't the 911 hijackers use box cutters?  you won't convice the left, but the gun is not the enemy, the enemy is.

We are at war, in the sense that the enemy has declared it.  Why not identify the enemy and fight back?

The enemy isn't our own right of self defense.  The enemy in the current fight is radical Islam, wherever it rears its ugly head.  If the immediate threat came from Timothy McVeigh types, then that is where our focus should be, but our immediate threat is coming from radical Islam.  The need for law abiding citizens to take up arms and defend themselves only grows when those elected to protect us don't take the most obvious steps to protect us.
39  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: June 12, 2016, 01:45:06 PM
"Trump seems to only know attacks and slogans.
It is looking worse every day he keeps doing the same thing."

George Will said (paraphrasing), changing Trump would be like telling Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to get off of rock and roll; people want to hear chamber music.
40  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America (and pre-emptive dhimmitude) on: June 12, 2016, 01:40:36 PM
Shooter pledged allegiance to Islamic State and Islamic State took responsibility.

Aversion to gayness by some conservatives and some Christians is expressed quite differently than acts from Islamists.

A freedom loving, religious conservative might choose to not go to that club - and be accused of hate for  making that choice. 
41  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Rest in Peace on: June 12, 2016, 11:51:46 AM
Prayers for the victims, families and friends of today's horrible massacre.
42  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left, Shooter was a registered Democrat on: June 12, 2016, 11:45:40 AM
The shooter was a registered Democrat.  He voted in 2008 and 2012 during Obama's election and reelection.  Will that come up in the President's unavoidable talk to us.

Is that one sign of being vulnerable to becoming radicalized? The President's pastor: "God DAMN America!"

Will the President apologize - or blame Republican policies?  Tacky either way.

There is something dissonant about radical Muslims, gays (and Jews) all being constituent groups in the same political party.
43  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Texas man avaided Flood damage with plastic dam on: June 12, 2016, 11:22:21 AM

He filled 400-foot tube with water to act as giant sandbag around his house Despite odd looks from neighbors, it kept his house dry as families in the county faced mandatory evacuations He paid $8300 for dam
44  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Clinton University dollars - Laureate Education, 55 million for 16.5 million on: June 12, 2016, 11:18:03 AM
Fox News had Clinton surrogate Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) on, (auditioning for VP).

She turned all Hillary questions back to Trump as gracefully as she could.

Brett Baier asked her about the Hillary University dollars scandal.  She said, "well I don't know anything about that."

But she did.  They laid out all the facts on the screen, amounts of payments, timing of payments, etc.  16.5 million from the University to the Clintons.  55 million from the US taxpayer to the University, a good part of it from the State Department UNDER HER WATCH.

What she meant was, no one could have an answer for that except to say Donald Trump is worse.  But Donald Trump didn't do anything like THAT and he isn't under FBI inquiry.
45  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America (and pre-emptive dhimmitude) on: June 12, 2016, 11:04:00 AM
The LEFT will ignore the obvious "Islam" terror angle and probably turn this into a gun control issue.

Most underlying facts still unknown or untold.  There is an Islam angle, terror angle, gun angle, crazy person angle, political angle, disbelief, shock, grief and just human caused tragedy.

I don't know any way around it, but what these shooters want is publicity, and what we give them is all of that.

The shooting is over, almost no helpful facts are breaking and yet all networks have gone to wall to wall coverage to continue until some ratings expert tells them to go back to regular programming.

The shooter was "radicalized", they think.  Radicalized to what?  He was looked at by law enforcement a few years ago for his associations.  Associations with what?  It's Ramadan and this happened.  Did he wait for Ramadan?  Does that matter?  If you aren't radicalized, Ramadan doesn't mean shoot people.

The shooter had guns, redundancy noted.  The defenseless people being shot didn't, I assume.  Which is the significant point?  Both?

Our response is state of emergency (right after there isn't one anymore). 

Medical crews are doing everything they can, grief counselors, people coming forward to give blood and help in any way they can.  We are good at that. 

Perspectives differ.  50 senseless deaths are unthinkable.  We had 50 beheadings in an ISIS incident.  Murder toll in Chicago is 275 so far this year.  That is not a mass shooting.(?)  38,300 people were killed on U.S. roads last year, and 4.4 million injured.  Accidental, not intentional.  50-80 million killed in WWII.

Violence at Trump events was caused by Trump offending protesters.  Violence at gay event was not caused by gays who offended this shooter.

Everyone is now waiting for President Obama to make a statement.  Why?
46  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: June 12, 2016, 09:28:18 AM

Could there be any other reason for this other than the easily persuadable group of voters looking at the 2 candidates running and concluding that Obama is not so bad after all?

Worst recovery in history with domestic ad world security spiraling out of control, 54% approval??!!  This is the failure of the Republican primary campaign. 

We had 17 reasonably strong candidates competing to best explain of how Obama governed wrong and how best for Republicans can set it right.  Trump single-handedly turned that into a circular firing squad.  Now he thinks he won.  Some winner, he trails Hillary by 10 points in his own favorite poll, Reuters.   He has now driven Obama's numbers up over 50.  We know everything wrong with everyone from Jeb Bush to Scott Walker but President Barack Obama got a pass.   Trump's more unpopular than the felon Hillary.  He is poised to lose the Senate.  He still doesn't know how the economy or the nuclear triad works, thinks Mexico is in Indiana and that Indiana's problems are in Mexico.  He doesn't care about balancing the budget, reforming entitlements or stopping Putin.

I said early on that his lack of understanding and appreciation for private property rights is an indication of flaws to come.

Trump makes Barack Obama look like an experienced and effective statesman.
47  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: June 11, 2016, 11:02:31 PM
It's now a matter of looking for a needle in a pile of needles. The sheer numbers overwhelm Colorado's law enforcement capacity at this point.

Very interesting.  And no turning back.
48  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Steelers coach to host Hillary fundraiser on: June 11, 2016, 10:53:41 PM
In Hillary's defense, without her, Bill would probably be the top used car salesman in Little Rock. And/or a registered sex offender.

True.  One helliva team.  Her political instincts have been wrong about almost everything.  Still the best the Dems have found since Bill and Barack. 

If she is the smartest woman in the world, that's no way to talk about the rest.
49  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Journal of Political Science, Epic Correction on: June 10, 2016, 08:22:05 AM
This is the journal that published a finding much beloved of liberals a few years back that purported to find scientific evidence that conservatives are more likely to exhibit traits associated with psychoticism, such as authoritarianism and tough-mindedness, and that the supposed “authoritarian” personality of conservatives might even have a genetic basis (and therefore be treatable someday?).

The authors regret that there is an error in the published version of “Correlation not Causation: The Relationship between Personality Traits and Political Ideologies” American Journal of Political Science 56 (1), 34–51. The interpretation of the coding of the political attitude items in the descriptive and preliminary analyses portion of the manuscript was exactly reversed.
50  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / U.S. Taxpayers Are Funding Iran's Military Expansion on: June 10, 2016, 08:08:50 AM

U.S. Taxpayers Are Funding Iran's Military Expansion
JUNE 9, 2016 6:00 AM EDT
Eli Lake
One of the unexpected results of President Barack Obama's new opening to Iran is that U.S. taxpayers are now funding both sides of the Middle East's arms race. The U.S. is deliberately subsidizing defense spending for allies like Egypt and Israel. Now the U.S. is inadvertently paying for some of Iran's military expenditures as well.

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