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101  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Onion, Case for and against Iran deal on: July 15, 2015, 08:14:12 AM
Really no way to know if Iran is a terrorist nation bent on destroying the world until we test it (with nuclear weapons)

Gallows humor for Israel and the world.  Better analysis here than in most liberal publications. 


Creates room for some fresh new up-and-coming state sponsors of terrorism
Breathes new life into decades-old animosity between U.S. and Saudi Arabia
Nice to see John Kerry so engaged at work
Frees Iran to brainstorm all sorts of exciting, outside-the-box ways to destroy Israel
Fresh material for Rabbi Cohen’s sermon
Really no way to know if Iran is a terrorist nation bent on destroying the world until we test it
Just feels kind of empty without current U.S. military intervention in Muslim world


Zero people involved with this are to be trusted
Uranium only fun if enriched beyond 3.67 percent
Stand-your-ground provision allows Iran to fast-track construction of nuclear missile in event it feels at all threatened
Might lose the comfort and familiarity of unbearably high tensions in Middle East
Complete waste of perfectly good centrifuges
Possibility that closer cooperation will humanize Iranian people in Americans’ eyes
Not complete and utter surrender to demands of U.S.
102  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Jeb Bush on: July 13, 2015, 04:33:25 PM
It's going to be hard for all of them to run a 2 year campaign, take interviews continuously and not mis-speak, misunderstand or be taken wrong..

"But Jeb doesn't realize the situation of part-time workers, so he flubbed the comment."

That is the problem, when the screwup confirms something already suspected.

Part time work is a good and a bad thing, depending on a lot of other factors.  No sweeping statement can be said about it without spelling out context and that everyone faces different circumstances.  Like the Romney-47%, a lot of the 29 hourers like their leisurely life and their QE-subsidized healthcare, etc.

Meanwhile Hillary says workers want a raise, not longer hours.  In her world, a private sector raise, like family leave, comes from a government declaration or mandate, not by making the business climate more conducive to productive investment.

103  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: July 13, 2015, 12:56:23 PM
Received in the email from a friend who is a former Democrat.  Humor grounded in truth.

Things I trust more than Hillary:
Mexican tap water.
A rattlesnake with a "pet me" sign.
OJ Simpson showing me his knife collection.
A fart when I have diarrhea.
An elevator ride with Ray Rice.
Taking pills offered by Bill Cosby.
Michael Jackson's Doctor.
An Obama Nuclear deal with Iran.
A Palestinian on a motorcycle.
Gas station Sushi.
A Jimmy Carter economic plan.
Brian Williams news reports.
Loch Ness monster sightings.
Prayers for peace from Al Sharpton.
Playing Russian Roulette with a semi-auto pistol.
Emails from Nigerian princes.
The Heimlich Maneuver from Barney Frank.
A condom made in China.
A prostate exam from Captain Hook.
And finally....
Bill Clinton at a Girl Scout convention.
104  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: July 13, 2015, 01:41:30 AM
Morris may be right about Biden.  Why wouldn't he jump in?  Losing a son is a good reason for getting in late.  
With the backing of the Obama machine (against the Clinton machine), this thing gets weird and ugly.  
And the Dem nominee becomes my prediction, none of the above.

Is Elizabeth Warren really smart enough to know she isn't Presidential?  Wouldn't she be Valerie Jarrett's first choice?  in that scenario, the Obama machine would be backing neither Hillary nor Biden...

A point of trivia, the family name Hickenlooper has won statewide elections in Iowa 17 times:
Both sides need swing state Colorado to win.
Colo Gov John Hickenlooper is showing no signs of warming up in the bullpen.  But don't rule him out.

Jim Webb:

Both Clintons ordered to give depositions regarding email server:

Trump helps R's by making others look sane.  Hurts by showing how many identify with his message and tone.  Destroys the party by running as an independent.  There needs to be a contract that you don't take up a valuable place on the debate stage for the nonination and then run outside of the nomination
105  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics on: July 13, 2015, 12:35:43 AM
I believe in buying gold and silver. Even more, I believe in guns, ammo and canned food.

Then if our currency was tied to gold, would you buy and hold money instead?  Nothing's perfect in the bunker; canned goods are damaged by freezing and guns can damage with moisture.

(Frustrating that I can't cut and paste from the pdf, but...) Gilder says in effect, with QE and other tampering, money moved from being the neutral medium of exchange to being the message itself.  Only if the channel (money) is changeless can the message in the channel [clearly] communicate changes.  In 2003, Milton Freidman acknowledged failure of his money supply target theory.

8 canons of Gilder's information theory, slightly shortened and paraphrased:
1. The economy is not an incentive system, but an information system.  (An odd distinction.)
2. Creativity comes as a surprise.  Planned economies don't produce it.
3. The capitalist economy is not an equilibrium system (static, as taught) but dynamic domains of entrepreneurial activity.  
4. Money should be / needs to be - a stable and reliable standard of measure.
5. Interference (The Fed, QE, etc.) is noise and makes it impossible to distinguish between content and channel.
6. Gyrating currencies are deadly to the commitment of long term enterprise.
7. Profits and losses are unexpected outcomes.  The real interest rate represents average return.
8. Velocity is not a constant, therefore the effective supply of money is not controlled by the central bank but by free decisions made by individuals.

Bonus point, time is the scarce resource.

As Crafty said, serious read.  103 pages, 87 sources cited.  All this should be in the monetary thread also.
106  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Environmental issues on: July 12, 2015, 08:03:09 PM

I found it plausible in that in concurs with my sense of man overwhelming the health of our oceans.

As G M says, beware of the source.  With environmental writings I would add, beware of the headline and summary writers.  Very often those do not match the findings of fact in the study.

I don't know about seabirds, I live on an inland lake and the bird world is alive and well I can tell you first hand.  Did we have an over-population of birds in the 1950s?  I don't know.  Did they study only one island to measure global population?  I don't know.

Let me ask this this one question about 'man overwhelming the health of the oceans'.  What percent of all the activity relating to the temperature, chemistry and content of the oceans comes from man?  Less than 0.001% is my guess.  If it is significantly more than that, please explain how so?

107  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: SERIOUS READ: Gilder calls for a return to the Gold Standard on: July 12, 2015, 07:55:54 PM

Okay, I read this.  Did anyone else read it?  Let's discuss.

I am a big fan of Gilder.  That said, I'm not fully following his logic here.  Will come back to this to post some quotes.  This is a long scholarly piece.  At the end, out of the blue, he is saying that the world will turn to a de facto gold standard.  I think he is also implying that we could save ourselves a lot of heartache and economic damage if we would do that now rather than later.

An easier solution would be to simplify the mission of the Fed and appoint a Federal Reserve board that would competently pursue that mission, namely maintainng a US dollar as stable, as strong and as predictable as gold.  Same goes for all other countries and currencies if they want to succeed and prosper.
108  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Once again, Romney vindicated on: July 11, 2015, 10:45:57 AM

When Obama promised the most transparent administration ever, who knew he meant the background information of every American with a security clearance ?

Paraphrasing one of our own, they warned me that if I voted for Romney all this would happen.
109  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WArrenand McCain intro bill to restore Glass Steagall on: July 11, 2015, 10:43:05 AM
"Very interesting.  My first response is to agree."

My first reaction is to NOT trust any of the names mentioned, Warren, McCain et al.

"At the least I hope the Rep candidates do not give any stupid or tone deaf answers..."

That's right.  Who knows what is in that bill, but our own rapid response should be (should have been?) to have a good bill ready to go addressing and correcting all the relevant, valid concerns. 

Wasn't the authority of the Fed to bail out non-insured financial institutions recently struck down?

Why not 'reintroduce' the SOLE mission of the Fed while we are at it.
110  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: July 08, 2015, 11:53:30 PM
G M:  "The whole running out of other people's money thing doesn't look like much fun. Go ask the Greeks."

Yes.  The Soviet example has grown too old for young people to know.

ccp:  "How do we explain they make it all worse not better?"

That's right.  It doesn't do what it purports to do.  I also think we need to explain why it doesn't work. 

And there's this:

Socialism pretends to offer you income security, knowing that all the basics of life are free, nothing to worry about, all treated the same.

"If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom."
   - Dwight D. Eisenhower

111  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: July 08, 2015, 11:37:09 PM
"His advocacy (Bernie Sanders) (and hers, Hillary Clinton) of a reduced retirement age, a confiscatory top bracket on the income tax, a single-payer socialized medicine system and a $15 minimum wage,... have all generated an enthusiasm among liberals..."

Speaking of 'why not socialism', isn't that exactly what Greece has done?

almost 75 percent of Greek pensioners retire before the age of 61.

46% income tax + 15% social security + 23% VAT + 26% corporate, capital gains taxed as ordinary income!

Public health services are provided by the National Healthcare Service
112  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Why not socialism? on: July 08, 2015, 09:05:53 AM
Conservatives are having some fun watching declared Socialist Bernie Sanders gain on her in the polls, not unlike how fun it was to watch the furthest left junior Senator from Illinois gain and pass her in 2007-2008.  Be careful what you wish for!  Calling someone a socialist isn't good enough anymore, nor is proving the candidate is a socialist, nor even in this case is the candidate calling himself a socialist a disqualifier anymore.

We have to answer that question in a thorough, but concise and irrefutable way, why not socialism?

I challenge all here, and especially Crafty of 2015 to explain to Crafty of age 20, why not socialism/liberalism/progressivism?
113  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left: William F Buckley interviews Saul Alinsky on: July 08, 2015, 08:53:35 AM
114  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Jeb Bush on: July 03, 2015, 12:40:53 AM
Your a Bush fan?   cry

No.  But I wish I could pick and choose good qualities from each.
115  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Welcome Donald Trump on: July 02, 2015, 11:28:41 AM
His points about Mexico are not wrong but made very crassly.  If only he were more careful about singling out and categorizing Mexicans the way he did he might score more points.   

That's right, it was inartful, as they say.  Indelicate.  Within the flood of millions still coming in unchecked are rapists and thieves, etc., even Middle Est terrorists.  That's unacceptable and it will stop immediately after inauguration, he could have said, and not impugn the others for lawbreaking other than coming here illegally.

Maybe it's good that Trump is soaring early in the polls (farther to fall).  He will therefore be on the debate stage until he does fall.  I don't get his popularity, didn't watch any more than a highlight of his show and I hold a personal grudge against because I once paid real money to buy his book, 'how great I am / art of the deal'.  But if he has low information segment appeal, he may draw viewers to the debates, and that is good.  Also good that he is running within the party, not as a 3rd party candidate.  They should all make that promise in order to appear in a GOP debate.  Let whoever should look responsible and Presidential on the stage do so.

Maybe a serious candidate like Carly Fiorina or Bobby Jindal will get left out while Trump takes a seat.  Let them make that case and earn their way in. 
116  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Who could have seen this coming? Cuba demands return of Guantanamo on: July 01, 2015, 10:41:10 PM
Just say no.  It would make a good place to lock up the Castros, IMHO.
117  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Jeb Bush on: July 01, 2015, 10:32:14 PM
On Jeb Bush's reading list:  George Gilder:  Knowledge and Power

Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism and How it is Revolutionizing our World
118  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: America's Inner City; Urban Issues on: July 01, 2015, 12:17:31 PM
Chicago Tribune today:  Community braces itself for violent holiday weekend

Doug:  Why?

My city is bracing itself for a holiday weekend of picnics, family get-togethers, boating and fireworks.  Has had no murders - ever.


Our national strategy is to make all cities more like Chicago.  And eliminate all communities like mine.

119  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Senator Marco Rubio ansewrs critics on personal wealth on: July 01, 2015, 11:52:14 AM
It's not a luxury yacht if you have to pee off the side.
120  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Jeb Bush - Releases 33 years of tax returns on: July 01, 2015, 11:40:47 AM
Trying to inoculate himself from stories that are on the way about his own 'Clinton Cash' machine.  Also trying to avoid the Mitt Romney train wreck.

Politico:  Jeb's Wealth to Riches Story  (funny title)
121  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: July 01, 2015, 11:27:16 AM
Yes, we will soon have Gender Studies majors and cultural sensitivity experts replace Biology majors in our medical schools - to improve health care.

Speaking of MCAT and Medical Schools limiting the supply of doctors, when will the cartel get opened up?
122  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Bringing manufacturing home to US on: July 01, 2015, 11:23:18 AM
The labor cost excuse doesn't work anymore when so much is automated and labor cost differentials are shrinking.  There are tons of existing businesses that could come back to America if the business climate was significantly improved, in addition to a revitalization of startups!
123  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Rand Paul (and dad Ron Paul) on: July 01, 2015, 11:19:44 AM
I think you want your marriage recognized at least until estate taxes are repealed.  You would otherwise have to expressly designate someone on a whole host of topics, giving up even more privacy.  Does the surgeon want spousal privilege in criminal matters ended - or extended to all witnesses who have the perp's confidence?  This is Rand drifting back to his fringe roots, attracting no one new.  Accept gay marriage or attack it.  Ending marriage is not a winning Presidential platform. MHO

Ron Paul is doing some kind of a radio ad for an investment company selling the idea of preparing for economic collapse.  Not too far out of message for the elder Paul, but not helpful to son Rand either.  Take a lesson from what Bill Clinton does (wrong), get out of the limelight.
124  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: July 01, 2015, 11:06:21 AM
"People will do anything to remain politically correct, even if it means losing their rear end... "

The internet has really been a boom for the Left.   With immediate excoriating, shaming, marginalizing, and ridiculing of anyone who opposes their world view.  .
It seems to work.  Who wants their face going around the world being shamed

Couldn't have come at a worse time for America.

The Right cannot compete.  Just can't.

Even Fox is in retreat.    I didn't hear much comment at all about the recent SCOTUS decisions.  Almost like they ignored them.

Must be hoping for JEB.  Appease appease appease while the LEFT keeps moving forward with their shoulders in driving us back with zero thoughts of retreat.

Yes the internet helps them but helps us more in the sense that they have a monopoly on almost everything else.

The so-called news on conservative radio, separate from the shows, comes with all the bias of the regular networks - and it drives me nuts.  They need a Mark Levin type to hit pause after every idiocy and set them straight or at least present the other side with it.  Sometimes Fox News could use that too.

Chris Christy says we need more compromise.  Speaking of Mark Levin, I heard his reaction to Christy:  Compromise isn't a principle.  Compromise isn't a vision.  Compromise on what?  With whom?  Compromise is what we do now; it's what got us where we are.

The contradiction between how far left the left has gone / how left we have become, and the fact the Republicans have taken back the House, the Senate and the state houses is astounding.  Yet liberalism is still the driving and governing force.  Conservatism of a sort is starting to win again elsewhere around the globe as well.  As GM said, we are fcuked.  Either that or the table has almost never been set so perfectly for a real leader to emerge and persuasively make the case for a resurgence of freedom and prosperity. 

We are looking for something like a Reagan - without the Anthony Kennedy appointment!  If I were Marco Rubio or any of the others I would offer to put Ted Cruz on the Supreme Court. 
125  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: July 01, 2015, 10:13:26 AM
This could go under housing...  I rented a house yesterday to a nice Spanish speaking couple with 3 adorable children.  

We hear about better identification and stronger employer sanctions as being part of the solution.  I haven't had to deal with the question of legal status much in housing; most of the influx of people to north Minneapolis come from the southside of Chicago, Detroit, Gary, IN, etc.  I am not clear whether it is illegal to rent to an illegal.  I am pretty sure it is illegal not to.  

In this case, the man who doesn't speak a word of English showed his Driver's License - I don't know if illegals get those here.  He also has a good bank account; I don't know the rules there either, but good enough for me.  The wife speaks English as a second language but didn't want her name on the lease.  I told her it has to go on the lease.  The kids were great translators and pretty soon I had them talking on the phone with my daughter in Spanish to sharpen her language skills.

I went with 'don't ask, don't tell' on legal status and made a business decision that I liked this family and had no reason to turn down their application.  

Whether they are legal or illegal, I'm sure they know people affected by the words used (cf. Donald Trump) and issues negotiated in "immigration reform".  

But what if both parents are illegal and their children are legal, and that we want to make new law going forward that emphasizes control over our border?  We should be able to argue that anyone who came here some time ago illegally, who has set up a life, a residence, a family, a job here, can stay but will not ever vote, and that by making ours a sovereign nation (e pluribus unum) with good, enforceable laws in the best interests of our nation is what is in the best interest of their children's interests also, and that policies that grow our economy are best for their family and their children - all without permanently driving away everyone of their heritage from our side of politics.

It is a very delicate argument to say that we don't want to become the place they left without insulting the people and losing them forever politically.
126  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: July 01, 2015, 09:35:48 AM
""It's all about love", it says in our local paper.  No.  Love was already legal.  It's all about benefits."

I suspect that is why many get married literally the day it becomes legal.  Start the process to get the checks or write the deductions.  Not about "LUV".

Nothing wrong with that as everyone else would do the same thing.

I still think it not a good idea for the State to sanction gay marriage.  And I have larger problem with male gays using surrogates to have children or female gays using sperm donors to have children, or gay adoptions unless in extenuating circumstances.

And I very strongly suspect MOST people agree with me.   I don't believe the veracity of polls that purportedly show a MAJORITY of Americans think gay marriage or adoption or having children is ok.  I just don't believe it.  I think it is the herd mentality and fear of being crucified as insensitive or a homophobe that makes people cover up their true feelings.   

There is so much in there.  We jumped from private love to public benefits to removing the words mother and father (as the US govt did in FAFSA years ago) and replacing them with "Parent 1" and "Parent 2" (with room for more), also offensive to gays - who wants to be Parent 2?

There are gender differences with gays too.  Male gays don't bond for life at the same frequency as females.  Who knew?!  Heteros screwed up the bond for life argument all on their own.

Is it still legal to "discriminate" in adoption placement?  Does a kid have the chance statistically with a single mom, with a lesbian couple, with 2 gay men, with 2 reverse gender trans-sexuals, with some other future combination that I won't make facetiously but is imaginable?

Don't kids have the best chance to succeed in American when they grow up with one mother, one father, in love, married, and under one roof?

Who is denying the science here?
127  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Nixon's interference with negotiations and Reagan so accused on: July 01, 2015, 09:17:00 AM

Maybe we can keep an empty thread here to track of every time one of Crafty's liberal friends with "progressive" sourcing gets something right...   wink

Iran held the American Hostages for 444 days.  The reason alleged that they didn't release them in exactly October 1980, just before the election, was that the "Reagan administration" (during the Carter administration) had secret ties with the Ayatollah.  The source of that is Amadinejad's predecessor Bani-Sadr, who claims way after the fact that he believes that but does not claim to have any personal knowledge of that, or source or evidence.  Just his word.  He also claims Carter would have otherwise won (Nothing else wrong with the Carter Presidency?) and that without Reagan we wouldn't have any problems with Iran today. (Huh?)   If the absurd claim was true, why would they hold them then past the election through November and December and early January?  That makes no sense.  More plausibly they were told the opposite of hold them longer.  If they were told anything at the instruction of Reagan it would be they were told of the dire consequence of holding them for more than one minute after his inauguration as Commander in Chief.  If he didn't tell them that, then they figured it out on their own.  If the Iranian government had no control over the "students", then how could they negotiate and get it done in January, as alleged.  It makes no sense.

We know now in the Obama post-Cairo speech years that terrorists (and most foreigners) make no meaningful distinction between different American Presidents.  And if they did, why would they prefer Reagan?

Regarding the left's slam on Nixon, have at him.  Nixon ran as a conservative and governed as a liberal.  I consider him one of theirs.  Founded the EPA, price wage freezes with governmental oversight.  Uses the IRS like Obama, with the moral integrity of Hillary.

For credibility sake, has Bani Sadr ever written to correct Amadinejad on holocaust denial?  Or only to smear Reagan?  FYI: My Dad and his unit were the first medical responders at the liberation of death camp Buchenwald.  I have it first hand - it happened.
128  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: WSJ: Constitutional Chumps on: July 01, 2015, 08:26:59 AM
"Chumps" is putting it nicely.
129  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Bobby Jindal on: July 01, 2015, 08:26:09 AM
Jindal is 100% acceptable to me on policy, experience and competence.  My question to him and all of them is their ability to connect and bring more people over to 'our' way of thinking.  Not only to get elected, but a President needs to maintain and build popularity in order to govern effectively. 

I certainly hope he is one of the top ten on the stage debating substantive issues.

I didn't hear his Christian pandering, but they need to be more careful about that.  By Christianity as it relates to politics, most mean Judeo Christian values, which you don't need to be Jewish or Christian to possess IMHO.  Most of the politically active evangelicals probably don't think of Catholic as evangelical (, so it requires someone like Jindal to openly talk about his faith for them to relate.  But then in the general election a lot of centrists, whose votes they need to win, hate the openness of religion and Christianity from the politicians.

They tend to go on record early in a campaign disclosing the personal side of their faith and how it affects them so that they don't have to be discussing it later.

As an aside, I liked Jeb's line separating church and state, that he looks to people like Milton Friedman, not the Pope, to inform him on economics.  A Catholic conservative is going to lose half of the Catholic vote anyway.  Might as well draw those lines.
130  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: July 01, 2015, 08:03:33 AM
Quite exciting that gay couples now have a constitutional right to divorce.

"It's all about love", it says in our local paper.  No.  Love was already legal.  It's all about benefits.
131  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: June 27, 2015, 11:02:55 AM
132  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: June 27, 2015, 10:53:39 AM
I see frustrated conservative talking about flying the flag upside down as we head into the fourth of July.  Are we a nation in distress?

Ten years ago the Supreme Court created a right for local governments to take private homes and send people down the road in order to accommodate the wishes of their preferred private, special interests.

This week the Court, twisting like a pretzel, interpreted Obamacare to say the exact opposite of what it does in order to preserve the law rather than leave it to the law writing branch to fix, change or repeal it.  The next day they ended the legislative process across the country to make marriage, where a man and a woman become husband and wife, a constitutional right for gay couples.  With 4 anti-constitutional liberals on the Court, we are now ruled by the whim of one or two erratic appointees of former Republican Presidents on both social and economic issues.

The question is not what to do about shiny objects like gay marriage.  The question is how to go forward from here.  Of course this overlaps with 2016 Presidential because the question also necessarily becomes who best to lead.

Let's take these two issues first.  Obamacare became the law of the land through a number of large deceptions, a one-time super-majority, and deeming a bill passed that wasn't.  It was upheld originally by making it something we were promised that it wasn't and then funded by those sworn to repeal it.

I heard Ted Cruz' irate reaction to these decisions.  He, for one, drew a line earlier against funding Obamacare, but his party punted away their constitutional power of the purse back to the media and the Saul Alinsky executive branch.  Yes Ted Cruz would stand up for limited government and constitutional principles.  But he aims his arguments at the minority of conservatives who already agree with him.  The good he could do as President, such as appoint great Justices is subject to the question of being him marginalized into unelectability.  Scott Walker also stood up strongly against the rulings.  Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio opposed the decisions but took more conciliatory tones, FWIW.

Gay Marriage was coming anyway and Republicans in Congress are already funding O'care and ready to make a "temporary fix" on subsidies.  So the question remains, what is the way forward?  We don't just need a leader who is right on the issues.  We need leadership that can successfully make the arguments, connect with more people and move public opinion.

Meanwhile, we will are paddling upstream against a really strong current.  99% of colleges have been taken over by liberal teaching and an even higher percentage in the k-12 public schools.  84% of O'care enrollees are subsidized, no longer able to take a disinterested view.  Most Hispanics know someone personally affected by the immigration reform debate.  Most gays don't know it is Republicans who would actually give them far more liberties.  Most Jews aren't impressed that Republicans are now the defenders of Israel and most blacks have never voted for a Republican.  Most unemployed, recent college grads think redistribution grows the economy.  All network news and nearly every major newspaper are in lockstep with DNC talking points.

Is there still a way forward?
133  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: FBI: Valerie Jarret's family was communist on: June 25, 2015, 02:11:22 PM
FBI Files Document Communism in Valerie Jarrett’s Family

JUNE 22, 2015

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) files obtained by Judicial Watch reveal that the dad, maternal grandpa and father-in-law of President Obama’s trusted senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, were hardcore Communists under investigation by the U.S. government.

Jarrett’s dad, pathologist and geneticist Dr. James Bowman, had extensive ties to Communist associations and individuals, his lengthy FBI file shows. In 1950 Bowman was in communication with a paid Soviet agent named Alfred Stern, who fled to Prague after getting charged with espionage. Bowman was also a member of a Communist-sympathizing group called the Association of Internes and Medical Students. After his discharge from the Army Medical Corps in 1955, Bowman moved to Iran to work, the FBI records show.

According to Bowman’s government file the Association of Internes and Medical Students is an organization that “has long been a faithful follower of the Communist Party line” and engages in un-American activities. Bowman was born in Washington D.C. and had deep ties to Chicago, where he often collaborated with fellow Communists. JW also obtained documents on Bowman from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) showing that the FBI was brought into investigate him for his membership in a group that “follows the communist party line.” The Jarrett family Communist ties also include a business partnership between Jarrett’s maternal grandpa, Robert Rochon Taylor, and Stern, the Soviet agent associated with her dad.

Jarrett’s father-in-law, Vernon Jarrett, was also another big-time Chicago Communist, according to separate FBI files obtained by JW as part of a probe into the Jarrett family’s Communist ties. For a period of time Vernon Jarrett appeared on the FBI’s Security Index and was considered a potential Communist saboteur who was to be arrested in the event of a conflict with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). His FBI file reveals that he was assigned to write propaganda for a Communist Party front group in Chicago that would “disseminate the Communist Party line among…the middle class.”

It’s been well documented that Valerie Jarrett, a Chicago lawyer and longtime Obama confidant, is a liberal extremist who wields tremendous power in the White House. Faithful to her roots, she still has connections to many Communist and extremist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood. Jarrett and her family also had strong ties to Frank Marshal Davis, a big Obama mentor and Communist Party member with an extensive FBI file.

JW has exposed Valerie Jarrett’s many transgressions over the years, including her role in covering up a scandalous gun-running operation carried out by the Department of Justice (DOJ). Last fall JW obtained public records that show Jarrett was a key player in the effort to cover up that Attorney General Eric Holder lied to Congress about the Fast and Furious, a disastrous experiment in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) allowed guns from the U.S. to be smuggled into Mexico so they could eventually be traced to drug cartels. Instead, federal law enforcement officers lost track of hundreds of weapons which have been used in an unknown number of crimes, including the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Arizona.

In 2008 JW got documents linking Valerie Jarrett, who also served as co-chairman of Obama’s presidential transition team, to a series of real estate scandals, including several housing projects operated by convicted felon and Obama fundraiser/friend Antoin “Tony” Rezko. According to the documents obtained from the Illinois Secretary of State, Valerie Jarrett served as a board member for several organizations that provided funding and support for Chicago slum projects operated by Rezko.

Thanks for posting this even though we all know nothing will ever become of it.  She shouldn't be punished for what her family has done, but we should be aware of the background and relationships that shaped and guide her.  Note that Hillary's top adviser Huma also has family with major issues.  Meanwhile the media is pounding a GOP candidate to separate himself from family members that were fully vetted and elected a combined number of 5 times elected to the office of VP and President.  They are also slamming Rand for his father's strict adherence to the US constitution, and attack Marco Rubio for a friend's finances and his wife's driving.
134  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: June 25, 2015, 01:50:29 PM
I am sickened by Chief Justice John Roberts hypocrisy on his Obamacare rulings and by my own inability to recognize poor character before it becomes so blatantly obvious.

In the previous case, Sebelius vs America, he wrote essentially that the defects of the law could be corrected by the legislative process and therefore didn't need interference from the judicial branch.  In King v. Burwell he saw specific writing that could easily be changed by the legislative branch if they were so inclined and instead he 'fixed' it for them - making the law pretend to say what it in fact doesn't.

Roberts' drivel from his confirmation that impressed me so much at the time:

"If the Constitution says that the little guy should win, the little guy's going to win in court before me," Roberts said. "But if the Constitution says that the big guy should win, well, then the big guy's going to win, because my obligation is to the Constitution. That's the oath."

What a weasel.

Justice Scala isn't impressed either:

"We should start calling this law SCOTUScare.

The Court interprets §36B to award tax credits on both federal and state Exchanges. It accepts that the “most natural sense” of the phrase “Exchange established by the State” is an Exchange established by a State. Ante, at 11. (Understatement, thy name is an opinion on the Affordable Care Act!).

Yet the opinion continues, with no semblance of shame, that “it is also possible that the phrase refers to all Exchanges—both State and Federal.” Ante, at 13. (Impossible possibility, thy name is an opinion on the Affordable Care Act!).

I wholeheartedly agree with the Court that sound interpretation requires paying attention to the whole law, not homing in on isolated words or even isolated sections. Context always matters. Let us not forget, however, why context matters: It is a tool for understanding the terms of the law, not an excuse for rewriting them.

One begins to get the sense that the Court’s insistence on reading things in context applies to “established by the State,” but to nothing else.

On the other side of the ledger, the Court has come up with nothing more than a general provision that turns out to be controlled by a specific one, a handful of clauses that are consistent with either understanding of establishment by the State, and a resemblance between the tax-credit provision and the rest of the Tax Code. If that is all it takes to make something ambiguous, everything is ambiguous.

Perhaps sensing the dismal failure of its efforts to show that “established by the State” means “established by the State or the Federal Government,” the Court tries to palm off the pertinent statutory phrase as “inartful drafting.” Ante, at 14. This Court, however, has no free-floating power “to rescue Congress from its drafting errors.” Lamie v. United States Trustee, 540 U. S. 526, 542 (2004).

Only when it is patently obvious to a reasonable reader that a drafting mistake has occurred may a court correct the mistake. The occurrence of a misprint may be apparent from the face of the law, as it is where the Affordable Care Act “creates three separate Section 1563s.” Ante, at 14. But the Court does not pretend that there is any such indication of a drafting error on the face of §36B.

The occurrence of a misprint may also be apparent because a provision decrees an absurd result—a consequence “so monstrous, that all mankind would, without hesitation, unite in rejecting the application.” Sturges, 4 Wheat., at 203. But §36B does not come remotely close to satisfying that demanding standard. It is entirely plausible that tax credits were restricted to state Exchanges deliberately—for example, in order to encourage States to establish their own Exchanges. We therefore have no authority to dismiss the terms of the law as a drafting fumble.

Let us not forget that the term “Exchange established by the State” appears twice in §36B and five more times in other parts of the Act that mention tax credits. What are the odds, do you think, that the same slip of the pen occurred in seven separate places?

If there was a mistake here, context suggests it was a substantive mistake in designing this part of the law, not a technical mistake in transcribing it.

The Court’s decision reflects the philosophy that judges should endure whatever interpretive distortions it takes in order to correct a supposed flaw in the statutory machinery. That philosophy ignores the American people’s decision to give Congress “[a]ll legislative Powers” enumerated in the Constitution. Art. I, §1. They made Congress, not this Court, responsible for both making laws and mending them.

This Court holds only the judicial power—the power to pronounce the law as Congress has enacted it. We lack the prerogative to repair laws that do not work out in practice, just as the people lack the ability to throw us out of office if they dislike the solutions we concoct. We must always remember, therefore, that “
  • ur task is to apply the text, not to improve upon it.” Pavelic & LeFlore v. Marvel Entertainment Group, Div. of Cadence Industries Corp., 493 U. S. 120, 126 (1989).

Even less defensible, if possible, is the Court’s claim that its interpretive approach is justified because this Act “does not reflect the type of care and deliberation that one might expect of such significant legislation.” [Citation omitted] It is not our place to judge the quality of the care and deliberation that went into this or any other law. A laenacted by voice vote with no deliberation whatever is fully as binding upon us as one enacted after years of study, months of committee hearings, and weeks of debate.

Much less is it our place to make everything come out right when Congress does not do its job properly. It is up to Congress to design its laws with care, and it is up to the people to hold them to account if they fail to carry out that responsibility.

[T]he plain, obvious, and rational meaning of a statute is always to be preferred to any curious, narrow, hidden sense that nothing but the exigency of a hard case and the ingenuity and study of an acute and powerful intellect would discover.” Lynch v. Alworth-Stephens Co., 267 U. S. 364, 370 (1925).

Under all the usual rules of interpretation, in short, the Government should lose this case. But normal rules of interpretation seem always to yield to the overriding principle of the present Court: The Affordable Care Act must be saved.

Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is “established by the State.”

Today’s interpretation is not merely unnatural; it is unheard of.

[T]his Court’s two decisions on the Act will surely be remembered through the years. The somersaults of statutory interpretation they have performed (“penalty” means tax, “further [Medicaid] payments to the State” means only incremental Medicaid payments to the State, “established by the State” means not established by the State) will be cited by litigants endlessly, to the confusion of honest jurisprudence.

And the cases will publish forever the discouraging truth that the Supreme Court of the United States favors some laws over others, and is prepared to do whatever it takes to uphold and assist its favorites."
135  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: June 25, 2015, 11:27:56 AM
It's now called SCOTUScare.
136  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Surprisingly, Hillary lies trying to rebut Clinton Cashgate on: June 23, 2015, 10:45:49 PM
"The timing doesn't work", she said about the contributions related to the Russian takeover of Uranium One, that the money was given to the foundation before she was Secretary of State.  - FALSE

More than $100 million came in from people who benefited from the transaction WHILE she was Secretary of State.

Hillary was secure in her knowledge that neither the interviewer nor most of the audience had read Schweitzer's book, Clinton Cash.

Clinton:  “I think part of the interesting twist to this is most foundations, charities do not publish all of their contributors. The Clinton Foundation does.”

But one of Schweizer’s revelations in Clinton Cash is that the Clinton Foundation does not, in fact, disclose all of its donors. Hillary is well aware of this, but apparently calculates that she can get away with more false claims.

Who is going to vett her claims, the media?
137  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Surprisingly, Hillary lies trying to rebut Clinton Cashgate on: June 23, 2015, 09:48:26 AM
"The timing doesn't work", she said about the contributions related to the Russian takeover of Uranium One, that the money was given to the foundation before she was Secretary of State.  - FALSE

More than $100 million came in from people who benefited from the transaction WHILE she was Secretary of State.

Hillary was secure in her knowledge that neither the interviewer nor most of the audience had read Schweitzer's book, Clinton Cash.

Clinton:  “I think part of the interesting twist to this is most foundations, charities do not publish all of their contributors. The Clinton Foundation does.”

But one of Schweizer’s revelations in Clinton Cash is that the Clinton Foundation does not, in fact, disclose all of its donors. Hillary is well aware of this, but apparently calculates that she can get away with more false claims.
138  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary’s Abysmal Record as Secretary of State Alone BY THOMAS SOWELL on: June 23, 2015, 09:36:49 AM
Hillary’s Abysmal Record as Secretary of State Alone... BY THOMAS SOWELL

There are no sure things in politics, but Hillary Clinton is the closest thing to a sure thing to become the Democrats’ candidate for president in 2016. This is one of the painful but inescapable signs of our time. There is nothing in her history that would qualify her for the presidency, and much that should disqualify her. What is even more painful is that none of that matters politically. Many people simply want “a woman” to be president, and Hillary is the best-known woman in politics, though by no means the best qualified. What is Hillary’s history? In the most important job she has ever held — secretary of state — American foreign policy has had one setback after another, punctuated by disasters.

U.S. intervention in Libya and Egypt, undermining governments that were no threat to American interests, led to Islamic extremists’ taking over in Egypt and terrorist chaos in Libya, where the American ambassador was killed, along with three other Americans. Fortunately, the Egyptian military has gotten rid of that country’s extremist government that was persecuting Christians, threatening Israel, and aligning itself with our enemies. But that was in spite of American foreign policy. In Europe, as in the Middle East, our foreign policy during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state was to undermine our friends and cater to our enemies. In the most important job she has ever held — secretary of state — American foreign policy has had one setback after another.

The famous “reset” in our foreign policy with Russia began with the Obama administration’s reneging on a pre-existing American commitment to supply defensive technology to shield Poland and the Czech Republic from missile attacks. This left both countries vulnerable to pressures and threats from Russia — and left other countries elsewhere wondering how much they could rely on American promises. Even after Russia invaded Ukraine, the Obama administration refused to let the Ukrainians have weapons with which to defend themselves. This was especially ironic since Barack Obama, when he was in the Senate, was one of those urging Ukraine to not only give up the nuclear weapons it had inherited from its days as a member of the Soviet Union, but to also reduce conventional military arms.

President Obama, like other presidents, has made his own foreign policy. But Hillary Clinton, like other secretaries of state, had the option of resigning if she did not agree with it. In reality, she shared the same flawed vision of the world as Obama’s when they were both in the Senate. Both of them opposed the military “surge” in Iraq, under General David Petraeus, that defeated the terrorists there. Even after the surge succeeded, Hillary Clinton was among those who fiercely denied initially that it had succeeded, and sought to discredit General Petraeus, though eventually the evidence of the surge’s success became undeniable, even among those who had opposed it. The truly historic catastrophe of American foreign policy — not only failing to stop Iran from going nuclear, but making it more difficult for Israel to stop them — was also something that happened on Hillary Clinton’s watch as secretary of state. What the administration’s protracted and repeatedly extended negotiations with Iran accomplished was to allow Iran time to multiply, bury, and reinforce its nuclear facilities, to the point where it was uncertain whether Israel still had the military capacity to destroy those facilities.

There are no offsetting foreign-policy triumphs under Secretary of State Clinton. Syria, China and North Korea are other scenes of similar setbacks. The fact that many people are still prepared to vote for Hillary Clinton to be president of the United States, in times made incredibly dangerous by the foreign-policy disasters on her watch as secretary of state, raises painful questions about this country. A president of the United States — any president — has the lives of more than 300 million Americans in his or her hands, and the future of Western civilization. If the debacles and disasters of the Obama administration have still not demonstrated the irresponsibility of choosing a president on the basis of demographic characteristics, it is hard to imagine what could. With our enemies around the world arming while we are disarming, such self-indulgent choices for president can leave our children and grandchildren a future that will be grim, if not catastrophic.

 — Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His website is
139  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: June 23, 2015, 09:30:18 AM
Big Supreme Court decisions coming very shortly, King v Burwell and the right of states to define marriage.  Predictions anyone?

I am hopeful on Burwell that the Court goes beyond merely reading the statute and strikes down all subsidies that aren't available equally to all Americans.  Is that too much to ask?

Roberts will write the Obamacare subsidy decision.  Kennedy will write the gay marriage decision.
140  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Susette Kelo vs Pfizer Corp and the City of New London, CT on: June 23, 2015, 09:24:01 AM

Yes, still wrong.  Another good article on the same topic below.  Worst Supreme Court decision since Dred Scott or Roe v. Wade?  It is salt in the ironic wounds that the liberals sided with Big Pharma and then the company left the city when the preferential tax subsidies ran out.  What have we learned?  For most, NOTHING.  Along with no respect for the sanctity of life or right of privacy (see healthcare), we don't respect property rights anymore.  The Court upheld the action of a City with acted with openly preferential treatment in favor of the largest company in town and took the pink house by the water from a woman who did nothing wrong for no reason other than financial gain, and it is symbolic of nearly all that is wrong with our country and government today.  A woman's house was not her castle.  I would ask, where are the women's rights advocates when you take their income, take their home or take their right to be left alone and not have to hire lawyers to oppose the government on its every power grabbing whim?  Nowhere to be seen.

Kelo v. City of New London Ten Years... by RICHARD EPSTEIN  There has been some progress, but much is left to do. Ten years ago, on June 23, 2005, the United States Supreme Court dropped a judicial thunderbolt in Kelo v. City of New London. By a narrow five-to-four margin it rejected a spirited challenge that Susette Kelo and her neighboring landowners had raised against the ambitious land-use development plan put forward by the City of New London, Ct. The formulaic account of the holding is that a local government does not violate the “public use” component of the Constitution’s takings clause — “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation” — when it condemns property that will be turned over to a private developer for private development. Under the logic of Justice John Paul Stevens, so long as there is an indirect promised public benefit from the development process, the public-use inquiry is at an end, and Ms. Kelo can be driven out of her pink house by the water.

Ten years later, my reaction is the same as it was at the time: truly horrible. Justice Stevens and the Supreme Court were tone-deaf as to what moves people in dealing with property. Of all the cases decided since the year 2000, Kelo may not be the most important; ironically, it certainly was not the most controversial. But hands down, it was the decision that got more people indignant than any other. The bipartisan coalition in opposition was, and is, easy to identify. On the right, there are folks who think that a person’s home is his castle, and thus resent any forced displacement of individuals for the benefit of some supposed social good. And that anger doubles because of the crackpot and visionary nature of the particular plan at issue in Kelo. The communitarians on the left were upset that Pfizer, the company that was going to use the seized land for a research facility, should flex its muscles in ways that prey on individual people.

Anyone who wants to get a sense of the process would be well-advised to real Ilya Somin’s new book, The Grasping Hand, which offers a painful blow-by-blow account of how good intentions for redevelopment were so badly misdirected that ten years later the seized property remains empty. Perhaps the only nice feature about the case is that Ms. Kelo’s pink house was whisked away to another site, so that the newly vacant land can be used to collect debris that washes up on the shore. Yes, the grandiose development plans for the Fort Trumbull neighborhood never got to first base. As it turned out, New London was too slow off the mark, other communities built the ancillary facilities that Pfizer wanted, and the company pulled out of New London once the tax subsidies ran out.

 Truth be told, however, this bipartisan form of indignation cut too broadly for its own good. The same fierce objections could also be used to attack the destruction of homes to make way for a public hospital or public road. The public-use clause looks only at the purpose for which property is taken, but ordinary people also look at the other side of the equation and ask about the purpose that is deprived. Indeed, the fierce reaction to Kelo prompted lots of people to reexamine the use of eminent domain even in cases where the government’s public use, narrowly conceived, was incontrovertible. And they are right. The Constitution should not be the only restriction on the use of the takings power. It is one thing to knock someone out of a home, and quite another to tell a landlord that he is duty-bound to transfer his interest to his tenant in possession in an exchange that the state will enforce only after the tenant ponies up the cash to the state to work the condemnation. Yet this blatant violation of the public-use clause received its judicial blessing in Hawaiian Housing Authority v. Midkiff, a muddy 1984 decision in which Justice Sandra Day O’Connor concocted an indirect benefit that justified the coerced transfer — the need to eliminate supposed “oligarchy” in the Hawaiian housing market, which could have been done quite easily by opening up more restricted agricultural land to urban development. Doctrinally Midkiff was no better or no worse than Kelo, and to her credit, Justice O’Connor backed away from Midkiff in her Kelo dissent.

Yet back in 1984 the public yawned. Taking land from the Bishop Estate, a charitable trust, was, for many populists at least, a delicious prospect. The Left/Right coalition that formed in Kelo could not coalesce around the earlier case, which did not resonate with the public at large. So what should have been done in Kelo? Here the deep irony is that Justice Stevens did not have to tempt the devil. In general, my own view is that master plans are often too ambitious for their own good, much like those vaunted Soviet-style five-year plans. But often the ingredients are there. Such was evident in Kelo, where the introduction of a major $73 million subsidy from the state to the city had to be spent lest it be lost. So the impulse is to move first and think later, which is what the city did when it condemned the entire 90-acre Fort Trumbull development site before any concrete plans were in place. Remove the subsidy and perhaps New London would have been content to plan today and condemn tomorrow, when matters got closer to realization.

On the facts of that case, a possible halfway house would have been to condemn the land at the center of the development site immediately and leave the peripheral takings until later. Judicially, that is what the Connecticut trial judge decided when he spared Ms. Kelo’s plot because it was not in the path of any planned development. But hubris is in far greater supply as one moves through the court system, so that the Connecticut Supreme Court had such confidence in the city’s planners that it thought maximum flexibility was needed for effective planning. Had that court simply affirmed the decision below, Kelo would never have reached the U.S. Supreme Court and the entire incident would have faded away. Some state courts, and some state legislatures, have tried to clip the wings of the decision, but even that has been a hard battle. Yet, once it was decided, the outrage did not subside. Since that time, the Supreme Court has ducked the issue, even though some local governments have done things just as foolish and unnecessary as what the city of New London did. Some state courts, and some state legislatures, have tried to clip the wings of the decision, but even that has been a hard battle. It is difficult to get anyone to attack general planning for economic development, because sometimes in blighted communities it actually works. But “blight” can easily become a term of art, so that weeds in the garden may trigger a government takeover.

All this is not to deny that Kelo has had its effect, for surely it has, but chiefly through the medium of public opinion, which has tended to make it politically more costly for governments to condemn the property of their own citizens. It is so much easier politically to get local governments to rally support to zone out people they don’t want in their communities. Kelo was a big deal, and it will remain in the consciousness of the American public for years to come. Zoning is a bigger deal, and the same misguided progressive impulses that led to the rise of central planning on steroids are still dominant in an area that needs its own Kelo-like fiasco to get the public attention that it so richly deserves.

 — Richard Epstein is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, the Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and the James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law Emeritus and Senior Lecturer at the University of Chicago.

141  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Alleged debunk of Lott is upside down on: June 22, 2015, 10:58:10 AM
Crafty's liberal friends have come across a summary of a "massive" 47 page missive claiming to "debunk" the work of economist John Lott who wrote books that include "More Guns, Less Crime".  From this, conservatives and gun rights advocates can learn to be careful not to make claims like that in all cases, more guns equals less crime.  More guns always means less crime however was not the title or the premise of Lott's work. 

For example, if you add one more gun to the otherwise gun free zone in a church in South Carolina, and the one gun happens to be in the hand of a deranged, mentally ill, racist nut with a premeditated plan to shoot up the place, the incidence of the crime mass murder goes up.  Add a second gun in the hands of a law abiding, well-trained, well-positioned parishioner that day and the incidence of crime that day would potentially go down.  So it isn't that simple, more guns, less crime.

The real question is upside down IMHO.  We already have an explicit constitutional right to own and bear arms.  The issue we are debating in the political world is not more guns, but the right to limit the right to bear arms.  In our state (and in 50 states now) that came up as a right to apply for and receive a permit for a concealed carry permit.  The issue also comes up as to whether or not making a specific location a "gun free zone" adds or takes away from public safety.

The anti-gun lobby in our state against "shall issue" concealed carry legislation argued that we would become the wild west.  They portrayed an environment where nearly everyone would carry and people would be settling their disputes with their guns.

Let's ask the questions forward instead of backward.  Did the issuing of more concealed carry permits make crime go up.  By all accounts, the answer is no.  Does the designation of gun free zones make crime go down?  Once again no.  Where in the debunk did they debunk THAT?   From my reading of it, they didn't.

Permit holders are roughly 10 time less likely to commit crimes than the general population.  In the rare incidence of a criminal taking the time to get a permit and then commit a crime, why do we think the safety class and the legal registration played any role in causing the crime?  It didn't.  There are 300 million guns already in America.  Criminals have access to guns and by definition, they don't limit their activities based on laws passed.

Gun free zones like Chicago have the worst violent crime in America.  Mass shootings including the latest one in SC keep happening in "gun free zone".  Also not debunked. 

The alleged debunker sheds more fog than light on the subject as he shows his own anti-gun cherry picking.  He claims guns don't significantly prevent crime because so few actually carry, while the argument against carry was that so many would carry.  He ignores the deterrent effect that people might be carrying - except in the gun free zones where these mass shootings keep occurring.  The shooter who chooses a church or a gun free theater for his mass murder does not seem to ignore that fact.
142  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: June 19, 2015, 03:02:02 PM
Isn't a legal gun in the hand of a law abiding citizen, in the right place at the right time, the only way this shooting could have been stopped?

If the Glibster was in the room, he could have talked the delusional mass murderer down.

What is the point of calling this a hate crime?  Softer penalty if the shootings were not done with some kind of group hate, if they were same race, mixed race, etc.?  Really?  Isn't killing by definition a hate crime?  How do you get other than the maximum penalty for a premeditated andnintentional mass murder?  Rehabilitate and look for the good in someone like this? The politics of this are quite frustrating and ought to be unnecessary.
143  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance His Glibness: does not happen in other advanced countries on: June 19, 2015, 02:50:24 PM
“This type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries"

Behring Anders Breivik killed 75, 2011, Norway
Mohammed Merah killed 7, 2012, France
Genildo Ferreira de França killed 14, 1997, Brazil
Michael Robert Ryan killed 16, 1987, UK
Eric Borel killed 15, 1995, France
Friedrich Leibacher killed 14, 2001,Switzerland
Christian Dornier killed 14, 1989, France
Ljubiša Bogdanović killed 13, 2013, Serbia
Derrick Bird killed 12, 2010, UK
Robert Steinhäuser killed 16, 2002, Germany
Tim Kretschmer killled 15, 2009, Germany
Wellington Menezes de Oliveira killed 12, 2011, Brazil
Bai Ningyang killed 12, 2006, China
Juhani Matti Saari killed 10, 2008, Finland
Huanming Wu killed 9, 2010, China
Ahmed Ibragimov killed 41, 1999, Russia
Ami Popper killed 7, 1990, Israel
Antoní Blažka killed 6, 2013, Czech Republic
144  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / John Podhoritz: Senator Marco Rubio is the one to beat on: June 17, 2015, 11:16:04 PM

What makes Rubio so frightening to others is, simply, that he is a freakishly gifted politician — and a daring one.
He chose to challenge the sitting governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, for the Republican nomination for Senate in 2009 when Crist was at 60 percent in the polls and he was at 3 — and not only knocked Crist out of the GOP race but then beat him by 20 points when Crist ran as an independent in the general election.
It was an unprecedented triumph, like a rookie pitcher winning 25 games, and only another politician knows just how seriously he must take a rival like that.
But here’s the real thing about Rubio. I’ve listened to him and watched him talk, both in private sessions and on the Senate floor in speeches you can see on YouTube.
He is, without question, the most naturally gifted off-the-cuff political speaker I have ever seen.
145  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential - Trump on: June 17, 2015, 03:13:36 PM
Hopefully we will not need a trump thread.

It is a mistake to take people like Perot and Trump lightly.  Trump has appeal, and he and Perot both had a superb skill of pointing out what is wrong - with both parties in some cases.

As I understand it, Trump can talk big like a candidate but needs to file very complete financials now within 15 days.  Hopefully that hurdle keeps him from taking up a chair.

So what's wrong with Trump?

Kevin Williamson rips him persuasively here with many facts.

One tidbit I take from it is 4 bankruptcies.  You may want to run the government more like a business but it isn't a business and you don't run it like a Trump business.  The federal government doesn't need to take risks; it needs to provide a solid foundation for private sector risk taking. 
146  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Fed calls out Wesbury, optimists wrong, future growth is "highly uncertain"! on: June 17, 2015, 02:58:09 PM
I was surprised to see Fed Chair Janet Yellen use such strong words to rip wrong headed optimists like Brian Wesbury.

Who could have seen this coming?  (

The following facts and truths were excerpted away from the all positive bs in this Washington Post story:

Officials at the nation’s central bank voted unanimously to leave the benchmark federal funds rate unchanged at zero during their regular policy meeting in Washington.

Since 2008, it has been at virtually zero in the (mistaken) hope that easy money would stimulate demand among consumers and businesses and bolster the recovery. Raising the rate (which they did NOT do) would amount to a vote of confidence in the country’s economic health. (A confidence they do not have.)

The central bank acknowledged that businesses have been wary of investing and exports are weak.  (I wonder what happened to American competitiveness during these failed redistribution years.)
The Fed... downgraded forecasts for the economy this year. The central bank lowered its forecast for growth.   Meanwhile, it raised the forecast for the unemployment rate.

“The various headwinds that are still restraining the economy will likely take some time to fully abate  (Huh?!), and the pace of that improvement is highly uncertain,” ('ya think?) Fed Chair Janet Yellen said in a speech last month.

IT'S BEEN SIX AND A HALF YEARS!!  WHY DOES ANYONE THINK RESULTS WILL GET BETTER UNDER ALL THE SAME DESTRUCTIVE POLICIES??!!  It's insane - by definition.  Why doesn't Democrat Yellen honestly admit that it is not EVER going to get better unless and until we throw out all the current bums along with all their failed policies.

Wesbury apologizes, resigns.  (Just kidding.)
147  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WEsbury: Inflation is coming, and will arrive sooner and bigger than expected on: June 17, 2015, 02:17:53 PM
Famous people caught reading the forum.  )

Inflation was the expansion of the money supply; it already happened.  Price increases are coming IF/WHEN economic demand and velocity ever recover.  At zero or negative growth, that time could be never, or we could have a return of stagflation (see Jimmy Carter's first term) or deflation (see Japan last 20 years) which is potentially even more perilous.
148  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economy, what The Fed sees on: June 16, 2015, 11:14:46 AM
The Fed has the best data available anywhere on the US economy, down to micro-level crop reports and equivalent for all regions and industries.  They arguably have the most and best economists on staff of anywhere in the world with a virtually unlimited budget to study and track data. Yet The Fed has left their interest rate at 0% for 6 1/2 years - since Dec. 2008 including all of this "recovery", all of the Obama Presidency, through two different Fed Chairs.  All this in spite of the fact that we know zero interest rates are bad for savings, skew incentives, mis-allocate resources, give the policy makers no additional room to move and should only be used in an absolute emergency, if then.

We are told how solid the economy now is and how great and strong the recovery is and has been and how the market gains are not from Fed policy, yet those who know the very most think this economy and this recovery is still too weak and fragile to handle interest rates of even one or two percent, much less the 4 or 5% it would take to make savings possible.

I know Wesbury and Grannis think interest rates should start coming back up, but how do they explain that fact that The Fed, with all their wisdom, disagrees.

On another point, slightly related, it is time to repeal Humphrey Hawkins.

149  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Jeb Bush on: June 16, 2015, 10:55:10 AM
Other than the problems we have previously noted here about Gov. Bush, he would be one of the best candidates in the race.

This piece below predicts a Jeb victory.  I don't agree.  I'm pulling for a less experienced underdog, but the points made are mostly valid.

Five reasons Jeb Bush will be the next president

1. Bush is seeking to grow the Republican Party.

Rather than trying to expand his support among conservative voters, Bush is trying to make inroads with moderate, swing voters. For example, when I've heard Bush talk about his education reforms in Florida, he doesn't just give conservative talking points about expanding families' freedom to choose the school that's best for them. He explains how successful the reforms have been in making Florida's Hispanic, black and low-income students outscore students in other states.

Bush is a true Big Tent Republican. He generally doesn't attack other Republicans, and when he attacks Democrats, he generally avoids the outraged tone that other GOP candidates employ. This will be an attractive feature to the growing share of voters who are fed up with the politics of perpetual outrage. Conservative voters likely won't like his moderate approach to immigration or his support for Common Core. But Bush isn't flip-flopping on those issues; instead, he is working to convince conservatives of his positions while taking his message to moderate voters.

2. He's already in the lead.

Bush leads the RealClearPolitics polling average (although Scott Walker and Marco Rubio are very close behind). His drive to attract moderate voters will expand his base of support. Few others are competing for the same voters, leaving Bush nowhere to go but up.

After a shake-up in the management of his campaign even before it launches, many have suggested that Bush's campaign is faltering. I'm reminded of July 2007, when John McCain's campaign manager and chief strategist left. The entire campaign was downsized. In the end, McCain's shake-up was worse than Bush's, and things turned out okay for McCain. Surely Bush can do the same, if not better.

3. Other Republicans are shifting to the right.

At one point in the last few months I thought Walker had the best chance of winning the nomination. Then he showed what kind of voters he was trying to attract by taking ultra-conservative positions on national policy issues. Very conservative voters were already impressed by Walker's record of standing up to intense union opposition, and many would have supported him anyway. By shifting to the right on immigration, foreign policy and social issues, Walker has made himself look more conservative and less attractive to voters who weren't already inclined to support him.

With other Republicans moving rightward, there's a vacuum in the middle of the electorate — one that Bush is well-placed to fill.

4. Hillary Clinton is shifting to the left.

Clinton started the campaign with an unprecedented lead against her competitors. With the Democratic nomination all but sealed, it would only make sense for her to stay in the ideological center so as not to scare away moderate general election voters. Instead, Clinton has done the opposite, championing left-wing causes like debt-free college and automatic voter registration.

The New York Times' David Brooks has called Clinton's campaign strategy a "mistake" and bad for the country. Meanwhile, Brooks wrote, "Jeb Bush is trying to expand his party's reach." With Clinton abandoning independent voters, Bush's reach into the middle will go uncontested from the left, leaving Bush an opportunity to gain support.

5. No, Jeb doesn't have a "Bush" problem.

George H.W. Bush failed to win re-election in 1992. I'm sure some pundits must have thought the Bush family name would be tainted forever due to his unpopularity. But Bush's son won the presidency just eight years later, and was re-elected with more support than in his initial election. Today, George W. Bush's favorable ratings are above 50 percent, which is more than President Obama and Hillary Clinton can say about theirs.

Hillary's Obama problem is worse than Jeb's Bush problem.

The Democratic candidate, no matter who it is, is going to be tied to Obama's approval rating. Hillary Clinton will be especially tied to his foreign policy, having served as his secretary of state. The ongoing situation in Ukraine will cause her a lot of problems, given her "reset button" stunt.

150  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Wesbury: Unemployment NOT higher on: June 11, 2015, 11:30:53 PM

42% of adults don't work.  Not 5.5%.  Not 10.8%.  42%!  If you are not actively looking for work, you are not employed, but not unemployed.  That's clear isn't it?  If the government pays you SSI, SNAP, MFIB, TANF, Medicaid, Section 8 or one of a thousand and fifty other social spending programs other than unemployment compensation to not work, and you don't work, don't look for work, don't even want to work or plan to work - ever again, then you are NOT unemployed.

This kind of logic makes me sick. 
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