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3751  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Not black on black crime, white on white crime, it's just crime on: July 20, 2013, 08:50:22 PM
"Be gentle with him GM.  Not only is he a nice guy, he engages with reason."
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/07/15/the-trayvon-martin-killing-and-the-myth-of-black-on-black-crime.html
--------------------------
From the article:  "There’s no such thing as “black-on-black” crime. Yes, from 1976 to 2005, 94 percent of black victims were killed by black offenders, but that racial exclusivity was also true for white victims of violent crime—86 percent were killed by white offenders."

He is making a point, but the point isn't the one stated.  Of course there is black on black crime.  94% of crime on blacks is black on black, his own stat, and there is WAY too much crime on blacks.  I think the point he is making is that America is not as racial as we may think it is and the crime is not racial.  Conservatives I think are pointing out the same thing, that this crime is not born out of racial difference.  People don't steal a bike or wallet from someone because of the victim's race.  They steal because they want what the other person has, don't care about right from wrong.  They see the opportunity and give it a shot.  Murder is more personal, hence the familiarity.  Drug, gang and turf wars and love gone bad probably explain most of it.  Random shootings are the exception.


Back to the article:  "it’s hard to disentangle this from the stew of hyper-segregation (often a result of deliberate policies), entrenched poverty, and nonexistent economic opportunities that characterizes a substantial number of black communities. Hence the countless inner-city anti-violence groups that focus on creating opportunity for young, disadvantaged African-Americans, through education, mentoring, and community programs."

FYI to the 'mentors':  One thing has lifted more people out of poverty more than all other forces combined in the history of human civilization, economic freedom.  These mentors and program designers ought to give that a shot in the predominantly black portions of America's inner cities to which this author refers.  Whites living in that culture have the same problems; it's not racial.  Our current policy and message is the exact opposite, teach people to demand and take more.  See the Obama re-election for example, selling 'welfare rights' to welfare recipients, along with the scare message that the opponents want to 'take' these great programs away from you.
3752  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Polio vaccination causing cancer? Their own link says No. on: July 20, 2013, 08:10:56 PM

Some of the anti-vaccine hype in our culture is over-zealous (or misleading) on facts.  Polio vaccine succeeded on eliminating a horrible disease.  The alleged contamination of the virus occurred before the virus was discovered. From the link, the majority of the studies determined that virus did not cause cancer.  All of the current evidence indicates that polio vaccines have been free of SV40 since 1963.

It's good to do your homework ... and to always be skeptical of government, but - on this one - they did not show a reason to decline a vaccination, as one might think is implied by those sending this out.
3753  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / War on the rule of law, IRS targeting trail leads right where we thought on: July 18, 2013, 12:02:40 PM
It wasn't a rogue Cincinnati office.  It leads to Washington.  It leads to political appointees within shouting distance of the President and the campaign.

http://nationalreview.com/article/353729/targeting-top-irs-eliana-johnson

 July 18, 2013
Targeting from the Top of the IRS
High-ranking IRS lawyers, possibly including an Obama appointee, delayed tea-party applications.
By Eliana Johnson

The congressional investigation into the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of tea-party groups inched closer to the White House yesterday as testimony from three IRS attorneys indicated lawyers in the agency’s chief counsel’s office were involved in reviewing the applications of tea-party groups for tax exemption. The office is led by William Wilkins, one of two IRS officials appointed by President Obama.

A source tells National Review Online that Judith Kindell, a senior adviser to Lois Lerner, also held up the processing of tea-party cases by demanding to review them herself. Lerner, who has become emblematic of the scandal that continues to roil the tax-collection agency, is the embattled former director of the IRS’s Exempt Organizations division who remains on paid administrative leave, refusing to testify about the targeting unless lawmakers grant her blanket immunity.

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Wilkins, who, according to the IRS, heads an office of 1,600 attorneys, has been involved in Democratic politics for over three decades. He joined the Democratic staff on the Senate Finance Committee in 1981 and became the committee’s staff director and chief counsel in 1987, before going on to a career in private practice at the white-shoe law firm WilmerHale. There, he defended pro bono Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s United Church of Christ when the IRS investigated potential violations of its 501(c)(3) status after then-senator Barack Obama delivered a speech there. Wilkins has also donated generously to Democratic causes, contributing over $35,000 to Democratic politicians and party affiliates since 1990, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. He has also contributed to Republican politicians, including Iowa’s Chuck Grassley, but not nearly as generously.

His involvement in the targeting of tea-party groups is a matter of dispute. The IRS has denied it, saying in a statement that he is “not involved in the 501(c)(4) application process” and “did not learn about specific groups being singled out by name until earlier this year.” A senior GOP aide, however, tells National Review Online that witnesses interviewed by congressional investigators claim Wilkins became aware of the targeting at some point in 2012. According to White House press secretary Jay Carney, Wilkins informed neither his boss — the Treasury Department’s chief counsel — nor the White House when he learned of it. Whether he personally helped to develop the guidelines for reviewing tea-party applications remains unknown.

In interviews with congressional investigators, three IRS lawyers involved in the processing of tea-party cases — Carter Hull, Ronald Shoemaker, and Michael Seto — said that lawyers in Wilkins’s office, as well as Lerner’s adviser, Kindell, put the applications of conservative groups through a complex, multi-layered review process that delayed their processing. An IRS source says that Kindell is considered the “political guru” in the Exempt Organizations division as well as “the definitive expert” on “political activities in exempt organizations tax law.” She is the author of Revenue Ruling 2007-41, which provides that tax-exempt organizations “may not participate in, or intervene in . . . any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office” and provides several examples of impermissible political activities among exempt organizations.

According to Hull, a recently retired lawyer with the Exempt Organizations Technical Unit who was providing guidance to the Cincinnati agent processing tea-party cases, Kindell told him the chief counsel’s office would need to review the applications. That, he said, was unprecedented. It also caused lengthy delays in the processing of tea-party applications during the 2010 election season. The applications elevated to Washington, D.C. were “test” applications whose treatment was to provide guidance for the Cincinnati agents processing the bulk of the tea-party cases; lacking a determination on their status, Cincinnati was unable to process any other tea-party applications while agents there waited for word from Washington.

Though he was instructed to make determinations on the applications, Hull explained, “I couldn’t do it because I had no idea which way we were going.” Elizabeth Hofacre, the Cincinnati agent charged with processing tea-party applications, told investigators, “I never got any feedback from [Hull] at all” during that period. The head of the Determinations Unit in Cincinnati, Cindy Thomas, said that for nearly a year, between October 2010 and September 2011, tea-party applications languished while agents waited for guidance from top lawyers in Washington.

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Hull’s superiors, Michael Seto and Ronald Shoemaker, confirmed his account. Seto, the manager of the Exempt Organizations Technical Unit, told investigators that applications were sent to the chief counsel’s office after Lerner “sent me an e-mail saying that . . . these cases need to go through multi-tier review and they will eventually have to go [through her staff] and the chief counsel’s office.” If Seto’s testimony is to be believed, Lerner appears at best to have withheld information from, and at worst to have misled, Congress about her knowledge of the scrutiny to which tea-party applications were being subjected. When the Oversight Committee in March 2012 expressed concern that the organizations were the subject of “heightened scrutiny,” Lerner said only that some applications required “further development” and, in cases with “no established public precedent,” agents sought guidance from lawyers in the Exempt Organizations Technical Unit. She did not tell the committee that her senior adviser and lawyers in the chief counsel’s office had worked to craft guidelines for reviewing the applications about which the committee had inquired.

Though Hull began processing tea-party applications in April 2010, it was not until August 2011 that the chief counsel’s office held a meeting with Hull and Kindell about them. Because the applications had sat dormant for so long, lawyers from the chief counsel’s office indicated they needed updated information from the tea-party groups before they could make a determination. In particular, they sought information about the groups’ political activity “right before the [2010] election period,” according to Hull’s supervisor, Ronald Shoemaker. Shockingly, Shoemaker told investigators that to his knowledge, in the three years since one of the tea-party applications elevated to Washington, D.C., was filed, Kindell and the chief counsel’s office have yet to make a determination on it. “That’s a very long time period,” he said.

Four Republican congressmen disclosed the explosive testimony on Wednesday in a letter to the IRS’s acting administrator, Danny Werfel, who was appointed by President Obama in the wake of the targeting scandal. The disclosures amount to a counterpunch to a 36-page memo from Democratic committee staff released Monday accusing the GOP of engaging in a “sustained and coordinated campaign” to politicize the investigation. Democrats denounced Republicans for alleging that the targeting was politically motivated, calling the allegations “unsubstantiated” and declaring there was “no political motivation or White House involvement in this process.”

Despite the partisan grudge match taking place beneath the surface, we continue, slowly, to get closer to the truth.

— Eliana Johnson is media editor of National Review Online.
3754  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Powerline 100 - Best 100 college professors in America on: July 15, 2013, 03:42:05 PM
It is my expectation that the name of one of our own will find its way onto this list.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/02/introducing-the-power-line-100.php
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/07/the-power-line-100-alan-jacobs.php
3755  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Self-Defense and other law related to martial arts on: July 15, 2013, 10:22:59 AM
First, I would point out the legal advice given in this thread is extremely valuable.  If someone is choosing to carry a gun (or any else of deadly potential), the question of exactly how things will play out if you use it needs they to be contemplated, in advance, to its conclusion. 

In all legal situations, don't screw things up any worse than they are before your lawyer can begin his or her work.  The discharge of your weapon in your hand for any reason outside of a gun range is most certainly a serious legal situation.
-----------------------------
Please help me understand the idea of a DA being able to change the charges after testimony has been given.  Intuitively this seems unfair.

Bringing this excellent question forward.  Mark Steyn made the same point prior to the verdict:

In real justice systems, the state decides what crime has been committed and charges somebody with it. In the Zimmerman trial, the state's "theory of the case" is that it has no theory of the case: Might be murder, might be manslaughter, might be aggravated assault, might be a zillion other things, but it's something. If you're a juror, feel free to convict George Zimmerman of whatever floats your boat.

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/case-516709-zimmerman-child.html

This is not right.  As Alan Deshowitz argues, for various reasons (child abuse?), this prosecutor should be disbarred.  http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/07/14/alan_dershowitz_zimmerman_special_prosecutor_angela_corey_should_be_disbarred.html
3756  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Jay Leno unbound, and Bill Maher? on: July 15, 2013, 09:43:33 AM
While it is known that Leno is a registered Democrat, unlike his mindless liberal competitor, he attempts to be a comedian first, and this administration is leaving at least as many openings for humor as previous Presidents did.

"Did you hear about this? The IRS has admitted they were targeting conservative groups. President Obama called it outrageous and said he would immediately have his Benghazi investigators look into it."

Ouch.

And Bill Maher:

President Obama was in Germany and spoke at the Brandenburg Gate, which divided that city during the Cold War. Obama said: “It’s taught me a lot. When I was a kid, West Germany taught me the importance of standing tall, and East Germany taught me the importance of reading everyone’s mail.”

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/353313/leno-unbound-michael-walsh/page/0/1?splash=
3757  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas heading to New Hampshire on: July 15, 2013, 09:29:26 AM
Houston Chronicle reports he will headline a fundraiser for the New Hampshire GOP.
(This is not how one hides Presidential ambitions!)
http://www.chron.com/news/article/Sen-Ted-Cruz-of-Texas-heading-to-New-Hampshire-4664315.php?cmpid=hpts
3758  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Trayvon Martin, burglar- 2 on: July 15, 2013, 09:25:04 AM

Perhaps it is good in our system that this information was covered up from the jury in their deliberations, and perhaps good that juveniles have some protection against public and permanent records of their youthful indiscretions.  However, it would be nice if the public and community agitators were more aware that this victim did not just look like the people who committed the burglaries but had himself done so and was very possibly scoping out new targets, just as it allegedly looked to Zimmerman.
3759  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: WSJ: Benefits on: July 15, 2013, 09:14:31 AM
Social Security Benefits Now Available to Same-Sex Couples

Yes.  This was always about money since pursuit of happiness was already decidedly legal.  We of course don't have more money to pay more benefits, so the reporting should have included that the US dollar will be devalued by an amount exactly equal to the new payout.

The legislative meaning of spouse and family in federal law was changed by judicial action.  That should make those old discriminatory laws of marriage and family null and void until the legislative branch goes back and revisits those definitions and formulas.  Instead 5 people can re-write law and in effect change our fiscal and monetary policies, not just social policy.  To hell with consent of the governed.
3760  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism, socialism: on: July 14, 2013, 11:58:33 AM
My understanding is that we already have equal pay and that the measures being pushed now under the guess of equal pay are actually "comparable worth".  Do I have this right?

Correct.  You of course cannot pay males and females at different rates for performing the same job under current law.  The push for more legislation is about setting up government panels, instead of markets, to determine private sector compensation for different jobs, creating the artificial standard of 'comparable worth'.  They can do studies on things like what percentage of your time do you spend on the phone and what percentage talking to clients in person and determine that the receptionist and the CEO are performing comparable tasks and deserving the same pay.  The fact is that these jobs are no longer gender stereotyped.  Secretaries are obsolete, men are nurses, and women are rising to the highest levels.  Women in their late 30s to early 40s in equal circumstance are now making 108 cents on a man's dollar. http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=490.msg73090#msg73090  (Where else have you read that?) Nothing in the Republican or conservative movement supports gender discrimination or holding back the earnings of women.  The facts are exactly the opposite.

A 20 week limit on late term abortions is not a war against women or even against so-called reproductive choice.  There is no Republican or conservative movement to prohibit abortion for rape victims; we just keep finding morons who provide a new quote to perpetuate that myth.

The biggest war against women in the world today is the reality of gender selection abortion, in the hundreds of millions, of which American liberals obsessed with convenience abortion rights do not condemn.
3761  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / US Congressional races, Sweitzer out, Senate up for grabs in 2014 on: July 14, 2013, 11:01:43 AM
 'stupid short sighted idea' ..."there will come a time when Dems will regret the change, if it comes to pass. And then complain about it. The time horizon that politicians are able to see is remarkably short."


In 2014, Republicans again have opportunity knocking to take back the Senate, having blown the chance in 2010 and 2012 with a few lousy candidates in a few states running lousy campaigns. 

Former Montana Gov. (Dem) Brian Schweitzer announced he will not run for that open seat, greatly helping Republicans chances to win that open seat.  Romney won that state by 14 points. 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/07/13/former-montana-governor-schweitzer-wont-run-for-senate/

One analyst predicts Republicans will win all three, the House, Senate and Presidency in 2016, then lose the Senate back in 2018.  (Hence the tap dance of both parties in the Senate over rules.)  http://meganmcardle.com/2013/07/12/why-i-think-the-gop-will-have-control-in-2017/


National Journal: Why Republicans Think They've Got the Math for a Senate Majority
Brian Schweitzer's decision not to run for the Senate greatly increases the odds of a GOP takeover in 2014.
http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/why-republicans-think-they-ve-got-the-math-for-a-senate-majority-20130713

For the first time this year, Republican strategists believe they're within striking distance of taking back control of the Senate, thanks to untimely Democratic Senate retirements and red-state Democratic recruits deciding not to run for Congress. The latest blow to Democrats: former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer's surprising decision Saturday to pass up a campaign.

Republican recognize that they only need to win three Senate seats in the most of conservative of states -- Arkansas, Louisiana and Alaska -- and Mitch McConnell could be a Majority Leader in 2015. (That is, if McConnell can hold onto his own Kentucky seat.) The latest developments underline how punishing the map is for Democrats for 2014, and little margin for error they have.

Democrats can afford to lose up to five Senate seats and still maintain their majority, but they already risk conceding over half that number before campaigning even gets underway.

...Schweitzer's backing out is illustrative to a mounting recruiting problem for Senate Democrats in conservative states, which make up a disproportionate share of the battleground matchups in 2014. The party has failed to persuade any of its top choices in West Virginia, where Rep. Nick Rahall and attorney Nick Preservati passed on bids. In South Dakota, the party missed out on former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and the son of retiring Sen. Tim Johnson. In Georgia, Rep. John Barrow decided not to run, but the party rallied behind Michelle Nunn, daughter of former senator Sam Nunn. The party's biggest red-state recruit is Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, whose campaign against McConnell has gotten off to a rocky start.

...Republicans have struggled to recruit top candidates in the traditional battlegrounds -- against Sen. Al Franken in Minnesota, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire, Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado and for open seats in Iowa and Michigan.

But if Democrats struggle to put Montana in play without Schweitzer, that means the path to a majority will run through Louisiana and Alaska, not the more Obama-friendly confines of the Midwest and Northeast. That's an unnerving proposition for Democrats, given how badly the party has struggled outside their comfort zone lately.

3762  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Speak softly … and carry a nuclear stick on: July 14, 2013, 10:06:51 AM

Interesting commentary.  Meet the Press just had both Harry Reid and then Mitch McConnell on this morning.  Both were rather cautious and evasive on the rules point.  Reid making that point that it is only about this and not that, etc. Both had served as minority leader under the other and majority leader over the other.  Both were caught up with their own opposing positions made previously.  Neither knows which one will be in the majority after the Senate elections in 2014 and 2016 nor under which party's President they will serve after 2016.  

Bottom line seems to be that the Senate can make its own rules (other than treaties, veto overrides etc.) at anytime but has to live with the public perception of that and the aftermath of it in the pendulum swings of power.
3763  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Self-Defense and other law related to martial arts on: July 13, 2013, 10:56:58 AM
GM, BD, anyone:
Please help me understand the idea of a DA being able to change the charges after testimony has been given.  Intuitively this seems unfair.
TIA, Marc

Mark Steyn today: "In real justice systems, the state decides what crime has been committed and charges somebody with it. In the Zimmerman trial, the state's "theory of the case" is that it has no theory of the case: Might be murder, might be manslaughter, might be aggravated assault, might be a zillion other things, but it's something. If you're a juror, feel free to convict George Zimmerman of whatever floats your boat."


Marc,  I cannot answer the question legally but agree with you it seems totally unfair to ask a jury to convict on a change not made by the police or prosecutor PRIOR to the trial.

Meanwhile the first half of 2013 shootings map in just one neighborhood of Chicago goes mostly unnoticed:


3764  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The coming women's infatada on: July 13, 2013, 10:11:55 AM
With Hillary as their point woman we will be barraged with the feminism infatada, like the gay one we have been subjected to over the next couple of yrs.

CNN, and the rest of the liberal media will be waging propaganda campaigns like we have never seen.   It will be NOW style feminism on steroids.  It will use the gay infatada mass media tactics as a template.   "shame", "bullying", "disgrace", "sexist", "civil rights", will all be part of it.  Every single thing a woman does will be celebrated.  Like the woman UFC fighter.   Like the woman nascar racers.  They are the first this the first that.   All to coincide with the sudden need for the first woman president;  guess who.   There was never a peep when Sarah was a VP candidate.   Why?  Because it could not be a Republican.  It has to be a liberal staunch believer in the Democrat party and the socialist elite taking over the world.   For all our own good, of course.

ccp,  Yes, and they won't see the hypocrisy that the year of the woman needs to follow the year we ended all gender distinctions, eliminating terms like wife, bride and motherhood.

Hillary fatigue will set in about 3 minutes after she re-takes the stage.  She does not have the magnetism of Bill and Barack.  She is no Maggie Thatcher to be sure.  McCain was (allegedly) too old people to relate to young people and Dems follow the lessons learned with Obama by putting forward one of their old fossils?  My view is don't worry, 2016 will get interesting on both sides and she won't be a nominee.  Frontrunner status will be a curse.  Benghazi is unanswerable.  She has no accomplishments, no plan, can't run against the status quo nor differentiate herself from Obama.   Most important for a very long campaign, she has no charm.
3765  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / UK Telegraph: China's Great Leap Forward Hits the Wall on: July 13, 2013, 09:12:16 AM
Readers of the forum saw this coming.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/10173773/Chinas-great-economic-leap-forward-hits-the-wall.html

China’s great economic leap forward hits the wall
This was supposed to be the Asian century, but the Eastern boom is dying of exhaustion



 So here’s how it looks. Years of unsustainable, credit-fuelled growth are brought to a halt by a crushing financial crisis which exposes deep structural flaws at the heart of the economy. Rarely has the assumption of ever-rising living standards looked so vulnerable, with younger generations forced to pay not just for the crippling legacy of debt their parents leave behind, but for the mounting costs of an ageing population and the consequences of decades-long environmental degradation. Economic decline, austerity and inter-generational recrimination seem to beckon as populations adjust to the true mediocrity of their circumstances.

I’m referring to the tired old “developed” economies of the West, right? Actually, no: it’s China where these observations seem more appropriate, and perhaps other emerging market economies said to be about to eclipse the hegemony of the old world, with its lazy ways and sense of entitlement.

Western “declinism” of the sort described by Dambisa Moyo in her book How the West was Lost, and more recently by Stephen King, chief economist at HSBC, in When the Money Runs Out, is still the narrative of our times. But sometimes a sense of perspective is demanded; compared with the challenges faced by China and the rest of the developing world, the relatively minor adjustment to expectations that needs to be made in the West is a stroll in the park.

Forecasts that China will overtake the US as the world’s largest economy over the coming years already look like yesterday’s story as once-explosive development in the East slows to a stall amid growing fears of a Chinese credit crunch. The Asian boom is dying of exhaustion.

As ever, public perceptions trail the reality. For the first time in more than a decade, international investors and business leaders are regularly heard referring to the US as a more attractive proposition than China. Investment flows are going into reverse, and while the US banking system is reviving fast, China’s is heading in the other direction after a period of credit expansion that makes our own look positively pedestrian.

Nor is it just the economics of unbridled, politically directed development that are beginning to fracture; for many Chinese the promise of industrialisation and prosperity is turning into a nightmare of ill health and curtailed life expectancy. The social deprivations of China’s one-child policy meanwhile threaten a demographic time-bomb of far worse proportions than that of the supposedly bankrupt West. There is now every likelihood that China will indeed grow old before it gets rich. One shocking story from the past week vividly demonstrates the massive costs that China’s centrally directed dash for growth is fermenting for the future. According to a study in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, air pollution has caused an average five-and-a-half year reduction in life expectancy for the 500 million people living north of the Huai River, where use of coal in the home and for electricity generation is most prevalent.

The latest study, pretty much undisputed by the Chinese authorities, adds to mounting evidence of industrial poisoning on a hitherto unimaginable scale. The 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study found that outdoor air pollution caused 1.2 million premature Chinese deaths in 2010, or nearly half the global total.

The fumes are so bad that a growing number of Chinese emigrate, setting in train a potentially devastating brain drain. In a recent interview in the New York Times, the mother of a child made sick by the smog refers to the difference between Britain, where she had studied as a student, and China as heaven and hell.

All industrialisation exacts a heavy human toll in its early years. The miseries of Britain’s industrial revolution are well chronicled. But the speed and scope of China’s attempted catch-up are in a league of their own.

There is also a world of difference between the market-determined development that drove the British and American economic miracles and the state-directed variety of China’s great leap forward.

Politically sponsored advancement rarely occurs without gross misallocation of capital, and in China it seems to be happening on an epic scale. The latest example of China’s capacity overhang is Rongsheng Heavy Industries, the world’s largest private shipbuilder. The collapse in the market for new ships has forced Rongsheng to go cap in hand to the government for a bail-out. It’s said to be an important test of China’s resolve to move from the old, unsustainable, investment-led model of economic development to a more balanced form of advancement, but it is almost certainly one that China will fail. Political connections will ensure Rongsheng survives, and the resulting capacity glut will, in time-honoured fashion, simply be dumped on the rest of the world.

On a global scale, the resulting imbalances require that the deficit nations of the West keep spending to absorb the Chinese surpluses, even though they can no longer afford it. The tragedy for China is that when countries and individuals spend beyond their means, it is always the creditor, and not the debtor, that ends up paying. China’s vast, accumulated surplus of foreign exchange reserves will simply be devalued to oblivion.

By relentlessly pursuing the goal of industrial supremacy, China has made itself into the world’s environmental waste dump, and a hostage to back-door default by Western debtors to boot. Once admired for its dynamism, state-directed capitalism is turning out to be a monstrous anomaly. Chances are that this will be another American century, not the much-predicted Asian one.
3766  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 12 percent support implementing individual mandate on: July 11, 2013, 02:40:11 PM
12 percent support implementing ObamaCare’s individual mandate

http://www.healthpocket.com/healthcare-research/surveys/people-wanting-obamacare-penalty-waived-outnumber-supporters-three-to-one#.Ud8J_6xHddj
3767  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: July 11, 2013, 02:34:41 PM
Interesting stories at the link, CCP.  If I unplug a freezer (global warming), I don't find that some ice cube trays freeze and some thaw.  Everything gets warmer.  The earth's systems and patterns are more complicated.  We are talking about tenths and hundredths of a degree of alleged change over an entire planet, a far smaller change than our ability to measure. 

Some say a glacier may increase as it warms because of more snowfall.  But they tell you that any loss of glacial ice is due to global warming, because of humans, even if the trend line precedes human industrialization.  Winter here was 2 months longer this year than last year, proof of nothing more than natural fluctuation.  The ocean level goes up more in a day with tide than in a century due to global warming.

I love the examples of counter-trends just as an answer to the naive people, such as our President, who give 2 or 3 anecdotal examples as proof of global warming.  Anecdotal examples, such as noticeably warmer now than when you were a kid, are false.  You can't feel a rate of warmer of a half a degree a century.  Your body adjusts faster than that.

Headlines from CCP's link:
British press acknowledg​es Antarctic ice at record high levels
Antarctic sea-ice extent 193,000 sq miles higher than average
Sweden’s Kebnekaise glacier now growing
Many Himalayan glaciers advancing rather than melting, study finds
Glaciers on Asia’s largest mountain range getting BIGGER
Arctic Ice Extent Shatters More Records
Himalayas have lost no ice in past 10 years, study shows
Glaciers are growing on Kilimanjaro, guide insists
3768  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Race and race baiters, Thomas Sowell on: July 11, 2013, 01:47:29 PM
"I am so old that I can remember when most of the people promoting race hate were white."  - Thomas Sowell
...
Column concludes:  "The time is long overdue to stop looking for progress through racial or ethnic leaders. Such leaders have too many incentives to promote polarizing attitudes and actions that are counterproductive for minorities and disastrous for the country."

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/07/09/who_is_racist_119139.html#ixzz2YlQAh5cJ



3769  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: July 11, 2013, 10:49:23 AM
Rep. Tom Cotton is a rising star and has this about right.  The House needs to pass a very good bill and stand by it.  After borders are secured, legalization and new immigration policy can stand on its own merits and political will.  The Senate should recognize that as a good bill but they won't.  The standoff will no doubt go into the 2014 congressional races. 

"what's to stop President Obama from refusing to enforce this law? After all, he just announced he won't enforce ObamaCare's employer mandate because of complaints from big business."

That is an inescapable point made here yesterday.  [More famous people caught reading the forum?]


George Will: "the Obama administration’s approach to the rule of law is pertinent to the immigration bill, which at last count had 222 instances of a discretionary “may” and 153 of “waive.” Such language means that were the Senate bill to become law, the executive branch would be able to do pretty much as it pleases, even to the point of saying about almost anything"
http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-07-05/opinions/40390063_1_senate-republicans-house-republicans-border-security

3770  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tax Reform, Phil Gramm on: July 11, 2013, 10:17:14 AM
A rare politician who is actually an economist, Phil Gramm shares good wisdom about the criteria required to make tax reform successful.

Phil Gramm: A GOP Game Plan for Tax Reform  WSJ July 10, 2013
If the special deals that create crony capitalism are allowed to survive, Republican efforts will have failed.

Thanks to the efforts of Democrat Sen. Max Baucus and Republican Rep. Dave Camp, Congress will take up tax reform this year. Before the debate begins, however, Republicans need to set out the principles that represent our values. In my 24 years in the House and Senate, I never wrote a bill that represented a 100% statement of my values, but I always found it important to know where the North Star was as I tried to navigate through the swamp.

First, under no circumstances should Republicans agree to make the tax system even more progressive than it already is, or to increase the number of people who do not pay income taxes. In 1980, the top 1% and 5% of income earners in America paid 19.1% and 36.9% of total federal income taxes. Today, the top 1% and 5% pay 37.4% and 59.1%. Meanwhile, 41.6% of American earners now pay no federal income taxes.

The more progressive the tax system becomes the more unstable the country's public finances get. High-income Americans earn a large share of their income in bonuses, dividends and capital gains, all of which are highly sensitive to the business cycle. This means wide swings in tax collections that play havoc with government budgets. The removal of large numbers of people from the tax rolls makes the political system more unstable. Individuals and households that pay no income taxes have a diminished stake in limited government.

Second, government should collect the minimum revenues needed to support and protect a free society and do so in a way that is, as far as possible, neutral in its effect on individual behavior. In its purest form, this means no individual deductions, credits or tax expenditures. No matter how committed Americans may be individually to charitable giving or home ownership, the government should not promote those values through special provisions in the tax code.

Third, Republicans should require all similarly structured firms be treated the same. If sweat equity is taxed as a capital gain for a mechanic who opens a garage with a financial partner, it should be treated the same for a hedge fund or private-equity manager who shares in the gains of his investors.

Fourth, business subsidies and credits should be eliminated. Ending subsidies to fund lower tax rates improves the efficiency of capital allocation. The sine qua non of tax reform is a more efficient allocation of investment capital. If the tax breaks that create crony capitalism are allowed to survive, then tax reform failed.

Fifth, all costs of production should be equally deductible when they are actually incurred, and all income should be recognized at the time it is actually earned and taxed only once. President Obama's repeated proposal to force large Subchapter S corporations and limited liability entities to be taxed as C corporations is a movement in the wrong direction. Revenues flowing from those changes would come almost exclusively from the double taxation of corporate income: first on corporate profits, and again when individuals pay taxes on dividends and capital gains.

Other things being equal, the efficiency of a nation's corporate tax system can be measured by the lack of special-interest provisions in the code and how low the tax rate is. But things are never equal—and a fixation with achieving a given corporate tax rate is dangerous. That's because you can, within limits, make the tax rate whatever you want it to be by changing the definition of what is a deductible business expense.

For example, by limiting or eliminating the deductibility of interest cost—a perfectly legitimate cost of doing business—the "savings" could be used to lower the corporate tax rate. But such changes would further distort the cost of capital relative to the cost of labor and almost certainly be detrimental.

Similarly, you could eliminate the deductibility of wages and other costs of doing business and simply tax gross receipts instead of net profit. The tax rate would be low, but would economic efficiency be increased? No.

Sixth, tax reform should move toward the elimination of taxes on the foreign earnings of American companies, whose profits are already taxed abroad. Other countries recognize that the competitiveness of their companies would be severely damaged if they had to pay higher taxes than their competitors in foreign markets and do not impose domestic taxes on foreign earnings.

By attempting to tax foreign earnings when they are repatriated, the United States has incentivized companies not to repatriate earnings. As a result, U.S. companies hold huge hoards of cash abroad while domestic investment lags.

Since America is now the worst place in the world to earn corporate profits, we might be better off ending all business subsidies and using the savings to eliminate the dual taxation of corporate income and the taxation on foreign earnings—and to lower the corporate tax rate as much as is consistent with revenue neutrality, using static scoring. We could then write a provision into the law that if the improved code collects more taxes than the static revenue estimates, the rate would automatically be lowered over time by the amount of over-performance, down to 25%.

Some final advice: Compromise is fine if it moves you in the right direction. But don't compromise on things that will only make rational reform harder in the future. If you can improve the tax code and help the economy now, do it. But remember, the Obama administration too shall pass, and a poor deal now will make a good one harder to achieve in the future.

Mr. Gramm, a former Republican senator from Texas, is a senior partner of US Policy Metrics and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.
3771  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Colorado Marijuana tax to be 35%? on: July 11, 2013, 10:08:24 AM
Colorado makes a distinction between medical and recreational use.  For taxation there will be 3 categories, medical with zero tax, recreational taxed to the hilt, and old fashioned black market, just like it used to be.

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2013/07/10/taxes-on-recreational-pot-sales-could-top-35-percent/

DENVER (CBS4)- The taxes on recreational marijuana might go a lot higher than first thought. Smokers buying at shops in Denver may pay up to 35 percent in taxes.

Colorado voters will be asked to approve two state taxes totaling 25 percent on all retail marijuana sales in the November election. They may be asked to approve an additional city tax for Denver.  Denver Mayor Michael Hancock wants to add an additional five to 10 percent city tax on top of that.  Hancock said the money is needed to pay the costs of regulating the drug.
3772  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: As mentioned before... on: July 10, 2013, 04:11:43 PM
"Of all the stretches of executive power Americans have seen in the past few years, the president's unilateral suspension of statutes may have the most disturbing long-term effects."
 "As the Supreme Court said long ago (Kendall v. United States, 1838), allowing the president to refuse to enforce statutes passed by Congress 'would be clothing the president with a power to control the legislation of congress, and paralyze the administration of justice.'"

Other examples of this were not enforcing borders, not building the fence, and not deporting.  The justification is that Bush wouldn't do it either, or Clinton, etc.

I don't remember the campaign mantra that we will take the violations and abuse of our predecessor and build on them in ways you can't imagine.
3773  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Electoral process fraud, SEIU, corruption, Lois Lerner: "A Behavior Changer" on: July 10, 2013, 02:34:39 PM
Lois Lerner, the IRS’s director of tax-exempt organizations who is overseeing the investigation, says many schools are rethinking how and what they report to the government. Receiving a thick questionnaire from the IRS, she says, is a “behavior changer.”

  - November 17, 2011 Business Week,  article about business operations of non-profits

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/the-irs-takes-a-closer-look-at-colleges-11172011.html
3774  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: July 10, 2013, 02:25:42 PM
Obvious question:  If Obamacare implementation is taking longer than expected, isn't it also costing more than expected?  Isn't that against the law?  lol

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2013/07/09/report-white-house-has-known-obamacare-implementation-would-collapse-for-months-n1637123
3775  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Abort for sexual orientation? Yes you may. on: July 10, 2013, 02:18:36 PM
Watch this be the end of liberal support for legal abortion.  If gayness is born and innate, not learned, eventually we will be able to test for it and give women their choice as is now the case with Down Syndrome.  When then abort, will it be a hate crime?

...everything looks good, the doctor asks the beaming couple, “Now, would you like to know what you’re having?”  When they say they would, the doctor replies, “You’re having a lesbian”
http://townhall.com/columnists/michaelbrown/2013/07/10/is-it-alright-to-abort-a-lesbian-baby-n1636769
3776  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bret Stephens: Think of the Keystone pipeline as an IQ test for greens on: July 10, 2013, 02:09:08 PM
As environmental disasters go, the explosion Saturday of a runaway train that destroyed much of the Quebec town of Lac-Mégantic, about 20 miles from the Maine border, will probably go down the memory hole.

It lacks the correct moral and contains an inconvenient truth.

Not that the disaster lacks the usual ingredients of such a moral. The derailed 72-car train belonged to a subsidiary of Illinois-based multinational Rail World, whose self-declared aim is to "promote rail industry privatization." The train was carrying North Dakota shale oil (likely extracted by fracking) to the massive Irving Oil refinery in the port city of Saint John, to be shipped to the global market. At least five people were killed in the blast (a number that's likely to rise) and 1,000 people were forced to evacuate. Quebec's environment minister reports that some 100,000 liters (26,000 gallons) of crude have spilled into the Chaudière River, meaning it could reach Quebec City and the St. Lawrence River before too long.

Environmentalists should be howling. But this brings us to the inconvenient truth.

The reason oil is moved on trains from places like North Dakota and Alberta is because there aren't enough pipelines to carry it.
...
Pipelines account for about half as much spillage as railways on a gallon-per-mile basis. Pipelines also tend not to go straight through exposed population centers like Lac-Mégantic. Nobody suggests that pipelines are perfectly reliable or safe, but what is? To think is to weigh alternatives. The habit of too many environmentalists is to evade them.
...
In 2001, the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change insisted that "global average surface temperatures [will rise] at rates very likely without precedent during the last 10,000 years," and that they would rise sharply and continuously.

Yet in the 15 years since 1998, surface air temperatures have held flat, a fact now grudgingly conceded by the climate-science establishment, despite more than 100 billion tons of carbon dioxide having been pumped into the atmosphere over the same period.
...
The world needs a credible environmental movement. Conservation matters. So does the quality of water and air.
...
The first application for a Keystone XL pipeline permit was filed with the U.S. State Department in 2008. Since then, the amount of oil being shipped on rails has risen 24-fold. Environmentalists enraged by this column should look at the photo of Lac-Mégantic that goes with it, and think it over.

Read it all at the link:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323368704578593562819939112.html
3777  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left, NYC politics, Spitzer v Davis on: July 10, 2013, 01:58:43 PM
"Ironically, Kristin Davis, the madam infamous for her role in the Spitzer scandal, is also running for comptroller (only in New York!). But unlike Spitzer's, Davis' candidacy is not being taken seriously, despite the fact that she has performed well in debates in her previous runs for office. Instead Davis is laughed off, in part because she is a convicted felon. What was she convicted for? She served time for her role in Spitzer's prostitution scandal. He never did. --Keli Goff, TheRoot.com, July 8
3778  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Self-Defense / Zimmerman race trial on: July 10, 2013, 12:28:51 PM
72 more shot and 11 more killed in Chicago over the holiday weekend.  Black on black crime for the most part.  No coverage to speak of.  Some of the rare coverage said violent crime was still down from last year in Chicago.  Lower violent crime than last year in Chicago is not exactly the gold standard of safe neighborhoods. 

Was the Zimmerman show trial ever about anything other than race?  Trayvon was black.  People thought Zimmerman was white, though he is Hispanic and 8 times more black than Elizabeth Warren is 'native'.  A media outlet doctored a tape to make the 911 call sound racial, when all he did was answer a question of what race the man was.  People went nuts, demanding prosecution and got it.  It was overcharged at 2nd degree murder.  That is what it would be if he shot him when when he first saw him, not as the result of a fight and getting his nose broken. 

There is no question in my mind that Zimmerman's claim self defense constitutes more than reasonable doubt to the charge, if not truth.  Zimmerman did not set out to shoot him.  He followed him and called 911 instead.  More likely from what we hear about the testimony, Trayvon started a fist fight and was winning it against a guy who had a gun.  Bad choice.
3779  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics - Krugman on: July 10, 2013, 12:06:22 PM
Krugman could go always go under under cognitive dissonance of the left (but I'll put it here) and this thread could be closed after the Obama years because is there really any debate left about how to or how not to run an economy?

This caught my attention because really he is refuting Wesbury:

He calls the economy "depressed".  "We really should be adding more than 300,000 jobs a month, not fewer than 200,000. As the Economic Policy Institute points out, we would need more than five years of job growth at this rate to get back to the level of unemployment that prevailed before the Great Recession. Full recovery still looks a very long way off. And I’m beginning to worry that it may never happen."

"Ask yourself the hard question: What, exactly, will bring us back to full employment?"

He then goes on with the same drivel.  We won't recover because people don't want large enough fiscal or monetary stimuli. 

"After six years during which hardly any new homes were built in America, housing is trying to stage a comeback. So yes, the economy is showing some signs of healing itself.  But that healing process won’t go very far if policy makers stomp on it, in particular by raising interest rates."

Dr. Krugman, If this economy cannot withstand interest rates greater than zero, after 6 years of artificial stimulus-based 'recovery', MAYBE SOMETHING ELSE IS WRONG.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/08/opinion/krugman-defining-prosperity-down.html?_r=0
3780  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: July 10, 2013, 11:54:27 AM
Scarier than a movement to repeal the Bill of Rights is the movement to add a another Bill of Rights.  *

Ratification is no longer needed; they only need 5 Justices not bound by original text or meaning and anything can become the law of the land.

*  right to a livable wage, decent home, adequate medical care, protection from the fear of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Bill_of_Rights
3781  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: July 10, 2013, 11:41:11 AM
Referring to Obamacare in the Constitutional Law thread: "what is the legality and constitutionality of the Obama administration unilaterally picking and choosing which laws to enforce and which programs to implement?"

Now over to immigration...

The point of comprehensive reform is that two sides want two different things, and both sides need to concede one to get the other.  But in the context of Obama chutzpah and power to unilaterally pick and choose what parts of what laws to implement or enforce, hasn't the entire concept of  'comprehensive' reform been permanently destroyed?
3782  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: July 10, 2013, 11:21:17 AM
Article II, Section 3, of the Constitution states that the president "shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed."

Timing of the implementation of Obamacare was an essential aspect of the budget constraint issue and budget scoring was an essential element of securing the votes for its passage. 

Co-equal branches?  The House has repealed Obamacare 37 times.  This is a meaningless act because they were not joined by the Senate nor obviously will it be signed by the President. 

Yet President Obama unilaterally delayed implementation of the employer mandate, which is one of the most controversial and damaging aspects of the law. And he simultaneously declared that individuals will not even have IRS records verified for their subsidy, encouraging larger numbers to sign up and become reliant on the new law, making it harder to repeal later even if only partially unimplemented.

Health care aside, what is the legality and constitutionality of the Obama administration unilaterally picking and choosing which laws to enforce and which programs to implement?
3783  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law on: July 10, 2013, 11:04:16 AM
An excellent point, and one greatly augmented by an omnipresent surveillance state.
One that has been corrupted by a Chicago type thugocrat.

[Typing while GM posted, this makes essentially the same point.]

Yes.  Increased distrust in government is about the only positive Obama accomplishment.  Maybe out of that we can get IRS shrinkage, tax reform and scale back our overly zealous Census Bureau to its constitutional function.  It may also be the downfall of Obamacare, I just can't yet see how.  On the flip side, we may be losing security by losing our trust in the professionalism and independence of our security agencies.
3784  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afpakia: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: July 09, 2013, 02:07:57 PM
"Col. Ralph Peters advocated kicking ass and leaving."

As was my thought on Iraq.  Had we used a large stick and left, we leave with a perception of strength (and hatred, criticism, etc.).  In the current plan, facing trouble and then leaving, we leave with a perception of weakness.  Either way, American military resources and personnel had better have a clear mission and justification for being in harm's way.

Unfortunately all choices are always current tense, not hindsight.  What do we do now?
3785  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afpakia: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: July 09, 2013, 11:27:11 AM
"it must be said that Bush left the US in really bad shape in Afpakia"

It was said, if you break it you must fix it.  But Iraq and Afghanistan were already broken.  We had a right of self defense in Afghanistan and Pakistan to take out the elements that were attacking us.  Then we had unrealistic hopes of bridging together a peaceful modern democracy that we could leave behind.  In war, there are always mistakes and miscalculations.  The challenge is how quickly you recognize them and adjust the strategy.  If the end result after 12 years is disaster, the answer in hindsight was to only take out the hostile elements and not try to re-shape the society.
3786  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bill Krystal and Rich Lowry: Kill the [Senate Immigration] Bill on: July 09, 2013, 11:12:20 AM
Kill the Bill  -  July 9, 2013
Passing any version of the Gang of Eight’s bill would be worse than passing nothing.

We are conservatives who have differed in the past on immigration reform, with Kristol favorably disposed toward it and Lowry skeptical. But the Gang of Eight has brought us into full agreement: Their bill, passed out of the Senate, is a comprehensive mistake. House Republicans should kill it without reservation.

There is no case for the bill, and certainly no urgency to pass it. During the debate over immigration in 2006–07, Republican rhetoric at times had a flavor that communicated a hostility to immigrants as such. That was a mistake, and it did political damage. This time has been different. The case against the bill has been as responsible as it has been damning.

It’s become clear that you can be pro-immigrant and pro-immigration, and even favor legalization of the 11 million illegal immigrants who are here and increases in some categories of legal immigration – and vigorously oppose this bill.

The bill’s first fatal deficiency is that it doesn’t solve the illegal-immigration problem. The enforcement provisions are riddled with exceptions, loopholes, and waivers. Every indication is that they are for show and will be disregarded, just as prior notional requirements to build a fence or an entry/exit visa system have been – and just as President Obama has recently announced he’s ignoring aspects of Obamacare that are inconvenient to enforce on schedule. Why won’t he waive a requirement for the use of E-Verify just as he’s unilaterally delayed the employer mandate? The fact that the legalization of illegal immigrants comes first makes it all the more likely that enforcement provisions will be ignored the same way they were after passage of the 1986 amnesty.

Marco Rubio says he doesn’t want to have to come back ten years from now and deal with the same illegal-immigration problem. But that’s exactly what the CBO says will happen under his own bill. According to the CBO analysis of the bill, it will reduce illegal immigration by as little as a third or by half at most. By one estimate, this means there will be about 7.5 million illegal immigrants here in ten years. And this is under the implausible assumption that the Obama administration would administer the law as written.

The bill’s changes in legal immigration are just as ill considered. Everyone professes to agree that our system should be tilted toward high-skilled immigration, but the Gang of Eight bill unleashes a flood of additional low-skilled immigration. The last thing low-skilled native and immigrant workers already here should have to deal with is wage-depressing competition from newly arriving workers. Nor is the new immigration under the bill a panacea for the long-term fiscal ills of entitlements, as often argued, because those programs are redistributive and most of the immigrants will be low-income workers.

Finally, there is the sheer size of the bill and the hasty manner in which it was amended and passed. Conservatives have eloquently and convincingly made the case against bills like this during the Obama years. Such bills reflect a mistaken belief in central planning and in practice become a stew of deals, payoffs, waivers, and special-interest breaks. Why would House Republicans now sign off on this kind of lawmaking? If you think Obamacare and Dodd-Frank are going swimmingly, you’ll love the Gang of Eight bill. It’s the opposite of conservative reform, which simplifies and limits government, strengthens the rule of law, and empowers citizens.

There’s no rush to act on immigration. The Democrats didn’t do anything when they controlled all of the elected branches in 2009 and 2010. The Gang of Eight tells us constantly that we have a de facto amnesty for illegal immigrants now. Fine. What’s the urgent need to act immediately, then?

The Republicans eager to back the bill are doing so out of political panic. “I think Republicans realize the implications for the future of the Republican party in America if we don’t get this issue behind us,” John McCain says. This is silly. Are we supposed to believe that Republican Senate candidates running in states such as Arkansas, North Carolina, Iowa, Virginia, and Montana will be hurt if the party doesn’t embrace Chuck Schumer’s immigration bill?

If Republicans take the Senate and hold the House in 2014, they will be in a much better position to pass a sensible immigration bill. At the presidential level in 2016, it would be better if Republicans won more Hispanic voters than they have in the past—but it’s most important that the party perform better among working-class and younger voters concerned about economic opportunity and upward mobility. Passing this unworkable, ramshackle bill is counterproductive or irrelevant to that task.   

House Republicans may wish to pass incremental changes to the system to show that they have their own solutions, even though such legislation is very unlikely to be taken up by the Senate. Or they might not even bother, since Senate Democrats say such legislation would be dead on arrival. In any case, House Republicans should make sure not to allow a conference with the Senate bill. House Republicans can’t find any true common ground with that legislation. Passing any version of the Gang of Eight’s bill would be worse public policy than passing nothing. House Republicans can do the country a service by putting a stake through its heart.

— William Kristol is editor of The Weekly Standard. Rich Lowry is editor of National Review.
3787  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz on: July 09, 2013, 10:59:08 AM
Wow! to both of those posts!  There are amazingly few people who can articulate the value of freedom.

Video of the speech: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/05/26/sen_ted_cruz_delivers_the_commencement_address_at_hillsdale_college.html
3788  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Chinese banking: a Wild West in the Far East? on: July 08, 2013, 02:56:35 PM
Chinese banking problems, often mentioned on the forum, are covered in depth here today:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/10164580/Chinese-banking-a-Wild-West-in-the-Far-East.html

“We believe that the domestic Chinese banking system is a mess, with an enormous amount of bad loans, or loans waiting to go bad. The problems of China’s lenders are greater than those of Western banks on the eve of the financial crisis,”
...
"it seems likely that today’s highpoint will be seen in hindsight as the ultimate warning signal of a coming crash."
3789  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: July 08, 2013, 02:40:29 PM
Wesbury post combined with a James Pethokoukis clarification, nice balancing act!
------------
Previously in the thread, "Doug: I think there is a distinction here to be made between the actual economy and the market."

Doug:  "Wesbury and I both blur the distinction between the market and the economy."
-----------

Wesbury today: "stock market and the economy have moved consistently higher"

Doug (now):  The stock market moved way up; the economy has not hit first gear.  All job growth is immigrant.  All job growth is part time.  Taxes on capital are up as much as 60% federal and 30% state, and there are now over 170,000 pages of federal regulations.  Hooray?  No, good luck!
3790  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Abortion takes five years to complete on: July 08, 2013, 02:12:19 PM
Another story about a botched abortion, this one lived 5 years before dying:
http://www.lifenews.com/2013/07/02/baby-died-five-years-after-botched-abortion-injections-in-her-head-failed/

NYT has a story today about an abortion that went well.  20 year olds were able to keep their convenience, avoid consequence and avoid a stigma, complete masters degrees and then have a family.  The would-be third oldest became the second oldest, the second oldest became the oldest and they all lived happily ever after, that is, except for that one that didn't.  
3791  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / IEEE: Electric car, unclean at any speed on: July 08, 2013, 02:03:36 PM
http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/renewables/unclean-at-any-speed

most electric-car assessments analyze only the charging of the car. This is an important factor indeed. But a more rigorous analysis would consider the environmental impacts over the vehicle’s entire life cycle, from its construction through its operation and on to its eventual retirement at the junkyard.

One study attempted to paint a complete picture. Published by the National Academies in 2010 and overseen by two dozen of the United States’ leading scientists, it is perhaps the most comprehensive account of electric-car effects to date. Its findings are sobering.
...
The materials used in batteries are no less burdensome to the environment, the MIT study noted. Compounds such as lithium, copper, and nickel must be coaxed from the earth and processed in ways that demand energy and can release toxic wastes. And in regions with poor regulations, mineral extraction can extend risks beyond just the workers directly involved. Surrounding populations may be exposed to toxic substances through air and groundwater contamination.
...
an electric car is likely worse than a car fueled exclusively by gasoline derived from Canadian tar sands!
...
Upon closer consideration, moving from petroleum-fueled vehicles to electric cars begins to look more and more like shifting from one brand of cigarettes to another.
http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/renewables/unclean-at-any-speed
http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12794
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es203518d
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1530-9290.2012.00532.x/abstract
http://www.utk.edu/tntoday/2012/02/13/researchers-find-ecar-emissions-harmful/


3792  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Organized Religion on: July 07, 2013, 04:56:11 PM
The bad behaviors, bad systems, and bad management are all violations of the Church's teachings, not any indictment of the validity of the teachings. 

I agree this failure has a link to the celibacy policy for priests.  Eagerness to forgive sin isn't helpful here either.  Some sins are unforgivable.

OTOH, nothing in Catholic or Christian teaching says it is acceptable to harm children.  The violators and those who cover up for them are imposters, not Christians or Catholics, IMHO.  Further, they are atheists if they believe God is not watching them behind closed doors.
3793  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: July 06, 2013, 10:53:50 AM
I agree with you 100% on the value of reading Wesbury in addition to the doom and gloom out there.  I am pointing out the converse, Wesbury's optimism alone without the opposing doom and gloom would also leave one misinformed.  He hinted only subtly at the trouble with Obamacare indicated in the numbers and gave no clear signal that full time and broader unemployment is actually worsening.
3794  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: July 06, 2013, 10:39:40 AM
Thanks.  And I teed that one up for you.  Your clarity is appreciated!

People read certain publications and assume we already proved fracking is killing us.  Like Letterman's writers, I oppose poisoning the planet; I just wish they would cite one credible instance before we shut down the American economy.  As I posted previously, imagine what our 0.0% growth rate looks like without the boom in energy, and none of it coming from federal lands.  The political-regulatory war against fracking isn't hypothetical.  Too bad it is synonymous with a war against science.
3795  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: July 06, 2013, 10:24:03 AM
George Will today: 
Although the Constitution has no Article VIII, the administration acts as though there is one that reads: “Notwithstanding all that stuff in other articles about how laws are made, if a president finds a law politically inconvenient, he can simply post on the White House Web site a notice saying: Never mind.”

Never mind that the law stipulates 2014 as the year when employers with 50 full-time workers are mandated to offer them health-care coverage or pay fines. Instead, 2015 will be the year. Unless Democrats see a presidential election coming.
--------------------------------

Hey Obama – why couldn’t a Republican President delay all of Obamacare for 10,000 years?

As the Obamacare law is written, the employer mandate is to begin in January 2014. This is what the law said when it was passed by the House and Senate, and signed by President Obama in 2010.

However, it has been reported that President Obama has just delayed the employer mandate part of Obamacare until January 2015. Obama did this without approval from Congress.

It was Obama himself who delayed part of Obamacare for one year. If Obama can do this, I would love to hear him explain why a Republican President could not delay all of Obamacare for 10,000 years.
http://danfromsquirrelhill.wordpress.com/
3796  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, IBD on Jobs Report: More of the same = mediocrity on: July 06, 2013, 10:11:47 AM
I agree that Wesbury has degraded to the point where he needs to be posted with a contrary opinion or spin in order for what he presents to be informative.  It is quite a miss in my view that he would write an update about improved employment when both U6 and full time jobs are down.

Is not U6 a better and broader measure?  Patriot Post:  "...while the U-6 rate -- a more complete measure that includes those who have given up looking for work -- jumped significantly from 13.8 percent to 14.3 percent"

Hours worked are 'up' 0.2%.  We will return to our previous growth line at this pace - never.
---------
Investors Business Daily today: A Solid Jobs Report? No, This Is a Crisis

Employment: From the media to Wall Street, June's jobs report is being spun as a major positive, a sign the economy is getting back on track. Maybe the pundits should look at the actual numbers, which are abysmal.

To hear some of them, the 195,000 payroll jobs added for the month while the unemployment rate stayed at 7.6% were a big deal. One investment house called it a "very good report." Another termed it "solid."
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Really? Let's take a little closer look at the numbers.

The total number of payroll jobs in the economy, at 135.9 million, is still 1.6% below 5-1/2 years ago, when the recession began. We're not even back at scratch.

At June's pace of 195,000 new jobs a month, it will take 11 months to get back to where we were in 2007. If you factor in monthly growth of 120,000 in the labor force, that will barely make a dent in unemployment.

In short, this jobs recovery isn't solid. It's pathetic.

It's even worse when you consider all of the net addition to June jobs - repeat, all - were part time. Compared with the 360,000 part-time positions created, full-time employment shrank by 240,000.

Year to date, only 130,000 full-time jobs have been added to our economy. The rest of the jobs - 557,000 - have been part time.

And tucked deep into the jobs report was this little tidbit: The underemployment rate, which measures those working in a job for which they're overqualified, or working part-time when they really want full-time work, shot up from 13.8% to 14.3%.

This isn't a solid jobs report. It's a crisis.

A new report from McKinsey & Co. says 45% of college graduates today have jobs that don't require college degrees. A generation of young, educated workers - our future human capital - is being wasted on waiting tables and selling shoes.

And those are the young people who can get jobs. The unemployment rate for 18- to 29-year-olds stands at 16.1%, with 1.7 million having dropped out of the labor force entirely.

Why is this happening?

Certainly five years of "stimulus" by President Obama and quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve haven't helped. And thousands of pages of new regulations, higher taxes on entrepreneurs and a deep philosophical antipathy toward healthy free markets by this administration have made businesses wary of hiring.

The No. 1 culprit, though, is ObamaCare. The added costs this monstrous piece of legislation has imposed on employers of full-time workers encourages them to hire only part-timers, who get few benefits and no health care.

So don't count us among those singing the praises of the latest employment numbers. From this vantage point, they look like more of the same: mediocrity.
3797  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness, and glib cabinet, Egypt, and 4th of July on: July 06, 2013, 09:59:39 AM
State department denies, denies, denies, then admits Sec. Kerry was out yachting during the Egypt coup. (CBS)  Bottoms up to the dreaded 3am phone call.  Let's party.

Meanwhile Pres. Obama cancelled fireworks displays on military bases due to budget constraints, takes his own $100 million extended working vacation, is the first(?) President to vacation outside the U.S. over the 4th of July.  What is all this liberty-mania about anyway?

This is a working trip; he is writing his own Declaration of Coercive Paternalism.

The winning tweet on Obama's handling of the Egypt crisis goes to Glenn Reynolds:

"On Egypt, Obama should strive for irrelevance. It’s the best he is going to do."
3798  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: David Letterman swings and misses - No Verified Cases on: July 06, 2013, 09:30:07 AM

Shocking, a Letterman show where Letterman stopped being funny. What part of no verified cases of water contamination does this political wannabe not understand?

First he says of himself, "I'm not smart enough to understand this", and I agree with him.

Second, he confirms my allegation that there is a war against fracking.  He offers not a shred of new evidence.  Does anyone think Letterman came up with this rant on his own?  That's a joke.  NYT has done entire series without offering a shred of evidence either.  Just speculation of damage.

Famous people in this case not caught reading the forum, let's go over what he would know if he checked the forum first?

Letterman mentions Colorado as gone, destroyed, and Colorado was mentioned earlier today as a model state the left has taken oven, yet the environmental leftist Governor brags on Huffington Post drank the fracking fluid, meaning it is that safe. Again: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/13/gov-john-hickenlooper-drank-fracking-fluid-hydraulic-fracturing_n_2674453.html  [Left Wing] Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO)Tells Senate Committee He Drank the Fracking Fluid [to demonstrate it is not toxic]

I took the time to compile statements from all states involving fracking that they have no incidents reported of drinking water ever getting contaminated, and I welcome the opportunity to bring these posts forward.  (Excerpted below)

As if Letterman deserves reply, there is no mystery as to what is in tap water; my city's tap water is tested and measured every year, based not on corporate greed, but on the existing requirement of ample federal, state and local laws already in place.  The mention of methane discovered in water is quite frightening, implied by fire in the faucets, but this was not new nor caused fracking. http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1118.msg51022#msg51022   Where in science or logic did THAT connection come from?  Both water and natural gas come from the ground.  One didn't cause the other unless you present evidence that it did.  Screw Letterman, the question is what gives Crafty and others with informed logic their skepticism of America's two cleanest forms of energy.  Would you prefer dirty energy from farther away, or doing without energy and our fleeting prosperity?

"U.S. CO2 Emissions Hit 20 Year Low"  - Why??  Fracking.  What say Letterman (and NYT) about THAT?  (Emissions would be lower yet if we were also building up our nuclear capacity.)
http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1096.msg68520#msg68520

Did anyone read all of this long post, debunking NYT/Letterman bunk and ending with statements of the existing regulatory authorities:

http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1096.msg46669#msg46669

Hydraulic Fracturing –15 Statements from Regulatory Officials
http://www.hydraulicfracturing.com/Documents/Hydraulic_Fracturing_SGEIS_comments.pdf

"In recent months, the states have become aware of press reports and websites alleging that six states have documented over one thousand incidents of ground water contamination resulting from the practice of hydraulic fracturing.  Such reports are not accurate." - President of the Ground Water Protection Council

"After 25 years of investigating citizen complaints of contamination, DMRM geologists (Ohio Division of Mineral Resources Management) have not documented a single incident involving contamination of ground water attributed to hydraulic fracturing."  - Ohio Department of Natural Resources

After review of DEP's [Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection] complaint database and interviews with regional staff that
investigate groundwater contamination related to oil and gas activities, no groundwater pollution or disruption of underground sources of drinking water has been attributed to hydraulic fracturing of deep gas formations.  - Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

"we have found no example of contamination of usable water where the cause was claimed to be hydraulic fracturing."  - New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department

"I can state with authority that there have been no documented cases of drinking water contamination caused by such hydraulic fracturing operations in our State."  - STATE OIL AND GAS BOARD OF ALABAMA

"Though hydraulic fracturing has been used for over 50 years in Texas, our records do not indicate a single documented contamination case associated with hydraulic fracturing."  - chief regulatory agency over oil and gas activities in Texas

"There have been no verified cases of harm to ground water in the State of Alaska as a result of hydraulic fracturing."  - Commissioner Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission

"To the knowledge of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission staff, there has been no verified instance of harm to groundwater caused by hydraulic fracturing in Colorado."

"There have been no instances where the Division of Oil and Gas has verified that harm to groundwater has ever been found to be the result of hydraulic fracturing in Indiana."  - Director, Indiana Department of Natural Resources

"The Louisiana Office of Conservation is unaware of any instance of harm to groundwater in the State of Louisiana caused by the practice of hydraulic fracturing."

"My agency, the Office of Geological Survey (OGS) of the Department of Environmental Quality, regulates oil and gas exploration and production in Michigan. Hydraulic fracturing has been utilized extensively for many years in Michigan, in both deep formations and in the relatively shallow Antrim Shale formation. There are about 9,900 Antrim wells in Michigan producing natural gas at depths of 500 to 2000 feet. Hydraulic fracturing has been used in virtually every Antrim well. There is no indication that hydraulic fracturing has ever caused damage to ground water or other resources in Michigan."

"No documented cases of groundwater contamination from fracture stimulations in Wyoming."

Link: Hydraulic Fracturing –15 Statements from Regulatory Officials
http://www.hydraulicfracturing.com/Documents/Hydraulic_Fracturing_SGEIS_comments.pdf







3799  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Electoral process, vote fraud,corruption: Electioon by 'Data Mining" on: July 05, 2013, 01:04:52 PM
Does anyone remember a) that in 2009 the Obama White House took the 2010 Census away from the Commerce Dept and brought it in-house, and b) in 2010 the Obama allies got their asses handed to them by the tea party.

Then in the 2012 campaign the Obama-IRS shut down tea party operations and then won the election based on turnout derived from "data mining" in "The Cave" in Chicago with secret sources of information that they already happened to have via Census, IRS etc.
---------------
Today on Townhall.com:  http://townhall.com/columnists/barneybrenner/2013/07/05/data-mining-and-elections-n1633684/page/full

Data Mining and Elections
Barney Brenner | Jul 05, 2013

"these anything goes, Alinsky acolytes now have access to data, and its electoral ramifications, which Nixon couldn’t begin to dream of. And this administration can’t be trusted not to use it. ...

The Left is attempting a bloodless coup."
---------

Please see also:   
 
JOHN FUND ON THE TRAIL
    February 10, 2009
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123423384887066377.html
Why Obama Wants Control of the Census
Counting citizens is a powerful political tool.


Get Ready For the U.S. Census Fight, Chicago-style
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/sleuth/2009/02/get_ready_for_the_us_census_fi.html
Republicans are fit to be tied over the Obama administration's Tom DeLay-style strategy of removing the U.S. Census Bureau from the jurisdiction of the Commerce Department and transfering it to the White House.

Let Statisticians, Not White House, Conduct the 2010 Census
http://www.discovery.org/a/9071
By: Bruce Chapman
DiscoveryBlog.org
February 7, 2009


3800  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness, The 3am call from Egypt on: July 03, 2013, 10:45:08 AM
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