Law enforcement isn't out looking for innocent people to jam up. Those who actually do the majority of police work are a small number of the officers being paid to work, depending on the agency.
If you are actually trying to catch real bad guys, it's like sales. It's about numbers. If you stop John or Jane Q. Citizen, you can quickly find they are not a problem and cut them loose.
You are looking for the guy who starts out explaining why he doesn't have ID and he borrowed the car from a friend who doesn't have a last name and an unknown address. Or the driver who slurs their words and has a strong odor of an unknown alcoholic beverage on their breath and person.
If you look at statistics, the biggest thing you can do to save lives as a patrol officer is take drunk drivers off the road.
Interesting take here on housing policy. By favoring housing with our policies, we screw up the market for housing and hurt the people we are trying to help. Sounds familiar, just like government interventions in nearly everything else.
Michael Milken: How Housing Policy Hurts the Middle Class Many buyers decided that the largest-possible house was a better idea than a retirement fund or a child's education
WSJ March 5, 2014 Opinion, (link below)
The American dream traditionally meant that anyone could get ahead based on ability and hard work. But over the past few decades, the United States government created incentives through housing programs and the tax code that changed the dream for many Americans. Middle-class families began to think of homes as investments, not just shelter. When the housing market crashed, everyone suffered—homeowners, investors, wage-earners and taxpayers.
Aggressive housing programs have not always helped the poor and middle class. The median net worth of American adults is now one of the lowest among developed nations—less than $45,000, according to the Credit Suisse CSGN.VX +1.32% Global Wealth Databook. That compares with approximately $220,000 in Australia, $142,000 in France and $54,000 in Greece. Almost a third of American adults have a net worth of less than $10,000. Those statistics don't convey the pain endured by millions of American families who lost their homes. Enlarge Image
As recently as 1980, government-sponsored Fannie Mae FNMA +10.08% and Freddie Mac FMCC +8.18% held, guaranteed or securitized fewer than 10% of U.S. mortgages or less than $100 billion. Today, it's $4.7 trillion. Add Ginnie Mae's mortgage guarantees, and the number exceeds $6 trillion. Since 2008, these agencies have been involved in more than 95% of all new mortgages. This massive exposure has been justified by clichés: Housing should be affordable; ownership creates financial independence; government programs sustain the economy by increasing ownership. But did ownership increase?
According to the Census Bureau, 65.6% of households owned a home in 1980. More than three decades and trillions of dollars later, the needle hasn't budged—it's still about 65%. Subsidized mortgages did create three things, none of them good:
1. The largest housing price bubble in American history. Research by Nobel economist Robert Shiller shows that U.S. housing prices declined in about half of the years since 1890. While U.S. stocks during those years enjoyed an average real rate of return of about 6% a year, the annual inflation-adjusted return on houses was a meager 0.18%. Factor in real estate's heavy transaction costs and that number turns negative. Nevertheless, in the housing-boom decade before 2007, many buyers decided that the largest-possible house (with an equally large mortgage) was a better idea than a retirement fund or their children's education.
By contrast, according to CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, middle-class households in 11 Asian nations spend an average 15% of income on supplemental education for their children—nearly as much as the 16% spent on housing and transportation combined. Americans spend only 2% on supplemental education and 50% on housing and transportation. For American home buyers taking on big loans, there was no margin for error if they lost their job or the roof leaked.
2. Misguided economic priorities. Uniquely among nations, the U.S. gives mortgage borrowers a trifecta of benefits: extensive tax advantages, no recourse against the borrowers' nonresidential assets if they walk away, and typically no protection for the lender if the borrower prepays the loan to get a lower rate. Enlarge Image
These policies long seemed like a great deal for borrowers, but they wreaked havoc on the financial system. People with marginal credit were encouraged to finance more than 90% of the purchase price with 30-year mortgages. If interest rates later fell, they could refinance. If rates rose, they could congratulate themselves for locking in a low rate. If prices rose, they enjoyed all the upside and could tap the equity. If prices fell and they faced foreclosure, their other assets were protected because the loans were usually non-recourse.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau now wants to tip the scale even more against lenders by asserting the legal theory of "disparate impact." Consumers can sue if the volume of loans to any racial group or aggrieved class differs substantially from loans to other groups. No intent to discriminate is required, and it's illegal for a mortgage application to ask the borrower's race. Financial institutions trying to avoid making bad loans by implementing prudent underwriting practices can inadvertently get in trouble. A bank forced to pay a fine one year because it irresponsibly made "predatory" loans to people with bad credit can be fined the next year for not making similar loans.
3.Damage to the environment and public health. As the nearby chart indicates, the size of the average American house grew by more than half—about 900 additional square feet—over the past three decades while the number of people in the average house decreased. Larger houses need larger lots that are usually farther from the home owner's job. Construction, heating, cooling, landscaping and extended commutes consume more natural resources. Because breadwinners spend more time in cars, they have less time for their families.
As someone who helped finance several of the nation's leading residential builders, I understand the important role the industry plays in the economy. Homebuilders didn't create the problems. Policies made in Washington distorted the banking system and discouraged personal responsibility by subsidizing loans that borrowers couldn't otherwise afford. This encouraged housing speculation supported by financial leverage. Ultimately, taxpayers got the bill.
Housing's 2008 collapse led to the U.S. Treasury takeover of Fannie's and Freddie's obligations even as the Federal Housing Administration increased its guarantees to more than $1 trillion and the Federal Reserve stepped up purchases of mortgage-backed securities. Federal debt surged.
Americans will eventually have to pay for that through some combination of inflation, higher taxes, higher interest rates or reduced benefits and services. For now, the Fed is doing what the savings and loan industry did in the 1980s: borrowing short term while lending long term. When interest rates rise, the value of the government's mortgage holdings will decline.
Many housing experts believe that the solution is to reduce the government's role by attracting private capital. That's the centerpiece of proposals presented to the Senate Banking Committee last fall by Phillip Swagel, a senior fellow at the Milken Institute's Center for Financial Markets. Rather than hold or securitize mortgages, Fannie and Freddie would retain only a limited role as secondary guarantors. With the government as a backstop and private capital risking the first loss, mortgage interest rates would undoubtedly rise. But the taxpayer subsidy would fall. It's a reasonable tradeoff to transfer risk from taxpayers to investors and let the market determine rates. Congress appears to be moving in that direction as it debates various proposals.
Fortunately, the private sector is well-positioned to assume much of the government's role. Thanks to booming capital markets and accommodative central banks, there is tremendous liquidity worldwide. Fannie and Freddie have now paid the Treasury more in dividends than they received in the bailout. Private capital already plays a substantial role in commercial real estate and has the capacity to make comparable residential commitments.
Investments in quality education and improved health will do more to accelerate economic growth than excessive housing incentives. That will give everyone a better chance to achieve the real American dream.
Gutsy or crazy? Another Russia Today anchor with a death wish: Rips Putin, quits on air In a scathing rebuke of the propagandist TV network Russia Today, a news anchor ripped the state-controlled news outlet and tendered her resignation - live on air. This comes on the heels of another RT anchor strongly criticizing Russian intervention in the Ukraine. Given how many Russian journalists have ‘mysteriously’ died after criticizing Putin, these anchors have great courage. Check out the resignation and Glenn's reaction HERE <http://link.glennbeck.com/52d10b9f0f365bf272f1d1cd1gw1h.9sd7/UxjbiOYQqekjpjgICe455>.
Niger Extradites Qaddafi’s Son to Face Charges in Tripoli Niger has extradited <http://link.foreignpolicy.com/525443c6c16bcfa46f732b5d1gv1y.1455/UxiFdOYQAzU136YRCe0ac> Muammar al-Qaddafi's son Saadi Qaddafi. The Libyan government had been seeking the extradition since 2011 when Saadi was granted entry
March 6, 201' VIDEO: Fans at DNC meeting can't name a single Hillary accomplishment
Published by: Dan Calabrese
Not that it matters. We should know by now that stuff like track record and achievement are no longer even ancillary to the matter of choosing a president. They're now completely irrelevant. The election of Obama established that, and his re-election cemented it. Democrats don't expect Obama to get results. They expect him to protect their hold on power.
So if you had asked someone why Obama would be a good president in terms of ability to govern, the response will be a blank stare. What do you mean? The job of a presidential candidate is not to govern. It's to get elected, and then to get re-elected. And this is why it doesn't matter to these fine folks at the DNC that Hillary Clinton has never accomplished anything either:
The funniest thing about this is that they seem to understand on a certain level that they need totry to defend her as accomplished. That's where you get nonsense like how "well-traveled" she is, or the totally meaningless rot about "how well she represented America".
The truth is that most of these folks probably don't even know what the Secretary of State does, let alone have the ability to assess whether she did it well. I would like to have heard the guy ask them to name her major accomplishments during eight years in the U.S. Senate, since that would surely have elicted the same blank stares and baseless yammering about how she "exercised leadership" or whatever.
Hillary's supporters don't back her because they think she's ever done anything to demonstrate she would be a good president. They back her because they think she can win, and that means thousands of federal jobs that bring control of lots of money stay in Democrat hands. It really doesn't matter how the nation fares as long as the members of the political class who reside on the left side of the aisle make out OK.
Coming up with a rationale to sell Hillary's candidacy to the general public is theoretically trickier. But if people are only paying attention as much as they were when they decided to elect and re-elect Obama, maybe it won't be that hard after all.
"She's been everywhere."
"She's traveled so much."
"She's such a fixture."
OK. Stop. How can you possibly offer a rejoinder to a case like this?
Hillary's presumptive candidacy is actually the most audacious test yet of the proposition that the Republican Party is completely inept, and that is a proposition that history would suggest is sadly unlikely to fail.
For some years now I have been posting here about the lack of a coherent American foreign policy. Certqinly the libertqriqn wing of the Reps offers one, but IMHO it contains some serious flaws. Rubio begins to threaten to offer a vision. This beqrs watching.
On Thursday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) addressed the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference attendees with a fiery speech focused on redefining America’s approach to foreign affairs. He defined the threats he warned that the United States will face in the near future and defined current and long-term America’s economic challenges in terms relating to the preservation of free trade guaranteed by American military and diplomatic strength.
“We are right on the verge, if we make a few right decisions, of a new American century,” Rubio began. He took a populist approach to arguing against “big government” by saying that large corporations are able to “deal with big government,” while other smaller firms are not able to compete. He added that Democratic politicians are creating “disunity” in the country by focusing on addressing “inequality” rather than expanding access to opportunity.
“This notion that we’re going to pit Americans against each other on issue after issue is something that we should never accept as a people, because it’s never been who we are and it isn’t who we are right now,” Rubio said.
He pivoted to foreign policy, defining the threats faced by the United States. He said that China is threatening to take parts of the South China Sea which would limit trade and threaten America’s allies, a nuclear North Korea is testing missiles, Venezuela is slaughtering protesters, and Cuba remains an oppressive dictatorship. He added that Iran continues to pursue nuclear weapons and regional hegemony and Russia is attempting to “reconstitute” the former Soviet Union.
“And by the way, what do all these countries have in common?” he asked. “These are totalitarian governments.”
“There is only one nation on earth capable of rallying and bringing together the free people on this planet to stand up to the spread of totalitarianism,” Rubio said. “The United Nations cannot do this. In fact, they cannot do anything.”
“We cannot ignore that the flawed foreign policy of the last few years has brought us to this stage, because we have a president who believed but by the sheer force of his personality he would be able to shape global events,” Rubio asserted. “We do not have the luxury of seeing the world the way we hope it would be. We have to see the world the way it is. And we have to address these issues before they grow unmanageable, and they threaten, not just our freedoms, but our economy.”
“[Ronald] Reagan dealt with the Soviet Union because they had nuclear weapons and he wanted peace, but he never accepted the Soviet Union,” he declared. He said went on to outline how the behavior of the Iranian government should be unacceptable to the American public and regarded as illegitimate.
“If you think high taxes and regulations are bad for our economy, so is global instability and the spread of totalitarianism,” Rubio added. “What we have in America is the exception, not the rule, in human history. Almost everyone who has ever lived on this planet didn’t’ get to choose their leaders, and they didn’t get to choose their life either.”
“Every time I talk about how special America is, some commentator or whoever it may be will roll their eyes and say, ‘Well, that’s just something Americans tell each other to make themselves feel good,’” Rubio said. “You have the right to believe that. I don’t have that option, because I’ve seen it with my own eyes.”
Caracazo se refiere a las protestas populares de 1989
Guaicaipuro Lameda: Estamos viviendo la misma situación del Caracazo
6 Marzo, 2014
Enrique Meléndez / especial Noticiero Digital / 6 mar 2014 / imagen cortesía La Patilla.- El general Guacaipuro Lameda dice que la situación explosiva que vive hoy el país se debe a cosas a las que la gente le teme y otras que le molestan. Y que en este berenjenal se parece al que se vivió previo al Caracazo de 1989.
“”¿No estamos viviendo la misma situación? Esa es la reacción natural de una sociedad, frente a un gobierno que no le satisface sus necesidades. No nos puede extrañar lo que está ocurriendo; ahora, lo que nos puede extrañar es que quienes están en esas altas posiciones de poder no lo comprendan o lo están utilizando para beneficio propio, lo cual es una co…emadrada”", indica el general Lameda.
A continuación la primera parte de la conversación con Noticiero Digital:
¿Qué piensa usted del clima de violencia que se ha desatado en el país? ¿Acaso al gobierno se le escapó la situación de las manos?
-El clima que vive hoy el país es la respuesta natural de una sociedad frente a la perturbación que vive, frente a la insatisfacción de sus necesidades. La sociedad venezolana venía de una cantidad de cosas que le preocupan y cantidad de cosas que le molestan.
-Por ejemplo, ¿a qué le teme la gente? La gente le teme a que la maten, a que la secuestren, a que la roben, a la persecución y a la represión por parte del Estado, y no sólo a la persecución política, a la persecución económica, a la persecución judicial, policial y militar; la gente le teme a perder el trabajo o a perder el negocio si es independiente; al problema de la confrontación con la violencia armada que incluye los colectivos; a la inseguridad jurídica: hoy está vigente una ley, pero mañana no; al abuso de poder.
-Eso por un lado, y por el otro, a la gente le molestan algunas cosas. Por ejemplo, ¿qué le molesta a la gente? Le molestan que le hayan restringido el poder de escoger sus bienes de consumo; el toque de queda autoimpuesto; la escasez: aquí falta todo menos balas; la impunidad: un muerto cada veinte minutos en Venezuela en manos del hampa; corrupción, burocracia e ineficiencia del Estado; discriminación política: apartheid; censura de la comunicación; el engaño, la mentira, la desinformación y el fraude como política de Estado; la encubierta invasión cubana: ya la gente se molesta, cuando le toca ir a un CDI, y el personal que atiende allí es cubano; inflación e inestabilidad económica, violación permanente a la Constitución y las leyes.
-De esto resulta que hay once cosas que le molestan a la gente y ocho cosas a las que les teme; de modo que si nos ponemos a ver, aquí tengo diecinueve cosas; eso que te las he dicho a vuelo rasante, quizás haya más de diecinueve, y ahora tú me preguntas por qué está pasando lo que se está sintiendo en las calles. ¡Esa es una reacción de la sociedad frente a estos temas! El régimen es incapaz de darle respuesta a estos diecinueve temas, y frente a esa incapacidad la gente se vuelca contra el régimen.
-Lo que está ocurriendo es una reacción natural dentro de una sociedad que se siente agobiada por una serie de necesidades insatisfechas, y no sólo que no están satisfechas, sino que se agravan.
¿Cómo compara usted esta situación con aquella que se vivía la víspera del “Caracazo”?
-Exactamente: una sociedad que se siente insatisfecha; con un gobierno que no le resuelve sus problemas. Aquí yo tengo un reporte de la Comisión de Servicios de la Cámara de Diputados de la década de 1990, y donde se habla unos casos irregulares en Caricuao y Altvista en algo que ocurrió dos años antes del “Caracazo”. En ambos casos, un grupo de vecinos, deliberadamente, organizados para enfrentar el problema de la inseguridad tomaron la justicia en sus manos, al aprehender, juzgar, sentenciar y ejecutar por la vía de la aplicación de pena de muerte a quienes calificaron como azotes de barrio.
-Este incidente fue consecuencia del hecho de que esos vecinos organizados, y quienes se valían de una serie de pitos y alarmas capturaron a dos malandros, y como no venía la policía; porque las patrullas ya no andaban por falta de cauchos, entonces procedieron de esa forma. Pero, ¿por qué las patrullas no tenían cauchos? Porque el dinero que se había destinado para la compra de los nuevos se había ido por los caminos verdes de la corrupción.
-¿No estamos viviendo la misma situación? Esa es la reacción natural de una sociedad, frente a un gobierno que no le satisface sus necesidades. No nos puede extrañar lo que está ocurriendo; ahora, lo que nos puede extrañar es que quienes están en esas altas posiciones de poder no lo comprendan o lo están utilizando para beneficio propio, lo cual es una co…emadrada.
¿Cómo ve usted la serie de pronunciamientos que circulan por la red de militares de un comando de resistencia que asegura que en lo más inmediato la fuerza armada en su conjunto le pedirá la renuncia a Maduro?
-Yo lo que veo es que las cosas todavía no han terminado de concretar. Todavía hay mucho miedo de decir las cosas, como son. El sistema está absolutamente distorsionado. El gobierno tiene un objetivo muy concreto, que se le fue de las manos la posibilidad de alcanzarlo, y ahora digamos que la lucha del gobierno, no es por el objetivo sino por el medio. Te lo explico: el objetivo del gobierno es generar una transformación ideológico-cultural en la sociedad venezolana.
-Ellos lo llaman comunismo, socialismo, chavismo, bolivarianismo, marxismo; todas las etiquetas que tú te imaginas. Pero los venezolanos tenemos que pensar de manera distinta; a mi modo de ver, es comunismo; como me lo dijo a mí de manera muy clara Jorge Giordani: “El comunismo es el sistema más perfecto para la organización de la sociedad, y lo que pasa es que quienes lo han tratado de establecer lo han hecho mal y nosotros los venezolanos lo vamos a hacer bien”.
-Ahora, ¿cómo se lo planteaban ellos? De acuerdo a lo que escuché cuando estaba adentro: la única manera de plantearse ese objetivo es manteniéndose en el poder; hasta tanto se produzca la transformación. No hay alternabilidad posible; porque la alternabilidad trunca el proceso. Entonces hay que mantenerse en el ejercicio del poder hasta tanto se logre la transformación ideológico-cultural.
-Ahora, en estos momentos, ellos se metieron en unas acciones prácticas para mantenerse en el poder que le hacen daño a la sociedad, y ahora no pueden salir del poder; porque las acciones tácticas que ejecutaron los convierten en delincuentes.
¿Cuáles son esas acciones?
-Corrupción, lesa humanidad, violación constitucional. ¿El ministro Giordani no dijo que se robaron 25 mil millones de dólares unas empresas de maletín? Yo te garantizo que ahí hay gente de los dos lados; de la oposición y del gobierno; gente que se dice de la oposición, a quienes le dieron una remesa de dólares, y con eso le paga la gorrita con la bandera de Venezuela a ambos lados. Lo que sucede es que hay gente de los dos lados, que no quiere que se publique la lista de las personas que se beneficiaron por esta vía.
-Entonces, cuando yo te digo que no se terminan de desnudar las cosas, es que estamos metidos en ese berenjenal; que está bien armado; para que sea un berenjenal. Entonces, los que están en el gobierno consideran que ellos están metidos en el medio, y del cual no pueden salir. Para ellos entregar el poder es un problema. ¿Tú crees que ellos se pueden quedar aquí, ejerciendo, como políticos? Ellos terminan defendiendo el medio, que es mantenerse en el poder para poder hacer el cambio ideológico-cultural.