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DougMacG
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« Reply #500 on: January 28, 2014, 11:43:41 AM »

A good, well-written, and well-reasoned piece, but as best as I can tell it avoids dealing with the obvious rejoinder.  Apparently the man IS guilty of breaking the campaign finance laws in a stupid and obvious way.  The failure to address this point leaves me hesitant to spread this otherwise good piece forward.

None of us have any way of knowing if he is innocent or guilty.  After years of him fighting back, maybe we will discover he is innocent (and that the bundling Ambassador of Norway is guilty of that same charge).  The accusation (by Spencer) is enforcement targeting based on D’Souza's exercise of free speech.  If true, that offense is far worse, treason IMO, and not directly related to the merits of the D’Souza case.

Targeting of tea party organizations was worse because citizens were prevented from participating in the political process without being accused of doing anything wrong.

At some point, smoking guns will emerge on such widespread targeting abuse, along with the non-enforcement of everything on the other side.  The only person breaking this law happen to produce an anti-Obama documentary?

(Unfortunately, the unconstitutionality of the law being enforced on D'Souza is irrelevant.)

Meanwhile, illegal immigration is against federal law.  The sale and use of marijuana in Colo and Wash state is a violation of federal law.  Black Panther voter intimidation is a violation of federal law.  Fast and furious gun running was a violation of federal law.  IRS targeting is a violation of federal law.  Where is the enforcement? DOMA, as written, was a federal law?  The meaning of "the law of the land" depends on your political and/or governmental connection with those in power.

When do the indicted-innocent get back their good name?  Ask Tom DeLay.
Resigned 2006: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/03/AR2006040301787.html
(The money laundering indictment of course was a key part of Republicans losing control of congress.)
Convicted 2010: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/24/tom-delay-guilty-money-laundering_n_788325.html
Overturned: 2011
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/09/19/224070833/tom-delays-conviction-overturned-on-appeal
Tom DeLay's Conviction Overturned On Appeal
The state's Third District Court of Appeals concluded: "the evidence presented does not support a conclusion that DeLay committed the crimes that were charged".
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 12:27:09 PM by DougMacG » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #501 on: January 28, 2014, 12:34:02 PM »

I get all that.  My point though is that the article needed to address the point and its failure to do so, diminishes its persuasive power and leaves readers susceptible to feeling that it attempted to dupe them when they read about the basis for the charge.
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ccp
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« Reply #502 on: February 02, 2014, 11:18:22 AM »

From a poster on a yahoo board.  Has anyone here read rules for radicals?  Is this actually what is in it?

Saul David Alinsky (January 30, 1909 – June 12, 1972) was an American community organizer and writer. He is generally considered to be the founder of modern community organizing. He is often noted for his book Rules for Radicals.
 There are 8 levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a social state.
 The first is the most important.
 1) Healthcare – Control healthcare and you control the people
 2) Poverty – Increase the Poverty
 level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight
 back if you are providing everything for them to live.
 3) Debt – Increase the debt to an
 unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will
 produce more poverty.
 4) Gun Control – Remove the ability
 to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a
 police state.
 5) Welfare – Take control of every
 aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and
 Income)
 6) Education – Take control of what
 people read and listen to – take control of what children learn in
 school.
 7) Religion – Remove the belief in
 the God from the Government and
 schools
 Cool Class Warfare – Divide the people
 into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be
 easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the
 poor.
 Does any of this sound familiar???
« Last Edit: February 02, 2014, 11:28:47 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
objectivist1
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« Reply #503 on: February 06, 2014, 10:37:49 AM »

Yes, I have read the book, and no - that post is a cobbled-together list of socialist/Marxist principles.

Alinsky dedicated "Rules for Radicals" to Satan - seriously.  Take a look at the book for yourself - it's not a difficult or a long read.

Also - for an excellent analysis of just how Barack Obama is following Alinsky's blueprint to the letter - see this pamphlet written by David Horowitz:

www.amazon.com/Barack-Obamas-Rules-Revolution-Alinsky-ebook/dp/B009KSFK8U/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1391704347&sr=8-3&keywords=obama%27s+rules

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"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
ccp
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« Reply #504 on: February 06, 2014, 11:28:32 AM »

Thank you for the reply.

I haven't seen David Horowitz around much the last few years.  He used to write columns and appear on cable broadcasts.

Have you seen him?

Should I read both?  I hesitate to spend a dime for some scumbag's book - Alinsky.
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objectivist1
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« Reply #505 on: February 06, 2014, 12:23:26 PM »

Horowitz is still very active.  He continues to write extensively.  Go to www.frontpagemag.com to see what his organization puts out - including much which is authored by him.

With regard to Alinsky - it would benefit you to know exactly what he teaches in his book - but Horowitz's pamphlet provides a good summary and applies it to specific Obama policies.  Hillary Clinton also did her master's thesis on Alinsky.

Like "Mein Kampf" - it behooves you to know what the person behind the movement believed.  "Rules for Radicals" should be available very cheaply - it's a very short book.
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"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #506 on: February 14, 2014, 03:15:00 PM »

http://www.glennbeck.com/2014/02/14/awful-lib-reporter-goes-after-6th-grade-honor-roll-student/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #507 on: February 21, 2014, 08:18:15 PM »

The Goldberg File
By Jonah Goldberg
February 21, 2014

Fascism, Again

Timothy Snyder has written the best piece I've seen on what's going on in Kiev. It's worth reading just as a primer. But it's also interesting in other ways. I had not read a lot about the "Eurasian Union," a proposed counterweight to the European Union, in much the same way the Legion of Doom is a counterweight to the Justice League. Putin and a band of avowed "National Bolshevik" intellectuals are in effect trying to put the band back together. Snyder writers:

The Eurasian Union is the enemy of the European Union, not just in strategy but in ideology. The European Union is based on a historical lesson: that the wars of the twentieth century were based on false and dangerous ideas, National Socialism and Stalinism, which must be rejected and indeed overcome in a system guaranteeing free markets, free movement of people, and the welfare state. Eurasianism, by contrast, is presented by its advocates as the opposite of liberal democracy.

The Eurasian ideology draws an entirely different lesson from the twentieth century. Founded around 2001 by the Russian political scientist Aleksandr Dugin, it proposes the realization of National Bolshevism. Rather than rejecting totalitarian ideologies, Eurasianism calls upon politicians of the twenty-first century to draw what is useful from both fascism and Stalinism. Dugin's major work, The Foundations of Geopolitics, published in 1997, follows closely the ideas of Carl Schmitt, the leading Nazi political theorist. Eurasianism is not only the ideological source of the Eurasian Union, it is also the creed of a number of people in the Putin administration, and the moving force of a rather active far-right Russian youth movement. For years Dugin has openly supported the division and colonization of Ukraine.

The point man for Eurasian and Ukrainian policy in the Kremlin is Sergei Glazyev, an economist who like Dugin tends to combine radical nationalism with nostalgia for Bolshevism. He was a member of the Communist Party and a Communist deputy in the Russian parliament before cofounding a far-right party called Rodina, or Motherland. In 2005 some of its deputies signed a petition to the Russian prosecutor general asking that all Jewish organizations be banned from Russia.

Some of this was news to me. I was familiar with the National Bolshevism of the early Nazi years. Thinkers like the Ukrainian Bolshevik Karl Radek and the Nazi Otto Strasser dabbled with the idea of merging Bolshevik and Nazi ideology. After all, if you're already a National Socialist it's not that long a trip to being a National Bolshevik, now is it? Some left-wing members of the Nazi military described themselves as National Bolsheviks as well. But ultimately, National Bolshevism as an intellectual movement died in the crib. Or so I thought.

What I did not know is that National Bolshevism is making such a comeback. And while, it's evil and a national-security threat and all that, I can't help but smile.

The Opposite of Opposites

National Bolshevism must strike some on the left as quite perplexing. After all, Bolshevism and Nazism — like fascism and socialism — are opposites, right?

If you read my book, you'd know I consider this the greatest myth and/or lie of the 20th century (coming in a distant second: the idea that there is a difference between good flan and bad flan).

Funny enough, the Eurasianists are counting on this myth for their propaganda campaign. They insist that the protesters in Kiev are trying to stage a "brown revolution" or fascist coup. In other words the de facto fascists are calling the anti-fascists "fascists." And apparently lots of folks are falling for it. Snyder again:

Why exactly do people with such views think they can call other people fascists? And why does anyone on the Western left take them seriously? One line of reasoning seems to run like this: the Russians won World War II, and therefore can be trusted to spot Nazis. Much is wrong with this. . . .
The other source of purported Eurasian moral legitimacy seems to be this: since the representatives of the Putin regime only very selectively distanced themselves from Stalinism, they are therefore reliable inheritors of Soviet history, and should be seen as the automatic opposite of Nazis, and therefore to be trusted to oppose the far right.

Again, much is wrong about this. . . .

Snyder's rebuttals are good (I've trimmed them mostly for space). But they don't cut to the heart of it.

First, let's clear some underbrush. The idea that Communism and Nazism are opposites is more of a utilitarian idea than a core conviction for the Left. It is a rationalization that allows the Left to cut around the historical tumor of Nazism and fascism and say, That has nothing to do with us.
But the simple fact is that the hard Left has always endorsed or at least sympathized with national-socialist countries. What do you think Cuba is? It's nationalistic and it's socialistic. Venezuela under Chávez and now Maduro is nationalist and socialist. Nicaragua in the 1980s, etc., etc. Read a speech by any socialist dictator and swap out the word "socialize" for "nationalize": The meaning of the sentences doesn't change one iota. Nationalized health care is socialized medicine. Even Obama's weak-tea socialistic rhetoric is usually dolled up in the rhetoric of nationalism, even militaristic nationalism. Let's all be like SEAL Team Six! Let's make this a " Sputnik Moment."

Most of the Left in the U.S. didn't really hate the German national-socialists until Stalin told them to. That the useful idiots thought Stalin's command to turn on his one-time Nazi ally was rooted in deep ideological conviction just proves the depths of their idiocy.

After all, it's not like the Left suddenly turned on Stalin when he embraced nationalism wholeheartedly and talked of fighting the Nazis as part of the "Great Patriotic War for Mother Russia." But, hey, maybe I'm missing the deep Marxist themes in the phrase "Great Patriotic War for Mother Russia."

North Korea by Another Name

If you think this is all semantic faculty-lounge argy-bargy, consider the fact that North Korea is in many ways as "Nazi" as the Nazis were. It's a nationalist country that subscribes to eugenic theories that it uses to justify the industrial torture and slaughter of its own citizens. In fact, North Korea's eugenics is crazier than Nazi Germany's was. I'm not trying to minimize the evil of the Holocaust, but "Jew" is a real category of human being and eugenics generally weren't discredited in the 1930s. Eighty years later, North Korea believes that the political views of people are genetically heritable for generations. So you can get sent to a death camp if your great uncle said something nice about America or if your second cousin lives in South Korea.

But because of the emotional and political investment in the idea that Nazism has nothing to do with Communism, North Korea is put in a category of lesser evil. If the Kims just described themselves as Nazis — but kept all of the same policies — it would be vastly easier to rally public opinion against their decades of murder. But when you talk about the evil of Communist regimes, a lot of people idiotically roll their eyes. Everyone is a brave anti-Nazi now that they're all gone, but many are afraid to devote a fraction of that passion when it comes to the heirs, imitators, and competitors of Nazism.

Heresies of Heresies

Richard Pipes had the best pithy summation of the difference between Nazism and Bolshevism. They aren't opposites, he argued, they're both "heresies of socialism."

I agree with this entirely, but step back from that a bit. Socialism itself is a heresy — a heresy of tribalism. Socialism is simply an attempt to gussy up ancient tribal tendencies in modern garb. Nazism was tribalism of one race. Communism is tribalism of one class. Italian fascism was tribalism of one nation.

There are of course, better and worse forms of tribalism. And, I would argue that a little tribalism, like a little nationalism, is a healthy thing, insofar as communities aren't held together by reason alone. They're held together by a complex set of sentiments, and a politics that doesn't take account of that will necessarily fail. As Edmund Burke writes, "politics ought to be adjusted not to human reasonings but to human nature, of which the reason is but a part, and by no means the greatest part."
But here is the important point. Looking back on the long history of humanity, tribalism — simple or complex — was the norm for 99 percent of our time on Earth. It wasn't until 200-300 years ago that a different path emerged. (Yes, Christianity was a big leap forward in advancing a universal conception of humanity, in principle. But in practice it was often coopted by tribalism in one form or another. We can talk about that more another time.) The different path emerged largely in England and spread from there. This different path recognized the sovereignty of the individual, the necessity of the rule of law, democratic legitimacy, and private property, and the inherent dignity of bourgeois labor.

As I've written before, what makes America special is that we took England's culture of liberty and broadened it out into a virtual tribe of liberty. I say virtual because we took the ethnic and racial components out of it (and, no, we didn't do it overnight). You can be a progressive or a liberal or a social democrat and still believe in all of the things that define the tribe of liberty. You can also be a nationalist, a patriot, or a traditionalist and believe in all of these things. But go too far in either direction and you can fall off the path. Perhaps path is the wrong word. Bridge might make more sense. After all there's a left side and a right side of the road. But if you fall off a bridge, all you do is fall down.

Seen from this perspective the differences between Bolshevism, Nazism, Maoism, Italian Fascism, North Korean Juche, et al may be interesting or meaningful (the differences between football and rugby are interesting and meaningful, but at the end of the day they're both just games). But seen from the broadest perspective, they're simply different ways to fall off the bridge and back into the wilderness below.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #508 on: February 22, 2014, 05:44:09 PM »

http://www.theblaze.com/blog/2014/02/20/10-quotes-that-shred-progressivism-from-a-best-selling-british-author-who-left-the-left/
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ccp
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« Reply #509 on: February 22, 2014, 08:23:09 PM »

Fox should hire her as a counterpoint to Piers Morgan.

She would trounce him.  Though that is not saying much from what I read about his ratings recently.

Maybe he will be cancelled. 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #510 on: February 26, 2014, 06:14:29 PM »

http://www.glennbeck.com/2014/02/26/its-true-government-agents-are-infiltrating-online-communities/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #511 on: March 18, 2014, 11:44:28 AM »

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2014/03/17/The-Economist-Calls-Out-Crony-Capitalism-But-Misses-the-Point
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ccp
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« Reply #512 on: March 19, 2014, 07:32:04 AM »

"The Economist’s crony-capitalism index also isolates business sectors like casinos, oil and gas, and real estate as crony sectors while ignoring things like high-tech, healthcare, and entertainment."

Wow.  What a huge and preposterous "oversight".   High tech, and entertainment are the biggest backers of the liberals.  Health care seems to be a monster unto itself.

Overall the Economist is to some degree calling out the Bamster some, and recently have started to actually say something good about the right, but overall they are still progressives at heart.   I would still label them maybe just a tad to the right of MSM - but only a tad.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #513 on: March 19, 2014, 09:09:04 AM »

I was first exposed to The Economist when I went back to college, to U. of PA, in 1975.  At the time I was quite impressed with it.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #514 on: March 19, 2014, 08:03:57 PM »



A Lesson in Irony.

The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing this year the greatest amount of free Meals and Food Stamps ever, to 47 million people.

Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us "Please Do Not Feed the Animals." Their stated reason for the policy is because "The animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves."

Thus ends today's lesson in irony.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #515 on: March 28, 2014, 10:22:13 AM »



http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303325204579463581942405804?mg=reno64-wsj


WONDER LAND
Why Can't the Left Govern?
The Left can win elections. Why can't it run a government?
 
By
DANIEL HENNINGER

March 26, 2014 7:12 p.m. ET
Surveying the fall in support for the governments of Barack Obama, New York City's progressive Mayor Bill de Blasio and France's Socialist President François Hollande, a diagnosis of the current crisis begins to emerge: The political left can win elections but it's unable to govern.
Once in office, the left stumbles from fiasco to fiasco. ObamaCare, enacted without a single vote from the opposition party, is an impossible labyrinth of endless complexity. Bill de Blasio's war on charter schools degenerated into an unseemly attack on poor New York minority children. François Hollande's first act in 2012, like a character in a medieval fable, was to order that more tax revenue be squeezed from the French turnips.
 
Mr. Obama's approval rating is about 43%, Mr. de Blasio's has sunk to 45% after just two months in office, and Mr. Hollande hit the lowest approvals ever recorded in the modern French presidency. The left inevitably says their leaders failed them. The failure looks self-inflicted.

Three European academics asked themselves recently how 19 United Nations summit meetings have been unable to produce a treaty on global warming. Why the cause of climate change has fallen apart is described in "Melting Summits," a paper and cautionary tale just published in the Academy of Management Journal by Elke Schüssler of Germany, Charles Clemens Rüling of France and Bettina Wittneben of the U.K.

No idea in our time has had deeper political support. Al Gore and John Kerry have described disbelievers in global warming as basically idiots—"shoddy scientists" in Mr. Kerry's words. But somehow, an idea with which "no serious scientist disagrees" has gone nowhere as policy. The collapse of the U.N.'s 2009 Copenhagen climate summit was a meltdown for the ages.

In an interview with the Academy of Management about her paper, Bettina Wittneben of Oxford University, who supports a climate-change treaty and has attended 13 climate meetings, summarized the wheel-spinning: "Sometimes I just find myself shaking my head after talking to participants in recent COPs [the U.N.'s climate meetings]. They'll come back from the meetings simply brimming with enthusiasm about the networking they've done, the contacts they've made, the new ideas about their research they had or the new angles to lobbying they thought of. But ask what progress was made in terms of global policy initiatives, and all you get is a shrug."
Put differently, it's not about doing something serious about global warming. It's really all about them (a virus threatening American conservatism as well). The "them" at the U.N. summits included not just the participating nations but a galaxy of well-financed nongovernmental organizations, or NGOs.

They travel under their own acronyms. The environmentalists are ENGOs, the trade unions are TUNGOS, indigenous peoples are IPOs, business and industry are BINGOs and women, gender and youth groups are YOUNGOs.

These are the left's famous change agents. The authors dryly describe what they actually do as "field maintenance." Instead of being "catalysts for change," they write that "more and more actors find COP participation useful for their purposes, but their activity is increasingly disconnected from the issue of mitigating climate change."
And little wonder. The failed efforts to get the global-warming treaty done reflect the issue's departure from anything practical. It's impossible to read this history of global warming's demise without hearing resonances of ObamaCare's problems.

The text of the climate-change treaty at Copenhagen in 2009 included "thousands of 'brackets,' or alternative wordings." A participant described the puzzle palace: "There are more and more parallel processes, and everything must be negotiated at the same time. The number of . . . negotiation issues has increased and many of these issues . . . are discussed in different places at the same time. . . . Very few people understand the whole thing." Maybe they could just pass it to find out what's in it.

One organization specialist calls this phenomenon "social deadlock." ObamaCare is social deadlock. But the American left keeps doing it. This isn't the 1930s, and smart people on the left might come to grips with the fact that the one-grand-scheme-fits-all compulsion is out of sync with the individualization that technology lets people design into their lives today.

Rather than resolve the complexities of public policy in the world we inhabit, the left's default is to simply acquire power, then cram down what they want to do with one-party votes or by fiat, figuring they can muddle through the wreckage later. Thus the ObamaCare mandates. Thus candidate de Blasio's determination, cheered on by the city's left-wing establishment, to jam all its kids through an antique public-school system. The ObamaCare mandates are a mess, and the war on charter schools is an embarrassment.

Making the unworkable work by executive decree or court-ordered obedience is one way to rule, and maybe they like it that way. But it isn't governing.
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G M
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« Reply #516 on: March 28, 2014, 10:29:13 AM »

Socialism is the system of the future. It's never worked in the past, it doesn't work now but they are so sure it'll work the next time.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #517 on: April 09, 2014, 10:00:19 AM »

http://townhall.com/columnists/benshapiro/2014/04/09/the-rise-of-american-totalitarianism-n1820552/page/full
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ccp
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« Reply #518 on: April 19, 2014, 05:08:32 AM »

Thomas Piketty:   A new favorite of Obama and his economic council, Jack Lew Treasury Secretary and the rest of the globalist progressive crowd. 

*********Economist Receives Rock Star Treatment

By JENNIFER SCHUESSLERAPRIL 18, 2014

French economists who boldly question the dominance of capital over labor — and call for a progressive global tax on wealth — visit the American halls of power about as often as French rock stars headline Madison Square Garden.

But those halls of power are where Thomas Piketty, a 42-year-old professor at the Paris School of Economics, has been singing his song of late.

Since touching down in Washington this week to promote his new book, “Capital in the 21st Century,” Mr. Piketty has met with Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, given a talk to President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers and lectured at the International Monetary Fund, before flying to New York for an appearance at the United Nations, a sold-out public discussion with the Nobel laureates Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman, and meetings with media outlets ranging from The Harvard Business Review to New York Magazine to The Nation.

The response from  fellow economists, so far mainly from the liberal side of the spectrum, has verged on the rapturous. Mr. Krugman,  a columnist for The New York Times,  predicted  in The New York Review of Books that Mr. Piketty’s book would “change both the way we think about society and the way we do economics.”

   Thomas Piketty at one of his New York talks this week. Credit Karsten Moran for The New York Times 
But through all the accolades, Mr. Piketty seems to be maintaining a most un-rock-star-like modesty, brushing away comparisons to Tocqueville and Marx with an embarrassed grimace and a Gallic puff of the lips.

“It makes very little sense: How can you compare?” he said on Thursday between gulps of yogurt during a break in his packed schedule — before going on to list the 19th-century data sets that Marx neglected to draw on in “Das Kapital,” his 1867 magnum opus.

“If Marx had looked at them, it would have made him think a bit more,” he said. “When I started collecting data, I had no idea where it would go.”

Mr. Piketty’s dedication to data has long made him a star among economists, who credit his work on income inequality (with Emmanuel Saez and others) for diving deep into seemingly dull tax archives to bring an unprecedented historical perspective to the subject.

But “Capital in the 21st Century,” which analyzes more than two centuries of data on the even murkier topic of accumulated wealth, has elicited a response of an entirely different order. Months before its originally scheduled April publication, it was generating intense discussion on blogs, prompting Harvard University Press to push the release forward to mid-February.

Since then, it has hit the New York Times best-seller list, and sold some 46,000 copies (hardback and e-book) — a stratospheric number for a nearly 700-page scholarly tome dotted with charts and graphs (as well as references to Balzac, Jane Austen and “Titanic”).

And not all those readers are economists. Six years after the financial crisis, “people are looking for a bible of sorts,” said Julia Ott, an assistant professor of the history of capitalism at the New School, who appeared on a panel with Mr. Piketty at New York University on Thursday. “He’s speaking to a real feeling out there that things haven’t been fixed, that we need to take stock, that we need big ideas, big proposals, big global solutions.”
Photo

Mr. Piketty's book on sale after he spoke Wednesday at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. Credit Karsten Moran for The New York Times 
Those big ideas, and the hunger for them, were on ample display at N.Y.U., where the standing-room crowd was treated to Mr. Piketty’s apology for having written such a long book, followed by a breakneck PowerPoint presentation of its main arguments, illustrated with striking charts.

At the book’s center is Mr. Piketty’s contention — contrary to the influential theory developed by Simon Kuznets in the 1950s and ’60s — that mature capitalist economies do not inevitably evolve toward greater economic equality. Instead, Mr. Piketty contends, the data reveals a deeper historical tendency for the rate of return on capital to outstrip the overall rate of economic growth, leading to greater and greater concentrations of wealth at the very top.

Despite this inevitable-seeming drift toward “patrimonial capitalism” that his charts seemed to show, Mr. Piketty rejected any economic determinism. “It all depends on what the political system decides,” he said.

Such statements, along with Mr. Piketty’s proposal for a progressive wealth tax and income tax rates up to 80 percent, have aroused strong interest among those eager to recapture the momentum of the Occupy movement. The Nation ran a nearly 10,000-word cover article  placing his book within a rising tide of neo-Marxist thought, while National Review Online dismissed it as confirmation of the left’s “dearest ‘Das Kapital’ fantasies.”

But Mr. Piketty, who writes in the book that the collapse of Communism in 1989 left him “vaccinated for life” against the “lazy rhetoric of anticapitalism,” is no Marxian revolutionary. “I believe in private property,” he said in the interview. “But capitalism and markets should be the slave of democracy and not the opposite.”

Even if he doesn’t expect his policy proposals to find favor in Washington anytime soon, Mr. Piketty called his meetings there gratifying. Mr. Lew, he said, seemed to have read parts of the book carefully. A member of the Council on Economic Advisers corrected a small error concerning Balzac’s novel “Le Père Goriot,” which includes a discussion of getting ahead through advantageous marriage rather than hard work. “I was impressed,” Mr. Piketty said.

His book, however, ends not with an appeal to policy makers, but with a call for all citizens to “take a serious interest in money, its measurement, the facts surrounding it and its history.”

“It’s too easy for ordinary people to just say, ‘I don’t know anything about economics,’ ” he said, before rushing to his next appearance. “But economics is not just for economists.”
 

A version of this article appears in print on April 19, 2014, on page C1 of the New York edition with the headline: Economist Receives Rock Star Treatment.********
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #519 on: April 19, 2014, 01:53:38 PM »

Please post on the Economics thread on SCH as well.  Thank you.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #520 on: April 21, 2014, 10:19:59 AM »

http://dailycaller.com/2014/04/21/obama-admin-wants-to-require-companies-to-give-workers-numbers-addresses-to-unions-before-labor-elections/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #521 on: April 23, 2014, 06:31:39 PM »

http://patriotpost.us/alexander/9235
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bigdog
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« Reply #522 on: April 29, 2014, 03:47:44 PM »

By request of Guro Crafty:

http://reason.com/blog/2014/04/28/doj-operation-chokepoint-and-porn-stars

Seemingly not concrete yet, but the hypothetical link is interesting. From the article:

"The very premise is clearly chilling—the DOJ is coercing private businesses in an attempt to centrally engineer the American marketplace based on it's own politically biased moral judgements. Targeted business categories so far have included payday lenders, ammunition sales, dating services, purveyors of drug paraphernalia, and online gambling sites."
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #523 on: April 29, 2014, 09:32:32 PM »

April 29, 2014
St. Louis County Abrogates Property Rights
By Timothy Birdnow
 
St. Louis County, Mo. is planning to force property owners to purchase a landlord's license to rent out or even allow friends or family to inhabit a privately owned domicile.

Not content with collecting fees for "safety" inspections and occupancy permits, the county government is now intent on imposing a landlord's license and extracting yet another fee. Duplication of current law aside, this new requirement strikes at the heart of a fundamental legal right: the right to ownership of property.

Private property is the most basic principle in American jurisprudence. When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he borrowed from the philosopher John Locke, who asserted three fundamental rights enjoyed by all: life, liberty, and property. Jefferson, at the urging of Benjamin Franklin, changed the last to "pursuit of happiness" because he did not want to give slaveholders any sort of legal justification should abolition finally overtake the "peculiar institution." Still, everyone knew what Jefferson was getting at here, and though the Declaration is not a foundational legal document, it does illustrate the mindset of the Founders, who clearly believed in ownership of property.

As John Adams stated:
The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the law of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.

And so it is; without a sacred view of property, a society inevitably slides into despotism.

The first property right is self-ownership. We have seen the left nibble away at this concept, and the ObamaCare mandate has effectively tipped the scales toward state ownership of American citizens.

With that under their belts, the Progressives can now turn their lustful eyes back toward real estate. Actually, they have been nibbling away at the rights of property owners for decades. Eminent domain, the Fair Housing Act, zoning restrictions, occupancy permits, "safety" inspections (which are more often than not also about cosmetics), property maintenance codes – all circumscribe the rights of owners to have final say on the use of their property. Yes, many of these things were well-intentioned and have contributed to a more pleasant society, but the movement has been ever toward government regulation of private property. While property rights are not absolute, where does ownership end? If government tells the owner how he can use his property, can it be said that we have private ownership at all?
We've seen some huge leaps in recent years: the Kelo decision allowing property to be taken from the lawful owner and given to a developer, for instance, or the declaration of property as environmentally sensitive and so not allowed to be developed. We have the Cliven Bundy affair; Bundy had purchased grazing rights, which are in themselves a contractual interest. We've seen government shut off water to farmers , or allow lands to be flooded, bankrupting farmers and forcing them off their lands.

Now we witness the imposition of licensing requirements for property owners. The issuance of a license presupposes that government holds the rights and that the "owner" is being granted a privilege.

Read the bill here.
The bill is chock-full of "at the discretion of the Administrator." What does that remind us of? That's right: ObamaCare is full of this same discretionary empowerment of bureaucratic officials.

This law is an egregious violation of fundamental property rights. For example, sec. 852.200 bans occupation of a property by anyone but the owner or anyone "Related to the owner of the property within the second degree of consanguinity." But an exemption can be made (much like ObamaCare) at the discretion of the administrator.

In sec. 825.350, we learn that all occupancy permits will be revoked if the owner fails to file for a renewal of his license, thus forcing residents to vacate the property – without compensation for the cost of their move.
Section 825.450 is a doozie. It reads:
825.450 - The Director may suspend or revoke a license issued pursuant to this Code upon the grounds specified in this section. Notice of the suspension or revocation shall be provided in writing and served upon the owner by means reasonably calculated to provide actual notice to the owner. ( i.) A license may be suspended if property is found by the Director to be out of compliance with the Property Maintenance Code and corrections are not made to bring the property back into compliance within thirty (30) days from the date of notice of non-compliance. (ii.) A license may be suspended if an owner makes • material false statements on a license application or declaration for exemption; or fails to report a change of occupancy of any property owned or managed for which a license under this Code has been issued. (iii.) In the exercise of sound discretion by the Director, a license may be suspended or revoked if the owner has been notified by the Director of three (3) or more acts by occupants of licensed residential rental property which constitute a public nuisance. ( iv.) A license may be suspended for conviction of a misdemeanor, felony or ordinance violation by the owner or by occupants occurring on or about licensed residential rental property. (v.) A license may be revoked if the owner has more than two (2) license suspensions in any twelve (12) month timeframe[.]
Get that? The director is free to decide compliance, and the landlord is put in a catch-22. He is unable by law to remove bad tenants except through the very slow legal process, yet he is held responsible for the actions of tenants. And what of the tenants? If their landlord should be convicted of, say, a DWI, they may be tossed off the property.

I ask you, who owns the property? The landlord has duties specified here, but no real rights. The tenants (who purchased the right to inhabit the property) have no rights. It seems that St. Louis County has simply taken away the fundamental rights of a property owner.

If "A property right is the exclusive authority to determine how a resource is used," then how can we allow this usurpation? Government is granting itself this right. The owners are reduced to managers.

Like the proverbial frog in a pot of water, we have suffered the slow increase of heat, allowing our governments to degrade our freedoms incrementally. Property is a fundamental right, and as such is bestowed by God and Natural Law, not by the beneficence of men in government. St. Louis County should be ashamed of itself for this treachery.

Anyone wishing to register their displeasure can contact County Executive Charlie Dooley (D) at http://www.stlouisco.com/YourGovernment/CountyExecutive/DearCharlie, or phone his office at (314) 615-7016 or (314) 615-5889.

Contact the County Council at (314) 615-5432, or obtain the e-mail addresses for councilmen here: http://www.stlouisco.com/YourGovernment/CountyCouncil
Tim is a realtor in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Read more from Tim at The Aviary www.tbirdnow.mee.nu.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/04/st_louis_county_abrogates_property_rights.html
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DougMacG
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« Reply #524 on: April 30, 2014, 10:02:24 AM »

I am extremely appreciative of this post. It is unfortunately rare for me to be among people who also think tromping all over our property rights is outrageous. In Minneapolis we already have the landlord licensing they are proposing in St. Louis, and it is all political.  Property isn't even an afterthought for them. Tenants make up a decisive constituency.  Landlords are far fewer in number and often live outside the city.  Homeowners often hate their neighboring landlords due to the behavior of the tenants.  The City only holds the landlord accountable.  A landlord license costs $1000 per property plus annual fees and can be revoked on a whim.  It is all based in "administrative law" so landlords have no real rights in a hearing.  Another employee of the regulatory department sits where the judge ought to be. 

it is a taking; the Supreme Court has ruled that partial takings are takings.  Yet this kind of encroachment on rights keeps expanding.  People think an attack on one group or one right is justified because - it doesn't apply to them.  Just like supporting taxes levied on someone other than you.  They don't see that it erodes their rights too.

What happens in this case is that the weak landlords fail and so-called fixer-uppers disappear.  40% of large rental neighborhoods were lost to foreclosure, many of them torn down.  Like Big Oil and Big Pharma, only strong landlords managing limited supply with high rents survive.  High costs and heavy regulations keep out competition.  Affordable housing becomes a misnomer for programs to pay housing costs that are no longer affordable.  Like the healthcare mess, the fascism is self sustaining and ever-expanding because more and more people need help and fewer and fewer can afford to buy their own home and pay the ever-increasing taxes.
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ccp
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« Reply #525 on: May 19, 2014, 07:52:55 AM »


How LBJ ruined America:

**********Great Society's decline: The high cost of Lyndon Johnson's grand project

 By George Will 

 JewishWorldReview.com |    Standing on his presidential limousine, Lyndon Johnson, campaigning in Providence, R.I., in September 1964, bellowed through a bullhorn: “We’re in favor of a lot of things and we’re against mighty few.” This was a synopsis of what he had said four months earlier.

Fifty years ago this Thursday, at the University of Michigan, Johnson had proposed legislating into existence a Great Society. It would end poverty and racial injustice, “but that is just the beginning.” It would “rebuild the entire urban United States” while fending off “boredom and restlessness,” slaking “the hunger for community” and enhancing “the meaning of our lives” — all by assembling “the best thought and the broadest knowledge.”

In 1964, 76 percent of Americans trusted government to do the right thing “just about always or most of the time”; today, 19 percent do. The former number is one reason Johnson did so much; the latter is one consequence of his doing so.

Barry Goldwater, Johnson’s 1964 opponent who assumed that Americans would vote to have a third president in 14 months, suffered a landslide defeat. After voters rebuked FDR in 1938 for attempting to “pack” the Supreme Court, Republicans and Southern Democrats prevented any liberal legislating majority in Congress until 1965. That year, however, when 68 senators and 295 representatives were Democrats, Johnson was unfettered.

He remains, regarding government’s role, much the most consequential 20th-century president. Indeed, the American Enterprise Institute’s Nicholas Eberstadt, in his measured new booklet “The Great Society at Fifty: The Triumph and the Tragedy,” says LBJ, more than FDR, “profoundly recast the common understanding of the ends of governance.”

When Johnson became president in 1963, Social Security was America’s only nationwide social program. His programs and those they subsequently legitimated put the nation on the path to the present, in which changed social norms — dependency on government has been destigmatized — have changed America’s national character.

Between 1959 and 1966 — before the War on Poverty was implemented — the percentage of Americans living in poverty plunged by about one-third, from 22.4 to 14.7, slightly lower than in 2012. But, Eberstadt cautions, the poverty rate is “incorrigibly misleading” because government transfer payments have made income levels and consumption levels significantly different. Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, disability payments, heating assistance and other entitlements have, Eberstadt says, made income “a poor predictor of spending power for lower-income groups.” Stark material deprivation is now rare:

“By 2011 . . . average per capita housing space for people in poverty was higher than the U.S. average for 1980. . . . [Many] appliances were more common in officially impoverished homes in 2011 than in the typical American home of 1980. . . . DVD players, personal computers, and home Internet access are now typical in them — amenities not even the richest U.S. households could avail themselves of at the start of the War on Poverty.”

But the institutionalization of anti-poverty policy has been, Eberstadt says carefully, “attended” by the dramatic spread of a “tangle of pathologies.” Daniel Patrick Moynihan coined that phrase in his 1965 report calling attention to family disintegration among African Americans. The tangle, which now ensnares all races and ethnicities, includes welfare dependency and “flight from work.”

Twenty-nine percent of Americans — about 47 percent of blacks and 48 percent of Hispanics — live in households receiving means-tested benefits. And “the proportion of men 20 and older who are employed has dramatically and almost steadily dropped since the start of the War on Poverty, falling from 80.6 percent in January 1964 to 67.6 percent 50 years later.” Because work — independence, self-reliance — is essential to the culture of freedom, ominous developments have coincided with Great Society policies:

For every adult man ages 20 to 64 who is between jobs and looking for work, more than three are neither working nor seeking work, a trend that began with the Great Society. And what Eberstadt calls “the earthquake that shook family structure in the era of expansive anti-poverty policies” has seen out-of-wedlock births increase from 7.7 percent in 1965 to more than 40 percent in 2012, including 72 percent of black babies.

LBJ’s starkly bifurcated legacy includes the triumphant Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 — and the tragic aftermath of much of his other works. Eberstadt asks: Is it “simply a coincidence” that male flight from work and family breakdown have coincided with Great Society policies, and that dependence on government is more widespread and perhaps more habitual than ever? Goldwater’s insistent 1964 question is increasingly pertinent: “What’s happening to this country of ours?”

 

 

 
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DougMacG
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« Reply #526 on: May 19, 2014, 12:16:26 PM »

"How LBJ ruined America:  Great Society's decline: The high cost of Lyndon Johnson's grand project  By George Will "
 
George Gilder made this powerful point in "Wealth and Poverty", 1981, that the upside down incentives of the welfare state hurt the recipients even more than the multi-trillion dollar cost of it hurts the taxpayers. 

Thanks for posting this CCP, George Will really nails this.  It should be on the front page, all loaded with facts, and made required reading for anyone who wants to vote responsibly.  People have to dig deeply and find conservative opinion in order to get these basic facts about how these policies are ruining our country:

"For every adult man ages 20 to 64 who is between jobs and looking for work, more than three are neither working nor seeking work, a trend that began with the Great Society."

“the earthquake that shook family structure in the era of expansive anti-poverty policies has seen out-of-wedlock births increase from 7.7 percent in 1965 to more than 40 percent in 2012, including 72 percent of black babies."  !


Can people really not see that these programs undermine family, work and responsibility and are destroying our culture and diminishing the lives of the recipients?!  We pay people to not work,  We pay people to not marry.  We pay them to not take responsibility for their families.  And then we see more and more and more of these bad, behavioral choices.  We have effective marginal tax rate of over 100% at certain levels between dependency and self sufficiency screwing up both the businesses and the potential employees. 

Because pay our poor to not work, we need to import people even poorer to fill that gap.  Then we pay them not to work and on goes the cycle.  We don't count as income everything we pay all these people, nor count what we take in taxation from the remaining productive among us, then we marvel at the falsely measured, increasing gap between rich and poor.  Go figure.  What is it about Economics 1001 that we so blockheadedly refuse to accept?
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G M
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« Reply #527 on: May 19, 2014, 12:43:01 PM »

It's understood. It's an effective way to create and control voting blocs.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #528 on: July 18, 2014, 05:13:49 PM »



http://townhall.com/tipsheet/conncarroll/2014/07/18/elizabeth-warren-backs-corporate-welfare-bank-n1863643?utm_source=thdailypm&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl_pm
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