May 31, 2012

2012 Social Security Stimulus Package

From a good friend, via email:

WATCH YOUR MAILBOX!!!! Just wanted to let you know - today I received my 2012 Social Security Stimulus Package. It contained two tomato seeds, cornbread mix, a prayer rug, a machine to blow smoke up my butt, 2 discount coupons to KFC, an "Obama Hope & Change" bumper sticker, and a "Blame it on Bush" poster for the front yard.

The directions were in Spanish.

Watch for yours soon!


But johngalt thinks:

Hmmm, In the span of about three weeks Romney has visited an oil production site, a coal production site, and now this, a solar power no-longer-producing site. What a schizophrenic campaign with no apparent theme!!!

Posted by: johngalt at May 31, 2012 5:06 PM
But jk thinks:

This was a nice piece of work by the campaign. I saw this picture or a video equivalent on TV news and in the WSJ news section.

Posted by: jk at June 1, 2012 10:13 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Mondo heh.

"green PR crisis management strategy"

And I was only looking for the shirt!

Posted by: johngalt at June 1, 2012 11:45 AM

Move along, nothing to see here

Mitt Romney made a whistlestop visit to Craig, Colorado on Tuesday after seeing this video, which was sent to him by Frank and Kerrie Moe, the hotel-owning couple who star in it. The event was covered by the Denver Post and Steamboat Today, and one is left wondering if the Post's Sara Burnett was at the same rally as was Steamboat Today's Scott Franz.

In 'Routt County Republicans meet Mitt Romney' Franz opens, "Nancy Buchner said the sour economy motivated her to drive to Craig on Tuesday morning to see Mitt Romney." But in 'Mitt Romney in Colorado calls for government as "ally of business" Ms. Burnett implies that everything's just peachy.

Unemployment in Moffat County was about 8.3 percent in April higher than the state average, which increased slightly to 7.8 percent last month. But local miners and the mayor of Craig said the local coal industry has been stable, with no layoffs or reduced hours at the local mines or the power plant.

According to Franz, however, local resident Buchner sees life differently in the remote coal-mining and power generating town:

"We really believe Romney has the tools and the knowledge to get the economy going," Buchner said, adding that she only recently became politically active because of the economy. "When I talked to different people (at the rally), they were worried about money. People cannot get jobs. This is not an election to sit out." She said she doesnt think President Barack Obama can turn the economy around.

Not to worry though, Burnett says:

The Obama campaign counters that the president's "all of the above" energy approach includes clean coal, as well as wind, solar, natural gas and other sources renewable energy sources. They also note the president made one of the most significant investments in development of clean coal technologies with $3.4 billion in stimulus funding.

Now, one has to wonder if Burnett and "the Obama campaign" agree with Al Gore who says "clean" coal "doesn't exist." Clearly this administration will spend billions of taxpayer dollars on something while at the very same time regulating it out of legal existence.

But jk thinks:

Merciful freaking Zeus! FOX31 did this story -- together with the "Amercia" typo -- as a "The Wheels are coming off the Romney Campaign" story. It seems production is up and unemployment is less than surrounding areas. Ergo, yes, everything is fine and Governor Romney is insane to suggest there are any problems. They were astonished that the campaign would not retract this obvious "lie."

I weep.

Posted by: jk at May 31, 2012 4:25 PM

Tweet of the Day

tweet120531.gif

Posted by John Kranz at 2:28 PM | What do you think? [0]

Otequay of the Ayday

Obama also has made the dubious claim that preventive care "saves money for families, for businesses, for government, for everybody." Problem: It's not true. Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf warned in 2009, "Although different types of preventive care have different effects on spending, the evidence suggests that for most preventive services, expanded utilization leads to higher, not lower, medical spending overall." Elmendorf cited a 2008 New England Journal of Medicine article that reported that less than 20 percent of preventive services save money, whereas the rest drive up costs.

-- Right-wing nutjob Debra Saunders of the San Francisco Chronicle, via RCP


Health Care Posted by JohnGalt at 11:55 AM | What do you think? [2]
But jk thinks:

WSJ's ObamaCare in reverse is awesome today. The State of Maine deregulated health insurance and premiums went down. Mirabile freakin' dictu!

Holler if anybody wants a version emailed through the paywall.

Posted by: jk at May 31, 2012 12:12 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Small comfort: Things that can't go on forever, don't.

Posted by: johngalt at May 31, 2012 5:10 PM

"Sick Chickens"

One of my top five Supreme Court cases has to be Schechter Poultry Corp v United States. And I would certainly have to thank Amity Shlaes for elucidation.

In her history of the Great Depression, The Forgotten Man, Amity Shlaes begins the process of rescuing the Schechter brothers from obscurity by spending an entire chapter on their challenge to the New Deal. In this article I build on Shlaes's account to provide some broader context for their story and draw some implications for Jewish Americans.

Us goys can appreciate the story as well. It's an important rebuke to the New Deal, which is why Ms. Shlaes gives it a chapter. But in the shadow of contraception contretemps, it is a good precedent for religious liberty as well:
The problem for the Schechters was that Section 2, Article 7 of the NRA's Code of Fair Competition for the Live Poultry Industry of the Metropolitan Area in and about the City of New York, which sounds like something out of Atlas Shrugged, mandated "straight killing," which meant that customers could not select specific birds out of a coop. Instead they had to select a coop or half coop entirely. The code thus directly contradicted kashrut. This put the Schechters in an untenable position: Abide by the New Deal or abide by kashrut. Do the former and lose your customers. Do the latter and get arrested.

Like other liberty lovers, I love a good whine about Kelo and Raich and McConnell v FEC, but we have to study the wins as well as the losses. Schechter was a great win.

SCOTUS Posted by John Kranz at 11:51 AM | What do you think? [0]

On the Trail 2012

warren_crab_teflon.jpg

Real photo credit: Boston Globe

113th Congress Posted by John Kranz at 11:11 AM | What do you think? [5]
But johngalt thinks:

This must really piss off the lobstah lobby.

Posted by: johngalt at May 31, 2012 11:46 AM
But jk thinks:

I love the expressions on the captivated supporters behind her -- her oratory is clearly lighting them up!

Posted by: jk at May 31, 2012 12:22 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I had the same reaction to the "captivated supporters" as JK did. I've been to funerals where the attendees looked less downcast.

That the crowd isn't thrilled to be there is as obvious as the pale white on Warren's face.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 31, 2012 1:32 PM
But jk thinks:

That's actually an optical illusion -- just the way those high cheekbones reflect the light!

Posted by: jk at May 31, 2012 1:52 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Separated at birth?

Posted by: johngalt at May 31, 2012 2:30 PM

Welch Schools VP Biden on Private Equity

The key point here is that PE firms virtually never buy jewels -- happy, fast-growing companies with glistening profits. After all, such companies have access to other kinds of capital; they don't need private equity. And frankly, private equity is generally not in the business of polishing things up for a low-multiple return. It's in the business of reinvention and rebirth, with fireworks at the end.

During this kind of overhaul, do jobs get lost? Unfortunately, in the early stages, they often do. It's nearly impossible to massively improve productivity by keeping everything the same. But are companies saved? Again, yes. That's the whole point of private equity. You're trying to get a business from terrible to terrific, from dying to thriving. In the process, some jobs may go, but in the best-case scenario, with success down the road, many more will be created. And by preventing a company from going under, jobs will certainly be saved. -- Jack Welsh
Hat-tip: James Pethokoukis

May 30, 2012

A Damned Good Point

I was licking my chops for a "libertario delenda est" post when I saw Reason's "Why Rand Paul Shouldn't Be Romney's Running Mate."

Surely I was in store for some libertoid belly-aching, unpragmatic nonsense, and perfect as enemy of the good. And Jesse Walker fails to disappoint. Yet, it is difficult to argue with one point:

The problem is the idea that it would be good to take the guy out of his Senate seat, where he's well-positioned to battle actual bad legislation, and stick him in a job where he'll be expected to suppress his disagreements with his boss and serve as a public face of the Romney administration.

The loss of him in the US Senate and the general lack of independence he would have in Joe Biden's job do not seem fitting. And I hereby retract my endorsement.

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 7:04 PM | What do you think? [0]

Three Cheers for my Senator!

Politicians will disappoint, yet there are also surprises to the upside. My Junior Senator, Michael Bennet, and neighboring Utah's Orrin Hatch (leans-RINO UT), don't enjoy many fulsome huzzahs from ThreeSources. And yet they are taking on the FDA on an important incursion into a new field they aim to destroy, viz., medical tracking software.

Something as simple as an iPhone app to record your glucose readings is not too small for the great thinkers at the FDA to spend ten years approving. After all, people might die!

A handful of mobile apps read data streams transmitted by medical devices implanted in patients, but one that tracks your pacemaker or blood sugar isn't the same as software embedded in medical devices that are cut into your body and then generate data. In its regulatory grab, the FDA is pretending not to be able to tell the difference.

The result could be the worst regulatory mismatch possible. An FDA process that takes years cannot possibly be applied to technologies that run on our phones or iPads and get updated on a regular basis.

Sens. Michael Bennet (D., Colo.) and Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) have introduced an amendment that puts a moratorium on the FDA's power grab while Congress studies how to build a modern regulatory framework suited to these new software tools. There's good reason why apps that support doctor and patient decisions might merely need to meet certain specifications (regarding ease of use, for example, or reproducibility of performance) to earn government approval, rather than undergo the time-consuming and costly premarket clearance that the FDA demands for other kinds of products.

The Bennet-Hatch amendment--which a bipartisan group of senators is trying to insert into a bill expected to pass Congress this week (the Prescription Drug User Fee Act, which helps fund the FDA's operations)--asks for the different government agencies that already have a stake in this software technology to work together on developing proposals for regulating these new tools.


Well done, lads!

Health Care Posted by John Kranz at 4:36 PM | What do you think? [0]

Jenny McCarthy Body Count

Heh (If your sense of humor is tuned that way).

Junk Science Posted by John Kranz at 3:56 PM | What do you think? [0]

Quote of the Day

And it's not as though no good conservative art or literature has ever been produced. It's just that today's conservatives have lost any sense of proportion or subtext. Everything is so overt and over-stated. I think that The Lord of the Rings is a basically conservative text. It's just not explicitly conservative and doesn't say anything nasty about Obama. -- Erik Kain as part of an interesting symposium on Conservatives and Pop Culture
Posted by John Kranz at 12:55 PM | What do you think? [0]

It's over -- I'm joining the Democrats!

HuffPo:

Mitt Romney iPhone App, 'With Mitt,' Misspells 'America'

MITT-ROMNEY-AMERCIA.jpg

How's he going to fix our nations problkems if he can't even tyep!


Requiescat in Pace

Giants walked the Earth.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Doc Watson, the Grammy-award winning folk musician whose lightning-fast style of flatpicking influenced guitarists around the world for more than a half-century, died Tuesday at a hospital in Winston-Salem, according to a hospital spokeswoman and his management company. He was 89.

ObitDocWatson.jpg

Hoss Posted by John Kranz at 9:45 AM | What do you think? [0]

Welcome Aboard!

I don't know whether to be happy or sad -- my favorite Democrat, Rep. Arthur Davis (D [Ret.] - AL [Ret.]) is becoming a Republican:

While I've gone to great lengths to keep this website a forum for ideas, and not a personal forum, I should say something about the various stories regarding my political future in Virginia, the state that has been my primary home since late December 2010. The short of it is this: I dont know and am nowhere near deciding. If I were to run, it would be as a Republican. And I am in the process of changing my voter registration from Alabama to Virginia, a development which likely does represent a closing of one chapter and perhaps the opening of another.

As to the horse-race question that animated parts of the blogosphere, it is true that people whose judgment I value have asked me to weigh the prospect of running in one of the Northern Virginia congressional districts in 2014 or 2016, or alternatively, for a seat in the Virginia legislature in 2015. If that sounds imprecise, its a function of how uncertain political opportunities can be--and if that sounds expedient, never lose sight of the fact that politics is not wishfulness, its the execution of a long, draining process to win votes and help and relationships while your adversaries are working just as hard to tear down the ground you build.

The whole thing is superb -- and not much longer than my excerpt. But I can't stop:
On the specifics, I have regularly criticized an agenda that would punish businesses and job creators with more taxes just as they are trying to thrive again. I have taken issue with an administration that has lapsed into a bloc by bloc appeal to group grievances when the country is already too fractured: frankly, the symbolism of Barack Obama winning has not given us the substance of a united country. You have also seen me write that faith institutions should not be compelled to violate their teachings because faith is a freedom, too. You've read that in my view, the law can't continue to favor one race over another in offering hard-earned slots in colleges: America has changed, and we are now diverse enough that we don't need to accommodate a racial spoils system. And you know from these pages that I still think the way we have gone about mending the flaws in our healthcare system is the wrong way--it goes further than we need and costs more than we can bear.

Hat-tip: Instapundit

Politics Posted by John Kranz at 9:32 AM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

Zell Miller redux.

Can you provide a link, to a past post perhaps, explaining why Rep. Davis is your favorite Dem? Inquiring minds ...

Posted by: johngalt at May 30, 2012 12:29 PM
But jk thinks:

"Art" is a frequent Kudlow guest where he proves to be not only a responsible interlocutor but also obviously very bright for a member of Congress. I took the liberty of assuming a black, southern Congressman would be a mad lefty (call me names, think poorly of me) yet he never engaged in class warfare or business bashing.

He was one of the first Democrats to come out against the "Bain Bashing" from the Obama campaign.

So -- do we celebrate his conversion or bemoan the loss of a responsible 'D?'

Posted by: jk at May 30, 2012 1:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Celebrate, hands down. There's no such thing as a responsible D. In a two-party system every individual office holder caucuses with the party, which makes the responsible ones outcasts. (cf: Ron Paul) Additionally, Davis' conversion makes the R tent bigger.

Huzzah!

Posted by: johngalt at May 30, 2012 3:31 PM

May 29, 2012

It's Over!

NYTimes:

NEWS ORLEANS (Reuters) -- The votes are in and it is unanimous: Barack Obama will win re-election to the U.S. presidency in November, according to five astrologers who offered predictions at their convention on Tuesday.

Each of the five astrologers on the presidential panel explained how they came to their assessments, with most relying on studies of celestial charts pertinent to both Obama and presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney for the date of either the election itself or the next presidential inauguration.


Sorry, Mitt, just wasn't to be this year...

Hat-tip: @jamestaranto

2012 Election Posted by John Kranz at 7:19 PM | What do you think? [2]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Two possibilities:

(1) The stargazers are wrong in their nutty little superstition, and should Romney win the White House, they will admit the error of their ways, recant, and life will go one.

(2) The stargazers have been making use of Ouija boards and crystal balls on the side. They know how the Illinois dead will be voting.

Let's take note of the names: Nina Gryphon (lawyering in her spare time) of Chicago and Chris Brennan of Denver (apparently the writer didn't see fit to hold the other three accountable for their predictions, or they themselves lacked confidence in their mojo). Let's see what tune they're singing a week after the election.

Just for fun, enjoy the lyrics of this little parody (I've had the pleasure of enjoying Michael Omartian's original version of this, and it's better than this):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbtLLVsXkII

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 30, 2012 12:59 AM
But jk thinks:

Where'd I put that Leisure Suit?

Posted by: jk at May 30, 2012 9:27 AM

May 28, 2012

Review Corner

I had posted James Pethokoukis's Road to Freedom QOTD a few weeks ago. Many of the AEI bloggers have piled on since, and there are quite a few quotes from Arthur C. Brooks's book available on the AEI Blogsite.

And yet, I would advise you to take The Road to Freedom for a spin. It's very good, and its topic is near and dear to the hearts of ThreeSourcers: how can we make the most effective case for free markets and free enterprise?

As President of AEI, Arthur Brooks's opinion is interesting by default. As it happens, I think it will have a lot of appeal to ThreeSourcers, even though he is ready to concede a lot more to the state than most of us. Yet, the demand for a moral and not economic case will attract some ThreeSources enthusiasm. So what if growth is a little slower, if it is more "fair?" Brooks points out that a 1% d2GDP/dt2 means that in 72 years our descendants will have half the wealth they would without the loss. That the poor and the marginalized are the ones who truly benefit from growth and wealth creation.

A great read. At the end of the day I don't think either I or dagny or jg can claim Brooks to be "on our side" in the Elevator Talk wars (he does use the phrase "elevator talk"), but it is good data.

Four stars, as I have been too generous of late -- and that most ThreeSourcers will not encounter many new ideas. But what is there is well said, well documented -- and well worth a read.

Review Corner Posted by John Kranz at 4:14 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Where was I on May 9th and why didn't I comment on Road to Freedom QOTD? That is some good stuff and I went back today to defend it from brother Perry.

Posted by: johngalt at May 29, 2012 7:04 PM
But jk thinks:

Down at the Occupy Denver Rallies fighting Capitalism?

Posted by: jk at May 29, 2012 7:34 PM

Honor Flight

Happy Memorial Day!

Hat-tip: Daily Caller


May 27, 2012

Review Corner

This hung on my office door for a long time:

He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much; who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.

Attributed -- erroneously it seems -- to Ralph Waldo Emerson. A friend and I used to joke that "a perfect poem" was a rather high bar; neither of us though young at the time seemed on track to complete any of the markers to Emersonain success. He later got into Orchids; maybe he will make the botanical cut.

The poem was in an ad for a Boulder Bank, and the reason it scored the prized location was that it also had President Lincoln's letter to Mrs. Bixby I am shocked to learn that its authenticity is now debated. Even before the Internet: lies, lies, lies!

That was a long side track, but the phrase "perfect poem" has haunted me to this day. Who leaves behind something of perfection? Especially in art, it seems heretical.

And yet, I am going to credit Robert A. Caro with a perfect piece of scholarship for his four-volumes-and-counting exhaustive exegesis on President Lyndon Johnson. Caro is the greatest biographer of all time. While I quip that "it's too bad he wasted his skills on LBJ," that is neither fair nor accurate. Our Thirty-Sixth provides both a complex personality and an opportunity to examine our Republic's legislative and electoral system in intricate detail.

I think anybody is completely mad for not reading all four, and hope Caro's health holds out to complete the series. But I do recommend Volume III: Master of the Senate" to one who balks at the idea of all ("Master" alone is 1400 pages). These books show an insider's view of elections and legislation that nobody is naive enough not to suspect, yet nobody would be calculating enough to fabricate. I think you learn more about how government really works from Master of the Senate than 100 Civics textbooks. The warts and all view has even me rethinking the benefits of self government.

Caro also ranges around (again, he has the page count -- no idea how big this one is but it has occupied your humble blog brother for almost three weeks). The introduction sections on President Kennedy are as instructive as complete books. While the books are lengthy and dense with facts, they are not a bit turgid nor long winded. Masterful.

For a guy who has spent so much of his life on one individual -- I have always wanted to run into Caro at a cocktail party or Walmart* or somewhere so I could ask "Do you like him? At all?" Caro's writings have done much to engender a personal antipathy for Johnson that I do not feel for any other President, whether I like their policies or not. TR and Wilson destroyed this once free nation, but seemed interesting, real guys, who were devoted and patriotic.

The Lyndon Baines Johnson of the first three volumes -- and the author hints of the fifth -- is an unprincipled slave to ambition. All his personal failings happen to be those which most disturb me. He is brutal to subordinates, obsequious to superiors, and completely ruthless without an agenda to hang it on. All his crimes are committed for the betterment of LBJ.

For seven weeks in this book, his subject gets a chance to shine. The transition from November 22 in Dallas to his State of the Union gets deservedly high marks. His initial legislative agenda, where the master again finds the strategy and tactics to complete the JFK agenda and start his own has to be applauded for brilliance whether you agree with it or not. Like watching Marty Broduer beat my Rangers, you have to provide props where props be due.

Lastly, Caro grades on a curve because he does support the agenda without reservation. Those opposed to it are racists upholding progress demanded by the majority. No doubt true, but Caro surprised me by never giving the slightest nod to property or states' rights, or even questioning the efficacy or current fiscal condition of these vaunted programs.

That sounds like a huge negative to ThreeSourcers, but it is not. We're big boys and girls and we know academic dispositions. At the end of the day, nobody else on the whole planet could have passed JFK's tax cut, which set up decades of prosperity. Or the Civil Rights bill which suborned property rights but elevated human dignity.

A lot to think about. A lot to learn. A lot to enjoy. Five stars without question.

Review Corner Posted by John Kranz at 3:41 PM | What do you think? [0]

Eschew Sanguinity

On last week's post criticizing the City of Boulder's "Climate Change Preparedness Plan" brother JK glibly (sarcastically?) quipped that "if things get too warm here [in Weld County] I can drive right over the line [into Boulder County]" where presumably he'll be "saved" from the "deleterious" effects of global, or regional, umm county-wide climate change. Not so fast, dear friend. There's big trouble in little Nirvana.

Seems the CCPP is part of a larger Climate Action Plan (CAP) that is enabled by a voter-approved tax that expires next March. The tax collects $1.8 million annually for the City of Boulder's pet enviro projects. Apparently Boulder County thinks the city is on to something and they are contemplating a "sustainability tax" of their own. Boulder Daily Camera:

"I'm very concerned that if the county goes ahead, our CAP tax will stand a very good chance of losing," Mayor Matt Appelbaum said. "And that will just kill us. That will set us way back. It would be a huge loss for us if we lost the momentum. There are many programs that are just getting going."

Councilwoman Suzy Ageton said the programs will "crash" if the tax is not renewed.

"We're going to go off a cliff if this doesn't pass," she said.

One wonders if Boulder County's "sustainability tax" will be more sustainable than Boulder City's CAP tax.


May 26, 2012

A new -ocracy

It must be a real word, I read it on the internet.

But johngalt thinks:

Think of it as "Kleptocracy for Dummies."

Posted by: johngalt at May 26, 2012 3:16 PM
But jk thinks:

Reality of the word notwithstanding, it sadly reeks of verisimilitude.

Posted by: jk at May 26, 2012 3:58 PM
But Harold D. Thomas thinks:

Kleptocracy is a real word. According to Merriam-Webster (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kleptocracy) it dates to 1819.

Their definition is "government by those who seek chiefly status and personal gain at the expense of the governed; also : a particular government of this kind."

Posted by: Harold D. Thomas at July 24, 2012 9:27 AM

Happy Birthday to me...

I bought this on eBay and it is racing to me from upstate NY courtesy of the folks at UPS.

jks_chet.jpg

Never wanting to miss a good occasion, blog friend sc sent a pic of his new amp:

sc_amp.jpg

This thing is potentially getting out of hand...

Posted by John Kranz at 9:59 AM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Mmmm, beautiful! The warmth and subtlety of that handmade musical instrument is sublimely inspirational. And the guitar is cool too.

Posted by: johngalt at May 26, 2012 12:20 PM
But jk thinks:

Arrived in great condition. She's a beauty!

Posted by: jk at May 30, 2012 4:10 AM

May 25, 2012

Obama's "Vulture Capitalist" Campaign Co-Chair

At the Liberty on the Rocks Flatirons kickoff meeting last week I was urged to follow CompleteColorado.com for my news and not give another dime of money or attention to the Denver Post. Today the site proved the worth of that advice.

As I first heard on today's Rush Limbaugh program, Complete's Todd Shepherd broke the story about former Denver Mayor Federico Pena, currently a western US campaign co-chair for Obama 2012, who "has been a partner at private equity firm Vestar Capital since 2000." The significance, of course, is that Romney's Bain Capital background is, in the words of the president, "part of the debate that were going to be having in this election campaign."

Obviously I have nothing against "vulture" capitalists, but let's debate: Is it unacceptable for a corporate turnaround artist to be president of the United States but perfectly fine if he just shills for some useful idiot to hold the office on his behalf?

Complete closes with this:

If the President intends to make this election about Romney's record at Bain, then Mr. Pea and James Kelley must come clean about layoffs at Del Monte, Solo Cup Company, and Birdseye foods. If not, Mr. Pea might not be available to stand on the campaign stage with the President at his next Colorado rally.

That is, unless the Dominant Liberal Establishment Mass Media says he can.

(More on this story at Colorado Peak Politics blog.)


On Freedom

I got permission to share a private email from a good friend of this blog. I would go for anonymity, but the geography will give away sc:

Went to a meeting on defeating the marriage amendment last night. I guess I'm ankle deep in gay activism. Didn't see that coming, but what's right is what's right. So here are two take aways from the evening; the gay republican speaker was pretty well received, better than I would have thought and better than the guy JG mentioned. The second thing that occurred to me was that throughout most of history and in a lot of places in the world now a meeting like that could have gotten us all arrested and probably killed. God bless the United States of America! The constitution in practice has been a dream deferred, but we are achieving its promise. The God given, inalienable rights once limited to some will eventually be recognized as belonging to all. That document separates us from most of human history and is still man's best hope. I guess I'm kind of proud of having a small role to play In seeing that dream deferred becoming a promise kept. America, f#%k yeah!

Between us, I have my doubts about Minnesota. I think we are competitive in Rochester, Duluth and the cities, but only by razor thin margins, which throws the decision outstate and I don't see us winning there.


But johngalt thinks:

The Constitution (and the New York Times) does a fine job of protecting citizens from arrest or murder when they confront the law on social issues. But try defending your individual Constitutional protection against unreasonable seizure, as did Chrysler's "secured" bondholders, and see who comes to your defense.

Posted by: johngalt at May 25, 2012 4:32 PM
But jk thinks:

Justice Ginsberg tried. And, to be fair, the secured debt holders were not imprisoned. It wasn't like they were importing lobsters in plastic bags or anything.

I think it is instructive. Our First Amendment rights have been jealously guarded by, yes, the New York Times and Larry Flint and the Illinois Nazis (man, I hate Illinois Nazis!) and the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" guy and the flag burners and Rev. Phelps. An odd coalition to be sure, but the critical mass has protected speech.

Our Fifth Amendment rights you miss and Second and Fourth have fewer protectors and pari passu are less "absolute."

All that said, celebrating liberty where you find it is never a bad way to spend a minute.

Posted by: jk at May 25, 2012 5:45 PM

We'll try that smackdown thing again

My last smackdown didn't go well, but I'm going to get back up on that metaphorical horsey and ride. I'm thinking this might work better. And it's less than 140 characters.

@LizMair: If everyone had art supplies there might not be any war. #stuffmothertoldme
@nickgillespie They had art supplies:
Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 10:36 AM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

SMACK! ;)

Posted by: johngalt at May 25, 2012 3:26 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Reduce complicated issues to slogans and control the media to orchestrate a rapid rise to power - those Nazis were crafty.

Posted by: johngalt at May 27, 2012 11:08 AM

All Hail Strassel!

It seems a long time since I have linked to Kim Strassel. I will remedy that today.

Administration surrogates are actively touting the President's "job creation" in the auto bailouts, ramping up "investments in green energy" and questioning Governor Romney's claims from Bain. It seems that he is not responsible for jobs at Staples after he left, yet he is vilified for the steelworkers who got laid off after he left. Whatever.

Strassel steps back to compare the President as Venture-Capitalist-in-Chief:

So, take your pick. Mr. Obama's knock on free enterprise is that it is driven by "profit," and that this experience makes Mr. Romney too heartless to be president. The alternative is an Obama capitalism that is driven by political favoritism, government subsidies, mandates, and billions in taxpayer underwriting--and that really is a path to bankruptcies and layoffs. If the president wants to put all 3,545 green stimulus jobs he's created up against Bain's record, he should feel free.

Thing you'll read to want whole, certainly the.


May 24, 2012

The HOSS List

Voting for Rand Paul's Amendment to disarm the Milk Police:

Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
John Boozman (R-AR)
Jim Coburn (R-OK)
John Cornyn (R-TX)
Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Jim DeMint (R-SC)
Mike Johanns (R-NE)
Ron Johnson (R-WI)
Mike Lee (R-UT)
Rand Paul (R-KY)
Jim Risch (R-ID)
John Thune (R-SD)
Pat Toomey (R-PA)
David Vitter (R-LA)
Roger Wicker (R-MS)

Not one Democrat.

But johngalt thinks:

I'd like to hear the explanation from Alexander, Barrasso, Blunt, Brown, Burr, Chambliss, Coats, Cochran, Collins, Corker, ENZI, Graham, Grassley, Hatch, Hoeven, INHOFE, Isakson, Kyl, Lugar, McCain, MCCONNELL, Moran, Murkowski, Portman, Roberts, RUBIO, Sessions, Shelby and Snowe: "Why did you vote against it?" My guess, the reason is "McConnell."

Posted by: johngalt at May 24, 2012 6:27 PM
But jk thinks:

I've a much higher opinion fo leader McConnell than you. I wonder who on that list might respond.

I'm glad to see it appear in Reason that not one Democrat opposed paramilitary milk police. Those guys need reminding that there's a difference.

Posted by: jk at May 24, 2012 8:06 PM

That's Gotta Sting.

Blog smackdowns are so childish. What are we in the third grade? I mean --

Tim Cavenaugh is murdering Andrew Sullivan! You'll want to read the whole thing> But my sense of fair play forces me to excerpt this for blog brother jg:

I'd like to take "soaring inflation" and "moribund economy" together: Sullivan posts two charts, one showing GDP growth averaging flat-or-flattish since 2007, and another showing inflation in every quarter except one. During that period, inflation has been a cumulative 10.97, according to a Koch-funded rightwing hate group called "the Bureau of Labor Statistics."

But johngalt thinks:

Hmmm, much as I'd like it to be otherwise I don't think I'd say Cavenaugh is answering Sullivan's claims very effectively. Yes, GDP growth is "flat or flattish since 2007" but according to the graph it hasn't been much better since 2000. And while I do believe inflation is soaring, it isn't reflected in the graph which shows inflation outpacing GDP growth all right but again, since 2000 and not merely since 2007 (or 2009).

It seems a better rebuttal would be the United States Consumer Confidence chart from the same source, along with the United States Government Debt to GDP

I did, however, quite enjoy the archived article he linked to show the "falsehood" of CPI inflation. After a bonus discussion of the chart I posted below, Cavanaugh mocked "Bernankeism"

"—to describe how endless currency creation and low interest rates produce inflationary bubbles. Not that you'd know about inflation if, instead of buying things you needed, you were studying the popular "core" CPI, which leaves out energy and food costs and bases its estimates on a cherry-picked basket of goods that tells us increasingly less about the well-being of Americans."


Posted by: johngalt at May 24, 2012 5:40 PM
But Bryan thinks:

I have to agree with Brother JG on this one. As much as I wish Cavanaugh were destroying Sullivan’s arguments, he is not. His arguments, while valid, against the way CPI and GDP data do not go far enough to address where Sullivan is wrong.

While nominal GDP growth for the period between 1-1-2007 to 1-1-2011 was 7.59%, real GDP growth for the same time period was .82%. In case you can’t see the decimal, that is 8 tenths of a percent growth in the economy in 4 years. The CPI numbers from the same time period show a growth in prices of 8.48%. Nearly all “growth” in the nominal GDP number has been the result of an increase in prices.

(I refuse to call that increase in prices inflation. The increase in prices is due to the growth of M2, during that same time period, by 26.88%. AKA: Inflation)

Sullivan’s claim that our economy has been “moribund” for the last decade is also not entirely accurate. From 1-1-2000-1-1-2011 nominal GDP grew 51.68% while real GDP grew 18.71%. Ignoring the nominal number and focusing only on the real number paints a real clear picture. As I mentioned above, real GDP growth from 2007 through 2011 only grew at a rate of .82% where real GDP growth from 2000-2011 was 18.71%. This not exactly the "moribund economy" Sullivan argues we've had for a "long time.

Mr. Cavanaugh’s original claim regarding the economy and inflation are correct, but his defense of his positions leaves a little (specifically facts) to be desired. I, more than most, enjoy a debate regarding the failures of ANY price measuring mechanism to measure inflation and GDP, but in this instance I think it is a distraction.

H/T:Federal Reserve Economic Data (AKA FRED Database)

Posted by: Bryan at May 24, 2012 6:53 PM

Cool Econ Graphs

Reagan famously asked, "Are you better off than you were four years ago" to defeat incumbent President Jimmy Carter. Mitt is using a similar strategy against today's incumbent president. This graph shows why it might be a winning play. Substantially more people are at a diminished income than there were at any time in the last 50 years, and there's a long way to go back to the baseline.

There are many more excellent graphs in the graph gallery of the Calculated Risk Blog.


Quote of the Day

Seems Ben Domenech is not enamored with the trailer for the new Great Gatsby film:

There is not a single actor in the thing who looks comfortable in the role, and the glitz and glam shrieks of this being an Occupy Wall Street take on American capitalism, which Gatsby never was. The CGI New York looks more like Tron. I cant tell if I prefer the terribleness of Tobey Maguire's non-acting to that bearded fellow's overacting. And DiCaprio, poor DiCaprio, simmers with the confused emotion of a man who has just tasted plain yogurt when he thought it was vanilla. Here, toss some shirts.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:54 PM | What do you think? [0]

Colorado? Headwinds?

Who says there's no good news!

Rocky Path for Obama in Colorado

"We're not looking at a guy who's at 52 percent approval ratings," said Floyd Ciruli, one of the state's top independent pollsters, who in April found Obama's approval ratings hovering at 45 percent among likely voters. "Even though the economy and unemployment is a little better than the national average, the level of anxiety is just about as high here as any place else. There's general anxiety that [the economy] could turn south again."


I may be still too close to Boulder, but I think Colorado will be tough for Governor Romney.

2012 Election Posted by John Kranz at 12:15 PM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

I thought so too, based on the official GOP position on civil unions. Then someone told me that 70 percent oppose them. True? Bad on principle may be good pragmatically. (Not that I approve of such thinking.)

Posted by: johngalt at May 24, 2012 12:54 PM
But jk thinks:

It might energize some folks in El Paso County, but I don't see its swaying moderates of Democrats to switch in numbers to exceed those it turns off. (Peter Robinson's "It's My Party" talks about the more libertarian Rocky Mountain GOP versus the more evangelical Southern GOP.)

But mostly, I think the Democrats have learned that they can buy the state. Their 527s will scoop up all the airtime in relatively inexpensive markets. (Cynical much?)

Posted by: jk at May 24, 2012 1:13 PM
But johngalt thinks:

If it comes down to money there are reasons to be optimistic. Dick Morris tweets:

"The Republican PACs are looking to raise substantially more money then their Democratic counterparts, perhaps by a margin of 7 to 1."

"The RNC has raised about 70 million and the DNC has only raised about 10 or 15 million, again things are looking good for Mitt."

"The Democrats are putting most of their money into fieldwork and voter turnout, and less for ads. This could allow Romney to open up a lead."

Posted by: johngalt at May 24, 2012 2:38 PM

Tweet of the Day

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Politics Posted by John Kranz at 10:43 AM | What do you think? [0]

May 23, 2012

Mister Vice President!

What liberty sounds like:

But Keith Arnold thinks:

The floor recognizes Senator Hoss of Kentucky...

... and if his amendment had simply ELIMINATED the FDA, I'd seriously consider him as my running mate.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 23, 2012 10:31 PM
But jk thinks:

Yes, let's not make the perfect the enemy of the good -- taking their guns away is an awesome first step!

Beyond FDA bashing, which is always in season, I really appreciated his nod to mens rea. Reason and Stossel have made me more aware and concerned of this threat to liberty. The guy who goes to jail for importing lobster in plastic bags.

Posted by: jk at May 24, 2012 9:24 AM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

The apple did not fall far from the tree.

"I think we have bigger problems in our country without sending armed FDA agents." End stop.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at May 24, 2012 11:24 AM

This Calls for a Pointless Gesture!

Great Reason piece today on the City of Angels:

There's a crisis in Los Angeles. Is it the city's projected $250 million budget deficit? The city's $10 billion shortfall in pension obligations? Its crumbling infrastructure? A public school dropout rate approaching 50 percent? No, the City of Angels is facing catastrophe in the form of grocery bags.

So great is the menace that the City Council is poised to impose on the good people of Los Angeles the country's strictest grocery bag ban, prohibiting the distribution of both plastic and paper bags.

Author Jay Beeber compends a great list of the stupidity of this: disease, environmental costs of reusable bags, economic costs of nannyism, &c. But one of the interesting factors was what a small part of the waste stream grocery bags are. For all the talk of the scourge, it remains a miniscule portion of waste.
California's Statewide Waste Characterization Study shows that "Plastic Grocery and Other Merchandise Bags" consistently make up just 0.3 percent of the waste stream in the state. That's three-tenths of 1 percent. In comparison, organic waste such as food and yard clippings makes up 32 percent while construction debris comprises about 30 percent. The effect of eliminating free grocery bags on the amount of waste generated in the city would be insignificant.

Can't believe they beat Boulder to this.

Environment Posted by John Kranz at 7:13 PM | What do you think? [1]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

And this about this, economists: the grocery bags are most decidedly NOT free - they are included in the price of the groceries. Did you notice the cost of groceries being reduced by the cost of supplying those bags? Me neither.

(Yes, yes, I know the price is negligible by comparison. There are grocery stores here that have started charging between three and five cents per paper grocery bag as a way of encouraging people to bring their own "environmentally conscious" reusable grocery totes - or they'll be happy to sell you their store-branded ones. Did the cost of the previously-free grocery bags come off the price of the groceries? Nah.)

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 23, 2012 10:44 PM

Liberty on the Rocks, Flatirons

Fellow Three Sourcers -

I apologize for my long absence from the blog. The past 5 weeks have been a blur; between Future Candidate School at the Leadership Institute and planning the kick off event for Liberty on the Rocks, Flatirons I have had very little time for anything else. I was so busy in fact, that I committed a major PR error by not coming onto Three Sources to shamelessly self promote my event.

Fortunately, brother JG had my back and kindly posted here to remind the Three Sources community about the event. On a personal note, it was great to have JG, Dagny, and their family join us for our kick off event.

Having realized the above mentioned PR error, I would like to give all the followers of Three Sources some exclusive information about our upcoming Liberty on the Rocks, Flatirons event.

You're hearing it here first:

Our next event will be on Monday June 4th from 6-9 PM. Our speaker will be Christopher Doss from the Leadership Institute who will be talking about the current state and future of the liberty movement and the different ways all of us can become more involved. His speech will be roughly 20 minutes in length and will be followed by 10-15 minutes of Q&A. Trust me, you will want to ask him questions. He was one of my instructors for Future Candidate School in D.C. two weeks ago and is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to Liberty, Economics, and Grassroots Activism.

If you are interested in getting more involved in grassroots activism, then I cannot suggest this class enough. Mr. Doss will be teaching this all day class on grassroots activism and your's truly will be attending. It is an all day event that includes lunch. Having attended several Leadership Institute trainings, I can tell you that this will be well worth the $25.


Tweet of the Day

I disagree with Bill Bennett on almost everything, but hold him in high esteem.

tweet120523.gif

Politics Posted by John Kranz at 10:23 AM | What do you think? [0]

May 22, 2012

Thanks a Lot!

Yahoo

One day after President Barack Obama vowed to attack Mitt Romney's private equity record through to November, a super PAC supporting his re-election unleashed a new ad that enlists the former Massachusetts governor's erstwhile primary rivals to do just that.

2012 Election Posted by John Kranz at 5:32 PM | What do you think? [0]

That crease is not looking as sharp

Dear David Brooks, can't spell R-U-B-E without YOU!

The NYTimes idea of a conservative famously thought the crease in then Senator Obama's trousers signified that he was ready for some Article II work. Curiously, I don't recall Hamiltion mentioning pressing in Federalist 69, although there were some superb trouser jokes in "The Rutles."

Brooks is discontented, though. It seems private equity and capitalism have done more for this great nation than its best dry cleaners have:

While American companies operate in radically different ways than they did 40 years ago, the sheltered, government-dominated sectors of the economy -- especially education, health care and the welfare state -- operate in astonishingly similar ways.

The implicit argument of the Republican campaign is that Mitt Romney has the experience to extend this transformation into government.

The Obama campaign seems to be drifting willy-nilly into the opposite camp, arguing that the pressures brought to bear by the capital markets over the past few decades were not a good thing, offering no comparably sized agenda to reform the public sector.



Why don't more people get it?

That's the question dagny asked me at the conclusion of last night's inaugural Liberty on the Rocks, Flatirons Chapter meeting. I could do no better than my universal explanation for why so many people make so many bad choices, Ayn Rand's admonishment that, "Reason is not automatic. Those who deny its existence cannot be swayed by it."

Today I was given a much more precise answer to the same question by a guest of 850 KOA's Mike Rosen. Michael Prell is on a promo tour for his 2011 book, "Underdogma: How America's Enemies Use Our Love for the Underdog to Trash American Power." Prell's premise is that our country's electoral preference for collectivist policies stems not from ignorance, but from a healthy American proclivity to root for the underdog. From the Amazon book review:

David versus Goliath, the American Revolutionaries, "The Little Engine That Could," Team USAs "Miracle on Ice," the Star Wars Rebel Alliance, Rocky Balboa, the Jamaican bobsled team and the meek inheriting the Earth.

Everyone, it seems, loves an underdog. Why is that?

We begin life tiny and helpless, at the mercy of those who are bigger and more powerful than us: parents and guardians who tell us what to eat, what to wear, how to behave (even when to sleep and wake up). From childhood into adulthood, were told what to do by those who wield more powerour parents, teachers, bosses government. So naturally, we have a predisposition to resent the overdogs and root for the little guy.

But this tendency, which international political consultant and human rights activist Michael Prell calls underdogma, can be very dangerous both to America and to the world at large.

In Underdogma, Prell, who has worked world leaders including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Australian and Canadian prime ministers and the Dalai Lama, explores our love/hate relationship with power within our culture and our politics. Underdogma explains seeming mysteries such as why:

Almost half of Americans blamed President Bush for the attacks of 9/11, even while the American media described the architect of these attacks as thoughtful about his cause and craft and folksy.
Gays and lesbians protest those who protect gay rights (America, Israel), while championing those who outlaw and execute homosexuals (Palestine).
Environmentalists focus their rage on America, even though China is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases.
The United Nations elevates countries such as Sudan to full membership on the UNs Commission on Human Rights, even as the ethnic cleansing of Darfur proceeds.

Tracing the evolution of this belief system through human historyancient Greece to Marxism to the dawn of political correctnessPrell shows what continuing with this collective mindset means for our future. While America and its president increasingly exalt the meek and apologize for their power, Americas competitors and enemies are moving in a different direction. China is projected to overtake the U.S. economically by 2027 and is ready to move into the position of hegemon, and radical Islamists are looking to extend their global territory, taking any sign of weakness as a chance to attack.

America must return to its founding spirit, and underdogma must stop nowour nation depends on it.

This is a fascinating explanation that I'm inclined to take at face value until proven otherwise. However, I don't think I'm on board with the conclusion that underdogma "must stop now." I called this tendency healthy and will stand on that position. What must stop is allowing the Progressive left to continue casting the collective as underdog to the individual - any individual. Underdogma is a force that can and should be used for good. The notion that a gang, or state or interest group is less powerful than individual citizens is so preposterous that all can see it, if only some light is given.

It looks like a great book and could be an excellent topic at a future Liberty on the Rocks.

But jk thinks:

I have a much more declassee way I phrase a similar thought: The left loves people who crap in the dirt.

It's the only way to explain their love of Palestinian Refugees who kill gays and are, can we say, less than 100% committed to women's equality -- compared with pluralist, übertolearnt Israel.

So while I am all for appreciating the underdog, I suggest that the impulse must be subordinated to reason.

Book sounds interesting -- I'll risk one more mention of "The Righteous Mind" by Jonathan Haidt as the best answer I've encountered to dagny's question.

Posted by: jk at May 22, 2012 4:10 PM

Otequay of the Ayday

While Boulder County and the city of Boulder are developing a Climate Change Preparedness Plan, "we would never waste our money on something like that."

"We respect property rights in Weld County. I wouldn't say the same for the Boulder County commissioners." - Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer


But jk thinks:

Excellent. If things get too warm here, I can drive right over the line.

Posted by: jk at May 22, 2012 4:40 PM
But jc thinks:

Hardly worth commenting on but I couldn't resist! ;-)

Denial of the facts (burying your head in the ground) does not justify inaction or mockery. How the human race reacts and responds to change is the crucial element here. We may not agree with any of the actions or responses of Boulder or Weld county in this matter. However, we better get our collective butts in gear and start thinking outside the box if we intend to add another millennium to the clock of human history on planet earth.

Posted by: jc at May 25, 2012 9:51 AM
But jk thinks:

Your comments are always welcome around here.

But it is neither denial nor dismissal. To live long and prosper on this planet will require ingenuity and innovation. Weld sees a future of discovery, Boulder fearfully seeks to preserve an idea of a lost past.

Posted by: jk at May 25, 2012 11:38 AM
But johngalt thinks:

"We?" What do you mean, we, Kemosabe?

Posted by: johngalt at May 27, 2012 12:08 PM

May 21, 2012

Quote of the Day

I can't believe I missed this on Friday:

If only the working title had been "Bow Wow Chow," it would be perfect. -- James Taranto

2012 Election Posted by John Kranz at 10:40 AM | What do you think? [0]

May 20, 2012

Liberty on the Rocks, Flatirons Kickoff Meeting

No doubt blog brother Bryan is too much a shrinking violet for "Shameless Self Promotion." Ere will I step into the breach.

He is co-founder of a Flatirons branch of Liberty on the Rocks, and their debut meeting is in Louisville Colorado tomorrow night.

Join us on Monday, May 21st, for our inaugural meeting to kick off the Flatirons chapter of Liberty on the Rocks. After you're personally welcomed by co-founders Mike Shelton and Bryan Cutsinger you'll be treated to the keynote speech, Why Freedom Works, delivered by none other than Representative Donald Beezley. You'll then have the opportunity to network with other local liberty supporters. Come for the event, stay for the food and networking - you're guaranteed a great evening no matter what!

This event is open to the public, you're welcome to invite friends!


Ralphie's Sports Tavern, 585 East S, Boulder Rd. 6:00 to 9:00 PM.

See you there!

Colorado Posted by John Kranz at 12:33 PM | What do you think? [4]
But johngalt thinks:

Still hoping to be there, at least for a while.

Posted by: johngalt at May 21, 2012 3:30 PM
But johngalt thinks:

FYI- The parent organization is Liberty on the Rocks, apparently founded in Littleton but expanding nationally. http://www.libertyontherocks.org/

Our Bryan took the initiative to "start your own!"

Posted by: johngalt at May 21, 2012 3:47 PM
But jk thinks:

Amen to iniative. I am hedging a bit as I have a nasty twisted knee (I walk so dreamily with a good one). I hope to see everybody.

Posted by: jk at May 21, 2012 5:28 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Made it to the inaugural Flatirons LOTR meeting last night. Had a great time, met lots of people and learned some things too. (For instance, who knew that the Colorado legislature has a Randian member who quotes Bastiat in committee meetings? But that's a topic unto itself.)

Also learned that the concept of "Liberty on the Rocks" is modeled on the old "Public House" of colonial times, where folks would meet and discuss politics, philosophy and other affairs of the day over food and drink. Kids are welcome. Meetings are first and third Mondays of every month at Ralphie's Sports Grille in LOUISVILLE, CO. (Don't enter Lafayette into your GPS.) ;)

Posted by: johngalt at May 22, 2012 12:32 PM

Quote of the Day

After all, if your first book is an exploration of racial identity and has the working title "Journeys In Black And White," being born in Hawaii doesn't really help. It's entirely irrelevant to the twin pillars of contemporary black grievance -- American slavery and European imperialism. To 99.99 percent of people, Hawaii is a luxury vacation destination and nothing else.

Whereas Kenya puts you at the heart of what, in an otherwise notably orderly decolonization process by the British, was a bitter and violent struggle against the white man's rule. Cool! The composite chicks dig it, and the literary agents. . . . In a post-modern America, the things that Gatsby attempted to fake -- an elite schooling -- Obama actually had; the things that Gatsby attempted to obscure -- the impoverished roots -- merely add to Obama's luster. Gatsby claimed to have gone to Oxford, but nobody knew him there because he never went; Obama had a million bucks' worth of elite education at Occidental, Columbia and Harvard Law, and still nobody knew him ("Fox News contacted some 400 of his classmates and found no one who remembered him"). In that sense, Obama out-Gatsbys Gatsby. -- Mark Steyn

May 19, 2012

From my Cold Dead Hands, Mr. President

Anthony Martin, at the Conservative Examiner:

The Obama Administration is once again poised to begin harassing Gibson Guitars of Nashville, Tennessee, this time taking its grievances with the company to musicians and fans at summer concerts across the nation.

Administration officials have threatened to raid summer concerts in order to seize what it deems to be illegal guitars made from wood that has been banned.


I hoped this was a hyper-sensitive blogger gone off the rails, but we have at least two Senators involved.
A meeting was held today between [Sen. Lamar (R - TN)] Alexander, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., representatives from the music industry and the wood import business, and conservation and environmental groups to come up with a workable solution.

As the bible says: "wheresoever two or more Senators gather together with industry representatives, thy property rights be unsafe" (Something like that -- Brother Keith might tweak it a bit).

Again, my hope is that the insanity of this will show non-ThreeSourcers the true costs of government overreach. One hopes...

Hat-tip: Insty

But Keith Arnold thinks:

Brother jk: in a world where I've compared the Prezznit to Pharaoh, making the masses his personal property by letting no famine go to waste (Genesis 47:13-26)? Where the dangers of over-reaching human government were foretold (1 Samuel 8:10-18)? No tweaking needed - I think you've pretty accurately quoted doctrine there. I just don't remember from where in the Book of Kelo that specific reference comes...

Forsooth and fo'shizzle, and all that other King James stuff...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 19, 2012 11:00 AM
But johngalt thinks:

There is only one "workable solution" that is acceptable to conservation and environmental groups - DROP DEAD.

SUMMER JAM '12
Where pot is legal but wooden guitars are not.

Posted by: johngalt at May 21, 2012 4:29 PM

May 18, 2012

Bought some T-Shirts

galt-t.jpg At the bottom of the receipt:
We swear by our lives, The Atlas Shrugged Movie Merchandise Team. http://www.AtlasShruggedPart1.com/

Another Reason to Drop NR

Quit for the Gay bashing, stay away for the general fuddyduddyness.

Rich Lowry is harshing the mellow on the day Zuckerberg's Friends & Family list made eleven cents a share!

Facebook has transformed oversharing from an annoying habit of the poorly socialized into the very stuff of daily interactions. No thought is too banal, no event too minor, no mood too passing, no photo too embarrassing to be posted on Facebook. One of the great self-regarding egotists of all time, the late author Norman Mailer, might have blanched at the unrelenting self-exposure of it.

For one, my Buffy sire Jonathan V Last owns this genre: hating social media is all things to him. Like Last, Lowry is entitled to his opinion. I'm not buying the stock, but I defend Facebook and Twitter from enemies foreign and domestic.

I know probably as many non-FB people as FB people (though in the swing states, they are trending toward Zuckerberg). The snobbishness of the anti crowd frequently surprises me. One relative slurps all this up on National Review and The Weekly Standard. "How can you be interested in what somebody's having for Lunch?" Well, I'm friends with your grand-daughter, she's vacationing in New York and she had lunch at ..." Still not interested?

I don't think it will eclipse the printing press, or fire, or Spanx® or anything, yet people on both sides take it too seriously. It's free, it keeps you in general contact with those whom you want at a closeness you dictate.

It is -- as a business -- vulnerable to fashion and does not deserve a P/E advantage over Apple or Google (I mentioned I wasn't buying...) Yet it enjoys a huge base, critical mass, and generally good branding to date. The deniers are missing something.


Professor Warren

@MKHAMMER is having too much fun!

Seems the recipes for Pow Wow Chow may have been plagiarized. Mai non!

Among the ingredients for Crab with Tomato Mayonnaise Dressing: "Imported mustard," Worcestershire sauce, cognac, and of course crab, all presumably readily available to a, er, 19th-century agrarian Cherokee settlement in Oklahoma. No wonder Scott Brown's campaign is now fundraising off of this clusterfark.

But Keith Arnold thinks:

But isn't Crab with Tomato Mayonnaise Dressing and authentic Cherokee recipe? I do seem to recall from a history class once that the Cherokee - or maybe the Paiute - were the inventors of the "seven-inch Teflon pan" referenced in one of the recipes.

As it turns out, it seems the sources of at least three of the five boosted recipes have been found: two from a toney French restaurant in Manhattan (bought from the Indians for a bunch of beads, remember?), and one from Better Homes and Garden in 1959. At least she stole eclectically...

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/05/18/did-elizabeth-warren-plagiarize-pow-wow-chow-recipes

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 18, 2012 4:49 PM
But jk thinks:

Rich culture, proud people:

Use a small omelet pan, or, preferably, a seven-inch Teflon pan. Heat about one-half teaspoon butter in the pan. Add about one-third cup of the egg mixture. Let cook until firm and lightly brown on the bottom, stirring quickly with a fork until the omelet starts to set. When set slip a large pancake turner under the omelet starts to set. When set, slip a large pancake turner under the omelet and turn it quickly to the other side. Let cook about five seconds. Remember, you want to produce a flat omelet, not a typical folded omelet. Turn the omelets out flat onto a sheet of was paper. Continue making omelets until all the egg mixture is used.

It was probably challenging for the indigenous people to learn how to pronounce "Worsterchestershire."

Posted by: jk at May 18, 2012 5:14 PM

Wish They Worried About our Money

Jamie Dimon's loss of $2 Billion on a private portfolio, which dominated the news cycle for several days and caused three JP Morgan executives to be fired: catastrophe!

Gub'mints' loss of our money: campaign advertisement!

It's all been said, but Lawrence Lindsey says it purdy good in the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page today:

Consider two other recent episodes. The Obama administration guaranteed a $535 million loan to Solyndra, then lost everything on its bet when the solar-energy company went bankrupt last September.

Then there is the auto-industry bailout. According to the TARP inspector general's April 25 report, taxpayers have been paid cash and securities worth $50.9 billion on the $79.7 billion extended to General Motors, General Motors Acceptance Corp. (now Ally Financial) and Chrysler. That is a $28.8 billion loss.

Nevertheless, the president's re-election campaign is running an ad bragging about the bailout's success. Meanwhile, J.P. Morgan's much smaller loss is the subject of speeches and hearings and a howling chorus in the media.


I'll back off the "private" description a bit. Certainly JPMorgan enjoys TBTF status and a concomitant government put indemnified by, yes, you and me. Sign me up for a way to fix that. But on what planet does a 1% loss matter more than a 100% loss (Solyndra) or a 36% loss (GM)?


Professor Warren!

(Don't think I'll share this on Facebook...)

113th Congress Posted by John Kranz at 12:07 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

As a grade-school "ute" we took a family vacation in Monument Valley National Park on the AZ-UT border. We met and hired a Navajo entrepreneur name George Holliday to give us a private guided tour. He told us many stories, including some about Hollywood productions filmed on location there. On one of many repeat visits by John Wayne, George claims to have asked the film legend, "Are the Indians gonna win this time?" Wayne replied, presumably with a wry smile, "No George, not this time."

Holliday was a master of self-depricating humor. As we drove past a trail marker that read, "NO VEHICLES" he called our attention to it and said, "Don't worry, Indians can't read."

I was quite young, but I have no recollection of Mr. Halliday having wished those movies were never filmed, or were never filmed near his home where he and his neighbors could be paid for various services, or regretted the stimulation of tourism those films caused.

Posted by: johngalt at May 21, 2012 3:05 PM

Orlando Morel, United States Coast Guard

You don't like this story, I can't help you:

Orlando Morel was 6 years old when he and his mother left Haiti on a crowded small wooden boat destined for America. Now 24, Morel remembers the blue of the ocean everywhere. And the hunger.

When a piece of bread fell into the water, Morel quickly scooped it up. "I will never forget that taste," he said, recalling the salty, soggy bread.

Nor will he forget when the Coast Guard showed up in a white boat and rescued him, his mother and other passengers.

Eternally grateful, the rescue led Morel to join the Coast Guard, and on Wednesday he will graduate from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut.


The TEA Party gets a few right

Jim Geraghty was worried that The Cornhusker State was "pulling a Buck/O'Donnell."

After Tuesday's Nebraska GOP Senate primary, I wrote that I hope Nebraska Republicans know what they're doing.

It turns out they do: "State Senator Deb Fischer holds an 18-point lead over Democrat Bob Kerrey in the first Rasmussen Reports survey of the Nebraska U.S. Senate race since her upset win in last week's state Republican primary."


November will tell, but I am more proud of the Gadsden Flag Gang with each passing season. The media, the left, and even my man Larry Kudlow suspect that they have fizzled because they're not marching. If I may change to first person, we are demonstrating a superb mix of idealism and pragmatism. We have less time to march now that so many of us are State Delegates and Precinct Committee Chairs.

And, sometimes you have to overshoot or else you don't know your range. While I admit that I'd be happy with "Senator Jane Norton" from Colorado, I can't say I miss Mike Castle in Delaware. Speaking of witches, I'd like another term for Sen. Snowe in Maine, but replacing Hatch and Luger with TEA Party Republicans -- this is shaping up to be an excellent year.

UPDATE: Blog friend Terri links (thanks!) and reminds fo a great post of hers Ihad read but not linked

What is clear is that the "Tea Party" is not dead. Im still here.


May 17, 2012

Requiescat in Pace

Don't know that I'll get maudlin and mawkish, but I tell no lie when I admit to always digging this tune:

Goodnight, Disco Queen!

UPDATE: Marty Walsh gets the guitar credit and I assume that includes that rather splendiferous solo.

Music Posted by John Kranz at 6:15 PM | What do you think? [2]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Last dance...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 17, 2012 6:34 PM
But jk thinks:

@mkhammer was talking that tune up. I confess I do not remember it. But this one, baby, I know all fourteen words!

Posted by: jk at May 17, 2012 7:11 PM

Support ALEC

A story on Investor's Ed Page today introduced me to the American Legislative Exchange Council. Seems the organization has a process by which individual legislators from many states work together to craft model legislation, for potential implementation in state governments, that promote limited government, free markets, and federalism. Evidence of their effectiveness is the all-out campaign by Progressive groups to silence them.

So what's got the left so agitated? Is ALEC involved in organized crime? Has it stolen money from state treasuries? Bribed officials? Polluted the environment? Clubbed baby seals?

Nope. The left is targeting ALEC for the simple reason that it's been effective in promoting pro-business, free-market ideas and policies, mainly by drafting model legislation that lawmakers can use as a template in their own legislatures.

Those bills, mind you, still have to make it through their states' representative bodies, and then get signed by their governors.

In other words, it's democracy at work.

ALEC answers its critics directly on its FAQ page.

Q: What does ALEC have to say about its detractors, including Common Cause?

A: ALEC encourages all Americans to actively participate in the public policies of this country. As legislatures and governors pursue the best solutions for their states, ALEC understands and expects that some groups may oppose solutions that emphasize free markets and limited government. ALEC respects these disagreements. It is disappointed, though, that some have chosen rhetoric over honest discussion by attacking and distorting ALECs nature and record to advance their own political agendas.

ALEC is proud of its work and its limited role. It provides a venue for earnest discussion on important economic issues. ALEC does not lobby in any state. Its model bills and resolutions are public policy resources for state legislators. To the extent any ALEC model bill is successful, it is because it provides legislators and their constituents with the kind of free market, limited government solutions they want.


Get You Inner Birther On

Promo material for Barack Obama's (later abandoned) book, circa 1991:

Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii. The son of an American anthropologist and a Kenyan finance minister, he attended Columbia University and worked as a financial journalist and editor for Business International Corporation. He served as project coordinator in Harlem for the New York Public Interest Research Group, and was Executive Director of the Developing Communities Project in Chicagos South Side. His commitment to social and racial issues will be evident in his first book, Journeys in Black and White.

Born where?

But johngalt thinks:

Keanae, brother. Keanae, HI. It's just a typo.

In 1991 they didn't have the internet to make sure they got all of these details right.

Kidding aside, here's the salient point of the Breitbart story:

The errant Obama biography in the Acton & Dystel booklet does not contradict the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate. Moreover, several contemporaneous accounts of Obama's background describe Obama as having been born in Hawaii.

The biography does, however, fit a pattern in which Obama--or the people representing and supporting him--manipulate his public persona.

And...

Regardless of the reason for Obama's odd biography, the Acton & Dystel booklet raises new questions as part of ongoing efforts to understand Barack Obama--who, despite four years in office remains a mystery to many Americans, thanks to the mainstream media.
Posted by: johngalt at May 17, 2012 3:03 PM

That's Fresh!

Haven't posted a "Let them eat Cake" for a while. But I need to borrow the WSJ's Notable & Quotable today. "Actor Will Smith during a French television interview this week:"

Smith: I have no issue with paying taxes and whatever needs to be done for my country to grow. I believe very firmly that my ability to sit here--I'm a black man who didn't go to college, yet I get to travel around the world and sell my movies, and I believe very firmly that America is the only place on Earth that I could exist. So I will pay anything that I need to pay to keep my country growing. . . .

Interviewer: Do you know how much in France you would have to pay on earnings above one million euros [under new French President Francois Hollande's proposal]? Not 30%. 75%.

Smith: 75?! Yeah, that's different, that's different. Yeah, 75. Well, you know, God bless America.


May 16, 2012

I sincerely apologize and wish I had not posted this

Really. It's puerile, potentially racist, and unbefitting a serious blog like ThreeSources. I only wish I were not about to hit "Save."

warrentribelogo.jpg

If I could only go back and think about it further. . .

But Keith Arnold thinks:

It is a hateful, hurtful image. What precisely is it that you have against Cleveland?

Oh, and I did detect a mistake in your graphic. I haven't calculated the exact area of the relative parts, but I estimate this to be about 5/8 noble Indian and 3/8 Trail-of-Tears.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 16, 2012 11:21 PM
But jk thinks:

Couldn't help but send this to a big tribe fan (a couple ThreeSourcers know exactly to whom I refer) he says she is only 1/25th tribe fan.

Posted by: jk at May 16, 2012 11:33 PM
But jk thinks:

I nominate myself for quote of the day (I share the President's deep sense of humility). A Facebook Foe impugned the seriousness of this offering. In my reply I accidentally wrote something good, riffing off The Refugee:

I find the Native American claim disturbing. This woman is so melanin-challenged to make me look like Chris Rock & Jennifer Lopez’s love child. Yet she checks a box, gets on the academic fast track, is feted as “Harvard’s first ‘Woman of Color,’” but then, when it no longer suits her ambition, her heritage is dropped like a worn moccasin.

Posted by: jk at May 17, 2012 10:27 AM

Christie!

Did y'all see this? I MTed a tweet. But this requires an embed:

I'm ready to move to Jersey...

Hoss Posted by John Kranz at 5:15 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Hmmm. What? Am I missing an inside joke?

Posted by: johngalt at May 17, 2012 3:21 PM
But jk thinks:

Lefty Democrat Mayor Cory Booker actually saved a woman from a burning building.

On April 12, 2012, Booker saved a woman from a house fire, suffering smoke inhalation and second degree burns on his hands in the process. Newark Fire Chief John Centanni said that Booker's actions possibly saved the woman's life.

I did not catch the shovel joke until I looked up the rescue story on Wikipedia:

Booker made news when on December 31, 2010, a constituent used Twitter to ask the mayor to send someone to her father's house to shovel his driveway because her father, who was 65 years old, was going to attempt to do it himself. Booker responded by tweeting; "I will do it myself; where does he live?" Other people volunteered, including one person who offered his help on Twitter, and 20 minutes later Booker and some volunteers showed up and shoveled the man's driveway.

What a great bit of fun from two heroes of their respective philosophies and two savvy Garden state pols.

Posted by: jk at May 17, 2012 3:33 PM

"Forward"

I just discovered Svetlana Kunin, a Russian emmigrant who has apparently been writing for Investor's Editorial Page for some time now. Playing off of President Obama's official re-election campaign slogan, Forward, today's offering is entitled, "Obama's Slogan 'Forward' Is Used By Socialists Too."

"Too?"

After introducing the motto "Forward!" -- identical to slogans of Socialists of the past and present-- Obama rolled out an imaginary vision of Julia, in which the government is involved in all aspects of a person's life.

No need for virtual reality. There is a real-life timeline for an average person in a society where the government plans, regulates and provides free services for its citizens in countries past and present the USSR, Cuba, etc.

(...)

I personally lived that life in the former USSR until age 30. When my young family of three immigrated to the USA, my parents stayed behind. After botched medical procedures in a free hospital, my father screamed from pain for three days before he died at age 70.

Like President Obama, Russians also evolved on the gay rights issue. Homosexuality used to be outlawed in the Socialist Soviet Union. Today it is not a crime in Russia. Even so, facing an alarming decline in number of newborns and an eventual demographic disaster, they do not play with the redefinition of marriage.

Otherwise there's a lot in common among an Obama administration striving for total government involvement in people's lives, the communists of the former Soviet Union and modern Socialists in Russia.


Paying for Julia

Boulder Refugee asks, Michael Ramirez delivers...

paying%20for%20Julia.jpg

"Freedom's just another word for,

Nuthin' left [for government bureaucrats to take away]"

Apologies to Janis Joplin.

But jk thinks:

Love the 'toon!

Pedant Man must point out that "Me & Bobby McGee" was written by Kris Kristofferson. Mister Kristofferson is an avowed Socialist and may or may not accept your apologies.

Posted by: jk at May 16, 2012 5:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Learn something new every day.

Posted by: johngalt at May 17, 2012 12:14 PM
But jk thinks:

And he was a Rhodes Scholar. His '72? '73? eponymous album is one of the most significant contributions to American music I can think of.

My high esteem is tempered by his love of Communism (championing the Sandinistas in the 1980s and numerous other examples). Plus the fact that I saw him live once and he was too drunk or wasted to function at all. Bad night.

But those songs! Bobby McGee, For the Good Times, Sunday Morning Coming Down, To Beat the Devil. . .

Posted by: jk at May 17, 2012 12:29 PM

May 15, 2012

Nonsense! "White" is a color

Politico:

Elizabeth Warren has pushed back hard on questions about a Harvard Crimson piece in 1996 that described her as Native American, saying she had no idea the school where she taught law was billing her that way and saying it never came up during her hiring a year earlier, which others have backed up.

But a 1997 Fordham Law Review piece described her as Harvard Law School's "first woman of color," based, according to the notes at the bottom of the story, on a "telephone interview with Michael Chmura, News Director, Harvard Law (Aug. 6, 1996)."

Hat-tip: @jimgeraghty

But Boulder Refugee thinks:

She's not white, she's melanin challenged.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at May 15, 2012 11:21 PM

The Gay Marriage "Distraction"

It is a well travelled Republican talking point that the gay marriage issue is a distraction from President Obama's economic record. It's true of course, but the Republicans are as much to blame for said distraction as the Democrats.

A friend from suburban Wichita, Kansas emails a link to this story about a public school teacher posting his views against gay marriage on his Facebook page. He has every right to his beliefs, of course, and to speak them publicly. But by continuing to oppose legal recognition of same-sex marriage we allow him to become the face of our conservative party. I will not stand silently by. How many of us have wished we could have been present in the face of an incident of racial discrimination in the segregated south and that we would have had the courage to say, "No, that is wrong?" Same story, different age.

My Kansas friend sent the link with the note "Need your comments here" to both me and my brother. What follows is my response, which rebutted my brother's.

[Brother] writes that it is "nonsense" that established law denies a right for same-sex marriage, then declares there is "no defined right for same sex couples to "marry." Which is it?

[Brother] writes that "The majority of the country does not care what people do in their own bedrooms or whom they decide to 'love'" but then proclaims homosexuality "abnormal" and that he doesn't support homosexual weddings because that would "redefine something that has been a pillar of communities for 5000+ years" and "the more we break down the institution of marriage to simply be a whim, the more our society will continue to degrade." So you, and "the majority of the country" are fine with homosexuality, you just don't want to acknowledge it in law?

[Brother] faults Conkling, the Hutchinson teacher, for "taking the cause backwards" and "fuel[ing] the opposition" by opposing gay marriage on religious grounds. I say [brother] is no different by attempting to oppose this individual liberty on non-religious grounds, whatever those might be. Until he clarifies his contradictions there's no way to know what objective basis he claims.

Conkling's "logic" is even more fallacious: Homosexuality is wrong because it is a sin, equal in God's eyes to all other sins, and we are ALL sinners. He says all sins are equal in God's eyes so homosexuality is equal to murder, but it's also equal to lying. Do you agree that lying is as wrong as murder? I don't. Conkling says he condemns gay marriage "because those who embrace it will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven." First of all, doesn't the bible teach man to "judge not?" Secondly, there are other beliefs about heaven and sin and for one man to impose his own upon all other men is just as wrong as Sharia law.

Would it not be better to simply allow civil unions, conferring all the legal rights of marriage while witholding the term "marriage" than to continue to allow this issue to divide Americans and distract from issues that actually matter to all of us, like whether or not America will be a socialist country? And even if they aren't satisfied with civil unions and come back next year demanding "marriage" who cares? Whatever it is called it will still be a minority behavior. Unlike drug legalization nobody makes a legitimate case that legal homosexual marriage will cause more homosexuality. (But so what if it did? Will that affect you? Your children? Anyone who is not "abnormal?")

The cause of western laissez-faire capitalism is a cause of individual liberty. Individual liberty in commerce is a human birthright, as is individual liberty in social relations. Individuals are, by their nature, free to join a commune or establish a nuclear family; free to love another of the same gender or of the opposite gender. If you want to live free of oppressive taxation and wealth redistribution your only argument is individual liberty as a human birthright. But you weaken that argument by denying others a liberty of which you disapprove. Stop it. Admit your mistake and strengthen your position in the debate that really matters - that really affects you and your family's lives - by abandoning a debate that doesn't matter. Don't insist that your beliefs hold dominion over the beliefs of others lest they turn your logic back on you and insist that you are your brother's keeper.

But jk thinks:

Agreed and well said. There are quite a few things which may be defined as sinful which we do not elevate to statute. "Coveting thy neighbor's ass" is still okay in Weld County, as far as I know.

I allowed a many-years-old subscription to National Review elapse when they demanded -- on the cover -- a Constitutional Amendment defining marriage. I wasn't petulant about it, still respect NR, and have slid a little money their way since.

But I basically reached the same conclusion, that I could not employ the supremacy clause for a personal matter and expect others to defend my economic liberty. I suspect that would not have happened under WFB's more libertarian hand but I have no empirical proof.

On the pragmatic side, I think it remains a killer. Trying to attract somebody younger than 30 to the table of liberty is difficult in the wake of North Carolina's vote and now Colorado's lack of vote.

Posted by: jk at May 15, 2012 6:45 PM
But sugarchuck thinks:

JK drops his subscription to the National Review and I drop out of the Republican party. I struggled for several weeks about attending our caucuses, knowing that Party of God types would choose Rick Santorum and that a majority of the evening would be spent pushing an amendment to our state constitution limiting marriage to one man and one woman. Even before Obama weighed in the strategy was to generate voter turnout based on opposition to gays. I cant possibly vote for Obama but I will not be in a party or campaign that seeks to benefit from an assault on the dignity and liberty of my brothers and sisters. And I won't be alone. Republicans are on the wrong side of history when it comes to Gay rights and they will pay a price for decades to come. Fifty years from now nobody will remember the Bidden gaffes or Obama's fundraising predicament; people will remember the first black president was the first to run for office as a supporter of gay marriage. Democrats enjoy almost unanimous suppport in the African American community based on Kennedy/Johnson era civil rights legislation and if Republicans don't wake up they will lose another voting block.

JK and John Galt, as always, provide a reasoned argument rooted in the Constitution and I appreciate that but this has become something more visceral for me. A couple of weeks ago a little girl in a town next to ours hung herself after being bullied for a year over her mother's sexual orientation. Last night I went to a funeral for one of my daughter's classmates. He climbed onto an overpass and jumped onto the highway below. He was bullied to death for being Gay. I am sickened and heartbroken. I will not be in a party that would deny the basic human dignity and equallity due every man and woman. I wont be part of a political movent that would deny the choice of marriage, the most important, valuable and meaningful decision I've ever made, to others. Bob Marley sings of "forwardin' this generation triumphantly," though in my case it is our younger generation that has been "forwarding" me. Henceforth I intend to help them "sing songs of freedom" and if the Republican party wants to block freedom's way I intend to roll right over them.

Posted by: sugarchuck at May 16, 2012 9:55 AM
But johngalt thinks:

JK is correct about established attitudes, and I think my brother's beliefs reflect his environment more than his heart. The Kansas friend I mentioned lives near Wichita, more evangelical even than Colorado Springs and yet he replied to me, "in my world in Kansas USA I could care less what the corn-****ers do, just don't interfere with me or my family." A libertarian position that, if a bit intemperately stated.

I can't cite examples of friends or neighbors who've been affected by discrimination, and dagny observed that my attitude has *ahem* evolved. I can say I was profoundly ashamed when my neighbors and fellow delegates loudly booed the speaker from Colorado Log Cabin Republicans when he suggested the Colorado civil unions bill should be supported. When I said, fairly loudly and to no one in particular, "Hey, be nice" the woman next to me turned around incredulously. The rest of the conversation was unspoken but I do believe I impressed upon her that her attitude was something upon which she should reflect.

I had a similar experience at the Romney rally last week. A woman asked me if I wanted to sign her pro-life petition, ubiquitious at GOP events. I shook my head and asked her if she was aware that over two-thirds of Republican delegates to the state convention approved a resolution that abortion and pregnancy are personal, private matters and not the business of government. She was speechless but a man nearby blurted out, "Well they are wrong!"

In the first case I pleaded for civility, and in the second merely cited a fact. The reaction from those who heard me was reflexive, but shallow and unsupported. There was no furher debate or discussion, the respondents merely drifted away silently. These are simply ideas which they've never considered. None has dared utter them in such settings, in all likelihood.

Ayn Rand said that silence in the presence of ideas which you find abhorrent is tacit approval of them. Simply say, "I disagree" she advised in 'Philosophy, Who Needs It?' I hope that brother Sugarchuck, or any of the rest of us, will not abandon the Republican party when it most needs a voice for liberty. Our country's present state of divisivness and the failed leadership of the president present an opportunity to discredit the idea of socialism, but the left is not the only source of discredited ideas - the unchallenged dogma of social "norms" on the right should be confronted at the very same time.

To those who say that gay marriage or even civil unions are just a "drip, drip, drip of liberalism" I give the following reply:

Liberalism was established for the promotion of liberty. Thomas Jefferson was a "liberal." George Washington was a "liberal." Modern leftists co-opted the term and it has come to mean socialist or communist. I'm all for liberalism, but not socialism or communism. I understand the difference. Do you?
Posted by: johngalt at May 16, 2012 12:27 PM

May 14, 2012

Lost Another Hoss

Donald "Duck" Dunn, RIP at 70. Incredible Stax session player, forever known for his appearances in the Blues Brothers franchise.

DuckDunn.jpg

Music Posted by John Kranz at 3:55 PM | What do you think? [0]

Voteed Best Speller in Lafayette!

I may type badly, but. . .

voteed.jpg

Posted by John Kranz at 3:41 PM | What do you think? [0]

Golden State Fiscal Misfeasance -- Greatest Hits

The WSJ Ed Page is on the case of a California "Revenue Disappointment" in California Ugly: Soaking the rich isn't working on the left coast

Among the biggest surprises is a 21.5% or nearly $2 billion decline in personal income tax payments from what Governor Jerry Brown had anticipated. This reinforces the point that when states rely too heavily on the top 1% of taxpayers to pay the bills, fiscal policy is a roller coaster ride.

California is suffering this tax drought even as most other states enjoy a revenue rebound. State tax collections were up nationally by 8.9% last year, according to the Census Bureau, and this year revenues are up by double digits in many states. The state comptroller reports that Texas is enjoying 10.9% growth in its sales taxes (it has no income tax), while California can't seem to keep up despite one of the highest tax rates in the land.

This would seem to suggest that California should try cutting tax rates to keep more people and business in the state, but Sacramento is intent on raising them again.

California Posted by John Kranz at 3:13 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Laffer curve, shmaffer curve.

California producer class to state government: "Up yours!"

Posted by: johngalt at May 14, 2012 4:24 PM

This is News?

Ken Thomas, AP/Yahoo:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is casting Mitt Romney as a greedy, job-killing corporate titan with little concern for the working class in a new, multi-pronged effort that seeks to undermine the central rationale for his Republican rival's candidacy: his business credentials.

Well, yeah, but at least he doesn't eat dog!

2012 Election Posted by John Kranz at 1:00 PM | What do you think? [2]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Obama painting Romney as killing jobs? Is there a Nobel Prize for Irony that he's competing for?

RING-RING. Click. "Hello? Yeah, hi, how are you doing?... Sure, he's here. You want me to put him on the line?... Okay, hang on..." "Hey, Kettle? It's for you; it's Pot. He says he's got something he wants to tell you..."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 14, 2012 2:11 PM
But johngalt thinks:

On top of that, all jobs are not equal. The jobs Romney "killed" were economically non-viable before he ever arrived on the scene. Otherwise, he would not have arrived on the scene. President Ironic, on the other hand, kills jobs making cheap, reliable electric power (among many, many, others) and fabricates new temporary jobs intended to make expensive, part-time power to replace it.

All of this leads me to ask the question, Is Barack Obama America's first third-world president?

Posted by: johngalt at May 14, 2012 2:23 PM

May 12, 2012

If only somebody could have predicted this

WaPo:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California's budget deficit has swelled to a projected $16 billion -- much larger than had been predicted just months ago -- and will force severe cuts to schools and public safety if voters fail to approve tax increases in November, Gov. Jerry Brown said Saturday.

The Democratic governor said the shortfall grew from $9.2 billion in January in part because tax collections have not come in as high as expected and the economy isn't growing as fast as hoped for. The deficit has also risen because lawsuits and federal requirements have blocked billions of dollars in state cuts.


I sure hope those tax hikes pass so that revenue can start a-flowin' in -- this sounds serious.

California Posted by John Kranz at 7:05 PM | What do you think? [4]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

The more things change, the more they stay the same:

http://stand.blogtownhall.com/2009/05/16/california_does_not_have_a_budget_crisis_-_vote_no_on_propositions_1a-f.thtml

Three years ago this very week.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 12, 2012 8:15 PM
But jk thinks:

Golden State fiscal misfeasance is always comment bait for Keith, but this one is a home run, bro:

We're sorry. We admit, we've overspent ourselves into bankruptcy. We've taken all the money you've given us previously and frittered it away on shiny things that caught our attention. We've ignored every previous law, budget reform, and policy statement ever enacted. We can't help ourselves; we can't control our spending habits. We need you to control us with a new set of budget reforms and spending limits, and we promise you, this time, we'll obey them. Really. We mean it this time. And we want you to give us a whole truckload of additional money while you're at it. You can trust us this time. We promise. We really, really promise.

Trust us.

Posted by: jk at May 13, 2012 11:21 AM
But jk thinks:

Plus a great band name: "The Golden State Fiscal Misfeasance!" Live at Beaudreaux's in Sacramento -- this weekend only!

Posted by: jk at May 13, 2012 11:36 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Right on, right on, right on. And the "magical" revenue cure teased at the bottom of that post is quite prophetic as well. And yet, Governor Jerry still refuses to see.

Anecdote: A San Diego cousin of dagny's (and spouse) visited last week. They were scouting for a new Colorado neighborhood. Their young daughter's middle name is Reagan. I won't identify them further lest they be apprehended and punished for thinking of abandoning Jerry and Ivy's "family."

Posted by: johngalt at May 14, 2012 2:56 PM

Willie

Blog friend sc suggests an embed for Saturday:


If you're putting up Willie videos you've got to post this one! Any chance to salute Leon Rhodes has to be taken.

Done

UPDATE: Young Glenn Campbell

Music Posted by John Kranz at 12:32 PM | What do you think? [4]
But johngalt thinks:

NASCAR retard approved!

(Approbation or disapprobation? The ambiguity is painful.)

Did Willie grow his hair and take up weed as atonement?

Posted by: johngalt at May 14, 2012 3:16 PM
But jk thinks:

Approbation set to full. These guys have added much to the rich lexicon of American music. Glen Campbell was always known by guitar players to be a hoss before he chose the pop star path. Great to have YouTube as a permanent display.

I can't even say the years have been hard on Willie. I could post my picture from 1965. . .

Posted by: jk at May 14, 2012 3:26 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I was speaking to the song lyrics. The musical talent is righteous.

Posted by: johngalt at May 14, 2012 4:27 PM
But jk thinks:

I don't know. But may I just say "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"

Posted by: jk at May 14, 2012 4:48 PM

Jonah Goldberg on Youth

This was a great chapter in his book. (Five stars, y'all should buy it). I think the happy warrior may be a little grouchy on his book tour, but can you contradict a single word?

[ EMBED REMOVED FOR NOT PLAYING NICE (STARTING WITHOUT REQUEST) CLICK THE LINK TO VIEW]

From the Daily Caller, with a hat-tip to one of my first blog friends, Keystone Stater Kamil Zogby, who has taken his hyper-productive blogging style to Facebook.

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 12:03 PM | What do you think? [0]

May 11, 2012

Tweet of the Day

Friday, and we have been talkin' a bit of Buffy.

tweet120511.gif

My nieces -- whom I traveled with last week -- saw it at a Midnight movie and liked it a lot. Blog friend SugarChuck liked "Cabin in the Woods." I will have to hit the theaters twice in one year.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:26 PM | What do you think? [0]

Three Word Blog Post of the Day

Atlas ALWAYS shrugs -- Sarah Hoyt
Linking to:
Eduardo Saverin, the billionaire co- founder of Facebook Inc. (FB), renounced his U.S. citizenship before an initial public offering that values the social network at as much as $96 billion, a move that may reduce his tax bill.
Good riddance, pal! We sure don't need guys like that around here!
But johngalt thinks:

He obviously didn't get the memo that paying $1,382,400,000 in capital gains taxes is patriotic!

Posted by: johngalt at May 11, 2012 5:18 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

You're right - but it is enlightened self-interest.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 11, 2012 5:21 PM
But jk thinks:

My snark undercut my message. Of course he is entitled, but it is one of the sadder moments to think that the benefits of US Citizenship for such a producer no longer outweigh their costs. This, Mr. VP, is a big ^&*^&* deal.

Posted by: jk at May 11, 2012 6:08 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

It is sad, but not unexpected. I live in California, and "one-percenters" loading up the Y'all-Haul and voting with their feet for friendlier places like Texas is not uncommon. It's sad that this is being ratcheted up from the interstate level to the international one for America. It happened in Hong Kong, and will happen soon in France.

In your defense, the snark did not undercut your message - in fact, it put an exclamation mark on it. With a bang, I might add (a nod to *nix users everywhere)!

So - sad for America, happy for Singapore. It is a zero-sum game, after all. Costa Rica is still looking nice to me!

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 11, 2012 6:43 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Actually, Keith, it's been happening already for a long time.

http://eidelblog.blogspot.com/2005/08/nice-unemployment-if-you-can-get-it.html

I'm largely quoting an old friend, to whose words I added a few of my own. Here's his zinger:

"The list includes many thousands of retired French business persons who, once they sold their French assets, chose to spend their retirement in Switzerland. Since France and Switzerland are on the same latitude, it can't be for the balmy climate."

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at May 13, 2012 10:13 PM

Meanwhile, in Buffy News

Every Buffy aficionado keeps a mental list of "10 favorite episodes" and internal turmoil at the great ones that failed to make the cut.

It seems our big-hit-filmmaker creator has a list as well, and Logo will run them in a marathon May 19. I am surprised how much his list differs from mine.

I lost all the non-Buffy folks already -- I may as well continue. My list:

1. Once More with Feeling
2. Fool for Love
3. Who Are You
4. Hush
5. Tabula Rasa
6. The Body
7. Lies my Parents Told Me
8. Passion
9. I Only Have Eyes for You
10 Normal Again

UPDATE: One dark cloud, CW Cancels Ringer. (I watched but don't think I'll weep.)

Television Posted by John Kranz at 11:09 AM | What do you think? [7]
But jk thinks:

The best part of Buffy posts is smoking out another of the cognoscenti! Well done! Great list!

But we shall have to disagree on OMWF. I salute it because it was not just a cheap trick; it was integral to several story arcs. In fact I consider it like the focus of a lens, completing older lines and setting up the finale/denouement. Every major arc has its moment.

I watch it with others and every time somebody shows me something I had missed. A young daughter of a good friend of this blog pointed out that Sweet's three minions had the haircuts of Buffy beaus Angel, Riley and Spike. I now wait for that moment every time.

And Whedon's real gift is villains. A lot of folks can do big damn heroes, but I can't think of another who could provide Jubal Early, the existentialist Bounty Hunter, Mr. Trick, the Master, or Wolfram & Hart. "Sweet" is a gift to the ages. I wanted to record "What You Feel" as the title track for my band's second CD but time did not allow.

Posted by: jk at May 11, 2012 5:54 PM
But Mrs. Keith Arnold thinks:

I will concede that OMWF did propel the plot forward. My distaste stems from the format more than the content.

I will also concede that Hinton Battle (Sweet) is a gifted performer.

Alas, I have yet to become a "Brown Coat" thus the Jubal Early reference didn't come across as familiar.

And I do whole-heartedly agree that Wheedon's gift is crafting out his villains. The list you've put forth is very distinguished but let me add one more - Caleb.

And may I just, in complete deference to Wheedon's craftiness and Allyson Hannigan's talent, say Vampire Willow and Dark Willow are totally awesome creatures.


Posted by: Mrs. Keith Arnold at May 11, 2012 7:09 PM
But jk thinks:

Caleb, yes! Nathan Fillion and Gina Torres (Jasmine) both get promoted -- or is that demoted? -- to Firefly heroes from Buffy/Angel villains.

And "The Operative" (Chiwetel Ejiofor) in the movie Serenity is another all-time great Whedon villain.

Posted by: jk at May 11, 2012 7:21 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

They you'll want to add one more villain to this list if that's where you're going, since Whedon brought the Avengers to the silver screen. Anyone not versed in the Marvel timeline should google "Thanos." I don't believe you ever hear the name in the movie, but I'm wondering if we'll see him in the next installment.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 11, 2012 7:40 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Is this something? We all know of Joss Whedon's predilection for making use of actors repeatedly (as jk points out concerning Nathan Fillion and Gina Torres). The actor playing Thanos is also a Whedon alumnus - as a minion of Adelai Niska in the Firefly episode "War Stories," and as Yankee from Dollhouse...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 11, 2012 7:54 PM
But jk thinks:

And the great Trifecta: Jonathan Woodward was on Buffy, Angel and Firefly. Many were on two, but I think he is the only one to make all three.

Posted by: jk at May 12, 2012 12:18 PM

All Hail Harsanyi!

JPMorgan Chase lost $2 billion due to some reckless trading of synthetic credit securities. Chief executive Jamie Dimon blamed "errors, sloppiness and bad judgment." JPMorgan Chase earned $19 billion last year so this won't sink them. And, as one might expect, many folks immediately blamed the lack of regulation for the loss -- because, apparently, some people believe the market should be risk free. And actual, isn't this a great argument not to layer the industry with more regulatory burden? (Unless, of course, there was something illegal going on.) Sloppiness and bad judgment should cost you money.

Rhetorical question: Wouldn't it be nice if everyone got similarly worked up when government wastes billions on sloppiness and bad judgment? -- David Harsanyi

But johngalt thinks:

When government spends billions of you and your neighbors' dollars through sloppiness and bad judgement it isn't called waste, it's called "stimulus."

Posted by: johngalt at May 11, 2012 1:49 PM
But jk thinks:

Except when it is a measly two billion. Then it is called "a rounding error."

Posted by: jk at May 11, 2012 1:58 PM

May 10, 2012

The Before Picture of all time

Willie Nelson, circa 1965: YouTube. He's been ridden hard and put away wet a few times since...

I dislike the man's economics, but he gets a "HOSS" for his songwriting.

Hat-tip: Biological brother via email.

Hoss Posted by John Kranz at 7:15 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Wow. This could really tarnish his image if it went viral. Imagine that guy rolling a fatty.

Posted by: johngalt at May 11, 2012 1:46 PM

Quote of the Day

On hearing of the death of the great French diplomat Talleyrand, his Austrian rival Metternich is reputed to have said: "What did he mean by that?" Perhaps we can be too cynical in assessing politicians' motives. And so maybe we should just give President Obama credit for doing the right thing in endorsing marriage equality, and leave it at that. -- David Boaz
Nakedly political, but my Facebook friends are in rapture. What do I do -- pick a fight?
But jk thinks:

In completely unrelated news, the President has a $15 Million (40K/plate) fundraiser planned tonight with George Clooney and Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Like I said, completely off-topic. Don't know why I even brought it up at all...

Posted by: jk at May 10, 2012 12:08 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I'm going to temper that "net benefit for liberty" thought for a moment. That might have some validity if anyone believed him, but it's JK's words that frame this: "nakedly political."

In 2008, the SCOAMF campaigned saying he was against homosexual marriage; four years later, his stance has now "evolved." The truth of the matter is that, whatever he actually believes about the issue (if in fact he does actually have a belief about the issue), what he's done is given the most authoritative voices on both sides of the homosexual marriage debate the right to presume it's the pandering of political theater. Neither side believes that either of his pronouncements represent a closely-held belief; both sides recognize that he says what he says, when he says it, for political reasons.

In 2008, he stated he was against homosexual marriage to placate mainstream America's fears that he was too left, too radical, and he was casting himself as a moderate centrist; history is now the proof of theory, and all but the blindest among us now admit that was a sham. Now in 2012, he knows the evangelicals aren't going to vote for him, so that's a lost cause. Moderate America has abandoned him. It costs him nothing to offend those groups, because he's not getting them back no matter what he does. What he's facing is a very motivated right wanting him out, and a disillusioned left that he needs to get into a voting booth. There aren't enough dead voters in America to get him to 52% this year without the left, and the left is complaining that the SCOAMF isn't left enough.

In 2008, the McCain candidacy persuaded a lot of conservatives to stay home on election day; a pumped-up Obama voting bloc gave us the result we have now. This year, those roles are reversed; desperate to give the left a reason to pull the handle for him, we get stuff like this. "Romney won't back homosexual marriage! That's why you've got to vote for me!"

This might be the "net benefit for liberty" you're looking for if someone were saying this on the basis of principle. The SCOAMF is not that person. He's given everyone on both sides the right to read this as cynical pandering,

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 10, 2012 12:33 PM
But Terri thinks:

As Ed Morrissey says:


"And for all of those who cheered this flip-flop, here's a question: wouldn't it have been more effective in North Carolina had Obama made this announcement before Amendment One went to the polls? According to Obama himself, he'd already changed position on same-sex marriage. An announcement last week or the week before that, with a personal plea to African-American voters, might have made a difference. Instead, Obama hid, the White House fibbed, and Amendment One won easily in a state that Obama carried in 2008. Regardless of whatever else this might be called, leadership isn't among the terms that come to mind."

Posted by: Terri at May 10, 2012 2:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm really enjoying the discussion on these pages - and staying out of it.

As for your Facebook friends, they claim that gay marriage is a civil right because, among other things, gay individuals were born into their circumstance. Is this any different than wealthy individuals being born into a prosperous family? Don't they have a civil right to equal taxation? To equal earned income tax credits? To food stamps?

Sure, some wealthy people choose to be rich but the vast majority of them are just following their nature. Right?

Posted by: johngalt at May 10, 2012 3:04 PM
But jk thinks:

And you were doing a superlative job of staying out of it, jg...

I'm clearly not too good at cheerleading for this Administration. I do find his Wednesday position more appealing than his Monday position. And I agree with Mister Morrissey that it's too bad he was a closed-minded, irrational homophobe for the election on Tuesday.

I suggested to one FB-friend that it is also too bad that he let that whole his-party-runs-Congress-and-has-a-Senatorial-supermajority thing go to waste when he was in his troglodyte, knuckle-dragging redneck phase.

So I'm not cheerleading, but as I once advised a blog brother: when you train a dog, and he finally does what you want is a bad time to get out the rolled up newspaper. "Good President!"

Posted by: jk at May 10, 2012 4:04 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes I was, and I maintain I am still staying out of it. I do not seek, as do social conservatives, to infringe on the individual's right to live and marry as he or she sees fit. And I do not seek, as do the so-called Progressives, to infringe on the individual's right to produce and trade as he or she sees fit.

Unlike both of the constituencies mentioned, I do not want to make anyone eat an excrement sandwich. Instead, I seek to eradicate everyone's ability to infringe anyone else's liberty. (And that is a fate worse than death for the second-handers who now control our two-party government.)

Posted by: johngalt at May 14, 2012 2:32 PM

May 9, 2012

Gotta change the vernacular

An issue has been bugging The Refugee and it's time to address it. That is, Leftist continually use "the government" as a singular entity. Examples would include, "The government should do this..." or "The goverment should pay for..." Can we agree that the government is actually a plural entity?

On Three Sources, we often say "taxpayers" when referring to government. This is better, but is still too impersonal. Instead, can we say, "you and your neighbors"? Thus, one might say, "You and your neighbors are obligated to pay for my birth control," or "You and your neighbors should all pay more so that I can have longer unemployment benefits." Yeah, it's a lot of keystrokes, but folks around here type pretty fast. It might bring home just exactly who "the government" really is, one blogger at a time.

Freedom on the March Posted by Boulder Refugee at 6:38 PM | What do you think? [6]
But jk thinks:

Amen to that. Where possible, I like to use the name of a person's child, niece, grandchild. That provides a little perspective.

Posted by: jk at May 10, 2012 10:03 AM
But johngalt thinks:

The problem with this formulation is that it isn't always applicable, as we see in the All Hail Harsanyi three posts up. The wasted dollars come from "you and your neighbors" but the "errors, sloppiness and bad judgement" come from a bureaucratic lack of accountability. The wealth does come from you and your neighbors, but the actor is "government."

Posted by: johngalt at May 11, 2012 1:55 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

True enough, JG. Perhaps "bureaucrats" would sufficiently personify the non-financial portion of government.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at May 11, 2012 4:59 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm thinking it should be way more perjorative.

Posted by: johngalt at May 11, 2012 5:10 PM
But jk thinks:

Yes, there's a Monty Python allusion: "I can't think of anything more derogatory than 'Belgians!'"

Posted by: jk at May 11, 2012 5:56 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

I don't know, JK. I'd sooner be called Belgian than a Frenchman!

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at May 13, 2012 10:18 PM

Governor Romney visits Atlantis Farm

Sort of. Yesterday afternoon my dad emailed that "Mitt is speaking in Ft. Lupton tomorrow." I pressed him for more and he sent me a Denver Post press mention that sent me into search mode for an invitation. Having just exchanged emails with Colorado GOP Chairman Ryan Call the day before, I decided I'd try to ask him for an entree. Waiting nervously for his reply I also called my county commissioner with the same request. Both of them came through and before I knew it I was on the list. "We would love it if you could attend. Thanks for your support!" Turns out, it was set to happen in an oil field just a few miles away.

The setting was idyllic, considering it was one of those "environment destroying, wildlife maiming" oil wells. Governor Romney used the occasion to criticize President Obama's "all of the above" energy policy. "I've been trying to figure out what he means by that," Mitt said. "I've concluded that he supports any form of energy that is above the ground. He doesn't like those that happen to be under ground."

He also cited the President's statistic that America has just 2 percent of the world's oil reserves. "But this is old thinking" Romney said. "Recent discoveries and new technologies like horizontal drilling and fracking have created a new reality where the United States could become the world's leading producer of oil based energy." He extended this future vision to "an explosion in American industry and manufacturing, leading to greater prosperity for everyone." Of course, "Energy isn't the only factor in this equation, but it is a big factor."

Belated apologies to any local blog brothers who missed out on the opportunity. I would have posted the news and offered to share the RSVP info but had two other appointments that kept me busy.

I also captured the entire speech on video and might post some excerpts down the road.

But johngalt thinks:

It's a composite photo from the "panorama" function of my Windows phone. After putting it in that mode you push the button once then pan sideways along a guide line on the screen until a guide dot meets a reference circle and it automatically snaps another frame. Repeat once more in the same direction then it automatically stitches the three frames together. It works better with landscapes or when the people are further away.

I was trying to capture the spectacularly clear view of the front range. The weather was perfect!

Posted by: johngalt at May 10, 2012 2:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The panorama function is very cool but not quite perfected yet. I believe it's still evolving.

Posted by: johngalt at May 10, 2012 2:45 PM
But dagny thinks:

Update on the Shameless Self Promotion part: I have now had 2 acquaintances ask, "did you go to the Mitt Romney rally?" Apparently the TV news clips [0:21] included very recognizable shots of our oldest daughter and her electric red hair watching from Daddy's shoulders. In case there was any doubt, jg family political leanings have now been broadcast statewide to anyone watching network news.

Posted by: dagny at May 11, 2012 12:08 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Couldn't have been there in any case, JG. Been locked in 15 hour days with a client in Newark, NJ. Whomever dubbed it the Garden State certainly has a sense of humor. Make that a sick sense of humor.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at May 11, 2012 5:05 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Did nobody see me at the Obama rally in Boulder last month?

Posted by: johngalt at May 11, 2012 5:15 PM
But jk thinks:

Evolving.

Posted by: jk at May 11, 2012 6:11 PM

Gov. Romney in Ft. Lupton

I need to read more -- I had no idea the Governor was so close. Brother JG tweets a picture:

Romney_ftLupton.jpg

"The picturesque setting of Romney's Ft. Lupton, CO visit today. Real energy, real jobs, green fields. #3Src #Mitt2012 http://t.co/bJSdTw5W"

2012 Posted by John Kranz at 2:50 PM | What do you think? [4]
But jk thinks:

Note to East Coast readers: that is not a typo, Colorado residents actually do consider that a green field.

Posted by: jk at May 9, 2012 3:03 PM
But johngalt thinks:

There is more green in the picture in the post above this one, and in the pic at this Denver Post coverage of the event.

Posted by: johngalt at May 9, 2012 3:25 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Or for a more sweeping field of green, this Twitter pic by an ABC News pool reporter.

Posted by: johngalt at May 9, 2012 3:27 PM
But johngalt thinks:

But yes, absolutely, Colorado has a semi-arid climate. That means, "dry as crap."

Posted by: johngalt at May 9, 2012 3:29 PM

Tweet of the Day

@PourMeCoffee gets an unprecendented two days in a row:

tweet120509.gif

Posted by John Kranz at 2:26 PM | What do you think? [0]

JimiP's Arthur Brooks Quote of the Day

James Pethokoukis labels this QOTD#1. I just bought the Brooks book, but it will have to wait until I complete Passage of Power.

What is free enterprise? It is the system of values and laws that respects private property and limits government, encourages competition and industry, celebrates achievement based on merit, and creates individual opportunity. Under free enterprise, people can pursue their own ends, and they reap the rewards and consequences, positive and negative, of their own actions. Free enterprise requires trust in markets to produce the most desirable outcomes for society. It is the opposite of statism, which is the belief that government is generally the best, fairest, and most trustworthy entity to distribute resources and coordinate our economic lives.

But it sounds purdy good. . .

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 1:54 PM | What do you think? [2]
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

I would have rephrased it to simplify the definition and make an important emphasis.

"It is the system of values and laws that respects private property," end stop. The rest should be mentioned as by-products of this system. Free enterprise is not some anthropomorphic entity that can encourage competition does not specifically encourage competition or celebrate achievement. But when people cannot seize the property of eithers, their competition and achievement are necessarily encouraged.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at May 13, 2012 10:22 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I say PE is overly strict in his criticism. What you've described is the "free" portion of the term - "freedom is the system of values and laws that respects private property." But free enterprise is more about the enterprise itself, the widespread commerce that is undertaken.

I very much appreciate the idea here, that freedom in such pursuits is a moral right and not a mere expediency. Other reviewers, as cited on the Amazon sale page, echo the theme:

George F. Will - "It is true, but insufficient, to argue that free enterprise makes us better off."

P.J. O'Rourke - "But what’s really important about being free is that it’s moral. Individual liberty and personal responsibility are right. Collective restraint and communal irresponsibility are wrong."

Congressman Paul Ryan - "Economic freedom produces unimaginable material prosperity, but it’s also the only economic form that encourages individuals to freely pursue their destinies, develop the character of self-responsibility, and strengthen communities."

This happens because freedom is moral, i.e. essential to the nature of the rational human animal.

Posted by: johngalt at May 29, 2012 6:59 PM

Quote of the Day

Is this the administration line? Blame Bush for everything? Or is it Biden being Biden? (Come the zombie apocalypse, a zombie locked in with this man would starve.) -- Sarah Hoyt

May 8, 2012

#thankateacher

thankateacher.jpg

www.cakewrecks.com

Hat-tip: @kmanguward

Education Posted by John Kranz at 5:08 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

OMG

Posted by: johngalt at May 9, 2012 2:00 PM

You cannot make this stuff up.

Well, you could make this stuff up -- but would yours be as good as this? The Tale of Fauxcahontus takes a curiuos turn:

In what may be the ultimate and cruelest irony, not only is it unlikely that Elizabeth Warren's great-great-great grandmother was Cherokee, it turns out that Warren's great-great-great grandfather was a member of a militia unit which participated in the round-up of the Cherokees in the prelude to the Trail of Tears.

But Keith Arnold thinks:

That must make family reunions awkward, huh?

Soooooooooooo, great^3 grandpa and great^3 grandma met at a hate crime back in the pre-e-Harmony era?

I read this morning that Fauxcahontas of the Forked Tongue clan said she checked that box only in order to meet others within that group... but then records show that she never attended a single meeting or function of any "Native American" group on campus. How does that work?

S*itting Bull redux.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 8, 2012 4:36 PM
But jk thinks:

Like my great nieces, she can pay reparations to herself!

Posted by: jk at May 8, 2012 7:13 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Sounds like Elizabeth Warren is having a "John Kerry moment." I'm sure the memory of her great-great-great grandmother is seared in her brain.

BTW, why hasn't the press picked up on Warren's racist comment? She said that she believed her g-g-g-grandmother because "She had high cheekbones like all Indians." Sounds racist to The Refugee. Imagine if someone said, "He looked Jewish because he had a big nose."

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at May 9, 2012 8:14 PM

Tweet of the Day

tweet120508.gif

Education Posted by John Kranz at 1:02 PM | What do you think? [0]

May 7, 2012

Quote of the Day

Ruin, in Greek mythology, is the spirit of delusion, of rash impulse, of folly. As voters did in France, Greeks voted against the undeniable and unavoidable consequences of their own actions. Ruin brought them to crisis, and Ruin continues to pushes them during this crisis. Maybe the ECB will save the Greeks. Maybe German taxpayers will. But clearly the political system cannot tolerate more of the same. Not that a departure from the euro would be a walk in the park, as UBS has noted: -- James Pethokoukis
Posted by John Kranz at 2:24 PM | What do you think? [3]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I have my doubts about that "maybe the German taxpayers will" part; Germany has a documented history of not going along with being saddled with debt by other nations. One of the biggest obstacles to the reunification of the two halves of Germany was "how bad a hit will our economy take when we take on East Germany's finances?"

With France and its people voting to essentially set their own economy on fire - and I don't mean that in the positive "Wow, he's on fire!" way, so much as the "some people just want to watch the world burn" way - Germany will be called upon to carry everyone else as the most stable European economy standing. Germany's best option is to go Galt on the rest of Europe: cut the Euro ties and let everyone else plunge into the abyss without them.

And as long as Greek mythology is being invoked, allow me to propose:

Modern Greece : Greek Economy :: Sisyphus : Boulder

German voters may rightly read the present situation as a roadsign that says "Watch For Falling Rock" and step out of the way of the carnage. I know I would.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 7, 2012 3:45 PM
But jk thinks:

You're not convinced the German taxpayers will step up. I'd suggest that with the election of Hollande: "The ECB" == "The German Taxpayer."

Posted by: jk at May 7, 2012 5:10 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

It may happen - and if it does, I want a franchise on selling "Don't Demand the Unearned" tee-shirts and bumper stickers in Germany. Though, under those circumstances, the "rich" in Germany would be well-advise to journey for friendlier shores. Could be a shortage of Benzes and Audis on the Autobahn to wear the bumper stickers.

In related news, I recollect a Three Sources discussion about a field trip in search of a foreign locale in which to create a free-market democracy. I'm thinking we could see Greek islands go on the market cheaply.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 7, 2012 5:43 PM

DIY Post

I'm catching up with work, but a great friend of this blog sends a link to this Reason piece on economics and Delta Blues.

The tragic image of the blues that originated in the Mississippi Delta ignores the competitive and entrepreneurial spirit of the bluesman himself. While it is certainly true that the music was forged in part by the legacy of slavery and the insults of Jim Crow, the iconic image of the lone bluesman traveling the road with a guitar strapped to his back is also a story about innovators seizing on expanded opportunities brought about by the commercial and technological advances of the early 1900s. There was no Delta blues before there were cheap, readily available steel-string guitars. And those guitars, which transformed American culture, were brought to the boondocks by Sears, Roebuck & Co.

For extra credit, segue it into a celebration of the opportunities provided musicians by that eeeevil Disney Corporation. It just hit me this trip that Disney probably writes checks to more musicians than everybody else in the world put together.

Playin' tuba at the German Biergarten at Epcot isn't Mick Jagger but there are hundreds of guys getting scale every day. Then the movie studio, ABC network, hotel lounge, cruise ships...

But johngalt thinks:

NED bless the Sears Roebuck catalog, the Amazon-dot-com of its day.

Posted by: johngalt at May 7, 2012 3:31 PM

Russ Douthat on "Julia"

Vacation was fun. Don't short your Disney stock just yet, that thing is the real deal. I spent two days on Mickey's Plantation (one chortles but it is an impressive organization). Then I rented a car because landlubbers like me cannot miss a chance to see the ocean. We drove up to Cape Canaveral and happened to arrive on an Atlas V launch day. That's my picture in the dictionary, next to "fortuitous."

A swell time, but I missed a couple big political stories. I kept up with the Chen Guangcheng case through ThreeSources and the WSJ Ed Page. I do not know that I have my head around that one yet. I believe in the liberalizing power of trade and remain unsure that a hard line stance from an American President who is not committed to liberty qua liberty is a good idea. I hope things turn out well but am not ready to take shots at Secretary Clinton or the President over this just yet.

However. The other story. Jee. Burzzz. Julia. I think they took the mask off and let the country peer deeply into their belief system. This is not dog eating; this is the philosophical debate of which ThreeSourcers dream.

As Russ Douthat mentions, we might lose. But we have a chance to discuss competing visions.

At the same time, the slide show's vision of the individual's relationship to the state seems designed to vindicate every conservative critique of the Obama-era Democratic Party. The liberalism of "the Life of Julia" doesn't envision government spending the way an older liberalism did -- as a backstop for otherwise self-sufficient working families, providing insurance against job loss, decrepitude and catastrophic illness. It offers a more sweeping vision of government's place in society, in which the individual depends on the state at every stage of life, and no decision -- personal, educational, entrepreneurial, sexual -- can be contemplated without the promise that it will be somehow subsidized by Washington.

The condescension inherent in this vision is apparent in every step of Julia's pilgrimage toward a community-gardening retirement. But in an increasingly atomized society, where communities and families are weaker than ever before, such a vision may have more appeal -- to both genders -- than many of the conservatives mocking the slide show might like to believe.


Game on. This is the question, and if liberty loses the American experiment is over. But I would rather discuss Julia than canines and contraception. It's [Wo]Man's relationship to the State. Game on.

UPDATE: I posted this before I had seen blog friend Terri's excellent take:

Creepy. And very disdainful of women. Julia being the example woman who receives government help throughout her whole life. (though there is that one section where she is probably paying more in taxes than she is receiving. I'm surprised Obama didn't mention the interstate highways that allow Julia to get from web job to web job or to go on vacations.)

It's an odd thing that they didn't mention those taxpaying years when Julia can "give back" to others who could use a leg up. That sort of thing. But no, instead Julia, little girl that she is, just relies on the government and doesn't contribute. Creepy.

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at 8:41 AM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

A thousand thank yous for taking this up. I had been salivating at this gold mine of comparative opportunities but couldn't find time (or bring myself) to research the President's paper-doll website.

I do not find your assessment overwrought. If the life of Julia is preferable to a plurality of voters then we'll find out what it's like to be a real browncoat, not merely a rhetorical one.

Posted by: johngalt at May 7, 2012 5:14 PM
But SWalkerTTU thinks:

Everything mentioned in the life of Julia is a program pre-dating the Obama administration, apart from the ACA health-care reform. I'm not sure where you get the departure from Establishment Liberalism, or the threat to liberty -- apart from your taxes maybe having to go up a smidge to pay back the massive debt that's been run up. I guess you'd rather have all of these programs slashed to the point of inefficacy. In that case, why bother with a government at all?

Posted by: SWalkerTTU at May 9, 2012 11:09 PM
But jk thinks:

@SWalkerTTU: Thanks for the comment. We bother with a government to protect our liberties. I want a government to run the courts and repel foreign invaders and then leave me alone.

You're certainly right that President Obama has not caused this. The programs -- as you point out -- are the culmination of 100+ years of straying from Constitutional principles.

What Obama has done is integrate this vision into his campaign. As Douthat says, it is more about government as a partner than a safety net. This differs from FDR-Truman-LBJ liberalism if only in honesty.

I bring it up because it is my favorite topic. I expect gay marriage and contraception and dog eating and the war on women to sort themselves out fairly well over time. But man's relationship to the state drives me: whether your vision of government or mine will prevail is interesting and worthy of discussion.

I hope you will wander back this way to respond. And if you do, help me out with your handle I suspect SWalker refers to the Governor of Wisconsin but I am too dense to figure out TTU.

Posted by: jk at May 10, 2012 9:43 AM

May 6, 2012

Review Corner

I went to bed the night of April 30 sweating bullets.

I had a 5AM ride to the airport arranged and I had pre-ordered two Kindle books scheduled for release on May 1. Surely the good folks at Amazon would hook me up the night before or right at midnight and I would have something to read on the plane.

Right? Yes they did. And I enjoyed -- thoroughly -- Jonah Goldberg's Tyranny of Clichés on the way out.

It is hard for me to be objective with Jonah. He is such a favorite, I don't know if I could not like one of his books. We actually have a few areas of disagreement. But I so appreciate his method, writing chops and analytical skills that I consider him a real go-to guy. This book is no exception.

The premise -- and this book is far more partisan than Liberal Fascism -- is that the left cheats in the war of ideas by passing off platitudes and bromides as thought and argument. The Tyranny Blog on NR has more background on the book and several examples:

One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter
...the sort of thing that would make any good Jesuit weep. It steamrolls through a fallacious comparison, confusing ends and means on its way, in order to celebrate both relativism and nihilism and elevate moral cowardice as an intellectual principle.

Violence never solves anything
Really? It solved our problems with the British empire and ended slavery.

Better ten guilty men go free than one innocent man suffer
So you wont mind if those ten guilty men move next door to you?

Diversity is strength
Cool. The NBA should have a quota for midgets and one-legged point guards!


Goldberg is funny and, as mentioned, far more pointed than in his previous book, but I appreciate the scholarly research to back it up. He quotes Michael Oakeshott
You truly take to heart Oakeshott's lovely epigram, "The conjunction of ruling and dreaming generates tyranny."

And then runs right into a pop culture reference:
But this is not really fair. The French Enlightenment was a lot like the Star Wars franchise: It started great; it just evolved into disaster over time, as the characters became more and more unbelievable. Montesquieu, after all, influenced the Founding Fathers as much as anyone, and was the author of the whole idea of the separation of powers.

Switching back and forth as easily as I switch from Sumatra to Columbian coffee:
"[W]e must demand that the individual shall be willing to lose the sense of personal achievement," insisted Jane Addams in 1902, "and shall be content to realize his activity only in connection to the activity of the many." Walter Rauschenbusch, the leading proselytizer of the progressive social gospel movement, declared, "New forms of association must be created.... Our disorganized competitive life must pass into an organic cooperative life." Elsewhere, Rauschenbusch put it more simply: "Individualism means tyranny."

I don't know that your average ThreeSourcer will change positions of discover a lot of new ideas in this book. But I guarantee everyone who takes it up will be entertained, learn a lot of new foundational material, and likely have a few myths punctured (let us say I have a couple of research projects after completing it).

Five Stars! It's Jonah fer cryin' out loud!

BTW: The second preordered book is Robert A Caro's The Passage of Power. Volume IV in his masterpiece biography of President Johnson. Mister Kindle says I am 13% in (Volume III was 1400 pages, I am not sure what I am into here) and it is incredible. The section on President Kennedy is better than any books I have read on Kennedy. I have no problem claiming Caro to be the best biographer of all time, this seems to keep on or above the trend line.

UPDATE: Good Tyranny of Cliches review in the New York Post

Review Corner Posted by John Kranz at 7:37 PM | What do you think? [1]
But jk thinks:

And one for Sister dagny:

a mechanistic utilitarian could craft a perfectly consistent argument that the slavery of the few would maximize the happiness of the many. The only plausible utilitarian retort is that the many could not be happy while enjoying the fruits of slave labor.

Goldberg, Jonah (2012-05-01). The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas (p. 71). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.

Posted by: jk at May 6, 2012 8:32 PM

May 2, 2012

There's been a development in the Chen Guangcheng case and br'er KA was right - our government has done the inconceivable.

The deal also stipulates that the Chinese government would treat Chen and his family humanely, that they would be relocated, and that Chen would be allowed to study at a university. Senior administration officials told reporters in a background briefing in Beijing that Chen called Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from the car to the hospital and said, "I want to kiss you."

Riiiiiight. I'm sure they will be "relocated" and he can "study" ... how to be a good comrade citizen. (Ain't buying that kiss Hillary business though.)

Glasser noted that Zeng Jinyan, the wife of well-known activist Hu Jia, contradicted that account on Twitter, saying Chen told her he had asked to "see" Clinton, not to kiss her.

Clinton, in a statement, said, "I am pleased that we were able to facilitate Chen Guangcheng's stay and departure from the U.S. Embassy in a way that reflected his choices and our values." [Translation: We have defused this awkward and embarassing international situation.]

Chen, according to the AP, said that it was true he had expressed his desire to stay in China. But now that U.S. officials have left him alone in his hospital room, he is having second thoughts.

"I think we'd like to rest in a place outside of China," he said. He then asked to relay a message to Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ). "Help my family and I leave safely."

So Chen and his family, like many Americans and their families, must seek the aid of state or local government in the face of federal tyranny. Let's hope that Senator Smith has more pull with the Chinese government than President Obama does.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:07 PM | What do you think? [5]
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Wow, who would have predicted that? Oh, wait...

Noting that Chen Guangcheng is in fact blind, I'm sure that he'd love to "see" the Hildebeast; and also, since he is in fact blind, we can smile politely, knowing that he can't be accused of quickly correcting the comment about kissing Her Cankleness for solely such superficial reasons as her appearance.

Snark aside... oh, never mind, the snark can stay... but in light of his desire to rest in a place outside of China, I have a spare bedroom I would be honored to offer for the use of Chen and his family.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 2, 2012 5:24 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

UPDATE: This will break your heart. This administration is leaving Chen to twist in the wind:

http://twitchy.com/2012/05/02/friend-of-chinese-dissident-chen-guangcheng-tweets-about-chinas-threats-to-family/

Posted by: Keith Arnold at May 2, 2012 7:15 PM
But jk thinks:

Greetings from Mickey's house in Florida!

The WSJ folks did an interesting piece on Chen. As a dissident he may not want to leave. Keith's guest room is no doubt Cody. But Gigot and Co. -- no airbrush artists for the Administration -- point out that he must stay to affect change.

Smoochies with Secretary Clinton is a new development. No word on Eighth Amendment implications...

Posted by: jk at May 3, 2012 8:29 AM
But johngalt thinks:

The portion of that opinion that the unwashed denizens of the free-net can see says only that details of the deal, including whether Mr. Chen [sic - shall we refer to Paul Gigot as "Mr. Paul?"] was coerced to accept by Chinese threats to his family, "remain murky." Indeed, I will agree that Washington's attention to the safety of Mr. Guangchang and his family is "murky." No dispute there.

While dismissing my criticisms please understand I am merely a "NASCAR retard" whose thinking is manipulated by a series of Drudge headline links, which read:

HELP ME, HILLARY!

China activist appeals to Obama...

Deal unravels...

Chen fears for life...

"We are in danger'...

Hillary ignores...

Posted by: johngalt at May 3, 2012 2:36 PM
But johngalt thinks:

As I implied here, what courage this administration shows!

Perhaps if Chen were a Pakistani instead...

Posted by: johngalt at May 3, 2012 2:40 PM

The 6 Percenters

Last year's "Occupy" protests brought the term "1 percenter" back into our familiar lexicon. Supposedly representing the "super rich" who "control" America, it is a term of derision used by some who declare themselves representatives of the "rest of us" or the "99 percent."

But surprisingly, as Walter Williams observed, those arrested at Occupy demonstrations are overwhelmingly white and above average in both income and home value.

The median value of the homes of the arrestees was $305,000 a far higher number than the $185,400 median value of owner-occupied homes of the rest of us. Ninety-five of the arrestees lived in homes valued at more than $500,000. Those who rented paid a median rent of $1,850 per month. Of the 984 protesters arrested, at least 797 are white. One Occupy Wall Street protester arrested presumably, if you listen to the mainstream media, penniless and from a blue-collar family lived in an $850,000 home in the nations capital.

And less surprisingly, America's wealthiest counties are the suburbs surrounding our nation's capital, Washington D.C. As Williams puts it, "The nations richest counties are close to Washington, D.C., where people come to do good and wind up doing well for themselves." But do just 1 percent of Americans "run" America? This article claims that about 1 percent of us have held elective office, now or in the past. But that's about as close as you can get to showing such a small sliver of society "runs" a nation and economy as great and diverse as America's. To actually, functionally "run" a country has been shown to require, at a bare minimum, a group I like to call The 6 Percenters.


May 1, 2012

Capitalism and Immigration

Howdy fellow 3sourcers!

I haven't been able to post in a while due to a very hectic schedule.

I know that immigration has been a hot topic on 3sources in the past, and I thought I would try to reignite the debate. I tend to have a more "open borders" approach when it comes to immigration instead of the more "protectionist" approach favored by mainstream conservatives. I came across this article today that makes a great economic argument for the liberalization of human capital flows in the same way and for the same reasons as the liberalization of traditional capital and trade markets.

It is interesting to note how many "free market" folks out there adopt immigration polices that are totally inconsistent with their views on free trade.

Enjoy!

An Economic Case for Immigration

But johngalt thinks:

Haven't read the link yet but wanted to establish a few more parameters that relate to this topic:

Residency and right to work vs. citizenship.

Poor regulation of the electoral franchise thus diminishing the right of living, single voting citizens.

Public accomodation at public expense of non-English speaking residents.

Uncontrolled cross-border influx of hazardous materials, weapons, contagions.

So in other words, my largest single complaint about the immigration of foreign individuals is the negative consequences our national government has bestowed upon them - in many times, for political reasons. Now on to the [possibly] academic discussion of the subject.

Posted by: johngalt at May 1, 2012 6:19 PM
But Bryan thinks:

All great points JG.

The author of this article touches on most of your concerns, although this paper is certainly not a treatise of economics and immigration.

The points the author makes in regards to security issues really hit the nail on the head.

Paraphrasing: Liberalization of human capital flows via deregulation and decreased barriers to entry will allow the government to focus on the people we want to keep out (criminals, terrorists, etc..) instead of having a "one sized fits all" immigration policy where our boarder protection resources must be used for both criminal and non-criminal immigrants.

Let me know what you think of the article and we can discuss further.

Posted by: Bryan at May 1, 2012 6:45 PM
But jk thinks:

Welcome to ThreeSources!

I enjoyed the linked article and it mirrors my beliefs pretty closely.

Posted by: jk at May 1, 2012 10:15 PM
But Terri thinks:

Ah yes, yet another paper on immigration used to raise the subject of illegal immigration.

Let's go with the conclusion:"Absent a market process, there is no way to centrally plan the optimal number and mix of immigrants any more than it was possible for the Soviet Union to centrally plan its markets. Instead of restricting labor flows at arbitrary places where politicians happened to draw lines on maps, we need a free market in labor. That means open borders. Not only would free immigration make the native-born population richer, but also it would be an effective way to help the poor of the world.
"

I'm all for open borders for workers since we have open borders for business.

However no matter how open a border for either business or workers, there will be paperwork involved.

Should those without proper paperwork be given a pass every 10 years or so?

Passing laws that allow for more people to enter this country and be given access to markets etc. would be a general good.

The more people who enter with the entry level jobs will (with legal papers) then progress to good jobs with good pay and fewer welfare and then more will follow to start off with the crap jobs etc, etc. I'm all for that.

BUT - those that enter in the first place need to be legal. Having mass amnesties every so many years only invites those without paperwork. And those without paperwork are a different group than those that Mr. Powell is describing.

Posted by: Terri at May 2, 2012 10:37 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I enjoyed the linked article and it mirrors my beliefs pretty closely. (Yes I did cut and paste JK's comment.)

It doesn't address citizenship, voting or bi-lingualism, but does speak to controlling hazards at the border: "Open borders" includes "legal check points" in Mr. Powell's formulation. (A better term might be free borders, as "open" border implies uncontrolled - at least to me.)

Posted by: johngalt at May 2, 2012 2:59 PM

Paul vs. Paul

Bloomberg television carried this 20-minute debate live yesterday. Drudge linked it with the headline: Ron Paul staying in race, may not support Romney. But I don't think I would have pitched it that way. I had already seen the story as a hit on my Google Alert for "Liberty Dollar." Andrew Kirell via MEDIAite wrote:

Krugman, grinning through Rep. Pauls answers, responded that if you think you can avoid [the government setting monetary policy], youre living in the world that was 150 years ago. Predictably, Krugman continued on to defend our monetary policy as a response to free market economy gone amok, and explain why he thinks government is necessary in order to prevent future depressions.

When discussing the topic of inflation (something Krugman wants more of), Rep. Paul hit back that [Krugman] wants to go back 1,000 years to the Greco-Roman times when inflationary monetary policy was a common practice. Paul explains how the Roman empire eventually destroyed their currency through inflation, implying that Krugmans desire for the federal government to print more money could lead to similar consequences.

Krugman chuckled and responded: I am not a defender of the economic policies of the emperor Diocletian. So lets just make that clear.

Well, you are. Thats exactly what youre defending, Paul insisted.

Mitt Romney, take notice: When you're opponent says, "I'm not _________" the correct reply is, "That's exactly what you're doing."

When co-host Trish Regan questioned Paul on whether he wants to abolish the Federal Reserve entirely, he explained that he wants to legalize private currencies to compete with the government monopoly on currency. As it stands today, if people use a private currency, they can go to to jail (as we saw several years ago with the federal raid on the Paul-inspired Liberty Dollar).
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

"you’re living in the world that was 150 years ago."

We should greatly appreciate Krugman's admission that it WAS possible since it was done. This country had minor panics when it used gold- and silver-backed currency (but not the free coinage of silver that William Jennings Bryan advocated).

Enter a great centralizer of power, Abraham Lincoln, who started printing dollars, and then the Federal Reserve. Our country had never had such busts.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at May 1, 2012 6:31 PM

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