May 30, 2014

Gibson Guitars & Harvey Silverglate

A great American success story? Yes, but Gibson's very success made it a fat target for federal prosecutors, whom Juszkiewicz alleges were operating at the behest of lumber unions and environmental pressure groups seeking to kill the market for lumber imports. "This case was not about conservation," he says. "It was basically protectionism."

Two months before the raid, lobbyists slipped some arcane supply-chain reporting provisions into an extension of the Lacey Act of 1900 that changed the technical definition of "fingerboard blanks," which are legal to import.

With no clear legal standards, a sealed warrant the company has not been allowed to see too this day, no formal charges filed, and the threat of a prison term hanging over any executive who does not take "due care" to abide by this absurdly vague law, Gibson settled. "You're fighting a very well organized political machine in the unions," Juszkiewicz concluded. "And the conservation guys have sort of gone along." Hey, what’s not to like about $50,000?


Harvey Silverglate, author of There Felonies a Day [Review Corner], joins Gibson CEO in a radio interview with Bill Frezza. Reading Silverglate's book it was impossible not to think of l'Affaire Gibson.
Henry Juszkiewicz:

Harvey Silverglate:


May 29, 2014

Update to Autonomous Cars

Clearly, Brother jg has hacked my Facebook feed just to make a point:

harley.jpg

Google Posted by John Kranz at 5:52 PM | What do you think? [0]

YEAH!!!

Bloody Republicans!!

handsoffhealthcare.jpg

But johngalt thinks:

Where do I sign? Politicians need to be punished whenever they interfere with Americans' healthcare!

I just can't figure out why the Democratic Party is sponsoring FB posts that quote the GOP and parrot their #1 campaign meme.

Posted by: johngalt at May 29, 2014 7:01 PM

C2H5OH Review Corner

The Centennial State is arguably the top micro brew state in the Union. The Refugee does not have visibility into the other 49 states, but it seems that the "micro" thing has also taken hold across the state in the realm of distilled spirits, specifically whiskeys. Daveco Liquors, named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest liquor store, is just five miles from The Refugee's house (and within shouting distance of several blog brethren); Daveco has a nice section of Colorado whiskeys. It just seemed like a really good idea for The Refugee to sample every one made in Colorado and report on them to Three Sourcers. So, prepare to grab one of JK's recommended readings and settle in with a wee dram.

First, The Refugee must explain his impeccable review credentials and methodology. He is specifically qualified to review whiskeys because he has two key attributes: a tongue and a keyboard. Oh, yeah - and a third thing - a credit card to pay for the stuff. For methodology, he puts a nice two-ounce pour over four ice cubes (made with filtered water) - never any extra water or other additives. If you've gotta mix it, then it can't be good. Of course, one sample is not enough. One must drink at least half the bottle (no, not in one sitting) to appreciate how the taste evolves over time. Just as there are different varieties of beers, there are different varieties of whiskeys. The Refugee does not try to categorize them for comparison, but just to make note of the variety. Whiskeys are evaluated based on five taste characteristics: smokiness, bitterness, sourness, astringency and taste strength. (Astringency is to whiskey as hoppiness is to beer.)

For a first review subject, The Refugee chose 303 Whiskey from Boulder Distillery. Interestingly, 303 (presumably named for the Denver/Boulder area code) is made from potatoes, not corn or grain as most whiskeys are. There is considerable debate in online discussion forums as to the authenticity of a potato-based whiskey. To The Refugee, it looks and tastes like whiskey, so he'll leave the labeling purity to others.

303 is a lighter color than many other whiskeys. It is packaged is a very plain bottle with a boring label, perhaps testimony that the makers are distillers and not marketers. Nevertheless, the bottle contents are a decent drink. Astringency, the first thing that hits your tongue with any whiskey, is moderate in 303. It's a little stronger than The Refugee cares for, but not so much that it interferes with tasting the drink. 303 has virtually no bitterness and very little sourness; in fact, it finishes with a bit of a sweet note. It's taste strength is rather nondescript: while pleasing enough, it does not leave you looking forward to the next glass. Nevertheless, The Refugee's impression of 303 improved over time. It gets better as you get deeper into the glass and the bottle.

At under $30 a bottle, 303 is a satisfactory drink and worth a try. Three tumblers.

Next up: Tincup Whiskey.

Food and Wine Posted by Boulder Refugee at 4:35 PM | What do you think? [6]
But johngalt thinks:

303 seems a popular product name these days. And there is some congruity in a distilled spirit made from fermented potatoes being produced in the People's Democratic Republic of Boulder.

I appreciate the new column, and eagerly anticipate the next installment. I just unsealed my third bottle of Tincup since discovering it, also at Daveco, last year. Spoiler alert: It leaves me looking forward to the next glass.

Posted by: johngalt at May 29, 2014 7:25 PM
But jk thinks:

I eagerly await the series as well!

Stuck for weeks in the land of the greatest beer (sorry, lads, that's Britain) while on the Atkins Diet! I tried to transfer my affection to Scotch. My benefactor/CEO did a great job on your third point, covering the check. But he told my companions, out of earshot, that I lacked the discipline to sip and was poorly suited to the pastime.

Well, I was never a natural bike rider or hockey player either. But I always tried to compensate with enthusiasm -- and did the same for Scotch.

I question the rocks. Of course, in the UK you cannot buy ice for a million quid but don't you have to try it neat?

Posted by: jk at May 29, 2014 7:52 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I wonder what the sage of the British Isles considers "disciplined sipping?" No more than 1 ounce per hour? Maybe two? You weren't shooting the stuff were you?

Posted by: johngalt at May 30, 2014 5:55 PM
But Jk thinks:

"Give every tooth a taste" was the buzzphrase.

RAH would like me; sipping, small bites, and moderation really are not my strong suits.

Posted by: Jk at May 30, 2014 6:10 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

OK, a neat sipping will be added to the test. At least one glass will be had neat.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at May 30, 2014 6:12 PM
But Jk thinks:

Sorry to add to your workload.

Posted by: Jk at May 30, 2014 10:14 PM

I Know ThreeSourcers Love a Bargain!

66% Off!

Hillary Clinton will be speaking at the 1STBANK Center next week in Broomfield, Colorado. But it appears event organizers are having a hard time selling out: tickets to the event have been put on sale, and are now selling for 66 percent cheaper than the original sale price.

Hat-tip: Insty

2016 Posted by John Kranz at 11:22 AM | What do you think? [0]

Quote of the Day

In recent weeks, people across the political spectrum professed to be aghast when a small coterie of "offended" students shut down commencement speeches by conservatives, centrists and liberals.

At Smith College, they didn't want to hear IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. At Haverford College, they'd only let former Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau speak if he signed a letter of apology and guilt for his handling of the Occupy Cal sit-ins in 2011. How, the world of astonished adults wondered, have these students come to believe they could shut people up on any aggrieved whim?

They got it from the Majority Leader of the United States Senate and 49 senators. They got it from the many adults who think a little restriction on some speech is OK, and then cry shock when the mob goes too far. That Senate letter isn't just about the Washington Redskins. It's part of a broader, active effort to define and limit what people can say--not just in politics or sports, but anywhere anyone tries to open his or her mouth. -- Dan Henninger, WSJ Ed Page


But johngalt thinks:

Huzzah!

Posted by: johngalt at May 29, 2014 11:09 AM

May 28, 2014

"Home James" Hey, I said HOME!

Just today I shared my belief that "all humans desire freedom." Here is proof that I was wrong.

Hey, it's a better driver than your husband. What's not to like?

Google Posted by JohnGalt at 5:36 PM | What do you think? [10]
But jk thinks:

You've never taken the bus to a Rockies game?

I have, and -- shockingly! -- there was not a steering wheel and brake for each rider. All of us little collectivists were going to the same baseball game and there was little value in a polycentric order.

Now, let's replace the freedom-reducing bus with individual autonomous cars occupied only by those with whom we have chosen to ride, listening to our favorite Trace Adkins songs, and deviating from path to drive through Starbucks.

Yet this ingenious device still drops us off at the front entrance, either to go park itself far away and cheaply, or leaving to serve some other hard-working, autonomous, individualistic Americans!

Sorry, but my eyes are kind of misting up...

Posted by: jk at May 29, 2014 4:00 PM
But johngalt thinks:

LOL. You imagine a mechanical version of Hi Ho Silver and I picture the Johnny Cab from Total Recall.

Posted by: johngalt at May 29, 2014 5:38 PM
But AndyN thinks:

It seems to be smarter than I am, to be more alert than I am, and to have better reflexes than I do, so it should be safer than any car that I'm controlling. And there's the problem, because with our ever-expanding government, safety features can't be just an option.

I look at this car and all I see is a 2,000 pound Armatix iP1 - a fascinating technological advancement that would eventually be accepted by a free market, but that I instinctively dislike because I know at some point some fascist will try to force it upon me.

Posted by: AndyN at May 29, 2014 6:11 PM
But jk thinks:

Glad to be back in the optimist's chair -- the past five years have been brutal.

AndyN and jg may well be right. It would certainly make a lot more sense to coerce us into these than to regulate the number of bullets we can put in a magazine.

But I see a revolutionary and exciting new technology -- period. Yes, t could be misused and will likely be mismanaged by government in some fashion. But I caution those who enjoy modernity to leave the techno-pessimism to the left. "How will faster microprocessors be used to exploit minorities and the poor?"

Even if the prosperitarian-productivity arguments don't get you and you are blind to the tremendous empowerment of elderly and disabled, let me share one pro freedom aspect of these I saw referenced recently: the obviation of traffic enforcement. No more "click it or ticket;" no more pulling you over for a busted taillight; no more DWCP (Driving With Colorado Plates). That would be a huge advance for liberty.

Posted by: jk at May 30, 2014 10:15 AM
But dagny thinks:

Let me know when it will tow a 40ft. 6 horse trailer without bumping the curbs.

Posted by: dagny at May 30, 2014 11:39 AM
But johngalt thinks:

No more drag racing on main street at 1 am. ;)

I think I mentioned I love the tech. What I don't love is the implementation chosen by Google for demonstration purposes. I want the Dodge version of this... not the PRT version as envisioned by the DAWG promoting egalitarians at google.org.

Empowerment of the less mobile? Yaay.
Faster and safer travel? Yaay.
Legalized texting while driving? Yaay.

Just put my manual controls back in. That's all I ask. Well, and maybe a turbocharged V-something with 8-speed automatic paddle shifted transmission, independent active suspension and a tuned exhaust. Or an electric power plant with a thorium battery. And voice controls.

Posted by: johngalt at May 30, 2014 3:34 PM

Quote of the Day

Uh huh. Toyota introduced its mass-market small car in the U.S. in 1968 and 46 years later the car is still called the Corolla. Honda introduced its Civic in 1972 and it's still the Civic. In that time, GM offered the Vega, Chevette, Monza, Cavalier, Cobalt and Cruze. A commenter at MotorTrend.com neatly explains why GM spends millions to create and dump new small-car brand-names every few years--because "Vega, Cavalier and Cobalt all say mediocre now." -- Holman Jenkins, WSJ Ed Page
But johngalt thinks:

Harumph. I blame Consumer Reports.

Our friends at Consumers Guide could do that better, too - they seem to have a need to write "but not up to the best of the European/Japanese imports" at the end of every American review. Well, some of the imports aren't up to the best of the Americans - but we never read that.
Posted by: johngalt at May 28, 2014 4:23 PM

On Human Freedom

I live and think and act under the premise that the universal natural state of man is freedom.

I asked a friend recently if he thinks that liberty is a universal ambition of every person. He wasn't sure. So I asked him if he had to choose between total liberty and total control, which he would prefer for himself? Would he prefer to work and earn and choose which "hovel" (his word) to rent, or to be given some sort of "hovel" by someone else with no freedom to choose anything about it. His delay in answering suggested an attempt to evade the question asked, which he did by replying that being given a hovel is better because he would know that more people are thus able to have similar hovels and fewer people would be homeless.

There were other beliefs expressed, such as "man is no better than nature" and "humanity can't expand without harming nature." I relate this story because it gave me insight into the thinking of lefty Facebook Friends: "I believe we are all sailors on the same ship, and we have to work together for the common good. The earth is our ship and the universe is our ocean." I didn't think to remind him of the myriad mutinies and riots that happen when order breaks down during long and indeterminate journeys, but I did ask him to consider my original question only in terms of his own desires. His own needs and wants, notwithstanding the effects of his choice on anyone else.

"That's not fair," he replied.

It wasn't that he couldn't answer the question, I think, but that he didn't believe he had any right to consider the question in such a way. I wasn't suggesting - yet - that he actually live his life that way, but merely asking him to think about how he might do so. He stood up, said he couldn't do this, and walked away.

You have permission, lefty Facebook Friends, to stop worrying about everyone else every moment, with every act you take or sentence you utter. I'm not saying you may be inconsiderate, only that you are an end in yourself. Why does that threaten you so?


Club for Growth Action is Responsible for the Content...

Heh.

But johngalt thinks:

Mondo!

Posted by: johngalt at May 28, 2014 3:05 PM

None Dare Call it a Trend

If I lapse into all caps, I will post this under rant. But, for now, I think I can keep it together.

Megan McArdle provides a lengthy excerpt from Jordain Carney and Stacy Kaper's two-part series on the VA for National Journal. McArdle (and Carney and Kaper) accepts that the problems at the VA preceded President Obama's election and that a massive institutional bureaucracy is difficult-to-impossible for even the most skilled manager to repair. Fair cop, guv.

McArdle highlights the President's preternatural sense of self-worth: "Yet it also points to one of the cardinal weaknesses of Obama's presidency: his prolonged hubris about how much a really smart, caring president could change the way government operates."

I'm going to go one step meaner. It is not only that his general swellness could not make the problems go away. The real "cardinal weakness of Obama's presidency" is that he thought he could layer additional services onto the weak foundation: promise more and deliver . . . nothing.

He pledged to end the claims backlog while simultaneously making a string of moves that summoned a flood of new claims to the department.

The administration made it easier for veterans to get compensation for both post-traumatic stress disorder and exposure to Agent Orange -- a Vietnam War-era defoliant now tied to a long list of neurological disorders. Those moves extended help to long-suffering veterans, but they weren't matched by the VA reforms needed to adequately address the new claims. Agent Orange alone took up 37 percent of the Veterans Benefits Administration's claims-processing resources nationally from October 2010 to March 2012, according to a Government Accountability Office report.

And as claims soared during Obama's first years in office, so did wait times. In 2009, there were about 423,000 claims at the VA, with 150,000 claims pending for more than four months (the official wait time it takes a claim to be considered "backlogged"). By 2012, claims had exploded to more than 883,000 -- and 586,540 of those sat on the VA's backlog list.


Okay, so that car you bought always burned a little oil and the brakes were bad. Ummm, should you have installed a trailer hitch and towed your new boat up to the lake?

This is the same guy who thought he could just hand out Medicare cards. Just as he never draws the line from "health insurance" to "health care," none of his promises have any backing.


May 27, 2014

PPACAo2010 Horror Story of the Day

I don't know whether to believe this, as it comes from that notorious Koch-Brothers-wingnut outfit NPR (hat-tip: Taranto). But if it's true... It seems "The Robinson family of Dallas started out pretty excited about their new insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act." Then, his wife was struck by some unforeseen malady . . . something about a baby in her tummy . . . I don't get all the medical jargon. But she required care and it was not forthcoming.

In January, as soon as the plan began, Nick printed out a list of obstetricians from the plan's website. "I handed it over to Rachel, fully confident, fully feeling like I had accomplished something for her, I had come through for my wife," he says. "This whole Obamacare thing was going to work!"

Rachel recalls two days in January when she sat down and called every doctor on the list of 28. According to her, most of the practices told her, in one way or another, that they didn't take the plan.

"Some would just come right out and say, 'We don't take Obamacare,'" she says.

"Or the best one was, 'The doctor takes it here at the actual practice, but whatever hospital you use . . . does not take that insurance.' " . . .

"It was mind numbing," she says, "because I was just sitting there thinking, 'I'm paying close to $400 a month just for me to have insurance that doesn't even work. So what am I paying for?' "


I'm thinking that it is all a misunderstanding. Clearly, this ObamaCare stuff is crap -- but they should check out the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act of 2010.

UPDATE: The story has a happy ending!

"On April 28, Rachel gave birth--at home, in the giant tub, with no pain medication." The Robinsons have stopped paying their premiums and are once again uninsured.

Like a Disney story, really.


My Account was not Hacked

I will give you my Mother's maiden name, the last four of my social, whatever you need to actually believe this is jk typing and posting.

But my arch-nemesis, Rep. Tom Tancredo, was on Devil's Advocate. And he was umm, well let's say pretty good:

The only Republican to support Amendment 64; a Tenth Amendment caucus. That is very good stuff. I'm in a forgiving mood. myself. Surely the media would pepper a candidate Tancredo with 97% immigration questions. But I am becoming an old softie...


CO Governor Posted by John Kranz at 12:50 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, Tom does sound swell in this folksy interview. And he's the savior of liberty, since he draws more support from unaffiliated voters than anyone in the race, including Hick. Just ask him! He'll happily tell you what his personal private polling shows. Then watch out if he's the nominee because the Democratic attack ads will remind those voters about everything from deport all illegals to bomb Mecca. Agree or not with him or anything he's ever said, that unaffiliated support is anything but solid.

Gessler has won actual statewide election based on that unaffiliated support. That's where the smart money is going.

Tanc alluded to the albatross that the immigration stance represents by saying he's stood for much more than that and for much longer. Not exactly a strong campaign message.

Posted by: johngalt at May 29, 2014 11:21 AM
But jk thinks:

Harshin' the mellow. But every word you say is true.

I, too, am in Camp Gessler; I look forward to his interview this Friday. The two takeaways from this were: a) the lack of visible horns and KBDI's makeup artist's ability to hide the "666" tattto; and, b) Tancredo's being right on the biggest liberty increase in my state in my adult life: Amendment 64.

If the rest of the GOP plans on reverting to highlighting their drug warrior bona fides, it is going to be a ling time until November.

Posted by: jk at May 29, 2014 1:00 PM

May 26, 2014

Coffeehousin'

Coffeehouse

My Baby Just Cares for Me

Take my birthday present out for a spin!

Walter Donaldson & Gus Kahn ©1930

Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com

Permalink

May 25, 2014

Because Boulder County Humans Still "Destroy Ecosystems"...

In a comment on Genetically Modified Good Causes I linked a Longmont Times-Call story about proposed "rights of nature' in the Boulder County Comprehensive Plan. It gives scant indication of what is truly being proposed.

Boulder County Planning Commission members agreed Wednesday night on a thus-far-unofficial comprehensive plan addition declaring county government's responsibility to support the continued existence of all of the county's "naturally occurring ecosystems and their native species populations."

That proposed language is vague enough to mean nothing, or everything, depending upon who is doing the "interpreting." For a hint how the anti-prosperity egalitarian socialists on the board of "Boulder Rights of Nature" might interpret it, consider this summary of their numerous demands as they appeared in a guest opinion by self-proclaimed Boulder environmentalist and president of the Boulder County Horse Association:

However, these multiple protections are not enough to satisfy a few environmental extremists who are quietly pushing for a "new paradigm:" the inclusion of a "Sustainable Rights of Nature Ordinance," which would, among other things:

1) "Eliminate the authority of a property owner to destroy, or cause substantial harm to, natural communities and ecosystems"

2) Accord "inherent, inalienable, and fundamental rights of Nature to all Natural Beings" including humans and "all living species of plants, animals, and algae"

3) Include a Statement of Law that "All Natural beings, Natural Communities and Ecosystems possess the inalienable right to exist, flourish, regenerate, and evolve"

4) Declare that "The Precautionary Principle Is Needed To Protect These Rights"

5) Find that "It shall be unlawful for any person, government entity, corporation (etc) to intentionally or recklessly violate the rights of Natural Beings, Natural Communities or Ecosystems"

6) Enforce "Damages" measured by the cost of restoring the Natural Community or Ecosystem to its [original] state before the injury.

But such extremism is warranted, says BRoN board member Dale Ball, because "We wouldn't think of our children as property to exploit, nor should we think that way of nature." Apparently nobody asked mister Ball how he feels about human abortion.

No, this is not about the principle of "protecting" nature. It is about regulating and controlling the behavior of other people. "Then we shall see who the superior one really is!"

But jk thinks:

Review Corner after next will be "Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper: How Innovation Keeps Proving the Catastrophists Wrong" by Robert Bryce.

And yet the neo-Malthusian mindset endures. In 2011, three analysts, Will Steffen , Johan Rockström, and Robert Costanza, published a report in which they claimed to have identified specific boundaries for the planet-- on issues like climate change, land use, water use, ozone depletion , and others-- "beyond which humanity should not go." [...] But it's the implementation part of their prescription that creates the rub. They write:
Ultimately, there will need to be an institution (or institutions) operating, with authority, above the level of individual countries to ensure that the planetary boundaries are respected. In effect , such an institution, acting on behalf of humanity as a whole, would be the ultimate arbiter of the myriad trade-offs that need to be managed as nations and groups of people jockey for economic and social advantage. It would, in essence, become the global referee on the planetary playing field.

Nope, nothing could possibly go wrong there....

Posted by: jk at May 25, 2014 2:16 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Perhaps this will be the actual manifestation of the Fourth Reich.

Posted by: johngalt at May 25, 2014 3:31 PM
But Jk thinks:

Naaah, just a kind of "global referee," enforcing planetary boundaries...

Posted by: Jk at May 25, 2014 5:12 PM
But Terri thinks:

Prairie dog colonies
Mosquito colonies
Ash borer
termites
dandelions

just trying to imagine what Boulder Cty will end up looking like when they face reality.
"We're all lawbreakers now"

Posted by: Terri at May 26, 2014 9:30 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Your list is a good starting point Terri but if "Natural Beings" goes down the evolutionary ladder as far as "algae" wouldn't it also include botulism? Polio? Cancer? Don't they have a right to "exist, flourish, regenerate, and evolve" in their chosen "Ecosystem" i.e. your body?

"Oh no, don't be ridiculous" they'll say, but they are the ones who wrote this ridiculousness! I am merely interpreting it faithfully, objectively and consistently.

Posted by: johngalt at May 27, 2014 5:07 PM

Review Corner

But, as we have seen in Chapters 13 and 14 , some libertarians offer ways to confine the coercive power needed for individual sovereignty to its only proper function of protecting individual sovereignty. Having observed the continued decline of respect for the limits on state and federal power contained in the U.S. Constitution, some libertarians favor a more radical alternative. They would see law enforcement and adjudication be handled competitively rather than by monopolistic government agencies. They favor a polycentric legal order in which consumer choice and competition would provide a better check on the abuse of the powers of law enforcement.
Randy Barnett is a HOSS of the highest order, and a go-to guy on the Supreme Court and Constitutional issues concerning liberty [Review Corner, A Conspiracy Against Obamacare: The Volokh Conspiracy and the Health Care Case]. He argued Raich in front of the Supreme Court.

His The Structure of Liberty: Justice and the Rule of Law is an ambitious book that would be enjoyed by all ThreeSourcers. He begins with a philosophical look at natural rights as the foundation of his structure.

If adherence to natural rights is indeed essential for the maintenance of social life, as natural rights theorists maintain and as I shall try to explain in the balance of this book, then laws are obligatory only if they are consistent with natural rights. By this account, a command may be a "law" in the descriptive sense that it is issued by a recognized law-maker, but it is only law in the normative sense of a command that binds in conscience on the citizenry if it does not violate the background rights of persons. Thus, for human laws to be obligatory, they should not violate natural rights.

This review may run long, but I hope you have time for a great quote from St. Thomas Aquinas?
Now human law is framed for a number of human beings, the majority of which are not perfect in virtue. Therefore human laws do not forbid all vices, from which the virtuous abstain, but only the more grievous vices, from which it is possible for the majority to abstain, and chiefly those that are to the hurt of others, without the prohibition of which human society could not be maintained ; thus human law prohibits murder, theft and the like.

The next layer is economics: chiefly Hayek's knowledge problem and Mises's Praxeology.
Prices are by far the most neglected form of knowledge we have. Although some economic literature stresses the importance of prices, the knowledge-disseminating function of prices is largely unknown-- or, if known , then widely ignored-- in political and legal theory.

In Barnett's view of liberty (and mine) individuals have bounded-domain jurisdiction over property. And consensual transfer, based on prices, best reflects local knowledge of property's value and the best use of the resource.
In light of the analysis presented in Chapter 3 , the rights of several property and freedom of contract can be seen as enabling us to deal with the problem of knowledge in society. By delegating discretion to make choices concerning the uses of resources, several property rights enable persons and associations to act on the basis of their personal and local knowledge. The right of freedom to contract enables persons to exchange their several property rights on the basis of their knowledge that other rights would better serve their purposes;

Nothing earth-shattering just yet, but a majestic, rights-based explanation and defense of liberty which most ThreeSourcers would recognize. I posit that it has a consistency, clarity and comprehensive scope to rival Ayn Rand, with some hooks that are more familiar and accessible to me. I'm hoping one or more of our devotees of Ms. Rand takes on the task of comparison, It's one of the few works that demand it.

The next piece of the structure is Law, which was my only expectation seeing Barnett's name on the cover. Having established these rights and the best means to transfer them, how do we defend them form those with Interest and Power to suborn them.

When liberties are naked, a person may be free to do as he wishes, but others are similarly free to interfere with his actions. As Hillel Steiner has observed: "Like other naked things, unvested liberties are exposed to the numbing effects of cold fronts: in the case of liberties, to the obstructive impact of others' exercise of their powers and liberties." Liberty (capital L) requires the protection of liberties (small l), but given that the world is one of subjective scarcity, not all liberties or freedom can be protected, however nice that would be.

"That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men." Barnett, the Constitutional Hoss, asks how this can be done, and how respect for rights and the rule of law can survive the conflicts of Interest and Power. To my sadness, the Constitutional scholar does not choose the Constitution. The author of "Restoring the Lost Constitution" seeks a liberal order that will not someday succumb to 16th, 17th Amendments and decisions like The Slaughterhouse Cases, WIckard, Raich, and Kelo.

I have already weakened the first section by over-synopsis. I'll save you and the author a summary of his prospective solution: the "Structure of Liberty" he proposes. I'll tease that it is built on private property, criminal and civil law based on restitution and not retribution, and distributed ("polycentric") enforcement and adjudication.

This book makes clear that "liberty" for a libertarian, then, is not the Hobbesian freedom to do whatever you will. Instead , it is the Lockean freedom to do whatever you will with what is yours. There is simply no libertarianism without jurisdictional limits on one's freedom of action; the concept of property defines these limits and is what differentiates liberty from license.

Am I one of those "some libertarians" in the opening quote? I still consider myself more in line with a preceding paragraph: a guy who wishes we were still honoring the original limitations imposed by the Constitution.
In short, these libertarians favor something very much like, if not identical to, the original meaning of the Constitution of the United States-- the whole Constitution, including those parts that protect the unenumerated "rights ... retained by the people" and "the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States." In this, however, they are today opposed to their left by "progressives" who wish to achieve their vision of social justice at the national level by "interpreting" federal power broadly enough to address any problem they deem to be "national" in scope-- which is to say every problem.

But this is the first truly compelling suggestion for privatized justice that I have encountered. I like Rothbard some -- and I like Hoppe a lot, but I read them and appreciate their arguments without accepting their underlying beliefs.

This is not "oh, we'll just let private business do it and it will be swell!" This is thoughtful and carefully assembled. Not an afternoon-by-the-pool read, but readable and comprehensible. The high density of ideas dictates serious contemplation.

I give it five stars and the coveted Review Corner Editor's Choice Award. Masterful.

Review Corner Posted by John Kranz at 10:08 AM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Superb. I do aspire to your challenge, not merely to compare to Rand but to learn more about a rights-based Liberty-securing government that purports superiority to the one we were given by the Framers. Without revealing any spoilers, I wonder if Review Corner may divulge whether Barnett solves, in whole or in part, the social justice, egalitarian socialist, Progressive "interpretation" problem?

And in connection with the "rights of nature" topic (not to be confused with natural rights) I can only imagine the wonder of Thomas Aquinas hearing, some centuries after writing that the law rightly forbids "only the more grievous vices," that serious consideration is given a law that would accord inalienable rights to "all Natural Beings" including humans, plants, animals and algae. Is the act of a man destroying the ecosystem of and "Being" we call mold, moss or pond scum, particularly when present on land that he owns, even remotely a "vice?" Not to mention a grievous one.

I sorta hope Boulder implements this, and sends jackbooted thugs to enforce it. I relish the image of Boulder yuppies waving Gadsden flags.

Posted by: johngalt at May 25, 2014 12:41 PM
But jk thinks:

I am less worried about spoilers than trivialization by "over-synopsification." To draw the Rand parallel again, I don't wish to be the guy who says "I read this great book that says we'll all be great if we stop helping the poor!"

With that caveat, I honor all requests on stage, let me try to flesh it out a bit -- but please accept that I am not doing his justice justice.

It is a world of far more private ownership. We fight to give some of the 70% of Nevada back to Nevada Barnett sees all but universal private ownership. The parks, the streets, the airport are all in private hands. And those owners can enforce their property rights by excluding whomever they wish. People aren't in jail unless they working to pay restitution, but most people live in the sphere of private property and there are fewer threats in Disneyland than Central Park (my comparison, not his).

As all justice is restitution-based, victimless crimes are no more. Will progressives trade private ownership and market control for the liberation of millions from incarceration? I dunno, but they do not have the "monocentric" legal order that they can coopt and enforce their will on others. On their bright side, nor can Rick Santorum do that to them.

Private property (he calls it "several property," borrowing the term from Mises but explaining in the afterword to the second edition that he would use the less specific but more recognizable term "private property" if he had it to do over) is the foundation and the first tenet:

The right of several property specifies a right to acquire , possess, use, and dispose of scarce physical resources--including their own bodies. Resources may be used in any way that does not physically interfere with other persons' use and enjoyment of their resources. While most property rights are freely alienable, the right to one's person is inalienable.

Barnett, Randy E. (2014-01-30). The Structure of Liberty: Justice and the Rule of Law (p. 83). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

Right to contract and right to not contract follow. There is not a lot of room for Progressives to take over. But of course, they can set up their own courts and enforcement and anybody who wishes to use them may. (As their ideas are so much better than ours, as Jon Stewart inveighs five nights per week, surely that's a good deal.)

Getting into some funky stuff without laying the intellectual foundation Barnett does - please remember the caveat.

I'll share one great idea that I missed in the review that I have not really seen: Rights as Necessary Evil.

Therefore, far from being unmitigated goods, rights are a necessary evil. Because each right legitimates violence, the fewer we can manage with the better. I have contended here that the background rights of several property, freedom of contract , first possession, and restitution are rights that we cannot do without if we are to address the problems of knowledge, interest, and power, problems we must address somehow. We should strive to limit the number and types of background rights that are legally enforced by violent means to those which handle pervasive social problems that cannot be handled any other way.

Your "right to healthcare" inspires a SWAT team of healthcare cops to prevent doctors' taking too much vacation, too long a lunch, or retiring early.

Posted by: jk at May 25, 2014 2:00 PM

May 24, 2014

Genetically Modified Good Causes

While reading William Perry Pendley's excellent Sagebrush Rebellion Redivivous in the current issue of Imprimus online I noted the parallel between western liberalism, which I've been discussing of late, and the American environmental movement. Both started with good principles and worthy goals but grew and evolved, or more correctly metastasized, into something that was not only bad but contradictory to its origin.

Devon Downes, a Michigan high school student and Young American for Liberty, gives an excellent summary of the Evolution of Liberalism in his undated article.

From Epiphany to Epithet

So how could "liberalism," a word representative of so anti-statist a philosophy, come to represent such a very different prescription for government? How did the term lose its history as a great liberator in the history of ideas and, among many on the American right, become little better than a slur? Even more significantly, why did this etymological reversal occur?

The answer lies in the development of another new political philosophy: Progressivism. As Mises Institute scholar Ralph Raico puts it, progressivism is "a vague term, but one that connote[s] a new readiness to use the power of government for all sorts of grand things."

Though it originated and made its way into both the Democratic and Republican party in the late 19th century, Progressivism highjacked the term "Liberal" during FDR's New Deal, with the help of Progressive philosophers such as John Dewey (yes, the decimal system creator.)

It was around this time that the adherents of progressivism took for themselves a new name which has stuck to their ideas to this day: Liberal. Progressives controlled the terms of the debate, and went on to control the agenda that followed.

As progressive philosopher John Dewey wrote in his Liberalism and Social Action in 1935, "measures went contrary to the idea of liberty" as defined by Locke and Jefferson "have virtually come to define the meaning of liberal faith. American liberalism as illustrated in the political progressivism of the early present century has so little in common with British liberalism of the first part of the last century that it stands in opposition to it." This change effectively camouflaged what were in many ways very new ideas (progressivism) in a very old American tradition (liberalism)—and it was a camouflage which would make its wearer stronger. [emphasis mine]

I do disagree that progressivism represents "very new ideas" for it is merely a rebranding of Marxist egalitarian socialism, but the point remains - the new progressive liberal "faith" stands in opposition to the anti-statist foundation of the United States of America and all of western civilization that was known simply as "liberalism."

But this transformation did not result from a natural evolution. The original cause was corrupted by an outside influence, a "genetic modification" if you will, that was not recognized quickly or widely enough to be discredited in its infancy.

Returning to environmentalism, Pendley writes:

Reagan had seen firsthand the transformation of the environmental movement from one of conservation and stewardship, in which the part played by human beings and technology was vital, to a movement in which humans and technology were understood to be enemies of nature. As articulated by Reagan, opposition to extreme environmentalism represented a return to true environmentalism. America’s "environment[al] heritage" will not be jeopardized, he promised, while at the same time insisting that "we are going to reaffirm that the economic prosperity of our people is a fundamental part of our environment."

Sadly, that message vanished from our discourse when President Reagan did. I think I can quip, ironically, "It's Bush's fault" for senior's failure to maintain the important message that "freedom is never more than a generation away from extinction." It is left to us, defenders of liberty, to discredit and strangle the Genetically Modified Environmentalism to make way for true environmentalism - one where nature and man can both prosper.

But Jk thinks:

All Hail Pendley! [Review Corner]

Posted by: Jk at May 24, 2014 4:47 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Well linked. James Watt did cross my mind as I wrote this post. That Review Corner well addressed the evils of bureaucracy, and I was tempted to criticize that in this post as well. Instead I focused on the epistemological problem that affects nearly every "good cause." Basically, that the cause is so good (or "pure" as Ayaan Hirsi Ali observed) that it trumps every other consideration, including individual freedom.

Reagan adhered to what one social scientist called the "human exemptionalism paradigm," according to which "human technological ingenuity can continue infinitely to improve the human situation." Carter, the Earth Day organizers, and the environmental groups embraced a neo-Malthusian "ecological paradigm," which posits environmental limits on economic growth.

The latest effort toward restraining human progress is a rekindled effort to afford legal "rights" to plants and animals. This comes to a head in Boulder, CO next month when, despite pushback from other environmentalists, the Boulder County Planning Commission is scheduled to consider inserting language that gives plants not equal, but superior, "rights" to private property.

Environmentalists v. environmental extremists. This should be interesting, though I have little doubt who will prevail.

Posted by: johngalt at May 25, 2014 10:39 AM

"McDouble My Wages"

Sign at a minimum wage rally outside a McDonald's restaurant:

"Just Double My Wages"

One tried and true rebuttal is, "Why not triple them?" But I thought of another one that I think may be new.

Doubling your wage is like paying you one wage for working and an equal additional wage for doing nothing. Would you then quit your job and expect me to continue paying the second wage?

May 23, 2014

Quote of the Day

I made a flippant comment about "Insert random Mencken Quote" the other day. A Facebook friend, friendly to liberty, but not to my knowledge a ThreeSourcer, complies:

"We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart." -- H. L. Mencken


Their Appeal is "Becoming More Selective"

[CNN President Jeff Zucker] told Bill Carter of the New York Times: "Climate change is one of those stories that deserves more attention, that we all talk about. But we haven't figured out how to engage the audience in that story in a meaningful way. When we do do those stories, there does tend to be a tremendous amount of lack of interest on the audience's part." -- John Fund
A tremendous amount of lack of interest! Those Spinal Tap lads cannot rise to that.
But johngalt thinks:

If "climate change" really did "deserve more attention" they would run the weather report in the A-block.

Posted by: johngalt at May 23, 2014 11:23 AM

May 22, 2014

Log Cabin Republicans

Go All Robin Leach on Rep. Jared Polis.

But johngalt thinks:

Heard this on air a couple of times. Hope to hear it more. It's well done. Doesn't sound like a political ad at the beginning.

Gotta have a little fun though with my morning drive host who said "Log Cabin Republicans came out with a new ad..." Snort.

Posted by: johngalt at May 23, 2014 11:12 AM

Quote of the Day

In choosing to spend money in just Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire and Michigan, ["Hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer, who made money from fossil fuels but now seeks to prevent others from doing the same"]'s NextGen is steering clear of most of the battleground states that will decide control of the U.S. Senate. The organization says that it wants to bring the climate issue "to the forefront of American politics" and presents itself as an opponent of "special interest groups" but it seems to be taking pains to avoid the many places where general interest groups, i.e. voters, favor cheap energy. NextGen apparently has no plans to play in tight races in Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, or North Carolina, partly because in many of those places even Democratic candidates are at least pretending to favor energy production. -- James Freeman, WSJ Ed Page

Hello Old Friend!

I still miss Larry Kudlow on TV. But it is great to get a quick fix in National Review. A familiar, prosperitarian call for immigration reform:

Republican economist and former CBO director Douglas Holtz-Eakin argues that more rapid overall population growth will generate more rapid GDP growth and increased productivity. He notes that labor-force participation rates are higher among the foreign-born, and suggests that real GDP growth could rise from 3 percent to 3.9 percent on average annually over the first ten post-reform years, reducing the budget deficit by nearly $3 trillion.

What's more, immigration restrictionists are wrong to cite a CBO estimate that increased immigration will cost jobs. Yes, there could be a minor 0.1 percent transitory uptick in the unemployment rate. Meaningless. Over the longer term, the CBO agrees with Holtz-Eakin's conclusions.


The media have so been enjoying a Tea-Party vs. Establishment contretemps in the GOP. The real opportunity o destroy a wave is likely if the Tancredo wing gets supremacy (like, maybe, if Rep. Tancredo were the Colorado Gubernatorial GOP Nominee).

Immigration Posted by John Kranz at 12:02 PM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

I am the Lorax. I speak for the TEAs. Immigration is not a TEA Party issue. The TEA Party was born to oppose taking stuff from people and giving it to their neighbors, specifically via taxation and regulation. Rolling that back is and will always be, our mission.

I'm not sayin' none of us have opinions on immigration or border security, but just because the CFR wing of the GOP wants amnesty and is threatened by the TEA Party wing doesn't mean we're all Tom Tancredo an' -err- stuff.

Posted by: johngalt at May 22, 2014 3:41 PM
But jk thinks:

Was my summation careless? I was not trying to tie TEA partiers to immigration. One of the things I enjoyed in Kudlow's piece was his quoting "Sal Russo, cofounder of the Tea Party Express" and pitching that tough no-Amnesty opponents could be brought along. (Kudlow is the King of the Optimists.)

I am with you because I am a 'bagger myself and hold heterodox views on immigration. I enjoyed Elizabeth Price Foley's book on the TEA Party but feel she erred in including immigration.

Posted by: jk at May 22, 2014 4:00 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Don't take it personally. I just wasn't careful enough in the aiming of my vitriol, which was intended for the broader media and their "TEA Party = racist, homophobic, xenophobic, woman-hating knuckle draggers who seem to keep talking about the IRS and 1776 for some reason" meme.

Posted by: johngalt at May 23, 2014 11:16 AM

May 21, 2014

Otequay of the Ayday

"You may not like it but your pure principle of tolerance for everyone requires you to permit me to speak, even if I say something that sounds "intolerant" to you."

"Then, after you have heard me, you are free to say 'I disagree.' Or not."

- me


Libertas est in lege prohibitum

In an IBD editorial Campus Intolerance Endangers America's Free Speech. Economics Hoss Walter E. Williams treads the same waters of western illiberalism that we discussed May 9th regarding Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Readers may recall I drew a simile between western "liberals" and central Africa's Boko Haram ["non-Muslim teaching is forbidden"].

Williams quotes Charles Murray to explain what the academy used to be all about, at least when it was devoted to science instead of indoctrination: "The task of the scholar is to present a case for his or her position based on evidence and logic. Another task of the scholar is to do so in a way that invites everybody into the discussion rather than demonize those who disagree."

But today, every challenge to the orthodoxy of the illiberal left is met with precisely the opposite reaction - demonization. Williams summarizes in elevator-ese:

Western values of liberty are under ruthless attack by the academic elite on college campuses across America.

So confident are they in the Righteousness or "purity" of their egalitarian socialist ideals that there is no limit - in their minds - to the legitimate infringement of the rights of others, if those others question the validity of their "pure" ideal. So damn the Constitution, damn the First Amendment, damn the free speech of the Academic Infidel.

In the example of Boko Haram we may suggest a name for the post-modern academics and the politicians, talking heads, environmental cultists and Facebook Friends who take this path. "Teaching Liberty is Forbidden."

Fortunately, Americans have never taken kindly to being told what to do.


UPDATE: Changed the title to Latin from the original, and ambiguous, French: "La liberté d'enseignement est interdit." Thanks to my father for the translation.

But johngalt thinks:

I summarized this post in an email to family members and thought that was worth sharing:

To summarize the point of the article, I quote economist Walter E Williams on American college professors' hostility to the freedom of western societies. (He wrote about the war on free speech on college campuses.) I submit that that they hold their goal "egalitarian socialism on a worldwide basis" as so good and ideologically 'pure" that they are justified, in their minds, in violating rights of others - "Academic Infidels"ť I called them - in furtherance of their crusade.

In essence, the philosophical justification used by America's academic elite is the same one used by Islamic terrorists - the righteousness of their respective "pure"ť ideology. So we now must ask, who made this philosophical leap first? Who learned it from whom? Is the philosophy of our academic elite responsible for the rise of terrorism?

Posted by: johngalt at May 24, 2014 3:02 PM

On Science

I am working on a new "Elevator Talk" for Climate Change (or DAWG, as it 's known around these parts). The issue is still politically fraught with peril -- every day, my Facebook includes Sen. Mark Udall's asking Rep. Cory Gardner to "sign his petition affirming climate change." It is a crude distraction from ObamaCare®, but don't think crude does not work [insert random Mencken quote here...]

My position has evolved somewhat over the years: not enough to effect policy, but I have softened pari passu with that big Antarctic sheet of ice.

"So, jk, on a scale from 0-10 where zero is 'it's a hoax' and ten is 'metaphysical certitude: we're all gonna die!' where do you stand on Climate Change?"

Does it have to be an integer? I'd say about 4.5 [Who is unreasonable now, baby? I'm a moderate!] Hoax requires mens rea and I will accept that a preponderance of the scientists are genuinely concerned. Politicians probably run the spectrum from following along to "yes, this'll meet my needs," but I'll accept the scientific concern as legitimate.

That gets me to two.

The science of Physics suggests a 1.3° C temperature rise to accompany a doubling in atmospheric CO2. I'm a big fan of Physics -- I have all their albums [pause for laughter as needed here...] Seriously, that is well founded and experimentally reproducible. I accept, therefore, a projected 1.3 degrees of man made warming over the next 50 years.

I think that gets me to four.

Now, the practitioners of climate science take that 1.3 degrees and multiply like a Keynesian at an all-you-can-eat buffet. They show, through computer modeling, that as it gets warmer, there will be more barbecues, and people will eat more meat, and that increased bovine flatulence will raise the temperature 300 degrees and we'll all broil. Okay, it is not that bad, but they are taking fundamentally good science and taking some liberties with it.

The climate science, unlike the physics, is not reproducible or empirically provable.. In fact, the experiment we call the real world diverges substantively from their models.

This puts all the numbers >= five off limits.

But there is a beta, if I can borrow from finance. There is a non-zero chance that they are right. The introduction of more heat to a complex, chaotic system could start a cycle of warming. I multiply the very small beta of probability by the very large coefficient of suckage should this transpire and get 0.5: ergo 4.5.

SecState Kerry suggests that there is no great cost to overreaction and great costs to under reaction. I purport the exact opposite.

If I -- and Physics -- am right, there is a 1.3 rise, which is well within normal fluctuations. Nobody would have noticed had VP Gore won Florida in 2000 and had other things to spend his time on than movies. If I am wrong, don't we want to be richer and smarter? If we waste our time and innovation on government-directed green boondoggles, we will not have the technology or resources to really tackle it if it is bad.

Well, that's it. I've had this in my head for a few days, but was inspired to try it reading the Guest essay by Steven Burnett on the WattsUpWithThat.com site. Burnett has a degree in Psychology and one in Chemistry. He compares the rigor of soft and hard science.

If I may wax poetic for a moment, the hard sciences are like a rock while the soft sciences are like sand. They are fundamentally composed of the same stuff, but it's the structure that makes them different. You must find a comfortable spot to rest on the rock but sand conforms around you. An uncomfortable rock must be dealt with, sand can simply be brushed away. Rock climbing requires training and equipment, a walk on the beach does not. I have had the opportunity to do both, and from personal experience, rock climbing is both harder and more fulfilling.

UPDATE: In case this post wasn't long enough for you... But I had to share the WSJ Ed Page's answer to Sec. Kerry:
The "worst that can happen" is that we spend trillions of dollars trying to solve a problem that we can't do anything to stop; that we misallocate scarce resources in a way that slows economic growth; that slower growth leads to less economic opportunity for Boston College grads and especially the world's poor, and that America and the world become much less wealthy and technologically advanced than we would otherwise. All of which would make the world less able to cope with the costs of climate change if Mr. Kerry is right.

John:

Having read your thoughtful response concerning MMGW wherein you begin with a "0" to"10" what if, and end with a coolly (warmly?) calculated "4.5", I wish to perhaps precipitate a thaw in your math.

There are three distinct areas of focus, however blurred, for a consciousness. They are ideas, things, and people.

The hallmark of the first is the imagination. It is preoccupied with, in addition to whatever may arise to temporarily occupy its focus, envisioned (visionary?) manifestations of "what ifs."

The second area of focus are "things." The hallmark of this consciousness is curiosity. What, how, and why, are perpetual questions to which such a consciousness endlessly seeks answers.

The third area is people. The hallmark of this consciousness, when whatever imagination (ideas) or curiosity (things) might have initially been at play is/are determined to be of relatively little value, it invariably chooses people as the objects of its focus. The hallmark of such a consciousness is politics.

Of course we each are, in differing proportions, amalgamations of all three. On one end of the spectrum lies the occasional Einstein, exploring the intergalactic vortex while working as a clerk in the patent office, never losing sight of his reverence for science and the requirement that his imagination can only become validated when confirmed by reality.

Representing the other extreme, the likes of Barrack Obama, who, apparently never having had an original thought in his life, merely adapted to playing the political game in which he found himself at birth, consistently through to its current manifestations.

The rise of the idea of man-caused destruction of the Earth is the product of politics. It has no basis in actual science itself, and little in its relatively new and larger arena of science, Climatology.

However, since its political postulation, first as MMGC in the early seventies, then as MMGW, recently MMCC, to now, where I indicated at the last LOTR meeting I heard the first snippets of MMCD (disruption replacing change - the boring and virtually imperceptible pace of change giving way to the far more dramatic and dire term, DISRUPTION ((film at eleven!)), the proponents have been joined by sincere and credible consciousnesses who are honestly trying to investigate said claims. To the extent these additional voices remain credible, and are not shown to be seeking renewed funding or new Grant money, they tend to provide a veneer of respectability to what was/is, on its face, a "modern" vehicle for the destruction of individual freedom and Capitalism.

Now, I do not wish to be what I am arguing against. I always remain open to the possibility that the claim of MMCI (influence replacing whatever might be the latest fashion) is in fact occurring. One of the nasty traits of we humans is that certainty stops inquiry. However, I insist that the motivation for inquiry be imagination or curiosity, not arising from the sewer of politics!

The high priests of the "settled science" of MMCI are certain of their inquiry, and denounce, demean, or discredit, any heresy to the contrary. I therefore am resting comfortably at a .0014, awaiting further demonstrable, repeatable, evidence - not simply the computer modeling of premises.

Dave, the denounced, demeaned, "discredited" denier, Walden

But johngalt thinks:

Not evil, just wrong. Whether they know they're wrong or are just myopic, they're wrong. They ignore the buffering effect of water vapor or, as Sonny Bunch explains it, the Godzilla effect.

So what part of this can be explained on the elevator ride? The "I'm a moderate" part? ;)

Posted by: johngalt at May 21, 2014 1:48 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Besides, you'll never get a more convincing elevator speech than, "Because, science." And everything you're associated with "sucks balls" if you dare to try.

Posted by: johngalt at May 21, 2014 2:19 PM
But jk thinks:

[I interrupt this thread with some very good news. We have successfully recruited a new blogger to ThreeSources. Dave is a frequent Liberty on the Rocks - Flatirons guest. He and often vie for who gets the first question in, but his are better.

I'll wait until the lawyers sign-off before formal announcements, but here is the kind of discourse we'll be seeing 'round these parts -- jk]

Having read your thoughtful response concerning MMGW wherein you begin with a "0" to"10" what if, and end with a coolly (warmly?) calculated "4.5", I wish to perhaps precipitate a thaw in your math.

There are three distinct areas of focus, however blurred, for a consciousness. They are ideas, things, and people.

The hallmark of the first is the imagination. It is preoccupied with, in addition to whatever may arise to temporarily occupy its focus, envisioned (visionary?) manifestations of "what ifs."

The second area of focus are "things." The hallmark of this consciousness is curiosity. What, how, and why, are perpetual questions to which such a consciousness endlessly seeks answers.

The third area is people. The hallmark of this consciousness, when whatever imagination (ideas) or curiosity (things) might have initially been at play is/are determined to be of relatively little value, it invariably chooses people as the objects of its focus. The hallmark of such a consciousness is politics.

Of course we each are, in differing proportions, amalgamations of all three. On one end of the spectrum lies the occasional Einstein, exploring the intergalactic vortex while working as a clerk in the patent office, never losing sight of his reverence for science and the requirement that his imagination can only become validated when confirmed by reality.

Representing the other extreme, the likes of Barrack Obama, who, apparently never having had an original thought in his life, merely adapted to playing the political game in which he found himself at birth, consistently through to its current manifestations.

The rise of the idea of man-caused destruction of the Earth is the product of politics. It has no basis in actual science itself, and little in its relatively new and larger arena of science, Climatology.

However, since its political postulation, first as MMGC in the early seventies, then as MMGW, recently MMCC, to now, where I indicated at the last LOTR meeting I heard the first snippets of MMCD (disruption replacing change - the boring and virtually imperceptible pace of change giving way to the far more dramatic and dire term, DISRUPTION ((film at eleven!)), the proponents have been joined by sincere and credible consciousnesses who are honestly trying to investigate said claims. To the extent these additional voices remain credible, and are not shown to be seeking renewed funding or new Grant money, they tend to provide a veneer of respectability to what was/is, on its face, a "modern" vehicle for the destruction of individual freedom and Capitalism.

Now, I do not wish to be what I am arguing against. I always remain open to the possibility that the claim of MMCI (influence replacing whatever might be the latest fashion) is not in fact occurring. One of the nasty traits of we humans is that certainty stops inquiry. However, I insist that the motivation for inquiry be imagination or curiosity, not arising from the sewer of politics!

The high priests of the "settled science" of MMCI are certain of their inquiry, and denounce, demean, or discredit, any heresy to the contrary. I therefore am resting comfortably at a .0014, awaiting further demonstrable, repeatable, evidence - not simply the computer modeling of premises.

Dave, the denounced, demeaned, "discredited" denier, Walden

Posted by: jk at May 21, 2014 5:57 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Welcome to the page! Racist. /sarcasm ;)

Posted by: johngalt at May 21, 2014 6:09 PM
But johngalt thinks:

See? https://www.facebook.com/DailyCaller/photos..

Posted by: johngalt at May 22, 2014 3:43 PM

May 20, 2014

Wait! Don't Answer That! It was a rhetorical question...

National Journal's Ron Fournier blasts the Obama administration handling of the communications surrounding the VA scandal. He deems it a "20th century" strategy of lying over and over again and assuming people couldn't check the references for themselves. Just how dumb, Fournier asks, does the White House think we all are? -- HotAir.com
But johngalt thinks:

Why, as dumb as the New York Times tells us to be, that's how!

Posted by: johngalt at May 20, 2014 5:03 PM

Falsus Libertario Delenda Est!

Having recently escaped Colorado's Second Congressional District, I consider myself well-informed about Rep. Jared Polis (Libertarian? - CO).

He is currently the darling of the big-L Libertarians who are certain to have discovered the elusive "Libertarian Democrat:" cryptozoology's greatest prize! Rep. Polis is a regular on "The Independents" on FOX Business Channel. He received positive coverage in Reason:

A conventional Democrat in some respects, he also supports many causes that matter to libertarians: legalizing marijuana and hemp, restraining NSA surveillance, reforming copyright and patent laws, and making space for the virtual currency Bitcoin.

"A conventional Democrat in some respects." Yes, the obligatory disclaimer for interviewer Scott Shackford. Let me help you, Scott. He is a conventional Democrat EVERY FREAKIN' PLACE AND EVERY GORRAM TIME THAT IT COUNTS. Minority Leader Pelosi does not have to worry about his vote (including yea on ObamaCare on March 21, 2010).

When he's on his own, he pens a Libertarian Editorial in the WSJ. And he accepts campaign contributions in Bitcoin! He's like Mises reincarnate!

If they looked a little deeper, they'd see not only "A conventional Democrat in some respects," but a wellspring of dirigisme. The Blueprint [Review Corner] chronicles Polis as one of four überfunders of statehouse races providing the Democratic legislative majorities in Colorado which brought us draconian gun laws and insane regulations on energy -- especially to rural Coloradans. Thanks, Jared! Or shall I call you Murray Rothbard?

Today, he is in the press for using his considerable funding to force his energy views on the entire state. (Remember when Hayek did that?)

DENVER -- Democratic Rep. Jared Polis reminded Coloradans Monday why it's tough to tangle with a rich guy, outraising his pro-business foes in the latest campaign-finance reporting period on his proposed statewide anti-fracking initiatives.

One Polis group, Coloradans for Local Control, donated $1.45 million to another Polis group, Coloradans for Clean and Safe Energy, which is running the campaign to place a slew of anti-fracking measures on the Nov. 4 ballot.

That one donation--the only contribution so far to the Polis-sponsored issue committee--exceeded the combined $900,000 raised by two energy-backed coalitions during the two-week reporting period ending May 14, although their overall fundraising tops the Polis campaign's at $3.77 million.


Those damned oil companies and the nefarious Koch Brothers outspent in one day! By a statist who is feted as a "Libertarian."

If that's what they're like, I definitely want out! Libertario Delenda Est!

But johngalt thinks:

Snap! This is a kick-ass takedown of Jared NIMBY-King Polis and his Reason puff piece. This should be tagged in the Rant category. I'm going to come back and read it regularly whenever I'm feeling down.

Posted by: johngalt at May 20, 2014 5:07 PM
But jk thinks:

As I did lapse into all caps, it does indeed belong under "Rant" (added). I had self-visualized better self control when I started :) As the great philosopher Peter Green said, "Oh, well."

Thanks for the kind words.

Posted by: jk at May 20, 2014 5:11 PM

Quote of the Day

Thus far, President Obama and his team have regarded the scandalous treatment of veterans seeking care from the government over which they preside as a political hiccup rather than an indefensible breakdown in competent management that has led to the deaths of at least 40 veterans. Late last week, McDonough assured us that Obama is "madder than hell" about the VA fiasco.

Please. We've seen the president show genuine flashes of anger toward the GOP in general, the Supreme Court following rulings he disagrees with, and anyone else who has the temerity to disagree with him on anything. In the present case Obama has largely been silent, absent, and behind closed doors--content to let Secretary Shinseki and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney bear the brunt of the growing storm in the media. -- Ron Christie



May 19, 2014

My Favorite Color is Chrome

Bred for around ten thousand dollars in a sport dominated by millionaires, California Chrome is favored to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978 and I, for one, couldn't be more excited by the prospect.

The result of the laughably modest breeding in the sport of kings was California Chrome. Coburn and Martin are average guys in the big-money sport of horseracing.

Coburn is a press operator in a Nevada factory that makes magnetic strips for credit cards and hotel keys.

"He loves people," Coburn said of his colt. "He loves what he does, and that's why he's America's horse. In my opinion, this horse, what he's doing for two guys that work their butts off every day just to put beans and bacon on the table.

"This horse has given everybody else out there the incentive to say, 'You know what? We can do it too.

There are other good stories in this colt's history too, like the little known jockey who has a singular talent to motivate this horse. His first mount, as a youth, was the family donkey, hence the donkey on his back (and the 'donkey rescue' category tag). And when the plucky self-made men began their journey with the blue-collar colt they were called "dumb asses." So they named their enterprise DAP, meaning "Dumb Ass Partners."

And it's not just the circumstances that impress. The horse is a joy to watch. Reuters' Steve Ginsberg called his Preakness effort "a dazzling 1 1/2-length victory over Ride On Curlin" and I agree. With a lead at the final turn two other horses made a run but while I worried Chrome might fade, it was the other two who labored and, fell short.

For a time there was suspense about his appearance in the Belmont Stakes - something about the horse being permitted to wear an equine version of a Breathe Right strip [endorsement deal?] in the race. Some dubbed it Nasalgate but it was resolved quickly today by an announcement of the track steward.

So on Saturday, June 7, ride on Chrome, claim your crown. I'll be watching. And cheering. And streaming down tears, win or lose.

But jk thinks:

Thanks for posting! Not following equestrian sports, I knew none of this. Great story.

Posted by: jk at May 19, 2014 6:02 PM
But johngalt thinks:

In case you also didn't get the title reference:

http://music.xbox.com/track/trace-adkins/chrome/chrome/4ae72906-0100-11db-89ca-0019b92a3933?action=play

"Her favorite color is chrome..."

Posted by: johngalt at May 20, 2014 3:11 PM
But jk thinks:

Thanks for the cultural training wheels -- they were required.

Great timing as Mister Adkins is sky-high on my list for both his superb performance and classy behavior in the Gregg Allman tribute concert: All My Friends.

Posted by: jk at May 20, 2014 5:29 PM

...in the Unemployment line.

oprah_sbux004.jpg

Backstory.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:32 AM | What do you think? [0]

May 18, 2014

Review Corner

Michael sighed happily He loved the story and was never tired of hearing it. " "And it's all quite true, isn’t it?" he said, just as he always did. "No," said Mary Poppins, who always said "No.""Yes," said Jane, who always knew everything...

Travers, P. L. (1997-09-15). Mary Poppins (Odyssey Classics) (p. 112). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.


This is a special, catch-up segue Review Corner. I saw the trailer for Saving Mr. Banks at the theatre, I'm guessing while waiting to see "Atlas Shrugged Part 2." I told myself and my lovely bride that I wanted to see that.

And I did. It just took me six months or so. I am guessing everybody else on this blog saw it last Christmas and that this Review Corner is like the college student who has come home and "discovered" philosophy.

It's a fair cop, guv'nor, but I was enthralled. We rented it (on the new Kindle FireTV -- five stars!) and the terms included three days for four of five dollars. The lovely bride and I watched it three times. It is a great story very well told. It includes a loving portrayal of a hero of mine, Mister Walt Disney, and it is much about a favorite topic: the business of art.

Fitting that I found it in a preview to Atlas Shrugged, because there is a great bit of The Fountainhead in it. "Missus" Travers is Howard Roark, but Disney is no Toohey. Disney is an artist himself, but of a different stripe -- and the unfolding saga is a tale of property rights in conflict. Like the battle between the Hatfields and McCoys [Review Corner], what remains is told by one side. The only business that Disney can seem to portray positively is The Walt Disney Corporation -- and the victor was able to write the history.

I don't hide from commercialization and had no trouble choosing Walt's side (Tom Hanks, America and booze over stuffy Brits and tea -- even with Emma Thompson -- is an easy choice). But it occurred to me that I was unusually uniformed: I had never read any Mary Poppins books and I saw the movie when very little (I was four or five when it came out). My sister played the record (a lot) and I remember thinking "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" was foolish. Ever the pedant, that wasn't a real word. Harrumph!

So I bought the first Mary Poppins ($3.74 on Kindle) and was yet again enthralled. The stories are magical and wondrous. The lovely bride has bought the subsequent books and a biography of Traverse that she recommends.

After finishing the book, we rented the Disney Classic. It's great in a lot of ways, but damned if Mrs. Traverse was not right. Watching it after seeing "Saving Mr. Banks" and reading "Mary Poppins" many of the joyful little tunes and flourishes are daggers to the heart of the author's vision. Again, I love Disney, but had she read The Fountainhead, I think there might have been explosions in Southern California.

A great preponderance of ThreeSourcers have daughters and this is likely old news. But if you have not read the original Mary Poppins books, you are missing something. Five Stars indeed -- and five for Disney's movie -- no, not that one -- "Saving Mr. Banks."

All round her flew the birds, circling and leaping and swooping and rising. Mary Poppins always called them "sparrers," because, she said conceitedly, all birds were alike to her. But Jane and Michael knew that they were not sparrows, but doves and pigeons. There were fussy and chatty grey doves like Grandmothers; and brown, rough-voiced pigeons like Uncles; and greeny, cackling, no-I've-no-money-today pigeons like Fathers. And the silly, anxious, soft blue doves were like Mothers. That's what Jane and Michael thought, anyway.

Review Corner Posted by John Kranz at 11:17 AM | What do you think? [0]

May 16, 2014

Phishing trip

Dude. I'm a ThreeSourcer -- try your Phishing attack on somebody else.

DamagingPost.gif


...in the Unemployment line.

oprah_sbux004.jpg

Backstory.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:56 PM | What do you think? [0]

Quote of the Day

"Texas has things to be proud of," says [Conservative Activist Michael Quinn] Sullivan, who runs Empower Texans, a political group that is playing big in the state's primaries. "Then again, we're like the least drunk guy at the bar. California is drooling on itself, Illinois is passed out in the corner. We look good simply because we can walk a straight line. We should be leading the way." -- Kim Strassel

Kommon Korr Too!

Ari Armstrong underscores a concern I expressed with opponents of Common Core.

My Facebook feed is filled with (well, game requests and cute cat videos, but there are also a lot of) people attacking the curriculum, most frequently the "overly complex" math. Ari and I both see the basic numeracy behind the method -- it more closely matches how people do arithmetic in their heads.

The big problem is that discussion becomes the curriculum and not local control versus centralization and potential for politicization. A lefty Facebook friend posted how swell the Common Core math was, saying she wished she had been exposed to more numeracy and less rote processing. I suspect that a foundation of traditional. place-value subtraction may be required but...

But... you see what happened? The argument changed from "what should be taught?" from "who should decide?"

Armstrong says "The broader lesson here is that, just because something is associated with Common Core, doesn't mean its bad." I suggest the broader lesson is that opponents should focus on the larger and obvious flaws of centralization.

Education Posted by John Kranz at 11:03 AM | What do you think? [0]

May 15, 2014

Honey Badger Don't Care

Colorado ThreeSourcers, we need to talk. Secretary of State Scott Gessler goes a little negative today in a fundraising email:

We don't have much time left 'til the Republican primary. Voters must soon choose who they want to lead Colorado...

Should we go with Bob Beauprez -- an establishment politician with a track record of losing big races? While he was chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, the GOP lost control of the State Senate for the first time in four decades. Then, in 2006, Beauprez lost the governor's race by nearly 17 points, one of the worse performances by a statewide GOP candidate in the history of the state!

That is until 2010...

In 2010, Tom Tancredo cost us the governorship and a U.S. Senate seat. He dropped the 'R' next to his name and ran as a third party candidate. After he lost, he re-registered as a Republican. How can we trust a guy like that to lead our state, let alone, our party?


My feelings for Rep. Tancredo (R - 'Murca) are well known around these parts. I was considering Beauprez as the Anybody-But-Tancredo candidate. He will get shellacked in November, but he will not embarrass the party so badly as to threaten Rep. Gardner's Senate race.

In a complete lack of strategy, be a libertarian and vote your heart! Because Unicorns! world I would likely vote for Mike Kopp. But if that gets me saddled with Rep Tancredo... Sec. Gessler is very good: a viable candidate with a statewide win under his belt. More to my liking than Beauprez, less than Kopp.

What's the play, lads and ladies? I need help.

CO Governor Posted by John Kranz at 5:14 PM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

Is it "going negative" if it's objectively true? Possibly, but that phrase has a bit in common with Jihad in the ambiguity department. Gessler is certainly not guilty of mudslinging.

Here's my thumbnail handicap of the GOP Guv primary, in order of their entry into the race:

Tancredo - Doesn't expect to win but desperately wants to be relevant and, best possible spin: wants to be on the ballot in case everyone else craters.

Gessler - Has run a solid campaign that is committed to winning from early on, seeking to provide fresh new GOP leadership for the state.

Kopp - A candidate by and for the sizeable social-Con segment of Colorado Republican Party.

Beauprez - The old guard's last gasp.

Even though I tried to be as non-perjorative as possible in my analysis I probably still don't need to tell you that my vote will go to - GESSLER.

I think he will be the strongest possible challenger to the incumbent Democrat, and the best possible governor to boot.

Your turn BR.

Posted by: johngalt at May 16, 2014 1:23 PM
But jk thinks:

Oh, it is stone cold true. I did not mean to imply that I was upset with the tone -- a little surprised, perhaps. It has been pretty nicey-nice up to now.

Thanks for the reply. Shortly after posting this, I saw Kopp's "Greatest Speech given at the State Assembly" as humbly posted on Facebook. I agree with your assessment. In the one debate performance I saw, he kept his 666 tattoo covered and hid that extra head in a fold of his houndstooth jacket.

As George Will said of the Clintons "Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly -- they get money from their rich friends and run for office. It's just what they do." I don't think I share your assessment of Rep. Tancredo's intentions -- there's a ballot somewhere in Colorado, he's gotta be on it.

So, a humiliating, devastating and party-wide loss centered around a gubernatorial candidate who deports valedictorians? Or just a 2-1 drubbing? Bob! Bob! He's our man!

Posted by: jk at May 16, 2014 4:37 PM
But jk thinks:

Mike Kopp's speech. His Facebook feed boasts "Widely acclaimed as the best speech of the Colorado State Republican Assembly, watch Mike's vision for a stronger Colorado."

Posted by: jk at May 16, 2014 6:14 PM

May 14, 2014

All Hail Taranto!

taranto140514gif.gif


It depends on what the meaning of "Jihad" is

A debate is brewing over the content of a 7-minute film at the 9/11 Museum.

Zafar: "We wholeheartedly agree on the need to accurately capture what happened that day [9/11] and that's what the purpose of this museum is."

But they don't want the words "Jihad" or "Islamist extremist" to be used because there's "not a sufficient amount of nuance applied when these terms are used." Apparently "Jihad" means just "struggle" to promote Islam, but Zafar never really explained how violence is inconsistent with an extreme interpretation of Jihad.

D'Souza: "The terrorists who did 9/11 said they were doing it in the name of Islam, so it becomes a little weird for us to then say, 'Well no, you're not. You actually have other motives. You're outlaws or you have some other... These are very pious Muslims who did what they did in the name of Jihad. Now there are different types of Jihad but the predominant type of Jihad, historically, has in fact been holy war. Muslims conducting if you will, violence, very often to spread the faith, and this is something that has gone back to Islam to the seventh century."

Whether or not al Qaeda's interpretation of Jihad is the "true meaning" of the term, the thousands of lives they slaughtered on 9/11 are very truly still dead. It seems that those who so desperately want to separate the "documented teachings" of Islam from the "hate-filled ideology" of al Qaeda had best come up with a new term for "that struggle to do good and also to defend what the true teachings of Islam are" that can't so interchangeably be conflated with mass murder.

Until then, the acts of Islamist extremists must be called what they are: Jihad. Holy War. In the name of Islam. Or, as Ayaan Hirsi Ali might call it - Islam unreformed.

Jihad Posted by JohnGalt at 2:54 PM | What do you think? [0]

Quote of the Day

Toyota will continue to participate in this cynicism in order to keep selling cars in California, naturally. But how could any auto company executive fail to be repulsed by the heedless sense of entitlement with which California's leaders squander the industry's capital on fake gestures? At least Toyota's image and California's now can go their separate ways. The company built its pickup-truck plant in Texas because it wanted to be closer to middle America. It joined Nascar for the same reason. Anyone who imagines Toyota didn't carefully consider the symbolism of removing its U.S. headquarters from California doesn't know Toyota. -- Holman Jenkins
California Posted by John Kranz at 11:28 AM | What do you think? [0]

May 13, 2014

Mile High Takers?

I was born in Denver but am not one to rise to her defense. There always seemed to be a lot of begging in Boulder. I dunno -- sunshine? nice folks?

Colorado Posted by John Kranz at 5:48 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Denizens of Denver and Seattle are easily more gullible than New Yorkers, probably also more than the federal workers of D.C. Hey, if people stop feeding the animals...

Posted by: johngalt at May 13, 2014 7:15 PM

Otequay of the Ayday

They act as though Twitter and clenched teeth or a pout could stop invasions or rescue kidnapped children in Nigeria. They do not sound as if, when saying that some outrage is "unacceptable" or that a dictator "must go," that they represent a government capable of doing something substantial—and, if necessary, violent—if its expectations are not met. And when reality, as it so often does, gets in the way—when, for example, the Syrian regime begins dousing its opponents with chlorine gas, as it has in recent weeks, despite solemn deals and red lines—the administration ignores it, hoping, as teenagers often do, that if they do not acknowledge a screw-up no one else will notice. -Eliot A. Cohen 'A Selfie-Taking, Hashtagging Teenage Administration' WSJ

Hossess Hirsa Ali on the inconvenient truth about Islam

You'll recall she was scheduled to speak at Brandeis University, calling attention to violence against girls in the Muslim world, and her permission to speak was revoked just prior to the Nigerian schoolgirl kidnappings.

The excerpt below shows I am not the only one who believes the best way to address such violence - first against women and ultimately, by natural extension, against all non-male non-Muslims - is to discuss its provenance.

"It's not just Boko Haram" it's "all across Africa, it's in Asia, it's even in Europe."

(...)

"They say we've liberated these girls. You have to understand that level of conviction. You have to understand that, somehow, it is derived from Islam unreformed. I think there is a possibility for Islam to be reformed. I think the opportunity is right here. But I think it all begins with acknowledging that there is something wrong in the first place."

With Megyn Kelly on The Kelly File:


Jihad Posted by JohnGalt at 2:44 PM | What do you think? [0]

May 12, 2014

Kommun Korr!

A perfectly good and serviceable post on Somail Hossess Ayaan Hirsi Ali has denigrated into a discussion of Common Core in the comments.

I hereby promote it to its own post. It is tonight's topic at Liberty on the Rocks -- Flatirons and a worthy one for discussion.

I'll begin by throwing a few stones. I like Brother Johngalt very much but think he -- and many Common Core opponents is less effective than possible by arguing "in the weeds." He discusses the curriculum's provenance; many on my social media feeds challenge certain aspects: math & numeracy most frequently.

I (and I may be disabused this evening) think the rallying cry is to keep this out of Washington DC. President Santorum, I tell my lefty friends, will surely push all manner of things you find discomforting; President Chelsea Clinton the same for my righty friends.

I think the individual lessons are defensible and picture my Facebook friends saying that if Bill Ayers cured Cancer, they would not refuse treatment.

And furthermore, so's your old man...

UPDATE: Another superb presentation. I'll take a minute to shout out Blog Brother Bryan and cohort Mike Shelton on their second anniversary of Liberty on the Rocks -- Flatirons. It is difficult to choose effective efforts and I think they have hit it out of the park.

Speaking of baseball metaphors, we had Koch Brothers SWAG last night:
AFP_Baseball.jpg

The film, Building the Machine was interesting and informative without the overwrought dramatics contained even in documentaries with which I agree. I would recommend it highly.

The follow up panel had four impassioned moms relating their stories and involvement. I'm glad they do what they do, but I confess I'd have preferred more specific information. My sister, a long-term teachers' aide in parochial schools remarked that they went straight to how to fight it but little was presented as to why.

I -- and most of the liberty crowd -- had my own views, but I think it's a fair cop that the opposition requires some clear arguments -- an "Elevator Talk" as it were.

The lovely bride exclaimed "Oh great, another invasion of liberty and generally going-to-hell thing to worry about --- thanks, Bryan and Mike!" There's some truth there as well.

Education Posted by John Kranz at 3:33 PM | What do you think? [3]
But johngalt thinks:

My new strategy, unveiled just once in the liberalism/Islamism hypocrisy issue, is to challenge ideas on their "illiberalism." Not sure yet how this will work on my righty friends, but I have a few strategic ideas.

In this case, "Common Core is illiberal, because it mandates what your child is taught whether you like it or not. And if you want to complain, you must go to Washington D.C. instead of an evening meeting of your neighbors at the local school cafeteria. Still ready to sign up? Or do you prefer freedom of choice like I do?"

Or maybe this: "Common Core management of our public education is like a nationwide HOA that tells all of us what color we may paint our house. You good with that?" Duzzat work in your elevator? I think we could come up with more of these.

Posted by: johngalt at May 13, 2014 12:05 PM
But jk thinks:

I like it much. My general unease with last night's presentation is that that topic was not represented and none of the issues were presented that lucidly.

That will work on the righty friends, but my lefties will say "local control? That allows some county in Alabama to teach Creationism -- we have to have our best and brightest in Washington craft curricula."


Posted by: jk at May 13, 2014 1:09 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"If the best and brightest in Washington say that Exxon can frack in your driveway, will you complain much? Telling other people how to live is popular in some circles, at least until someone else tells you. If we have to choose one or the other, would you prefer uniformity, or liberty?"

I may have just stumbled on another pro-liberty wedge word: Replace "equality" with "uniformity." (Dude's on a roll.)

Posted by: johngalt at May 13, 2014 1:23 PM

Headline of the Year

The Wall St. Journal reviews Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's new book. In the "Life & Culture" section, the headline is "Book Review: 'Stress Test' by Timothy F. Geithner;" but on the Editorial Page (and the review is written by James Freeman) it says: "Review: The Man Who Knew Too Little"

Professor Insty might point out "This country's in the best of hands:"

None of this is particularly surprising in a man who, at the time he became president of the New York Fed, had never worked in finance or in any type of business--unless one counts a short stint in Henry Kissinger's consulting shop. At Dartmouth, Mr. Geithner "took just one economics class and found it especially dreary." After three years at Kissinger Associates, he spent 13 years at the Treasury Department, becoming close to both Robert Rubin and Larry Summers, and then worked at the government-supported International Monetary Fund. Messrs. Rubin and Summers recommended him to run the New York Fed. "I felt intimidated by how much I had to learn," he writes of taking up the job in 2003.


Weather is Not Climate!!!

Still...

Umm, six?


May 9, 2014

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

One for brother jg:

I am often told that the average Muslim wholeheartedly rejects the use of violence and terror, does not share the radicals' belief that a degenerate and corrupt Western culture needs to be replaced with an Islamic one, and abhors the denigration of women's most basic rights. Well, it is time for those peace-loving Muslims to do more, much more, to resist those in their midst who engage in this type of proselytizing before they proceed to the phase of holy war.

It is also time for Western liberals to wake up. If they choose to regard Boko Haram as an aberration, they do so at their peril. The kidnapping of these schoolgirls is not an isolated tragedy; their fate reflects a new wave of jihadism that extends far beyond Nigeria and poses a mortal threat to the rights of women and girls. If my pointing this out offends some people more than the odious acts of Boko Haram, then so be it.


Ayaan Hirsi Ali (giants walk the earth in smaller forms) meaningfully corrects the translation of "Boko Harem:
The translation from the Hausa language is usually given in English-language media as "Western Education Is Forbidden," though "Non-Muslim Teaching Is Forbidden" might be more accurate.

More importantly and reminiscent of jg's post, she calls for some (what is the Arabic word for cojones?) from moderate Muslims and western apologists.
How to explain this phenomenon to baffled Westerners, who these days seem more eager to smear the critics of jihadism as "Islamophobes" than to stand up for women's most basic rights? Where are the Muslim college-student organizations denouncing Boko Haram? Where is the outrage during Friday prayers? These girls' lives deserve more than a Twitter hashtag protest.

A superb piece -- holler if you'd like it emailed.

War on Terror Posted by John Kranz at 11:28 AM | What do you think? [10]
But johngalt thinks:

There happens to be an immediate example of "egalitarian-socialist teaching" that is worthy of translation. How about "non-Common Core teaching is forbidden?" Translation: U.S. Department of Education.

George Will:

"This is a thin end of an enormous wedge of federal power that will be wielded for the constant progressive purpose of concentrating power in Washington, so that it can impose continental solutions to problems nationwide."

Posted by: johngalt at May 11, 2014 12:12 PM
But Jk thinks:

Common Core is the topic of Liberty on the Rocks, Flatirons Monday night. Creek don't rise, the lovely bride and I are there.

Posted by: Jk at May 11, 2014 7:35 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I wonder if the speaker will touch on any of this most notably the connections between Common Core's creators and one Bill Ayers, education "reformer", Chicago. Perhaps you've heard of him?

Posted by: johngalt at May 12, 2014 2:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

If the word of a blogger isn't good enough for some folks, here's an exhaustive piece from The New American. It doesn't mention Ayers but does reference John Stuart Mill's "despotism over the mind" warning about government schools.

This also caught my eye:

Another controversial non-profit involved in Common Core is the Carnegie Corporation of New York, an establishment powerhouse that funds everything from the Council on Foreign Relations to the Atlantic Council.

Unsurprisingly, the CFR itself has been a staunch proponent of the standards.

Let's start asking all of our FB Friends if we really want to have the schools that the Carnegie Corporation wants us to have. Also, CFR support explains why some Republicans support this disastrous plan.

Posted by: johngalt at May 12, 2014 2:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I read most of the "Parallel Lives" article. Very good, but page three is remarkably long and I had to skip over some.

It is very good. Two takeaways: Firstly, perhaps I too need to love all of my fellow men, including the Islamists and the World Socialists - yet redouble my hatred for Islamism and World Socialism. I proudly note I've begun that journey with the phrase, "I like President Obama but I hate his ideas." Secondly, 'The Columbian Orator' is still in print, and in a Kindle edition to boot. $6.99 I hope to soon read it to and with my young children.

Posted by: johngalt at May 12, 2014 2:56 PM
But jk thinks:

I started a new post for Common Core. And coughed up the seven bucks for Columbian Orator, thanks for the tip.

Posted by: jk at May 12, 2014 3:46 PM

May 8, 2014

Problem Solved!

My darling bride has rescued the jk -Starbucks relationship. And proven that there are few things in life some good humor cannot ameliorate.

Many append "in bed" to a fortune cookie to divine its true meaning. I follow The StandUp Economist and add "at the margins."

The lovely bride points that if you add "in the unemployment line" to the end of the Oprah quotes, they not only lose their jejune pomposity -- they actually make sense! Submitted for your approval:

oprah_starbucks002.jpg

I want to go twice a day! I want to collect them all! Yaay SBUX!!!

Posted by John Kranz at 5:46 PM | What do you think? [2]
But johngalt thinks:

Yaay RK!!

Posted by: johngalt at May 8, 2014 7:35 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Oops... RR!!

Posted by: johngalt at May 8, 2014 8:16 PM

But she flew a million miles!

SecState #67: A t'riffic judge of character

The State Department under Hillary Clinton fought hard against placing the al Qaeda-linked militant group Boko Haram on its official list of foreign terrorist organizations for two years. And now, lawmakers and former U.S. officials are saying that the decision may have hampered the American government's ability to confront the Nigerian group that shocked the world by abducting hundreds of innocent girls.

In the past week, Clinton, who made protecting women and girls a key pillar of her tenure at the State Department, has been a vocal advocate for the 200 Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, the loosely organized group of militants terrorizing northern Nigeria. Her May 4 tweet about the girls, using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, was cited across the media and widely credited for raising awareness of their plight.


Now, anybody can make a mistake, but . . .
What Clinton didn't mention was that her own State Department refused to place Boko Haram on the list of foreign terrorist organizations in 2011, after the group bombed the UN headquarters in Abuja. The refusal came despite the urging of the Justice Department, the FBI, the CIA, and over a dozen Senators and Congressmen.

Never criticize a Secretary of State until you've flown a million miles in her pantsuit.

2016 Posted by John Kranz at 2:27 PM | What do you think? [1]
But johngalt thinks:

Despite my first instinct to quip, "Perhaps the request to designate Boko Haram as an FTO didn't come at 3am when, Democratic Presidential Primary candidate Clinton told us, she is at her best" I will instead remind that "her own State Department" was subordinate to the White House. So President Obama, and not just SOS Clinton, had to approve the designation.

But what happens to the narrative "terror networks are on the run under my administration" when you add a new one to the list? This had to be nearly as much a political impossibility in 2011 as it would have been anytime prior to November, 2012.

But that date is noteworthy in the article for another reason: It's when the NSA apparently made its own FTO designation for the group. Sometime after election day, no doubt.

Posted by: johngalt at May 8, 2014 2:58 PM

May 7, 2014

In Praise of Central Government

A non-controversial role for government is police and the courts, and we see the importance of a well equipped police force in Nigeria, where such is sadly lacking. Some have sung the praises of Anarcho-capitalism on these very pages but I, for one, am not up for this:

A week after the abductions, some of the parents trekked into the forest, according to an account in the British newspaper The Guardian.

They armed themselves with machetes and knives but turned back after they were warned by locals in the forecast that they would be taken out by the sophisticated guns of the militants.

One of the young women who escaped abduction by jumping off the back of a truck told The Guardian about entering the forest.

"Each time we got to a village, they stopped and started shooting people and burning their houses," said the woman, Godiya Usman, 18.

"When we got to another village, they started shooting. I jumped down and I was expecting my friends to jump too, but they didn't. I just started crying and running into the bush."

Even Central Park was never this lawless.

But jk thinks:

Hear hear. "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

(I would also put in a kind word for the Second Amendment. In Texas "Hey guys, there are a bunch of terrorists at the middle school kidnapping girls to sell into slavery" would elicit more than a #hashtag.)

Posted by: jk at May 8, 2014 10:12 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, and I submit your hypothetical Texans wouldn't even care whether the girls where Christian, Muslim, or even the children of Islamists. They would still deserve liberty upon our shores.

Posted by: johngalt at May 8, 2014 3:00 PM
But jk thinks:

No, they would not (and "Hypothetical Texans" would be an awesome name for a western swing band; maybe "Green Shootz and the Hypothetical Texans...")

Posted by: jk at May 8, 2014 3:09 PM

May 6, 2014

Below the surface of the Nigerian schoolgirl kidnappings

The natural reaction to news of an Islamist terror group kidnapping schoolgirls and threatening to sell them into slavery is outrage, but my perspective has been improved after reading this NBC News article on Boko Haram. Translation: "Western education is a sin."

The synopsis is that Nigeria is "Africa's largest country, where 170 million people are divided evenly between Christians in the south and Muslims in the north." After initial arrangements for the national presidency to be held, alternately, by a Christian and then a Muslim, the current Christian president - and I admit I'm ascribing motive here - used national oil revenues to unify the country around western ways and, in the process, achieve majority rule and marginalize the political power of the Muslims, at least so far as their "religious values" being imposed upon the government. So the extremist Muslims reacted, predictably, with terror attacks.

Given all of this I then wondered, were the kidnapped girls Muslim or Christian. They were taken from a school in the northeast so, presumably, Muslim. So the moderate Muslims are now faced with a choice between western-style prosperity and industrialization or, Sharia Law. You know what I hope they choose. And you may also suspect what the "equal but miserable" crowd wishes.


Coffeehousin'

Coffeehouse

Bein' Green

Joe Raposo ©1970

Live at the Coffeehouse dot Com

Permalink

But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Nice! ... and with a green guitar in keeping with the theme.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at May 6, 2014 11:55 AM
But jk thinks:

Oh man, I didn't even think of that . . .

Thanks for the kind words.

Posted by: jk at May 6, 2014 12:02 PM

May 5, 2014

Everything there is to be said.

I've been trying to make this point on Facebook. Today it has been taken up superbly by Caleb Rossier, who has "[S]pent my life on the foreign-policy left. I opposed the Vietnam War, U.S. intervention in Central America in the 1980s and our invasion of Iraq. I have headed a group trying to block U.S. arms and training for "friendly" dictators, and I have written books about how U.S. policy in the developing world is neocolonial. But I oppose my allies' well-meaning campaign for 'climate justice.'"

Every year environmental groups celebrate a night when institutions in developed countries (including my own university) turn off their lights as a protest against fossil fuels. They say their goal is to get America and Europe to look from space like Africa: dark, because of minimal energy use.

But that is the opposite of what's desired by Africans I know. They want Africa at night to look like the developed world, with lights in every little village and with healthy people, living longer lives, sitting by those lights. Real years added to real lives should trump the minimal impact that African carbon emissions could have on a theoretical catastrophe.
[...]
And I oppose the campaign even more for trying to deny to Africans the reliable electricity--and thus the economic development and extended years of life--that fossil fuels can bring.


But, but, but...

But johngalt thinks:

Carbon emission is the absolute epitome of First World Problems.

Aren't you glad that western civilization has solved so many problems that the next most important one to some folks is "we make more CO2 than plants need?"

Personally, it's way further down on my list.

Posted by: johngalt at May 6, 2014 12:00 PM
But jk thinks:

Love the locution "instead of making us look like Africa, I wish they'd worry about making Africa look like us."

I actually reached a Facebook Friend. Once. One day -- I'm sure he'll get over it. But he said "you know, you're right (my four favorite words), I can afford an extra $20-40 a month but [in this case poor Chinese] cannot."

Posted by: jk at May 6, 2014 12:49 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Even better, he said Africans themselves want Africa to look like the west. Who are we to say, as did John Feffer,

that "even if the mercury weren't rising" we should bring "the developing world into the postindustrial age in a sustainable manner." He sees the "climate crisis [as] precisely the giant lever with which we can, following Archimedes, move the world in a greener, more equitable direction."

Feffer as much as admits that "catastrophic" climate change is no more than a means to an end. And end that may be greener and more equal, but is also poorer, and brutish, and short.

A good starting point with every individual FB friend should be to ask if he agrees that:

The left wants to stop industrialization — even if the hypothesis of catastrophic, man-made global warming is false.

You're either with us or you're with the "equal but miserable" crowd. If you choose the latter, we have nothing more to discuss.

Posted by: johngalt at May 6, 2014 3:14 PM
But johngalt thinks:

And my four favorite words?
"You know, Rand's right."

Posted by: johngalt at May 6, 2014 4:08 PM
But jk thinks:

Perhaps "'nother breve cappuccino jk?"

Posted by: jk at May 6, 2014 4:28 PM

Bueno

Happy Cinco de Mayo, or as President Obama calls it, "Cinco de Quatro." (Chad Ochocinco could not be reached for comment.) I, for one, salute our country's proud Mexican-American community, as they join us Irish-Americans in seeing one of their most important holidays -- honoring their impressive effort in the global hobby of beating the French -- turned into just another occasion to drink a lot. -- Jim Geraghty

May 4, 2014

It Only Takes a Little Bit of Greed to Kill a Child

Or, as Tim Cavenaugh at NRO points out: Union Monopoly Protects Pennsylvania Children from DRUNKEN SLAUGHTER! .

But jk thinks:

Mmmm...snow coffee....

Posted by: jk at May 5, 2014 11:36 AM
But johngalt thinks:

"Just say no" to liquor privatization?

Rilly?

Posted by: johngalt at May 5, 2014 12:01 PM
But jk thinks:

Clearly, none of you care about children at all!

Posted by: jk at May 5, 2014 12:28 PM
But jk thinks:

"It's time to stop large corporations. Prop. 10 is about children. Vote Yes on Prop. 10, or else, you hate children. You don't hate... children... Do you? Remember, keep American business small, or else. Paid for by Citizens for a Fair and Equal way to get Harbucks Coffee kicked out of town forever." -- South Park

Posted by: jk at May 5, 2014 12:32 PM
But AndyN thinks:

As a resident of PA, it always breaks my heart to walk into my local Applebee's or Texas Roadhouse and see the non-union, private sector employees selling shots to any kid who can reach over the bar rail. Why, if they just had the same employment and ownership rules for restaurants and bars as they do at beer distributors and wine and spirit stores, there would never again be a DUI in the state.

Posted by: AndyN at May 5, 2014 2:36 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Let's review. To protect children, government must:

1) Restrict access to alcohol.
2) Subsidize access to birth control.

Just checking.

Posted by: johngalt at May 5, 2014 6:44 PM

Review Corner

Despite what we so often hear about being a tool for self-rule, [Democracy] is more often a mechanism to impose a way of life on others. Americans love to wear those "I voted" stickers on their coats . What are they telling us? That if enough of them agree they can lord it over the rest of us. We celebrate democracy even as it slowly corrodes our foundational ideals.
Greetings, and welcome to a special "All Hail Harsanyi" edition of Review Corner.I first encountered David Harsanyi when I read his superb "Nanny State: How Food Fascists, Teetotaling Do-Gooders, Priggish Moralists, and other Boneheaded Bureaucrats are Turning America into a Nation of Children." Still one of the great titles of all time. He wrote on liberty for The Denver Post, which is like being the options & derivatives editor for Mother Jones. Then he took his pragmatic libertarianism to Reason, from where he has been extensively followed and quoted at ThreeSources.

His latest was undoubtedly written to be provocative; The People Have Spoken (and They Are Wrong): The Case Against Democracy would raise eyebrows outside of ThreeSources. Whaaa? Does he hate Apple Pie and Baseball too?

ThreeSourcers will enjoy his serious case against encroaching majoritarianism as well as his witty and pointed style.

Most people actually value anti-democratic aspects of government, yet they recoil from the principle behind them. It was the early-twentieth-century progressives, the precursors of today's leftists, who were responsible for the Seventeenth Amendment. It is no mere coincidence that an exponential growth of federal spending followed the adoption of that amendment. And the Founders believed that state governments were better equipped than the national government to understand and deal with the desires of their citizens.

A blog founded on Sharanskyism has t accept his stunning rebuke of the value of spreading Democracy:
Egypt simply isn't prepared to deal with open elections because many of the participants will use elections to consolidate theocracy or tyranny. Little seems to have changed in that country since ten biblical plagues failed to win pharaoh's respect for minority rights. A recent Pew poll finds that 54 percent of Egyptians believe that women and men should be segregated in the workplace, 82 percent believe that adulterers should be stoned, 84 percent believe that apostates from Islam should face the death penalty, and 77 percent believe thieves should be flogged or have their hands cut off . An environment like that makes Chicago politics look like a garden party.

In a favorite passage he extolls the value of gridlock, but suggests we're not doing it right:
Since the election of Barack Obama, the Democrats, supposedly powerless to face America's "big challenges," had passed a nearly trillion -dollar stimulus, a restructuring of the entire healthcare system, far-reaching immigration legislation that would create tens of millions of new citizens, and a tangled overhaul of financial regulation. The president had also appointed two fervently liberal Supreme Court justices with no meaningful opposition. It is a record of political accomplishment unequaled since the Johnson administration. Republicans must be the most inept obstructionists of all time.

Far cop, guv. But the worst violations of liberty on that litany were accomplished with a Democratic supermajority. And here is where I must present the book's tragic flaw and throw a "Libertario Delenda Est" flag.

The "Conclusion" chapter suggests not voting. It begins with an honest appraisal of voting drives, vote-rocking, shaming, and all efforts to persuade the uninformed to share their ignorance with the nation at large. He smacks down suggestions for mandatory voting (a horrid idea, but something of a strawman in the US, I'd hope). All good all good, I'm in.

But then he asks the person who has made it through the other 13 chapters not to vote. Holy Cow, that's the person I do want counted. Yet the author counsels: stay home or discard your vote on a fringe candidate.

Constitutional freedoms survived for well over a hundred years. I don't know that they can be reclaimed at the ballot box or not, but the other choices are unpleasant to say the least. The NRA has bucked the trend. As mentioned in the book, the USA did not melt all it's firearms after Newtown to make a statue of Mayor Bloomberg. A correct and effective demonstration of the importance of liberty and its consequential effects is worth a try.

Harrumph. Damnëd libertoids! But it is a great book that all ThreeSourcers would dig. Four stars.

Review Corner Posted by John Kranz at 10:37 AM | What do you think? [5]
But johngalt thinks:

This Review Corner and the preceding 'Theft of Growth' are good partners. One does not achieve freedom from a democratic system by ignoring it. Instead, one gets "all the obstacles" that Leviathan can dream up. Does HRH Harsanyi actually come out and SAY he is advocating for armed revolt? The producer class versus the voter class? Or does he just whistle past that graveyard?

Posted by: johngalt at May 5, 2014 3:21 PM
But jk thinks:

With all respect, I'm going to go with "whistle:"

Then again, I didn't lose much sleep over it. Even if I were inclined to vote, I would rarely find a candidate worthy of support. This isn't because I hold the ballot sacred. Quite the opposite. When voting for president, I may vote for the lesser evil, but generally I throw my support behind some quixotic third-party candidate as a futile gesture of protest. I waste my vote on purpose. And any votes I happen to take on local elections matter even less. I've lived nearly my entire adult life in iron-clad liberal districts that offer almost no competition past the primary stages of an election. And there's nothing wrong with people clustering into ideologically congenial locales. We have the space. We used to have the federalism. Do Americans want to live with like-minded neighbors and vote for officials who represent the worldviews of those communities ? God bless them. But they don't have the right to force others to live as they do.

Or else, they'll face a strongly worded denunciation.... ???

Again, the book has great value in defining the problem and providing cogent arguments to coax people from "Rock the Vote" to where most ThreeSourcers live. I'm not going to burn my Kindle because he fails to provide a solution. But I did find the conclusion less than compelling.

Posted by: jk at May 5, 2014 4:14 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

What kind of government system does he advocate, by chance?

Posted by: T. Greer at May 6, 2014 2:42 AM
But jk thinks:

I'd say he favors semi-aristocratic tempered democratic governments such as pre-17th amendment America or Britain's peculiar (to us) bicameralism.

His point is to not fetishize Democracy. We use it as a synonym for all that is good; we propagate the untruth that "Democracies do not go to war with each other." And, unfortunately, we ruin a perfectly good government in America by making it more democratic. How long will the electoral college last?

Maybe I am wishcasting my own beliefs onto an author I revere, but I always say what separates me from friends on the right and left is accepting that government is hard. Not likely to find a brighter group than America's founders. Their long, laborious work has been generally undone in 200 years. He offers no magic bullets moving forward, but educating people on the perils of majoritarianism is pretty good for $14.

Posted by: jk at May 6, 2014 10:33 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I will say there's something of a Going Galt theme to just refusing to vote, but until one can take his earnings and his prosperity out of the confiscation zone it's not really going to work. At least not until there are hundreds more Cliven Bundy-type standoffs.

But if I criticize it is only because HRH Harsanyi went too far in his writing - a mistake I often make as well. If he had stopped with "Democracy bad, not good" I would have no quarrel. One should not expect a prescription for the ideal government in a single book. (Unless it was written by Ayn Rand.)

Posted by: johngalt at May 6, 2014 4:06 PM

May 3, 2014

The Theft of Growth

There are some hard sells in liberty theory. One of the most difficult is that the costs of regulation and cronyism and meddling of all stripes can be so well hidden.

I'm old enough to have watched this country grow wealthier. Piketty and Krugman and Alan Reynolds can fight it out (my money's on Reynolds) but I compare myself to my father. He was something of a big deal in Denver media. He had as many as 40 people employed in his ad agency. He had the American Motors Dealers' accounts for the Rocky Mountain region (we drove Ramblers...) and some big local firms.

I would have to do some creative stretching to purchase the home I grew up in. And I don't have the expense of having me as a son. But, as a comparative schlub, I enjoy a much higher standard of living.

The administration's defenders love to quote x quarters of GDP growth or y total jobs added from the recession's trough. I guess that's fair -- there's no Constitutional injunction against cherry-picking (not that they'd follow it).

There are two flaws to their pitch. Flaw the uno is overselling the seriousness of "the mess they inherited." It is in no way comparable to the Great Depression. In terms of % job loss or share of GDP, it is almost perfectly comparable to the 1981 recession. You remember, how President Reagan used to go on and on about "the mess he'd inherited."

Flaw de Dos is to accept the meager recovery that accompanied Keynesian policies instead of the robust recovery produced by supply side fiscal and monetary incentives.

Heritage suggests "If Obama Could Replicate Reagan Recovery, Economy Would Be about $17,000 Bigger Per Family"

We made all of these imbecilic moves, and the wonder of it all is that the U.S. economy is growing at all. It’s a tribute to the indestructible Energizer Bunny that is the entrepreneurial U.S. economy that it keeps going and going even with all the obstacles. The problem is it isn't going very fast. That’s what the Bureau of Economic Analysis told us this week when it reported that the GDP for the first quarter of the year grew an anemic 0.1 percent on an annual basis from January to March. The more meaningful measure of growth, private-sector GDP, rose by a still-meager 0.2 percent.

Every impediment to growth has no price tag to these people because it is being paid for by stealing from our progeny. Passing along the 1972 economy instead of today's.

But johngalt thinks:

Sure, the economy would be bigger, but it would be racist and hate children.

I can remember when these movements [environmental extremism, race baiting, nannyism] were in their infancies. I mostly dismissed them, believing nobody would fall for such obvious bullshit. Boy was I wrong.

Posted by: johngalt at May 5, 2014 3:15 PM

May 2, 2014

Quote of the Day

The good news about health-care expenditures is that they're propping up gross domestic product: Without soaring expenditure on health care, yesterday's lackluster GDP estimates would have been negative, instead of a paltry 0.1 percent.

The bad news about health-care expenditures is that they’re, well, soaring: -- Megan McArdle


May 1, 2014

Otequay of the Ayday

Can black and white victicrats take a day off from being "offended"? Dolts - whether Bundy or Sterling - who are incapable of harm, say stupid things.

The real issues - undereducation, lack of jobs, and irresponsible breeding and parenting - have nothing to do with Sterling's jealousy and will not be resolved by his public flaying.

Wave a magic wand. Remove racism from the hearts of the Bundys, Sterlings and Zimmermans. The effect on these problems is what?

But no, let's talk "income disparity" or "climate change" or that "racism remains alive and well in America."

-Larry Elder, 'Sterling's Downfall Shows Hypocrisy In Race Industry' Investors Ed Page


Posted by JohnGalt at 2:54 PM | What do you think? [0]

Quote of the Day

Might need an "All Hail Geraghty..."

Remember the Obama administration's much-touted statistic that 8.1 million Americans had signed up for Obamacare? Yeah, about that...
As of April 15, 2014, insurers informed the committee that only 2.45 million had paid their first month's premium for coverage obtained through the federally facilitated marketplace.
If you have a statistic that seems artificially inflated for more than four weeks, consult your doctor immediately. -- Jim Geraghty [Subscribe]

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