Like a late night comedian during the "Hey!" days of Clinton, I can't stay away from Socialism bashing... This item from CATO highlights a man making a chicken sandwich... from scratch. 6 months later, he had his sandwich, and was $1500 poorer (but wiser!) for it.
The author dryly notes
There was a time when everyone grew their own food and made their own clothes. It was a time of unimaginable poverty and labor without rest.
One of the first pre-requisites for being a socialist is having no sense of humor.
From The Onion:
“We were creating an exciting new model for living,” said Dorff, stubbing his cigarette into an ashtray that had not been emptied in six days. “It was like we were dismantling the apparatus of the state right within our own living space.”
Dr. Hawyard then shortly relates the dying throws of Pacifica Radio; schadenfreude on steroids! The sweetest part was discovering that Pacifica owes Amy Goodman over $1M! For what, I have to wonder!!
The title is a term I made up, rather than an excerpt from this pointed William McGurn piece in Monday's WSJ. Unapologetic content theft follows:
Good charters offer part of the answer. In New York, Eva Moskowitz's Success Academy charter schools are arguably the best. Yet the mayor, his schools chancellor and the teachers union all apparently prefer maintaining the present inequality rather than allow Ms. Moskowitz to open more of her charters in poor minority neighborhoods.
The Success Academies are 58% black and about 27% Hispanic. Even so, these children regularly outscore their counterparts in wealthy suburban areas. So while each year the Success Academies prove that black kids can compete as equals with white kids so long as the bar is set high and teachers are held accountable, in the schools run by Mayor de Blasio the achievement gap between black and white has widened.
Welcome to progressive New York. Where black and Latino children in poor neighborhoods are condemned to failed schools with almost no possibility of escape. While the schools where kids are treated equally and black lives really do matter get the back of the mayor's hand.
Whether de Blasio can get away with this for long remains to be seen. And whether he's gotten away with it up to now because of his progressive politics, or because his wife and son are black - really, at this point, what difference does it make?
Bonus: Here is the TV ad that Families for Excellent Schools will run in the NYC market.
This time last year I was learning that more Americans approve of "free enterprise" than "capitalism." Now I'm learning that the modern mixed economy in most of the nations of the world is not "neo-mercantilism" - a term I coined myself in the linked post from last year - but one variant or another of "corporatism."
Corporatism is not, as I previously believed, 'rule by corporations' and their influence over corrupt governments. It's meaning comes from a prioritization of the body, or "corpus", of a population, rather than the individual persons. In essence then, it is a variation of collectivism.
This term--Corporatism--is fraught with perils, mostly because it is now commonly used to label aspects of the current world economic order, almost always incorrectly. Understand that Corporatism proper has nothing to do with modern corporations at all, neither how they function, nor their dependence on or independence from the state. The confusion in this regard--all too common throughout the internet--is largely due to the similarity of the two words: Corporatism and corporation. Both have the same root word, the Latin corpus meaning body, but that's about it.
Corporatism actually refers to an economic (and political) system wherein the people in a society are organized into various groups, based on what they do, on how they make a living. The underlying idea here--and the reason for the name--is that society should be viewed as an organic whole, like a living organism or body, with every person having a distinct role to play in order for society to properly function, to metaphorically live and grow. Thus, one segment of the population should never be--figuratively or literally--under the heel of any other segment. None have primacy in this regard, except of course for the state itself, which is tasked with leadership and control (more or less the head of the body).
And the origin of corporatism dovetails with the objection of bygone commenter Silence Dogood: "He liked Capitalism just fine -- but not "unfettered capitalism." As for corporatism, "They [the doctrine's creators] opposed wide open free trade and free markets because they assumed greed would dictate activity, first and foremost."
What was once old is new again, and humanity continues to repeat past mistakes. Why? I'm not sure. Let's ask Silence Dogood.
H/T: brother nanobrewer [second comment] for inspiring a closer look at Argentine "corporatism."
Jim Geraghty shares my concern that the endgame was not really in place before grassroots started chopping heads. He links to Allahpundit:
Which brings us to an important question that's being overlooked in the chaos of Boehner's resignation: Why do House conservatives need extra time to organize? Why don't they already have their own candidate lined up? Rumors that Boehner might resign or be ousted have been circulating for at least 18 months now. Boehner himself acknowledged last week that he was prepared to quit last year before Cantor was upset in his primary. The threat from Mark Meadows and his supporters to depose Boehner this fall if he caved on defunding Planned Parenthood and the debt ceiling has been percolating for months. And yet, somehow, House conservatives seem to have been caught off-guard. Jeb Hensarling, whose name always comes up when conservatives start talking about their wish list for leadership, has already said he won't run. Jim Jordan said repeatedly earlier this year that he doesn't want to be Speaker. "What we need is real leadership," conservatives liked to say about Boehner. Okay, here's our big opportunity. Where is it?
We have Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R CA), but Allah points out all is not happy in grassrootsville. Mark Levin calls him "Eric Cantor with ten less IQ points."
Not a Levin fan -- that should be "Eric Cantor with ten fewer IQ points."
And delivers another extra-base hit. At least a triple.
We mused a bit last week about how Carly would handle an attack like this on her HP record. On Sunday, she was given the opportunity by NBC's Chuck Todd. Picks up at the 6 minute mark:
Basically, Barbara Boxer and Hillary Clinton may criticize me but they've never created a job and their policies destroy jobs. "There were many jobs that left California and you know where they went? The state of Texas."
It shows that in 1896, income per person in the United States and Argentina, two of the richest countries in the world, was about identical. Argentina subsequently eschewed the free market, replacing it with trade protectionism and other corporatist policies intended to help the poor by redistributing wealth. By 2010, Argentine income was a third of that of the United States.
To which I'll add - imagine if, over the same period, the United States had not sought some sort of "enlightened middle path" of compromise between free markets and "corporatist policies intended to help the poor by redistributing wealth."
Jack Kemp shook things up--but with dramatic ideas about policy, not by pitting outsiders against insiders. The Republican establishment resented the gall of a backbencher's butting into tax policy. Democrats hated tax-cutting, even though Kemp kept reminding them that President John F. Kennedy first proposed lowering the top rate to 70% from 90%. Special interests were furious when Kemp proposed reducing their tax breaks. He once wrote Reagan's deficit-hawk budget director, David Stockman, demanding to know why Mr. Stockman wanted to raise taxes on working people and cut food stamps, Medicaid and Head Start, but keep subsidies and tax breaks in place for Boeing, Exxon and Gulf Oil. -- WSJ Ed Page
The problem with adding a "GOP Self-destruction" category is that there are certainly some data constraints on the MySQL database which underlies this blog. I don't know whether it could handle the stress.
Jim Geraghty [subscribe] makes me look rather cheerful, but he asks the same question:
Okay, grassroots conservatives, here's your chance.
You wanted John Boehner out as Speaker, and now he's on his way out. Right now the buzz is that House majority leader Kevin McCarthy is a slam-dunk to replace him.
If grassroots conservatives want one of their own to be Speaker, they have to unite quickly behind an alternative . . . and one who wants the job.
If there is some grand plan underlying this, it is better hidden than any 9-11 conspiracy. I suspect the scalp is good enough. My Facebook feed (the right half) is listing who's next: McConnell, McCain, Graham, Flake &c. I get on each and comment "Umm, guys, how about some Democrats?"
We'll get rid of all those bleeping RINOs and have five brave defenders of liberty left in Congress. Hell, I could join the Libertarians if I wanted that.
house freedom caucus; a recipe for GOP dysfunction?
Brother JG notes:
The whole thing is moot, is it not, unless Senate Majority Leader McConnell changes the filibuster rule the same way as his predecessor, Senate Majority Leader Reid.
I would agree that the Iran deal would seem the time and place to go with this, but note that so far even Dingy Harry only sought to circumvent filibuster for judicial nominees. Invoking it for legislation would, in many ways, dramatically change the Senate in many ways, likely permanently. This should be daunting to any leader. A more incremental approach is (and has been) proposed along several lines, yet perhaps doomed by this interesting issue.
Tom McClintock announced Wednesday he was resigning from the House Freedom Caucus, saying the group’s hardball tactics had undermined conservative goals rather than advancing them
He provides specific examples in his resignation letter to Jim Jordan. who leads HFC:
House Republicans attempted to pass a three-week stop gap bill so we could avoid a catastrophic shutdown of our security agencies while continuing to bring public opinion to bear to de-fund the ["amnesty"] orders. At the behest of its board, most HFC members combined with House Democrats to defeat this effort, resulting in the full funding of these illegal orders for the fiscal year.
Last week, the House was scheduled to adopt the Resolution of Disapproval of the disastrous Iran nuclear agreement – the only legally binding action available to Congress under the Corker Act. Once again, the House Freedom Caucus leadership threatened to combine with House Democrats to defeat the Resolution, forcing the House leadership to abandon it in favor of a symbolic and legally meaningless vote.
For several months, Harry Reid and Senate Democrats have threatened to shut down the government on October 1st unless Congress unleashes another unsustainable cycle of tax increases and borrowing. Last week, the House Freedom Caucus formally vowed to shut down the government over funding Planned Parenthood.
A common theme through each of these incidents is a willingness – indeed, an eagerness – to strip the House Republican majority of its ability to set the House agenda by combining with House Democrats on procedural motions. As a result, it has thwarted vital conservative policy objectives and unwittingly become Nancy Pelosi’s tactical ally.
So, what has been perceived - certainly by me! - as lack of backbone and/or initiative in the GOP, could be a result of this group blocking many a common sense, procedural-based approach to stopping the Obama train. Why? I would like to know.
12 separate appropriation bills for the major government departments, as Congress is supposed to do under the modern budget process. If Congress were doing its job properly, they could threaten to shut down just the Department of Health and Human Services, and/or they could attach Planned Parenthood defunding to all 12 appropriation bills and make Obama issue 12 vetoes ... That would transform the politics of any shutdown radically.
So, we've got Jordan and Mark Meadows [wingnut?, NC]; who are the other eight, and WHAT DO THEY WANT besides defunding PP? I can only guess it's about power. Are they Tea Party-driven or "social issues conservatives"? Still, as Dr. Hayward notes above,
the real failure of GOP leadership in both houses—is that we’re once again looking at passing yet another omnibus continuing resolution
So, HFC could be demanding some sort of idealogical purity, or perhaps just trying to move leadership away from what I've see as a surfeit of what "Beltway Syndrome" aka, we insiders will do as we (incumbents, all) and our lobbyists deem necessary.
I'm puzzled by the backroom deals, and not unhappy to see Boehner leave, but would like to know what's going on: I certainly know that the word "conservative" only meaning when published in the MSM is "them." To me, it means mostly the limited gov't, "Liberty" agenda; is that only me? Certainly Boehner's 1st Lieutenant, Eric Cantor, was defeated (deservedly so, from what I could tell) with Tea Party support as being way too steeped in the ways of Beltway Syndrome.
I'm hoping this is the start of a Gladstonian revolt, and not one leading to a Handmaid's Tale...
Uhh, because he couldn't afford two bucks to buy his own sticker?
Maybe 'Bernie fan' would feel better if the federal agency ISS - Internal Sticker Service - had audited his car and, finding him with more stickers than the sticker poverty level, forced him to scrape it off and mail it in for redistribution himself. Under penalty of law, of course!
Huma Abedin, a longtime confidante of Mrs. Clinton's, was somehow allowed to work, simultaneously, at the State Department, the Clinton Foundation and as a consultant to Teneo--a consulting firm run by Clinton loyalist Doug Band. All three of Ms. Abedin's hats come into play in an undisclosed email exchange regarding a 2012 dinner in Ireland. As the Washington Examiner reported in May, Mrs. Clinton received an award at the dinner from a Clinton Foundation donor. The ceremony was promoted by Teneo. Mrs. Clinton attended in her official capacity as secretary of state. Sort through that. -- Kim Strassel
is a vote for liberty, n'est pas? Good article from The Hill on the REINS act.
H.R. 427, the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2015, known as the REINS Act passed the house in late July. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has introduced the companion legislation, S. 226, in the Senate. Time to fire up the phone lines! Who else in the GOP sweet sixteen will also sign up for support?
The Judiciary Committee's report on the bill explains that back in 1996, the Congressional Review Act (CRA) was implemented as an attempt to get control over the large number of regulations coming from the federal government. But only one regulation has been undone using CRA, while 60,000 regulations have come into being. Major regulations accounted for 1,000 of them. These regulations are costly. According to The Economist, the Competitive Enterprise Institute reported that in 2013, the compliance cost of federal regulations was $1.86 billion, or $15 billion per household.
I think that should be $15 per household?
The regulatory process has become a way for presidents to make an end run around Congress by legislating from the White House. The REINS Act is a way to put Congress back in the game of being a check and balance on executive action.
Orwell was right about language. We live in a world where the phrase "carbon pollution" is thrown about to describe CO2 emissions. I don't have to tell ThreeSourcers that CO2 is a natural product of combustion and that it deserves to be called a pollutant about as much as the other product: H2O.
The WSJ lead editorial has some interesting points.
Two decades ago GM had to cough up $45 million for installing defeat devices in nearly half a million cars that overrode carbon monoxide controls. In 1998 seven U.S. manufacturers of heavy-duty diesel engines, including Caterpillar and Volvo Truck, settled federal charges of implanting devices that disabled NOx controls for $1 billion.
What regulators don't ever explain is that these defeat devices serve a functional purpose, which is usually to increase performance and fuel efficiency. They want to pretend that emissions regulations are a clean, free ride. Until now, VW--which advertised its environmental friendly and powerful engines--was in on the charade.
Good point and it plays into brother jg's Irish Democracy suggestion: give the people the cars they want. Related: "VW Owners Aren't Going to Like the Fixes for Their Diesels."
But I came to talk chemistry and politics (you're welcome). If regulation has ever succeeded at anything in the US it has been the reduction of real automotive pollution: Sulfur, Lead, and particulates have been drastically reduced. These compounds a bad stuff to put in the air and true economic externalities. No doubt manufacturers would rather spew them, and public choice theory questions how effective consumers could be at influence.
So I will again come down on the good folks at Hitler's AutoVerks VW/Audi. Government has a compelling reason to limit NO emissions and the Fed's have a legitimate purpose in "regularizing" those standards.
But blaming greed for VW's actions is like blaming gravity for someone falling off a cliff after a good shove.
The fact is that EPA's crazy emissions mandates shoved VW off a cliff and, if its regulatory authority is not curbed, more companies are going to follow suit, I note in my morning column at The Week.
Drivers want cheap, safe, powerful cars. That is exactly what the EPA's NOx standards made it very difficult for VW to produce. Meeting the agency's aggressive 2008 edict would have required the company to install a urea tank to neutralize the nitrogen oxide before release. But that would have not only bumped the prices of cars in a mid-range category, it would have diminished fuel economy, and made the cars far less zippy (since the engine is forced to divert power to the tank).
Man, I love Dalmia and I hate the EPA. She goes into CAFE standards and the many legitimate ways that gub'mint is a co-villain in this sordid tale. But I will get three bonus objectivism points and ask her to check her premises. Sorry VW cannot provide affordable and well performing diesel autos under the current regime. Umm, so build gas cars or solve the challenges without chicanery.
I'm sticking with my original premise of a legitimate purpose to regulate Nitrogen compounds.
Wanted it to be so, but it doesn't even rate in the "Rant" category. I write this as a Fiorina fan and a serious (possibly dangerous) technophile who grew up 9 miles from the garage where Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard started that California, "silicon valley" icon.
I judge JK's instinctual dismissal of the resounding-sounding Politico article by Dr. Sonnefeld (yawn, a L/W prof disses a GOP'r) to be spot on. Boldly titled “Fiorina was a terrible CEO” and following with
she was one of the worst technology CEOs in history
It quickly loses steam.
1. Analysis of the article:
His biggest stick is how the company "lost over half its value" by which he means stock price. OK, the stock went down, as Carly has noted, pretty much on par with NASDAQ. It recovered. Next, the overblown rhetoric starts to flow, as always, downhill:
It was Fiorina’s failed leadership that brought her company down
Down where, exactly? They're Fortune's #55, and kicking IBM's butt! See below to see how they fared during her tenure (2001-2005), and since.
(numbers are gross revenue, in $B)
Lastly, he sneers at her explanation for the stock price dip, comparing Hp's drop to mostly non-comparable companies like Apple (totally different), and Google (which is another universe). I think Bloomberg's Justin Fox 'CEO Carly in one Chart' is better as business analysis when he compares' HP's performance to IBM, Dell and Sun Microsystems.
2. Analysis of the author
I looked the guy up, since my gut reaction was the guy wants to sell books, and you don't get buzz by going after Gilmore. His Hero's Farewell is all about non-tech, eastern companies and Firing Back shows he reveres people like Jimmy Carter, Donald Trump, Martha Stewart, John Scully (more on him below) & Dan Rather. That made me think, he'd hate someone like her, and furthermore, I like her even more, via the faint praise of being defined by one's enemies. One of his 7 keys for future success from HF is managing your reputation. I think her “so you think?!?” departure from Hp surely grates.
Wrap this up with Yale's reputation as having dissed the Fedex business plan and his status as an NPR contributor, and I feel fully confident rating this as a Hit Piece that smells really awful. Want more proof? The NYT's Andrew Sorking could do nothing but parrot it, in his column "Fiorina’s Business Record: Not So Sterling" (for completeness, it's not worth reading). His article about her time with Lucent is more troubling, but I didn't really see a smoking gun there.
SO, WHO'S THE WORST TECH CEO?
This took some time, let me tell ya... from Scully nearly scuttling Apple, to the bozos at IBM that passed on owning their own Disc Operating System yet did not make the list (but that decision probably wasn't on the CEO level)!
The article 10 Catastrophic CEO Decisions is a much better start down an interesting road. Dovetailing nicely with Tom Perkins' "The Truth About Carly" (taken as an ad in the NYT),
Carly was hired at HP because it was struggling. Revenues were down, quarterly earnings were missed, innovation lagged and growth stagnated“ ... [Hp had an] ineffective and dysfunctional board
HP appears in the article of 10 worst flops three times!
I was thinking Perkins (who was on Compaq's board), was butt-kissing for a spot in Treasury until I looked up his byline. Even tech-loving geeks like me know about Kleiner-Perkins-Caufield successful history of backing silicon valley startups [updated; I see CNN now is sniping at him].
The HP-Compaq merger is one of the list 10 Worst, but it really pales compared to
- Dale Osborne, google The Osborne Effect,
- Steve Case's mighty crash at AOL ($200B to $1B),
- the death of SUN Micro (Scott McNealy gets my vote!);
- Yahoo! ($47B and rising, down to $17B and coughing blood all over), and
- John Scully's nearly deadly tenure at Apple getting the Miss Congeniality award.
As the numbers above attest, HP is going strong and is now bigger than IBM, the company Fiorina wanted to catch. HP was going down the tubes and nearly did again (dysfunction!), under CEO Leo Apotheker. A Forbes' article on SUN mentions HP about four times as doing right what SUN got wrong (all during her tenure). The Compaq merger is now judged to be a success
- by my analysis, since HP had longed (for a loooong time, according to many old classmates who worked and interned there) to be big a player in the PC market, became the top seller from 2006-2011;
- by complicated analysis from Robert Burgelman, of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, who said
What Fiorina was attempting to do was extremely complicated. She was trying to change the culture of HP without really understanding what that culture was like in the first place
I think Fiorina's statements to date about her time at HP are appropriate for the sort of audience (aka, low information) on the talk shows she's been on. I'll bet she can trade dukes with the likes of Sonnefeld any day! It would be nice for her to hone her points, though. Hp's financial picture is very complicated (50%+ of the printer market, now into IT "Enterprise" services in a big way....) and should be properly represented, and the craziness of the board, containing a Hewlett who can't manage to get into the big chair, deserves some attention.
Then again, she could just say: I started behind IBM, took 'em down, and HP has stayed ahead! I think she'll box the ears back and dance circles around any/all media types trying to discern, with suitably concerned tones and glittering eyes: "but does she care?"
From a fair, balanced, and pithy article on Donny Trump's pledge to 'stop those hedge fund guys getting away with murder' by Cliff Asness:
Trump hopes that by taking on his own friends - the "hedge-fund guys" - he will be seen as courageous by the angry subset of the Republican primary electorate that has fueled his rise. Instead of addressing that often-valid anger with reasonable proposals, he throws out red meat about "hedge funds." If Trump were truly courageous, he'd tell us about how tricky tax arguments, and a fair amount of cronyism, have motivated so many big real-estate transactions. He'd tell us about the wide range of local tax credits, generous depreciation laws, and the 1031 exchanges that provide real-estate tycoons like him with a loophole they can use to defer paying capital-gains taxes. He'd mention real-estate moguls' propensity to extract tax-free income from their buildings by refinancing loans. He'd tell us about those of his colleagues who literally pay zero taxes and sometimes monetize tax credits.
If he were truly courageous, that is. If he really wanted to "tell it how it is."
Vice President Joe Biden, who may hop into the race, is 72. Biden has a compelling personal story, but he also is gaffe-prone and must carry the baggage of an administration that has many voters clamoring for change.
The reason she remains such a bright spot to me remains her ability to express principles. When his layoffs were shoved in his face, Gov. Romney wilted and sniveled. Fiorina explains reality. I'm still in.
... but does Dick Morris (and Thom Hartmann) have a point?
In an email commentary, Morris said essentially that "Carly would be a great president, but would be a disaster as the Republican nominee" because of her weakness on this issue.
ADDENDA: CommodoreBTC noticed that last night's Monday Night Football game, between the Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets, offered the best matchup of Civil War-appropriate beards in many years, with Andrew Luck taking on Ryan Fitzpatrick: -- Jim Geraghty
Indeed, the problem in Syria is not so much with the Russians -- or Iran, Hezbollah and Assad, all of whom see the Syrian civil war correctly as a fight to the finish against Sunni jihadis.
Our problem has been that we have let our friends -- the Turks, Israelis, Saudis and Gulf Arabs -- convince us that no victory over ISIS can be achieved unless and until we bring down Assad.
Once we get rid of Assad, they tell us, a grand U.S.-led coalition of Arabs and Turks can form up and march in to dispatch ISIS.
This is neocon nonsense.
Those giving us this advice are the same "cakewalk war" crowd who told us how Iraq would become a democratic model for the Middle East once Saddam Hussein was overthrown and how Moammar Gadhafi's demise would mean the rise of a pro-Western Libya.
When have these people ever been right?
In making ISIS, not Assad, public enemy No. 1, Putin has it right.
It is we Americans who are the mystery inside an enigma now.
I'm not bashing the leader of a large world religion. Thomas Sowellis bashing the leader of a large world religion.
A scholar specializing in the study of Latin America said that the official poverty level in the U.S. is the upper middle class in Mexico. The much criticized market economy of the U.S. has done far more for the poor than the ideology of the left.
Pope Francis' own native Argentina was once among the leading economies of the world, before it was ruined by the kind of ideological notions he is now promoting around the world.
UPDATE: And for those who come to ThreeSources for balanced and objective commentary [what the hell is the matter with you people?] you are in luck today. The WSJ Ed Page has a great editorial, hoping that America and The Pope can learn from each other. It is a respectful look at the benefits both of capitalism and "a Christian example that Americans of all faiths might emulate with his modest life-style and manifest concern for the poor and least powerful." Well, I call it fair -- capitalism gets 85% of the column inches.
*********** COMPLETE EDITORIAL (Forgive me, St. Rupert, I know not of copyright infringement )***************
The Politics of Pope Francis
Perhaps America and this pope can learn from each other.
Sept. 21, 2015 7:17 p.m. ET
Pope Francis arrives Tuesday on his first visit to the United States, and the welcome event illustrates his unique and paradoxical appeal. The Argentine pope is being celebrated more for his embrace of progressive economics than for the Catholic Church’s moral teachings.
Millions of American Catholics will of course welcome the pope as a spiritual messenger and the head of a religion of some 1.2 billion world-wide. As a pastoral shepherd he has set a Christian example that Americans of all faiths might emulate with his modest life-style and manifest concern for the poor and least powerful. His public American itinerary—to a Harlem school, a Philadelphia prison—reflects this pastoral mission. He is a man of God who avoids the ostentatious trappings of man.
Yet the pope will also visit the White House and speak to Congress, and this is where his tour takes on an extra-religious resonance. Pope Francis has overtly embraced the contemporary progressive political agenda of income redistribution and government economic control to reduce climate change.
President Obama, who shares both ambitions, is therefore giving the pope the kind of hearty embrace we can’t imagine him giving to his predecessor Pope Benedict. Secular progressives who disdain the Catholic Church’s teaching on abortion, same-sex marriage and divorce are ignoring all of that catechistic unpleasantness and claiming the pope as an evangelist for their agenda. You might call them cafeteria progressives, after the old line about Catholics who are selective in which church teachings they follow.
There is some risk for the pope and his church in this progressive bear hug. One is that the pope will come to be seen as a seeker of political popularity more than a speaker of hard and eternal truths. Another is that politicians may use the pope to serve their own political and cultural needs, as with the official White House guest list to meet the pope.
The Journal reported last week that the Vatican was upset that the presence of prominent dissenters from Catholic teaching will make it appear that the pope endorses their views. We doubt the White House intended any offense, but the oversight reveals how little secular liberal elites understand about traditional religious mores. You can bet the protocol office would not make such a mistake with a Muslim cleric of similar importance.
Our own hope for the papal visit is that he has a chance to better understand America and the capitalist roots of its prosperity. Like many Argentines of the left, Pope Francis seems given to suspicion about American wealth. But liberty and not coercion is the source of our strength and of the wealth that has lifted millions out of poverty.
Cuba, where Francis arrived this weekend, has denied its people economic freedom—and religious freedom—for the six decades of its revolution and remains poor and unable to develop the “new technologies” that Pope Francis has said should be available for all.
The U.S. has prospered by respecting property rights and relying on the voluntary decisions of individuals. The rule of law here means that unlike in countries such as Argentina, an American can build a large, successful business even if no one in the government likes him. And unlike in Argentina, capitalist success creates millions of jobs that allow men and women without political connections to support their families and live in dignity.
In Washington, D.C., the pope will visit a homeless program run by Catholic Charities. But he should know that Catholic Charities can do its good work because of the contributions from lay Catholics who succeed in a capitalist economy. The pope may also be surprised to learn that individual Americans voluntarily do far more than any government to assist the world’s poor.
A 2013 report from the Hudson Institute’s Center for Global Prosperity found that nearly $31 billion of annual U.S. government aid to developing countries was eclipsed by $39 billion of private charity, plus another $108 billion of private capital flows. Americans also sent more than $100 billion of remittances to the developing world, often from immigrants working in the U.S. Nobody goes to Cuba to earn money to support relatives in America.
As for the environment and climate change, Pope Francis is sometimes given to an almost Malthusian, anti-modern pessimism. In his recent encyclical, “Laudato Si,” Francis wrote that “the earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.”
Well, he should have seen East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall, or the air in Beijing today. Coercive governments are the worst befoulers of the environment. Democratic capitalism has created the wealth and electoral consent to clean the air and water, and only continued economic growth will create the resources to deal with climate change if it does become a serious threat to the Earth.
Catholics understand that while the pope speaks for God on matters of faith and morals, his infallibility does not extend to his economics or environmentalism. We hope he enjoys his visit to the land of the free, and that the education goes both ways.
A $20,000 prize for short writing of published articles (three published articles or posts), but < 800 words.
Canee do't, JK?
The prize goes to the author who best captures the spirit and style of the thirtieth president and the ideals Coolidge favored, some of which were: independence, thrift, balanced budgets, a restrained federal government, active state government, perseverance after hardship, appreciation of commerce, stable money, support for international law, competence at work, meticulous respect for the Constitution, civility and respect for religious faith (and brevity!).
As the world spurns his church's teachings about abortion, contraception, divorce, same-sex marriage, and other matters, Francis jauntily makes his church congruent with the secular religion of "sustainability." Because this is hostile to growth, it fits Francis's seeming sympathy for medieval stasis, when his church ruled the roost, economic growth was essentially nonexistent, and life expectancy was around 30.
I give folks props for publishing this. It's about as close as George Will gets to a "Rant," and it is probably the most critical piece to a sitting pontiff as has ever appeared under the imprimatur of National Review.
If it had a few typos and disconnected metaphors, you'd think I had written it: growth, Matt Ridley, Galileo, capitalism's role in bringing people out of poverty. I struggled to decide on an excerpt. It is short and you'll wish to read it all. Twice.
*gasp* do we need a Category for Religion? Leaving that (and my blogging rights) aside, I wanted to point out again, what a pompous little boy who's unfit for the shoes handed to him by the electorate is.
I'm no fan of this Pope, but believe he deserves a modicum of respect, which, of course, is too much for the Crybaby in Chief. "invited guests for Pope Francis ... include transgender activists, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, and a nun who criticizes church policies on abortion and euthanasia" so much for her convent!
The Washington Post does a solid job of staying on the list of respectable publications with this:
What struck us as we read about this small controversy is the contrast between the administration’s apparent decision to risk a bit of rudeness in the case of the pope and its overwhelming deference to foreign dictators when similar issues arise.
When Secretary of State John F. Kerry traveled to Havana to reopen the U.S. Embassy recently, he painstakingly excluded from the guest list any democrat, dissident or member of civil society who might offend the Castro brothers.
And when Chinese President Xi Jinping comes to the White House next week, shortly after the pope leaves town, it’s a safe bet that he won’t have to risk being photographed with anyone of whom he disapproves. Chen Guangcheng, the courageous blind lawyer, for example, lives nearby in exile, but he probably won’t be at the state dinner. Neither will Falun Gong activists, democracy advocates or anyone else who might, well, give offense.
I was a fan of Audi automobiles even before their "Truth in Engineering" marketing slogan, with its natural appeal to yours truly. Now, the automaker has admitted, they have added 'cheating government regulators' to their list of attributes.
Only after the agencies threatened to withhold certification for VW's 2016 model-year diesels - which would have kept them from going on sale - did the automaker reveal the presence of the software switch.
That switch had two modes, which VW calls "road calibration" and "dyno calibration." Only in "dyno" mode, which monitored for the precise conditions EPA and other agencies would use to test emissions, do the engine's full emission controls go into effect. At all other times, the diesels' software uses the "road" mode.
BUT THINK OF THE CHILDREN! WHO HAVE TO BREATHE AIR POLLUTED BEYOND GOVERNMENT MANDATED LIMITS!
Okay, well, there is still the principle of a level playing field.
U.S. emissions rules for diesel passenger cars and light-duty trucks were the toughest in the world around the time VW sold these engines. While other automakers rely on an expensive system known as urea injection to manage the pollutants from such cars, VW has long maintained it was able to meet U.S. rules for its 2-liter turbodiesel engines without that setup; it does use them on its larger diesels.
So VW-Audi "cheated" in order to economically bring the turbo diesel to smaller, cheaper vehicles? What elitists!! Put the CEO in a country club prison!
Or, perhaps, harmonize U.S. emissions rules for diesel passenger cars and light-duty trucks with those in Europe? Nah, too logical.
When I was an engineer at a Major North American Car Company, my supervisor who was expert in all things engines-and-emissions spoke of something called a "hay sniffer." Specifically, the car met emissions when it was driven according to the EPA Federal Test Procedure, but when the software detected that you were cruising down the open road at speeds in excess of that protocol, the software "sniffed the smell of hay" that you were far beyond the city limits where smog was a problem, and it reverted the engine to a more fuel-efficient operation.
UPDATE: I went looking for a more editorialized take on this story (like my own, above) and found Jazz Shaw taking a whack:
None of that changes the fact that the emissions were within the required limits at the time of testing.
Of course that's a horribly transparent dodge in terms of legal tactics, but the law is generally held to and enforced based on how it is written. Volkswagen was obviously gaming the system here but if it's going to come down to 18 billion in fines I can't help but wonder if they won't make a run at a defense like that in court.
Holy smokes this judgement, Havlish, et al. v. bin Laden from Dec. 2011 is still not understood, or cited?? Apparently, the 9/11 Report noted suspicions on this, but no one followed up, except victims' families.
[Judge] Daniels agreed that Iran, Khamenei, former Iranian president Ali Rafsanjani, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, the Iranian Ministry of Information and Security (MOIS), Iran’s terrorist proxy Hezbollah and various Iranian government departments, government-owned companies and the central bank, had all provided direct and material aid and support to al-Qaida in carrying out the 9/11 attacks.
[on the] website of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York under “rulings of special interest.”
There is a website for this case, Iran911case.com but Webroot watchguard is telling me it's got cooties; this JP article is clear of nastiness. The families are owed $7B in damages... chump change for the amount of money held up for sanctions. A different judge upheld the ruling (Iran didn't answer) but ordering the seizure of a $500M manhattan tower block.
What in the world is the GOP doing not using this for leverage against the nuke deal?!? Oh, I see, they're still playing 50's era nice-nice politics.
McConnell believes by hammering home the point again on Tuesday he is making the partisan contrast between the two parties even brighter for voters in 2016.
Some things just can't wait, but losers never see that. Per Scott Johnson at PowerLine on the second attempt at the same cursed vote, filibuster .... prevent a resolution of disapproval:
I think this is for losers. It is demoralizing. It represents sheer futility. It is not only for losers, it aggravates the loss.
Good grief, McConnel can't even get a vote on a resolution of disapproval?!? The keystone cops need another captain. I think I'll post the JP article to Cory Gardener's website... heck, Tom Cotton too!!
How do we know that Carly Fiorina is now an existential threat to a Hillary Clinton presidency (or any other Democrat for that matter?) Because the left is rushing to call her a liar:
To be sure, Fiorina wasn't the only person lying about Planned Parenthood on stage. The claim that Planned Parenthood sells fetal body parts was stated as fact by multiple candidates. It's simply not true, and repeating it will not make it more true. But describing such a vivid and grisly scene that never happened - that is taking it to another level.
But the trouble for them, and for Hillary and the other Democratic presidential hopefuls, is she's not lying:
As for Fiorina's quote, she is likely referring to the entirety of the 10 videos, including the seventh video released by the Center for Medical Progress. Watch the full video for yourself. It does, in fact, show a fully formed fetus, heart beating and legs kicking. And it shows this while Holly O'Donnell, a former organ harvester who worked for StemExpress at a Planned Parenthood affiliate, graphically discuss the harvesting of a brain from a baby whose heart was beating.
WARNING: This video contains graphic imagery of an aborted child and descriptions of harvesting a brain from a male baby whose heart was beating. It also shows a baby born alive at the same age as the baby whose face and head was cut open to harvest the brain.
The problem with high expectations is that one is often left wanting. That was my condition at the start of last night's second GOP presidential debate. My high expectations were for Carly Fiorina, who I thought did extremely well, but even I was taken aback as the talking heads who followed made her their unanimous "winner" of the debate.
But more than the success of a candidate I favor, I was proud of nearly everything that was said by nearly all of them. The GOP is definitely moving toward liberty and smaller government rather than away, if these candidates are any indication. I found the full 3 hours quite compelling and was unable to do anything else that took me out of earshot of what Chris Christie hollowly called, "this childish back and forth." I'm sorry Governor, that back and forth is the reason we all came here in the first place!
And for his part I found Donald Trump actually, at times, humble and thoughtful. Mostly after the debate when, after saying in his close it was an honor to be on the stage with the rest of this field, he declined multiple invitations to declare himself the winner and suggested that others did "very well." He even gave me the optimistic impression that he could eventually decide to withdraw gracefully and endorse someone else. Perhaps it was the 3-hour format, but I saw what looked like the beginning of a "this is boring" state of mind in the body of the billionaire with a supermodel wife.
I did appreciate Rand Paul's caution that meddling in foreign wars has unintended consequences, and Ben Carson's suggestion that a thoughtful approach might have been better in Afghanistan in the months after 9/11. (Although I must admit that wouldn't have been enough to satisfy my bloodlust at the time. One wonders if even the staid Dr. Carson could have chosen that strategy in the moment, rather than in retrospect today.) And then the impressive young senator from Florida pounced:
And when Carson suggested the United States should explore avenues other than military force to confront terrorists around the globe, Marco Rubio shot back: "Radical Islam cannot be solved by intellect."
While I understand where this reflexive attitude comes from, having watched President Obama take America out of "the leadership business" for the last 7 years, a more studied conclusion is that intellect is exactly what it will take to "solve" radical Islam. What must be defeated, in order to achieve a lasting peace, is not its momentary militancy but its timeless ideology.
I know I am tiresome in my appreciation for Jonathan Haidt. Sometimes the answer to a fundamental behavior or political question is "Have you read The Righteous Mind?"
His latest paper is causing a lot of buzz. And I thought I would write up a lengthy, well balanced and scholarly piece describing the paper, placing it into historical context, and connecting it to relevant passage in the great classic works of literature.
Hahahaha -- I do slay myself! Of course I'm not going to do that. I am instead, going to pimp a blog post from blog friend tgreer. His is a piece of art. Make yourself some coffee and clear some time for a serious read.
Kids, do not try this at home. This is a professional segue artist -- and there might still be blood shed.
Being interested in Libertarian thought and monetary policy, I've met no shortage of Bitcoin enthusiasts. I have withstood them all, remaining interested in the technology and the liberty influence but not interested enough to dive into this too-volatile storage of value.
Wences Casares makes the best case I have heard. Don't invest what you cannot lose, but have some as a Taleb-esque, high beta play to catch a possible 40x appreciation and hedge against societal failure. He may or may not sell you, but he is a smart guy:
Another blogger on Bitcoin . . . where is the "Yawn" button?
I've two interesting asides. One: technophiles will enjoy this article in InfoWorld: Blockchains Beyond Bitcoin. While Bitcoin has grabbed the spotlight, there are a bunch of applications for the distributed ledger system provided by block chains. Very thoughtful article.
Two: watching Casares made me think of this disappointing story. Both Pope Francis and Caseres were deeply impacted by Argentinian politics. Yet Casares sees the damage inflicted by government -- and lauds Bitcoin as an opportunity that would have protected his family's property rights from rapacious government.
Pope Francis is older, but saw a similar history and cast the merchant and the capitalist as the villain in his tale.
Today it replays in the Mideast. Millions have been destroyed by government. But Pope Francis sees the enemy: Capitalism.
"This is the tip of the iceberg. We see these refugees, these poor people who are escaping from war, escaping from hunger, but that's the tip of the iceberg. But underlying that is the cause, and the cause is a socio-economic system that is bad, unjust, because within an economic system, within everything, within the world, speaking of the ecological problem, within the socio-economic society, in politics, the person always has to be the center. And today's dominant economic system has removed the person from the center, and at the center is the god of money. It's the fashionable god today. I mean, there are statistics. I don't remember very well, but -- this is not exact and I could be making a mistake-- 17% of the population has 80% of the wealth."
Yes -- clearly the poor refugees escaping Syria and Iraq need more government and more religion looking out for them.
RCP's Heather Wilhelm is a Trump skeptic, but still somewhat impressed by what he's doing, and how he's doing it:
Trump is, in a sense, walking testosterone. He does not care that your women's studies class says gender is a social construct. He is fearless, and as such, he is the perfect foil for America's growing victimhood obsession. Show Trump a trigger warning and he’ll give that trigger warning a painful wedgie. In a proverbial sense, Trump himself is a trigger warning, but one that he has easily defeated, then inverted, and then bedazzled with a set of terrific, one-of-a-kind diamond spikes.
For this, to be frank, I give him one and a half - maybe even two - cheers. Sure, Trump acts like a jerk, but I'd rather have dinner with him than with some hyped-up, tortured university administrator insisting that I use "gender-neutral" pronouns like "ze" and "zir." Like many Americans, I'm weary of the grievance culture, and even wearier of the constant offense parade that swallows up so much of our discourse. Heck, I'm even tired of the word "offended." Who isn't offended these days?
And while we hoot and cheer over Carly's "Look at This Face" spot, Heather sounds a cautious note:
Unfortunately, Fiorina has flirted with victimhood before, calling questions about her potential as a future VP candidate "sexist." This week, she's also promoting a new video, "Look at This Face," which plays off of Trump's remarks with a "rah-rah women" feel - and on Sunday, she told a New Hampshire rally that she would challenge "the entertainer who's running for office" in Wednesday's debates.
Let's hope she does so as an equal, not as a victim. Fiorina knows her policy, and she's an impressive speaker. She belongs on that stage. If she goes after Trump for sexism, or "offensive" comments - and not things like his magical three-minute Syrian flip-flop - she'll have lost a golden opportunity.
I agree with JG's comment on there being a massive political shift in action. Certainly, BHO's unlawful acts have paved the way for the new Alinskey's to try to take by force what they could never win by election.
Here is a Telegraph article from American-born Janet Daley about UK Labour electing the Trotskyist Corbyn as their leader that I've found fascinating. It makes me think of what might happen should Sanders win the Democratic nomination.
...one of two things will happen.
1. Either the Parliamentary Labour Party will go momentarily quiescent while it regroups, refusing cooperation … Jeremy Corbyn will be isolated and vulnerable in his inexperience, and likely to be cautious. This will hasten the tendency of the wildly naive “idealists” who believed in him to become disappointed – which will happen inevitably at any rate since no mortal man could possibly maintain the purity that idealised Leftism demands. Or
2. the Corbyn crew will be brought down within months by a Labour assassination squad. This will result in a decade of division within the party
Many, many things in this very well-written article make me think of the Progressives tugging the Democrat party around by the nose, which surely is partly represented by the Sanders story of success.
the dogma that is espoused has been discredited everywhere it has been tried: the insistence on purity of principle quickly degenerating into either totalitarianism (the Soviet model) or a shambolic failure to come to terms with reality (as more recently in Greece).
Shambolic failure... Taranto would be proud!
Seriously, does this not sound like the crazy man from Vermont?
Instead of dealing with these questions (How should we regulate free markets? What is the proper role of government intervention?) in ways that most adults know they must be addressed, Labour will be pushed into presenting a prospectus of state control, punitive taxation and a command economy which would scarcely appeal to anyone outside the zealous enclaves of the far Left.
And this reminds me of a long-ago WSJ article about the Doughnut-hole Democrats (no middle; now that unions have shrunk so far)
Without a commitment to the basic Marxist creed … there was no identifiable centre to the movement. [“ordinary] working class people... fallen away, and it is their absence that has allowed these tiny activist minorities to take control of the abandoned entity formerly known as the Labour party. That is why the real story of this leadership election has not been the triumphal march of Corbynism – which simply rushed in to fill a vacuum – but the uninspiring mediocrity of all the other candidates.
I have to a cautionary note from another Daley post: Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters are not interested in the compromises required to win an election
I am used to being ridiculed for my fashion choices. But I am not used to patronizing for my political projections. I'm a cool realist: a devoted and disciplined student of the possible. I even am slowly accepting that Donald Trump's candidacy might last longer than the slow news month of August.
When I suggest that Senator Sanders has the same potential at least, I receive tut-tuts (or is the plural tuts-tut?)
I don't pretend that my Facebook feed is a perfect statistical sample, but I am astonished at the homogeneity of my lefty friends in supporting the steely-eyed Socialist Vermonter. All my Democrat friends, all my lefties are #feelingthebern. An almost apolitical teacher acquaintance took an online "what candidate do you support?" quiz, got the Sanders verdict, and is now a die-hard supporter. #feelinthebernyet?
I struggle to find a single thing on which we agree, but he is authentic and he speaks to some deep seated beliefs in the party. And I'm dishing out props today for courage. Like Sen. Rand Paul's tour of Howard University, Sanders is reaching out with a speech at Liberty University (video at the link).
To the consternation of Objectivists, Sanders is (rather deftly) exploiting the philosophical overlap between religious altruism and socialism. Up front: let's agree-to-disagree on abortion, but saddle up and ride to conquer unjust income distribution! Just as I have suggested Trump could find a swath of support in the populist wing of the Democrats, Sanders could peel off some disgruntled populist GOP voters.
Can't get any clearer than that. They have a nice summary page for most of the important candidates here: apparently staking the claim that only Bernie Sanders is outflanking on the left of Mr. Trump (whom, I should remind all has not won a single delegate). One must read CFG's white papers (I scanned a few) to see, but Paul Mirgenoff of PowerLine posits:
Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio come off the best, with Scott Walker not far behind.
Certainly Rubio's paper is 6 pages long and cites powerful achievements like
- FOR repealing the Death Tax
- AGAINST the NAT GAS Act
- FOR repealing the tax credit for ethanol
The CFG's paper on Trump is one page long. Trump - besides being a pig - is for Trump, and that's pretty much it. The paper on Cruz is four pages, has this interesting note "[Cruz] has suggested that the Texas model of tort reform could be a model for the country" (see Robinson v. Crown Cork & Seal Co.). Apparently, even Huckabee is liked more by the CFG, but oddly, they have no listing for Carly as yet.
The CFG's president David McInstosh, has an op-ed that mirrors what I assumed was Thomas Sowell's thesis:
the Trump phenomenon is an expression of deep anger and frustration at Washington’s lack of leadership.
McIntosh's letter cites their record: The Club for Growth has also built a reputation on being anti-establishment, especially when it comes to fighting against the Republican Party for failing to cut taxes and shrink government.
On this 14th sad anniversary of 9/11, as the President of the United States prepares to deliver to the ideological creators of Islamism not bombs, but billions of American taxpayers' dollars, I was inspired by a Facebook meme to revisit Leonard Peikoff's 'End States Who Sponsor Terrorism' advertisement from October 2nd, 2001 edition of the New York Times.
I recalled we had discussed that essay on these pages, and that it was not well received. I see now that much if not all of the blame for that falls on my shoulders. I foolishly suggested that the war against Islamism could be won with superior firepower. It cannot, and Peikoff knows that. He said as much in his essay. It can only be won by the equivalent of the "de-Nazification" of Iran. To my credit, I did at least excerpt that portion of his essay in my 2005 post.
Eliminating Iran's terrorist sanctuaries and military capability is not enough. We must do the equivalent of de-Nazifying the country, by expelling every official and bringing down every branch of its government. This goal cannot be achieved painlessly, by weaponry alone. It requires invasion by ground troops, who will be at serious risk, and perhaps a period of occupation. But nothing less will "end the state" that most cries out to be ended."
The whole piece is worth re-reading, as I did, with nine more years of experience under our belts. Please do so and see if perhaps your judgment of Peikoff's conclusions was as mistaken as was my proposed way forward.
I know, I should let it go. But I have watched Reason Magazine and the sadly-cancelled Libertarian Hour of Power "The Independents" on FBN heap constant and effusive praise on my old Congressman, Jared Polis (Owner - CO). Poor folks, they cannot bear to be aligned with the GOP, so they must hunt mythical Democratic Libertarians. Polis accepts campaign donations in Bitcoin (oooo!) and supports gay rights. Clearly, a Libertarian.
Blog friend Terri invokes Kim Strassel in a comment, and I reserve the right to post on that. But this bon mot of Mister Taranto is Friday-worthy:
Actually, the Mail headline overstates matters a bit. The story reports that some 200 people showed up for the Columbus, Ohio, Women for Hillary event: "The modest-sized ballroom was half empty . . ., with supporters herded into a cordoned-off area to give the impression of a packed crowd." A pessimist would say the room was half-full. -- James Taranto
Richard Samuelson starts writing at the Federalist about Kim Davis but moves quickly downfield.
He does bolster her case with one caveat:
the logical reaction is not simply to resign, but to resign and to campaign for re-election
Her name doesn't appear in the second - the more interesting - half, when he pushes forward with the case for Civil Disobedience (say what you want about Mrs. Davis, but she did employ the civil disobedience process), and urges us to fight intelligently.
When [civil disobedience is] applied at the edges it could be, as [Glen] Reynolds suggests, a salutary reminder to those who wish to tell us what to do that we will not pay attention. But it also puts more and more Americans in potential legal jeopardy if the government chooses, selectively, to enforce the law
He cites Volokh, Madison's "Report of 1800" and references Three Felonies a Day before pitching
That is why it is important, as much as possible, to resist the usurpation of our legislative rights and our personal liberties through the regular legal process, as our ancestors did in the age of the American Revolution. They acted similarly in the years leading up to the Civil War.
Boy, did I step in it on Facebook. I had a new anarchist friend who seems quite bright, and I was looking forward to engaging. Every comment I have made so far has whipped him into a lathering rage. I know I'm not for everybody, but jeeburz.....
I would like to start over, over here. Prof. Mark Perry, whom I admire greatly, is calling shenanigans on the "War on Cops." Jesse Walker at Reason picks up on it.
The proof is a graph of gun related deaths per 1M population, from 1870 to today. Perry admits that 2013 was lower than this year, but that 2015 might be the second-lowest. Walker summarizes "It's a funny sort of war that produces a lower body count than there was before the war began."
I referenced Steven Pinker and Michael Shermer -- every occupation has become safer. I'd be interested in the last ten years' august numbers. Did they change post Ferguson? I'm also interested in cold-blood executions versus killed on the line of duty. My FB spat escalated before I could question the denominator -- I'd use the number of police, not citizens.
As I said, I am sympathetic to the suggestion that it is whipped up media frenzy. I'm always sympathetic to that. But I'm undecided. ThreeSourcers?
UPDATE: National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial has statistics and I ran a series I thought more interesting; the last five years' July and August. These are all deaths, but show no post-Ferguson trend:
Perhaps my insufferable friend is right (I yelled and we're doing better...)
I've been called a Trump "fanboy" but really I'm mostly just an apologist. Nothing he's said or done has diminished my opinion of his character and judgment. Until yesterday.
"Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president," Trump said, according to the publication. "I mean, she's a woman, and I'm not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?"
On Thursday, Trump repeatedly denied that he was talking about Fiorina's appearance, saying that he was instead discussing her "persona."
"I'm talking about persona, I'm not talking about look," Trump said on Fox News, where he also said that his comments were made in a "jocular manner."
Yeah, it always works when a man tells his wife he was only joking about her being fat. Whether one thinks Fiorina is attractive or not, and I do, is irrelevant. Physical appearance is not an appropriate factor for hiring an employee, or a president.
I suggested that Trump is done, i.e. "forked." That is because, according to this article I saw yesterday but wasn't inclined to read until today, more than half of Trump's support comes from women. Older women. Like Carly. If this gaffe gets wide coverage, I predict it will be the one that sticks.
Given the strong favorable views of Republicans voters towards Fiorina and Carson, Trump’s attack-dog approach with his fellow outsiders looks to be a much riskier gambit than his ceaseless trolling of the beleaguered Bush.
The political reality is that the real GOP problem isn't John Boehner or Mitch McConnell. It's James Madison, who designed a government of checks and balances that is hard to overcome without the White House. GOP leaders have made mistakes in the Obama era, but the party simply doesn't have the votes to pass most of its preferred policy outcomes, much less to override a Democratic President. -- WSJ Ed Page
Mea culpa. The first post attributed this to James Taranto. ThreeSources regrets the error.
I think it's been snitched. All of it, from everywhere....
Check out the Coism.org site: collective ownership of means of production
Funny how the What We Support page is completely blank.... just like Progressives everywhere, they can't be open about what they really think. I suppose it's possible that what they really think, if fully expanded would sound like complete jibberish; like a speech from Senator Sanders!
General Khalifa Haftar, head of the Libyan army, warned that Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists running rampant in the north African state are set to infiltrate Europe and expand their reign of terror into the West. ISIS will "spread in even the European countries if (the West) does not offer real help to the Libyan people, especially the Libyan army," he told the Associated Press. He warned the ISIS terrorists "will head with the illegal migrants to Europe, where corruption and destruction will spread just like Libya. But there it will be hard to confront them."
My blog brother agrees with Jonah Goldberg that Trump has neither ideas nor principles. Calling it "The Bonfire of Principles" Goldberg writes,
Conservatives have spent more than 60 years arguing that ideas and character matter. That is the conservative movement I joined and dedicated my professional life to.
To which I'll reply, "How's that working out for you?" Conservative Treehouse's Sundance gives you a fairly detailed accounting of the recent record of "Washington D.C. conservatism" and it isn't pretty - unless you're a Democrat. To tide you over until you have time to read the link, I'll gyp the close:
The last federal budget was passed in September of 2007, and EVERY FLIPPING INSUFFERABLE YEAR we have to go through the predictable fiasco of a Government Shutdown Standoff and/or a Debt Ceiling increase specifically because there is NO BUDGET!
That's a strategy?
That's the GOP strategy? Essentially: Lets plan for an annual battle against articulate Democrats and Presidential charm, using a creepy guy who cries and another old mumbling fool who dodders, knowing full well the MSM is on the side of the other guy to begin with?
THAT'S YOUR GOP STRATEGY?
Don't tell me it's not, because if it wasn't there'd be something else being done - there isn't.
And don't think we don't know the 2009 "stimulus" became embedded in the baseline of the federal spending, and absent of an actual budget it just gets spent and added to the deficit each year, every year. Yet this is somehow smaller fiscal government?
...And you're worried about what Donald Trump might do?
Bret Stephens could have the title "Chief Hawk, WSJ Editorial Page," so it is a strange appeal to authority. But he hits it out of the park today in an editorial "Farewell to the Era of No Fences."
As I've moved more of my positions toward libertarianism, the most difficult has been embracing an inward looking foreign policy. The Constitution does not make us World Police (only Trey Parker & Matt Stone can do that). Yet projecting American power has frequently been a force for good, a force for freedom and, as Professor Lal would point out, a force for prosperity.
Stephens's thesis is that without an American guarantee of stability in Europe, the current refugee crisis will produce more fences, less trade, and less freedom of movement of people and capital. The world will be poorer.
Is there a way out? Suddenly, there's talk in Europe about using military power to establish safe zones in Syria to contain the exodus of refugees. If U.S. administrations decide on adopting Kant, Europe, even Germany, may have no choice but to reacquaint itself with Hobbes by rebuilding its military and using hard power against unraveling neighbors.
Europeans will not easily embrace that option. The alternative is to hasten the return to the era of fences. Openness is a virtue purchased through strength.
I cannot disagree with a word of Jonah Goldberg's G-File today. And while I am rather cheery. Mister G is morose.
We have not, for awhile, talked much about the next President of America if it is not VP Joe Biden, Mister Donald Trump. I stopped talking about him figuring that he would fizzle out. If he did not -- a rare but non-zero possibility -- then I would just give up on electoral politics for all time and hope this great nation remains resilient.
Jonah's ready to say goodbye to The Conservative Movement if it abandons principles in favor of celebrity. So am I but it is not my livelihood. It is to be posted to the website tomorrow, but let's get to some excerpts:
The Bonfire of Principles
If I sound dismayed, it's only because I am. Conservatives have spent more than 60 years arguing that ideas and character matter. That is the conservative movement I joined and dedicated my professional life to. And now, in a moment of passion, many of my comrades-in-arms are throwing it all away in a fit of pique. Because "Trump fights!"
How many Republicans have been deemed unfit for the Oval Office because of comparatively minor character flaws or ideological shortcomings? Rick Perry in 2012 saw his candidacy implode when he couldn't remember the third item on his checklist of agencies he'd close down. Well, even in that "oops" moment, Rick Perry comes off as Lincolnesque compared with Donald Trump.
This is my problem. I thought we were the party of ideas and principles and Trump has neither. He truly is Bill O'Reilly but O'Reilly has better hair.
I had been looking forward to the primaries and the debates. We as a nation were going to discuss the proper role of government for the first time in 100 years. Govs. Christie and Bush may make their case for compassionate conservatism. Sens. Paul and Cruz can espouse libertarian ideas, Sen. Graham's muscularism, Sen. Santorum and Gov Huckabee's traditional values . . . bring it baby, we are going to argue and decide.
I understand the Noltean compulsion to celebrate anyone who doesn't take crap from the mainstream media. But when Newt Gingrich brilliantly eviscerated the press in 2012, there was a serious ideological worldview behind it. Trump's assaults on the press have only one standard: whether the journalist in question is favorable to Trump or not. If a journalist praises him, that journalist is "terrific." If the journalist is critical of Trump he is a "loser" (or, in my case, a loser who can't buy pants). Not surprisingly, Hugh Hewitt is now "third rate" because he made Trump look bad. I'm no fan of Arianna Huffington or Gail Collins, but calling them "dogs" because they criticized you is not a serious ideological or intellectual retort. (It's not even clever.) I think Trump did insinuate that Megyn Kelly was menstruating during the debate. He denies it. Fine. But what in the world about his past would lead someone to give him the benefit of the doubt? This is the same man who said, "You know, it doesn't really matter what [the media] write as long as you've got a young and beautiful piece of ass."
I have been concerned that the GOP may soon go so anti-immigration that I will not be able to stick around. It's a winning issue and the Democrats are going all in on the other side (I think Martin O'Malley might recommend sending armed troops down to Mexico to drag unwilling emigrants into Arizona where we'll build a new wall to keep them in).
Likewise the Planned Parenthood videos will inspire the pro Life wing. I'll "Stand with Rand" to defund the horrid publicly funded lobby organization that is Planned Parenthood. But that wing is not dormant (nor should they be -- I understand the timbre of their argument even though I do not subscribe), and success will breed enthusiasm.
I wonder who will join Gov. Christie in promising to shut down Colorado's (blindingly positive) experiment in drug freedom? That will be very popular at the SW Weld County GOP breakfast. They think Amendment 64 is an abomination and I'd surmise the GOP caucus goers in Iowa and primary voters in South Carolina agree.
I'm a pragmatic, half-a-loaf guy. But I can see these three falling against me and my not having a home in the party. If we get that and Trump . . .
Adam Smith reminds:
If a nation could not prosper without the enjoyment of perfect liberty and perfect justice, there is not in the world a nation which could ever have prospered.
The bible exhorts us to "love thine enemies" and I am down with that. But it's getting harder and harder to put up with my friends.
I have long stood for gay rights and gay marriage. One of my first activities was opposing Colorado's Amendment 2. It passed -- my perfect record remains intact -- but was struck down by the courts.
I will be performing at friends' wedding tomorrow where there ain't a Y chromosome betwixt 'em.
And, I think Kim Davis, the KY County Clerk, wrong to deny licenses authorized by the State. I consider it a potential firing offense.
Enough bona fides for ya?
I got queasy yesterday to see the two minute hate on the Internet directed not at Emmanuel Goldstein, who deserves it for his scurrilous spy work with Eastasia, but at Ms. Davis. She's as wrong as pants on a trout. But the indignation machine is truly frightful. One FB friend started it with "oh what a glorious day! each meme about this horrible bigot woman is better than the last!" Y'all know I love memes -- but the ones I saw included "How did anybody this ugly get married three times?"
Keepin' it classy, as they have done since President Clinton needed to denigrate some detractors.
David Harsanyi is at risk of losing all hail status for some recent work with The Federalist, but he hits it out of the park on Reason's blog:
As far as I can tell, there are only three unassailable constitutional rights left in the United States: the right not to be "discriminated" against, the right to have an abortion and the right to have a gay marriage. In the eyes of liberals, nothing--not the freedom of association or religion or anything else mentioned in the First Amendment or Second Amendment--will ever supersede these consecrated rights.
The rest? Well, it's malleable, depending on the situation.
This is after saying "After all, it's not a clerk's job to ascertain the constitutionality or practicality of a law . . . There are hundreds of other vocations she is free to pursue if this one doesn't suit her."
The lack of proportion on these people astonishes. This is one person in a great big country. I'm sorry for someone denied their license -- but this is the worst thing that happened all week? No dentist killed a lion?
I was always a huge fan of TOS, and more diligent fan of TNG, but have to admit to agreeing with Timothy Sandefur as he takes a grand sweep through this seminal, SF franchise as published at Claremont of all places.
From the The Original Series (TOS) through the The Next Generation (TNG) and a goodly sampling of the movies, he convincingly argues, "the development of Star Trek’s moral and political tone over 50 years also traces the strange decline of American liberalism since the Kennedy era."
After accurately summarizing many examples of Captain Kirk clearly channeling JFK as a bold culture and cold-warrior, and even his ventures through a Hamlet-like conundrum faced in Conscience of the King, he then moves on to the erosion of this moral center with the Kirk/Spock film (the mostly well received) ST VI: Undiscovered Country. This is pretty devastating, and then he moves on to the real meat: what a wimp JL Picard was, continually turning the Prime Directive over and over until it's complete moral mush.
Where Kirk pursues justice, Picard avoids conflict. Just as Kirk’s devotion to universal principles goes deeper than politics, so does Picard’s sentimentalism.
As much as I like Mr. Stewart's acting and enjoyed his portrayal of the captain of NCC-1701-D, I have to agree with his thesis. He does limit the article to politics, leaving aside for now the amusing historical note on how all the odd-numbered ST movies were critical (and sometimes commercial) flops.
I do take some schadenfreude over how the franchise's moral nadir is shown to be the flop, ST:Insurrection. I'd heard it was so bad, that I never bothered to see or rent it. It apparently features a bucolic race who turned back from warp-driven exploration to tend potatoes (in hair shirts, I wonder?), that Picard defends then admits to admiring, to which Sandefuer replies: what is this absurd fetishizing of manual labor—for the fundamentally childish notion that you “take something” from people when you create tools and techniques that feed the hungry and liberate people to explore the galaxy.
What, Kirk would have demanded, could the Federation possibly learn from this village?
How not to "live" I would answer. This bears in mind how the current Progressive zeitgeist idolizes the bucolic (as they see it) past; I seem to recall posing a rejoinder to a long-lost issue: if manual labor is so great, why stop with forgoing backhoes; take their shovels too and make them use spoons! I think it's more an affectation to be seen in opposition to technology, a way of standing out from the rest of the Progressives by attempting to outflank on the left.
I guess I now know why ST:DS9 or the Enterprise series never really grabbed me (I could write my own post of where DS9 jumped the shark), but these offshoots are not addressed. My take is they simply circled the drain that TNG opened.
He does cite the latest "ST:reboot" iteration, the teenagy, popcorn-popping 'morals free zone' reissue under the guise of J.J. Abrams who admits about TOS:
“There was a captain, there was this first officer, they were talking a lot about adventures and not having them as much as I would’ve liked. Maybe I wasn’t smart enough.”
and he produces in true Hollwood-approved fashion, films w/o morals or much purpose through plots that move by "accident and force"
under Abrams’s direction, the fixed moral stars by which the franchise once steered have been almost entirely obscured. No longer the thoughtful, bold captain, the young Kirk (Chris Pine) is now all rashness and violence, taking and breaking everything around him.
It may not be a treatise for helping push the Liberty agenda past the lawless age of Obama, but it is a fascinating slant on the death of liberalism's deities.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the next President of the United States:
The sanctions relief from this deal is the second piece, and it goes to the second issue mostly. "Well, Joe, even if, even if I believe that you were able to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, you’re going to give them a lot of money Joeboy. And there going to go out and do more of the bad things they are doing now, doing it more efficiently, and threaten our friends in an existential way, because they will have so much more money and capacity." Totally legitimate argument and concern. -- VP Joe Biden
An unfortunate fact of life, drawn from a very important and well written article on the state of human sexuality in the western world. It is long, but well worth at least skimming.
We pick up after a prominent feminist denounced a nail polish that could detect date rape drugs in one's drink: "I don’t want to f---ing test my drink when I'm at the bar. That's not the world I want to live in."
Maybe not, but the world is what it is. It requires a fierce ideological rigidity and even imperviousness to reality to say "that's not the world I want to live in." None of us prefers to live in a world where we must lock our doors, either, or memorize a hundred passwords, or stay away from certain neighborhoods after dark, or pay more for clothing to compensate for the cost of shoplifting. But to proclaim that you will not take steps to protect yourself as a matter of principle is both juvenile and foolish.
There has never been a time when women were perfectly safe because society had "taught men not to rape." There has never been a time when men were perfectly safe because other men had been "taught not to fight." Both of those are clearly goals of all good societies, but as Emmanuel Kant observed in the eighteenth century, "Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made."
All the more important in light of the criticism being heaped upon the bravely honest statements made this week by rock legend Chrissie Hynde.
Let's play the "Legislative Association Game!" What name jumps out at you from this list:
I'm going with Sen. Jon Tester of Montana. He was the 60th vote for ObamaCare® and now he's the 34th to scrub an Iran veto. Wonder the good people of Montana sent such a feller, is it not? Oh, wait:
Now, I'm a little sympathetic to the suggestion that the Iran deal may have some merit. I'm dubious because of PM Netanyahu's opposition, but I'll accept that there is a debate to have.
My issue is that this is clearly a treaty and clearly should be debated and should require a supermajority ("Advice and Consent of the Senate..."). Instead a Superminority is making law -- and when the time comes to stop it. Mister a-Libertarian-held-the-door-open-so-I-walked-in is there for another key vote.
I know we more discuss free markets rather than finance markets here, but bear with me, as the freedom message rings out loud and clear from this column drawn off Yahoo's finance page by Rick Newman.
It's amateur hour in China
This is the next superpower?
You’ve got to be kidding
Investors began to think stocks were close to a peak, so they sold to lock in profits. Not what the government was expecting. The government tried to stem the selloff by enacting stimulus measures, instituting new rules and even preventing some institutional investors from selling. Authoritarianism displaced capitalism.
and just like Pravda when the latest 5 year plan failed:
China’s government has now reverted to the ultimate absurdity: Blaming critics of the markets’ performance for the whole fiasco.
and, noting that our GDP/capita is seven times' China's:
That gap might widen rather than narrow if China keeps trying to force-feed economic growth while American capitalism continues to rely on market forces and innovation.
but enough about China:
Western markets also tolerate short sellers and others who bet against stocks because it serves as a check on the system: When there’s money to be made by stocks going down, it forces better diligence among those betting stocks will go up. Abuses? Sure. But unleashing market forces in every direction—not just the one you want prices to go in—generates confidence that prices will gravitate toward an equilibrium based on reality.
Tolerate? Hell, they get their own TV show....
We’ve got plenty of problems here—including our own variety of political ineptitude—but at least we let supply and demand determine most prices. When China’s leaders let that happen, maybe it will be time to worry.
Let's hope! Senator Sanders certainly thinks we can't choose our own products, or prices... please nominate him!!! Let freedom reign, and rain its benefits widely.
May I reopen a topic? The non-inclusion of the straw poll at this year's GOP caucus? This is inside baseball in an inside game. I was compelled to accept my County Chair's suggestion that unbound delegates embody true, little-r republican spirit. I was disappointed, but did not dwell too much.
Some FB folks are quite peeved. And, to be fair, they are a sensitive lot. But the suggestion that power is being shifted from the grassroots to the establishment is extremely prevalent. One links to a balanced look from the Denver Post. (I'm surprised too -- hope everything's okay.)
At the end of the day, I must share my comment. I am a regular caucus attendee, but don't stand for election or seek to be a delegate. I'm a casual member of the engaged set. Taking that away -- especially this year -- sucks away the biggest purpose of my attending:
Like the Geico commercial, "I caucus, that's what I do." Yet, I have to admit, I was asking why this year. Unless there is some play in the Senate nomination, It's a long drive and a spent evening. Voting in the straw poll at least feels like something accomplished,
I may miss for the first time in many years.
In a year with an exciting presidential field, giving people less reason to attend seems a bad idea.
UPDATE: Lots of folks are friends of Rep. Shawn Mitchell (Laugh a minute - Evergreen) or should be. Here is his post with some excellent commentary.
From "The Hood Robin Syndrome" article jk Tweeted:
And if you are someone saving the planet from imminent doooom and destruction, well, you are the man. There is no action that you shouldn't take if it is in the service of your noble cause. You know that you have right on your side, you're preventing disaster. You know you are fighting the good fight to cool the fevered brows of those sweltering in the 2050 heat by at least a tenth of a degree, and that it is a fight that has to be fought if we are to save the very planet. Your strength is as the strength of ten because your heart is pure, and you have the moral high ground. As a result of all of that, there is no transgression you won't commit in order to have other people pay to make your beautiful Elysian (and slightly-cooler) dream come to fruition...
An almost word for word equivalence with the "pure principle of the prophet" I cited when Ayaan Hirsi Ali told us: "Boko Haram sincerely believes that girls are better off enslaved than educated." Carbon haters sincerely believe that the poor are better off with less energy than with more.
Italy is far more sophisticated and clever, that is, than the hot-headed Greeks. Syriza is a party of naifs who made the mistake of attacking Germany and Brussels head-on. Italy is savvier than that: it knows how to say "yes" and look busy while doing little or nothing. Italy has a long history of using that strategy. The Goths conquered Rome and did a lot of damage--but they didn't change Italy much. German emperors strutted through the halls of Italy's palaces and issued decrees to both princes and popes--and Italy kept on being Italian all the same. -- The American Interest