Archive for politics

Just what happened? Filibuster in solid partisan block won out in leaving the issue to the oligarchy

Hinderaker explains at Powerline:

The bottom line here is that the Democrats’ Senate filibuster succeeded. The House funded DHS through the end of the fiscal year, and Mitch McConnell tried repeatedly to bring the House bill up for a vote, but was stymied by the Democratic filibuster each time. It was the filibuster that prevented DHS from being funded, yet the press generally blamed Republicans for the impending shutdown. This makes no sense, but if those are the rules, Republicans should remember them next time they are in the minority. In the meantime, this episode has added steam to the “abolish the filibuster” sentiment now growing among Republicans.

In anticipation of the House vote yesterday, Jeff Sessions released this statement. I find what he says to be pretty much inarguable:

The Democratic Party has been completely unified in its defense of the President’s amnesty in the face of overwhelming public opposition—and in the face of the President’s own repeated declaration that his conduct was illegal.

They voted in unison, messaged in unison, and their outside allies have launched third-party attacks against Republicans.

As a result, our Constitution continues to be eroded, our immigration system continues to slide into anarchy, and our constituents continue to suffer the debilitating loss of their jobs and wages.

Essential to any sovereign nation is the enforcement of its borders, the application of uniform rules for entry and exit, and the delivery of consequences for individuals who violate our laws. President Obama has nullified those laws, rules, and borders, and replaced those consequences with rewards.

The President’s decree provides illegal immigrants with work permits, trillions in Social Security and Medicare payments, and billions in free cash tax credits—all benefits explicitly rejected by Congress. This takes jobs, benefits, and work opportunities directly from struggling and forgotten workers.

The will of the American people cannot be forever denied. Republicans will have to come to realize that it falls on their shoulders to give voice to the just demands of the American people for a lawful system of immigration that serves their interests, defends their jobs, protects their security.

Nor can we allow the President to dismantle the constitutional powers of Congress, ceding our status as a coequal branch, on the hope the Judiciary intervenes to restore some fraction of that lost authority. When it comes to defending our sovereignty there is no “moving on.” Now is not the time for recrimination; now is the time for renewed determination. What motivates and excites a small group of open-borders billionaires has no connection to the hearts and lives of the working people of this country. They have been silenced for too long. Those who think this fight is over could not be more mistaken; it is only beginning. When the power of the American people is finally leveraged, people will be astonished by the results.<b/lockquote>

Behavior as seen on this issue ups the ante and that requires a response. Tyranny of the minority is bad enough but when both law and precedent are tossed aside in the process, outcomes are foreboding. 

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Psychodrama to farce – will anyone notice?

It’s Professor Hanson on The Liberal Circus. Here’s a sampler:

“Take Barack Obama. He has gone from mild displeasure with Israel to downright antipathy. …”

“Hillary Clinton likewise has gone from a rather run-of-the-mill liberal grandee to a political grafter. She apparently solicited donations from foreign government officials and wealthy foreign nationals to contribute to the Clinton Foundation — and this was while she was secretary of State conducting the foreign policy of the United States …”

“Inequality and fairness? …”

“Women’s issues? …”

“Transparency? …”

“We no longer live in an age of debate over global warming. It has now transmogrified well beyond Al Gore’s hysterics, periodic disclosures about warmists’ use of faked data, embarrassing email vendettas, vindictive lawsuits, crony green capitalism, and flawed computer models. Now Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, has taken the psychodrama to the level of farce in a two-bit McCarthyesque effort to demand from universities information about scientists who do not embrace his notions of manmade global warming. …”

“Attorney General Eric Holder came into office alleging racism and calling the American people cowards, and six years later is exiting, still blaming racism for his own self-inflicted failures. …”

“The IRS scandal likewise went from melodrama to farce. …”

“Debt? Barack Obama stated out in 2008 calling George W. Bush unpatriotic for piling up nearly $5 trillion in eight years; he may be on target to double that amount …”

“The debate over illegal immigration has gone from arguments over closing the border to Social Security cash rebates to illegals and presidential threats to punish Border Patrol officers who enforce existing law. …”

“The Trayvon Martin controversy descends from the purportedly preteen of released photos who was shot down in cold blood by a white vigilante into doctored NBC tapes, airbrushed photos, the New York Times’ invented rubric …”

“Michael Brown goes from the icon of a “gentle giant” in vain calling out “hands up, don’t shoot” only to be gunned down by a white racist cop — to a thug who strong-armed a store clerk, walked out into the middle of the road under the influence and then attacked a police officer. …”

“The answer to these failures has not been introspection, humility, or reevaluation why the liberal agenda proved unpopular and unworkable, but in paranoid fashion to double-down on it, convinced that its exalted aims must allow any means necessary — however farcical — to achieve them. …”

and he didn’t mention the I’net regulation repeat of the health care foisting … The party still acts as a solid block. It is a blind minority. The old rules of civility, respect, and procedure no longer apply. That leaves their opposition perplexed as it is difficult to understand such in-your-face delusion.

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Those not celebrating secret legislation vs the ‘But this time it will be different’ crowd

At Breitbart Big Government: ‘Net Neutrality’ is a problem, not a solution.

“The oldest trick in the collectivist playbook is to create a problem through government regulations, let it stew for a while, and then propose even bigger government as the only possible solution to the “crisis” it planted, nourished, and harvested.

“We watched government tinkering in health care make it more expensive and complicated, year after year… until the time was ripe to stuff the biggest, sloppiest, most poorly-thought-out Big Government power grab of the modern era down our throats. Are we really going to fall for that again with the FCC’s new Net Neutrality regulations?”

“For the mid-range companies pushing Net Neutrality, this is all about bringing the government Goliath into the market to stop the telecom giants flat. It’s a crony capitalist arrangement, and like most other cronies who have used coercive government power to control the free market, they’re going to learn that Big Government makes a far less friendly and cooperative business partner than they anticipate. Political agendas will be forced down the tubes of compulsion our Net Neutrality boosters want to implant in the Internet; it won’t be long before baffled supporters are wondering why websites with dissident political views are having such a hard time obtaining government licenses. They’ll be absolutely astounded at how much web content suddenly runs afoul of the “decency standards” Cuban warns about.

“But most of all, they’re underestimating how energetically Big Government will use its control over the Internet to deliberately create crisis that only Even Bigger Government is allegedly capable of resolving.”

“You can already see some Net Neutrality advocates short-circuiting when confronted with extremely sensible questions about why companies would be more eager to make titanic investments in a marketplace frozen by government regulations and chopped into pieces by redistributionist ideology.”

But what can you do? The propaganda machine is out in full force but, it seems, very few listen to more than the emotional appear to consider questions or be skeptical about assumptions and interpretations. Meanwhile the debt rises and the freedom level lowers. The frog is cooking and seems quite content with the warming waters.

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Secret massive governmental industry takeover: Internet edition

It is just like the previous, massive, partisan forced, regulation of an industry where you are told you won’t know what is in it until after it gets past. The Register has two items on the topic: Net neutrality secrecy: No one knows what the FCC approved (but Google has a good idea) and Net neutrality: The world speaks its brains on secret ‘open’ ‘net rules. On the secrecy:

“Analysis US watchdog the FCC formally approved new net neutrality rules on Thursday for America. But you’re out of luck if you want to know exactly how your access to the internet will be now be governed.

Despite getting the green light, the exact rules have not been revealed and will remain a mystery for some unspecified length of time.”

“In fact, the chairs of both Congressional committees that deal with telecoms issues requested that the rules be put out for public review, as did two of Wheeler’s four commissioners, who complained they wanted to publish the documents but were barred from doing so.”

“But that’s not all. Both commissioners expect changes to be made to the document after it has been formally approved by them, with the “OGC” – office of general counsel – given extraordinary leeway to edit and revise the rules even following formal approval.”

The second item is a bit whimsical

“Comment Look at this photo of FCC chairman Tom Wheeler holding hands and smiling with the two Democrat commissioners who backed his “open internet” regulations, the pair wearing vivid blue outfits. It sums all that was both good and worrying about the decisions today to pass secretive net neutrality rules.

Here, we see a historic debate on internet access in America, a crucial complex technology, jump the tracks and career into a quagmire of politics. Jubilant Dems on one side, the Republican commissioners who voted against the net neutrality rules on the other.”

“What do mean “once it’s released”? This is all done and dusted. We’ve got net neutrality, baby! The internet is free again! Rejoice!”

deja vu all over again.

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An Alinski Jam

Neo Neocon asks What can the Republican Congress do?.

“As soon as the Democrats ended the filibuster for judicial appointments, arguments for Republicans to retain it became weak, because the reason for keeping it was always to protect one’s own minority rights when the time came. This required that both parties support the rule, knowing that someday it would be their turn to benefit from it (when they were in the minority) and another day it would be their turn to be stymied by it (when they were in the majority but not the supermajority). Respect for the rule also required a modicum of compromise from whatever the minority party du jour might be if Congress wanted to get any work done at all. But that sort of thing ended a while ago, too.

So there is no longer any reason to uphold something I always had defended. Now the situation is such that Republicans are fighting a battle where the implicit rules of the game have changed. As “Harold” puts it, they are in an Alinsky jam here. And they better study up on their Alinsky or they’re going to be in huge trouble (they already are in trouble, actually). But I don’t think most of them have the temperament, or perhaps even the interest, to go bold.”

“To recap: they can impeach but not convict. They can pass bills in the House that can’t get through the Senate, or that can get through the Senate but not get past the veto. They can…they can…what? They can decline to fund important parts of government, and try to bully the Democrats and Obama into blinking, but Obama rests secure in the fact that the public will be manipulated by the press into blaming Republican “obstructionism” for any lack of funding. That doesn’t mean the Republicans shouldn’t do it anyway, but it does mean they run an excellent chance of taking the hit for it rather than Obama and the Democrats.”

It is much like the terrorism problem. Just what does it take and just how much does it matter to prevent disaster? When you are up against opponents who do not care about anything but winning at any cost, there is no deal making. There is no effort to resolve issues. That approach is either broken by absolute defeat or you get what you see in Cuba or Venezuela or the many other examples where opposition to the Left decided it wasn’t worth the effort. 

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Witch Hunts

Seven academics who had the audacity to speak to Congress about climate change are targets of US Representative Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) who is the ranking member of the House of Representatives Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. Roger Pielke, Jr. is one who says I am Under “Investigation”. Stephen Hayward is another target who see it as asking Are you now or have you ever been a climate skeptic?. Here is what Pielke says:

“The incessant attacks and smears are effective, no doubt, I have already shifted all of my academic work away from climate issues. I am simply not initiating any new research or papers on the topic and I have ring-fenced my slowly diminishing blogging on the subject. I am a full professor with tenure, so no one need worry about me — I’ll be just fine as there are plenty of interesting, research-able policy issues to occupy my time. But I can’t imagine the message being sent to younger scientists. Actually, I can: “when people are producing work in line with the scientific consensus there’s no reason to go on a witch hunt.”

When “witch hunts” are deemed legitimate in the context of popular causes, we will have fully turned science into just another arena for the exercise of power politics. The result is a big loss for both science and politics.”

This inquiry makes McCarthyism look tame. Climate scientists are not the only game in this sort of hunt either. 

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Net neutrality: the warning

First up is Karl Bode at TechDirt with a warning: Wireless Usage Caps (And Creative Abuses Of Them) Are The New Global Net Neutrality Battlefield.

“So while neutrality supporters here in the States are generally pleased to see that FCC boss Tom Wheeler is embracing Title II based rules, the discussion doesn’t end there. In fact, it’s only just beginning. Regulators truly interested in protecting net neutrality need to be every bit as tenacious, clever and intelligent as carrier executives who tirelessly look for creative new ways to abuse their uncompetitive telecom fiefdoms. Given the regulatory quality in most countries, that’s a damn tall order, but in the all-too-common absence of truly healthy and competitive broadband markets, there’s really no other choice.”

The warning is that the struggle will continue no matter what. The assumption on which this is based is “in the all-too-common absence of truly healthy and competitive broadband markets.” TechDirt represents the Left in this issue and they clearly illustrate the ‘attitude’ and tactics that are commonly found on that side of the issue.

William Teach at Right Wing News explains Net Neutrality: A Solution In Search Of A Problem (That Will Create More Problems) as an example on the other side of the debate.

“by turning the Internet into yet another heavily regulated industry, the government will not only stifle innovation and investment, but will be in a position to pick winners and losers, rather than as it is now, where competition reigns to pick winners and losers. No, the Internet is not perfect, nor are the companies involved. But, do you think it will get better, do you think minor problems will be solved, especially those problems that pretty much only exist within the minds of people who are saying “this could happen!!!!!!!!!”, by making it a highly regulated utility? “

The fact is that the proponents for regulation assume without evidence and without any significant support that I’net services are “uncompetitive telecom fiefdoms” and do this by creation of conspiracy and denial of economic realities. The basic problem is highlighted by the secrecy by which the FCC’s proposal is being held. The public will not know what is in it until after the FCC votes on it. That secrecy is part and parcel of manufactured presumptions, ad hominem argument, an army of straw men, and censorship of an questions or alternative ideas.

The persistence in trying to foist this ideology on the public, that of government knows best and much be in control, is evident and explicit by Bode. As long as that exists, and honest debate to determine real world actions of a productive nature will be difficult.

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Jeff Sessions describes the situation

John Hinderaker sites Jeff Sessions as ;standing up for the Constitution and American Workers;.

A number of things have been happening today with regard to the funding of the Department of Homeland Security. There’s been a lot of spin about that and that somehow the Republicans are blocking the funding of the Department of Homeland Security. This gives new meaning to the word “obfuscation,” I suppose, or “disingenuousness.” The truth is, the House of Representatives has fully funded the Department of Homeland Security. It’s provided the level of funding the President asked for. It’s kept all the accounts at Homeland Security as approved through the congressional process. It simply says, but, Mr. President, we considered your bill, this amnesty bill that will provide work permits, photo IDs, Social Security numbers, Medicare benefits. You can’t do that. We considered that and rejected it. So we’re not going to fund that.

There is a Democratic Party minority in the Senate acting as a solid block using filibuster procedure to prevent the funding bill from even coming to the floor for debate. It is time that they were forced to the floor to explain themselves in proper debate on the issues at hand.

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Cronkite to Williams: a sad tale of deception

Alicia Colon describes When Network Lies Kill.

“Whether Williams is a fabulist, an incestuous voyeur who bragged about his daughter’s soft porn role on HBO’s ‘Girls’ or simply your average liberal is less compelling to me than wondering if a more dangerous anchor will ever be exposed for his lies.

Unfortunately, Walter Cronkite is still revered as the most trusted man in America even though his lies about the Vietnam War caused countless military deaths by prolonging the conflict.”

Cronkite is becoming known for his false assessment regarding the outcome of the Tet offensive and military success in Vietnam. But he was only a starting point for the sad saga of the modern era’s news anchor. Williams is just the latest. The propaganda machine exists. It is not a machine of the state but rather of an ideology backed by a lack of intellectual integrity in a band of brothers leading the major media. Death and destruction as its effect is becoming more obvious.

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Tactics: King v. Burwell on the legality of Obamacare

It’s a court case. The law is clear. The outcome threaten’s the desires and fantasies of the Left. William Levin describes  Battle station alert on the left.

“Steven Hayward correctly spotlights the panic on the left as King v. Burwell enters its final phase, adroitly terming it working the refs. Others call it battlespace preparation. In all cases, it is establishing the Narrative, which in the case of King v. Burwell is dedicated to the simple proposition that ending Obamacare subsidies will hurt the poor, even resulting in public epidemics and possible deaths. The move is a concession that the case is legally hopeless and it is on to politics.

This makes for a worthwhile moment to pause, because the case is like a control in a science experiment. We can view in slow motion the steps in the game book.

First, delegitimize the law. …”

“Second, ignore the facts. …”

“Third, create victims. …”

“Fourth, make it easy for the press. …”

“It matters not that the allegations have no relationship to the law passed by Congress, the legal controversy committed for review by the Supreme Court or the continuing harm done by the government itself to workable alternatives. Nor to be missed are the amici briefs as self-serving calls for interviews by the press, led by prominent lawyers and institutions, with throngs ready to help on background, and the full resource of notes listed in the citations of sources. Petitioner amici briefs offer the same, but except in rare occasions, their services will be duly ignored as partisan.”

There does appear to be some understanding of the tactics being used by the Left. That means they can be exposed, dissected, and put on display for everyone to consider as to their value for proper decision making in a just society.

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The ‘Free Internet’ movement: Looking for governmental solutions

Ryan Radia says Don’t Extend the Dead Hand of the FCC to the Internet — “Entrusting the FCC with broad and ambiguous regulatory powers was, and remains, a grave mistake“.

“On February 26, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote on a proposal to regulate companies that provide Internet access as public utilities.”

“Why the sudden march to regulate? In 2008 and again in 2010, the FCC tried to impose somewhat less onerous rules on Internet providers, but both times, a federal court found that the agency exceeded its authority. Rather than admit defeat and move on, the FCC took a third stab at rulemaking in 2014—this time proposing more modest rules that hewed to the court’s rulings. But last summer, the White House began making its own plans for the Internet, as if it were a “parallel version of the FCC itself.”

“The rallying cry behind the FCC’s impending rules can be summed up in two words: net neutrality. According to this superficially benign concept, coined by the left-leaning law professor Tim Wu, Internet providers should be barred from discriminating against applications, services, content, or devices without an extremely good reason. Over time, net neutrality has morphed into the broader notion that Internet providers shouldn’t even be allowed to accept payment from content companies such as Netflix or Amazon for priority traffic handling.”

“Why the drive to handicap Internet providers’ business models? Because, the argument goes, infrastructure is special—so much so that it deserves comprehensive federal oversight. Internet service providers are supposedly all-powerful gatekeepers with the incentive and ability to pick winners and losers online.”

As a general rule, the government is a last resort for solving society’s problems. Advocating governmental involvement when you can’t really define a problem should raise many questions. Creating conspiracies and imagined collusion in order to assert monopoly is not a good basis for action. The record of the government in regards to telecommunications regulation was only adequate when there actually was a monopoly and technology needed a gateway. The heyday of that for telephones was forty years ago. Twenty years ago, technologies provided a means around the established infrastructure. But we still have taxes from a hundred years ago, taxes that hit the small and less capitalized persons and businesses the hardest. Getting government to let go is even more difficult that getting it involved in the first place. That is the threat with this effort to implement socialist theology on the I’net.

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Irrational patterns on rational issues

David Harsanyi provides a good summary of politicized science based issues in describing When Liberals Ignore Science — “Media are largely silent about their fear of vaccination and their belief in astrology and UFOs“.

“How do we deal with the false perception that liberals are more inclined to trust science than conservatives? Also, how do we approach the media’s fondness for focusing on the unscientific views of some conservatives but ignoring the irrational — and oftentimes more consequential — beliefs of their fellow liberals?”

“if you walk around believing that pesticides are killing your children or that fracking will ignite your drinking water, or if you hyperventilate about the threat of the ocean’s consuming your city, you have a viewpoint that not only conflicts with science but undermines progress. So how do we approach matters that have been settled among scientists but are not widely accepted by liberals?”

“The perception that one political group is less science-savvy than another is predominately driven by the unwillingness of many conservatives to accept alarmism about global warming and the policies purportedly meant to mitigate it. But when it comes to climate change, volumes could be written about the ill-conceived, unscientific, over-the-top predictions made by activists and politicians. We could start with our own Malthusian science czar, John Holdren, who once predicted that climate change would cause the deaths of a billion people by 2020 and that sea levels would rise by 13 feet.”

“It doesn’t end there. What are we to make of people who mock religion as imaginary but believe an astrological sign should determine whom you date or are concerned that they will be whisked away in a flying saucer?”

The political bifurcation is right in front of your face – consider the Californication meme, for instance. But that doesn’t phase most media reporters whose reports ignore the obvious evidence. For any paying attention, that is a serious issue of cognitive dissonance.

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Solving nonexistent problems

It’s the net neutrality debate. Like human caused catastrophic climate change, the proponents are advocating massive government controls in order to prevent a problem that might occur in the future, maybe. For a bit about this nature of debate, see 3 things to know about the FCC’s net neutrality plan.

[FCC Chair] “Wheeler believes this principal of fairness, known as “net neutrality,” can be best protected by thrusting Internet service providers under some of the same rules that have applied to telephone companies for more than 80 years.”

“what if the major cable companies that provide much of the nation’s broadband had free rein to load some files faster than others? It is easy to imagine scenarios where these providers might favor content produced by their affiliates or start charging “tolls” to move data. Consumers naturally would gravitate toward faster sites and services that pay those fees, while smaller startups or nonprofits get shut out.”

“Unlike the 2010 rules that were struck down by the courts, Wheeler’s proposal doesn’t exempt wireless carriers from these open-access requirements. That’s important given that cellphones are becoming the primary way for many people to access the Internet.”

A primary stimulus for promoting net neutrality is that the greedy large corporation cable companies have a monopoly on providing end user I’net services. That basis is contradicted by the idea that the cell phone network is “becoming the primary way for many people to access the Internet.” The addition of the cell phone network was done because court cases failed without its inclusion.

Ask Radio Amateurs who tried to interface their equipment to the telephone network back forty years ago and have watched what happened to the telephone company under government regulations about what they witnessed. Ever wonder why the landline is now nearing extinction? 

The issue here isn’t “open access” but rather governmental control over service and pricing. That is an oxymoron.

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Escalating violence

While the Seahawks fistfight might be the item du jour, there are other indications of escalating violence in ‘civil’ debate worthy of note. Stephen Hayward starts out with the Climatistas’ Climate of Hate and then picks up on other cases. Examples:

  • “The remark about my children killing me was made some months ago”
  • “Every movement has its nutters. Climate warriors have long ago stopped being civil. But we seem to be entering a new level of radicalisation.”
  • “The Buddhas of Bamiyan were blown up by the Taliban in 2001. In 2014, Greenpeace activists damaged the Nazca Lines”
  • “In January 2015, a Greenpeace activist called for the beheading of a member of the House of Lords on the website of the Guardian. When challenged, he repeated the call, and again.”
  • “An environmental activist faces jail for putting the lives of police officers in danger by successfully setting up a home-made trap designed to take patrol cars out of action.”

Scan the papers and you’ll find other examples centered on other issue themes. It seems to be escalating and learning and acceptance of reality seem to be getting farther and farther afield.

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Increasing the heat

With the lack of results of various Congressional inquiries over the last few years, one could wonder if either there was no substance to investigate or if there was something else going on. It is beginning to appear to be the latter. Frontpage Mag says Gowdy Comes Out Swinging. It appears that obstructions to fruitful investigation are being called.

“Rep. Trey Gowdy came out swinging at Tuesday’s hearing of his Select Committee, laying into Democrats for playing political games and blasting the State Department for refusing to produce documents and for preventing witnesses from testifying before the committee.”

“By putting up a website called “Asked and Answered” before the Select Committee had even held its first hearing, the Democrats “instantly prejudged facts that are not yet in evidence,” Gowdy wrote.”

“Many of the so-called answers the Democrats provide to nagging questions on Benghazi answer nothing at all.”

“In a classic straw man argument, the Democrats accuse Republicans of claiming that Secretary of State Clinton personally “ordered” Defense Secretary Panetta to “stand down” an ongoing rescue attempt. That obviously didn’t happen; and no credible source has alleged that.”

There is a lot of defense going on and that means that the offense needs to use more force to clear the way. That can be painful but it must be done else: Argentina (for example). The new Congress is showing some indications that the tolerance shenanigans might be reduced.

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Like cats in a bag

Liz Peek says Give Boehner a break: GOP Speaker brings real leadership to 114th Congress.

“Only Republicans could celebrate one of the great moments in the party’s history by falling on each other like cats in a laundry bag. Weeks after securing one of the GOP’s most convincing electoral sweeps, Tea Partiers in the House, egged on by the likes of Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh, decided to humiliate Speaker John Boehner by rallying to elect one of their own.

“They failed, but in the process they gave wounded Democrats ample fodder for ridicule. They also steered the narrative away from the popular programs mainstream Republicans hope to pursue and that Americans hunger for.

“The pundit chorus should stand down. While they were sniping over his tactics, the New York Times reports that Boehner participated in some 150 campaign events during 2014, raised $102 million — and transferred $23 million from his own political action committee to the National Republican Campaign Committee. That GOP majority that conservatives accuse Boehner of squandering — he helped build it.”

When your think your enemy is your own right foot, it shouldn’t surprise you that you can’t compete in the race.

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Nobody so blind as he who won’t see

Someone defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. That seems to be a chosen mode of operation in some political corners these days. For an example, see ‘Hidden in Plain Sight': A Q&A with Peter Wallison on the 2008 financial crisis and why it might happen again

“Legislation can only be effective if it is drawn up by a Congress that understands the nature of the problem it is supposed to solve. Dodd-Frank was based on the false idea that the 2008 financial crisis was caused by insufficient regulation of the private sector. This narrative supported what the 2010 Democratic Congress wanted to accomplish—the imposition of much greater regulation on the US financial system—but did not come close to identifying or addressing the government policies that were the actual cause of the crisis. Indeed, by absolving the government from any role in the crisis, the supporters of Dodd-Frank left the government free to do the same thing again—something that is occurring right before our eyes. The president’s proposal last week to reduce the FHA’s insurance premiums, and the FHFA’s ruling that Fannie Mae and Freddie should accept 3% down payments on mortgages, are only the most recent examples that we are on our way to repeating a very sad history.”

“The key question is whether the American people have learned that it was the government’s housing policies, and not the risk-taking and greed of the private sector, that caused the 2008 financial crisis. With that understood, we can have a genuine national debate on whether the US should continue a government role in the housing finance system. At the moment, the signs are not good.”

It does sound so nice – for everyone to be able to own their own home. The problem occurs when it is decided that the government is the agent to be used to accomplish this idea. Then, when the results of that effort hit home, the ‘sounds nice’ crowd get into rationalizations that choose an ‘evil capitalist’ to explain the failure. That continues to downward spiral of solving the wrong problem, creating more problems, and spending ever more resources on solutions to the wrong problems.

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A tremor in the force

Pope Francis raises eyebrows.

How are we to explain that at the very moment that the oldest Christian communities in the world are being violently destroyed; that while Christians are murdered, raped and tortured in Africa and the Middle East; and while horrific barbarities are committed daily in the name of God, the pope issues an encyclical and travels around the world to talk about climate change?

Senator Marco Rubio, a practicing Catholic, put it succinctly:

“I would also ask His Holiness to take up the cause of freedom and democracy.”

In the long run, this will bring down the Church — just as it has mainstream Protestantism and non-Orthodox Judaism — as well as diminish decency on earth.

It is, moreover, clear that the pope has been so influenced by leftism that he appears to know only the propaganda, not the science. For example, the typhoon in the Philippines had nothing to do with global warming. The leading science journal, Nature, wrote as much:

“Did climate change cause Typhoon Haiyan? There is limited evidence that warming oceans could make superstorms more likely.”

Unfortunately, however, being a wonderful person doesn’t mean you will be a wonderful pope. Any Catholic who tweets, “Inequality is the root of social evil,” as Pope Francis did last March, should be a socialist prime minister, not a Christian leader. The moral message of every Bible-based religion is that the root of evil is caused by poor character and poor moral choices, not by economics. The pope’s tweet is from Marx, not Moses.

Dennis Prager on Pope Francis, the Climate and Leftism.

It is interesting that a Typhoon is the stimulus. A friend who owns a farm in the Phillipines one described the lack of preparedness of his neighbors for such well known hazards as the occasional typhoon. He didn’t think that the sort of preparedness typical for natural disaster typical in the U.S., would work in the Phillipines. That is because un-prepared neighbors would soon be at the door of the prepared farm demanding largess. There is moral failing there, both in terms of lack of preparedness and in respecting neighbors that is much more in line with a Pope’s purview than a fantasy about human caused typhoons. The moral lesson of the story about the three little pigs seems to have been lost with many other lessons from Western Culture.

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Lust for revenge

It is a warning not to be taken lightly.

“This unvarying tendency toward atrocity suggests that all these regimes had something in common, and it’s not that they all suffered from boils. It’s the lust for vengeance — revenge for slights and crimes either real or imaginary,  that can be found in every leftist from Nechaev to Bill Ayers. No less than Barack Obama spilled that when, his back apparently against the wall in 2012, he began ranting about “voting for revenge”.

“This was displayed clearly enough this past holiday season.

J.R. Dunn calls it The Left’s Base Motive: Vengeance. “we see trivia blown up to apocalyptic proportions” whether it is accusations of racism or rape or immigration or voter fraud or whatever can be used as a tool to incite a rationalization for revenge. Honesty has no part in this effort. That is a price of revenge based politics.The cost in human life and suffering has been overwhelming but that seems to not matter in the ever continuing onslaught for yet more revenge against fantasized slights.

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The protest business

There can be some debate about whether peaceful and lawful protest is a good way to garner public support for a cause. The case gets weaker when the protest leaves the ‘peaceful and lawful’ arena. It gets weaker still when it’s composed of rent-a-mob characters and when the cause seems to be a bit dishonest. Jazz Shaw notes some of these problems in speculating about The next Michael Brown.

“Colin Flaherty has a column at American Thinker this week which should provide some important insight for those watching the unraveling of the relationship between America’s first responders and residents of high crime rate communities. In it, he discusses the disturbing trend of activist organizations and seemingly prefabricated crowds of protesters showing up within hours any time there is a police shooting these days. And to be clear, this includes incidents where there is no conceivable basis for questioning the shooting, such as when one cop already has three bullets in him.”

“Some of these protests turn violent, though not all. But the common thread in all these situations is that a protest most certainly does take place. It happens quickly and there is a generally a representative from Al Sharpton’s National Action Network – or some similar organization – on hand before you could possibly imagine they could have gotten there.”

The instigation for the ‘race riots’ is fabricated. The targets seem to be more towards economic systems and authorities rather than racism or brutality. Formation is too convenient and those who service the riots are getting to where they recognize participants. It looks as if there is a protest business that is well organized, well funded, and on careful watch for when to slide in a few players to get things going. What isn’t so clear is just what they are protesting.

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