Archive for February, 2012

The fuel for economic growth: What’s doing in energy?

Our Top Five Stalled Energy Projects by Nash Keune provides a good rundown on one aspect of the poor economic growth and recovery.

In 2010, as a direct result of environmental concerns, NIMBY activism, and a sluggish permit-granting process, there were 351 energy projects that were being delayed, postponed, or outright terminated. This is according to a study published by the Chamber of Commerce entitled Project No Project. Together, these projects were estimated to be worth $1.1 trillion and expected to create 1.9 million jobs. The overriding lesson from the report was that, given America’s byzantine permit system, opponents of any project can find a violation somewhere within the mountains of paperwork a firm is required to submit

The top five selected include a coal plant in White Plain, Nevada featuring objections by the Sierra Club and Senator Reid; a wind farm near Nasselle, Washington featuring objections by the Audubon Society; the Mountain States Transmission Intertie Line opposed by local residents and others; an LNG terminal off Oxnard, California opposed by the Santa Barbara Channelkeeper citing terror attack risk; and many nuclear plants opposed by environmental groups.

This activity is one of self immolation. A ready and plentiful supply of energy for everything from household to industrial use is a requirement for health and comfort. It is also a requirement for the research and development that will (and has) achieved many of the goals of those opposing energy projects such as environmental protection and reduction of pollutants.

The Japanese earthquake and Tsunami provides an example of the irrational mindset on this. There are a few stories about the debris from the Tsunami reaching U.S. shores but very many more about the nuclear power plant recovery that focus on every danger and every risk and every potential outcome all the while ignoring the true tragedy where that tsunami devastated Japan and caused real and actual damage and loss of life.

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Both sides do it? Budgeting matters

There are laws that mandate certain things Congress and the Administration must do regarding the federal budget.

The Budget Act of 1974 requires the House and Senate to meet certain deadlines, culminating in the adoption of a budget resolution. The Republican House has obeyed the law, but the Democratic Senate has thumbed its nose at the statute, illegally refusing to meet any of the statutory deadlines or to adopt any budget at all for the last three years.

The Senate’s scofflaw ways are shared by the Obama administration. Federal law requires the Medicare trustees to report annually on the solvency of the Medicare program. The Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 further provides that if, for two years in a row, more than 45% of Medicare funding is coming from general revenues rather than Medicare taxes, the president must submit legislation to Congress to address the Medicare funding crisis. President Bush dutifully followed the law, but President Obama has ignored it for the last three years.[Scofflaw Democrats]

With the budget running record deficits, proper planning seems like it would be a priority. Instead, one political party seems to want to run on a cash basis. Both sides do it? There seems to be a rather clear difference here.

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Getting squeezed from both ends: the I’net

The utility of the I’net is being squeezed both by legislation and by activists. The legislation is usually under the banner of intellectual property protection or unwarranted personal harassment. The activists tend to go for unwarranted business harassment. Slashdot says the Vatican Attack Provides Insight Into Anonymous and refers to a CNBC story In Attack on Vatican Website, a Glimpse of Hackers’ Tactics.

The campaign against the Vatican, which did not receive wide attention at the time, involved hundreds of people, some with hacking skills and some without. A core group of participants openly drummed up support for the attack using YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. Others searched for vulnerabilities on a Vatican website and, when that failed, enlisted amateur recruits to flood the site with traffic, hoping it would crash, according to a computer security firm’s report to be released this week.

“We have seen the tools and the techniques that were used in this attack used by other criminal groups on the web,” said Amichai Shulman, Imperva’s chief technology officer. “What set this attack apart from others is it had a clear timeline and evolution, starting from an announcement and recruitment phase that was very public.”

It took the hackers 18 days to recruit enough people, the report says. Then the reconnaissance began. A core group of roughly a dozen skilled hackers spent three days poking around … Probing for such loopholes used to be tedious and slow, but the advent of automated tools made it possible for hackers to do this while they slept.

In this case, the scanning software failed to turn up any gaps. So the hackers turned to a brute-force approach

“Anonymous is a handful of geniuses surrounded by a legion of idiots,” said Cole Stryker

Over the course of the campaign’s final two days, Anonymous enlisted as many as a thousand people to download attack software, or directed them to custom-built websites that let them participate using their cellphones.

Researchers who have followed Anonymous say that despite its lack of success in this and other campaigns, recent attacks show the movement is still evolving and, if anything, emboldened.

Security experts now say that a sort of open season has begun.

How do these people rationalize their attacks on others? They seem to think the end justifies the means.

“Anyone can be Anonymous, because we are an idea without leaders who defend freedom and promote free knowledge.”

Computer technology leverages the capabilities of individuals. This is why the ‘robo call’ phenomena did not appear until computers were available to compile databases of telephone numbers, dial telephone numbers, and play voice messages – all outgrowths of the landline modem technologies used ca 1990 to connect to networks.

The attacks do generate a response. The legal remedies have been rather mild so far as it is difficult to track down specific culprits and jurisdiction can be difficult, too. Defences have improved (as the Vatican attack story illustrates) both in terms of underlying software hardening and network management practices.

Still, the risk is low and the rational sounds good if not examined. With so many people on the I’net, it becomes easy to recruit an army for malfeasance as is done by Anonymous. The risk will increase as the attacks become more obnoxious but the real solution will be in ‘educating’ the gullible so that people will have a less favorable outlook on unethical and illegal and improper behavior.

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A foil, the straw man, and civility in discourse

Much as Soros is perceived on the right, the Koch brothers are seen from the left. That sets up an opportunity for comparison and contrast in discerning the differences by observing behavior. A letter to the Obama campaign (Powerline, Johnson) provides some insight.

Byron Tau reports at Politico that the Koch Companies have released a response to the Obama campaign’s fundraising letter of this past Friday directly assaulting the Koch brothers and their business. John wrote about the disgusting nature of the Obama capping fundraising letter here, alternately quoting from and responding to it. It is a letter that comes straight out of the Alinsky playbook.

Tau links to the Koch Companies’ response, a letter to the Obama campaign from Phillip Ellender, head of Government Affairs and Public Relations at the Koch Companies. It seems to me that Ellender’s letter deserves the widest circulation.

For a presidential campaign to use individual citizens as a foil for their presentation is extremely rare. In this era, though, demonization of opponents real or perceived is a common tactic. Alinsky’s playbook and end justifies the means seem to be the predominant values. That does not lead towards civil discourse or intellectual integrity.

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Trojan horse

Discrimination and bullying can be used to promote a cause. DIAZ: All students should be protected describes the situation:

“SNDA [Student Non-Discrimination Act] is a Trojan horse with the objective of promoting acceptance of GLBT behavior by eradicating deeply held beliefs that proponents view as “homophobic.””

The dangers with such a piece of legislation are many. The clash with other students’ deeply held religious beliefs is the most obvious problem … But the problems go far beyond that. Under SNDA, for example, GLBT [gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender] students are not to be “excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. … Regardless, the reality is that to use “student safety” as a vehicle to promote sexual behaviors as a political agenda is shameful.”

The effort is to rationalize a lifestyle when it is in dissonance with norms and cultural standards. A stamp of societal approval can make things much more comfortable when the conscience is tugging in another direction. The effort going into obtaining that stamp of approval is a testimony to the forces at work within.

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Constitution? Judicial edict puts Sharia above other law?

The first step was a short while ago in another of those cases where the popular vote was dismissed by a judge.

In Oklahoma, a ballot initiative barring courts from implementing sharia law passed with 70% of the vote, but was ruled unconstitutional by a federal appeals court.

Another step is about Sharia Law In Pennsylvania

Andy McCarthy’s post on a criminal prosecution in Pennsylvania that was dismissed based on an application of sharia law and a recognition of the special, privileged status of Islam is the most chilling thing I have read in quite a while. … One might have thought that the Constitution is the last line of defense protecting those who exercise their God-given right of free speech. Apparently not, at least in Pennsylvania.

In both the homosexual rights case in California and this Sharia law case, a judge with a significant conflict of interest has simply tossed aside both the vote of the people and long standing tradition. There is no deference apparent to the will of the people or the culture of the society. That does not bode well. It is an oligarchy trying to assert itself as supreme and above all else and that is the sort of thing that creates revolutions.

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Another political cronyism case

It’s about LightSquared as an effort to deliver broadband I’net to the masses, the FCC, and impacts on GPS. Ed Morrissey wonders: LightSquared the FCC’s Solyndra?

I’ve been writing for weeks about the LightSquared and the FCC’s strange decisions to allow the firm owned by a billionaire hedge-fund manager and Obama donor to attempt to save billions of dollars in establishing a 4G cell network without buying approved spectrum allocations. The refusal of the FCC to vet this effort themselves, when they had the capacity to determine almost immediately that LightSquared would interfere with military, aviation, and commercial GPS systems, has already prompted Senator Charles Grassley to launch his own investigation of the FCC’s actions and whether the White House exerted any undue influence over them.

This goes way beyond the “public utility” approach. This is crony capitalism at its most pure form, with government intervening to boost its friends and to kneecaps its perceived opponents. In that way, it’s worse than Solyndra, which certainly involved government intervention that benefited donors to the President. At least so far, nothing in the Solyndra story shows the Obama administration deliberately disadvantaging Solyndra’s competitors.

In the previous administration, people had to fabricate the dots in order to play the ‘connect the dots’ game. In this administration, the problem seems to be more of a problem of trying to figure out which dots to connect into a thread that makes sense and build a coherent picture. There are so many of them.

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Another Rather moment

Looks like another one bit the dust. Steve McIntyre reports that Peter Gleick Confesses. To what?

It seems that Gleick falsely pretended to be a Board Member of the Heartland Institute in order to obtain reports intended for Board members. Since those reports didn’t tell the story desired, a strategy and tactics document was created to help sell the idea that those not in line with climate alarmism are well organized, well funded, and out to no good.

As with Dan Rather and his misplaced belief about George Bush, Peter Gleick allowed his ideologies to overcome his integrity.

“One way or the other, Gleick’s use of deception in pursuit of his cause after years of calling out climate deception has destroyed his credibility and harmed others. (Some of the released documents contain information about Heartland employees that has no bearing on the climate fight.) That is his personal tragedy and shame (and I’m sure devastating for his colleagues, friends and family).” [Revlin, Dot Earth NYT Opinion]

This is particularly interesting as Gleick was very big on intellectual integrity. Perhaps that conflicting ideology prompted his confession. See Judith Curry Breaking News: Gleick Confesses — “The irony of it all, this coming from a scientist that has made a particular point about integrity and written many essays and even testified to congress on the subject.”

In science education, observer bias is a big deal. The lesson is that integrity in science starts with being aware of any possible way the scientist can influence his observations in even very subtle ways and to seek outside review and criticism to help in the effort. It is a lesson that even some distinguished scientists seem to have forgotten.

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Solar sized numbers: Germany

Bjørn Lomborg as at it again in Slate: Goodnight Sunshine. Germany is cutting solar-power subsidies because they are expensive and inefficient. There are a lot of numbers to consider.

Germany once prided itself on being the “photovoltaic world champion”, doling out generous subsidies—totaling more than $130 billion … Indeed, despite the massive investment, solar power accounts for only about 0.3 percent of Germany’s total energy. … It is estimated that this increase alone will lead to a $260 hike in the average consumer’s annual power bill.

As many are beginning to note, energy outside of the free market, energy based on ideology, is expensive energy and a government funds sinkhole. It saps the public, misdirects efforts, and inhibits economic growth.

Even with the inefficiency of current PV technology, we could meet the entire globe’s energy demand with solar panels by covering 250,000 square kilometers (155,342 square miles), about 2.6 percent of the Sahara Desert.

Can you imagine what it takes to make and install 150 thousand square miles of electronics (a solar panel is an electronic device)? What would it take to deliver that power thousands of miles to where it is needed? What is the environmental impact of a project so large on a fragile ecosystem? What is the bill of materials needed to do such a thing?

Even with unrealistically generous assumptions, the unimpressive net effect is that solar power reduces Germany’s CO2 emissions by roughly 8 million metric tons—or about 1 percent – for the next 20 years. To put it another way: By the end of the century, Germany’s $130 billion solar panel subsidies will have postponed temperature increases by 23 hours.

Using solar, Germany is paying about $1,000 per ton of CO2 reduced. The current CO2 price in Europe is $8. Germany could have cut 131 times as much CO2 for the same price. Instead, the Germans are wasting more than 99 cents of every euro that they plow into solar panels.

As with the materials requirements, which get into both scarce materials as well as hazardous ones, the ‘green’ impact is questionable. This doesn’t even get into the debate about the impact of CO2 and just into the most cost effective way to achieve a primary goal of the green ideology.

The U.S. is trying to follow Germany but is on the leading edge, not the reality tail. That is how millions of government funds pumped into companies like Solyndra was rationalized. It might be possible to short cut some of the losses if Germany’s experience could be used to evaluate such expenditures.

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Why the Komen funding Planned Parenthood hit the fan

Rick Rice says that “Planned Parenthood has a vested interest in hooking the next generation on sex” and puts up the American Life League six minute expose of Planned Parenthood. The video is pornographic because of the selections it uses from Planned Parenthood to make its point.

The idea of “hooked on sex” has been one that several have taken up as a culture war and moral label. As Tina Korbe notes:

The point of the ALL’s video was simple: Planned Parenthood has a vested
interest in hooking the next generation on sex. They’re in the abortion
business. They depend upon unwanted pregnancies to stay in business.
They know no unwanted pregnancy occurs without sex, so they encourage sex — albeit “safe” sex.
 …
what angers me most about Planned Parenthood’s perpetual attempts to
perpetuate knowledge about every last perversion that plagues the human
race is that it robs marriage and sex of mystery and romance.

The issues involved here include sex ed in schools, government funding, potential conflicts of interest and commercial activity in nonprofit organizations, and morals that are context sensitive.

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blame game: we have no solution and just don’t like yours

Geithner: Yeah, we don’t have a solution to the debt problem. Ed Morrissey notes the Administration’s take on the federal budget.

In fact, it’s about as perfect a representation of Obama’s economic policy as we’ll see. The budget is full of short-term gimmicks to make it appear that the White House wants to close deficits, but it relies on tax increases and phony savings from projected war spending that wasn’t going to occur anyway to make the claim. They do nothing at all about the structural problems of America’s long term economic issues (especially debt and unfunded liabilities from entitlement programs), but instead focus narrowly on relatively short-term outcomes to disguise the fact that they cannot and/or will not fix the long-term problems. And as Geithner says in this response, while they won’t or can’t provide leadership, they will be happy to torpedo those who can and will — like Paul Ryan.

In other words, political expediency has a higher priority than effective budgeting.

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The importance of voting with your feet

Professor Somin highlights an importan issue in the federalism model of U.S. governance that has implications for those who dismiss the U.S. Constitution as outdated and lacking the inclusion of obligatory rights. Foot Voting, Political Ignorance, and Constitutional Design

“one major possible advantage of building decentralization and limited government into a constitution has been largely ignored in the debate so far: its potential for reducing the costs of widespread political ignorance. The argument of this paper is simple, but has potentially important implications: Constitutional federalism enables citizens to “vote with their feet,” and foot voters have much stronger incentives to make well-informed decisions than more conventional ballot box voters.”

In other words, if you can’t make headway at the ballot box because of all the idiots voting for the wrong candidates, you can move to another state where the voters appear to be more in line with the way you think.

You can see this phenomenon every ten years when the Census releases its count. It is also evident in those who promise to leave the country if the wrong candidate is elected President. That last idea, voting with the feet based on who is President, is another way of saying that the federal government is too important in personal affairs. It is an argument to reduce the powers and scope of the federal government and that debate is one that is at the top of the heap in these times.

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Rationalizing fuzzy lines: propaganda example

Joshua Green at Bloomberg has an interesting illustration of propaganda in Why Solyndra Won’t Go Away. The first clue is the partisanship

“Today marks the one-year anniversary of the ongoing congressional investigation of Solyndra, the failed solar company that received a $535 million federal stimulus loan. To Republicans, the Solyndra episode is an egregious example of White House perfidy and cronyism”

next up is the minimizing

“despite all the hysteria, Solyndra’s failure was fairly routine — costly and unfortunate, sure, a political nightmare, yes, but hardly scandalous.”

then the exaggeration and hyperbole against the straw man

“Republican investigators have pursued it with a vengeance, hoping to turn up the proverbial smoking gun that confirms their darkest suspicions … One reason the investigation persists is that it’s a handy pretext for demanding documents, and who knows what could turn up?”

Then there’s the ‘everyone does it’ thing

“it was one of 28 companies that received loan guarantees under an Energy Department program, and the possibility that some of those companies might fail was anticipated by the program’s authors: they budgeted $2.5 billion to cover any failures.”

None of this fits with the conclusion

“The real problem Solyndra illustrates is that the political world has a much harder time accepting failure than the business world. In light of this reality, the question that ought to be examined is whether it makes sense for the government to subsidize private businesses.”

Finally is the whole issue turned on its head

“But in Congress, there’s no penalty for throwing good money after bad.”

Green spends the whole post going after Congress investigating the administration for “throwing good money after bad” and then he reverses the sides in order to protect his favorite. The reason the investigation continues is just that of the ideological differences about “the question that ought to be examined.” The Republicans in Congress were elected on the platform that it does not “makes sense for the government to subsidize private businesses”, especially when that money flow happens to be predominately supported by ideological rather than business reasons and just happens to favor selected campaign donors. That is why they look to find fault, to see if there is something legally wrong to accompany what they feel is morally wrong. There is sufficient evidence, sufficient odor, and sufficient opposition of the questionable sort Green illustrates to keep such an ongoing investigation in an honest regime.

If you read Green’s post without much thought, it seems reasonable. That is why such propaganda in the media is insidious.

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Only the government

Peter asks What’s the Difference? to put the U.S. budget into terms of a more personal nature. A family with a $24,000 income spending $38,000 and owing $154,000 on credit cards is belt tightening on the order of $400?

Because the biggest difference is that in the family budget context, everyone sees these numbers as simply insane, while on the national level at least half of folks think they are just fine.

Half think the numbers are just fine and they seem willing to fight tooth an nail to defend their view.

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The Mickey Mouse Laws: IP protection in the modern era

Techdirt lists the recent intellectual property laws and copyright extensions (often called Mickey Mouse laws as they seem to be timed just so as to protect Disney’s Mickey Mouse copyrights). How Much Is Enough? We’ve Passed 15 ‘Anti-Piracy’ Laws In The Last 30 Years

But apparently we’re told that the internet is a “lawless wild west” when it comes to copyright issues? I think not. All we’ve seen is expansion after expansion after expansion, always using questionable claims of rampant infringement that is supposedly destroying industries. Each time, the various industries would create a moral panic about why this law was absolutely needed. Forgive us for being a bit skeptical. We’ve seen this game pretty damn frequently. To claim that there are no laws, or that we need to “meet in the middle” seems pretty bizarre. As Bridges noted at Stanford last week, if they want to “meet in the middle,” are they willing to give up half of these laws to get SOPA/PIPA?

How much is enough? Indeed. When it comes to passing laws, it seems they never quit.

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The problem with health care

ARMSTRONG: Obamacare grants doctors liberty to withhold care, Plan rewards physicians for scrimping on treatment:

As a bioethicist of considerable acclaim, Dr. Emanuel goes to great lengths to establish his case, maintaining that with new payment models promoted by the law, doctors will be in a position to free themselves from the fee-for-service system that he and others have worked to vilify in the physician-patient relationship. What he misses entirely is that it’s the opaque economic arrangement caused by our third-party payment systems, not the honest exchange of payment for a service that is the root cause of the soaring costs in American health care today.

Using the terms “autonomy” and “liberty” in the same paragraphs as descriptions of Affordable Care Act and the ACO is disingenuous at a minimum and laughable when you know even a portion of what this law contains. Obamacare endows the office of the secretary of Health and Human Services with more power than any Cabinet officer in history and to virtually control the American health care economy by 2014. Any argument asserting that autonomy and liberty are enshrined in the thousands of pages of regulations emanating from the Cabinet secretary is risible.

There is the ‘code game’ wherein health providers take classes in the codes used for treatment to allow them to find the best one for maximum insurance benefit. There is the ‘retail price’ game that has a border war in place with laws that set prices. There is the team of consultants game where patients are billed separately by each health provider that can claim contact with their treatment. All of this is on top of the sort of problems created by unrealistic expectations and inherent uncertainties in outcomes and responses to events.

What occurred with the Catholic Church and its associated organizations over contraception services last week is only a small preview of what is in store for the remainder of the United States.

This is why Governor Palin’s description of ‘death panels’ struck home creating such an irrational and vehement response and denial. Events are proving her right. The core issue is just who it is that will control your health care choices.

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demonization and similar manners of argument support

Politics and Ideology at Coyote Blog:

But what I have no tolerance for is the demonization of opposition as a substitute for fact-based rebuttal, and even better, working to understand what differences in core assumptions lay at the heart of the disagreement. The healthiest possible discussion is to trace competing arguments back to the point where both sides can say, yes, here’s where we diverge. I would like to think my climate article last week was a good example of doing this.

The stimulus was “an article for Forbes.com attempting to summarize the climate debate.”

The related topic for today seems to be about Republicans wanting to starve old folks or something similar. Same phenomena. Same problem with intellectual integrity. Same wondering why anyone would buy such irrational argument. The climate article at Forbes was a good example of proper clarification of a troubling issue to serve for comparison and contrast.

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Unintended consequence, I’net vigilante version

What is most disturbing about SOPA is not just that it would run roughshod over this principle, though it would, and that is disturbing enough; what is most disturbing about SOPA are the justifications proffered by its proponents for doing so.

David Post provides a good rundown on this issues in More “For the Moment Final”** Thoughts on SOPA.

The flag is that of intellectual property protection on the I’net. The effort is about trying to find some way to force other people to honor copyrights as the copyright holder thinks they ought to. The problem with the proposed solutions is that they are all like trying to nail Jello to a tree and do not respect the technology, breadth, or popularity of the I’net.

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The USSR and the eternal fantasies – playing out in the U.S. too?

It brings to mind Japan and Germany when it comes to WWII. BOOK REVIEW: ‘It Was a Long Time Ago, And It Never Happened Anyway’ [Amazon: It Was a Long Time Ago, and It Never Happened Anyway: Russia and the Communist Past] – Washington Times review by Joseph C. Goulden notes that

Mr. Satter argues, convincingly, that the abuses of communism continue to hover over Russia: “Russia today is haunted by words that have been left unsaid, sites [of prison camps, for instance] that have not been [ac]knowledged and mass graves that have been commemorated partially or not at all. … The failure to face the moral implications of the communist suppression … has meant that real change in Russia was not possible. The psychology of state domination was left intact to influence the new post-Communist Russia.”

When that is put into juxtaposition with KUHNER: End of the Constitution, Obamacare birth-control mandate would defeat the First Amendment, a pattern starts to emerge.

The American war of independence did not just overthrow British imperial domination. The Founders forged something almost unique in history: a nation devoted to individual liberty, Christian civilization and federalism. The rule of men was replaced bythe rule of law. … This is what’s at stake. Mr. Obama is acting like an arbitrary tyrant. He is running roughshod over the Constitution, egregiously, repeatedly and deliberately violating its restraints and clear limits on federal power. He has publicly admitted that he finds Congress a nuisance, an “obstacle” to his secular socialist project. He has said that he often thinks about “going it alone.” In fact, this is what he has done – so far, largely with impunity.

How can this happen? Consider that the Democrats on investigation committees consider Solyndra or GunWalker as just partisan gotcha’ games. KNIGHT: Paper-thin cover for liberal agenda takes a flippant view of the MSM when it comes to partisan politics. Consider the rhetoric excusing the Senate failing to pass a budget for three years despite a law that says it must do so. The USSR is not the only country with a large part of the population trying to believe it was a long time ago and it never happened anyway … and that’s just trying to explain away the last three years in the U.S.

For an immigrant’s view, see Barack Obama: In the Footsteps of Twentieth Century Despots.

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Relationships

First up is Day by Day Cartoon by Chris Muir on the realities of divorce. Then Peter describes A fragile relationship cracks under the pressure of reality.

she’s grown up in a society that preaches instant (or almost instant) gratification and self-centeredness, be it in shopping, or sex, or anything else. “You deserve this!” “You’re entitled to happiness!” Sound familiar? Yet our not-too-distant forefathers would look at you in blank astonishment if you told them that.
 …
That different perspective may have precious little to justify it in reality. After all, relationships aren’t a matter of feeling – they’re a matter of fact. If you’re not prepared to truly commit yourself to your partner, to accept the worse along with the better and the poorer along with the richer, then you don’t have a relationship at all. You’re just playing at commitment. We don’t teach our children to live that way today – the divorce rate proves it! I submit that our society, and our relationships, are the poorer for the loss of that perspective. The author of that New York Times article appears to me to be a perfect illustration of that reality.

It’s the “what’s in it for me” approach. It touches many aspects of gratification and that includes the attitude that makes one believe he knows best for others.

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