Archive for March, 2012

Did you know that US manufacturing is strong and growing?

“My question is whether Congress should outlaw these productivity gains in the name of job creation. It would be easy. Just get rid of those John Deere harvesting machines that do in a day what used to take a thousand men a week, outlaw the robots and automation that eliminated many manufacturing jobs and bring back manually operated PBX telephone switchboards.”

Professor Williams has a lesson in basic economics: The Truth about the Manufacturing Sector’s ‘Sickness’

“The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 2011 manufacturing output grew by 11 percent, to nearly $5 trillion. … Manufacturing productivity has doubled since 1987, and manufacturing output has risen by one-half. However, over the past two decades, manufacturing employment has fallen about 25 percent.”

It is the increasing efficiency that many see as a loss of jobs and interpret that as doom and gloom. Closely associated with that is the idea that there is a trade imbalance where all the jobs are going to China and everything on the store shelves is ‘cheap Chinese junk’. The reality is otherwise and Professor Williams explains why.

if technological advances had not eliminated millions of jobs, where in the world would we have gotten the workers to produce all those goods and services that we now enjoy that weren’t even thought of decades ago?

it would be great if foreigners didn’t buy anything from us and just gave us cars, computers, televisions, clothing and other goods in exchange for slips of paper with pictures of past presidents such as George Washington, Andrew Jackson and Ulysses Grant. We could live the life of Riley. The world would bestow all manner of goods and services upon us, and all we’d have to do is have a few Americans employed printing dollars that foreigners would hold precious and keep.

What needs to be kept in mind is that “The bottom line is that the health of an industry is measured by its output, not by the number of people it employs.” It is that output that makes the effort competitive and increases wealth. The ability to increase output and efficiency is why the U.S. remains an economic powerhouse with a growing manufacturing sector.

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Why do people brag about being a bigot?

“A bigot is a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices, especially one exhibiting intolerance, and animosity toward those of differing beliefs.” [Wikipedia]

Here’s Scott Adams:

“Full disclosure: I don’t agree with anything that comes out of Rush Limbaugh’s mouth, but I have a great appreciation for his entertainment skills.”

The recent Limbaugh fracas provides a good counterpoint. Instead of being intolerant and expressing “animosity” towards one of a differing believe, his labels were very specific and very well defined about one person’s specific testimony. Much of the response lambasting Limbaugh, in contrast, is like that of Scott Adams. It is a matter of animosity towards the person and generic in nature. On examination, much is fundamentally dishonest.

What you have, in the anti-Limbaugh’s especially, is people bragging in public about being a bigot. What is it about being a bigot that makes one think it is worth bragging about? It tends to smell like projection.

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Some are calling it total war. Here’s another front

“The quoted requests are merely the tip of the iceberg. We’re still reviewing the IRS letters and will have more information as we complete our review. Each of these questions — in their content, breadth, and vagueness — implicate the free-speech rights of the affected tea-party groups. Moreover, such intrusive membership requests also run afoul of NAACP v. Alabama and implicate their rights to freedom of association.

Critically, the demands we’ve seen are made not in response to complaints of wrongdoing but instead in response to applications for exemption. In other words, the IRS appears to be conditioning the grant of exemptions on the extensive violation of the tea-party groups’ fundamental First Amendment freedoms.”

A Broad-Based IRS Assault on the Tea Party?

This is ‘just another front’ in the political wars. The voter ID brouhaha is another as is the effort to silence the opposition. There are other regulatory assaults as well. It is getting ugly.

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Tactics and the gullible who play along: Limbaugh’s use of words

“I’m not interested in Limbaugh’s comments or whether or not they are “appropriate.” When you enter the political kitchen, as Fluke did, you should be ready to get scorched. As always, more interesting is the reaction to the comments. And that reaction once again reveals the monstrous hypocrisy of progressives. The folks who proclaim their sensitivity, nuanced thinking, therapeutic concern for the tender sensibilities of others, and open-mindedness have always been the most vicious, bigoted, narrow-minded, crude, dogmatic, conformist people on the planet.”

Bruce Thorton describes The Real Point of the Left’s Uproar over Limbaugh.It may be a bit more though,

The Limbaugh ruckus is closely tied in with the introduction of contraception during a Republican debate by the moderator. That was related to attempts to demonize the opposition to the controversial health care legislation. That particular chapter of that strategy was followed by bringing in a known activist who chose a school to attend using their health insurance policy so she could contest it. That has been followed by the assault on those who took note of the absurdity of the Congressional testimony. A part of that assault is, in this case, on Limbaugh’s advertisers. In other words, the destruction of an opposing voice is in the cross hairs. Day by Day has one on that noting that one former advertiser still supports Ed Schultz who has used similar language without the substance.

Limbaugh’s fans may not be willing to take the assault sitting down.

See also The Fluke Gambit Pays Off For Dems

Where have we seen this soap opera before? That’s an important question, because this is the Big Play of the scapegoating left. It’s pure, standard Alinsky, and they do it over and over again.

That’s why it is important for normal, decent Americans to learn how it works. Once you recognize it you’ll see it done over and over again. Conservatives who can’t predict the radical left are losers. As in football, we have to study the playbook of the opposition. It’s the first step toward beating them. They are more ruthless and coordinated than conservatives are. We are smarter but less coordinated.

Another good explanation of the tactics and strategy Rally for Rush by Jeffery Lord

Right on cue, the blacklisting crowd came out of their Stalinist caves. Having driven Lou Dobbs from CNN, cut off Beck’s windpipe at Fox, severed Pat Buchanan from MSNBC, thus emboldened they have now set their sights on Rush.

At the Telegraph: The Rush Limbaugh ‘slutgate’ scandal is about government gone wild, not sex

Back in the 1970s, the American Left decided that it couldn’t achieve socialism through the ballot box. Instead, it pursued a “rights” agenda through the courts that would redefine economic equality as a right that it was the government’s constitutional duty to guarantee. Initially, the focus was on jobs but over time it broadened out and came to include the right to have sex without any consequences.

will the people be manipulated or will they see the shenanigans? Look what happened in the just concluded election in Russia … and worry.

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Year of the squirrel? Understanding the tactics of distraction

Karl has a good explanation of the tactics of political warfare in Rush Limbaugh and the Year of the Squirrel.

The GOP is a minority party with no single titular leader at the moment. Obama’s Alinskyite politics require that the Left “pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” The folks running this effort thus go to the influential – yet polarizing — figure of Rush Limbaugh. Doing so necessarily promotes him, with the hope of forcing Republicans to either downplay Limbaugh (driving a wedge between them and their conservative base) or defend him (thereby making a polarizing figure more the face of the GOP).

Barack Obama’s campaign to convince voters that “America is back” is a dud, so they want everyone to look at the squirrel. When the media comes asking about Limbaugh, the Republican politician’s response ought to be: “I want to discuss the issues Americans actually care about — don’t you?”

One way to expose dishonest tactics is to dissect them. That is happening here with dots being connected from Stephanopolis to Fluke and an inspection of the roles being played by political operatives and MSM propaganda.

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It doesn’t take much to become a celebrity

Two examples of the phenomena. Say something that does not fit the paradigm and become a celebrity for assault. This happened to Governor Palin. Rush Limbaugh is having a go at it with his description of Congressional Hearing testimony. Betsy Galliher describes another in Girl Scouts: The awful truth.

“Indiana freshman Representative Bob Morris is learning the hard way that the Girl Scouts of America is to the progressive agenda as the Komen Foundation is to Planned Parenthood, and the Catholic church (or so Obama presumed) is to an Obama abortion mandate. What is — in one word — cover.”

He had the temerity to explain why he wasn’t supporting a 100th anniversary of the GSA resolution.

“Overnight, Morris became the fodder of mainstream media and late-night hosts. Even Morris’s fellow Indiana House Republicans joined in the mockery, purchasing cases of Girl Scout cookies and crunching away in front of Morris during a House session.”

The issue is about change over time, a change away from an original focus.

“What Morris’s fellow Republicans fail to understand is that in collective outrage, there is truth — exposed. And the truth is that, for all the generations of earnest, jumper-clad cookie entrepreneurs the GSUSA has lovingly nurtured, the organization is moving left at a fast clip, even if only at its highest levels of leadership. This may be news even to most scouts, if not the parents, citizens, and business leaders who volunteer their time and talent as troop leaders. “

One of the ways to measure the extremism is by the outrage that is stimulated by exposing it. That is being seen over and over again. Rush Limbaugh can tell you about that.

“And thus, a new welfare entitlement must be created so that society will pay for it. You know, somebody asked me, “Why are you so insulting?” Me? Can anybody understand that a whole lot of us are insulted by this? Here we are, we’re minding our business one day. We’re bothering nobody. We can’t anyway! We can’t inspect your kids’ lunch box. We can’t raise your taxes. We can’t send your kids off to war. We can’t make you buy a certain kind of car. We can’t do anything. And all of a sudden we’re told that people who want to have sex without consequence, sex with no responsibility, and we have pay for it! We’re told we have to pay for it — and if we object, that somehow we’re Neanderthal. Just out of nowhere this comes up.

Now, that, to me, is insulting.”

It appears that the birth control controversy is a ‘made for politics’ effort. The testimony to Congress and the whole law school birth control issue was constructed by an activist seeking a target for promoting her views. That implies that one side of the debate is using the outrage stimulation as a tool for its political power plays. To do that requires gullibility in its followers and adherents. When the other side is trying to ‘play fair’ and believe that its opponents are honest, the ‘fight’ gets rather one sided.

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A good lesson in critical reading: the nuclear phobias

You may have seen some of the recent headlines about a report that proclaimed apocalypse nearly averted or some such hyperbole. The Fukushima Question at Slate provides a good example of critical reading that the headline writers seem to have avoided.

With an eye to the first anniversary of the tsunami that killed 20,000 people and caused a partial meltdown at the Fukushima power plant in Japan, a recently formed nongovernmental organization called Rebuild Japan released a report earlier this week on the nuclear incident to alarming media coverage. … To say that Japan “barely avoided” what another top official called a “demonic chain reaction” of plant meltdowns and the evacuation of Tokyo is to make an extraordinary claim … The same day the New York Times published its story, PBS broadcast a Frontline documentary about the Fukushima meltdown that invites a somewhat different interpretation

The Rebuild Japan report seems, on its face, to have been produced by a highly credible team of “30 university professors, lawyers and journalists.” But even a seemingly legitimate study deserves a skeptical eye … It should have been a red flag that Rebuild Japan gave its report to journalists a full week before releasing it to the public, which prevented outside experts from evaluating its claims. Another hint that the report merited a contrary opinion was the fact that it excluded any account from Tepco executives, who refused to be interviewed by Rebuild Japan investigators.

There is another example going on right now about a constructed controversy. That is on the idea of mandating insurance coverage for lifestyle choices being paraded as either freedom for women from interference in their health decisions or as an assault on women’s health. The arguments don’t make sense and the allegations about a major talk show host are about as dishonest as they get.

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