Thursday, May 31, 2012

Obama flies barber in from Chicago Every two weeks

Which is his right.  After all, it's his money.  But please, no more lectures about the 1%.  This is incredibly indulgent.  And frankly, anyone could cut his hair.  It's not like he has a John Edwards Pompadour.

Politically it's also remarkably stupid.

Real Cherokees to Warren: 'We don't claim you'

As the descendant of a real Cherokee (my grandmother was a card carrying member) I've been irritated by MA Senate Dem Candidate Elizabeth Warren's career enhancing misappropriation of the Cherokee identity.  Ms. Warren (aka Lieawatha) who despite having no evidence continues to insist that she is a Cherokee.

Well now some real Cherokees are calling Fauxahontas' bluff.

The result will be another Republican victory in the Ur Blue State.  Ted Kennedy's old seat, no less.  What delicious irony.

Public union membership falls by half once you give union members choice

It turns out that a lot of public union members in Wisconsin don't believe in the union.  The moment Scott Walker's reforms freed them from compulsory union membership almost half dropped out.  Imagine that:  a whole lot of people were being coerced into giving large sums of money to a private institution that they did not support as a condition of their employment.  It's a pity we can't do this everywhere - then the unionistas would have far less of other people's money to waste on entrenching their power.

The times they are a the WSJ.

NYC plans a ban on 'large sugared drinks'

New York City:  beyond parody.  It's funny, the new Puritans are obsessed by fat the way that the old ones were obsessed by sex.  How about leaving people alone?

New York City plans to enact a far-reaching ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts, in the most ambitious effort yet by the Bloomberg administration to combat rising obesity.

Lies, damned lies and Federal Government 'Studies'

Were the DOE's assumptions on wind power all wrong?  That’s the allegation in the new book, Green Illusions, by Berkeley visiting scholar Ozzie Zehner:
BERKELEY, Calif., May 30, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Presidents Bush and Obama both supported wind power development by publicly referencing a Department of Energy (DOE) study that contains serious flaws, according to a new environmental book by UC Berkeley visiting scholar Ozzie Zehner. GREEN ILLUSIONS (University of Nebraska Press, June 2012) draws upon previously unpublished interviews with the DOE. According to Green Illusions, the DOE report renders a picture of wind energy that is up to six times more impressive than the department’s own field experience would indicate.
Fifty environmental groups and research organizations formally backed the report, including the Sierra Club and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. However, during his investigation, Zehner found that an appendix in the DOE report contains projections that are incongruent with DOE field data. The report therefore greatly underestimates wind turbine costs and overestimates wind power yields. 
The DOE report, 20% Wind Energy by 2030, concludes that the U.S. could fill 20 percent of its electrical grid with wind power at “modest” cost. However, Zehner contends that, “the federal report extrapolates a select few years of data into the future without acknowledging the industry’s maturation. It’s as problematic as extrapolating the growth of high school students to show that by college they will stand taller than giraffes.” 
The DOE commissioned Black and Veatch to create the wind energy datasets. The consultancy assumed that experience from installing wind turbines would improve yields and decrease costs well into the future. “While it is well accepted that this occurred through the 1980s and 1990s, the learning curve has since flattened,” explains Zehner, “as the DOE itself documented in other reports.”
Zehner does not stand against wind energy, but insists there are better options to reduce fossil fuel use. “Hype surrounding wind energy might even shield the fossil-fuel establishment — if clean and abundant energy is just over the horizon, then there is less motivation to clean up existing energy production or use energy more wisely,” says Zehner.
So now we have tens of thousands of twenty story bird Cuisinarts and the most astonishing visual pollution smeared across the fruited plain. In a truly Federal nation many states would have checked the math and adopted a 'wait and see' attitude towards what we now know is an almost useless and environmentally destructive technology. But in the bizarre Bluto Blutarsky world of the Feds ("wanna beer, don't cost nuthin'") every state had the incentive to shut up and help its rent seekers take the cash. "After all, if we don't take our share it'll just go to Iowa"....The rest here.

There are no effective checks on the Federal superstate.  None.  And once a blunder is made and special interests get fully funded, it is well nigh impossible to reverse course (just ask the sugar or ethanol lobbies).  This is the consequence of tops down Federal manipulation.  Markets and individual states make mistakes but competition forces them to correct them.  If only because they don't have a printing press.

Break it up, break it all up.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Social Democracy: Thy name is Chaos

Chaos that has been saved up for generations.  And the US is only a few years behind and desperately trying to catch up.

Here are two shots of doom with your coffee this morning, first from NRO's John Fund:

A Greek member of parliament told me recently that tax reform was "almost impossible" to achieve because "our tax system is run by the Mafia." I laughed and said that many countries had people who thought of their tax collectors that way. "No, no," the parliamentarian insisted. "I mean that organized crime really runs the tax agencies for their benefit, taking a cut of the reduction in taxes they give out to citizens. Every person appointed to reform the system has been pushed out. Respect for authority is nil."

It increasingly looks as if Greece is on the verge of collapse, a sad condition for the nation that gave us democracy and so much of our civilized heritage 2,500 years ago. But the Greeks should have been warned. It was in the famous Greek tragedies that the concept of hubris was explored -- the notion that excessive pride or defiance of the gods leads to disaster. How Greece recovers will depend in part on how much its people take that lesson to heart and start rebuilding.

Then this remarkably grim assessment from Peter Boone and Simon Johnson at Baseline Scenario:

A disorderly break-up of the euro area will be far more damaging to global financial markets than the crisis of 2008. In fall 2008 the decision was whether or how governments should provide a back-stop to big banks and the creditors to those banks.  Now some European governments face insolvency themselves.  The European economy accounts for almost 1/3 of world GDP.  Total euro sovereign debt outstanding comprises about $11 trillion, of which at least $4 trillion must be regarded as a near term risk for restructuring.

Europe's rich capital markets and banking system, including the market for 185 trillion dollars in outstanding euro-denominated derivative contracts, will be in turmoil and there will be large scale capital flight out of Europe into the United States and Asia.  Who can be confident that our global megabanks are truly ready to withstand the likely losses?  It is almost certain that large numbers of pensioners and households will find their savings are wiped out directly or inflation erodes what they saved all their lives.  The potential for political turmoil and human hardship is staggering.

For the last three years Europe's politicians have promised to "do whatever it takes" to save the euro.  It is now clear that this promise is beyond their capacity to keep - because it requires steps that are unacceptable to their electorates.  No one knows for sure how long they can delay the complete collapse of the euro, perhaps months or even several more years, but we are moving steadily to an ugly end.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I'll take a Harvard MBA over JD any day

Regardless of where you sit, by far the biggest problem that the US has now is wealth creation.  Our private economy is not investing enough or creating enough jobs and a bloated and inefficient government is consuming too much of the wealth that we do create.  To get out of the terrifying debt trap that we find ourselves in we need to grow much faster and put more people to work.  And more than anything else we need a leader who has spent his life creating wealth, not someone who has spent it 'spreading it around'.

This, not 'racism' or 'contraception' or 'the war on women' or the 'war on terror' is the fundamental issue of this election.  And this is why the Obama administration is trying its level best to talk about anything else.

Niall Ferguson makes the fundamental case for Mitt Romney.

The Face of Planned Parenthood

When they think no one is watching.  Here is a video of a PP advising a late term abortion because the mother has a girl and wants a boy.

And I thought abortion was about women's 'rights'.

Pathetic.  Obscene.

And the Feds give hundreds of millions of dollars to these amoral fiends.

On trade, Obama's policy is no hope and no change - just fear

 In a speech two weeks ago, Senator John McCain delivered a blistering assessment of President Barack Obama’s trade policy.
“The United States has been sitting on the sidelines, and Asia is sprinting forward without us,” he said. “After four years, this administration still has not concluded or ratified a single free-trade agreement of its own making.”
McCain conceded that on Obama’s watch Congress passed three free-trade agreements made under President George W. Bush. But, he said, “Since 2003, China has secured nine FTAs in Asia and Latin America alone. It is negotiating five more, and it has four others under consideration.” Japan and India are seeking trade agreements, as well. “As of last year, one report found that Asian countries had concluded or were negotiating nearly 300 trade agreements — none of which included the United States of America.” He concluded that we, too, should pursue “an ambitious trade strategy in Asia.”
You can read the rest here.

Why I'm a conservationist and not an environmentalist

Environmentalism is fundamentally religious.  Hattip, Carpe Diem.

In his book "The Armchair Economist," economist Steven Landsburg explains why he is not an environmentalist:

"The hallmark of science is a commitment to follow arguments to their logical conclusions; the hallmark of certain kinds of religion is a slick appeal to logic followed by a hasty retreat if it points in an unexpected direction. Environmentalists can quote reams of statistics on the importance of trees and then jump to the conclusion that recycling paper is a good idea. But the opposite conclusion makes equal sense.  I am sure that if we found a way to recycle beef, the population of cattle would go down, not up. If you want ranchers to keep a lot of cattle, you should eat a lot of beef.

Recycling paper eliminates the incentive for paper companies to plant more trees and can cause forests to shrink. If you want large forests, your best strategy might be to use paper as wastefully as possible — or lobby for subsidies to the logging industry. Mention this to an environmentalist. My own experience is that you will be met with some equivalent of the beatific smile of a door-to-door evangelist stumped by an unexpected challenge, but secure in his grasp of Divine Revelation.
This suggests that environmentalists — at least the ones I have met — have no real interest in maintaining the tree population. If they did, they would seriously inquire into the long-term effects of recycling. I suspect that they don't want to do that because their real concern is with the ritual of recycling itself, not with its consequences. The underlying need to sacrifice, and to compel others to sacrifice, is a fundamentally religious impulse."

SWATing is all the (lefty) rage now

Conservative commentators and bloggers are increasingly the victim of SWATing - an anonymous caller reports a shooting at their address so that the police will come with guns drawn.  Conservative bloggers are now having to take precautions against this new form of political warfare.  Of course precautions don't work in Chicago....or any place where Chicago style pols run the show.  There, police harassment of the 'other' is official policy.  More here.

Thus Hope 'n Change turns to Fear 'n Loathing  They are the ones we've been waiting for....

Hope: The Sequel For Obama & Co., this time around it’s all about fear.

The real name for the 2012 campaigns:  By any means necessary.  It's the Chicago way and our President is a Chicago trained and raised pol.  A Daley in blackface.

New York Magazine has more.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Matt Ridley on collective intelligence

Civilization flourishes not because of individual genius but because we combine the minds of billions of humans into a collective intelligence that far exceeds anyone's abilities.  No one knows how to make a pencil or a PC.  It takes huge numbers of us to do so.  This is why democracy trumps dictatorship and market solutions trump government solutions.  I really does take a (global) village.  More here.

That's why, as Friedrich Hayek observed, central planning never worked: the cleverest person is no match for the collective brain at working out how to distribute consumer goods. The idea of bottom-up collective intelligence, which Adam Smith understood and Charles Darwin echoed, and which Hayek expounded in his remarkable essay "The use of knowledge in society", is one idea I wish everybody had in their cognitive toolkit.

Global Warming Redux: Global Drought Severity has been declining for decades

As Global Warming (oops, excuse me, 'Climate Change') hysteria has risen, one of the supposed 'results' of it:  massive droughts has steadily declined.  Warmer seems to correlate with wetter.  Which of course is obvious as long as you set your ideology aside.  Warmer air can carry more moisture.

Are stocks undervalued?

Historic price of stocks denominated in gold.

So what? Obama isn't qualified to be President

So why should Dr. MacFarlane have to be qualified to run the NRC.  Academic 'geniuses' can do anything, can't they?  After all, I bet she published actual scholarly papers, not just narcissistic autobiographies.

APPOINTMENTS: Macfarlane is not qualified to be Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. “Dr. Macfarlane is a college professor, an author and an activist. Nothing I have read about Dr. Macfarlane indicates that she has ever managed anyone, but the President has nominated her to be the executive decision maker for a federal agency with a budget of nearly $1 billion, a staff of more than 4,000 highly trained professionals and regulatory authority over an industry with a current annual output that is worth more than $100 billion. The Nuclear Regulatory Agency does not just regulate nuclear power plants; it is also responsible for regulating uranium and thorium mining, a substantial portion of nuclear medicine, and use of radioactive sources in a wide variety of industries.” Well, to be fair, the President was a professor (well, lecturer), author and activist, and he’s managing a much larger enterprise.

The state bureaucratizes everything

Because there is no market consequence, the bureaucratic solution becomes default  Even if it kills - why not?  It doesn't cost the bureaucracy anything.  It's not like a school board member is going to lose an election over it.  And the poor kid probably has no other educational options.  So f**k him.  This is why all services need to be as market based as possible.  The state is a stone cold killer.  And almost totally unaccountable.  Hattip Advice Goddess.

Apparently, The School Policy Is To Just Let Your Kid Die
A student didn't have the proper paperwork on file to use his own asthma inhaler -- at age 17 -- and the school nurse wouldn't give it to him, and didn't call 911. Shaun Chaiyabhat writes for
Volusia County School officials stand by a Deltona High School nurse's decision to refuse a student his inhaler during an asthma attack, citing a lack of a parent's signature on a medical release form."It's like something out of a horror film. The person just sits there and watches you die," said Michael Rudi, 17. "She sat there, looked at me and she did nothing."
He said the school dean found his inhaler during a search of his locker last Friday. The inhaler was still in its original packaging -- complete with his name and directions for its use; however, the school took it away because his mother hadn't signed the proper form for him to have it.
School leaders called Sue Rudi when her son started having trouble breathing. She rushed to the office and was taken back to the nurse's office by school administrators and they discovered the teen on the floor.
"As soon as we opened up the door, we saw my son collapsing against the wall on the floor of the nurse's office while she was standing in the window of the locked door looking down at my son, who was in full-blown asthma attack," Rudi said.
Michael Rudi said when he started to pass out from his attack, the nurse locked the door.
"I believe that when I closed my eyes I wasn't going to wake up," he said.
The Director of Student Health Services, Cheryl Selesky, said that parents must sign the medical release form each year, which allows students to carry their prescribed drugs with them in school.
They didn't have that signed release, Selesky said. Whoops! Failure to file paperwork. Your kid dies!

What hath the community organizer wrought?

Gallup:  Nearly half call themselves 'economically conservative'.

Four more years of the One's exquisite leadership will turn us into a libertarian paradise.  Yes He Can!

Once a community organizer, always a community organizer

Someone needs to tell the Obami that they're the incumbents - the ones that hold supreme power.  It would behoove them to act so.

THIS DOESN’T BESPEAK CONFIDENCE: Wow!… Obama Campaign Holds Protest Outside Romney Stop in Philly.

This is because Nobody has a better record to run on...

Hattip Instapundit.

THE ULTIMATE DARK-HORSE CANDIDATE: James Taranto: Nobody is challenging Obama in the primaries–and doing surprisingly well. “We now have seen Obama held under 60% by a slate of three candidates–antiabortion extremist Randall Terry, federal prison inmate Keith Judd and Tennessee lawyer John Wolfe–not to mention Nobody. . . . And while lefty pols and pundits may take some comfort in attacking these Democratic voters as ‘racist,’ that doesn’t seem a promising way of persuading them to vote for Obama–or to return to the party in future elections.”

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Household's have repaired their balance sheets: Government: not so much

Maybe we should give the average household control over the Federal purse strings.  They seem to know what they're doing.

Defining Legal Plunder

Most of what government does is legal plunder.  Just ask Bastiat.

"Legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole—with their common aim of legal plunder—constitute socialism.

But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime."

~Frederic Bastiat

The Definition of futility

Spending more per household on pointless "anti poverty" efforts than average household income.  Eventually you realize that all of this 'compassion' is just a front for rent seeking.  Rent seeking that is piling up unpayable debts on the backs of our children.  Ever see a dog covered in ticks? - they are emaciated and near death.  Our nation's ticks are proliferating at an astounding rate.  Hattip instapundit.

IN THE MAIL: From Kevin Williamson, The Dependency Agenda. “Each year, the United States spends $65,000 per poor family to ‘fight poverty’ – in a country in which the average family income is just under $50,000. Meanwhile, most of that money goes to middle-class and upper-middle-class families, and the current U.S. poverty rate is higher than it was before the government began spending trillions of dollars on anti-poverty programs.”

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Higher Education Disaster Big Ten Style

Any questions?  The great news is that looked at from the perspective of a Private Equity company, if you could acquire these institutions  you could cut unit costs in half without touching quality at all.  There is a huge upside.  Unless you work for one of these bloated organizations.

Turning Good Renters into Bad Homeowners and Good High School Grads into bad College Grads

The Feds have driven bubble after bubble.  They are the ultimate cargo cultists.  The goal is to live nobly and well, not to own houses and diplomas.  Carpe Diem explains.

Government housing policies turned "good renters into bad homeowners" and created an unsustainable housing bubble.  It's now becoming apparent that government education policies have turned "good high school graduates, many of whom should have pursued tw0-year degrees or other forms of career training, into unemployable college graduates with excessive levels of student loan debt that can't be discharged," and created an unsustainable higher education bubble. 

Colin Powell: Rat

When GWB became unpopular he jumped ship.  Now that BHO is looking like a loser, guess what - the rat is preparing to jump.

YOU DON’T NEED A WEATHERMAN TO SEE WHICH WAY THE WIND IS BLOWING: Not when you can watch a weathervane like Colin Powell, anyway. “That Powell is now contemplating withholding his support for the once-’transformational’ Obama says nothing about Mitt Romney, and everything about which way the wind is blowing in Washington. No one who fancies themselves as a wise elder and who hopes ever to serve again in government (especially on a well paid and lightly attended board or commission) has the nerve to defend Obama’s record robustly. Privately, many roll their eyes in disgust. But better to be mum for now, since everyone who is anyone or who might be helpful to another’s career will certainly understand not wanting to come right out and say the emperor has no clothes. I mean, how many people in government have Mayor Cory Booker’s integrity?”

Colin Powell's only true skill is bureaucratic:  maneuvering to be on the right side which for someone as morally vacuous as he always means the winning side.  He and David Gergen are match set of Rattis Weathervanus that infest the sewers of our Capital.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Welcome to the university productivity revolution

Unbundling and automation are going to wipe out most of the colleges that exist today.  If in pretty locations, they will be converted into senior citizen's housing.  Hattip Marginal Revolution.

In experiments at six public universities, students assigned randomly to statistics courses that relied heavily on “machine-guided learning” software — with reduced face time with instructors — did just as well, in less time, as their counterparts in traditional, instructor-centric versions of the courses. This largely held true regardless of the race, gender, age, enrollment status and family background of the students.
Here is more.  The report was led by William Bowen, an economist who is famous for, among other things, having described education as subject to an inexorable “cost disease” for lack of labor-saving innovation.

One more way the Obami will blow up the economy

Student loan volume has exploded - and all of the increase is from the Feds.  Fueling massive higher education inflation with no gains in actual skills.  But you see, 'higher' 'education' is part of the left coalition - so massive increases in money flowing to them is part of the current corporatist government's agenda.  With our kids left holding the bag.  Evil, utterly evil.

Once you get control of the government, you use the government to promote your agenda

Another example of fascism is hijacking the machinery of government to promote your political positions.  Take for example the new HHS campaign to promote the (incredibly unpopular) healthcare 'reform'.   Hattip instapundit.

TAXPAYER-FUNDED ELECTIONEERING: The Hill: HHS signs $20M PR contract to promote healthcare law.

Because some bald eagle killers are more equal than others

Fascism or more accurately corporatism allocates rights based upon what group you are part of.  If you are an in group (aryans, for example) you have different rights that out groups (Jews, Poles).  Therefore things that are defined as immoral can be redefined as 'moral' if the right group does it.  Take the example of bald eagles.  Organizations that are not aligned and part of the 'environmental movement' like oil companies or traditional electric power generators are aggressively prosecuted for killing even a few birds.  By contrast wind power generators which are part of the dominant power coalition slaughter far more endangered birds and yet are never prosecuted.  Now the Obami are establishing new 30 year permits for bald eagle slaughter to be handed out to these 'approved' groups. Thus equal protection of the law is perverted into privileges for the power coalition.

Which is functionally fascist.

Deroy Murdock has more on NRO.

More evidence we live in a fascist state

Imagine that:  Nazis kinder than Democrats.  Of course the Nazi's just hated Jews, while the Dems hate anyone with money.  Except Dems with money, of course.  You know, it probably would have been cheaper for Eduardo to simply do a Buffett and call Facebook a 'green' technology.  I guess he has some integrity.

IRA STOLL: Eduardo Saverin And Echoes of the Reichsfluchtsteuer. “The Reich flight tax that the Nazis imposed on Jews trying to flee in the 1930s was 25 percent. Democrats want Saverin to pay 30 percent.”

Monday, May 21, 2012

Federal Government: Looters

The Federal Government is indistinguishable from a criminal enterprise.  We need to break it up, break it all up.  George Will Explains:

Russ Caswell, 68, is bewildered: “What country are we in?” He and his wife, Pat, are ensnared in a Kafkaesque nightmare unfolding in Orwellian language.
George Will
Will writes a twice-a-week column on politics and domestic affairs.

This town’s police department is conniving with the federal government to circumvent Massachusetts law — which is less permissive than federal law — to seize his livelihood and retirement asset. In the lawsuit titled United States of America v. 434 Main Street, Tewksbury, Massachusetts, the government is suing an inanimate object, the motel Caswell’s father built in 1955. The U.S. Department of Justice intends to seize it, sell it for perhaps $1.5 million and give up to 80 percent of that to the Tewksbury Police Department, whose budget is just $5.5 million. The Caswells have not been charged with, let alone convicted of, a crime. They are being persecuted by two governments eager to profit from what is antiseptically called the “equitable sharing” of the fruits of civil forfeiture, a process of government enrichment that often is indistinguishable from robbery.
The Merrimack River Valley near the New Hampshire border has had more downs than ups since the 19th century, when the nearby towns of Lowell and Lawrence were centers of America’s textile industry. In the 1960s the area briefly enjoyed a high-tech boom. Caswell’s “budget” motel, too, has seen better days, as when the touring Annette Funicello and the Mouseketeers checked in. In its sixth decade the motel hosts tourists, some workers on extended stays and some elderly people who call it home. The 56 rooms rent for $56 a night or $285 a week.
Since 1994, about 30 motel customers have been arrested on drug-dealing charges. Even if those police figures are accurate — the police have a substantial monetary incentive to exaggerate — these 30 episodes involved less than 5/100ths of 1 percent of the 125,000 rooms Caswell has rented over those more than 6,700 days. Yet this is the government’s excuse for impoverishing the Caswells by seizing this property, which is their only significant source of income and all of their retirement security.
The government says the rooms were used to “facilitate” a crime. It does not say the Caswells knew or even that they were supposed to know what was going on in all their rooms all the time. Civil forfeiture law treats citizens worse than criminals, requiring them to prove their innocence — to prove they did everything possible to prevent those rare crimes from occurring in a few of those rooms. What counts as possible remains vague. The Caswells voluntarily installed security cameras, they photocopy customers’ identifications and record their license plates, and they turn the information over to the police, who have never asked the Caswells to do more.
The Caswells are represented by the Institute for Justice, a libertarian public-interest law firm. IJ explains that civil forfeiture is a proceeding in which property is said to have acted wrongly. This was useful long ago against pirates, who might be out of reach but whose ill-gotten gains could be seized. The Caswells, however, are not pirates.

Barack Obama: The Jay Gatsby of our tarnished age

Mark Steyn on the One's remarkably self made identity:

Entering these murky waters, swimming through it like a crab in Mrs. Warren's tomato mayo, Barack Obama refined his own identity with a finesse that Harvard Law's first cigar-store Indian lacked. In 1984, when "Elizabeth Warren – Cherokee" was cooking up a storm, the young Obama was still trying to figure out his name: He'd been "Barry" up till then. According to his recently discovered New York girlfriend, back when she dated him he was "BAR-ack," emphasis on the first syllable, as in barracks, which is how his dad was known back in Kenya. Later in the Eighties, he decided "BAR-ack" was too British, and modified it to "Ba-RACK". Some years ago, on Fox News, Bob Beckel criticized me for mispronouncing Barack Obama's name. My mistake.
All I did was say it the way they've always said it back in Kenya. But Obama himself didn't finally decide what his name was or how to say it until he was pushing 30. In the shifting sands of identity, he picked his crabs carefully.
"I suppose he'd had the name ready for a long time, even then," says Nick Carraway in "The Great Gatsby." "His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people – his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all. The truth was that Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself... . So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end."

It seems to be a Harvard norm....

Omerta is a Mafia (and Chicago) Tradition

Keep your mouth shut and no one gets hurt now extents to "Emeritus" Divinity Professors at prestige universities.  Reverend Wright is going to write a very interesting book after the polls close....and it will embarrass our 'lamestream' media to no end.


Government is good at creating devastating bubbles.  Not much else though.  The housing bubble popped in '08 and the higher education bubble is

Well it's not like there any jobs left in Italy....

CHANGE: Italian university switches to English for success. “The 149-year-old university, located in Italy’s business capital Milan, is set to become the first Italian place of higher learning to teach all its graduate courses in English when it kicks off its academic year in 2014. The aim is to kit out its students with the right stuff to gain access to the global jobs market. It’s also meant to attract top-class international students at a time when competition among universities worldwide is hotting up. . . . The university – one of the world’s top 50 engineering schools according to QS World University rankings – will offer all its Master of Science and PhD courses in English and will invest 3.2 million euros to attract international faculty.”

If the police confiscate it, they get to keep it

Remember:  The police aren't on your side, they are on their side.  They're thugs.  Treat them accordingly.

TAR. FEATHERS. Under Asset Forfeiture Law, Wisconsin Cops Confiscate Families’ Bail Money.

When the Brown County, Wis., Drug Task Force arrested her son Joel last February, Beverly Greer started piecing together his bail.

She used part of her disability payment and her tax return. Joel Greer’s wife also chipped in, as did his brother and two sisters. On Feb. 29, a judge set Greer’s bail at $7,500, and his mother called the Brown County jail to see where and how she could get him out. “The police specifically told us to bring cash,” Greer says. “Not a cashier’s check or a credit card. They said cash.”

So Greer and her family visited a series of ATMs, and on March 1, she brought the money to the jail, thinking she’d be taking Joel Greer home. But she left without her money, or her son.

Instead jail officials called in the same Drug Task Force that arrested Greer. A drug-sniffing dog inspected the Greers’ cash, and about a half-hour later, Beverly Greer said, a police officer told her the dog had alerted to the presence of narcotics on the bills — and that the police department would be confiscating the bail money.

“I told them the money had just come from the bank,” Beverly Greer says. “We had just taken it out. If the money had drugs on it, then they should go seize all the money at the bank, too. I just don’t understand how they could do that.”

Tar. Feathers.

When someone can destroy you, you spend a lot of time and money trying to influence them

The paradox is why the 'good government' types believe you can massively increase state power without a massive increase in efforts to influence the state.  They must think that people are fools.  Hattip Instapundit.

TIGERHAWK: The Lobbying Ban And Concentration Of Power. “When government at one level or another accounts for 30% of GDP, it is a huge source of business and regulation that any executive ignores at his or her peril. The extent of lobbying, therefore, is in direct relationship to government’s intrusion in to the economy, and since this government has intruded more than any predecessor going back at least to the first half of the Carter Administration, lobbying has no doubt grown notwithstanding Barack Obama’s stated ambition.”

Is this where the rats are fleeing to?

Money follows power...HT Instapundit

CHANGE: Romney Fund-Raising Closing In On Obama’s.

New York City far more unequal than country

Big Blue states like CA, IL and NY increasingly resemble developing countries:  well connected, fabulous wealth concentrated at the top, huge numbers of very poor people of color and a smaller than average middle class.  That's why gated communities (aka doorman buildings) are so popular in big blue land.

BLUE INEQUALITY: More Earners at Extremes in New York Than in U.S. “The wealthiest 1 percent of New York City residents took in nearly one-third of the personal income in the city in 2009 — almost double the comparable proportion nationwide, a new study shows. In a report scheduled to be released Monday, the city comptroller’s office found that large percentages of New Yorkers earned high incomes and low incomes, leaving a smaller middle class than in the nation as a whole.”

What happens when you start running out of useful idiots

Obama running out of big donors.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bastiat Shoots, Shovels and Shuts up

Extreme environmental coercion leads to unintended consequences.  Bastiat would be proud. HT Carepe Diem.  Of  course now we are happily killing lots more bald eagles and other raptors now in the name of 'environmental purity'.  That would tickle Msr. Bastiat as well.

Today (May 18) is Endangered Species Day, and in the video above Professor Don Boudreaux explains how the Endangered Species Act of 1973 might have good intentions (preserve threatened animals), in reality it often has the effect of giving landowners strong reasons to kill any endangered species they find on their property. This phenomenon is known as "shoot, shovel, and shut up," and is one of the unintended consequences of government regulation. 

A new delicacy: Cuisinarted Bald Eagles

So a technology that produces almost no electricity slaughters birds and the Enviros respond by loosening the regs on the killing.

And they call these 'cats Environmentalists?    Fascists, more like - the windies are on their side so yay, windies.  I'll bet they won't 'relax' the standards for coal mines or fracking operations - 'cause they're republicans.  Pathetic.  Hattip Planet Gore.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a division of the Interior Department, is considering loosening regulations on the killing of bald eagles, the national bird of the United States, to accommodate the development of wind energy sources.
A draft regulation first filed in April would allow businesses to apply for 30-year permits allowing them to kill bald eagles in the course of other legal activities. The length of those permits would be a six-fold increase over the five-year window allowed under current law.
The rest here.

America: you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave

As a natural born citizen without wealth, I don't have another nation I can flee to.  But given the increasing vindictive cruelty of my country, if I did, I think I would renounce.

Submitted by Simon Black of Sovereign Man
Regardless Of What The Propaganda Says, This Is Not How A Free Society Treats People
I’ve been in the US for a little more than 24-hours. And having flipped through the TV channels trying to figure out what useless drivel big media is passing off as ‘news’, I realized that I’m going to vomit if I hear the word “fair” one more time.
This concept of ‘fair’ seems to be dominating discussion of the US government’s dismal fiscal condition. The talking heads say that it’s ‘fair’ for wealthy Americans to pay higher taxes and bail the country out… or that everyone needs to pay his/her ‘fair’ share.
The whole logic is absurd: you do not ‘fix’ the country’s fiscal imbalances by giving the idiots in charge even more resources to squander… it’s like dumping gasoline on a forest fire. Somehow the debate seems to have missed this point.
This ‘fair’ nonsense is also very dangerous.  Just ask any three-year old– ‘fair’ is completely arbitrary. It’s like a Wiki version morality… if enough people agree on it, it’s fair.
In this case, ‘fair’ is defined in the sole discretion of those who are the direct beneficiaries of confiscating other people’s money. But let’s look at the numbers:
According to the IRS statistical database, the top 1% of income earners in the United States pays roughly 40% of all US individual income tax. They also get audited at least 5-times more than anyone else. Fair?
The other major complaint seems to be that the wealthy are ‘abusing’ capital gains rules in order to pay a 15% rate instead of a 35% rate. Duh. That’s why they’re wealthy, and stay wealthy… they don’t WORK for a living, they OWN assets which are subject to capital gains.
It seems so bizarre that a country once regarded as the freest, most economically enviable in the world would treat its productive citizens with such hostility.
This is where Eduardo Saverin comes in. The Facebook co-founder, who finds himself a few billion dollars richer this week, recently renounced his US citizenship. And, to the intelligentsia, it’s not ‘fair’.
‘Saverin needs to pay his fair share! He owes America more,’ they whine, completely ignorant that the 30-year old is already forking over a $500+ million exit tax (which may end up in the billions).
Apparently it’s not good enough that the company Saverin co-founded has created tens of thousands of jobs, spawned entire industries, and produced oodles of new millionaires. Oh yeah, it’s also made things damn easy for the CIA, NSA, and FBI. You’d think Uncle Sam would pin a medal on his chest.
But no. Saverin left behind a lot of value and decided to move on to greener pastures in Singapore. Now the do-gooders in Congress are cooking up new legislation (the EX-PATRIOT Act) designed to permanently bar ‘renunciants’ like Saverin from re-entering the United States.
It’s interesting that, rather than change their ways of doing business and introducing legislation that provides incentives for productive people to come here and stay here, they maintain policies that chase people away, and introduce new ones to lock the door after they’re gone.
The lesson here (especially for natural-born citizens) is this: simply by accident of birth, you are born with a lifelong obligation that you never signed up for to finance the corrupt misdealings of the political class. And if you choose to abandon this obligation, they will bar you from ever entering your homeland again.
Regardless of what the propaganda says, this is not how a free society treats people. It might look and feel like a representative democracy on the surface, but under the hood it’s the modern day equivalent of feudal serfdom.
The land of the free has certainly fallen a long wa

Thursday, May 17, 2012

MIT makes online innovator President

The times, they are a changin'.  I predict hundreds, nay thousands of colleges will be swept away by an on line quality revolution.  High Schools too.  Faster please.  HT Instapundit

YOU DON’T NEED A WEATHERMAN TO SEE WHICH WAY THE WIND IS BLOWING: MIT Names Its Provost, Who Led Online-Education Efforts, as New President. “Mr. Reif led the development of MITx, the institute’s new online-education program, university officials said. He is also credited for his lead role in the formation of edX, a new partnership between MIT and Harvard University that will offer free online courses from both institutions.”

Obama on his money teat.

Deliciously cruel in the old Yellow Journalism tradition.  Love it.


Future Tech: Transportation, Energy, Robotics?

It does seem that the technology focus is increasingly on using information and sensors to do real world things better:  like self driving cars, automated factories and energy discovery and productions.  Richard Karlgaard in the WSJ:

Manufacturing? America will own the mid-21st century. Geopolitical instability and rising oil prices will wreck the late 20th-century rationale for outsourcing. Chinese labor costs are rising 20% a year while robotic costs are dropping by 30% a year. Do the math.

Who the hell are you?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Gay Marriage announcement political: voters say

They are shocked, shocked that Obama would politicize such an 'important personal choice'.  The One gives cynicism a bad name and the electorate knows it.

"Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed by The New York Times and CBS News since the announcement said they thought that Mr. Obama had made it 'mostly for political reasons,'" the Timesreports. "Independents were more likely to attribute it to politics, with nearly half of Democrats agreeing. The results reinforce the concerns of White House aides and Democratic strategists who worried that the sequence of events leading up to the announcement last week made it look calculated rather than principled. … [A]mong those who said Mr. Obama’s position would influence their vote, more said they would be less likely to vote for him."

Obama leads by only 7 in Arkansas primary

Boy the One sure is popular out there in the 'sticks', ain't he?  In West Virginia he almost lost to an incarcerated felon.

The fascists will use any pretext to justify expanding their power

Just in case you're bad at math, the study finds that cellphones were implicated in one death for every 5 billion miles driven.  Clearly the Feds need to get involved to 'save' us.  What would we do without them (other than not be bankrupt?)

I am not a fan of texting while driving, but I’m even less of a fan of ill-considered federal interventions. My new Bloomberg View column concerns Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s war on “distracted driving,” and the dubious evidence behind it.
Advocating the [National Transportation Safety Board]’s preferred ban, its chairman Deborah Hersman noted that 3,092 people had died in distracted-driving incidents in 2010. The Transportation Department estimates that Americans drove 3 trillion miles that year. That works out to 970 million miles driven for each distracted-driving fatality.
To put these numbers in further perspective: Drunken driving caused more than three times as many fatalities. And mobile phones were not the main cause of distractions, either, even if Hersman implied that they were. In 2009, the Transportation Department found that phones were either being used by or “in the presence of” a driver in 18 percent of distracted-driving fatalities. Another department report concluded that “conversing with a passenger was the most common source of distraction” from inside cars.
I go on to argue that federal efforts to ban the use of cell phones in cars, and even GPS systems, would be a mistake.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Federal government now electioneering for Obama

Perhaps they'll require a big smiling photo of the 'one' on each check.  Pathetic abuse of the government.   Very, very Chicago.

REGULATORY ELECTIONEERING: Insurers must credit ObamaCare when giving new round of rebates, feds say. “Health-insurance companies must tell customers who get a premium rebate this summer that the check is the result of the Obama administration’s health-care law, according to federal guidelines released Friday. The move is the latest sign the Obama administration is trying to draw attention to the law’s benefits before the fall elections, even though the law faces an uncertain future.”

He thought he owned it

The problem with long serving politicians, particularly Senators is their sense of entitlement.  They forget that they serve at the people's pleasure.  It's one of the consequences of the direct election of Senators.  If state legislators picked them, they would be less arrogant and more useful.  We need to clip these grandees wings and return to the original constitutional design which gave states much more power over the Federal Government so we can get it back under control.  HT Legal insurrection.

That’s the name of a Twitter account which has been active throughout the Indiana primary, and it certainly hit the mark:
Lots of telephone calls were flying between politicians on election night.
Treasurer Richard Mourdock said he has received numerous calls congratulating him on his win in the Republican primary election over Sen. Richard Lugar.
Among them was former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee.
Mourdock said he missed Romney’s Tuesday night call, tried to call him back Wednesday and had to settle for Romney’s voice mail.
Also calling were former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and businessman Herman Cain, both former GOP presidential candidates; former Vice President Dan Quayle; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and a slew of other senators.
One senator, though, had not called as of late Thursday: Lugar.
During his victory speech, Mourdock went out of his way to lead the crowd in a round of applause for Lugar’s years of public service.
And I have no doubt that Mourdock will continue to unify the Indiana Republican Party.
But Lugar’s conduct post-defeat is demonstrating the wisdom of the voters in retiring him.
Meanwhile, Mourdock’s money bomb is going well, but more is needed to close the gap with Democratic candidate Joe Donnelly.  Contribute here.