Saturday, January 31, 2015

Another Republican candidate another "bully"

The National press smears Jeb Bush the same way they smeared Romney and W. Meanwhile no one knows anything about BHO's school record.

Such is life among the frauds who "lead" us .

Clinton's poisoned legacy

The US homeownership rate fell to a 25-year low in the fourth quarter of last year at 63.9% (seasonally adjusted) — the lowest rate since Q4 1989, according to Census data released today. So the rate of homeownerhip is back to where it started before the political obsession with homeownerhsip turned millions of good renters into bad homeowners as government housing finance policies pressured lenders to lower credit standards, income requirements, and down payments to what would otherwise have been unqualified home buyers. After a housing bubble, mortgage meltdown, financial crisis and a homeownership rate approaching 70%, we’ve returned to the homeownership rate of the mid-1980s.

If you recall the home ownership rate began to soar in the Clinton administration as standards were abandoned and lending was coerced. A lot if us warned that it would end in tears but those responsible (including Fannie and Freddie centimillionaires and Dem apparatchiks Franklin Raines and Jim Jones) were long gone. Only the pain and tears remained.

Hat tip Carpe diem.

The upper middle class are statist, self serving scum - Reihan Salam

Well technically Reihan didn't say that but he was thinking it.
From legal and medical guilds restricting competition to nimbyism that drives the value of their real estate sky high and ridiculously high college tuitions, the upper middle class "professional " has become professional primarily at lining their own pockets.

Clever word wranglers dominate a society overwhelmed by law. More here.

Friday, January 30, 2015

The problem with the left is that there is absolutely no limiting mechanismy for its looniness.

Not biology:

then there was this item from The Week (TheNational Review feature, not the magazine):
Mount Holyoke College is for women only, but they’re not super strict about the gender thing. According to official guidelines, you don’t need to have the usual anatomical features to be considered female; a student can apply for admission if he or she is “biologically born male; identifies as woman” or even “biologically born male; identifies as other/they/ze and when ‘other/they’ identity includes woman.” So basically, if you’ve ever thought about getting a mani-pedi, you’re in. This pro-transsexual policy is intended to make Mount Holyoke hospitable to all women, no matter how tenuous their gender identity, and now it has resulted in the additional benefit of getting The Vagina Monologues removed from campus. This pudendum-positive theater piece, solemnly recited at colleges nationwide every Valentine’s Day like the Haggadah at Passover, will no longer be performed at Mount Holyoke . . . because it is demeaning to “women” who have penises. The play is demeaning, all right, and so is this campus debate.

And not reality:

My buddy James Lileks writes about how left-wing students at Berkeley (sort of redundant, I know) are starting to turn on Marx, not because of his potted theories of the dialectic, his crude reductionism of man to homo economicus, or even the fact that he set the foundation for turning the 20th century into an abattoir. No, Marx is bad because he’s just another dead white guy. The students write in the school paper:
We are calling for an occupation of syllabi in the social sciences and humanities. This call to action was instigated by our experience last semester as students in an upper-division course on classical social theory. Grades were based primarily on multiple-choice quizzes on assigned readings. The course syllabus employed a standardized canon of theory that began with Plato and Aristotle, then jumped to modern philosophers: Hobbes, Locke, Hegel, Marx, Weber and Foucault, all of whom are white men. The syllabus did not include a single woman or person of color.
First let me interject by noting that the moment anyone says to you “We are calling for an occupation of syllabi,” you can put your headphones back on and finish watching the latest episode of Gotham, because nothing that follows will be worth your time.
Anyway, they go on to gripe that Marx worked from the assumption that there are -- or were -- differences between men and women. The madman! The professor’s statement in defense of Marx, that “women give birth while men do not,” was enough to make some students flee the room, no doubt in search of a gender-neutral fainting couch. (“Don’t look at me! I’m all man” -- The Couch).
This is like watching Godzilla stomp across Tokyo and your only complaint is he’s not wearing pants.

My God these cats are nuts.. 

The goal of progressivism is not to make the world rational; it’s to make the world Portland

LIFESTYLE SO GOOD, IT’S MANDATORY: “California has effectively decriminalized marijuana (possession of less than an ounce is a civil matter roughly equivalent to a speeding ticket — a rarely written speeding ticket), and the state has a medical (ahem) marijuana program that is, for the moment, largely unregulated. At the same time, the state is launching a progressive jihad against ‘vaping,’ the use of so-called e-cigarettes that deliver nicotine in the form of vapor. . . . If that seems inconsistent to you, you are thinking about it the wrong way: For all of its scientific pretensions and empirical posturing, progressivism is not about evidence, and at its heart it is not even about public policy at all: It is about aesthetics. The goal of progressivism is not to make the world rational; it’s to make the world Portland.”

And people wonder why I don't trust the media

Another AGW survey "proving" that everyone who is anyone "believes"  that "global warming is caused by human activity" turns out to be shoddy, goal driven crap.

This is getting old, gang. Keep it up and people might think you're biased or something.

Time believes that climate change causes volcanos

And from that inanity it's a short step to say that the people's sins have caused the crops to fail. Wait...they're already saying that. Global warming is a wonderful religion because it absolves it's practitioners of any responsibility to understand anything. They just shout "hot, hot, hot".

God help us every one.

Peter Beinart accuses Jindal of "bigotry" for stating the obvious

Bobby Jindal points out that unassimilated Muslims are a threat to our nation's peace and tranquility . This is so obviously the case as that it takes a true left liberal like Beinart to deny it.  The left sees Muslims as "victims" and therefore useful in their never ending battle for more power and wealth.  And their electoral logic is impeccable: absent change there will be more and more Muslim victims to make into clients.

I think Mr. Beinart and his team don't really care what kind of society they live in so long as they are in power. They really are corrupt, aren't  they?

More corrupt ranting here.

The tragedy is that even a lot of left wing Jews really don't mean never again.

The problem with ideological left liberalism is that it is a solvent thar destroys all organic connections of family, faith, ethnicity in favor of the will to power in the name of a genericized "humanity" shorn of all that is human except for certain useful racial or gender categories. But Israelis? Or European Jews? Why they're all capitalists or Kulaks or Racists or...well Krauthammer explains.

Amid the ritual expressions of regret and the pledges of “never again” on Tuesday’s 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, a bitter irony was noted: Anti-Semitism has returned to Europe. With a vengeance.
It has become routine. If the kosher-grocery massacre in Paris hadn’t happened in conjunction with Charlie Hebdo, how much worldwide notice would it have received? As little as did the murder of a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse. As little as did the terror attack that killed four at the Jewish Museum in Brussels.
And therefore in the New Heaven and New Earth they are expendable.

Virtuous competition between the states

Stephen Moore notes that the dominance of Republicans at the state house level is leading to aggressive competition on taxes, labor laws and regulation. State after state is cutting its top marginal income tax rates with a few ambitious states targeting complete repeal. At the same time state after state have implemented "right to work" laws and tort reform which have the happy coincidence of both promoting growth and eviscerating leftist anti growth funding sources. The spread of pro producer  governance is great for the nation but a challenge for  deep blue and disproportionately fiscally troubled states.

The competition for jobs and wealth is getting much tougher for those that look at wealth creators as sheep to be shorn or slaughtered.

It's hard not to consider the entire Ethanol Industry a criminal enterprise

The massively subsidized and mandated diversion of food into ethanol production has spiked food prices and hunger around the world. Never have the farmers' image of being noble yeoman been further from their sordid, venal truth. Here's an example of the evil corn ethanol hath wrought.

An evil I might add that was ushered in by progressives who made it acceptable for the politically powerful to line their pockets via Federal regulation. Before the proggos came along, evil and corrupt people stole from the public in the traditional way, shorn of any "public interest" propaganda. Now stealing from the people has become a liberal sacrament necessary to "save the planet" or promote "equality". And the faithful sure are chewing a lot if wafer these days.

The Hollywood black list narrative is all left sided.

Important new books demonstrate that 1. Many of those accused of generating pro Soviet propaganda in fact did so and 2. The most effective and long running black list has been the anti conservative one initiated in the 1970s.

Instead he follows his métier as a journalist (Ryskind is a long-time editor of Human Events, the same journal his father once contributed to), the old fashioned kind who wrote what actually happened. He researches, and digs up facts in a bi-partisan manner (much of the damning sources he uses against Hollywood Stalinists comes from liberals and socialists and even anti-anti-communist historians).  His effort is truly counter-cultural but he is not the first.

In recent years, as the Left Coast narrative has spread and burrowed into the general culture, there have appeared works by those such as historians Ronald and Allis Radosh that have invalidated what they call “the bedtime story Hollywood tells itself every night.”  More than just exposing Hollywood communists as totalitarian hypocrites, the Radoshes have also validated the mandate of the House Un-American Activities Committee, which was to investigate attempts by communists to not only insert agit-prop into films but also to takeover the industry (i.e. a particular vicious strike in 1945 against the studios was masterminded by union leader and communist Herbert Sorrell; thankfully a non-communist union leader named Ronald Reagan was able to stem the tide).  Even to the most objective observer there was a tide of movies peddling Stalinist propaganda during World War II.

Party member Richard Collins penned a portrait of dancing, nail-polished Kulaks in Song of Russia.  Lillian Hellman turned their villages littered with corpses years before the Nazi invasion by Stalin into a more prosperous version of the Walton’s. The most notorious example, and one that galvanized Ryskind’s father into assembling anti-communists into a group, was Mission to Moscow (1943), which supported the rigged verdicts of the Purge Trials as a needed antifascist action against such “Nazi-loving fifth columnists” as Leon Trotsky.  Perhaps the most high profile of anti-anticommunists, Victor Navasky, mocked anticommunist use of this film by stating that its screenwriter, Howard Koch, was not a Party member.  But as the Radoshes have unearthed, and provided in more detail by Ryskind, Koch was a communist in everything but membership.  And his technical advisor, Jay Leda was a Soviet spy currently being monitored by the FBI.

Ryskind doesn’t follow this established trajectory of anti-communist literature to the letter, however.  He goes where others have not or have glossed over. He focuses on Blockade (1937), a film dealing with the Spanish Civil War written by the leader of the Hollywood Communists, John Howard Lawson.  Others have accepted whatever propaganda message Lawson intended was diluted by conservative studio heads (Lillian Hellman attacked the film’s apolitical nature by stating she couldn’t tell the Loyalists from the fascists).  Ryskind, however, sees a pro-Loyalist slant but one strictly for those under Soviet control.  He rightly spends as much time on Ninotchka (1939), a highly successful comedy, as a rebuttal to those then and now who asserted that anticommunist films were crude and unprofitable. Director Ernest Lubitsch (who was so horrified by what he witnessed in 1938 Russia that he refused to remain a member of the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League unless communist members resigned) attacked the Soviets through the vehicle of the screwball genre, and, more effectively, than later more action-oriented entries exposed the joylessness and inhumanity of communism. Indeed, the State Department showed this film in Italy before the 1948 elections, and credited the communists’ loss at the polls to its effectiveness

At some point you've raised enough money - college fundraising breaks record

Charitable Donations to Colleges Reached All-Time High in 2014 ($38 Billion). With rich universities getting their largest share ever.

Perhaps Congress should cap endowments, and enact some other schemes to spread the charitable wealth around. I think everyone’s better off when you spread the wealth around.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

This of course is the moment Facebook Fascists ban them.

You stay anti Amerucan, Zuck.....

Americans now support Mohammed cartoons.

People are noticing that the Campus Rape hysteria is very much like the 1980s child rape hysteria

1. Fanned by activists and lawyers with something to gain from it being true? Check.
2. Alleging horrible crimes? Check.
3. Wild, unbelievable details? Check.
4. A demand that we suspend critical faculties and just believe the accusers? Check.
5. Treating the victims as children having  no agency, power or responsibility for the outcome? Check.
6. Kangaroo courts led by crusading women? Check.

One of the most glaring modern instances of a moral panic is probably the alleged great ritual satanic abuse cases at preschools such as Fells Acres andMcMartin in the 1980s, in which presumably competent adults suddenly began to believe obvious confabulations by young children being incompetently interviewed, which ranged from unlikely in the extreme (a sexual assault that took place in a hot air balloon) to obviously physically impossible (children being driven through nonexistent underground tunnels beneath a school). Families were arrested and put on trial in these bizarre cases and, in the case of the Amiraults of Fells Acres, put in jail for lengthy periods. Even after people woke up to the obvious problems with relying on the extensively coached testimony of 4-year-olds, and a Massachusetts parole board recommended 5-0 that Gerald Amirault have his sentence commuted, prosecutor Martha Coakley (yes, that Martha Coakley) lobbied to keep him in jail, and then-acting Governor Jane Swift denied the commutation.

I'm not too worried about this happening in red states but in places like Massachusetts (McMartin), Washington (Wenatchee) and south Florida (the people Janet Reno railroaded to propel herself onto the national scene without ever apologizing for the travesty and abuse of power that she sponsored) you never know.

In these perennially bigoted districts young men are liable to get similar treatment as black men accused of rape in the Jim Crow south or ugly unpopular women got in Salem (once again MA). As with the racists back then, being feminist and left wing means never having to prove anything against the class of people you hate.

Now I'm sure you're saying "Hang on a tick: My good man you go too far! The crusaders in this case are progressive college women, not toothless hillbillies." Which forces me to point out that the formal "separate but equal" doctrine in the south did not arise in the libertarian 1870s but in the oh so progressive 1890s with Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) and the rise of eugenics and "scientific racist" notions  championed by liberal patron saints like Margaret Sanger and Woodrow Wilson. Jim Crow back then was seen by these liberals as a rational, progressive and (dare I say it?) "Scientific" response to the "pollution" of "the race" in the south. And today's unreasonable rape hysteria has its basis in modern academic feminist theory.  Feminists I might add that consider Margaret Sanger their patron saint.

Progressivism has some very vile and hateful threads. And because progressives are never required to account for or repudiate them  (Hillary Clinton headlined a star studded beatification of Margaret Sanger and Woody Wilson the segregator of the Federal government is a Democrat demigod for crissakes) they keep popping up to poison our social discourse.

Maybe we should put young college women into day care. We are treating them like toddlers anyway. Megan McCardell has more here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

So WHY IS it OK to say "person of color" and not "colored person"?

Benedict Cumberbatch did the unspeakable: he 'nouned' instead of 'adjectivized' racial identity. And the thought police have Grammared him hard. It sure is easier to promote word change than real change isn't it?

On its own terms, political correctness is self-defeating. It drives away potential supporters, and substitutes linguistic change for social change. It replaces the desire to reform society with the desire to reform manners, and fails to understand that practised hypocrites and seasoned manipulators can meet the demand to observe correct form with ease. Indeed, they will welcome political correctness because it gives them new opportunities to intimidate and control.

How Marine Le Pen is winning France’s gay vote The Front National now has the support of a quarter of Paris’s gay voters – and only 16 per cent of the straight ones

The problem with modern left liberalism is that the identity politics at its core end up being mutually exclusive. Being "yay muslim" guarantees that over time you will lose the support of gays, Jews and Feminists.  It takes some time but eventually the losing identities tire of their status and begin walking away. Which is why a very Right Wing (in the French formulation of that word) party is attracting so many hip urban gays and Jews.

Kirsten Gillibrand: raping the truth about rape will only help rapists harm their victims more

By wildly exaggerating the incidence of rape she devalues real accusations by real victims. By implying that a huge proportion of men are rapists she alienates the strongest force available to protect against it: other men.

Once again Feminism is eating it's tail. Can't be much left of it by now...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Zuckerberg and Facebook are fascist tools

But Zuckerberg is an Obama tool so you already know he's a fascist one too. It's ironic that a Jew would be an Islamic boot lick. But the excessive love of money is at the root if much cowardice no to mention evil.

More here.

Conviction integrity one piece of the puzzle

Because we have an adversarial legal system  prosecutors have often confused winning with justice . However  prosecutors in enlightened places have established conviction integrity units to identify miscarriages of justice. Brooklyn NY and Harris County (Houston) are leading the charge.

Conviction integrity is one key to recovering our criminal "justice" system from the government crooks that have hijacked it.

Dubai overtakes Heathrow

Great example of making the most of your limited assets. Its Middle Eastern location and dearth of inclement weather (if you can call 110F with high humidity "clement") make it the perfect spot for a hub linking east and west Eurasia.

This is the sole example of a Middle Eastern country that is not Israel successfully innovating their economy rather than waiting for the oil companies to show up. Of course it's totally dependent on western technology and subcontinent talent to operate.;_ylt=AwrBEiGWxsdU0hgAD2LQtDMD

As Climate hysteria soars so does weather hysteria

Particularly in the shrieking hysteria capital of the world: NYC snowmageddon turns out to be a damp snowy squib.

What is it about urban liberals that makes them so prone to stampedes of hysteria and panic?

Company towns were the opposite of exploitative

One of the hardest things to do is distinguish truth from propaganda. And in no place is this more true than the oft derided "company town".

I've visited several oil camps in the Sumatra jungle that looked like small south Florida towns replete with golf courses (mandatory closing at dusk due to tiger infestation), supermarkets, schools. Indeed I lived in the Phillips 66 compound in Abu Dhabi where the company provided the housing, power, water, roads, and schools.

It wasn't a rip off.  And neither are company towns. Instead they are  enticements to encourage skilled labor to live in harsh places. Another area where rhetoric and reality diverge.

Take company stores. Why did mining companies often own the town store? The standard answer: to squeeze every nickel from the workers so they would “owe their soul to the company store.” But that lyrical argument makes no sense and the truth is actually closer to the opposite. The mining towns were isolated geographically but they weren’t isolated from the national labor market. The number of workers in these towns moved up and down in response to the price of coal and the workers often traveled long-distances to work in the mines, sometimes from other states or other countries. The company towns were isolated not because the workers couldn’t get out but because few people wanted to live where coal was abundant. As a result, workers had to be enticed to travel to and to live in these towns. Oil rigs are similarly isolated today and once on board the workers have nowhere to go but the company restaurant, the company theater and the company gym but that hardly means that the workers are exploited.

These days new truths are almost always bad news.

For example this off hand comment from Canada.

'Canada seems in many ways less regulated than the sclerotic, bureaucracy-choked republic to the south.'

I never thought I'd live to see the day the US's governance is o the left (wrong) side of the Canadians.  President Obama is sure delivering on that 'fundamental change' he promised, isn't he?

This is what happens when you elect a Democrat as President

Democrats are dominated by intellectual elites, government employees and the poor. They are hostile towards anything that smacks of traditional development . Good examples are single family homes, new pipelines, oil production on government land, new power plants and now existing energy infrastructure like hydroelectric, coal and the Alaska pipeline. But if course Barack Obama looks down on us bible and gun clinging rubes. The sneers in the faculty club are epic. 

As the WSJ  observes:

The pity is that in his ANWR announcement Mr. Obama didn’t express as much concern for Alaskans as he did caribou. An estimated one-third of Alaskan jobs are oil-related, and the oil industry accounts for some 85% of state revenue. Shutting the pipeline would be a terrible blow to the state. New Gov. Bill Walker has said he may accelerate oil and gas permitting on state lands to compensate. Yet the vast majority of the state’s untapped reserves are below federal lands that Mr. Obama is now blocking.
The ANWR land grab is another classic of executive overreach. Congress in 1980 passed the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, a grand compromise that put vast tracts under protection, in return for a clause declaring “no more” wilderness designations in Alaska unless approved by Congress. Yet the Interior Department plans to use the President’s recommendation of a new ANWR wilderness designation as a license to lock up the land.
The decision also ignores the environmental protection that is possible in light of new drilling technology. Most of the refuge is already protected as wilderness, yet Mr. Obama’s order includes the 0.01% of barren, coastal wasteland that was up for drilling discussion. Innovations like directional drilling would allow the industry to tap those vast reserves with minimal surface impact.
In his State of the Union address, Mr. Obama again claimed credit for falling gas prices, but the truth is that every advance in oil and gas drilling has come without his help or despite his opposition. Mr. Obama may figure he can get away with this now that oil prices have fallen and the need for new oil supplies seems less urgent. His power play is nonetheless a blow to U.S. energy security, and an especially nasty blow to tens of thousands of Alaskans.

The danger of "reenchantment"

It's a French word for the retreat from reality and enlightenment values into some sort of political or religious utopia that magically resolves all the conflicts and paradoxes of modern life. Fascism, Naziism and Communism were the 20th century's reenchantment challenges.

Radical Islam is ours. More Frenchified philosophizing (in a good way) at the link.

Leave your kids the hell alone

Safety hysteria is wrecking childhood and stunting the emotional maturity of adults. If you love your kids then give them the space to master themselves and their fears. And keep the helicopter grounded.

At the link.

Monday, January 26, 2015

2014 was one of the 300 coldest years in the last 10,000

Of course the scientific and media establishment didn't say that. They said that 2014 was the hottest year ever recorded. But records only go back about 120 years while ice core temperature samples go back ten thousand or more years.

The IPCC just thought it wouldn't be "useful" to share. Tim Ball has a comprehensive critique of this truly dishonest claim at the link.

So how do you know what you know? On climate change you'd better not be counting on the IPCC and alarmist establishment.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Grexit looms as the Greek government falls and the newbies plan to "do the Argentina"

Which is like the Macarena except when you're finished everyone is broke.
I say let slip the Cerebuses (Cerebi?) of economic war and watch the entire rotten bureaucratic shambles come crashing down. The wails of the bien pensants will be tragically entertaining to behold.

I've bought a whole case of Orville Redenbacher in anticipation of just this denouement.  Because the only way we can find our way back from the venal state technocracies that we've become is economic catastrophe. 

Naturally, I prefer for the US to learn by watching the EU Kraken roar and flail. 

God what a bloody mess our Lords and Saviors have msde.
Faster please.

Mass Grexiting at the link.

It turns out that the only thing Davos man can do well is Davos

Kevin Williamson explains that while one Davos man by himself tends to be a thoughtful, intelligent leader all Davos men (and women) together are a stupid, blundering mob that sees salvation only in more stupid Davos style blunders.

I like Kevin because he provides  fresh perspective on the diversity and knowledge problems of our civilization.

Of course Kevin hails from West Texas: the fons et origo of all wisdom. And if you say that to a West Texan they'll kick your ass.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

It's not that rich liberals are hypocritical about lifestyle choices, it's that they lack elementary self awareness of what asses they are making of themselves.

A prime example:  hattip

LEFTY BILLIONAIRE GETS OFF PRIVATE JET, SAYS AMERICANS HAVE TOO MUCH STUFF: “Billionaire property investor Jeff Greene recently spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, saying he believes people in the United States need to stop aiming so high and start living with less. . . . The only issue Americans took with the 60-year-old’s opinions was, well, everything, given he owns a $195 million palace in Beverly Hills, which has 23 bathrooms and a rotating dance floor, as well as four other blue ribbon properties, and is famous for throwing wild parties on a 145-foot yacht.”

Keyword content analysis of States of the Union Speeches vs. BHO

I'd question this data except that it's consistent with the value system of this President.  Liberty and constitutionalism are simply obstacles to the ushering in of the New Jerusalem.  Sigh.

Obama's Vocab copy

Friday, January 23, 2015

Why isn't 13 years of bureaucratic regimentation enough?

President Obama is proposing "universal" preschool and "free" community college to an already over schooled but under skilled nation. Learning factories made sense when knowledge was scarce, bringing everyone together to get a taste of expensive knowledge. But now that knowledge is largely free and our economy is increasingly fragmented and skill based rather than bureaucratic we should be reducing the amount of time young people spend in schools. After all schools are nothing but factories ruled and regimented by unionized teachers for their profit and convenience.  Children who those don't submit to the thirteen year long 'sitting still' treatment get branded as 'problems' and are all but required to take powerful psychoactive drugs to make it easier for the bureaucracy to cope. And in the end the whole process ends up being a tedious and overlong indoctrination into the most depressing, insipid and conformist liberal weltanschauung.

Of course Barack Obama is to the education borg what he claimed Dick Cheney was to the oil and gas industry: a successful exec from the industry using his power to help his old friends and buttress a stalwart Democrat interest group.

The expansion is all about power and money and beating the 'liberal narrative' into every child's head so often for so many years that they no longer have room for more independent thoughts. They call it education but it's anything but.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The right way to think about the Laffer Curve

The caricature of Chicago Phd Art Laffer's "Laffer Curve" is that it's a free lunch fraud where 'right wingers' pretend that cutting tax rates is so economically stimulating that governments can cut taxes and end up with more money than they started with - a capitalist perpetual motion machine.  This is a lie.  The Laffer curve simply posits that when you shift the marginal dollar of private spending into the public sector via tax increases or back to the private sector in tax cuts you need to consider the marginal utility of that dollar on both sides.  There is a trade off for public spending:  every dollar taken in taxes reduces private prosperity and resources.  Therefore governments should only do things that have positive returns that exceed the returns to private investors.  Police and fire forces versus universal preschool, for example.  Because if the forgone wealth exceeds the return on government spending for the next marginal dollar shifted from the private to the public sector then the society should leave that dollar in private hands.  In other words the goal should be to allocate spending so as to maximize the return on spending for society as a whole.  Let me use an Illustration from my favorite Kurdish-Swedish Chicago economist:  Tino Sandanaji

The important paper from Uhlig that Bartlett cites is interpreted by most economists as a strong case in favor of lower taxes, not higher taxes. Harald Uhlig is a brilliant U-Chicago macro-economists. 

Now, remember always that the criteria for an optimal tax rate is not to maximize revenue. Long before the revenue maximizing rate is reached, the government is destroying 2 dollars or more from the private sector just to collect 1 dollar for the public sector. 

The marginal government expenditure it is quite unlikely to produce twice or several times as much social good than what is spent. 

Uhlig thus concludes that “In the EU-14 economy 54% of a labor tax cut and 79% of a capital tax cut are self-financing.” 

A 54% self-financing tax cut means that if the state puts more than 2$ in the pockets of the tax-payers, government spending only has to go down with less than 1$. 

A 79% self-financing tax cut means that the state can give 5$ to the private sector with only a loss of 1$ for the public sector. Only fools or committed socialists would defend this rate of taxation.
This is evidence of a deeply dysfunctional system, not something the United States should emulate, as Bartlett wants to do. 

We can rank the social value of everything the state spends on from best to least necessary. Sure, there are some public expenditure items that may be worth 5 times what they cost, such as (say) police and cancer research. But in countries where 40-50% of national income is public (the United States is getting close to this as well), there are lots and lots of marginal forms of public expenditure, such as subsidies to leisure activity, subsidies to weak sectors and agriculture, various forms of unemployment and sick leave expenditure. 

Many people do not not really understand the Laffer curve. They think as long as we are to the left of the revenue maximizing point, everything is fine. The uninformed seem to think that preferably we should be exactly on top, maximizing revenue as a share of GDP. 

But getting close to the top of the Laffer curve means that we are exponentionally getting closer to an infinite marginal cost of government activity. At the top, that is the cost of government activity. After the top we are in negative region, every tax dollar destroys lots of private activity as well as lowering public sector activity. 

You can quibble with Uhlig's numbers but his logic is iron clad:  at some point getting incremental tax revenue destroys so much private wealth so as to be insane.  Europe is already at the insane level and America is headed there.  This is the real Laffer argument:  is the incremental government spending funded by the destruction of private wealth worth it to the society at large?  And it's the question in the land of Cash for Junkers and Solar Pork that is never asked.  It's almost as if the left made up the Laffer caricature to avoid a reality that is uncongenial to their goals.

Of course this assumes that the goal of economic policy is prosperity, liberty and independence for normal people.  If the goal is instead 'equality' or 'conformity' or centralized power then destroying private wealth is an end in itself, regardless of the value of any government activity.  Governments pursuing these goals could bury the money they take from the economy and still meet their goals.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Los Angeles is the densest (even denser than NYC) and one of the poorest metro areas in the United States

Yet tens of billions of investment in choo choos yields...nada? Hattip

DEATH OF THE AUTOMOBILE — ANOTHER FANTASY? Southern California stuck in drive. “Southern California has long been a nurturer of dreams that, while widely anticipated, often are never quite achieved. One particularly strong fantasy involves Los Angeles abandoning what one enthusiast calls its ‘car habit’ and converting into an ever-denser, transit-oriented region. An analysis of transit ridership, however, shows that the region is essentially no better off than when the the modern period of transit funding began in 1980, with the passage of Proposition A, which authorized a half-cent sales tax for transit. In 1980, approximately 5.9 percent of workers in the metropolitan area (Los Angeles and Orange counties) used transit for their commute. The latest data, for 2013, indicates the ridership figure has fallen to 5.8 percent.”

Planners prefer transit, because it makes people easier to control — and facilitates graft regarding routes, station locations, etc.

Judith Curry Deconstructs the Presidents Climate Change Rhetoric

And finds it wanting:

I would like to address this statement made by the President:
Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But you know what — I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities. The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe. The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it.
And also his tweet:
97% of climate scientists agree: Climate change is real. Denial from Congress is dangerous.
The problem is that President Obama is listening to scientists that are either playing politics with their expertise, or responding to a political mandate from the administration (probably a combination of both).   Not just administrators in govt labs (e.g. Schmidt, Karl), but think of the scientist networks of John Holdrenand John Podesta:  to me the scariest one one is Mann to Romm to Podesta.
So what is wrong with President Obama’s statements as cited above?
  • His statement about humans having exacerbated extreme weather events is not supported by the IPCC
  • The Pentagon is confusing climate change with extreme weather (see above)
  • ‘Climate change is real’ is almost a tautology; climate has always changed and always will, independently of anything humans do.
  • His tweet about ‘97%’ is based on an erroneous and discredited paper [link]
  • As for ‘Denial from Congress is dangerous’, I doubt that anyone in Congress denies that climate changes.  The issue of ‘dangerous’ is a hypothetical, and relates to values (not science).
And speaking of the ‘deniers’ in Congress, did anyone spot any errors in the actual  science from Senator Inhofe’s rebuttal?
And Judith Curry is not wild eyed anything.  She's a respected senior climate scientist at Georgia Tech who simply sits outside of the charmed IPCC/Administration political circle.  It is telling that it is so easy to critique orthodoxy.  That is a sign that it has hardened and is no longer adapating.  This will end badly for the Orthodox and maybe for the rest of us as well if they get their way.
God help us every one.

Climate Change is making us stupid: Roger Pielke

Very big indeed.  Via Judith Curry.

Last nite, Roger Pielke Jr tweeted:
Pres Obama SOTU climate comments perfectly illustrate Sarewitz’s piece on how climate change is making us stupid: [link]
Of course, even if the climate change apocalypse that Kingsnorth accepts as inevitable magically failed to materialize, every one of my dire predictions would still be likely to come true. Climate change, added on top of all the other causes of these problems, will often make things worse. But for the most part there will be no way to tell which ones are worse than they would have been anyway, or how much worse they have become. So it’s not that apocalyptic fears about climate change are utterly fantastic—climate change may well exacerbate a range of serious and potentially even disastrous problems—it’s that the monomaniacal, apocalyptic version of climate change gives us a picture of the world that is so incomplete that it’s much worse than simply wrong. Worse because, just like religious and political orthodoxy, it cannot be falsified. On the contrary, everything that goes wrong simply reinforces the conviction that there is just one explanation for all our problems—climate change—and that there is only one thing we can do to keep the world from collapsing—stop burning fossil fuels. And thus, worse because the climate-change-as-apocalypse orthodoxy thereby radically narrows the range of viewpoints we are willing to tolerate and the range of options we are willing to consider for dealing with complex challenges to our well-being like natural disasters and infectious disease and poverty and civil strife.
It’s actually hard not to sympathize with Kingsnorth. He’s sad about how things are changing; he likes nature the way it is now, not the way it was before humans settled in Ireland, or not the way it will be after another 100 years of human’s muddling through from one crisis to the next, desperately clinging to technology as the eternal antidote to our follies. The real problem is the hysterics  who insist, often in the name of science, that all the suffering to come will have only one true cause, and that redemption can be achieved only by following one true path. No matter that long and sad human experience teaches us where such absolute orthodoxies lead. Indeed, with climate change being blamed for almost everything these days, the one phenomenon that seems to have escaped the notice of scientists, environmentalists and the media alike is that, perhaps above all, climate change is making us stupid.

But I'll bet our Lord and savior will use this shoddy study to justify more abuse if young men

Another crap academic study immediately glommed onto by the Obami because it says "men suck". At the link

One of the first decent things Eric Holder did on office is almost his last

Civil forfeiture is state theft. And any curtailment is good even though Holder's move is the modern equivalent of Lincoln banning slavery in non slave states.

Rare Victory for Personal Freedom. Via the Washington Post, Eric Holder and the Justice Department barred local and state police from using federal law to seize cash, cars and other property without warrants or criminal charges, representing the most sweeping check on police power to confiscate personal property since the seizures began three decades ago as part of the War on Drugs

The Feds can still steal in all 50 states and about 35 states still rape their own citizens in the ironic name of "justice".

Great News: the State of the Union is that it survived another SOTU SPEECH

Probably because most Americans wisely avoided participating in the most pointless ritual since the Piscataway New Jersey "Running of the Squirrels". I made that up - I'm sure Piscataway doesn't make squirrels run and if they do the should stop harassing their tree rats immediately.

Why PETA doesn't oppose SOTU for the inevitable collateral damage to cats and dogs kicked out of sheer irritation at the inanity remains a mystery. As is why the audience's brainless and apparently random applause isn't taken as a sign to euthanize the entire chamber.

Probably because it would leave the press alive and without politicians to pester. And a press without party hacks and ratchet jawed feebs like Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell to keep them busy could prove more deadly than an Ebola appreciation dinner.

My God my God why did you forsake us and preempt NCIS  last night? More wailing and gnashing of the teeth at the link.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Reason on SOTU: Turd sandwich.

A bit optimistic to my way of thinking: isn't enough bread for a Sandwich.  Turd casserole is the mot juste Imho.

If Krugman’s so worried about pandemics, why isn’t he worried about open borders?

Simple: Paul Krugman is a Major General in the left's War on Reality. As such he can hold two mutually contradictory positions in juxtaposition without either impinging on the other until implemented. At which time he can pivot to ignoring the real chaos he's caused and blame it on "the right wing" for failing to make reality comport with his ideological fantasy.

Piece O Cake - left wise academics do this all the time. Unless it applies directly to them of course. Then they become brutally rational.

Mikey Klaus has more here.

Why the "hottest year evah" is anything but what it purports to be

Roy Spencer explains at the link. Worth it. If you aren't a religiously devout Warmist.

Hillary Clinton is such a Yutz and here's the proof

Several minutes video of her yutzfulnes fulsomely yutzing about a bunch of bull-yutz that she doesn't know yutz about.

This is the best non review book review that I've ever not reviewed.

Honest. Do the link. I dare you.

When all Europe's Jews are gone the Islamic Terrorists who are not Muslims will just kill more Christians in the name of Not-Allah.

And Europeans will deserve all the not Islamic violence by Non-Muslims they get. Praise not-Allah!

It is bad to die but dying on your knees is worst of all.

Female HR departments discriminate against women so get rid of them?

93 percent of HR employees calling back candidates are women and women favor male candidates over females. So to eliminate workplace sexism get rid of heavily female HR departments. Capiche? From Forbes at the link.

Hat tip

Pope opposed to sex? Tells Catholics "don't breed like rabbits"

No babies with no birth control means no (hetero) sex. I assume his Whollyness understands the birds 'n bees. Maybe there's going to be an encyclical on gay marriage. He's a "progressive", you know.

At the link.

Millennial are now largest generation

Thank God. We can't do any worse than smug (GWB, BHO, HRC and..and..and) stupid (Kerry) and horny (guess). Here's to our first millennial President. Faster please.

Millennials have now overtaken boomers as the largest living generation, and new evidence shows that search engines are overtaking "traditional media" as their most-trusted news source. According to a report from public-relations firm Edelman, 72 percent of the most wealthy and educated millennials say they find online search engines a trustworthy source of general news and information, while only 64 percent feel the same way about "traditional media" such as newspapers and TV. 

OMG that is it. I cannot take this Obami pretentious preciousness any more

The New York Times once again illustrates the  self obsession of our precious Eloi. From the inimitable Mark Steyn.
Even by the usual standards, The New York Times' Michael S Schmidt is drooling more sycophantically than most self-respecting men could stomach:
WASHINGTON — One night last week Cody Keenan, the chief White House speechwriter President Obama has christened "Hemingway," knew he needed help.

Mr. Keenan had spent 15 days holed up in a hotel room in Honolulu as the president vacationed nearby, and seven more in a windowless office in the basement of the West Wing trying to turn a blank computer screen into a 6,000-word State of the Union first draft. The lonesome process had finally gotten to him.
So the burly 34-year-old former high school quarterback left his White House office and trudged in the freezing rain to the nearby apartment of one of his closest friends in the administration, Benjamin J. Rhodes.
It was after midnight, but Mr. Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser and the writer of many of the president's foreign policy speeches, was up reading "To Kill a Mockingbird" to his 4-week-old daughter. The two men poured two single-malt Scotch whiskies and, with the baby resting quietly, began triage on Mr. Keenan's prose.

Is that last paragraph a brilliant parody of media fawning over every Barack courtier's intellectual self-puffery no matter how preposterous? I wish. As noted last week, satire is dead. So the geniuses of the Obama Administration read To Kill A Mockingbird to their four-week-old daughters but send James Taylor to sing "You've Got A Friend" to G7 sovereign nations.

You can't make this stuff up. No. I'm serious. You literally can't make this stuff up. I've tried. Brilliant screenwriters have toiled for months trying. But taking James Taylor to French summit and having that mediocre faux 'folk' singer yowl one of the most insipid fripperies ever fripped at the President of the French Republic in recompense for snubbing him at a March attended by even Ben Netanyahu isn't even a snub. It's a nub or maybe just an "ub".

This President isn't even mailing it in. His proctors are asking him what grade he wants as they drop  by to pick up his personally autographed blank exam book. And to get that they have to give him a pencil 'cause he doesn't have one. Never saw the point,  actually. What with all the pathetic sycophants praising his every fart and tittle like crazed cherubim ever since he was a cherub. Smartest President evah!! Went to Harvard dontchaknow.

More stupifaction at the link.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Why do our left intellectual betters always think that we are so morally inferior to them?

Despite the 100 to 1 terror ratio all our bien pensants can worry about is the almost totally mythical anti muslim backlash. It's almost as if they despise their own country. No its exactly as if.  Jonah Goldberg comments:

And so before the street-sweepers even put a dent in the discarded “Je Suis Charlie” signs, the media was already on the prowl for signs of Western overreaction. The New York Times editors warned that “perhaps the greatest danger in the wake of the attacks” was a backlash against Muslim immigrants.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want an anti-Muslim backlash, but in all of this talk of Islamophobia, it seems the most acute and relevant phobia is the fear our elites have of their own people. The rabble can’t be trusted to keep things in perspective. While the story was still unfolding in Paris, Steven Erlanger, the New York Times’s London bureau chief, was invited on Shep Smith’s show for a “phoner.” Erlanger couldn’t resist starting the interview by warning Fox about how “careful” it needs to be covering the story. The Eloi must be ever vigilant not to arouse the Morlocks, don’t you know. It was this sentiment that no doubt motivated the Times to edit its own reporting on the attack, removing any reference to the fact that one of the Charlie Hebdo attackers spared a woman’s life — and advised her she needed to convert to Islam. You can almost hear the editors saying, “Look, if we leave that in, the little people might get the impression this had something to do with Islam. We know  but we can handle that truth. The flyover people might miss the nuances.

More wondering at all the madness here.

Leftist rags dump on women who don't have lefty credrntials

It's Palin derangement syndrome all over again. The lack of decency when dealing with opponents is a hallmark of our establishment.

Mollie Hemingway observes:

It’s funny, if you just do a Google image search, it’s hard to find a bad photo of Ernst. But look at the photo Politico chose for her. They chose a photo that made her look wacky. Close-in crop at maximum size so you can see every pore, every bit of make-up, eyes that look nothing like any other picture we’ve seen of her. And seriously guys, it’s tiring. Women who aren’t far-left know the media hate us. They’re not exactly subtle about it. But sometimes it just goes too far.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Jan 20 2017: The end of the Reign of Error.

John Gordon explains why.

On October 30, 2008, Barack Obama, sensing victory in the upcoming election, said with characteristic self-effacement that “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” A good many people (but not enough, alas) wondered why the most successful country in the history of the world needed to be transformed at all, let alone fundamentally.

Which is not to say that the country didn’t need reform in many areas, beginning with the federal government itself. It had not been reorganized since the Truman era, which predated the electric typewriter let alone the digital revolution. The barnacles of decades of congressional piecemeal action had produced a bloated, duplicative, inefficient mess. The budget process needed to be reformed in order to get control of the government’s finances. Social Security and other entitlement programs needed to be reformed before they went broke or bankrupted the country. The tax system had metastasized over the previous century into an incoherent, arbitrary, and deeply unfair quagmire that benefited only politicians’ reelection efforts and those able to make large political contributions to them in exchange for favorable treatment.

But Barack Obama sought reform in none of these areas, instead just pushing the tired old liberal agenda and for the most part getting nowhere with it. Instead of reforming the budget process, he and his Democratic allies in Congress totally ignored it and there has been, quite literally, no budget process for the last six years, just a series of continuing resolutions. His only reform for entitlement programs was to add a new one, pushed through Congress with the very old-fashioned use of political muscle over the howls of both the opposition and the people in general. ObamaCare remains deeply unpopular.

As for taxes, his one idée fixehas been to raise taxes on the rich, an idea that goes back to the 1840s. Consider his proposal regarding inherited property, to be unveiled in the State of the Union speech this Tuesday. It calls for heirs to inherit not only the property but also the original cost basis of the property, subjecting it to far higher capital gains taxes when the heirs sell it. As it stands now, the heirs’ cost basis is the price on the date of death.

But the heirs of large estates would have already paid as much as a whopping 40 percent under the estate tax, which is nothing more nor less than a capital gains taxes triggered by death instead of sale. Obama also wants to raise the capital gains tax to 28 percent, so the total tax take might be as high as 56.8 percent. But many capital assets, such as real estate and shares in a company founded by the decedent, are held for decades and the capital gains and estates taxes are not indexed for inflation.

So much of the value taxed away would be illusory, a tax on phantom gains. An investment worth $1 million in 1970 would have to be worth $6.1 million today for there to be any real gain at all. That won’t stop the president from calling his proposal “fair” and “the right thing to do.” It is, of course, neither, just the same century-old leftist, stick-it-to-the-rich boilerplate.

Fortunately these proposals have zero chance of getting through the new Republican Congress. Still, it’s going to be a long two years until January 20, 2017, a date that will mark what my new favorite bumper sticker calls ‘The End of an Error.”

Barack Obama's election was the apotheosis of the academic left's worldview

And since that halcyon day for our word wranglers and scribblers the trajectory has been downward into abject decadence. Nobody really believes the left's narrative anymore do they?

Hersh from The Times if Israel:

In retrospect, the emergence of Barack Obama on the national stage was not an expression of new thinking. On the contrary, Obama stood for an academic orthodoxy that had become firmly established in American universities in the previous several decades.


"We vomit on such people"

The bien pensants are all in favor of free speech in the abstract but spend most of their time shouting down the critics who threaten their special deals and status. From spiked:

It brings to mind the response of one surviving veteran Charlie Hebdo cartoonist, when asked what he thought of the sudden expressions of support from the Western establishment: ‘We vomit on such people'

They make me sick in the French manner too. What a bunch of pathetic pukes.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Multiculturalism is just what modern Euro bootlicks call their appeasement

Ed Driscoll: Jews being hunted by mobs in the streets, emigration quadrupling in 2 years and elites wringing their hands but not confronting the Islamic "brown-dishdashas" who are the perps. All in all it looks like Europe is partying like it's 1939.

Read the whole thing.

And of course married mommies are right wing mommies: married birth rates rising while unmarried birth rates fall0

As Bridget Jones: unmarried and leftist might say: f*********k! Of course Mark Darcy would just marry her, pat her on the bum saying "there, there" and vote Conservative.

American women aren’t having children the way they did before the recession, but that obscures a little-noticed fact: Married women have staged a comeback.
New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that while America’s fertility rate slipped in 2013 to a record low, birth rates for married women are rising—even as rates for unmarried women continue to fall.
For every 1,000 unmarried U.S. women ages 15 to 44 in 2013, there were 44.3 births, down 2% from 2012 and 7% from 2010, CDC data show.

In contrast to unmarried women, birth rates for married women increased 1% in 2013 from 2012 to 86.9 births. In fact, they’re up 3% since 2010, after declining 5% between 2007 and 2010. (The absolute number of births among married women in 2013, 2.34 million, remained slightly below 2010’s 2.37 million.)

The divergence is “unprecedented over the last three decades,” says Sally Curtin, a demographer and statistician at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. “We’ve seen a rebound—but it’s just been in married women.”

What if they gave a paternalistic fascist welfare state and no Julias came?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Hoover: Slow growth is due to low investment driven by bad economic policy.

The Fed are fools to think that you can solve real problems with monetary juju. I've likened Fed behavior to a Dr. Feelgood who noting his patient has heart disease chooses to stuff him full of amphetamines to make him feel better...until they kill him, that is.

We're on a monetary speed binge while the Obami's policy plaque builds up in the nation's already dodgy fiscal arteries.

More at the link.

Fortunately for the college it won't be cancelled due to the lack of common sense.

The left's War on Reality is now targeting the few bits of the left that still connect to the real world outside of their totalitarian cloisters. Real things like women with honest to gosh vaginas.  God help us every one.  Hattip

IT’S COME TO THIS: Women’s College Cancels ‘Vagina Monologues’ Because It Excludes Women Without Vaginas.“At its core, the show offers an extremely narrow perspective on what it means to be a woman … Gender is a wide and varied experience, one that cannot simply be reduced to biological or anatomical distinctions, and many of us who have participated in the show have grown increasingly uncomfortable presenting material that is inherently reductionist and exclusive.”

Thursday, January 15, 2015

It's hard to tell who's more socially retarded the autistic man or the college and school officials pointlessly persecuting him.

Although the shrieking femme Fatale who brought him up on sexual assault charges because he mistakenly hugged and kissed her wins the Evil Bitch award. At the link.

The University of Virginia is about as anti-enlightenment as you can get

In fairness most institutions of "higher" learning have dispensed with Enlightenment values in favor of a melange of corporatism group rights, power politics and idiosyncratic social controls that imitate religion. Pretty nasty gruel for 200k and 4 or 5 years of your life. Particulalry if you're a radically disfavored white heterosexual male. Nasty people make nasty institutions. As Jim Geraghty observes about the UVA rape fiasco:q

 Something quite important and unjust happened here -- not merely collective punishment for the alleged actions of a few, but ultimately collective punishment for a false accusation against an unnamed few. That’s about as anti-Enlightenment as you can get, and considering how the University of Virginia was founded by Thomas Jefferson, who was pretty intensely influenced by the philosophies of John Locke and the rest of the Enlightenment thinkers and writers, it’s pretty appalling. University president Sullivan’s knee-jerk ban of all fraternities because of an article that named no names renounces everything Jefferson stood for and everything he intended to teach and instill in the creation of the institution.

Modern American universities and colleges suck.

Bigotry for geese is bigotry for ganders right?

If Colorado can compel a baker to craft a custom pro  gay cake then it must compel bakeries to bake anti-gay ones as well doesn't it?

Or are all animals equal but gay or left wing animals simply more fashionable and therefore more equal than others?

Or does this life not come with the right to force people to bake you cake? Hmm liberty: what a concept! At the link.

In politics every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

Which means that Democrat dreams of hegemony as far as the eye can see are fantasy. By diving deeper and deeper into racialist identity politics the Democrats have driven out more and more white voters and have turned those who used to think in ethnic terms into whites.

The market for political power tends to be efficient. At least for everyone but the beset and benighted African American community. If your coalition gets too big it engenders conflicts and the disgruntled hive off from the gruntled.

Activists lie. A lot.

To be an "activist" means your cause is so important that normal rules of discourse don't apply. Rules like honesty, respect for other opinions, telling the whole truth, not just the bits that buttress your position. Social activists are modern day religious fanatics worshipping  themselves as Saviors.  Here's an egregious example relating to alcohol deaths.

Remember: read the fine print and check their math. Because they lie. A lot. At the link.

I don't know why she swallowed the fly

This is a tale about the "Joint Sounds" a high school choral ensemble along the lines of the Young Americans or Up With People. Honest. I really did that stuff back then. Believe it or not.

Does anyone remember Mrs. Thomas' Joint Sounds "The show must go on" speech? As I recall it featured a story about a Joint Sounds member (I want to say Gina Lansford but that may just be because I liked the name Gina and there were lots of Lansfords lying around back then) who in the midst of an important performance (think Academy Awards crossed with a Presidential Inauguration and you'll get Mrs. T's emphasis  ) was bedeviled by a fly that wouldn't leave her upper lip alone. I never got an adequate explanation for why that particular fly was so enamored with that particular lip - perhaps it was a bit of leftover PBJ or a well disguised cold sore - but according to Mrs. T "Gina" swallowed the fly without missing a beat. I suppose the moral of the story was that  "the show must go on" or maybe the importance of a balanced diet but the only thing I can remember upon hearing it was turning to Matthew Yarberry and saying: "I don't know why she swallowed the fly" and Matt in his best dead pan replying: "perhaps she'll die". Which sums up my Joint Sounds career as well as anything could.

So where's the disaster?

Below is a record of the automotive fatality rate per million miles driven in the US. It's been a fairly steady rate of decline for the last 63 years. And the elimination of the 55 speed limit, the introduction of cellphones and then texting didn't budge the declining death rates one bit. Which is odd because I recall being told that allowing drivers to drive the speeds that the highways and cars were designed for would slaughter untold numbers. And I know that our "saviors" criminalized various mobile phone behaviors only because of the incredible carnage that was occurring on the nation's roads. Why when the laws were put into effect the horrible spike in deaths atrributable to these sinister technologies immediately subsided. Wait. There were no spikes in deaths. It was all a lie to criminalize even more human behavior. Particularly for young men and women who really, really need more government "help" to make them even more perfect.

HL Mencken was right when he said all of practical politics was just the fabrication of imaginary hobgoblins to frighten the citizenry into forking ever more money and power to our statist saviors. Only today they don't even pretend that they're saving us. They just make stuff up like "one in five college women are sexually assaulted" secure in the knowledge that all "right" thinking people will swallow it.

They say we deserve the government we get and boy are we getting it good and hard right now.

Oh and remember this time series the next time someone starts belly aching about how automakers are "neglecting safety". More hobgoblin hysteria, I'm afraid.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Another way colleges are more unethical than business - they encourage unqualified applications so they can turn them diwn, boosting selectivity.

The incentive mix driving college behavior is all wrong. It incents them towards status seeking, high and rising prices, extreme politics and authoritarian behavior. We need to get different treats for our academic pets.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Now all that sunscreen advice has been called into question.

In June, U.S. researchers will announce the first direct link between cancer prevention and the sunshine vitamin [i.e., vitamin D]. Their results are nothing short of astounding.

A four-year clinical trial involving 1,200 women found those taking the vitamin had about a 60-percent reduction in cancer incidence, compared with those who didn't take it, a drop so large—twice the impact on cancer attributed to smoking—it almost looks like a typographical error....

Those studying the vitamin say the hide-from-sunlight advice has amounted to the health equivalent of a foolish poker trade. Anyone practising sun avoidance has traded the benefit of a reduced risk of skin cancer—which is easy to detect and treat and seldom fatal—for an increased risk of the scary, high-body-count cancers, such as breast, prostate and colon, that appear linked to vitamin D shortages.

The paper reports that researchers also "are linking low vitamin D status to a host of other serious ailments, including multiple sclerosis, juvenile diabetes, influenza, osteoporosis and bone fractures among the elderly." I hope some of this speculation turns out to be well-founded, because it would be nice to have an easy way to prevent so many diseases and deaths. If that can be achieved only by embarrassing the nagging know-it-alls who've been telling us to avoid sunshine, that's a cost I can live with.

[Thanks to Mark Lambert for the link.]

The normal way to treat a child who behaves abnormally is to address the abnormality. Evidently this is not done with the "transgendered"

Your child not sleeping? Acting out? Thinks he's Japanese? Thinks he's an alien? No problem, let's see what's going on inside that little head. But thinks he's a girl? Well we must trust "her" childish judgement. No matter how much it ends up hurting "her".

The left's war against reality continues apace

“No, physical force is better with Nazis.” Woody Allen in Manhattan

....and with Islamists. Those that live by the sword must be stopped by the sword. Hattip John Podhoretz.

Islam is a religion of violence and brutality that has trapped hundreds of millions in its bloody claws

These reluctant Muslims risk ostracism and judicial murder or lynching if they reject The Cruelest Religion Ever (TM) so the pretend while their behavior rejects.

They fear being tortured like the photo at the link demonstrates. Christians and Jews left such evil brutality behind long ago. The structure of Islam apparently makes it much harder for its adherents to learn civilized behavior.

Since the good ones are terrified of separating themselves from the murderers and torturers there will eventually need to be a quarantining of all Muslims until such time they become civilized. Most Muslims are civilized but too many of them hate us to risk free and open Congress with them.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

3 million march against Islamism in Paris. Obama's chair is there too.

The largest protest in French history. But the new Jesus wouldn't dare demonstrate solidarity with those protesting Islamist murder. So he sent his chair.

These 2000 Nigerians were murdered because their very existence offended Islamists

No cartoons needed. Which is of course Koranic. But our bien pensants desperately cling to their insane but oh so diverse fantasies about how the goal is not to offend genocidal murderers. Here's to a lot more mass been pensants killings. Only when the hold the bloody bodies of their children will they wake up.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Liberals are panicked over Islamophobia after Charlie Hebdo and it's Jews that get attacked

The liberal establishment in Europe and America is far more frightened and contemptuous of their own people than the Islamic murderers who actually want to kill them. Renegade Marxist Brendan O'neill explains.

The British press has never seemed as out of touch as it is today. All our broadsheet papers are packed with pleas to the people of France, and other European populations, not to turn into Muslim-killing nutjobs in response to theCharlie Hebdo massacre. TheGuardian frets over “Islamophobes seizing this atrocity to advance their hatred.” The Financial Times is in a spin about “Islamophobic extremists” using the massacre to“[challenge] the tolerance on which Europe has built its peace.” One British hack says we should all “fear the coming Islamophobic backlash.”And what actually happened in France as these dead-tree pieces about a possible Islamophobic backlash made their appearance? Jews were assaulted. And killed. “Don’t attack Muslims,” lectures the press as Jews are attacked

And so it goes in the world of men without chests. Hattip Glenn Reynolds.

what if they gave a Senate and it actually did something? Mitch McConnel'so giving it a shot.

And Harry Reid can't have that.

If Mr. McConnell is successful in using regular order (including debate, amendments, conference work, the filibuster) to begin methodically moving bills to Mr. Obama’s desk, that blows up the Reid story line. It exposes Democrats as the real obstructionists of the past years, even as it proves the GOP is able to get things done. Mr. Reid can’t let that happen.

The minority leader also has a more personal interest in keeping the Senate balled up: his own credibility within his party. Mr. Reid spent the past years assuring his members his Senate shutdown was protecting them from tough votes—a strategy that backfired phenomenally in the recent midterm election. Vulnerable Senate Democrats had nothing positive to show for their time in the chamber, and were instead tagged with the label of Obama lackeys.

Mr. McConnell is betting an honest committee process and a freewheeling amendment system will induce some Democrats to buy-in to legislation—allowing them to take credit back home for getting something done and for crafting bills in ways that benefit their states. Mr. Reid, who already came under fire from some of his members for his lockdown approach, would rather those members not realize there is a better way. Could be they might just want a different, more productive, leader going forward.

These Reid motivations, however, only underline how wise Mr. McConnell was to promise to return to regular order, and how important it is that Senate Republicans soldier on with it. The process will be frustrating, slow and at times risky. But done right, this will be more than just an opportunity for Republicans to outline a vision. It will be their opportunity to show that the Senate as an institution can work—at least under GOP care.

The great Achilles heel of the left is the lack of critical scrutiny from the press. It encouragess  leaders like Reid to persist in foolish, destructive tactics until they do real damage to the country and their party.