Thursday, April 30, 2015

When government does the science funding, you get the science that the Government wants

And governments want science that says that governments are important and should have more money and power.  And guess what climate scientists funded by the government almost invariably say?  Yup, you got that right.  Anthony Watts has more history on the once and now again spoils system in government.

In today’s climate science, merit criteria have been replaced by a spoils system of giving grants to those loyal to the political doctrine of Climate Change caused by anthropogenic carbon dioxide.

The US government claim is that $36B has been spent on climate research. The terms of the resulting grants assured that their recipients would support the entirely political doctrine of anthropogenic origins of climate change.

This has particularly evil implications such as “scientific truth can be sold to the highest bidder.”

$36 Billion will buy a lot of Climate "truth". So how do you know what you know?

The Obama Administration's hypocritical ban on supporting coal projects in Sub Saharan africa while funding bio fuel boondoggles that starve the world's poor is one reason China's new Asian Development Bank has taken off

Imagine that:  The Chinese are greater humanitarians than Barack Obama.  Not hard to imagine given that BHO is a malthusian.  Matt Ridley explains why banning fossil fuel energy development in Africa is such a bad idea:

Without abundant fuel and power, prosperity is impossible: workers cannot amplify their productivity, doctors cannot preserve vaccines, students cannot learn after dark, goods cannot get to market. Nearly 700 million Africans rely mainly on wood or dung to cook and heat with, and 600 million have no access to electric light. Britain with 60 million people has nearly as much electricity-generating capacity as the whole of sub-Saharan Africa, minus South Africa, with 800 million.

As the International Energy Agency recently put it in a recent report, “increasing access to modern forms of energy is crucial to unlocking faster economic and social development in sub-Saharan Africa”. Africa is awash with fossil fuels — but not the capital to build plants to turn them into electricity.

Just to get sub-Saharan electricity consumption up to the levels of South Africa or Bulgaria would mean adding about 1,000 gigawatts of capacity, the installation of which would cost at least £1 trillion. Yet the greens want Africans to hold back on the cheapest form of power: fossil fuels. In 2013 Ed Davey, the energy secretary, announced that British taxpayers will no longer fund coal-fired power stations in developing countries, and that he would put pressure on development banks to ensure that their funding policies rule out coal. (I declare a commercial interest in coal in Northumberland.)

In the same year the US passed a bill prohibiting the Overseas Private Investment Corporation — a federal agency responsible for underwriting American companies that invest in developing countries — from investing in energy projects that involve fossil fuels.

There is a growing backlash against this policy. The Republicans want to reverse it. Yvo de Boer, head of the Global Green Growth Institute, says: “You really have to be able to offer these countries an economically viable alternative, before you begin to rule out coal.” And Donald Kaberuka, president of the African Development Bank, says it is hypocritical for western governments, made rich by fossil fuels, “to say to African countries, ‘You cannot develop dams, you cannot develop coal, just rely on these very expensive renewables’. African countries will not listen.”

The Center for Global Development calculates that $10 billion invested in renewable energy technology in sub-Saharan Africa could give 20-27 million people access to basic electricity, whereas the same sum spent on gas-fired generation would supply 90 million.

Meanwhile, China’s new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, is stepping in as the Americans and Europeans step back. Its willingness to fund coal projects is one of the reasons other Asian countries are rushing to join the project, to the irritation of Washington. The Australian government is joining forces with Japan to push for the construction of “clean coal” plants in the developing world — power stations that burn coal more efficiently.

It's really very obvious.  Unless you're a statist rent seeker.  Well it's obvious to them too, just not useful to their long term objectives of personal power aggrandizement.

Almost half of all young Americans are now Climate Skeptics. With the youngest the most skeptical.

It seems that the more indoctrination a kid gets the more skeptical he becomes.  My kids are 18 and 21 and they've had one sided Warming Gruel jammed down their throats since Pre K.  So much so that more than two thirds of 18 to 20 year olds disagree with the statement "We need to do more to prevent Global Warming". I predict a massive libertarian conservative gain among the young as they rebel against the sophomoric, Leninist agitprop their 'educational superiors' have been dousing them with their whole lives.  The poor authoritarians won't know what's hit them.

Which would buy us more practical equality? A trillion dollars spent on innovation or a trillion dollars redistributed by the state?

Matt Ridley knows the answer:

For those on the left, innovation is a great demolisher of inequality. A century ago, you had to be very rich to own a car or your own home, to have more than three pairs of shoes, to have a spare bedroom, to buy on credit, to have indoor plumbing, to eat chicken regularly, to have a library of books, to be able to watch great acting or great music regularly, to travel abroad. Today all those things are routine for people on modest incomes thanks to the invention of container shipping, fertiliser, better financial services, cheap materials, machine tools, automation, the internet, television, budget airlines and so on.
It’s true that the very rich can now afford a few more things that are beyond the reach of those on modest incomes, but they are mostly luxuries: private planes, grouse moors, tables in the very best restaurants. We would like those on low incomes to have access to better medicines, better schooling, cheaper homes and lower energy bills, and in each case the technology exists to provide these: it’s mainly government policies that get in the way.
Technology is the great equaliser: today some of the poorest African peasants have mobile phones that work as well as Warren Buffett’s — at least for voice calls. In the 1940s, Joseph Schumpeter said that the point of commerce consists “not in providing more silk stocking for queens, but in bringing them within reach of factory girls”.
It was not planning, trade unions, public spending, welfare or tax that made the poor much richer. It was innovation.
In fact, here is a Tory way to talk about inequality — to promise that politicians will work to unleash the power of innovation to bring living standards up for the poor more than for the ric

Yet the statists don't get any power or wealth out of that so class warfare it must be. Pride and greed both go before a fall.


Is the Paradox of Dogma about to bite the left in the ass?

This is the Paradox of Dogma. To return to the question we started with: if you try to shut down public debate, is this a way of ensuring that you win—or an admission that you have already lost? The answer is: both. It might ensure that you win in the short term. But over the long term, it abandons the field to those who do believe in ideological debate.

In my experience people who hew too closely to establishment "truth" have a hard time dealing with someone who has actually thought through their beliefs. The orthodox leftist increasingly responds to heterodox views the way Puritans did: denunciation, punishment and exile.

"Not being a criminal is a remarkably low bar for a politician, even a Clinton."

No matter how many times the Clintons act corruptly their enablers (aka the Democrat party and the lapdog press) bleat forlornly for a few news cycles and then pretend it never happened.

The Clintons believe we are a nation of rubes. What they are about to find out is that those outside of their cone of unreality most certainly are not. Goldberg calls the tune here.

Why are college students treated like "human veal"?

Because the left's long March through higher education is over so they no longer need or want tolerance or academic freedom.  To paraphrase what Tayyip Erdogan Turkey's President cum strongman famously said about Democracy:  for our uniformly leftist boffins academic freedom and tolerance are like a train - when you get to your station you get off.

And the problem with being cosseted like veal is that eventually your handlers butcher you. Which is a pretty good metaphor for the 4 to 5X increase in real college costs for what is a less intellectually diverse education than i had in the 80s.

But the way students and especially administrators talk about college today, you’d think parents are paying ever-higher tuition so their children can attend a reeducation camp straight out of China’s Cultural Revolution. It’s as if college presidents, deans, and the ever-increasing number of bureaucrats and administrators and residence-life muckety-mucks walked away from Animal House firmly believing that Dean Wormer was not only the hero of movie but a role model. At all costs, order must be enforced and no space for free play or discord can be allowed!

More here. Trigger warning to you fainting college flowers out there: Nick Gillespie says owie things and uses Fuck as a frustrated ejaculation (no not that kind the word kind).

And I must end with this:

Either way, this much seems likely: Today’s students are even less prepared to deal with anything approaching the real world than those of us who graduated into a world that didn’t even pretend to care what our senior thesis was about. Take it from me, kiddos: The whole world is a microaggression when it isn’t openly kicking you up and down the street. And if your vast clone army of administrative busybodies can’t fully protect you from disappointment on campus, they’re even more useless once you’ve graduated and start paying off your student loans.

Mean people don't suck. Coercive people do.

Vince Vaughn of The Wedding Crashers fame said in an interview about his libertarian beliefs:

If you kind of stay in the logic of it, they usually always end up with the same thing, which is: ‘We have to try something,’ or ‘I just don’t believe we can trust individuals that much.’ At which point, I always say, ‘Well, who runs the government?’”

Oh yes indeed.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

F**k! I like Tom Cotton

Cotton rips the arrogant Foreign minister of a tinpot Iranian dictatorship that was openly mocking the US by mocking our anti- American President. The wages of electing pseudo proto Marxist anti Americans to the chief magistracy in the land is humiliation. And death.

Imagine. Cotton is a man with honest to gosh balls in DC. Which I think means "D**k Cutoff".

Obama was just bitch slapped by the Iranians. Again

Cowardice in the face of deadly sworn enemies combined with collaboration with them is a moral crime. Doubly so for a leader who swore a solemn oath to protect us and our interests . What a tragedy. As Commentary points out:

This is not the way Iran would talk or act if it feared the United States. But plainly it doesn’t. And why should it? Obama has made clear, repeatedly and emphatically, that he is desperate for a nuclear agreement because the alternative to such an agreement is war—and there is no worse option than that in the president’s mind. So desperate for an agreement, in fact, that the president is willing to overlook Iranian aggression in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen—and even to overlook Iran’s jailing of three American citizens and its seizure of a ship belonging to allies that we are pledged to defend.

It is indicative of where we stand that there has been nary a peep of protest about the hijacking of the Maersk Tigris. The Pentagon even leaked word that the U.S. is not legally obligated to protect the Maersk Tigris, as if the U.S. cannot act to protect its moral and strategic interests even if not compelled to do so under the terms of some piece of paper. From the White House: “The White House said on Wednesday it was concerned about the impact on navigation caused by Iranian authorities’ seizure of the Maersk Tigris container ship in the Strait of Hormuz and said it was monitoring the situation.” Translation: “Ship, what ship? Who cares? The only thing that matters is the nuclear accord.” (Compare this anodyne language, incidentally, with the harsh invective directed at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for infelicitous campaign rhetoric.)

And yet the very reason why Iran is able to drive such an advantageous bargain—the reason why it has hijacked the negotiations to legitimate its illegal nuclear program—is precisely because the U.S. has spent years turning the other cheek at Iranian aggression. This is not exclusively a problem of the Obama administration—the Reagan administration, after all, traded arms for hostages and did not retaliate for the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks and embassy in Beirut, while the George W. Bush administration did nothing to punish Iran for killing hundreds of American troops in Iraq with its advanced munitions.

But the problem has become much more pronounced under the Obama administration, which sees détente with Iran as its lasting legacy. That’s why Iran’s foreign minister feels free to come to New York and act like a haughty master of the universe, knowing there will not be even a peep of protest from this thoroughly intimidated administration.

One of the biggest problems with the climate alarmists is their confusing fantasy and,reality

You've all seen the headlines:

"Extreme storms more likely due to global warming" or "low lying countries will cease to exist due to rising sea levels".

Invariably the source of these "scientific" statements will be climate models. Climate models that are huge, poorly documented kluges built without a design by academic committee over ten or twenty years. Models that when given reference data for the past century are utterly unable to replicate the climate record and who have almost all (98 or 99 of 100) over predicted warming so much that their error is now statistically significant to two standard deviations. Which for you lay people is like setting out from Boston to go to NYC and ending up in Montreal.

But that's all old hat. The model-reality confusion has hit new heights with the publication of "How Climate Model Complexity Influences Sea Ice Stability" in the Prestigious Journal of the American Meteorology Society. Am i to believe that no one associated with the journal noticed that the paper was claiming to show how a computer simulation could radically effect real climate? Admittedly climate models are complex but that complexity is logical (well illogical) and resides in various large computer centers. I suppose it could make the computers really hot and that excess heat could melt the polar ice cap but I doubt it.

These guys are so lost in their own model fantasy world that they can't tell the difference between their games of climate pretend and reality.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Fly - penned to my daughter Amelia Anne Reeves on the occasion of her graduation

Amelia Earhart loved to fly
She was happiest in the sky.
Now another Amelia prepares to go
Into that yonder - where? We do not know.

Many will say beware the cost
For the first Amelia was forever lost
When she dreamt too high, dreamt too much
You wouldn't want to end up as such.

But I say that you must fly
For each of us is bound to die
Fly for those who never could
Fly for those who never would

But above all fly.

Fly for us who've crashed our dreams
Fly so we can dream again
Fly with joy, fly with tears
Fly for the future, fly without fear

But above all fly.

For the only death you have to fear
Is the death of dreams that disappear

Fly for peace and fly for love
Fly for yourself and fly for us
Fly on the ground or fly in the air
Just how you fly I really don't care

But above all you must fly.
Pease don't forget to fly

My dear sweet Amelia how I long to see you fly.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Boulder loves the poor and homeless. So long as they're someplace else.

Surprise surprise it turns out progressives are more nimby than pro poor. And so called "liberalism" dies a little more.

Similarly I enjoyed this story over the weekend from the Boulder Daily Camera, about opposition to a bill in the state legislature to protect the legal rights of the homeless:

Worried About Local Control, Boulder to Oppose Homeless “Right to Rest” Act

When state legislators resume debate Monday on a bill that would protect the right of homeless people to sleep outside and in their cars, Boulder will be among the groups opposing the legislation.

The “Colorado Right to Rest Act,” supported by many homeless advocates and civil libertarians, explicitly seeks to roll back local ordinances that they believe criminalize homelessness.

Not everybody agrees, however:

Some Boulder homeless advocates are upset that the city has taken a position on the Right to Rest Act without any public debate.

Pity the moderate Democrat: trapped between Hillary and the deep blue sea.

It's been a tough 8 years for moderate "good government" democrats. From the extra legal looting of GM creditors to pay off the UAW to fraudulent accounting for Obamacare to politicization of the IRS and the open prosecution of enemies while friends get a pass, not to mention humiliating fiascos like "cash for clunkers" and the Obamacare Website this administration has become a byword for corrupt incompetence even before you get to BeghazIranSyrIraqYemenistanISIS. And with the President increasingly ruling by decree it's not getting any better until he is launched on his new "global celebrity centimillionaire" career. Golly they don't make Democrats like Harry Truman any more do they?

Hillary Clinton was supposed to save the nation (and moderate consciences) from President Obama's left wing lurch by winning the Presidency and guiding the ship of state back to the Clinton Triangle of the 90s. But moderates couldn't have dreamed that once out of office and comfortably well off the Clintons would begin a 16 year orgy of money grubbing (even Chelsea is getting $75k a speech) and influence peddling  culminating in Hillary destroying evidence subpeoned by Congress and Bill palling around with a registered sex offender who has a a penchant for underage girls on his private "fantasy island".

And now it seems that the rank and file are veering even further left, rebelling against Obama's left wing "Chicago style" presidency for being too...rational. With Baltimore rioting against its (black) mayor, (black) chief of police  and (half black) police force and with other Democrat monocultures saying "hey that looks like fun" a sinister, dark blue force is rising from the depths of the east. This monster combines the righteous anger against the system of a half black man raised in an upper class non racist marxist environment with the understandable rage of a deeply committed feminist victimized by the fact that despite saying she's an Indian and putting a (very native) crab dip recipe into a Cherokee cookbook she and her (Indian?) Prince of a husband are only pulling down a crappy $750k a year teaching at Harvard. Thus fortified by "righteous anger" and with "truth, justice and the Anti-American way" on her side this Nemesis of the Naughty threatens to overturn everything the party establishment has rigged for itself in a screech of Chauvistaesqe populism.
What in the hell is a moderate 
Democrat to do? But weep. Or take elephant lessons.

What? Lamestream press colluding with Dems to illegally persecute Republicans? Didn't see that one coming

America's press are increasingly unworthy of the title "free press". A more accurate moniker is "state or official press".

So how do you know what you know?

Whither Black America

Watching more Baltimore violence. Blacks rioting in a black run city with a half black police force led by a black man not 50 miles from the first black head of state and government of any non African majority nation since (possibly) the Emperor Hadrian. And all I can say is thank God it's not St. Louis again.

I turn the page and see that the US has admitted 51 million immigrants in the last decade. There are only about 40 million African Americans. Metro Houston is 18 percent black. My suburb is almost 40 percent black. There is lots of road, home and retail construction going on. These jobs pay more than minimum and traditionally have been stepping stones for the poorly placed and educated to bootstrap themselves into their own contracting businesses. I've seen hundreds working. I have never seen a black man. Or almost anyone but newer Latino immigrants.

It's not the immigrants' fault, of course and I am fairly libertarian on immigration but I can see how if you're a black man who has been raised on the mother's milk of America is "racist" and on "oppression" and "victimization" you could get angry. If day after day and year after year you watch the 51 million marching steadily past your 40 knowing that your President and party are doing everything they can to accelerate this trend. And if every day you saw the consequences of the most brutally vindictive policing and legal environment in the developed world, knowing that it is disproportionately  brutalizing your family and friends then what would you do when the inevitable mishap between a young black man and law enforcement happens near you?

I predict that our stagnant corporatist/rent seeking economy, combined with accelerating immigration, openly racist indoctrination by the educrats, a shockingly brutal legal system and the sensationalist media will lead to more and more black violence. And that will lead to an increasing estrangement of black Americans from the rest of society. Including other non white groups.

It's a pity that Barack Obama and Eric Holder were so busy inciting black anger to goose turnout that they had no time to actually help their "brothers and sisters".

And then I turn the page and read of the Clintons' latest antics. The best thing about American liberalism was always it's idealism. Even though I often thought the liberals were terribly misguided, I never questioned most of their motives. But now it seems to me that fifty years of failure to move virtually any needle relating to poverty, drug use, education, or racial equality has made its practitioners cynical and power focused.  It's a damn shame.

Nerds prom is a "f"ed up metaphor for the "f"ed up capital of an increasingly "f"ed up nation

They say a nation rots from the head down. If the White House Correspondents dinner is any indication then America is headed for the landfill of history.

What a pack of smug, blinkered opportunists, ideologues and other assorted thimbleriggers. Yuck.

WHEN BOTS COLLUDE: Can Algorithms price fix

And more importantly, how could you tell?

More here.

The Clinton family’s mega-charity took in more than $140 million in grants and pledges in 2013 but spent just $9 million on direct aid.

On its 2013 tax forms, the most recent available, the foundation claimed it spent $30 million on payroll and employee benefits; $8.7 million in rent and office expenses; $9.2 million on “conferences, conventions and meetings”; $8 million on fund-raising; and nearly $8.5 million on travel. None of the Clintons are on the payroll, but they do enjoy first-class flights paid for by the Foundation. 

By some estimates the Clinton Foundation has not accounted for $300 million of the $500 million it has raised. And then there is the question of speaking fees. No, not Bill or Hill's $200,000 to $750,000 per day fees for denouncing "the rich" and "CEO pay" but the fact that those hoping to influence those who they believe will control the increasingly dictatorial American Presidency are paying Chelsea Clinton $75,000 a pop.

The question isn't that all of this is corrupt,  the question is what is it about our current oh so liberal establishment that would allow a convicted perjurer and his white house silver stealing wife to be the titular leaders of the left wing "peoples party" for over two decades?

The character of institutions and movements is expressed in the character of its leaders.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Bruce Jenner's coming out

Well Bruce Jenner  has finally come out on national TV. And I for one am sickened by this obscene choice. I mean to announce that you're a Republican who "believes in the constitution" is something that shouldn't be allowed while children could  be watching. On the other hand, I like what she's done with her hair....

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Federal Forfeiture laws encourage police freebooting

And you thought the age of letters of marque and privateers was long gone. Not with the popo. They can keep almost all of their often ill gotten booty  (they have to share a little with the Lord and Savior in DC) even if their state bans it. One more way our Federal Government encourages criminal behavior in its "service".

Will reforms work or will police just turn to the Department of Justice? Nope.

The rise of the criminal municipality

South Gate CA has a problem - it's government specializes in asset forfeitures and thuggish policemen. There are quite a few thievish thuggeries in America these days.

To paraphrase our Maximum Lider: Government is just something we do to each other. Reason has more.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

To live nobly one must judge and be judged

Ayn Rand said something quite wise in 1962 in her book In praise of Selfishness (I know, I know but still). And what's funny is that Ayn was really promoting honesty over all else rather than selfishness or right wingery. Because leftism is in many respects a flight from judgement - an elaborate retreat into euphemism to obscure the brutal facts of state power. Thus placing more and more of your livelihood under the control of a central bureaucracy is called income security. Or living off of someone else's efforts is called "positive liberty" while successfully earning by providing others goods and services they value is termed "greed".

It is only in today’s reign of amoral cynicism, subjectivism and hooliganism that men may imagine themselves free to utter any sort of irrational judgment and to suffer no consequences. But, in fact, a man is to be judged by the judgments he pronounces. The things which he condemns or extols exist in objective reality and are open to the independent appraisal of others. It is his own moral character and standards that he reveals, when he blames or praises. If he condemns America and extols Soviet Russia — or if he attacks businessmen and defends juvenile delinquents — or if he denounces a great work of art and praises trash — it is the nature of his own soul that he confesses.

It is their fear of this responsibility that prompts most people to adopt an attitude of indiscriminate moral neutrality. It is the fear best expressed in the precept: “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” But that precept, in fact, is an abdication of moral responsibility: it is a moral blank check one gives to others in exchange for a moral blank check one expects for oneself.

There is no escape from the fact that men have to make choices; so long as men have to make choices, there is no escape from moral values; so long as moral values are at stake, no moral neutrality is possible. To abstain from condemning a torturer, is to become an accessory to the torture and murder of his victims.

The moral principle to adopt in this issue, is: “Judge, and be prepared to be judged.” The opposite of moral neutrality is not a blind, arbitrary, self-righteous condemnation of any idea, action or person that does not fit one’s mood, one’s memorized slogans or one’s snap judgment of the moment. Indiscriminate tolerance and indiscriminate condemnation are not two opposites: they are two variants of the same evasion. To declare that “everybody is white” or “everybody is black” or “everybody is neither white nor black, but gray,” is not a moral judgment, but an escape from the responsibility of moral judgment.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Liberals have a ball and chain wrapped around their neck.

If perchance La Clinton becomes President it will mean that Democrats will have fielded a minimum of 12 years of feckless, marginally qualified, uber-liberal identity politicians. Which will crush the left surer than a Jimmy Carter malaise speech.

Ailes on the Fatal Femme of Dems: But it looks like Hillary is going to do whatever she wants," he says, "and the press is going to vote for her."

Win or lose Hillary is a major asset for the right. Gosh the press are a stupid blundering herd, aren't they?

Who says that liberals are good businessmen?

If they were they wouldn't have left Fox alone to clean up the entire right half of the news market. But they're  desperate for the approval of the "cool" kids so they can't bring themselves to compete.

Along the way, Ailes has built a brand valued by Wall Street analysts at $15 billion for Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox empire; Fox News Channel contributed 18 percent of 21st Century profits in 2014. The company has notched 70 consecutive quarters of profit growth. And SNL Kagan projects that Ailes' network will generate $2.18 billion this year from advertising dollars and affiliate revenue. Fox News isn't merely the most watched cable news channel (since 2002, when it surpassed CNN); in February, it was the most watched primetime network on all of cable and finished the first quarter in fourth place overall in primetime behind only ESPN, TBS (which had March Madness) and USA. It commands some of the richest fees in cable at more than $1 per subscriber per month (CNN, by comparison, gets 61 cents and MSNBC gets about 30 cents). And in the next few years, those fees will jump to $1.50 as new carriage deals kick in — including one with Dish Network finalized in January after a contentious monthlong blackout.

It gives the lie to any notion that they're "fair", "balanced",  "non partisan" or even rstional. What a bunch of maroons.

How we got to the execrable "Iran deal" in the midst of a Middle East going "foom!".

Natan Scharansky wonders where American moral confidence went. That's another two sided question. For America to act abroad with confidence there must be consensus on both sides on what is right and what is wrong. Like 1974 to 1980 or 1800 to 1815 or 1835 to 1860 for that matter, the US lacks consensus.

I am afraid that the real reason for the U.S. stance is not its assessment, however incorrect, of the two sides’ respective interests but rather a tragic loss of moral self-confidence. While negotiating with the Soviet Union, U.S. administrations of all stripes felt certain of the moral superiority of their political system over the Soviet one. They felt they were speaking in the name of their people and the free world as a whole, while the leaders of the Soviet regime could speak for no one but themselves and the declining number of true believers still loyal to their ideology. But in today’s postmodern world, when asserting the superiority of liberal democracy over other regimes seems like the quaint relic of a colonialist past, even the United States appears to have lost the courage of its convictions. We have yet to see the full consequences of this moral diffidence, but one thing is clear: The loss of America’s self-assured global leadership threatens not only the United States and Israel but also the people of Iran and a growing number of others living under Tehran’s increasingly emboldened rule. Although the hour is growing late, there is still time to change course — before the effects grow more catastrophic still.

In those earlier crises the South was certain and the North conflicted. Now the right is (fairly) certain but the left is wondering if racist, sexist, homesexuality fearing Amerika isn't by definition "wrong".

More evidence that the Great depression was prolonged by the cartelization of labor and business. With troubling portents for today.

Hoover and Roosevelt both responded to the sharp downturn "progressively" - by regulating industry, raising government spending and taxes and by promoting industrial unions. This policy mix succeeded in temporarily increasing the share of income going to the bottom 90 percent of wage earners but the maintenance of wages above market clearing levels in the face if falling prices led to massive and unprecedented unemployment that only relented when these policies were moderated after WW2.

Today, a new generation of "progressives seek to push wages above market clearing while raising taxes and limiting competition through financial and environmental regulation. But with our much more generous welfare state in place the result has not been mass unemployment but mass exit from the labor force combined with mass immigration. History shows that the center cannot hold - with one party pushing such a radical economic agenda our prosperity is unlikely to resume its trendline until a market realistic political consensus is restored.

People forget that the "Reagan Revolution" was a bipartisan return to market economics. It was foreshadowed and given impetus by the Carter-Kennedy (!) deregulation push. Given the immense hatred of markets on the left today it us hard to see how we are going to escape many years of stagnation and policy whipsawing until the old lessons are relearned.

Interesting charts and narrative at the link.

There has never been a safer time to be a kid.

So calm down akready. The data on American kiddom here.

Long term tax rates on incomes, payrolls, consumption, capital income and expenditures for the US, UK and Canada vs. GDP per capita

A really interesting set of charts using OECD data. Plenty of grist for anyone's mill. And over a long enough time frame to avoid cherry picking. A good starting point for tax discussions.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

In Hillary's world it apparently takes a union to raise a child

Preferably a teachers' union closely allied with Democrats that pours millions in members dues into partisan campaigns. "It's all for the children", natch.

During her first official campaign event in Iowa earlier this week, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton praised Common Core and referred to children’s education as a “non-family enterprise.” Clinton’s controversial statements about education, which were captured by C-SPAN, came in response to a question from a participant about how to offer a quality education throughout the U.S.

It's "Thiever Education" - one in three at least one month behind on college loans

Guarantee you the next scam will be "free college for everyone" because then Uncle with his magic money machine will pick up the tab bitch free until the dollar collapses. But don't worry it'll be the kids who are screwed. So it's all good! Hat tip instapundit.

EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: The Student-Loan Problem Is Even Worse Than Official Figures Indicate. “Nearly one in three Americans who are now having to pay down their student debt–or a staggering 31.5%–are at least a month behind on their payments, new research from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis suggests. That figure is far higher than official delinquency measures reported by the Education Department and the New York Fed. And it’s also likely the most accurate.”

Apparently Joplin cops are pervs looking for a cheap underage thrill

Kids have been displaying they're nude aspects to each other since the first Cro Magnon grunted "show me yours and I'll show you mine" to the first Cro Womagnon. Give it a rest you badged creeps.

OMG politicized science doesn't attract new talent

You mean graduates don't want to be a part of a field where cynical pols call the shots and truth is a secondary consideration? Who knew?

Scooby doo! Is Hillary really the Velma Dinkley of American politics?

Kevin Williamson at his raconteurish best exploring the Clinton - Scooby Doo connection. FWIW I always though Velma was hot but I've never thought Hillary was. I'm afraid his Kevness has outdone himself in this one - more zing than I can count: "Her Herselfness", "the Solon of Chappaqua", Lena Dunham as "that daft young actress". Absolutely delicious whatever your politics. It is the fact that Granny Hill can inspire writers to such heights of oracular orotunditry that makes me (well that and the inevitable septuagenarian sex scandals - bet you've  never read those words together before) half wish that she does become the most powerful woman in the world. Ah but if wishes were fishes then we'd all smell like fish guts....

You’ll remember Velma Dinkley, the grim-faced young fogey of the Scooby-Doo gang: turtleneck and knee socks, orange; pleated skirt and pumps, red; spectacle lenses a very groovy shade of aqua; hair in a severe, LPGA-ready bob. She was the thick and bookish counterpoint to the comely Daphne Blake. But the id moves in mysterious ways, and Velma has enjoyed a strange post-1970s career as a minor object of erotic fixation, being portrayed on film by the knockout Linda Cardellini and, in a dramatic illustration of Rule 34, by the pornographic actress Bobbi Starr.

Perhaps that is what sometime sex symbol Hillary Rodham Clinton had in mind when she nicknamed her campaign van “Scooby,” noting its resemblance to the famously psychedelic Saturday-morning ride of Mystery Incorporated. Mrs. Clinton — the Grand Glorified Imperial Herself — is very much a creature of the 1970s, and Scooby-Doo may very well feel fresh in her mind.

Plamegate was a fraud all the way through - a thoroughly corrupt (and now well paid) prosecutor aided and abetted by a thoroughly partisan press

Who says criminal conduct doesn't pay? It did for Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. To hear the left go on about "McCarthyite" witch hunts after watching this abortion is sick making. Fitzgerald is such a corrupt and cynical political prosecutor. Read the latest recantation of "sworn" testimony. There is no balance in DC.

Not much of a Republic either.

Graduate students, sick of being exploited by "progressive, egalitarian" universities seek to unionize

But colleges are so....politically correct. How can they be exploitative? They're leftist, for goodness sakes.

But none of this lets academe off the hook. For one thing, the universities contribute to a glut of Ph.D.s by admitting students who take out loans (some 40% of the $1 trillion in student debt is for graduate school) even when they know few will ever work as full professors. By admitting them into graduate programs, the schools in effect are producing for themselves a low-paid work force.

“To put it crudely, they are hiring their own serfs,” says Richard Vedder, an Ohio University economist who runs the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. He says it’s “as much a moral issue as an economic one.” A university truly devoted to the well-being of its students would be more honest to grad students about the dismal job prospects for Ph.D.s—and more candid to undergrads about their actual instructors.

Genetically modify food or starve - that is the choice

Everything we eat has been genetically modified by human action. The techniques have changed, becoming much more precise and using much less dangerous substances (we used to blast plants with mutating radiation or bathe them in chemicals known to cause genetic defects). And if we hadn't the earth's carrying capacity would.....well let's just say it wouldn't include you or me. So enjoy the sweeter corn and tastier tomatoes.  They are gifts from God by way of His general revelation to us about the way things work.

And don't listen to hysterics.

Don't ever be part of an on line lynch mob.

Don't be part of an on line mob. Ever. And if you find you have, apologize asap. It is very easy for someone to present a one sided story or video that pushes our buttons. And even easier to drop a quick "like" or mini rant. Lord knows I have done so. I have concluded that having the power to instantly communicate to hundreds of people comes with the responsibility to not jump to convenient, comfortable conclusions. And to not put the worst construction on other people's behavior just because we happen not to like them. In this I am the foremost of sinners.

Take this story about ESPN reporter Britt McHenry as a cautionary example. By the way: any story that presents a municipal tow truck company that impounds cars as the victim is almost by definition wrong.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Vote for me I'm a girl is apparently Hillary's pitch.

"I've stood on my dick before but Hillary us running on her genetalia."

Just about sums it up don't you think?

Golda Meir, Maggie Thatcher and Indira Ghandi must be spinning in their graves at this shallow failure of a woman whose only achievement is staying married to Bill come what may.

Ron Bailey got tired of being teased by the cool kids so he jumped on the global warming bandwagon just when its wheels were falling off.

It's tough to be an environmental reporter from the right and clearly the pressure got to Ron Bailey. Sadly the credibility he sacrificed on the right was never refunded by the left. They could always find someone more simpatico, more committed, more extreme.

And now the whole thing is going in the toilet. Such are the wages of appeasement. Here's one response to his latest plea for someone to join him in his misery.

Under Obama the rich (colleges) are getting rich much faster

Explain to me how these ludicrously rich, wildly elitist and ideologically unhinged finishing schools for the cognitive one tenth of one percent deserve their not for profit status while everyone inside them screeches for the "rich's" heads.

The 10 richest universities in America hold nearly a third of the total wealth, in cash and investments, amassed by about 500 public and private institutions. The 40 richest hold almost two-thirds of the total wealth.

And their financial edge is widening. These schools are drawing an outsized share of gifts to colleges and universities. Their assets grew at at a far faster rate from 2009 to 2014 than the portfolios of schools in the middle and bottom of the pack.

Those are the findings from Moody’s Investors Service, released Thursday, in a study of the balance sheets of 503 institutions in the portfolio of the credit-rating firm. The study illuminates the disparity between the haves and the have-nots in higher education.

Everything about these schools has become anti social and anti American. The first rich we loot should be the the Ivies and their equivalents.

Hat tip instapundit.

But don't you understand: rescheduling Marijuana would be a blow for liberty that would reduce the power of the state.

And Obama never, ever does anything that reduces the state's power. Hell he would have probably just put the the slaves in Federal protective custody rather than free them. The Prez looks upon liberty the way moms look upon running with scissors: too much and we might hurt ourselves. And then we'd get blood all over Momma O's nice, clean country.

DEBATE HEATS UP:  After an extensive 5-day fact-finding hearing,  a federal judge in California yesterday ruled that it is not “irrational”–and thus does not offend the Constitution– for marijuana to be classified as a Schedule I drug (no legal uses) under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA).  It is a blow to pro-marijuana advocates, who’ve had remarkable success in getting pot approved for medicinal use, and–in four states–even recreational use.  Many legal experts anticipated that the judge, an Obama appointee, would take a “bold stand” and rule that marijuana cannot be completely banned under Schedule I. She suggested (showing remarkable restraint for an Obama appointee) that, as an unelected federal judge, it was not her place to effect such a substantial national policy change.
President Obama (technically, the Attorney General) could, consistent with the CSA, reschedule marijuana by executive order.  But for some reason, on this issue, the President has thus far refused to get out his infamous pen and phone, stating recently that he thinks Congress should amend the CSA to reschedule marijuana instead.

And in perhaps the ultimate irony, the Supreme Court ruled in its 2005 decision, Gonzales v. Raich, that individuals who used medical marijuana pursuant to state compassionate use laws were not entitled to a constitutional exemption from the CSA, as the CSA is the supreme law of the land.
Based on Gonzales, in late December, Oklahoma and Nebraska filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court against Colorado, asserting that Colorado’s legalization of recreational pot has forced such neighboring States to bear the brunt of increased criminal activity, such as transportation of pot into their jurisdictions, where pot remains illegal under State law.  The interesting legal questions posed by the Oklahoma/Nebraska suit is whether state pot legalization conflicts with the CSA and is thus preempted, and if relatedly, whether the executive branch has a constitutional obligation to enforce the CSA’s prohibition in such states.  Some argue yes; some argue no.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

On the one hand the left keeps passing more and more laws. On the other hand two thirds of Democrats believe it's OK for the President to ignore laws he doesn't like.

This is what they call situational ethics. In 2017 (God willing) their tune will change. But it is rather amusing to find that a party whose hegemony is founded on ever more invasive and vindictive law doesn't really believe in the supremacy of the law. It's quite Leninist, really.

What is it about progressives that makes them think it is good for society to ignore the rule of law?  The latest iteration comes in the form of explicit calls to ignore the Supreme Court whenever it rules the “wrong” (i.e., non-progressive) way.

Because the Supreme Court isn’t presently dominated by progressives and none of the 5 current, right-of-center Justices are likely to retire before the end of the Obama Administration, progressives are now trying to create acceptability for the idea of “ignoring” the Court.  A recent New York Times op-ed by William Baude, for example, asserted that if the Court’s King v. Burwell opinion ultimately denies Obamacare subsidies to individuals states without state-run health insurance exchanges, the Obama Administration should only enforce the decision against the 4 named plaintiffs in the case.

For everyone else, Baude suggests that the Administration pretend that the law hasn’t technically been decided.  The justification for such lawlessness?:  “If the administration believes that a Supreme Court loss would be egregious and disastrous, it ought to consider taking the political heat to limit it.”   Oh, okay– that makes sense.  If the President thinks the Supreme Court’s interpretation of a law is “egregious and disastrous,” he should just ignore it for everyone but the named plaintiffs who brought the suit.

Apparently, Baude is channeling the progressive mindset.  A Feb. 2015 Rasmussen poll revealed that only 35% of Democrats disagreed when asked: “Should the president have the right to ignore federal court rulings if they are standing in the way of actions he feels are important for the country?”  81% of Republicans and 67% of voters not affiliated with either major party disagreed– an astounding difference of 32 to 46 percentage points from the Democrat perspective.

[M]any close to Clinton estimate she will raise and spend $1.5-to-$2 billion.

Hillary fighting for the little guy.

For Hillary to talk about money in politics is laughable. Barack Obama was the first billion dollar candidate–it will be, historically, his principal claim to fame–but Hillary promises to blow past that milestone with almost uncountable millions flowing in from Wall Street and Hollywood.

California continuing their quest to brand all men rapists

Asche Schow reports from the edge of reality that things are getting much worse for young men.

Last year California passed a law that defined nearly all sex on college campuses as rape unless proven otherwise. Now, in addition to making it easier to label someone a rapist for just about every sexual encounter, state legislators want to go further to ensure that accused students’ lives are severely disrupted — if not ruined — by introducing mandatory minimums for their punishment.

The mandatory minimum would be a suspension of two years for students found responsible for sexual assault. But bear in mind that the burden of proof already lies with the accused, thanks to California’s “yes means yes” law. Accusers do not have to provide any proof that that they failed to give consent or were unable to consent due to incapacitation, and now a guilty finding would carry a minimum punishment under this new proposal.

First they made it easier to brand a student a rapist, and now they want to make it easier to ruin that student’s life.

I think that men should avoid California colleges. He'll they should probably avoid the whole damn state. Hat tip instapundit

Democrats are winning rights for the transgendered while Republicans are winning the Right to Work

While the Dems are dragged deeper into strange and tiny alleys of gender identity   Republicans are having immense success implementing Right to Work legislation: OK, IN, MI and WI have all gone RTW. States like Missouri are only a Republican governor away from that result.  And now a dozen individual counties in Kentucky are doing the same. If these local ordinances pass constitutional muster expect hundreds of rural and exurban counties in purple states to do so, stripping private labor unions of much of their remaining coercive clout. That, along with paycheck protection laws that keep public unions from appropriating their members' dues for political purposes are sounding the death knell of union clout in much of the country.

But don't worry. I'm sure getting trannies into the toilet of their choice will be a big vote getter. The problem with identity politics is ultimately their triviality. While most everyone works.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

David Brooks is a classic moderate who believes the state should truncate both civil and economic rights

Moderates are not moderate in their statist immoderation. They tend to be unprincipled and power hungry. Moderation simply allows them to get what they want when they want it. David Brooks is no conservative. Don't waste your time reading him.

Maryland siezes your children if the find them playing alone

If they're white and affluent that is. They don't seem to give a rats ass about minority kids one way or the other. The northeast is a statist thug paradise. They confuse brutality with principle. Just ask Chris Christie.

Chris Christie: I Crack down on legal weed

The northeast is filled with tough talking wussies like Christie . It's their state mascot. Five'll get you ten that he'll do no such thing. He's a puss 'n wingtips.

Not that he'll be nominated.

Drivers license suspensions for unpaid fees and fines is debtors prison

Our legal system is truly Dickensian.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

When Hillary Goes to College to See ‘Everyday Iowans’ Students Get Locked In Their Classrooms

Not Hillary's fault, of course, but emblematic of our steadily expanding police state.  I recall walking with my 5yo son and 2yo in her stroller down to the local college to see the bagpipe corps that led off the graduation ceremonies each year. I would position us in the quadrangle along the path that they took. They made quite a spectacle what with all that Scottish racket and their kilts and huge bearskin hats.  Unbeknownst to me, that year ex President George H. W. Bush was the speaker (I think his brother Bucky - I kid you not, that's what we called him to his face - was a trustee - either that or his cousin - from the side of the family that he got the H W from was. St. Louis is seriously oversubscribed in Bush clansmen.) and there were a handful of secret service types in the quad fiddling with their ear radios and otherwise trying to look important.

So here I come along with stroller, diaper bag and 2 small children in tow and position myself as usual. One of the Federal studs came over "you can't stand here". "Why not". "I'm sorry but you'll have to move". "Why? We stand here every year for the bagpipes." "You need to move. Now!". At that point some if his hench....I mean colleagues started coming over in their shades and lumpy suits so with kids in tow I retreated. 2 minutes later we heard the measured cadence of the drums and the skirling of the pipes but could not see them.

Which raises a question: why was a dad with his little kids a threat while 12 big mean looking men with hats that could hold an Uzi not? Did they get searched? Or how about the hundreds of faculty in their ceremonial finery  - I mean the most conservative prof at that liberal arts college had to have been a liberal Democrat. Did they all get their mummus lifted? Because you could hide an AK 47 in that getup. And how about the students who had been taught and successfully parrotted back that anything that was wrong with their lives was the fault of rich old white men of  which 'ol HW was a prime example?

I guess they were worried that I might  chuck a bio weapon (aka: loaded diaper) at the old feeb as he passed or had Thing 1 and Thing 2 run over and bite his ankles. They were pretty scary creatures back then. Particularly Meems who used to do this toothsome growling routine at people she didn't like.

Monday, April 13, 2015

West Virginia is different than other places

Morgantown Bans Sofas From Being Kept Outside In Attempt To Stop WVU Couch Fires. 

So why didn't we think of this? I mean we had lots of cheap couches and most of them did need to be burned for sanitary if not aesthetic reasons. Yet we never put the "want and the need into the deed" so to speak. I suppose it was a failure to achieve the famous "Optimal Prank Nexus". The OPN was a theory of fraternal living that I developed to explain why a group of relatively intelligent young men/older boys would some times come up with absolutely brilliant forms of mischief (such as laying Bermuda grass sod throughout the first floor of the house because they wanted to have a lawn party) while at other times we - I mean they - did the most dumbass things.

Your common variety collegiate prank is trivially easy to produce. All you need to do is throw a few kegs and some high decibel Weezer in the midst of a bunch of college kids. Within minutes the combination will begin emitting a "Seemed Like A Good Idea" field from which all prank  mayhem originates.

But the optimal prank only emerges from the fog of a common SLAGI field if several conditions occur at exactly the same time. For example, to come up with the brilliant, high concept prank of couch burning one must have a certain level of excitement underway - say a party or sports victory or even an abortive narcotics sweep by the local gendarmes. Then you need someone with a weak moral sense but a strong eye for fun to be sober enough to generate "the idea". Thirdly, everyone else needs to be sufficiently inebriated  so that something like "hey let's burn the furniture!" seems like a swell idea rather than arson but not so pickled that they keep trying to get the couch out the door sideways and failing that decide to "light her where she lies" in the hall.

As you can see it is these minor variations at the nexus of the deed that can turn the "brilliant" into the "dumbass" in the ten minutes it takes the fire trucks to arrive. Although I suppose West Virginia has a higher concentration of the essential nexus variables than most - which makes them particularly fiery prank innovators. Burn Mountaineers Burn!

Hillary is dead. Long live Granny Hop Hoo.

Brendan O'neill argues that Hillary Clinton has jettisoned her  enlightenment Era values focused on substance and replaced them with primitive tribal identity. 

Balkanization without the Balkans... 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

When it comes to shopping bags a 'good green deed' justifies higher junk food consumption

Professor Sam Peltzman at Chicago specializes in quantifying the unintended consequences of virtuous behavior.  For example Dr. Peltzman discovered that seatbelt laws that increased driver utilization of the belts was associated with lower death rates for those inside cars but higher death rates among pedestrians outside them.  He hypothesized that people wearing seatbelts feel safer so they drive more aggressively, mowing down more pedestrians.

In the same spirit comes a study that finds that people who shift to reusable shopping bags also substitute organic for non organic food items and buy incrementally more junk food - chips, candy, ice cream, sodas.  It seems as if the 'good deeds' are resulting in an 'entitlement' to consume junk food.

Karkarmar: It was clear that shoppers who brought their own bags were more likely to replace nonorganic versions of goods like milk with organic versions. So one green action led to another. But those same people were also more likely to buy foods like ice cream, chips, candy bars, and cookies. They weren’t replacing other items with junk food, as they did with organic food. They were just adding it to their carts.
I would expect that a lot of 'good deeds' result in other 'indulgences' - I wonder what the impact of charitable giving has been as tax rates have risen? - "I gave at the IRS" replacing church.

The second order effects are always the fun ones.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Alan Dershowitz finds that the New York Times publishes lies and won't retract them

Whaddya expect Alan?  The NYT is a sad remnant that is slowly strangling on its own self regard. The sooner it's gone, the sooner something honest can be built on its ruins.  The death of the 'liberal' press has been a sight to behold.  Dershowitz explains:

The judge has now stricken them all from the record, so I am—from a legal point of view—exactly back where I was before they were made. But you can’t unring a bell, and many of the newspapers that highlighted the false accusations either buried the story of the judge striking them, or didn’t report them at all. The New York Times, for example, had run two major stories about the defamatory allegations, but failed to report the judicial decision striking them—even after the reporter was sent the decision and a protest was lodged with the public editor. So, according to the newspaper of record, these uncorroborated and false charges remain part of the legal record, even though, unbeknownst to its readers, they have been formally stricken by a federal judge.

If the New York Times lies about something as easily checked as this why would you trust anything they say.

NRA gun show BS. I have lost all respect for the so called "respectable" press.

Shoplifter Hiding In Grocery Store Ceiling After Allegedly Stealing $8 Worth Of Stuff Prompts SWAT Response.

Wasn't there someone's mother who could just say "son, you get down from there this minute". Our cowardly, over armed "heroes" wander on....

To afford "hip" in a big blue world you must live like you did in college.

No wonder people are fleeing New York City in large numbers. They need to to live like Americans.

From the point of view of couples, the cash collected from a roommate can outweigh the trade-offs as rents in the city continue to rise. The median monthly rent in March in Manhattan was $3,395, up 6.1 percent over the same period in 2014, the second highest level reached in more than seven years, according to the appraiser Jonathan J. Miller in a report for Douglas Elliman. And renters aren’t finding much relief in Brooklyn or Queens, where rents have been increasing for some time.”

The irony is that the NYT article has none.

If you knew I was "homophobic" would you make me bake your wedding cake?

The Civil War was fought to free black slaves from being forced to do the work   that someone called their "owner" dictated. The civil rights acts of 64 and 65 were passed to ensure that minorities could vote and have equal access to public accommodations. A hotelier had to take everyone who could pay and otherwise follow the rules. He did not have to cater a White Pride convention in his ballroom or a gay marriage for that matter. But couldn't keep anyone out.

Now LGBT activists are demanding that vendors be forced to do work that they will not do voluntarily or be punished by the state. Notice anything?

John Stossel explains why the Public Accommodations parts of the 65 act were necessary to stifle Jim Crow but in other cases like today's Gay Marriage kerfuffle are obstacles to freedom of association and free speech.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

There are secret Republicans everywhere

How many industries is it now effectively "haram" to have right of center views?

" In an industry (Silicon Valley)where only liberal ideas are "allowed," many libertarians and conservatives keep their political views secret."

Ditto for the entertainment and education industries, government bureaucracies, the legal profession. Yet liberals are openly operating in so called "conservative" industries. Why is liberalism so intolerant of truly "diverse" perspectives.

Are they frightened that if an alternative is presented they'll lose? It's an amazing admission of moral and intellectual weakness. And it won't work because murder will always out.

George Will notices the incredible over criminalization of our society.

And argues it gives the state far too much power over anyone it chooses to target.

There are an estimated 4,500 federal criminal statutes — and innumerable regulations backed by criminal penalties that include incarceration. Even if none of these were arcane, which many are, their sheer number would mean that Americans would not have clear notice of what behavior is proscribed or prescribed. The presumption of knowledge of the law is refuted by the mere fact that estimates of the number of federal statutes vary by hundreds. If you are sent to prison for excavating arrowheads on federal land without a permit, your cellmate might have accidentally driven his snowmobile onto land protected by the Wilderness Act.

Regulatory crimes, Cottone observes, often are not patently discordant with our culture, as are murder, rape and robbery. Rather than implicating fundamental moral values, many regulatory offenses derive their moral significance, such as it is, from their relation to the promotion of some governmental goal.

The presumption of knowledge of the law is, Cottone argues, useful as an incentive for citizens to become informed of their legal duties. Complete elimination of the presumption would be a perverse incentive to remain in an ignorance that might immunize a person from culpability. But “there can be no moral obligation to do something impossible, such as know every criminal law,” let alone all the even more numerous — perhaps tens of thousands — regulations with criminal sanctions. The morality of law, Cottone argues, requires laws to be, among other things, publicized, understandable and not subject to constant changes. Otherwise everyone would have to be a talented lawyer, “a result hardly feasible or even desirable.”

Overcriminalization, says professor Reynolds, deepens the dangers of “a dynamic in which those charged with crimes have a lot at risk, while those doing the charging have very little ‘skin in the game.’ ” With a vast menu of crimes from which to choose, prosecutors can “overcharge” a target, presenting him or her with the choice between capitulation-through-plea-bargain or a trial with a potentially severe sentence.

Google thinks it can define what is true. What it will define is the meaning of selfish hubris.

It is the fate of callow, socially inept engineers to get above themselves and begin playing in esoteric realms like defining "what us true". Google wants to rank sites by their Google certified truthfulness. As if Google were God rather than some extra fortunate pencil necks.

"Washiqur Rahman and Avijit Roy had more to fear than most of us, but they lived and died as free men."

George Packer on the desperate need and difficulty delivering freedom of speech. I would add that Freedom of association is every bit as important. It is the Word made Flesh. Peoples feelings can't trump my right to speak the truth as I see it or to choose who I will and will not associate with.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Politics replacing religion as a locus for passion.

And the problem is that in the "omni competent Federal super state that must rule all" we can't schism into our own polities. We're all trapped in the same house of hardship....the political equivalent of Jews, Hindus , Baptists and Muslims having to agree on almost everything. Another reason that the states should take a much greater role. As Adam Garfunkel concludes as it relates to Iran:

I do worry about how this diplomatic dagger dance with Iran will turn out, but I worry as much about the increasingly acrid, shrill, and irrational tone that infests what passes for our political discourse. An old professor of mine, a curious but wonderful fellow named E. Digby Baltzell, once remarked that the tragedy of American society in the 20th century was that the prodigious native energies of American religion had migrated into politics, to the detriment of both. A truer or more alarming nutshell analysis has yet to pass my eyes.

Blue states flout Federal ID laws for undocumented aliens

And people are worried about red states defying the law. More here.

After the 9/11 attacks, Congress passed the REAL ID Act to prevent foreign nationals from fraudulently obtaining a U.S. driver’s license — by requiring that any ID issued based on unverifiable foreign documents look different in “design or color” from an official driver’s license.

That way, TSA and other law enforcement would know the ID holder might not be who they say they are.

But more than a decade later, several state and local governments are openly flouting the law, issuing ID cards that are barely distinguishable from a bona fide driver’s license. That means those with mere ID cards, like illegal immigrants, might be able to pass off their cards as a driver’s license at the airport and elsewhere — creating a huge gap in security.

It is not "conservative" to slavishly support a violent and abusive criminal justice system.

The odds of me or my kids being killed by cops given where we live is probably as high as being killed by non cops. Both are very low but the lack of trust is poisonous. How did this come to pass?

How? Simple. Give the police near-total immunity for their behavior as “public servants,” instruct them to bring in money by just about any means necessary, rely on the conservatives to support almost any excess, enjoy the blessing of the state and federal courts, and provide them with enough weapons — not just guns, but tasers, nightsticks, huge flashlights, etc. — to take down and out anyone who resists. We can sort out guilt or innocence later, possibly posthumously. Joseph K. had a better chance at justice in Kafka’s The Trial.

America 2015: where everything you have, including your life, belongs to the state. Who won the Cold War, again?

The left wants to scream "racist" while the right howls "law and order" when in fact the problem is that we have too many cops enforcing too many laws with too much immunity and too much cowardice "I was scared so I killed you while you were running away from a traffic stop". And it's getting worse.

Of course they're lying to the court.

That's the only way the President can usurp Congress' constitutional role. To cheat you need to lie. QED.

“A federal judge has issued a scathing rebuke to lawyers for the Obama administration in a case involving the president’s unilateral immigration action. In an order issued Tuesday night, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, who had put a temporary hold on the action, not only refused to lift the hold — he also came very near to accusing administration lawyers of flat-out lying to him.

Hat tip

Re: Dems on Social Security - at long last sirs have you no shame?

Social Security is bankrupt and has depressed the savings rate to boot. So how is the left going to solve the problem? By raising taxes to expand benefits of course.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Americans are underprepared for retirement. And given this sad fact, there’s a growing movement on the left saying we need a government solution, stat: specifically, an expansion of Social Security benefits

So let me see if I've got this straight: the older generation is in the process of looting their descendants because of programs the left created and have aggressively defended. So now the left wants to expand this heinous intergenerational crime to win votes. Until it all collapses in a roar of hatred and chaos, that is.

Boy I'm glad Democrats are the reality based party, aren't you?

It's not just the sense of entitlement and arrogance but the cluelessness of Hillary that shocks me

Hillary Clinton presumably thought she was snug as a bug in a rug with her off shelf system and security software.  She even registered it under the Clinton domain name.  This woman doesn't understand technology, and regularly breaks laws with impunity.  So why are the Dems so hot for her?

Hillary will do for women what Barack has done for blacks - set them back in their effort to win the esteem of their fellow citizens.

As secretary of state, Clinton routed all her government-related email through the server, based in her house in Chappaqua, New York. She reportedly hired a Cablevision (NYSE:CVC) subsidiary to run the server, with antivirus protection from Intel's (NASDAQ:INTC) McAfee. And she registered her domain name,, through Network Solutions.''';

Intelligence professionals fear that the use of the privately installed server, free of certified government defenses against foreign interception, has been a boon to foreign cyberspies.

"By using her own private server with email — which we now know was wholly unencrypted for the first three months of Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state — she left this easily interceptable by any decent 21st century SIGINT service," said John Schindler, a former National Security Agency counterintelligence officer. SIGINT is shorthand for signals intelligence, or electronic spying.

"The name Clinton right on the email handle meant this was not a difficult find," Schindler said. "We should assume Russians, Chinese and others were seeing this."


Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Travesty: Patrick Fitzgerald Valerie Plame and Scooter Libby

Patrick Fitzgerald is a typical example of unethical Federal prosecutors. It is getting to the point where I automatically side with the accused. This isn't a republic so much as a lawyer thugocracy.

PATRICK FITZGERALD WOUND UP WITH A POSH SLOT AT A TONY CHICAGO DEMOCRATIC LAW FIRM: New revelation helps exonerate Scooter Libby. Of course, it’s been known for some time that Richard Armitage, not Libby, was the leaker, and that Fitzgerald knew that from the beginning but continued to investigate, and target Scooter Libby, anyway. A cynic would say that this was a softening-up operation by the Chicago Machine. But who could be that cynical, in this flowering era of hope and change

Monday, April 06, 2015

Crimes done in the name of the "revolution" are evidently not crimes

That's what "revolutionary justice" is all about. Kevin Williamson explains why double standards are so prevalent in America.

Who is G. Gordon Liddy?” Among other things, a criminal who did his time. Who is Lois Lerner? A criminal who almost certainly will never hear the prison door slam shut behind her, who probably will live out her days on a generous pension paid for by the very same taxpayers whose government she converted into a weapon to be used against them. There are those who call this “progress.”

They should also Kick UVA's Keister hard and keep kicking until the message gets to their tiny pinhead brain

Fraternity pursuing legal action against Rolling Stone. “The fraternity at the center of a now-discredited Rolling Stone rape article says the story was defamatory and reckless and they are pursuing legal action against the magazine. Phi Kappa Psi said Monday in a statement that the article was viewed by millions, led to members being ostracized and there was vandalism of the fraternity house. The fraternity’s statement came as the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism released a report, saying the magazine’s shortcomings ‘encompassed reporting, editing, editorial supervision and fact-checking.

Hat tip

Are S&P 500 valuations mostly "dark matter" and if so why?

An interesting summary of arguments on why it's so difficult to tie valuations to tangible assets. Worth a gander.

The inevitable subjection of all of life (except abortion) to legal audit: youth sports edition

Legalization and fragmentation of the common culture go hand in hand. Finland has very few laws and Lawyers with great order. Because all it has are Finns. We've chosen to be "diverse" and to retain that "diversity" museum like via "multi culturalism" so lack of understanding, suspicion and confusion reign. Which is catnip for lawyers. Even in volleyball leagues.

The Rolling Stone rape story is the result of ideological reporting

The left believes "the personal is political".  Actually the left subjects all of life outside of the act of abortion (I used to say "sex" but that is obviously no longer the case) to political audit and state regulation. Therefore it is no surprise that the Rolling Stone and Theresa Erdeley went as Ms. Erdeley so eloquently put it:

“searching for a single, emblematic college rape case that would show ‘what it’s like to be on campus now…where not only is rape so prevalent but also that there’s this pervasive culture of sexual harassment/rape culture,’” notes the report, quoting Erdely’s notes of a conversation with Emily Renda, a U-Va. alumna who transitioned to a job with the school.

Because we all know that college men well at least the hetero white ones....oh and the athletes....and particularly the frats....except the Frats of color, except...wait.....are proto rapists and misogynistic scum to boot. And if we can't find that truth out there among the gyno polloi then it's because women are being silenced by other men so we'll just embellish and fabricate for the good of us all...well except those rapist frat bastards, of course.

When I read feminists on rape I am reminded of Stalin and his pet "Biologist" Lysenko. When your life is nothing but politics reality must simply conform to the fantasy inside your head.

Henry Ford was right: History is bunk

At least academic and Advanced Placement American History. Howard Zinn's "Peoples History of the United States" is an almost unreadable pastiche of anti-American agitprop, ommissions and half truths that until recently was taught to some 70 percent of college students. This is the same bigoted, hate filled drivel. Why do our intellectuals hate us so?

That my friends is the 100 dollar question.

Larry Summers on the failure of global American economic leasership

Larry Summers is right to be critical of America's recent economic diplomacy. But since there is no longer consensus in America on basic foreign policy objectives, why would we expect consensus on economic foreign policy? The right distrusts international institutions because of what they perceive as their anti Americanism, while the left oppose all development and trade agreements unless they are environmental ones that destroy wealth (and even these the US won't sign). This is interpreted by less developed countries as an attempt by us to keep them "barefoot and pregnant".

The US has never been a truly effective hegemon for two reasons: first, we are too large and diverse with a Federal governing system that was designed to move slowly and by consensus. Yet we have assigned this modest machine the job of managing in excruciating  bureaucratic detail a 10 million square km, 320 million, 16 trillion dollar domestic empire not to mention the largest network of global economic, social and military commitments known to man.

Second, rather than being a force for stability the US is actually the world's dominant source of Schumpetarian "creative destruction" and therfore instability, from fracking to Walmart to derivatives, gay rights, the internet and religious liberty the US is constantly emitting massive bursts of social, political and economic gamma rays that roil other nations like mutating radiation from a giant, unpredictable star.

In our defence, America's period of dominance has yielded the greatest burst of human progress in world history by at least two full orders of magnitude (100 fold) - never have so many of so many different races and creeds lived so well with so much hope. And in some respects the global confusion we are experiencing is a result of success - things are just too complicated and happening too fast for us to cope. But it would behoove Americans to step back and prioritize roles for our national government. Perhaps we have made a mistake by nationalizing everything from Healthcare to pizza parlor access decisions. Perhaps the 320 million Americans in the richest communities in the world have the capacity to govern more of their domestic affairs locally as we assume other smaller polities do.  Perhaps if we lived up to our constitutional commitment to Federalism we would carry fewer hatreds and and more consensus into our relations with the rest of the world.

Because isn't keeping the most benign and meaningful renaissance in world history going more important than food labeling, common core or insurance exchanges?

Sunday, April 05, 2015

The New York Times believes that Christians must be made to endorse homosexuality

And about the time they succeed the Muslims will arrive to behead them all. Has there ever been a more arrogant, deluded and ultimately quixotic movement in history than our rapidly metastatizing LGBTQEIEIO? My God they are out of their minds. Rod Dreher unpacks the latest Bruni fantasy.

The new antiquity - back to tribalism and cults we go?

Tom Wolfe's new book Back to Blood is getting a lot of attention as the secular war on Christian values turns lynch mobbish. He foresees a world where the twin forces if modernity and globalization drive people to embrace a tribal identity or cult to survive. It could very well happen this way. Worth a gander.

As I’ve said before, there’s no place in America today where the authorities are more likely to be found siding with (or at least enabling) a lynch mob than on a university campus, and that’s a disgrace.

The reason lynch mobs flourish us because the authorities find them useful and popular. UVA President Teresa Sullivan led one based upon a music tabloid's breathless and literally unbelievable account. Her wiful malfeasance has cost the university tens of millions of dollars in lawsuits and justifiably bad PR. She should be fired with extreme prejudice.

But she won't be because our elitist, partisan, venal, bigoted and intolerant universities are untouchable. Which is sad because they are by far the most corrupt private institutions in the nation.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the USA

This is clearly true but it's nice coming from a "satisfied customer" so to speak.

Listen, this is what I have to say on women’s issues in the United States. We are so blessed as women to live in the United States. The best place to be a woman in the world is in the U.S. The best place to be black in the world is in the U.S. Is it perfect? No. Are we confronted with threats? Yes. But it’s the perfect place to fight [them] off. Because in the U.S., we have—besides the law—the majority of the population who accept that we, as women, have absolutely equal rights to men. The best place to be black in the world is here. I cannot imagine what it is like to be a black man living in Saudi Arabia, in Iran—even where the majority of people are black, like Africa. I cannot imagine a better place to be gay than in the U.S. I know that all European countries have accepted gay marriage and here in the U.S. we’re still struggling to accept that. On the other hand, when the jihadists in Europe attack gays in the streets, the governments don’t protect them. The best place to be Jewish in the world, besides the state of Israel, is in the U.S. The best place to be Christian is in the U.S. I don’t know anything else to say in the U.S. I know we’re in an election cycle and I’m supposed to take sides, but I’m not going to.

Mighty Mike Mann: "Okay so there's a pause, big deal. When it's over were all going to burn."

I think we ought to resurrect prediction markets and require those predicting doom and demanding massive change to bet one year's salary and bennies on each of 5, 10, 15, and 20 year climate predictions. If they are right within 2 standard deviations they double their money if not they forfeit it. They all should take that bet, right? Hell I'm sure Tom Steyer would stake them the funds.

What do you think?

Don’t expect full acceptance anytime soon, however. In fact, a recent Nature paper defends the accuracy of the very models that failed to predict the very pause that didn’t exist that now does exist but only because the models were wrong. No, this is not a Zen koan: it’s modern climate science.

Henry Ford was right: History is bunk

At least academic and Advanced Placement American History. Howard Zinn's "Peoples History of the United States" is an almost unreadable pastiche of anti-American agitprop, ommissions and half truths that until recently was taught to some 70 percent of college students. This is the same bigoted, hate filled drivel. Why do our intellectuals hate us so?

That my friends is the 100 dollar question.

Blue America better pipe down because broke folks can't afford to bite the hand that will feed them

There's been a lot of spluttering and sneering by blue state and city America at the "bigots" and "rubes". Yet it is a well known fact that the bluest states and cities are mostly bankrupt and will need Uncle Sam's help if they are to survive without too much "uncreative" destruction. And who's likely to hold the House of Representatives for most of the relevant 20 year period? Why it's all those people they keep calling "rubes and bigots".

Add all this up, and it’s likely that a European theme is going to be sounding in American politics in the future: reform for relief. That is, many Democratic, deep blue cities will be approaching state and federal treasuries with cap in hand for some time to come. First, because they don’t have the money to pay their bills, these cities will need help with exploding pension liabilities (and their pension problems are only going to become more urgent). Second, because their system has become unsustainable, they are likely to face gridlock at home. Black and Hispanic voters may be pulled apart rather than pulled together. Hispanics look like more of a conventional immigrant group wanting help from government aimed at promoting upward mobility, while the problems facing black Chicago may be more intractable. Competition over power and resources between these groups could be an important factor in the future of urban politics.

It will be increasingly up to the feds, then, to cope with the unfolding disaster. But that presents its own challenges. Congress is likely to have at least one GOP controlled house for some time to come, and, in any case, huge urban bailouts are not going to be particularly popular with suburban and rural voters.  It would be inhumane, polarizing, and probably unwise to let the cities go to hell, but it would also be insane and politically unsustainable to keep pumping money into a broken system. The task will be to develop a reform agenda for urban management and pension issues so that appropriate trade-offs can be made: cities and workers get a hand, but the policies that led to this problem must change.

The blue boys ain't very bright are they?