Saturday, February 6, 2016

P&D Today


The Bill Ayers-Dinesh D’Souza Debate: Bill Ayers Still Teaching Revolution

Linked Articles

Socialism Works Until You Run Out of Money to Pay for the Paper Your Money is Printed On
300 Scientists Request Explanation for NOAA Temperature Shenanigans
Chicken Little Chuckie Schumer: America's Disease-Fighting Phony
Viruses: Nature’s Perfect Machine
While Zika Grabs Headlines, Don’t Overlook Chagas Disease
Super Bowl Fans: Pass the Salsa, Not Your Flu-Laden Saliva
Post-Caucus Post-Mortem: Character Counts


Why Many Climate Scientists Fear and Hide The Truth
Atlas Shrugs by Pamela Geller
The Daily Signal: Morning Bell

The Daily Signal: Morning Bell

Good morning from Washington, where the House voted to shut down a secretive Justice Department operation aimed at killing certain businesses. Kelsey Harkness, who began investigating the program 18 months ago, has the latest. A court ordered the IRS to pay legal fees for a merchant whose savings it confiscated. Melissa Quinn reports. And Leah Jessen raises the question of why "60 Minutes" celebrates hidden-camera stings but not of Planned Parenthood. Plus: Two lawmakers gear up to fix Congress

Find Out If Your Lawmaker Voted to End Operation Choke Point

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, called Operation Choke Point an "outrage," saying, "For legally constituted businesses to have to fear that in the dark of night they're going to be shut down by the awesome power of the Obama administration is an outrage."Read More

Judge Makes Government Pay Legal Fees to Store Owner Whose $107,700 Was Seized by IRS

Lyndon McLellan, who owns a convenience store in Fairmont, N.C., had won back the $107,700 the Internal Revenue Service took from him in 2014. But he hadn't been reimbursed for the more than $20,000 he spent fighting the government to get his own money back. Read More

Why Is This Undercover Sting Celebrated by '60 Minutes' but Not Those Planned Parenthood Videos?

Investigative tactics featured on CBS News' "60 Minutes" bear an eerie resemblance to the undercover operation of a pro-life activist indicted last week for his role in secretly recorded videos in which Planned Parenthood officials talk about harvesting aborted babies for tissue and organs. Read More

Obama's Response to Surge of Illegal Immigrants Is Inadequate

"More than 152,000 unaccompanied minors and families are projected to illegally cross our southwest border this year," writes House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va. Read More

Here's How Mike Lee and Jeb Hensarling Say Congress Can Fix the Federal Government

"The federal government is broken," Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said. In his view, the problem isn't just with President Obama. Instead, Congress has surrendered its own authority to the executive branch and unelected regulators.  Read More

The Bill Ayers-Dinesh D’Souza Debate: Bill Ayers Still Teaching Revolution

Posted by Mary Grabar @ Town Hall

The Bill Ayers-Dinesh D’Souza “showdown” on February 3, at the University of Michigan was billed as a debate about “American exceptionalism.” It began with Bill Ayers giving his opening statement, “Every human being is of incalculable worth.” The aging radical boldly displaying his “Black Lives Matter” t-shirt was repeating a line he used at the Association of Teacher Educators conference in 2013, in a 2009

Huffington Post column putting forth his radical colleague Linda Darling-Hammond as Secretary of Education, and ad nauseam in his talks and publications that fill up over 40 pages of a curriculum vitae.

Black Lives did not matter, however, in 1970, when Ayers ordered Weather Underground infiltrator Larry Grathwohl to set a bomb at the Detroit Police Officers Association Building that would have also killed mostly black patrons in the Red Barn Restaurant next door. Ayers as “National Education Secretary” of that terrorist organization never did the dangerous work himself. (Grathwohl described sabotaging the bomb in his memoir Bringing Down America.)
Nor did Bill Ayers care about Black Lives when he and his privileged white comrades urged rioting in inner-city neighborhoods. In fact, in his memoir Fugitive Days, Ayers describes a riot in Cleveland, where he was working as a community organizer, as fun and exciting. Bill Ayers lives in the tony Hyde Park section of Chicago.

Nor did Bill Ayers care about the students who would be taught by the education majors he radicalized as “Distinguished Professor” of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Bill Ayers sees education as “the motor-force of revolution,” as he told the late communist dictator Hugo Chavez at an “education conference” in Venezuela in 2006. Indeed, under Ayers it is, and students are the foot soldiers.

Although Bill Ayers failed (fortunately) as a bomber, his effects on education are incalculable. Ayers has served on dozens of dissertation committees, his nonsensical books are used widely in colleges of education, and he is being presented by PBS and non-profits in their curricula as simply a peace-activist hero of the 1960s. He is spending his retirement as scholar-in-residence and workshop trainer in public universities, a speaker at education conferences, and organizer of protests, while drawing a nice retirement from a public university.

Ayers of course escaped prosecution for his involvement in bombings and attempted bombings. Like many of his generation who tried to subvert our form of government the privileged white radical went on to easily obtain a tenure track position after emerging from hiding and getting his meaningless advanced degrees.

It’s quite different for those of us who have simply tried to teach literature, history, and philosophy in a traditional and disciplined manner.

On Wednesday, Ayers tried to present himself as a champion of education, an opponent of Common Core because of excessive testing. That’s his shtick, but D’Souza admitted he knew little about Common Core. Ayers also wants more money for public schools and free health care, all to—still—be accomplished by eliminating the military.

Ayers claimed not to be a Democrat. Yet, his old pal Arne Duncan was Secretary of Education and Linda Darling-Hammond was put in charge of one of the two national Common Core tests. As I’ve recounted in several places, her aim, and the Obama administration’s aim, is to transform education to make it more in line with Bill Ayers’s view. That’s what the new Common Core standards and assessments aim to do. We don’t know why for example Bill Ayers was invited to speak at a conference in Washington, D.C., in 2009 alongside Arne Duncan and his under secretary and a representative from Achieve, the crony capitalist company behind Common Core.

Ayers and Darling-Hammond have appeared in the same education publications. Both contributed to the Summer 2009 issue of Harvard Educational Review, a special issue dedicated to Barack Obama and the Fight for Public Education. In his essay, Ayers described the euphoria of being in the “enchanted” scene in Chicago’s Grant Park when Obama won the election. “We felt ourselves to be a brand-new shimmering galaxy, a little bit of heaven on earth,” he wrote.

I’ve been writing about Bill Ayers for several years in an attempt to expose his lies and the harm he has done to education. A couple years ago I published Bill Ayers: Teaching Revolution. It’s a short backgrounder. (Ayers repeats himself constantly, and his writing on education is blathering nonsense.) But one should know his enemy and his strategies. Ayers went into education because it was the easiest and most comfortable way he could get others to do his bidding in implementing the revolution. On the evening of February 3, 2016, Bill Ayers was still teaching revolution.

Front Page

Bernie Sanders Beats Hillary in a Lying Contest


Obama's 'Pay Gap' Lies


When Advisers Hate Israel


Chris Christie Still Talking Up his Hamas Mosque

On the 'Tikkun Olam' Fetish


A (Much) Better Year


Muslim Who "Apologized" for Cursing Jews Featured at Terror-Linked Banquet


Video: People Sign Petition in Support of Hillary's VP Pick, Karl Marx



Socialism Works Until You Run Out of Money to Pay for the Paper Your Money is Printed On

Daniel Greenfield

Here's a preview of Bernie Sanders' economic policy over in Venezuela.

Millions of pounds of provisions, stuffed into three-dozen 747 cargo planes, arrived here from countries around the world in recent months to service Venezuela’s crippled economy.
But instead of food and medicine, the planes carried another resource that often runs scarce here: bills of Venezuela’s currency, the bolivar.  The shipments were part of the import of at least five billion bank notes that PresidentNicol√°s Maduro’s administration authorized over the latter half of 2015 as the government boosts the supply of the country’s increasingly worthless currency, according to seven people familiar with the deals.........This money is already worthless. Bolivars are running at 1,000 to a dollar. Doubling the supply just means they'll run 2,000 to a dollar or 10,000 to a dollar. Buying anything now costs at least 1,000 bolivars. Venezuela's Socialist government had to buy its own fake money from abroad because it couldn't afford to print its own money anymore ......

Socialism. It really works.

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300 Scientists Request Explanation for NOAA Temperature Shenanigans

January 28, 2016 Approximately 300 scientists, engineers, economists, and other climate experts sent a letter to U.S. House Science Committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) in support of his ongoing investigation of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In June 2015, NOAA issued a report purporting to find Earth had continued to warm during a nearly two-decades-long period when every other data set found a pause or hiatus in rising temperatures. Many scientists have expressed doubts about the quality and objectivity of NOAA's findings since their publication in Science. The letter's signers included 25 climate or atmospheric scientists, 23 geologists, 51 engineers, 74 physicists (including a Nobel laureate), and 12 economists......

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Why Many Climate Scientists Fear & Hide The Truth

UN Climate Deal Could Make 5 Million More
Africans Homeless To Fight Global Warming

Ever wonder about the neutrality (or lack thereof) of scientists investigating the subject of global warming? Does it seem that far too many of them eagerly sound alarm bells when it comes to documenting and communicating the potential consequences of human-induced climate change to the public? Well, that little voice inside your head telling you something is awry appears to be vindicated based on new research published in the journal Public Understanding of Science. -- Craig D Idso, Cato at Liberty, 4 February 2016

A representative survey of 123 German climate scientists (42%) finds that although most climate scientists think that uncertainties about climate change should be made clearer in public they do not actively communicate this to journalists. Moreover, the climate scientists fear that their results could be misinterpreted in public or exploited by interest groups. Asking scientists about their readiness to publish one of two versions of a fictitious research finding shows that their concerns weigh heavier when a result implies that climate change will proceed slowly than when it implies that climate change will proceed fast. --S. Post, S. 2016. Communicating science in public controversies: Strategic considerations of the German climate scientists. Public Understanding of Science 25: 61-70.

The United Nations global warming deal could make another five million people homeless in the world’s poorest countries, for the express purpose of setting forest land aside to slow global warming through conservation. Millions who live in and depend on forests for their livelihoods could be evicted from their wooded homes, according to new study which will be released later this month. The intended goal of this mass displacement is to set aside local forest land to fight global warming. --Andrew Follett, Daily Caller News Foundation, 4 February 2016

Texas has a message for $30 crude doomsayers: Bring it on. A handful of shale patches in the state, which would be the world’s sixth-largest oil producer if it were a country, are profitable with crude below $30 a barrel, according to an analysis by Bloomberg Intelligence. “It may be harder to kill many U.S. E&Ps than analysts originally thought,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst William Foiles said in the report. --Dan Murtaugh, Bloomberg, 3 February 2016

Europe is tired of paying for renewable energy. In the past few years, Spain, the U.K., Italy and others have cut incentives for renewable-energy projects, citing desires to reduce government spending and electricity rates during a period of economic turmoil. And in turn, the number of new projects getting approval has fallen as investors turn away from an industry that offered the assurance of steady, government-backed profits. --Justin Scheck, The Wall Street Journal, 4 February 2016 

Brought to you by Benny Peiser's Global Warming Policy Foundation

Chicken Little Chuckie Schumer: America's Disease-Fighting Phony

Latin America's Zika virus is the latest undocumented immigrant to hit our shores.

Michelle Malkin

Latin America's Zika virus is the latest undocumented immigrant to hit our shores, but have no fear. Self-appointed Zika Warrior Prince Charles Schumer has declared that he is here to stop it.
The New York Democrat has a "three-point plan" of attack to build a "firewall" that will prevent an outbreak of the mosquito-borne illness from spreading across our mainland. He's armed with big charts and jabby index fingers, too. Five cases of the Zika virus have been identified in the Empire State alone. The CDC says a total of 31 Americans in 11 states and Washington, D.C., have been identified as carriers who brought the miserable disease in from abroad....When people in Washington tell you not to worry, be alarmed.......The Beltway posturing of open-borders engineers is enough to make you sick.

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Viruses: Nature’s Perfect Machine

By Josh Bloom

Although viruses are not alive, they have evolved into a perfect replication machine. And they do so without having to exert themselves at all. The infected host cell does it all because the virus tricks it. Reproduction without life; pretty fascinating......... What this “bag of chemicals,” which is about 100-times smaller than a bacterium, does is nothing short of amazing. It is way “smarter” than the cell that it infects. Using nothing more than a very specifically-shaped protein spike to locate and attach itself to the host cell, its own genetic material, and a few enzymes, each of which has a specific function, it turns the cell into a virus factory, letting the cell do all the work. The virus does nothing, except reproduce, courtesy of the cell, which provides the energy and the mechanism for viral replication. This is why viruses are called obligate parasites. They do not function in the absence of a host cell.
The following cartoon is a simplified representation of a viral life cycle. What the infected cell gets out of this isn’t clear, but the virus gets a lot.

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While Zika Grabs Headlines, Don’t Overlook Chagas Disease

American Council on Science and Health

While the Zika virus from Central America is captivating the U.S. and many audiences around the world, another illness is creeping behind the curtains and across our southern border: Chagas disease. An average human case is transmitted by an infected "kissing bug," but the smootch it delivers is rather nasty........  Texas has seen a significant jump in the number of Chagas cases in the last few years. Over half of Texas kissing bugs are infected with the parasite. Also, infected Texan dogs and rats could pass the parasite along to uninfected bugs. A recent study identifies increased infection risk in Texan hunters, because of the bugs’ abundance in common hunting grounds.....

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Super Bowl Fans: Pass the Salsa, Not Your Flu-Laden Saliva

Posted on by Ana-Marija Dolaskie

Researchers say that the U.S. cities whose teams play in the Super Bowl see a spike in flu cases, as well as an 18-percent increase in flu deaths among those 65 and over. The reason? These locations are always where game interest is highest, leading to a higher percentage of parties thrown, which ups the odds of germs being spread in close quarters. 

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Post-Caucus Post-Mortem: Character Counts

By Pamela Geller

Here’s someone we haven’t heard from — a blast from the past. Long time Atlas readers remember our own political theorist, Dr. Nancy G. She’s back with her “Two Cents.”  Dr. G. dissects and makes sense of the post-caucus cacophony.  Dr. Nancy’s Two Cents = Hi, it’s been a while but there’s something on my mind and I just have to say it. Like a lot of conservatives, I’ve been vacillating between our illustrious GOP hopefuls and I had, up to this point, found Cruz, Trump and Carson most desirable. Trump is larger than life with crossover appeal and has brought the importance of our sovereignty in the immigration debate to the forefront. This is something no one else was really able to.........

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Atlas Shrugs by Pamela Geller

Obama: Islamic State says they’re “holy warriors who speak for Islam. I refuse to give them legitimacy.” -  The Islamic State does not look to mullah Obama for legitimacy. They look to the Quran and hadith, where their actions are commanded and sanctioned.   Obama is sick with grandiosity. Devout Muslims look to Islam for their marching orders, not Obama. Obama may think he is Muhammad 2.0, but he isn’t. Jihadis don’t give a fig about what he says or doesn’t say — but he knows that, he was raised Muslim......What makes Obama think that the Islamic State is looking to him for legitimacy? Where did he get the idea that any Muslim looks to any non-Muslim to legitimize his understanding of...

Rush Limbaugh on Obama: “Why did he choose to become a Christian?” -  Why indeed? Obama is hostile to Christianity, and cold and indifferent to the genocide of Christians by Muslims in the Middle East and Africa. At the same time, he is obsessed with Islam. He’s mad about it. Why did Obama choose to become a Christian? Did he really?   I warned of Obama’s disturbing predilections, preferences and priorities in my book, The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America.     By his own account, Obama became a Christian in the early 1990s at Jeremiah Wright’s church, after a period of spiritual searching and rootlessness. But why? Rush Limbaugh is right: he has been........

VIDEO TV reporter is sexually assaulted by a man at Cologne carnival amid scores of attacks - The Daily Mail blocks out the attacker’s face — protecting the identity of the savage. That is a metaphor for the media’s reportage of the migrant crisis.  If this is going on in front of the cameras, imagine the goings-on behind them.  TV reporter is sexually assaulted live on air as she reports on how migrant New Year rapes are overshadowing the Cologne carnival – which saw 22 sex attacks last night alone.  RTBF journalist Esmeralda Labye was reporting from the Cologne carnival  While live on air, a man sexually assaulted her by grabbing her breast.  Police are looking for two men, wanted in connection with the attack  Police have confirmed that there were 18 reported cases of sexual assault and 181 people...

200 Million Girls Have Undergone FGM, 70 Million More Than Previously Thought - Look at the countries named in this report: Malaysia, Oman, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia — Muslim countries. FGM, says this report, is also common in Western countries with a large number of immigrants from countries where FGM is practiced. It’s clear this is all about Islam, but the report doesn’t dare say that.  Female genital mutilation (FGM) or clitoridectomy is an Islamic tradition, rampant in the Muslim world. Hadiths have Muhammad justifying it. Over 96% of the women in Egypt have been clitoridectomized. Back in 2008, devout members of the Egyptian parliament have made female genital mutilation (circumcision) legal again in Egypt. With the advent of increased Muslim immigration, this has.........

Kansas Muslim Vowed to ‘Bring Islamic State Straight to Your Doorstep’ with 1,000 lb. Bomb  - The planned carnage and mass murder in the cause of Islam is unimaginable. The rise in jihad terror in America in 2015 alone  bodes great ill for what’s to come.   And how does the left respond? The running dogs for jihad over at the Huffington Post have created a website “documenting” any opposition to jihad terror. The only thing they are missing are their jackboots and billy clubs. Joseph Goebbels would be impressed......A 21-year-old man who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) pleaded guilty to attempting to carry out a suicide car bombing on the Fort Riley Army...

Friday, February 5, 2016

My Music For The Day!

My Picks From the Comments Section:

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition; And gentlemen in England now-a-bed Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day."

megan ward 2 months ago             
I am dead inside, This brings me to tears thinking about what these men want through. And the soundtrack for the movie does a spectacular job of capturing emotion with individual notes.

Neo Siambalis 1 month ago             
Thought I'd heard it all after hearing the GoT theme but then I started to watch Band Of Brothers this friday and finished yesterday. That theme was the most beautiful theme I've heard!

Joe Brindley 1 year ago             
The greatest generation.  When young people ask me why it is called that I just tell them to watch Band Of Brothers.

Commander Wolfe 1 week ago             
These men fought against so much with so little. Not just Easy Company, but EVERY Allied and Resistance force. Never forget the sacrifices they made to secure the future of the world. They weren't just soldiers, they were brothers. They were family.

Jose Adolfo 3 months ago             
the 101st airborne was a heroic division, this music do them justice, who did not come back their countrie, rest in peace forever.

ThaDerpyMuffin 10 months ago             
Just the song brings me to tears becuse I had a couple of relatives in the 101st but they didn't come home.

MIDWEST TACTICAL 4 months ago             
every time i hear this i get goose bumps and i ball my eyes out.


ChemChina Offers Over $43 Billion for Syngenta


Acquisition would be biggest ever by a company in China.  Deal underscores China's ambitions about food security. China National Chemical Corp. agreed to buy Swiss pesticide and seeds maker Syngenta AG for more than $43 billion in cash as the state-backed company extends its shopping spree with what would be the biggest acquisition by a Chinese firm. ChemChina, as the closely-held company is known, offered $465 a share in cash, according to a statement on Wednesday. The offer, endorsed by Syngenta’s board, is about 20 percent higher than the stock’s last close......

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On Campaign Finance, Bernie and Hillary Put the Cart before the Horse

Posted by Dan Mitchell February 4, 2016 @ International Liberty 

Once again, I threw myself on a proverbial grenade. Yes, that means I watched politicians last night as part of the Cato Institute's live-tweeting about issues that were raised (or not raised) in the CNN Townhall featuring Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

Although painful, this exercise enabled me to share my thoughts on topics such as corporate inversions, Planned Parenthood, government-run healthcare, Obamanomics, and the morality (or lack thereof) of government-coerced redistribution.
But one issue I neglected was campaign finance, which was an oversight since both Sanders and Clinton made a big deal about the ostensibly corrupting mix of money and politics.
I confess that their arguments were somewhat seductive. After all, corrupt ethanol handouts and the cronyist Export-Import Bank only exist because politicians easily can raise tens of thousands of dollars by voting yes for these boondoggles.
Moreover, a law professor from the University of Minnesota made "The Conservative Case for Campaign-Finance Reform" yesterday in the New York Times. Here's some of what Richard Painter wrote.
...big money in politics encourages big government. Campaign contributions drive spending on earmarks and other wasteful programs — bridges to nowhere, contracts for equipment the military does not need, solar energy companies that go bankrupt on the government’s dime... When politicians are dependent on campaign money from contractors and lobbyists, they’re incapable of holding spending programs to account. Campaign contributions also breed more regulation. Companies in heavily regulated industries such as banking, health care and energy are among the largest contributors. Such companies donate with the hope of winning narrowly tailored exceptions to regulations that help them and disadvantage their competitors. ...conservatives...need to drive the big spenders out of the temples of our democracy.
I have no idea if Mr. Painter actually is a conservative, but he makes a superficially compelling case.
But then I remind myself of a very important point. The sun doesn't rise because roosters crow. It's the other way around. What Mr. Painter fails to understand is that there's a lot of money in politics for the simple reason that government has massive powers to tax, spend, and regulate.
Politicians in Washington every year redistribute more than $4 trillion, so interest groups have an incentive to "invest" money in campaigns so they can get some of that loot. Those politicians have created a 75,000-page tax code that is a Byzantine web of special preferences, so interest groups have an incentive to "invest" money in campaigns so they get favorable treatment. And the politicians also have created a massive regulatory morass, so interest groups have an incentive to "invest" so that red tape can be used to create an unlevel playing field for their advantage.
By the way, I'm not saying that campaign contributions are improper, or even necessarily bad.
After all, political speech (and the money that makes it meaningful) is protected by the 1st Amendment. Moreover, some people give money simply for reasons of self defense. They're not looking for handouts of favoritism, but rather are giving money in hopes that politicians will leave them alone.
Instead, I'm simply making the point that big government is what encourages unseemly and/or corrupt political contributions.
If I'm allowed to shift to a new metaphor, Sanders and Clinton make the mistake of putting the cart of campaign finance in front of the horse of big government.
There's a great column in today's Wall Street Journal on this topic. It's motivated by corruption scandals in New York, but the lessons apply equally to Washington. Here's some of what Tom Shanahan wrote.
...whenever a public official is found guilty of wrongdoing, there’s a call for new laws. Logic cannot explain the impulse. ...If they’re not obeying the laws we already have, what makes anyone believe new statutes will change that? ...a host of “good government” groups, such the New York Public Interest Research Group, proposed making the legislature a “full-time job” by limiting outside income.
Mr. Shanahan suspect these reforms will backfire.
That’s a major problem for limiting the size of government. An analysis of “The Length of Legislative Sessions and the Growth of Government” byMwangi S. Kimenyi and Robert D. Tollison, in a 1995 article in Rationality and Society, demonstrated that the more time Congress spent in session, the more bills were enacted, and the more expensive government grew. ...A legislator with other work also has a better understanding of the economic conditions confronting the public than one who subsists on a government check. ...Legislators with outside incomes are less susceptible to the pay-to-play temptation of campaign contributions. When your sole source of income is the public office you hold, the incentive is far greater to do anything necessary to get re-elected.
So here's the bottom line is that there's no reason to think new laws will reduce corruption. Indeed, more rules will probably lead to more sleaze since politicians will have an even greater incentive to exploit their positions of power.
The people who will get hurt, however, are the ordinary citizens who already lose out from the current system.
New York continues to suffer a net migration of citizens to other states, as people flee a growing tax burden. The last thing the state needs is a legislature working full time to spend even more taxpayer money.
By the way, I'm not under the illusion that "money in politics" is a solution. I'm simply saying that new rules about campaign finance and ethics won't have any impact on sleaze and corruption.
Which is my message in this video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity.
Allow me to make one final point on this issue. I think the proponents of further regulation and control in some cases have good intentions, but they are being extremely naive. Why would anybody think that politicians would approve rules unless the net effect was to increase the powers of incumbency?
Since I shared my video on the topic, I'll close by strongly recommending that you watch this George Will video.
P.S. I warned last month that governments were engaged in a war on cash. Well, the Germans are planning a Blitzkrieg.
The German government is considering introducing a limit of 5,000 euros ($5,450) on cash transactions in an effort to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism. Deputy finance minister Michael Meister said Wednesday that...there's "...we also have the problem of how to clear up money-laundering offenses properly" when large transactions are conducted anonymously. ...Opposition Green Party lawmaker Konstantin von Notz tweeted that trying to limit cash payments "is a new fundamental attack on data protection and privacy."
Since criminals will be modestly inconvenienced - at best - by such an initiative, it's important to understand the real goal is easier tax collection. Indeed, I suspect Herr von Notz will change his tune once he realizes that the German government will get more money to waste if cash is restricted.

Stopping Zika Virus in Its Tracks, by Unleashing DDT

American Council on Science and Health

The mosquito-borne Zika virus has been declared a global public health crisis by the World Health Organization, but the agency did not say how to effectively fight it. One way would be to allow widespread use of DDT, which eradicated that same mosquito during the 20th century.

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No Sweet Dreams: Bedbug Resistance on the Rise

American Council on Science and Health

Itchy bedbug bites are hardly a thing of the past, since resistance to commonly-used pesticides is on the rise. Not only are the critters basically laughing at older chemicals, the resistance seems to be carrying over to newer ones as well. A precipitous rise in the bedbug population may be in our future.

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Antidepressants for Children, Teens Impugned by Study

American Council on Science and Health

A look at several studies shows a significant association between several commonly-used antidepressants among children and teens, and increased suicidal thoughts and aggression. Even so, the reporting of such effects is sadly lacking in many areas, since they are usually under-reported. 

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Now Dr. Oz is Against Fluoride Too?

American Council on Science and Health

Dr. Mehmet Oz, that oracle of televised medical wisdom, is at it once again. This time his misguided excursion beyond the scientific realm produced his suggestion that fluoridated water is harmful. In response, the American Council on Science and Health once again plainly states that there needs to a warning label on his show.

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Scientific Consensus In Doubt

Stanford Geologists Refute Standard Coal Development Theory

Two Stanford geologists are disputing the decade-old explanation of the large amount of coal accumulated during the Carboniferous Period. Associate Professor Kevin Boyce and Postdoctorate Research Fellow Matthew Nelsen collaborated with scientists across the country to release a paper this past month in which they propose a new understanding of coal development. According to Nelson, discontent with the evolutionary lag hypothesis has been around for some time before the publishing of this recent paper. This raises the larger issue: If geologists had seen problems with the hypothesis, why had nothing been done to disprove it earlier? --Aulden Foltz, The Stanford Daily, 2 February 2016
Fears that some of Australia's most important climate research institutions will be gutted under a Turnbull government have been realised with deep job cuts for scientists. Total job cuts would be about 350 staff over two years, the CSIRO confirmed in an email to staff, with the Data61 and Manufacturing divisions also hit. "Climate will be all gone, basically," one senior scientist said before the announcement. In the email sent out to staff on Thursday morning, CSIRO's chief executive Larry Marshall indicated that, since climate change had been established, further work in the area would be a reduced priority. --Peter Hannam, The Sydney Morning Herald, 4 February 2016
Sceptics have often pointed out that if the science of global warming is "settled" then it's clearly not necessary to spend a fortune researching it. The government down under now seems to have taken this message on, announcing that jobs in the ocean/atmosphere divisions at CSIRO are to be slashed. Their reasoning could have come straight from the pages of this blog: In the email sent out to staff on Thursday morning, CSIRO's chief executive Larry Marshall indicated that, since climate change had been established, further work in the area would be a reduced priority. It was Lord May who said to Roger Harrabin "I'm the President of the Royal Society and I'm telling you that the science is settled". I wonder if he is reconsidering the wisdom of those remarks. --Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill, 4 February 2016
Scientists in Germany have switched on a nuclear fusion experiment that they hope will provide a solution to finding clean and safe nuclear power. A small amount of hydrogen was released into the device by German chancellor Angela Merkel as she launched the device at the Max Planck Institute in Greifswald. The device itself won't generate energy, but will be used to test technology that could hold plasma into place in nuclear reactors. The technology is considered to be several decades away, but proponents argue that it could be a viable replacement for fossil fuels and nuclear fission reactors. --Emily Reynolds, Wired 3 February 2016
SSE has announced plans to shut most of its Fiddler's Ferry coal-fired power plant in April, wiping 1.5 gigawatts of power capacity from the UK grid and worsening the looming energy crisis next winter. UK energy supplies were already forecast to fall to dangerously low levels next winter due to the closure of several other old plants. Emergency measures have been brought in to bolster supplies after official analysis suggested there could be zero spare capacity in the market, and insufficient power to keep the lights on on a windless day. John Musk, analyst at RBC Capital Markets, warned UK margins would now be “critically tight for next winter” and forecast this would lead to "extremely volatile" spot power prices. --Emily Gosden, The Daily Telegraph, 4 February 2016
British households will not benefit from a fall in market electricity prices because their suppliers are facing rising costs elsewhere, such as green energy subsidies, which they say cancel out any wholesale price falls. Electricity and gas prices traded on the open market have fallen 20-35 percent in recent months as milder-than-normal weather has curbed demand and falling commodity prices have added even more downward pressure. Cornwall Energy data showed the costs of government policies, which also include discounts for low-income households and payments for energy efficiency measures, on energy suppliers have risen to the highest level ever. This means non-energy costs now make up as much as 60 percent of the average British electricity bill, up from 45 percent four years ago, according to Cornwall Energy data. --Karolin Schaps and Susanna Twidale, Reuters, 1 February 2016
How quickly things can change. Once the darlings of the auto industry, recent auto show debuts and previews of high-mileage hybrid and plug-in electric cars are being met with a collective yawn in the wake of cheap (and getting cheaper) gasoline. Green car sales were down by around 16 percent last year and can be expected to drop even further through 2016 unless fuel prices suddenly soar. Expect to see casualties among some of the niche players in what could come to be an incredibly shrinking car segment, California-mandated models not withstanding. --Jim Gorzelany, Forbes, 2 February 2016
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