Monday, December 5, 2016

Paradigms and Demographics Today: December 5, 2016

My Commentary
The Left's War of the Words: Part IV

Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?
OECD Overlooks Amazing Success of Low-Tax Singapore, Urges Higher Taxes in Asia
The U.S. Economic Power

Forgotten (or Expunged?) History - Wolves
My Unhappy Life as a Climate Heretic
Rolling back environmental progress?

Feeling the Bern: Venezuela to issue larger bill as currency continues to melt
Jeep Carrying Fidel Castro Ashes Breaks Down Mid-Funeral. ¡Viva La Revolución!

Europe in Crisis
Italian PM Matteo Renzi to resign in wake of referendum defeat

Shadow Government
Political Science’s “Theory of Everything”

Social Paradigms
IQ is Unmentionable

The Left's War of the Words: Part IV

Islamophobia: A word created by fascists, and used by cowards to confuse morons. - Christopher Hitchens

By Rich Kozlovich

Christopher Hitchens didn't say much I agreed with, but when he gets it right - he has a way with words.  The left has a way of using more words in more undefinable - or perhaps I should say unendingly redefinable - ways than anyone.

Take for example the word progressive.  That's what they called themselves at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. Then they became liberals. Both of which means they're socialists, radicals and all round leftists. And we need to get this. Fascism and communism are two sides of the same coin - socialism.

Were the progressives socialist? Yes, but socialism didn't float in America in those days because socialism is foundationally atheistic, so they called themselves 'progressives' in order to fool society, and the binding force for that movement was - believe it or not - religion - in the form of the "social gospel". (and here also.)

But that didn't change who they were then, or who they are now, and the religionists were merely tools to the progressive movement to be used and tossed aside when no longer needed or useful.

These socalled progressives also refer themselves as activists, advocates - or when publicly organized - advocacy groups. They all have one defining role - they're all troublemakers!  Just as these anti-Trump riots and demonstrators - and in this case as so many others - they're paid demonstrators, even being bussed in from other states.  The left defines this as  "working courageously", which means sometime in their left wing insanity they were arrested for picketing, demonstrating, or burning down buildings.

As in all things left - nothing is as it seems, especially in their use of words to confuse and fool society.  The left has no moral foundation except for one thing.  Gain power by any means available.

Social Security: What Would Happen If the Trust Funds Ran Out?

William R. Morton, Analyst in Income Security
Wayne Liou, Analyst in Social Policy

November 23, 2016 Congressional Research Service


Summary The Social Security trustees project that, under their intermediate assumptions and under current law, the Disability Insurance (DI) trust fund will become depleted in 2023 and the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) trust fund will become depleted in 2035. Although the two funds are legally separate, they are often considered in combination. The trustees project that the combined Social Security trust funds will become depleted in 2034. At that point, revenue would be sufficient to pay only about 79% of scheduled benefits.

If a trust fund became depleted, there would be a conflict between two federal laws. Under the Social Security Act, beneficiaries would still be legally entitled to their full scheduled benefits. However, the Antideficiency Act prohibits government spending in excess of available funds, so the Social Security Administration (SSA) would not have legal authority to pay full Social Security benefits on time.

It is unclear what specific actions SSA would take if a trust fund were depleted. After insolvency, Social Security would continue to receive tax income, from which a majority of scheduled benefits could be paid. One option would be to pay full benefits on a delayed schedule; another would be to make timely but reduced payments. Social Security beneficiaries would remain legally entitled to full, timely benefits and could take legal action to claim the balance of their benefits.

Maintaining financial balance after trust fund insolvency would require substantial reductions in Social Security benefits, substantial increases in income, or some combination of the two. The trustees project that following insolvency of the combined funds in 2034, Congress could restore balance by reducing scheduled benefits by about 21%; the required reduction would grow gradually to 26% by 2090. Alternatively, Congress could raise the Social Security payroll tax rate from 12.4% to 15.7% following insolvency in 2034, then gradually increase it to 16.8% by 2090.

Trust-fund insolvency could be avoided if outlays were reduced or income increased sufficiently. The sooner Congress acts to adjust Social Security policy, the less abrupt the changes would need to be, because they could be spread over a longer period and would therefore affect a larger number of workers and beneficiaries. Even if changes were not implemented immediately, enacting them sooner would give workers and beneficiaries time to plan and adjust their work and savings behavior.

This merely the summary.  There's much more in the pdf here. 

OECD Overlooks Amazing Success of Low-Tax Singapore, Urges Higher Taxes in Asia

December 4, 2016 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty

I wrote a rather favorable column a few days ago about a new study from economists at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Their research showed how larger levels of government spending are associated with weaker economic performance, and the results were worth sharing even though the study’s methodology almost certainly led to numbers that understated the case against big government.

Regardless, saying anything positive about research from the OECD was an unusual experience since I’m normally writing critical articles about the statist agenda of the international bureaucracy’s political appointees.

That being said, I feel on more familiar ground today since I’m going to write something negative about the antics of the Paris-based bureaucracy.

The OECD just published Revenue Statistics in Asian Countries, which covers Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, and the Philippines for the 1990-2014 period. Much of the data is useful and interesting, but some of the analysis is utterly bizarre and preposterous, starting with the completely unsubstantiated assertion that there’s a need for more tax revenue in the region.
…the need to mobilise government revenue in developing countries to fund public goods and services is increasing. …In the Philippines and Indonesia, the governments are endeavoring to strengthen their tax revenues and have established tax-to-GDP targets. The Philippines aims to increase their tax-to-GDP ratio to 17% (excluding Social Security contributions) by 2016…and Indonesia aims to reach the same level by 2019.
Needless to say, there’s not even an iota of evidence in the report to justify the assertion that there’s a need for more tax revenue. Not a shred of data to suggest that higher taxes would lead to more economic development or more public goods. The OECD simply makes a claim and offers no backup or support.

But here’s the most amazing part. The OECD report argues that a nation isn’t developed unless taxes consume at least 25 percent of GDP.
These targets will contribute to increasing financial capacity toward the minimum tax-to-GDP ratio of 25% deemed essential to become a developed country.
This is a jaw-dropping assertion in part because most of the world’s rich nations became prosperous back in the 1800s and early 1900s when government spending consumed only about 10 percent of economic output.

And not only were taxes a concomitantly minor burden during that period, but many nations didn’t have any income taxes at all.

At this point, you may be thinking the OECD bureaucrats are merely guilty of not knowing history.
That certainly would be a charitable explanation of their gross oversight/mistake.
But there’s something else in the study that makes this benign interpretation implausible. The study explicitly notes that Singapore is a super-prosperous developed nation with a very low tax burden – way below the supposed minimum requirement identified by the OECD.
Singapore has the highest GDP per-capita of the six countries and one of the lowest tax-to-GDP ratios. …The low tax-to-GDP ratio is explained by lower income tax rates (particularly on corporate income) and VAT rates, compared to other Asian countries. …The tax-to-GDP ratio in Singapore is lower in 2014 relative to 2000, driven by the decrease of individual income tax rates and corporate income tax rates.
Here’s a chart from the report showing that taxes consume less than 14 percent of economic output in Singapore.

Needless to say, there’s nothing in the report to square the circle. Nothing to explain why Singapore manages to be so rich with such a small burden of government. It’s as if the bureaucrats hoped that nobody would notice that numbers in the study undermined their ideologically driven claim that tax burdens should climb in Asia.

Indeed, I wonder if Hong Kong was omitted from the study simply because that would have further undermined the OECD’s preposterous assertion that higher taxes are a route to economic development.

P.S. Having low taxes and a modest burden of government certainly is part of what can make a nation rich and successful, but the real goal should be to have a good mix of free markets and small government. Singapore does that, ranking #2 in Economic Freedom of the World.

Other Asian nations, by contrast, may have modest fiscal burdens, but the potential economic benefit is undermined by statist policies in areas such as trade, regulation, monetary policy, and property rights. This certainly helps to explain why countries such as Indonesia (#79), Malaysia (#62), and the Philippines (#80) have much lower scores for overall economic liberty.

P.P.S. I’m not sure why the OECD would produce such sloppy research. If they simply wanted to create a false narrative, why didn’t the bureaucrats omit Singapore and simply hope nobody knew the numbers from that country (or the historical numbers for North America and Western Europe)? My suspicion is that the senior political types at the OECD wanted to produce a study that would be helpful for certain politicians  in the region (i.e., allow them to justify higher tax burdens) and they figured a lot of people would only pay attention to the press release.

P.P.P.S. The OECD certainly has a track record of dishonest research.

Forgotten (or Expunged?) History - Wolves

“Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” George Sanatyana

Jim Beers

Churchill worried not so much that those who forget the past are condemned to relive it, but that the loss of the past would mean “the most thoughtless of ages.”

As rural Americans, urban Americans, federal bureaucrats, radical organizers, federal politicians, professors, media mavens and the Washington “establishment” continue their 45-year hokey pokey wolf dance on the national stage; reasonable Americans are saying, “Enough!” Millions of lost tax dollars, extensive rural ruination, diminished big game herds, widespread disease infecting the American landscape and state governments becoming little more than enablers to radical causes and federal bureaucrats: all this with nothing more to anticipate than more and more and more. Watching all the “returning wolf management to states”; “studies” that are little more than propaganda pieces; and “documents”, “hearings”, “input”, and “decisions” that are no more than Soviet rules issued to vassal “republics” in the 1950’s is like listening to vile rap music words 24/7 in some tyrants prison cell.

We have become inured to the lies and unjust nature of the last 45 years under the Endangered Species Act, especially concerning wolves and grizzly bears. Opposition to wolves, grizzly bears and federal decrees about wildlife and “the environment” is equated in schools to smoking, racism and questioning government sex and race preferences. No one seems to believe anymore that wolves, like grizzly bears, do not belong in settled landscapes.

Just how far into imaginary unrealism about wolves we have sunk came home to me today as I read a Book Review in the Sunday Wall Street Journal. It was a history book that brought to mind Santayana’s aphorism and the unattributed observation about Churchill that appear above.

The reviewer was Stephen A. Schuker, a professor of history at the University of Virginia. The book is The Pursuit of Power: Europe, 1815-1914 by Richard J. Evans, published by Viking, 819 pages. It is the “seventh in a nine-volume set by distinguished practitioners spanning European history from the classical world onward.”

A few quotes from the review can give the flavor of the book:

“Liberalism, romanticism, nationalism, socialism, communism, anarchism, positivism and other ‘isms’ all find a place in these pages.”

“He writes with admirable narrative power and possesses a wonderful eye for local color; few readers will complain.”

“The author does equally well in showing how Europeans gained mastery over the natural world. They constructed roads and canals, and they channeled today’s navigable rivers, draining the malarial swamps around them, even before railroads and telegraphs linked distant cities beginning in the 1830’s.”

Note that this is a history book with no particular axe to grind about nature other than to place in perspective human events in a constantly changing environment of nature and human society. It is with this perspective in mind that I quote the following observation in the review and ask you to consider the words I have highlighted.

“Although village communities remained in the grip of atavistic superstition and enchantment, the inhabitants gradually tamed the ubiquitous forests and subdued the wild animals that made them dangerous. (Wolves, all the same, continued to eat 200 Russians annually for decades.) Mr. Evans traces the origins of zoos and elucidates the mania of aristocrats for displaying status by hunting big game, which they could do conveniently with new breech-loading rifles."

Consider these two facts together: “wolves continued to eat 200 Russians annually” and the advent of “breech-loading rifles”. Not even the “convenience” of “breech-loading rifles” (the equivalent of today’s drones, satellites and missiles in those years) could repress the human carnage from wolves in the pre-Soviet Russian Empire. Setting aside the losses of sheep, cattle, desirable game animals and what we know today about wolves as vectors of disease – wolves kill people. Depending on available food, weather, wolf density and other factors wolf attacks can increase or decrease but never disappear.

Despite a written history going back to Pliny the Elder (a Roman naturalist and military commander that died during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD) about the death and destruction caused by wolves; as Churchill and Santayana observed we prove ourselves to be “the most thoughtless of ages”, “doomed to repeat” what history warns us about in no uncertain terms.

We sit back and tolerate wolves being forcibly reinserted into the settled landscapes not only of the United States but of Europe as well. We accept the silliest lies and disinformation (that they are an endangered “Species” and thus must be accommodated no matter the costs) as justification for this.

We now are supposed to believe that wolves are “unique”; as distinct from other animals as hippopotamuses from giraffes. In fact they are as biologically “unique” as an Irish setter is from a basset hound.

Wolves breed with and have viable puppies with coyotes, dingoes, jackals, and ALL domestic dogs; yet we are told that the death and destruction wolves bring to settled landscapes must be endured because they are as “important and unique” as a rhinoceros is from an elephant or a crocodile is to riverbanks.

Wolves are currently crossbreeding with coyotes and dogs wherever the two cohabit in the Lower 48 United States.

All the falderal about “red” wolves, “timber” wolves”, “Mexican” wolves, “gray” wolves, etc. is silly justification for the sort of broad political agendas behind other environmental bogeymen like the climate change circus. Such wolf distinctions as bigger, smaller, darker, lighter, and behaviorally different based largely on the circumstances of their upbringing are characteristics shared by all those animals with which they breed and produce viable offspring. Imagine two Doberman pinscher breeders arguing about which kennel has the “best” Doberman: the muscular ones or the thin ones; the aggressive ones or the family-pet ones; the tall ones or the shorter ones; the dark ones or the red or lighter colored ones; etc., etc.

While wolves are the largest and most dangerous manifestation of the animals they breed with; we need go farther than the simple observations of dog owners worldwide when we remove the anthropomorphism and understandable affection so common among dog owners for their dog or dogs. Any dog can be mean and dangerous. Whether from mistreatment or simple behavioral differences due to a lack of any discipline, St. Bernards have suddenly killed children in the home as well as have Staffordshire Terriers killed children and elderly members in the home. Even mellow dogs like Golden retrievers have been known to snap and bite kids that get too near them while feeding. Yet most St. Bernards are wonderful and patient family pets and many Staffordshire Terriers have been known to be fierce defenders of “their” family and residences. Domestic dogs that run away have been known to quickly form a “pack” and prove remarkably dangerous and destructive to domestic and wild animals and even children that catch their interest while at the same time urban parents supporting wolves will rightly call the police or dog wardens to quickly catch or dispatch such “packs” immediately. Does anyone seriously wish to argue that 100+ lb. wild wolves are not infinitely more dangerous when hungry, or in packs, or when someone runs or shows themselves to be young or elderly or disabled, or is between them and a dog they want to kill or livestock or a downed game animal they want to kill and/or eat?

In the light of repeated historical records of wolf violence on humans, what are we to make of those persons forcibly imposing the wolves in our settled landscapes? Are they simply fools? Are they ignorant? Are they (like climate change believers with other far-reaching agendas) fooling us purposely? Are they pagan believers in the worship of animals in an imaginary ecosystem? Are they eugenicists, bent on “controlling” rural populations? Are they radicals intent on returning rural America for unfathomable reasons into those no-humans, wild and dangerous forests that our ancestors made into productive and fruitful human societies?

What would drive anyone to return something into their neighbor’s midst that killed “200 Russians a year for decades”? What could justify something that is like returning malaria or a dictatorship to communities where they would only kill a few hundred people a year? How did such a thing ever arise in a Constitutional Republic like the United States of America or in the European Union? Are there no good men left?

How sick is all this? How anti-human!

The incoming US Administration nailed it right on the head, “Washington is a swamp and it is time to drain it!” Federal excess in the US has gone way beyond the Pale and must be restrained significantly.

To quote Shakespeare’s Puck in A Midsummers Night’s Dream, “What fools these mortals be.”

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others. Thanks.

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC. He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands. He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC. He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority. He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting.

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IQ is Unmentionable

John Craig, Just Not Said, November 26, 2016

IQ brings liberalism crashing down. That’s why we never hear about it.    The extent to which IQ has simply disappeared from public discourse has been amazing. It’s not even mentioned in the context of noting how those horrible racists think there’s a genetic difference between the races when it comes to intelligence.

It has simply disappeared.

It’s almost as if the Left realizes that they’ve lost the nature/nurture argument, so feel it’s best to just not bring up the subject..........As the evidence accumulated, eventually it became plain that intelligence is largely genetic in origin. All the studies comparing IQ differences between adoptive siblings and biological siblings, or between separated identical twins and regular siblings raised together, pointed in the same direction. And every sophisticated mathematical analysis applied to studies of IQ pointed toward regression to a different mean for each race............To Read More....

Rolling back environmental progress?

Note From the Author:  Having achieved major goals, US should refocus EPA and other environmental agencies? Pressure groups, regulators and their media allies are railing that Donald Trump plans to “roll back progress” on climate change, energy and the environment. If they define “progress” as ever-expanding laws, regulations, bureaucracies and power – then yes, Mr. Trump does intends to roll them back. And he should.
However, if we examine “progress” against two other standards – pollution reductions to date, and the validity of claims used to justify ever more burdensome and expensive environmental regulations – then we get a very different result. America’s voters do not want to roll back true environmental progress. But we do demand a return to sanity, science, and honest consideration of our overall health, welfare and “human environment” in approving regulations that govern our lives.
My article delves deeply into these important and too often misunderstood issues. Thank you for posting it, quoting from it, and forwarding it to your friends and colleagues.
Best regards, 
(Emphasis added by me.  RK)

By Paul Driessen

Donald Trump plans to “roll back progress” on climate change, energy and the environment, activists, regulators and their media allies assert. The claim depends on one’s definition of “progress.”

These interest groups define “progress” as ever-expanding laws, regulations, bureaucracies and power, to bring air and water emissions of every description down to zero, to prevent diseases that they attribute to manmade pollutants and forestall “dangerous manmade climate change.” Achieving those goals requires controlling nearly every facet of our economy, industries, lives, livelihoods and living standards.

If we are talking about halting and reversing this unbridled federal control, President-Elect Trump has promised to roll “progress” back – and not a moment too soon, if we are to rejuvenate our economy.

Federal land, resource and environmental agencies have unleashed tsunamis of regulations in recent years, and President Obama is poised to issue many more before January 20. The total cost of complying with federal rules was about $1 trillion annually in 2006. It has since doubled, raising the federal reporting and compliance burden to $6,000 per person per year, through late-2016.

The Obama Administration has thus far imposed some $743 billion of those new costs, via 4,432 new rules requiring 754 million hours of paperwork, according to a new American Action Forum analysis. The $2 trillion cumulative annual tab is more than all federal individual and corporate taxes collected in 2015; includes 10 billion hours dealing with paperwork; and does not include state or local regulations. Land use and environmental compliance costs account for a sizable and growing portion of this total.

These costs hogtie innovation, job creation and economic growth. They make millions unemployed.

So let us examine “progress” against two other standards: (1) pollution reductions to date; and (2) the validity of claims used to justify ever more burdensome and expensive environmental regulations.

We can never have zero pollution. The laws of diminishing returns increasingly come into play: getting rid of the last 10% can cost as much as eliminating the initial 90% and is rarely needed. And we cannot control nature’s pollution: volcanoes, forest fires, poisonous algae blooms, deep ocean vents, erosion of rocks bearing mercury and other toxic substances, and other sources.

However, we can reach the point where remaining pollutants pose few or no health risks – and we have largely done so. Since 1970, America’s cars have eliminated nearly 99% of pollutants that once came out of tailpipes, notes Air Quality in America  co-author Joel Schwartz. Refiners have eliminated lead from gasoline and reduced its sulfur content by some 95% – while coal-fired power plants now remove 80-95% of the particulates, mercury, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide that they emitted in 1970.

Asthma may be rising, but it’s certainly not because of pollution rates that have fallen dramatically.

Water quality has also skyrocketed. Along the river where I grew up in Wisconsin, a dozen pairs of bald eagles now nest where there were none when I was a kid, when you couldn’t eat the fish or swim in the polluted water. The same thing happened across the USA. Other problems remain to be addressed.

As President-Elect Trump has quipped, “It used to be that cars were made in Flint, and you couldn’t drink the water in Mexico. Now our cars are made in Mexico, and you can’t drink the water in Flint.”

That’s because local officials and the USEPA didn’t do their jobs – didn’t monitor or fix failing, corroded lead water pipes. Repairing Flint’s system, and addressing water and sewer problems in other cities, will cost billions of dollars. If we are forced to spend tens or hundreds of billions on exaggerated, fabricated or imaginary risks, there will be little left to resolve our remaining real health problems.

Let us celebrate our progress, and turn our attention to real problems that still must be corrected. Let us also examine claims used to justify regulations – and roll back rules that don’t pass scientific muster.

EPA insists that saving fuel and reducing pollution from now super-clean vehicles requires that cars and light trucks get 54.5 mpg by 2025. But achieving this will force people to drive smaller, lighter, more plasticized, less safe cars – and millions more will be maimed and killed. EPA doesn’t mention that, or acknowledge that fracking ensures another century of oil and gasoline: time to devise new energy sources.

Above all, though, the Environmental Protection Agency’s reason for being, for wanting to steadily expand its budget and personnel, for seeking to regulate our farms, factories, homes and energy supplies, for trying to drive entire industries into bankruptcy – is its assertion that humans are causing catastrophic climate change, thereby endangering human health and welfare. The claims do not withstand scrutiny.

Even as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels continue to rise – spurring plant growth worldwide – except during the strong 2015-16 El Niño, average global temperatures have remained steady for 18 years. Polar and Greenland ice caps, sea levels, hurricanes, floods and droughts refuse to behave in accord with climate chaos claims, computer model predictions, or EPA and Obama White House assertions.

Meanwhile, as EPA moves to impose its “Clean Power Plan” and other draconian rules, developed and developing nations alike are building new coal-fired power plants every week, greatly expanding their oil and gas use, and reducing wind and solar subsidies. Even EPA analyses recognize that ending nearly all US fossil fuel use will prevent an undetectable global temperature rise of just 0.02 degrees by 2100.

So EPA has tried to justify its job and economy-killing climate change and coal eradication rules by claiming they will bring huge “ancillary” health benefits. Those claims too are pure hogwash.

US coal-fired power plants emit less than  0.5% of all the mercury that enters Earth’s atmosphere every year from Asian power plants, forest fires, volcanoes, subsea vents and geysers. EPA nonetheless claims its rules will magically bring benefits like an imperceptible 0.00209-point improvement in IQ scores!

The agency also says banning coal-fired power plants will reduce “carcinogenic” and “lethal” levels of microscopic particulate matter (soot) in America’s air. But EPA has no medical evidence that what is still in our air poses actual problems. In fact, EPA-funded researchers illegally subjected human test subjects – including elderly, asthmatic, diabetic and cardiac patients – to 8, 30 or even 60 times more soot per volume (for up to two hours) than what EPA claims is dangerous or lethal. And yet, no one got sick.

Obviously, EPA’s air quality standards and dire warnings about soot are totally out of whack with reality.

The federal government next concocted what it calls the “social cost of carbon” framework. It assigns a price to using carbon-based fuels and emitting carbon dioxide, by blaming US fossil fuels and CO2 for every imaginable and imaginary “harm” to wildlife, climate and humans worldwide. It completely ignores the enormous and undeniable benefits of using those fuels, the equally important benefits of plant-fertilizing CO2, and horrendous damage that would result from eliminating 81% of America’s energy.

Indeed, EPA and other regulators routinely ignore the impacts that their draconian regulations have on people’s jobs, living standards, health and welfare – including reduced or lost incomes, lower nutrition, welfare dependency, drug and alcohol abuse, and shorter life spans. They then present scientists, “health” and “environmental” organizations and advisory committees that approve and applaud the regulations anyway – often because the agencies pay them millions of dollars a year to do so.

That’s how bureaucrats remain powerful, unaccountable and immune from being fired or having to compensate victims for their incompetent or even deliberate falsifications and actions. We end up being protected from exaggerated and fabricated risks, years or decades from now – by having jobs, companies, industries, families, communities, and our overall health and welfare hammered by over-regulation today.

America’s voters rejected this agenda. Over 90% of the nation’s counties voted to Trump the bridge hand to tyranny. We do not want to roll back true environmental progress. But we do demand a return to sanity, science, and honest consideration of our overall health, welfare and “human environment” in approving regulations that govern our lives. Let’s insist that the new Congress and Administration do exactly that.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (, and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death and other books on the environment.

Italian PM Matteo Renzi to resign in wake of referendum defeat


Matteo Renzi, who staked his future on winning the vote, says he takes full responsibility for the "extraordinarily clear" defeat........Mr Renzi had staked his future on a "Yes" vote, vowing to quit if voters rejected his plans - which opponents denounced as dangerous for democracy - to reduce the role of the country's Senate and take back powers from regional authorities.........Spearheaded by the populist Five Star Movement, the biggest rival to Mr Renzi's Democratic party, the "No" campaign took advantage of the Mr Renzi's declining popularity, a struggling economy and problems caused by tens of thousands of migrants arriving from Africa........But it is another blow to the European Union, which is struggling to overcome a number of crises and was keen for Mr Renzi to continue his reform drive......To Read More....

My Take - I've stated this was to be expected - a shift from multuculturalist socialists in power to nationalist socialists in Europe.  But this group is really strange, and I think reflecting what I've considered the irrationality of Itialians and their view of how the country should be run.  This is a populist "movement", not a political party, which is becoming an international trend.  The difference between them is what's popular.   With this group "popular" is even more irrational than the government they just toppled believing in an odd convergence of values. 

Economically they embrace the "theories of degrowth, supporting the creation of "green jobs" and the rejection of polluting and expensive "great works", including incinerators and high-speed rail, aiming to an overall better quality of life and greater social justice.  The Five Star Movement proposes the adoption of large-scale energy projects, elimination of waste, sustainable mobility, protection of territory from overbuilding, teleworking."

"The movement's political discourse often refers to the Internet as a solution to many social, economic, and environmental problems. This approach bears similarities with North-American cyber-utopianism and the Californian Ideology."

It's my view this will further speed up the process of destroying Italy's economy and strengthen the next real nationalist socialist waiting in the wings.

Feeling the Bern: Venezuela to issue larger bill as currency continues to melt

Venezuela said it will issue higher-denominated bills as triple-digit inflation and a currency meltdown leave the country's largest note worth just around 2 U.S. cents on the black market.
The central bank said in a statement Saturday that six new bills ranging from 500 to 20,000 Bolivars will begin circulating on Dec. 15. Currently the largest-denominated bill is 100 bolivars, while a 2-liter soft drink bottle can cost 25 times that amount......Venezuela has maintained strict currency controls since 2003 and currently has two legal exchange rates of 10 and 663 bolivars per dollar used for priority imports. On the black market, where people and businesses turn when they can't obtain government approval to purchase dollars at the legal rates, the bolivar has collapsed by a factor of five over the past year......To Read More.....
My Take - I can't even imagine how bad it must be in this nation, or how this government hasn't been overthrown, but I do think the fact the Russian made Jeep carrying Castro's ashes broke down is rich in symbolism for socialism as an absolute failure worldwide.  

Jeep Carrying Fidel Castro Ashes Breaks Down Mid-Funeral. ¡Viva La Revolución!

by Joel B. Pollak

The Russian-made jeep carrying the ashes of the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro broke down in the middle of his funeral procession on Saturday, forcing soldiers to push the vehicle until it could be repaired.  Nearly every major news website buried the news, though it was perfectly symbolic of the Cuban regime’s economic failures, and those of socialism in general.....To Read More....

The U.S. Economic Power

By Daniel R. Corrin Sunday, November 27th, 2016 @ American Center for Democracy

Depending on how one crunches the numbers, China’s economy has either already surpassed, in size, that of the United States, or will do so in a within a couple of years.  According to data from the World Bank, it is the former, China’s nominal GDP was $19.3 trillion in 2015, while U.S. GDP came in at $17.9 trillion.  One difficulty in comparing national economies is calculating each country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in a common currency—usually in U.S. dollars.  A second is adjusting the GDP numbers to take into account purchasing power parity (PPP).

Whether or not China’s economy is larger than the U.S., the former’s economic growth over the past three decades is nothing if not incredible.  In turn, it has created some angst among Americans.  Mike Patton writes in Forbes:  “China’s economy will become more significant than America’s.  How is this possible?  Is the golden era of “Made in America” in our rearview mirror?  Is China entering a modern-day economic dynasty?”  Based solely on the dollar size of GDP, yes China is projected to far surpass the U.S. in the coming years.

True economic dominance is more than just the dollar size of GDP.  In their 2013 book, Balance:  The Economics of Great Powers from Ancient Rome to Modern America, economists Glenn Hubbard and Tim Kane developed an economic power index (EPI) which they believe is a better measure of a nation’s economic vitality and supremacy.  The index is comprised of the product of three components:

EPI = GDP x Productivity x Growth1/2
Where:    GDP = nominal GDP in billions of dollars
Productivity = per capita GDP in thousands of dollars
Growth = square root of growth rate of GDP

Using the EPI formula developed by Hubbard and Kane and data from the World Bank, I calculated the index of each country of the world.  The table below shows the indexes for the ten largest countries.  This analysis shows that far and away, the United States is the dominant economic power in the world—not China, not Japan, not Germany.


What sets the United States apart from China is the productivity statistic—i.e. per capita GDP.  This figure indicates how efficiently a country’s citizens use their resources and talents.  In 2015, per capita GDP for the U.S. was $55,805:  but was only $14,107 for China.  This means that each American produces, on average, nearly $56,000 worth of goods and services.  If China had the same per capita GDP as the U.S.—i.e. that the Chinese are just as efficient at Americans—its’ GDP would be $76.7 trillion.

The index also illustrates that the Chinese are nowhere near catching the United States regarding economic power.  Using economic forecasts from the World Bank and population projections from the United Nations, I calculated future economic power indexes for the U.S. and China.  The World Bank assumes an eight percent growth rate for China and a four percent growth rate for the U.S.  Based on these assumptions China would not surpass the U.S. economic power before 2032.
As productivity is important to a country’s economic vitality, so too is the growth rate of a county’s economy.  If the China’s economy grew at a one percentage point lower rate than projected—a seven percent pace rather than an eight percent—over the next sixteen years, the Chinese economic power index would be 23 percent lower than the U.S. in 2032.


Though no country is likely to come close to the United States economic power anytime soon, the gap between the major western economies and the emerging markets will diminish in the coming decades.  One determinant of the size of an economy is a country’s population.  As the population grows, so does demand for food, housing, transportation, etc.  Given the globalization of the world economy, especially in finance, resources can easily flow to meet these demands.  This will likely result in higher growth rates for countries with growing populations.

The U.N. projects that the largest increases in population will be in the emerging markets.  For instance, it is expected that the continent of Africa will experience a 41.6 percent increase in population between now and 2030.  The population of Africa in 2030 will exceed that of China or India.  By 2030, countries in Western Asian and India will see population growth of 25 percent and 16.5 percent, respectively.

The same is not true for the largest economies in the world.  Over the next 14 years the U.N. forecast lackluster population growth for the current economic powers:  United States (10.6 percent population growth); China (2.9 percent); Germany (-1.7 percent); Japan (-5 percent); and Europe (-0.6 percent).

Countries can overcome anemic population growth through increases in productivity.  Currently, the U.S. and Europe outperforms the rest of the world because they make efficient use of their resources.  The question becomes can they keep this up.  The largest components of government budgets in these countries are pensions and healthcare.  These are basically transfer payments funded by current revenue streams.  In other words, they are underwritten by taxes on current production.  These transfers will drain resources from investment, which is the lifeblood of economic growth, to consumption.

Based on the Hubbard and Kane economic power index, the U.S. far outpaces its closest economic rivals (China, Germany, and Japan).  Still, that is little comfort to those Americans who are out of a job or living paycheck to paycheck.  To maintain economic dominance, the new administration, and Congress, need to incorporate policies that are designed to raise the level of productivity—not ones that solely redistribute money to politically connected groups.

*Daniel Corrin is a Fellow at the ACD’s Economic Warfare Institute

Political Science’s “Theory of Everything”

The famous Indian story of the Blind Men and the Elephant is a metaphor highlighting that while one’s subjective experience can be true, it can also be limited by its failure to account for other truths or a totality of truth. A similar metaphor can be used to try to explain the hidden forces guiding the US Government

From 1975 to 1976 the Church Committee in the Senate and the Pike Committee in the House attempted unsuccessfully to curtail the power of US intelligence agencies. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), in particular, was investigated to see if it was a “rogue elephant” or under strict control of the President and the executive branch. However, besides some damning revelations outlined in the “whitewashed” report and some minor oversight changes, the “rogue elephant” was allowed to roam free.

Contemporary main-stream pundits now openly describe these hidden forces as a “shadow government,” a “corporatocracy” or a “deep state” controlling American politics. None however can do justice to what truly is an amorphous, complex and intricate web of overlapping entities. All who have tried to define who really governs America have essentially behaved as “blind” men.....To Read More....

My Unhappy Life as a Climate Heretic

My research was attacked by thought police in journalism, activist groups funded by billionaires and even the White House.

Roger Pielke Jr.  1010 COMMENTS

Much to my surprise, I showed up in the WikiLeaks releases before the election. In a 2014 email, a staffer at the Center for American Progress, founded by John Podesta in 2003, took credit for a campaign to have me eliminated as a writer for Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight website.

In the email, the editor of the think tank’s climate blog bragged to one of its billionaire donors, Tom Steyer: “I think it’s fair [to] say that, without Climate Progress, Pielke would still be writing on climate change for 538.”

WikiLeaks provides a window into a world I’ve seen up close for decades: the debate over what to do about climate change, and the role of science in that argument. Although it is too soon to tell how the Trump administration will engage the scientific community, my long experience shows what can happen when politicians and media turn against inconvenient research—which we’ve seen under Republican and Democratic presidents......To Read More....

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Paradigms and Demographics Today: December 4th, 2016 and Saturday December 3rd, Evening Edition

Social Paradigms

The Left's War of the Words: Part III

By Rich Kozlovich

All of these words and phrases really only have one meaning - and represent the real objective of all leftists - confiscate as much of your money as they can and spend it to keep themselves in power. They know they can spend it more wisely than you can, and getting themselves elected at your expense is their definition of wise spending.

All of these words - revenue measure, deficit reduction, raising revenues, balanced approach, revenue enhancements, balancing, progressive revenue, contribution, inflow, shared responsibility payment, shared responsibility penalty - mean one thing: Taxes, Taxes and More Taxes.

Under leftist control there will never be any balance between spending and taxing, there will never be shared responsibility, but there will always be revenue enhancements, shared penalties for those who produce, constant "contributions" and inflow, and that inflow will always be progressive in order to tax the producers at a much higher rate than non producers, especially since we already know approximately 50% of the population pay no federal taxes.

Definition leads to clarity.  Clarity leads to understanding and understanding leads to good decision making.  That's why the left's choice of words is foggy.  Gray is the color of fog, and hard to see through making definition difficult.  This allows them to define and redefine words to suit their latest philosophical flavor of the day - all of which will cost money - lots of money.

As for those who claim to be fiscally conservative while being socially liberal.  That's nothing short of a serious case of cognitive dissonance.  John Kasich is a good example! And it now appears he's not only a liberal, he's a leftist. 

Definition is foundational to solid thinking!!!!

Leftist Spending!

Editor's note:  This toilet is a perfect representation of results of spending by leftists - massive amounts having been flushed down the toilet - by leftists on both sides of the aisle.

By A.F. Branco


Recount silliness in Wisconsin nets Clinton exactly one vote - At her current pace, Clinton will overtake Trump in Wisconsin in approximately 74 and a half years." ......

The never-ending story of election recounts - If a state really wanted to demonstrate that its count on Election Day was absolutely correct, the first thing it would need to prove is that everyone who voted was eligible to vote........

Jill Stein’s Pennsylvania Recount Effort Is Dealt a Major Setback - My Take - All this for a candidate who simply cannot win no matter what's found and shouldn't have standing to pursue this at all.  But let's be clear about this:  There is no conspiracy here between the Clinton's and Stein.  After all - we all know there's no such thing as a conspiracy - unless of course it's a vast right wing conspiracy.  Right? Update:It would appear they've abandoned thier efforts in Penna. 

Hillary's Final Disgrace

Everything You Need to Know about Libertarianism, in a Venn Diagram

December 3, 2016 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty

I wrote a couple of days ago about a global ranking showing which nations enjoy the most personal and economic freedom.

Surprisingly, European nations dominated the top 20, which suggests (given the depressing amount of statism in Europe) that libertarians have a lot of work to do if we want good liberty-oriented role models for the world.

Heck, even the top three jurisdictions (Hong Kong, Switzerland, and New Zealand), while very admirable compared to most other nations, still have too much government.

In the fight for libertarian policy, we face several obstacles, including the “public choice” pressure for ever-growing government, as well as the fact that we simply need to learn how to be more persuasive.
And if we want to be more persuasive, we need to somehow convince people to apply sensible principles in a consistent manner. And this is why this Venn Diagram from Mark Perry’s collection is so valuable. It’s addressed to leftists and it challenges them to consistently apply their beliefs about the liberty of consenting adults.

Mark obviously hopes that the people who think there should be freedom for personal relationships will realize that it is inconsistent to simultaneously want to restrict freedom in economic relationships (in this case, the freedom to accept a job that doesn’t pay as much as some politicians would prefer).
But the Venn Diagram also could apply to conservatives by changing a few words. Folks on the right generally understand that consenting adults should be free to engage in voluntary economic exchange, but they sometimes want to limit consenting adults in the personal sphere.

By the way, a belief in freedom doesn’t imply that people have to be happy about the choices others make. You can think that it’s wrong and sad and unfortunate that some people have very limited skills and are able to earn only $5 per hour in the marketplace. And you can you personally disapprove of certain relationships between consenting adults.

Libertarianism is simply the principle and theory that you don’t support government coercion to prevent other adults from engaging in behaviors that you don’t like. Assuming, of course, that other people’s actions don’t conflict with your rights to life, liberty, and property.

P.S. You can enjoy other Mark Perry Venn Diagrams here, here, here, and here (newly added).

A Brief History of Democrats Who Heaped Praise on Fidel Castro

By Jerry Johnson

In an article for FaithWire Fontova writes, “Fidel Castro jailed and tortured political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin during the Great Terror. He murdered more Cubans in his first three years in power than Hitler murdered Germans during his first six.” —

Seriously, let that comment sink in for a moment.  No reporter, politician, or entertainer would praise Adolph Hitler the day he died for being a great leader.  Their career would be over. But liberals and leftist lauded the Cuban dictator with words like great, awesome, and inspiring.

It would appear that if you are a liberal Democrat living in the United States in the early part of the twenty-first century, you can get away with praising a totalitarian regime and sociopathic murderer like Fidel Castro.  Below is a short list of some of the atrocities committed by the Cuban dictator.....To Read More....

The Opposite of Right

This election shined a light on the inevitable corruption of a government built on two serious misunderstandings. 

Deana Chadwell

Many times in the last eight years we have had to endure Barrack Obama’s pontification -- “That is not who we are.” Really? Who are we? The Left has no idea. We -– all human beings -– are not what the Left likes to pretend we are, and therein lies the rub.

This election has turned the spotlight on the vast, wind-swept chasm between Worldview Left and Worldview Right. In the early days of the union people differed as to how much power the federal government needed, but beyond that, they appear to have all started from similar launching pads. While the government power-divide issue still exists, a much bigger dichotomy of assumptions grows ever more blatant -- assumptions about the nature of truth and the nature of man.

Team Left bases all its philosophical conclusions on the conjectures that absolute truth is utterly nonexistent, and that human beings are basically good. The first is a silly, self-refuting statement and the second requires the wearing of serious blinders – we do not behave as if we’re morally responsible, loving beings.........Being a leftist requires a huge amount of imagination and wishful thinking.........Read more

BlackLivesMatter Protesters Sentenced to Prison for Blocking Highway!

Since the loose agglomeration that calls itself Black Lives Matter came into existence in 2013, a dilemma for law enforcement has been how to deal with protesters who break the law by doing stupid and dangerous things like blocking highways.....In blue, blue Massachusetts, as an example, protesters who blocked traffic on the interstate, which included an ambulance rushing an 82-year-old man to the hospital, were not only spared jail time but refused to apologize......Then there are the right-leaning communities, like Richmond, Va., where those who break the law by blocking a public roadway are promptly arrested, charged, tried, convicted, and sentenced to jail.......To Read More....

My Take - Well it's about time!!!

House Panel Refers Planned Parenthood for Criminal Prosecution for Selling Aborted Baby Parts!

By Jeff Dunetz

The undercover videos released by Center For Medical Progress (CMP) earlier in the year have finally generated a government response. Today the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Select Investigative Panel for Infant Lives announced it has referred  Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for criminal prosecution for its role in selling the baby parts of aborted babies.......To Read More....

My Take - Well it's about time!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

John Stossel, Paul Krugman, and the Washington Swamp

December 2, 2016 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty

If you ask what worries me about the incoming Trump Administration, I’ll immediately point to a bunch of policy issues.
Others, though, are more focused on whether Trump’s business empire will distort decisions in the White House.

Here’s what Paul Krugman recently wrote about Trump and potential corruption.
…he’s already giving us an object lesson in what real conflicts of interest look like, as authoritarian governments around the world shower favors on his business empire. Of course, Donald Trump could be rejecting these favors and separating himself and his family from his hotels and so on. But he isn’t. In fact, he’s openly using his position to drum up business. …The question you need to ask is why this matters. …America is a very rich country, whose government spends more than $4 trillion a year, so even large-scale looting amounts to rounding error. What’s important is not the money that sticks to the fingers of the inner circle, but what they do to get that money, and the bad policy that results. …what’s truly scary is the potential impact of corruption on foreign policy. …someplace like Vladimir Putin’s Russia can easily funnel vast sums to the man at the top… So how bad will the effects of Trump-era corruption be? The best guess is, worse than you can possibly imagine.
I’m tempted to ask why Krugman wasn’t similarly worried about corruption over the past eight years. Was he fretting about Solyndra-type scams? About the pay-to-play antics at the Clinton Foundation? About Operation Choke Point and arbitrary denial of financial services to law-abiding citizens?

He seems to think that the problem of malfeasance only exists when his team isn’t in power. But that’s totally backwards. As I wrote back in 2010, people should be especially concerned and vigilant when their party holds power. It’s not just common sense. It should be a moral obligation.

But even if Krugman is a hypocrite, that doesn’t mean he’s wrong. At least not in this case. He is absolutely on the mark when he frets about the “incentives” for massive looting by Trump and his allies.

But what frustrates me is that he doesn’t draw the obvious conclusion, which is that the incentive to loot mostly exists because there’s an ability to loot. And the ability to loot mostly exists because the federal government is so big and has so much power.

And as Lord Acton famously warned, power is very tempting and very corrupting.

Which is why I’m hoping that Krugman will read John Stossel’s new column for Reason. In the piece, John correctly points out that the only way to “drain the swamp” is to shrink the size and scope of government.
…today’s complex government allows the politically connected to corrupt… most everything. …In the swamp, no one but taxpayers pays for their mistakes. …it’s well worth it for companies to invest in lobbyists and fixers who dive into the swamp to extract subsidies.For taxpayers? Not so much. While the benefits to lobbyists are concentrated, taxpayer costs are diffuse. …Draining the swamp would mean not just taking freebies away from corporations—or needy citizens—but eliminating complex handouts like Obamacare. Candidate Trump said he would repeal Obamacare. Will he? He’s already backed off of that promise, saying he likes two parts of the law—the most expensive parts.
As you can see, Stossel understands “public choice” and recognizes that making government smaller is the only sure-fire way of reducing public corruption.

Which is music to my ears, for obvious reasons.

By the way, the same problem exists in many other countries and this connects to the controversies about Trump and his business dealings. Many of the stories about potential misbehavior during a Trump Administration focus on whether the President will adjust American policy in exchange for permits and other favors from foreign governments.

But that temptation wouldn’t exist if entrepreneurs didn’t need to get permission from bureaucrats before building things such as hotels and golf courses. In other words, if more nations copied Singapore and New Zealand, there wouldn’t be much reason to worry whether the new president was willing to swap policy for permits.

Adios to el Presidente!

By A.F. Branco

Senator Ted Cruz Destroys Obama and the Left for their Love Affair with Fidel Castro!

“Today we are thankful that [Fidel Castro] … is no longer with us. He has departed for warmer climes”…
By Onan Coca

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is rekindling his fan base with some powerful commentary on the left’s feckless fawning over dead Cuban strongman Fidel Castro. As President Obama and his counterparts in Canada, Ireland, India, Iran, and elsewhere fell all over themselves to eulogize the murderous despot, Senator Cruz stood up for truth and lambasted them all.  In a powerful speech before the Senate Cruz excoriated President Obama and delivered a truth bomb that everyone should hear......To See The Video  Editor's NoteThere's a few very short advertisements but wait them out.....this is a must see video.

P&D Today: December 3, 2016


Global Warming
Who has a bigger conflict of interest: Donald Trump or the New York Times?
Race in America

Tackling the peddlers of climate change

The climate hoax is ending

By Anthony Bright-Paul

How often have we heard that ‘climate change’ is the greatest threat to mankind! How often have we heard that Global Warming will lead to an unprecedented rise in sea levels! -- when what is the truth?

There is absolutely no truth whatsoever in these assertions, made by a coven of corrupt scientists, who have held the whole world in thrall. Not only is the globe not warming, but we find that the books have been cooked on a truly massive scale. So massive, in fact, that even intelligent members of Parliament with some scientific knowledge have been fooled. The world at large has been fooled, as witness the bizarre antics at COP22. Did you think that that was a Climate Conference? Think again! It was about nothing but money, and who could screw the most out of the supposedly rich nations.

I am indebted to Christopher Booker, who has written in the Daily Telegraph what I would never have dared to write. He has given a cast of those who have been deceiving the world on an unimaginable scale. Here I quote just a few paragraphs, but it is necessary to read the entire article:


Who has a bigger conflict of interest: Donald Trump or the New York Times?

By Ed Straker

I couldn't help but notice that nearly every day, the New York Times and other media organs are running attack pieces about Donald Trump's soon to be conflicts of interest because of his real estate holdings. I find it astonishing that the media have only now become focused on potential conflicts of interest, since for years they had virtually nothing to say about Hillary Clinton, who as secretary of state also was affiliated with a "non-profit foundation" that received donations from foreign countries she interacted with in an official capacity.

So I commend the Times for suddenly being concerned about ethics at the precise moment a Republican is elected president. It very much reminds me of a vampire suddenly realizing it's night outside for the first time in eight years.

But I have a more immediate concern.

What about the conflict of interest at The New York Times? Nearly 20,000,000 shares shares are held by Carlos Slim, the Mexican "megarich oligarch." How can the Times fairly report on issues of sanctuary cities, or illegal immigration, or trade, or bilingual education, when its largest shareholder is a Mexican citizen? 

Even worse, Carlos Slim is actually Lebanese in origin, from a country ruled by the radical Islamic group Hezb'allah in alliance with Maronite Christians (Slim is a Maronite Christian)......More

Dakota Pipeline Opponents Speak with Forked Tongue

Opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline claim that it will violate and pollute sacred tribal lands.

Daniel John Sobieski

Having lost both scientifically and politically with the Keystone XL pipeline, deemed safe by Hillary Clinton’s State Department and certain to be approved by a President Trump sworn to develop American energy, opponents of fossil fuels have enlisted the support of American Indians. Opponents are claiming that the Dakota Access Pipeline which, like Keystone XL, will bring oil from the rich Bakken oil field in North Dakota to American markets, will violate and pollute sacred tribal lands.  That they are on slippery ground with the facts has been explained by the Heritage Foundation