Monday, July 29, 2013

Personal note to my readers.


I had my appendix removed Saturday, so I have been out of it for a couple of days.  I will start posting again soon.

Best wishes to you all,
Rich K

Friday, July 26, 2013

Mann vs. Steyn: Heresy Shall Be Crushed

By Daren Jonescu
Remember when scientists and other truth-seekers used to get all riled up about the way the Catholic Church treated Galileo? The outcry was not over the fact that Galileo was a "peer-reviewed" researcher, and therefore beyond question. Quite the contrary: the argument was that, from the point of view of the quest for truth, no one, including the representatives of official orthodoxy and authority, ought to be regarded as beyond question. In the Michael Mann lawsuit against Mark Steyn and National Review, it is the "award-winning researcher" who is joining the fight for Church orthodoxy, while the defendants are the persecuted Galileos.
Mann, of course, is the creator of the famous "hockey stick graph" that has been employed doggedly throughout the doctrinaire climate science community and the mainstream media as proof that the Earth has shown a marked and unprecedented increase in global mean temperature during the brief period of industrial society's extreme CO2 production, which increase is consequently cited as proof that man's industrial activity is causing the temperature rise.….ToRead More….

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Defund Or Be Challenged

Erick Erickson (Diary) |
Moderate Democrats are retreating from Obamacare, according to the Washington Post. Hospitals are retreating from Obamacare. Americans broadly doubt Obamacare will help them. Consumers in most states won’t see reductions in premiums for their healthcare, contrary to what the Democrats claimed. In fact, there are twenty-seven ways in which Obamacare will increase the costs of your healthcare. In the meantime, Obamacare is costing jobs in Ohio and elsewhere. The restaurant industry is reducing hours of employees and cutting full time workers.
Why would Republicans keep funding a law that hurts so many people and is so unpopular? Why would they do that?
Republicans in Congress have a choice this fall with the latest continuing resolution. They can choose to not include funding for the implementation of Obamacare. Negotiate everything, but make that their line in the sand. If the Democrats choose to shut down the government over an unpopular law that hurts people, it is their choice. Republicans should not fund Obamacare.....To Read More.....

For Paul Krugman, Everything’s An Exception

Dan McLaughlin (Diary) |
The failure of Detroit is only the latest dramatic illustration of the practical failure of liberal-progressivism, standing in contrast to the great successes of free markets and conservative governance. If you are Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize-winning New York Times columnist, this sort of thing ought to give you pause about the connection between your big-government ideas and reality. Instead, it is only the latest example of how Krugman simply writes off any facts he finds inconvenient.
There are influential people out there who would like you to believe that Detroit’s demise is fundamentally a tale of fiscal irresponsibility and/or greedy public employees. It isn’t. For the most part, it’s just one of those things that happens now and then in an ever-changing economy.
This at least is less egregiously dishonest than the chorus of left-wingers engaged in arguing that Detroit was done in by conservative racists rather than the actions of its own wholly Democratic, wholly liberal government and population over the past six decades (with a big assist from the State of Michigan, which has been far more often in liberal Democratic than conservative Republican hands over those years – think Jennifer Granholm – in large part due to the voting power of Detroit). But it’s also sadly symptomatic of how Krugman deals with contrary examples....To Read More....

My TakeFor many years I have attended conferences for the pest control industry, including a few National Pest Management Legislative Day conferences in Washington.  I never cease to be amazed at the stupid things said by "experts" they have brought it.   Especially those brought in to talk about the economy.  But it doesn't stop there.

Whether it's Integrated Pest Management, Green Pest Control, government regulations or a host of things I almost want to jump up and say....."You're wrong and I'm going to tell you why!"  I think the thing  that drives me the most crazy is I never get podium time.  I have yet to have one person in leadership say to me...."We don't let you speak because you're an idiot and you don't know what you're talking about!"  If they did, then at least we could have a basis for debate....which I have asked for on more than one occasion.  I have even asked the trade journals to set up such an event to no avail.  Why?  What interests me the most is what is the foundational standard they have for choosing writers, articles, speakers and subjects to be discussed.....and why?   One person told me outright they would not discuss their policies on this with me.  Why?  Of course, I suppose they may think that I will eventually go away.....but I thought they all knew that I'm Serbian!

 

Planned Parenthood Committed Medicaid Fraud

Erick Erickson (Diary) |
Planned Parenthood has begun shutting down facilities in Texas. It would have you know that it would rather not comply with regulations to ensure the safety of its patients than spend money upgrading facilities. Never mind all the money Planned Parenthood has.
Turns out that some of that money is due to over billing Medicaid. According to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, Planned Parenthood has just agreed to settle with Texas in a Medicaid investigation. It will pay back $1.4 million for “fraudulently bill[ing the] Texas Medicaid program for products, services either not provided or not necessary.”
The investigation began because of a whistleblower.  Amazing that requiring abortion facilities to have a 8 foot wide hallways can shut down Medicaid fraud!...To Read More...
 

Union Allegations Of Teamster Forgeries Being Investigated By Obama’s ‘Other’ Labor Board

LaborUnionReport (Diary)
With all of the attention focused on the National Labor Relations Board these days, many people may not realize that there is another labor board that governs labor relations exclusively in the airlines and railroad industries. That labor board is the National Mediation Board (or NMB) and serves to enforce the 1926 Railway Labor Act.
Right now, the NMB has its hands full with an ugly fight between unions that has just gotten uglier amid allegations of one of the unions forging signatures as three unions fight for which union(s) gets to claim $15 million per year union dues....To Read More.....

Reign of the man-child

By: John Hayward | July 24th, 2013

There’s a common thread running through Anthony Weiner’s latest sexting escapades, Barack Obama’s 19th pivot to the economy, and much else that’s going wrong in America today. This is the reign of the man-child, the era of perpetual teenage indulgence. Nothing is my fault, man. Nobody understands me. Everyone keeps hassling me about little stuff. Nobody can see the superhero I really am. Consequences are a drag, so quit living in the past.
Anthony Weiner, working under jokey pen names like “Carlos Danger,” is the perfect arrested adolescent. He’s a married man pushing 50 with a young child, but he carries on with 20-something girls like a drunken frat boy emailing pictures of his junk from a kegger. It’s virtually impossible to quote any of the “Carlos Danger” messages without offending the sensibilities of a mature audience. Does it date me to put it that way? Nowadays when you hear mention of “mature audiences,” you think cable TV is about to run something with salty language and frontal nudity. But a truly “mature” audience is offended by such crude displays, especially when they emanate from the cell phone of a man running for high office……To Read More…..
 

The Libertarian Paradox

Mises Daily: Thursday, July 25, 2013 by Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.
As libertarians attempt to persuade others of their position, they encounter an interesting paradox. On the one hand, the libertarian message is simple. It involves moral premises and intuitions that in principle are shared by virtually everyone, including children. Do not hurt anyone. Do not steal from anyone. Mind your own business.
A child will say, “I had it first.” There is an intuitive sense according to which the first user of a previously unowned good holds moral priority over latecomers. This, too, is a central aspect of libertarian theory.
Following Locke, Murray Rothbard, and other libertarian philosophers sought to establish a morally and philosophically defensible account of how property comes to be owned. Locke held the goods of the earth to have been owned in common at the beginning, while Rothbard more plausibly held all goods to have been initially unowned, but this difference does not affect their analysis. Locke is looking to justify how someone may remove a good from common ownership for his individual use, and Rothbard is interested in how someone may take an unowned good and claim it for his individual use.   And here is the libertarian paradox.......Why is it so difficult to persuade people of what they implicitly believe already?
The reason is not difficult to find. Most people inherit an intellectual schizophrenia from the state that educates them, the media that amuses them, and the intellectuals who propagandize them.....the conception of the intellectual and the politician as the sculptors, and the human race as so much clay.....To Read More....

My Take – Let me start out by saying....there is much in this presentation that I find absolutely true and totally appealing.  However, libertarian thinking reminds me very much like military strategies. Did you know that every military strategy ever planned was perfect? At least until they met the enemy....who also had a "perfect" plan in place. Then everything starts to fall apart.  The one most able to recognize the lack of perfection in their “perfect plan” and quickly adapt it to whatever difficulties the enemies “perfect plan” is causing is the one who wins. 
Libertarianism is basic fundamental morality; a morality that is foundation to the human makeup.  It is a reality that is imprinted in our makeup and governed by a force we call - conscience!
The trouble with conscience as an absolute arbiter of right and wrong is that the conscience can be changed, adjusted…..or….lets just say the conscience can be “trained”.  And what molds the conscience?  Time and circumstance!  If the entire world practiced the form of libertarianism as outlined to some extent here….and this isn’t the only intellectual outline for this philosophy….it would be very nice.  Until someone desired those things others have.  In spite of the governing morality imprinted on our conscience, The Ten Commandments apparently needed to be outlined as.....ten commandments.....not ten recommendations.  Why?  Because people will always find ways to rationalize their views to their own benefit. 
As I read this I started to think about the Jews as they entered the Promised Land.  What form of government did they have?  None to speak of!  The land was broken up into tribal areas and those tribal areas were broken up into homesteads that became hereditary holdings.  Even if they sold the land it was returned at some point in the future.  But people were pretty much able to “do that which was right in their own eyes”.  What happened?  They eventually demanded a king to rule over them, judge them, and defend them against foreign enemies.     
Libertarianism is a nice foundational philosophy that will be a moving force for conservatives, but it holds little appeal as a lasting, effective stand alone governing philosophy that will stand the test of time.  Why?  Because for libertarianism to work it would require people to become much more introspective and less self serving.   A Catholic priest once said that ‘if you ever find the perfect organization, join it.  However, once you have joined it; it is now become somewhat less than perfect!”  I have yet to find any flaw in that thought, because people will always be people. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

97 per cent of climate activists in the pay of Big Oil shock!

By James Delingpole

This appeared here, and I would like to thank James for allowing me to publish his work.  RK

Unless you're a reader of the Guardian Environment's recently added section "Sacrifice your children to Mother Gaia. It's the only way!", you'll probably never have heard of the man who co-edits it, Dana Nuccitelli. But you'll certainly be familiar with his most famous bogus statistical artefact: the one he created with fellow climate alarmist John Cook to prove that 97 per cent of climate scientists really DO believe in global warming.

The claim has been roundly debunked. Apart from the problems with its statistical methodology, its findings are essentially meaningless. As Ben Pile points out in this characteristically measured, thoughtful piece,

"Nuccitelli’s survey results are either the result of a comprehensive failure to understand the climate debate, or an attempt to divide it in such a way as to frame the result for political ends."

Indeed, adds Pile, they represent:

"a cartoonish polarisation of positions within the climate debate."

How so? Well, as (climate sceptical) Bishop Hill once asked on Twitter: "Isn't everyone in the 97 per cent? I am." When the question was repeated at the Bishop's website by Met Office's Richard Betts, almost all those present agreed that they were. I would have done too, depending, of course, on precisely how you interpret the "consensus position" that "humans are causing global warming."

Well of course they are. Even if it's only down to the Urban Heat Island effect or the methane from beef cattle, humans almost certainly have an influence on climate. But so what? It always astonishes me when I see climate alarmists – even nice, well-meaning ones like Richard Betts – get all excited about this, as if somehow it represents a sudden concession by sceptics to the cause of warmism. If the alarmists spent any time paying attention to Watts Up With That, Bishop Hill or any of the myriad other sceptical websites out there, they would realise that this is what we've always thought. Our beef with the alarmists is not over the issue "Do humans contribute to climate change?" It's over "Do humans significantly contribute to climate chnage?" "Is there any evidence that this climate change is catastrophic or unprecedented?" "Do we need to do anything about it?" "Can we do anything about it?" "And are we sure that the cures currently being proposed aren't worse than the problem they're supposed to solve?"

But see, here we go again: here I am getting bogged down in a tedious and irrelevant non-argument of the kind the Warmists are always setting up in order to distract lay readers from more pertinent issues: like the fact that wind farms are just crap; that the evidence for catastrophic man-made global warming just hasn't materialised; that the polar bears aren't endangered; and so on.

Props to Dana Nuccitelli – he is, like his fellow climate activist Bob Ward – an absolute master of this straw man distraction technique. The term for it is "Clown Dancing" and Nuccitelli is the veritable Coco-and-Ronald-McDonald-in-a-sticky-embrace-with-Nureyev of the coulroterpsichorean art.

Anyway, all this is by the by. Another of the techniques used by Nuccitelli and his ilk is the "funded by Big Oil" meme. This is the silly notion, popularised by the likes of Al Gore and Michael Mann, that the main reason we climate sceptics say the pesky sceptical things we do is because we're paid to say so by various oil interests. Here is Nuccitelli in his Guardian column only last week on sceptical stalwart Pat Michaels:


(Something which, incidentally, Michaels denies. Since August 1 all of his salary has been paid by the Cato Institute. So, add "great fact-checking" to Dana's list of non-skills).

In truth, the exact opposite more commonly the case. Few corporate interests are quite so heavily in bed with Big Green as Big Oil – as you'll shortly be seeing when I do a number on Shell and its highly dubious behaviour re the UK shale gas industry – and it seems the hypocritical and disingenuous clown-dancer extraordinaire Nuccitelli is no exception.

He has tried to keep it quiet. But there's no – what's the word? Oh yeah…. – denying it: green activist Dana Nuccitelli is in the pay of Big Oil.

N. Carolina lawmakers scrapping tenure, introducing a voucher program

By Victor Skinner 
North Carolina lawmakers recently passed a new state budget that includes education reforms that would improve teacher quality and expand school choice options for families.  Republican leaders in the state House and Senate recently announced they’ve reached agreement on a $20.6 billion budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year that includes a $23.6 million provision “that scraps the longstanding teacher tenure system in favor of employing educators on contracts that are renewed based on performance reviews,” the Associated Press reports……. It’s the first time in over a century Republicans have gained full control over state government, and it appears they’re using their time to make long-overdue changes in education that Democrats and the state’s teachers organizations strongly oppose.
That means they are putting students and their interests first. That’s the way it should be....To Read More....
 

Are Republicans already dissatisfied with the 2016 field?

posted at 8:01 pm on July 23, 2013 by Allahpundit
Byron York asked that question yesterday after hearing Iowa conservatives rave about Ted Cruz. Is Cruzmania chiefly a function of Cruz’s awesomeness, he wonders, or at least partly a function of righties starting to scrutinize the 2016 crop more closely and feeling the need for an alternative?......
“Dissatisfied” seems like the wrong word when, by universal agreement, we’re headed for a much stronger field in 2016 than we had last year. Ask yourself: How many of the likely GOP candidates next cycle would conservatives have preferred to Romney as nominee? Go down the line — Rubio, Cruz, Jindal, Ryan, Scott Walker, on and on. The only two who are even debatable, I think, are Christie and maybe Rand Paul. The field as a whole is satisfying. The question is whether it’s not as satisfying as righties had hoped….To Read More….

Study: Feds underestimating the number of protected bird deaths at all the wind farms they aren’t prosecuting

posted at 9:31 pm on July 23, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
The federal government has made it their especial business, not merely to restrict recreational and productive commercial access in many areas of the full one-third of the surface area of the United States it controls — often on the proclaimed behalf of the Spotted Owl, the Sage Grouse, the Golden Eagle, etcetera — but also to aggressively pursue and prosecute any hydrocarbon companies that they discover have been responsible for killing any protected birds via their industrial activities.
Miraculously, however, the Obama administration has so far neglected to prosecute nor level the heavy related fines against any wind-energy companies, despite the mass deaths of birds protected by the Eagle Protection and Migratory Bird Treaty Acts that they often cause. Even better, the Daily Caller reports on a study that confirms that the feds have been conspicuously underestimating the number of bird deaths resulting from these swept-under-the-rug wind-turbine collisions:....To Read More.....

Could France succeed where Detroit has failed?

July 23, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
Hmm. Does any of this sound at all familiar?
President Francois Hollande may only manage a lightweight reform of France’s indebted pension system, with trade unions preparing street protests and his own Socialist Party warning it would oppose painful measures.
Fellow Europeans say France risks damaging its own standing and that of the euro zone among investors, and upsetting southern members struggling with harsh reforms, if it fails to address the deficit in its pension funding.
But left-wing lawmakers are determined to prevent any erosion in the old-age provision enjoyed by the French. …
Yet the fact that pensions are almost entirely borne by the state means public spending on pensions is 14.4 per cent of output versus 12.9 per cent in the EU.
The pension pot has been depleted by rising unemployment and without reform, the funding gap will balloon from 14 billion euros (HK$143 billion) currently to 20 billion euros by 2020.
Much like the recently and officially bankrupt city of Detroit, France and its explicitly Socialist leadership are struggling to find a way out from underneath the crushing fiscal burden of much too much government spending and extravagantly underfunded pensions, and their politics are largely dominated by ultra-liberals and big labor to the degree that putting the country on the long-term path to fiscal sustainability isn’t really on the radar. Hollande’s big goal at the moment is to push through just enough reform so that they won’t have to address the problem again until 2020… but what happens after that? And what about all of the additional debt they’ll be wracking up in the interval?....To Read More……
My TakeSix things. First; France is going to go broke.....soon. That's it, get over it! Secondly; the EU will dissolve, either officially or in reality when France, or any other EU country, defaults. Third; the French are attacking the very institutions that funded them, and as a result that source will dry up entirely. When that happens they will be unable to pay for anything and anarchy will ensue, and it is my belief that an even more restrictive form of socialism will take over. Fourth; violence will spread throughout France to such a degree that it will become another Syria, and much of the violence will be directed against Muslims. Fifth; that will spread throughout Europe and after that…. well…..who knows for sure, but I do believe we will be seeing a worldwide battle between the Muslims and everyone else. Sixth; there will be a massive drive to end the violence by creating a worldwide government under the auspices of the United Nations, and that will so destructive economically, philosophically and morally they will bankrupt the world.
Then the violence will really begin.
I am not optimistic! Why?  Because the world has abandoned Judaic/Christian values and principles in favor of socialist worship of the state. Now the world has no moral foundation for its actions other than the philosophical flavor of the day.  And the world has gone mad.

After Walker Reforms, Wisconsin Workers Kick Government Unions to the Curb

Guy Benson | Jul 23, 2013
When the Left celebrates “choice,” they’re generally talking about one macabre subject. They’re studiously anti-choice on a host of other issues, because liberty doesn’t always work out so well for them (via the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel):
Wisconsin’s public employees are leaving their unions in droves, which should be no surprise: With passage of Act 10 in 2011, public unions in the Badger State lost many of their reasons for being. The “budget-repair bill” pushed through the Legislature by Republicans and signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker limited bargaining to wages only, and then only up to the cost of living; it also required unions to recertify each year and barred the automatic collection of union dues.
Relying on federal financial records, the Journal Sentinel’s Dan Bice found union membership has declined by 50% or more at some unions, including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees District Council 48, which represents Milwaukee city and county workers. It has gone from more than 9,000 members and income exceeding $7 million in 2010 to about 3,500 members and a deep deficit by the end of last year.
Walker inherited a budget mess from the administration of former Gov. Jim Doyle. He was facing a sizable deficit and entrenched public sector unions that had big political power bases that they used to protect their members. That often put them at odds with both good government and overburdened taxpayers. It was necessary to ask more of public workers — to have them pay a larger portion of their benefits. In particular, Walker needed to get control of spiraling health care benefits.
We touched on this effect a little over a year ago, and it seems the trend has continued. The editorial above goes on to complain that Walker’s non-fiscal measures, such as requiring annual union re-certification and ending compulsory dues-paying, were unnecessarily political. He pandered by exempting first responders! His GOP “coup” damaged Wisconsin’s political climate!
Yes, he did exempt first responders, which I’m confident was a savvy and calculated move. Whenever these sorts of reforms are proposed, Statists employ the strategy of holding up police and firefighters as popular ‘victims’ of the cruel, cold-hearted reformers. Walker denied his critics this turn-key demagoguery…..To Read More….

Nancy Pelosi, Creep Enabler

Michelle Malkin | Jul 24, 2013
The most powerful female Democrat on Capitol Hill has turned her back on women. Again. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, entrenched 13-term incumbent, refuses to say whether creepster San Diego Mayor Bob Filner should resign amid an avalanche of longstanding sexual harassment allegations, staff resignations and now a lawsuit.
"What goes on in San Diego is up to the people of San Diego. I'm not here to make any judgments," declared the very same feminist crusader who has spearheaded unabashedly judgmental nationwide attacks on the so-called "Republican War on Women."
Democrat Filner's former spokeswoman revealed Monday that he ordered her to "work without her panties on" and viewed women "as sexual objects or stupid idiots." Other women alleged that Democrat Filner groped, forcibly kissed and harassed them. His own fiancee broke up with him two weeks ago after taking stock of his "abusiveness" and "disrespect" for women. Filner "apologized" and admitted, "I need help," but he refuses to step down…….To Read More…..

The Real Helen Thomas

Jonah Goldberg Jul 24, 2013
In the movie Animal House, the Deltas are put on trial for their antics. When offered a chance to defend themselves, the best argument the fraternity's president can come up with is, "But sir, Delta Tau Chi has a long tradition of existence to its members and to the community at large."
The line came to mind as I read through the obituaries for Helen Thomas, the longtime White House correspondent for UPI and, for a decade, a left-wing columnist for the Hearst newspapers.
Thomas did help break down the barriers to women in the D.C. press corps. "Helen Thomas made it possible for all of us who followed," NBC's Andrea Mitchell wrote on Twitter. Obviously, it's an exaggeration to suggest that women wouldn't have made so many worthwhile gains in journalism were it not for Thomas. But she was the first female member of a lot of clubs, and that counts for something…..Still, as time went by, the awards poured in as Thomas became a Washington institution,......"odd thing about her awards and citations," Chait noted, "is that they almost never mention any specific contributions she has made to journalism save for being female and, well, old."

Or as journalist Andrew Ferguson once put it, "Everybody admires Helen, though nobody can tell you why."ToRead More……

Black racism is alive and well

Burt Prelutsky
As I sit here, it’s only been a few days since the six honest jurors in Sanford, Fla., restored a little of my faith in the American legal system. Unfortunately, I have no idea if Eric Holder will undo the good they did by charging George Zimmerman with depriving Trayvon Martin of his civil rights.
This is the same end-run around the constitutional prohibition of double jeopardy the feds used in charging the L.A. cops with depriving Rodney King of his civil rights after a jury of their peers had found them not guilty.
I have no way of knowing if Obama will give Holder the thumbs-up to make a mockery of the Bill of Rights, but my instinct tells me that Mr. Zimmerman will once again be put through the emotional and financial wringer.
After all, this is the same team that decided not to indict the club-bearing black hooligans who stood outside a Philadelphia polling place in 2008 and intimidated white voters.  To Read More…..
 

Racial fire created and stoked by the left

Dennis Prager
The George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin issue has been manufactured by the left – the black left and the white left – and by the left-wing (mainstream) media.
For most Americans, their entire informational and intellectual universe is shaped by the left – from elementary school through graduate school and, of course, in the news media. They rarely, if ever, encounter non-left viewpoints. As Diana Mutz, a professor of communication and political science at the University of Pennsylvania, has written: “Those with the highest levels of education have the lowest exposure to people with conflicting points of view.”  Which brings us to the killing of Trayvon Martin…….Meanwhile horrific attacks against whites, such as the 2012 dousing with gasoline and setting on fire a white 13-year-old Kansas City boy by two black teens (“You get what you deserve, white boy,” they said) or the 2007 kidnapping and torture-murders by five blacks of Channon Christian, 21, and Christopher Newsom, 23, both white, are ignored by the left and the media. Newsom was repeatedly sodomized by objects, and shot to death. Channon Christian was gang-raped vaginally, anally and orally for days, had her genitals beaten, was urinated on, and, while alive, bleach was poured down her throat and scrubbed over her body. She was then stuffed into a garbage can with bags tied around her head and slowly suffocated to death.
One can imagine the media attention if whites had done those things to a black 13-year-old or to a black woman and her boyfriend.  Read more at.......

Anti-pesticide group deplorably exploits tragedy in India to promote their agenda

Posted on by admin
 
Last week, 25 children in India died — and many others sickened — as a result of organophosphate pesticide poisoning which contaminated the children’s school lunches. It is suspected that the rice or cooking oil used to prepare the food contained lethal levels of the neurotoxin. This is even more of a tragedy given that this school lunch program was developed by the government in an effort to confront the malnutrition problem in India, which affects half of all Indian children.
 
Sadly, but not unexpectedly, anti-chemical scare groups have wasted no time in turning this tragedy into an excuse to attack our own use in the United States of certain organophosphate pesticides on agricultural crops. One anti-pesticide scare group in particular, calling themselves Beyond Pesticides, had the temerity to cite a 2012 study in which authors claimed to have found that long-term, low-dose exposure to this class of chemicals can result in adverse effects on neurological and cognitive functions. They also cite other studies claiming links to ADHD, reduced IQs, and Alzheimer’s Disease. Furthermore, they go on to claim that these chemicals may be harmful in some way to the environment. ACSH’s Dr. Gilbert Ross had this to say. “This is an especially disgusting.....To Read More.....
 

The Demagogue of Vienna

by Andrei Znamenski on July 23, 2013
[Part 2 of In the Shadow of Dr. Lueger, Independent Review, 2013. Click here for Part 1.]
Having discovered the enormous power of collective will, Dr. Lueger successfully blended into his propaganda work “three bigs”: nationalism, religion, and socialism. From early on, he billed himself as an advocate of the “little people.” Raised by a widowed mother, Lueger managed to get a law degree and quickly made a name for himself as a protector of the common folk against “big shots.” As mayor, he enjoyed the tremendous support of Vienna’s workers, shopkeepers, and underclass elements.
 These predominantly German-speaking Catholics felt that they were cheated by the rich and displaced by the influx of Slavic, Hungarian, and especially Jewish migrants to the city. The latter usually sided with another group of collectivists — Social Democrats, who challenged Lueger’s Christian socialism with their class-based Marxist socialism. The contest between these two groups of collectivists for the minds of the masses was epitomized in a personal tug of war between Dr. Lueger and Victor Adler, a Jewish Marxist and leader of the Austrian Social Democrats.
Culturally and ethnically, many in the large Jewish community of Vienna did not fit into Lueger’s movement, which was heavily loaded with “soil-based”Catholicism and Germanic tradition. Thus, they instinctively gravitated toward the cosmopolitan message of Marxism (the famous Marxian motto being “workers have no fatherland”), which perfectly resonated with the people residing in diasporas…..acquaintances sincerely wondered why Mises, being of Jewish origin, was somehow not a socialist....To Read More.....

 


How To Make The Government Behave

Written by Richard Rahn Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Most people who work in government have no problem giving their real names and telling you what they do, but there are exceptions. Those who are engaged in real undercover work for government intelligence agencies or certain law enforcement agencies have a legitimate need to keep their identities secret, but they are a tiny fraction of all the people who work for government. However, what we are seeing is that too many other people in government, notably at the IRS, use pseudonyms when dealing with the public. The claim is that they need to do this to protect themselves from irate taxpayers.

In reality, IRS personnel are no more in danger than many others in both the public and private sectors who have to deliver bad news (including economic columnists). All too often, the main reason for not giving the taxpayer a real name is for IRS officials to avoid taking responsibility and to cover for a lack of knowledge about the case and/or the tax law and regulations. Read more for free...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Larry Grathwohl, American Hero, R.I.P.

Posted July 23, 2013: By Mary Grabar:
Larry Grathwohl, my friend and hero, has passed on to join the pantheon of other truth-tellers about communism. His death last week merited mentions in blogs and sites like PJ Media, Canada Free Press, and the People’s Cube. Tina Trent, who republished his book, Bringing Down America, was the first in our circle of friends and admirers to learn about his death and to publish the remembrance on her site and a notice on the book page blog. As the People’s Cube points out, in a just world Larry’s death would have made front-page news in the New York Times. Instead we have had the relentless attention on Trayvon Martin and the “pioneer” reporter Helen Thomas.
But it’s part of the plan to deny any truth about communist dangers facing us and to use the old Soviet strategy going back to the 1920s to divide us over race until we collapse in a civil war. Larry, who never held an academic, government, or editorial board position, saw the strategy clearly and from first-hand experience from infiltrating the domestic terrorist group Weather Underground, led by today’s darlings of academia, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. A Midwesterner (from the flyover country of Ohio) and from a blue-collar family, he did this after serving a tour of duty in Vietnam, described here by James Simpson. The continued manipulation of race for revolutionary purposes was described in a paper Larry presented at an America’s Survival conference.
Larry shunned the hero label, saying that what he did was what anyone would do. That is true and not true. A certain kind of person understands the difference between right and wrong, and takes the stand against evil without regard to personal reputation or safety. This is the unpretentious person, who operates from moral conviction, without calculation. That is the kind of person Larry was.
I feel lucky that I got to meet Larry at an America’s Survival conference and to spend a week this spring with him as he, Tina Trent, and I went on a speaking tour in Florida. As we talked over a beer at Tina’s dining room table late at night, I was struck by his matter-of-fact way of considering what he had done as he lived with a group of highly educated and mostly privileged young adults intent on bringing down this great country. How he woke up to see boxes of dynamite in his room, hid the acid he was told to take during Weathermen’s “criticism/self-criticism sessions,” and “proved” by his words, actions, and even facial expressions his devotion to their cause were described matter-of-factly. His methods of survival were related in the same way that those in Vietnam were, at my prompting, with no self-glorification. This is what you needed to do, was his attitude.
Larry, however, had a different demeanor when he talked about the moral depravity of Weatherman, a group that with cold calculation discussed re-education camps in the Southwest for the 100 million Americans they estimated would be resistant to the new regime after their revolution. The estimated 25 million who could not be “re-educated” would have to be executed, they speculated.
“How can a group of college-educated, rich young people talk that way?” Larry would say incredulously. The other moral depravity that amazed Larry was the forced separation of a mother from her young daughter. These sociopaths thought family ties would interfere with revolutionary goals.
Larry loved his three daughters intensely, and spoke to them frequently from Florida. He had a father’s tender concern for them and worried about their illnesses and troubles.
I was looking forward to resuming our lecture tour here in Georgia in the fall. The tea party people, especially the military vets, loved hearing Larry. I was hoping to continue to spread the word about a leader of the Weathermen, Bill Ayers, who had gone from discussing plans to execute Americans on a mass scale to specializing in training teachers on how to indoctrinate school children for the revolution that would bring about their destruction.
I was hoping to be able to share a beer with Larry again and recount the day’s event. I wanted to hear more stories. I wanted to hear his silly jokes told with the distinctly Midwestern inflections. Larry was like the guys from blue-collar families I knew--with decency, courage, and a sense of duty. They went to Vietnam, raised families, and worked hard--and with no fanfare.
But Larry was also like the other forgotten or besmirched figures in history who tried to tell the world the truth about the communists: Victor Kravchenko, Gareth Jones, George H. Earle, William Bullit, John C. Wiley, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Whittaker Chambers, Elia Kazan, Major George Racey Jordan, John Van Vliet, and Ivan Krivosertsov, the last a Russian peasant who witnessed and told about the execution of Polish officers in the Katyn forest by the Soviets, but was found dead, mysteriously, some years later in England. These people all did the right thing. A just world would have rewarded them. Instead, it still denies the great evil they were fighting.
They are in the same mold as Larry Grathwohl. Larry did the dangerous work and then went on to tell his story and continue an unassuming life. He was as unpretentious as they come. In fact, he was visibly touched when I addressed my book on Bill Ayers to him as an “American hero,” flattered that I thought so.
As much as we might be dismissed by the elites in academia, government, and the media, we need to tell Larry’s story. He would want us to. He was genuinely alarmed by recent developments, that someone mentored by Bill Ayers would become president, that Bill Ayers would be feted at academic conferences.
Like Larry, we must continue to be amazed by such developments, but fight them with the serenity, pragmatism, purposefulness, and confidence that he displayed.
His obituary in the Cincinnati Enquirer is here. Donations to the Wounded Warriors Project are requested in lieu of flowers.

New petition gives Obama immunity for crimes


Activist and author Mark Dice is at it again, this time convincing people on the street who apparently support President Obama to sign a petition that would grant immunity to Obama for crimes he has committed in office. In his latest video, Dice tells one passerby the president is “under fire” and “we just need to get behind the president and show we will grant him immunity for any crimes he may have committed.”  “I’m sure he has a good reason,” Dice says.  One person after another signs the petition, tacitly acknowledging that Obama has committed crimes in office.….
Recently, as WND reported, he got people to sign a petition to do away with the First Amendment.  After all, as he told signers, “If you’re disagreeing President Obama, you’re obviously a racist of some kind. So we’re going to repeal the First Amendment. “I’m sure it’s just racist white Republicans making stuff up about him,” Dice said. “We just want to make sure citizens are behind him, granting him immunity.”
Dice’s Internet videos have received widespread attention, including mention on Fox News, CNN and the Drudge Report.  In video about the First Amendment, Dice explains to signers: “This will repeal the First Amendment so that those right wingers can’t say hateful things about Obama. … I’m tired of these people having the right to say what they want to say.”…To See The Video and Read More….

License checkpoint? Not for this driver

Man refuses to produce documentation for officers
A Virginia man has been warned by police he may be issued a warrant after he refused to give officers his paperwork at a police “license checkpoint.”  According to a conservative blog called Bearingdrift.com, Joe Draego asked the officers if he was accused of a crime, and when they said no, he insisted he was free to go home.  The blog said such checkpoints may or may not be legal, citing the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court said: “We decline to suspend the usual requirement of individualized suspicion where the police seek to employ a checkpoint primarily for the ordinary enterprise of investigating crimes. We cannot sanction stops justified only by the generalized ever present possibility that interrogation and inspection may reveal that any given motorist has committed some crime.”  The incident adds to the concern expressed in recent days over militarized police checkpoints........including one in Tennessee that turned into an Internet sensation.  In the Virginia case, Draego told WCAV-TV in Charlottesville, Va. he did nothing wrong and didn’t need to hand over papers….. In the July 4 Tennessee confrontation previously repored by WND, student Chris Kalbaugh refused to roll down his window and, instead, talked to the officer through a gap of several inches......being berated and badgered by the officer, who declined to answer questions from the driver about whether he was being detained….To Read More….
My Take - Does the phrase - "You have fogotten your place!" - sound familiar?  Try this, "Tea Party Group Founder Becky Gerritson To Congress: "You've Forgotten Your Place". 

Big Sis' shockingly dirty secrets go public


 “What the Department of Homeland Security became under Janet Napolitano is this monstrous surveillance and very intimidating group,” said Rutherford Institute President John Whitehead, a constitutional attorney for the past 40 years and author of “A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State.”......“I criticized George Bush’s policies. Under President Obama, we’re zooming.”….the department issued a report listing returning soldiers as one of the greatest threats to American security……Operation Vigilant Eagle, which is a surveillance system done on all returning veterans from overseas, where they watch Facebook posts, text messages, emails of returning veterans to see if they’re going to be disgruntled….“They arrived one day at his door, arrested him and actually put him in a mental institution for his Facebook posts criticizing the government. We got him out and then we sued the government,”…..law-abiding citizens have been forced to hand over their laptops while the government officials download the information. The Rutherford Institute has also received reports of Americans being removed from their cars and searched without probable cause.  To Read More……

CEI’s Battered Business Bureau: The Week in Regulation

by Ryan Young on July 22, 2013 · 0 comments in Features, Regulation

This week in the world of regulation:
Last week, 68 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register. There were 84 new final rules the previous week.  That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 28 minutes — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All in all, 1,998 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year.
·         If this keeps up, the total tally for 2013 will be 3,646 new final rules.
·         Last week, 1,750 new pages were added to the 2013 Federal Register, for a total of 43,686 pages.
·         At its current pace, the 2013 Federal Register will run 78,572 pages.
·         Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. One such published last week, for a total of 17 so far in 2013.
·         The total estimated compliance costs of this year’s economically significant regulations ranges from $5.78 billion to $10.39 billion.\
·         So far, 138 final rules that meet the broader definition of “significant” have been published in 2013.
·         So far this year, 333 final rules affect small business; 30 of them are significant rules.
Highlights from final rules published last week:….To ReadMore…..

On Dodd-Frank’s 3rd Anniversary, “North Star” is Further Out of Reach

By John Berlau on July 22, 2013 · 0 comments
This appeared here and I would like to thank John for allowing me to publish his work. RK
Over the weekend, President Obama hailed the third anniversary of the enactment of the Dodd-Frank “financial reform.” In his weekly radio address, the president also hailed the confirmation of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray, which occurred last week after Senate Republicans caved to Majority Leader Harry Reid’s “nuclear option” threat to end the filibuster.
The president began his address, “Three years ago this weekend, we put in place tough new rules of the road for the financial sector so that irresponsible behavior on the part of the few could never again cause a crisis that harms millions of middle-class families.” And he concluded, “If we keep moving forward with our eyes fixed on that North Star of a growing middle class, I’m confident we’ll get to where we need to go.”
Sorry, Mr. President, but just the opposite is true. Dodd-Frank has declared certain large financial institutions to be “Systemically Important Financial Institutions,” enshrining too-big-to-fail in law. And the volumes of regulations emanating from the law’s 2,500-plus pages have harmed community banks, credit unions, small businesses, farms and manufacturers that had nothing to do with the crisis.
Here are some articles my colleagues and I have written on Dodd-Frank’s devastating toll as well as some its just plain silly, but still destructive, provisions:
  • I write in National Review and American Spectator on the new database the CFPB is building that rivals the National Security Agency in collecting personal financial data. The articles make the point the CFPB is even less accountable than the NSA, because at least the NSA gets it funding from Congress, rather than the Federal Reserve.
  • My colleague Iain Murray explains in “The Corner” of National Review Online how the Treasury Department is extending the SIFI or too-big-too fail principle beyond banks to many types of businesses.
  • Provisions in Dodd-Frank regulating trade and the energy sector?! Believe it or not, yes?! I point out in National Review the flaws and lack of justification for provisions jammed into Dodd-Frank that force energy companies to disclose every payment they make to foreign governments and manufacturers to disclose if any of the gold, tin, or tungsten they use may have come from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These provisions were inspired by celebrity activists but are hurting the very regions of the world they were meant to help, as well as driving up energy prices in the U.S. economy.
  • In a rare instance of bipartisanship on deregulation, lopsided and, in some cases, unanimous majorities of the House Agriculture and House Financial Services Committees bucked the Obama administration to provide relief from Dodd-Frank’s stringent derivatives regulations. I document here in OpenMarket how both sides pointed out that these provisions were hurting farms, airlines and factories that had nothing to do with the financial crisis.
If the president truly wants to focus on the “north star” of helping the middle class prosper, he should work to repeal Dodd-Frank, end bailouts and lift barriers to more competition in the banking system from credit unions or well-run companies such as Wal-Mart. More to come on these items.