Monday, October 13, 2014

Paradigms and Demographics: Morning Edition

A Supreme Court, Not Supreme Wisdom - I am not a lawyer, but I have read the Constitution and I cannot find any indication that the Founding Fathers intended the guarantee of “equal protection of the laws” in the 14th Amendment to include same-sex marriage. The idea would have been regarded as an abomination to the men who created the Constitution. To many who regard the institution of marriage a sacred bond between a man and a woman, the decisions of lower courts that have facilitated same-sex marriage are deeply offensive. When the Supreme Court decided not to decide upon appeals from seven states regarding lower court rulings that their bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, they essentially endorsed same-sex marriage. It is now legal in 25 states, paving the way for a total of 30 states that recognize it, but only by popular vote in three of them; the rest had it imposed through the courts.  The same can be said of the Supreme Court’s decision in 1973 that permitted abortion as a legal right. Here again, the 14thAmendment was cited. As one source noted, “The Court summarily announced that the ‘Fourteen Amendment’s concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action” includes “a right to personal privacy, or a guarantee of certain areas or zones of privacy and that “this right of privacy…is broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.” As this is being written, there have been more than 57,245,810 fetuses aborted since 1973 and, this year, there have been 840,045. Thus, decisions that the Supreme Court makes can literally result in life or death......

A Border That Is No Barrier Is Still A National Crisis - About a dozen news cycles ago, Americans seemed horrified by the border crisis – horrified by the tens of thousands of illegal aliens, many of them minors, crashing across the southern border. These aliens were heading not into no man’s land and then deportation, but straight into the United States of Obamaland, an awaiting federal superstructure where travel, housing, health care, education, legal aid and even “amnesty” were promised for all, probably forever, and gratis. It’s hard not to see this ongoing episode as a federally organized invasion of the nation paid for by the U.S. taxpayer. And now? The focus has weakened since the feds and their federally financed “religious charities” dispersed many thousands of border-crashers across the country. The “national crisis” story has fractured into innumerable local stories about classroom chaos as teachers grapple...

Alinsky Morality and Gun Control - Liberals tend to go on and on about how America is an evil racist place and that the Constitution represents a culture of intolerance and violence. They try to position themselves as being the “compassionate ones” who are ready and willing to go to any length to fix societies wrongs, which of course are the fault of the Constitution and our selfish bill of rights. Often times however, their efforts are driven by nothing more than a fear of what they do not understand, a fear of them self and a misguided belief that the “ends justifies the means.”Most liberals after all, base their tactics for social change off the play book of the left- Saul Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals. On page 25, in a chapter entitled “Of Means and Ends” Alinsky writes the following-…

Looking Back at Frank v. Maryland (1959) - I recently came across a fascinating Fourth Amendment decision, Frank v. Maryland, 359 U.S. 360 (1959), that allowed warrantless health and safety inspections of homes. I had never read Frank before, as the case is only of historical interest: It was overruled just 8 years later by Camara v. Municipal Court, 387 U.S. 523 (1967). But the Frank case is pretty interesting for an argument the Court makes that I suspect will send a chill up the spine of any civil libertarian — or, for that matter, any libertarian, period. Frank was arrested for refusing to let Baltimore health inspectors enter his basement to look for the source of a rat infestation. Frank argued that the warrantless entry would have violated his Fourth Amendment rights, so he had a constitutional right to refuse it. The Court held 5-4 that Frank did not have a Fourth Amendment right to refuse to consent to the search by the health inspectors. Justice Frankfurter wrote the majority opinion, and he made three arguments for why warrantless health and safety inspections at home do not offend the Fourth Amendment (applied to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment). First, such inspections were minimally intrusive. Second, such inspections had “antecedents deep in our history,” including at the time of the Framing, and yet they had not been thought to be constitutionally problematic…..

Most Expensive State House Race inColorado Comes Back To Gun Control - Beyond Colorado's headline-grabbing races for Senate and governor, the election for House District 59 is starting to generate its own news for being the most expensive race for state house in Colorado — all thanks to tough new gun control laws passed in 2013. The contest is between Democratic incumbent Mike McLachlan and Republican challenger J. Paul Brown for a small district centered on the rural city of Durango….

Report: 92 Percentof Mass Shootings Since 2009 Occurred in Gun-Free Zones - On October 9, the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) released a revised report showing that 92% of mass public shootings between January 2009 and July 2014 took place in gun-free zones. The CPRC report was released in response to an Everytown for Gun Safety study claiming only 14% of mass public shootings took place in gun-free zones. Everytown actually claimed 86% of such incidents occurred in places where guns were allowed.

CPRC showed that the 86% claim rests on Everytown's "inclusion of attacks in private homes" and "numerous errors in identifying whether citizens can defend themselves." For example, Everytown "[ignores] rules that prevent general citizens from carrying guns [for self-defense]" in certain cities, and they fail to recognize that "allowing police to carry guns is not the same thing as letting civilians defend themselves." So Everytown might count an attack in a public area in Los Angeles as a mass shooting where guns are allowed because certain guns are allowed in the city with a permit. However, they miss the fact that L.A. County issues a minuscule number of concealed carry permits, and many of the ones that are issued are granted only "to wealthy [political] donors." Using the same numerical standard that Everytown used--four or more people killed--but taking all rules and regulations against firearm possession into account, CPRC showed that only 8% of mass public shootings occurred in places where citizens could have guns for self defense…..

Boston: Muslim Marathon Bomber knew of brother’s role in 9/11 triple Jewish murders outside Boston - On September 11, 2011, devout Muslims who would go on to bomb the Boston Marathon slit the throats of three Jewish young men in Boston. In what was one of the most gruesome killings in Greater Boston in many years, three Jewish young men were found with their throats slit inside a Waltham apartment on the tenth anniversary of September 11th. In the wake of the jihad bombings last April, I had posted that one of the victims was the Boston jihad bomber’s only American friend. Had President Obama not scrubbed counter-terror material of jihadic doctrine and Islamic teachings, law enforcement would have recognized this Jewish slaughter on 9/11 for what it was — Islamic jihad. But it was not understood or investigated as such,.....

British cops warned they are targets of jihad beheadings like Lee Rigby -Beheading by whom? Quakers? Shakers? Candlestick makers? “Islamic ritual slaughter has nothing to do with Islam!” It sure is a good thing that Home Secretary Theresa May barred Robert Spencer and me from speaking in the UK —that sure was effective....

Muslim Married British Woman, Killed Her, Sold Children into Slavery- There is nothing new here — another terrible instance of the Islamic misogyny that I report on daily and that the world continues to ignore/accept/sanction. But make no mistake: when the media, political and cultural elites insist that it is a “cultural”thing, the culture they are referring to is Islamic….. This probably isn’t the worst Muslim marriage story. I’m not sure there can be such a thing when Mohammed ‘married’ women be had enslaved and raped and married a child, but this horrifying story is yet another reminder of the dangers of marrying into a religion that views….

Unconstitutional Obamacare Website Won't Release PremiumRates Till After Mid-Term Elections - "The most transparent administration in the history of the United States" has announced that the "new and improved" Healthcare.gov website is more streamlined for this year's enrollment into Obamacare; but, the premium rates for plans will not be released on the website until after the November 4th midterm elections.

"The only people who don't want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide." -Barack Hussein Obama

The government has released its new website which takes only 16 pages to enroll this year as opposed to the 76 pages last year. However, customers who enroll in Obamacare will not be apprised of the cost of their monthly premiums until after they have cast their vote for a candidate in the states' midterm elections. No one would buy an automobile, a home, or any product without knowing what it costs. That is just common sense. No one with any sense would enroll into a healthcare plan before knowing the cost – and the cost for these Obamacare plans will be withheld until after the midterm elections. Something smells fishy in the United States, and it isn't the methane leak at the Four Corners, USA……

Wouldn’t It Be Great If We Knew Where Our Candidates Stood On the Issues? - The indispensable James O’Keefe rolled out another video last week, this one targeting Alison Grimes, a Kentucky Democrat who hopes to unseat Senator Mitch McConnell in November. Her website and campaign advertisements state in no uncertain terms that she opposes the Obama Administration’s attempt to strangle coal industry, a vital sector of Kentucky’s economy. Too bad it isn’t true. O’Keefe’s video reveals that Grimes has been mouthing platitudes about her love of coal just to get herself elected. Grimes’s campaign staffers will be happy to explain their Machiavellian strategy, provided they believe a sympathetic ear is listening. In clip after clip, organizers and foot soldiers for the Grimes campaign opined that opposing coal is political suicide in Kentucky, which necessitates lying on the candidate’s part. Politics, you see, is “a lying game, unfortunately,” according to one Grimes staffer. Another staffer was asked: “If we can get her elected, do you think she’s going to do the right thing, and she’s going to try to wipe out that coal industry and go for better resources?” The staffer responded: “I absolutely think she is.” mOh, I see. First she poses as the coal miner’s best friend just to get their votes, then she deliberately “wipe[s] out” their livelihood. A masterstroke! Wouldn’t it be great if we knew where candidates stood on the issues? Then we could match their positions to our own and decide which candidate most……

Dar al Sweden - Fjordman writes in today, calling attention to "the face of Eurabia" -- the Islamic Europe identified and explicated by the great historian of dhimmitude Bat Ye'or, and which has now achieved critical mass before our eyes. Take Sweden -- exhibiting all signs of a police state that enforces ideological conformity on its citizens, most recently having imprisoned an artist for creating verboten artworks that reject establishment narratives on immigration and...

Why do so many liberals despise Christianity? - Liberals increasingly want to enforce a comprehensive, uniformly secular vision of the human good. And they see alternative visions of the good as increasingly intolerable. Liberalism seems to have an irrational animus against Christianity. Consider these two stories highlighted in the last week by conservative Christian blogger Rod Dreher. Item 1: In a widely discussed essay in Slate, author Brian Palmer writes about the prevalence of missionary doctors and nurses in Africa and their crucial role in treating those suffering from Ebola. Palmer tries to be fair-minded, but he nonetheless expresses "ambivalence," "suspicion," and "visceral discomfort" about the fact that these men and women are motivated to make "long-term commitments to address the health problems of poor Africans," to "risk their lives," and to accept poor compensation (and sometimes none at all) because of their Christian faith. The question is why he considers this a problem. Palmer mentions a lack of data and an absence of regulatory oversight. But he's honest enough to admit that these aren't the real reasons for his concern. The real reason is that he doesn't believe that missionaries are capable "of separating their religious work from their medical work," even when they vow not to proselytize their patients. And that, in his view, is unacceptable - apparently because he's an atheist and religion creeps him out. As he puts it, rather wanly, "It's great that these people are doing God's work, but do they have to talk about Him so much?"

A little history,Thomas Jefferson Started A War Against Fundamentalist Islam Over 200 Years Ago - Most Americans are unaware of the fact that over two hundred years ago,the United States had declared war on Islam, and Thomas Jefferson led the charge! At the height of the eighteenth century, Muslim pirates were the terror of the Mediterranean and a large area of the North Atlantic. They attacked every ship in sight, and held the crews for exorbitant ransoms. Those taken hostage were subjected to barbaric treatment and wrote heart breaking letters home, begging their government and family members to pay whatever their Mohammedan captors demanded. These extortionists of the high seas represented the Islamic nations of Tripoli, Tunis, Morocco, and Algiers - collectively referred to as the Barbary Coast - and presented a dangerous and unprovoked threat to the new American Republic. Before the Revolutionary War, U.S. merchant ships had been under the protection of Great Britain. When the U.S. declared its independence and entered into war, the ships of the United States were protected by France. However, once the war was won, America had to protect its own fleets. Thus, the birth of the U.S. Navy……(Footnote: The North African pirates were eventually wiped out when in 1830 the restored French monarchy sent 600 ships to the other side of the Mediterranean and took over North Africa. The invasion was chaotic but the defense was feeble so the French won)

The Free Market Is the Best Antidote to Poverty - Left free, the market will provide the greatest benefit to workers, employers, and consumers. Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson declared "War on Poverty." It sounded great to me. I was taught at Princeton, "We're a rich country. All we have to do is tax the rich, and then use that money to create programs that will lift the poor out of poverty." Government created job-training programs for the strong and expanded social security for the weak. It seemed to work. The poverty rate dropped from 17 percent to 12 percent in the programs' first decade. Unfortunately, few people noticed that during the half-decade before the "War," the rate dropped from 22 percent to 17 percent. Without big government, Americans were already lifting themselves out of poverty! Johnson's War brought further progress, but progress then stopped. It stopped because government is not good at making a distinction between needy and lazy. It taught moms not to marry the father of their kids because that would reduce their welfare benefits. Welfare invited people to be dependent. Some people started to say, "Entry-level jobs are for suckers." Many could live almost as well without the hassle of work. Despite spending an astonishing $22 trillion dollars, despite 92 different government welfare programs, poverty stopped declining. Government's answer? Spend more!…..

Making Harding Look Good - The Obama administration has tarnished nearly every major federal agency. The lasting legacy of Obama will be that he has largely discredited the idea of big government, of which he was so passionate an advocate. Almost every major agency of the federal government, many of them with a hallowed tradition of bipartisan competence, have now been rendered either dysfunctional or politicized — or both — largely because of politically driven appointments of unqualified people, or ideological agendas that were incompatible with the agency’s mission.  The list of scandals is quite staggering. In aggregate, it makes Harding’s Teapot Dome mess seem minor in comparison....
 
Anti-American Exceptionalism - If America is alone, is it therefore in the wrong? The actress and Democratic activist Eva Longoria, who apparently has never heard of France, was ruthlessly mocked this week for her claim that the United States “is the only country that promotes monolingualism.” Both of the assumptions behind that statement are false: The United States does not promote monolingualism, and some other countries….do……Ms. Longoria currently is a resident of California, a state in which official business is conducted in more than 30 languages. As for other countries, suffice it to say that neither China nor Mexico is offering driver’s-license exams in Farsi. Spain has one language with national official status — guess which.  Ms. Longoria is not what you would call a rigorous thinker. Arguing in favor of immigration reform, she demands to know whether Americans are ready to pay — horrors! — $17 for valet parking or “$8 for a head of broccoli,” but in the very next sentence boasts of paying three times the going rate for avocados, choosing much more expensive organic avocados in order to ensure that “a farm-worker wasn’t sprayed with pesticides.” So, paying more to avoid Round-up residue is an act of civic virtue, but paying more to ensure that farm workers are not being paid starvation wages in a market in which wages are depressed by the flood of illegal workers from Latin America is xenophobia. That’s one way to read the guacamole.  So, another dopey celebrity heard from — who cares?....
 
State Department Endorses Canadian Islamist Manual that Describes Jihad as ‘Noble’ - At the Washington Free Beacon, Adam Kredo reports that the State Department has issued a tweet endorsing a manual that promotes sharia and admonishes investigators not to use terms like “jihad,” which it describes as “a noble concept” in Islam.  The manual, United Against Terrorism, is said by its sponsors – the Islamic Social Services Association (ISSA) and the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) – to combat the radicalization of young Muslims. Yet, after being consulted during the manual’s writing, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police rejected the final product due to its “adversarial tone.”….
Economic growth, the minimum wage and sloppy economic thinking - Now for some light entertainment. A number of leftists absolutely adore Ross Gittins (economics editor of the Sydney Morning Herald and an economic columnist for The Age). While these leftists rhapsodise over Mr Gittins’ unparalleled grasp of economics I find myself less than impressed with his opinions.  So how good is Gittins? On reflection, that should read: Just how bad is Gittins? Last July he revealed his deep understanding of economics in an article in which he basically agreed with certain so-called economists that there is no direct link with the minimum wage and the unemployment rate of marginal labour1. (Minimum wage rises don’t lift unemployment, analysts agree, Sydney Morning Herald, 12 July 2014). However, this post is not about Gittins’ failure to understand what is happening in the field of economics with respect to the minimum wage but his history of sloppy economic reasoning, of which the aforementioned article is one of his most recent examples…...


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