Monday, February 29, 2016

P&D Today and Yesterday

Quote of the Day - Public opinion is a compound of folly, weakness, prejudice, wrong feeling, right feeling, obstinacy, and newspaper paragraphs. - Sir Robert Peel, Bt. (Prime Minister 1834-1835, 1841-1846)

Commentaries
  1. The Middle Class Is Voting with its Feet against California and other High-Tax States By Dan Mitchell 
  2. You are not as rational as you think By Jon Ray
  3. Trump: The Deal Maker! By Rich Kozlovich
  4. Economic Literacy 101  By Paul Driessen     
  5. Immigration or an iPhone  By Daniel Greenfield
  6. Higher Taxes Are a Recipe for Higher Spending, not Lower Debt By Dan Mitchell
  7. What's Putin Really Up To?  By Rich Kozlovich
Videos
  1. Apple Vs The FBI
Linked Articles
  1. Meet Donald Trump: The King of Sleaze
  2. The Millennial Case For Ted Cruz
  3. American Caesarism
  4. The Long History of Government Meddling in the American Marketplace
  5. Spotlight on Iran
  6. Bernie - Please Tell Me Again How Great Socialism Is!
  7. Kibbe: Socialism Kills
  8. Are GMOs cause of recent spike in food allergies?
  9. Social justice whiners: The group we love to hate
  10. Black Milwaukee sheriff takes on Black Lives Matter movement
  11. Wealth and Income Inequality Is Not as Bad as You Think
  12. Muslim ‘Migrants’ Molest 12-Year-Old, Vow to Slit 6-Year-Old’s Throat
  13. The Rise of Intolerant Liberals
  14. The New Cold War
  15. This State Offered Free College Education. Here’s What Happened.
  16. Meet Business Owners Fighting San Diego’s Proposed Minimum Wage Hike
  17. Hatch: 'Advise and consent' is to protect Supreme Court
Composites
  1. Pamela Geller's Atlas Shrugs
  2. GOPUSA

Apple Vs The FBI

By Rich Kozlovich

I think this is an issue that needs to be totally vetted because there are two sides, and I've posted opinions of these two sides. One an argument of logic and opinion and the other an argument of logic and reality based experience and facts.  For the most part I have a large degree of respect for Levin's veiws and opinions.  In this case - he's missed the boat. First,  here's his take on this issue.




Now after hearing Mark Levin's views here's the view of someone, John McAfee, who actaully knows and understands the technology and the dangers as to what the FBI is demanding.  Including the idea a federal judeg can order a company to create softwear that doens't exist.






Meet Donald Trump: The King of Sleaze

Rebecca Hagelin | Feb 28, 2016

Donald Trump is widely known as the presidential candidate and businessman who promises to "Make America Great Again".  It's time for Republicans of all stripes and Evangelicals in particular to meet Donald Trump, The King of Sleaze.

In 2013, when Mr. Trump owned the Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City he brought the first strip club to the area's casinos. Who thought that the gambling ghetto could be brought to a new low? Donald Trump figured out how to do it.

The reportedly $ 25 million, 36,000 square feet of "adult" entertainment within the casino featured "modified lap dancing" and women stripping down to G-strings and pasties, among other live porn activities. The casino is no longer owned by Trump (he filed for bankruptcy, leaving others with millions upon millions of his debt and losses), but the Trump Taj Mahal still bares the Trump name. So the man who seeks to have his name associated with the White House will still have his name proudly associated with a Casino that degrades and debases women......

To Read More

The Millennial Case For Ted Cruz

Katie Kieffer        

She is accused of violating federal law and lying about jeopardizing state secrets over insecure email. Trump faces a class action lawsuit for swindling middle class Americans who attended Trump University out of their life savings on false promises of making it in real estate. He is being audited and refuses to show us his full tax returns. Plus, he praises and regularly contributed to Democrats.  Last Friday, Rubio admitted that a brokered convention may be the only way that he could net the nomination. Polls predict he loses in all important upcoming states, including his home state of Florida.......
 

Quote of the Day

Public opinion is a compound of folly, weakness, prejudice, wrong feeling, right feeling, obstinacy, and newspaper paragraphs. - Sir Robert Peel, Bt. (Prime Minister 1834-1835, 1841-1846)

American Caesarism

By Tom Hoffman

Today there is a palpable sentiment among the American people that we have reached a turning point both as a nation and as a culture. The fact is that having elected Barack Obama and installed his transformative agenda we have already passed the point of no return.

Historical comparisons to the decline of Rome and the decline of Western civilization are numerous with the most striking and detailed being Oswald Spengler’s Decline of the West. The parallels are straightforward. Both Rome and the U.S. are republics that were founded upon the notion of civilian control of the legislative, executive, and judicial apparatus. Both were designed specifically to avoid monarchy and dictatorship of one individual and to ensure a responsibility of the elected to the people.....

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Pamela Geller's Atlas Shrugs

Media Applauds Islamic Agitprop: Muslim Teens Heralded for a “Short Film about Islamophobia” - Lots of column inches and media plaudits for the Muslim teens who produced a “short film about Islamophobia.”  Why aren’t  these Muslim teen girls making a movie condemning the jihadic doctrines calling for supremacist holy war? Why isn’t the Muslim community encouraging films exposing the Islamic texts and teachings inciting violence and hatred of non-Muslims? Why do we never see young Muslims initiating projects like that? Why aren’t these Muslim teen girls making a movie about honor violence, misogyny, female genital mutilation, gender apartheid under Islam?  “Teens create short film to change attitudes.” Change attitudes towards what? Jihad? Sharia? No. It demonizes human beings who oppose the...

Muslim teen who tried to stab Israel soldiers ‘had US citizenship’ - The knife-wielding “Palestinian” Muslim who attempted to stab IDF soldiers near the West Bank city of Ramallah also held U.S. citizenship.  The enemedia won’t cover it, and if they do, it will be to sell the terrorist as a victim, because he is the most exalted of media icons: a Jew-hating Muslim.....PA officials say 17-year-old was a resident of West Bank village close to area of attempted stabbing

Hillary Emails: State Discussed ‘Cooperating,’ ‘Increased Investment’ With Terrorist Group - Will the country correct its monumental mistake in the election of Barack Obama and continue its self-destructive spiral by electing this criminal America-hater...... Muslim Brotherhood progeny, Huma Abedin?  1,500 pages of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails provide insight into the level of support the U.S. was considering in 2012 for Egypt’s newly elected Muslim Brotherhood government.  On August 30, 2012, Robert D. Hormats, the under-secretary of state for economic affairs, wrote to Clinton’s then-Deputy Chief of...

Pro-Migrant Movie Star Attacked by Migrants in France - Did Jude Law apologize to the Muslim migrants who attacked him (like their leftist rape victims)? Someone send George Clooney to Calais, please.....The 43-year-old actor was in Calais to see the migrant camp before it is demolished, but was left shocked as residents behaved ‘like football hooligans’ A security team guarding Jude Law was attacked by migrants as the Hollywood star visited the jungle camp in Calais.  The 43-year-old actor was in France with a film crew and Brit-winning singer Tom Odell , 25, to witness the horrors of the squalid makeshift village, which is due to be...

More faked hate: UK imam’s killer turns out to be Muslim - “Man, 21, charged with murdering imam in children’s playground as he walked home through Rochdale after prayers,” by Darren Boyle, MailOnline, February 27, 2016: Detectives investigating the killing of an imam on his way home from a mosque have charged a man with his murder. Jalal Uddin was found with head injuries in a children’s play area in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, after being attacked on...

The Long History of Government Meddling in the American Marketplace

Mike Holly

Although the causes of economic crises reoccurring throughout US history and often spreading worldwide can’t be proven using empirical means, oppressive government regulations favoring special interests in relevant industries have preceded every crisis.  Typically, cronyism involves support of politicians in exchange for regulations denying others the freedom to compete with the moneyed interests (e.g., monopolies). Less competition leads to higher costs and lower quality. It reduces economic growth, jobs, wages, innovation, and productivity. Attempts to control economic growth through government spending and/or manipulating interest rates (e.g., stimulate growth with low rates) generally leads to more severe crises.

None of these things are recent phenomena, but can be found again and again throughout American history......

To Read More

Spotlight on Iran

By Rachel Ehrenfeld

Iranian forces in Syria, credit: yalibnan Amidst rumors that Iran is withdrawing its forces from Syria, Debka File reported that "Under cover of the Syrian ceasefire that went into effect Saturday, Feb. 27, and the Russian air umbrella, Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps finally managed to secretly install hundreds of armed Palestinian terrorists on the Syrian-Israeli border face-to-face with the IDF's Golan positions."

Once again, events on the ground contradict Secretary John Kerry's claim that Iran involvement in Syria is diminishing. "The IRGC has actually pulled its troops back from Syria. Ayatollah Khamenei pulled a significant number of troops out. Their presence is actually reduced in Syria," Kerry told the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations last week.

Apparently, Kerry missed the statement made Mohammad Pakpour, the commander of the IRGC ground forces earlier this month, confirming that units from its Saberin special forces brigade had been deployed in Syria and Iraq. Al-Sabirin, is a new terrorist organization that the IRGC and Hizballah "are building in the Palestinian refugee camps of Lebanon and the Gaza Strip."

Debka describes how their agents clandestinely recruited new terrorists from among young Palestinians who fled the Yarmouk refugee camp outside Damascus and sought refuge in Lebanon. Hizballah organized their return to Syria through south Lebanon - but not before training and arming them for penetration deep inside Israel to carry out mass-casualty assaults on IDF positions, highways and civilians."

The recruitment of Palestinians to fight along the IRGC and Hizballah forces together with the announcement that Teheran will reward of "$7000 to the family of every Palestinian shaheed killed in the Jerusalem intifada, and $30,000 to every family whose house had been razed by Israel, helps to increase Iran's influence among Palestinians everywhere....

To Read More

The Middle Class Is Voting with its Feet against California and other High-Tax States

Posted by Dan Mitchell  @ Liberty International

Long-run trends are an enormously important – yet greatly underappreciated – feature of public policy.
  • Slight differences in growth can have enormous implications for a nation’s long-run prosperity.
  • Gradual shifts in population trends may determine whether a nation faces demographic decline.
  • Modest changes in the growth of government can make the difference between budgetary stability and fiscal crisis.
  • And migration patterns can impact a jurisdiction’s viability.
Or, in the case of California, its lack of viability. Simply stated, the Golden State is committing slow-motion suicide by discouraging jobs, entrepreneurs, investors, and workers.

Let’s look at some of the data. Carson Bruno of the Hoover Institution reviews data showing that the aspirational class is escaping California.
California’s consistent net domestic out-migration should be concerning to Sacramento as it develops state policy. As the adage goes, people vote with their feet and one thing is clear, more people are choosing to leave California than come. …Between 2004 and 2015, roughly 930,000 more people left California than moved to the Golden State… The biggest beneficiaries of California’s net loss are Arizona, Texas, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. California is bleeding working young professional families. …those in the heart of their prime working-age are moving out. Moreover, while 18-to-24 year olds (college-age individuals) make up just 1% of the net domestic out-migrants, the percentage swells to 17% for recent college graduates (25 to 39 year olds).
And here’s why these long-run migration trends matter.
…while there is a narrative that the rich are fleeing California, the real flight is among the middle-class. …the Golden State’s oppressive tax burden – California ranks 6th, nationally, in state-local tax burdens – those living in California are hit with a variety of higher bills, which cuts into their bottom line. …which leads to a less economically productive environment and less tax revenue for the state and municipalities, but a need for more social services. And when coupled with the fact that immigrants – who are helping to drive population growth in California – tend to be, on average, less affluent and educated and also are more likely to need more social services, state, county, and municipal governments could find themselves under serious administrative and financial stress. …the state’s favorable climate and natural beauty can only anchor the working young professionals for so long.
We’re concentrating today on California, but other high-tax states are making the same mistake.
Here’s some data from a recent Gallup survey.
Residents living in states with the highest aggregated state tax burden are the most likely to report they would like to leave their state if they had the opportunity.
Connecticut and New Jersey lead in the percentage of residents who would like to leave… Nearly half (46%) of Connecticut and New Jersey residents say they would like to leave their state if they had the opportunity. …States with growing populations typically have strong advantages, which include growing economies and a larger tax base. Gallup data indicate that states with the highest state tax burden may be vulnerable to migration out of the state…data suggest that even moderate reductions in the tax burden in these states could alleviate residents’ desire to leave the state.
Writing for the Orange County Register, Joel Kotkin explains how statist policies have created a moribund and unequal society.
…in the Middle Ages, and throughout much of Europe, conservatism meant something very different: a focus primarily on maintaining comfortable places for the gentry… California’s new conservatism, often misleadingly called progressivism, seeks to prevent change by discouraging everything – from the construction of new job-generating infrastructure to virtually any kind of family-friendly housing. …since 2000 the state has lost a net 1.7 million domestic migrants. …California’s middle class is being hammered. …Rather than a land of opportunity, our “new” California increasingly resembles a class-bound medieval society. …California is the most unequal state when it comes to well-being… Like a medieval cleric railing against sin, Brown seems somewhat unconcerned that his beloved “coercive power of the state” is also largely responsible for California’s high electricity prices, regulation-driven spikes in home values and the highest oil prices in the continental United States. Once the beacon of opportunity, California is becoming a graveyard for middle-class aspiration, particularly among the young.
In other words, class-warfare policies have a very negative impact_ on ordinary people.
Meanwhile, returning to California, a post at the American Interest ponders some of the grim implications of bad policy.
…many of the biggest, bluest states in the country—including New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts—have also experienced major exoduses over the last five years (although these outflows have been offset, to varying degrees, by foreign immigration). These large out-migrations represent serious policy failures… The new statistics out of California are a bad omen for the future of the state’s doctrinaire blue model governance. …if families and the young continue to flee California, the population will become older and less economically dynamic, creating a shortfall in tax revenue and possibly pressuring Sacramento raise rates even higher. Meanwhile, California faces a severe pension shortfall, both at the state and local level.
Here’s a map from the Tax Foundation showing top income tax rates in each state. If you remember what Carson Bruno wrote about California’s emigrants, you’ll notice that states with no income tax (Washington, Texas, and Nevada) are among the main beneficiaries.


So the moral of the story is that states with no income taxes are winning, attracting jobs and investment. And high-tax states like California are losing.

But remember that the most important variable, at least for purposes of today’s discussion, is how these migration trends impact long-run prosperity. More jobs and investment mean a bigger tax base, which means the legitimate and proper functions of a state government can be financed with a modest tax burden.

In states such as California, by contrast, even small levels of emigration begin to erode the tax base. And if emigration is a long-run trend (as is the case in California), there’s a very serious risk of a “death spiral” as politicians respond to a shrinking tax base by imposing even higher rates, which then results in even higher levels of emigration.

Think France and Greece and you’ll understand what that means in the long run.

You are not as rational as you think

By Jon Ray @ Dissecting Leftism

(Emphasis added by me.  RK)

The article, When it comes to politics, you’re not as rational as you think, published by Andy Murdock, UC Newsroom is unusually fair, considering that it comes from a psychologist at UCI (Peter Ditto) and there is much to applaud in it.  Its central idea, that reason is the servant of the emotions, goes all the way back to David Hume, one of the great British empiricist philosophers of the 18th century.

Ditto extends that thinking to say that political attitudes are not rational either and that they are essentially emotionally based.  As I have often pointed out that there is a large hereditary component in political attitudes, I of course agree with that and have often argued that political attitudes can only be explained at the psychological level.

What is conservative or Leftist in political party programs varies from time to time and place to place so searching for any consistency over time in either can seem a complete failure.  At the psychological level, however, I argue, there is plenty of consistency and order in what people believe.  At its simplest, conservatives are cautious and Leftists are angry.

Where I part company with Ditto is his claim that Left and Right are equally emotional and that their beliefs are therefore equally irrational. I would claim that the Left are much more emotional and therefore much more irrational.  We see that in the way Leftists fly into a rage and want to shut you up if ever you present facts that upset their beliefs. Just try to discuss the research on African IQ and you will rapidly find that out. What you find is that Leftists substitute abuse for rational argument.  Conservatives can get abusive too but normally only after they have presented fact-based arguments.  Leftists skip the fact-based argument part and go straight to rage.

Any conservative blogger can tell you that comments and emails they get from Leftists are almost invariably of that sort. Any sort of reasoned submission from Leftists is so uncommon in  comments on my blog that the sole reasoned  comment I did once receive elicited a whole investigation of it and subsequent post on it from me.  Even then, however, the comment was mostly abusive.  It was just that I could see a reasonable point amid  the abuse.  See here for that episode.

Ditto has done quite a lot of research on his claims and I have read some of it.  You can find links to it here.  The framework for it the one put forward by Jonathan Haidt -- in which Leftists are said to be guided by only two moral principles while conservatives are guided by five.

As I have pointed out on previous occasions, the big problem with Haidt's research -- and the research of those who bob along in his wake -- is that it relies on questionnaires and therefore relies on people describing their thinking honestly.  And the human propensity to lie is so great that that is a rather heroic  assumption.   I did 20 years of questionnaire research from 1970 to 1990 that resulted in over 200 published academic journal articles. And I used all the tricks that psychologists know to catch and correct for dishonest responding.  And I concluded in the end that the whole effort was mostly a waste of time.

The thing that most convinced me that questionnaires are mostly useless came from the fact that my principal research interest was in authoritarianism and attitude to authority.  There can be few things more authoritarian than Communism or wanting to "fundamentally transform" America (Obama's promise), so one would expect Leftists to agree heartily with statements approving of authority and its exercise.  But they do not.  They deny having in their motivations anything like what they actually do in politics.  Their rage-filled motivations are just too dismal for them to admit -- even to themselves, probably.

So in studying the psychology of politics, I now look at what Leftists do and what policies they promote in actual electoral politics.  And I find that all the great tyrannies and political mass murders of the last century have been the work of people who preached some flavour of socialism -- from Lenin to Stalin to Hitler to Mao to Fidel Castro. And to this day American  Leftists speak kindly of the brutal Castro, with Obama's recent visit to Cuba  illustrating that for all to see.  So if that consistency of behavior among Leftists is not evidence of underlying rage and hate among them, I would like to see what would constitute better evidence.  That Leftists claim benevolent intentions is clearly just camouflage.  They want to destroy, not lift up.

Bernie - Please Tell Me Again How Great Socialism Is!

Hard to find bread in shortage-stricken Venezuela

Valentina Oropeza, Ernesto Tovar

At a popular east Caracas bakery, customers can buy Spanish olive oil, Italian tomato sauce and even American chocolates. But bread? Forget it.  Cardboard signs on the door warning of "No bread" have become increasingly common at Venezuelan bakeries.  Venezuela gets 96 percent of its foreign currency from oil exports, and as crude prices have plunged, so have the country's imports -- among them wheat.  The leftist government of President Nicolas Maduro has tightly controlled access to hard currency, and this has affected imports ranging from medicine to toilet paper. Now it is seriously affecting imports of wheat, which Venezuela does not grow.

Add to this the soaring inflation rate -- 181 percent in 2015, the world's highest -- and you see why customers are mainly interested in buying basic food items such as bread.  The few bakeries that can still get a hold of a 50-kilogram (110-pound) sack of flour to make bread limit their sales to just two "canillas" -- thin half-baguettes -- per person three times a day......

To Read More

My Take - It's going to get a lot worse too.  Venezuelan oil is thick and filled with contaminants, making it hard to refine.  There are few places they can sell their oil and the U.S. is one of them.  But we don't need their oil and oil from fraking isn't just sweet and light - it's really sweet and light.  So guess what? Their only export resource is now almost worthless and all those billions they made under this idiotic socialist regime when the price of oil was high has been wasted on promoting socialism in South America.  One more thing.  There is no way they can export to the South of their country because of geography and a serious lack of transportation, including railroads.  So where's Sean Penn now? 

There's a serious revolution brewing in Venezuela. 

Kibbe: Socialism Kills

By Matt Kibbe

But it’s time for a reality check: Socialism is not cool. Socialism kills..... I know.  You don’t believe me. You think I’m being dramatic. You think I’m demagoguing the good intentions of Bernie Sander’s democratic socialism. Well, here’s your reading assignment: Check out the scholarly work of R.J. Rummel, who spent his career as an academic trying to document the senseless slaughter of innocents under un-tethered government. His book, “Death By Government,” documents the bloody legacy of socialism and other tyrannical experiments in citizen compliance with well-meaning intentions and “the greater good.”....

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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Are GMOs cause of recent spike in food allergies?

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Over the last 30 years, reported cases of food allergies — especially in young children — have gone up.  According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, today about 4 percent of children under 18 have some kind of food or digestive allergy. That number represents an increase of 18 percent for all food allergies among children between 1997 and 2007.

For some foods, the increase has been even greater. For example, peanut allergy prevalence has quadrupled from 0.4 percent in 1997 to more than 2 percent in 2010. In fact, peanut allergy is now the leading cause of anaphylactic shock — the most severe form of allergy — due to food in the United States. And the problem isn’t just confined to America: hospital admissions for food-related anaphylaxis has seen a seven-fold rise in the United Kingdom since 1990......However, of the foods that most frequently cause food allergy, GM versions simply don’t exist......no studies have found heightened intrinsic allergenicity when compared with non-biotech equivalents.....

To Read More

Trump: The Deal Maker!

By Rich Kozlovich

Donald Trump is now looking like the man who will be the Republican nominee, and one of the things he's touted is his "fabulous" business sense.  However - his business sense may leave a lot to be desired.  Especially to those whose money he either took or wasted.  True, he's personally never declared bankruptcy, but that's a red herring to hide his failures and his businesses that did go bankrupt or failed, which are numerous and troubling.  He's a deal maker all right, and he's made a lot of money with his deals, but apparently not a very good deal maker for many others.  Why would we think he would be any better as President of the United States with Putin or Khomeini? 

Trump Airlines: Failure - "The story does, however, reveal much about the Trump now appearing in the national spotlight. He lied about his competitors. He trotted out plans to attract customers—but many of them made no sense from a business standpoint. Those who worked with him at the airline describe him as a loose cannon; a generous and engaged boss on the one hand, obnoxious and impulsive at other times—especially in public.   As former Trump Shuttle president Bruce Nobles told The Daily Beast, “I cringed every time he opened his mouth.”   “He really didn’t understand the business and at times he said things that really weren’t helpful” to his new company, Nobles said. “That was his style and it really hasn’t changed.”' ....

Trump Casinos: Failure  - "No wonder Donald Trump lied so vehemently during the Republican debate about not trying to introduce casino gambling to Florida. The truth is he tried and failed. Worse if you are The Donald, he was then bested by a onetime real-life apprentice whose firm went on to make more than $1 billion on gambling while Trump’s own gaming enterprise ended in bankruptcy...... "

Trump Mortgage: Failure - "Weak market, grand ambitions, exec's troubles doom firm Donald Trump has pulled the plug on Trump Mortgage less than two years after its launch.  Plagued by bad timing and the disclosure that the firm's chief executive had inflated his credentials in his official biography, the mortgage brokerage never came close to reaching its financial goals. Observers say another reason the company stumbled is that it expanded too quickly, instead of taking the time to build relationships with real estate brokers and lenders."

Trump University: Failure - "Donald Trump has made a shocking announcement this morning, stating that he plans to reinstate his extreme failure, Trump University, and – even more surprisingly – plans to give all applicants free admission......Trumps poll numbers soared on the announcement."

Republican presidential candidate - "Donald Trump will be taking a break from his campaign schedule sometime this spring to testify in a lawsuit against his defunct university, Politico reported yesterday. The suit was filed by a former student of The Trump Entrepreneur Initiative, originally known as Trump University, who claims Trump bilked students out of thousands of dollars with deceptive marketing tactics. The 2010 suit, filed in California by Tarla Makaeff, claims the costly seminars offered by Trump were of no educational value and Trump University “…is more like an infomercial, selling non-accredited products.”    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed suit against Trump University in 2013 alleging violation of state education law and failure to provide promised services to students.  A May 2014 opinion by New York Supreme Court found Donald Trump personally liable for operating a non-licensed, for-profit school....."

Trump Vodka: Failure - "The Donald had a vodka. Trump vodka (labeled super premium, naturally) was introduced in 2006 to much fanfare. Under the slogan "Success Distilled," the liquor was touted as the "epitome of vodka" that would "demand the same respect and inspire the same awe as the international legacy and brand of Donald Trump himself." At the time, Trump predicted the T&T (Trump and Tonic) would become the most requested drink in America, surpassed only by the Trump Martini. On Larry King Live, he said he got into the vodka business to outdo his friends at Grey Goose. Six years later, Grey Goose is still on top shelves throughout the country. As for Trump vodka? Yeah, we'd never heard of it either......."

China Connection: Failure - "'The problem with our country is we don't manufacture anything anymore," Donald Trump told Fox News a year ago. "The stuff that's been sent over from China," he complained, "falls apart after a year and a half. It's crap." That very same Donald Trump has his own line of clothing, and it's made in ... China. (O.K., O.K. — not all of it. Salon, which reported this intriguing, head-scratching fact, notes that some of his apparel is from Mexico and Bangladesh.)"

Trump Board Game: Failure - "Trump even had a board game, a Monopoly-like game launched in 1989, which was ultimately discontinued. He put out an updated version tied to “The Apprentice” in 2005. That one was put on ice, too. As the rebooted game’s tagline proclaimed, “Parker Brothers and Donald Trump are challenging consumers to determine whether they have the brains and the brawn to be the next Donald Trump.” Apparently, not enough were interested...."

Trump Magazine: Failure -  "2007 wasn’t a wise time to start launching print magazines. But Trump apparently didn’t get the memo, and trumpeted his new rag as a magazine that would be “tapping into a rich cultural tapestry.”  Turns out the tapestry wasn’t so rich — it folded in 2009.  If around today, there’d be at least one publication willing to endorse Trump for President."

Bankruptcy's: Four - "Donald Trump, official presidential candidate, has never personally declared bankruptcy. The business ventures that bear his name, however, are a different story. After spending much of the millennium flirting with the idea, Donald Trump actually announced on June 16 that he’s going to make a run for the Republican presidential nomination (or, at the very least, spend as much time as he can drawing attention toward himself during the debates). And while that means the 69-year-old will have plenty of time to air his heady political blend of opinion and charisma, it also means that the flamboyant entrepreneur will fall under more financial scrutiny than ever before."

Go Trump Travel: Failure -  "Touted at the time as Trump’s “biggest venture to date,” he helped launch this travel site in 2006, which gave vacation recommendations based on Trump's own favorite spots.  “I love to travel and I invite everyone to experience GoTrump.com,” he said in a press release.
Few took the invite. GoTrump went away after only a year."

Trump Steaks: Failure - "Donald Trump selling steaks exclusively through Sharper Image. Debuting them in a TV ad where he claims he just “raised the stakes” on steaks. This was primed to be a delicious failure from the very start.  He claimed his steaks were the “world’s greatest,” and accordingly priced them for at least $199 a pack.   But the meat slabs slowly disappeared from shelves nationwide, and the Trump Steakhouse in Las Vegas even got shut down for a bit following more than 50 health code violations. Disgusted reviews are still on QVC to give everyone a taste of what they missed.  “They pop fat all over the counter while on the grill.” A bloated, explosive mess. How fitting."

Trump Ice: Failure - What happened: Trump Ice has been available at Trump's casinos for some time, and according to Trump "it was so good that people wanted to buy cases of it!" So the bottles were produced and distributed to the masses. They never hit it big.  You can still find bottles on eBay if you're interested in tasting the "purest" bottled water. And although it was discontinued, the official Trump website says that you can find Trump Ice at "specialty food stores and grocery chains nationwide." What Trump said about the bottle design: "It is fiery, isn't it? It's fire and ice! The water puts out the fire." It shut down in 2010.

Trump and The USFL: Failure - "The final game in United States Football League history, a 28-24 victory by the Baltimore Stars over the Oakland Invaders, was played 30 years ago on July 14. The 1985 USFL championship game was held at Giants Stadium, home of the New Jersey Generals, who were owned by future presidential candidate Donald Trump. And it was Trump's strategy for the league that is widely considered to have led to its demise."

Trump Tower Tampa: Failure - "Jay Magner was watching the noon news one day when he heard that real estate tycoon Donald Trump and a group of local developers were planning a 52-story condo tower on the river in downtown Tampa.   "It changed the course of my life, literally,'' says Magner, who at the time owned a dollar store. "I thought, 'Oh my God, I could finagle that and live there.' "  Magner put down a deposit, joining dozens of other buyers eager to own part of what Trump called a property "so spectacular that it will redefine both Tampa's skyline and the market's expectations of luxury.''  A decade later, the city's skyline has indeed changed but not because of Trump Tower Tampa. Magner often walks or cycles by the acre and a half site, still weedy and empty.  "I lost $130,000,'' he says. "I didn't know people could take your money and not build the building.'''

As for his marriages - his actions speak for themself.  Trump is a spoiled brat, and egomaniac, and a petulant bully who's really good at dishing it out but lousy at taking it.  He won't see anything except what he wants to see and he loves being surrounded by boot lickers.  Does anyone really believe he has any more concern about the Constitution than Obama?  Not a good deal for America!

Social justice whiners: The group we love to hate

'Waaah, you hurt my feeeelings!'
 
Patrice Lewis
 
[Trigger warning: The following column is extraordinarily insensitive, and its candor may cause some people to be highly offended. Symptoms of being confronted with viewpoints other than one’s own may cause sensitive people to get “the vapors” and may result in fainting spells requiring “safe spaces.” Reader discretion is advised.]

In the past couple of months, social justice warriors have been very much in the news, in large part because their demands are so outrageous, illogical and comical. It staggers the mind what SJWs think should be done in society. Students (usually college) whine about the evils of diverse opinions, defined as “anything they disagree with.”  Let’s face it, SJWs have become the new trend. Their rallying cry is, “Waaah, you hurt my feeeelings!” They’ve become the group we love to hate......

But be warned: Someday the funding will cease. Those of us who work long hours and pay our taxes are tired of supporting your worthless, useless hides. You’d better hope mommy still has your basement room available because otherwise you might be on the street.  It may not be “fair,” but that’s reality. Now go take your meds.....
 
My Take - These 'crybullies' are the best thing that could have happened to higher education.  Why?  Because they've forced normal people who've been paying the tab for these slugs for decades to start paying attention to what's really going on at America's universities.  And hopefully they will demand an accounting by cutting off all - and I mean all - funding.  Make all universities self funding and we'll stop seeing this clabber.  If for no other reason these idiot leftists running and teaching at these institutions will be gone.  Once parents -or studends have to work their way through college - and start having to pick up the bill entirely they'll realize they're wasting their money wherever these people are in charge.  Worse yet, they've been destroying the nation with the insanity they've been imparting to the nation's youth since the early 1900's.  And yes - it's been going on for that long.  There is another real value to all of this.  Once universities become self funding there will be a huge drop in tuition fees, and far fewer universities and those will have much better standards. 
 
Oh....one more thing.  Diversity is another word for national suicide. 

Black Milwaukee sheriff takes on Black Lives Matter movement

By Brendan O'Brien

David Clarke, the African-American sheriff of Milwaukee County, is a man on a mission - to rebut allegations that U.S. police have been too quick to use deadly force against blacks in a spate of killings from New York to Ferguson, Missouri.   The 38-year law enforcement veteran has become one of the most polarizing black critics of the "Black Lives Matter" movement that grew out of protests against the police killings of unarmed black men, which he describes as anomalies in an otherwise effective criminal justice system.   "My mission right now is defending cops. It's a full-time mission," the 59-year-old, cowboy hat-wearing, sheriff said during a recent interview. "I've got to defend this profession, because no one else is or very few are.....

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Wealth and Income Inequality Is Not as Bad as You Think

By Raymond L. Richman

Sen. Bernie Sanders says, “There is something profoundly wrong when the top one-tenth of one percent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent.” He writes: “The issue of wealth and income inequality is the great moral issue of our time, it is the great economic issue of our time, and it is the great political issue of our time.” The trouble is that none of it is true except the fact that it is a political issue because leftists like Sanders make it so. The propaganda is based on calculations of the inequality of wealth which do not tell the whole story. They exclude the value of pensions, annuities, and social security. They also exclude the value of government wealth -- national, state, and city parks, and other land and buildings, including schools, libraries, stadiums, vehicles, streets and roads, and public transit facilities which are owned by everyone equally.

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Muslim ‘Migrants’ Molest 12-Year-Old, Vow to Slit 6-Year-Old’s Throat

By Pamela Geller

“The two men who have not been named but are reported to be Iranian citizens…” “Refugees” from Iran? But Iran is not involved in a war. European authorities should be deporting people like this, not welcoming them. This is, as I have said many times, not a refugee crisis at all. It is an invasion, a hijrah for the purpose of Islamization. But by the time Europeans in sufficient numbers realize that, it will be too late.
“Migrants Who Threatened To Cut Throat Of 6-Year-Old Lied About Age To Get Into Classroom,” by Oliver JJ Lane, Breitbart, February 25, 2016:  Two child migrants arrested in January after a 12-year-old girl was forced to perform sex acts with them are now thought to be adults at least...

Economic Literacy 101

Do millennials really want the Big Government socialist policies Bernie and Hillary advocate?

Paul Driessen

America’s 18- to 34-year-old “millennials” have been tutored in group-think schools that extol socialism. Now they lionize liberal politicians whose class-warfare prescriptions include taxing away all but maybe 1% of the nation’s 0.0001% billionaires’ wealth, then going after Wall Street, Big Business, millionaires and upper middle classes – and giving the “revenue” to those who “need” or “deserve” it more.

The entire process revolves around three central questions. Which ruling class elites get to determine who loses, who wins, by how much? Who grants them the power to do so, and holds them accountable? And what happens when the inevitable discontent over their autocratic decisions boils over?

Interestingly, many of the same generation have flocked to see films that glorify individual liberty and defiance of centralized government control. In The Hunger Games, a few small gestures of disobedience grew into a revolution against Capital elites who lived well and ruled imperiously, while subjugated masses in the Districts starved in poverty and sent their children to die in televised “hunting games.”

In Divergent, a Faction system preserves a society that primarily benefits the ruling Erudites by stifling individuality. The heroes and heroines refuse to confine their lives and ambitions to only one of the other four factions in which they were placed at age sixteen. Again, the ruling class lives far better than the ruled masses. (Ponder the politicians, bureaucrats and lobbyists in counties around Washington, DC.)

Are so many millennials really willing to let ruling classes confiscate wealth, impose penalties, determine appropriate welfare payments, and dole out favors? Has their “education” made them incapable of understanding the blessings of liberty, free enterprise capitalism, reliable and affordable fossil fuel energy, and entrepreneurial opportunities? Have instructors so brilliantly presented socialism through rose-colored glasses that young voters are blissfully unaware of its abject failures and horrid excesses?

Are millennials perhaps a little schizophrenic – loving liberty in theory and celluloid, but content to live reality in the Districts, among the Amity and Abnegation Factions, enjoying the bread and circuses (welfare payments and show trials for humbled banker and corporate bigwigs) bestowed upon them? Or perhaps they assume they will be among the Capital’s Erudite and Candor classes, governing the rest of America, in the name of justice, fairness, diversity and equality?

They seem to view free or low-cost college tuition, child care, healthcare, food and housing – along with $15-per-hour “living wages” for entry-level jobs … six-figure incomes after college … and “safe zones” – as “basic constitutional rights.” But when they “feel the Bern,” have they pondered how this system must necessarily work in the Real World, where they will feel the actual burn?

As the late Southern Baptist pastor and author Adrian Pierce Rogers succinctly explained, the hard reality is that “government cannot give anything to anybody that it doesn’t first take from somebody else. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving.”

That is precisely what Senator Sanders’ wealth taxation and redistribution scheme proposes to do. The problem, as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher astutely observed, “is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” Even in the wealthy United States, “eventually” would come quickly, because socialism destroys the incentive to work, innovate, invest, take risks and create new wealth.

Ultimately, nations are left with a large and growing population of have-nots who demand more – when there is no “more” to be had. That is what Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Venezuela and other socialist, populist, egalitarian paradises have been discovering.

They used to provide all kinds of free stuff. Today they are basket cases – struggling with anemic growth, recession, bankruptcy and government “junk” bonds that no sane investor wants.

Today, 59% of young Greeks are unemployed. Youth unemployment is 56% in Spain, 42% in Italy, 38% in Portugal. In Brazil, electricity rates soared 51% last year, food prices rose 15% and overall inflation stood at 11% – a vast improvement over its 5000% annual inflation rate (!) in the early 1990s but still awful. In all of Latin America, only Argentina at 27% and Venezuela at 200% had worse inflation.

American students are immersed in “sustainability” studies and projects, mostly based on still persistent notions that we are running out of essential resources and destroying Planet Earth. Those ideas are the foundation of policies and regulations that perpetuate what really is unsustainable: unemployment, government spending, anti-growth policies, and the anger and unrest they cause.

It may be, as Winston Churchill once observed, that “the inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of its blessings.” However, he continued, “the inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery and scarcity.” Unfortunately, simple, basic truths like this are rarely taught in our schools. Students today want equality of outcomes, rather than of opportunities that yield positive outcomes and potentially rich rewards by dint of hard work. If millennials applied their socialist principle to grades – with all scores on exams and projects averaged out among the smart and less talented, the hard-working and deadbeat – shiftless classmates would be happy to coast along, once ambitious scholars would exert far less effort, and all would soon flounder in a sea of F’s.

Similarly, socialist policies stifle the innovation, economic growth and job creation that young people need if they are to get beyond minimum-wage service jobs, and out of their parents’ basements.

Free tuition? City University of New York had that for awhile, until 1976, when it ran out of money and the city nearly went bankrupt. Even Sanders admits his plan would cost yet another $750 billion over ten years. But perhaps it would work if half of the administrative positions were eliminated, faculty salaries got a 25 or 35% trimming, and sabbaticals came just once a decade.

Surely the “progressives” who rule our campuses – and try to ban and silence contrarian speakers like Ben Shapiro – would support this to ensure “free stuff.” Surely, the next Erudite and Candor egalitarians in The Capital would be content with salaries that are no higher than those of the masses they govern.

Bottom line, the bills must eventually be paid. Millennials may get free stuff today. But they and their children and grandchildren will pay for their freebies many times over, through higher taxes, increasing control over their lives, higher inflation, fewer jobs at reduced salaries, and lower living standards.

As to accountability, government excels at fining and jailing citizens and businessmen for violating any of the thousands of regulations that carry criminal sanctions, even if the “perpetrator” did not intend to violate the rule or had no clue that such a rule could possibly exist. But the ruling elites apply very different standards when the incompetent or criminal actions of their own agents are involved.

Thus a rancher is prosecuted for “terrorism” for accidentally burning 139 acres of national forests, but government officials get off scot-free when they torch 160,000 acres mere miles away. Citizens go to prison for inadvertently “impacting” wetlands, but EPA bureaucrats receive get a pass cards when they deliberately open an abandoned mine and unleash 3,000,000 gallons of toxic sludge. IRS directors simply “take the Fifth” after targeting conservatives and destroying records, and an OPM director resigns rather than testify about how her screw-ups let hackers get personnel records – while private citizens are hounded and threatened until they cave in or run out of money to defend themselves.

The more government control and socialist wealth redistribution we get, the worse these abuses become. Will the socialist voters demand accountability? Or do they simply not care when ruling elites and their cronies violate laws and abuse their public trust, to advance agendas or enrich and protect themselves?

All these questions would generate very interesting discussions with socialist candidates and voters.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.

Immigration or an iPhone

Posted Friday, February 26, 2016 by Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish Blog 

(Emphasis added by me. RK)
The public argument between Apple and the FBI over cracking the encryption on an iPhone used by the San Bernardino Muslim terrorists is one of those ongoing civil liberties debates that negotiate the terms on which we are asked to sacrifice our civil liberties for the sake of Muslim immigration.

We have already made a thousand accommodations and we will make a thousand more. There will be more databases, naked scanners, eavesdropping, vans that can see through walls, backdoors to every server, registrations, warrantless searches, interceptions and regulations. There will be heavily armed police on the streets. And then curfews and soldiers. These things exist in Europe. They'll come here.

Some libertarians will argue that we should have none of this and no restrictions on immigration. That we should just shrug off each terror attack and move on with our lives.

Eventually though there will be a terror attack that we can't shrug off and that can't be minimized by using the cheap statistical trick of comparing Terror Attack X to the number of people who die every year from cancer. Or there will just be an endless parade of daily attacks, bombings, stabbings or shootings, as in Israel, which create a constant climate of terror that will preclude any hollow rhetoric about the number of people falling off ladders each year or getting struck by lightning. Some hawks will cheer every terror fighting measure short of closing the door on the root cause of the problem. They would rather see every American wiretapped, strip searched and monitored every hour of the day then just stop the flow of Muslim terrorists into this country.

The encryption methods of an iPhone, like the question of how many ounces there are in your tiny bottle of mouthwash, would not be much of an issue, if Muslim migration did not make it one.

Terrorists adapt to the terrain. They use the native population as protective coloration. They can find a way to transform a shoe, a tube of toothpaste or instant messaging on a game console into a terror tool. Just as the left can 'politicize' everything, Muslim terrorists can 'terrorize' everything. When everything is a potential terrorist tool, then there can be no such thing as privacy or civil rights.

Muslim immigration is forcing us to constantly choose between our lives and our civil liberties. It's a Catch 22 decision with no good choices. Terrorists push governments toward totalitarianism so that their own alternative totalitarian state starts to seem like a less terrible alternative. But the refusal to fight terrorism also makes the totalitarian state of the terrorists more viable.

With every Muslim terror attack, successful or only attempted, they win and we lose. The pressure of terror attacks discredit Western ideologies and worldviews, both on the right and the left. Each attack helps generate new converts for Islam and more political influence for Islamist organizations.

Vociferous debates over the choice between civil liberties and security make it seem as if we have to choose between our worldviews because something in our society is the problem. It isn't.

We do not have an American terror network problem. The Amish aren't using iPhones or obscure apps to coordinate terror attacks. We have a Muslim terror network problem. It's not because of the Methodists that we have to weigh our mouthwash or take our shoes off and put them in a greasy plastic tray at the airport. It's because 19 Muslims entered this country, hijacked our airplanes and murdered thousands of Americans. Guantanamo Bay is not an issue because Buddhists are at war with America. It's an issue because Muslim terrorists are at war with America.

We do not have an iPhone encryption problem or a shoe problem or a mouthwash problem. We have a Muslim terror problem. Whatever decision is made about iPhone encryption will not be the last word. The simple reality is that privacy carries too high a price as long as we have large numbers of people in this country who want to kill us in equally large numbers. If we want our privacy back, it's not the FBI that is standing in our way. It's the religious organizations that are paid to bring Muslim "refugees" to this country. It's the liberal, libertarian and even conservative voices that think there is something wrong with pausing the mass migration of the group that is disproportionately responsible for our terror problem. It’s the media that would rather discuss anything and everything than discuss the problem we are really dealing with.

The source of this problem is not whether the FBI handled the iPhone correctly or whether Apple should be obligated to build a way for law enforcement to access its devices. These arguments would exist even without Muslim terrorism, but they would lack the same level of life and death urgency.

This is not an iOS problem. It's an immigration problem.

The San Bernardino massacre by Muslim terrorists would not have happened without Muslim immigration. The security flaw here was not in the work of FBI agents or of Apple programmers, but of our immigration laws. Just as we cannot and will not intercept every single Muslim terrorist who finds a way to hide explosives in his underwear, shoes, soda or laptop, we will not ever be able to crack every single encrypted Muslim terrorist device. And their underwear bombs and encrypted iPhones would not be an issue if we did not have Muslim terrorists in America in the first place.

Instead of discussing the Islamic root cause, we put stress on our own competing institutions, technology providers face off with law enforcement, hawks and civil libertarians berate each other as if they were each part of the threat. But we are not the problem here. They are the problem.

The only backdoor that should be at issue here is the one that Muslim terrorists use to enter America. We don't need to violate everyone's rights to close it. We just need the political will to do the common sense thing and shut down the source of the threat. Either that or give up on our privacy.

Our choice is very simple. We can have external security or an internal police state. But neither of the above is not an option. We can have open borders that fill our country with criminals, but that means that eventually any livable middle class neighborhood will have a cop on every corner. We can have airport security for the people coming into this country. Or we can have airport security for everyone.

Ongoing Muslim migration makes a police state inevitable. But to avoid the perils of profiling and the appearance of discrimination, it will be a universal police state that will strip away rights from everyone without regard to guilt or innocence in the hopes of averting the next Muslim terror attack.

The only way to protect our lives and our freedoms from Muslim terrorism and its consequences is by shutting down Muslim immigration. If we fail to do this, then we will lose our lives and our liberties.

Higher Taxes Are a Recipe for Higher Spending, not Lower Debt

February 27, 2016 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty
 
With both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders agitating for higher taxes (and with more than a few Republicans also favoring more revenue because they don’t want to do any heavy lifting to restrain a growing burden of government), it’s time to examine the real-world evidence on what happens when politicians actually do get their hands on more money.

Is it true, as we are constantly told by the establishment, that higher tax burdens a necessary and practical way to reduce budget deficits and lower debt levels?
This is an empirical question rather than an ideological one, and the numbers from Europe (especially when looking at the data from the advanced nations that are most similar to the US) are especially persuasive.


I examined the European fiscal data back in 2012 to see whether the big increase in tax revenue starting in the late 1960s led to more red ink or less red ink.

You won’t be surprised to learn that giving more money to politicians didn’t lead to fiscal probity. The burden of taxation climbed by about 10-percentage points of economic output over four decades, but governments spent every single penny of the additional revenue.

They actually spent more than 100 percent of the additional revenue. The average debt burden in these Western European nations jumped from 45 percent of GDP to 60 percent of GDP.
I often share this data when giving speeches since it is powerful evidence that tax increases are not a practical way of dealing with debt and deficits.

But in recent years, audiences have begun to ask why I compare numbers from the late 1960s (1965-1969) with the data from the last half of last decade (2006-2010). What would the data show, they’ve asked, if I used more up-to-date numbers.

So it’s time to re-calculate the numbers using the latest data and share some new charts about what happened in Europe. Here’s the first chart, which shows on the left that there’s been a big increase in the tax burden over the past 45 years and shows on the right average debt levels at the beginning of the period. And I ask the rhetorical question about whether higher taxes led to less red ink.


Now here’s the updated answer.
What we find is that debt levels have soared. Not just from 45 percent of GDP to 60 percent of GDP, as shown by the 2012 numbers, but now to more than 80 percent of economic output.
In other words, we can confirm that the giant increase in the tax burden over the past few decades has backfired. And we can also confirm that the big income tax hikes and increases in value-added taxes in more recent years have made matters worse rather than better.



I can’t imagine that anyone needs any additional evidence that tax increases are misguided.

But just in case, let’s look at the findings in some newly released research from the European Central Bank.
Since the start of the sovereign debt crisis, in early 2010, many Euro area countries have adopted fiscal consolidation measures in an attempt to reduce fiscal imbalances and preserve their sovereign creditworthiness. Nonetheless, in most cases, fiscal consolidation did not result.
That doesn’t sound like good news.

I wonder whether it has anything to do with the fact that “fiscal consolidation” in Europe almost always means higher taxes? And, indeed, the ECB number crunchers have confirmed that the tax-hike approach is bad news.
The aim of this paper is to investigate the effects of fiscal consolidation on the general government debt-to-GDP ratio in order to assess whether and under which conditions self-defeating effects are likely to materialise… In the case of revenue-based consolidations the increase in the debt-to-GDP ratio tends to be larger and to last longer than in the case of spending-based consolidations. The composition also matters for the long term effects of fiscal consolidations. Spending-based consolidations tend to generate a durable reduction of the debt-to-GDP ratio compared to the pre-shock level, whereas revenue-based consolidations do not produce any lasting improvement in the sustainability prospects as the debt-to-GDP ratio tends to revert to the pre-shock level.
The two scholars at the ECB then highlight the lessons to be learned.
…strategy is more likely to succeed when the consolidation strategy relies on a durable reduction of spending, whereas revenue-based consolidations do not appear to bring about a durable improvement in debt sustainability. Moreover, delaying fiscal consolidation until financial markets pressures threaten a country’s ability to issue debt, may have a cost in terms of a less sizeable reduction in the debt-to-GDP ratio for given consolidation effort, even if it is undertaken on the spending side. This is an important policy lesson also in view of the fact that revenue-based consolidations tend to be the preferred form of austerity, at least in the short run, given also the political costs that a durable reduction in government spending entail.
In other words, the bottom line is a) that tax hikes don’t work, b) reform is harder if you wait until a crisis has begun, and c) the real challenge is convincing politicians to do the right thing when they instinctively prefer tax hikes.

P.S. It’s worth pointing out that the value-added tax has generated much of the additional tax revenue (and therefore enabled much of the added burden of government spending) in Europe.

The Rise of Intolerant Liberals

Kim Holmes / / /
      
Why have liberals become so intolerant? They think nothing of denying someone as prominent as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from speaking on a college campus. They embrace activists who shut down speakers. They publicly shame people for the slightest deviation from liberal orthodoxy.
Their mindset is the very definition of closed-mindedness.
For them everything from science to the law is “settled” once they get into power. Progress is a one-way street. Their mindset is the very definition of closed-mindedness.  The easy answer would be “they are all bad people.” But frankly that’s a cop-out. Not all liberals are bad people, any more than all conservatives are angels. No doubt among the fevered minions of liberal activists there are people with, shall we say, psychological issues, but that doesn’t explain why so many otherwise reasonable people are so beholden to liberalism as an ideology......

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What's Putin Really Up To?

By Rich Kozlovich

I think Putin did also.

 He doesn't mind stirring up the internal manure to get his way, but he's not really looking to start a real war with anyone. This article has some interesting insights, but it doesn't really explain why Russia stopped with the Crimea and didn't invade the Ukraine outright.  Take what the author says here and add this to it. 

Putin doesn't dare over extend himself militarily.   Russia is a Hordesland nation with seven gaps they must defend to protect the homeland.  A Hordesland nation like Russia has huge wide open spaces with no natural barriers they can stand behind including "infinite flats of Central Eurasia" and the "North European Plain", which runs from "all of western and northern France, Belgium, The Netherlands, southern Scandinavia, northern Germany, and nearly all of Poland" into Russia.    As for Central Asia - it's over three thousand miles long with no "meaningful geographical barrier"s. 

Russia has seven gaps they must defend.

  • The Baltic coast
  • The Polish Gap
  • The Bessarabian Gap
  • The Black Sea
  • The Cosastal strips of the Caucasus
  • The Central Asian corridor
  • The Tia-Altay Gap



  • Russia is in it's twilight as a nation.  They're breeding themselves out of existence and by 2040 ethnic Russians will be a thin majority or possibly a minority in their own nation.  Their population is filled with alcoholics and Russia has a large number people who are HIV positive and afflicted with multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis, and that's "mostly in the fifteen to thirty five age group".  That's disastrous for Russia since that's the age group that creates the next generation.   They don't have the manpower to man their own army today, and that will decrease for decades. 

    Moreover, Russia is a low capital producing nation.  First, because it's geography works against it, but mostly because the government is stunningly corrupt and incompetent.  They've literally destroyed any hope of individual achievement and accomplishment after the fall of the Soviet Union.  The corrupt elite are nothing short of organized criminals, and they're in charge of the government, and the economy.  And now their one really profitable resource - energy - is selling cheap all over the world and their economy is even in worse shape.  Putin can't afford any real wars.  He's merely trying to survive!

    Having said that - Putin must have a copy of Machiavelli's The Prince because he's been playing chess while Obama has been playing checkers. Putin publically struts and preens giving the impression he's a buffoon, but he's heads and shoulders about Obama in smarts and tactics.  Putin isn't looking to expand Russia back into a new Soviet Union.  He can't.  He knows that.  He's just trying to hold back the tide of inevitability.  The inevitability that Russia is doomed as a nation right along with the rest of Europe.

    Source:  Peter Zehan's "The Accidental Superpower: The Next Generation of American Preeminence and the Coming Global Disorder "

    The New Cold War

    By Sol W. Sanders

    There is now no doubt that Vladimir Putin has launched a successful strategic offensive against the U.S. and its allies, attempting to reassert Moscow’s position as a world leader.

    Putin’s challenge to the security of American allies in the Middle East and Central Europe despite his fragile domestic economy is not a historical anomaly. The combination of a skidding gas and oil price, Russia’s only major export, and limited sanctions by the U.S. and its allies, are sending the Russian economy into shortages and inflation.....Like Hitler, he has exploited the presence of Russian minorities or pro-Moscow forces in his former Soviet neighbors. This has brought him success first in a weak Georgia, then in a Ukraine seeking to establish its independence after centuries under Russian domination, and the Baltic States with their history of Russian imperial rule and Soviet aggression.

    But his most striking strategic victory has been in the Mediterranean......Moscow’s ruthless air support of the beleaguered Bashar Al Assad regime in Damascus with enormous civilian casualties has been only a cover for the reestablishment of Moscow bases....

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    My Take - Interesting points but the author fails to recognize what really are the true motives in Putin's actions, and launching another cold war isn't one of them.  Nothing Putin is dong is about an effort to re-establish Moscow as a world player.  It's about survival!

    GOPUSA

    Biden apologizes to Mexico for Trump rhetoricimage - Donald Trump's rhetoric about migrants and his promise to wall off the US's southern border have prompted Joe Biden to apologize on behalf of a nation and driven former Mexican President Vicente Fox to swearing.



    Lindsey Graham jokes about killing Ted Cruz at Washington Press Club dinner - image "If you kill Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody could convict you," Republican senator Lindsey Graham said in remarks skewering his party's presidential field at the Washington press club foundation dinner on Thursday night.