Monday, August 21, 2017

Kaepernick Crowd Calls For NFL Boycott Over QB’s Absence from League

By Andrew West August 20, 2017

Supporters of anti-American NFL has-been Colin Kaepernick are now calling for a boycott of the league due to their player’s absence on the field.  Those who are siding with the race-baiting and police trashing former NFL quarterback are attempting to convince a wide swatch of Americans to join them in boycotting the NFL.  The “activists” believe that Kaepernick is being looked over by NFL recruiters and coaches due to the circus that he has surrounded himself with, and not just the lack of talent that caused him to fall from grace even before his anthem-centric publicity stunts.........To Read More.....

My Take - Kaepernick "deserves" a chance to continue his NFL career?  Really?  Why?  No one deserves anything they haven't worked for.  If you throw away your career who's at fault?  If you insult the boss, or refuse to follow directions, or aren't a good employee, a bad influence on fellow workers, or your actions negatively impact the bosses bottom line - would you expect to keep your job?  
 
The Cleveland Cavaliers had a player who also refused to stand for the Pledge many years ago - didn't know that did you?  Why?  He didn't make a big public spectacle of it.  He just stayed in the locker room until it was over.  He also made it clear it was for religious principles and not meant as a disrespect for the flag or the nation.  It blew over very quickly because he was sincere.  Kaepernick and his crew wanted a spectacle for political purposes - a freedom of speech issue if you will - but the boss doesn't have to like your speech, especially when it impacts his bottom line, especially when you're exercising your freedom of speech rights on his time.  
 
In my opinon, Kaepernick was never the quarterback he or others thought he was, and he's not going to be any better now, but he is a distraction.   But that won't be for long.  Remember  Sandra Fluke?  Remember Cindy Sheehan?  Once she served her leftist masters purposes - they disappeared. 

Kaepernick will be a faint memory a year from now - so I hope he saved some of that obscene money they paid him since it's clear he's not the brightest pebble in the brook, so I doubt he's qualified for much of anything else. 

Investment, Productivity, Wages, and Economic Prosperity

Here’s a simple and fundamental question: What is economic growth?

And here’s a simple answer: It’s when there’s more national income.

That’s seems like a trivial tautology, but let’s explore some implications. When you dig into the numbers, it turns out that increases in national income (usually measured by gross domestic product, though I prefer gross domestic income) are driven by two factors.
  • More people.
  • More output per hour, also known as increased productivity.
This is why people sometimes say that GDP growth is a function of population growth plus productivity growth.

And what really matters, at least if we want higher living standards, is to have more output per hour. As a result, we should be very concerned that productivity growth seems to be lagging in the United States.

Here’s a chart that was created by the Wall Street Journal, showing data from the Labor Department on productivity all the way back to the 1950s...........To Read More.....

Quotes of the Day

Politicians [are] often are untethered from reality regardless of their ideology. - Dan Mitchell

I think a major reason why intellectuals tend to move towards collectivism is that the collectivist answer is a simple one. If there’s something wrong pass a law and do something about it. If there’s something wrong it’s because of some no-good bum, some devil, evil and wicked – that’s a very simple story to tell. You don’t have to be very smart to write it and you don’t have to be very smart to accept it. - Milton Friedman

The Real Age of Destruction

http://www.frontsight.com/images/Newsletter/12/noah001.gif


In the year 2017, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in America and said: "Once again, the earth has become wicked, and I see the end of all flesh before me.  Build another ark and save 2 of every living thing along with a few good humans."

 He gave Noah the blueprints, saying: "You have 6 months to build the ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights."
 
Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard - but no ark. "Noah!," He roared, "I'm about to start the rain! Where is the ark?" "Forgive me, Lord", begged Noah, "but things have changed."
  • I needed a building permit.
  • I've been arguing with the boat inspector about the need for a sprinkler system.
  • My neighbors claim that I've violated the neighborhood by-laws by building the ark in my back yard and exceeding the height limitations.
  • We had to go to the local Planning Committee for a decision.
  • Then the local Council and the electric company demanded a shed load of money for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the ark's move to the sea. I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear none of it.
  • Getting the wood was another problem.
  • There's a ban on cutting local trees in order to save the Greater Spotted Barn Owl.
  • I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls - but no go!
  • When I started gathering the animals the ASPCA took me to court.
  • They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will.
  • They argued the accommodations were too restrictive and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space.
  • Then the Environmental Protection Agency ruled that I couldn't build the ark until they'd conducted an environmental impact study on your proposed flood.
  • I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I'm supposed to hire for my building crew.
  • The Immigration Dept. is checking the visa status of most of the people who want to work."
  •  "The trade unions say I can't use my sons. They insist I have to hire only Union workers with ark-building experience.
  • To make matters worse, the IRS seized all my assets, claiming I'm trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species.
  • So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least 10 years for me to finish this ark.
 
http://www.frontsight.com/images/Newsletter/12/noah016.jpg
 
Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky.   Noah looked up in wonder and asked, "You mean you're not going to destroy the world?

"No," said the Lord. "The Government beat me to it."

Fair trade for thee, but not for me

Imagine what a Tesla or wind turbine would cost if the Left followed its own “principles”
 
Paul Driessen
 
“Nobody wants to buy something that was made by exploiting someone else,” Ben & Jerry’s and Fair Trade co-founder Jerry Greenfield likes to tell us. Let’s hope he doesn’t drive an electric vehicle, doesn’t use a laptop or cell phone, and doesn’t rely on wind or solar power.
 
We’re constantly confronted with slogans and lectures about fair trade, human rights, sustainability, environmental and social justice, little people versus Big Corporations. Most of these subjective terms reflect perspectives and agendas of the political left, and are intended to advance those worldviews and stifle any discussion about them. But most of their self-avowed adherents never look beneath the surface of their own purchases. Indeed, they would have no standards at all if they didn’t have double standards.
 
Just imagine what a $35,000 to $150,000 electric vehicle would cost if it were built using “fair trade” metals. How expensive already pricey wind and solar electricity would be if manufacturers had to follow fair trade standards, pay the full human and environmental costs associated with components, and pay workers the source-country equivalents of “Fight For $15” wages. Even more challenging:
What if wind, solar and EV systems had to adhere to the “precautionary principle” – which says products must be banned until promoters can prove their technologies will never harm people or the environment?
 
The fair trade, et cetera rules are already enforced with an iron fist against non-renewable products by regulators, politicians, the news media and angry college students. It’s mostly the Progressive Left’s favored, supposedly renewable and eco-friendly energy “alternatives” and toys that get exempted.
 
ExxonMobil was fined $600,000 in 2009 for the deaths of 85 migratory birds that landed in uncovered oilfield waste pits. Compare that $7,000 per bird assessment to the zero to minuscule fines imposed once or twice on Big Wind companies for 85,000 dead eagles and hawks, and 8.5 million sliced and diced other birds and bats, over recent years. (These are artistic license numbers, but very close to the mark.)
 
The Keep It In The Ground campaigns against oil, gas and coal, the fossil fuel divestment movement on campuses, the anti-Israel Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) rabble, the incessant EarthJustice, Greenpeace and World Wildlife Fund lawsuits and campaigns against mining ignore all this, and more.
 
Just beneath the surface of cell phone, EV, computer, wind, solar and other technologies are some shocking and inconvenient truths. These products are not made from pixie dust or raw materials beamed in from the Starship Enterprise. All require lithium, rare earth metals, iron, copper, silica, petroleum and many other materials that must be dug out of the Earth, using human labor or fossil fuels.
 
Petroleum alone is the foundation for some 6,000 products besides fuels: paints, plastics, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and much more. Lithium is essential in computer and EV batteries, neodymium in NdFeB wind turbine generator magnets, cadmium in PV solar panels, petroleum-based resins in turbine blades.
 
The vast majority of these minerals and metals could probably be found in economically recoverable or even world-class deposits in the United States. However, known deposits have been taxed, regulated and litigated into oblivion, while excellent prospects are mostly in western and Alaskan lands made inaccessible by Congress, courts, activists and Antiquities Act decrees. We’re not even allowed to look.
 
That has forced mining companies to go overseas. With few exceptions, American, Canadian, European and Australian companies pay good wages, abide by health and environmental rules, and invest heavily in local schools, libraries, hospitals, and water, sewage and electrical systems. But they are still pilloried, harassed and sued on a regular basis by radical groups in Peru, Guatemala and elsewhere.
 
The late Roy Innis, chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality, nailed it perfectly when he blasted the WWF for its callous campaign against a proposed mine in Madagascar.
 
“These enemies of the poor say they are ‘stakeholders,’ who want to ‘preserve’ indigenous people and villages,” Mr. Innis observed. “They never consider what the real stakeholders want – the people who actually live in these impoverished communities and must live with the consequences of harmful campaigns that are being waged all over the world,” blocking their opportunities, hopes and dreams.
 
These well-financed, self-righteous anti-mining assaults too often leave villagers jobless and the world dependent on shoddy state-run operations like the rare earth mines and processing facilities in Baotou, Inner Mongolia, and locally operated, often illegal “artisanal” mines in Africa and Asia. The environmental degradation and human health effects associated with these operations are horrendous.
 
Areas north of Baotou hold 70% of global proven reserves of rare earth minerals (REMs). The region was once productive farmland. But as Australia news, Business Insider, ABC News, Britain’s Guardian, BBC and Daily Mail, and others have documented, it is now a vast wasteland, where nothing grows.
 
Ores are extracted by pumping acid into the ground, then processed using more acids and chemicals. One ton of REMs releases up to 420,000 cubic feet of gases, 2,600 cubic feet of wastewater and 1 ton of other wastes – all of them acidic, toxic and radioactive. The resulting black sludge – laden with acids, heavy metals, carcinogens and other materials – is pipelined to what has become a foul, stinking, lifeless, six-mile-diameter “lake.” Its toxic contents are seeping into groundwater and creeping toward the Yellow (Huang He) River, an important source of drinking and irrigation water for much of northern China.
 
Miners and other workers labor up to 16 hours a day for a few yuan or dollars, under health, safety and environmental conditions that would likely have been intolerable in the US, UK and Europe a century ago. Dirty processing plants have few or no maintenance crews, little or no regular cleaning or repairs. Workers and local residents suffer from lung, heart and intestinal diseases, osteoporosis and cancer, at rates much higher than pre-mining days and well above those in other parts of the Middle Kingdom.
 
Meanwhile, Africa’s Congo region produces 60% of the world’s cobalt-lithium ore. Over 70,000 tons a year pass through the Congo DongFang International Mining Company to manufacturers in China. Entire families – including children as young as five – toil from dawn to dusk, for a dollar or two a day, so that cell phone, computer, EV and other buyers can enjoy cheap high-tech gadgets.
 
Generally without permits, health and safety standards or environmental rules, the parents and kids use picks, shovels, pails and bags to excavate deep holes and vast pits, in search of valuable ores. Cave-ins and mud slides are an ever-present risk. Depending on the weather, they work in dust or muck, getting dangerous levels of cobalt, lead, uranium and other heavy metals in their tissues, blood and organs.
 
Gloves, face masks, protective clothing and showers to wash the toxic dirt off bodies at the end of the day are also nonexistent. Broken bones, suffocation, blood and respiratory diseases, birth defects, cancer and paralysis are commonplace, the Guardian, Washington Post, NPR and human rights groups report.
 
Maybe those evils are better than prostitution for mothers and daughters, drug dealing and criminal gangs for fathers and sons, or starvation and death for entire families. But it certainly smells like exploitation.
 
Where are the Ben & Jerry’s and Fair Trade demands for justice? The Berkeley and Brown student protests, sit-ins and boycotts against Nokia, Samsung, Apple, Lenovo, Tesla, Vestas and Trina Solar? The demands that college endowment and teacher pension funds divest from these companies? The outraged US and EU student marchers in Baotou and Beijing, to support workers, Joshua Wong and Liu Xiaobo?
 
Where are the calls to replace state-run and artisanal mining operations with socially and environmentally responsible Western mining companies? Where is the WWF compensation to poor villagers for the wages, electricity, clean water and improved living standards they could have had?
 
Environmentalist policies don’t merely represent double standards. No matter how Greenpeace or the Sierra Club might disguise or sugarcoat them, radical green policies and campaigns are unjust, unethical, inhuman, imperialistic and racist.
 
It’s time to apply fair trade, living wage and environmental justice principles to the anti-mining, anti-people campaigners. Their real goal is keeping the Third World impoverished, and that is intolerable.
 
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 and other books on the environment. Aug 2017

Presidential Constraints

By George Friedman Aug 21, 2017

I’ve written before on the manner in which nations are constrained by their geography, their resources and the behavior of other countries. Embedded in this view is the idea that political leaders themselves are not free actors. They exist in a matrix of foreign and domestic pressures that force them to behave in certain ways to rise to a leadership post, and then force them to behave in other ways to keep their post. The nation and its place in the world last. Leaders come and go.

In the United States, what constrains a president is public opinion and the institutional and bureaucratic means for managing and maximizing power. As in all countries, the precise mechanism is idiosyncratic in nature and origin. The United States doesn’t work like Russia, nor do either work like Canada. The principle of constraints is always there, but the precise constraints differ. The presidency of Donald Trump is instructive.

Trump faces three constraints that have thus far made it difficult to govern. The first is a Congress that has not been inclined to pass any of his signature legislation. The second is a civil service that in all administrations tends to block the initiatives of presidents by a process of overcomplication. Finally, there is the organization of the office of the president, a substantial bureaucracy in its own right. The primary job of the president is to manage these three entities. Trump’s problem is that, for different reasons, he has not managed them effectively – at least in the first 200 days of his presidency............ To Read More......  Geopolitics | Geopolitical Futures.

Right, Left, Facts, and Values

Since my job is to proselytize on behalf of economic liberty, I’m always trying to figure out what motivates people. To be blunt, I’ll hopefully be more effective if I understand how they decide what policies to support. That’s a challenge when dealing with my friends on the left since some of them seem to be motivated by envy.

Unsurprisingly, there are people on the other side who also contemplate how to convert their opponents.

Harvard Professor Maximilian Kasy wrote a column for the Washington Post that advises folks on the left how they can be more effective when arguing with folks on the right. He starts with an assertion that conservatives are basically impervious to facts.
Worries about…our “post-factual era” impeding political debate in our society have become commonplace. Liberals…are often astonished at the seeming indifference of their opponents toward facts and toward the likely consequences of political decisions. …A common, though apparently ineffective, response to this frustration is to double down by discussing more facts.
This is a remarkable assertion. I’m a libertarian rather than a conservative, so I don’t feel personally insulted. That being said, conservatives generally are my allies on economic issues and I’ve never found them to be oblivious or indifferent to facts (I’m speaking about policy wonks, not politicians, who often are untethered from reality regardless of their ideology).

So let’s see how Mr. Kasy justifies his claim about conservatives. Here’s more of what he wrote.
…maybe the issue is not conservatives’ ignorance of facts, but rather a fundamental difference of values. Taking this point of view seems essential for effective communication across the political divide.
I basically agree that differences in values play a big role, so I’m sort of okay with that part of his analysis (I’ll return to this issue in the conclusion).

But my alarm bells started ringing at this next passage.
Much normative (or value-based) reasoning by liberals (and mainstream economists) is about the consequences of political actions for the welfare of individuals. Statements about the desirability of policies are based on trading off the consequences for different individuals. If good outcomes result from a policy without many negative consequences, then the policy is a good one.
Huh? Since when are liberals (and he’s talking about today’s statists, not the classical liberals of yesteryear) and mainstream economists on the same side?

Though I admit it’s hard to argue about the rule he proposes for policy. He’s basically saying that a change is desirable if “good outcomes” are more prevalent than “negative consequences.”

That’s probably too utilitarian for me, but I suspect most people might agree with that approach.
But he makes a giant and unsubstantiated leap by then claiming it would be wrong to repeal a supposedly good policy like Obamacare.
When Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) remarked on the Affordable Care Act this spring, for example, she said, “…we’re talking about something that would deny those in need with the relief and the help that they need, that they want and deserve…” In other words, if a policy will harm the welfare of individuals in need, it’s a bad policy.
Huh? What happened to his utilitarian formula about “good outcomes” vs “negative consequences”? Sure, some additional people have health insurance coverage, but is he blind to rising premiums, job losses, higher taxes, loss of plans and loss of doctors, dumping people into Medicaid, and other downsides of Obamacare?

If facts are important, shouldn’t he be weighing the costs and benefits?
In other words, Kasy must be in some sort of cocoon if he thinks the Obamacare fight is between Republicans motivated only by values and Democrats motivated by helping individuals.
His analysis of the death tax is similarly off base.
…consider the example of bequest taxes, labeled “estate taxes” by liberals and “death taxes” by conservatives. A liberal might invoke various empirical facts…our empiricist liberal might conclude that bequest taxes are an effective policy instrument, providing public revenue and promoting equality of opportunity. The conservative addressee of these facts might now just shrug her shoulders and say “no thanks.” Our conservative likely believes that everyone has the right to keep the fruits of her labor, and free contracts of exchange between any two parties are nobody else’s business. …Taxing bequests thus means punishing moral behavior, the exact opposite of what the government should do.
Once again, Kasy is deluding himself. Conservatives do think the death tax is morally wrong, so he’s right about that, but they also have very compelling arguments about the levy’s negative economic impact. Simply stated, the death tax exacerbates the tax code’s bias against capital formation and results in all sorts of economically inefficient tax avoidance behavior (with Bill and Hillary Clinton being classic examples).

His column concludes with some suggestions of how folks on the left can be more persuasive. He basically says they should appeal to conservatives with values-based arguments such as these.
We should evaluate the policy based on its effect on individuals, and assign a higher weight to the majority of less wealthy people. …nobody can be said to consume only the products of their own labor. We rely on social institutions including markets and governments to provide us with all the goods we consume, and absent a theory of just prices (which present day conservatives don’t have) there is no sense in which we are entitled to specific terms of exchange.
I’m not the ideal person to speak for conservatives, but I don’t think those arguments will win many converts.

Regarding his first suggestion, Kasy’s problem is that he apparently assumes that people on the right don’t care about the poor. Maybe I’m reading between the lines, but he seems to  think conservatives will automatically favor lots of redistribution if he can convince that it’s good to help the poor.
I think it’s much more accurate to assume that plenty of conservatives have thought about how to help the poor, but they’ve concluded that the welfare state is injurious and that it is more effective to focus on policies such as school choice, economic growth, and occupational licensing.

Indeed, I hope most conservatives would agree with my Bleeding Heart Rule.

And his second idea is even stranger because economic conservatives have a theory of just prices. It’s whatever emerges from competitive markets.
Let’s close with a column by Alberto Mingardi
of the Bruno Leoni Institute in Italy. Published by the Foundation for Economic Education, the piece is relevant to today’s topic since it looks at why an unfortunate number of intellectuals are opposed to economic liberty.
…some have replied that the main reason is resentment (intellectuals expect more recognition from the market society than they actually get); some have pointed out that self-interest drives the phenomenon (intellectuals preach government controls and regulation because they’ll be the controllers and regulators); some have taken the charitable view that intellectuals do not understand what the market really is about (as they cherish “projects” and the market is instead an unplanned order).
Alberto then shares Milton Friedman’s answer.
I think a major reason why intellectuals tend to move towards collectivism is that the collectivist answer is a simple one. If there’s something wrong pass a law and do something about it. If there’s something wrong it’s because of some no-good bum, some devil, evil and wicked – that’s a very simple story to tell. You don’t have to be very smart to write it and you don’t have to be very smart to accept it.
My two cents, based on plenty of conversations with well-meaning folks on the left, is that there’s actually a lot of agreement of some big-picture values. We all want less poverty and more prosperity. In other words, I think most people have similar good intentions (I’m obviously excluding communists, Nazis, and others who believe in totalitarianism).

But similar good intentions doesn’t translate into agreement on policy because of secondary values. Especially differences in whether we view “equality of outcomes” as an appropriate goal for government. Some on the left openly are willing to sacrifice growth to achieve more equality (Margaret Thatcher even claimed that they would be willing to hurt the poor if the rich suffered even more). Folks on the right, by contrast, are much more focused on helping the poor with growth rather than redistribution.

The Much-Deserved End of Obama’s Operation Choke Point

Dan Mitchell



Trump has been President for more than 200 days and those of us who want more economic liberty don't have many reasons to be happy. Obamacare hasn't been repealed, the tax code hasn't been reformed, and wasteful spending hasn't been cut. The only glimmer of hope is that Trump has eased up on the regulatory burden. More should be happening, of course, but we are seeing some small steps in the right direction. Let's share one positive development. Professor Tony Lima of California State University opined back in January in the Wall Street Journal that Trump could unilaterally boost growth by ending a reprehensible policy known as "Operation Choke Point.".........Keep in mind, by the way, that Congress didn't pass a law mandating discrimination against and harassment of these merchants.  The Washington bureaucracy, along with ideologues in the Obama Administration, simply decided to impose an onerous new policy......To Read More.....






The Invasion of Canada

Posted by Daniel Greenfield 11 Comments Friday, August 18, 2017
Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle. 1,477 people live in this little corner of Quebec with its apple orchards, elderberry fields and small wineries. But now 400 migrants can cross the border in a single day.

On the other side of the border is New York. There the language is English. In Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, the language of choice is French. But these days you’re a more likely to hear Arabic, Urdu or Haitian French being spoken here as Roxham Road fills with clots of migrants scampering out of America.

They’re not the leftist American celebs who threaten to leave for Canada if their side doesn’t win the election. Instead they’re the illegal and dubiously legal who got the message from President Trump.

The overloaded Mounties at the border crossing are being forced to cope with the jabbering illegals, grifters and fake refugees of Trump’s migrant surge. But where Obama’s migrant surge swelled America’s southern border with incoming migrants, Trump’s migrant surge is expelling them north.

The Syrians, or anyone claiming to be, are coming. So are the Sudanese, Somalis and Haitians. This is an informal border crossing and so the rules that might protect Canada from this horde don’t apply. Quebec has become the weakest link in the Canadian border with the vast majority of border migrants invading the “True North” through vulnerable points like the dead end of Roxham Road.

The same thing is happening in Emerson, a town of 689 people named after Ralph Waldo Emerson, near Minnesota whose Somali settler population is invading and victimizing this peaceful community. At night Somalis can be seen walking up to Emerson to take advantage of a new country and her people.

In a town where once no one locked their doors, locals now check their bolts and turn out the lights. And then they wake up to the nightmare of migrant mobs pounding on their doors and peering through their windows in the middle of the night.

"They banged pretty hard, then 'ring ring ring' the doorbell," a mother of two young girls said. "It was scary."

Muhammad, a Somali migrant, heard that President Trump had deported a bunch of Somali asylum seekers. And so he headed for Emerson with ten others. He claims he no longer feels secure in America. And he wants to bring the rest of his family along.

Unfortunately, Muhammad and all those like him feel all too secure invading Canada.

At Hemmingford, a Quebec town near New York with less than 1,000 people, Syrians, Yemenis, Bangladeshis, Sudanese and Turks swarm to get across. Women in burkas and hijabs ignore the commands to stop. Before they used to furtively cross the border at night. Now they openly march across it in broad daylight. They know that the Canadian authorities can’t do anything to stop them.

“They heard Justin Trudeau on the radio saying Canada would continue to welcome people being excluded under Trump’s policies and they took it literally, and they came,” a lawyer for a Syrian migrant clan said.

Just as migrants had reacted to Obama’s signal to come, they are reacting to Trump’s signal by going.

The Border Patrol watches as a horde of illegal aliens from Syria, Haiti and anywhere else head for Trudeauland. "Our mission isn't to prevent people from leaving," an operator is quoted as saying.

There are plenty of Haitians heading down Roxham Road after the Department of Homeland Security told the 58,706 Haitians in the Temporary Protected Status program to move along. TPS is one of those gimmicks that the government uses to boost immigration in a backhanded fashion.

Seven years ago, Haiti suffered an earthquake. Obama’s DHS announced that there would be no more deportations. Haitian illegal aliens instantly and magically became “quake refugees” even though they had been living in America when the quake happened. Trump’s DHS warned that the free ride was over.

And so it’s on to Canada.

The number of Mountie interceptions in Quebec tripled since Trump took office. The Mounties may always get their man, but they’re getting far too many of them these days. More than they can handle.

"Our agents are in a state of crisis right now,” the president of the Customs and Immigration Union said.

But they’re the victims of a broken Trudeau regime that puts migrants first and Canadians last. And the Mounties have been turned into a delivery service for bringing illegals and their luggage to Canada. A hundred soldiers have been dispatched, not to stop the illegals, but to put up housing for them.

"Our role is limited to putting up tents with a rigid floor and installing heating and lighting," Major Yves Desbiens said. When that’s done, some members of the Canadian Amy will stay on as the maintenance crew for the invaders. So much for the Army’s proud motto, ‘We stand on guard for thee.’

Who stands on guard for Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, for Hemmingford and Emerson? And for Canada?

In days gone by, armies kept invaders out of a country instead of accommodating them. But under Prime Minister Trudeau, the Canadian military is there to facilitate the invasion of Canada.

The arrests are a formality. The invading horde ignores the signs and warnings by officers to turn back. They’re arrested, given food and put on a bus along with their luggage to Montreal. There they can expect free health care and a $650 check. And clamorous demands for social services and housing.

The Olympic Stadium opened in more hopeful times for the ’76 Summer Olympics. These days “The Big Owe”, the stadium that nearly broke Montreal houses an even bigger and more expensive disaster. The $1.5 billion Olympic debt was paid off a decade ago after a long thirty years. Now the doughnut shaped arena swarms with freeloading migrants sleeping, eating and hosing off in the team locker showers.

The stadium plan comes down to Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre. Coderre had blamed the migrant swarm on President Trump’s immigration policies. But it’s the fault of Trudeau and Coderre’s migration policies. If your neighbor locks his door and you don’t, is it his fault if squatters break into your house?

"The City of Montreal welcomes Haitian refugees," Coderre had tweeted. "You can count on our full collaboration."

Collaboration was all too appropriate of a word.

Quebec Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil insisted that everything was fine. "We can handle it. There is not one ministry that is concerned about that — the federal government is not concerned about it."

Weil was echoing Angela Merkel’s delusional mass migrant coping slogan of, “Wir schaffen das.”

And what is there to be concerned about? Except that the Canadian crisis keeps getting worse.

In July, 50 people were arriving a day. Now it’s between 250 to 300. At Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, there was a 1000% increase in under two months. 700 have been crammed into the Big Owe. And Quebec will be on the hook for them even longer than for the stadium they’re living in. It will always owe them.

"There is no work for people in Quebec," a native resident complained. "There are no good jobs and we don't have money for the old people."

Meanwhile Syrian migrants have become a burden on Montreal schools which have been forced to hire specialized teachers. While back in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, lunch had to be provided for 900 migrants. In Emerson, government officials wanted to house migrants in the town’s ice skating ring.

Trudeau’s government has dismissed the idea that there might be a problem. And for good reason.

When Trudeau took over he named the President of the Canadian Somali Congress as Minister of Immigration. Ahmed Hussen, the new Minister of Immigration, had come to Canada as a Somali refugee.

Hussen had consistently insisted that there was no crisis while ignoring reports warning that there was.

The door to Canada was pried open from the inside. And only Canadians can take it out of Trudeau and Hussen’s hands and close it again. Under the conservative Harper government, Canada had sane immigration policies while America was suffering under the scourge of Obama’s illegal border surge. Now the governments have changed and the surge has shifted with them.

Canada’s crisis reminds us that illegal immigration is not an inescapable problem. It’s a product of government policies. We can solve all. All it takes is leaders with the political will to do it.

Borders exist to protect a country. We see that in Europe. We see it in America and Canada. And leaders who refuse to protect the border are really refusing to protect the nation that it represents.

 

Iran Will Get Its Shi’ite Bomb

By Morgan Norval

Tehran will not cease its efforts to develop its Shi’ite bomb. Until then, a review like the recent compliance certification of its nuclear activity is nothing more than window dressing designed to lull the gullible into a false sense of security. Shi’ite Iran with nuclear weapons will create more global instability. It will usher in a more dangerous world both within Islam and the world of the infidel. Sunni Islam has its nuclear bomb and Shi’ite Islam won’t cease its efforts to obtain one of their own. A world of peace seems to fade further and further away into the future.

The Trump Administration’s State Department recently certified that Iran was living up to its 2015 Obama-negotiated agreement not to develop nuclear weapons—atomic bombs. But it is wishful thinking on the part of the so-called “International Community.” They are overlooking, or, what is worse, thinking it is irrelevant—the long-standing acrimony between Sunni and Shi’ite Islam.........Read More

My Take - This is just one more historical account that explains today's Islam.  It's a mess!  It will always be a mess.  The Koran demands absolute obedience and any who refuse are to be killed, including those who profess to be Islamic but disagree, either politically or theologically - and I use those terms loosely since their religion is in fact a political criminal movement masquerading as a religion. 

The Enemy Within: Understanding the McMaster NSC Purge, “Obama Holdovers-Islamic Terrorism-The Iran Deal”

By Daniel Greenfield

The latest reports say that McMaster has a list of enemies who will be ousted from the NSC. And when that is done, the NSC will be a purely Obama-Bush operation. The consensus will be that the Iran Deal must stay, that Islam has nothing to do with Islamic terrorism, that we need to find ways to work with the aspirations of the Muslim Brotherhood, and that Israel must make concessions to terrorists. Clearly, the swamp is overflowing and the National Security Council is becoming a national security threat.

Derek Harvey was a man who saw things coming. He had warned of Al Qaeda when most chose to ignore it. He had seen the Sunni insurgency rising when most chose to deny it.
The former Army colonel had made his reputation by learning the lay of the land. In Iraq that meant sleeping on mud floors and digging into documents to figure out where the threat was coming from.
It was hard to imagine anyone better qualified to serve as President Trump’s top Middle East adviser at the National Security Council than a man who had been on the ground in Iraq and who had seen it all.

Just like in Iraq, Harvey began digging at the NSC. He came up with a list of Obama holdovers who were leaking to the press. H.R. McMaster, the new head of the NSC, refused to fire any of them.
McMaster had a different list of people he wanted to fire. It was easy to make the list. Harvey was on it...........The same national security purpose that is served by McMaster’s purge of anyone at the NSC who dares to name Islamic terrorism, who wants a tougher stance on Iran, and who asks tough questions.  And the purge of reformers and original thinkers is only beginning...........Read More

Feel the Bern: Venezuela's Socialist Paradise with John Stossel


Freedom Watch

Oregon eclipse tourists greeted by anti-Semitic banners on overpass - OregonLive.com
 A family driving north from California to see Monday's solar eclipse from Oregon found hatred on the freeway Saturday morning after they entered the northwestern state.  Beth and Michael Dershowitz and their kids saw the first banner south of Eugene. It said: "UNJEW HUMANITY."  They felt shaken, Dershowitz wrote in an email...........Continue Reading.....

Klayman: Ever Wonder Why Black Lives Matter, Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Their Ilk Don't Stand up for Jews as Liberal Jews Stand up for Them? Answer: They Are Anti-Semites Like the Neo-Nazis They Claim to Hate!
 
Fox News Host: Removing Confederate Statues Is a Plot 'So Country Forgets Democratic Party Enslaved Blacks' By David Edwards Raw Story August 20, 2017

 
Fox News host Jesse Watters lashed out at Democrats over the weekend for opposing statues of Confederate War "heroes."  In a controversial press conference last week, President Donald Trump defended people who marched with neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia to protest taking down Confederate War monuments. Trump argued that there were "fine people" at the march who only wanted to protect their Confederate "heritage.".........Continue Reading.....


Klayman: The Real Reason Is Likely That the President Feels That Fox News Has Turned Left and With a Few Exceptions Like Sean Hannity Against Him!

 'Nobody will': Fox host says 'no member of the Trump administration' will come on air as presidency implodes
 
By David Edwards
Raw Story
August 20, 2017
 
Fox News host Leland Vittert revealed on Sunday that President Donald Trump had refused to let anyone from his administration appear on the network.  During a segment about Trump's outgoing chief strategist Steve Bannon, Vittert noted that only Trump surrogates from outside the administration would discuss the staff shakeup...........Continue Reading.....
 

Left Vilifies Trump as World Burns

Larry Klayman sees double standard in how Obama was covered on race

By Larry Klayman WND August 18, 2017

Ironically, having lived through the Clinton White House years as the founder, chairman and general counsel of Judicial Watch, which I conceived of at the time to be the People's Justice Department (Freedom Watch now occupies that mantle), I always said that the media's focus on the Monica Lewinsky scandal, which I never thought that important given the 40-plus other Clinton scandals, allowed Osama bin Laden to plot the September 11 terror attacks as the nation was titillated with an intern and a low-class president. My tag line at the time, was that while Slick Willy was having sex with Monica, it was the nation that was about to get screwed. This same dangerous phenomenon is sadly true today, as the media and the political establishment of both parties have not learned their lesson — at the continuing expense of the American people..........And, while the cowards of the Republican establishment joined in the hateful chorus against President Trump, including many who pretend to be conservative cable news commentators, like Shepard Smith – all of whom are petrified of also being called white racists if they do not throw their lot in with the left – the nation is being dangerously diverted from focusing on the real threat of more terrorism on our shores, as just occurred in Barcelona. There are also the looming nuclear showdowns with North Korea and its equally evil partner, Iran, as well as other dangerous foreign threats........  Continue Reading.....

Mann's Hockey Stick "Whitewash"


Curry Christy Mann and Pielke Go At It

Increased Carbon Dioxide Boosts Crops, Not Weeds!

Paper Reviewed

 Kaciene, G., Kiksaityte, A., Januskaitiene, I., Miskelyte, D., Zaltauskaite, J., Sujetoviene, G., Sakalauskiene, S., Miliauskiene, Juozapaitiene, G. and Juknys, R. 2017. Different crop and weed performance under single and combined effects of elevated CO2 and temperature. Crop Science 57: 935

One of the tactics utilized by climate alarmists in their attempt to disparage or downplay the growth-enhancing benefits of atmospheric CO2 enrichment is to suggest that weeds will become ever more aggressive in the future as the air's CO2 content continues to climb, making them greater threats to the wellbeing of both natural ecosystems and farming operations. But is this contention correct?

To determine whether elevated carbon dioxide levels and higher temperatures will “differentially affect crop and weed species,” Kaciene et al. grew peas, barley, and the weed wild mustard in a controlled environment under ambient carbon dioxide levels of 400 parts per million (ppm) and elevated levels of 700 ppm and 1400 ppm under ambient and elevated temperatures.

The researchers found higher carbon dioxide conditions elevated the growth and water use efficiency of pea and barley plants, while the wild mustard experienced insignificant gains. The researchers concluded, “crops … take a considerably higher advantage from elevated carbon dioxide compared with weed species,” even under conditions of elevated temperatures. ...........To Read More....


Australian Scientists Caught Fudging Temperature Data ....... Again!

Heartland Institute Climate Change Weekly

For the second time in three years the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has been caught altering or removing low temperature readings from the official record, thus giving the false impression warming is occurring in regions where it isn’t. After several meteorologists and climate researchers noticed low temperature readings were disappearing from the temperature observations recorded at a number of BOM weather stations—observations confirmed by independent sources—BOM was forced to admit a problem with the system.

Evidently the system was set to remove any recorded temperature outside of a preset range of “acceptable” readings. A BOM spokesperson admitted the agency placed limits on how low temperatures could go in some areas of the country. After the press publicized the data changes, BOM said the equipment at a number of locations was being taken offline for repair. The originally recorded low temperatures were restored to the official record, resulting in temperatures plunging by more than a degree at each of the locations in question.

This is not the first time BOM has been accused of manipulating Australia’s temperature data to promote climate alarm. In 2014, independent researchers showed BOM was systematically altering historic temperature data to make the past appear colder and the present warmer, thus showing an enhanced warming trend rather than the cyclical ups and downs in temperatures that had been recorded historically.

At the time, Australia’s environment minister convinced the prime minister not to convene an independent review panel to examine BOM’s data manipulations, saying such an independent review would undermine public confidence in the agency. As a result, instead of an independent forensic examination of BOM’s data collection, accounting, and reporting methods, the agency established an in-house technical review panel. That panel failed to catch the recent scrubbing of low temperatures.

As Tom Knighton writes:
BOM categorically denied that what they did constituted falsifying data, but here’s the problem with that: They ... you know, falsified data.
When you say ‘the Earth is warming up,’ and there is data that may indicate you’re wrong, and then you ‘quality assure’ it out of existence, that’s going to look sketchy as hell. Why? I don’t know, maybe because it’s sketchy as hell.

SOURCES: The Australian August 4 2017; The Australian April 8 2017; PJ Media; The Daily Caller
 

New Paper: CO2 Has ‘Negligible’ Influence On Earth’s Temperature

Water Vapour Climate Forcing ‘Up To 200 Times’ Greater, ‘Overrides Any Effect By CO2’

Lightfoot and Mamer, 2017

(1) Robust scientific evidence shows the sun angle controls water vapour content of the atmosphere, the main component of back radiation, as it cycles annually.

Back radiation, water vapour concentration, and atmospheric temperature follow the sun angle daily and over the seasons, increasing as the sun angle increases and falling as it decreases. Water vapour concentration is measured as parts per million by volume (ppmv) or by the ratio of the number of water vapour molecules for each CO2 molecule (H2O/CO2 ratio).
The purpose of this study is to present robust evidence that the sun is working with water vapour to control the Earth’s climate and to show that the influence of CO2 on atmospheric temperature is so small as to be negligible.
 
(2) Water vapour content measured as the ratio of the number of water molecules to CO2 molecules varies from 1:1 near the Poles to 97:1 in the Tropics. ......To Read More....

Bruce Ames on Cancer Causing Chemicals


Friday, August 18, 2017

China and India Guard Against the Preposterous

By George Friedman Aug 18, 2017

China and India have been locked in a military standoff in a remote section of the Himalayas for a couple of months. At first it appeared to be the latest of the minor clashes that have flared between the countries for decades. But this time it has lasted longer than usual. There are two questions to be answered. The first is what is the geopolitical interest, if any, that is driving the standoff? The second is why is it happening now?......To Read More....

My Take - I found this commentary interesting and since they say "we value your thoughts and opinions", I send my thoughts back. No one has ever responded so I have no idea if anyone reads them, but here are my thoughts.
Dear Mr. Friedman,
I enjoyed your commentary, but the thing that keeps coming back to me is what is the gain for either country to invade. China's economy is fraudulent and they know they can't afford such an endeavor.  India's is much better, so why would they want to invade China? 
China's an economic, ethic and bureaucratic mess filled with such massive corruption it's amazing they get anything done.The ethnic Han are hated by all the other ethnic groups, who consider China's government to be illegitimate, and most of the areas you highlight have low populations with terrains that are either mountainous or arid, with societal paradigms that have been foundational for centuries.  China isn't a truly modern nation - it's a mess!  
When China's economy collapses - and I expect that in less than ten years, and maybe as little as five -Tibet will become totally independent, outer reaches of China are now and have been ruled by local commies making up the rules as they go along, potentially turning China into a "former" nation once again ruled by war lords. 
Most of the Chinese population of almost one and a half billion people live in an area no bigger than the land mass East of the Mississippi River in the U.S. When they collapse starvation will become so severe they'll be begging India for food. So what do I think is really happening?  
I think this is just another one of China's object lesson military actions as was the 1962 action against India.  The difference now is India was completely shocked their fellow socialists would invade them, but that's not going to happen now and China knows it.  
But the Chinese just wanted to give their neighbors an intimidation smack in the head.  That same mentality is at play now as what China wants to do is create an Eastern Asia economic hegemony though intimidation.  They're doing it with Japan, the Phillipines and attempting to thwart the U.S. with their territorial claims in international waters.  They need to keep America's Navy out, which is why they're wasting money on aircraft carriers with out of date Russian technology.   
That may have been a viable plan under Obama or Clinton, but that won't work now.  
At any rate - interesting commentary.  
Best Wishes, 
Rich Kozlovich
Paradigms and Demograhics




The Federal Government Should Get Out of Infrastructure

August 17, 2017 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty

I’ve called for the abolition of the Department of Transportation. On more than one occasion.  So I was very excited to see this new video about infrastructure from Johan Norberg.



Very well put. As Johan says (channeling Bastiat), we should remember that jobs are destroyed when money is taken out of the private sector to build infrastructure.

So it behooves us to make sure that any new project isn’t a boondoggle and instead will increase the economy’s productive capacity.

Which is why we should strive for decentralization and shrink Washignton’s footprint. If a state or local government is paying for its own projects, presumably it’ll have a greater incentive to avoid wasteful pork. When the federal government pays, by contrast, that’s a recipe for waste.
Veronique de Rugy explains the issue in a column for Reason. She starts with some economic analysis.
Economists have long recognized that roads, bridges, airports, and canals are the conduits through which goods are exchanged, and as such, infrastructure can play a productive role in economic growth. But not all infrastructure spending is equal. Ample literature shows, in fact, that it’s a particularly bad vehicle for stimulus and does not, in practice, boost short-term jobs or economic growth. …Publicly funded infrastructure projects often aren’t good investments in the long term, either. Most spending orchestrated by the federal government suffers from terrible incentives that lead to malinvestment—resources wasted in inefficient ways and on low-priority efforts. Projects get approved for political reasons and are either totally unnecessary or harmed by cost overruns and corruption.
And she concludes by arguing for market forces rather than federal involvement.
[Trump] should put an end to the whole idea that infrastructure should be centrally planned, taxpayer-funded, and the responsibility of the federal (as opposed to state or local) government. The current system obliterates the discipline that comes from knowing a project needs to pay for itself to survive. User fees should become our preferred option for funding infrastructure. That change kills two birds with one stone: It lessens the need for massive federal expenditures, and it gives the private sector an incentive to spend money on crucial but not exactly sexy maintenance tasks. …If Trump wants the United States to have “world-class” infrastructure, the surest way is through market-based reforms that increase competition while reducing subsidies and regulations. Embrace real privatization, not federally directed private investments.
Writing for U.S. News & World Report, Tracy Miller similarly argues that decentralization is the best approach.
Highways as well as public transportation are currently funded with money from the federal Highway Trust Fund, and by state and local governments. …Money from the fund has strings attached that raise costs and limit state and local governments’ ability to choose which projects have priority. These strings include prevailing wage laws, which require contractors receiving federal money to pay unionized wages even if they could attract qualified workers willing to work for less. High-profile projects chosen by politically powerful congressmen can easily take priority over projects that would generate greater benefits for their constituents. From an administrative standpoint, it would not be very difficult to reduce or eliminate the federal government’s role in highway and transit funding. Instead of gas taxes going to the federal government before being returned to the states, as is presently the case, each state could collect all taxes on fuel sold within its borders and decide how best to spend it. This would make it possible to downsize the U.S. Department of Transportation, saving taxpayers billions of dollars.
He explains why reform will lead to better – and cheaper – transportation.
Local governments – with greater awareness of the local needs of metropolitan areas, small towns or rural areas – can do a better job of funding and managing roads, highways and public transportation that serve primarily local residents. State governments or private firms, meanwhile, can best manage interstate and other major highways that cater mostly to long-distance travelers, especially if they could cover expenses with user fees. …Many drivers object to the idea of paying tolls for the use of currently “free” interstate highways, whether they are managed by private firms or state governments. But highways aren’t free – the costs are hidden within our fuel taxes. If mileage-based user fees are applied to all highways and set at the correct levels, they can become a much more efficient (and ultimately cheaper) replacement for fuel taxes. 
Professor Edward Glaeser of Harvard summarizes the issue nicely in an article for CNBC.
Our current system of federal funding for transportation means that taxpayers in New York fund highways in Montana and drivers in Utah pay for New York’s airports. If President Trump wants to seriously improve American infrastructure spending, he should champion a new federalism for transportation, in which infrastructure is funded by states, localities and especially the users themselves. …The best decisions are made when decision-makers bear the costs and reap the benefits. When companies invest, they agonize about whether future customers will pay enough to cover the production costs. …Having lived through Boston’s Big Dig, I am well aware of how the promise of federal funding skews local decision-making. Local leaders stop asking themselves whether the benefits cover the costs because it’s somebody else’s nickel. …Detroit would have never built its absurd People Mover Monorail without federal encouragement and funding.
He elaborates on some of the implications for different types of infrastructure.
If new automotive infrastructure is meant to be self-financing, then the decision to build is a straightforward business investment and there is little need for large-scale federal funding. …The beneficiaries of metro systems are the businesses and commuters within a state. They could be funded with local property or sales taxes. My favorite metro funding model is in Hong Kong, where the city’s private mass transit system funds itself by building high-rises atop new train stops. …More federal funding for dysfunctional airports just perpetuates the status quo. They would be far healthier if they were split apart from the larger agency and allowed to operate, compete and charge higher landing fees, either as independent self-funding public airports, as in the U.K., or as private entities.
Amen. I’m not surprised to see Hong Kong as a role model. And I’ve already written about the U.K.’s success with privatization.   Speaking of privatization, a column in the Wall Street Journal points out that this is the way to improve airports in America.
Why do American passengers pay so much to get so little? Because their airports, by global standards, are terribly managed. Cities from London to Buenos Aires have sold or leased their airports to private companies. To make a profit, these firms must hold down costs while enticing customers with lots of flights, competitive fares and appealing terminals. The firm that manages London’s Heathrow, currently eighth in the international ranking, was so intent on attracting passengers that it built a nonstop express train to the city’s center. It’s also seeking to add another runway, as is the rival firm running Gatwick Airport. American airports are typically run by politicians in conjunction with the dominant airlines, which help finance the terminals in return for long-term leases on gates and facilities. The airlines use their control to keep out competitors; the politicians use their share of the revenue to reward unionized airport workers. No one puts the passenger first.
The author cites the San Juan airport as an example of what can happen under privatization.
If you want to see how much better American airports could be, take a plane to Puerto Rico. Until four years ago, the main airport in San Juan was run, and neglected, by an unwieldy bureaucracy, the Puerto Rico Ports Authority. The terminal was a confusing jumble of dim corridors. On rainy days, the ceilings leaked; on hot days, the air conditioning faltered. The stores were tacky and the restaurants greasy spoons, often rented at bargain rates to politicians’ friends or relatives. …Airlines switched operations to other Caribbean hubs. In 2013 the Ports Authority leased the airport for 40 years to Aerostar, a partnership operating airports in Cancún and other Mexican cities. The new managers agreed to make capital improvements, reduce landing fees and pay the Ports Authority $1.2 billion—half up-front. The result, three years later, is an airport nobody would call Third World. The redesigned concourses are sleek and airy, and revenue from new retail and restaurants has doubled. …Airlines no longer control the gates, but they’re reaping other benefits. “We’re paying lower fees for a much better airport,” says Michael Luciano, who runs Delta’s operations in San Juan. “Almost every area has been renovated. You go into any restroom, and it’s bright and clean—things like that are really important to our customers.” Passenger volume has been growing 4% annually, well above the industry average.
I can personally vouch for this. Because of all my travel in the Caribbean, I’ve used the San Juan airport extensively over the years, including just last week for the Liberty International conference.
The difference between today’s airport and the dump that used to exist is like the difference between night and day.

By the way, let’s also dismiss the notion that there’s some sort of infrastructure crisis.
I’ve already shared data from the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, which shows that the United States actually ranks relatively high compared to other nations.

And I’ve also shared solid numbers making the same point from Chris Edwards, one of my colleagues at the Cato Institute. Michael Sargent of the Heritage Foundation has a tweet that nicely shows that there isn’t a crisis.



Oh, and let’s also consider the example of Japan, which thought infrastructure spending was some sort of economic elixir. That didn’t work so well, as pointed out by the Wall Street Journal.
The U.S. economy isn’t growing at merely 2% because of potholes or airports… The prime illustration is Japan, which since the 1980s has tried to build its way out of stagnation. The country now boasts perhaps the world’s most spectacular suspension bridges, maglev trains, elevated highways and man-made islands, but the cost was trillions of yen of debt (now 230% of GDP) and no better growth. Nor could a monorail save Detroit. Projects make economic sense only to the extent they clear rigorous cost-benefit tests.
And if you want to know the infrastructure that is least likely to pass a cost-benefit test, just look at mass transit.  A good place to start is the Wall Street Journal‘s recent editorial on a subway line in New York City.
New York City opened a new subway line—about a century after the project was proposed and merely decades after ground-breaking in 1972…by far the most expensive train track in the history of the world. The story is an example of what not to do… This first phase of the new line—amounting to 1.6 miles in a single neighborhood, with three new stations and a renovated stop—cost some $4.451 billion. …The next leg of the Second Avenue subway, which would extend the train 29 blocks north into Harlem starting in 2020, is projected to cost an astonishing $6 billion, and that is surely an underestimate.
Gabriel Roth, writing for the Washington Examiner, has the right idea.
…abolish the subsidies. The federal government forces road users to spend some $10 billion a year on non-road assets of little or no benefit to them. Those payments are not only wasteful in themselves; they also encourage states and local governments to squander money on mass transit, whose costs users are not prepared to cover — not even the operating costs. If local communities consider such expenditures important, they should pay for them themselves.
By the way, just to show my libertarian bona fides, I think decentralization is just part of the answer. In my fantasy world, the private sector plays a bigger role.  And the good news, as I wrote back in 2014, is that my fantasy is reality in some instances.  Here’s another example from Hawaii.
Their livelihood was being threatened, and they were tired of waiting for government help, so business owners and residents on Hawaii’s Kauai island pulled together and completed a $4 million repair job to a state park — for free. …The state Department of Land and Natural Resources had estimated that the damage would cost $4 million to fix, money the agency doesn’t have, according to a news release from department Chairwoman Laura Thielen. …So Slack, other business owners and residents made the decision not to sit on their hands and wait for state money that many expected would never come. Instead, they pulled together machinery and manpower and hit the ground running March 23. And after only eight days, all of the repairs were done, Pleas said. It was a shockingly quick fix to a problem that may have taken much longer if they waited for state money to funnel in. “We can wait around for the state or federal government to make this move, or we can go out and do our part,” Slack said. “Just like everyone’s sitting around waiting for a stimulus check, we were waiting for this but decided we couldn’t wait anymore.” …”We shouldn’t have to do this, but when it gets to a state level, it just gets so bureaucratic, something that took us eight days would have taken them years,” said Troy Martin of Martin Steel, who donated machinery and steel for the repairs. “So we got together — the community — and we got it done.”
Reminds me of the guy who built some stairs at a park for $550 because the Toronto government was taking too long and planned to spend $65,000 to do the same thing.
And here’s another case study from Portland.
Portland Anarchist Road Care (PARC) is a community collaboration of skilled workers who volunteer their services to fix the damaged roads around Portland, Oregon. Citing concerns about governmental bureaucracy, the current political climate, a lack of funds and a seeming lack of care, the members of PARC decided to take things into their own very capable hands.
I have no idea whether these people are libertarian-minded anarcho-capitalists or deeply confused left-wing nihilist anarchists, but kudos to them for steeping up and doing a job cheaply and efficiently. The very opposite of what we expect from government.
P.S. Since Nazis are in the news and since I’m writing about infrastructure, here are some blurbs from an academic study on how Germany’s National Socialists used autobahn outlays to generate political support.
The idea that political support can effectively be bought has a long lineage – from the days of the Roman emperors to modern democracies, `bread and circus’ have been used to boost the popularity of politicians. A large literature in economics argues more generally that political support can be ‘bought’. …In this paper, we analyze the political benefits of building the worldʹs first nationwide highway network in Germany after 1933 – one of the canonical cases of government infrastructure investment. We show that building the Autobahn was highly effective in reducing opposition to the Hitler regime. …What accounts for the Autobahn’s success in winning “hearts and minds”? We discuss the economic and transport benefits. In the aggregate, these have been shown to be minimal (Ritschl 1998; Vahrenkamp 2010). …we argue that the motorways…increased support because they could be exploited by propaganda as powerful symbols of competent, energetic government. …Our results suggest that infrastructure spending can indeed create electoral support for a nascent dictatorship – it can win the “hearts and minds” of the populace. In the case of Germany, direct economic benefits of pork‐barrel spending in affected districts may have played a role.
Seems that politicians, whether motivated by evil or run-of-the-mill ambition, love spending other people’s money to build political support. Is it any wonder that we hold them in such low esteem?

P.P.S. Fans of “public choice” doubtlessly will be amused by the IMF’s 2014 flip-flop on infrastructure.