Saturday, September 30, 2017

Take a Knee, Part I: What We Need is Clarity!

"Definition Leads to Clarity.  Clarity Leads to Understanding.  Understanding Leads to Good Decision Making. Good Decision Making Leads to Harmony."

By Rich Kozlovich

This will be the only post on Paradigms and Demographics today as I don't want anything else to distract from what I have to say. 

View More Cartoons


My very good friend Mike Grace forwarded an e-mail to me of unknown origin, so I can't source it for you, but it was touching, profound and provocative, and it fits perfectly with this American Spectator cartoon.

It starts out like this:
"Take a little trip to Valley Forge in January. If you don't know where that is, just Google it from the sidelines. Hold a musket ball in your fingers and imagine it piercing your flesh and breaking a bone or two. There won't be a doctor or trainer to assist you until after the battle, so just wait your turn. Take your cleats and socks off to get a real experience. Then take a knee. "
The e-mail talks about those who stormed the beaches of Normandy with absolutely no protection from the bullets except the dead bodies of their comrades.  Vets who suffered in the jungles of Vietnam and then came home to be spit on by on by their fellow citizens exercising their "first amendment rights".

Real men and women gave up their lives in behalf of their countrymen all over the world on nameless hills, bloody beaches, sweltering jungles, and in freezing cold - doing their duty.  All the while there was not one cheerleader in sight, no announcers praising their actions, and no cheering fans high fiveing when they committed some selfless act of heroism.  And no multimillion dollar contracts for their service at the end of their tours of duty.  When they took and knee it was to pray.

So then what's it really all about? 
  • Is it really about racism? 
  • Is it really about police brutality or misconduct against blacks?
  • Are cops, especially white cops targeting blacks?
  • Is this really about equality?
  • Is this really a First Amendment Right issue?
Actually these issues are all part of a larger agenda, which I will address later. One thing it really is though - this really is an act of disrespect for America, Americans and what each stands for and represents, and any blather from the NFL or the media to the contrary is horsepucky. 

Another thing is also clear.  It wasn't Donald Trump who started this divisiveness, and it wasn't Trump who made this a racial issue - it was Colin Kaepernick who did - and along with Keapernick, the NFL bears total responsiblity for all of this. 

Let's take a look at Kaepernick and the seeming origin of this "protest". 

Keapernick claimed he wouldn't stand for the Anthem because - "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color." Yet at a post game interview he wore a Fidel Castro shirt giving the impression he was in support of one of the most oppressive murderous dictators who ever lived on this planet and a notorious racist.  He was also known to wear "pig cop" socks during practice.  So we really need to ask: Does he have a valid argument about cops targeting blacks?  Let's look at that first. 

Irrespective of what the media spouts about the "injustices" perpetrated by brutal racist cops - every one of these recent media crusades against cops over some killing - those killed were thugs and criminals.  Crime statistics show a cop is twice as likely to shoot a white criminal as a black perpetrator.  But statistics also show black crime is way out of proportion to their population.  If these activists want to lessen black confrontations with the police then encourage their community to stop perpetrating criminal acts.  With a few unfortunate exceptions, people who aren't committing crimes don't have confrontations with police. 

In the article September 29,2017 article, Blacks, Crime, and the Bended Knee, By Shari Goodman she notes:
It is not “whitey” who is committing 62 percent of robberies, 57 percent of murders, 45 percent of assaults in the 75 biggest counties throughout the United States. Despite comprising only about 15 percent of the population in those counties. 91 percent of blacks are murdered by other blacks . Blacks comprise 10 percent of the population, but commit 42 percent of the robberies and 34 percent of felonies. In a report from the Department of Justice, over a 30-year period between 1980 and 2008, blacks committed half of all homicides in the United States despite comprising only 13 percent of the population.
Furthermore, a 2007 FBI file reports there were 433,934 single-offender victimization crimes against whites by blacks compared to 55,685 crimes committed by whites against blacks -- eight times as many more crimes committed against whites by blacks. Interracial rape is almost exclusively a black on white crime with 14,000 assaults on white woman but not one case of a white sexual assault on a black female.
In her book The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe, Heather McDonald documents the inner city warfare committed by black males against other black males.  
In Chicago, 76 percent of all homicides are committed by blacks and 78 percent of all juvenile arrests involve blacks.
 Kaepernick's first and only justifications for his actions - "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color" - are blatant nonsense, especially from a mediocre quarterback who pocketed $39 million dollars over the last three years of his contract from his "oppressors".

Part II will follow.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Hernandez's Severe CTE is About Blame and a Pay Day, Not Medicine

By Erik Lief — September 22, 2017

By most measures, Aaron Hernandez did not come off to the public as a sympathetic figure. But with the revelation that his brain was severely damaged from playing football – far worse than anyone's studied so far, considering his age – an attempt to make him just that is now underway.
But since this attempted rehabilitation is being done by an attorney and not a doctor, it'd be wise to look past the lawyer's spin.

In the final act of Hernandez's brief, eventful, rollercoaster life, the late NFL tight end was considered both prone to violence and unpredictability – and that was even before becoming a convicted murderer. Add to the picture that Hernandez was a hulking figure covered in tattoos, which did little to soften his public perception, and what astonished observers were left with was the task of reconciling how a Super Bowl champion with a $40 million contract ended up in prison serving a life sentence – at the age of 25 – without the possibility of parole........To Read More....

The Word 'Doctor' May Not Mean What You Think

By Jamie Wells, M.D. — September 20, 2017

For most of us, the word “doctor” in the health care setting tends to conjure up a person who completed college, innumerable pre-med requirements, medical school, internship, residency and possibly specialty fellowship (sometimes more than one). It implies a long road that ranges more than a decade, inclusive of countless board examinations with continued recertification, annual mandatory continuing medical education credits and accounts for exposure to the most clinical hours of other staff personnel in breadth, depth and scope............First came titles like “clinician,” “advanced practitioner,” or “provider.”...........Non-doctor health professionals, backed by powerful lobbies, are also playing a role as they are increasingly interested in the easing of certain practice restrictions. These ambiguous, often nebulous titles mask a stark reality - people will be able to practice medicine without ever having to attend medical school, perform rigorous residencies or be comprehensively and extensively trained as physicians............To Read More.....

When a Stethoscope Doesn't Mean Integrity

By Ruth Kava — September 22, 2017

When we think of a healthcare provider, the picture that most often comes to mind is of someone in a long white lab coat with a stethoscope slung around his or her neck. And we tend to accept much of what they tell us (although not as much as we used to) because we understand the extent of their education and experience. As my colleague Dr. Jamie Wells described it, a physician’s background includes “college, innumerable pre-med requirements, medical school, internship, residency and possibly specialty fellowship (sometimes more than one).”

However, Americans’ trust in the medical profession as a whole isn’t as great as it used to be — as depicted in the New England Journal of Medicine:  “In 1966, nearly three fourths (73%) of Americans said they had great confidence in the leaders of the medical profession. In 2012, only 34% expressed this view. But simultaneously, trust in physicians' integrity has remained high.........To Read More....

Geopolitical Futures

(Editor's Note: I just updated this post with  a link to their latest information about Spain, but the one thing that keeps coming through every article posted about Europe - the EU is doomed. RK)

A Fight Spain Can’t Win

By Jacob L. Shapiro



The autonomous Spanish community of Catalonia plans to hold an independence referendum on Oct. 1. The Spanish government intends to prevent that referendum from taking place ­– by any means necessary. Ironically, Spain’s crackdown, while predictable, exacerbates the very threat Spain is trying to subdue. Whether or not Madrid’s heavy-handed approach prevents a declaration of independence, in the long term it will only push more Catalans toward the conclusion that their future lies not with Spain but with themselves.  Spain, the European Union’s fourth-largest economy, sits on the verge of a major political crisis that it has no way of solving.

Nations Within Nations

This standoff is only the latest expression of an issue between Madrid and Barcelona that is almost a millennium old: the Catalan people’s desire to rule themselves. Present-day Catalonia has a culture, language and history that is unique and all its own. It has preserved this identity despite losing multiple wars for self-rule, and despite periods of intense suppression. Catalonia’s desire for independence played a major role in the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War, another conflict in which Catalonia ended up on the losing side. Francisco Franco’s rule and repression of Catalonia after the war did nothing to dim Catalonia’s identity, or for that matter any of the identities of the various nations that today make up the Kingdom of Spain. ........ If Catalonia were to leave Spain, not only would roughly 20 percent of Spain’s gross domestic product disappear overnight, but it would also raise the possibility that other autonomous regions might be interested in national self-determination too...............To read more the post A Fight Spain Can’t Win appeared first on Geopolitical Futures.


Poland Challenges the European Identity

By George Friedman

I am writing this from a hotel room in Warsaw, surrounded by memorials to Frederic Chopin, the great Polish composer and champion of self-determination for the Polish people. This is a particularly appropriate time to be here, since Poland is locked in a battle with the European Union over the question of Polish national self-determination – more than two centuries after Chopin was born.
The issue comes down to this: Poland elected a government that pledged to change the direction in which the country was moving. The new government was of the right. It opposed the policies and institutional stance of the previous, left-of-center government. The previous government had embedded its followers in various institutions, such as the courts and national radio, as governments tend to do. The new government saw itself as facing a hostile judiciary and state-owned media. And so it sought to change the management of the state-owned media and “reform” (in its terms) the judiciary............

What makes the Polish situation different is the threatened intervention by the European Union bureaucracy and the vocal hostility of Germany to the new government’s policies. This includes threats to suspend Poland from participation in some EU functions and various hostile claims about the Polish government.......The Polish government’s misfeasance is not really about courts or broadcasting. Rather, it is about Poland deviating from the EU’s ideology...... has opposed unlimited immigration into Poland by Muslims, arguing that it would change the country’s national character. In other words, Poland has elevated national distinctions to a level unacceptable to the European Union. It insists that there is a Polish nation and that others with differing values cannot become part of it...........To Read more, the post Poland Challenges the European Identity appeared first on Geopolitical Futures.


An End in Sight for Ukraine … Maybe

By Jacob L. Shapiro

The conflict in Ukraine has developed an interminable quality. We are now over three years into the war in Donbass, and every day brings new updates on cease-fire violations or steps forward and backward on implementing the Minsk accord. This can make it hard to determine when conditions have actually changed. There have been a few key developments lately, however, that suggest real change is in the offing. The likeliest shape of this change is an acceptance of the stalemate and formalization of the status quo so that the fighting can finally stop. It’s a little too soon to say that this is what’s happening, but the early indicators are there. ............

Consider also that Russia is spending a lot of money to keep those separatist areas, Donetsk and Luhansk, afloat. The exact amount is impossible to know. A study by the German newspaper BILD concluded that Russia was spending 1 billion euros ($1.17 billion) a year on public service salaries and pensions alone in separatist Ukraine.......The Russian economy is not in a state that it can afford to throw money at a problem with no end in sight..........To read more the post An End in Sight for Ukraine … Maybe appeared first on Geopolitical Futures.


Eastern Europe’s Competitive Edge

Summary



Eastern Europe is the most dynamic part of the European continent. So great is its potential that it is among the subjects at our annual conference in October.  But before we can explain why this is, we must first define what we mean by Eastern Europe. For the purposes of this Deep Dive, Eastern Europe includes nine countries: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

We are, however, leaving out some countries that are widely considered Eastern European. We’ve excluded the Balkans, for example, because the geopolitics of that region is fundamentally different from the geopolitics of the countries we are including in our analysis. Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and Russia are similarly often lumped into Eastern Europe, but they have different economic and political structures, so they should be dealt with separately. We are, however, including the Baltic states. They see themselves as part of Northern Europe rather than Eastern Europe but mostly out of a desire not to be called “eastern.” ............ To read more the post Eastern Europe’s Competitive Edge appeared first on Geopolitical Futures.



 

Breaking! Court to Review Clinton Emails Over Objections from State Department and Justice Department

By Onan Coca September 28, 2017

Judicial Watch announced today that a federal judge will begin reviewing the redacted material from emails discussing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s wrongheaded use of iPads and iPhones while she was leading the State Department. The Judge has also ordered the State Department to file an affidavit explaining why they shouldn’t have to search for new Clinton emails that have been recovered in recent months.

In doing this, the court has obviously rejected arguments by the Trump administration’s State and Justice Departments. The question is… why have the State Department and the Justice Department continued to cover for Hillary Clinton?...........Hillary Clinton belongs in prison for the way that she routinely mishandled classified information, now we just need to find a Trump administration official brave enough to see justice done......To Read More.....

Larry Klayman on Hillary Clinton, Judge Roy Moore, NFL and Mueller

Clinton: 'Hopefully Trump Hasn't Ordered Killing of People and Journalists' Like Putin
 
Fox News Insider September 26, 2017
 
Hillary Clinton called President Trump a "top down guy" who "has tendencies toward authoritarianism," and added she hoped he hasn't condemned people to die like other autocrats.   "I don't really think he values democracy, Charlie," Clinton told PBS' Charlie Rose. "He's a top down guy. He has tendencies toward authoritarianism."  Rose asked if that meant he is no different than Russia's Vladimir Putin...........Continue Reading.....

Klayman - Hypocritical That Hillary Would Brand Trump a Killer as Scores of Witnesses Died "Mysteriously" During Clinton Administration!
 

Roy Moore Victory Cements Anti-Establishment Wave
 
Congrats to Chief Justice Roy Moore!
 
Freedom Watch TV September 27, 2017
 
 

Revoke NFL's Anti-Trust Exemption Over Protests and Price-Fixing


See also Klayman's article "Revoke the NFL's Antitrust Exemption"
Larry Klayman Discusses Mueller's Investigation & The NFL Protests
 
Klayman joins Bill Tucker and Tom Borelli to discuss the news of the day
 
Newsmax TV September 28, 2017
 

What natural disasters should teach us ​

Hurricanes, landslides and other disasters show Africans why we need fossil fuels

Steven Lyazi

I express my deepest sympathies to the people in the Caribbean and United States who have been impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. The loss of life was tragic but has thankfully been much lower than in many previous storms. Buildings are stronger, people get warned in time to get out, and they have vehicles to get to safer places until the storms pass.

I also send my sincere sympathies to my fellow Ugandans who have been affected by terrible landslides in eastern Uganda, near Kenya. Natural disasters often strike us hard. Sometimes it is long droughts that dry up our crops and kill many cattle. This year it is torrential rains and landslides.

This time we were lucky. The collapsing hillsides destroyed three villages, but thankfully it was daytime and people were outside. They lost their homes, cattle and ripened crops, but not their families. A horrendous mudslide in the same mountainous area in 2010 buried 350 parents and children under 40 feet of mud and rock.

People there have been cutting down trees for decades – for fuel, lumber and to grow crops. Now no roots hold the hills together when it rains. More cracks have appeared in the hills, so more slides are likely. But people don’t want to leave their lands, and they’re not planting new trees either.

Some people are ignoring all this history and the human roles in causing these “natural” disasters. They are blaming the rains and mudslides on global warming, climate change and the fossil fuels that modern industrialized countries burn to provide modern homes, travels and living standards.

These false claims are intended to divert us from real problems. They are intended to justify demands and campaigns that Ugandans and other Africans should rely on a few wind turbines and solar panels and should never use oil, natural gas or coal to provide cheap, reliable and plentiful energy so that we can live more like Americans or Europeans.

These people want to become our Jesus, and save us from “global warming disasters,” by keeping us poor and at the mercy of Mother Nature. Former vice president Mr. Al Gore said manmade global warming has increased the number and strength of tornadoes and hurricanes, Mount Kilimanjaro’s glacier would disappear by 2016, and Arctic summers would be ice-free as soon as 2014.

None of this happened. So he just changed the year when the disasters will hit. Mr. Gore declares in his film that “it is right to save humanity.” Yes, it is and I support that with no argument.

But I would suggest that he and his friends begin by injecting their own billions of dollars into fossil fuels and nuclear energy to create jobs around the world, help us build modern homes, uplift economies so that people can live a self-sustainable life, and get rid of the diseases that are killing us.

He needs to stop trying to scare us by spreading false gospels about mankind and fossil fuels. He needs to stop trying to save humanity from movie disasters, when we face real disasters. He needs to stop making us rely on renewable energy, while he continues to have many big homes, drive around in big cars and fly in private jets all over the world.

Just in the last 25 years, fossil fuels have helped over 1.5 billion people in developing nations get electricity and escape deprivation, starvation, and lung and intestinal diseases that used to kill them and their children. But Africa, India and Asia still have vast regions that need to be electrified. More than a billion people in those regions still do not enjoy the wonderful blessings that electricity brings.

These places need more coal, gas and nuclear power plants. Thankfully they are building them, no matter what Mr. Gore and his radical friends say. Mr. Gore and his friends have fancy homes with every modern technology that electricity can bring. They have cars and modern hospitals.

My family in Kampala has a few of these things – a few lights and a radio, small stove and not even a little refrigerator. I just got a used computer that a friend sent me from the United States. Someday we would like a television and a normal sized refrigerator, like what we see in Europe and the States. Can we dream that someday we will have air conditioning?

Can the people in eastern Uganda dream of a time when they can rebuild their homes with more than mud and sticks? And actually have electricity, lights, refrigerators and stoves?

Radical Al Gore, renewable energy cheerleaders and climate activists have sweet homes and nice cars, jets and trains to take them anywhere they want to go 24/7. They cannot even come close to understanding how it feels to live in darkness, drink dirty water, and have no medicine except herbs and the grace of God when they get sick from malaria and other diseases they have never even heard of. They cannot imagine not being able to have a cold drink or hot coffee when they want one.

But they tell us we should be happy to enjoy the tiny improvements we might get from wind and solar power, as an “acceptable” and “preferred” and “sustainable” alternative to really better lives.

I have said this in my past articles, and I will still say it again. In Sub-Saharan Africa, nearly 700 million people still cook with wood, charcoal and animal dung, Hundreds of millions get horribly sick every year – and thousands die every year from lung and intestinal diseases, because we have to breathe smoke from open fires and don’t have refrigeration, clean water and safe food. Hundreds of millions are starving and malnourished, and try to survive on a few dollars a day.

Mr. Al Gore, how many dollars do you “survive” on per day? How many homes and refrigerators do you have? Can your refrigerators hold more than a few vegetables and a few bottles of milk or water?

To use the words of Rabbi Daniel Lapin, our impoverished masses simply want to take their rightful, God-given places among Earth’s healthy and prosperous people. Instead, we are being told “that wouldn’t be sustainable.” We are being told that improving our health, living standards and life spans is less important than avoiding the forthcoming climate cataclysm that Mr. Gore and his movies and computer models say will happen if we Africans modernize with fossil fuels.

These claims – and the false solutions to make-believe problems sometime in our future – ignore the real disasters and deaths that face us right now, every day of the year. They are intended to divert us from the better lives and sweet homes we dream of. They are intended to make Mr. Gore and his friends and the radical cheerleaders feel like they are saving Africans and our planet, while in reality they are killing millions of us every year.

Right this very minute, climate alarmists are blaming hurricanes and landside on fossil fuels. While they enjoy fancy homes, cozy beds and sofas, heating and air conditioning that keep them comfortable all year round, televisions and Alexa music, air travel whenever they want to go somewhere – they tell us Africans we should be happy and content with our “simple lives.” They tell us we should keep our oil, gas, coal and nuclear energy underground and untouched.

This is disgraceful. It is unacceptable. We will no longer tolerate it.

Alexander King was the co-founder of the Club of Rome, which wrote The Limits to Growth book. During World War II, he organized production of a new insecticide and gave it the name DDT. The chemical saved the lives of thousands of Allied troops in the Far East. It was also used to stop typhus epidemics in Europe after the war.

But later on he said: “My own doubts came when DDT was introduced for civilian use. In Guyana, within two years, it had almost eliminated malaria, but at the same time the birth rate had doubled. So my chief quarrel with DDT, in hindsight, is that it has greatly added to the population problem. Of course, I can’t play God on that one.”

But King and his followers did play God. They got DDT banned and even blocked its use in preventing malaria for decades. Millions of African parents and children died. Now his descendants want to keep us from using fossil fuels. Where is the justice and humanity in any of this?

Steven Lyazi is a student and worker in Kampala, Uganda. He served as special assistant to Congress of Racial Equality-Uganda director Cyril Boynes, until Mr. Boynes’ death in January 2015. He plans to attend college and help his country and Africa get the energy and other modern technologies they need.

End the NFL

Posted by Daniel Greenfield 3 Comments Wednesday, September 27, 2017 @ Sultan Knish Blog

An Army recruit starts off with a salary under $20,000. Thousands of active duty military personnel are on food stamps. Millions of veterans rely on them to feed their families and themselves.

That’s how we treat the best of us. Here’s how we treat the worst of us.

An NFL rookie’s minimum salary is $465,000. And the majority of NFL players are usually bankrupt a few years after retirement because they blew through most of their money. Dozens of NFL players are arrested every year on charges ranging from murder to rape to animal abuse.

2017 was a banner year for the NFL with three times as many arrests as last year.

Along with the usual drunk driving and disorderly conduct arrests, there were 7 arrests for assault/battery, 6 for drugs and 5 for domestic violence.

The Seattle Seahawks announced that they weren’t going to “participate in the national anthem” because of the “injustice that has plagued people of color in this country”. While they lost that game, they are one of the top ranked teams in arrests. Alongside the Los Angeles Rams, the Green Bay Packers and the New York Jets, all of whom showed some solidarity with the anti-American protests, these top NFL criminal teams have racked up arrests for domestic violence, drugs, DUI and assault and battery.

It’s no wonder that so many of the NFL’s millionaire scumbags are eager to join Colin Kaepernick’s protests against the justice system by degrading our anthem.

It’s because they’re criminals.

And it’s no wonder that the NFL stands behind its thugs. If a team can shrug at abusing women, what’s a little anti-American tantrum by a prize property that makes them millions of dollars?

The only question is why are the rest of us subsidizing it?

NFL teams loot millions from taxpayers to fund their stadiums. The Seahawks have a point about injustice. And the injustice is that taxpayers had to spend $390 million on their stadium.

Who will let Washington taxpayers take a knee and opt out of being exploited by the Seahawks?

Ten New Orleans Saints players sat out the anthem. New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton expressed pride in the players who rejected the United States of America. The Saints not only enjoy a stadium paid for by a billion in taxpayer money in a city with one of the highest poverty rates in the country, but are exempt from sales tax. And receive millions every year in “inducement payments” to stay put.

Sweetheart deals like these are not uncommon. The NFL comes with a pass on property taxes (those are for little people) and taxes in general. Until 2015, the NFL was a non-profit. "Professional football leagues" was actually inserted into the Internal Revenue Code to provide a special non-profit status. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell got paid $44 million in one year. That made him the highest paid non-profit exec in the country.

The entire NFL is an illegal trust. It’s a monopoly that was illegally legalized by Congress.

That monopoly allows the NFL and its teams to cash in on television licensing and team gear. After the NFL uses its illegal monopoly to rip off broadcasters, ESPN rips off cable subscribers.

ESPN pays the NFL almost $2 billion a year. Even if you don’t watch ESPN, you’re paying $9 a month for it because of yet another illegal monopoly. If you subscribe to cable or live in a major city, the odds are good that your pocket is being picked by the millionaire racists “taking a knee” against America.

But the monopolies are dying.

ESPN is bleeding subscribers. The NFL’s anti-American turn is alienating fans. And cable is collapsing.

The NFL is built on government taking money from people and giving it to the industry. Its leftward tilt isn’t an accident. It’s a calculated move. Who are the folks most likely to bail out an industry? They’re on the left. Not the right. If your monopoly is dying, it’s time to go left and hate America.

Anthem bashing is popular with the left. And it’s very popular with the social justice bloggers who increasingly dominate sports journalism, and not just on ESPN. Hating America will score points with the left. It’ll buy the NFL more protectionism from the media and the 2020 Democrats.

The only question is why do we need the NFL?

Once upon a time there was a football free market. Multiple leagues competed with each other. And the NFL was just one of many. The NFL-AFL merger created a monster monopoly that has worked to crush any independent league through its control over broadcasting and venues.

That's what happened with the United States Football League which won an anti-trust court case against the NFL, but was forced under anyway.

The man at the center of the fight against the NFL was New Jersey Generals owner Donald Trump.

The illegal monopoly that created the NFL was the work of Senator Russell Long, the son of radical criminal Dem kingpin Huey Long, who illegally took over his father’s Senate seat (previously held by his mother) and spent almost four decades in the Senate with no qualification except his last name.

The NFL got a monopoly in exchange for New Orleans getting a franchise.

Congressman Hale Boggs, the corrupt Louisiana Dem boss who went to war with the FBI, got it through in the House by appealing, “The Republicans are out to get me. I need this to save me."

And Boggs held things up until he got assurances from the NFL commissioner that the franchise was in.

That’s the corrupt Democrat deal that created the NFL monopoly. Of course the NFL thinks the justice system is unfair. It was created by a crime and it’s full of criminals.

Before the anthem protests, the NFL was just one of the corrupt legacies of Democrat rule. It’s a reminder of the fact that social justice politics, whether it’s Obama’s “You Didn’t Build That” or Huey Long’s “Share Our Wealth”, is nothing more than organized thievery from the working class.

But the NFL is no longer just a corrupt monopoly. Instead it’s becoming a radical anti-American organization that uses its taxpayer-subsidized stadiums and monopoly broadcasting rights to spread hatred toward this country and disrespect to the soldiers who fought and died for it.

America could have tolerated the NFL’s corrupt thievery. But there’s no way Americans should be subsidizing this diseased leftover of Democrat corruption when it spews hate at the United States.

It’s time for the NFL’s anti-trust exemption to go the way of Ma Bell.

Break up the corrupt Democrat monopoly of the NFL and demolish the barriers to the formation of independent leagues by taking on the NFL, ESPN and its broadcasting partners in crime.

It’s time for the NFL to take a knee and for the free market to rise.

Football must become an American sport again.

(This article originally appeared at Front Page Magazine.)

The Problem Is Tax Hells, not Tax Havens

September 28, 2017 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty
 
Not everybody appreciates my defense of tax havens.

I don’t mind these threats and attacks. I figure the other side would ignore me if I wasn’t being at least somewhat effective in the battle to preserve tax competition, fiscal sovereignty, and financial privacy.
That being said, it’s definitely nice to have allies. I’ve cited Nobel laureates who support jurisdictional competition, and also shared great analysis in support of low-tax jurisdictions from top-flight financial writers such as Allister Heath and Pierre Bessard.

Now we have a new video from Sweden’s Johan Norberg. Johan’s latest contribution in his Dead Wrong series is a look at tax havens.



Johan packs an incredible amount of information in an 88-second video.
  1. He points out that stolen data from low-tax jurisdictions mostly reveals that politicians are the ones engaging in misbehavior, a point I’ve made when writing about pilfered data from Panama and the British Virgin Islands.
  2. He makes the critical point that tax competition “restrains the greed of government,” a point that the New York Times inadvertently confirmed.
  3. He also makes the key point that tax havens actually are good for the economies of high-tax nations because they serve as platforms for investment and job creation that otherwise might not occur.
  4. Moreover, he notes that the best way to boost tax compliance is by having honest government and low tax rates.
 
The bottom line is that tax competition and tax havens promote better policy since they discourage politicians from imposing high tax rates and double taxation.

But this isn’t merely an economic and tax issue. There’s also a very strong moral argument for tax havens since those jurisdictions historically have respected the human right of financial privacy.
For those who care about global prosperity, the real target should be tax hells rather than tax havens.

This is a message I will continue to deliver, whether to skeptics in the media or up on Capitol Hill.

P.S. If you prefer an eight-minute video over an 88-second video, here’s my two cents on the importance of tax competition.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Cartoon of the Day!

 

Hillary Clinton: Quotes of the Day by Jen Kuznicki!

"Hillary is a radical's radical, a compulsive liar, and is intoxicated by the accumulation of wealth and power. Her Marxist ideology and belief that destroying this nation from within is what has motivated and propelled her to become president of this nation. Anyone considering voting for this destroyer should have their heads examined." @ Conservative Review September 3, 2016

"Hillary can’t learn and she can’t tell the truth, and she sees an alternate reality filled with alternate facts."  @ Conservative Review September 19, 2017+

Hillary gives America a timely reminder why she lost

Hillary can’t learn and she can’t tell the truth.

Posted September 19, 2017 12:58 PM by Jen Kuznicki

For some unknown torturous reason, I watched an interview last night on C-SPAN of Hillary Clinton by her good friend Lissa Muscatine. I heard Clinton was on a book tour and figured I’d tune in to remind myself of the evil we face.

The election of Donald Trump was, for many, a “lesser of the two evils” scenario, and the greater evil showed her ability last night to twist reality and distort perception in a great performance that required the willing suspension of disbelief.

This is a woman who has, since childhood, given her parents reasons to not like her (that’s a direct quote from her very lips) and is so partisan and blind that she undermines her central point of female empowerment by staying married to that lecherous skin-crawling canker sore of a husband … while crying that it’s always everyone else who is out to get them both......To Read More....

49 abominable facts about Hillary the media won't tell you

Posted September 03, 2016 09:33 AM by Jen Kuznicki

If you listen to the news, the only real reporting being done about Hillary Clinton has to do with her email scandal. Even though she violated the Espionage Act, the FBI refused to prosecute. Her family’s foundation is under heavy scrutiny. But did you know these other important points about Hillary’s life-long run to the White House?.......To Read More....


MAD MAXINE: Impeach Trump over NFL kneelers!

By Kyle Olson September 25th, 2017

Come hell or high water, Maxine Waters is going to try to impeach President Trump.
During a weekend appearance on MSNBC, the California congresswoman told host Joy Reid that Trump “is the most deplorable person I have ever met, seen or witnessed,” and that he should be impeached in part due to his response to the NFL players kneeling during the national anthem....To Read More.......

Terrifying New Details Emerge in Case of Otto Warmbier’s Torture

As it stands today, there are a number of reasons why U.S. action against North Korea would be more than justified. Kim Jong Un and his band of miscreant minions have been a source of constant harassment for the United States for decades, constantly threatening to not only reduce the American continent to “ash” or “darkness”, but launching a series of dangerous missiles directly over the heads of U.S. allies in Japan and beyond.  The recent addition of ICBM’s and a possible hydrogen bomb to this cocktail of catastrophe merely increases the effect, sending our military leaders scrambling for the Pacific theater.

Beyond the military malignancy, North Korea has done a rather poor job of hiding one of their most unnerving secrets:  A series of concentration camps where dissidents and criminals are punished in cruel and inhuman ways for even the slightest offense.  Defectors from the hermit kingdom have relayed tales of pure horror from inside these institutions that would make Adolph Hitler weep.
The circumstances surrounding American Otto Warmbier immediately come to mind when any discussion of these forced labor camps arise.

Warmbier, who was sentenced to 15 years in a North Korean concentration camp for removing a poster from the wall of a hotel in the reclusive nation, was a regular prisoner for only a few days before his treatment at the hands of his captors sent him into a coma.  Over a year later, Warmbier was returned to the United States where he promptly passed away from his injuries.


Now Warmbier’s parents are speaking out against the North Koreans’ treatment of their son, detailing even more horrific facts about the condition in which Otto was returned to them.
“The first time Otto Warmbier’s parents saw their son after he was flown back from North Korea in June, they were confronted with the sound of inhuman howling so terrifying Otto’s mom ran off the plane. 
“As they waited for the plane bringing him back to Ohio, Otto’s parents, Fred and Cindy, had held on to hope that with medical care in the United States, he would eventually get better. That optimism didn’t last long. 
“’Otto had a shaved head, he had a feeding tube coming out of his nose, he was staring blankly into space, jerking violently,’ Fred said. ‘He was blind. He was deaf. As we looked at him and tried to comfort him it looked like someone had taken a pair of pliers and rearranged his bottom teeth.’ 
Warmbier’s treatment, as cruel and unimaginable as it seems, is not unique according to human rights activists and North Korea defectors.

Terrifying tales have emerged from deep within the DPRK for years, with torture, maiming, and forced abortions topping the list of atrocities that occur at the more than one dozen sites designated for such prisoners.

Corrupt Democrat IT Team was Funneling Massive Amounts of Data off Government Servers, Democrats say it was just their Kids Homework!

By Constitution.com  September 27, 2017 From the Daily Caller News Foundation:

Democratic congressional aides made unauthorized access to a House server 5,400 times and funneled “massive” amounts of data off of it. But there’s nothing to see here, Democrats told the Washington Post: They were just storing and then re-downloading homework assignments for Imran Awan’s elementary-school aged kids and family pictures.

A congressional source with direct knowledge of the incident contradicted the Post’s account, saying that now-indicted IT aide Imran Awan and his associates “were moving terabytes off-site so they could quote ‘work on the files’” and that they desperately tried to hide what was on the server when caught, providing police with what law enforcement immediately recognized as falsified evidence and an indication of criminal intent.

The Post described the amount of data improperly flowing out of the congressional network as “massive.” One congressional source told Circa it was “terabits.” ..........To Read More.....
 

Trump Confidante Roger Stone Slams Democrat Russia Lies in Opening Statement to Congress

By Jeff Dunetz September 27, 2017  This post first appeared at the Lid

President Donald Trump’s longtime friend Roger Stone is testifying before the House intelligence committee Tuesday morning in a closed session. Before he began his testimony, he released his opening statement which is more like a declaration of war against the Russia collusion lies told by Democrats.  In his opening words, Stone attacks the falsehoods of the very lawmakers who will be questioning him. Stone points out falsehoods propagated by three Democrats on the panel, including ranking member & Obama’s personal Jew,  Adam Schiff of California.

I am not now, nor have I ever been a fan of Roger Stone,  but this statement Is incredibly entertaining. In his opening words, Stone attacks the falsehoods of the very lawmakers who will be questioning him. Stone points out falsehoods propagated by three Democrats on the panel, including ranking member & Obama’s personal Jew,  Adam Schiff of California.

Stone also attacks the committee for insisting his testimony be made in closed session........To Read More.....

 

Russian-Facebook Collaboration Unearthed With Unbelievable Twist

By Andrew West September 27, 2017

Robert Mueller’s probe of possible Russian interference in the 2016 election has finally uncovered something shocking, but the liberals aren’t going to like it. With democratic operatives insisting on sowing the seeds of doubt over the legitimacy of President Trump’s astounding electoral victory in November, it came as little surprise when former FBI chief Robert Mueller was appointed as a Special Counsel to an investigation surrounding possible Russian interference in the contest. It took only a few weeks for Mueller’s investigation to reportedly go off the rails and into “fishing expedition” territory, with Mueller requesting a bevy of documents that seemed quite out of his jurisdiction. One such request sought information on President Trump’s tax returns – a highly contested bit of information that became a focal point of the liberal narrative during the election itself. Now, after getting a good look at Facebook’s purported role in the Russian collusion conspiracy, it seems that there may have been something to it after all – but the nation’s progressives and liberals are not going to like what they hear............To Read More....

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Cartoon of the Day

Michigan’s Pro-Market Revival

September 26, 2017 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty

Perhaps because there’s no hope for genuine Obamacare repeal and limited hope for sweeping tax reform, I’m having to look outside of Washington for good news.

I wrote the other day about the very successful tax reforms in North Carolina. So now let’s travel to the Midwest.

The Wall Street Journal‘s editorial page has a very upbeat assessment of Michigan’s turnaround, though it starts by noting that many states teach us lessons on what shouldn’t happen.
…states can provide instructive policy lessons for better and sometimes worse—see the fiscal crack-ups in Connecticut and Illinois.
I definitely agree about the fiscal disasters of Connecticut and Illinois. And Michigan used to be in that group.
Former Michigan Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm was a progressive specialist in using the tax code to politically allocate capital, which depressed and distorted business investment. Between 2002 and 2007, Michigan was the only state to experience zero economic growth. …misguided policies were arguably bigger contributors to Michigan’s slump. Between 2002 and 2007, Michigan’s manufacturing grew at a third of the rate of the Great Lakes region. …In 2007 Democrats increased the state income tax to 4.35% from 3.9%. They also enacted a new business tax with a 4.95% tax on income, a 0.8% gross-receipts tax, plus a 21.99% surcharge on business tax liability. …Michigan’s economy plunged amid the national recession with unemployment hitting 14.9% in June 2009.
But Michigan has experienced a remarkable turnaround in recent years.
Michigan…offers a case study in the pro-growth potential of business tax reform. …Mr. Snyder’s first major undertaking with his Republican legislature was to replace the cumbersome state business tax with a 6% corporate tax and trim the individual rate to 4.25%. Michigan’s corporate-tax ranking jumped to seventh from 49th in the Tax Foundation’s business tax climate rankings. …They also reformed state-worker pensions. After the 2012 midterm elections, Republicans passed right-to-work legislation that lets workers choose whether to join unions. In 2014 state voters approved a ballot measure backed by the governor to repeal the personal-property tax for small businesses and manufacturers.
These reforms already are paying dividends.
In 2011 Michigan added jobs for the first time in six years, and it has since led the Great Lakes region in manufacturing growth. Unemployment has fallen below the national average to 3.9% even as the labor-force participation rate has ticked up. …Unemployment in the Detroit metro area has fallen to 3.2% from 11.4% six years ago. Businesses in Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids say they can’t find enough workers. Perhaps they should try recruiting in Chicago or New Haven.
As a fiscal wonk, I’m delighted by tax cuts and tax reform. That being said, I want to specifically focus on the reform of bureaucrat pensions in the Wolverine State.
It was mentioned as an aside in the WSJ editorial, but it may be even more important than tax changes in the long run. We’ll start with a short video the Mackinac Center produced to helped stimulate debate.



Here’s some of what Investor’s Business Daily wrote about the recent reforms.
We’ll start with a description of the problem that existed.
For years, Michigan had been racking up pension liabilities for public school teachers that it had no money to pay for. By 2016, the state’s unfunded liability had reached $29 billion — which meant state was funding only 60% of its pension obligations. …Michigan is hardly the only state to have made this mistake. Pressured by public sector unions, state lawmakers boosted retirement benefits, using wildly unrealistic forecasts for investment returns and wage growth to justify them.
And here are the admirable reforms that were enacted.
So what did Michigan do to avoid Illinois’ fate? It embraced bold pension reforms that will protect taxpayers and provide a solid retirement benefit to teachers. …it’s shifting its public school teachers toward defined contribution plans. All new hires will be automatically enrolled in a 401(k)-type plan with a default 10% contribution rate. Teachers will still be able to opt for a traditional defined benefit pension, but one that splits costs 50-50 between workers and the state, and includes safeguards that will prevent the funding ratio from dropping below 85%.
The experts at Reason also weighed in on the topic.
Pension analysts from the Reason Foundation (which publishes this blog and advocated for passage of SB 401) say no other state in the country has embraced reforms that go as far as Michigan’s. …new hires will be enrolled in a 401(k)-style pension plan, giving those workers the chance to control their own retirement planning while removing the threat of future unfunded liabilities. …What makes the Michigan proposal unique is it allows future hires to choose a so-called “hybrid” pension system retaining some elements of the old system with a provision requiring pension system to be shuttered if the gap between the fund’s liabilities and assets falls below 85 percent for two consecutive years. The mixed approach, allowing teachers to choose between a traditional pension and a 401(k)-style retirement plan, could be a model for other states to follow as they grapple with similar pension troubles.
Though the bill isn’t a panacea.
Paying down those obligations will take time—all current teachers and public school employees will remain enrolled in the current pension system and retirees will continue to collect benefits from it—but [it]…would make a big difference in the state’s long-term fiscal outlook.
Here’s a chart from the Mackinac Center showing how pensions became a growing problem. Unwinding this mess understandably won’t happen overnight.



But at least Michigan lawmakers took a real step in the right direction.

The same principle applies in Washington. Reforms to Medicare and Social Security wouldn’t change payments to existing retirees. And older workers generally would stick with the status quo.
But proposed entitlement reforms would lead to substantial long-run savings as younger workers are given the freedom to participate in new systems.
 

After Alabama, GOP anti-establishment wing declares all-out war in 2018

By Robert Costa




Bloodbath 2018

By Rich Kozlovich

It appears Judge Roy Moore - called a conservative firebrand by the media - won the vote against currently appointed sitting Sen. Luther Strange, in spite of the millions spent by the Republican Party to defeat him.  I'm not shocked!

I've stated a number of times in the past this midterm election is going to be a bloodbath for both parties.  Bigger than anything we've seen in recent years, and it will be pivotal in American history.  I've also stated this bloodbath will be in the general election for the Democrats, but in the primaries for the Republicans.  That's already being acknowledged by incumbent Republicans by retiring before being defeated.  What I don't understand is Trump's willingness to support Mitch McConnell in this.



Lindsay Graham is 62 currently and will also be up for re-election in 2020, and he's not all that popular in his state.  I think this will set the tone for a challenge in the primary. 

Then there's John McCain.  As I've said - the particular cancer he has is a death sentence with the average life span after diagnosis being 14 months.  I don't think he'll live out his term, and at some point he's going to be too sick to do anything.  Of course he could do the right thing and resign - but I don't think he will. I've outlined his career and life in other articles and I not impressed with his character.  Everyone seems to have forgotten he was part of the Keating Five scandal where he's referred to as "The most reprehensible of the Keating Five".  And there's still a hidden cloud about his military career since he refuses to release his records.  

I really think after the 2020 election there's going to be changes taking place we couldn't have imagined a few years ago.   The Republican Party is going through a metamorphosis from a party of faux conservatives to a party of real conservatives.  I also think those conservatives will have to attack the Republican party structure and elite to win, just as did Judge Moore. 

The Democratic Party is going to remain what it is today.  Irrational, leftist, Saul Alinsky radicals, and unelectable except in totally hard left districts.  Maxine Waters will continue to be elected as long as she can breath and act as their Mother Teresa.  Chuck Schumer will continue as the chief strategist and he's not up again until 2022.   Neither of them are going to budge an inch in their hard left approach as to how they think the world should work, and they won't let anyone change that in their party.  They're going to be the gifts that keep on giving. 

I also think Governor John Kasich is going to change parties. I think this will happen not long after the election.  He might do it before leaving office, but I don't think so.  I also think he'll do this in order to run for President of the United States as a Democrat.  Strange as it may seem - given the mess the Democrat Party is facing - I think the Democrats may accept him.  He has all the qualities they so admire in their leaders.  He's weird, he's arrogant, he's capable of talking unendingly without saying anything, and he's a heretic.  What more could they want?  Let me tell you!  They're going to demand he support abortion!  If he doesn't - he's done.  So this question remains: Is he going to be just like Dennis Kucinich?  Kucinich was a life long anti-abortion Catholic until he ran for President,  and then all of a sudden had an epiphany that abortion wasn't murder after all.  I think Kasich is capable of that kind of metamorphosis, but make no mistake about this - he knows that's what it will take.  Heresy!

I don't see Independents taking a place on the political landscape in a large way, even if a few RINO's decide to make a play in that direction.  And where they do show up - I think they'll impact the Democrats more than Republicans because the Tea Party types made up their minds long ago that forming a third party was totally counterproductive to pushing a conservative agenda.  Their goal was to take over which ever mainstream party that would accept the conservative values of less government, less taxes and less regulations. 

That's the Republican party.  Get over it!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Nuclear Terror Attack for Allah

By Morgan Norval l September 20, 2017

A 2009 Pew Research survey found that 52% of Americans believe the U.S. is facing a nuclear, biological, or chemical attack. This represents an increase from an earlier Pew poll taken after the 9-11 attack in which 40% of Americans worry that a U.S. city will be destroyed by a terrorist nuclear attack. Both of these polls were taken before the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs took over the headlines.

Are terrorists, on their own, able to produce and deliver a nuclear weapon on a U.S. city? In other words, are we facing a scenario of a mad mullah sitting in a cave in Afghanistan or a tent somewhere in the deserts of the Middle East making a nuclear device? The short answer is no.
However, there are two questions to answer regarding a nuclear attack by terrorists: 1) do the terrorists have the capability—possess the weapon? 2) do the terrorists have the intent to use the nuclear device?

The answer to the second question is obvious—yes.

The terrorists will intend to use the weapon no matter what the cost will be to the terrorists themselves. The numerous suicide bombings, including the 9-11 attacks, are proof positive the weapon will be used when the terrorists have them.

The key question then becomes: “do they have the bomb?”...........To Read More....

Eastern Europe: An Area Divided and Exposed to Russian Threats

Russia’s influence over Hungary recently manifested itself when Budapest opposed Romania’s admission to several Western European multilateral organizations. For example, this September Hungary opposed the integration of Romania in the European Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development (OECD). Obviously, Moscow knows how to divide Europe, while Washington is confronted with a challenge keeping the old continent together and safeguarding America’s interests.

By Nicholas Dima

After the decision of Great Britain to leave the European Union, Europe is struggling to maintain its purpose and unity. The North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) is confronted with new challenges, and America is faced with an increasingly aggressive Russia.

In that new climate, Eastern Europe is, once again, a bone of contention caught between East and West. The balance of power between the two camps is maintained by NATO with the United States as its chief guarantor. According to several analysts, Poland to the north and Romania to the south represent America’s strategic shield against Russia. However, Moscow is trying hard to destabilize the region, and Washington has few options opposing Moscow and maintaining local stability...........Read More

In Exchange for $200 Million, UC Irvine Legitimizes Pseudoscience

By Julianna LeMieux — September 22, 2017

For some time, infusion clinics and naturopaths have been cropping up in between nail salons and hardware stores in strip malls across the country. But, integrative medicine crossed a line this past week that will allow it to be deeply and firmly rooted in a major, reputable academic institution.
This line was crossed with a $200 million donation made to University of California, Irvine - the seventh largest donation ever made to a public university in the United States.

The money, given by Susan and Henry Samueli, is given to develop "the nation’s first university-wide enterprise to embed integrative health approaches in research, teaching and patient care." With the money, UC Irvine will build a new facility and hire up to 15 new faculty members.

Not only that, but what this money does is to give alternative medicine - such as homeopathy and acupuncture - a leg to stand on. These practices are pseudoscience and, although popular, are not backed by scientific evidence. This move legitimizes these practices, which is not something that science has been able to do thus far.......To Read More.....

My Take - Overall - and this may seem a bit strange given my positions on most of this stuff - but I'm only emotionally in agreement with the conclusions of this article.  I'm probably seeing this a bit differently than most, and the reason why is I like the idea of doing research on "alternative" medicine, even if it's not peer reviewed.  Why? 

Because whatever they come up with will lead to clarity since eventually they will have to publish their work somewhere and when that happens - we'll get "citizen" peer reviewers like Julianna, the ASCH team and others, who are not part of the research group or the university but have expertise in what will be presented by these researchers.  And even if they're lying, they'll be exposed.  If they're not lying - then hooray for everyone - because either way - that will lead to clarity.  Acceptance of that clarity may be problematic, but truth will patiently wait for us.

Having said that - here's what I really take away from this article is how grant money is now the holy grail of science.  Not truth - grant money.  And 200 million bucks is a lot of grant.  And grant money has made scientific integrity an oxymoron. 

Four Quirky Moments in Overseas Taxation

September 25, 2017 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty

In my research and travels, I come across all sorts of strange stories about tax policy.
While I’m quite amused by these oddball examples, I actually prefer writing about overseas tax policies that provide teachable moments about big issues such as the Laffer Curve, taxes and growth, tax competition, and how higher tax burdens “feed the beast” by enabling more government spending.

Let’s look at some new examples and see what we can learn about politicians and fiscal policy.
We’ll start with a Bloomberg story from the Ukraine, where taxpayers go above and beyond to escape extortionary taxes on foreign vehicles.

Take a close look at the cars crawling through Kiev’s traffic-laden streets and you’ll notice something odd: a surprisingly large number of them aren’t registered in Ukraine. The explanation isn’t a sudden inflow of tourists, but rather a work-around by local drivers who crave foreign-made vehicles and refuse to pay restrictively high import duties to buy them. Instead, schemes have popped up where buyers effectively acquire cars from nearby nations and bring them across the border on temporary arrangements. They must then leave and re-enter Ukraine every year, or sometimes more frequently. “It’s amazing,” said Oleksandr Zadnipryaniy, a 30-year old entrepreneur who paid about $3,000 for a second-hand Opel Vectra from Lithuania. “Taxes are exorbitant. Why must poorer Ukrainians pay three times as much as richer Europeans?”
The answer to Mr. Zadnipryaniy’s question is that they don’t pay the tax. At least not if this chart is any indication.



Needless to say, I’m on the side of taxpayers and don’t have sympathy for the politicians, who are motivated by a desire to extract revenue and curry favor with domestic interest groups.
Such cars represent a headache for the government. Dodging import duties trims budget revenue… Cracking down is also tricky. …Drivers blame the government, accusing it of pandering to local car lobbies by setting high import duties.
Now let’s shift to another story about tax avoidance, though this one doesn’t have a happy ending.
The BBC reports that a big tax hike may put an end to “booze cruises” from Finland to Estonia
The Estonian government is set to impose a 70% rise in taxation on alcoholic drinks in July, Finnish broadcaster YLE reports. It’s a blow to drinkers from Finland who, since Estonian independence in 1991, have taken the short 54-mile (87km) ferry trip from Helsinki to Tallinn to enjoy prices which are less than half of those back home. …a 12-euro crate of beer will increase to 18 euros, making the concept of the money-saving “booze cruise” much less inviting.
But fortunately Finns still have an option.
Finnish tourist Erno Sjogren said that the tax rise might make him think again – but not on giving up the concept. Speaking to Helsingin Sanomat as he loaded his car outside an Estonian supermarket, he said he would consider taking his trade to Latvia instead – a 2.5-hour drive cross-country from the ferry port in the Estonian capital. The Latvian town of Ainazi is already benefitting, Helsingen Sanomat says, with the appropriately named SuperAlko store visible from the Estonian border and offering cheaper prices than its Baltic neighbours.
Let’s toast to tax competition!
Last but not least, I’m a giant fan of decentralization and a partial fan of secession (done properly and for good reasons), but you don’t automatically get results.

Consider what’s happening in Scotland, as reported by the U.K.-based Times.
Nicola Sturgeon has given her clearest indication to date that Scots will be in line for substantial income tax rises next year. In an interview due to be published today the first minister dismissed suggestions that a high-tax agenda would deter businesses, arguing instead that paying for good public services could be just as attractive to investors and people as low taxes. Ms Sturgeon’s comments came as the Scottish parliament backed a motion calling for higher taxes to pay for public services.
Ugh. I’m sympathetic to Scottish independence, but stories like this make me pessimistic about what will happen if politicians like Sturgeon are in charge of an independent nation.
Assuming, of course, she’s actually ignorant enough to believe that investors want higher taxes.
And I haven’t written about whether Catalonia should be independent of Spain, but this blurb from the EU Observer leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Catalonia’s regional government said Monday that increases in staff at the tax office, from 321 to 800, have made the Spanish region ready to collect taxes for an independent Catalonia if citizens vote for independence on 1 October. A law to organise the referendum will be to a vote on Wednesday, but the national government in Madrid has dismissed the bill as a way to “cheat democracy”.
Technically, this won’t be bad news if the 479 new tax bureaucrats replace a similar number (or larger number) of officials that formerly harassed people on behalf of the national government in Madrid.

But I’m automatically suspicious that politicians and bureaucrats will maneuver to be the winners of any change. This isn’t an argument against secession, but it is a warning that independence won’t yield economic benefits if there’s no reduction in the burden of government.

Advocates of an independent Catalonia should first and foremost be making plans to unleash the private sector, to make themselves the Hong Kong or Singapore of Europe.

Assuming, of course, that they would want their new country to be highly ranked by Economic Freedom of the World.