Saturday, November 17, 2018

Surprise! Ilhan Omar lied to Jewish voters in her district

Newly elected Representative Ilhan Omar, the Somali-heritage Muslim from Minneapolis who replaces Keith Ellison, has already reversed her position on the BDS (Boyott, Divest, Sanction) Movement that seeks to delegitimize Israel now that she is safely elected. Since she has cited no reasons for changing her mind, she must have been lying. Brent Scher of the Free Beacon reports...........To Read More.....

My Take - "She must have been lying"....well duh....and the voting public in Minneapolis is surprised?  Especially the Jewish voting public?   What's wrong with American Jews?  What's wrong with Jews on the left?  What's wrong with Jews living in Israel who support all this Islamic clabber?   Oh, wait.....I know, I know......I really think I know the answer!  They're all idiot savants! 

See, definition leads to clarity.

Thought For the Day


Big Fears Little Risks

American Council on Science and Health

"Big Fears Little Risks" is a documentary, but unlike most of what you see on places like Netflix, it is pro-science, and not scaremongering trace chemicals, food, or the modern world.

We instead are going to take back the discourse from trial lawyers and the trade groups they use to profit from fear.

We note that humans are generally bad at evaluating risk while handing over much of our decision-making to "bubbles of eminence" in self-appointed groups who create guidelines; if the American Academy of Pediatrics says we are all bad parents by letting our children walk to school alone, many of us accept that. If organic food trade groups or their advocates say buying organic food will get your child into Harvard, some will do so - because the only cost is money.

But for many poor people, money is not a second order issue - a war on science and technology is a war on the poor, because they are impacted most by higher costs that derive from meaningless distinctions.

But it is a donor-funded program, and we need your help. We are 70% of the way to having it fully funded and if you can help get us over the top, please do so here.

Cartoon of the Day

Florida Recount Cartoon
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Political Cartoons by AF Branco


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Political Cartoons by AF Branco

Friday, November 16, 2018

Democrat Corruption is a Clear and Present Danger to America

By Patricia McCarthy November 16, 2018

On November 6, it seemed the Republicans might hold their majority in the Senate and in the House. Sadly, they lost their majority in the House. The mystery is why so many Democrat candidates who are so obviously ethically challenged won in races that should not have even been close.

How and why do Democrats continue to vote for unqualified, dishonest candidates?

Elizabeth Warren is a proven liar, a cheat who claimed Native American heritage in order to get a job at Harvard. Her baby, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, was her plan to wield control over all bank and non-bank institutions without Congressional interference. In short, she is a hard-left socialist who means to control how Americans earn, spend and borrow money, how they use their savings. Warren is a blight on the Constitution and the guaranteed freedoms of US citizens. She is an advance operative for the socialist America the left envisions......

Then there is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the thoroughly-ignorant-of-everything candidate who won her district by 80%! This young woman knows nothing about how any government works, let alone ours. She is hopelessly uniformed; she knows even less about US history or the Constitution. She is clueless about the economy. When asked how she would pay for all the give-away programs she touts, she replied that that was a "puzzling question"! "You just pay for it" she answers. She has no idea; no idea about anything. She thinks she will be "inaugurated" to the House! Most fourth graders know more than she does about US history. And yet she is already thinking about running for President! .......... Read more

Unfounded fears about synthetic pesticides

By Steve Goreham November 15th, 2018 Environment 0 Comments @ CFACT

Our modern society suffers from “chemophobia,” a fear of industrially-made chemicals. Synthetic pesticides, used to control insects, rodents, and weeds and to boost crop yields, are a major concern for many people. But the evidence shows that everyday exposure to synthetic pesticides is negligible and that widespread pesticide fears are unfounded.

Farmers have long sought to reduce damage from agricultural pests. Sulfur compounds were used as pesticides by the Sumerians as early as 4,500 years ago. Ancient Persia used a powder of pyrethrum, derived from dried chrysanthemum flowers, as an insecticide. Pyrethrum remains a frequently used natural pesticide. But modern chemical pesticides are labeled unsustainable and are widely feared by the public.

In her 1962 best-selling book Silent Spring, Rachel Carson leveled an attack on agricultural pesticides that continues today, stating :

"Since the mid-1940s over 200 basic chemicals have been created for use in killing insects, weeds, rodents, and other organisms described in the modern vernacular as ‘pests’ … Can anyone believe it is possible to lay down such a barrage of poisons on the surface of the earth without making it unfit for all life?”

Carson’s book targeted the widespread spraying of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), an effective pesticide against malarial mosquitoes, typhus-carrying lice, farm pests, and other insects. Carson falsely claimed that DDT was killing birds and causing cancer in humans.

Due to a rising tide of public concern, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned DDT use in 1972, followed by bans in most developed countries. DDT bans are blamed for triggering a malaria resurgence and millions of deaths in developing nations over following decades.

But DDT use was not found to be harmful to people, and with the possible exception of the thinning of raptor egg shells, no environmental impacts from DDT have been identified. In 2006, the World Health Organization lifted its ban on DDT and authorized indoor spraying of DDT to control malaria. Nevertheless, because of Carson’s book and fears promoted by environmental groups, synthetic pesticides are wrongly blamed for a wide range of human health problems.

Pesticides are poison. At high levels of exposure, pesticides can be harmful to people and associated with cancer, genetic and reproductive issues, nervous system damage, and skin damage.

But, as with all natural or synthetic chemicals, the dose makes the poison. Paracelsus, a Swiss physician of the 1500s, is regarded as the father of modern toxicology. He stated, “All substances are poison. There is none which is not a poison. The right dose makes the difference between a poison and a remedy.” Even sunlight and water are poisons in high doses. The good news is that, for the average person, synthetic pesticides are encountered at far below harmful levels.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) analyzes samples from thousands of foods each year to detect synthetic pesticide residues. Laboratory methods detect residues down to low parts-per-billion levels. In 2016, the USDA collected and tested 10,365 samples from dairy products, fruits, and vegetables. Over 99.5 percent of the samples had synthetic pesticide levels below limits set by the EPA.

US and European pesticide safety levels are set at extremely low levels of exposure, typically 100 times below the no observed adverse effect level found in laboratory experiments with animals. Limits for pesticides in water are yet hundreds of times lower than food-limit levels. Food and water in developed nations today is remarkably free of synthetic pesticides.

Through great marketing efforts, “natural” agricultural techniques have become favorites, while “processed” or “synthetic” methods are rejected. Organic fertilizer, or horse manure, is promoted as superior to chemically-processed nitrogen fertilizer. But the chemical composition of a material is the important factor, not whether it is “natural.” Natural and synthetic pesticides are an excellent example.

The vast majority of pesticides that humans ingest are natural, produced by plants. Natural pesticides include aflatoxin, nicotine, pyrethrum, and strychnine. Plants produce pesticides to deter insects and rodent predators. Dr. Bruce Ames of the University of California estimated that 99.99 percent of pesticides in our diet are from plants. Only 0.01 percent of dietary pesticides are synthetic pesticides produced by industry that Rachel Carson so feared.

Caffeine is an insecticide. A single cup of coffee contains natural pesticides equal in weight to a full year’s consumption of synthetic pesticides. This does not mean that coffee is hazardous, only that dietary fears about synthetic pesticides are irrational.

One of the early concerns about DDT and some other organochloride pesticides was their tendency to persist in the environment. DDT is fat soluble and can accumulate in the tissues of birds and animals.

But newer pesticides are designed to quickly break down in farm fields to minimize any long-term environmental impact. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide RoundUp, breaks down within a few weeks of application. In addition, bioengineered crops are designed to allow less pesticide to be used while increasing agricultural yields.

Only a few members of society need to take proper precautions regarding synthetic pesticides. These are people manufacturing or applying pesticides that may be exposed to high doses of the chemicals.

So enjoy your coffee and the abundant foods produced by modern agriculture. But don’t sweat the pesticides.

US and European pesticide safety levels are set at extremely low levels of exposure, typically 100 times below the no observed adverse effect level found in laboratory experiments with animals. Limits for pesticides in water are yet hundreds of times lower than food-limit levels. Food and water in developed nations today is remarkably free of synthetic pesticides.

 Through great marketing efforts, “natural” agricultural techniques have become favorites, while “processed” or “synthetic” methods are rejected. Organic fertilizer, or horse manure, is promoted as superior to chemically-processed nitrogen fertilizer. But the chemical composition of a material is the important factor, not whether it is “natural.” Natural and synthetic pesticides are an excellent example.

The vast majority of pesticides that humans ingest are natural, produced by plants. Natural pesticides include aflatoxin, nicotine, pyrethrum, and strychnine. Plants produce pesticides to deter insects and rodent predators. Dr. Bruce Ames of the University of California estimated that 99.99 percent of pesticides in our diet are from plants. Only 0.01 percent of dietary pesticides are synthetic pesticides produced by industry that Rachel Carson so feared.

Caffeine is an insecticide. A single cup of coffee contains natural pesticides equal in weight to a full year’s consumption of synthetic pesticides. This does not mean that coffee is hazardous, only that dietary fears about synthetic pesticides are irrational.

One of the early concerns about DDT and some other organochloride pesticides was their tendency to persist in the environment. DDT is fat soluble and can accumulate in the tissues of birds and animals.

But newer pesticides are designed to quickly break down in farm fields to minimize any long-term environmental impact. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide RoundUp, breaks down within a few weeks of application. In addition, bioengineered crops are designed to allow less pesticide to be used while increasing agricultural yields.

Only a few members of society need to take proper precautions regarding synthetic pesticides. These are people manufacturing or applying pesticides that may be exposed to high doses of the chemicals.

 So enjoy your coffee and the abundant foods produced by modern agriculture. But don’t sweat the pesticides


Identity Politics and American Anti-Semitism

Posted by Daniel Greenfield 0 Comments Wednesday, November 14, 2018 @ Sultan Knish Blog

When Robert Bowers walked through the door of the Tree of Life synagogue with murder on his mind, he was propelled by identity politics. As a white supremacist, his brand of identity politics is more politically incorrect than the ones that led Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour of the Women’s March to support Louis Farrakhan, but it’s no more violent, racist or evil.

Before the massacre, the most recent high profile anti-Semitic attack had been carried out by a Muslim who was caught on video beating a Jewish man while shouting about, “Allah” and his hatred for Jews.

Another hate crime, also caught on video, was a violent assault with a baseball bat by a black man.

Such assaults are less devastating than the mass murder of eleven people, but also much more commonplace. They repeat from month to month and year to year. They make up much of the toll of anti-Semitic hate crimes so that they top the list of hate crime statistics every single year.

The Tree of Life massacre has been greeted with editorials mourning a “loss of innocence” by American Jews. Such editorials come from a bubble of privilege that is cut off from the way many Jews live.

In 1991, New York City’s first black mayor stood and watched while a violent mob whipped up, by among others, Al Sharpton, went on a violent anti-Semitic rampage in Crown Heights. The Crown Heights Pogrom, as it would become known, took three lives and terrorized a neighborhood.

Sharpton, the black supremacist linked to the anti-Semitic violence, went on to speak at the Democratic National Convention, host a show on MSNBC and become a regular visitor to the Obama White House.

The distance between Crown Heights and Squirrel Hill is more than mere geography, it’s social and cultural. Anti-Semitic violence by black supremacists and Muslim terrorists tends to happen in poorer, urban neighborhoods and is directed against a poorer and more religious class of Jews. White supremacist attacks tend to target more suburban, prosperous and less diverse Jewish areas.

Those are home to the same Jewish populations who are much more likely to write editorials about a loss of innocence. But innocence is a privilege that Jews in poorer urban neighborhoods never had.

There are Jews who live in proximity to neo-Nazis and those who live closer to admirers of Farrakhan and Hamas. (Though Farrakhan and Hamas both admire Hitler for killing millions of Jews.) The Jewish communities that endured a generation of race riots, and another generation of muggings, knockout games, rapes and murders, before often having to pack up and move out, from their American Anatevkas in major cities, have never had any innocence of anti-Semitism, only bitter experience.

It is no coincidence that the privileged are also more likely to be progressive. The hysteria over Trump is not born of experience of anti-Semitism, but inexperience. To believe that President Trump is anti-Semitic is a confession of privilege. It’s an admission that your experience of anti-Semitism is an abstraction, a series of theories and history lessons, rather than the awareness of an everyday reality.

It takes a great deal of inexperience of anti-Semitism to believe that it exists only on the side of the political spectrum furthest from you. Anti-Semitism is tribal. Those who hate Jews tend to be losers who are convinced of their own natural superiority and blame the Jews for their failure to achieve it.

You can find such people on the right side of the spectrum, but it is the left side of the spectrum that has been built for them. Hitler’s genius lay in taking the fundamental appeal of socialism, its state controls, welfare state security blankets, suspicion of meritocracy and appeal to mediocrity, and reframe them in racial and nationalistic terms. But he only emphasized the anti-Semitism in socialism, he didn’t invent it.

Identity politics does the same thing as National Socialism, combining the welfare state and anti-capitalist rhetoric with naked racial appeals, tapping into the supremacist convictions of failed groups, offering them special racial privileges, while blaming their failures on meritocracy and capitalism.

The biggest beneficiaries of the social mobility provided by both have often been the Jews.

There is very little difference between white supremacism and black nationalism. Indeed there was so little difference that Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam collaborated with the KKK and the American Nazi Party. There’s a much closer route between Obama and Hitler, than there is between Trump and Hitler. Just follow Obama’s photo with Farrakhan, the affinity of his mentor, Jeremiah Wright, for Farrakhan, Farrakhan’s admiration for Hitler, and Hitler’s admiration for Islamic anti-Semitism and his role in inspiring the Muslim Brotherhood. But that’s a route that the progressives choose not to follow.

While progressive Jews may deny that black nationalism and white supremacism are the same thing, the mutual admiration society between them makes a mockery of their denials. Anti-Semitism is a tribal problem. Multiculturalism evolved into intersectionality, spawning more tribalism, more resentment, and an alliance of the resentful in which Jews are not full participants, but growing targets.

As a society becomes more racially and ethnically tribal, it grows more anti-Semitic. The white supremacist attack on a synagogue in Squirrel Hill is one symptom of a much larger problem.

The progressive Jews worry about the rare outbursts of white tribal anti-Semitism because that is the not particularly diverse population that these proponents of diversity live among. The working-class Jews of the inner cities worry far more about the daily diverse tribal anti-Semitism that surrounds them.

That is a ubiquitous anti-Semitism that their progressive brethren neither understand nor care about because it is inconvenient to their politics and alien to their experiences.

While Jewish communities around the world, from Crown Heights to Jerusalem, mourn for the massacre in Squirrel Hill, it often feels as if such outpourings of empathy are not reciprocated. When Jews were being stoned in Crown Heights by anti-Semitic mobs, the progressive Jews told them to stop embarrassing New York City’s first black mayor. When Rabbis were axed to death in a Jerusalem synagogue, the “innocent” progressives blamed Netanyahu and Israel’s imaginary ‘rightward’ drift.

They did not care that their tax dollars were being used to pay the terrorists murdering Jews. Nor do they care that the MSNBC news network that they were watching was paying a pogromist.

This “innocence” of theirs has a high price and for now, Jews in Brooklyn and Jerusalem are paying it. While progressive Jews live in the fading golden summer of the suburbs, working class Jews have lived through generations of looted stores, ransacked apartments, and random violent assaults. The dream of the former, their political policies and ideals, have been the waking nightmares of the latter.

But the age of innocence is coming to an end.

America is changing. The same forces that made Obama have also made Farrakhan relevant once again. Muslim migration will transform America the way that it did Europe. The cities will feel it first. But they won’t be the last. The combination of political radicalism and tribalism that is driving out the Jews of France, Sweden and now the United Kingdoms will not pass by the suburban shtetls of America.

White supremacism is one vector for anti-Semitism. Identity politics has created a dozen more.

The shootings at Squirrel Hill were not the worst of it. Unfortunately, tragically, and horrifyingly, the worst is yet to come. And when it comes, the old innocence will vanish as if it had never been.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine at the above link.

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Thank you for reading.

The Miracle of Prosperity Unleashed by Classical Liberalism

November 15, 2018 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty

I periodically ask my left-leaning friends to identify a nation that became rich with statist policies.

They usually point to Sweden or Denmark, but I point out that Sweden and Denmark became rich in the 1800s and early 1900s, when government was very small.

At that point, they don’t really have any other response.

That’s because, as I pointed out in this clip from a recent debate at Pomona College in California, there is no example of a poor nation becoming rich with big-government policies (though we have tragic examples of rich nations becoming poor with statism).

So if statism isn’t the right approach to achieve prosperity, how can poor nations become rich nations.

I’ve offered my recipe for growth and prosperity, but let’s look at the wise words of Professor Deirdre McCloskey in the New York Times.
The Great Enrichment began in 17th-century Holland. By the 18th century, it had moved to England, Scotland and the American colonies, and now it has spread to much of the rest of the world. Economists and historians agree on its startling magnitude: By 2010, the average daily income in a wide range of countries, including Japan, the United States, Botswana and Brazil, had soared 1,000 to 3,000 percent over the levels of 1800. People moved from tents and mud huts to split-levels and city condominiums, from waterborne diseases to 80-year life spans, from ignorance to literacy. …50 years ago, four billion out of five billion people lived in…miserable conditions. In 1800, it was 95 percent of one billion.
Deirdre then explains that classical liberalism produced this economic miracle.
What…caused this Great Enrichment? Not exploitation of the poor, …but a mere idea, which the philosopher and economist Adam Smith called “the liberal plan of equality, liberty and justice.” In a word, it was liberalism, in the free-market European sense. Give masses of ordinary people equality before the law and equality of social dignity, and leave them alone, and it turns out that they become extraordinarily creative and energetic. …we eventually need capital and institutions to embody the ideas, such as a marble building with central heating and cooling to house the Supreme Court. But the intermediate and dependent causes like capital and institutions have not been the root cause. The root cause of enrichment was and is the liberal idea, spawning the university, the railway, the high-rise, the internet and, most important, our liberties.
In other words, the right ideas are the building blocks that enable the accumulation of capital and the development of institutions.

Deirdre’s analysis is critical. She reminds us that investment doesn’t merely depend on good tax policy and rule of law doesn’t magically materialize. You need a form of societal capital as the foundation.

Anyhow, to show how good ideas changed the world, this chart show how classical liberalism is the key that unlocked modern prosperity.

You may have already seen a chart that looks just like this. It was in a video Deirdre narrated. And Don Boudreaux shared a similar chart in one of his videos.

Circling back to the point I made at the start of this column, socialism (or any other form of statism) has never produced this type of economic miracle.

5 Dumb GOP Mistakes We Better Fix Before 2020

Kurt Schlichter Nov 15, 2018

The good thing about screwing up is that you can learn from your mistakes and do better next time. That, of course, assumes you are not a Republican Party official, because the GOP Establishment seems largely incapable of learning from its mistakes.

We should try again anyway.

We won some races, but we lost a lot more. Losing has one advantage over winning – pain is a better teacher than joy. After all, winning generally teaches you the wrong lessons. It makes you complacent. Look at Texas. The governor did worse than expected; Ted Cruz had a close call, and down ballot the Texas GOP got thrashed. In Texas. With a great economy. Because the Texas GOP got soft from too much winning..........To Read More......

'Making a Murderer: Part 2,' A Post-Conviction Master Class

By Michelle Malkin | November 15, 2018

Undoing wrongful convictions takes a killer instinct.  Chicago-based exoneration specialist Kathleen Zellner's got it. Her record speaks for itself. Over the past two decades, she has righted more wrongful convictions than any private attorney in America. What's her secret? The Herculean task of untangling official lies, investigative bias, prosecutorial misconduct, ineffective counsel and forensic junk science to free 19 innocent men requires more than intellectual firepower (of which Zellner possesses a chess grandmaster's surplus).

The job demands iron will and unshakeable fortitude to beat a system rigged to preserve government errors and protect prosecutions. As the "Survivor" slogan goes: "Outwit, outplay, outlast."

"If someone's innocent," Tenacious Z says with trademark bluntness, "you find a way."........To Read More.....

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Power Line's Steven Hayward dissects the leftist behemoth

We probably think of Power Line's Steven Hayward as a first-rate writer at first glance, but he's got this other side and it's a doozy: He's a distinguished law professor who gets awards and gives special-event lectures for his accomplishments at universities. He's done quite a few.
I got the opportunity to hear him speak at the University of San Diego last night, as the featured guest at the Bowes-Madison Distinguished Speaker series, and his speech called "Justice without hyphens" offered amazing insights on the persistence of the left and its grip on America's cultural institutions.

For the left, there's no such thing as justice, or justice-justice, but just the lefty "intersectional" variants of it as they define it. Here's how he laid it out:
Why is the essential noun “justice” so often accompanied by a modifier, or a hyphen, today? We have social justice, environmental justice and climate justice, racial justice, feminist justice, gender justice, even spatial justice, and more. Why this conspicuous rise of contingent justice? Whatever happened to simple “justice” without a modifier?
Good question, no? He went into such topics such as post-modernism, (which has wrecked the humanities and arts), political correctness and identity politics, and the persistence of communism in academia despite its failed record. ............Read more

And now the Democrat show starts

According to news reports, opponents of Minority Leader Pelosi claim she will not be Speaker. This is from Roll Call:
Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton, one of the leaders of a small Democratic contingent opposing Nancy Pelosi’s bid for speaker, said Tuesday he is “100 percent confident” the group has enough commitments to block the California Democrat from being elected speaker on the floor.  
The anti-Pelosi group has been gathering signatures from new and returning members on a letter that calls for new Democratic leadership. It also notes that the signatories will not back Pelosi during the January floor vote for speaker.  
Moulton suggested they already have enough signatures to prevent Pelosi from getting 218 votes but declined to specify exactly how many.
Well, let's see what happens when they officially over in early January.............Read more

My Take - Well, I find this interesting since I think the Republicans want Pelosi as Speaker.  She's the gift that keeps on giving, and all members of the House vote for the Speaker.  Well, we'll see but if I was a betting man I would bet on Pelosi. 

Fox should have sat this one out

By Elad Hakim November 15, 2018

Today, Judge Timothy Kelly of the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. is to issue his ruling as to whether to temporarily reinstate Jim Acosta’s White House press credentials. Kelly listened to the arguments from the various parties on Wednesday. Acosta asserted, in part, that the Trump administration’s decision to strip him of his press credentials was based solely on objections to the substance of his questions, in violation of his First Amendment rights. The administration pointed to Acosta’s rude behavior/conduct as the reason for its decision. That same day, Fox News announced that the network would back CNN in its lawsuit demanding the restoration of Acosta’s pass. According to Jay Wallace, Fox News president and executive editor:
“Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized. While we don’t condone the growing antagonistic tone by both the President and the press at recent media avails, we do support a free press, access and open exchanges for the American people.”........To Read More.....
My Take - It's my view Fox News is going to move to the left, slowing, inexorably but definitely.  It's also my view there will be another news station in the offing when Fox News is part of the leftist cabal, and that will be the end of Fox News, and truthfully, that won't bother me all that much since I stopped watching all but a few of their shows. 

I don't like the lack of intellectual in depth discussion, I don't like all the emoting, and I don't like the idea that "news" shows are too concerned about being entertaining.  The best news show I ever watched was William F. Buckley's Firing Line.  No shouting, no interruptions, in depth discussion that was profound and provocative, and almost no one knows what I'm talking about when I bring it up.  Then there was Fred Friendly's Ethics in America series. 

Absolutely amazing, and even fewer people heard of them.

America is now the center of the infromation universe.  There's more access to more information in the United States than any country in the world and in all time, and yet we're stunningly ignorant as a society.  No wonder so many "Feel the Bern"!

“Islamophobia” Outbreak in California

A Muslim was found with a Qur’an, a book on terrorism, and a sawed-off rifle. What else could this be but “Islamophobia”?

November 15, 2018 Robert Spencer

The San Francisco Chronicle has discovered a case of “Islamophobia,” and their intrepid reporters are on the job: “An Alameda County prosecutor,” we’re told, “recently held up an unusual piece of evidence while arguing that a man charged with a weapons violation should remain jailed without bail: a Quran.”

It seems that “the religious text, paired with a book on the psychology of terrorism, as well as a sawed-off rifle — all allegedly found in Dajon Ford’s car at the time of his arrest — was cause for concern, Assistant District Attorney Matthew Golde told Superior Court Judge Yolanda Northridge at an Oct. 19 bail hearing.” ....................There is a controversy in San Francisco over Matthew Golde’s mention of the Dajon Ford’s Qur’an because we are supposed to pretend at all times that the Qur’an and Islam have nothing whatsoever to do with violence and terrorism, and every Allahu-akbaring Muslim who goes on a stabbing spree or drives his car into a crowd of Infidels is mentally ill. Golde, by contrast, is being realistic, and is catching heat for it. Reality is more out of fashion than ever..........To Read More......

Ceasefire Halts Palestinian Terrorists’ Rocket Barrage . . . for Now

Israeli government divided.

My Take - What amazes me is this.  If any other country in the world was attacked in this manner it would clearly be considered a declaration of war, and any response to destroy those attackers would be acceptable......unless these attacks were perpetrated by Muslim terrorists against Israel.  It's hard to disagree with the defense minister over this "cease fire" since it's obvious they beg for cease fires in order to regroup, rearm and attack again. 

There can be no two state system with any kind of Muslim partnership.  Islam is all about destroying anyone who isn't a Muslim and when they run out of non-Muslim groups to attack, kill and conquer, they will attack each other because Islam requires death for heretics, and each Muslim group within Islam considers all other Muslim groups to be heretics. 

But we really need to get this. Islam isn't a religion.  Islam is a violent criminal political movement masquerading as a religion, and we have 1400 years of Islamic history to show that to be true.  Why is that so hard to get?

There was one thing in the article that confused me and that was why Bolivia is so anti-Israel?  You might find this interesting. 

Thought For the Day

Islam Classes In Germany

Dhimmitude and supremacist entitlements.

DORTMUND, Germany — It was the second week of Islam class, and the teacher, Mansur Seddiqzai, stood in front of a roomful of Muslim teens and pointed to the sentence on the chalkboard behind him: “Islam does not belong to Germany.” 
He scanned the room and asked, “Who said this?” 
Hands shot up. “The AfD?” one student with a navy blue headscarf said, referring to Germany’s far-right anti-refugee party. “No,” Seddiqzai shook his head. “Seehofer,” tried another. “Yes, and who is that?” “A minister,” said a third.

Democracy Dies in a Leftist Coup

The best midterms that San Francisco donors could buy.
November 15, 2018 Daniel Greenfield 

Budget Deals Are a Recipe for the Worst Kind of Tax Increases

November 13, 2018 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty

The most disturbing outcome of the recent mid-term election isn’t that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be a Member of Congress. I actually look forward to that because of the humor value.

Instead, with the Democrats now controlling the House of Representatives, I’m more worried about Donald Trump getting tricked into a “budget summit” that inevitably would produce a deal with higher taxes and more spending. Just in case you think I’m being paranoid, here are some excerpts from a recent Politico report.
The dust has barely settled on the midterm elections, yet tax talk is already in the air thanks to President Donald Trump signaling openness to higher taxes, at least for some. …Trump said he’d be open to making an “adjustment” to recent corporate and upper-income tax cuts… Those off-the-cuff comments are sure to spark concerns among Republican leaders… Trump also suggested he could find common ground with Democrats on health care and infrastructure.
To be fair, Trump was only talking about higher taxes as an offset to a new middle-class tax package, but Democrats realize that getting Trump to acquiesce to a net tax hike would be of great political value.

And I fear they will be successful in any fiscal negotiations. Just look at how Trump got rolled on spending earlier this year (and that orgy of new spending took place when Democrats were in the minority).

I fear a deal in part because I object to higher taxes. But also because it’s quite likely that we’ll get the worst kind of tax hikes – i.e., class-warfare increases in tax rates or work, saving, investment, and entrepreneurship.

The political dynamic of budget deals is rather straightforward. So long as the debate is whether to raise taxes or not, the anti-tax crowd has the advantage since most Americans don’t want to give more of their money to politicians.

But if both parties agree with the notion that taxes should increase, then most Americans will – for reasons of self defense – want higher taxes on the rich (with “rich” defined as “making more money than me”). And those are the tax increases that do the most damage.

Interestingly, even economists from the International Monetary Fund agree with me about the negative consequences of higher tax rates. Here’s the abstract of a recent study.
This paper examines the macroeconomic effects of tax changes during fiscal consolidations. We build a new narrative dataset of tax changes during fiscal consolidation years, containing detailed information on the expected revenue impact, motivation, and announcement and implementation dates of nearly 2,500 tax measures across 10 OECD countries. We analyze the macroeconomic impact of tax changes, distinguishing between tax rate and tax base changes, and further separating between changes in personal income, corporate income, and value added tax. Our results suggest that base broadening during fiscal consolidations leads to smaller output and employment declines compared to rate hikes, even when distinguishing between tax types.
Here’s a bit of the theory from the report.
Tax-based fiscal consolidations are generally associated with large output declines, but their composition can matter. In particular, policy advice often assumes that measures to broaden the tax base by reducing exemptions and deductions are less harmful to economic activity during austerity. …base broadening often tends to make taxation across sectors, firms, or activities more homogeneous, contrary to rate increases. This helps re-allocate resources to those projects with the highest pre-tax return, thereby improving economic efficiency.
By the way, “base broadening” is the term for when politicians collect more revenue by repealing or limiting deductions, exemptions, exclusions, credits, and other tax preferences (“tax reform” is the term for when politicians repeal or limit preferences and use the money to finance lower tax rates).
Anyhow, here are some of the findings from the IMF study on the overall impact of tax increases.

The chart on the right shows that higher taxes lead to less economic output, which certainly is consistent with academic research.

And the chart on the left shows the revenue impact declining over time, presumably because of the Laffer Curve (further confirming that tax hikes are bad even if they generate some revenue).
But the main purpose of the study is to review the impact of different types of tax increases. Here’s what the authors found.
Our key finding is that tax base changes during consolidations appear to have a smaller impact on output and employment than tax rate changes of a similar size. We find a statistically significant one-year cumulative tax rate multiplier of about 1.2, rising to about 1.6 after two years. By contrast, the cumulative tax base multiplier is only 0.3 after one year, and 0.4 after two years, and these estimates are not statistically significant.
And here’s the chart comparing the very harmful impact of higher rates (on the left) with the relatively benign effect of base changes (on the right).

For what it’s worth, the economic people in the Trump Administration almost certainly understand that there shouldn’t be any tax increases. Moreover, they almost certainly agree with the findings from the IMF report that class-warfare-style tax increases do the most damage.

Sadly, politicians generally ignore advice from economists. So I fear that Trump’s spending splurge has set the stage for tax hikes. And I fear that he will acquiesce to very damaging tax hikes.

All of which will lead to predictably bad results.

P.S. A columnist for the New York Times accidentally admitted that the only budget summit that actually led to a balanced budget was the 1997 that lowered taxes.

What’s the matter with South Florida? A quagmire of corruption

Rebecca Hagelin, Washington Times 

Money may not grow on trees, but in Florida, apparently voter ballots do.

“Miraculously” for far-left gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum and entrenched liberal Sen. Bill Nelson, some 78,000 votes appeared in the office of Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes after election night was over — after GOP candidate Ron DeSantis had been declared the winner of the gubernatorial race and GOP Gov. Rick Scott had won the Senate race.

Thanks to those magically appearing ballots, the margins of victory for Mr. DeSantis and Mr. Scott fell low enough over the weekend to trigger an automatic recount across the state that is now underway.

The complexity of a recount means that the results won’t be reviewed by state officials until Nov. 20, leaving plenty of time for local liberals and their big shot lawyers, who are swarming into Florida like flies, to try to steal both elections. (By the way, one of those lawyers is Marc Elias — the notorious Democratic lawyer linked to the phony Trump dossier.)

Broward County failed to finish counting its ballots on election night for one reason: to wait for the Florida Panhandle votes
reported so the operatives would know if they needed to “discover” new ballots...............To Read More....

Government Intervention and Parental Leave

November 14, 2018 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty

During the 2016 presidential campaign, I was very critical of Donald Trump’s proposal to expand the entitlement state with a new program for paid parental leave, just as I was very critical of a similar proposal from Hillary Clinton.

Neither candidate offered much detail, but it was reckless and irresponsible for both of them to propose any sort of new tax-and-transfer scheme when the country already faces a long-run crisis because of entitlement programs.

And that looming entitlement crisis explains why I also criticized a paid-leave proposal developed by AEI and the Urban Institute.

But not all parental leave proposals involve a net increase in the fiscal burden of government. Senator Marco Rubio and Congresswoman Ann Wagner have put forth a plan that would allow new parents to finance time off with newborns with money from Social Security, so long as they are willing to accept lower retirement benefits in the future.

The Wall Street Journal is skeptical of this kind of initiative.
Republicans should consider the consequences before signing up for a major expansion of the entitlement state. …Mr. Rubio…claims his benefit doesn’t expand government or create a new entitlement. But what is expanding government if not taking a benefit financed by private industry and administering it through a government program? Paid leave by definition entitles Americans to a de novo benefit… Mr. Rubio says leave will pay for itself by delaying retirement benefits… Does anyone believe those retirement benefits won’t be restored eventually, at least for the non-affluent? …The biggest illusion is that this proposal is a shrewd political move that will steal an issue from Democrats. In the real world they will see Mr. Rubio and raise. The National Partnership for Women & Families called the Rubio plan “reckless, irresponsible and ill-conceived” for making parents choose between kids and retirement. They want both. Once Social Security is open for family leave, Democrats will want to use it for college tuition, and why not a home downpayment?
Ramesh Ponnuru counters the WSJ, arguing in his Bloomberg column that the Rubio/Wagner plan merely creates budget-neutral flexibility.
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Representative Ann Wagner of Missouri…have introduced legislation to let parents finance leave by either delaying taking Social Security benefits when they retire or getting slightly reduced benefits. …The proposal doesn’t raise federal spending over the long run, but only moves benefits forward in time from a person’s retirement to her working years. …the proposal is better seen as a way of adding flexibility into an existing entitlement than of creating one. …Because Democrats will demand more generous leave policies, the Journal warns that the Rubio-Wagner proposal will backfire politically. But the bill is an attempt to satisfy a demand among voters for help with family leave. It’s not creating that demand. Republicans can choose whether to counter Democratic policies with nothing, or with an idea that gives families a new option at no net long-term cost to taxpayers. The political choice should be easy.
Ramesh makes several good points. There is a big difference between what Rubio and Wagner are proposing and the plans that involve new taxes and additional spending.

And he even cites the example of a provision in the Social Security system, involving early benefits for disabled widows, that hasn’t resulted in a net increase in the burden of government.

So what’s not to like about the plan?

Plenty. At least according to John Cogan of the Hoover Institution, who has a column warning that it is very unrealistic to hope that politicians won’t expand an entitlement program.
Mr. Rubio’s well-intentioned plan begins by promising a small, carefully targeted benefit and assuring us that it won’t add to the long-run public debt. But history demonstrates that is how costly entitlement programs begin. …New programs initially target benefits to a group of individuals deemed particularly worthy at the time. Eventually the excluded come forth to assert that they are no less worthy of aid and pressure lawmakers to relax eligibility rules. …The broadening of eligibility rules brings yet another group of claimants closer to the boundaries of eligibility, and the pressure to relax qualifying rules begins all over again. The process…repeats itself until the entitlement program reaches a point where its original noble goals are no longer recognizable. …Medicaid and food-stamp programs followed a similar path. These programs were originally limited to providing health and nutrition assistance, respectively, mainly to supplement welfare cash assistance. Both programs now extend aid to large segments of the population who are not on cash welfare and in some cases above the poverty line. Medicaid assists 25% of the nonelderly population. Food stamps pay a major part of the grocery bills for 14% of the nonelderly population. …For more than 200 years, no entitlement program has been immune from the expansionary pressures…and there is no earthly reason to think Mr. Rubio’s plan will prove the exception.
Here’s my two cents on the topic (the same points I made when addressing this issue earlier in the year).
  1. From a big-picture philosophical perspective, I don’t think the federal government should have any role in family life. Child care certainly is not one of the enumerated powers in Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution. Proponents of intervention routinely argue that the United States is the only advanced nation without such a program, but I view that as a feature, not a bug. We’re also the only advanced nation without a value-added tax. Does that mean we should join other countries and commit fiscal suicide with that onerous levy?
  2. Another objection is that there is a very significant risk that a small program eventually become will become much larger. …once the principle is established that Uncle Sam is playing a role, what will stop future politicians from expanding the short-run goodies and eliminating the long-run savings? It’s worth remembering that the original income tax in 1913 had a top rate of 7 percent and it only applied to 1/2 of 1 percent of the population. How long did that last?
  3. Finally, I still haven’t given up on the fantasy of replacing the bankrupt tax-and-transfer Social Security system with a system of personal retirement accounts. Funded systems based on real savings work very well in jurisdictions such as AustraliaChileSwitzerlandHong Kong, and the Netherlands, but achieving this reform in the United States will be a huge challenge. And I fear that battle will become even harder if we turn Social Security into a piggy bank for other social goals. For what it’s worth, this is also why I oppose plans to integrate the payroll tax with the income tax.
My goal today is not to savage Sen. Rubio and Rep. Wagner for their proposal. For all intents and purposes, they are proposing to do the wrong thing in the best possible way.

If it’s a choice between their plan and some as-yet-undeveloped Trump-Pelosi tax and transfer scheme, the nation obviously will be better off with the Rubio-Wagner approach.

But hopefully we won’t be forced to choose between unpalatable and awful.

P.S. This debate reminds me of the tax reform debate in 2016. Only instead of doing the wrong thing in the best possible way, Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz had tax plans that did the right thing in the most risky way.

Students For a Constructive Tomorrow

Committee For A Consturctive Tomorrow

 Throughout the Fall Semester, CFACT’s student leaders have been engaging their peers with scientific facts and putting their talk of stewarding the environment into real action.

In Pennsylvania, for example, CFACT coordinated a tour of twenty-four Grove City College students (pictured above) to see a conventional hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” operation first hand.

“Several of the students said they arrived expecting hydrofracturing to be dangerous or harmful but that the visit was eye-opening for them,” explained Arthur Stewart, president of Cameron Energy, the tour operators. One student said, “I thought fracking was very dangerous before today.”

Of course, it’s not just in Pennsylvania CFACT students are kicking butt, but also in other parts of the country:
  • At West Virginia University, CFACT filmed student reactions when shown the fact the USA leads the world in CO2 reductions despite leaving the Paris Climate Accord. “It was great showing my fellow students what is actually going on with CO2 emissions,” said Nathan Burdette, a sophomore at WVU. “Technology, through fracking for natural gas, has done way more to reduce emissions than a carbon tax ever could.” You can watch the full video here.
  • At Delta State University in Mississippi, CFACT Senior Policy Adviser Paul Driessen spoke about the pervasive, yet often unreported “eco-racist” policies developed by rich, liberal Greens that often wind up hurting developing nations. Student Ira Barger, who attended the talk, said: “It is because of the tendency of today’s universities to present increasingly narrow windows of acceptable opinion that the impact and the importance of this event and events like it are sorely needed. These students were presented with a viewpoint that directly opposes the de facto narrative that is constantly regurgitated in classrooms across the country.”
  • Seattle University Collegians coordinated a campus and city clean up to protect the Puget Sound. “Instead of relying on local or federal government stepping in, we used this opportunity to demonstrate the influence that we still have as individuals,” Christian Spears said, a junior.
  • CFACT at Vanderbilt University held a campus-wide outreach effort in support of hunting. Using an inflatable deer to grab students’ attention, CFACT’s leaders acquired signatures in support of hunting from students of all backgrounds and areas of study.
I, for one, am greatly encouraged by these students fighting for sanity on their campuses. Bottom line: don’t believe everything you hear. The youth of our great nation are not all as clueless as the fake news media would lead you to believe.
For nature and people too,
Craig Rucker

P.S.  EPA is the poster child for an agency captured by radical activists, indulging heavily in government overreach.  CFACT's friend Steve Milloy exposes what EPA's been up to and proposes a fix.  Read Scare Pollution today.


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Thought For the Day

Crooks and Communists Fight to Lead House Democratic Caucus

This is the new Democrat House.

Saying 'Only Hitler is Hitler' is Offensive to Facebook

Of all the reasons Facebook could have banned me.