Friday, April 13, 2012

Observations From the Back Row

De Omnibus Dubitandum!

Don't do business with progressive appeasers
By Michelle Malkin

Let's stipulate: Activists on the left are free to exercise their rights of speech and assembly to boycott businesses whose politics they oppose. Conversely, activists on the right are free to exercise the power of their pocketbooks and refrain from supporting businesses that shun their values.

So, what are you waiting for, conservatives? There are coordinated shakedowns taking place right now that involve some of America's most prominent companies who've chosen to surrender to progressive bullying and race-card opportunism. Silence is complicity.

On Tuesday, McDonald's told liberal magazine Mother Jones that the company had "decided to cut ties with ALEC, the corporate-backed group that drafts pro-free-market legislation for state lawmakers around the country." The fast-food conglomerate follows in the feckless footsteps of Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Intuit (maker of Quick and Quicken Books software) and Kraft Foods -- which have all withdrawn support for ALEC after drum-banging from Color of Change…..Among the group's greatest heresies in the eyes of the left: support for voter ID laws to protect election integrity, immigration enforcement measures and self-defense legislation to strengthen Second Amendment rights…..McDonald's, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Intuit, Kraft, Arby's and Walgreens have shown their true colors: appeasement yellow. It's time for conservatives to stand their ground and stop showing these corporate cowards their money.

Uncommon Knowledge interview with Charles Murray
This week on Uncommon Knowledge, longtime American Enterprise Institute fellow Charles Murray discusses his controversial new book, Coming Apart, about what American was, is, and will become. He also reveals his personal score on his now famous "bubble

Health Scare! - According to statistics, we're a Third World country.
by David Harsanyi

A new study by the Institute of Medicine, which is getting plenty of media attention, claims the United States public health care system is critically underfunded and thus -- surprise -- in need of new "investments." Serious new investments. Recommendations include taxing medical care and doubling public health spending -- and, no doubt, more top-down government intervention.

The United States spent $2.5 trillion on health care in 2009 according to the report, but scored lower on life expectancy, infant survival and "other indicators of population health than other wealthy nations report." The groups also says that the "U.S. health system has a 'fixation' on clinical care, or treating people when they get sick, rather than preventing them from getting ill in the first place."  Right now the U.S. spends far more per capita than any other country. We're about to spend a lot more. Maybe we do need to raise taxes to create a more effective health care system. I have no way of knowing for sure. What I do know, though, is that statistics are often used to scaremonger and politicize this issue.

The Myth of Americans' Poor Life Expectancy
By Avik Roy
It’s one of the most oft-repeated justifications for socialized medicine: Americans spend more money than other developed countries on health care, but don’t live as long. If we would just hop on the European health-care bandwagon, we’d live longer and healthier lives. The only problem is it’s not true. Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister under Queen Victoria, once said, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Nowhere is this more true than in the debates about health-care policy.

Obama's 'Fairness' Fiction
by David Harsanyi
President Barack Obama kicked off his re-election campaign in earnest this week with a stirring message of hope and unity for the American people: Eat the rich!..... "fairness" will be one of the central messages of the entire Obama campaign. …..Sure, the United States may own $15 trillion of debt and a stagnant, underemployed economy, but nothing says leadership like coordinating your populist message with a sham congressional vote to propel fundraising in Florida….. If implemented, anyone earning $1 million a year or more would be required to pay at least 30 percent of his income in taxes. That would help reduce the deficit by raising $31 billion over 11 years, according to congressional tax analysts -- 2.8 billion a year, or less than a day's worth of new debt incurred by Washington… Most economists agree that the most effective tax system avoids taxing income, dividends and capital gains and focuses instead on promoting savings and investment. Not sure whether it's fair, but it would probably be smarter to reward, rather than punish … wealthy already pay more than a fair share (the top 1 percent of income earners make 16 percent of income but pay nearly 40 percent of federal income taxes)…. every category of the wealthy pays higher tax rates than the non-rich.…the wealthy did not create our debt; government did.


Karl Marx Preached "Fairness" Too
By Alan Caruba

My father was a Certified Public Accountant and dinner time throughout my youth was filled with horror stories about the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as he struggled to keep up with a tax code that just kept growing.   According to Nina Olsen, the National Taxpayer Advocate for the IRS who heads a staff of 2,000, the American tax system is “a huge convoluted mess.” Despite efforts to determine its length, it is variously estimated to be between 65,000 and 70,000 pages. “We looked at how many changes in the tax law (that) had occurred in the last year alone,” said Olsen, “it was something like 579 changes.” No one can keep up with that volume of changes, not even Ms. Olsen’s office......By framing the tax debate in terms of fairness and attacking Mitt Romney’s wealth, President Obama is pandering to his greatest constituency—the stupid among us.....The federal government is broke. The states are broke. And with the advent of $4 and $5 gas pump prices—thanks to Obama’s anti-energy policies—the rest of us are getting more broke. President Obama’s blather about “fairness” is straight out of Karl Marx’s “Das Kapital” and the Communist Manifesto with their emphasis the redistribution of wealth and the end of private property.

How To Rank Risks
By Bernard L. Cohen
February 27, 2002

My favorite way of putting risks into perspective is to consider the average loss of life expectancy they cause, LLE (indicated in parentheses throughout this article). I present here a brief catalog of these, taken from my paper published in the September 1991 issue of Health Physics Journal.

Patrick Moore takes on another Greenpeace Guru
Patrick Moore was a co-founder of Greenpeace way back in 1971. He abandoned them in 1986 so he could pursue his environmental passions. As you would. Last November he published a tempting book: Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist. And not surprisingly stretched a few of his old friendships. The Vancouver Sun has a rare debate between Moore and Rex Weyler, another co-Founder (see below for a snippet). Predictably, Greenpeace is firing their best ad hom, and referring to him as a “paid spokesman for the Nuclear Industry” and are busy rewriting history. They used to list Moore as a co-Founder on their website in the past (copy here), but now they say that they were formed in 1970, and he joined it in 1971, “see the letter”. I did see the letter, and it seems “Greenpeace” didn’t quite mean the same thing in 1970. What Moore joined in 1971 was a committee called, engagingly, “Don’t Make A Wave Committee” (I can see why that didn’t catch on) and it seems they had a boat called Greenpeace. He was also president of Greenpeace from 1977, and was even on the Rainbow Warrior when it was bombed in 1985. You’d think that would count for something. Patrick Moore is very much a skeptic.




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