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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Fixing the Deep State Without an Article V Convention

By Rich Kozlovich

There's been a great deal of talk about convening an Article V Constitutional Convention of the States to fix the mess the federal government has become.  Well, I've decided that's potentially even more dangerous.  When the Convention was convened that created the Constitution it wasn't convened for that purpose.  The United States was organized under something called the Articles of Confederation, and it was clear from early on that arrangement had flaws that needed to be fixed, so they convened a Convention to fix that document.  The convention never fixed the Articles of Convention - they threw it out entirely, and replaced it with the Constitution.

No matter what anyone says - once an Article V Convention is convened there's absolutely nothing in the Constitution that gives Congress, or anyone else, any power over what's going to be discussed, who the delegates will be, or how they would be apportioned among the states.  Nor would anyone have the right to overturn anything they present to the States, and once it's been voted on and approved by the States, that now would become law of the land.  Neither the Congress, the Executive or the Judiciary can prevent the formation of such a Convention or overturn anything that comes out of such a convention. 

That falls entirely under the purview of the States, and pretty much the only power left to the States.  And that's a dangerous right. It takes 34 states to call a Convention of States and 38 to ratify what's presented.  Currently 28 States have passed resolutions calling for a constitutional convention, but that's based on the idea only a balanced budget amendment would be discussed.  That's an illusion!  A frightening illusion!

The problem lies in who and what America was in 1787, and what America is now.   As a society all the State's citizens functioned under a Judaic/Christian moral paradigm, and that's reflected in the Constitution.  But that nation no longer exists.  Neither party - no matter what anyone claims - functions with those moral restraints, and one of those parties fails to recognize any moral limitations.  I hate to think who the representatives would be at that convention, and what they would do. 

So, can the Deep State be fixed? There is no fixing the Deep State unless you can fix the fundamental underlying problem that created it, and it can be done without the dangers of an Article V Convention.

Nineteen thirteen was a seminal year in American history. Under the progressive movement, to which Teddy Roosevelt gave personality, they managed to pass the 16th Amendment, the 17 Amendment and created the FED, which gave almost unaccountable power over the currency to others rather than the Congress.

The 16th was income tax, and the 17th gutted the balance of power created in the Constitution by the Founding Fathers by having Senators chosen by popular vote instead of being chosen by the State governments. Senators were supposed to be de-facto ambassadors to the central government to keep it from getting out of control.  Those two amendments gutted any ability of the States to curtail the growing and out of control malignancy the federal government has now become. 

Here’s the fix! Eliminate all that excess testosterone by abolishing the FED, repeal the 16th and 17th Amendments and pass a 28th amendment.

The federal judiciary is out of control.  There's nothing in the Constitution that gives them the unbridled power they've assumed.  And the only federal court created in the Constitution is the Supreme Court.  All the rest are creations of the Congress.  And, in point of fact, the Constitution gives Congress the power to determine the jurisdiction of all the federal courts.  Congress can also overturn any federal court ruling by passing a bill that overturns any decision by any federal court. 

The federal judiciary has gotten into the mistaken belief it's their job to rewrite the laws, or make up new laws according to their personal liking.  If the Constitution is going to really be the document that governs government - and is to recognized as the real and only legitimate law of the land that governs government - it's in serious need of reinforcements. It’s time for a 28th Amendment that would impose strict term and age limits on the federal judiciary.

There are three levels of the federal judiciary- the District level, the Appeals level and the Supreme Court. Each level should have a ten year limit with a review after five years requiring a majority approval by the Senate. At each level each nominee would have to go through the same process, even if nominated to a higher court before they finish their term in a lower court. If their term runs out and they’re not nominated to a higher court they may be nominated at some point in the future.

No jurist can return to a lower court if their term runs its course at a higher level, and no jurist can ever be appointed to a court if their nomination to any court has ever been rejected by the Senate. No jurist may serve after the age of seventy.

Repeal the 16th and 17th Amendments, eliminate the FED, pass a 28th Amendment and everything else will fall into place.

Glimpsing the “New Europe” in Prague

What might have been  

After several hours of wandering along the winding streets and across cobbled squares dominated by churches, we came back to our hotel and had a drink at the bar. After two gin and tonics, I saw that K. had tears in his eyes. I looked at him quizzically. He could hardly get the words out.

“I'm so angry at my country's government!” he finally exploded.   The country in question being Norway.............. Norway has leverage in the EU. It pours billions into that rathole. But the Czech Republic is a net beneficiary of EU largesse. Nonetheless, along with Hungary and Poland, it's bravely standing up to EU pressure to join in Western Europe's self-destruction. In this country of 10.5 million people, only 3500 are Muslims. In Prague, therefore, K. and I are able to experience a poignant reminder of what cities like Oslo were, not all that long ago – and what they could still be now, if not for the feckless fools who rule them..........To Read More....

Feel the Bern: The Bernie Sanders Dynasty

The political dynasty no one in America asked for

How The Democrats Will Lose in 2020

Ben Shapiro Posted: Feb 28, 2018

President Trump is not a particularly popular president.

His job approval rating has not crossed 50 percent for a single day of his presidency. He's currently riding as high as he ever has in the RealClearPolitics poll average -- and that's 41 percent. Statistics guru Nate Silver estimates that "the approval rating at which an incumbent candidate goes from being an underdog to a favorite for re-election is somewhere in the high 40s."

Furthermore, Democrats are favored to retake the House of Representatives in 2018 -- they've been dramatically outperforming their poll numbers in special elections. And there's always the possibility that the economy will tank: America has experienced an economic downturn at least once per decade for the past several decades, and our last serious downturn was in 2009........Democrats also think that Clinton was too moderate for her own good -- and so, now they're attempting to oust Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., in favor of someone more radical. Thus Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker..........But Democrats have an even worse problem: their obvious disdain for Americans who didn't vote for them.......To Read More....


Allen West: The Left Indeed Commands a Rudderless Ship

By Allen West | February 27, 2018

I spent twenty-two years in the U.S. Army. Therefore, the title to this missive may lead some to believe that I am “out over my skis.” However, the image is easy to understand, as a rudderless ship is cast adrift according to the seas and tides. It is unable to control its course and direction. Regardless of having someone at the helm, the large vessel is uncontrollable, and in a dangerous position.
It was not too many years ago that the liberal progressive media was using that metaphor, and many others, to describe the Republican Party. And coming off the midterm debacle of 2006 and then the presidential bushwhacking of 2008, it did appear that a post-mortem was warranted. But something started to happen in 2010, and it was the result of there being a clear understanding of what the “fundamental transformation of the United States of America” meant. More Americans began to read, study, and comprehend the meaning of progressive socialism, as opposed to constitutional conservatism. The ensuing result was a major blow to the liberal progressive left in the 2010 midterms, enabled by the left’s drive towards stimulus spending and Obamacare. That was the first torpedo into the PSS (Progressive Socialist Ship) Democrat Party............The left indeed commands a rudderless ship. From an Army perspective, Donald Trump has ended up being a sort of General George Patton. He was brash, loud, and unorthodox, but he never lost a battle. Donald Trump has gone on the offensive, and at times been offensive, but the end result is that he has defeated the progressive socialists of the left and rendered them, for the moment, combat ineffective, adrift at sea – rudderless and leaderless...........To Read More.....

Kimmel: Late-Night Shows Can’t ‘Go Too Far’ Attacking Trump; Viewers Must ‘Accept’ Hosts Politicking

By Craig Bannister | February 27, 2018

Video-On ABC’s Good Morning America program Tuesday, activist/late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel denied he’d ever gone too far to the left when preaching politics and attacking President Donald Trump on his show.  Kimmel added that he had no regrets over “anything” he’s said on his show.  “Not at all. I don't think you can go too far,” he said, while claiming that he is “still doing comedy.”  But, talk show hosts have to be political these days, so viewers just have to get used to being subjected to their political opinions, Kimmel said:.............To Read More.....

My Take - Years ago Linda Ronstadt had a concert billed as her singing oldies and goodies, but it turned into a political diatribe by her, and a large number of people got up and walked out.  They felt they were defrauded by what was advertised versus what occurred.  Ronstadt - unendingly clueless - and self righteously indignant at the actions of the audience said she thought this was a country of free speech.  Well, it is, and they didn't prevent her from shooting off her mouth, they just didn't have to listen to it.  They exercised their free speech with their feet and left.  I hope this will be an ongoing pattern. 

National Assembly adopts motion on land expropriation without compensation

2018-02-27 Jan Gerber

Cape Town – The National Assembly on Tuesday set in motion a process to amend the Constitution so as to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation.
The motion, brought by the EFF leader Julius Malema, was adopted with a vote of 241 in support, and 83 against.   The only parties who did not support the motion were the DA, Freedom Front Plus, Cope and the ACDP.   The matter will now be referred to the Constitutional Review Committee which must report back to Parliament by August 30............... Opening the debate on his motion, Malema said: "The time for reconciliation is over. Now is the time for justice." .........."You should not make the mistake that we want to oppress whites," he said. "We want to redress an historic injustice.........He urged the ANC to "develop a backbone of steel and stop speaking with a forked tongue". .........To Read More......

My Take - In the article it says they have to punish those who "stole" their land.  There's a problem with that statement.  None of these groups were there when white settled landed in South Africa.  Almost all of the people who lived there were killed off by European borne diseases.  The current black population migrated from other areas for economic reasons.   None of this land was stolen from them.  Now the economy they so desperately desired to control, and they're in power, they've turned this once economically thriving nation into a complete mess, and it's now going to get worse.  I also find it interesting how many white South Africans who railed and marched against apartheid left for America not long after it was lifted and the ANC took over.  

Feds Provide Almost $2 Billion in Subsidies to Hire Alien Grads Rather than U.S. Grads,

David North, Center for Immigration Studies, February 27, 2018 35 Comments
The Optional Practical Training (OPT) program, in which the American government pays American employers to discriminate against American workers has grown rapidly in recent years, and during FY 2017 it used nearly $2 billion swiped from trust funds for the elderly to favor 240,000 alien college grads over an equal number of U.S.-resident grads.

It is hard to believe, but true; employers of foreign students who have a decree from a U.S. institution are given an 8.25 percent tax break if they hire an alien, rather than a U.S. college grad with the same skills, and paid at the same salary, as we described in some detail in a recent posting.

When we wrote the prior article, we were working with out-of-date numbers; subsequently we secured estimated FY 2017 data that shows that some 240,000 American workers are adversely impacted by this program (shouldered out of jobs by the subsidized aliens); earlier data set that number at 140,000...........To Read More.....

Labor Thuggery at the Supreme Court

Justice Kagan dons her capo gown

Betsy McCaughey  February 28, 2018

Organized labor took off the gloves Monday, warning the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court that freeing public employees from mandatory union dues would lead to strikes and union violence. It was ugly.  The Court heard oral arguments challenging laws in 22 states and the District of Columbia that force public employees to pay unions to represent them, even if they disagree with the union’s demands and politics.

Mark Janus, a child support specialist and public employee in Illinois, claims his First Amendment free speech rights are being violated when he is forced to pay money to a union — the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). The union “uses my monthly fees to promote an agenda I don’t support,” Janus objects.............A not so subtle threat. No wonder the lawyer for Janus labeled the mandatory fees “protection money.” He asks, who can defend the “idea that the government needs to force its employees to subsidize unions or otherwise the unions will disrupt the government.”...........It’s unlikely contracts will be invalidated. But to answer Kagan’s question, the “justification” is called the United States Constitution............To Read More.....

My Take - Two things are being made clear in this - one, Kagan is going to be exactly what everyone on the right thought she would be - a leftist lunatic just like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and it's clear she's going to be there for the rest of her life, which is another clear demonstration of we need a 28th Amendment creating age and term limits for the federal judiciary.

Secondly, if the only argument labor attorneys have is threatening to have civil disorder, disruption of services and extremist tactics by labor, then it's time these unions were dismantled as terrorists organizations or prosecuted under RICO.

Oops! 100,000 non-citizens registered to vote in Pennsylvania

The Price Dems Pay for Purges

They would rather condemn the country than run it.

George Neumayr February 28, 2018

For the Democrats, America did not begin in 1776 but more like 1966. From that mentality has come a perpetual purge in which no American tradition is safe from censure. The Democrats can’t rest until post-1960s liberalism becomes the only acceptable political philosophy in America.

We’re told by prominent Democrats that companies like Chick-fil-A don’t deserve to operate and organizations that quote the Constitution belong on “extremist” lists. Democrats goad companies into boycotting the NRA and demand that judges drive mild-mannered Christian bakers out of business.

But all of this radicalism comes at a political price.

Voters have consistently rejected Obama’s vision of a “fundamentally transformed” America. His presidency was a disaster for the Democrats, causing them to lose a record number of seats at the federal, state, and local level. None of these defeats, however, have caused the Democrats to question their intolerant liberalism. Instead, they have hardened it and made their contempt for American tradition even more obvious. Look at how much time they spend on symbolic displays of ideological rectitude, even during a crucial election year...........To Read More.....

Illegal Aliens, Identity Theft, and Claire McCaskill

The Left Is Going for Broke This Year. Good.

Liberal Students Throw Tantrum when Biologist says Men and Women are Different

What in the world is our culture coming to?  

By Onan Coca February 27, 2018

A couple of weeks ago, Portland State University held a discussion on diversity that was moderated by one of their Philosophy..........."there are differences between men and women. This is a strange position to be in, to be arguing for something that is so universally and widely accepted within biology. What is not as widely accepted is that culture is also evolutionary; but I’m going to argue that both biology and culture are both evolutionary."

It was at this point that the leftists in the crowd began to revolt, but Heying paid no mind and continued with her explanation. “… but taking offense is a response that is a reflection of reality. So, men and women are different on height; they’re different on muscle mass; they’re different on where fat is deposited on our bodies. Our brains are also different.”

This is when the protesting students decided to get violent and sabotage the auditorium’s sound system.............Then a man added that the crowd, “should not listen to fascism. It should not be tolerated in civil society. Nazis are not welcome in civil society.”..........Ironically, these students have embraced the tenets of fascism while simultaneously demanding that fascism be destroyed. .........To Read More.....

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

John Kasich is a Disgrace

By Rich Kozlovich

Image result for cartoon of john kasich

On Feb 26, 2018 Seema Mehta posted the article, Schwarzenegger, Kasich to team up in L.A. for group seeking to reform California GOP, saying Kasich and the Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger were teaming up to reform the California GOP, and it seems to me they want to reform them into Democrats.

The author goes on to say:
“The pair will deliver speeches and participate in panels on March 21 in Los Angeles at an event for New Way California, a group formed by Assemblyman Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley)”
Spokesmen for Schwarzenegger stated:
“They will be focused on reminding the Republican Party we need them to be successful, but in order to be successful, they need to choose policies and messaging that helps them grow rather than continue to shrink.”
According to the author Republican membership has been declining dramatically over the recent years and they believe the party -  and quotes another Schwarzenegger spokesman saying - the Republican party in California “should be positive and inclusive and expansive, as opposed to the narrow cast that it has been nationally, and in California particularly, for some time.”

He goes on to say:
“What has happened with tone and on immigration clearly over the last decade, longer, has put the party back, and now the party, by and large, is run by people who would rather be leaders in a phone booth and are not inclusive enough and not positive enough to win a statewide election.” And apparently both Kasich and Schwarzenegger have “concerns about that because what happens in California is a precursor to what happens nationally.”
Only this much illogical clabber could come out of a California politician. Before this I thought Pelosi was acting like a blithering idiot because she’s developing Alzheimer’s. I’m not so sure now. Maybe there’s something in the water that destroys the brain's synapses in California, otherwise I’m at a loss to explain how they think this is reality.

Their first concern, and make no mistake about this, their only concern is wining. Not doing! Winning!  And in order to do that they want the Republican Party of California to become “inclusive, positive and expansive”. What does that mean?

Are the Republicans deliberately keeping people out of the party? Not that I can tell, unless you think actually having values and sticking to them is a deliberate ploy to keep membership low, rather than a strong moral stand on a broad front of issues.

Do the Republicans have a positive message? I think it certainly more positive than the Democrats who make every issue and end of the world scenario. Wasn’t it Nancy who declared the tax cut was Armageddon?

So, letting taxpayers keep more of their hard-earned money instead of wasting it on government bureaucracies is negative, but taking more and more of their money and growing government beyond sustainability and competence - thereby wasting billions - is positive.

Did I get that right? Did I miss something? Why is it these appeasers always find conservatives to be negative and the left positive when history has shown the left has been as disaster wherever they've imposed their positions on a nation?

As for being expansive - what does that really mean? According to the dictionary it means: covering a wide area in terms of space or scope; extensive or wide-ranging, "deep, expansive canyons", extensive, sweeping, rolling expansive grassland wide-ranging, extensive, broad, wide, comprehensive, thorough, full-scale (of a person or their manner) open, demonstrative, and communicative.

Okay, but what does that mean in politics?  Apparently these RINO's want a “comprehensive, thorough, full-scale (of a person or their manner) open, demonstrative, and communicative.” In short – never say or do anything that will offend or defy leftists or their positions, and become Democrats in every way except don’t change the Republican party name.

And they think that’s a winning strategy?  If there ever was a losing concept – that’s it!

Harry Truman was running for his own term as President he was criticized by his party for not running more like a Republican.  He said:
“If the people have a choice between a Republican and a Republican, they’ll choose a Republican every time”.
Well the converse is also true, and in California – voting for a real Democrat versus a mimic Democrat that’s an automatic. The Democrats may not have values any conservative appreciates, but those are their values. If the Republican abandons traditional values what values do they actually have? If they have no values, why support them?

There's a reason why California is losing population in droves, but these are the values and positions Kasich and Schwarzenegger want the party of adopt instead of fighting the good fight to save California from becoming another leftist disaster. 

The final argument is they’re afraid because “what happens in California is a precursor to what happens nationally.”  So they think California demographics is reflective of the rest of the nation and the Republicans will lose membership as they have in California?  If there ever was a demonstration of how clueless these two are - that's it.   That may have been true in the past, but that’s not true now. What happens in Ohio is what happens nationally.

When I was in Washington a few years ago a speaker from one of the popular news show called Ohio the “center of the political universe”. And in Ohio - Kasich is toast. The Republican Party in Ohio is done with him and he’s term limited, meaning as a lame duck governor – he’s in a body cast. I’ve met him and I can honestly say he suffers from a serious case of weird compounded by a massive infection of hubris.

He’s clearly wanting to be President of the United States and I keep wondering why? Does he want the nation to become California and finish the work Obama started?   Does he like the idea California refuses to enforce federal immigration laws? Does he like the idea a Mayor of a Oakland has violated federal law by illegally warning illegals of potential arrests? Does he want the nation to bring back Obamacare? If that’s a part of his package and strategy – he’s toast right out of the starting gate.

It’s been clear to me he desperately wants to be President of the United States, and somehow thinks he can run in 2020 and get elected. The real question we should be asking is this: When will he change parties - before or after the 2018 election?

We already know from Kasich's positions on the Medicaid expansion is a liar and a heretic.  Will being a heretic make it easier for him to abandon his position on abortion, because once you become a Democrat, you must be a pro-abortionist or you’re toast there also.  However, if he does change parties - he should take the Governator with him.  

Netanyahu and the Left's Israeli Deep State

Posted by Daniel Greenfield 0 Comments Sunday, February 25, 2018 @ Sultan Knish Blog  

In a year and a few months, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have spent more time at the helm of the Israeli government than any other man. The other man is David Ben-Gurion, the Socialist leader who repressed Zionist nationalist movements in Israel by fiat, by law and, as in the Altalena, by murder.

That factoid may not matter much to most people, even most Israelis, but it matters a great deal to the remnants of Ben-Gurion’s regime, the leftists who don’t win elections, but do control the government. Until ’77, Israel’s Prime Ministers came from the Labor Party. The last Labor Prime Minister left office in 2001. It’s not just that Netanyahu is eclipsing Ben-Gurion, but that Labor has become irrelevant.

But of course the Labor Party isn’t irrelevant. Its candidates may be a joke. Its base of support consists of Tel Aviv hipsters who never actually leave their leftist bubble except to visit Paris, New York or Berlin. Their burning social issue is how much more Daddy has to pay to get them a place in their trendy neighborhood. Not even Obama’s best people could help them get much mileage out of that one.

After the ’15 election, Haaretz, the paper of record for the Israeli anti-Israel left, had wailed, “Leftist, secular Tel Aviv went to sleep last night cautiously optimistic only to wake up this morning in a state of utter and absolute devastation.” Leftist secular Tel Aviv has been devastated for nearly two decades.

But Labor’s deep state still runs much of Israel the way it did when Ben-Gurion was still alive. It doesn’t just have the media and academia, the non-profits and the elites, the way most national ‘lefts’ do. It also controls the old machinery of government that it spent generations running and robbing.

Ben-Gurion’s tenancy may be a factoid to most, but it’s a sore insult to Labor. And its deep state is working overtime to force Netanyahu out of office using fake scandals, fake news and fake police.

This isn’t a new obsession. If you think CNN’s Trumpmania is bad, the Israeli police and media have spent the better part of a decade trying to invent ridiculous Netanyahu scandals. How ridiculous?

Netanyahu’s wife was accused of stealing bottle deposits. "Attorney general mulls probe into Sara Netanyahu's bottle deposits" isn't a gag, it's an actual headline. The catering budget at the prime minister’s residence has been under investigation for years. But there was no investigation when Shimon Peres, the last rotten remnant of the Ben-Gurion regime, threw a lavish birthday party that cost millions and included Bill Clinton, Robert De Niro and Barbara Streisand. Clinton’s fee of $500K was paid by the JNF, which instead of planting trees, was paying one dirty leftist to lionize another.

Israel’s lefty fake news outfits cheered Peres, but took issue with Netanyahu’s ice cream budget.

Another Netanyahu investigation involved the nursing care provided to his father-in-law before his death, because the Israeli left has no more concept of decency than it does of national security.

None of these scandals ever actually go away. Much like the left’s perjury traps and obstruction of justice campaigns against Trump, discredited scandals are rolled into accusations of a cover-up.

And when that doesn’t work, then there are accusations of a media cover-up.

One of the investigations for which Israel’s lefty deep state cops want to charge Netanyahu involves an accusation that he had traded favors for positive coverage from Yedioth Ahronoth. But, as Caroline Glick points out, it never actually happened. Another accusation claims that Netanyahu provided favors in exchange for positive coverage from the Walla! news site. Both accusations testify to the left’s obsession with sowing fear into any media outlet providing positive media coverage of Netanyahu.

Israel Hayom, a free paper that covered Netanyahu positively, was targeted with a law banning the distribution of successful free papers. This attack on a literal free press was known as, "Law for the Advancement and Protection of Written Journalism in Israel”. Lefty journalism has plenty of 'protektsia' in Israel. But who will protect Israelis from the ‘journalists’ and their political bosses?

And who will protect actual journalists who report unfavorable information about the left’s deep state?

The message is that any paper that reports the truth might be accused of conspiring with Prime Minister Netanyahu by the police leadership who have their own incestuous relationship with media outlets.

Israel has a first-world military and a third-world police. Israel’s military is competitive, professional and heroic. Its police force is Middle Eastern. At its best, it’s useless and at its worst, it’s deeply corrupt and abusive. The same holds true for the entire justice system which remains a fossilized remnant of its socialist past that deserves to be classed with those of Russia or Uzbekistan.

The Netanyahu era has seen some limited reforms of the judiciary, but the police haven’t changed.

In the United States, the inciting incident of the Flynn investigation appears to have been his advocacy on behalf of FBI Supervisory Special Agent Robyn Gritz who had accused former boss Andrew McCabe and others of sexual discrimination. Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich used the campaign against the Prime Minister to accuse a female police officer who had complained about sexual harassment by a superior back in ’11 of secretly doing Netanyahu’s bidding.

The commander whom she had accused of sexual harassment was in the unit investigating Netanyahu.

Alsheich also suggested that private detectives were investigating his investigators. Both are a convenient way of shifting the blame for his own people’s misconduct to Netanyahu. Covering up sexual harassment and opening up the prime minister’s chair for Labor kills two birds with one stone.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has spent a good deal of his life trying to clean up the corrupt system that Ben-Gurion and his dirty socialists inflicted on Israel. It’s a system where the law is nothing and personal connections are everything. At its worst, party membership was required for government jobs. The machinery of government did the bidding of insiders and crushed the outsiders who got in their way.

Some things have changed.

Israel has a booming private sector. Its growing population of the descendants of Holocaust survivors, refugees from Muslim countries and the Soviet Union have little love for or allegiance to Labor. Its government bureaucracy is a widely loathed corrupt boil on an incredible nation. (As it always was.)

But Labor’s state within a state still wields a great deal of power. It is no coincidence that in recent years, it locked up a prime minister and president who originated from the conservative Likud while Labor’s corrupt politicians have gotten a pass. Isaac Herzog, Labor’s head of the opposition, served as the errand boy for international criminals like Marc Rich and Octav Botnar. But Arafat will rise from the grave to sign a peace deal before a Labor princeling sees the inside of a prison cell.

Money from the estate of Botnar, a Communist, was funneled through Herzog, his lawyer, to Labor for its anti-Netanyahu ads. Rich was a wanted fugitive who bought a pardon from Bill Clinton.

Herzog was Rich’s lawyer.

But the media would rather talk about Netanyahu’s ice cream budget, Sara Netanyahu’s bottle deposits and how much the electrician got paid. The left always accuses the right of its own sins and crimes.

Some may wonder how a country under threat of terrorism, invasion and nuclear annihilation is wasting time on this nonsense instead of dealing with the real threat. Easy. The leftist deep state isn’t interested in dealing with the real threat. It undermined Netanyahu’s efforts to take out Iran’s nuclear program.

Israel’s retired top security bosses routinely pal around with anti-Israel groups and spread anti-Israel propaganda. Ami Ayalon, Carmi Gillon and Yuval Diskin, the former bosses of Shabak, Israel’s version of the FBI, defended the anti-Israel activists of Breaking the Silence. Ayalon had also served Labor in the Knesset. Breaking the Silence has received money from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund which was among the most aggressive funders of the campaign for the Iran Deal to protect its nuclear terror program.

The deep state is rotten and disloyal. And it’s launching a coup to put its own Labor man in power.

It’s not just the Ben-Gurion date that symbolizes the transfer of power from the corrupt socialist state of Labor to a cleaner Israel that fulfills the aspirations of those who dreamed and fought to make it real.

President Trump’s victory offers Netanyahu the opportunity to redefine Israel’s relationship with the PLO that was imposed on it by the Clintons and their Labor allies. Instead of leftist apparatchiks like Dennis Ross and Aaron David Miller calling the shots, pro-Israel Trump associates like David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt are breaking with the old failed ideas and defining a new future for Israel.

That made it more urgent for Labor’s deep state to stop Netanyahu. That’s why the charges are in.

Labor failed to stop Netanyahu at the voting booth despite Obama’s experts working for them. And Obama isn’t around to restrain Netanyahu. A deep state coup against democracy is its last option.

The doomsday option isn’t just about stopping Netanyahu, it’s about stopping Israel.

The people won in America and Israel. But that just means that the deep state in both countries is becoming more ruthless in its efforts to defeat the voices, hopes and dreams of Americans and Israelis.

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California Has Many Natural Advantages, but How Long Can It Survive Big Government?

February 26, 2018 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty

(Editor's Note:  I recommend taking a look at the video later in this article.  It's not only eye opening, it's frightening.  RK)
In 2016, here’s some of what I wrote about the economic outlook in Illinois.
There’s a somewhat famous quote from Adam Smith (“there is a great deal of ruin in a nation“) about the ability of a country to survive and withstand lots of bad public policy. I’ve tried to get across the same point by explaining that you don’t need perfect policy, or even good policy. A nation can enjoy a bit of growth so long as policy is merely adequate. Just give the private sector some “breathing room,” I’ve argued.
I subsequently pointed out that politicians in Illinois were doing their best to suffocate the private sector, and also warned that a tax hike would push the state even closer to a day of reckoning.
Let’s apply this same analysis to California.

So here are some excerpts from a column I wrote about the Golden State in 2016

Something doesn’t add up. People like me have been explaining that California is an example of policies to avoid. Depending on my mood, I’ll refer to the state as the France, Italy, or Greece of the United States. But folks on the left are making the opposite argument. … statists…do have a semi-accurate point. There are some statistics showing that California has out-performed many other states over the past couple of years. … California may have enjoyed some decent growth in recent years as it got a bit of a bounce from its deep recession, but it appears that the benefits of that growth have mostly gone to the Hollywood crowd and the Silicon Valley folks. I guess this is the left-wing version of “trickle down” economics.
So what’s happened in California since I wrote that article?
Well, lots of California-type policies.
And where does that leave the state? Is California heading in the wrong direction faster or slower than Illinois?

Victor Davis Hanson’s column in Investor’s Business Daily has a grim assessment. He explains that California residents pay a lot for lousy government.
Some 62% of state roads have been rated poor or mediocre. There were more predictions of huge cost overruns and yearly losses on high-speed rail — before the first mile of track has been laid. One-third of Bay Area residents were polled as hoping to leave the area soon. Such pessimism is daily fare, and for good reason. The basket of California state taxes — sales, income and gasoline — rates among the highest in the U.S. Yet California roads and K-12 education rank near the bottom. …One in three American welfare recipients resides in California. Almost a quarter of the state population lives below or near the poverty line. Yet the state’s gas and electricity prices are among the nation’s highest. One in four state residents was not born in the U.S. Current state-funded pension programs are not sustainable. California depends on a tiny elite class for about half of its income tax revenue. Yet many of these wealthy taxpayers are fleeing the 40-million-person state, angry over paying 12% of their income for lousy public services.
In effect, statist policies have created two states, one for the rich and the other for the poor.
…two antithetical Californias. One is an elite, out-of-touch caste along the fashionable Pacific Ocean corridor that runs the state and has the money to escape the real-life consequences of its own unworkable agendas. The other is a huge underclass in central, rural and foothill California that cannot flee to the coast and suffers the bulk of the fallout from Byzantine state regulations, poor schools and the failure to assimilate recent immigrants from some of the poorest areas in the world. The result is Connecticut and Alabama combined in one state.
Jonah Goldberg is not quite as pessimistic. He opines that the state has certain natural advantages that help it survive bad policy.
California attracts an enormous number of rich people who think it’s worth the high taxes, awful traffic, and even the threat of tectonic annihilation to live there — for reasons that literally have nothing to do with the state’s liberal policies. Indeed, most of the Californians I know live there despite those policies, not because of them. No offense to South Dakota, but if it adopted the California model of heavy regulation, high taxes, and politically correct social engineering, there’d be a caravan of refugees heading to states such as Wyoming and Minnesota. …Wealthy liberal Californians can be quite smug about how they can afford their strict land-use policies, draconian environmental regulations, and high taxes. And wealthy Californians can afford them — but poor Californians are paying the price.
Regarding the state’s outlook, I’m probably in the middle. Goldberg is right that California is a wonderful place to live, at least if you have plenty of money. But Hanson is right about the deteriorating quality of life for the non-rich.

Which may explain why a lot of ordinary people are packing up and leaving.

A columnist from the northern part of the state writes about the exodus of the middle class.
The number of people packing up and moving out of the Bay Area just hit its highest level in more than a decade. …Operators of a San Jose U-Haul business say one of their biggest problems is getting its rental moving vans back because so many are on a one-way ticket out of town. …Nationwide, the cities with the highest inflows, according to Redfin are Phoenix, Las Vegas, Atlanta, and Nashville.
And a columnist from the southern part of the state also is concerned about the middle-class exodus.
All around you, young and old alike are saying goodbye to California. …2016 census figures showed an uptick in the number of people who fled…the state altogether. …Las Vegas is one of the most popular destinations for those who leave California. It’s close, it’s a job center, and the cost of living is much cheaper, with plenty of brand-new houses going for between $200,000 and $300,000. …”There’s no corporate income tax, no personal income tax…and the regulatory environment is much easier to work with,” said Peterson. …Nevada’s gain, our loss.
What could immediately cripple state finances, though, is out-migration by the state’s sliver of rich taxpayers. Especially now that there’s a limit on how much the federal tax system subsidizes California’s profligacy.

Here are some worrisome numbers, as reported by the Sacramento Bee.
Will high taxes lead the state’s wealthiest residents to flee the Golden State for the comparable tax havens of Florida, Nevada and Texas? Republicans reliably raise that alarm when Democrats advocate for tax increases, like the 2012 and 2016 ballot initiatives that levied a new income tax on very high-earning residents. But now, with the federal tax bill cutting off deductions that benefited well-off Californians, the state’s Democrats suddenly are singing the GOP song about a potential millionaire exodus. …Democratic state lawmakers are worried because California relies so heavily on the income taxes it collects from high earners to fund government services. The state’s wealthiest 1 percent, for instance, pay 48 percent of its income tax, and the departure of just a few families could lead to a noticeable hit to state general fund revenue. …Among high-income brackets, about 38 percent of Californians who earn more than $877,560 – the top 1 percent – would see a tax hike. About 25 percent of Californians earning between $130,820 and $304,630, also would see a tax increase… “The new tax law is kind of like icing on the cake for some who were thinking about moving out of the state,” said Fiona Ma, a Democrat on the tax-collecting Board of Equalization who is running for state treasurer. …Joseph Vranich, who leads an Orange County business that advises people on where to locate their businesses, called the tax law “one more nail in the coffin” that would cause small- and middle-size entrepreneurs to leave California.
Politicians and tax collectors get resentful when the sheep move away so they no longer can be fleeced.

This powerful video from Reason should be widely shared. Thankfully it has a (mostly) happy ending.

One of the reasons the state has awful tax policy is that interest groups have stranglehold on the political system. And that leads to ever-higher levels of spending.

Writing for Forbes, for example, Josh Archambault examines the surge of Medicaid spending in the state.
Over the past ten years, Medicaid spending in California has almost tripled, growing from $37 billion per year to a whopping $103 billion per year—including both state and federal funding. And things have only accelerated since the state expanded Medicaid to a new group of able-bodied adults. …nearly 4 million able-bodied adults are now collecting Medicaid, which was once considered a last-resort safety net for poor children, seniors, and individuals with disabilities. …California initially predicted that its ObamaCare expansion would cost roughly $11.6 billion in the first three fiscal years of the program. The actual cost during that time? An astounding $43.7 billion. …Though California represents only 12 percent of the total U.S. population, it receives more than 30 percent of all Medicaid expansion spending.
And the Orange County Register recently opined about the ever-escalating expenses for a gilded class of state bureaucrats.
California’s annual state payroll grew by 6 percent in 2017, an increase of $1 billion and twice the rate of growth of the previous year. …Employee compensation is one of the largest components of the General Fund budget. In 2015-16, salaries and benefits accounted for about 12 percent of expenditures from the General Fund, a total of over $13 billion. …pay increases drive up pension costs. …The administration estimated that the annual cost to the state for the pay raises would be $2 billion by 2020-21, but the LAO said that didn’t take into account the higher overtime costs that would result from higher base pay, or the extra pension costs from that overtime. …if an economic downturn caused state revenues to decline, taxpayers would still have to pay the high and rising salaries for the full length of the contract.
The last sentence is key. I’ve previously pointed out that California has a very unstable boom-bust fiscal cycle. The state looks like it’s in good shape right now, but it’s going to blow up when the next recession hits.

Let’s close by acknowledging that poor residents also pay a harsh price.

Kerry Jackson’s article in National Review is rather depressing.
California — not Mississippi, New Mexico, or West Virginia — has the highest poverty rate in the United States. According to the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure — which accounts for the cost of housing, food, utilities, and clothing, and which includes non-cash government assistance as a form of income — nearly one out of four Californians is poor. …the question arises as to why California has so many poor people… It’s not as if California policymakers have neglected to wage war on poverty. Sacramento and local governments have spent massive amounts in the cause, for decades now. Myriad state and municipal benefit programs overlap with one another; in some cases, individuals with incomes 200 percent above the poverty line receive benefits, according to the California Policy Center. California state and local governments spent nearly $958 billion from 1992 through 2015 on public welfare programs.
That’s probably a partial answer to the question. There’s a lot of poverty in the state because politicians subsidize idleness. In effect, poor people get trapped.

The author agrees.
…welfare reform passed California by, leaving a dependency trap in place. Immigrants are falling into it: Fifty-five percent of immigrant families in the state get some kind of means-tested benefits… Self-interest in the social-services community may be at work here. If California’s poverty rate should ever be substantially reduced by getting the typical welfare client back into the work force, many bureaucrats could lose their jobs. …With 883,000 full-time-equivalent state and local employees in 2014, according to Governing, California has an enormous bureaucracy — a unionized, public-sector work force that exercises tremendous power through voting and lobbying. Many work in social services. …With a permanent majority in the state senate and the assembly, a prolonged dominance in the executive branch, and a weak opposition, California Democrats have long been free to indulge blue-state ideology.
And one consequences of California’s anti-market ideology is that poor people are falling further and further behind.

P.S. If Golden State leftists really do convince their neighbors to secede, I suspect the country would benefit and the state would suffer.

P.P.S. And if California actually chooses to move forward with secession, the good news is that we already have a template (albeit satirical) for a national divorce in the United States.

P.P.P.S. Closing with some California-specific humor, this Chuck Asay cartoon speculates on how future archaeologists will view the state. This Michael Ramirez cartoon looks at the impact of the state’s class-warfare tax policy. And this joke about Texas, California, and a coyote is among my most-viewed blog posts.

Climate confusion from “Popular Science”

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Popular Science magazine has a new “news” video and transcript out that truly qualifies as what is now called climate fiction or cli-fi for short.
The catchy title is:

What happens if Earth gets 2°C warmer?
And why are we trying to avoid it?

The chilling answer, given in the very first words of the video:

If the world gets warmer by two degrees Celsius, we’re screwed.

Alarmist hype doesn’t get any better than this.

What is going on here is what I call 1.5 degrees of climate madness and describe here. It is all about the so-called UN Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which the US is wisely bailing out of. The false assumption is that humans are causing dangerous global warming, so all the countries in the world are supposed to try to stop it.

This raises the policy question — “What is our target??” For decades the answer has been 2 degrees Celsius, but not from now, rather from mythical pre-industrial times. The alarmists claim that there has already been one degree of human caused warming so that just leaves one degree left in the target.

But when the Paris Agreement was struck a bunch of the developing countries inserted the secondary tighter target of 1.5 degrees. That is the target is now the fuzzy 2 degrees for sure but as close to 1.5 degrees as possible, or something like that. UN treaties are notoriously vague, so different parties can confidently make conflicting claims about what they say.

Given the one degree of supposed warming already in place, this tighter target is really just one-half a degree of future warming. That is so tight that many of the hot climate models say it is impossible, but politics does not care about possibility.

Central to the Paris Agreement is the idea that the developed countries are going to pay the developing countries whatever it takes to meet the target. The tighter the target the more it will cost, so the more money the developing countries expect to get.

This is why the Popular Science video begins by telling us that at 2 degrees we are screwed. Not screwed by the Paris agreement (which is true), but screwed by global warming (which is not true). This “news” video is actually a big pitch for the 1.5 degree target.

The article itself is nothing but the usual compendium of computer model scare stories. Hurricane Harvey even gets honorable mention. They do make some mistakes, like saying the world will get drier, when it is actually projected to get wetter. But given that there are supposed to be more droughts in this mythical wetter word, this is an easy mistake to make. Some of the stuff is pretty incoherent, but so is climate change alarmism.

Toward the end however, they seem to lose track of their message. They start talking about the feasibility of meeting the 2 degree target and urging us to do that. But they started off telling us that at 2 degrees we are screwed.
That is the problem with pushing two different targets. If one is better than the other has to be worse. If 1.5 degrees is good then 2 degrees can’t be so good, but we should shoot for at least it, anyway. Anybody capable of critical thinking should read this article and react skeptically. But then this article is clearly written for alarmists, by alarmists.

If you wonder what this article has to do with science, the answer is nothing. That is not what Popular Science publishes. Popular Pseudoscience would be a better name.

About the Author: David Wojick, Ph.D.
David Wojick is a journalist and policy analyst. He holds a doctorate in epistemology, specializing in the field of Mathematical Logic and Conceptual Analysis.

Our next energy and security crisis?

Importing 65% of US oil in 2005 vs 100% of many key minerals now (from China and Russia)

Paul Driessen
Oil and natural gas aren’t just fuels. They supply building blocks for pharmaceuticals; plastics in vehicle bodies, athletic helmets, and numerous other products; and complex composites in solar panels and wind turbine blades and nacelles. The USA was importing 65% of its petroleum in 2005, creating serious national security concerns. But fracking helped cut imports to 40% and the US now exports oil and gas.
Today’s vital raw materials foundation also includes exotic minerals like gallium, germanium, rare earth elements and platinum group metals. For the USA, they are “critical” because they are required in thousands of applications; they become “strategic” when we don’t produce them in the United States.
They are essential for computers, medical imaging and diagnostic devices, night vision goggles, GPS and communication systems, television display panels, smart phones, jet engines, light-emitting diodes, refinery catalysts and catalytic converters, wind turbines, solar panels, long-life batteries and countless other applications. In 1954, the USA imported 100% of just eight vital minerals; in 1984, only eleven.
Today, in this technology-dominated world, the United States imports up to 100% of 35 far more critical materials. Twenty of them come 100% from China, others from Russia, and others indirectly from places where child labor, worker safety, human rights and environmental standards are nonexistent.
The situation is untenable and unsustainable. Literally every sector of the US economy, the nation’s defense, its energy and employment base, its living standards – all are dependent on sources, supply chains and transportation routes that are vulnerable to disruption under multiple scenarios.
Recognizing this, President Trump recently issued an executive order stating that federal policies would henceforth focus on reducing these vulnerabilities, in part by requiring that government agencies coordinate in publishing an updated analysis of critical nonfuel minerals; ensuring that the private sector have electronic access to up-to-date information on potential US and other alternative sources; and finding safe and environmentally sound ways to find, mine, reprocess and recycle critical minerals – emphasizing sources that are less likely to come from unfriendly nations, less likely to face disruption.
The order also requires that agencies prepare a detailed report on long-term strategies for reducing US reliance on critical minerals, assessing recycling and reprocessing progress, creating accessible maps of potentially mineralized areas, supporting private sector mineral exploration, and streamlining regulatory and permitting processes for finding, producing and processing domestic sources of these minerals.
Incredibly, the last report on critical minerals and availability issues was written in 1973, the year the first mobile telephone call was made. That inexcusable 45 years of neglect by multiple administrations and congresses dates back to the era of “revolutionary” Selectric typewriters and includes the appearance of desktop computers in 1975 and the first PC in 1981. (That PC had a whopping 16 KB of memory!)
As former geologist, Navy SEAL and military commander – and now Secretary of the Interior – Ryan Zinke has observed, allowing our nation to become so heavily “reliant on foreign nations, including our competitors and adversaries,” for so many strategic minerals “is deeply troubling.”
It’s actually far worse than “troubling” or “neglectful.” It involved a concerted, irresponsible, ill-considered effort to place hundreds of millions of acres in wilderness, wilderness study and other highly restrictive land use categories – often with the very deliberate intention of making their mineral prospects off limits, before anyone could assess the areas’ critical, strategic and other mineral potential.
The 1964 Wilderness Act had contemplated the preservation of a few million or tens of millions of acres of wild and primitive areas and natural habitats. To ensure informed land use decisions and access to vital mineral resources, Congress included “special provisions” that allowed prospecting and other activities in potential and designated wilderness areas – and required surveys by the US Geological Survey “on a planned, recurring basis,” to gather information about mineral or other resources – if such activities are carried out “in a manner compatible with the preservation of the wilderness environment.”
In 1978, while hiking with him, I asked then Assistant Secretary of Agriculture Rupert Cutler how he could defend ignoring this clear statutory language and prohibiting all prospecting, surveys and other assessment work in wilderness and study areas. “I don’t think Congress should have enacted those provisions,” he replied, “so I’m not going to follow them.”
As of 1994, when geologist Courtland Lee and I prepared a detailed analysis, areas equal to Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming combined (427 million acres) were off limits to mineral exploration and development. The situation is far worse today – and because of processes unleashed by plate tectonic, volcanic and other geologic forces, these mountain, desert and other lands contain some of the most highly mineralized rock formations in North America, or even the entire world.
The deck was stacked: for wilderness, and against minerals and national security. This must not continue.
These areas must be surveyed and explored by government agencies and private sector companies. The needs of current and future generations are at stake. Failure to conduct systematic evaluations violates the most fundamental principles of national defense, national security and responsible government.
The Departments of Agriculture and the Interior should follow the special provisions of the Wilderness Act; abolish, modify or grant exceptions to existing motorized access restrictions; and ensure that areas are evaluated using airborne magnetic and other analytical equipment, assay gear carried in backpacks, truck-mounted and helicopter-borne drilling and coring rigs, and other sophisticated modern technologies.
This approach also complies with environmental and sustainability principles. It ensures that we can get vital strategic minerals from world class deposits on small tracts of land, instead of having to mine and process vast quantities of low quality ores. That protects most of our wild, scenic and wildlife areas – and modern techniques can then restore affected areas to natural conditions and high quality habitats.
Even ardent environmentalists should support this, because the renewable energy, high-tech future they want and promise depends on these minerals. For example, generating all US electricity (3.5 billion megawatt hours per year) from wind would require some 14 million 1.8 MW turbines, requiring some 8 billion tons of steel alloys and concrete, 2 million tons of neodymium, other rare earths, and vast amounts of cobalt, molybdenum and other minerals. Substituting photovoltaic solar panels for turbines would require arsenic, boron, cadmium, gallium, indium, molybdenum, selenium, silver, tellurium and titanium.
Backing up that electricity for seven windless or sunless days would require 700 million 100kw Tesla battery packs – and thus millions of tons of lithium, cobalt, manganese, nickel and cadmium.
Every generation of renewable energy, computer, communication and other high-tech equipment requires new materials in new quantities – and thus renewed exploration, mining and processing.
The United States is the only country that locks up its strategic mineral resources. No sane, responsible nation risks or forecloses its energy, technology, economic, employment, defense and sustainable future. So it will be fascinating to see which legislators, judges and pressure groups vilify the activities proposed in the Trump executive order, government minerals report and this article.
Those that try to block progress in these areas should be named and shamed (along with their financial supporters) – and their actions made key issues in election campaigns and social responsibility discussions. Perhaps they should be the first to get shut off from electricity, cars, computers, cell phones, medical care, social media and other modern benefits that depend on petroleum and critical minerals.
Let the Interior Department know your views on these vital issues. And maybe take a page from the Cutler-illegal immigrants playbook: Become a sanctuary county or state, simply ignore troublesome laws, regulations and court dictates – and just initiate your own exploration and mining programs.  

Paul Driessen is policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and author of articles and books on natural resource issues. He has degrees in geology, ecology and environmental law.