Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.

We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.

-- Bastiat, The Law, par. L. 10

Sunday, September 09, 2012

'I'd have blown their heads off': Stepfather hits out at arrest of former model and her husband after intruder shooting at farmhouse
The stepfather of a woman held by police for three days over the shooting of two burglars said last night: 'I'd have blown their bloody heads off.'

John Towell said Tracey Ferrie and her husband Andy who was also arrested had faced a gang of four men at their isolated cottage in the early hours.

He said: 'Four of them came in. Andy and Tracey did what anyone would have done.' He said the law must now be changed to protect property owners who act to defend their land when it is burgled....

...Mr and Mrs Ferrie were arrested after dialling 999 to tell police they had shot at a gang trying to break in to their 200-year-old cottage near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

Mr Ferrie, 35, told police he grabbed the gun and fired it, hitting two of the men and forcing the others to flee. Four men were arrested at Leicester Royal Infirmary on suspicion of aggravated burglary....
American Character Is at Stake
...In 1960, entitlement payments accounted for well under a third of the federal government's total outlays—about the same fraction as in 1940, when the Great Depression was still shaping American life. But over subsequent decades, entitlements as a percentage of total federal spending soared. By 2010 they accounted for just about two-thirds of all federal spending, with all other responsibilities of the federal government making up barely one-third. In a very real sense, entitlements have turned American governance upside-down....

...Poverty- or income-related entitlements—transfers of money, goods or services, including health-care services—accounted for over $650 billion in government outlays in 2010. Between 1960 and 2010, inflation-adjusted transfers for these objectives increased by over 30-fold, or by over 7% a year. Significantly, however, income and benefit transfers associated with traditional safety-net programs comprised only about a third of entitlements granted on income status, with two-thirds of those allocations absorbed by the health-care guarantees offered through the Medicaid program.

For their part, entitlements for older Americans—Medicare, Social Security and other pension payments—worked out to even more by 2010, about $1.2 trillion. In real terms, these transfers multiplied by a factor of about 12 over that period—or an average growth of more than 5% a year. But in purely arithmetic terms, the most astonishing growth of entitlements has been for health-care guarantees based on claims of age (Medicare) or income (Medicaid). Until the mid-1960s, no such entitlements existed; by 2010, these two programs were absorbing more than $900 billion annually....
In 2011, Sandra Fluke argued for sex-change-operation insurance mandate
In an academic article published last year, contraception advocate Sandra Fluke made the case that private health insurers should be required to pay for sex change operations....

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Obama's Real Unemployment Rate Is In Double Digits
...But the government also releases what it calls the U6 measure — one that takes into account discouraged workers and those who, as the Labor Department puts it, are "marginally attached" to the labor force.

What does U6 show? It shows an alarming 15% unemployment rate — with 23 million people having no job. Worse, the U6 measure of unemployment is rising as the economy slows down.

We've concocted our own separate measure of unemployment, as you can see in the chart below.

As we noted, there's been a decline in labor force participation under President Obama — a decline that isn't adequately accounted for in the official data.

What would happen if the labor participation rate remained at 65.7% — its level when Obama entered office — instead of the 64.3% currently?

It may sound like a small difference, but just this tiny change pushes the real unemployment rate under Obama to 11% — not 8.3%....
Doctored to justify latest power grab?
..."The advocates of global warming are beginning to have the classic doomsday cult problem. The Earth hasn't been warming for 16 years, and that's starting to get very embarrassing. The first adjustment to the dogma was to stop talking about global warming and start talking about climate change. The latest version of the party line is that we are going to have more extreme weather. The reality is that the weather is not any more variable or extreme than in the past. But with suitable fishing in the data, it is easy to make a case that this or that weather phenomenon has become more extreme.

"The scientist Richard Lindzen has pointed out that the extreme weather theme is inconsistent with the global warmers' own theories," Mr. Rogers continues. "The global warmers have long claimed that the poles will warm faster than the tropics. One of their key scary claims is that vast amounts of ice at the poles will melt and raise sea level. So, according to warmer theory, the temperature difference between the poles and the equator will lessen. But it is that very temperature difference that drives weather, particularly extreme weather. ... So the warmers' claims are fundamentally contradictory."...

...Science has been held in extremely high esteem for two full centuries, to our enormous benefit. But now imagine a culture in which the majority declare: "Scientists? They'll rig their results to please whoever's footing the bills. If a 'scientist' tells me something, I believe just the opposite."

What could be the long-term costs of such a shift in public esteem?...
Denver Public Schools pilot program to push ‘social action,’ ‘social justice’
In addition to reading, writing, and arithmetic, the Denver public schools system are adding a fourth ‘r’ to the curriculum: rebellion.

According to NBC affiliate KUSA, Denver Public Schools is implementing a new system to evaluate teachers. In order to achieve a coveted “distinguished” rating, teachers at each grade level must show that they “encourage” students to “challenge and question the dominant culture” and “take social action to change/improve society or work for social justice.”

The new DPS teacher assessment system, called LEAP (Leading Effective Academic Practice), stems from state legislation passed in 2010 and is overwhelmingly funded by a $10M grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Debbie Hearty, executive director of the Office of Teacher Learning and Leadership at DPS, told KUSA that she wants kids as young as first graders to emulate Martin Luther King, Jr., Mohandas Gandhi, Rosa Parks and others.

“Education that causes action is really important,” Hearty said. “It’s what our kids do with what they learn and apply in the real world.”...
Re: Segway Jeremy Ryan ill?
...and if you truly live by a higher moral code you realize sometimes you have to intimidate...

... I lived every moment after as if it were my last from the first cardiac arrest onward... Just look at how the right attacks me...

DNC attendees: Yeah, it’s pretty awesome to belong to the government
...“Regardless of where you live, you’re gonna be owned by someone at some point. I think the American government so far has been a fair government and I don’t necessarily hate that I’m owned by them at this point.”...
In Top Journal, Obamacare Boosters Push ‘Global Spending Target’
...In a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), several prominent Obamacare supporters have called for a binding “global spending target for both public and private payers.” In regular English, this means a government-enforced cap on how much Americans may spend in aggregate on their health care, both public and private. The co-authors of this article include former Obama administration officials Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel (former White House health care advisor and brother of Rahm Emanuel, former White House chief of staff), Dr. Donald Berwick (former head of Medicare), and Peter Orszag (former budget director)....

Monday, September 03, 2012

With landmark lawsuit, Barack Obama pushed banks to give subprime loans to Chicago’s African-Americans
...Fay Clayton, a Chicago progressive activist, initiated the discrimination lawsuit in 1994. Obama’s employer, a lawyer named Judson Miner, allied with Clayton to file a class-action lawsuit a year later.

Obama appeared at Clayton’s office “saying he was the new associate on the case,” Clayton said in a statement to The Daily Caller. “I remember Barack arriving — he was industrious, he enjoyed the work, he was clearly smart and dedicated.”...

...For example, when the 186 clients submitted their names for compensation in 1998, it turned out that least 19 had bankrupted or received foreclosure notices even before December 1997. Another 18 of the 186 clients would go under within three years because of financial pressures....

...Before striking its deal with the federal government progressives, Citibank got rid of the Chicago lawsuit by paying off the Chicago lawyers.

While the settlement provided $950,000 for the lawyers, it provided $20,000 for each of the three named plaintiffs, and $360,000 in benefits to be divided among the 183 other clients....


At least 46 of Obama’s 186 clients have declared bankruptcy since 1996, often multiple times.

That’s a far higher bankruptcy rate than the rate for all Americans, for Chicagoans and even for African-Americans in Chicago.

In a 2011 report, the left-of-center Woodstock Institute reported that just 4.25 percent of African-Americans living in Chicago’s mostly black neighborhoods went bankrupt between 2006 and 2010.

By contrast, 11 of Obama’s 186 clients — or 6.6 percent — went bankrupt during the same five-year period.

That bankruptcy is 50 percent higher than the rate among Cook County’s African-American population, and almost three times the bankruptcy rate of all Cook county residents, according to data in the Woodstock report, titled “Bridging the Gap II.”


At least 55 of Obama’s 186 clients received foreclosure notices after 1998 — many of them multiple times. Foreclosures were finalized for at least 39 homeowners, or 20 percent.

That’s at least 20 times the rate at which prime loans foreclose over their lifetimes, and roughly three times the lifetime foreclosure rate of subprime loans.

Ten more of the 55 foreclosures are in process according to PACER, the federal government’s judicial records database.

The number of foreclosures may be near 70. That’s because the court database shows foreclosures by 16 people who share full names with his clients, including Donald Young and James E. Jones.

The clients’ foreclosure rate was far higher than that of other homeowners. In 2009, for example, at least seven of Obama’s former clients got foreclosure notices. That’s roughly twice the rate of completed 2009 foreclosures in Chicago’s minority neighborhoods, according to a 2010 report by the left-wing housing activist group National People’s Action.

That 2009 rate is also roughly eight times the nation’s post-bubble foreclosure rate of 0.5 percent per year, according to a report by the government’s Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

2009 wasn’t an aberration: Obama’s client list had averaged 5.3 foreclosure notices a year during the 1990s....