I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article.
The Money of Fools by Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Seventeenth century philosopher Thomas Hobbes said that words are wise men's counters, but they are the money of fools. That is as painfully true today as it was four centuries ago. Using words as vehicles to try to convey your meaning is very different from taking words so literally that the words use you and confuse you. Take the simple phrase "rent control." If you take these words literally-- as if they were money in the bank-- you get a complete distortion of reality.
Is It Time to Listen to Rep. Paul Ryan's Economic Prescription?
Here’s the political calculus: Vote for Ryan’s plan, save the country, get defeated in the next election, as any sensible plan is painful? Or vote to kick the can down the road, get re-elected, and postpone the economic collapse for 10 or 20 years? Unfortunately, all Democrats and most Republicans will pick option two. A large chuck of voters would pick the “European Social Welfare State, not realizing or caring that it cannot be sustained. ~Bob. Excerpt: Paul Ryan, a professional policy wonk from
Excerpt: Many years ago I attended a series of Headquarters briefings for out-going CIA Chiefs of Station. Our main speaker was Richard Helms, then the Agency’s Director and one of the lions of American foreign policy in the 1960’s and 70’s. A man who was subsequently crucified in the Nixon catastrophe. Dick was essentially giving us our instructions, and in my mind his most telling directive was the quiet statement: “Ring the
Elevating John Boehner (and will it work)
Excerpt: The White House has become very interested in House Minority Leader John Boehner (
Deceased Georgia Man Uses His Obituary to Solicit Donations in Lieu of Flowers “to Anybody Who is Running Against Obama in 2012″
About the third one of these I’ve seen. ~Bob. Excerpt: If you are a friend of Don Unsworth, a
Chandler man shoots, kills 2 suspected gang members
Excerpt: The intruder who punched out a
Excerpt: “As soon as the first stack of [Marines] made our way into the bridge, their hands were up, their weapons were down, they moved to their knees and they were compliant,” Martin said. “At that point, they were pretty scared. One guy actually defecated himself. … He sh-- his pants. I don’t know if that can go on the news or not, but that actually happened.” (Oh, Crap, it’s the Marines! ~Bob.)
Many Push for Repeal of Tax Provision in Health Law
As the painful parts hit, Obamacare will be ever more unpopular. ~Bob. Excerpt: Many Democrats have joined Republicans in pushing for the repeal of a tax provision in the new health care law that imposes a huge information-reporting burden on small businesses. To improve compliance, the law requires businesses to file a 1099 tax form identifying anyone to whom they pay $600 or more for goods or merchandise in a year. Businesses will also have to send copies of the form to their vendors, suppliers and contractors. Businesses denounce the requirement, and even the national taxpayer advocate at the Internal Revenue Service, Nina E. Olson, said the reporting burden might “turn out to be disproportionate as compared with any resulting improvement in tax compliance.”
Senate defeats plan to strip filing requirement from health law
So much for helping small business, which creates most of the new jobs. ~Bob. Excerpt: The Senate on Tuesday defeated an effort to strip a controversial tax-reporting provision from the sweeping healthcare law Congress passed earlier this year. Lawmakers voted 46 to 52 to block an amendment sponsored by Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) that would have saved businesses and nonprofit groups from having to report an array of small and medium-sized purchases to the Internal Revenue Service. A handful of Democrats voted for the Johanns proposal, including Sens. Evan Bayh (
Senators as small businesses
Here’s an idea. Instead of senate staff being government employees, make each senate office a small business. Each senator gets a chunk of money from the government. He/she then has to use it to hire staff, find them benefits like health insurance and comply with all the government paperwork and regulations. How the money was spent, of course, would be public record. Whatever was left over would be the senator’s salary, just like a small business owner. That might bring some changes.
Are rising imports a boon or bane to the economy?
Excerpt: It has become conventional wisdom in reporting on the economy that rising imports and a growing trade deficit are bad signs for growth. As recent headlines warn us, "Economic growth slowed by trade gap" (Washington Post) and "Wider Trade Gap Signals Weak Growth" (Wall Street Journal). Such reporting flows unavoidably from Keynesian logic. If we import a million shoes to satisfy domestic demand, that's a million shoes we no longer need to make ourselves. When demand "leaks" abroad, the economy grows more slowly and it creates fewer jobs. Or so we are told. Those journalists and the experts they quote who tout this theory should get their heads out of the theoretical clouds and look at what really goes on in the economy. All the evidence points to the fact that rising imports and a growing trade gap, far from being drags on growth, are among the surest signs that the economy is expanding. A major flaw of the Keynesian view is that it neglects the supply-side role of imports. More than half of what we import consists of goods consumed by producers — capital machinery, raw materials, parts and other intermediate inputs. Those imports help us produce more, not less. This is one reason why, over the past year, imports of manufactured goods have been rising along with domestic manufacturing output. In the long run, imports spur growth by forcing domestic producers to be more efficient and productive. Like competition generally, imports weed out the less-productive domestic producers, leaving the market to more-competitive U.S. companies. Those companies are better able to expand their share in global markets and create sustainable jobs with higher pay.
Obamacare vs. the Rule of Law
Sacre Bleu! Extra benefits cost more money? And the money has to come from the customers? Who could have suspected? ~Bob. Excerpt: Health Insurers Plan Hikes. That was the headline of a Wall Street Journal story last Tuesday which reported: “Health insurers say they plan to raise premiums for some Americans as a direct result of the health overhaul in coming weeks, complicating Democrats’ efforts to trumpet their signature achievement before the midterm elections. Aetna Inc., some BlueCross BlueShield plans and other smaller carriers have asked for premium increases of between 1% and 9% to pay for extra benefits required under the law, according to filings with state regulators.” And The Wall Street Journal was not alone. The Los Angeles Times and Dallas Morning News also reported rate hikes in their states, some as high as 16%. And this comes on top of news that Obamacare is forcing health care companies to stop offering coverage for kids and forcing colleges to stop offering coverage for students. Obamacare is deeply unpopular with the American people because, as the massive regulatory regime goes into effect, the American people are noticing that none of the administration’s promises are being honored. The cost of health care is going up, not down. Health care spending is going up, not down. Millions of Americans are not able to keep their insurance. To combat this reality, the Obama administration struck back last Friday. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent a letter to America’s Health Insurance Plans warning them that “there will be zero tolerance” for “falsely blaming premium increases” on Obamacare. Specifically, Sebelius threatened to punish non-subservient firms by excluding them from the government regulated and mandated health insurance exchanges.
Ten Questions You're Not Supposed to Ask About Islam
Excerpt: Sometimes, when people get emotional while discussing radical Islam, they tend to paint Muslims with far too broad a brush. There are millions of decent, hard working, patriotic Muslims in this country which explains why, as late as 2000, they were voting 78% Republican. Unfortunately, we hear from those people far too seldom while the terrorists, radical Islamist shills at CAIR, and the dirtbag building the Ground Zero Mosque seem to grab all the headlines. That makes it easy to forget that there are American Muslims out there loudly and forcefully speaking out against terrorism. Moreover, across the world, the
More Hate Crime Hypocrisy
Excerpt: Two recent strings of racial attacks—one black on white in Des Moines Iowa, the other black on Hispanic in Staten Island, New York—elicited very different reactions from both law enforcement and the mainstream media. Since April,
NJ Town Files Suit Against Rat/Roach Slumlord Imam Feisal Raul of Ground Zero Mosque Infamy
Excerpt: The Record also reported that Rauf had ties to local waterfront developer Fred Daibes, and was sued by a Daibes associate who had charged the imam [Rauf] with mortgage fraud in 2008, a suit that was settled in June. The suit, filed today in state Superior Court in
Very Interesting: Elections and Obama's Foreign Policy Choices
Excerpt: We are now nine weeks away from the midterm elections in the
Mitch Daniels makes White House moves
Excerpt: Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has been holding a series of private dinners with top Republican business leaders, policy hands and donors from around the country since this spring, an indication that he’s thinking more seriously about a presidential bid than he publicly lets on. The dinners, which take place at the governor’s mansion in
'2010 is gone for Democrats'
I think we are counting chickens not yet hatched. I think there are several senate and house races we will lose because we nominated candidates who can’t appeal to the center, when elections are decided. I suspect Harry Reid will still be running the Senate in January, though I hope not. We shall see. ~Bob. Excerpt: “He cannot save 2010,” the big-time Democrat is saying of Barack Obama. “It is gone. He must now concentrate on saving 2012. But the biggest fear of some of those close to him is that he might not really want to go on in 2012, that he might not really care.” In my experience, the big-time Democrat has hardly ever been wrong. He does not dislike President Obama. On the contrary, like most big-time Democrats, he worked hard for his election in 2008 and would much rather see Democrats hold onto Congress this Nov. 2 than lose.
He just doesn’t think it’s going to happen. A few months ago, he told me Democrats could win the House in a squeaker and also retain the Senate. We talked again a few days ago, and things had changed. “There is going to be a total wipeout, and it is totally going to be in Obama’s lap,” he said. “He should drop plans for Congress and plan for Nov. 3 and what he does next.” The big-time Democrat appreciates the unfairness of this. We always go around saying, “all politics is local,” until it comes to the midterm elections, when politics becomes a national referendum on the sitting president.
Another UFO Shuts Down Another Airport in
Excerpt: Here we go again. Just months after an unidentified object temporarily shut down an airport in
Thomas Perez: Obama's one-man Gestapo
Excerpt: If you tried to help a "protected" Obama constituency, you had better hope that your best efforts didn't fail. The Gestapo will have you in its crosshairs. This is not the Gestapo of the thirties-Germany variety so vividly portrayed by
Jewish Blood as Portrayed in the
Excerpt: Four young civilians: human beings, fathers, mothers, one of whom was also pregnant, collectively the parents of seven children, were brutally gunned down by armed, masked terrorists. Their murders were openly celebrated in the streets by their attackers and by thousands of their supporters….Allow me to first quote from the Bible of the intelligentsia aka The New York Times, which presents this incident on page 4, not on page 1; the early pages are usually reserved for all incidents in which Israelis fight back so that Israeli “evil” is seen immediately and framed as among the most “important” world news of the day. The accompanying Times headline? Unbelievably, it is this: “Killing of 4 Israeli Settlers on the Eve of Peace Talks Rattles Leaders on Both Sides.” It’s really not clear who killed the “settlers.” What is clear is that “both sides” are “rattled.” The piece opens with a paragraph that made me see red, both literally and metaphorically. It reads as follows: “The killing of four Israeli settlers, including a pregnant woman, in the West Bank on Tuesday evening rattled Israeli and Palestinian leaders on the eve of peace talks in
The plans, along with a timetable for which government sectors will feel the ax first, are laid out in an internal Communist Party document obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.
Feds Spent $800,000 of Economic Stimulus on African Genital-Washing Program
Your tax dollars at work. This is not from The Onion. ~Bob. Excerpt: The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), spent $823,200 of economic stimulus funds in 2009 on a study by a UCLA research team to teach uncircumcised African men how to wash their genitals after having sex. The genitalia-washing program is part of a larger $12-million UCLA study examining how to better encourage Africans to undergo voluntary HIV testing and counseling – however, only the penis-washing study received money from the 2009 economic stimulus law. The washing portion of the study is set to end in 2011. “NIH Announces the Availability of Recovery Act Funds for Competitive Revision Applications,” the grant abstract states. “We propose to evaluate the feasibility of a post-coital genital hygiene study among men unwilling to be circumcised in Orange Farm,
Excerpt: On Tuesday, September 7, at 8 PM a 300-man security force, backed by a large number of cars and armored vehicles, attacked the monastery of St. Macarius of
Justice Department IG to investigate voting rights section
Excerpt: Glenn Fine, Inspector General of the Justice Department, is planning to investigate “the enforcement of civil rights laws by the Voting Section of the Department’s Civil Rights Division,” according to a letter he sent today to Reps. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, and Frank Wolf, R-Va., which was obtained by The Washington Examiner. The Voting Section has come under fire for its inaction in the investigation against the New Black Panther Party (NBPP), members of which were caught on film standing outside of a polling place wearing paramilitary uniforms and holding a weapon. (Invest in Whitewash. ~Bob.)
Probably. Certainly Harry Reid will breath easier if Castle loses. But some conservative would rather liberals run the country than make any compromises. ~Bob. Excerpt: Republican hopes of winning back control of the Senate this fall, which went from no shot last year to an increasing possibility in recent months, could well hinge on what happens in today's Senate primary between Rep. Mike Castle and marketing consultant Christine O'Donnell. Republican political operatives -- virtually all of whom are supportive of Castle -- acknowledge that the race is close and fret that O'Donnell's small but motivated supporters (particularly in Sussex County) could matter in a small state where there are next-to-no recent examples of what the electorate in a competitive Republican primary will look like. Public polling has been spotty in the race -- a recent survey put O'Donnell ahead while Republican insiders had internal data late last week that showed Castle up double digits -- but one thing nearly everyone not named "O'Donnell" agrees on is that a victory by the "tea party"-backed candidate would greatly improve Newcastle County Executive Chris Coons' (D) chances of winning in the fall. With Castle as the nominee, Delaware has been -- and would be -- considered a likely Republican pickup; his moderate resume and long record of electoral success in the First State would likely serve him well in a general election. With O'Donnell as the nominee, however, the
Obama Flunks the Leadership Test
Excerpt: The U.S. Marine Corps' 14 Leadership Traits serve as a standard against which to compare President Obama's actions in his nineteen months in office. By this standard, he is not simply an unqualified leader, but the antithesis of a good leader: an "un-leader." It is often difficult for us to prove things which are self-evident. Anecdotes and examples are not without merit, but in a vacuum, these alone often fall short. Without some set standard, it can always be argued that one's position is arbitrary and subjective, determined only by a preexisting bias. Such is perhaps the case when discussing the leadership qualities of an individual, and in particular a sitting president. Results might be the truest test of ability, but without the passage of time, all results are not known, and such a standard is subject to dispute. Polling data is not a true test of leadership attributes: many great leaders went against the prevailing mood only to be later acknowledged for their insight and resilience. How to judge? A standard for excellence in leadership is what we need, and where better to find such a standard than from the United States Marine Corps? The 14 Leadership Traits provide a time-tested (and battle-tested) list of what characterizes the good leader. And although there remains a certain degree of subjectivity when it comes to measuring an individual against these traits, in totality, they offer a very complete and convincing picture of the degree of one's leadership qualifications. (I have used the USMC 14 Traits of a Leader and the 11 Principles of Leadership in seminars on the subject I presented. Still great stuff. No one is a perfect leader, everyone can be a better leader and everyone can exert leadership daily. ~Bob.)
Guy Gabaldon, 80, Hero of
Semper Fidelis, Brother. Excerpt: Guy Gabaldon, a Marine private in World War II who used extraordinary grit and a smattering of Japanese phrases to capture more than 1,000 Japanese soldiers single-handedly in the battle for Saipan, died Thursday in