Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A few political things slipped in

Blog postings will be very limited due to the on-going challenges from my lung transplant, which is not doing well. So I have to delete 90% of incoming non-personal email unread, due to time and energy. But a few things caught my eye.

I remind everyone I don't have time for Facebook or Linked-In, so poking, tagging and posting there doesn't get anything to me.

Say, no time like the present to support charity and get copies of my books:
They say these things go up in value after the author is gone. They might get to be worth the paper they are printed on. ~Bob

Book Recommendation: Dark Invasion: 1915: Germany's Secret War and the Hunt for the First Terrorist Cell in America by Howard Blum 
this interesting history was a birthday gift from my brother, Tom. Except for the Zimmerman Telegram, I knew almost nothing about Germany's sabotage campaign against a "neutral" United States in WWI. It included many ship and ammo plant bombings and a couple of attempts at germ warfare--which killed some people. Well written and well researched, this one is for the history buff.

Nevada Cattle Rancher Wins ‘Range War’ With Feds. By Nick Sorrentino
Excerpt: This is the power of social media. This is the power of personal video cameras. This is the power of citizen journalists. And the next time Senator Feinstein calls for “licencing” only “legitimate journalists,” that the 1st Amendment only extends to people who work at the New York Times, Washington Post, or MSNBC, remember this moment. This is how the bullies with the power, the cronies and their allies, are turned back. (I wouldn't say this is over. When you cross the Big Government, you and your kids can end up dead. See Wako and Ruby Ridge. Big Government liberals automatically see the government as right. There are arguments, especially that Bundy doesn't own that land. If his claim predates the Federal Government, then the Indians' claim predates his. Limited Government conservatives, like me are likely to come down on the ranchers' side. There are arguments. The government's "protect the turtles" argument stinks when Senator Reid-connected lobbyists want the land for a solar project, which is no better for the turtles than, say cattle grazing or Reid's home, which is reportedly in tortoise [yes, I know the difference] land. ~Bob)

I recommend everyone go to and subscribe both to Dr. Goodman's free blog and their free daily policy digest. Thy do good work and deserve your support. ~Bob. Excerpt: Have you ever wondered why poor people are poor? It’s not as though there aren’t plenty of role models around. Millions of people live highly successful, productive lives in this country. So why don’t people at the bottom of the income ladder copy the behavior of those several rungs above them and better their lot in life? If this question doesn’t really interest you, that’s understandable. What’s not understandable is why it is not an interesting question for those who regard inequality of income the burning issue of the day. For example, when is the last time you saw a Paul Krugman column on why poor people are poor? When Krugman writes about poverty, he can’t get more than a few sentences into the piece without launching into an attack on Republicans for being racists and indifferent to the plight of the poor. And that’s on a good day. When he’s in a bad mood, he depicts Republicans as actually delighting in the suffering of the poor. What motivates Krugman more: Concern for the poor? Or hatred of Republicans? You decide.

BREAKING: Emails Show Lois Lerner Fed True the Vote Tax Information to Democrat Elijah Cummings. By Katie Pavlich
Excerpt: New IRS emails released by the House Oversight Committee show staff working for Democratic Ranking Member Elijah Cummings communicated with the IRS multiple times between 2012 and 2013 about voter fraud prevention group True the Vote. True the Vote was targeted by the IRS after applying for tax exempt status more than two years ago. Further, information shows the IRS and Cummings' staff asked for nearly identical information from True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht about her organization, indicating coordination and improper sharing of confidential taxpayer information.

Worth Reading: Statistical Frauds of the Left: Liberals’ “war on women” consists of talking points to excite the gullible. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: It is a statistical fraud when Barack Obama and other politicians say that women earn only 77 percent of what men earn — and that this is because of discrimination. It would certainly be discrimination if women were doing the same work as men, for the same number of hours, with the same amount of training and experience, as well as other things being the same. But study after study, over the past several decades, has shown repeatedly that those things are not the same.

The "77 Cents on the Dollar" Myth
Excerpt: It is a myth that a woman makes 77 cents on every dollar earned by a man, say Andrew Biggs and Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, "Highlights of Women's Earnings in 2012," full-time wage and salaried female workers had median weekly earnings of $691, compared to male median earnings of $854 (an 81 percent gap). That might seem to support the 77-cents-on-the-dollar claim, until you look at what else BLS said. While this was a comparison of "full-time" workers, what actually qualifies as "full-time" varies within that designation. Men were nearly twice as likely to work more than 40 hours a week than women were, and women were almost twice as likely to work only 35 to 39 hours per week. Taking that into account shrinks the pay gap -- women working 40-hour weeks earned 88 percent of male earnings.

War on Women: DSCC Pays Women $.70 per $1.00 for Men. By Heather Ginsberg 
Excerpt: The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) has been working to make the midterm election season a nightmare for Republicans across the country by blaming them for inequalities in pay between men and women. Many know the commonly touted statistic that women earn 77 cents on every dollar men make. Well according to a new analysis of salary information from the DSCC, the group only pays women 70 cents for every dollar men make.

3 myths on our natural gas boom: The reality is that the new energy explosion helps us all. By Mark P. Mills
Excerpt: For all the coverage America's energy boom has gotten, there are still a lot of common assumptions about the oil and natural gas business that are flat out wrong. We know the good news: Oil and gas production is rising so fast that U.S. dependence on imports will soon disappear. Growth in natural gas has made America the world's largest producer and could soon make us a huge exporter. In the past half-dozen years, America's hydrocarbon juggernaut has boosted our economy by hundreds of billions of dollars. To keep the boom going, the federal government needs to keep out of the way, even as pressure grows to tighten energy-industry regulation. That's why it is important to unbundle three myths about the boom:

American Birthright
Excerpt:  I will not be forced into silence while freedom slips away. If you are a member of America’s conglomeration of identity-Nazis who believe anyone who thinks differently from you must be destroyed, please take notice. In the same way you are acting, the historical Nazis began their reign of terror. This is a battle for my birthright. I am an American. I will win this fight. You have had your say, shown your true colors too often. Sadly, it is your cause, whatever it might be, that loses. It is the leadership you follow that has lost it for you.

Excerpt: Eich broke the rules of the game. Suddenly everything appears in another light. Just days after being named CEO of Mozilla, Brendan Eich was forced out because he is an opponent of same-sex marriage. After declining opportunities to recant his views, he “voluntarily” decided to step down. Responses have been all over the map. (I don't have a problem with gay marriage. The threat to America in marriage is not gays getting married, it is straights having kids and not getting married, contributing to poverty, ct\rime, welfare spending and drugs. But i have a problem with people trying to bully others out of speaking their views. At the time he contributed, a guy named Obama had the same views. Should the left force Obama out of his job? ~Bob)

Advocate for "Women in Tech" Accused of Raping His Wife. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: Dana Contreras, a man, married his wife Melissa in 2007. Then he had surgery to mutilate himself so that he could pretend to be a woman. Then despite not going to college, got a top job at Twitter where he became an advocate for transgender issues, but then things didn’t go so well.

Excerpt: There’s a great tradition of Socialists doing and saying different things. Especially the wealthy Medea Benjamin kind. While Medea Benjamin pushes BDS on her Facebook page, her investment page looks rather different.

The Joy of Thinking: Shmuel Trigano. By Nidra Poller
Excerpt: Thirty-seven years later, Shmuel Trigano finds himself once more in a linguistic-cultural-geographic conundrum. The French language, which has lost nothing of its vibrant beauty and capacity for expression, is losing its territorial scope. And Jews in France are tottering on the edge of a familiar precipice. The same Muslim population that forced them to flee Arab lands has now created such a hostile environment in France that many envisage another exodus. The French language once practiced by fine minds all over the world is becoming a backwater, a trap for thinkers whose work is not easily translated and marketable. We who are enduring this difficult period in contemporary French history have the privilege of reading their works in the original; it isn’t a golden age, but there’s some silver in it.6

Anti-Immigration Euro-Skeptic Parties May Be On the Rise: Geert Wilders Once Again Endures a Firestorm of Criticism. By Jerry Gordon
Excerpt: The leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party, Nigel Farage, given current trending opinion polls, may be poised to surpass the Labor party. It alleged in a UK Telegraph report that Lady Thatcher’s unofficial biographer considers Farage’s immigration and EU stands “closely aligned” with her views. A decade ago this writer was on a weekly international Radio America panel with Farage where as the lone UKIP Member of the European Parliament he boosted these views. These opinion polls prior to the May European Parliamentary  elections reflect the ascendency of the anti-immigration Euro skeptic parties in many EU countries. 

Excerpt: Today I’m going to get personal. The reason? To see if readers have had similar experiences. There were about 450 students in my high school graduating class. I don’t remember a single one I would call “poor.” Only one would I call “rich.” All the rest were squarely within the 20 yard lines. Socioeconomically, we were all very much alike: solidly middle class. We went to school together, played sports together and socialized with each other. Since my school was segregated by law at the time, all of the students were white. Now let’s run the tape forward and approach the time of normal retirement. At this point I made five observations.  First, I made a rough calculation that between 5% and 10% of our class was earning about half the class income. Obviously, my calculation was far from precise, but I believe that the inequality of income within my high school class was similar to the inequality we observe in society as a whole. Second, I have no idea why this happened. The highest earners in my class were not necessarily the ones with the highest grades or test scores.

Excerpt: Paul Krugman has written another one of those columns where almost every single sentence is wrong. But he did get one thing right: The crucial thing to understand about the Affordable Care Act is that it’s a Rube Goldberg device, a complicated way to do something inherently simple. The biggest risk to reform has always been that the scheme would founder on its complexity. Have you ever wondered why ObamaCare is burdened with so much complexity? Here’s the answer: Barack Obama. Obama? Yes, the president himself. He campaigned on the promise that he would put partisanship aside and unite the country behind sensible answers to pressing problems. Then he didn’t.

The Democrats’ Fixation On ‘Disparate Impact’ Denigrates Minorities: No such thing as "race neutral" outcomes. By John Rosenberg  
Excerpt: The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has had a busy week or two trying to stamp out equal treatment of minorities. First, the Miami Herald reports, it “has quietly revived an investigation of Florida’s Bright Futures scholarships,” which are awarded in part on the basis of SAT or ACT scores. Inside Higher Ed points out that critics of Bright Futures, and all programs that rely on similar tests, regard those tests as discriminatory because “on average, black and Latino students’ scores lag behind those of whites and Asians students.” State Rep. Erik Fresen, the Miami Republican who chairs the Florida House education subcommittee on appropriations, replies to charges of bias by insisting that “Bright Futures, from its inception, has always been race, gender and creed blind…. [T[he program is unbiased and based only on the merit of individual students.” That, of course, is precisely why the Obama administration, which regards  color- and gender-blindness as simply Jim Crow dressed up in modern garb, objects to Bright Futures. An Office for Civil Rights spokesman stated in an email to the Miami Herald that OCR was “investigating allegations that the state of Florida utilizes criteria for determining eligibility for college scholarships that have the effect of discriminating against Latino and African-American students on the basis of national origin and race.” ... Apparently the Obama administration regards “diversity” as compelling for colleges, but not academic merit. (We keep seeing this again and again.  If the statistics on some minority don't match up- that is, their percentage in the population and their percentage in either something good (graduating college) or something not so good (expulsion from school) are not the same number, or very close- then that is prima facie evidence that there has been discrimination against them.  In other words, it must be impossible that the actions of individuals in the minority could be different from the actions of everyone else. That such an idea runs totally against the common experience of diverse groups of humans just doesn't get acknowledged.  Jews make up maybe 3% of the population, but are a much higher proportion of doctors and lawyers.  Blacks make up 13% of the population, but are a much higher proportion of professional athletes in basketball and football.  Women are half the population, but make up 75% of veterinarians and only 15% of mechanical engineers. There is no way to force-fit people into equal boxes in any system, and trying to do so just makes one hell of a mess.  The Dept of Education is one of the federal agencies whose existence I have to wonder about; that is, do we really need this bureaucracy at all, can we demonstrate that its activities really serve society well?  Right now it looks more like they are going to bring more damage to the system, that will serve no one well in the end. --Del)

The Racist, Discriminating Democratic Party. By  Ronn Torossian 
Excerpt: The Democratic Party, the party of slavery, which openly practices the only form of discrimination that is acceptable today in American politics – class warfare – and discrimination against the successful, yesterday, for the third time in recent weeks, wrongly accused the Republican Party of racism. (Actually, the democrats also support race-based discrimination, as long as they can appeal to interest groups on the basis of diversity, in affirmative action, or against Asians at the universities. ~Bob)

America’s New Anti-Strategy : Our allies and our enemies have seriously recalculated where the U.S. stands. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: It was not difficult to define American geopolitical strategy over the seven decades following World War II — at least until 2009. It was largely bipartisan advocacy, most ambitiously, for nations to have the freedom of adopting constitutional governments that respected human rights, favored free markets, and abided by the rule of law. And at the least, we sought a world in which states could have any odious ideology they wished as long as they kept it within their own borders. There were several general strategic goals as we calculated our specific aims, both utopian and realistic.

Roland Martin: Attacks on Black Conservatives Too Personal. By Aaron Stern
Ecerpt: When Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon turned conservative pundit, compared the United States to Nazi Germany last month, he was quickly criticized in mainstream and liberal media outlets, including by the Daily Beast's Joshua DuBois, who wrote that Carson was no longer a role model for black children because he "sold out to the right." Carson gets plenty of attacks like that whenever he speaks out against liberal causes, but he rarely gets public support from groups like the NAACP. (Whites who criticize Mr. Obama are racists, and Blacks who do so are of course "Uncle Toms", or Oreos, or sell-outs.  These are the standard attacks made to suppress criticism, and the mere facts and logic just don't matter.  While not every criticism of Mr. Obama or Democrat policies is fair or accurate, no one and no Party can be above all criticism, and personal attacks on individuals who levy criticisms is inappropriate. --Del)

A Halo for Selfishness. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: The recent Supreme Court decision over-ruling some Federal Election Commission restrictions on political campaign contributions has provoked angry reactions on the left. That is what often happens whenever the High Court rules that the First Amendment means what it says -- free speech for everybody. When the Supreme Court declared in 2010 that both unions and corporations had a right to buy political ads, that was considered outrageous by the left. President Obama called the decision "devastating" and said it "will open the floodgates for special interests."

Excerpt: Attorney General Eric Holder must be suffering from a sort of amnesia. He is upset at supposed divisiveness and rudeness directed at him when testifying before Congress, and suggests not too subtly that he and President Obama have been accorded inordinately harsh treatment (fill in the blanks why). Aside from the fact that he seemed to have relished the combat with Representative Gohmert in quite unprofessional tones (“you don’t want to go there, buddy, alright?”/ “good luck with your asparagus”), he seems to forget what former attorney general Alberto Gonzales once endured both in the liberal media and before Democrats in Congress, not to mention the films, comic routines, novels, and op-eds that focused on the idea of assassinating President George W. Bush, a shameful chapter in our history, which I think Eric Holder was largely mum about at the time.

Dude! Casual marijuana use linked with brain abnormalities, study finds
Excerpt: Casual marijuana use may come with some not-so-casual side effects. For the first time ever, researchers at Northwestern University have analyzed the relationship between casual use of marijuana and brain changes – and found that young adults who used cannabis just once or twice a week showed significant abnormalities in two important brain structures. The study’s findings, to be published Wednesday in the Journal of Neuroscience, are similar to those of past research linking chronic, long-term marijuana use with mental illness and changes in brain development. 

Worth Reading: The Boston bombing and the ‘Islamophobia’ scam. By Robert Spencer
Excerpt: When Islamic jihadists set off two bombs last year at the Boston Marathon, murdering three people and wounded 260, maiming some for life, they brought to fruition not only their own plot, but the whole enterprise of making Americans think that there is a big problem of “Islamophobia” in this country. As this grim anniversary of the April 15, 2013 bombings approaches, it is useful to recall what the ongoing drumbeat over “Islamophobia” is really all about: enabling Islamic jihad murder.

More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamic terror group Boko Haram
Excerpt: Heavily armed men have kidnapped more than 100 girls from a secondary school in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state and torched the surrounding town, a day after a deadly bombing in the African state’s capital. (Well, the Holy Qur'an permits sex with slave girls. It's their culture--don't be Islamophobic. ~Bob)

Worth Reading: Equality in Discipline. By Walter E. Williams
Excerpt: George Leef, director of research for the North Carolina-based John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, authored a Forbes op-ed article titled "Obama Administration Takes Groupthink To Absurd Lengths." The subtitle is "School Discipline Rates Must Be 'Proportionate.'" ( Let's examine some of the absurdity of the Obama administration's take on student discipline.

Worth Reading: More Puzzling Obamacare Numbers. By Megan McArdle
Excerpt: I mean, I could tell a story about how the exchanges make a trivial contribution to solving the problem of the uninsured, but a lot of uninsured people who are afraid of the individual mandate bite the bullet and sign up for that employer-sponsored insurance they’ve been declining because their share of the premium is $150 a month. Where the existence of the exchanges causes a lot of companies to dump their retirees onto the individual market in order to pick up some subsidies. Where people who already had individual policies take one look at the new premiums they have to pay and decide it’s better to just sign up for their spouse’s insurance, even if they have to pay the whole premium for the additional coverage. It’s not a particularly flattering story for Obamacare, but it’s a story you can string together from these data.

Excerpt: Media outlets in Australia and New Zealand today reported that two Australian nationals, including one who was a New Zealand citizen as well, were killed in a US predator drone strike in Yemen on Nov. 19. Last year's airstrike took place in Yemen's eastern Hadramout province, a known jihadist haven, and targeted al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) fighters driving in the Ghayl Bawazir area near Mukallah, the provincial capital.

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