[T]here is no obvious relationship between marijuana arrests and marijuana use. Although arrests have more than doubled since the early 1990s, the number of pot smokers was no lower in 2008 than it was in 1990 and perhaps somewhat higher, even allowing for methodological changes that seem to have boosted self-reported drug use after 2001.
California is so broke it is being compared to Greece. But the Orange County Board of Supervisors gave away 4.3 million dollars [in a back room settlement] to an illegal Mexican alien, who is also a child molester, [for his having been beaten by other inmates while serving his sentence].
[T]ea partiers, who may not all agree on gay marriage or birthright citizenship, are united behind a couple of sound goals: curtailing the cost of government and refusing to live at the expense of future generations. Those are goals that, for eight years, had many rhetorical supporters in Washington, but few authentic champions. …
The tea partiers were dismayed to see these [so-called GOP] penny-pinchers replaced by poll-driven insiders with an appetite for earmarks. That’s one big reason hard-right candidates have scored so many upsets in recent GOP Senate primaries—including Rand Paul in Kentucky, Sharron Angle in Nevada, Joe Miller in Alaska, and Christine O’Donnell in Delaware.
They didn’t get nominated because they look and sound like the popular image of a savvy, experienced, well-informed, practical-minded U.S. senator. They got nominated because they don’t.
Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel audits ARRA stimulus spending by two important city agencies and finds that the American people have spent $111,450,000 to retain or create a mere 54 jobs in La La Land.
U.S. Citizens Have No Obligation To Answer Questions. Ultimately, the cops let me go, because there was nothing they could do. A returning U.S. citizen has an obligation to provide proof of citizenship, and the officer has legitimate reasons to investigate if she suspects the veracity of the citizenship claim. A U.S. citizen returning with goods also has an obligation to complete a written customs declaration. But that’s it. You don’t have to answer questions about where you went, why you went, who you saw, etc.
Of course, if you don’t, you get hassled.
But that’s a small price to pay to remind these thugs that their powers are limited and restricted.
When President Obama announced a new $50 billion stimulus plan Labor Day weekend, conservatives scoffed, and rightfully so. Who does this guy think he’s fooling? After a $700 billion dollar TARP bailout, the auto-manufacturer bailout, and an $800 billion dollar stimulus, does this president actually think a comparatively measly $50 billion is successfully going to turn around an economy where greater sums have failed? But the president and his party always have a ready reply for such naysayers–”imagine if we did nothing.” This open-ended question will undoubtedly continue to provide cover for stimulus-loving liberals, no matter how much conservatives insist that their constant government intervention simply doesn’t work.
Conservatives have an opening to make an uncluttered argument—using the empirical data of a terrible economy—that less spending, less regulation, and less government is the way to create more prosperity. Dragging Third World colonialism into it—and I can say this with near certitude—is a bad idea on a number of levels.
Almost every day, something in the NY Times makes me happy to no longer work at ABC News.
At ABC my colleagues acted as if they were steeped in the Times, like tea bags. They got their entire view of the world from the Times. Anything different was “wrong” or “right wing.” It drove me crazy. Today, I’d have to be institutionalized, were I still at ABC, because the Times is particularly irritating.
As the price of something drops, the demand increases. For a growing share of Americans, government services are effectively “free,” so they are demanding even more and policymakers are giving it to them.
As the following chart shows, federal payments to individuals as a share of the economy have reached an all-time high after seventy years of steady growth:
George Bernard Shaw said that “A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can be assured of the support of Paul.” In order to head off the coming fiscal train wreck, Paul is going to need to be convinced that robbing Peter is no longer in his best interests. However, by foisting a larger share of the burden of government onto a smaller and smaller group of taxpayers, policymakers will make it more and more difficult for Paul to see the error of his ways.
Jones’s threat to burn the Koran was ugly and offensive. It deserved to be reviled as an affront to civility, to American values, and to the millions of good Muslims who stand with us in the war against the radicals. But it is never right for the president or his aides to pressure US citizens into silencing themselves or stifling their liberties in order to conciliate violent zealots. If the years since 9/11 have taught us anything, it is that jihadists must be resisted, not appeased.
From Part I (rent control, gun control, war, social justice):
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.
More: Part II (health care, taxes, rich/poor), Part III (liberal/conservative), Part IV (disarmament, nuclear weapons).
[T]here is no successful example of Keynesian economics. It didn’t work for Hoover and Roosevelt in the 1930s. It didn’t work for Japan in the 1990s. It didn’t work for Bush in 2001 or 2008, and it didn’t work for Obama. The reason… is that Keynesian economics seeks to transform saving into consumption. But a recession or depression exists when national income is falling. Shifting how some of that income is used does not solve the problem.
This is why free market policies are the best response to an economic downturn. Lower marginal tax rates. Reductions in the burden of government spending. Eliminating needless regulations and red tape. Getting rid of trade barriers. These are the policies that work when the economy is weak. But they’re also desirable policies when the economy is strong. In other words, there is no magic formula for dealing with a downturn. But there are policies that improve the economy’s performance, regardless of short-term economic conditions. Equally important, supporters of economic liberalization also point out that misguided government policies (especially bad monetary policy by the Federal Reserve) almost always are responsible for downturns. And wouldn’t it be better to adopt reforms that prevent downturns rather than engage in futile stimulus schemes once downturns begin?
When the [leftist] mainstream media dominated the airwaves, Americans who were against race and sex quotas were made to feel as though they were racists and sexists. Americans who were against big government were portrayed as mean-spirited and uncaring. What talk radio and the massive expansion in non-traditional media have done is not only end the isolation, but more important, the silence amongst ordinary Americans. …
While America’s [leftist] elite have not reached the depths of tyrants such as Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Hitler, they share a common vision and, as such, differ only in degree but not kind. Both denounce free markets and voluntary exchange. They are for control and coercion by the state. They believe they have superior wisdom to the masses and they have been ordained to forcibly impose that wisdom on the rest of us. They, like any other tyrant, have what they see as good reasons for restricting the freedom of others.
Their agenda calls for the elimination or attenuation of the market. Why? Free markets imply voluntary exchange. Tyrants do not trust that people behaving voluntarily will do what the tyrants think they should do. Therefore, they seek to replace the market with economic planning control and regulation.
Why [leftism] has become an ugly sight… is because more and more Americans have wised up to their agenda.
In the Roman empire, it was treason to insult or make fun of the emperor, to “injure his majesty.” This is true in all unfree countries, to protect the state and its head, and as the American empire becomes ever more authoritarian, here too. Not that this is anything new in the US context. John Adams’s Sedition Act of 1798, under which Americans were fined and jailed, was of this ancient and evil tradition, as was the Apostle Woodrow’s Sedition Act of 1918. Recently, an English teenager sent an insulting email to Obama, and the praetorian guards, FBI division, have banned the kid for life from ever visiting the Homeland, by mere edict.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius [sent a] threatening letter to health insurers who dare to tell their enrollees about how much ObamaCare is costing them. … Sebelius knows that ObamaCare’s largest premium increases are yet to come… [she] may be intimidating insurers now to prevent them from blaming those much larger premium increases on ObamaCare.
One sign of the tea party movement’s success is that the term “tea party” is becoming an all-purpose smear term for any more-or-less right-wing person or activity that [your typical, leftist MSM] writer doesn’t like. In fact, I think “Tea Party” is replacing “neocon” as an all-purpose word for “the people I hate.”
Like Christopher Walken’s character in the famous SNL skit, a music producer whose solution to make songs better is “more cowbell!,” the left’s solution to all of life’s maladies and inconveniences is always “more government!”
The [NYT] suggests that we must recognize a new “life stage” known as “emerging adulthood,” in which people who are adults but have not yet fully matured must engage in “identity exploration” and embrace their “sense of possibilities.” You know: Anything but finding a steady job, a good mate, and starting a family. It’s basically an excuse to put off adult responsibilities until after you’ve turned 30, gussied up by people with Ph.D.s.
… [This] “emerging adulthood” could cost the public dearly because behind the discovery of this “life stage” is a call for [lots of new] federal spending.
The Left: forever fostering urges of dependency and entitlement, the core principles of their pernicious ideology and the cyclically self-fulfilling source of their enabling power.
“The free market is not an ideology or a creed or something we’re supposed to take on faith, it’s a measurement. It’s a bathroom scale. I may hate what I see when I step on the bathroom scale, but I can’t pass a law saying I weigh 160 pounds. Authoritarian governments think they can pass that law—a law to change the measurement of things.”—P.J. O’Rourke
This weekend marks the ninth anniversary of the attacks of 9/11. It also marks the beginning of the campaign season for the fall elections. In the days and months following 9/11, the political talk was about safety. In the seven weeks until the midterms, the political talk will be about the economy. Both dominant conversations were and are understandable, but both miss the most important point: everyone wants to be secure and everyone wants a good job, but there can be no security - physical or economic - without freedom. Freedom is the ability to make personal choices for yourself, choices that are not subject to the approval of your neighbors or the government.
The Declaration of Independence, which is the law of the land, and the Constitution of the United States, which is the supreme law of the land, guarantee you the right to live, the right to think as you wish, to say what you think, to publish what you want to say, to worship or not to worship, to go wherever you want to go, to associate with whomever you please, to defend yourself [by] using a gun, to use your own property however you see fit, to be left alone, to be treated fairly by all government, and to have money that the government doesn’t steal or devalue.
Do you ever hear politicians talking about these freedoms today? If you don’t, you should demand that they do. Because all of these freedoms that we all grew up thinking that we all really had are under attack today. Not from the monsters who perpetrated 9/11 nine years ago, but from the government we have elected to preserve our freedoms.
Since 9/11, the federal government has wantonly violated our Constitution: federal agents have written their own search warrants, they have arrested people for their speech, they have kept people that they have arrested from their lawyers, they have spied without warrants, they have seized property before finding any fault on the part of the owner, and they have borrowed and spent us into unimaginable debt.
…[T]he President’s Secretary of State and … [the] chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff … have each said that the greatest threat to our liberty is not al Qaeda, it is debt. Government debt. That would be your debt. … This is an election year. This year is different. The seductions of big government have become so strong that Republicans as well as Democrats have fallen for them. The whole reason we have a Tea Party today is to assure that folks who really do believe in freedom get elected to office, and once there, they stay faithful to their beliefs.
… I know it seems crazy, but we have to realize: those who control the government are more interested in their own power over you than in preserving your freedom. …
The task at hand is enormous: when [Thomas] Jefferson was confronted with a similar task 230 years ago, he was reputed to have said: “When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.”
Two years in, if there’s any noticeable difference between Bush’s policies of corporate privilege, endless warfare, bailouts, executive power, and bureaucratic expansion, and Obama’s policies of corporate privilege, endless warfare, bailouts, executive power, and bureaucratic expansion, I’d like to know where to find it.
French economist Jacques Rueff once said “Tomorrow, to save man, we will give him a real currency.” For a world that has suffered nearly 40 years of economy-retarding currency instability, that tomorrow is very near.
If history is any kind of indicator, by 2013 we’ll return to money defined in terms of something real. No currency in history has lasted longer than 42 years after its intrinsic backing has been abandoned, and it was 39 years ago that President Nixon severed the dollar’s link to gold.
I have been told explicitly by a police officer I trust (probably the only one on the planet) that quotas are pushed. He told me that it depends on the precinct, but some will ask leading wink-wink-type questions and insinuate punishment (“maybe you’ll find more crime on the night shift?”) while others will outright tell their officers that minimums must be met.
Now, the NYT has a recording:
The recording makes clear that precinct leaders were focused on raising the number of summonses issued — even as the Police Department had already begun an inquiry into whether crime statistics in that precinct were being manipulated.
Every law passed is another way the state can harass you.
1. If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. 2. It will put Medicare on better fiscal footing. 3. It will cost around $900 billion. 4. It won’t cut Medicare benefits. 5. It will be paid for “mostly” by shifting around money that we’re already spending. 6. It will give consumers more access and greater choice. 7. It will bring down the price of insurance.
The Community Redevelopment Agency describes its mission in terms that are as clear as the Salton Sea: “We make strategic investments to create economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for the people who live and work in our neighborhoods.” But the agency is being modest. Its real goal, the one in which it has been spectacularly successful, is to turn Los Angeles back into a desert.
Every day, federal, state, and local governments stifle small businesses to privilege well-connected incumbent companies. It’s a system of protectionism for influential insiders who don’t want competition. Every locality has its share of business moguls who are cozy with politicians. Together, they use the power of government to keep competition down and prices high.
Instead of depriving the private sector of another $50 billion plus interest, why not allow it to play a greater role in funding and operating the country’s transportation infrastructure? …
[T]he private sector can satisfy our transportation needs if given the chance. Unfortunately, myopic policymakers are stuck in the 20th century, which is exactly where the special interests they bemoan would like them to stay.