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October 4, 2008

The Polar Ice-Cap is having its most volatile year on record.

Filed under: Climatology, Energy Talk, Media Check — Tags: — justplainbill @ 7:14 pm

The Polar Ice-Cap is having its most volatile year on record.

So? 

 

Yupper, a record that we’ve been keeping for almost one hundred and fifty years. Let’s see, now, the ice cap’s been around for a few million years, but the last 150 are the important ones.

 

 

Oddly enough, The New York Times and various environmentalists, most of whom live in high rise apartments far from either pole, have deemed this important enough to point to as further evidence of man’s malevolent impact upon the global habitat. Hmm, I do believe that, since 1900, The New York Times has cried Wolf more times that we’re headed for the next massive ice age than hot house, and that they’ve had more than one Jason Blair scandal, Blair being the “Time’s reporter” who with the approval of the Editor-in-Chief, for over two years filed fantasy as fact, The New York Times is no longer a credible source for print news. This leaves, for serious daily print news, only The Wall Street Journal and her sister, Barron’s, (and, sorry for my faulty memory, and thanks for reminding me, The Christian Science Monitor); and the web, thanks to Google and Ask.com, and some of the other, manageable search engines, for daily print news, but I digress.

 

There are numerous reasons why the measuring of snow and ice for climatological purposes isn’t done at the North Pole; it is done in Antarctica, near the South Pole.

 

One of the many interesting aspects of this rotating ball of molten iron upon which we so precariously abide, is that the land masses form plates, called tectons, which make up the crust of the planet. These tectonic plates float along and bounce off of each other. At the interstices they either subsume each other or separate allowing the molten core to surface to form new crust. One aspect of this is that sea level is not the same around the world when measured by atmospheric pressure. In fact, the Pacific Ocean is about six inches higher than the Atlantic Ocean. This is because the plates consisting of Asia-Minor and South America are moving towards each other, and Africa is both closing the Mediterranean and opening the South Atlantic. The violent turbulence in the Straits of Magellan and the flow of the warm ocean current, starting in the Indian Ocean that ends up in the North Atlantic melting the polar ice cap as it passes Iceland, are proofs of this. Anther attribute of this tectonic movement is that, the water is always moving!

 

Another proof is that the last ice age was, with other factors, caused by the closing of the gap between the North American Plate and the South American Plate at Panama, thereby allowing the polar cap to dramatically expand and upset the then current balance, because the warm current instead of being able to move through what is now the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, had to take the much longer route around South America allowing for additional cooling as it flowed past Antarctica and up through the South Atlantic.

 

As the temperature of water varies, so does its ability to solute chemicals. As an example of this, as the temperature drops, it will retain more CO2, as it rises, it will hold more salt and less Carbon Dioxide, your quick proofs are in the soda cans in your hands. Soda warm, when opened, fizzes as the CO2, no longer in solution, escapes; when the soda is cold when opened, you barely hear a pop; notice how salty you can make your pasta water when boiling, as compared to when it’s cool and the salt crystals simply drop to the bottom to await the heating of the water so that they can then dissolve, and if you do your water in this fashion, please note how the corrosive properties of the salt pits and destroys your pot.

 

As any U.S. Navy Submariner will tell you, if you’re fortunate enough to have such a vet in your social circle, at about the depth of 1,000 feet in the open ocean, is a thermal layer, above which is comparatively warm water, and below which is actually very cold water. Part of the cause of this layer is the ability of the sun to heat water. This layer is about where the sun’s impact stops. The chemical solution content above and below this layer is significantly different, partially due to the temperature difference.

 

You may also wish to note that temperature change in water, whether higher or lower, always causes kinetic activity, meaning, that it moves. And, moving water is always abrasive.

 

Another problem with ice formation is kinetic energy. Ice forms readily at 32o F in still water, but in moving water, the temperature must drop significantly below that, as determined by the velocity of the water and its mineral content. Pure water freezes at that 32o F whereas soluted water requires lower temperatures to freeze. The quick proof is evident for anyone who lives near a river or creek in the higher latitudes. At the edge of the flow, where the water is immobile, ice forms, whereas in the center of the river, where the current is strongest, the ice does not form, yet the temperature of both the water and the ambient air is the same in both locations.

 

So, the polar ice cap, subject to all of the above variables, is not the place to measure snow and ice. In the alternative, the South Pole has none of these problems. Beneath the South Pole ice layer, lies frozen tundra, not subject to current flow, saline content, nor tectonic activity.

 

Dr. David Bromwich, head of the Polar Meteorology Group of the Byrd Polar Research Center and professor in the Atmospheric Sciences Program at the Department of Geography of Ohio State University, president of the International Commission on Polar Meteorology, chair of the Polar DAAC Advisory Group, member of the Arctic Climate System Study Working Group on Reanalysis and past member of the National Academy of Sciences, Committee on Geophysical and Environmental Data, Ph.D., says, “The best we can say right now is that the climate models are somewhat inconsistent with the evidence that we have for the last 50 years from the continental Antarctic.”  and, “it’s hard to see a global warming signal from the mainland of Antarctica right now.”

 

BTW, as of today, 16 October 2008, the reports from the Acrtic Circle show that the glacial masses are increasing. Increasing means that there’s more snow than melt on them. More snow than melt means that we are headed for a cooling period. Hmm, now does Gore’s $100,000,000 profit make sense to you?

 

The Polar Ice-Cap is having its most volatile year on record.

So what?

 

[OK, today is March 1, 2009 and there’s an important update to this post: it seems that the original report that the polar ice cap is having a volatile years was wildly, and purportedly innocently, innaccurate. It seems that the people who did the original reporting failed to report a significant number of sensors, thus, seriously understating the actual amount of ice in the cap. After some responsbile people went and rechecked, they found that, in fact, the Polar Ice Cap is EXPANDING. So much for global warming Your Thighness Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Ignorant State.]

Better yet, for those of you who want to know what’s happening first hand, Discovery Channel runs “The Deadliest Catch” which is about crab fishermen in the Bering Sea. Sig Hansen, Phil Harris, The Colburns & Hilstrands, have all said during this last season that the Ice is coming farther and farther south and they have the radar & sounding records to prove it. So, who’ya gonna listen to? Al “never been there” Gore, or the crab fishermen who’re in it months at a time every year?

Well, someone must be doing some research. Today, 12 Dec 13, the lowest temperature ever recorded, was recorded! Guess where. That’s right, in Antarctica, where all legitimate climate study is being done. Sigh, where’s the IPCC now?

And, now, January 2014, a group of Russian climatologists has been frozen in the Antarctic Ice. They were going to Antarctica to prove “Global Warming”. Ok, so I guess that I was correct with all of that stuff about the Polar Ice Cap not being the place to go for scientific data, eh? Do I really need to say more? BTW, today, the high in Kansas City has been 3 degrees Fahrenheit. Hey, Al, send some of that global warming here to Kansas & Missouri so the winter wheat will grow and we won’t starve in 2014!!!

And, during a recent broadcast of the FOX NEWS Business Block, broadcast on Saturday mornings, Eric Bolling, host of Cashin’ In, posted two NASA photos of the polar ice cap. The first from 2013, the second from exactly one year later, ie 2014. Contrast of the two NASA photos show that the polar ice cap is in fact, EXPANDING, by hundreds of thousands of acres. So much for the idiots pushing climate change. BTW, considering that, in addition to the above essay, the continents are on floating plates that move around, in a jerky style of movement as denoted by earth quakes, no matter what man does, as the continents move, weather will change!!!

Update 31 May 2014
The Weekend edition of The Wall Street Journal has an article “Climate Clues”, p C-3, which explains a lot. It seems that this German climatologist actually goes to places and looks for facts to explain things. ‘Tipping’, according to his facts, takes place over millions of years. The IPCC (Dear Prez Obama, the IPCC is the Inter-GOVERNMENTAL Panel, not International, and the ‘p’ IS pronounced here), and those others who use computer models (gosh, doesn’t anyone understand GIGO? Garbage In = Garbage Out???), might want to get out of their air conditioned academic sanctuaries, and search for actual FACTS upon which to base their theories!

Update 3 July 2014

1. For the 2nd time in the last 2 weeks, scientists have measured and recorded the largest amount of Antarctic ice in history. And “yes”, you read correctly, the record has been achieved/broken 2 times in the last 2 weeks!

2. Last year NOAA, one of the “scientific” groups that expounds the “man made climate change” and “CO2” myths, went on record as saying July 2012 was the hottest July on record (if you recall MO was in a drought). This replaced July 1936 as the hottest July on record (July 1936 being smack dab in the middle if the dust bowl). Well over the last 2 weeks NOAA has very “quietly adjusted” the findings and surprise, July 1936 is once again the hottest July on record. Apparently NOAA’s pronouncement in 2013 that July 2012 was the hottest July was based completely on computer modeling and not real data. I gathered from the story that I heard that really the only reason they went back and “re-modeled” the data and “adjusted” the findings is due to a couple of very serious and vigilant watch dog groups. These groups are dedicated to ensuring there is accuracy and transparency w/ respect to the data, findings and stated causation impacts when it comes to the “man made climate change” debate. So they called NOAA out in several articles w/ respect to how they reached their conclusion and NOAA “quietly” “adjusted” the findings.

Update 29 July 14, Famous Meteorologist on Climate Change:

Weather Channel Founder Debunks Global Warming Hoax

157 Comments

An award-winning meteorologist with 60 years of experience and founder of the Weather Channel has produced a video explaining the history of the man-made global warming hoax.

John Coleman was also a former broadcast meteorologist of the year of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). However, after being a member for several years, he quit the AMS after it became very clear to him that “the politics had gotten in the way of the science.” Coleman explains in the video that there is no man-made global warming, and why he’s sure about this.

The well-respected weatherman says that if there were evidence of man-made global warming, he would have dedicated his life to stopping it. “I love our wonderful planet Earth. If I thought it was threatened by global warming, I would devote my life to stopping the warming!”

Environmental activists now call it “climate change” instead of global warming because the warming has stopped, Coleman added, and $4.7 billion in taxpayer money is funding “bogus reports” and “bogus research.”

Coleman explains that any so-called “climate change” is extremely negligible from a long-term perspective and nothing unusual or alarming. He points out that Antarctic sea ice is close to an all-time high, and the polar bear population is as high as it’s been in recorded history.

In regard to rising sea levels, Coleman says:

“It’s rising at about the rate of about six inches per hundred years, as part of this inter-glacial period. When North America was covered in a 400 foot thick ice core at the end of the last ice age, the oceans were low, and then as that ice melted, of course the oceans have risen. That rise has been gentle and is not important.”

Coleman says in the video there are 9,000 PhDs and 31,000 scientists who have signed a petition saying that the CO2 global warming theory is a hoax. These climate change “non-believers” aren’t heard by most Americans because they don’t receive government funding. And they aren’t covered by the mainstream media because it almost always promotes the climate change theory.

This damning indictment by an experienced and well-respected meteorologist proves that the “climate change” movement is primarily (if not all) politically based. Its ultimate goal is to make Americans the enemy of the planet (so they’ll agree to greater government control over their behavior) — and to reduce America’s use of oil, gas and coal-based energy sources.

If you hear someone talk about “climate change” and that America should do something, show them this video as proof that it’s nothing more than left-wing, “Chicken Little” politics.

7 October 14

Article below, with references, shows global cooling even though many are still talking “climate change is caused by man”, well, hell, OF COURSE THERE’S CLIMATE CHANGE, JUST LOOK AT THE SEASONS AND CONSIDER THAT DURING ROMAN TIMES THE MEDIAN TEMPERATURE IS ESTIMATED TO HAVE BEEN 82 F !!! 30 years of cooling means at least 10 years of potential crop failures in the middle, and famine and disease, so, let’s REALLY keep those borders open and let all of those “dreamers” in without medical checks and quarantines.
BTW, how can they be wondering why the ocean levels are rising? Don’t these people even know basic chemistry? As pointed out above, the polar ice cap is expanding/growing, meaning the sea water is being displaced, just like when water is being frozen, the ice rises up and displaces the water below? Let’s get out of the U.N. and stop financing stupidity like the IPCC.

NASA Scientists Puzzled by Global Cooling on Land and Sea
Image: NASA Scientists Puzzled by Global Cooling on Land and Sea (iStock)

Monday, 06 Oct 2014 12:36 PM

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The deep ocean may not be hiding heat after all, raising new questions about why global warming appears to have slowed in recent years, said the US space agency Monday.

Scientists have noticed that while greenhouse gases have continued to mount in the first part of the 21st century, global average surface air temperatures have stopped rising along with them, said NASA.

Some studies have suggested that heat is being absorbed temporarily by the deep seas, and that this so-called global warming hiatus is a temporary trend.
Editor’s Note: Dark Winter: Book Exposes Fraud of Man Made Global Warming

But latest data from satellite and direct ocean temperature measurements from 2005 to 2013 “found the ocean abyss below 1.24 miles (1,995 meters) has not warmed measurably,” NASA said in a statement.

The findings present a new puzzle to scientists, but co-author Josh Willis of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said the reality of climate change is not being thrown into doubt.

“The sea level is still rising,” said Willis.

“We’re just trying to understand the nitty-gritty details.”

A separate study in August in the journal Science said the apparent slowdown in the Earth’s surface warming in the last 15 years could be due to that heat being trapped in the deep Atlantic and Southern Ocean.

But the NASA researchers said their approach, described in the journal Nature Climate Change, is the first to test the idea using satellite observations, as well as direct temperature measurements of the upper ocean.
Editor’s Note: NASA Expert: Sun Cycles To Cause 30 Year Cold Spell

“The deep parts of the ocean are harder to measure,” said researcher William Llovel of NASA JPL.

“The combination of satellite and direct temperature data gives us a glimpse of how much sea level rise is due to deep warming. The answer is — not much.”

12 Dec 2014, another update, completely ripping Al ‘jabba the hut’ Gore’s hoax of a movie, http://nws.mx/1IGXEwd .

29 Dec 2014, another update:
Capital Hill

Political & Economic Analysis

Polar Ice Not Melting, But Global Warming Story Is
32 Comments

By KERRY JACKSON

Posted 11:41 AM ET

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Feeling low about the incessant screeching that the ice is catastrophically melting at the poles? A lot of us are, so it’s good to see a researcher buck the narrative.

Ted Maksym, an oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, has drawn a conclusion that will surely bring him grief from the global-warming believers and cold shoulder from most of the mainstream media, which is heavily invested in the idea that man is heating his planet by burning fossil fuels.

“The North and South Poles are ‘not melting,'” the British Express reported on Christmas.

“In fact,” the Express said in its coverage of Maksym’s finding, “the poles are ‘much more stable’ than climate scientists once predicted and could even be much thicker than previously thought.”

Remember those words “previously thought.” In the future we will be seeing them a lot more in reference to the continued unraveling of the global warming fable. In the meantime, kudos to the Express for publishing what the mainstream American media refuse to report.

Read More At Investor’s Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/blogs-capital-hill/122914-732367-polar-ice-not-melting-oceanographer-says.htm#ixzz3NKQChTdo
Follow us: @IBDinvestors on Twitter | InvestorsBusinessDaily on Facebook

15 Jan 15 See Chris Horner’s book, “Red Hot Lies”.

12 February 2015, Interesting update: Yesterday, in Oslo Norway, the Norwegian Central Bank and a group of Norwegian scientists, announced that the climate change hoax had nearly destroyed the Norwegian Economy.
It seems that over the last 5 years, IPCC, U.N., NOAO, and the “global climate science community”, have been fiddling with the numbers to get their computer models to agree with their predictions. However, Norway, a Socialist Country, has been planning its economy for the last five years on the climate change assumptions. This means that they have been spending their entire national economic resources on the false assumptions that the Polar Ice Cap is melting, that their shorelines will shrink, that they will have tons more fresh water, acres and acres of more farm and pastureland, milder winters, and longer summers.
Only, since the global scientific community has been fiddling with the figures, the reverse has happened, thus bringing the Norwegian National Economy to the brink of collapse.
So, it seems that the fishermen of “The Deadliest Catch”, NASA satellite photography, scientists like Lawrence Solomon, and simple pundits such as Eric Bolling, have been proven correct, once again.

25 Feb 15, ;TWSJ and The Economist 4th quarter reports on Real Estate were recently released. I decided to look at a couple of other RE stats, simply because HGTV has posted its 2015 Showplace House/ Giveaway. The 3+MILLION $$$ house is located on Cape Cod, MA. Hmmmmm. So I looked a little farther into this.

RE prices are up in Big Sur CA, Cape Cod MA, Miami FL, throughout the Caribbean, all along both coasts of North AND South America, HI, and along the Indian Ocean. Hmmm.

Don’t get it yet??? It means that all of the greenies screaming about climate change, have NOT sold any of their big estates along the coasts! It means that the people who sell mortgages, do NOT believe in Climate Change! It means that the Kennedys, who have estates in MA and FL as well as CA and NY, do NOT believe in Climate Change! None of the limousine liberals have sold any of their coastal properties!!!

Gee, how much more needs to be said about this fraud????

Update 7 Dec 15 (Pearl Harbor Remembrance, BTW) TWSJ p A 14, letter to the editor by Terry W. Donze, Geophysicist, ‘Warming’ Science Is Anything but Settled’. A must read for anyone interested in the climate change controversy. Mr. Donze cites several real scientists who refute every aspect of climate change catastrophe from sea levels rising, false according to sea level expert, Nils-Axel Moerner “the greatest lie ever told”, through Arctic ice is melting despite it 5% increase. Every aspect of the climate change claim is refuted by actual climatologists, and not politicians like Al Gore.

August 28, 2016

Charity Navigator article The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation [nc]

https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.profile&ein=311580204

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Bill Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation
LITTLE ROCK, AR
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We had previously evaluated this organization, but have since determined that this charity’s atypical business model can not be accurately captured in our current rating methodology. Our removal of The Clinton Foundation from our site is neither a condemnation nor an endorsement of this charity. We reserve the right to reinstate a rating for The Clinton Foundation as soon as we identify a rating methodology that appropriately captures its business model.
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EIN 31-1580204
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BILL HILLARY & CHELSEA CLINTON FOUNDATION
Street Address 610 PRESIDENT CLINTON AVE 2ND FLOOR
City, State, Zip LITTLE ROCK, AR 72201-1732
NTEE Code
E70
NTEE Classification
Public Health Program (Includes General Health and Wellness Promotion
NTEE Type
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Classification
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Activities (994) Described in section 170(b)1)(a)(vi) of the Code
(61) Library
Foundation Status
Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public 170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
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Contributions are deductible
Affiliation
Independent – the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations).
Group Name
[Not Applicable]
Ruling Date
January, 1998
Asset Amount $354,190,170
Income Amount $184,422,359
Form 990 Revenue Amount $177,804,612
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August 24, 2016

California and your right to self-defense

Wherever you stand on the issue of gun control, it is important to be well informed. While it is difficult to say how many registered gun owners there are in Sonoma County we do know that recent sales of firearms to have gone up as more restrictive laws are set to go into effect. It is important to stay informed as to prevent law abiding gun owners from unknowingly breaking new laws. Here are some of the changes in the law.

It is important to mention that these laws are not set in stone 100% as VetoGunmageddon.org is working to obtain enough signatures to veto Gov. Browns new bills and put them on the ballot this November.
SB 880 and AB 1135

Together, these new laws reclassify the definition of “assault weapon” and “fixed magazine” as:

(1) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that does not have a fixed magazine but has any one of the following:

(A) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon.
(B) A thumbhole stock.
(C) A folding or telescoping stock.
(D) A grenade launcher or flare launcher.
(E) A flash suppressor.
(F) A forward pistol grip.

(2) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.

(3) A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has an overall length of less than 30 inches.

(4) A semiautomatic pistol that does not have a fixed magazine but has any one of the following:

(A) A threaded barrel, capable of accepting a flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer.
(B) A second handgrip.
(C) A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel that allows the bearer to fire the weapon without burning the bearer’s hand, except a slide that encloses the barrel.
(D) The capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip.

(5) A semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.

(6) A semiautomatic shotgun that has both of the following:

(A) A folding or telescoping stock.
(B) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon, thumbhole stock, or vertical handgrip.

(7) A semiautomatic shotgun that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine.

(8) Any shotgun with a revolving cylinder.

(b) For purposes of this section, “fixed magazine” means an ammunition feeding device contained in, or permanently attached to, a firearm in such a manner that the device cannot be removed without disassembly of the firearm action.

Practical Impact:

Not much has changed other than the definition of the “Fixed Magazine”. New law defines fixed magazine as requiring the disassembly of the firearm action prior to removal of the magazine. This means that firearms with the features listed above combined with a ‘Bullet Button” is no longer legal for possession or transfer/sale. California has also allowed firearms that have been made illegal per the new bills to be registered as assault weapons and allows you to keep them if owned prior to January 1, 2017. However, once registered, you may not sell it or transfer it within California.

If you currently own one of these firearms or own them before January 1, 2017 than your options are as follows:

A. Register it as an assault weapon with the California Department of Justice. (Method of registration is still to be determined.)
B. Remove the firearm from the State of California.
C. Modify the firearm in a way that restricts removal of the magazine unless the firearm action is open.
D. Modify the firearm so that it does not have the features listed above.
E. Surrendered the firearm law enforcement for destruction.

Questions:

Can I buy the firearm out of state and bring it into California? No, unless the firearm cannot be classified as an assault weapon per the new laws.

Can I later sell my registered assault weapon? No, unless you modify the firearm in a way that it no longer meets the definition of an assault weapon per the new laws and notify the California Department of Justice that the firearm is no longer and assault weapon.

Can I bequest my registered assault weapon to my children when I die? No, once you die, the firearm must be turned in to law enforcement for destruction.

Can I sell my registered assault weapon out of state? Yes, however the legal methods of getting the firearm out of state varies and can potentially be a felony if done incorrectly.

Can I put the registered assault weapon into a trust and pass it down that way? No, California does not recognize Trusts as gun owners.

Date the law goes into effect: January 1, 2017

Latest Date to register as an assault weapon: January 1, 2018
AB 1511

New regulations around loaning firearms.

Practical Impact:

Bans loans of longer than 3 days and loans for other than lawful purposes.

Questions:

Can I still handle that gun at the gun shop? Yes

Can I still rent a gun at the range? Yes

Can I loan a gun while I’m personally still present? Yes

Exemptions: May loan to Parents, children, spouses, siblings, grandparents, or grand children so long as no longer than 30 days, and done so infrequently.

Date the law goes into effect: January 1, 2017
AB 1695

Created a 10-year firearm prohibition for someone convicted of falsely reporting a lost or stolen firearm.

Practical Impact:

Makes it a crime to falsely report lost or stolen firearms.

Date the law goes into effect: January 1, 2017
SB 1235

Places restrictions on the purchase / importation of ammunition in California and would require the attorney general to keep records of purchases and background checks to be conducted prior to purchasing ammunition. This legislation would further require any online ammunition sales to be conducted through a local licensed vendor.

Practical Impact:

You would not be able to purchase ammunition online and have it shipped directly to you. Instead, you would purchase the ammunition online, have it shipped to a licensed dealer in California whom can conduct a background check on you prior to releasing the ammunition to you. It has still not been determined what the process or fees will be nor how long it will take.

Questions:

Am I exempt if I have a C&R License with a COE? – Yes!

Can I buy ammo out of state and bring it in? – No, you are allowed a few small exemptions for hunting and shooting at matches, but can return with no more than 50 rounds .

Does it include reloading components? – Yes, “ammunition” includes, but is not limited to, any bullet, cartridge, magazine, clip, speed loader, autoloader, or projectile capable of being fired from a firearm with a deadly consequence. “Ammunition” does not include blanks.

Can I sell ammo to my friend? – No, private sales of ammo must go through a licensed dealer.

Date the law goes into effect: January 1, 2018
SB 1446

Banned the simple possession of ammunition feeding devices/magazines that are capable of holding more than 10 cartridges.

Practical Impact:

Prior magazine bans did not ban the possession and now it does. This means all magazines with the ability to hold more than 10 rounds, even magazines that were grandfathered in and owned before January 1, 2001, are now illegal.

Questions:

What are my options if I already legally own magazines that hold more than 10 cartridges? Your options include: 1) Turning in to Law Enforcement / exempt dealer, 2) Sell out of state or to an exempt person / dealer, 3) remove the magazines from California, or 4) modify the magazine permanently so that it may not accept more than 10 cartridges.

What if I am caught with a magazine that has the ability to hold more than 10 cartridges? The penalty is an infraction which will usually carry a fine. The law also authorizes confiscation of the magazine. You should also contact an attorney as there are usually other firearm based charges that may follow.

Is Law Enforcement exempt? Yes, active and retired law enforcement officers are exempt, even for their personal property.

Can I just take apart my magazines of greater than 10 rounds? The law is not clear on when parts become a magazine. However, you should contact an attorney before attempting to disassemble your magazines.

Are there any other exemptions? Yes, If you have a firearm for which you owned a magazine and no 10 round magazine is available, you may keep that high-capacity magazine. However you should contact an attorney to assist in compliance.

Are magazines that look like 30 round magazines but only hold 10 rounds also known as “10/30’s” banned? No, 10/30’s are not affected so long as they are permanently modified to only hold no more than 10 rounds.

Date the law goes into effect: January 1, 2017
AB 857

Requires unique identification for all firearms and uncompleted receiver blanks that are readily able to be converted to a functional firearm.

Practical Impact:

All firearms legally manufactured from 80% blanks as well as all other firearms legally manufactured by unlicensed individuals must have unique identification engraved into the firearm. This means that if you have ever built a firearm from an 80% receiver, it must be engraved with unique identifying information. If this information is not engraved into the firearm by January 1, 2018 than you must request a unique serial number from the California Department of Justice. In order to manufacture a new firearm after January 1, 2018 you must First request a serial number from the California Department of Justice prior to beginning manufacture. This applies to all firearms manufactured after 1968 and is not a handgun. “Firearm” now includes the unfinished frame or receiver of a weapon that can be readily converted to the functional condition of a finished frame or receiver more commonly known as an 80% receiver. Yu may no longer purchase an 80% receiver in California unless done through a Licensed firearms dealer who voluntarily manufactures it by engraving their manufacture information.

Questions:

Can I sell a firearm I manufactured after I have engraved the serial number and other information on it? No.

Do I have to put my name as the manufacturer? Yes, this is a federal requirement when serializing.

What Model is my firearm? You can choose this to be whatever you like!

What serial number can I choose if I serialize before January 1, 2018? You can choose any serial number you like, but it must be in English and must contain numbers.

So what are my options again?

If no serial number is engraved on the firearm prior to January 1, 2018, you must apply to the California Department of Justice for a unique serial number to be engraved. If manufacturing after January 1, 2018 you must request the unique serial number prior to manufacturing the firearm.

If you plan on serializing your own unique information prior to January 1, 2018 you must inconspicuously engrave your first and last name, the city and state in which you manufactured the firearm, the model designation of the firearm, the caliber, as well as a unique serial number.

These new laws are all highly technical and you may suffer severe consequences such as felony charges as well as losing firearm ownership rights for life if convicted. It is highly recommended that you consult an attorney prior to taking any firearm related action.

Categories: Criminal Defense, Murder and you can count on the little toes of your left foot how many criminals follow the law!

August 23, 2016

Catching up with Victor Hanson [nc]

Where’s The Letter From Democratic Security Officials Opposing Hillary?
August 22, 2016 12:56 pm / Leave a Comment / victorhanson
By Victor Davis Hanson//Town Hall
A group of 50 conservative foreign policy elites and veteran national security officials of prior Republican administrations recently wrote an open letter denouncing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
They cited especially his lack of character and moral authority — and his “little understanding of America’s national interests.” Particularly bothersome, they wrote, is Trump’s inability “to separate truth from falsehood.”
The letter stated that Trump’s one-year campaign of blustery rhetoric suggests he could be as reckless in deed in the White House as he has been in word on the campaign trail.
Is there a like group of past Democratic wise men and women who can commensurately “police their own” and so warn us about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton?
Unlike Trump, Clinton already has an actual political record as a former U.S. senator and secretary of state.
If there were such a group, the heart of their letter might read something like the following:
“We the undersigned who have served in prior Democratic administrations will not vote for Hillary Clinton.
“She has endangered U.S. national security by using an unsecured and unlawful personal email server. She has transmitted classified information over it, some of which was most likely accessed by foreign interests.“Hillary Clinton deliberately undermined government intelligence-handling protocols and ignored Freedom of Information requests.
“FBI Director James Comey, after a lengthy investigation, has stated before Congress that Ms. Clinton was untruthful in her various public explanations about her reckless behavior.“We are discovering from her unsecured and once-deleted correspondence more evidence of negligence and unethical behavior — from crossover business between State Department operatives and the Clinton Foundation to quid-pro-quo favors and discussions about a U.S. informant who was later executed by the Iranian government.
“Unfortunately, Ms. Clinton cannot distinguish truth from falsehood in areas that transcend the email scandal. She went on record falsely attesting that the Benghazi tragedy was a result of popular anger against a filmmaker. In previous communications, she had asserted just the opposite — that it was a terrorist operation.
“After ranking members of the Democratic National Committee were found to have been massaging the primary race for Ms. Clinton, she nonetheless hired for her campaign the recently resigned and disgraced former head of the DNC, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
“Clinton’s role in the decision to bomb Libya ensured a subsequent failed state and terrorist haven there. Her laxity left the consulate in Benghazi without protection from terrorist violence that led to American deaths.
“Backing the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt nearly destroyed a traditional ally. The Iranian government has stepped up its support of terrorism, its hostage-taking and its promises to destroy Israel — after the Iran accord Clinton claims to have helped initiate.
“On her watch, all U.S. troops were precipitously withdrawn from Iraq, destroying what had been a promising calm, and ensuring the rise of ISIS and the implosion of nearby Syria. Allies in the Gulf and Israel have been as ostracized as often as hostile governments in Iran, Turkey and Cuba have been courted.
“Her signature “reset” policy emboldened Vladimir Putin’s Russia, helped to restart a Cold War, and led to the end of an independent Crimea and unified Ukraine.
“China’s unchecked expansionism has spread to new artificial island bases in the South China Sea. Uncertain of continued U.S. support, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea grow terrified in the face of renewed Chinese and North Korean aggression.
“As secretary of state, Clinton spearheaded the Obama’s administration’s effort to relegate jihadist violence to a euphemistic category of “violent extremism.”
“Hillary Clinton for political advantage has flipped positions on the Keystone XL pipeline, major international trade agreements, illegal immigration and a border fence.
“Hillary and Bill Clinton have become multimillionaires through speaking and consulting, often on the tacit understanding that their past and present public service could benefit unscrupulous corporate and foreign interests willing to pay them exorbitant fees.
“Just as our Republican foreign policy counterparts are rightly worried about what Donald Trump has said, we Democratic foreign policy veterans are equally terrified of what Hillary Clinton has said and done. In our view, further continuance of a long record of proven failure is even more worrisome than reckless rhetoric about future policy.”
No such letter will ever be published. Why?
Hillary Clinton is a fixture of the foreign policy establishment and thus is considered exempt from being judged empirically on her serial deceit and her disastrous foreign policy record.
In the world of elite Washington, crude bluster from an uncouth outsider like Trump is deemed more hazardous than the prevarication, dishonesty and incompetence of a familiar insider.

The Great Regression
August 22, 2016 12:50 pm / Leave a Comment / victorhanson
Today, it seems that Orwell’s 1984 would better have been titled 2016.
By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online
Technical progress is often associated with moral and political regress, a theme as ancient as Hesiod’s seventh-century b.c. poem Works and Days.
In 200 b.c., not a male could vote freely in Hellenistic Greece, but the so-called Antikythera analogue computer could predict astronomical cycles in a way unimaginable 250 years earlier in Periclean Athens.
The uncanny ability to craft the great dome of Hagia Sophia did not imply that the people of Constantinople in a.d. 537 had retained many freedoms from the impoverished Roman Republic of 700 years earlier.
We are in such a period of rapid breakthroughs in technology, consumerism, and scientific advancement — equally matched by cultural, social, and political ruin.
Take the question of free speech. Fifty years ago leftist student activists — without iPads and Facebook pages — fought for “free speech areas” in university plazas where they could voice unpopular and even uncouth expression.
Not today.
We may be able to communicate in a nanosecond and send photo images in real time on our cell phones, but someone who was a student at UC Berkeley in the 1960s would today be shocked that there is less free speech on campus than a half-century ago — unless he is a tenured dean who helped to implement the censorship he once opposed.
If a junior faculty member were to write a paper on the racialist undertones of Black Lives Matter, the lack of factual evidence for a campus rape epidemic, or the connection between radical Islam and terrorism, he would likely have to struggle for tenure.
It is not just that a John Ford western could not pass current PC muster, but even modernist raunchy satire such as the 1980s TV hits In Living Color and Married with Children, or the comic career of a Teri Garr or Victoria Jackson, or a movie like True Lies simply could not pass today’s Ministry of Truth.
Free-speech activists, homosexual-rights advocates, feminists, and democracy reformers all privately accept that they are as free to attack the fundamentalism of the Christian Right as they are in real danger — both to their persons and to their careers — should they question Koranic support for widespread current Muslim discrimination against women, gays, and religious reformers. Political correctness has become synonymous with either cowardice or careerism — or both. We damn “Islamophobia” to win social brownie points, but we tune out when there is mention of honor killings or female circumcision. Cheap silence is always preferable to principled but risky dissent.
Orwell was wrong only on his dates. Had he entitled his novel 2016, we would immediately have recognized his parallels to the present “overseas contingency operations,” “violent extremism,” “undocumented immigrants,” and “man-caused disasters.” The campus diversity czar is our Big Brother. Imagining that all lives matter is a thought crime. Due process on a campus today is counter-revolutionary, and proper sexual congress among students is to be scripted as a politically correct act, as if we were all Orwell’s Winston Smith and Julia. Is the Junior Anti-Sex League with its red sashes far behind?
Even as the president and his current and previous attorneys general have been African-American, race relations nonetheless are regressing to the polarized days of the 1950s. Black Lives Matter organizers now order journalists to separate by race, with whites to follow at the back of a demonstration. On campus, modern students are emulating the old University of Alabama, with Claremont undergraduates openly advertising that they do not wish to room with someone of a different race. Will solicitations for “European-American” roommates be far behind?
Neither social censure nor media attention focuses on such politically correct segregation. A “safe space” on campus is a euphemism for dividing up campus life by the color of one’s skin; are separate water fountains next? Any college president who addressed an incoming class with, “Welcome, students. I hope we can fully integrate into a unified student body, in which race and gender become incidental, not essential, to our common human characters” would be summarily fired or sent on a sabbatical to a reeducation camp to unlearn crimes of cultural appropriation and assimilationist genocide. Qualification for affirmative-action status rests on guidance from the old Confederacy’s 1/16, “one drop” rule.
Emblematic of the current racial nihilism was the recent fatal shooting in Milwaukee of an African-American suspect at a traffic stop (who was armed with a stolen automatic weapon, and who had 13 prior arrests) by an African-American police officer (in a city whose sheriff is African-Americans) — leading to looting and mini-riots, in which whites were targeted by their race. “Poor” people, who said they were deprived, coordinated their looting and rioting on expensive smart phones and cool social media. Immediately prior to the shooting, several African-Americans were shot by other African-Americans — without commensurate violence or even much news coverage.
Certain topics are not just taboo, but also grounds for career-ending charges of racism, such as discussion of the astronomical rates of violent crime among young African-American males or the epidemic of type-2 diabetes and chronic obesity among recent immigrants from Mexico. Just as in our dark past, when Confederate states and local jurisdictions nullified federal laws on racial grounds, so too modern “sanctuary cities” declare themselves exempt from federal immigration statutes, at least in the case of Hispanic immigrants from Mexico and Latin America. A visiting Australian neurologist who overstays his visa will eventually be in trouble at airport passport control; had he entered the U.S. by crossing its southern border illegally and staying in Los Angeles, he would likely have been exempt.
At the turn of the last century, “trust busters” of the progressive movement made the argument that the free market was imperiled by crony capitalists, who had, with government collusion, vertically integrated enormous conglomerates and monopolies, strangling free commerce and competition in the steel, oil, and railroad industries. Central to the muckrakers’ advocacy was that the Morgans, Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, Stanfords, and Carnegies were illiberal obstacles to egalitarianism and fairness — in other words, to the aspirations of the “little guy.”
Compare that to the scene today, with the record-setting monopolies of the founders of Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon. Internet grandees like Mark Zuckerberg are every bit as opulent in today’s dollars, and live as often in gated estates as did the now derided robber barons of the past — and are no less unethical. They certainly share the same disdain for the working middle classes, as they seek to import cheap foreign tech labor. Yet at least Rockefeller gave us oil, and Carnegie steel; it is hard to calibrate exactly how the country benefits from millions of 20-somethings glued to their Facebook pages.
Google massages its daily news fare to reflect liberal biases. Facebook censures far more social media on the right than on the left. Twitter closes down those it arbitrarily deems incorrect. The only difference is that in the Gilded Age, plutocrats preached the doctrines of self-reliance and hard work, professing that others could follow their golden paths. Today’s versions mouth progressive bromides on the assurance that they easily have the money and influence to navigate around the bothersome concrete ramifications of their own ideological boilerplate. None of them want their families to live in the world that is the logical result of their abstract and guilt-ridden theories.
As a result of liberal hyper-wealth, the new trusts are given veritable media and political passes on their embrace of practices once seen as illiberal and self-serving, like excessive electronic monitoring of our daily lives, offshoring and outsourcing wealth, monopolizing, and giving lavishly to candidates for public office to win exemption from regulations and tax law. Just because a master of the universe wears jeans, sneakers, and a T-shirt and tips his hat to Solyndra, sanctuary cities, or Black Lives Matter, that does not mean that his telos is any different from that of a Gilded Age monopolist. Hillary is Wall Street’s hedge-fund heroine; she resonates with Big Money in a way not seen since Warren G. Harding.
Disruptions in the free market and absolute control of business activities of a sort that once galvanized Frank Norris and Upton Sinclair are now deemed fine if they further a liberal agenda. George Soros has proved a lifelong financial octopus, but he has invested in liberal toadies and so earned adulation instead of muckraking. Unfortunately for Ford and Rockefeller, their foundations were hijacked by liberals after their deaths, and so they are remembered as enemies of the people.
Alcohol and tobacco producers, gun manufacturers, and car companies are routinely sued if their products are seen as responsible, even when used wrongly, for spiking injuries and death. Not so smart phones and social media. One of the greatest causes of traffic accidents today is the ubiquitous custom of texting while driving, as dangerous as using drugs or drink — and a logical end use of a smart device.
Yet for some reason, Silicon Valley’s products are deemed exempt from liberal notions of consumer liability, although it might be as easy for a nanny-state regulator to insert a motion-activated shut-off device in a smart phone as it is to install a trigger lock on a gun or to reduce the tar content of a cigarette. It is a toss-up as to which is the more deleterious to teenagers’ health: three daily cigarettes, or six hours on the sofa addicted to a video-game console, or walking in a busy crosswalk hypnotized by a smart-phone screen.
We should not delude ourselves that because a cocooned scientific elite has made startling gains in consumerism and technology, that therefore we the public are any freer, more socially and politically advanced, or somehow more ethical human beings.
More often material progress masks social regression, as we can do more bad things more impressively and more quickly than ever before — and then seek more sophisticated and contextualized exemptions. The novelist Petronius in his Satyricon relates something akin to a new sort of unbreakable glass, along with abject culinary and sexual decadence.
The public today is more wired and less knowledgeable than ever before; it talks more about diversity, fairness, and equality but practices far more tribal and racial discrimination and chauvinism.
“Speaking truth to power” is a buzz phrase in an age of far less freedom of expression and tolerance of dissenting views. We are going backward at warp speed.

The Betrayal of the Intellectuals?
August 22, 2016 12:46 pm / Leave a Comment / victorhanson
After nearly eight years of aiding and abetting Obama, leftists now fear the possible constitutional overreach of our next president.
By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online
Peter Beinart writes angrily in The Atlantic of the supposed Trump intellectuals, apparently on the premise of not whether one has endorsed formally the Trump candidacy, but whether one has been critical of the existing administration. He suggests that I am guilty of suggesting that “America’s current leaders” are “predatory and decadent” and as one of “Trump’s intellectuals” have wrongly warned that “the natural arc of Obama-style progressivism is always anti-constitutional fascism.” (The quote is taken from a June NRO essay entitled “A Long Trump Summer” that lamented two “unprincipled candidates.”)
I and many others, long ago in the pre-Trump age, cited the quite dangerous trajectory of Obama’s constitutional overreach. That worry is now shared apparently by the New York Times. Suddenly in year eight, its editors fear that someday another president, perhaps one less sensitive, more uncouth than Obama, might find his exemplar useful, but for less exalted progressive purposes. Thus the Times has characterized Obama’s overreach as “bureaucratic bulldozing rather than legislative transparency.” And more ominously it notes, “But once Mr. Obama got the taste for it, he pursued his executive power without apology, and in ways that will shape the presidency for decades to come.”
Long before the arrival of Donald Trump on the current election scene, many noted with alarm efforts to circumvent the Congress with Obama’s “pen and phone” executive orders and nullification of existing law — whether the executive-order amnesties and non-enforcement of the border that he had warned he could not do before his reelection, given that they would be the work of an autocrat, or his allowance of sanctuary cities’ Confederate-like nullification of existing federal law, or his arbitrary reelection-cycle, non-enforcement of elements of his own Affordable Care Act, or virtual rewriting of laws in federal bureaucracies such as the EPA, or the quite dangerous politicization of agencies such as Lois Lerner’s activity at the IRS or the Eric-Holder/Loretta Lynch Justice Department or his divisive Chavista braggadocio (“get in their faces,” “punish our enemies,” “bring a gun to a knife fight,” “you didn’t build that,” etc.).
Obama understandably grew confident that he could nullify or ignore existing federal law, on the assurance he was doing so on transformative grounds and thus would be largely exempt from press scrutiny. And he was largely proven right in his reliance on media collusion.
So Beinart misses entirely what has angered the proverbial people about the so-called Washington–New York corridor’s political-media-academia elites. The people are not angry nativists opposing legal immigration, but they object to massive, illegal immigration that is neither diverse nor liberal, and whose architects never seem to experience firsthand the consequences of what they created.
It is not just the Iraq War per se that angered the people, but the elites who had urged the war and then by 2006 had largely and conveniently opted out from their preemptive advocacy (my brilliant three-week removal of Saddam; your messed-up years-long occupation) — while thousands of youth were still fighting for their lives in the places they had once been ordered into. And it was not anger at the wealthy per se, but at the well-connected elites whose lives are graced with cultural and social privileges, characterized by insider influence and generationally embedded connections that blind them to how life is lived outside their often ridiculous embryos — given that so often they never experience the direct results of their own ideological agendas.
Finally, given the anti-constitutional arc of the last eight years, it is rich for Beinart to warn the good intellectuals about their true (anti-Trumpian) duties: to warn Trump supporters about the consequences of their ignorance, given that “America is a democracy because the people’s voices count,” as he writes. “But it is a liberal democracy because freedom of the press, independence of the judiciary, and the rule of law are not subject to popular vote.”
Should we laugh or cry at that doublespeak, given the Obama Justice Department’s somnolence in the matter of the Clinton violations of national-security protocols, or the president’s own executive order circumvention of existing laws, or a free press that so often has chosen to become a Ministry of Truth.
Beinart worries about the corrosive effects of wealth on democracy; he should offer an extension course on how the Clintons accumulated a net worth of $150 million since Bill left the presidency, or on the methodologies by which once-convicted financial speculator and multibillionaire George Soros warps the democratic process. Or he might collate the political preferences of a Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, or Mark Zuckerberg. Perhaps he could recall who was the first presidential candidate in a general election to renounce public campaign funding in order to become the greatest recipient of Wall Street cash in election history.
Beinart’s second commandment for anti-Trump intellectuals is to hone “their ability to push the American political system to address the combustible economic despair of the working-class white men who have powered Trump’s campaign.”
Note Beinart’s pride in his and other intellectuals’ supposed ability to “push the political system.” But, alas, by his own admission, they so far have not pushed much of anything concerning the “despair of the working-class white men” — raising the question of “why not”? Certainly, for the last eight years, white privileged intellectuals have been keen to cite the apparent “white privilege” of others — often those who don’t have much of any privileges — in a manner that seems designed to assuage their conflicted psyches about their own demonstrable advantages.
Rather than answer in intellectual terms, I suggest that Beinart simply take a sabbatical: put his children for a year in an inner-city or rural, public unionized school, or conduct an anthropological field study by driving out for six months to Dayton or Modesto, or take up some work-study on a farm outside Delano. All that might be of far more value than searching for quotes in Czesław Miłosz’s The Captive Mind (whose warnings, after all, were focused on the allure for left-wing intellectuals of charismatic, hard-core Stalinism).
In sum, violations of our constitutional freedoms could arrive in the form of a crude and blustering populist on the 2017 horizon; but far more worrisome is the fact that the dangers are already here, having arrived insidiously in the form of a suave constitutional-law lecturer, who assumed that because he was stamped as progressive, familiar, and one of the cultural elite, a liberal press would willingly overlook the means he employed to obtain their shared ends. The press corps need not worry that their freedoms will be taken away by Trump, given that for some time they have been only too happy to give them up.

The Immigrant’s Dilemma
August 22, 2016 12:39 pm / Leave a Comment / victorhanson
by Victor Davis Hanson
Defining Ideas

Image credit:
Barbara Kelley
Nearly a half-century ago, Bob Dylan wrote a mixed ode to the immigrant, in a way that no doubt might earn him charges of racism, nativism, and xenophobia in today’s politically-correct age. Yet Dylan was trying to express the paradoxes of leaving one’s homeland for an entirely new political and cultural landscape that often overwhelms the newcomer. “I pity the poor immigrant,” he sang, “Who wishes he would’ve stayed home.”
Never has the immigrant to the West been more confused. In the twenty-first century, immigration almost always moves in a single direction—poor and desperate non-Western people abandon their homes in Latin America, Africa, and Asia seemingly to join quite different cultures in Europe and the United States. The West has neither the population growth nor the poverty any more to send huddled masses to the new lands. And yet, today, these immigrants arrive in Western countries that are strange fantasylands compared to what they were expecting. The newcomer is rarely reminded of why he left home, or why, after doing so, he chose the West, and not Russia, China, Bolivia, or the Sudan for his destination.
Western governments and the larger culture could easily instruct the immigrant that the Western tradition is far more likely to embrace constitutional government, personal freedom, free-market economics, the importance of private property, religious tolerance, free expression, due process, an independent judiciary, and a larger culture of self-criticism and introspection. But to do so would put the lie to multiculturalism and the belief in different but equal cultures.
These precise Western values allow the immigrant to enjoy a security, affluence, and freedom unknown in his abandoned homeland. Yet, we, the host, prefer not to “judge” those other places, and thus do not fully embrace the immigrant’s ostensible wish to become one of us. We dare not ethnocentrically elevate our culture over others. Instead, we rebrand the human sins of slavery, sexism, and racism as uniquely Western depravities rather than age-old pathologies that predated the West and still exist unchecked outside it. The immigrant immediately senses that his troubled Western host is not so much privileged as unsure and unhappy—and ripe for psychological exploitation. Hyphenation and tribalism, not the melting pot, are often seen as the natural, expected and more “authentic” path for the recently arrived.
Note that most immigrants do not arrive with natural empathy for the West. Most forsake countries that are hostile to the West. International surveys reveal that the United States, for example, is not popular in China, Latin America, or the Middle East—the current popular launching pads to America. In such places, popular opinion is shaped by the relentless propaganda of autocratic governments, which deride Western decadence, colonialism, imperialism, and racism. Latin American poverty, for example, is often explained as a result of el Norte exploitation rather than flawed political institutions.
The new arrival to Western lands is soon patronized as an icon of “difference.” The immigrant is not usually asked to learn the language of his new homeland, much less to quickly assimilate and integrate into Western culture. Instead, the Western multiculturalist host allows the newcomer to pick and choose from a buffet of culture and language: to set up a Sharia court in London, to practice female circumcision in France, to conduct business in Spanish at the DMV office in Bakersfield, or simply to ignore seeking legal status. He also finds an existing rich menu of grievances lodged against a stereotyped dominant white, male, heterosexual Christian culture, which is to be faulted for its past sins, while never praised for having played a major part in the creation of something desirable in the present. A newcomer from Jalisco may have experienced racism only in Mexico, but the second that he crosses the border, he at once finds careerist benefits in regurgitating new gripes against his generous host—without acknowledging that, for some reason, the water is suddenly safe to drink, the police do not take petty bribes, the hospitals serve all comers, and people of all backgrounds line up patiently to be treated equally by government clerks.
Confusion naturally results. No immigrant from lower Mexico or Yemen wishes to return home. He also senses that he can remain largely Honduran or Yemeni, even amid his new Western home—as long as enough of his fellow residents do not follow his example. If everyone were to do that, then the immigrant would quickly leave and seek out Westernism somewhere else.
As a result of such trends, the melting-pot forces of the past are becoming ossified and the West is becoming tribalized. Large blocks of the population self-segregate in the suburbs of Amsterdam, Paris, Los Angeles, and London, romanticizing the countries that they have rejected, while carefully embracing particular elements of their newly adopted homelands that they find either useful or profitable.
How did this approach to immigration develop?
The first reason is politics. The twentieth century progressive experiment has reached its tired limits in the twenty-first century. Even in the age of Obama, more Americans identify as conservative than liberal. Vast majorities do not agree with the trajectory of the government. They poll that they are unhappy with the present political environment, especially with the culturally and socially imposed limits of free expression. Americans remain deeply suspicious of mandated redistribution, multiculturalism, radical environmentalism, and the growth of an omnipotent federal government.
For European socialists and American progressives, one political solution is to change the demographic rather than scale back the message, preferring illegal, bloc, and un-vetted immigration rather than diverse, legal, meritocratic, and measured immigration policies that might yield a different long-term ideological result. Massive immigration of impoverished non-Westerners into the West creates new—and predictable—voters, if the indigent are offered immediate state benefactions, predicated on nurturing grievances against their hosts. Southern Mexico may operate on racist protocols that drive out indigenous people. No matter: after reaching the United States, the Mexican national can be encouraged to think that newly discovered prejudice and poverty explain why he has not almost immediately reached parity with native-born Americans—and will never find equality without the help of the Democratic Party and the liberal ideology that fuels it.
Second, Westerners are simply more ignorant than they used to be. Twenty-first-century Western liberal man has reached such a level of comfort and prosperity that he no longer needs or wishes to reflect on the origins of his advantage. Smart phones, sophisticated automobiles, unfettered social media, and widely affordable consumer goods are seen as birthrights that appear as naturally as sweet fruits on a wild vine that require no particular husbandry or nurturing. Westerners simply self-censor themselves or are ill-equipped to explain why they enjoy such advantages —and lack the knowledge to explain the fonts of their own society’s wealth.
Third, there is guilt. As implied earlier, we have never in history witnessed civilizations as rich and leisured as contemporary Europe, North America, and much of the former British Commonwealth. The bane of the poor in the United States is not endemic hunger but obesity, which, for example, largely explains why one of three Californians admitted to the hospital for any cause will be found upon admittance to suffer from the onset Type II diabetes. Mini-riots in the inner city can break out over gaining immediate access to luxury goods, not an inability to purchase staples at the local grocery store.
Such bounty in the West often creates among privileged elites a paradoxical sense of guilt over existing luxury even as it fuels a desire for even more it. If an upper-middle class Westerner drives a nice car, and has access to untold consumer goods, he feels, at least in the abstract, that his own privilege must be unfair, and proof of rigged inequality. He worries that his unlimited bounty may come at the expense of the American poor (who are not poor by global standards). Yet Western liberal man has a sense that unassimilated communities or the inner city are also places of greater crime and poorer schools, better avoided if possible, and most assuredly not the landscapes where one would wish to live or raise children.
So it is hard to square that progressive circle of idealism and realist self-interest. The Westerner does his best in the abstract by praising the non-West, lauding all cultures as equal, and deprecating his own legacy and traditions. That way, he manages to guiltlessly enjoy his exceptional Western privilege and is never responsible for the ramifications of his own ideology. He demands La Raza and Africana studies programs for minority students, but would never wish his own son to enroll in such classes, given their inability to provide a broad and competitive liberal education. If charter schools are denounced as pernicious for the inner city poor, then tony prep schools can be sought out easily enough for one’s own offspring.
We ask very little of today’s immigrant—neither legality and prior meritocratic achievement, nor rapid assimilation and integration into the West. As a result, he sees no reason to adopt a language or culture other than his own, and often instead seeks to carve out a pseudo-non-Western existence while attached to the umbilical cord of Western largess and freedom. Contempt rather than gratitude often follows—as seen in San Bernardino, Orlando, Paris, and Munich and beyond.
I pity the poor immigrant and what we do to him.

Hillary’s Neoliberals
August 22, 2016 12:36 pm / Leave a Comment / victorhanson
Some Republicans have cultural and political affinities that are pulling them away from Trump and toward Clinton.
By Victor Davis Hanson //National Review Online
Many elections redefine political parties.
The rise of George McGovern’s hard-left agenda in 1972, followed later in the decade by Jimmy Carter’s evangelical liberalism, drove centrist Democrats into the arms of Richard Nixon and later Ronald Reagan.
These so-called neoconservatives (“new conservatives”) grew tired of liberals’ perceived laxity about fighting the Cold War. In foreign policy, the neoconservatives were best known for supporting idealistic nation-building abroad. They distrusted the rise of what would become political correctness and ever more government. They worried about violent crime and higher taxes. So decades ago, these Democrats joined the Republican party.
Since the 1980s, the neoconservatives have made up the elite of their newly adopted party — despite their unease with the conservative orthodoxy of border enforcement, fierce resistance to gun control, and opposition to abortion.
Now, a few neoconservatives are reinventing themselves again and returning to the Democrats to support Hillary Clinton. We could call them “neoliberals.”
They believe that socialist Bernie Sanders made the hard-Left Clinton seem like an acceptable centrist. As neoliberals, they hope that beneath her opportunistic embrace of Obamism, Clinton still could recalibrate herself as more of a Democrat of the 1990s, a period when her husband, President Bill Clinton, championed balancing the budget while intervening abroad.
Neoliberals — along with some members of the conservative establishment — consider Republican party nominee Donald Trump to be toxic. Many of them are supporting Clinton because they do not like Trump’s idea of building a wall on the Mexican border to stop illegal immigration. Nor do they appreciate Trump’s slogans about “putting America first” when negotiating trade deals, conducting alliances, and avoiding optional foreign interventions. They hate Trump’s crude, take-no-prisoners invective more than Hillary’s polished and refined lying.
The 2016 neoliberals were never very culturally conservative. So they are certainly not bothered by Clinton’s pro-choice advocacy. They do not mind her promotion of gun control, and they are open to global warming agendas and soft multiculturalism. They see Clinton as preferable to Trump and his unapologetic nationalism. Many of the neoliberal converts supported the Obama–Clinton intervention in Libya and oppose Trump’s get-tough trade stance on China.
Neoliberals also find themselves more in the same class — defined by income, education, and cultural tastes — with Clinton’s elite Democrats than with Trump’s new army of lower-middle-class cultural and economic populists.
Neoliberals get along well with the small elite class that fuels the Clinton machine — similarly wealthy, well-educated grandees on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley, along with those in big media, academia, the arts, and the top echelons of state and federal bureaucracies.
Democrats no longer win over the middle classes, who lack the culture of the elite and the romance of the distant and subsidized poor. NASCAR and the NRA are anathemas to Democrats and were never popular with neoconservatives either.
Will the old neoconservatives/new neoliberals who support Clinton instead of Trump ever come back to the Republican party after the election?
It depends on three unknowns.
If Trump loses big, the neoliberals will remind Republican Trumpers that they had warned them about their populist folly. The neoliberals will seek to expunge populists and to rebuild a defeated Republican party in their own image as an improved version of the conservative establishment represented by the likes of Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush.
They may re-emerge as old Republican neoconservatives who will promote unfettered free trade, democracy-building abroad, and “comprehensive immigration reform” while downplaying social issues.
If Trump squeaks by, then the neoliberals certainly will be orphaned for good. As apostates, they will not be welcomed back as neoconservatives by the Republican winners, nor will they be seen by Democrats as converts having any further political value.
But if Trump loses by a point or two, the neoliberals will likely stay with the winning Clinton team. They will claim some credit for helping her just get over the top — even as they are blamed by irate Trumpers as traitors for sabotaging what otherwise could have been a winning new Republican strategy.
Apart from opportunistic careerism, the subtext to this realignment is a larger issue of culture, education, and class. A mostly urban, highly educated, and high-income globalized elite often shares more cultural and political affinities with their counterparts on the other side of the aisle than they do with the lower-middle and working classes of their own parties.
Just as Hillary Clinton may feel more comfortable with the old neoconservatives, Trump supporters have little in common with either Clintonites or neocons.
Clinton versus Trump is a war of NPR, CBS, and the New York Times against the National Enquirer, conservative talk radio, and the Drudge Report. Clinton supporters such as former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, onetime Bush officials Hank Paulson and Brent Scowcroft, and billionaire Meg Whitman certainly have nothing in common with Republican Trump supporters such as Mike Huckabee and Rush Limbaugh.
Culture, not just politics, is rapidly destroying — but also rebuilding — traditional political parties.

August 18, 2016

Mine Worker Pension Fund to be Bailed Out by YOU, [c]

[The following may be found in .pdf at: http://thf-reports.s3.amazonaws.com/2016/IB4600.pdf . In its original form, the charts are readable and the format is reader friendly. Now, as to why it is here:

As already explained in its proper place in the document, if the UMWA pension fund is bailed out, then more money that that spent on the entire defense budget will be spent bailing out underfunded union pension plans. This will lead to the bailing out of public sector pension plans, like the teachers in all of the states, especially California, Illinois, New York, and Massachusetts. Also the various police, fire, administrative staff, clerks, janitors, and any and all public employees. It means that those states who have voluntarily bankrupted themselves, will be bailed out.

Consider the following:

1. the deals made to fund these pensions was made by the properly elected union leaders, and the managers of the various industries;
2. As in the UMWA situation, consider how the interference of the various government entities, especially the EPA and FDA, have ruined so many businesses that those businesses cannot fund their pensions. Notice how the various regulations ruined the automotive industry and contributed to the failed UAW pension fund and how that contributed to the Clinton/sub-prime HUD meltdown in 2008;
3. consider how this violates constitution article IV ( might be VI, I don’t have a copy to hand ) prohibiting federal government messing with contracts; and,
4. did YOU have anything to do with these various contractual commitments? I did not. Under what legal or moral proposition should we be held to a contract that we were not party to? What is the difference between this and someone who buys a car and gets a lemon? Isn’t that person’s remedy to sue the dealer with whom he had that contract for sale? What legal or moral concept drags me into that problem?

Y’all need to contact your federal legislators and demand that they commit to NOT bailing these people, or any others similarly situated, out!]

ISSUE BRIEF
Why a Coal Miner Pension Bailout Could Open the Door to a
$600 Billion Pension Bailout for All Private Unions
Rachel Greszler
No. 4600 | August 15, 2016
Congress is looking to pass legislation that would
use taxpayer dollars to bail out the overpromised,
underfunded pension plan of the United Mine
Workers of America (UMWA). Such an unprecedented
move would send the message that Congress
will stand behind sending trillions of dollars in overpromised,
underfunded public and private pension
obligations across the country. The federal government
already provides a backstop for failed union
and other private pension plans by insuring them
through the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
(PBGC). Congress should avoid bailing out select
pension plans at all costs and should instead reform
the PBGC so that it can meet its obligations without
a taxpayer bailout.
Coal Miner Bailout Just Tip of the
Iceberg
The UMWA pension plan is massively underfunded.
It has promised $5.6 billion more in pension
benefits than it will be able to pay.1 Although
the UMWA pension plan is among the worst-funded
pension plans, it represents only one of more than
1,300 multiemployer (union) pension plans across
the U.S. Almost all of these plans have made promises
they cannot keep.
According to the PBGC, a whopping 96 percent of
all multiemployer plans have funding ratios of less
than 60 percent—meaning they have less than 60
percent of the funds necessary to pay promised benefits.
2 In total, multiemployer plans have promised
over $600 billion more than they are estimated to be
able to pay.3
If Congress passes legislation to bail out the
UMWA pension plan with nearly a half a billion dollars
a year, what will stop it from passing legislation
to bail out the other 1,200 plans that have more than
$600 billion in unfunded promises? If Congress
forces taxpayers to bail out private union plans, why
not also private non-union plans that have $760 billion4
in unfunded liabilities, and public plans that
have as much as $4 trillion to $5 trillion5 in unfunded
liabilities?
UMWA Is Not Unique
Some policymakers argue that the UMWA is
unique—that the federal government was somehow
involved in the promises made to UMWA workers
and that the bailout would come from a coal-related
fund. The only thing unique about a UMWA bailout,
however, is that it would mark the first time in history
that Congress would force federal taxpayers to
bail out the unfunded pension promises of private
unions.
The notion that the government was somehow
involved in promises made to mine workers comes
from President Harry Truman’s intervention in
a 1946 coal-mining strike, including the government’s
involvement in an agreement that established
the UMWA health and welfare programs.
While the federal government helped to facilitate
This paper, in its entirety, can be found at
http://report.heritage.org/ib4600
The Heritage Foundation
214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 546-4400 | heritage.org
Nothing written here is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views
of The Heritage Foundation or as an attempt to aid or hinder the passage
of any bill before Congress.
2
ISSUE BRIEF | NO. 4600
August 15, 2016 
the establishment of the UMWA’s health and pension
plans, it was the union and its plan trustees—
not the federal government—that vigorously fought
to pay out benefits to retirees who did not earn
those benefits. And, it was the union and its plan
trustees—not the federal government—that consistently
promised pensions and health care benefits
as part of employees’ total compensation packages
and then failed to collect the funds necessary to pay
those benefits.
The Money Will Come from Taxpayers,
Not Just a Coal Fund
Neither policymakers nor the public should be
fooled by the claim that the $490 million per year
UMWA bailout would be paid by the existing Abandoned
Mine Land (AML) reclamation fund (AML).
The AML fund was established in 1977 exclusively
to cover the clean-up costs of damage caused by coal
mines prior to the federal government’s increased regulation.
6 The proposed UMWA pension bailout would
allow the UMWA to use interest from the AML fund
not only for its unfunded retiree health care costs (as
already allowed), but also for its unfunded pensions.
As Senator Mike Enzi (R–WY) pointed out in a recent
floor speech, this would be akin to allowing the massively
underfunded pension plan of the Central States
trucking union to access the highway trust fund.7
Regardless, it is unlikely that much, if any, of
the $490 million per year in pension bailout costs
would come from the AML fund. In recent years, the
entirety of interest earned on the AML fund, plus
hundreds of millions more in taxpayer dollars, has
gone to the UMWA for its unfunded, yet gold-plated,
retiree health care costs, leaving nothing for a
potential pension bailout. Moreover, the Administration’s
most recent budget included a request for
$363 million in taxpayer funds to “strengthen the
health care and pension funds” of UMWA retirees.8
Clearly, taxpayers—not a coal fund—would be on the
hook for the nearly half-billion dollars a year UMWA
pension bailout.
A Pension Backstop Already Exists
When a multiemployer pension plan runs out of
funds, it turns to the PBGC, which provides financial
assistance to the plan to cover insured benefits
as well as the plan’s expenses. Virtually all private
pension plans are required to purchase PBGC
insurance. The PBGC covers up to $12,870 per year
in pension benefits for a worker with 30 years of
service.9
In 2015, the PBGC paid $103 million to about
54,000 retirees of failed multiemployer pension
plans.10 This pales in comparison, however, to what
the PBGC’s liabilities will be over the coming decade
1. According to the UMWA’s form 5500 filing for the year ended December 2014, the plan has $5.6 billion in “current value” unfunded liabilities,
with assets of $4.165 billion and liabilities of $9.735 billion.
2. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, “Data Book Listing,” Table M-13, Plans, Participants and Funding of PBGC-Insured Plans by
Funding Ratio (2013) Multiemployer Program, http://www.pbgc.gov/documents/2014-data-tables-final.pdf?source=govdelivery&utm_
medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery (accessed July 19, 2016).
3. Ibid., Table M-9, Funding of PBGC-Insured Plans (1980–2013) Multiemployer Program.
4. Ibid., Table S-44, Funding of PBGC-Insured Plans (1980-2013) Single-Employer Program.
5. Joe Luppino-Esposito, “Promises Made, Promises Broken 2014: Unfunded Liabilities Hit $4.7 trillion,” American Legislative Exchange Council,
November 12, 2014, https://www.alec.org/article/promises-made-promises-broken-2014-unfunded-liabilities-hit-4-7-trillion/
(accessed July 21, 2016).
6. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, “Reclaiming Abandoned Mine Lands: Title IV of the Surface Mining Control and
Reclamation Act,” May 21, 2015, http://www.osmre.gov/programs/AML.shtm (accessed July 25, 2016).
7. Mike Enzi, “Supporting Pensions with Taxpayer Dollars Is a Slippery Slope,” speech on the Senate floor, July 12, 2016,
http://www.enzi.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/news-releases?ContentRecord_id=9F7D8774-13DE-4869-B684-7786212FB111
(accessed July 21, 2016).
8. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, “The United States Department of the Interior Budget Justification and Performance
Information Fiscal Year 2016,” https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/migrated/budget/appropriations/2016/upload/FY2016_OSMRE_
Greenbook.pdf (accessed July 21, 2016).
9. The PBGC’s multiemployer program provides benefits based on a formula including earned benefits and years of service. This translates into
maximum benefits of: $4,290 per year for workers with 10 years of service; $8,580 for workers with 20 years of service; $12,870 for workers
with 30 years of service; and $17,160 for workers with 40 years of service. The levels are not indexed for inflation.
10. PBGC, 2015 Annual Report, http://www.pbgc.gov/documents/2015-annual-report.pdf (accessed July 21, 2016).
3
ISSUE BRIEF | NO. 4600
August 15, 2016 
and beyond as an increasing number of multiemployer
pension plans—including some very large
ones—become insolvent.
Under ordinary circumstances, when the UMWA
plan becomes insolvent sometime within the next
decade, the PBGC would begin making payments to
the plan to cover its insured benefits and expenses.11
If Congress intervenes by bailing out the UMWA
pension plan, its beneficiaries would receive 100 percent
of promised benefits, instead of the lower PBGC
guarantee. And, the UMWA would get off scot-free—
with taxpayers and other coal-mining companies
footing the bill for their unfunded promises.
Meanwhile, other multiemployer plans that
become insolvent and do not receive special-interest
bailouts would first receive cuts down to the PBGC’s
11. The UMWA estimates it will be insolvent in 2025, but more reasonable assumptions project an earlier insolvency.
IB 4600 heritage.org
SOURCES: Author’s calculations based on the UMWA’s pension benefits for a 62-year-old worker who retires in 2016 with 30 years of work
history. Data on UMWA’s pension eligibility are from UMWA Health and Retirement Funds, Pension Eligibility Requirements,
http://www.umwafunds.org/Pension-Survivor-Health/Pages/Eligibility-Requirements.aspx (accessed March 9, 2016). Data on pension benefit
cuts are based on PBGC’s guaranteed level and U.S. Government Accountability O•ce, “Private Pensions: Multiemployer Plans and PBGC Face
Urgent Challenges,” testimony before the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions, Committee on Education and the
Workforce, U.S. House of Representatives, March 5, 2013, http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/652687.pdf (accessed March 10, 2016).
Mine Worker Bailout Would Unfairly Preserve UMWA Pensions
While Other Pensions Face Massive Cuts
CHART 1
By bailing out the
insolvent UMWA
pension plan, the
full benefit would
remain intact at
$24,246 per year.
However, if another pension
plan that oers similar benefits
becomes insolvent, the PBGC
would take over payments and
benefits would be cut to a
maximum of $12,780 per year.
And if the PBGC itself becomes
insolvent, as is projected to occur
by 2025, pensions paid by the
PBGC would be cut by an
additional 90 percent or more,
leaving only $1,278 per year.
$1,278
$24,246 $24,246
$12,780
UMWA BAILOUT OTHER SIMILAR PENSION PLAN
4
ISSUE BRIEF | NO. 4600
August 15, 2016 
guaranteed level, and then, when the PBGC becomes
insolvent at its estimated date of 2025, benefits
would be cut even further, down to mere pennies on
the dollar in promised benefits.
Congress’s Priority: Reforming the PBGC
Congress has no role in fulfilling the unfunded
promises of private pension plans. It does have a role,
however, in providing private pension insurance
through the PBGC. While the PBGC is a government
entity, it is not taxpayer-financed. It operates with
the premiums that it collects from participating
employers and unions. To prevent taxpayers from
bailing out private pension promises, it must remain
self-financed.
The PBGC is supposed to protect pensioners
from a total loss of promised benefits if their company
or pension plan becomes bankrupt, but its current
financial situation offers little insurance. For
a whole host of reasons, the PBGC’s multiemployer
program is massively underfunded and is projected
to run dry in 2025. Without significant reforms, or
a taxpayer bailout, of the PBGC, its multiemployer
beneficiaries would quickly see their benefits cut by
90 percent or more, leaving those retirees with less
than $100 per month in pension benefits.
Instead of protecting the promises of private
union pension plans, Congress should focus on protecting
the promises it has made through its own
entity, the PBGC. This can be done by ending the
preferential treatment (including funding rules
and assumptions) of multiemployer pension plans;
granting greater authority as well as liability to
plan trustees to encourage proper funding; structuring
the PBGC like a private insurance company,
allowing it to set its own premiums and to charge
variable-rate premiums; allowing the PBGC to take
over failed multiemployer plans as it does failed single-
employer plans; and subjecting multiemployer
pension plans to the same rules as single-employer
pensions.12
—Rachel Greszler is Senior Policy Analyst in
Economics and Entitlements in the Center for Data
Analysis, of the Institute for Economic Freedom and
Opportunity, at The Heritage Foundation.
12. Rachel Greszler, “Bankrupt Pensions and Insolvent Pension Insurance: The Case of Multiemployer Pensions and the PBGC’s Multiemployer
Program,” Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 3029, July 30, 2015, http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2015/07/bankruptpensions-
and-insolvent-pension-insurance-the-case-of-multiemployer-pensions-and-the-pbgcs-multiemployer-program.
$52 billion:
Deficit
in 2015
2000 2005 2010 2015
IB 4600 heritage.org
SOURCE: Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, Table M–1,
“Net Financial Positions of PBGC’s (1980–2015)
Multiemployer Program,” http://www.pbgc.gov/documents/
2014-data-tables-final.pdf (accessed August 3, 2016).
NET FINANCIAL POSITION OF PBGC’S
MULTIEMPLOYER PROGRAM
The PBGC’s multiemployer
program
provides insurance to
private union pension
plans, but it faces
massive deficits and
will be unable to pay
insured benefits
without significant
reforms.
PBGC’s Multiemployer Program:
Massive and Growing Deficits
CHART 2
 ­ billion
€­ billion
‚­ billion
ƒ­ billion
­

August 15, 2016

Hillary, the emails, and critical thinking

Hillary, the emails, and critical thinking

15 August 2016

Before leaving for work, I had Maria Bartiromo on, FOX Business News. There was a Hillary surrogate commenting on the “33,000” emails that the FBI had gone through and found only a dozen or so that were classified, and, according to him, what did it matter?

So, let’s review and see where both he and the media, mainstream and cable, have screwed up, yet once again.

Hillary sets up at least two servers that we know of, gets caught, her servers and their contents subpoenaed by congress, her lawyers search the servers using “search” protocols, at the very least 33,000 emails are deleted, and the mess is made public.

First thing that should be considered is that no emails were deleted before the subpoena was served. Destroying evidence after that is a felony. Hillary and her attorneys are all guilty at this point.

Second, in order to get that many emails, the search command must have included keywords such as, secret, top secret, confidential, &c. Thus, ALL of the deleted emails must have been classified. It’s called critical thinking.

Thirdly, everyone keeps talking about the 33,000 emails. There were over 65,000 emails because one MUST count the deleted emails. How is it that everyone in the news media, mainstream and cable, have missed this rather glaring fact. Yep, those kept and those deleted add to over 66,000 suspect emails. How is it all of these college educated news people have missed this? How is it that no one has pointed out that because of ‘search’, almost all of the classified emails were wiped? Especially since those classified emails found in the preserved 33,000 were NOT marked secret, confidential, &c. Wouldn’t critical thinking sort of require that ALL of the suspect emails were wiped, and therefore using the Federal Rules of Evidence, is an admission that they were classified?

Yah, that last bit, under the FRE if a party refuses to provide or destroys evidence, the jury is told by the judge that they may consider the missing evidence in the worst light; that the claims of the person as to what was contained in the missing evidence is as the claimant claims or worse. Sorta means that every one of those missing emails was classified as a matter of law, doesn’t it?

Where are the media and the F.B.I. on this, especially considering that the F.B.I. knows the rules of evidence, doesn’t it?

Y’all, y’all need to consider this before the election.

August 11, 2016

Dick Morris’ bio of Hillary Clinton [nc]

Dick Morris is a nationally recognized political campaign adviser, analyst and author. He was the senior political adviser to Bill Clinton before and after his occupation of the White House. He was campaign manager of Clinton’s 1996 re-election, and the architect of his successful “triangulation” rhetorical ruse. Clinton’s communications director George Stephanopoulos said of Morris, “No single person had more power over [Bill Clinton].”

This week, in a message entitled “What Bill Left Out, Morris corrected the record regarding Clinton’s glowing remarks about Hillary Clinton, her personal attributes and professional achievements. Morris’s insights into the Clintons are priceless.

What follows is a transcript of Morris’s comments:

“Bill Clinton talked at length about Hillary’s idealistic work in college and law school, but he omits that she was defending the Black Panthers who killed security guards; they were on trial in New Haven. She monitored the trial while she was in law school to find evidence that could be grounds for reversal in the event they were convicted.

“That summer she went to work for the True-Haft (SP) law firm in CA, headed by True Haft who is the head of the CA Communist Party and that’s when she got involved with Saul Alinsky, who became something of a mentor for the rest of her life.

“Then Bill says that she went off to Massachusetts and he went to Arkansas, and eventually Hillary followed her heart to join him in Arkansas. He omits that she went to work for the Watergate Committee and was fired from that job for taking home evidence and hiding documents that they needed in the impeachment inquiry. Then she took the DC Bar exam and flunked it. She went to Arkansas because that is the only bar exam she could pass.

“He talked about how in the 1970’s she took all kinds of pro-bono cases to defend women and children. In her memoirs, she cites one which was a custody case and that’s it. In fact, in 1975 she represented a guy accused of raping a 14-year-old girl and got him off by claiming the girl had had fantasies of sex with an older man. In 1980 she gave an interview about it and she joked that she knew the guy was guilty but got him off anyway.

“Then Bill discusses Hillary’s legal career at the Rose Law firm. He doesn’t mention that she made partner when he was elected governor and was only hired when he got elected as attorney general.

“He makes as if it was a public service job — it wasn’t. Her main job was to get state business, and she got tens-of-millions of dollars of state business, then hid her participation and the fees by taking an extra share of non-state business to compensate for the fees on state business that she brought in. Her other job was to call the state banking commissioner any time one of her banks got into trouble to get them off.

“Bill speaks at length how Hillary was a mother, juggling career and family, taking Chelsea to soccer games and stuff — that’s nonsense. Hillary was a mother but Chelsea in the Arkansas governor’s mansion had a staff of nannies and agents to drive her around and people to be with her, and Hillary didn’t have to bother with any of that. All of that was paid for by the state.

“He says she became the warrior in chief over the family finances and that was true, and the result is she learned how to steal.

“She accepted a $100,000 bribe from the poultry industry in return for Bill going easy on regulating them, despite new standards. Jim Blair, the poultry lobbyist, gave her $1,000 to invest in the Futures Market and lined up seven to eight other investors and their winnings were all deposited into Hillary’s account. She made $100,000 in a year and she was out. That essentially was a bribe.

”[She did] a phony real-estate deal for Jim McDougal and the Madison Bank to deceive the federal regulators by pretending someone else was buying the property. She was called before a grand jury in 1995 about that but, conveniently, the billing records were lost, couldn’t be found and there wasn’t proof that she worked on it.

“Bill talks about her work on the health care task force but doesn’t say the reason it didn’t pass was the task force was discredited because the meetings were all held in secret. A federal judge forced them open and fined the task force several hundred thousand dollars because of their secrecy.

“He says that after the health care bill failed in 1994, Hillary went to work on adopting each piece of it piecemeal — mainly health insurance for children.

“That is completely the opposite of the truth. The fact is when that bill failed, I called Hillary and I suggested that she support a proposal by Republican Bob Dole that we cover children, and she said, ‘We can’t just cover one part of this. You have to change everything or change nothing.’ Then in 1997 when I repeated that advice to Bill Clinton, we worked together to pass the Children’s Health Insurance Program. I found a lot of the money for that in the tobacco settlement that my friend Dick Scruggs was negotiating.

“Then Bill extols her record in the U.S. Senate. In fact, she did practically nothing. There were seven or eight bills that she introduced that passed; almost all of which were symbolic — renaming a courthouse, congratulating a high school team on winning the championship. There was only one vaguely substantive bill, and that had a lot of co-sponsors of whom Hillary was just one.

“Then he goes to her record in the State Department and manages to tell that story without mentioning the word Benghazi, without mentioning her secret emails, without mentioning he was getting tens of millions — $220 million in speaking fees in return for favorable actions by the State Department.

“Also totally lacking in the speech was anything about the war on terror — terror is a word you don’t hear at the Democratic Convention.

“Bill says that Hillary passed tough sanctions on Iran for their nuclear program. The opposite is true.

“Every time a tough sanction bill was introduced by Senators Menendez or Kirk, Hillary would send Deputy Secretary Wendy Sherman to Capital Hill to testify against it and urge it not to pass, and it was over Hillary’s objections that those sanctions were put into place.

”[Liberal columnist] Maureen Dowd called the speech by Bill Clinton “air brushed.”

“It was a hell of a lot more than that — it was fiction.

(Also see Morris’s comments after Clinton’s DNC acceptance speech. “Its strategy and message will be interdicted by reality at every turn. … She basically has no message. … Her entire campaign is, ‘I’m a woman and I am running against Donald Trump. … She began her speech by saying let’s compromise and work together. Is there any woman in the world less likely to compromise?”)

August 4, 2016

Muslim Refugee Resettlement in the U.S.A. – reference links at end

WHERE MUSLIM REFUGEES RESETTLED IN YOUR TOWN IN 2015 and they are all on Welfare!

STATE AND CITY REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT 2015
AK Anchorage 125
AL Mobile 125
AR Springdale 10
AZ Glendale 895
AZ Phoenix 1,459
AZ Tucson 935
CA Anaheim 175
CA Fullerton 10
CA Garden Grove 150
CA Glendale 1,420
CA Los Angeles 490
CA Los Gatos 144
CA Modesto 250
CA Oakland 615
CA Sacramento 1,276
CA San Bernardino 65
CA San Diego 3,103
CA San Francisco 5
CA San Jose 142
CA Turlock 120
CA Walnut Creek 90
CO Colorado Springs 138
CO Denver 1,690
CO Greeley 150
CT Bridgeport 100
CT Hartford 285
CT New Haven 205
DC Washington 15
DE Wilmington 5
FL Clearwater 200
FL Delray Beach 95
FL Doral 160
FL Jacksonville 895
FL Miami 1,056
FL Miami Springs 133
FL Naples 115
FL North Port 30
FL Orlando 360
FL Palm Springs 150
FL Pensacola 20
FL Plantation 75
FL Riviera Beach 50
FL Tallahassee 50
FL Tampa 660
GA Atlanta 2,100
GA Savannah 100
GA Stone Mountain 685
HI Honolulu 15
IA Cedar Rapids 55
IA Des Moines 585
ID Boise 720
ID Twin Falls 300
IL Aurora 190
IL Chicago 1,595
IL Moline 200
IL Rockford 300
IL Wheaton 2,660
IN Fort Wayne 200
IN Indianapolis 1,285
KS Garden City 80
KS Kansas City 200
KS Wichita 510
KY Bowling Green 310
KY Lexington 410
KY Louisville 990
KY Owensboro 135
LA Baton Rouge 125
LA Lafayette 30
LA Metairie 185
MA Boston 300
MA Framingham 8
MA Jamaica Plain 100
MA Lowell 275
MA South Boston 260
MA Springfield 230
MA Waltham 10
MA West Springfield 340
MA Worcester 443
MD Baltimore 775
MD GlenBurnie 150
MD Rockville 39
MD Silver Spring 845
ME Portland 350
MI Ann Arbor 80
MI Battle Creek 140
MI Clinton Township 650
MI Dearborn 640
MI Grand Rapids 740
MI Lansing 617
MI Troy 1,215
MN Minneapolis 730
MN Richfield 340
MN Rochester 130
MN Saint Paul 695
MN St. Cloud 215
MO Columbia 140
MO Kansas City 540
MO Saint Louis 725
MO Springfield 75
MS Biloxi 5
MS Jackson 20
NC Charlotte 655
NC Durham 380
NC Greensboro 385
NC High Point 405
NC New Bern 165
NC Raleigh 475
NC Wilmington 80
ND Bismarck 45
ND Fargo 270
ND Grand Forks 90
NE Lincoln 335
NE Omaha 990
NH Concord 245
NH Manchester 445
NJ Camden 100
NJ East Orange 6
NJ Elizabeth 300
NJ Jersey City 506
NM Albuquerque 220
NV Las Vegas 640
NY Albany 360
NY Amityville 20
NY Binghamton 40
NY Brooklyn 55
NY Buffalo 1,442
NY New York 240
NY Rochester 643
NY Syracuse 1,030
NY Utica 410
OH Akron 575
OH Cincinnati 140
OH Cleveland 510
OH Cleveland Heights 190
OH Columbus 1,300
OH Dayton 210
OH Toledo 40
OK Oklahoma City 170
OK Tulsa 395
OR Portland 995
PA Allentown 95
PA Erie 625
PA Harrisburg 200
PA Lancaster 480
PA Philadelphia 750
PA Pittsburgh 470
PA Roslyn 20
PA Scranton 150
PR San Juan 5
RI Providence 210
SC Columbia 160
SC Spartanburg 220
SD Huron 90
SD Sioux Falls 490
TN Chattanooga 85
TN Knoxville 190
TN Memphis 200
TN Nashville 1,225
TX Abilene 200
TX Amarillo 442
TX Austin 930
TX Corpus Christi 5
TX Dallas 1,765
TX El Paso 35
TX Fort Worth 1,503
TX Houston 2,605
TX San Antonio 750
UT Salt Lake City 1,126
VA Arlington 500
VA Charlottesville 250
VA Falls Church 450
VA Fredericksburg 120
VA Harrisonburg 140
VA Newport News 300
VA Richmond 243
VA Roanoke 177
VT Colchester 325
WA Kent 985
WA Richland 230
WA Seattle 714
WA Spokane 510
WA Tacoma 276
WA Vancouver 127
WI Green Bay 20
WI Madison 90
WI Milwaukee 890
WI Oshkosh 135
WI Sheboygan 35
WV Charleston 50
TOTALS 76,972

References:

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/11/20/8-facts-about-the-us-program-to-resettle-syrian-refugees
http://www.wnd.com/2015/04/u-s-cities-secretly-selected-for-muslim-immigration/
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/12/01/syrian-refugees-resettled-36-states-catx-mi/
https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/

August 3, 2016

News You’re Not Getting Elsewhere 3 Aug 16 [c]

News You’re Not Getting Elsewhere
3 August 2016

Industry
Indra returns to profit
David Ing, Madrid – IHS Jane’s Defence Industry
01 August 2016
Spanish IT and systems group Indra managed to return to profit in the first half of the year, posting net results of EUR31 million (USD34.6 million) compared with losses of EUR436 million in the corresponding period of 2015.
Overall revenues reached EUR1.32 billion, a decline of 1% in local currency and 5% in reported figures, although both showed growth in the second quarter thanks to factors such as improved sales performance in Europe.
Following a major restructuring programme last year, the group said it had been able to cut the costs of operating expenses by 16% to EUR563 million, thanks partly to using fewer subcontractors and to savings linked to the cost optimisation plan.

Industry
Raytheon opens cyber centre in Georgia
Zachary Fryer-Biggs, Washington, DC – IHS Jane’s Defence Industry
01 August 2016
Raytheon has opened a new cyber facility in Georgia, located to be able to supply contractors and expertise to US Army Cyber Command, the company announced on 1 August.
The facility, in Augusta, Georgia, is in the same town as Ft. Gordon, the future home of the army’s cyber unit. In a press release Raytheon noted that plans call for the fort to increase contractor jobs by 200 at Ft. Gordon tied to broader expansion of the cyber force that includes 2,600 uniformed military and 900 civilian personnel by 2019.
ANALYSIS
Raytheon did not provide any specifics as what the office would be providing for the army aside from manpower, but Ft.

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(112 of 283 words)

Country Risk
Government-orchestrated anti-French and anti-Rwandan protests likely after UN approves police deployment to Burundi
IHS Jane’s Country Risk Daily Report
01 August 2016
EVENT
About 1,000 people demonstrated in Bujumbura on 30 July, a day after the United Nations Security Council approved a French-drafted resolution to send up to 228 police to Burundi, initially for one year.
Protesters, who included the mayor of Bujumbura, the capital, and officials of the ruling party, the National Council for the Defence of Democracy-Forces for the Defence of Democracy (Conseil National Pour la Défense de la Démocratie-Forces pour la Défense de la Démocratie: CNDD-FDD), rallied outside the French and Rwandan embassies accusing France of “sending armed men to commit a genocide like in Rwanda”. Burundi has previously said it will accept 50 police, and the UN needs the country’s consent to deploy a larger number.

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Iron butterfly
All latest updates
Tokyo gets its first female governor
Yuriko Koike combines nationalism and a steely ambition
Aug 2nd 2016 | Asia


FEMINIST; patriot; opportunist: Yuriko Koike, who was elected governor of Tokyo on July 31st, has been dubbed many things, not all of them flattering. A career of cycling through political parties without committing to any earned her the moniker Madam Kaiten Sushi, after restaurants where plates of raw fish go around on a conveyor belt, waiting to be plucked off. Her defining characteristic, however, may be her ambition.
Like Margaret Thatcher, whom she admires, Ms Koike is self-made and has battled through the nearly all-male ranks of her profession. (In this she differs from Makiko Tanaka, Japan’s first female foreign minister in the early 2000s, whose dad was a former prime minister.) Just 9.3% of lawmakers in Japan’s lower house are female, putting it 155th in the world. A member of the Liberal Democratic Party, she was defence minister in 2007 but missed her chance a year later to become Japan’s first woman prime minister when Taro Aso beat her to become party leader. She infuriated party bosses by running against their candidate, Hiroya Masuda, in the Tokyo election, trouncing him by more than 1m votes.
Related topics
• Politics
• Government and politics
• World politics
• Asia-Pacific politics
• Japanese politics
One reason Ms Koike captured the imagination of Tokyoites was her portrayal in the media as a plucky challenger of male-dominated politics. When one of her predecessors as governor, Shintaro Ishihara, said that running the capital should not be left to “a woman with too much make-up”, she laughed and said she was used to such insults. Japan’s sex barrier is not made of glass, she said, paraphrasing Hillary Clinton, but steel. She has made much of her aim to improve Japanese women’s lot. The country needs “the strengths of women: fortitude, steadfastness, tenacity”, she said in her manifesto.
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However, Tomomi Yamaguchi of Montana State University says Ms Koike is more a nationalist than a feminist. As defence minister she fought for a tough line on China and she is one of the few Japanese politicians openly to call for Japan to have nuclear weapons. She helped run the parliamentary association of Nippon Kaigi, a conservative lobby that says Japan fought in the second world war to liberate Asia from Western colonialism, and which wants to restore lost family values. In all this she is rather like Mr Ishihara, a crusty hawk who loved to bait China—despite his ungallant words.
Ms Koike’s first task will be to rebuild confidence in her office: money scandals cost her two most recent predecessors their jobs. She will be running the world’s largest city-economy, with an estimated annual GDP of $1.5 trillion, built on one of the world’s most unstable seismic zones (the chance of a magnitude seven earthquake in the next three decades is estimated as 98%). And she must guide it to the 2020 Olympics, after two years of stumbling, costly preparations that have dampened public enthusiasm. Above all, she will have to find a way to navigate a political world that views her with a mixture of distrust and respect, but little affection.

Germany’s Turkish minority
All latest updates
Tensions in Turkey are spilling over to Germany
Most German Turks support Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Aug 2nd 2016 | Europe


THE arm of Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, “must not reach into Germany”, says Cem Ozdemir, one of eleven members of Germany’s parliament who have Turkish roots. And yet Turkish politics have erupted onto the streets of Germany. On July 31st almost 40,000 people gathered at a pro-Erdogan demonstration in Cologne organised by the Union of European Turkish Democrats, the international lobby group of Mr Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP). The demonstration hinted at the scale of support for Mr Erdogan—and the difficulty German politicians will face when speaking out against him.
About 3m people of Turkish descent live in Germany. Half of those retain Turkish citizenship, making Germany in effect Turkey’s fourth-largest electoral district after Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. Of the roughly 570,000 German Turks who voted in 2015, 60% chose Mr Erdogan’s party, giving him a higher share in Germany than at home. Meanwhile some 2,000 of the country’s 3,000 mosques are Turkish, and 900 of those are financed by DITIB, an arm of the Turkish government, which also sends the imams. Other political groupings are also present there, including Hizmet (“service”), the movement founded by Fethullah Gulen, who lives in America and whom Mr Erdogan blames for masterminding the attempted coup in Turkey on July 15th. (Mr Gulen denies any involvement.) Hizmet counts some 150 night schools, 30 private schools, 30-40 cultural centres and other educational institutions in its German network.
Related topics
• Recep Tayyip Erdogan
• Turkey
• Europe
• German politics
• European politics
Relations between the two countries have been deteriorating for months. Since the German parliament voted in June to call the Turkish massacre of Armenians a century ago a “genocide”, Mr Erdogan has given Germany’s ambassador in Ankara the cold shoulder. He has harassed members of the Bundestag with Turkish roots such as Mr Ozdemir. And he has barred all German parliamentarians from visiting German troops stationed in Turkey to fight the Islamic State as part of NATO. Because the Bundestag supervises the army under German law, this may lead to Germany withdrawing its forces.
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But since the coup attempt, things have got much worse. Mr Erdogan’s German supporters have become more vocal. At the demonstration on July 31st Mr Erdogan was meant to speak via a video link, but a regional court blocked his appearance at the last minute, enraging the crowd. Several Gulen supporters in Germany have reported receiving sent death threats. The Turkish government is demanding the extradition of many of them. Winfried Kretschmann, the premier of Baden-Württemberg in the south-west, says the Turkish government has asked his state to close schools considered to have ties to Hizmet, requests that Mr Kretschmann considers outrageous.
This could not come at a trickier time for Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor. In March she negotiated a deal in which Turkey promised to stop refugees from making the journey across the Aegean Sea into the European Union. In return the EU promised money, visa-free travel for Turks and new talks about the (very remote) possibility of Turkey joining the EU. But progress has stalled as Turkey still does not meet all of the conditions for visa-free travel. As a result, Turkish politicians are now threatening to scupper the whole deal. Neither Germany nor Europe will give in to “blackmail”, says Sigmar Gabriel, the vice chancellor and leader of the Social Democrats, Ms Merkel’s coalition partners in government. But failure of the deal would be a direct blow to Mrs Merkel, who has invested her own credibility in it.
Many German politicians suddenly doubt the loyalty of their country’s largest minority. “Citizens have to pledge allegiance to the state in which they live,” demands Volker Kauder, the majority whip in the Bundestag. And yet many Turks blame German politics. For decades after Turkey started sending “guest workers” to man Germany’s factories, Germany maintained the fiction that these Turks would one day go home again, doing nothing to aid their integration. Their complex loyalties today are the blow-back of bad policy.

The Petrobras scandal
All latest updates
A judge indicts Brazil’s former president
Charges against Lula hasten his remarkable downfall
Aug 2nd 2016 | SÃO PAULO


“I DOUBT that anyone in this country is more law-abiding than me,” says Brazil’s former president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. On July 29th a federal judge in the capital, Brasília, demurred—in startling fashion. He charged Lula and six other people with obstructing justice. The conspirators tried to pay a former executive of Petrobras not to co-operate with the investigation into a multibillion-dollar bribery scandal centred on the state-controlled oil company, prosecutors allege. The judge thinks the evidence is strong enough to warrant a trial.
The indictment hastens the remarkable downfall of this century’s most important Brazilian. Lula’s election in 2002 showed that a member of the working class, raised by an illiterate mother, could gain power democratically in a country marked by great economic inequality. As president from 2003 to 2010, he won adulation at home and renown abroad for reducing poverty and presiding over brisk economic growth. Lula’s global stature helped bring this month’s summer Olympic games to Rio de Janeiro.
Related topics
• Energy industry
• Fossil fuels
• Petroleo Brasileiro
But he has been caught up in a scandal that has implicated dozens of prominent politicians and businessmen. It has discredited the left-wing Workers’ Party (PT), which he founded and led. The popular fury aroused by the scandal provided the political passion that led to the impeachment of Lula’s successor as president, his protégée Dilma Rousseff. The senate is to try her later this month, ostensibly on charges that she manipulated government accounts. She has had to step aside until the trial is completed, leaving government in the hands of her vice-president, Michel Temer.
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Brazilians have become so accustomed to revelations of wrongdoing that they treated Lula’s indictment almost as a non-event. Valor Econômico, the biggest business daily, did not see fit to mention it in its next edition. But the charge will have political consequences. It will further weaken the PT ahead of important local elections to be held in October. If Lula is convicted, and his conviction is upheld in a higher court by 2018, Lula would not be able to run in the presidential election to be held that year. Despite the scandal and his age (70), he remains the PT’s most effective vote-getter by far.
More charges may follow the indictment for obstruction of justice, which is based on testimony given by a disgruntled former PT senator, Delcídio do Amaral, in return for leniency. Prosecutors allege that Lula is “one of the principal beneficiaries of the crimes” at Petrobras. Investigators say that Lula, his family and an NGO he heads received “undue advantages” worth 30m reais ($9m) from construction firms. Those firms also made payments to the PT and its coalition allies in return for padded contracts with Petrobras. Lula’s alleged personal gains seem to have taken the form of refurbishments to property; investigators have not found bank accounts stuffed with cash. In March federal police briefly detained Lula for questioning.
He and the other alleged conspirators (Mr do Amaral aside) deny wrongdoing. Lula claims that he, along with Ms Rousseff and the PT, is a victim of a political witch hunt. On July 27th he launched a website to defend “democracy, justice, development and social inclusion”—and his image. The next day, anticipating an indictment, he petitioned the UN Human Rights Committee to intervene, accusing Sérgio Moro, the crusading federal judge in charge of the main Petrobras investigation, of “a lack of impartiality” and “abuse of power”. Awkwardly for Lula, a different judge indicted him first. Whatever the courts conclude, Lula is unlikely to reclaim his position at the pinnacle of Brazilian politics.
[It’s not just Hillary, it is a whole generation of politicians, all to the left, all transnationalists. Secession, secession, secession.]

The Economist explains
Why golf is back at the Olympics
Aug 1st 2016, 23:41 by M.J.


THE last time that golf graced the Olympic games was in 1904 in St Louis, Missouri. A total of 77 players competed in an individual and a team competition: 74 from America and three from Canada. Its return in the Rio games promises to be more cosmopolitan. The sport’s inclusion has been undermined by the absence of the four highest-ranked players in the men’s competition: Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy. Each has said he will not compete because of the health risks posed by Zika. Mr McIlroy added that he probably won’t even watch the golf on television, preferring “track and field, swimming, diving, the stuff that matters”. If leading players are so ambivalent about Olympic golf, what is it doing in Rio?
For governing bodies, the Olympics represents a unique chance to showcase a sport, increase participation and attract sponsorship. The appeal for smaller sports is clear: it is the only opportunity in four years to knock football, basketball and cricket off the back pages. James Willstrop, a British former number one who has campaigned energetically (and so far unsuccessfully) for squash to be included in the Olympics, says he and his contemporaries “would give our other arms to be in Rio”. Golf, a wealthy sport, does not need the Olympics to make money. But it is a useful way of courting millennials, for whom the sport is losing its appeal. According to the National Golf Foundation, participation in America is down by more than 20% since 2003. Faced with this decline, giving the Olympics a go makes sense.
Becoming included takes commitment, money, persistence, and a thick slice of luck. The decision lies with the 106 members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which approved golf and rugby sevens for 2016 with simple majorities. (Five other sports, including squash, were rejected for reasons not disclosed. ) Whether a sport belongs in the Olympics is another question. The 28 that comprise Rio 2016 exhibit no clear criteria. There are the bread and butter (athletics, swimming, rowing), those too big to ignore (football, basketball, tennis), the niche pursuits (fencing, modern pentathlon, handball) and the concessions to youth (BMX, beach volleyball). Another five—baseball, skateboarding, surfing, climbing and karate—are likely to be added to the 2020 programme. The Olympics cannot keep growing indefinitely. But for now, it is easier to keep adding sports than to remove them. The IOC withdrew wrestling from the 2016 programme, but came under such pressure that it soon reinstated it.
For future decisions, a simple rule of thumb would hold that an Olympic gold should be the pinnacle of any participating sport. Athletics and swimming (and many of the niche sports) meet this threshold. Football and basketball do not. For golf, the best-case scenario might be to try and emulate tennis. Tennis has been an ever-present at the Olympics since 1988 and the quality of the competition has slowly strengthened, to the extent that it is now regarded as a “fifth major”. But in order for this to happen, the sport’s best players have to participate. Already, the IOC president, Thomas Bach, has said golf’s inclusion for 2020 will be reviewed. After a century out, golf’s return to the Olympiad may be fleeting one.

The need for speed: Tesla
Elon Musk’s electric-car company has been at full pelt down a bumpy road lately; plenty of questions await him when it reports results today. Tesla is reportedly under investigation from America’s securities regulators for not immediately disclosing the death in May of a driver using Tesla’s “autopilot” function. Meanwhile, Tesla’s investors have approved a deal to acquire SolarCity, a solar-panel company part-owned by Mr Musk and run by his cousin, for $2.6 billion; some still think the deal looks like a bail-out for the loss-making firm. There will also be much talk of the “Gigafactory”, an enormous battery-production facility Tesla is building and which formally opened last week. The factory will cost billions to complete; Mr Musk hopes its sheer size will enable Tesla to meet aggressive car-production targets. But a lot can go wrong when you press fully on the accelerator.
[One of the biggest farces. Tax payers bailed him out once, bankruptcy once, approximately $70,000 per unit in tax dollar subsidy, power companies passing the bill for charging posts along to residential customers, max range of 250 miles or a running time of about four hours – good luck in traffic or a snow storm – and on top of it all, the electricity generated by power plants to run them, still comes from coal, oil, or nuclear fission.]

Hot in the city: South Africa
Today’s municipal polls are being seen as a referendum on the African National Congress under the unpopular Jacob Zuma. The president, dogged by corruption scandals, has presided over a worrying economic slide, with rising unemployment and annual growth forecast at nil. His nasty rhetoric and racially-tinged attacks on his opponents suggest nervousness in the party ranks. The opposition Democratic Alliance, which already governs Cape Town, is putting up a strong challenge in Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Tshwane (Pretoria). If it can push the ANC below 50% it may be able to build coalitions. The election will also show if Mmusi Maimane, the DA’s first black leader, can reach a black majority population that still views the DA as a white party. Some ANC diehards see its continued rule as something literally worth fighting for: in the province of KwaZulu-Natal a dozen people have been killed in the past few months in disputes about sinecures.
[So, in light of both Obama’s, the question becomes, is African Racism okay, whether practiced in the U.S., Europe, or Africa?]

Asia’s next tiger? Vietnam’s economy
When a Vietnamese border agent scrawled an expletive in a Chinese visitor’s passport last week, it seemed to typify the gulf between the two countries. But look at its economy: Vietnam’s trajectory has closely followed that of its giant northern neighbour. Since 1990 it has been, per person, the world’s second-fastest-growing economy—its output per person is roughly the same as China’s a decade ago. Vietnam has big things going for it. Its population is still young and only beginning to move to cities; it is the destination of choice for manufacturers leaving China; and its students perform as well at maths and science as those in wealthier countries. But keeping up with China will get harder. Vietnam’s private-sector productivity has slowed sharply. China, though not a shining example of private-sector success, gives entrepreneurs more space. Painful as it is for Vietnam to admit, it needs to learn from China.
[So, they fought a long, long war -1941 through 1976 – to establish a communist utopia, and this is where they are today. Why can’t Kerry, the Clintons, and all the other transnationalists learn from this? Oh, wait, they have built their own private fortunes on selling us out. Anybody besides me remember Bill’s gifting all of that technology to China in the 1990’s while Madelaine Albright said it was the right thing to do because the U.S. couldn’t be the only super-power, that the U.S. needed to be “balanced” by a second super-power?]

Shinzo Abe appointed his hawkish ally, Tomomi Inada, as Japan’s defence minister. China will be cross. Earlier the prime minister launched a ¥28 trillion ($280 billion) multi-year fiscal-stimulus package, including ¥5 trillion this fiscal year. It involves infrastructure improvements, notably the accelerated construction of a magnetic-levitation railway between Tokyo and Osaka, and spending on pensions, child-care, scholarships and other programmes.

Blaming “turbulent” markets, HSBC reported disappointing second-quarter figures. Profits fell 45% from $6.57 billion to $3.61 billion; the bank said it would freeze dividends at their current level and scrapped its 10% return-on-equity target. On Tuesday European banks fared poorly: UniCredit was down 7.2% on Tuesday and the woebegone Monte dei Paschi di Siena more than 16%.

South Korea banned the sale of most Volkswagen models and fined the German carmaker 17.8 billion won ($16m), following the firm’s emissions-test fiddling, revealed in September. The German state of Bavaria said it would sue VW to recoup money its pension fund lost. In America, VW moved to dismiss a class-action suit filed by an Arkansas state pension.

Opposition sources in Syria blamed the regime for a chemical-weapons attack on the town of Saraqeb in Idlib province. It took place hours after rebels downed a Russian military helicopter in the area; rescuers said it affected 33 people, mostly women and children. Syria’s state-run news agency accused rebels of a gas attack that killed five people in Aleppo.

Daniel Ortega named his wife as his vice-presidential running mate in his bid for a third presidential term. Rosario Murillo is already chief government spokeswoman, and appears frequently on television, unlike her increasingly reclusive husband. The 70-year-old former guerrilla leader came to power after Nicaragua’s revolution in 1979. He and his leftist party are favourites to win the November elections.

Country Risk
NATO’s new SACEUR issues Russia warning
Bruce Jones, London – IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly
01 August 2016
NATO’s new military commander warned on 28 July that Russia’s increasing military transformation meant NATO nations need to modernise and invest in defence.
Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum, General Mike Scaparrotti, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), described Russia’s military as impressive. He said Moscow had managed to overcome problems and seriously strengthen its military in just a few years.
Russia’s new military doctrine, he said, contained far greater flexibility than original Soviet doctrine. Meanwhile Russia’s military had adapted to new conditions, had been reorganised, and had a far greater proportion of professional personnel than in the past.
He also drew attention to Russia’s replacement and modernisation of its land-based ballistic missiles, submarines and strategic bombers.

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Country Risk
Violent risks intelligence bulletin – 1 August 2016
IHS Jane’s Country Risk Daily Report
01 August 2016
Americas
Chile – 30 July 2016: Near Collipulli, Araucania, hooded men set a lorry on fire; this was the 42nd arson attack on a lorry in the period January-June 2016.
Colombia – 29 July 2016: In Taraira, Vaupes, the local authorities claimed the FARC had been extorting local businesses, transport, and education workers in the area.
Mexico – 29 July 2016: In Ziracuarétiro, Michoacán, 300 security force personnel were deployed in response to the killing of two police officers by gunmen.
Venezuela – 31 July 2016: In La Isabelica, Valencia, Carabobo, gunmen killed a colonel, who was a legal adviser at the ministry of education, during a robbery attempt.

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[Once again, work requirements have forced me to limit time spent on-line. Numerous citizen thwarting crimes by being armed are available, Mexico wants to build a wall to protect it from illegals crossing their Southern border, reports of unrest and violence are mounting but being untold.

I simply do not have the time necessary to work and track all of this down and support my family.

Things are bad and getting worse. I can for the moment redirect you to the other posts on this blog. There is a particular post on elections that you should read, from three or four years ago. It explains how Romney lost the inner cities through voter fraud, but no one reported it, even after I sent the info to the various news outlets, including OAN. It is NOT possible to have a voting precinct with zero votes for a presidential candidate. By law the voting precincts are run by ½ Democrats and ½ GOP. This means that there are at least as many votes for the minority candidate as there are poll sitters OR the people poll sitting have committed perjury to get the position of poll sitter thus negating the integrity of that polling precinct AND all the votes cast therein. Notice where these polling places are and the results.

Secession, secession, secession.]

A Convention of the Absurd, Victor Hanson [c]

A Convention of the Absurd
August 2, 2016 10:37 am / Leave a Comment / victorhanson

The Democratic Convention was an exercise in absurdist theater.
By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Donald Trump, to the degree he is coherent, wants Americans to think the following of the Obama administration, the Clinton candidacy, and the entire progressive enterprise. His three-part writ could be summed up as follows:

1) Obama has doubled the national debt in just eight years. He has abdicated U.S. leadership abroad, was taken for a patsy by duplicitous trade partners, has deliberately divided races and tribes at home for transient political advantage, has nationalized health care into a mess, has overregulated and overtaxed the economy into near-zero-growth stasis, and has whitewashed all of the above with upbeat banalities about hope and change.

2) During Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, the Obama administration oversaw the destruction of the modern Middle East, ignored the rise of ISIS, engineered a failed reset that empowered Putin’s Russia, let China systematize unfair and injurious trade practices that fuel an aggressive foreign policy, and alienated traditional friends while courting longstanding enemies. Clinton’s record of government service is one of decades of prevarication, malfeasance, and corruption.

3) Progressivism is a euphemism for a grievance-based agenda with mandated equality of result. An incompetent, uncaring, and always larger government is its agency — a project that demands constant tax increases and ever-greater social spending. It seeks to divide the country up by identity groups, politicize the bureaucracies, and ignore the old working classes, especially the white lower middle class.

The Democrats held a convention to prove all of Trump’s above depictions laughable by attacking Trump himself, often an easy target. Instead, they often seemed to confirm them. Consider:

A) Presidential candidates of the incumbent party usually have no choice but to promise more of the same good times. When they either will not or cannot offer rosy promises of continuity, they do not do well. Harry Truman and George H. W. Bush promised respectively more of Roosevelt and Reagan, and won; Adlai Stevenson and John McCain seemed to run away from their predecessors’ record, and lost.

At the convention, speakers like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren described a dark America, one of rapidly growing inequality and existential class tensions — completely at odds with President Obama’s first-person glorification of the last eight years. The one inadvertent boon to the economy during the Obama administration — fracking, which has led to virtual energy independence — came despite, not because of, Obama’s leadership, and it was as ignored by Obama as it was damned by others.

So what is it? Time for big changes from the last administration, or a rare opportunity for more of the same? Time to stop that fracking and get gas back over $3.50 a gallon, or to keep it going and enjoy the benefits? African-American speakers alternately lectured the country on the enduring bias, and confidently proclaimed the need for more unity, leaving the public somewhat confused as to whether having an African-American president, attorneys general, national security advisor, Environmental Protection Agency administrator, and secretaries of education, transportation, and homeland security was proof of a new fairness and inclusion or more proof that our country has a long way to go.

At least Michelle Obama’s narcissistic speech had some coherence: Prior to 2009 she was never proud of her “downright mean” country, which seemed to raise the bar on people like herself (affirmative action and free education notwithstanding); but once her husband got elected, she was not proud of anyone who dared think America had not mysteriously become the greatest country in the world.

On matters of elite dominance of politics, Wall Street conniving, bad trade deals, a struggling middle class, and record student debt, Sanders and Warren sounded more like Trump’s critiques than Obama’s triumphalism. If there was no need for radical change from the Obama brand, why then were these two so angry at the apparent Obama status quo?

At best, for a few moments they posed as mavericks speaking unpleasant truth to their party’s power. At worst, they were just hacks going through the motions of boilerplate grievances. Either way, they did not recall the progressive triumphalism of 2009–11, when Obama and a supermajority Democratic Congress got what they wanted.

In Sanders’s particular case, he made no attempt to conceal that his candidacy was one of a 74-year-old socialist coot who temporarily professed that he was a Democrat to fire up largely white students and other angry young left-wingers to play-act revolution. At the convention, when he announced that he was going back to being an Independent and that his supporters should now stand down and join the Clinton campaign, he confirmed that the last year had been either a lark or a colossal waste of time.

B) The argument for Hillary Clinton was never quite made at the convention, at least other than the fallback that their Trump is purportedly a worse crook and a bigger liar than our Hillary. At least no one claimed, as the president once did, that ISIS was a jayvee organization or al-Qaeda was on the run. Instead, the way to deal with a growing radical Islamism was mostly to ignore it or give lip service to more “intelligence.” Was the problem a politically correct inability to mouth the word “Islam” or an embarrassment at prior efforts to convince Americans that terrorism remained no bigger a worry than a slip in the bathroom? Meanwhile, the politically correct approach to radical Islam was not helped by the news of near-constant terrorist attacks by those shouting Allahu Akbar! as they mowed down innocents from Nice to Munich.

Bill Clinton was tasked with iconizing his wife. But like fellow narcissist Obama he personalized the effort, placing himself at the center of her universe, as he recounted how much he had benefited from his astounding wife over the decades. But the confused listener at home naturally mused, “If this is true, why then did you treat your spouse so horribly over the years, and so often prefer the companionship of almost anyone but her?”

When Hillary spoke, her theme was twofold: Trump is a monster, and she will offer more free stuff (without detailing who will pay for it). For some reason, she had ditched her voice and elocution coaches, and reverted back to her natural screech-owl intonation — a metaphor somewhat unfair to the rural owl that often wakes me up in the morning. Hillary pointed to a dangerous and unhinged world as reason for the election of someone such as herself as commander-in-chief — apparently oblivious to the fact that her tenure as secretary of state did much to create the very landscape in which the enemies she now delineates were emboldened and saw no reason to check their ambitions. After appealing to a plethora of identity groups and ethnic pressure lobbies, Hillary summed up her case against Trump as being divisive and trying to pit one faction against another.

And when Hillary’s encomiasts occasionally blasted Wall Street’s tentacles, was it some sort of Freudian joke, or a new postmodern tack — one of damning what Wall Street does to politicians in order to offer a catharsis of what it has done to the corrupt Clintons?

C) Finally there was the presentation of the progressive project to the public. Five rules appeared to guide the speakers: There could be no serious mention of radical Islamic terrorism; there could be no mention of a crushing $20 trillion national debt; there could be no mention of planned new tax hikes to pay for sweeping new entitlements; there could be no mention of once-heralded free-trade agreements; and there could be no mention of a depressed public that polls show as having little hope that the future might be any better than the present.

The news cycle did not help. Black Lives Matter was canonized inside the convention hall; but as bookends to the convention, we again saw police officers murdered by assassins in Baton Rouge and San Diego. Meanwhile, Black Lives Matters (its prior chants to fry cops like bacon conveniently forgotten) hardly demonstrated that it was an inclusive group by chanting “Black Lives Matter!” during what was supposed to be a moment of silence for slain policemen during the convention. The group had earlier staged a protest outside the hall, in which a speaker with a bullhorn instructed reporters to be segregated by race, as white journalists were ritually shown to the rear. Apparently as proof of how cops unfairly target the black community, the mother of Michael Brown was asked to speak. When we celebrate Brown as a martyr, we are presumably supposed to forget the chain of events that led to his death: He went into a store and took several packages of cigarillos, roughed up the clerk who tried to stop him, left the store and walked down the middle of the street, attacked a police officer and tried to wrestle away his gun, and then charged the officer before being fatally shot.

Progressive speakers also reminded the nation that we are what we say we are, at least in terms of adopting aggrieved personas. Elizabeth Warren shouted of unfairness, apparently as the logical corollary to her appropriation of the mythic Native American identity that proved so useful in her careerist trajectory. Lena Dunham reiterated that she was a sexual-assault survivor and has written a memoir to chronicle her ordeal — omitting the fact that she had accused someone of committing a heinous act without bringing forth any factual evidence to support the accusation. Actress America Ferrera announced that “Not our color, gender, or economic status” matters — but only after informing the convention that she was a Honduran-American.

By the final night of the convention and Hillary’s speech, no one still quite knew why she was running for president other than that it was her turn — and perhaps that having lived in the White House as First Lady, she wanted to occupy the Oval Office in her own right. In her speech she offered 50/50 split-the-difference banalities: The last eight years were good but the next years could be even better, cops must not be shot, police must not shoot suspects, we must build infrastructure and provide free college, and on and on. The real message was that the party of Harry Truman cannot even utter the phrase radical Islam or say, All lives matter.

For independent and working-class Democratic voters, the message was: “You are either irrelevant or expendable.”

[And yet, Hillary leads in the national polls. Secession, secession, secession.]

July 26, 2016

Modern Presidents from worst to best, by alex greer [nc]

Filed under: Politicians — justplainbill @ 5:37 pm

http://us-presidents.insidegov.com/stories/5342/least-most-popular-presidents?utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=content.rec&utm_campaign=ao.cr.tb.dt.5342#25-John-F-Kennedy

Modern Presidents from worst to best based on approval ratings. Mr. Greer averaged monthly ratings to get his final score. The full article may be found at the above address.

Alex Greer
Alex is currently a senior at Dartmouth College and a freelance writer at Graphiq. He writes about politics. When he’s not writing, Alex can be found enjoying the New England scenery or sampling new Ben & Jerry’s flavors.

#13 of 13 Harry Truman
Average Approval Rating: 42.6%
On average, President Truman was the least popular modern U.S. president. Truman’s popularity mostly fell due to the Korean War and high inflation. Interestingly, history has been kinder to Truman, with polls consistently ranking him as one of the 10 best presidents.

#12 of 13 Gerald Ford
Average Approval Rating: 45.78%
Public support for Ford dissipated when he pardoned Richard Nixon a month into his presidency. Although he left office with a climbing approval rate, Ford was still unable to win re-election.

#11 of 13 Jimmy Carter
Average Approval Rating: 45.78%
Remarkably, Jimmy Carter ties with Ford, with an average approval rating of 45.78%. Carter entered the White House on a wave of popularity, promising to steer Washington away from the scandal-filled presidencies of Ford and Nixon. However, Carter was soon overwhelmed by high inflation, an energy crisis, war in Afghanistan and a hostage situation in Iran.

#10 of 13 Barack Obama
Average Approval Rating: 47.46%
President Obama assumed office under challenging circumstances. The U.S. had troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the economy was in a full-on recession. Obama’s approval ratings recovered slightly after his re-election, but fell to a new low following the 2013 government shutdown.

#9 of 13 George W. Bush
Average Approval Rating: 47.48%
Bush’s approval rating jumped after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but quickly plummeted in the following months. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the onset of the Great Recession, prevented Bush’s popularity from rising again.

#8 of 13 Richard Nixon
Average Approval Rating: 49.89%
Nixon’s approval ratings were fairly high for the majority of his presidency. That changed after the Watergate Scandal broke. Nixon currently has the lowest exit approval rating of any U.S. president at 24%.

#7 of 13 Ronald Reagan
Average Approval Rating: 52.84%
Although Reagan ranks as the seventh most popular president in terms of approval ratings, his presidency has been more favorably viewed in history. In fact, in a 2013 Gallup poll, Reagan scored as the second best modern U.S. president, only behind JFK. Reagan’s lowest approval rating occurred in the midst of an economic recession in the early 80s.

#6 of 13 Lyndon B. Johnson
Average Approval Rating: 54.75%
Following JFK’s assassination, Johnson was abruptly thrust into the presidency. Johnson’s popularity remained above 50% during his first two years in the White House, but then declined more sharply with the beginning of the Vietnam War and civil unrest in the U.S.

#5 of 13 Bill Clinton
Average Approval Rating: 54.8%
Unlike most presidents, Clinton’s approval ratings actually increased over his presidency. Although his popularity took a hit after the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke in 1998, Clinton still left office with a higher approval rating than when he started.

#4 of 13 George H. W. Bush
Average Approval Rating: 60.1%
Bush gained popularity for his focus on foreign policy. The American public largely supported the end of the Cold War and Bush’s approval ratings spiked to a new high following the Persian Gulf War. By the end of his presidency, Bush struggled to deal with a slow economy and lost re-election to Bill Clinton.

#3 of 13 Franklin D. Roosevelt
Average Approval Rating: 64.49%
Approval ratings were only polled for the last seven years of Roosevelt’s presidency. During this time, FDR’s approval rating never fell below 50%, as he navigated the end of the Great Depression and World War II.

#2 of 13 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Average Approval Rating: 64.9%
Eisenhower’s approval ratings remained fairly strong during his first term, never dipping below 50%. Although his popularity took a hit during his second term, Eisenhower still left office with the majority of Americans supporting him.

#1 of 13 John F. Kennedy
Average Approval Rating: 70.53%
Kennedy served in office for 2.8 years. His approval rating never fell below 55% during that time. Although he assumed office during a period of racial unrest and international instability, the young president from Massachusetts used his charisma and idealism to win over the public.

Alphabet Soup Corruption, by Victor Hanson [nc]

Alphabet Soup Corruption
July 25, 2016 2:44 pm / Leave a Comment / victorhanson
by Victor Davis Hanson//Defining Ideas

Name a government agency or cabinet, and chances are its reputation has nosedived since 2008. A Pew poll, which has charted public trust in the federal government over some 57 years, hit a historic low last year, with only 19% expressing confidence in Washington. Despite President Obama’s campaign promises in 2008 to usher in a new era of accountability and transparency, formerly disinterested agencies have either been politicized to the point of corruption or rendered ineffective by the appointment of incompetent and politically driven directors.

The Hillary Clinton email scandal has tarnished the reputation of both the FBI and the Department of Justice for the foreseeable future. FBI Director James Comey concluded that his agency’s investigation of Clinton’s careless use of private emails to transmit confidential and classified communications on a private server likely led to security compromises, but that her actions were not a result of intentional wrongdoing—and thus not in his view prosecutable. However, the statutes in question do not require willful intent to break the law, only negligence (the causes of such dangerous carelessness are irrelevant).

Clinton’s conduct has been described as “extremely careless” and yet neither Comey nor progressive legal gymnasts have been able to explain why that’s not synonymous with the statute’s standard of “gross negligence” for indictments—as if the adverb “extremely” is not a synonym for the adjective “gross,” or the adjective “careless” is not equivalent to the noun “negligence.”

In other words, Comey laid out a case for wrongdoing but then erroneously reinterpreted the law to largely exonerate Clinton, the all but certain Democratic nominee for president. His conclusions followed the bizarre meeting on the Phoenix airport tarmac between the private jets of Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton. The two allegedly serendipitously met and yet ordered the private meeting to be kept from the media. Surely two Ivy League trained lawyers know that the spouse of someone under investigation does not consult privately with the principle prosecuting attorney in an ongoing case.

On the day of Comey’s announcement, Clinton was scheduled to campaign with President Obama, Lynch’s boss. And earlier, unnamed Clinton advisors had reported to The New York Times that Lynch would be welcome to stay on as Attorney General in Hillary Clinton’s envisioned administration—purportedly to “prioritize diversity.” The resulting incoherence of the FBI and numerous angles of conflict of interest in the Obama Department of Justice have nearly tarnished the reputations of both agencies. After all, ordinary Americans do not get away with having their spouses meet off the record with the principal district attorney about their ongoing exposure to tax evasion charges, or find exemptions on the grounds that their serial violations of statutes were supposedly without ill-intent, or, if in a possible position of superiority, promise to retain the prosecuting attorney at a future date.

Lynch, remember, replaced Attorney General Eric Holder, the first and only AG to be held in contempt by Congress. Holder was at the center of scandals, both personal and professional, ranging from the failed Fast and Furious gun-running sting operation to the unlawful use of a private government jet to junket family and friends to the Belmont Stakes horse race. He also dropped a voter intimidation case by the New Black Panther Party and made inflammatory statements such as referring to African-Americans as “my people” and deriding America as a “nation of cowards” for not framing racial issues in the manner Holder would have wished. To top it all off, toward the end of his time in DOJ, he was accused of improper and stealthy surveillance of Associated Press journalists. For her part, Lynch, when called to testify before Congress, on 74 occasions refused to answer questions concerning the administration decision not to pursue an indictment for Clinton’s likely violations of the Espionage Act.

The Internal Revenue Service is likewise now a tainted agency, having lost the public trust. In similar fashion to the Clinton email scandal, the FBI found that the IRS had mismanaged taxpayer accounts, but argued that the agency had no deliberate intent to break the law. Yet Lois Lerner, an IRS director of tax-exempt organizations, publicly confessed to targeting Tea Party groups and others deemed inordinately conservative. Lerner, who pled the Fifth Amendment before Congress and was held in contempt, was allowed to retire with full pension, after ensuring that several conservative grassroots organizations were denied tax-exempt status in the critical months before the 2012 presidential campaign.

It doesn’t stop there. The director of the EPA, Lisa Jackson, stepped down shortly after Obama’s reelection, given that she belatedly admitted to using a false email alias “Richard Windsor” to conduct official EPA correspondence in a fashion that was not subject to public transparency. After pressure from congressional committees and the EPA’s own inspector general’s requirement for Jackson to produce some 12,000 “Richard Windsor” alias emails, Jackson resigned—and was almost immediately hired as an environmental consultant by Apple Inc.

The United States may not any longer have the capability to launch a rocket capable of sending men into space, but the National Aeronautical and Space Administration administrator Charles Bolden, shortly after assuming office, assured the public that among the agency’s foremost priorities would be “to reach out to the Muslim world . . . to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science . . . and math and engineering.” Bolden is a decorated military officer, but he might have worried more about the underfunded and sclerotic NASA building rockets before he assured Al Jazeera that it will find ways to emphasize the historical scientific contributions of the Islamic world.

Gen. Eric Shinseki, who became a hero to the progressive anti-war movement for his congressional testimony during the Bush administration questioning troop levels, became Obama’s Secretary of Veterans Affairs. But the agency was quickly mired in scandals at the Veteran Health Administration, where critically ill veterans were not given prompt care, lives were needlessly lost, and records were doctored to cover up such incompetence. Like the IRS and the EPA, the VA also remains under a cloud of suspicion, well after Shinseki’s resignation.

Perhaps no agency has been rendered more suspect that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, largely because U.S. immigration enforcement for all practical purposes has been rendered null and void, and no longer can or will stop illegal immigration from crossing the southern border. The old reputations of the “Border Patrol” as a no-nonsense law enforcement agency that ensured foreign nationals entered the United States legally has been redefined by ICE as a sort of politicized facilitator of executive amnesties. Over 300 municipalities in multiple states have now declared themselves exempt from enforcement of federal immigration law, and ICE has agreed that it will allow such nullification of federal law and will not deport over one million illegal aliens who have been arrested and charged with or convicted of crimes.

The Department of Homeland Security under Secretary Janet Napolitano admonished Americans that “terrorism” should be redefined as a “man-caused disaster” and counter-terrorism as an “overseas contingency operation,” while issuing a report warning that among our chief terrorist threats was not radical Islam, but right-wing extremism, especially among supposedly suspect returning war veterans. The agency proved inept in articulating and assessing the threat of Islamic terrorism following the Fort Hood, San Bernardino, and Orlando terrorist attacks. Just as the IRS seems more interested in pursuing conservative groups than tax-cheaters, so too does DHS seem more concerned with finding euphemisms for terrorist attacks to deflect responsibility away from radical Islamic terrorism. Certainly under the current Secretary Jeh Johnson, DHS does not see serious existential security challenges from either illegal immigration or radical Islamists, but rather seems more worried about the undue reactions of Americans to such perceived violations of the law and threats to their national security.

To the above alphabet scandals could be added the a number of scandals involving the Secret Service; the General Service Administration debacle of lavish conferences and unauthorized government junkets; the abrupt post-election resignation of CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus under mysterious circumstances; the likely forced resignation of Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sibelius after the promises of the Affordable Care Act proved fantasies and its website unworkable; and the diminution of National Security Advisor Susan Rice, who falsely assured the public on five Sunday morning news outlets that the Benghazi terrorist attacks were the fallout from an obscure video maker (subsequently jailed)—when both she and Secretary of State Clinton already knew that an al Qaeda affiliate was responsible for the killings and that such terrorism proved inconvenient to the pre-election narrative of an “al Qaeda on the run.”

What do all these scandal and embarrassments have in common? Aside from the fact that many appointees were selected based on their progressive bona fides and that they saw their missions to promote liberal causes, sometimes even at the cost of overriding their own agencies’ mandates, there was a widespread sense that the law simply did not apply to them. The President set the tone with a series of executive orders that overrode federal immigration law. He arbitrarily suspended some elements of the Affordable Care Act for fear that they would prove unpopular in the months before the 2012 election, and has bypassed congressional oversight and jurisdiction, whether by sidestepping the Senate’s ratification of treaties with the Iran deal or allowing the EPA to create new laws regulating coal plants and water standards that were never ratified by Congress.

The ensuing message was that social awareness, fairness, and egalitarianism trumped the rule of law. And the result was that an IRS director, a Secretary of State, an Attorney General, and a Department of Homeland Security Director were assessed not by whether they executed the law but by whether they promoted a progressive agenda.

The Obama administration in this regard was largely successful in warning conservatives that the government was not neutral, but now a force for social justice, led by a “pen and phone” president who was quite willing to reward friends and punish enemies, without much worries over the legal niceties involved. Given a largely obsequious media, it will take years to assess the full legacy of the Obama administration. But, eventually, historians will find that it marked one of the more politically driven, corrupt, and unconstitutional eras in the history of American governance.

July 19, 2016

The White Side of the Story of Blacks, Pat Buchanan [nc]

The White Side of the Story of Blacks
This is the reason CNN has dropped Buchanan.
It’s like Newt G. said, “You’re not supposed to bring up uncomfortable facts.” (verified on Buchanan’s website)
Finally, It is Said Publicly.
I have never seen the white side explained better!

Pat Buchanan had the guts to say it, and it is about time!

BUCHANAN TO OBAMA:
By Patrick J. Buchanan

You say we need to have a conversation about race in America .

Fair enough.

But this time, it has to be a two-way conversation.

White America needs to be heard from, not just lectured to. This time, the Silent Majority needs to have its convictions, grievances and demands heard.
And among them are these:

First, America has been the best country on earth for black folks.

It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christianity, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known. Jeremiah Wright ought to go down on his knees and thank God he is an American.

Second, no people anywhere has done more to lift up blacks than white Americans. Untold trillions have been spent since the ’60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits and poverty programs designed to bring the African-American community into the mainstream.

Governments, businesses and colleges have engaged in discrimination against white folks — with affirmative action, contract set-asides and quotas — to advance black applicants over white applicants.

Churches, foundations, civic groups, schools and individuals all over America have donated their time and money to support soup kitchens, adult education, day care, retirement and nursing homes for blacks.

We hear the grievances. Where is the gratitude?

What more opportunity is it that the White people need to give to help the Blacks?

If the poor white got this much opportunity there would be no poor white or lower class of white trash people!!

The main problem why black people are not progressing is the, “They owe me factor!!”
Get it in your head!

NOBODY OWES YOU ANYTHING!

Obama talks about new ‘ladders of opportunity’ for blacks. Let him go to Altoona and Johnstown, and ask the white kids in Catholic schools how many were visited lately by Ivy League recruiters handing out scholarships for ‘deserving’ white kids?

Is white America really responsible for the fact that the crime and incarceration rates for African-Americans are seven times those of white America ?

Is it really white America ‘s fault that illegitimacy in the African-American community has hit 70 percent and the black dropout rate from high schools in some cities has reached 50 percent?

Is that the fault of white America or, first and foremost, a failure of the black community itself?

As for racism, its ugliest manifestation is in interracial crime, and especially interracial crimes of violence.

Is Barack Obama aware that while white criminals choose black victims 3 percent of the time, black criminals choose white victims 45 percent of the time?

Is Obama aware that black-on-white rapes are 100 times more common than the reverse, and that black-on-white robberies were 139 times as common in the first three years of this decade as the reverse?

We have all heard ad nauseam from the Rev. Al about Tawana Brawley, the Duke rape case and Jena . And all turned out to be hoaxes. But about the epidemic of black assaults on whites that are real, we hear nothing.

Sorry, Barack, some of us have heard it all before, about 40 years and 40 trillion tax dollars ago.

I am not racist, I am not violent, I am just not silent anymore.

In GOD we trust!

July 13, 2016

Fundamentally Transformed, Victor Hanson [c]

Fundamentally Transformed
July 13, 2016 11:01 am / Leave a Comment / victorhanson

Have we reached a point of no return?

By Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Multicultural societies — from 19th-century Austria–Hungary to contemporary Iraq, Lebanon, the former Yugoslavia, and Rwanda — have a poor record of keeping the peace between competing tribes. They usually end up mired in nihilistic and endemic violence.

The only hope for history’s rare multiracial, multiethnic, and multireligious nations is to adopt a common culture, one that artificially suppresses the natural instinct of humans to identify first with their particular tribe. America, in the logical spirit of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, was exceptional among modern societies in slowly evolving from its original, largely European immigrant population to a 21st-century assimilated, integrated, and intermarried multiracial society, in which religious and racial affiliations were incidental, not essential, to one’s public character and identity.

But such a bold experiment was always tenuous and against the cruel grain of history, in which the hard work of centuries could be easily torn apart by the brief demagoguery of the moment. Unfortunately, President Obama, ever since he first appeared on the national political scene in 2008, has systematically adopted a rhetoric and an agenda that is predicated on dividing up the country according to tribal grievances, in hopes of recalibrating various factions into a majority grievance culture. In large part, he has succeeded politically. But in doing so he has nearly torn the country apart. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to suggest that no other recent president has offered such a level of polarizing and divisive racial bombast.

Most recently, without citing any facts about the circumstances of the police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana, Barack Obama castigated the police and the citizenry on their culpability for racial disparity and prejudicial violence. “[T]hese fatal shootings are not isolated incidents. They are symptomatic of the broader challenges within our criminal-justice system, the racial disparities that appear across the system year after year, and the resulting lack of trust that exists between law enforcement and too many of the communities they serve.” Obama did not yet know the race of the policemen involved (as in the case of Baltimore, the Minnesota shooting involved non-white officers), the circumstances that led to the shootings, or the backgrounds of either the officers or their victims.

Shortly afterwards, twelve Dallas law-enforcement officers were shot, and five of them killed, by a black assassin who declared solidarity with Black Lives Matter and proclaimed his hatred for white law enforcement. That outbreak prompted Obama to take to the podium again to recalibrate his earlier message. This time he amplified his gun-control message, and somewhat delusionally added that the upswing in racial polarization did not imperil national unity — in much the same way that, in years past, he had announced that al-Qaeda was on the run, we were leaving behind a stable Iraq, and ISIS was a jayvee organization. Note the Obama editorial method in the case of police incidents, from Skip Gates to Louisiana and Minnesota: He typically speaks before he has the facts, and when subsequent information calls into question his talking points and theorizing, he never goes back and makes the corrections. Nor does he address facts — from Ferguson to Dallas — that do not fit his political agenda. Finally, a police shooting of an African-American suspect is never an “isolated event,” while the shooting of an officer by a black assassin is isolated and never really thematic of any larger racial pathology.

We were introduced to Obama’s idea of career enhancement through racial polarization during the 2008 political campaign. Obama had earlier, when he saw it as being to his advantage, emphasized to the Chicago Sun-Times that as a devout Christian he dutifully attended Rev. Wright’s church: “Yep. Every week. Eleven o’clock service.” Indeed, Wright offered inspiration to Obama with his trite “Audacity of Hope” refrain, which Obama borrowed for the title of his 2008 campaign booklet.

Once Wright was exposed on video as an uncouth racist and anti-Semite, Obama made the necessary adjustments, as “every week” transmogrified into spotty attendance that explained why Obama was shocked — in Casablanca style — when his spiritual mentor was publicly exposed. In that era of Obamamania, most people shrugged that Obama surely never bought into Wright’s racist and anti-American sermonizing, but simply put up with the venom spewed every week at Trinity United as a political investment, both establishing his radical street credentials and bolstering support among the members of Chicago’s black churches.

But there were plenty of markers in Obama’s own turns of phrase to indicate that racial tranquility is not where we were headed: “Typical white person” and a litany of divisive campaign sloganeering followed (“bring a gun to a knife fight” and “get in their faces,” along with the stereotyping of the white working class of Pennsylvania, who had failed to appreciate Obama’s singular brilliance in the state’s Democratic primary).

Nothing much changed when Obama entered the Oval Office (and why should it, when Obama won record majorities of minority voters in 2008 and would again in 2012?). Attorney General Eric Holder, who almost immediately dropped a likely successful voter-intimidation prosecution against the New Black Panther Party (a group to which the Dallas police assassin at one time claimed affinity), set the new tone of the Obama Justice Department by referring to African-Americans as “my people” and deriding Americans in general as “a nation of cowards.”

“Punish our enemies” characterized Obama’s approach to race and bloc voting. Each time an explosive racial confrontation appeared on the national scene, Obama — always in his accustomed academic intonations — did his best to exploit the issue. So the Skip Gates farce was leveraged into commentary about police stereotyping and profiling on a national level. The police officer in the Ferguson shooting was eventually exonerated by Obama’s own Justice Department, but not before Obama had already exploited the shooting for political advantage, as part of a larger false narrative of out-of-control racist cops who recklessly shoot black suspects at inordinate rates to the population (rather than in the context of their national incidence of contact with police).

It mattered nothing that the signature line of Ferguson, and the founding motto of Black Lives Matter — “Hands up, don’t shoot” — was exposed as a myth by Eric Holder’s investigators. Right in the midst of the ongoing Trayvon Martin shooting trial, the president of the United States, in carrion fashion, weighed in by speculating whether the son he had never had would have looked like young Martin — not merely risking prejudicing the case (although the newly dubbed “white Hispanic” George Zimmerman was nevertheless exonerated by a jury of his peers), but reminding the country that our racial heritages are the basis of tribal resonance.

Black Lives Matter was founded on a separatist and radical racialism. When an inept Bernie Sanders tried to suggest that “All lives matter,” he was bullied into silence by activists who rushed the podium. “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon” became a Black Lives Matter marching slogan last summer in Minnesota — rhetoric amplifying the calls for “Dead Cops” in an earlier New York City march that was in turn logically reified in Dallas by the assassin who “dead copped” white policemen.

When Obama invited Black Lives Matter founders to the White House in February, he praised them by asserting that they were “much better organizers” than he had been at a comparable age, adding that he was “confident that they are going to take America to new heights.” Prior Black Lives Matter marching death chants to police should have been known to Obama at the time.

Every problem has a resolution — but often not a good one. In the case of widely publicized shootings of black suspects by police, regardless of the landscapes involved, police already have proven less likely to respond promptly to inner-city calls for help, rightly or wrongly convinced that they either will be shot at by assassins, or will be forced to use force to protect themselves in a manner that will end their careers, or will hesitate and pay a lethal price for losing deterrence. They likewise assume that their politically appointed high-profile superiors will not support them under media and political pressures, and that society at large has no stomach for a candid conversation — ranging from history to culture to public policy to economics — about the dilemma of young black males, who constitute about 3 to 4 percent of the general population, and are responsible for between 25 and 50 percent of some categories of violent crime.

This spring Obama invited a series of rappers and activists to the White House, whose careers and rhetoric were often violent and divisive. Rapper Rick Ross — on bail pending trial on kidnapping and assault charges — had his ankle bracelet go off at a White House ceremony. Black Lives Matter and Ferguson activist Charles Wade abruptly declined his White House invitation, apparently because he had been recently arrested for pimping and human trafficking. Marquee rapper Kendrick Lamar’s Pimp a Butterfly album cover portrayed black men hoisting champagne bottles and displaying hundred-dollar bills on the White House lawn, in merriment over the corpse of a white judge with his eyes X’d out. Reality mimicked art when Lamar (whose video sets include singing from a vandalized police car) was invited to the White House — or perhaps when five fatally shot policemen on the ground in Dallas superseded Lamar’s image of a prone and eyeless dead judge. Obama, remember, has cited the police-hating Lamar (e.g., “And we hate Popo, wanna kill us dead in the street for sure, nigga”) as his favorite rapper and the dead-judge album “as best album of the year.”

As the president has reminded us, words matter. So far in 2016 the shootings of police are up 44 percent over 2015. If celebrating the image of a murdered judge is no impediment to an Oval Office visit and a presidential endorsement, why would the more reckless activists see any real social odium in escalating the hatred? What does one have to do to be disqualified from a White House visit or earn the president’s disapproval? Be under indictment for a felony? Commercialize a picture of a judge’s corpse? That more police may have been targeted in Tennessee, Georgia, and Missouri following the Dallas carnage was the logical result of more than a year of contextualizing Black Lives Matter rhetoric and expressing pseudo-hip adulation of purveyors of anti-police and anti-judicial venom — but always from a safe distance. What does a Secret Service agent think when Lamar, who became a multimillionaire from lyrics like “We hate Popo,” comes to visit the Oval Office?

Obama predicates such no-consequences racial trafficking on four astute assumptions: First, he believes that promoting racial identity, and the more raw the better, is good politics — that it will solidify his new Democratic coalition, energizing grievances to ensure record turnout and bloc voting.

Second, he assumes that most of America is still locked into an anachronistic 1960s dialectic of a white/black binary in the context of continuing bitterness over the racism of Jim Crow — rather than the complex reality of a 21st-century society of multiple races and ethnicities, well into our sixth decade of affirmative action and racial compensation.

Third, Obama assumes that his Ivy League metrosexual and teleprompted image, in wink-and-nod fashion, reassures white liberals that while he flirts with and manipulates the uncouth rhetoric and imagery that the cruder rappers or Rev. Wright routinely peddle, he could not possibly buy into their full progam.

Fourth, Obama assumes that his own racial heritage exempts his sloppy rhetoric and actions from the sort of accountability that would doom a non-minority politician who had compiled a similar oeuvre of tolerating racial incendiarism.

Yet when a society reaches a point at which the remedy — honest dialogue and debate — is considered worse than the disease — racial animosity — then chaos and disintegration are the prognoses.

Up to now, the war zones in Chicago and Philadelphia and other inner cities that routinely experience abject killing each week have been largely ignored by progressives, given the nature of black-on-black violence in cities with strict gun-control laws, liberal governments, and ample social-welfare programs. Yet it may be that these recent shootings in Dallas and various other cities, rather than signaling a new dialogue, mark a strategy of exporting gun violence to purported white purveyors of racism. If that happens, then we are back to the 1960s — but worse. Read the online racist comments posted on any major news agency’s accounts of a crime involving race to sense the polarization that has intensified since 2008.

Meanwhile, abroad, the world looks not just at the tearing apart of American society under Obama, but at that society’s collective inability to even discuss the catalysts for either Islamic terrorism of the Orlando and San Bernardino sort, or the recent racial violence. When this is collated with seven years of failed reset with Russia, the Iranian deal, the rise of ISIS, the implosion of the Middle East, and the new belligerency in China and North Korea, we may be facing a final six months of a lame-duck presidency the likes of which have never been seen in modern political history.

Perhaps Obama has been prescient after all about American sins and the need for apologizing, contextualization, and reset. A 21st-century society that celebrates separatism and violence and that pardons the venom of Black Lives Matter and its more extreme manifestations, or that exempts Hillary Clinton from all legal accountability, may simply not be able to exercise a position of world moral authority after all.

[secession, secession, secession]

July 11, 2016

The Rule of Law, Karl Denninger [c]

The Rule Of Law 1
From: ‘Butch’
Jul 10 at 6:34 AM

Long but hard hitting. There is a lot to chew on here.

https://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?singlepost=3411183

The Rule Of Law

The Market Ticker ® – Commentary on The Capital Markets

2016-07-09 12:30 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 790 references Ignore this thread

The Rule Of Law*

https://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?get_gallerynr=87

Seriously folks?

You don’t understand why The Ticker has faded to black?

REALLY?

Let me start with this: Why do drug dealers shoot each other on street corners?

Answer: Joe the drug dealer cannot call the cops and tell them that Jack the drug dealer ripped him off and sold him a bag of oregano instead of weed. Joe also can’t sue Jack. Thus, when the threshold of his tolerance is crossed Joe has only the use of direct force available to him because he has no recourse to the law to settle his dispute with Jack.

The FIRST foundation of civil society is The Rule of Law. Without it there is literally nothing other than the Law of the Jungle, commonly known as “he who has the biggest teeth (or the most guns) and is willing to use them first wins.”

Let me remind you that Han Solo, who is widely regarded through the Star Wars series as a hero, shot first at Mos Eisley. George Lucas edited that in the second release of the film (and later had to put it back after fan outrage) but it is a fact that Han shot first in the original theatrical release. Why did Han shoot first and kill Greedo? Because he knew there was no Rule of Law and he had no recourse to the law, which incidentally was later proved to be an exactly correct expectation when he was made an ornament in Jabba’s castle.

Now I want you to stop reading, go get an adult beverage or a cup of coffee, and think long and hard before you continue reading about the above.

Why?

BECAUSE THE ABOVE IS THE ISSUE THAT, IF WE FAIL TO ADDRESS IT IN THE PRESENT TENSE, RUNS THE RISK OF RESULTING IN AN IRREVOCABLE SERIES OF EVENTS IN THIS COUNTRY UP TO AND INCLUDING POSSIBLE CIVIL WAR.

Did you go get your drink, consume it, and think?

Good — you may now continue.

This site was founded back in the early part of the financial crisis, spring of 2007 to be exact, because the Rule of Law was being blatantly disregarded — specifically, with regard to “Prompt Corrective Action” and banks that were paying out dividends with fictitious earnings.

Did anyone go to prison for doing that? No.

Did anyone go to prison for selling “good investments” to clients that they described in their own internal emails and on recorded internal conference calls as “vomit” and “dog squeeze”? NO.

Did anyone go to prison for claiming to Congress (and all testimony to Congress is under oath) that they were “adding liquidity” to the system during the meltdown when I found, in public records, that in fact over $60 billion was pulled from the system into the maw of Lehman’s collapse? That facially appears to be perjury, incidentally. The answer is again NO.

How many hundreds of thousands of Americans lost jobs and homes as a direct result of this? How many lives were ruined? Now ask this: How many people were made whole on the damage they suffered as a result of these acts, all of which were facial violations of the law?

NONE.

It is broadly illegal to price-fix via any mechanism where market power exists. So says 15 United States Code, Chapter 1. Go read it. Virtually the entire US Medical System operates on business models that are facially in violation of that section of law. The latest outrage is an off-patent device called an “Epipen” used for severe allergic reactions; if you need one and don’t have it you have a very good chance of dying. They cost about $60 10 years ago, and are about $100 today anywhere else in the world. Except here in the United States — where they’re $400, and if you get on a plane, buy a bunch and bring them back to sell (to make a profit and undercut the price) you go to prison. The exact same sort of price-fixing with the direct support of the US government and FDA is present in virtually every area of medical practice — from drugs to devices to hospitals. All of this facially appears to be illegal; were I to even have had a discussion with a competitor on fixing pricing when I ran my Internet company that would have been a federal offense.

How many people are dead — broke — or both as a direct result of these practices? There is an entire industry that accounts for nearly one dollar in five spent on all items in our economy and it has multiplied its share of spending by a factor of roughly six through the use of these tactics. You, I and everyone else in the country are being overcharged by a factor of five times as a result, it’s destroying the Federal budget and has or will destroy state and local budgets also. You can’t run a car repair shop without quoting prices before you start turning wrenches and yet it is essentially impossible to get a price, nor to bind the hospital to any figure they give you, for a procedure before it is done.

What did you see this last week with James Comey? The head of the FBI stood at the podium and described, facially, a felony violation of the law, which I remind youdoes not require intent, and then said “no prosecutor would bring the case.” Then, one business day later, he sat in Congress and described knowing that a secondfelony violation of the law, perjury, had taken place and yet he insisted that he needed a “referral” to “investigate” it.

Folks, if you were being interviewed because the cops thought you robbed a bank and on your kitchen table was a bale of marijuana do you think they’d need a “referral” to bust you for the weed? You know damn well the handcuffs would be on you in seconds, so why weren’t they on Hillary?

Next, if there was no intent as Comey claimed he could not find why did she lie repeatedly, both to the public and Congress, about the presence of classified information on her server? You don’t lie about something you aren’t trying to hide and you don’t hide something that doesn’t incriminate you! Prosecutors argue this every single day before juries and get thousands of convictions every year on exactly that basis — the accused lied about something they did and that lie is evidence that they knew what they were doing was wrong as that’s the only reason to lie about it!

Another section of the same law attaches liability to anyone who is involved in these acts and fails to report them. That facially involves Bill and Chelsea Clinton as well as Hillary’s entire senior staff! This issue is, again, not just limited to Hillary’s conduct. As persons with security clearances (with the possible exception of Chelsea) they all were aware of the law and their positive obligation to immediately report any breach of security of classified information, and failure to do so is a criminal offense.

Finally, contrary to Comey’s assertions (which were also a lie, and since they were made to Congress were also Perjury, a felony violation of the law) there indeed are people who not only have been but are being prosecuted for quite-similar violations of the law with regard to classified data. Specifically there are service members who have been arrested, not just demoted or had their security clearances revoked, for putting classified information on unauthorized devices. One, Kristian Saucier, faces 20 years in prison; there is no apparent public evidence that this individual ever allowed anyone outside of trusted Navy circles to see the images. Comey made the blanket statement that the government does not prosecute people who do not give said information intentionally to our enemies; his statement before Congress was a lie.

If I, as an ordinary person, fire a gun I own every single round that comes out of the barrel until it comes to rest. Even if I am perfectly justified in drawing and firing that weapon if I shoot an innocent person I remain responsible for the round that did not go where I intended it to and the results of same. Now contrast this with the police of any stripe, who may fire indiscriminately, emptying weapons containing dozens of rounds even into targets that are facially wrong such as a pair of women in a truck when they are seeking a man in California, and yet they are never held accountable for the damage those rounds do to either person or property.

How many people are dead in Orlando not as a result of a terrorist but rather due to the rounds fired by police, along with their intentional 3+ hour delay in entering the building? Where are the manslaugher (or felonious assault) charges for the persons who were hit with wildly-sprayed rounds from police weapons during that breach? Why has there been no accounting for those rounds and the persons killed by them? Why is there never any accounting for said rounds fired by the police wildly and with outrageous disregard for innocent persons in the vicinity? You or I would be charged immediately for such a flagrant display of gross negligence, likely with multiple felonies.

If that’s not enough the shooter in Dallas was cornered — “treed” if you will, isolated in a parking garage from which he could not escape. Rather than wait him out and arrest him, then go through this entire pesky “due process” thing including a trial and sentence even though he was not presently shooting at anyone the police instead mounted a bomb on a robot and blew him up. You got that folks? Yeah, he was obviously guilty as hell but if you catch someone having just killed your daughter and he’s cornered in your shed, either out of ammo or choosing not to shoot at that time, you cannot blow the shed up rather than arrest him! Due process of law? What’s that?

You idiots cheered that on too and yet what you just invited the next guy to do is throw a grenade or make damn sure he has a really BIG bomb with him instead of surrendering when cornered! If one person has no right to due process of law THEN NEITHER DOES ANYONE ELSE — including the cops.

Folks, all of what has gone on of late is traceable and chargeable to the destruction of The Rule of Law. The destruction of millions of American’s financial status, their wealth, their freedom, their health and frequently their very lives are destroyed because CERTAIN PEOPLE, namely the rich, politically powerful, those wearing a “blue” costume of some sort or those who happen to run big corporations can and do whatever they wish and are simply not prosecuted for violations of the law that you, I, or anyone else would be and are.

When you back a bear into a corner it will attack you because it perceives that as the only remaining course of action that it has available to it other than death.

We created the conditions under which drug dealers resort to shooting each other because we made the consensual act of trade in and consumption of certain substances a crime, and by doing so denied them any other recourse under the law for disputes among themselves.

They are at fault for shooting at one another but it is our responsibility because we intentionally removed their recourse to the law.

We created the conditions under which millions of Americans, most of whom are not drug dealers, believe they have no recourse to the law through our willfuland intentional acts and then we sit still, swill beer and post on Facebook when the fact that ordinary Americans have no recourse to the law as soon as someone rich, powerful or wearing a costume who wants to screw them. That message – “you have no recourse” is driven in day after day as every “important person”, cop or company you care to name pulls some stunt that would result in anyone else facing down an immediate felony indictment and walks away laughing or, equally as bad, collects hugs, donuts and, for corporate executives, million dollar bonuses.

Specifically, and in reference to recent events, it is our refusal to demand that police officers be held accountable for every round they fire just as is any other person.

It is our refusal to demand that those in political power who perjure themselves are prosecuted while if you lie you go to prison for obstruction of justice.

It is our refusal to demand that the cops who claimed they had video footage of an innocent man shooting and plastered same all over the media when they knewthey did not be prosecuted for intentionally causing him to be subjected to death threats and have his reputation destroyed while if he had told the slightest untruth to said cops he would have been charged with obstruction, lying to investigators or both. Worse, instead of tendering that demand and sticking to it we bring the cops donuts, pay for their lunches and post all sorts of laudatory crap on social media, cheering on the lies!

It is our refusal to demand that an officer who claims to pull over a car for a broken tail-light when both lights are clearly illuminated on the dashcam video and then shoots said motorist be immediately brought up on murder charges and as prime evidence of his guilt we use his intentionally false statement that he was stopping the car for a broken taillight.

It is our refusal to demand that police officers who steal property under so-called “civil forfeiture” when they have no actual offense they can charge the owner with be prosecuted and imprisoned for grand theft and the entire department so-involved dismantled for Racketeering, exactly as you or I would be if we all got together and held people up at gunpoint claiming that they had committed some crime, stealing everything they owned.

It is our refusal to demand that executives in the medical and pharmaceutical industries face the music for conduct that facially appears to violate hundred-year old anti-trust laws that not only mandate a decade long prison sentence for said executives they come with company-ruining fines big enough on a per-count basis to destroy any corporation that pulls this crap.

It is our refusal to demand that all of the “finance professionals” who sold mathematically impossible schemes in the pension and insurance space to teachers, police officers, firemen and others go to prison and have their firms confiscated for promising that which is impossible.

And it is our refusal to hold accountable all in a given role who are aware of this rank corruption, have taken an oath to uphold the law and have violated that oath by either not doing their job directly or sitting silently while others refuse to do so. It is illegal for a person to be associated with Daesh even if they do not personally commit a terrorist act. Given that fact why can any member of a police force or other government agency, whether federal, state or local, cover up or refuse to investigate blatantly unlawful behavior without everyone involved in same being charged as co-conspirators when the law clearly defines that someone who acts as an accessory before or after the fact is equally liable.

If this issue — the utter destruction of The Rule of Law — is not addressed now there is a very real risk that the spiral of events that has been growing, first slowly and now exponentially, could erupt into literal war within our own nation.

If it does you had better get up and look in the damned mirror because it is the collective inaction and refusal to demand the restoration of the Rule of Law by the American people that has and will lead to this outcome.

It is for this reason that I have decided that for the present I am going to go enjoy whatever time is left in a reasonably-peaceful society here in America instead of writing for your consumption, for I neither believe that this relatively-peaceful state of affairs will persist for long nor do I believe any material number of people will lift a single finger to do anything about it.

Eight years is enough time to see whether or not there is any indication that any material percentage of the public gives a good damn and absent a marked change in the evidence my verdict is in.

Han was not wrong in his assessment of the state of Rule of Law in the Star Wars Universe. We must not, as a society, allow that assessment among people in this nation to continue on the path it is on here in the United States or the outcome will be the same.

[To Butch
today at 12:02 PM
The philosophical content is the same as that in the first couple of chapters of The Albany Plan Re-Visited. Without the Rule of Law, it is chaotic anarchy (as opposed to rational anarchy, an interesting concept in and of itself).

And, as you well know, this supports my secession argument with The Heartland Plan as a template for a rational, republican federal government.

Will be posting this on the blog, [c].]

July 6, 2016

Declaration of Independence, some history, by Gary North, PhD [nc]

Filed under: Political Commentary — justplainbill @ 8:39 pm

The Declaration of Independence: America’s Most Famous Direct-Response Ad
Gary North – July 04, 2016
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On this day 240 years ago, New England’s most famous independent wholesaler, John Hancock, and Congress’s stenographer, Charles Thomson, signed a parchment. We celebrate that signing annually, often by setting off low-tariff fireworks imported from China.

Most Americans know little about the background of this event. The details they recall from a high school textbook are incorrect. There is great confusion. The amount of misinformation is shocking. I am here to clear up some widely held misconceptions. (Note: I have a Ph.D in colonial American history. I have also been involved since 1974 in direct-response marketing. As far as I know, no one else has combined these two careers.)

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

In 1776, Hancock was well known to consumers in New England as a highly price-competitive wholesaler. His main competitor, the British East India Company, called him a smuggler. That’s what high-cost competitors who are losing market share often do. They smear the competition. This accusation went to court, but it was was not proven. His defense attorney had been John Adams.

Hancock’s competitor in 1773 had adopted a new marketing strategy. It cut prices to just below what Hancock could afford to meet. How? By persuading Parliament to cut import taxes on the company’s main item of commerce, tea. Only a small tax remained, which went to pay the salary of the governor of Massachusetts and a few officials.

Next, a group of Hancock’s associates who operated out of the Green Dragon Tavern responded by throwing the competition’s tea into Boston harbor. So, Parliament closed Boston’s harbor in 1774.

The debate grew more heated throughout 1774. British tea was now cheaper than the duty-free but illegal Dutch tea, which Hancock imported. But there was a solution: a highly successful direct-response marketing campaign run by Hancock’s long-term associate, Sam Adams. Adams had a serious marketing problem. He had to persuade people that reduced taxes and lower tea prices were a threat to liberty. This was a hard sell. But Adams was up to it. He ignored the obvious: low taxes and low prices are a good thing. Instead, he warned readers that Parliament could close every port. He also skipped over the reason why the Parliament closed the port: protesters had thrown private property into the water. In today’s money, this was over a million dollars’ worth of tea.

Beginning in 1772, Adams had begun putting together an in-house mailing list known as the Committees on Correspondence. The letters began going out. Incredibly, outraged readers began a national boycott against low-cost British tea. It another context, this would be called cutting off your nose to spite your face.

I realize that this is not the way all this is described in textbooks. This is a tribute to the effectiveness of Adams’ direct-mail campaign. There is even a movement called the Tea Party that has adopted the name given to the event in the 1830’s. The Tea Party is for lower taxes.

So was Parliament in 1773.

The entry for “Boston Tea Party” on Wikipedia describes things accurately.

The North ministry’s solution was the Tea Act, which received the assent of King George on May 10, 1773. This act restored the East India Company’s full refund on the duty for importing tea into Britain, and also permitted the company, for the first time, to export tea to the colonies on its own account. This would allow the company to reduce costs by eliminating the middlemen who bought the tea at wholesale auctions in London. Instead of selling to middlemen, the company now appointed colonial merchants to receive the tea on consignment; the consignees would in turn sell the tea for a commission. In July 1773, tea consignees were selected in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Charleston.

Hancock was New England’s #1 middleman for tea. He was cut out of the deal.

The British East India Company now had a new marketing slogan. “Lower taxes. Lower prices.” (Walmart’s recently adopted slogan is similar: “Save Money. Live Better.”) Hancock had to do something, and he had to do it fast. Fortunately for Hancock, Sam Adams was up to the task.

Back in 1765, Adams had helped organize a regional sales force, the Sons of Liberty. This group had made tax collectors offers that they simply could not refuse. He had recruited Hancock into the organization. They had worked together ever since. Adams had revived the organization in 1774. It called for a boycott of tea sold by retailers for British tea. This campaign led to the first Continental Congress in September.

Adams was highly successful in politics, but in nothing else. So, honoring market responses, he specialized in politics. He had been a beer brewer, but he had gone bankrupt. (The successful beer company named Sam Adams took the name of a man who had been a complete failure as a brewer. This would be like calling a company two centuries from now “Enron Securities.” But good marketing can accomplish miracles, as I am trying to demonstrate here.)

Adams had also been a tax collector, but had failed to collect all of the required taxes. He got out of the field. This is something that he had in common with a recent immigrant from England, Thomas Paine. Earlier in the year, Paine had proven himself to be a highly skilled practitioner of direct-response marketing. His January 1776 marketing campaign was based on a classic long-copy ad with this headline: Common Sense. The campaign pulled spectacularly. It still does — a phenomenon known in the direct-response trade as “drag.” From Wikipedia:

It was sold and distributed widely and read aloud at taverns and meeting places. In proportion to the population of the colonies at that time (2.5 million), it had the largest sale and circulation of any book published in American history. As of 2006, it remains the all-time best selling American title, and is still in print today. . . .

The pamphlet was also highly successful because of a brilliant marketing tactic planned by Paine. He and Bell timed the first edition to be published at around the same time as a proclamation on the colonies by King George III, hoping to contrast the strong, monarchical message with the heavily anti-monarchical Common Sense. Luckily, the speech and the first advertisement of the pamphlet appeared on the same day within the pages of the Pennsylvania Evening Post.

Paine’s marketing was revolutionary. Literally.

Summary: In July 1776, Hancock was in charge of a national marketing campaign against the British East India Company. Yet the company was never mentioned. Officially, he was fighting Parliament. This was why he signed the parchment.

What was odd about the document was that it never mentioned Parliament. It only mentioned the king, who had almost no power, and who had not been involved in Parliament’s decision to cut the tax on tea. He had dutifully signed the bill when it was handed to him — a strictly formal procedure. He had remained on the sidelines until the Green Dragon boys tossed tea overboard. This attack on private property angered him. He thought it was mob violence, just as it had been a decade earlier with Adams’ Sons of Liberty. So, he closed the port of Boston when Parliament demanded this action. He sent ships to enforce this joint decision.

Hancock had great name identification, so he wrote his signature large enough to be eye-catching, but not so large as to generate envy among his associates — he hoped. He wanted to head off murmuring: “Pretty fancy signature for a smuggler.”

He need not have worried. His peers did not want to put their John Hancocks on the document — not yet, anyway.

THE MARKETING CAMPAIGN

The ad is a classic example of what is known as “reasons why” advertising. It was filled with reasons why it was time to create an independent franchise operation. It targeted the king.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

And so on. It was a long list. It lacked only bullet points. But by July 4, 1776, it did not lack bullets.

The ad had an inauspicious headline:

In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776, A DECLARATION By the REPRESENTATIVES of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in GENERAL CONGRESS assembled

This was not the stuff of high-response-rate advertising. The headline accounts for about 80% of an ad’s effectiveness. A good headline promises benefits. The copy did not get to the benefits until the second paragraph: Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. These are good, of course, but they are general. A good ad needs specific benefits. The other two benefits were also overly general: Safety and Happiness. Still, this was better: not just the pursuit of happiness, but actual happiness. “Pursuit” is too vague.

Nevertheless, this document turned out to be the most important direct-response ad in American history. Had it not been effective, the two signers would be known in textbooks on British history as agents of a failed marketing campaign that led to a legendary bankruptcy. The two signers fully understood this at the time.

Discretion is the better part of valor. There were about 54 other men who approved of the document, but who chose not to sign it on July 4.

There was a good reason for this. In direct-response advertising, you had better do a test mailing. Only after the preliminary results are in do you do a full roll-out. If you violate this rule, the response could, as experienced copywriters like to say, get you killed.

The assembled co-signers fully understood the risks of a poor response to the mailing. So, they held off signing. They told the two signers: “You go first.”

About 200 copies of the ad were sent out the next day. John Dunlop printed them. They were printed as posters, called broadsides. You can see the broadside here. They went to state legislatures around the country. The mail was slow in those days — much slower than snail mail is today. So, they waited.

The initial response was favorable. So, on August 2, the participants took a vote:

Resolved That the Declaration passed on the 4th be fairly engrossed on parchment with the title and stile of “The unanimous declaration of the thirteen united states of America” & that the same when engrossed be signed by every member of Congress.

The resolution passed. So, they signed their names. Anyway, most of them did. Not all. These did not: John Alsop, George Clinton, John Dickinson, Charles Humphreys, Robert R. Livingston, John Rogers, Thomas Willing, and Henry Wisner. But they were offset by men who had not been involved in planning the details of the national marketing operation, but who had come onto the Board of Directors after July 4. They had been involved regionally: Matthew Thornton, William Williams, Benjamin Rush, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, George Ross, and Charles Carroll of Carrollton.

The entry for August 2 reads: “The declaration of Independence being engrossed & compared at the table was signed by the Members.” This new name, “declaration of independence,” had a better ring to it than the original. They hoped that this would increase the response rate.

Even so, a record of the vote was kept only in a second set of minutes. Charles Thomson, who died in 1824, decided not reveal the existence of these secret minutes for over 40 years. A man can’t be too careful. They were released in 1821.

As I said, these were men of discretion. They were still not ready to do a large mailing. They also wanted to have a receptive audience. The market in August was poor, as is typical for direct-response mailings. The previous winter, the company had done a test marketing program in Canada, which had failed. The survivors had retreated to New York by June. The group had been led by one of the promising sales directors, Benedict Arnold. Nevertheless, the company still had high hopes for him. He looked like a comer.

The next test came soon: on August 27. The results almost produced bankruptcy. The Director of Marketing, G. Washington, had organized a trial run, and after the trial, he and his associates ran. Actually, they sailed under cover of darkness and a seasonally rare fog. They left Long Island hurriedly.

So, they waited.

On December 26, the most successful post-Christmas sale in American history took place in Trenton, New Jersey. Washington and his associates presented a group of 1500 Hessian tourists with an offer they did not refuse.

On January 18, corporate headquarters sent out printed copies of the signed document to the state capitals for local distribution. This handout did quite well.

BURIAL AND RESURRECTION

As with all direct-mail campaigns, response rates fell off rapidly because of repeated mailings. The document went into obscurity by late 1777. But some recipients kept copies of it in their files. In direct-response marketing, these are called swipe files. This term was certainly appropriate for the most famous swipe in the history of Great Britain. A wholly owned subsidiary went independent. It refused to honor the implicit and universally recognized non-compete clauses in the original 13 regional by-laws.

Then, in 1800, the old document was revived. There was a split in the leadership of the new firm. Two of the original signers were competing for CEO. One of them, John Adams, had been on the committee of five that had drafted the original document. He was competing against Thomas Jefferson, who had been assigned the task of writing the first draft. Jefferson’s supporters were claiming that their man had done most of the writing.

Adams faced the grim task of anyone who resorts to a “me, too” marketing campaign. The product that gets into the market first has a huge advantage, called the unique selling proposition, or USP. Jefferson had gotten there first. His supporters made this clear.

Adams was having a tough time in 1800. A few weeks before the election, one of the members of his faction, Alexander Hamilton, had distributed a long letter calling Adams’s character into question. It was too late to respond. Adams’ supporters could only grumble, “that bastard!” It did no good.

Jefferson won. And from that day on, he attributed much of his career success to his authorship of the first draft of the original direct-response ad. As he put on his tombstone:

Here was buried
Thomas Jefferson
Author of the Declaration of American Independence
of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom
& Father of the University of Virginia

But I still think he could have come up with a better headline than “In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776, A DECLARATION By the REPRESENTATIVES of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in GENERAL CONGRESS assembled.”

[For my detailed study of the Declaration of Independence, go here.]
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July 5, 2016

Comey’s Press Conference

Filed under: Political Commentary — justplainbill @ 3:46 pm

Secession!

How else can you interpret this?

Read the secession argument again.

Petraeus was forced to plead guilty in order to not go to jail. The classified material in his possession was not subject to the hacking that Hillary’s was.

Over 40 people are now in jail for LESS than what Comey says Hillary did.

Secession.

July 4, 2016

4 July 1776 The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

Filed under: Elections, Historical context, Political Commentary — Tags: , — justplainbill @ 3:27 pm

[www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters]

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
Georgia:
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Column 3
Massachusetts:
John Hancock
Maryland:
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Delaware:
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Massachusetts:
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Connecticut:
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

July 1, 2016

Trivia – 1/7/16

Filed under: Humor — justplainbill @ 3:54 pm

Trivia:

Which are the most Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western U.S. States

Courtesy of http://www.plansponsor.com

Looking at the map, Alaska is clearly the most northern state in the U.S. and Hawaii, at 20 degrees North, is without doubt the most southern state.

As far as the most western state, Alaska’s Aleutian Islands stretch right up to the edge of the Western Hemisphere at the 180 degree line of Longitude, thus the most western state in the country. And, Alaska is also the answer for eastern, as the Aleutian Islands stretch across the 180 degree line of Longitude, into the Eastern Hemisphere, and up the edge of the Russian Federation.

According to http://www.wordatlas.com , if you exclude Alaska and Hawaii, the answers are:

North: Angle MN @ 49’23”N

South: East Cape FL @ 25’7”N

East: West Quoddy Head ME @ 66’57”W
And
West: Cape Alva WA @ 124’44”W

June 30, 2016

America in Free Fall, Victor Hanson [c]

America In Free Fall
June 20, 2016 10:52 am / Leave a Comment / victorhanson

By Victor Davis Hanson // Defining Ideas

Before the Battle of Chaeronea (338 BC), where Philip II of Macedon prevailed over a common Greek alliance, the city-states had been weakened by years of social and economic turmoil. To read the classical speeches in the Athenian assembly is to learn of the democracy’s constant struggles with declining revenues, insolvency, and expanding entitlements. Rome between the First Triumvirate (59 BC) and the ascension of Caesar Augustus’s autocracy (27 BC) was mostly defined by gang violence, chaos, and civil war, the common theme being a loss of trust in republican values. Russia was in a revolutionary spiral for nearly twenty years between 1905 and the final victory of the Bolsheviks in 1922, ending up with a cure worse than the disease. And Europe between 1930 and 1939 saw most of its democracies erode as fascists and communists gained power—eventually leading to the greater disaster of the outbreak of World War II.

The United States has seen periods of near fatal internal chaos—in the late 1850s leading up to the carnage of the Civil War, during the decade of the Great Depression between 1929 and 1939, and in the chaotic 1960s. Something similar is starting to plague America today on a variety of political, economic, social, and cultural fronts.

The contenders for president reflect the loss of confidence of the times. Bernie Sanders is an avowed socialist. Yet scan the record of big government redistributionism here and abroad—from Chicago and Detroit to the insolvent Mediterranean nations of the European Union and failed states like Venezuela—and there is no encouraging model of socialist success. Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination—if she is not the first nominee in American history to be indicted, on possible charges of violating federal intelligence laws, and perhaps perjury and obstruction of justice. Donald Trump has neither political experience nor a detailed agenda, but has charged ahead on the basis of his vague promise to “make America great again”—a Jacksonian version of Obama’s equally vacuous 2008 promise of “hope and change.”

President Obama, in response to attacks on his record by Trump—and by Bill Clinton, who has spoken of “the awful legacy of the last eight years”—is entering the campaign to brag about the current economy.

But to do so, President Obama must ignore a number of liabilities that are soon coming due. Under his tenure, he did not address the unsustainable actuarial realities of Social Security and Medicare. The federal debt doubled in a manner never seen prior and can be now serviced only through de facto zero-interest rates, which in turn ossify economic growth. Due to tax hikes, new financial and business regulations, and the socialization of the health care system, per annum GDP growth under the President’s tenure will go down in history as the worst since the Great Depression. He ignored the Clinton-Gingrich compromise formula of a quarter-century ago of balancing budgets by cutting defense, capping spending, and raising taxes. Instead, Obama slashed defense spending and hiked a number of taxes, but ignored entitlements, ensuring $500 billion annual deficits—deemed successful because they were less than his first-term normal of $1 trillion annual shortfalls. The President points to the 5 percent unemployment as proof of his success, but that figure reflects Obama-era methodologies of not counting all those who have given up looking for jobs. In May 2016, a record 94,708,000 Americans were no longer in the labor force—the highest percentage of non-working Americans since the Great Depression.

Abroad, it is hard to identify a single region or U.S. national interest where things are not worse than prior to 2009. In the Middle East, few believe that the Iran deal will prevent the theocracy from obtaining the bomb; indeed, Iran has never been more active in creating chaos and threatening war. American intervention in Libya, American withdrawal from Iraq, and American neglect of Syria helped to ensure a general Middle East implosion. Reset with Russia empowered Vladimir Putin’s ongoing agenda of reabsorbing former Soviet republics. China is building artificial island bases in the Spratly Islands of the South China Sea to recalibrate the balance of power in Asia—on the understanding that American failure to challenge this bellicosity has translated into de facto acceptance of it. And due to financial disasters, unchecked immigration, and populist revolts against Brussels, the European Union in its present form seems unsustainable. The only mystery is whether its unwinding will come with a slow whimper or abrupt bang.

In President Obama’s interview with The Atlantic and his chief foreign policy advisor Ben Rhodes’s disclosures to the New York Times, it is evident that the administration holds a general contempt for the American-led postwar order—and the Washington bipartisan and trans-Atlantic establishment (“the Blob”) central to its stability. By any fair measure, President Obama believes that the U.S. does not, and perhaps never has, possessed the moral stature or the wherewithal to lead the Western world, which should be more equitably left to regional powers such as China, Iran, Russia, and Middle Eastern autocracies to adjudicate the affairs in their own environs.

The result has been near anarchy, not just in the natural rise of anti-American rivals, but in the fright of former allies and neutrals who are being forced to make the necessary realist adjustments with old enemies—or in the case of many Westernized allies, to perhaps privately reconsider the once taboo idea of acquiring nuclear weapons for the sake of deterrence.

But perhaps the three most telling symptoms of the current chaos are race relations, immigration, and the status of our universities and colleges—three interconnected issues that often inspire riots, demonstrations, and suppressions of free speech.

President Obama has largely ignored the old ideal of the melting pot and in its place preferred a salad-bowl multiculturalism of competing ethnicities, tribes, and races, whose activism wins concessions from local, state and federal governments. Casual comments and references by Obama—like “bring a gun” to a knife fight, the “bitter clingers” of Pennsylvania, and “typical white person”—stoked racial tensions. So did Attorney General Eric Holder’s crude referrals to “my people” and a “nation of cowards.”

The Ferguson and the Baltimore riots, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the systematic carnage in Chicago all embody paradoxes: facts are sometimes less important than allegations; the police are the culprits of urban violence both for responses that are too aggressive and too passive; and in a static economy, inner city youth can’t find jobs because they have criminal records and lack the skills that would make them employable.

Apparently, the Obama administration never considered that a multiracial America united by one culture was an historical exception. Everywhere else, multiculturalism and tribalism without assimilation, integration, and intermarriage have proved to be an abject and usually violent catastrophe: most recently, in the former Soviet Union, the Balkans, Rwanda, and the Middle East. Europe’s attempt to emulate a multiracial United States is ending in utter failure with unchecked immigration, multicultural incoherence, and rising Islamism.

The recent California riots at Trump rallies, along with the widely reported crimes committed by illegal aliens in sanctuary cities, reveal the wages of unchecked immigration that is increasingly neither diverse and meritocratic nor legal and measured—the traditional requisites that promote rapid and full integration. Over one in four Californians was not born in the U.S.—a statistic that becomes worrisome when coupled with the state’s policy of sanctuary cities and new educational curricula that emphasize grievance and separatism rather than assimilation and unity. When rioting youths in San Diego, Fresno, and San Jose burn or deface American flags, as they have been doing in recent weeks, and wave Mexican flags instead, then we are witnessing a tragic farce, the consequences of decades of ethnic-chauvinism, multiculturalism, and cluelessness of the norms and realities outside of America.

American immigration policy is not so much “broken” as increasingly neo-Confederate and illogical. Three-hundred state and municipal jurisdictions have declared themselves, in good 1850s fashion, immune from federal law as sanctuary cities, while over 1 million illegal aliens have at some point been arrested, and make up nearly 30 percent of the federal inmate population. In Orwellian terms, illegal immigration largely from Latin America and Mexico, is called “diversity,” nullification of federal laws is known as “sanctuary cities,” and foreign nationals residing illegally are referred to as “undocumented migrants.” Ultimately the central paradox of immigration is the strange nexus of anger and grievance against the United States by immigration advocates—and the overriding desire nonetheless to enter and reside in such a purportedly unattractive place.

The universities in some sense are the embryos of social unrest. The 1960s free speech and free love movements, with their rampant drug use, advocacy of unchecked and raucous expression, and resistance to authority have strangely given way to today’s speech codes, safe spaces, micro-aggressions, and trigger warnings. Yesterday’s “anything goes” hippie student is today’s Victorian prude who cannot quite square the circle of relaxed sexuality and drugs with the demands that the university act in loco parentis for perpetual adolescents.

This election year so far has emblemized the perfect storm of unrest and confusion—and an even more worrisome response to it. In the past, when 51 percent of societies no longer believed in or wished to defend their collective values and traditions, there were no longer reasons for them to continue. And so they did not—a warning we should heed.

[In response to a recent inquiry, I responded, and do believe posted, that the conditions set forth in Jefferson’s 1776 Declaration of Independence for secession, would be met in mid or late 2018. It does not matter who gets elected, between the failure of the congress and the gross abandonment of law by SCOTUS, those conditions will be met.

I point out in “The Albany Plan Re-Visited” a solution to the governmental problems noted above, and codified in The Declaration of Independence. However, in order to get to the social stability needed, as evidenced by the terrorist attacks becoming individualized undermining social stability, y’all need to be thinking seriously of getting your concealed carry licenses, stocking up on ammo, and un-powered tools. Yes, tools. Ammo and the ability to repair and maintain mechanical devices w/o using electricity, which will be subject to serious rolling brownouts of the type common in India and becoming common in CA, WA, and the SW, and NY will put skilled manual labor at a premium. Think that this is a joke? Top end mechanics, tool and dye makers, and skilled machinists make over $45/hour, and some over $75/hr.

Secession and The Heartland Plan will be the only way to preserve American Values.]

Freedom and Obligation, Clarence Thomas SCOTUS Associate Justice [nc]

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Freedom and Obligation–2016 Commencement Address
June 2016 • Volume 45, Number 5/6 • Clarence Thomas
Clarence Thomas
Associate Justice, United States Supreme Court
________________________________________
Clarence Thomas is an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Born in Pinpoint, Georgia, he is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and Yale Law School. Prior to his nomination to the Supreme Court in 1991, he served as an assistant attorney general of Missouri, an attorney with the Monsanto Company, a legislative assistant to U.S. Senator John Danforth, assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education, chairman of the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission, and a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In 2007, he published My Grandfather’s Son: A Memoir.
________________________________________
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The following is adapted from a speech delivered on May 14, 2016, at Hillsdale College’s 164th Commencement ceremony.

President Arnn, members of the board of trustees, assembled faculty, families and friends, and, most important, members of the Hillsdale College Class of 2016, I am both honored and grateful to participate in these commencement exercises. It has been some years since my wife Virginia and I have been to Hillsdale together. Of course we have known Dr. and Mrs. Arnn for many, many years, and we have been quite close to Hillsdale throughout his tenure. We admire the work that is being done here to educate young men and women—one of whom, Hillsdale graduate David Morrell, a wonderful young man, served as one of my law clerks a few years back.

This has been a most difficult term at the Court. The difficulty is underscored by the sudden and tragic passing of my colleague and friend, Justice Antonin Scalia. I think it is fitting to say a few words about him. Many will focus on his intellect and his legal prowess. I do not demur on either count. But there is so much more than that. When I think of Justice Scalia, I think of the good man who I could instinctively trust during my first days on the Court. He was, in the tradition of the South of my youth, a man of his word, a man of character. Over the almost 25 years that we were together on the Court, I think we made it a better place for each other. I know that he did for me. He was kind to me when it mattered most. He is, and will be, sorely missed.

As the years since I attended college edge toward a half century, I feel a bit out of place talking with college students or recent graduates. So much has changed since I left college in 1971. Things that were considered firm have long since lost their vitality, and much that seemed inconceivable is now firmly or universally established. Hallmarks of my youth, such as patriotism and religion, seem more like outliers, if not afterthoughts. So in a sense, I feel woefully out of place speaking at commencement ceremonies. My words will perhaps seem somewhat vintage in character rather than current or up-to-date. In that context, I admit to being unapologetically Catholic, unapologetically patriotic, and unapologetically a constitutionalist.
In my youth, we had a small farm. I am convinced that the time I spent there had much to do with my firm resolve never to farm again. Work seemed to spring eternal, like the weeds that consumed so much of our time and efforts. One of the messages constantly conveyed in those days was our obligation to take care of the land and to use it to produce food for ourselves and for others. If there was to be independence, self-sufficiency, or freedom, then we first had to understand, accept, and discharge our responsibilities. The latter were the necessary (but not always sufficient) antecedents or precursors of the former. The only guarantee was that if you did not discharge your responsibilities, there could be no independence, no self-sufficiency, and no freedom.

In a broader context, we were obligated in our neighborhood to be good neighbors so that the neighborhood would thrive. Whether there was to be a clean, thriving neighborhood was directly connected to our efforts. So there was always, to our way of thinking, a connection between the things we valued most and our personal obligations or efforts. There could be no freedom without each of us discharging our responsibilities. When we heard the words duty, honor, and country, no more needed to be said. But that is a bygone era. Today, we rarely hear of our personal responsibilities in discussions of broad notions such as freedom or liberty. It is as though freedom and liberty exist wholly independent of anything we do, as if they are predestined.

Related to this, our era is one in which different treatment or different outcomes are inherently suspect. It is all too commonly thought that we all deserve the same reward or the same status, notwithstanding the differences in our efforts or in our abilities. This is why we hear so often about what is deserved or who is entitled. By this way of thinking, the student who treats spring break like a seven-day bacchanalia is entitled to the same success as the conscientious classmate who works and studies while he plays. And isn’t this same sense of entitlement often applied today to freedom?

At the end of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin was asked what the gathering had accomplished. “A republic,” he replied, “if you can keep it.” Nearly a century later, in a two-minute speech at Gettysburg, President Lincoln spoke similarly. It is for the current generation, he said,

“to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
So many who have gone before us have done precisely that, dedicating their lives to preserving and enhancing our nation both in war and in peace, taking care that those who have given the last full measure of devotion have not done so in vain.”

Being at Hillsdale College, it is appropriate that we should reflect briefly on our ancestors’ understanding of what was to be earned and preserved. America’s Founders and many successive generations believed in natural rights. To establish a government based on the consent of the governed, as the Declaration of Independence makes clear, they gave up only that portion of their rights necessary to create a limited government of the kind needed to secure all of their rights. The Founders then structured that government so that it could not jeopardize the liberty that flowed from natural rights. Even though this liberty is inherent, it is not guaranteed. Indeed, the founding documents of our country are an assertion of this liberty against the King of England—arguably the most powerful man in the world at the time—at the risk of the Founders’ lives, fortunes, and sacred honor. Over the lifespan of our great country, many occasions have arisen that required this liberty, and the form of government that ensures it, to be defended if it was to survive.

At the risk of understating what is necessary to preserve liberty and our form of government, I think more and more that it depends on good citizens discharging their daily duties and obligations. Here I resist what seems to be the formulaic or standard fare at commencement exercises—a broad complaint about societal injustice and an exhortation to the young graduates to go out and solve the problem and change the world. Having been a young graduate myself, I think it is hard enough to solve your own problems, which can sometimes seem to defy solution. And in addressing your own obligations and responsibilities in the right way, you actually do an important part on behalf of liberty and free government.

Throughout my youth, even as the contradiction of segregation persisted, we revered the ideals of our great nation. We knew, of course, that our country was flawed, as are all human institutions. But we also knew that our best hope lay in the ideal of liberty. I watched with anguish as so many of the older people in my life groped and stumbled through the darkness of near or total illiteracy. Yet they desperately wanted to learn and gain knowledge, and they understood implicitly how important it was to enjoy the fullness of American citizenship. They had spent an aggregation of lifetimes standing on the edge of the dual citizenship that is at the heart of the 14th Amendment.

During the Second World War, they were willing to fight for the right to die on foreign soil to defend their country, even as their patriotic love went unreciprocated. They returned from that horrific war with dignity to face the indignity of discrimination. Yet the desire persisted to push our nation to live up to its ideals.

I often wondered why my grandparents remained such model citizens, even when our country’s failures were so obvious. In the arrogance of my early adult life, I challenged my grandfather and doubted America’s ideals. He bluntly asked: “So, where else would you live?” Though not a lettered man, he knew that our constitutional ideals remained our best hope, and that we should work to achieve them rather than undermine them. “Son,” he said, “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.” That is, don’t discard what is precious along with what is tainted.

Today, when it seems that grievance rather than responsibility is the main means of elevation, my grandfather’s beliefs may sound odd or discordant. But he and others like him at the time resolved to conduct themselves in a way consistent with America’s ideals. They were law-abiding, hardworking, and disciplined. They discharged their responsibilities to their families and neighbors as best they could. They taught us that despite unfair treatment, we were to be good citizens and good people. If we were to have a functioning neighborhood, we first had to be good neighbors. If we were to have a good city, state, and country, we first had to be good citizens. The same went for our school and our church. We were to keep in mind the corporal works of mercy and the great commandment: “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” Being wronged by others did not justify reciprocal conduct. Right was right, and two wrongs did not make a right. What we wanted to do did not define what was right—nor, I might add, did our capacious litany of wants define liberty. Rather, what was right defined what we were required to do and what we were permitted to do. It defined our duties and our responsibilities. Whether those duties meant cutting our neighbor’s lawn, visiting the sick, feeding the hungry, or going off to war as my brother did, we were to discharge them honorably.

Shortly before his death in 1983, I sought my grandfather’s advice about how to weather the first wave of harsh criticism directed at me, which I admit had somewhat unnerved me. His re-sponse was simple: “Son, you have to stand up for what you believe in.” To him, that was my obligation, my duty. Perhaps it is at times like that—when you lack strength and courage—that the clarity of our obligation supplies both: duty, honor, country.
As I admitted at the outset, I am of a different time. I knew no one, for example, who was surprised at President Kennedy’s famous exhortation in his 1961 Inaugural Address: “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.” That sentiment was as common as saying the Pledge of Allegiance or singing the National Anthem, as pervasive as shopping at Army-Navy surplus stores. Today there is much more focus on our rights and on what we are owed, and much less on our obligations and duties—unless, of course, it is about our duty to submit to some new proposed policy.

My grandfather often reminded us that if we didn’t work, we didn’t eat, and that if we didn’t plant, we couldn’t harvest. There is always a relationship between responsibilities and benefits. In agrarian societies, that is more obvious. As society becomes more complex and specialized, it is more difficult to discern. But it is equally true. If you continue to run up charges on your credit card, at some point you reach your credit limit. If you continue to make withdrawals from your savings account, you eventually deplete your funds. Likewise, if we continue to consume the benefits of a free society without replenishing or nourishing that society, we will eventually deplete that as well. If we are content to let others do the work of replenishing and defending liberty while we consume the benefits, we will someday run out of other people’s willingness to sacrifice—or even out of courageous people willing to make the sacrifice.
But this is Hillsdale College, which is like a shining city on a hill. This College, in the words of your mission statement, “considers itself a trustee of a heritage finding its clearest expression in the American experiment of self-government under law.” The very existence of Hillsdale connotes independence, because Hillsdale, like America, was founded on the idea that liberty is an antecedent of government, not a benefit from government.

Let me offer you, this year’s graduates, a few brief suggestions about making your deposits in the account of liberty. Today is just the end of the beginning of your young lives, and the beginning, the commencement of the rest of your lives. There is much more to come, and it will not be with the guiding hands of your parents—indeed, they may someday need your hand to guide them. Some of you will most assuredly be called upon to do very hard things to preserve liberty. All of you will be called upon to provide a firm foundation of citizenship by carrying out your obligations in the way so many preceding generations have done. You are to be the example to others that those generations have been to us. And in being that example, what you do will matter far more than what you say.

As the years have moved swiftly by, I have often reflected on the important citizenship lessons of my life. For the most part, it was the unplanned array of small things. There was the kind gesture from a neighbor. There was my grandmother dividing our dinner because someone showed up unannounced. There was the stranger stopping to help us get our crops out of the field before a big storm. There were the nuns who believed in us and lived in our neighborhood. There was the librarian who brought books to Mass so that I would not be without reading on the farm. Small gestures such as these become large lessons about how to live our lives. We watched and learned what it means to be a good person, a good neighbor, a good citizen. Who will be watching you? And what will you be teaching them?

After this commencement ceremony ends, I implore you to take a few minutes to thank those who made it possible for you to come this far—your parents, your teachers, your pastor. These are the people who have shown you how to sacrifice for those you love, even when that sacrifice is not always appreciated. As you go through life, try to be a person whose actions teach others how to be better people and better citizens. Reach out to the shy person who is not so popular. Stand up for others when they’re being treated unfairly. Take the time to listen to the friend who’s having a difficult time. Do not hide your faith and your beliefs under a bushel basket, especially in this world that seems to have gone mad with political correctness. Treat others the way you would like to be treated if you stood in their shoes.

These small lessons become the unplanned syllabus for learning citizenship, and your efforts to live them will help to form the fabric of a civil society and a free and prosperous nation where inherent equality and liberty are inviolable. You are men and women of Hillsdale College, a school that has stood fast on its principles and its traditions at great sacrifice. If you don’t lead by example, who will?

I have every faith that you will be a beacon of light for others to follow, like “a city on a hill [that] cannot be hidden.” May God bless each of you now and throughout your lives, and may God bless America.

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