Friday, January 31, 2014

The Democrats are right, there are two Americas. ^ | 01/31/14 | Bob Lonsberry

Posted on ‎1‎/‎31‎/‎2014‎ ‎9‎:‎14‎:‎54‎ ‎AM by shortstop

The America that works, and the America that doesn’t. The America that contributes, and the America that doesn’t.

It’s not the haves and the have nots, it’s the dos and the don’ts. Some people do their duty as Americans, to obey the law and support themselves and contribute to society, and others don’t.

That’s the divide in America.

It’s not about income inequality, it’s about civic irresponsibility. It’s about a political party that preaches hatred, greed and victimization in order to win elective office. It’s about a political party that loves power more than it loves its country.

That’s not invective, that’s truth.

And it’s about time someone said it.

The politics of envy was on proud display last week as the president said he would pledge the rest of his term to fighting “income inequality.” He notes that some people make more than other people, that some people have higher incomes than others, and he says that’s not just.

It was the rationale of thievery.

The other guy has it, you want it, Obama will take it for you.

Vote Democrat.

It is the electoral philosophy that gave us Detroit. It is the electoral philosophy that is destroying America.

And it conceals a fundamental deviation from American values and common sense. It ends up not being a benefit to the people who support it, but a betrayal. The Democrats have not empowered their followers, they have enslaved them – in a culture of dependence and entitlement, of victimhood and anger instead of ability and hope.

The president’s premise – that you reduce income inequality by debasing the successful – seeks to ignore and cheat the law of choices and consequences. It seeks to deny the successful the consequences of their choices and spare the unsuccessful the consequences of their choices.

Because, by and large, the variability in society is a result of different choices leading to different consequences. Those who choose wisely and responsibility have a far greater likelihood of success, while those who choose foolishly and irresponsibly have a far greater likelihood of failure.

And success and failure can manifest themselves in personal and family income.

You choose to drop out of high school or to skip college and you are apt to have a different outcome than someone who gets a diploma and pushes on with purposeful education. You have your children out of wedlock and life is apt to take one course, you have them in wedlock and life is apt to take another course.

Most often in life our destination is determined by the course we take.

My doctor, for example, makes far more than I do. There is significant income inequality between us. Our lives have had an inequality of outcome. But, our lives also have had an inequality of effort. Whereas my doctor went to college and then gave the flower of his young adulthood to medical school and residency, I got a job in a restaurant. He made a choice, I made a choice. And our choices led us to different outcomes.

His outcome pays a lot better than mine.

Does that mean he cheated and Barack Obama needs to take away his wealth?

No, it means we are both free men.

And in a free society, free choices will lead to different outcomes.

It is not inequality Barack Obama will take away, it is freedom.

The freedom to succeed, and the freedom to fail. And there is no true option for success if there is no true option for failure.

The pursuit of happiness means a whole lot less when you face the punitive hand of government if your pursuit brings you more happiness than the other guy.

Even if the other guy sat on his arse and did nothing.

Even if the other guy made a lifetime’s worth of asinine and shortsighted decisions.

Barack Obama and the Democrats preach equality of outcome as a right, while completely ignoring inequality of effort. The simple Law of the Harvest – as ye sow, so shall ye reap – is sometimes applied as, “The harder you work, the more you get.”

The progressive movement would turn that upside down.

Those who achieve are to be punished as enemies of society and those who fail are to be rewarded as wards of society. Entitlement has replaced effort as the key to upward mobility in American society.

Or at least it has if Barack Obama gets his way.

He seeks a lowest common denominator society in which the government besieges the successful and productive and fosters equality through mediocrity.

He and his party speak of two Americas.

And their grip on power is based on using the votes of one to sap the productivity of the other.

America is not divided by the differences in our outcomes, it is divided by the differences in our efforts. And by the false philosophy that says one man’s success comes about unavoidably as the result of another man’s victimization.

What the president offered was not a solution, but a separatism. He fomented division and strife, he pitted one set of Americans against another.

For his own political benefit.

That’s what progressives offer. Marxist class warfare wrapped up with a bow.

Two Americas, coming closer each day to proving the truth to Lincoln’s maxim that a house divided against itself cannot stand.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

THE ROAD FROM SERFDOM (for you Anonymous2)

Skip to comments. ^ | Bill Steigerwald

Posted on ‎1‎/‎28‎/‎2014‎ ‎1‎:‎53‎:‎35‎ ‎PM by Dqban22


By Bill Steigerwald | August 30, 2005

More than 60 years ago, when the world was at war and government planning of economies was held in the highest esteem by the Western democracies, the great libertarian economist F.A. Hayek wrote “The Road to Serfdom,” a provocative work that quickly became one of the century’s most important manifestoes for economic, political and personal freedom.

Hayek warned that giving governments more and more control over the economies of free societies was not going to lead to socialist utopias but to totalitarian hellholes like Nazi Germany. “The Road to Serfdom,” one of those masterpieces of liberty that rocks the lives and awakens the minds of many who read it, is as influential and relevant today as it ever was.

Ed Feulner, the president of the Heritage Foundation public policy think tank in Washington, knew Hayek personally and is something of an expert on the “The Road to Serfdom’s” ideas and its enduring influence.

Q: Why should everyone who is serious about politics, government policy and freedom still read “The Road to Serfdom” today?

A: I think “The Road to Serfdom” is essential for understanding the modern political landscape, wherever you live. The point Hayek makes in an educated but not supercilious way is that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. You’ve got a lot of people who see a problem, whether it’s a social problem or some difficulty afflicting some part of the body politic, and the immediate suggestion or thought is, “Gee, somebody ought to do something about that” and the second thought is, “It ought to be the government.”

As Hayek points out, different government bureaucracies operate different agendas. The legislators, when they put things in terms of central control, remove options to people. So “The Road to Serfdom” really is a set of guideposts for what the individual citizen’s relationship is to government. The basic principles outlined there are as relevant today as they were 60 years ago.

Q: What did Hayek mean by “serfdom” in 1944?

A: His fundamental belief was that during wartime, when you have a concerted effort and everyone is pulling together to defeat a common enemy, you’re willing to give up certain freedoms. But, when the war leaves, it is very hard sometimes for the government to go back to the way it used to be. Instead, they think, “Hey, this is efficient. This is the way it ought to continue to be and let’s keep it that way.” So what you have is an individual controlling less and less of the decisions in his private life.

Basically, what he’s talking about is that the more decisions are made by somebody else about where you live, what kind of job you have, how much taxes you pay, what you can do with your own property – whether it’s real estate property or other things like a car — the less real freedom you have. The more of a serf you are. The more subservient you are to government.

Q: The book’s central message was that the difference between Nazi Germany, fascist Italy and communist Soviet Union is not that great when you are the individual and you’re looking at big government.

A: Right. The notion in all three cases that you just cited was the idea that it could very easily happen in a democratic structure like ours, where if we just give up a little more freedom, somehow we’re going to be more ——. Government will be able to provide this for us, whether it is cradle-to-grave health care or whatever other desirable sounding program it might be. The next thing you know, you’ve got the government fundamentally making decisions like who goes to the head of the line to get a gall bladder operation or to have their cancerous prostate removed.

Q: In America was Hayek seen as a dangerous radical nutcase by the establishment?

A: Oh, yeah. The establishment, especially in Washington, which had the levers of power and which had built up boards and commissions and control groups here for virtually every part of the economy, didn’t like to hear what Hayek had to say.

But at the same time, there was a residue of sufficient popular belief that man’s destiny is not to be controlled, rather it is to be free and to expand freedom. That you could actually have a book of this intellectual content be run in a condensed version of the monthly Reader’s Digest, as it was, is unbelievable, when you think about what’s in every current magazine today.

Q: Who were some of the powerful people who would eventually read “The Road to Serfdom,” love it and put its ideas, lessons and values into practice?

A: In the political arena, probably the most prominent one who immediately comes to mind is Ronald Reagan. But even today Hayek’s book has a continuing influence. When I visited former Gov. Jim Gilmore of Virginia in his offices in Richmond he asked me, “Who is the most important person in terms of ideas that you have dealt with, since Heritage is involved in ideas?” And I said, “Oh, probably Hayek” and he reached behind his desk and pulled out a thumb-worn, paper-bound version of “The Road to Serfdom.” He said, “This is one of the most important books I ever read.

I read it in my freshman year in college and it changed my life.”

I was at a new-members of Congress conference in Baltimore a year and a half ago. I was sitting next to a brand new member from Tennessee, Marsha Blackburn, and we started talking about influences on our lives. The first person she mentioned was Hayek and “The Road to Serfdom.” Who would think a first-term congresswoman from Tennessee would come up with an answer like that?

Q: The book is a classic, but 99 percent of the college kids in America have never heard Hayek’s name or been introduced to his ideas.

A: No, they haven’t. But that goes back to the notion of how does the influence of an idea spread. It’s there. A lot of the faculty who have their heads more or less screwed on straight at some point or another have, if not been influenced by him, at least been exposed to Hayek.

Is it is as widely taught as it should be, or as widely influential as it should be? No. But it is probably more so than John Maynard Keynes. Keynes, who was his great intellectual nemesis in the late 1930s, through the ‘40s and into the ‘50s, and who was then infinitely more popular and people would say more influential than Hayek, is no longer considered mainstream. His economic theories no longer hold. Hayek, on the other hand, has still got the fundamentals right. They’re still as relevant as they were back then.

Q: What would Hayek think about the size, scope and power the federal government has today?

A: He’d be dismayed, for a couple of reasons. First of all, he’d be staggered by the shear size of the federal government and the size of the tax bite, both in —— numbers and also in terms of the percent of GDP. But he’d be more concerned about the regulations coming out the government.

Q: Have today’s conservatives forgotten Hayek’s lessons and principles?

A: No. I don’t think so. They’re probably not as visible in terms of our day-to-day activities as they should be… But the bottom line is, Hayek is there to remind us of the longer-term truths. He doesn’t operate in two-year election cycles. That’s why Hayek is important.

Q: Milton Friedman in the 50th anniversary of “The Road to Serfdom” said it’s not overstating it to say on both sides of the Atlantic that we preach individualism and competitive capitalism and practice socialism.” Do you agree?

A: I’d say it is mixed. It is true to a large extent. Milton was right then and it still would be right now. But at the same time, you’ve got Tony Blair – a self-admitted socialist Labor Party leader as prime minister – and he is not undoing the Thatcher economic reforms. He has not tried to re-socialize housing or unscramble the privatized steel mills or the gas companies or anything because the privatized systems are working so much better. So there are mixed signals on both sides.

The fact is, it’s very easy to get depressed day-by-day and say, “Boy, it’s going the wrong way.” But there are some hopeful signs out there. It takes a long time for these ideas to become both popularized and to have really the fundamental impact on the system.

From the writing of Marx to the rise of Lenin, you had 50 years. Now I guess that’s about where we are now with Hayek. We did have Reagan and Thatcher and we did have the most obvious version of state serfdom pulled down, in terms of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. So we’ve come a long way positively. At the same time, yeah, there’s a lot still to be done.

School ditches rules and loses bullies (

Fairfax/ One News ^ | January 26, 2014

Posted on ‎1‎/‎28‎/‎2014‎ ‎7‎:‎40‎:‎01‎ ‎AM by Mount Athos

Ripping up the playground rulebook is having incredible effects on children at an Auckland school.

Chaos may reign at Swanson Primary School with children climbing trees, riding skateboards and playing bullrush during playtime, but surprisingly the students don't cause bedlam, the principal says.

The school is actually seeing a drop in bullying, serious injuries and vandalism, while concentration levels in class are increasing.

Principal Bruce McLachlan rid the school of playtime rules as part of a successful university experiment.

"We want kids to be safe and to look after them, but we end up wrapping them in cotton wool when in fact they should be able to fall over."

Letting children test themselves on a scooter during playtime could make them more aware of the dangers when getting behind the wheel of a car in high school, he said.

"When you look at our playground it looks chaotic. From an adult's perspective, it looks like kids might get hurt, but they don't."

Swanson School signed up to the study by AUT and Otago University just over two years ago, with the aim of encouraging active play.

However, the school took the experiment a step further by abandoning the rules completely, much to the horror of some teachers at the time, he said.

When the university study wrapped up at the end of last year the school and researchers were amazed by the results.

Mudslides, skateboarding, bullrush and tree climbing kept the children so occupied the school no longer needed a timeout area or as many teachers on patrol.

Instead of a playground, children used their imagination to play in a "loose parts pit" which contained junk such as wood, tyres and an old fire hose.

"The kids were motivated, busy and engaged. In my experience, the time children get into trouble is when they are not busy, motivated and engaged. It's during that time they bully other kids, graffiti or wreck things around the school."

Parents were happy too because their children were happy, he said.

But this wasn't a playtime revolution, it was just a return to the days before health and safety policies came to rule.

AUT professor of public health Grant Schofield, who worked on the research project, said there are too many rules in modern playgrounds.

"The great paradox of cotton-woolling children is it's more dangerous in the long-run."

Society's obsession with protecting children ignores the benefits of risk-taking, he said.

Children develop the frontal lobe of their brain when taking risks, meaning they work out consequences. "You can't teach them that. They have to learn risk on their own terms. It doesn't develop by watching TV, they have to get out there."

The research project morphed into something bigger when plans to upgrade playgrounds were stopped due to over-zealous safety regulations and costly play equipment.

"There was so many ridiculous health and safety regulations and the kids thought the static structures of playgrounds were boring."

When researchers - inspired by their own risk-taking childhoods - decided to give children the freedom to create their own play, principals shook their heads but eventually four Dunedin schools and four West Auckland schools agreed to take on the challenge, including Swanson Primary School.

It was expected the children would be more active, but researchers were amazed by all the behavioural pay-offs. The final results of the study will be collated this year.

Schofield urged other schools to embrace risk-taking. "It's a no brainer. As far as implementation, it's a zero-cost game in most cases. All you are doing is abandoning rules," he said.

Guns Don't Kill People, Democrats Kill People (American Thinker)


By David Waciski

Headlines that blame a "gun culture" for the high rate of firearm- related homicides in the United States are not too difficult to locate (e.g., here, here, and here). The need to eliminate this "gun culture" is then used as justification for restriction of 2nd Amendment rights. What goes unmentioned about the so-called "gun culture" is its pervasiveness, or lack thereof, throughout our society as a whole. Even a casual reader of local news headlines should not be shocked to learn that firearm-related homicides are more prevalent in some neighborhoods than others. However, what may be shocking is the near exclusivity of firearm-related homicides to a small subset of neighborhoods; neighborhoods that vote predominately for Democrat candidates. has published a compilation of firearm-related deaths since the Newtown mass shooting. This list is provided with the disclaimer that it is unofficial and incomplete. However, the firearm related homicide rates derived from this list were found to be close enough to more officially reported (and less detailed) data to provide sufficient confidence in the resulting findings. The location of each firearm-related homicide (police shootings, suicides, self-defense shootings, and accidents that did not result in criminal charges were omitted) was mapped to a voter precinct and that precinct's 2012 presidential election results were used to ascertain the political leanings of the homicide location.

The United States has an estimated firearm-related homicide rate of about 3.6 per 100,000 people. This rate is in the top quarter of all countries; below third-world countries like Honduras (68 per 100,000), El Salvador (40), and Mexico (10); and above most developed countries like Switzerland (0.8), Canada (0.5), and Finland (0.2).Three states with diverse voting characteristics and firearm homicide rates (Virginia, Minnesota, and Louisiana) were investigated as a representative subset of the United States. The characteristics of these three states are summarized in Table 1.

Virginia was a battleground state in the 2012 election with President Obama receiving about 3% more votes than Governor Romney. FBI crime data and state population data indicated that the Virginia 2012 firearm homicide rate was the 23rd highest in the nation at 2.7 per 100,000 people. Minnesota was solidly blue in the 2012 election with President Obama receiving almost 8% more votes than Governor Romney. The Minnesota 2012 firearm homicide rate was the 43rd highest in the nation at 0.8 per 100,000 people. Finally, Louisiana was a solidly red state in the 2012 election with President Obama receiving about 17% fewer votes than Governor Romney. The Louisiana 2012 firearm homicide rate was the highest in the nation at 8.0 per 100,000 people.

Previous results have shown that precinct-by-precinct comparisons provide the ability to reveal correlations that are masked when using larger state-by-state comparisons. Thus, the results from the 2012 presidential election were extracted for each precinct in the three states studied herein. The percentage of the vote President Obama received in each precinct was plotted as a function of the percentage of the population in precincts with a higher percentage of votes for President Obama, as shown in Figure 1. This figure indicates that 31% of the Louisiana population lived in precincts that gave President Obama more than 50% of the vote. The percentage for Virginia and Minnesota was 47% and 52%, respectively.

The data shown in Figure 1 provides an indication of the extent of partisanship that exists on a voter precinct level. Only about 6% of the Louisiana population lives in precincts that gave President Obama between 45% and 55% of the vote (45-55), as shown by the gray region of Figure 1. The remainder of the population lives in highly partisan precincts. The Virginia precincts exhibited less partisanship, with almost 19% of population living in the 45-55 precincts. Minnesota was the least partisan, with nearly 30% of the population living in the 45-55 precincts.

Each firearm homicide listed in Louisiana, Virginia, and Minnesota was mapped to an individual voting precinct and plotted against the percentage of the vote received by President Obama in 2012, as shown in Figure 2. The firearm homicides were ordered from highest to lowest vote percentage for the president. The red line, representing the Louisiana firearm homicides, crosses the 50% vote line at nearly 80% of the homicides. This indicates that almost 80% of the firearm homicides that were committed in Louisiana took place in voting precincts that gave President Obama more than 50% of the vote. The percentage of firearm homicides that occurred in similar Democrat voting precincts in Virginia and Minnesota were even higher.

The data shown in Figure 2 was partitioned to highlight the firearm homicide rate for different levels of Democrat precinct partisanship, as shown in Table 2. For example, the precincts that gave President Obama more than 90% of the vote contained 13% of the Louisiana population and almost 56% of the firearm homicides. The resulting firearm homicide rate was 33.4 per 100,000 people; a level only seen in the most violent third-world countries. In contrast, the firearm homicide rate per 100,000 people for the precincts that gave President Obama less than 50% of the vote was 2.5, 1.0, and 0.4 for Louisiana, Virginia, and Minnesota, respectively. The overall firearm homicide rates for the three states based on the dataset was in close agreement with the official rates provided in Table 1.

The mapping of firearm homicide to voting precinct provides strong evidence that the United States does not have a systemic "gun culture" problem. The majority of firearm homicides in Louisiana, Virginia, and Minnesota occurred in the small fraction of precincts that contains concentrated Democrat voters. If one's goal is to reduce firearm homicides, then does it make more sense to spend time, money, and political capital to restrict everyone's Constitutional rights when the majority of the problem is restricted to a small subset of the population? A more effective approach would address the root causes of the culture of violence that appears to exist in these localized areas. Politicians that propose sweeping restrictions to Constitutional rights as a solution to the localized firearm violence problem are either ignorant of the facts, want to be seen as doing something, are callous about restricting Constitutional rights, or have other nefarious motives.

A future article will correlate the precinct homicide data with social-economic Census data to provide a more detailed understanding of the characteristics of the neighborhoods where firearm homicide is most prevalent.

David Waciski is a "Big Data" engineer and writer. He can be contacted on Twitter @DWaciski.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Inequality Bogeyman (

Thomas Sowell


During a recent lunch in a restaurant, someone complimented my wife on the perfume she was wearing. But I was wholly unaware that she was wearing perfume, even though we had been in a car together for about half an hour, driving to the restaurant.

My sense of smell is very poor. But there is one thing I can smell far better than most people — gas escaping. During my years of living on the Stanford University campus, and walking back and forth to work at my office, I more than once passed a faculty house and smelled gas escaping. When there was nobody home, I would leave a note, warning them.

When walking past the same house again a few days later, I could see where the utility company had been digging in the yard — and, after that, there was no more smell of gas escaping. But apparently the people who lived in these homes had not smelled anything.

These little episodes have much wider implications. Most of us are much better at some things than at others, and what we are good at can vary enormously from one person to another. Despite the preoccupation — if not obsession — of intellectuals with equality, we are all very unequal in what we do well and what we do badly.

It may not be innate, like a sense of smell, but differences in capabilities are inescapable, and they make a big difference in what and how much we can contribute to each other's economic and other well-being. If we all had the same capabilities and the same limitations, one individual's limitations would be the same as the limitations of the entire human species.

We are lucky that we are so different, so that the capabilities of many other people can cover our limitations.

One of the problems with so many discussions of income and wealth is that the intelligentsia are so obsessed with the money that people receive that they give little or no attention to what causes money to be paid to them, in the first place.

The money itself is not wealth. Otherwise the government could make us all rich just by printing more of it. From the standpoint of a society as a whole, money is just an artificial device to give us incentives to produce real things — goods and services.

Those goods and services are the real "wealth of nations," as Adam Smith titled his treatise on economics in the 18th century.

Yet when the intelligentsia discuss such things as the historic fortunes of people like John D. Rockefeller, they usually pay little — if any — attention to what it was that caused so many millions of people to voluntarily turn their individually modest sums of money over to Rockefeller, adding up to his vast fortune.

What Rockefeller did first to earn their money was find ways to bring down the cost of producing and distributing kerosene to a fraction of what it had been before his innovations. This profoundly changed the lives of millions of working people.

Before Rockefeller came along in the 19th century, the ancient saying, "The night cometh when no man can work" still applied. There were not yet electric lights, and burning kerosene for hours every night was not something that ordinary working people could afford. For many millions of people, there was little to do after dark, except go to bed.

Too many discussions of large fortunes attribute them to "greed" — as if wanting a lot of money is enough to cause other people to hand it over to you. It is a childish idea, when you stop and think about it — but who stops and thinks these days?

The transfer of money was a zero-sum process. What increased the wealth of society was Rockefeller's cheap kerosene that added hundreds of hours of light to people's lives annually.

Edison, Ford, the Wright brothers, and innumerable others also created unprecedented expansions of the lives of ordinary people. The individual fortunes represented a fraction of the wealth created.

Even those of us who create goods and services in more mundane ways receive income that may be very important to us, but it is what we create for others, with our widely varying capabilities, that is the real wealth of nations.

Intellectuals' obsession with income statistics — calling envy "social justice" — ignores vast differences in productivity that are far more fundamental to everyone's well-being. Killing the goose that lays the golden egg has ruined many economies.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at


The Governor of Maine. (


Posted on ‎1‎/‎27‎/‎2014‎ ‎1‎:‎46‎:‎17‎ ‎PM by econjack

Meet Maine 's New Governor --- In case you haven't heard about this guy before, his name will stick in your mind!

The new Maine Governor, Paul LePage is making New Jersey 's Chris Christie look timid. He isn't afraid to say what he thinks. Judging by the comments, every time he opens his mouth, his popularity goes up.

He brought down the house at his inauguration when he shook his fist toward the media box and said, "You're on notice! I've inherited a financially troubled State to run. Observe...cover what we do...but don't whine if I don't waste time responding to your every whim just for your amusement."

During his campaign for Governor, he was talking to commercial fishermen who are struggling because of federal fisheries rules. They complained that 0bama brought his family to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park for a long Labor Day holiday and found time to meet with union leaders, but wouldn't talk to the fishermen. LePage replied, "I'd tell him to go to hell and get out of my State." The Lame Stream Media crucified LePage, but he jumped 6 points in the pre-election poll.

The Martin Luther King incident was a political sandbag, which brought him national exposure. The 'lame stream' media crucified him, but word on the street is very positive. The NAACP specifically asked LePage to spend MLK Day visiting black inmates at the Maine State Prison. He told them that he would meet with ALL inmates, regardless of race, if he were to visit the prison. The NAACP balked and then put out a news release claiming falsely that he refused to participate in any MLK events. He read it in the paper for the 1st time the next morning while being driven to an event and went ballistic because none of the reporters had called him for comment before running the NAACP release.

He arrived at that event & said in front of a TV camera, "If they want to play the race card on me they can kiss my ass", and he reminded them that he has an adopted black son from Jamaica and that he attended the local MLK Breakfast every year that he was mayor of Waterville. (He started his morning there on MLK Day.)

He then stated that there's a right way and a wrong way to meet with the Governor, and he put all special interests on notice that press releases, media leaks, and all demonstrations would prove to be the wrong way. He said any other group, which acted like the NAACP could expect to be at the bottom of the Governor's priority list!

He then did the following, and judging from local radio talk show callers, his popularity increased even more: The State employees union complained because he waited until 3 P.M. before closing State offices and facilities and sending non-emergency personnel home during the last blizzard. The prior Governor would often close offices for the day with just a forecast before the first flakes. (Each time the State closes for snow, it costs the taxpayers about $1 million in wages for no work in return.)

LePage was CEO of the Marden's chain of discount family bargain retail stores before election as governor. He noted that State employees getting off work early could still find lots of retail stores open to shop. So, he put the State employees on notice by announcing: "If Marden's is open, Maine is open!"

He told State employees: "We live in Maine in the winter, for heaven's sake, and should know how to drive in it. Otherwise, apply for a State job in Florida !"

Governor LePage symbolizes what America needs; Refreshing politicians who aren't self-serving and who exhibit common sense.


I really love this one.

This is one of the better e-mails I have received in a long time! I hope this makes its way around the USA several times over!!!!! HERE IS WHAT Governor LaPage said,

"THE LAW IS THE LAW So "if" the US government determines that it is against the law for the words "under God" to be on our money, then, so be it.

And "if" that same government decides that the "Ten Commandments" are not to be used in or on a government installation, then, so be it.

I say, "so be it," because I would like to be a law abiding US citizen

I say, "so be it," because I would like to think that smarter people than I are in positions to make good decisions.

I would like to think that those people have the American public's best interests at heart.


Since we can't pray to God, can't Trust in God and cannot post His Commandments in Government buildings, I don't believe Government (Federal, State and Local) and its employees should participate in Easter and Christmas celebrations which honor the God that our government is eliminating from many facets of American life.

I'd like my mail delivered on Christmas, Good Friday, Thanksgiving & Easter. After all, it's just another day.

I'd like the" US Supreme Court to be in session on Christmas, Good Friday, Thanksgiving & Easter as well as Sundays." After all, it's just another day.

I'd like the Senate and the House of Representatives to not have to worry about getting home for the "Christmas Break." After all it's just another day.

I'm thinking a lot of my taxpayer dollars could be saved, if all government offices & services would work on Christmas, Good Friday & Easter. It shouldn't cost any overtime since those would be just like any other day of the week to a government that is trying to be "politically correct."

In fact....I think our government should work on Sundays (AFTER ALL, It was initially set aside for worshipping God) because, AFTER ALL, our government says that it should be Just ANOTHER DAY...."

What do you all think???? If this idea gets to enough people, maybe our elected officials will stop giving in to the "minority opinions" and begin, once again, to represent the "majority" of ALL of the American people.

SO BE IT....Please Dear Lord, Give us the help needed to keep you in our country! 'Amen' and 'Amen'!

If this gets around the country a few times, I believe we all will see a better day!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The ‘Earth-Shattering’ News Rush Limbaugh Says the Media Ignored, but You Need to Know


Jan. 24, 2014 4:45pm Jason Howerton

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh expressed disgust, though not shock, that the mainstream media ignored an “earth-shattering” story out of Wisconsin that “should have caused a political earthquake.”

The state of Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is “rapidly falling” and the government’s budget ended the year with a $912 million surplus, Limbaugh explained. He says the dramatic turnaround is due in large part to the conservative policies of Gov. Scott Walker.

What’s even more amazing, he continued, is the fact that Walker is going to “rebate the money in the form of tax cuts to the people, who he said own the money.” Limbaugh says the news is “earth-shattering” because, in one of the bluest states, Walker was targeted for removal twice but continued to implement conservative policies that he was confident would help his state — and his strategy appears to be working.

“They did everything they could to gin up hate, anger, tried to destroy his reputation, his career, and his life,” he said. “He hung in there. The state of Wisconsin instituted his policy reforms, de-emphasizing the role of unions in the state.”

The Earth Shattering News Rush Limbaugh Says the Media Ignored

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a member of the executive committee of the National Governors Association, speaks to the media after meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

“He’s going to cut income taxes and property taxes, and he made the point that it’s not just a gimmick of budgeting or accounting. It’s the result of serious, significant policy changes,” Limbaugh argued.

“Now, folks, what I just told you was not reported once anywhere in what you would consider mainstream media. It was not reported on one cable network, much less all of them. It was not reported in the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the LA Times,” he added. “It was reported in Wisconsin. There was an AP story on it, maybe some local papers picked it up, but just as a filler.”

“And to me, for us as conservatives, Wisconsin and Governor Walker, I mean, everything that we want to happen, happened there,” the radio host concluded.

Listen to the segment via the Daily Rushbo:

Walker is proposing a $504 million property and income tax cut plan as a means to return some of the surplus money to the people of Wisconsin. Some Democrats and Republicans are already criticizing the plan and are calling for changes.

“The budget surplus is really your money,” Walker recently said at a meeting of the Wisconsin Grocers Association. “You earned it.”

However, some lawmakers are concerned that Walker’s tax cut plan would increase the state’s projected budget shortfall from $700 million to $800,000 million. The Republican governor argues the estimates don’t take into account any revenue growth, which he says will cover the difference.

The unemployment rate in Wisconsin dropped to 6.2 percent in December and has been dropping steadily since 2011.

A Memo to Tim Hudak

Have you ever heard of Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin?  It is a state that in many ways parallels Ontario.  It has been dominated by the left and unions for decades.  They elected this man.  He fought union control.  They fought back with nuclear weapons.  He won.  The state had a $1B surplus this year. He turned it around in 2 years. 

It is the roadmap for Ontario.  I hope to Hell you guys realize as he did that someone has to stand up and fight.  NO MORE WEASEL words!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Breaking: New Climate Data Rigging Scandal Rocks US Government (Principia Scientific International)


Written by John O'Sullivan

A newly-uncovered and monumental calculating error in official US government climate data shows beyond doubt that climate scientists unjustifiably added on a whopping one degree of phantom warming to the official "raw" temperature record.  Skeptics believe the discovery may trigger the biggest of all “climate con” scandals in Congress and sound the death knell on American climate policy.

Independent data analyst, Steven Goddard, today (January 19, 2014) released his telling study of the officially adjusted and “homogenized” US temperature records relied upon by NASA, NOAA, USHCN and scientists around the world to “prove” our climate has been warming dangerously.

Goddard reports, “I spent the evening comparing graphs…and hit the NOAA motherlode.” His diligent research exposed the real reason why there is a startling disparity between the “raw” thermometer readings, as reported by measuring stations, and the “adjusted” temperatures, those that appear in official charts and government reports. In effect, the adjustments to the “raw” thermometer measurements made by the climate scientists “turns a 90 year cooling trend into a warming trend,” says the astonished Goddard.

Goddard’s plain-as-day evidence not only proves the officially-claimed one-degree increase in temperatures is entirely fictitious, it also discredits the reliability of any assertion by such agencies to possess a reliable and robust temperature record.

Goddard continues: "I discovered a huge error in their adjustments between V1 and V2. This is their current US graph. Note that there is a discontinuity at 1998, which doesn’t look right. Globally, temperatures plummeted in 1999, but they didn’t in the US graph."

ScreenHunter_64 Jan. 19 00.08

Climate at a Glance | Time Series

It doesn’t look right, because they made a gigantic error (possibly intentional) going from USHCN V1 to V2. In V1 they adjusted recent temperatures upwards (thin line below) and made no adjustment to older temperatures.

ScreenHunter_48 Jan. 18 18.14

GHCN Global Gridded Data

"But when they switched to V2, they started adjusting older temperatures downwards, and left post-2000 temperatures more or less intact, " says Goddard. This created a huge jump (greater than one degree) downwards for all years prior to 2000. You can see what they did in the animation below.

Blue line is thermometer data.  Thin red line is V1 adjusted. Thick red line is V2 adjusted. They created more than 1 degree warming by reversing polarity of the adjustment in the pre-2000 years. This created a double downwards adjustment for the pre-1998 years, relative to the post 1998 years.

NOAA made a big deal about 2012 blowing away all temperature records, but the temperature they reported is the result of a huge error. This affects all NOAA and NASA US temperature graphs, and is part of the cause of this famous shift.

According to USHCN 1 docs, the total adjustment is supposed to be about 0.5F, and upwards.


ts.ushcn_anom25_diffs_urb-raw_pg.gif (650×502)

But in USHCN2, the adjustments are much larger, and downwards. The USHCN2 adjustments are supposed to be approximately the same adjustments as USHCN1.

Here is an animation of the complete set of USHCN adjustments, which turn a 90 year cooling trend into a warming trend.

Visualizing How USHCN Hides The Decline In US Temperatures | Real Science

But does this evidence prove an intentional fraud? Goddard certainly thinks it possible and only a full examination of all the files will show that, one way or the other. Goddard wants backing from others to compel the Administration to come clean on this massive story, using Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) rules. The ramifications are that hundreds of bilions of tax dollars have been misallocated to "solve" a non-problem, all due to willful malfeasance and/or incompetence in data handling.

Judging by recent history, the bureaucrats should be worried. Just last month (December, 2013), John Beale, the senior EPA policy advisor, was convicted and jailed for defrauding taxpayers out of $1 million in salaries and expenses.  Does a culture of corruption extend throughout departments associated with climate policy? The public will certainly demand their right to know whether they have been deliberately and systemically lied to.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

7 Lies Liberals Tell Young Americans ^ | January 18, 2014 | John Hawkins

Posted on ‎1‎/‎18‎/‎2014‎ ‎6‎:‎58‎:‎02‎ ‎AM by Kaslin

Saying that life is hard is kind of like saying the sun is hot, water is wet, or noting that politicians lie a lot. It's so obvious that anyone who's paying attention already knows that it's true. That being said, life's even harder when you're working under false assumptions that have been drilled into you by your teachers, college professors, Hollywood, and politicians in D.C. Much of what liberalism drums into the young skulls full of mush simply isn't true and millions of lives have been ruined by people finding it out the hard way. The good news is that the truth is out there if you're willing to look for it and not accept the easy answers that make you feel good.

1) You are a special little flower: We live in an "everybody's a winner," don't use red ink, don't offend anyone, participation trophies for everyone era where we build up self-esteem as much as possible. Then the college student who just went $100,000 a year in the hole to get a women's studies degree from a prestigious university finds that she's not even a stand-out at the $10 an hour job she only got because her father knew someone. This leaves her angry and baffled as to why she doesn't even merit a raise, much less a promotion. When you have that experience, it's easy to retreat into bitterness or video games where "greatness awaits" in a simulation where you get to restart over and over until you win. Contrary to what young Americans are taught in school, "experience trumps brilliance," hard work beats talent, and most people value you for what you bring to the table right now, not how wonderful your teacher said you were for "trying hard."

2) Social Security and Medicare will be there for you: Young Americans are expected to pay into Medicare and Social Security, but the programs aren't going to be there in their present forms when they get old enough to use them. In other words, we're defrauding young Americans. We're telling them to pay today so they'll be taken care of when they get old, but we have no intention of ever allowing them to collect. Unless there are massive changes made to our entitlement programs, most young Americans should expect to work until they die. Let me repeat that: if you're 25 years old, you will not get to retire at 65 like your parents because you will have to work until you drop dead. When there's a 100 trillion dollar difference between what we already owe and the money we're collecting to pay it, that's not even a legitimately arguable proposition. If young Americans would like to receive more than sack cloth and an occasional bowl of gruel from the government once they get long in the tooth, they should be demanding entitlement reform.

3) Faith isn't relevant anymore: Hollywood almost universally makes Christians look bad in TV shows and movies, liberalism has become reflexively hostile to Christianity, and militant atheists work overtime to attack people of faith. Yet and still, this nation has been a success in large part because of Christianity. If not for this nation's Protestant work ethic, fundamental Christian decency and biblically inspired dedication to human rights, we would have never been so successful. That doesn't mean all Christians are good and all atheists are bad because that's certainly not true, but Christianity offers up a moral order to the universe that atheism is incapable of going, by its very nature. Although I have known some wonderful people in my life who didn't believe in God, on the whole I've found that Christians (and observant Jews for that matter) are happier, more stable and are generally just better human beings than the people who don't believe. Contrary to what Hollywood would tell you, Christianity doesn't keep people from "doing all the fun stuff" in life, it just steers them away from sins that are "fun for a season," but that will do a lot of damage over the long-term. Few things will turn out to be more integral to your happiness and success as a human being over the long haul than your faith.

4) The government is your friend: As a general rule the more contact you have with a government, the more miserable you will be long term. Some politicians, government workers and well-connected corporations that land big contracts are exceptions to that rule, but you're probably not in any of those groups. For you, the more the government gets involved in your life, the worse off you'll be. Those college loans? The government expects them to be paid. That welfare and food stamps? It's not much money, it comes with a lot of strings attached and you'll have to degrade yourself by leeching off of your fellow citizens to get it. Ronald Reagan once said, "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’" He wasn't wrong about that.

5) Morality doesn't matter: It's ironic that Christianity is regularly attacked, it's considered bad form to talk about morals, and we worry more about offending people than doing the right thing; yet we're shocked at how degenerate our society has become. You want a society with no moral code, where no one is ever made to feel bad about doing disgusting things? Well, then you should expect school shootings, welfare fraud, a deterioration of marriage, women having five children out of wedlock with four different men, perverted politicians, etc., etc., etc. When you say morality isn't welcome, you don't get to pick and choose which dearly held precepts are trampled into the dirt in the public square. If you want your kids growing up in a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah, buy into the idea that morals don't matter and you'll be doing your part to make it a reality.

6) Politicians are investing in your future: There really was a time in American history when the people and the government were living with one foot in the present and one foot in the future. As a practical matter, that just doesn't happen anymore. Our political differences are so stark, our government is so big, our debt is so out of control and the quality of men the American people have sent to D.C. is so low that everything is about "the now." It's about what gets them through the next news cycle, the next scandal or the next election. There's not a single Democrat in D.C. who cares about what happens to you if you're not his relative or campaign contributor and sadly, most of the Republicans aren't any better. The only people in politics that are genuinely fighting tooth and nail to protect future generations of Americans are the decidedly unhip Tea Party and its allies in Congress. They've been relentlessly smeared for that because people who are frittering away the future loathe nothing more than people who expose how small and selfish they've become.

7) The world owes you a living: There was a time in America when, "The world doesn't owe you a living," was probably the mother's favorite phrase to repeat to her child after, "If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do it, too?" However, we've moved past that and now everyone seems to believe that if he gets a college degree, he’s owed a cushy, fulfilling job and all the cool stuff his parents had after a lifetime of work. Unfortunately, that's the wrong answer, kiddo. For most people, all a college degree entitles you to is THE CHANCE to find a job where you’ll be allowed to start proving yourself for low pay. If you're expecting more than that and daddy isn't going to give you a VP slot at his company, then don't be surprised if the world adjusts your expectations the hard way.

The Reign of Collective Stupidity (American Thinker)


By David Solway

An acquaintance of mine tells the story of finding himself in the midst of a public demonstration against Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The chant being raised, so reminiscent of the 1960s, was: Hey, Hey, Ho Ho! Stephen Harper Has Got To Go. My acquaintance asked a placard-bearing young woman, obviously a student, what precisely she objected to in Harper's conduct and policies. She was unable to respond. He repeated his question and, after some hesitation on her part, received the answer: "I don't know, but he's got to go." Ipse dixit!  

Listening to CBC radio's weekly opinion sampler, Cross-Canada Checkup, on the Sunday before New Year, I was treated to a random specimen of public perspectives and sentiments on issues regarded as having been of major importance in the year coming to an end. I learned, inter alia, that global warming was a dire threat to the continuance of the species. I discovered that our conservative government has pursued an agenda injurious to the national interest. And so on. That global warming has been largely discredited and that temperatures have remained stable for the last 17 years was, apparently, news to the coast-to-coast participants in the program. They had never heard of premier Canadian climatologists Tom Harris, Lawrence Solomon, Tim Patterson and Ross McKitrick (oft maligned by the denizens of the global warming industry) or of the Oregon Petition with its 32,000 dissenting scientists. (As James Lewis comments, "Anybody who still falls for climate scare-lines after this freezing winter is either (a) terminally brainwashed or (b) stupid beyond repair. It's often hard to tell the difference.") That the Harper government had steered the country through the fiscal meltdown of the last tumultuous years, leaving it in one of the strongest economic positions in the developed world, was scarcely a blip on the radar of national consciousness. People with salaries and the leisure to opine at length on phone-in programs seem to think this privileged condition is somehow natural and unassailable.

Recent polls have indicated that Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, a youngish wavy-haired ignoramus whose only credentials are that he is a former prime minister's son, a part-time public school drama teacher and bungee-diving coach, and rather pretty in comparison to our elder statesmen and pudgy politicians, leads Stephen Harper by a 10 percent margin in electoral popularity. Harper, for all his faults, kept the country afloat. Trudeau would have sunk it in record time, with shenanigans like his vote-trawling outreach to a terror-linked Islamic organization, his refusal to call honor killings "barbaric," his objections to the immensely profitable Northern Gateway pipeline (while approving of the Keystone XL project. Go figure!), his favorable comments on Quebec sovereignty, and the inevitable tax hikes the Liberal party would impose on the middle class. Yet the Canadian public has to date smiled benignly on a man who performs a partial strip tease in front of smitten ladies during a charity event. The level of political imbecility we are witnessing is incommensurable.

Canada, however, is small beer in comparison to the political travesty that is the United States, where nearly half the population relies on food stamps, welfare payments, tax rebates and a blizzard of entitlements, whose foreign policy is a shambles of half-baked and destructive initiatives, which boasts a scandal-ridden and thoroughly inept administration and is mired in a swamp of economic insecurity, which has exponentially expanded a "coercive, intrusive regulatory regime" as well as devastating the healthcare system, and which twice elects a man who would make a Justin Trudeau prime ministry look like a feasible alternative to the electoral mayhem, fiduciary malfeasance and political stagnation that "The One" has inflicted upon his nation.

We have read of late that the "consensus" may be changing in Europe (and elsewhere) with the election and rise of several ostensibly conservative or "pirate" parties in a number of countries and the pallid second thoughts of diverse leaders. But even a nominally conservative government is no match for the combined might of the entrenched political class, a treasonous academy, the saurian bureaucrats of the European Union, and a left-wing media empire for which, like its North American counterpart, journalism has become the art of dissembling and outright propaganda. The few leaders and public figures -- Prince Charles and David Cameron in the U.K., Jean-François Cope of the UMP party in France, King William Alexander of the Netherlands, Angela Merkel in Germany -- who appear to be reconsidering the poisoned fruit of multicultural immigration, particularly with regard to Islam, have not markedly shucked their dhimmi mindset and continue for the most part to behave like dimwits -- or dhimmwits.

Meanwhile, the socialist, top-down economic policies adopted by a majority of European nations are infallibly bankrupting them, to the extent that the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank see fit to raid the bank accounts of private depositors, as recently in Cyprus. As for the electorate, a large share of whom profit from cradle-to-grave welfare entitlements and who are becoming strangers to the habits of entrepreneurship and plain hard work, the jury is still out but the verdict is troublingly predictable.

How did we get into such a sociopolitical morass? The signs of a culture in precipitous and perhaps terminal disarray proliferate everywhere, in the corrupt and partisan media, in an entertainment industry that has devoted itself to the production of unadulterated trash, and in an academy that has sold its soul to mere credentialing, politically correct indoctrination and totalitarian impulses, operating, in the words of Daren Jonescu, as "re-education camps" in the interests of "an artificially restrictive and pre-packaged pseudo-world." These forces swoop darkly over the political landscape like Ringwraiths, further devitalizing a debilitated population. The result is what political scientist Samuel Popkin in The Reasoning Voter: Communication and Persuasion in Presidential Campaigns called "low information signalling," a term picked up by comedian manqué Bill Maher as "low information voters" and applied to dunning effect by Jonah Goldberg in The Tyranny of Clichés.

Low information voters, however, are far preferable to the class of citizens -- like the young lady whom my acquaintance queried -- arising among us who may be designated as no information voters, driven by hidebound ideology and complacent ignorance of almost limbic proportions. Crucial decisions are taken by those who are either uneducated, having given themselves over to what Victor Davis Hanson calls a crash and burn culture, or miseducated, having been lobotomized by a heavily politicized pedagogic curriculum controlled by the Left. And that, I suggest, is the root of our dilemma.

We live in a society that has lost both its moral compass and its intellectual focus. Any serious psephological study would have to conclude that the voting public is too incompetent to exercise the franchise. As Churchill said, "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." Today, I'm afraid, a half-minute would suffice. Nevertheless, it is best to remember that no political system is perfect and many are patently reprehensible. The authority of Aristotle should be consulted here. In Book 4 of the Politics, the philosopher lays it down that of "the diverging systems of government" (parekbasis), tyranny is the worst, oligarchy is somewhat better, and democracy is the most moderate or least worst. Regrettably, as our low-and-no information voters, subject to the extremophiles who dominate the culture, make alarmingly clear, democracy is no panacea. As James Lewis wryly puts it apropos the Progressivist power complex and its deluded victims, "Great power goes together with great stupidity." Later historians, if there are any, will probably describe the years we are living through now as the Age of the Dummy -- indeed, an age that has spawned those aptly named books "for Dummies," an era facile, ludicrous, puerile and moronic.    

I confess that I don't see how our current dilemma can be resolved without a sea change in the gradients and vectors of the culture at large or, as I greatly fear, a high-magnitude catastrophe that may possibly educate us with respect to our self-betrayal and compel us to rebuild. Barring the miracle of an epistemological recovery across the culture, which seems unlikely, we may have to depend on the most infallible of preceptors, historical agency, that from time to time may bring what the Romans called a felix culpa, variously translated as a "happy fault" or "fortunate fall." Even this is moot, for a fortunate fall is no guarantee of social revival and cultural reintegration. The consequence of collective stupidity that causes political, social and economic collapse may be not reconstruction but archeology.

Aristotle goes on to assert in Book 5 that the best way to preserve a democracy is education. "For even the most beneficial and widely approved laws bring us no benefit if they are not inculcated through education and the habits of citizens." He could not have been more right. But for the time being, between the uneducated and the miseducated falls the shadow of our malaise.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Feminists Shoot Themselves in the Foot (American Thinker)


By M. Catharine Evans

All women -- conservative, liberal, black and white -- should take the time to download the latest Shriver Report on women and poverty.

In partnership with left-wing Center for American Progress, Maria Shriver's "A Woman's Nation Pushes Back From the Brink" is a self-inflicted indictment of five decades of radical feminism.
The damage caused by an all-out assault on what radical female professors considered the greatest threat to women, the nuclear family, are cited in the Shriver study:

�-� Nearly 70% of single mothers and their children are either living in poverty or teetering on the edge.

�-� Women are two-thirds of the primary and co-breadwinners in American families.

�-� Women are nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers.

�-� 40% of all households with children under the age of 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income.

�-� Out of a "groundbreaking bipartisan poll" of 3,500 adults only 37% of the women polled living on or over the brink of poverty were married.

�-� Only a fifth of our families have a male breadwinner and a female homemaker.

�-� More than half of babies born to women under 30 are born to unmarried women.

�-� Women are three times more likely to be raising a family on teir own, without a partner.

The report was released in time for the 50th anniversary of Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty. A year after LBJ launched the defining program, the Moynihan Report linked illegitimacy rates in the black community to poverty. Moynihan noted that the out-of-wedlock birth rate in the black community was steadily rising. By 1970, it was 38% up from 26% in 1965. Almost 50 years later the white out-of-wedlock rate is 30% and the black out-of-wedlock rate has skyrocketed to 70%.

Despite the fact that Moynihan worked for the Labor Department and had based his findings on solid statistics, politicians at the time ended up caving to cries of 'racism and sexism' and buried the report. Today, a similar situation exists. Any attempt to blame the rotten economic condition of women and children on the breakup of the traditional family is met with the same resistance. Feminists cry 'foul' if something other than poverty is blamed for the wrecked lives of so many women and their offspring.

Spending over $20 trillion to date on government handouts to the poor in areas such as health, education, and job training have failed miserably with regard to lifting them out of poverty. Nevertheless, breaking down family structures has been successful.

After five decades, the War on Poverty has managed to double the rate of poverty for blacks --double the national average -- and to leave their families in tatters [see video]. Listed in the video are several failed anti-poverty programs:

�-� "Urban Renewal" 1949

�-� "Community Action Program" 1964

�-� "Model Cities" 1966

�-� "Community Development Block Grants" 1974

�-� "Urban Development Action Grants" 1977

�-� "Enterprise Zones" 1980

�-� "Empowerment Zones" 1993

Now, two weeks before the next State of the Union speech, Obama is getting ready to promote yet another dead-end but costly government program named "Promise Zones" in order "to improve economic opportunity by partnering distressed local communities and businesses." When will the broken record of broken promises end?

Shriver's Report touts the success of other poverty programs like Head Start, VISTA, and Job Corps, but in a 346-page study released last year,Health and Human Services Department researchers followed toddlers who took part in the Head Start program, and those who didn't, through third grade. $40 billion later, they found no measurable differences between the groups across 47 outcome measures.

Incredibly, Shriver and CAP enlist many of the men and women whose radical ideas helped create these dismal statistics to come up with a "new social contract." Among the far left essayists are Neera Tanden, the President of Center for American Progress and Hillary Clinton's former policy director, Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed author Peter Edelman, Sr. Joan Chittister, Hillary Clinton, and Professors Carol Gilligan and Stephanie Coontz.

Sprinkled between this group of elite one-percenters are stories of financially vulnerable women "living in poverty or teetering on the edge... with no father to pitch in a paycheck," says Ms. Tanden.
So far removed from reality are women like the CAP president that soon after she laments the poor, single mother's plight of trying to live without an extra paycheck, she cheerfully describes her own good fortune:

I have a wonderful husband who truly believes in co-parenting, but I was able to be successful because I had an amazing boss... I remember changing my son's diapers during morning conference calls, but I also remember Hillary reorganizing her schedule so I could get to my daughter's pre-K graduation.

The message? "Family for me, but not for thee." Tanden then insists that more flexibility in the workplace along with government sponsored daycare and raising the minimum wage is the solution to "conflicts between work and family."
Maya Harris, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and a civil rights lawyer, sees the "gender wage gap" as the civil rights issue for the 70 million poverty-stricken women. As a black, South Asian woman she states that "pay inequity is particularly salient for women of color... the wage gap is more like a wage gulf."

The fact that 70% of African-American children are growing up in households led by mothers and grandmothers, many of whom are on government assistance, has much more to do with the "wage gap," but that detail seems to elude the former Ford Foundation vice-president and Stanford graduate.

How about solving the two-parent gap? This may actually curtail the need for "adopting policies that increase access to affordable childcare, paid sick days and family leave." A traditional family might also lead to better educational, spiritual, emotional, and psychological outcomes for women and their children. Study after study has confirmed that children from nuclear families fare better in all these areas than children from single-parent households.
Because of the high numbers of single mothers at or below the poverty level, the Shriver report also deals with the chronic stress and trauma that puts their children at high risk for behavioral and learning problems.
In her essay, "The Chronic Stress of Poverty: Toxic to Children," Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, M.D. writes about treating children from the Bayview area of San Francisco. Bayview is "home to the highest density of children in the inner city, many of them in women-led households." In her clinic, she tries to provide "many single mothers with the appropriate counseling, social connections and community resources to help them overcome their own challenges for the sake of their kids' health." Dr. Harris sees patients as young as six with their physiology "overtaxed by repeated, intense or chronic stress."
It is a sure bet that most of the single women and children Dr. Harris treats at her clinic have not heard of Professor Stephanie Coontz. Yet, Coontz and her colleagues are responsible for the fix these women are in today. In her essay, "Evolution of the Modern American Family" Coontz couldn't be more explicit:

Many people believe that the problems facing women today are due to the breakdown of the "traditional" male breadwinner family. But the real problem facing women -- today and increasingly, the problem facing men as well -- is that the male breadwinner family was a short-lived historical anomaly that does not work as a model for 21st century gender norms and social policy.

Coontz describes the "heyday of the male breadwinner family" from the 1950's to the 1970's as coinciding with increases in real wages for men. Men, therefore, were able to support their families and women could stay at home and raise the children. However, this "economic expansion" excluded women, Coontz writes. "Their subordination within marriage" was a throwback to what Betty Friedan called an immersion in "The Feminine Mystique."
This male breadwinner/female homemaker family "reigned supreme for only about 25 years and now is gone for good," writes Coontz.

For Coontz and her omniscient allies, the economic and moral wasteland now spread out before us, which continues to take its toll on women and children as reported in the Shriver study, is just a bump in the road. In declaring the nuclear family defunct, never to return, Coontz has revealed what she and her idealogues have been after all along because if it is dead, it is surely they who helped to kill it.
Sr. Joan Chittister, like Coontz is adamant about not going backwards. In her essay, Chittister targets religion as an obstacle to income equality and upward mobility for women. She says, "Religion [has] defined women by their maternity" and as "secondary to men...When will religion call for the economic well-being of women, universal healthcare and more political opportunities?" she asks. Chittister calls "underpaying single women with children [a] sin." The nun, however, refuses to call a sin the willful destruction of the nuclear family by her fellow feminists.
Throughout the Shriver Report, there is a call to move forward. Returning to the traditional family, the authors say, is no longer an option. Businesses and the government must adjust and adapt to the "new American family." What does that mean?

�-� fairer wages for low-income workers

�-� universal preschool from birth to five

�-� equal pay

�-� "college before kids"

�-� more effective long-acting birth control

�-� fewer unplanned pregnancies

After a half century of progressive policies based largely on the efforts of Marxist-based feminists, the results are in. It looks as if Betty Friedan getting Mom out of her "concentration camp" home in the 1960's didn't work out so well for millions of women and children.

Page Printed from: at January 17, 2014 - 08:12:03 AM CST

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sen. Mike Lee Uses One Simple Photo to Argue That We’ve Become a Nation of Regulations


Jan. 13, 2014 4:04pm Becket Adams

Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) believes the United States has become a nation of regulations.

And although Congress was historically unproductive in 2013, according to certain media outlets, most notably MSNBC, the folks responsible for drafting the nation’s federal regulations were plenty busy.

How busy?

Take a look at the following photo from the Utah senator’s Facebook page:

With One Simple Photo Mike Lee Argues Weve Become a Nation of Regulations

Image source: Facebook

“Behold my display of the 2013 Federal Register,” Lee wrote in the Facebook description. “It contains over 80,000 pages of new rules, regulations, and notices all written and passed by unelected bureaucrats.”

But here’s the part where you really need to pay attention: “The small stack of papers on top of the display are the laws passed by elected members of Congress and signed into law by the president [emphasis added].”

(H/T: Washington Examiner)

Politics Versus Education (Creators Syndicate)

Thomas Sowell


Anyone who has still not yet understood the utter cynicism of the Obama administration in general, and Attorney General Eric Holder in particular, should look at the Justice Department's latest interventions in education.

If there is one thing that people all across the ideological spectrum should be able to agree on, it is that better education is desperately needed by black youngsters, especially in the ghettoes. For most, it is their one chance for a better life.

Among the few bright spots in a generally dismal picture of the education of black students are those successful charter schools or voucher schools to which many black parents try to get their children admitted. Some of these schools have not only reached but exceeded national norms, even when located in neighborhoods where the regular public schools lag far behind.

Where admission to these schools is by a lottery, the cheers and tears that follow announcements of who has been admitted — and, by implication, who will be forced to continue in the regular public schools — tell the story better than words can.

When the state of Louisiana decided to greatly expand the number of schools available to students by parental choice, rather than by the rigidities of the usual public school system, Attorney General Holder's Justice Department objected on grounds that this was at cross-purposes with the federal government's racial integration goals for the schools.

In short, Louisiana's attempt to improve the education of children is subordinated by Holder to the federal government's attempt to mix and match black and white students.

If we have learned nothing else after decades of socially divisive and educationally futile racial busing, it should be obvious that seating black kids next to white kids is neither necessary nor sufficient to get them a better education.

The truly despicable intervention by Attorney General Holder is his warning to schools against discipline policies that result in a higher proportion of minority students than white students being punished.

This racial body count method of determining whether there is discrimination by the schools might make sense if we were certain that there could be no differences in behavior that would explain the differences in punishment. But does any sane adult really believe that there cannot be any difference between the behavior of black boys and Asian girls, for example?

There is a lot of make-believe when it comes to racial issues, whether out of squeamishness, political correctness or expediency. There is also a lot of deliberate racial polarization, and attempts to promote a sense of grievance and fear among black voters, in order to keep their votes in the Democrats' column.

What makes this playing politics with school discipline so unconscionable is that a lack of discipline is one of the crushing handicaps in many ghetto schools. If 10 percent of the students in a classroom are disruptive, disrespectful and violent, the chances of teaching the other 90 percent effectively are very low.

Yet, in the words of the New York Times, "The Obama administration speaks out against zero tolerance discipline." It quotes Attorney General Holder and says that he was "on the mark" when he said that a "routine school disciplinary infraction should land a student in the principal's office, not in a police precinct."

In other words, Eric Holder, sitting in Washington, knows better than the thousands of people who run public schools across the country what kinds of sanctions are necessary to preserve some semblance of order in the classrooms, so that hoodlums do not make the education of their classmates impossible.

Like the New York Times, Attorney General Holder has made this an issue of "The Civil Rights of Children." More important, the implied threat of federal lawsuits based on racial body count among students who have been disciplined means that hoodlums in the classroom seem to have a friend in Washington.

But even the hoodlums can end up worse off, if lax discipline in the school lets them continue on in a way of life that usually ends up inside prison walls. Nevertheless, if all this means black votes for the Democrats, that may well be the bottom line for Holder and the Obama administration.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at


Monday, January 6, 2014

Obamacare’s Stunning Redistribution of Wealth (Frontpage.mag)


January 6, 2014 by John Perazzo 22 Comments

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obama-health-careFor all the attention Obamacare has drawn in recent weeks, few observers have noted that the law is having the unexpected, yet most welcome, effect of transforming scores of millions of Americans, virtually overnight, into generous benefactors of the less fortunate. A real-world example—representative of countless millions of similar situations—will make this crystal clear:

Let’s say that you are a healthy, hardworking 54-year-old single adult in San Francisco earning $45,960 per year—the income level at which federal Obamacare subsidies from your fellow taxpayers are no longer available to help you pay your monthly health-insurance premiums. As a San Francisco resident, you are permitted to choose from among 16 separate Obamacare-compliant insurance plans. Four of these are so-called “Bronze” plans, low-level policies whose average premium will cost you $453 per month, or $5,436 per year. In exchange for those premium payments, a Bronze plan will cover 60% of your medical expenses—that is, after you meet the $5,000 out-of-pocket annual deductible. For this priceless peace of mind, you can thank Obamacare—the Democratic Party’s gift to a grateful America.

Let us contrast your case with that of Joe, another 54-year-old single individual in San Francisco, who happens to be an obese alcoholic and longtime drug abuser with little ambition and no history of ever having held a full-time job for very long. Joe currently earns $15,860 per year, which is just above the income level that would have made him eligible for Medicaid. Because Joe doesn’t qualify for Medicaid, Obamacare stipulates that he must now purchase his own health insurance—thereby proving that, contrary to the shrill rhetoric of conservative naysayers, no one gets an undeserved free ride under Obamacare.

Like you, Joe can choose from among 16 separate plans that are available to San Francisco residents. But unlike you, he is eligible to receive federal government subsidies—money that other, wealthier Americans, such as you, magnanimously “contribute” toward the healthcare expenses of financially “disadvantaged” individuals. If he selects one of the four Bronze plans (whose average monthly premium is $453), Joe qualifies for $452 in average monthly subsidies—meaning that, regardless of which Bronze plan he chooses, he will pay a monthly premium of exactly $1. You read that correctly. The very same healthcare plan that would cost you $453 per month, is available to Joe for $1 per month—i.e., the cost of three oatmeal-raisin cookies at your local Subway sandwich shop. Over the course of a year, you will pay a total of $5,436 in policy premiums, while Joe, who sadly failed to qualify for free healthcare through Medicaid, will pay his own fair share of $12. This is all in the interest of social justice, you understand. And please, don’t even think about whispering that Obamacare might be some sort of “wealth redistribution” scheme, lest you expose yourself as a petulant reactionary who doesn’t give a damn about sick people.

Oh, imagine what a wonderful world it would be if we could somehow transfer this same brand of Obamacare-style fairness to realms other than health insurance. In such a utopia, for example, the $25,000 new automobile that you purchase would cost a deserving soul like Joe just $55. Your $100 nightly fee at a motel would be 45 cents for Joe. And the $25 hardcover book you purchase at Barnes & Noble would set Joe back about a nickel. What’s that, you say? These items aren’t life-and-death necessities, like medical care, and thus don’t serve as useful analogies? Good point! Let’s stick with real necessities, such as food and housing: The same load of groceries that costs you $250 would cost Joe 55 cents. Your $1,200-per-month rent or mortgage payment would be available to Joe for about $2.65 a month. And the $250,000 home you seek to buy could be Joe’s for about $552. Yes, we’re talking about a veritable paradise of fairness!

But let’s return, for a moment, to the subject of healthcare in the here-and-now. Suppose you decide to opt for something substantially better than the aforementioned Bronze plan. As a resident of San Francisco, you can also choose from among four separate Silver plans, which each pay 70% of your medical costs (after a $2,000 annual deductible) and have an average monthly premium of $614. For Joe, these same four plans are available for an average of $38 per month—thanks to the marvelous, magical subsidies that are built into Obamacare. In fact, one of the Silver plans in particular would cost Joe just twenty nickels per month—a darned fair deal for someone needing healthcare, wouldn’t you say? And again, try not to view the disparity between your fee and Joe’s fee as some form of “wealth redistribution,” but rather as an opportunity for you to cultivate the fiscal virtue that our president terms “neighborliness,” whereby those who are “sitting pretty”—like you—extend a helping hand to the “less fortunate”—like Joe. Yes indeed, think about how deliriously happy you’re making good-ol’ Joe!

Now, if you’re feeling somewhat bold and are inclined to seek out even better coverage, you might opt to enroll in one of San Francisco’s four Gold insurance plans, which pay 80% of your medical costs (with no deductibles) and have an average monthly premium of $752. For Joe, the average cost of such a policy is $166 per month.

And then there are the top-of-the-line policies—the four Platinum plans—which will pay 90% of your medical expenses and will cost you, on average, $843 in monthly premiums. For Joe, by contrast, the cost of these plans will run about $258 a month.

So, let’s review: Joe can have the very best coverage available—the type of Platinum plan that our revered overlords in Washington have carefully secured for themselves—for roughly half the cost that you must pay for the most meager, bare-bones, low-end Bronze coverage in existence. Or, alternatively, he can have:

  • a Gold plan for about one-third of what you pay for the Bronze;
  • a Silver plan for one-twelfth of what you pay for the Bronze; or
  • his own Bronze plan for less than four-tenths of 1 percent of what you pay for the same plan.

And why is Joe able to do all this? Because you, my generous comrade, are largely buying his plan for him. Hooray for you! Hooray for advancing the vision that our president so eloquently laid bare just one month ago, when he identified the eradication of “inequality” as the motive that “drives everything I do in this office.” Ain’t it wonderful to be part of such a grand crusade?

And in case you seek additional cause for celebration, rest assured that Obamacare imposes the same type of fairness and equity on family plans as it does on individual plans. For instance, a 54-year-old San Francisco couple with two grown children (ages 19 and 20) living at home—and with a $94,200 household income (the income level at which subsidies are no longer available)—can enroll in a bare-bones Bronze family plan (with an annual deductible of $10,000) for an average monthly premium of $1,175. Meanwhile, an identically structured San Francisco family whose household income is $32,500—just above the level that would have qualified them for Medicaid—can obtain a Bronze plan for precisely $4 per month. Yes, the same plan that costs $14,100 per year for the first family, costs $48 per year for the second family.

The four Silver family plans, meanwhile, have an average monthly premium of $1,593 for the first family, and $81 per month for the second family. Annual outlays would be $19,116 for the first family, vs. $729 for the second family.

This, in a nutshell, is the exquisite beauty of Obamacare: It is redistribution … er, um, er … It is neighborliness on a scale never before seen in this country. And many millions of Americans are poised to reap its glorious benefits! As a form of shorthand, you can simply refer to these fortunate millions as “Democrats,” in honor of the party of benefactors that is, at this very moment, purchasing their eternal political allegiance with your dollars. Take pride in the fact that this wonderful arrangement is but one aspect of the “fundamental transformation” of America that our president is so faithfully pursuing, true to his word. At its essence, it is an arrangement designed to take from certain individuals according to their ability to pay, while giving to other individuals according to their need—a profoundly neat and elegant formula if ever there was one. It almost makes you wonder if anyone else has ever thought of anything like it before.[1]