But why does anyone need a study to know that?
California Political Class Wants Boycott of Arizona — California Voters Want Arizona Type Immigration Law
Just below in A Quote For Our Times I posted a quote from the 2002 book Government Failure: A Primer On Public Choice, which opines that Lincoln’s phrase from the last line of the Gettysburg Address [“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.”] would today need to be changed because we no longer have a government “of, by and for” the people. The government that rules our lives today is a government of the politicians, by the bureaucrats, and for the well-connected political activists.
This recent poll showing that California politicians are out of step with California voters is therefore poignant. A majority of voters in California would favor an immigration law like the one recently enacted by Arizona while nearly every city council in California is adopting resolutions to condemn it and trying to institute boycotts of Arizona.
It should also be noted that when “the rich” have more of their money stolen by the likes or Hillary Clinton they have less money to invest. When the government takes that money and squanders it on worthless government programs no new jobs are created. It is business investment that creates jobs, for people who pay no income taxes at all and according to Clinton, should hate “the rich” for not paying enough.
Hillary and her hound dog husband became multi-millionaires on their political skills (the only skills either of them possess) and avoid taxes by creating foundations that fund various boondoggles that further interests that further their political endeavors. They are in no position to lecture others on how much they pay in taxes.
Lincoln would now see government not of, by, and for all the people but of, by, and for some kinds of people. He would see it not as of all the people but as of the political activists. He would see government not as by the people but as managed by the politicians and their officials. And he would see government not as for the ordinary people but as for the organized in well-run, well-financed, and influential business organizations, professional associations, and trade unions. It is government “of the Busy (political activists), by the Bossy (government managers), for the Bully (lobbying activists).”
This quote is from the 2002 bookGovernment Failure: A Primer in Public Choice(Cato, 2002), by Gordon Tullock, Arthur Seldon, and Gordon L. Brady. The book is intended as an introduction to late 20th and early 21st Century developments in the study of the government that rules our lives. It attempts to use the tools of economics to evaluate whether the collective choices of voters in electing representatives will satisfy the widely differing choices the people would like to make for themselves as individuals.
F.A. Hayek counseled that a kind of self-correcting order that develops over time in the expression of free markets would best satisfy the disparate choices of individuals. The “constrained vision” described by Thomas Sowell in his book A Conflict of Visions holds that the social order achieved by the choices of millions of individuals made daily in matters of their own interest will lead to the greatest possible satisfaction of the divergent wants and needs of individuals in a society.
In others words, in a top-down controlled society a few people get everything they want. A lot of people will get a little of what they want, and have a whole lot of things they don’t want forced upon them. In a free-market based society very few people get everything they might want, human desires being unlimited, but most people have the opportunity to get most of what they want most of the time. A few things are forced upon people but not so much as to make their lives unbearable, and there are mechanisms to address grievances.
Government Failure, as its title suggests, is a highly readable treatise on how the present functioning of government in the United States and Great Britain satisfies the choices of the political class very well while providing a poor return on investment to those who support them with their tax dollars, their votes, and their trust.
18 U.S.C. Sec. 211:
Whoever solicits or receives, either as a political contribution,
or for personal emolument, any money or thing of value, in
consideration of the promise of support or use of influence in
obtaining for any person any appointive office or place under the
United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not
more than one year, or both.
Whoever in the Obama Administration offered Joe Sestak a job in the government in return for Sestak’s agreeing to forgo his primary challenge to Arlen Specter may have violated this Federal law if Sestak’s forbearance from seeking the Democrat nomination constitutes “a thing of value” to the person offering his “use of influence” in obtaining the job for Sestak. Since Sestak did not actually forbear his primary challenge and presumably did not solicits the proposed promise, Sestak himself is not guilty of violated this statute. The person who made the solicitation of Sestak would be guilty even though Sestak did not agree because mere solicitation is enough.
It appears that a similar situation exists with regard to a job offer allegedly made to Andrew Romanoff if he would desist from running against Michael Bennet in the Colorado primary for Senate.
Offering a government appointment to anyone in exchange for them acting or refraining from acting is simply selling favors, in substance no different than what another Chicago politician, Rod Blagojevich, did when he tried to get money for his ability as governor of Illinois to appoint someone to fill Obama’s Senate seat after Obama became President.
UPDATE Sunday: Failure. BP throws in the towel. It didn’t work.
UPDATE: Apparently the top kill experiment hadn’t been completed when this story was first broken by the LA Times and it is now not certain whether its going to work. It still might but the first report that it was working was premature. Of course, that didn’t stop Obama from claiming credit for it in his press conference yesterday.
This was the original post:
Coast Guard Admiral reports that British Petroleum has stopped the flow of oil from the Gulf oil spill with a procedure known as “top kill,” which was approved by the Coast Guard yesterday. Obama will be claiming credit for this but he deserves none of it. He contributed nothing to this effort and has in fact been an impediment by refusing to work with Governor Bobby Jindal on his efforts to erect barrier islands to stop oil from reaching the beaches. He could also have speeded up the permit process that would have allowed BP to have used its top kill procedure earlier. But he did nothing. Now there is credit to be claimed and he will swing in to action. Can’t let a good crisis go to waste.
Rasmussen reports that Obama’s approval index (the difference between those who strongly approve and those who strongly disapprove) has hit the lowest point in his presidency and now stands at −22.
Obama missing in action on the Gulf oil spill and boneheaded moves like sending 1,200 National Guard troops to the border not to enforce immigration laws but to look for guns being smuggled from the U.S. to the Mexican drug lords (you know, all those machine guns, bazookas, and grenade launchers being sold to them by mom and pop gun stores in Arizona), must be part of the reason for his lowest ever overall approval rating of 43%. What are those National Guard troops going to do when they don’t find any smugglers moving weapons from the U.S. to Mexico?
The poll also shows some other numbers that harken ill for politicians and well for the rest of us.
Most Americans have “come to believe that the political system is broken, that most politicians are corrupt, and that neither major political party has the answers,” observes Scott Rasmussen. Just 27% believe Congress knows what it’s doing when it comes to the economy and 41% say that a group of people randomly selected from the phone book would do a better job than the current Congress. In his new book [In Search of Self-Governance], Scott adds, “Some of us are ready to give up and some of us are ready to scream a little louder. But all of us believe we can do better.”
William f. Buckley once said he would rather be governed by one hundred people chosen at random from the phone book than by the faculty of Harvard Law School. Now the American people are beginning to see the wisdom in that statement. That is also the wisdom that to be gleaned from one of my favorite books, A Conflict of Visions by Thomas Sowell. Maybe more Americans now share the “constrained vision” that such greats as F.A. Hayek and Ronald Reagan held, although neither ever described it in those words.
Governor Chris Christie does what we here like a lot and what liberals hate: He tells the truth. A teacher complains about making only $83,000 a year, Christie reminds her that she is not required to keep teaching. She knew the pay scale when she took the job and she is free to go into another line of work if teaching is no longer working out for her. Heh.
UPDATE: She said she would like to make $83,000 a year, not that she was now making $83,000. It turns out her actual salary right now is $86,389 and her total compensation is over $100,000 a year if you include the value of pension contributions and healthcare that is paid by the school district.
When reading Amazon customer reviews I sometimes find the one-star reviews to be as helpful as the four or five-star reviews. This is especially true of books on history or politics. Doubly true if the book is written either from a conservative viewpoint, or just not from a liberal point of view. The one-star reviews will then be submitted by liberals and I can tell how good the book is by how much the liberals hate it.
Pestritto and Atto’s American Progressivism: A Reader is an edited collection of original documents, all written by the movers and shakers of the Progressive Era of American History (1900-1917). It is common knowledge, to me at least, that one must have an understanding of the Progressive Era of American History to have an adequate understanding of modern political liberalism [not to be confused with classical liberalism which is now a nameless philosophy that blends parts of libertarianism and conservatism].
A collection of original documents is an invaluable source for gaining that understanding which I believe to be essential. I’ve concluded that Pestritto and Atto have edited this collection extremely well by the several excellent four and five-star customer reviews. Two of the three one-star reviews were the clincher for me to conclude that I must buy this book. [the third one-star is a tongue-in-cheek attempt by a conservative]. Those two hate the book but do not make a convincing argument against the editors. They might try to fool us but we can see that it’s the substance of the original documents themselves that they don’t like. At this time in history these original documents will not arouse emotion in a contemporary thinker if the goal is simply to understand what actually happened in The Progressive Era, what the makers of that history thought and said, and how it has affected the politics of today. The writers of these one-star reviews seem to be embarrassed by these writings. That is, in my view, because reading them today exposes the truth about modern political liberalism. Nothing offends a liberal like the truth.
What do you get when you mix Irish pugnacity with Sicilian grit? A tolerance for conflict and direct speaking says New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. He must be Democrats’ worst nightmare. He doesn’t tuck his tail and run from them, he fights back, effectively. They aren’t used to it and if more Republicans were like him Democrats would crack up.
Rasmussen reports that a new poll of 1,000 likely voters taken on May 22-24 shows 63% favor repeal, the highest level ever. Just 32% oppose repeal. Of those who favor repeal 46% strongly favor repeal and of those opposed 25% strongly oppose. 67% of mainstream voters think Obamacare will be bad for the country while 77% of the political class [I guess that means politicians] think it will be good for
the country them.
Sergeant Joe Friday and Officer Bill Gannon are in favor of repeal, I think.
I suspect that a reason, perhaps the main reason, more and more people are in favor of repealing Obamacare is because more and more people are coming to the realization that Obama, Reid and Pelosi lowballed the cost, i.e., lied, in order to get the bill passed. Americans are sensible enough to know that Obamacare will deliver less health care with lower quality while costing more, probably much more. Obamacare will only do one thing well and that is to help move the United States closer to the Greek model of public bankruptcy, unemployment and stagnant economic growth.
Political blogs are joyless and negative most of the time. There is so much new material to write about every day and most of it is appalling. For example, Obama playing the race card and enlisting the president of Mexico for assistance, The U.S. State Department looking to open a dialog with “moderate” terrorists, states trying to tax the internet, those constitute only a partial list of the revolting acts of government in the last few days. It’s hard not to voice one’s opinion about these events. Until the politicians succeed in denying our freedom to speak out we should not hold back. It can get a bit depressing and someone might begin to wonder if there isn’t anything positive and upbeat to talk about. There is. Let me tell you about something I just found.
If you love good movies and you are a conservative you have been sorely disappointed with the anti-American, anti-freedom drivel and pap of Hollywood offerings for many years. But there has always been a few good flicks that sneaked through the censors of the left. Just to name a few: Braveheart, Gran Torino, The Patriot, The Illusionist, Blood Diamond, The Blind Side, The Kite Runner, Slumdog Millionaire, Lord of the Rings, Ghost Dog, The Lives of Others, The Incredibles, Master and Commander, and The Dark Knight are all movies a conservative can love. Now a blog of movies for conservatives, or anyone who still thinks America is a great country, has been relaunched after slipping away a couple of years ago.
Libertas Film Magazine — The Voice of Freedom in Movies and Popular Culture is back. The new site promises to:
“[Promote] films that celebrate freedom, democracy, and the dignity of the individual [by featuring] short films, webisodes, movie clips and trailers, podcasts, as well as news and reviews of pro-freedom films that are currently in theaters or are available on DVD. … Libertas’ goal is to show our readers movies they can enjoy — not just to warn them about movies to avoid.
Finding movies to enjoy as well as the ones to avoid is the whole purpose of movie reviews, no? But movie reviews these days are mainly for liberals to find movies that fulfill their desire for finding villains to hate. Movies like Erin Brockovich which depicts a woman whose life has gone South finding redemption when she gets a job as a paralegal with a law firm and soon discovers a huge corporate coverup of cancer-causing chemicals and ends up a heroin as the instrumental driving force in obtaining a large settlement of the cancer victims. Based on a true story, of course. Movie reviews called it the ultimate feel-good movie of the year. Perfect for the liberal mind set. Problem was, the so-called “true story” was mostly bull. The law firm that obtained the settlement was the biggest winner, the cancer was actually not linked to the chemicals, the corporate giants that got skewered might not have even been guilty. But it was good story, and according to postmodern “critical theory” that’s all that matters. Hollywood movies that blame “Amerika” for every evil on the planet constitute about 85% of all the moves made.
Thankfully we now again have Libertas to inform us about great movies that are funny and uplifting or serious and authentic. A very funny movie made in the U.K. and in American theaters now is The Infidel about a a Muslim who discovers that he was adopted and that he is actually Jewish. Here is the trailer:
It’s amazing this movie was even made. It was, thankfully. No one should be beyond parody because no one is. Especially the most arrogant group on the planet.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon tries to link the expiration of the Clinton gun ban with the rise of violence by Mexican Drug lords at the border. His claim is ridiculous on several grounds, not the least of which is that the Clinton gun ban was a ban only on certain cosmetic features of AR-15 rifles, it did not stop the sale of rifles it only banned things like adjustable stocks and muzzle breaks. When the ban ended in 2004 these features were legal again. The ability to have an adjustable stock or a muzzle break on a rifle is being blamed for the rise of Mexican drug violence. How did Calderon manage to keep a straight face in his speech before Congress?
The really big fact that blows this whole idea to smithereens is that the Mexican drug cartels are employing military grade weaponry that is far removed from anything the Clinton gun ban was about. If indeed the source of this weaponry is the United States the suppliers must have Government connections because U.S. Citizens do not have access to these types of weapons. The Mexican cartels have full auto machine guns, grenade launchers, anti-tank missiles, bazookas, and even military helicopters in some cases. The most likely explanation for the source of their weapons is the international black market which operates independently of all U.S. laws. No law that can be enacted by Congress to infringe the Constitutional rights of American citizens can possibly have the slightest impact upon the ability of the Mexican cartels to arm themselves to the teeth with weapons no American citizen has ever possessed.
If any semi-auto AR-15 rifles or handguns are being smuggled into Mexico by Americans they are already breaking a whole host of U.S. Laws as well as Mexican laws. The answer to that problem, if it exists at all, is to catch the criminals and prosecute them. All the laws that will apply to such activity are felonies that carry long prison terms in Federal prisons. There is no parole in the Federal system, so if anyone is engaging in this activity they would have to be making a lot of money to think it was worth the risk. It just wouldn’t involve enough money to be worth the risk. The whole idea is preposterous anyway.
It is known that a significant number of Mexican cartel members are formerly of the Mexican Army. Mexico is a notoriously corrupt country at every level including the Mexican Army. If Calderon truly wanted to stem the flow of advanced weapons to the drug cartels he need look no further than to his own government.
This video of Cam Edwards and Jim Geraghty discussing the Calderon visit on NRA News is worth watching.
Dave Hardy at Of Arms and The Law posted this advertisement by the Auto Ordinance Company promoting its Thompson Sub Machine Gun as the ideal weapon for Ranchers near the Southern border to defend their land from border raiders. This is from back in the good old days before NFA 34 when a tommy gun could be purchased at Gambles Hardware, which is where Machine Gun Kelly’s mother bought one for her son. Too bad the criminals ruined a good thing. Too bad not enough people understand that disarming the good guys does not stop the bad guys in the least.
If reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body, the Washington elites and liberal “progressives” are badly out of shape. Mentally, that is.
If the Democrats aren’t going to read the Arizona law before shooting off their mouths about it, somebody who likes them might remind them that it is better to be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.
Why The Chosen People Chose Obama is the best explanation I’ve seen on why 78% of American Jews voted for Obama, and the very real difference between liberal Jews and leftist Jews. The former are…well, naive is the charitable way to put it. The latter are downright scary. Liberal Jews are shell shocked by what they have seen Obama do since the election. Leftist jews are ecstatic. Liberal Jews voted for Obama because they didn’t believe he was really a radical. Leftist Jews voted for Obama because they did believe he was a radical. Liberal Jews support and love the State of Israel and didn’t believe Obama’s ties to anti-semitism. Leftist Jews hate Israel, blame it and the United States for all of trouble in the world, and would not mind at all if Israel were destroyed (that’s why they’re scary). Liberal Jews are proud of their Jewish heritage, leftist Jews despise their Jewish heritage and all things Judaism.
Before reading this article I was not really aware that I have known representatives from both camps and was lumping them together. I see the difference more clearly now. I understand why I am still friends, although frustrated, with most of the liberal Jews I have known but have lost all contact with the leftist ones. Thanks, Robin.
Read it all.
Deputy National Security Advisor John Brennan says the Obama Administration will reach out to the “moderate” elements of Hezbollah. Hezbollah’s sole reason to exist is to destroy Israel and kill Jews. Can there be any “moderates” in there? What would constitute a moderate Hezbollah member? Maybe a terrorist who only wants to kill three-fourths of the Jews? I don’t think Hezbollah tolerates anyone in their membership who doesn’t fully sign on to the program. Nasrallah runs Hezbollah by himself with money and advice from Ahmadinejad. I don’t think either one of them are moderates.
I remember the Obama administration was looking for “moderate” elements of the Taliban a few weeks ago. No word on whether they found any.
Does anyone still doubt that Obama hates Israel?
Well, I might be more qualified that Elena Kagan.
From Elena Kagan’s questionaire:
“d. List, by case name, all cases in courts of record, including cases before
administrative law judges, you tried to verdict, judgment, or final decision (rather
i. What percentage of these trials were:
I have never tried a case to verdict or judgment.”
Gee whiz, I’ve tried lots of cases to verdict or judgment. Put me in, coach!
I know, some people will get snarky and point out that there about one million lawyers in America that are more qualified that Elena Kagan if this were the sole criteria. Besides, under the Constitution it is not a requirement that a Supreme Court Justice even be a lawyer. But here’s the answer to that: If an appointee is a baker who has never baked a cake, a plumber who has never installed a toilet, or an insurance salesmen who has never sold a policy, we have a right to question that person’s abilities. Same with a lawyer who wants to sit in judgment of, among other things, the outcome of cases tried by other lawyers.
This was fun to write, but seriously, it is trivial compared the real problem with Elena Kagan. The real problem is that it appears from the thin record she has that she is hostile to the liberties enshrined and guaranteed in the first amendment and perhaps most of the rest of the Constitution as well. Our founding fathers gave us a Constitution that was meant to create and preserve a federalist system where the national government is a government of enumerated and limited powers. The Federal government reigns supreme only as to those powers it possesses and to which it is confined. It is the states that are general sovereigns, not the Federal government.
Barack Obama does not subscribe to that and his oath to uphold it was a farce. He has nominated Elena Kagan for one reason only. He knows her better than we do and he is confident she agrees with him and will work to advance his principle idea, making the Federal government big and powerful enough to regulate every nook and cranny of our lives.
Republican Senators and responsible Democrats will be put to the test. The time has come for all good Senators to come to the aid of their country. Reject this person because if she is given the power of a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court she will use that position to undermine the liberty of every American, for the next 40 years.
Indiana Republican Mark Souder with resign his seat in Congress effective Friday after revelation that he has been having an affair with a staffer. Souder has been a vocal advocate for abstinence-only education to control teen pregnancy, he is opposed to gay marriage, and touts “family values.”
OK, he’s a scumbag. This is not a defense of married politicians with kids at home having affairs with staffers. But the liberal media with help from libertarians as well will of course have a hay day with this because Souder is not only a philanderer but also a hypocrite and a Republican. The aim of the liberals and libertarians is not just Souder but also the values he has advocated. In their minds, his personal moral failure discredits not just him, but also the values he has claimed to stand for.
That’s what passes for critical thinking on the part of liberals, and sorry to say, libertarians as well. Since both camps always disagreed with the values Souder claimed to care about, this is an opportunity to censure not only him but all of his ideas as well.
It works in mirror image form as well. A Democrat having an affair with a staffer hardly makes the news. Democrats aren’t hypocrites when the have extra-marital affairs. That don’t claim to having any conflicting values, so they get a pass. If anyone suggests there might be something wrong with such conduct they are dismissed as tiresome prudes.
Hypocrisy apparently is a much worse sin than philandering and cheating on one’s spouse. So long as one does not claim to be pure license is given to behave like an alley cat.
A critical thinker will judge the ideas one espouses on their own merit. That the advocate is an imperfect human being and does not manage to live up to the values he claims to hold reflects on his character, not the values.
Like a good crisis, a fallen Republican is an opportunity not to be wasted.
Is it the same thing when Republicans hail evidence that Democrats don’t live up to their claims to be the party of the little guy? There is a difference. Democrats are using the little guy tactic to raise taxes and increase government in every nook and cranny of our lives and telling us it for our own good. If they are lying about that and really doing it all to advance their own interests and not ours, that’s a pretty rotten form of hypocrisy and one that has a devastating affect on the well being of those they claim to be trying to help. Witness the damage done to Black American family structure by the Democrat’s “War on Poverty.” A Republican caught having an affair with a staffer doesn’t seem to rise to that level.