Monday, December 31, 2012


The top 20 deleted tweets from liberals in 2012.  I guess people tweet without thinking, but it must somehow show what is in their hearts.  It reveals the violent aspect of those who so often publicly try to come across as caring individuals concerned about life and justice. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012


Obama blames the failures on "sloppiness"--I think better words could have been used.  People did die.  If government is this sloppy on foreign policy what other sloppiness is being committed by government?

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Evidently strict gun laws in Great Britain and Australia have not made people safer.

Strict gun laws in Great Britain and Australia haven't made their people noticeably safer, nor have they prevented massacres. The two major countries held up as models for the U.S. don't provide much evidence that strict gun laws will solve our problems.

Because of my earlier post on violence in movies and my memories of less violence when there were no gun laws, I want to start following the pros and cons of gun laws as the reason crime goes up or down.

The American Civil Rights Union.  Quotes a Harvard study among others that nations with higher gun ownership have lower murder rates.

Washington Post.  Gun ownership in America is going down, but states with more sringent gun laws have fewer shooting deaths.

CNN.  Violent crime is up. . .but the WAPO study says gun ownership is declining so are more people using other weapons to commit crime???

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


The Christian Science Monitor appears to be an equal opportunity judge--everything or everyone from California to Obama and the Tea Party came up with lousy fiscal proposals.


After the recent Newtown school attack a lot of attention has been focused on guns as the cause of violence and mass-killings in America. Mass-killings is a phenomena my generation did not grow up with.  I am still not sure why someone needs an AK 47 or an Uzi, but I don't think guns are the real problem.

This afternoon I went to the theater to watch "Lincoln."  Before it began there were a number of the usual previews. 

The first preview was for "Gangster Land" which deals with Mickey Cohen's gangster activities in Los Angeles sometime before the 1960s. The film previews showed extensive gratuitous violence and people being shot in cold blood.  It got me thinking about the old black & white gangster movies I saw on TV as a teenager with Eliot Ness chasing Chicago gangsters and the later 1960s television program "The Untouchables" starring Robert Stack.  In those movies guns were fired and the bad guys died, but I never recall seeing gratuitous violence and the vivid depiction of gruesome death or killing.  And then I saw a preview of "Jack Reacher" starring Tom Cruise and more violence.  And in 2013 a remake of the "Lone Ranger" starring Johnny Depp is coming. . .but in the short preview it appears that it, too, is a far cry from the original Lone Ranger's fight against bad guys (most of whom were arrested and taken to jail).

I forget the other previews, but only one seemed to be non-violent and that was "Parental Guidance."  So out of 6 or so previews, only one seemed not to contain some kind of experiential excitement with death and violence. 

As I thought more about the movies of my younger and even college years and I just do not recall the blood and gore that I saw in today's movie previews.  Sure there were cowboy movies and bad guys got killed, but it was not done in a way that glorified the process of killing and dying.  And the good guys did not seem to get some kind of gruesome satisfaction about the whole process.  And even old monster movies did not dwell on the excitement of mass killing with the gore and blood that followed.  There was terror but the focus was not on watching the process of killing or dying. These movies may seem hokey today (they do to me), but killing did not create an adrenalin rush.

All this has cause me to consider holding Hollywood accountable for the violence in America today.  There were no gun laws to my knowledge until sometime in the 1990s, yet as I have said I don't recall the level of violence that I see today.  So are guns really the major problem?  If what I saw today is typical of Hollywood, shouldn't its violence be part of the media discussion.  Or is Hollywood producers just giving American audiences what they want?  If so, the problem goes deep into the American soul.

But as I watched "Lincoln" I saw a movie focused on the human struggle of Lincoln and others to deal with racial justice and civil war.  While battle scenes were graphically portrayed the focus was not on the process of killing, but the results of the horrors of war.  Violence is portrayed as something destructive, not something to create emotional excitement. I would hope one would leave the movie thinking about deeper issues of humanity than being titillated by the gruesome process of killing and psychopathic destruction.


Simon Johnson in Bloomberg. 

Those predicting an imminent American economic decline have usually been no exception. This time, though, they may be on to something.

Even so, the U.S. has serious economic, social and political problems. Just look at the current budget debacle. Democrats and Republicans are at each other’s throats, struggling theatrically, rather like Holmes and Moriarty above Reichenbach Falls. If they get a fiscal deal done in the next few weeks, do you really think it will result in a sensible tax system, or bring long-term health-care spending under control? Are we going to invest more in education? Will we really have a frank discussion about what kind of social-insurance programs we want, and how to pay for them?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


From U.S. News & World Report
  1. Obama continuously mispronounces name of nobel laureate.
  2. Romney's summer trip to Europe mistakes.
  3. Julian Assange & Wikileaks.
  4. Obama's "pivot" in Asia.
  5. Obama's open microphone in meeting with Putin.
  6. Biden asking audience if they knew of a serviceman serving in Iraq and Iran.
  7. Romney's statement on Benghazi.
  8. London Olympics when North Korean women's soccer team marched into stadium with South Korean flag.
  9. Obama's failure to meet with other world leaders at UN meeting.
  10. Europe's nomination for Nobel Peace Prize.


"Eliminationist rhetoric" from the left--these are pretty strong words even if they have been revised.  Global warming deniers are causing the deaths of millions so they must pay the penalty.

In this article I am going to suggest that the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for influential GW deniers. But before coming to this surprising conclusion, please allow me to explain where I am coming from.

Monday, December 24, 2012


The Telegraph

The study warns that Christians suffer greater hostility across the world than any other religious group.

And it claims politicians have been “blind” to the extent of violence faced by Christians in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The most common threat to Christians abroad is militant Islam, it says, claiming that oppression in Muslim countries is often ignored because of a fear that criticism will be seen as “racism”.


From Reuters.  Islamists are destroying their own historical heritage.

Residents said the attacks on traditional Sufi Islamic shrines were being carried out by about 15 heavily-armed fighters, some weilding pick axes. At least two previously untouched tombs in Timbuktu, a UNESCO world heritage site, were destroyed on Sunday, residents said.


A brief analysis on Hitler's attack on Christianity.

In the new versions of the old songs reference to Nazi tenets of race, blood and soil replace familiar words concerning Christ, Child and the like. The accepted English translation of Mohr’s “Silent Night,” stanza three lines two and three is: “The Son of God loves pure light, radiant beams from thy Holy faith.” Equivalent lines in the Nazified version are “German blood, O how laugh the lips of thy children, blessed with joy.”

Foxnews chronicles the current war on Christmas.  The atheists react.  From the BlazeForeign Policy discusses the international war on Christmas--from Saudi Arabia and Uzebekistan to Cuba and Venezuela.


Russia has been in decline demographically for a number of years.  How will Putin handle it?

President Putin is too intelligent and clear eyed a man to miss these truths, however the propagandists and spinners around him try to paint a different picture. His foreign policy needs to be understood against this background of uncertainty and decline. Bluff, caution, patience and opportunism are the chief instruments of a power in Russia’s current position, and those (plus the diligent and determined use of the legacy intelligence and propaganda capabilities inherited from the Soviet era) are the instruments we expect President Putin to use.


Ann Althouse raises some interesting questions about Obama's statements after the Aurora attackand the Newtown attack.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


A study from the National Bureau of Economic Research shows how the Democrat supported Community Reinvestment Act led to the subprime crisis.  It led to increasing delinquencies. Democrats and the media disagree.

Friday, December 21, 2012


This ethics issue in congress has not been covered in the mainline media so it must not see this as a problem. A Democrat congresswomen, Shelley Berkeley (Nevada), helped her husband get medical work with Veterans Affairs, Medicare, and Medicaid. Senator Menendez (D, New Jersey) also has had problems with prostitutes and an aide who was an illegal immigrant and sex offender.  How many more Democrats have had ethics problems that the public is largely unaware of?

The committee’s report noted that between April 2008 and December 2010, Berkley’s husband, Dr. Lawrence Lehrner, contacted her office four times on behalf of Kidney Specialists of Southern Nevada to discuss payments his practice was due from the VA, Medicare and Medicaid. On two occasions, Berkley and her staff took actions to address those issues.

“Because such actions caused ‘compensation to accrue to the beneficial interest’ of Representative Berkley, the Committee finds that they violated [House Rules],” the committee’s report said.

UPDATE on Menendez scandal (1/15/2013).


Conor Friedersdorf in the Atlantic summarizes the recent infringements on the 5th amendment occurring in the Senate.  American citizens can be held in jail or confinement without any charges being filed or trials conducted.  If this were happening in the Bush administration the press would be all over this issue. 

It may seem like a United States senator would be widely ridiculed for suggesting that American citizens can be imprisoned indefinitely without chargers or trial, and that if numerous U.S. senators took that position, the press would treat the issue with at least as much urgency as "the fiscal cliff" or the possibility of a new assault weapons bill or likely nominees for Cabinet posts. 

UPDATE:  It was stripped from the final bill, but it is still troubling that some senators thought there was no problem with it.


Walter Shapiro believes Obama has been unable to "manage" congress.  In the past historians generally rated presidents that could move congress in their direction as the more successful.  Shapiro calls Obama the most guarded and emotionally remote modern president

During his reelection campaign, Obama remained elusively vague about his second-term plans. But the assumption was that—once free of political pressures—Obama would reveal his governing agenda. Now, it seems quite possible that even after the Inaugural Address next month, we will still be searching for the Rosetta Stone that deciphers Obama’s vision.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


In light of the David Petraeus affair Victor Davis Hanson gives a brief summary of past generals of historical fame and their sexual conduct as commanders.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Just like bureaucrats. . .people mess up, but no one can be held responsible.  No accountability.

In a properly functioning society, this report would signal the end of Clinton’s chances of becoming president. The Peter Principle isn’t supposed to apply when it comes to the highest office in the land. But then, in a properly functioning society, Clinton’s successfor would not be the wannabe statesman who concluded that Bashar al-Assad was the answer to our prayers for peace and harmony in the Middle East.

Thomas Joscelyn's critique of the events.


Interesting.  If these preliminary statistics are correct, almost 20% of young black males voted for Romney--is this the beginning of a black gender voting gap that parallels a white male gender voting gap?  The article also cites the continuing failure of Obama to change the black unemployment rate--it has actually gotten worse for blacks under his administration while improving for whites.

Not only has Obama failed to address the sorry state of families in the black community, his policy stances actively undermine the family and leave many blacks feeling less secure. Elizabeth Flock of U.S. News & World Report details:
A new study from Washington University in St. Louis finds that under Obama, many black Americans feel less free than whites when it comes to political participation.

The study found that while the election of Obama initially boosted feelings of political empowerment among black Americans, those sentiments significantly faded in the years that followed—especially among conservative and religious blacks.
For black Americans, the advent of an alternative to vampiric institutions which thrive on perpetual black poverty should be welcome news. Leftist non-profit organizations which claim to serve the black community and advocate for “progressive” change succeed only so long as their constituency continues to fail. Were blacks to meet with actual success, become better educated, deeply motivated, and increasingly wealthy, many of these left-leaning non-profits would be out of business. That truth prompts Minneapolis-based conservative activist and black commentator Don Allen to label such groups as “poverty pimps.”

A column worth reading.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


The technological sophistication of the campaign is far superior to what the Republicans did.  But it also begins to raise the issue of privacy!

How President Obama’s campaign used big data to rally individual voters, Part 1.

How President Obama’s campaign used big data to rally individual voters, Part 2.


POLICE RESPONSE:  It took police 20 minutes to respond to the Sandy Hook shooting according to the CNN timeline. This seems like an awfully long time. If all police forces are this slow in responding to a crisis, one rally needs to have some kind of plan to wait for such a delayed response if something serious is happening.

REASONS: And it also raises issues of why some people are not being treated in mental facilities. David Kopel gives a lot of statistics to show it is not just a gun issue. In the 1960s there were laxer gun laws, but not these kind of massive shootings. He also raises the role of the media in bringing attention to these incidents, but as is pointed out this is not just a contemporary issue (haven't seen "The Young Werther" ever mentioned before!).

Loren Coleman's 2004 book "The Copycat Effect: How the Media and Popular Culture Trigger the Mayhem in Tomorrow's Headlines" shows that the copycat effect is as old as the media itself. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's 1774 classic "The Sorrows of Young Werther" triggered a spate of copycat suicides all over Europe. But today the velocity and pervasiveness of the media make the problem much worse.

A second explanation is the deinstitutionalization of the violently mentally ill. A 2000 New York Times study of 100 rampage murderers found that 47 were mentally ill. In the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry Law (2008), Jason C. Matejkowski and his co-authors reported that 16% of state prisoners who had perpetrated murders were mentally ill.


In all of the arguments about the fiscal cliff, I don't understand the Democrat resistance to closing tax loopholes on the rich.  Closing loopholes is the ultimate in fairness.  No one should get a bigger break on these loopholes than others.  And in a recent Wall Street Journal article it shows how these loopholes favor wealthy Democrats.

But suddenly liberals are having second thoughts, and our guess is that this is because residents of high-tax Democratic-run states are about twice as likely to take advantage of tax loopholes as taxpayers in low-tax states. For example, 44% of Connecticut filers itemize their deductions, but only some 21% of North and South Dakota residents do.

One tax writeoff in particular illustrates the point: the deduction for state and local income taxes. This allows a high-income tax filer who pays, say, $20,000 in state and local income taxes to deduct those payments from his federal taxable income.

Raising the tax rate on earners making over $250,000 is irrelevant if they can turn around and use loopholes to avoid the higher taxes.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


From Reason:  Libya, Syria, Mali, Drones, Egyptian F-16s.

President Barack Obama came into office promising a foreign policy different from his predecessor, but after four years, U.S. interventionism is no less common than it was during the presidency of George W. Bush.


The London Legatum Institute notes that the American dream is in jeopardy.  The nation's prosperity is dropping.

In an unprecedented fall, the US drops out of the top ten of the 2012 Legatum Prosperity Index. The new edition of the index also includes 32 new entrants, bringing the total number of countries to 142 and extending the Prosperity Index coverage to 96% of the world’s population and 99% of global GDP

The United States has dropped to 12 our of 142 countries.  Small Business Ttends argues that the Obama administration needs to promote entrepreneurship and innovation.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


This is interesting.  US students compare well with students in other countries until they get to high school when the scores begin to drop.  There is something wrong in American secondary education.

The U.S. performed above average on international standardized tests in elementary and middle school math, science and reading, according to reports released Tuesday. But experts said the rankings, along with similar exams that test students at later ages, show a fundamental problem in America's education system: students tend to perform worse as they age.

The reports also looked at the context of these scores, and found high correlations between students in homes that play math and reading games with advanced fourth grade achievement.

Monday, December 10, 2012


The Director of National Intelligence reports that by 2030 the US will not be the world's only superpower.  I think it will have to face that fact long before 2030. If this is happening it does not speak well for the leaders in Washington, but maybe it also speaks to the complacency of the American people.

"The United States’ relative economic decline vis-a-vis the rising states is inevitable and already occurring,but its future role in the international system is much harder to assess," it argues

"The U.S. most likely will remain 'first among equals' among the other great powers, due to the legacy of its leadership role in the world and the dominant role it has played in international politics across the board in both hard and soft power," it argues.


A summary of where the US stands with regard to global warming and carbon levels.  The author comments on how fracking has helped the environment.

The negative:  The oceans are now roughly 30 percent more acidic than in the pre-industrial era. And unlike future climate change, the effects are already apparent. Just head down to the Tidewater area of Virginia or out to coastal Oregon and talk to the folks who raise shellfish.

The positive:  Before we all put on the sackcloth and ashes, though, note some good news: America’s carbon dioxide emissions are actually falling. In fact, they have not been this low since 1992. And while no single factor can account for the entire shift, much of the credit goes to something environmentalists often detest: hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Friday, December 07, 2012


Discussion with links of what is happening in Sweden, Great Britain, and California with the rising attacks on Jews and even Arabs who cooperate with the state of Israel.

Thursday, December 06, 2012


The Chicago Tribune weighs in with an editorial to come forward with his proposed spending cuts and also his proposals for reforms in programs like social security..  It is  time for him to fulfill his promise to "stop kicking the can down the road" and get control of the deficit.

But the president's reaction, delivered by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, is to cut total spending by a meager $400 million over 10 years while raising a net $1.6 trillion in new taxes. Obama also proposes tens of billions in spending on stimulus projects and continuance of long-term unemployment insurance and the supposedly temporary payroll tax cut.

And while he and Treasury Secretary Geithner are vilifying House Republicans the Democrat-controlled Senate is not able to come up with 60 votes to support the President's budget request.  So there are even Democrat Senators who are suspicious of the President's goals and agenda.

A bunch of "little pigs" in Washington.  We have thieves in Congress and in the White House because we have thievery in our hearts. Because we have larceny in our hearts, wanting to pay off 2012 debts with 2022 money, we put up with Bernake's monkeyshines at the Fed. Because we have larceny in our hearts, we hear a politician say that the rich should pay their "fair share" and we reflexively say yeah! -- in the name of justice. 


According to the New York Times, the Obama administration "approved" the transfer of Qaddafi's arms to radical Islamists.There seems to be a lot of naivete regarding Middle East policy.  Will the administration do the same thing and arm rebels in Syria. . .who certainly seem to be al-Qaeda types.

The Obama administration secretly gave its blessing to arms shipments to Libyan rebels from Qatar last year, but American officials later grew alarmed as evidence grew that Qatar was turning some of the weapons over to Islamic militants, according to United States officials and foreign diplomats. 

Rick Moran gives a critique of the decision.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012


A call to investigate Louis Freeh, director of the FBI at the time of 9/11.  There are serious questions about his leadership and ignoring staff warnings that he needed to do more with counter-terrorism. The passage of time often brings out truths which are not dealt with in a crisis. It is clear the FBI was out-of-touch with what was happening with the increasing terrorism appearing in the 1990s.  But these are pretty serious charges.

In the summer of 2001, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent Robert Wright, a counterterrorism expert from the Chicago office, made some startling claims about the Bureau in a written statement outlining the difficulties he had doing his job.  Three months before 9/11, he wrote: “The FBI has proven for the past decade it cannot identify and prevent acts of terrorism against the United States and its citizens at home and abroad.  Even worse, there is virtually no effort on the part of the FBI’s International Terrorism Unit to neutralize known and suspected terrorists residing within the United States.”[1]

Judicial Watch pointed to a “legacy of corruption” at the FBI under Freeh, listing the espionage scandal at Los Alamos National Laboratories, as well as “Filegate, Waco, the Ruby Ridge cover-up, the Olympic bombing frame-up of Richard Jewell, [and] falsification of evidence concerning the Oklahoma City bombing.”[4]

Judicial Watch said that Director Freeh believed he was above the law.  The group went on to say that Freeh was “a man so corrupt he destroyed the office he led, and a man so cowardly he refuses to face the music for the illegalities he has allegedly committed.”[5] To this was added a claim that the FBI under Freeh was being directed by sinister yet unknown forces. “In case after case throughout the 1990′s, the FBI seems to have tailored its investigative efforts to fit somebody’s pre-arranged script. The question is, who wrote that script — and why?”

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


Evidently FEMA money leads to increasing corruption at the state and local level. There are a number of articles on this phenomenon. People want to help hurting people, but just throwing government money in does not appear to be the best way to accomplish this!
From Science Daily: "We find each $100 of FEMA-provided disaster relief increases the average state's corruption by nearly 102 percent," write Peter Leeson (George Mason) and Russell Sobel (West Virginia U.). Leeson's article can be read here.  
Hurricane Katrina and corruption.
The EconomistHelp from FEMA encourages graft in many ways. Public officials can embezzle cash directly; they can overstate peoples' damage claims in return for a bribe, or demand kick-backs for rebuilding contracts. All told, the impact is big. The authors' calculations suggest that in the average state, an extra $1 per person in money from FEMA increases corruption in that state by 2.5%. Eliminating FEMA relief entirely would cut corruption by more than 20% in the average state. But don't hold your breath.

Monday, December 03, 2012


Bad science caused people to die? Chemicals can help crops from being destroyed and thus more people can be fed.

History has proven Carson’s claims wrong. Contrary to her admonitions, a chemically caused cancer epidemic never came to pass. Researchers who identified environmental factors did not simply target trace chemical exposures as significant, but instead focused on major cancer causes such as tobacco and poor diets. In fact, people are living longer and healthier lives, cancer rates have declined even as chemical use has increased, and chemicals are not among the key causes of cancer.

Saturday, December 01, 2012


Things really began to turn bad after 2008.

And here is another article from  It is increased spending that is the source of the problem.