Land of the Free?

There is a scene in the movie Dr. Zhivago in which they are being relocated by rail. Chained in the corner of the box car is a young man. He berates the others for what they are passively allowing to happen. “I am the only free man on this train,” he cries, shaking his chains.

The others pay no attention. Such are we the American people, riding along in silence until the land of the free will exist only in the song.

via Articles: Land of the Free?.

Why I can’t be both an economist and a liberal | Fox News

Why I can’t be both an economist and a liberal

via Why I can’t be both an economist and a liberal | Fox News.

In today’s America, I can’t be both an economist and a liberal.

Economists should be bound ​by ​facts and reason. And I can’t do that and embrace liberal positions on the minimum wage, climate change and gender discrimination.

Raising prices for most anything reduces purchases. Simply put, if beef or a plumbers’ visit gets too high, folks start to eat more chicken and fix their own faucets.

Economists should be bound ​by ​facts and reason. And I can’t do that and embrace liberal positions on the minimum wage, climate change and gender discrimination.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, as President Obama proposes, would eliminate 500,000 to 1,000,000 jobs. Businesses will be forced to raise prices, lose customers and lay off employees. Fast food restaurants will begin to use more machines and we’ll see something similar to automated checkout devices at drug stores and supermarkets.

Past increases in the federal minimum wage did not have large impacts on employment, because those were in line with inflation, and businesses adopted strategies expecting such periodic adjustments. The minimum wage was last reset in 2009 and we knew that raising it one dollar to $8.25 to preserve purchasing power would not cost many jobs.

Jumping it up to $10.10 an hour, however, would fundamentally redefine the tradeoffs businesses face regarding unskilled labor and automation. The workers left standing would have more spending power but overall, increasing unemployment by at least 500,000 would take a bite out of GDP and growth from an already anemic economic recovery

Economists, fancying themselves liberal and advocates of the working poor, deny the lessons of hundreds of years of economic theory and history. Most act out of expediency to win favor with the media and powerful politicians.

The erosion of the Antarctic ice shelf and glaciers elsewhere should confirm to even casual observers that global temperatures are rising. Scientists arguing that CO2 emissions contribute to this are not quacks but their prescriptions, and those of the president, have a naïve quality bordering on willful and malicious ignorance.

The new abundance of natural gas and market forces are already rapidly driving down U.S. CO2 emissions from power plants and other industrial facilities. A forced acceleration imposed by the EPA would cost billions of dollars and make economic and environmental problems worse.

With an economy half the size of the United States, China emits almost twice as much CO2. Raising costs for U.S. manufactures though the president’s program will only send jobs to China, where industrial production is dirtier, and increase global emissions.

Liberals argue that by setting a good example the United States can bring China along.

Nonsense! American diplomats have not been able to get Beijing to respond on its undervalued currency or protectionism generally, abandon the use of force to settle territorial disputes in the China seas, or anything else the Chinese Communist Party sees as impairing economic growth or its quest to wrest leadership from the United States on global economic and security issues.

Universities are under constant pressure to ensure wider opportunities for women and as a matter of policy have programs to encourage enrollment, hiring and promotion of women that discriminate against men.

All the data indicates that boys and young men are not doing as well in high school and are obtaining many fewer college degrees than women.

It seems to me that if American universities must discriminate against men to bring female faculty representation to parity with males—no matter their performance on the basis of objective criteria—it is only reasonable that universities be held accountable for not granting men as many degrees as women.

That has about as much chance of happening as I have to succeed Derek Jeter as shortstop for the New York Yankees. That would make about as much sense as liberal positions on the minimum wage, climate change and gender discrimination at universities.

Peter Morici is an economist and professor at the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, and widely published columnist. He is the five time winner of the MarketWatch best forecaster award. Follow him on Twitter @PMorici1.

Progressives very deceitfully want no election integrity

Nearly 7 Million Americans Registered to Vote in More Than One State

JUNE 26, 2014 10:03 AM  

(Daily Signal) – Some 6.9 million Americans are registered to vote in two or more states, according to a report from an election-watch group.

“Our nation’s voter rolls are a mess,” says Catherine Engelbrecht, True The Vote president. “Sensible approaches to roll maintenance are fought tooth and nail by radical special interests who can use the duplicity in the system to their advantage.”

The latest interstate voter cross check tallied 6,951,484 overlapping voter registrations, and they’re just the tip of the iceberg.

SPECIAL: Modern Day Patriots, this is the time to stand shoulder to shoulder with our forefathers in Lexington and Concord. We need the Tea Party now more than ever.

The cross-check program involves only 28 states and does not include the three largest: California, Texas and Florida.

“Duplicate registration is an open invitation to voting fraud,” said Clara Belle Wheeler, a member of the Election Board in Albemarle County, Va. “This ability to vote more than once dilutes the legal votes and changes the results of elections.”

The interstate cross-check program matches first and last names and dates of birth to identify multiple registrations. But the data are not routinely used to purge duplicates.

“Increasingly lax standards in our election process produce increasingly unreliable results,” Engelbrecht asserted.

“The few conversations that are had about how to shore up these weaknesses are immediately seized on by certain politicians and special-interest groups as fuel to further divide American voters based on trumped-up race and class-based narratives,” she said.

Engelbrecht said the “vicious cycle” can be fixed “if citizens wake up, stand up and refuse to settle for a broken system.”

Jay DeLancy, executive director of the Voter Integrity Project of North Carolina, says the solution is as simple as one-two-three:

First, tie registrations more closely to [each state’s] Department of Motor Vehicles. All voter ID cards would originate there. As is today, when we get an ID card from DMV, we get registered to vote—but turning in your former state’s ID card should revoke your right to vote in the state that issued it.

Second, make it a felony to possess a voter ID card—or any other DMV-issued ID card—from more than one state.

Third, we would only be allowed to vote from the address on that ID card. If a voter shows up with the wrong address, the vote is provisional until the card is corrected.

He added: “We don’t need a federal ID card to do this. In fact, it wouldn’t require any more feds to be hired.”

States, however, will have to tighten up. And that could be a challenge—both politically and fiscally.

In Virginia, Wheeler noted that the State Board of Elections and Department of Elections “have had their funding reduced greatly by the [Terry] McAuliffe administration.” McAuliffe, a Democrat, took office in January.

“With reduced funding, they have a grossly limited staff and thus, will be greatly limited in the ability to do the cross checks and reduce voter fraud.”

State Board of Elections officials, who provided the cross-check data in response to a Freedom of Information Act filing by the Virginia Voters Alliance, did not respond to Wheeler’s assertion.

Two national voting-rights groups — the League of Women Voters and America Votes — did not respond to requests for comment.


An armed citizen was outside a Motel 6 in Jackson, Miss. when a man approached and asked for a cigarette. When the armed citizen declined the man, the man drew a gun and stated “Betcha ain’t got one of these.” The armed citizen responded by drawing his own gun and firing at the robber, striking him in the chest and causing him to flee.

The criminal was discovered a short time later while seeking medical attention. (The Clarion Ledger, Jackson, Miss. 06/20/14)

Supreme Court Strikes Down Abortion Clinic Buffer Zones

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously struck down a Massachusetts law that barred protests near abortion clinics.

The law, enacted in 2007, created 35-foot buffer zones around entrances to abortion clinics. State officials said the law was a response to a history of harassment and violence at abortion clinics in Massachusetts, including a shooting rampage at two facilities in 1994.

The law was challenged on First Amendment grounds by opponents of abortion who said they sought to have quiet conversations with women entering clinics to tell them about alternatives to abortion.

The court was unanimous about the bottom line but divided on the reasoning. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote a relatively narrow majority opinion. He was joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. He suggested that the state could pursue other alternatives.

Justice Antonin Scalia, in a concurrence joined by Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Clarence Thomas, said the majority’s approach was too tentative. The law, he said, is “unconstitutional root and branch.”

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. filed a separate concurrence.

In 2000, the Supreme Court upheld a similar Colorado law in Hill v. Colorado. That law established 100-foot buffer zones outside all health care facilities, not just abortion clinics. Inside those larger zones, the law banned approaching others within eight feet for protest, education or counseling without their consent.

Massachusetts experimented with a similar law but found it inadequate.

In testimony before a legislative committee in 2007, Capt. William B. Evans, then a police commander and now Boston’s police commissioner, said the floating-bubble approach made his officers’ job impossible. “I like to make the reference of a basketball referee down there, where we’re watching feet, we’re watching hands,” he said.

The 2007 law at issue in the case, McCullen v. Coakley, No. 12-1168, did away with floating bubbles and the need to determine who approached whom and whether the listener consented. Instead, it bars everyone from entering or staying in fixed buffer zones around entrances to reproductive health care facilities.

There are exceptions for people going into or coming out of the building, people using the sidewalk to get somewhere else, law enforcement officials and the like, and clinic employees. The plaintiffs said those exceptions effectively favored speech from supporters of abortion rights.


it is to the benefit of left-wingers to cause as many people as they possibly can to be dumb, distracted, and therefore destitute of the ability to think for themselves or to successfully reason their way into informed opinions about complex social and economic issues.

Any thinking American has surely observed that our culture and society are growing more and more immature, childish and unthinking with each passing year.  In previous articles I’ve noted this immaturity, as well as the tendency (neither coincidental, nor accidental) to make Americans more and more dependent upon the government for even the most basic needs of life.

There are several interrelated cultural and political agendas at work which have systematically worked to create this state of affairs among the American people—and these are largely the work of social and political “progressivism,” the handiwork of the Left.  Let’s face it—it is to the benefit of left-wingers to cause as many people as they possibly can to be dumb, distracted, and therefore destitute of the ability to think for themselves or to successfully reason their way into informed opinions about complex social and economic issues.

One of the major ways in which the Left dumbs down the American population is through the public education system.  I’ve observed previously that the Left is not genuinely interested in our children receiving a thorough and useful education, no matter how much they may squawk about “funding” and whatnot.  For the Left, publik skoolz are merely a means by which to propagandize children to a leftist worldview while simultaneously rendering them unable to question the unreality they have been taught.  The Left has absolutely no desire for children to grow up into college students, and then into full-fledged adults, who can think for themselves, using logic and reason to assess what they see and hear and to come to their own conclusions. 

This is why I was interested to see Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry’s recent article in Forbesmagazine about the need to put the liberal arts back into the center of American educational curricula.  By this, he means the restoration of the great books of Western civilization, the accumulated wisdom in the sciences and humanities that our culture has built, and the ideological underpinnings upon which Western notions of freedom, liberty, citizenship, responsibility, and the rule of law are based.  In other words, all of the things that the cultural Marxists have spent the last five decades systematically expunging from the American educational system, from top to bottom.  Things like Cicero, de Tocqueville, the Federalist papers, Shakespeare, Herodotus, Montesquieu, the Founding Fathers, and so much more that I could not possibly list in full.  No—these have been purged, replaced by Heather Has Two Mommies and Why Are the Ice Caps Melting?: The Dangers of Global Warming.  Liberals want young people (who will then grow up to be old people) who are in the dark about the whats, hows, and whys of our cultural underpinnings and what they all mean for liberty and freedom.  This explains why liberals are so irate about the proposal in South Carolina to require teaching the Constitution at certain public universities.


However, I don’t believe we can place the blame solely on the education system.  It surely has not escaped the attention of intelligent Americans that most of what constitutes our entertainment and media establishments is, shall we say, less than cerebral.  In fact, much of what is on television, in the movies, and on the radio waves is downright stupid and distracting.  It is literally distracting.  The content of these media, as well as the advertising regimen by which television viewers are presented with five minutes of show, then three minutes of ads, then another five minutes of show, then another three minutes of ads…it is all designed to train people toward short attention spans that are easily distracted by shiny baubles and other mindlessness.  A person who has their brain trained by modern television programming is going to be someone who will not have the patience to sit down with a book and read it.  They’ll literally be uneducable beyond simple repetition and mindless obedience. 

The state of American journalism is no better.  This is illustrated by Gobry’s article above, in which he addressed the attacks upon Republican nominee Dave Brat, an economics professor who overturned Eric Cantor in the recent GOP primary, and who is a genuine libertarian-minded intellectual who stands on the fundamental principles of our society and constitutional system.  Brat remarked that government has “a monopoly on the use of force.”  For this, he was attacked by nimrods in the news media as some kind of crazy, wacko extremist.  There’s just one problem, as Gobry points out,

“What’s wrong with this picture, America, is that the concept of the state having ‘a monopoly on the [legitimate] use of force’ is a quotation from the highly reputed and important German sociologist Max Weber, and is a concept that is absolutely basic to our modern understanding of the State. Anyone who has taken polisci 101 or sociology 101 or political philosophy 101 or history of ideas 101 ought to have encountered the phrase. It is about as offensive as saying that donuts have holes…
“Here’s the thing. In the understanding of both the great Ancient philosophers and, taking after them, of the thinkers who gave us the Enlightenment and the intellectual scaffolding for our prosperous liberal-democratic society, including the Founding Fathers, democracy did not simply happen. Democracy depended on a robust citizenship, and this citizenship, in turn, was a struggle of all the men (and, now, women) of the polity; it conferred rights as well as responsibilities. In particular, two of the most fundamental requirements of citizenship were virtue and a liberal education.” [ed. note: keep in mind that Gobry means the term “liberal” in the sense of “classical liberal,” i.e. the ideology of our Founders, and of modern-day liberty lovers.]
In other words, journalists—who are supposed to be educated, and who, if they are dealing with the political circuit, should have at least some sort of basic education in political science to go with their typewriting skills—had no clue what Brat was talking about.  They didn’t recognize Weber’s (very commonly quoted) dictum; most of them probably don’t even know who Max Weber was.  All they saw was what they thought was an opportunity to play the “Tea Party wacko extremist” card because somebody used the words “force” and “government” in the same sentence. 

The sad part is that it probably worked with a lot of the low-information voters out there. 

This shouldn’t surprise us.  Most of the news that people get on a daily basis is either banal, slanted, or both. There is very little reporting that actually deals with facts and genuine analysis about the important issues of the day.  As an experiment, while I was writing this article, I pulled up Yahoo News to see what constituted their rotating headlines.  The majority of these stories were, quite frankly, mindless fluff: stories about America’s least favorite fast food restaurants; J-Lo finalizing her divorce; Stephen Colbert using a squirrel to make fun of Hillary Clinton; a woman who lost 160 pounds; a “Transformer’s star” who was “dazzling on the red carpet,” and so forth.  Even the “real” news stories were written in such a basic, non-explicative way as to be useless to anyone who actually wanted to learn something about the subject of the article.  This is the level that journalism is, and it is the level that said journalism has brought millions of our people down to. 


Hermann Hesse’s book, The Glass Bead Game, written in 1943, includes an interesting concept about “the Age of the Feuilliton.”  This book is set in a fiction European region called Castalia, roughly 500 years from the present, but existing in a period of technological stasis such that the “feel” of the culture and society is similar to that of the mid-20th century Europe in which Hesse lived.  In contrast to this stable and introspective future (exemplified by the eponymous glass bead game, a deep intellectual exercise that operated on the principle of synthesizing all human knowledge and finding parallels between disparate fields of understanding, which was restricted to highly-educated scholars, and was treated something like professional sports are today), the current age in which we now live is referred to as “the age of the feuilliton.” The term “feuilliton” refers to inserts that used to be placed in French newspapers and which carried stories about fashion, movies, gossip, celebrities, and other frivolous topics.  The term is used by Hesse to describe our current age as one in which rapid change occurs (just look at the fashion world, as an example), but in which the intellectual and moral interests were shallow, degraded, and generally pointless.  It denoted a society more interested in mindless entertainment than deep consideration. Our current age was looked down upon by many in that future—our shallowness and distraction were the cause of so much violence and so many wars and other disturbances. 


I can’t think of a better description for American popular culture today.  We focus on the “celebrity” of movie and TV stars, professional sports athletes, and demagogic politicians.  We have a president who epitomizes the “celebrity” mentality, having a huge following for essentially nothing more than making empty promises and being crowned as “cool” by the media.  MTV, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central inform more Americans than the great books of Western civilization, and more people learn from a nincompoop like Jon Stewart than do from Aristotle, Cicero, or Jefferson.  And we wonder why the whole tenor of our civilization is one of frivolity, thoughtlessness, and ignorance. 

So what do we do about it?  Unfortunately, there’s not much that we can do for society at large.  People who want to imbibe garbage are going to do so.  Ultimately, it comes down to those of us who still care about where America is headed to refuse to participate in it ourselves.  Stop going to the movies, watching the TV programs, and everything else that are tearing American intellect and culture down and turning us into mindless zombies.  Start reading books, start engaging each other in conversation, let actual face-to-face talking being your primary mode of interaction with other people, instead of texting them on your smartphone.  Make learning and study fashionable, if not in society at large, than at least in your own life (i.e. stop caring what the shallowness around you thinks).  Learn and come to your own conclusions about things of importance instead of just letting some talking head on the tube tell you what to think.  Frankly, I don’t mind if someone disagrees with me, so long as they reasoned their way to their point of disagreement.  If their cause for disagreement, on the other hand, amounts to nothing more than, “Dur dur, Stephen Colbert said so,” then I have no respect for that at all.

I hate to say it, but even many conservatives need to take these steps.  I have to say that the most consistent criticism I get for my writings is that they are “too long.”  “Nobody will read three pages,” it is said.  To this I say, “then they ought to learn to do so.”  I actually had one website associated with a major conservative print newspaper tell me that they wanted me to write for their op-ed blog, but that I would have to simplify my articles down to around a 9th-grade level.  This I refused to do.  If we care about liberty, if we want to revive the traits of “virtue” and “good citizenship” that Gobry wrote about, if we want to have the truly informed electorate upon which a consensual form of government must rest, then we have to resist the spirit of our age with all our might.  Sitting down and reading John Locke may not be as interesting or fun as vegetating in front of a television for six hours a night, but in the long run, it’ll be a whole lot better for you, for your society, and for the world you and I profess to want to preserve for the next generation.

Bombshell: IRS cancelled email backup contract just weeks after Lois Lerner’s computer ‘crashed’


Nothing suspicious here, at least to Democrats and mainstream media types. But it would be interesting to see the paperwork leading to this contract termination, since the IRS is required by law to backup its communications. (via Patrick Howley of the Daily Caller):

 The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) cancelled its longtime relationship with an email-storage contractorDescription: just weeks after ex-IRS official Lois Lerner’s computer crashed and shortly before other IRS officials’ computers allegedly crashed. (snip)

Sonasoft’s six-year businessDescription: relationship with the IRS came to an abrupt end at the close of fiscal year 2011, as congressional investigators began looking into the IRS conservative targeting scandal and IRS employees’ computers started crashing left and right.

Sonasoft’s fiscal year 2011 contract with the IRS ended on August 31, 2011. Eight days later, the IRS officially closed out its relationship with Sonasoft in accordance with the federal government’s contract close-out guidelines, which require agencies to fully audit their contracts and to get back any moneyDescription: that wasn’t used by the contractor. Curiously, the IRS de-allocated 36 cents when it closed out its contract with Sonasoft on September 8, 2011.

Lois Lerner’s computer allegedly crashed in June 2011, just ten days after House Ways and Means Committee chairman Rep. Dave Camp first wrote a letter asking if the IRS was engaging in targeting of nonprofit groups. Two months later, Sonasoft’s contract ended and the IRS gave its email-archiving contractor the boot.

IRS official and frequent White House visitor Nikole Flax allegedly suffered her own computer crash in December 2011, three months after the IRS ended its relationship with Sonasoft.

Was Sonasoft required to purge its records? If so, why? What did the IRS do with the backup records?

Hat tip: Clarice Feldman

Lerner’s Missing 1.8 Gigabytes…a Fraudulent IRS

Recovering the missing 18 1/12 minutes may have been have been difficult or impossible in 1972, but as numerous commenters at Hot Air observe, there should be duplicates of the emails on the servers containing the emails. Beyond that, hard drive recovery techniques are remarkably sophisticated:

How much damage can your data take before it’s gone forever? We wanted to find out what could be salvaged from a computer that had been through a natural disaster, so we simulated a really bad one. We decided upon an earthquake/flood doomsday scenario. First, we took two laptop drives, loaded them with test movie and music files, then beat the heck out of them until we heard the signature clicking of mechanical hard-drive failure. Then we submerged one of the drives in custom- made storm-surge floodwaters (salt water, construction debris, oil) and let it soak for four days.

We sent both hard drives to Kroll Ontrack Data Recovery, which sells data-rescue services to both corporate clients and consumers. Ontrack’s Jeff Pederson analyzed the drives in the company’s clean room and found that the read/write heads in our dry drive were bent from our abuse and that we had scratched the platters. Our flooded drive was wet, but the platters were undamaged. Pederson replaced the heads and performed a recovery.

To borrow a Nixon-era phrase, how badly does Congress want to pursue this latest modified limited hangout by the IRS?

Bill Cosby: “We have to start holding each other to a higher standard. We cannot blame the white people any longer.”


They’re standing on the corner and they can’t speak English. 
I can’t even talk the way these people talk: 
Why you ain’t, 
Where you is, 
What he drive, 
Where he stay, 
Where he work, 
Who you be… 
And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. 
And then I heard the father talk. 
Everybody knows it’s important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can’t be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth.
In fact you will never get any kind of job making a decent living.

People marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an Education, and now we’ve got these knuckleheads walking around. 
The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal. 
These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids. 
$500 sneakers for what? 
And they won’t spend $200 for Hooked on Phonics.

I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit. 
Where were you when he was 2?
Where were you when he was 12? 
Where were you when he was 18 and how come you didn’t know that he had a pistol? 
And where is the father? Or who is his father? 
People putting their clothes on backward: 
Isn’t that a sign of something gone wrong? 
People with their hats on backward, pants down around the crack, isn’t that a sign of something?

Isn’t it a sign of something when she has her dress all the way up and got all type of needles [piercing] going through her body? 
What part of Africa did this come from?? 
We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don’t know a thing about Africa …..

I say this all of the time. It would be like white people saying they are European-American. That is totally stupid. 
I was born here, and so were my parents and grand parents and, very likely my great grandparents. I don’t have any connection to Africa, no more than white Americans have to Germany , Scotland , England , Ireland , or the Netherlands . The same applies to 99 percent of all the black Americans as regards to Africa . So stop, already! ! ! 
With names like Shaniqua, Taliqua and Mohammed and all of that crap ……… And all of them are in jail.

Brown or black versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person’s problem. 
We have got to take the neighborhood back. 
People used to be ashamed. Today a woman has eight children with eight different ‘husbands’ — or men or whatever you call them now. 
We have millionaire football players who cannot read. 
We have million-dollar basketball players who can’t write two paragraphs. We, as black folks have to do a better job. 
Someone working at Wal-Mart with seven kids, you are hurting us. 
We have to start holding each other to a higher standard..
We cannot blame the white people any longer.’

~Dr.. William Henry ‘Bill’ Cosby, Jr., Ed..D.