Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Positivists v. The Naturalists

"Naturalists" are not nudists, nor Green Weenies.  And Positivists are heading for a serious fall, no matter how they dress up in their black robes and pose for pictures before stacks of Law Books.

Of course, since the Naturalists wear funny hats and are associated with incense, bells, and *gasp* religion, they're either old-fashioned or out-of-touch--or both, right?

...In the encyclical Evangelium Vitae of March 25, 1995, John Paul II based the sacred value of human life (from its very beginning until its end) on the same [Natural] law. In this important document, he affirms “every person sincerely open to truth and goodness can, by the light of reason and the hidden action of grace, come to recognize in the natural law written in the heart (cf. Rom 2:14-15) the sacred value of human life from its very beginning until its end” (no.2). In the encyclical, Veritatis Splendor, of the August 6, 1993,the Pope who has just been canonized, denounced the rejection of the natural law as the fruit of “a more or less obvious influence of currents of thought which end by detaching human freedom from its essential and constitutive relationship with the Truth.” [It is] on the basis of such a law – he affirmed on February 6, 2004 – that a platform of shared values can be built, around which constructive dialogue is developed with all men of good will, and more in general, with secular society.”

Also Benedict XVI frequently referred to the importance of this doctrine “there is an urgent need to reflect upon the question of natural law and to rediscover its truth" which "is common to all mankind.” [...] “All legal systems, both internal and international, ultimately draw their legitimacy from their rooting in natural law, in the ethical message inscribed in human beings themselves. The natural law is, definitively, the only valid bulwark against the abuse of power and the deceits of ideological manipulation.” (Discourse at the Pontifical Lateran University, February 12, 2007)....
"...the only valid bulwark against the abuse of power and the deceits of ideological manipulation..."
Well, now.  That's a significant line, particularly at a time when it's more and more obvious to many that the FedGov abuses its power and is willing and able to deceive for purposes of ideological manipulation.
The Positivist Priesthood, all dressed in black *coughPosnerCrabbcough* think that they and their un-natufal allies will persevere in the long run.
Don't bet on it.

Natural law is not intrinsic to "a religion," nor a captive thereof.  It is universal, which explains why NO world religion has endorsed same-sex "marriage" in recorded history.  It is also why NO world religion endorsed abortion, or theft, or murder of innocents or sodomy or fraud or perjury.

One might make the case that Mohammedanism has endorsed murder, polygamy, and perjury (or at least, fraud)--but then we have two possible responses:  either 1) Mohammedanism is NOT a religion, or 2) those Mohammedans who practice such atrocities are acting against their religion.  In either case, there are clearly "deceits of ideological manipulation" at play.

WIsconsin's Gun Violence Problem

Gun Violence Distribution/Hospitalization in a few States, HT:  Sipsey Street

The College Board's 'Fundamental Transformation'

The College Board owns the S.A.T. and various A.P. tests, by which your little snowflakes compete for (some) college admissions.  (ACT is the alternative.)

College Board has decided that their AP History test will be....ahhhh.....distinctly Zinnian.

(Perhaps it's merely co-incidence that the College Board CEO had a lot of input into Common Core.  Then again, maybe it is NOT co-incidence.)

Anyhow, a historian, Radosh, takes on the AP History section from 1900-present.  Worth the read.

Much-Needed Domestic Strategy!

Of COURSE there is a domestic strategy!!  It's simple:  reduce the American middle class to third-worlders.  Social Justice, and all that.  (Echoes of GWB, by the way.)

The Obama administration is working on new efficiency standards for seemingly every appliance but the kitchen sink.

Spurred by President Obama’s climate action plan, the Department of Energy is pumping out new standards for refrigerators, dishwashers, air conditioners, ceiling fans, furnaces, boilers, water heaters, lamps and many more appliances.

See?  We're from the Gummint, and we're here to he'p you!!

Or not:

...industry groups argue the standards, which will apply to both commercial and household appliances, could slow the economy, and that the Energy Department is rushing the new rules while overestimating the savings.

...Business groups say the new rules will be expensive for industry to comply with because it will require them to buy new technologies to develop appliances that emit less energy. That will raise the retail prices of household appliances, they say.  ...

Big Green has its own take:

Green groups and the Energy Department acknowledge the standards will lead to more expensive appliances but say consumers will save money in the long run on their energy bills.

Which is to say, 'let them eat cake.'

...Lower-income consumers, however, will be at a disadvantage, she said. They will have a tough time paying for the more expensive appliances, and are likely to keep using older ones....

Tough.  Wash by hand, and build a fire to cook your rice and beans, untermensch.

You recall that GWB, no stranger to Big Gummint plots, was also an enthusiast for idiocies:

Republicans played the rich-poor divide up during one of the most famous efficiency controversies: the ban on traditional incandescent light bulbs.

That episode also highlights how energy efficiency has become more of a partisan issue. The push for the new light bulbs started under President George W. Bush and initially had support from many Republicans. It then became a Tea Party rallying cry...

The ban is pushing consumers to buy more expensive light bulbs, even as they save money on their energy bills. Republicans complain this puts lower-income consumers at a disadvantage because they’ll have a tougher time paying for the more expensive bulbs.

You remember Pubbie efforts to rescind the light-bulb regs, don't you?

I don't either.  

Friday, August 29, 2014

Here's How to Respond to Tax Delinquent Indians

Seems that the Potawatomi tribe owes Wisconsin about $25 million and doesn't intend to pay.

OK.

The Governor has threatened to pull their slot-machine license.

OK.

But if I were Governor, I'd also seek to license every tavern and convenience store in the State to have slots.  Every.  Damned.  One.

Of course, those outlets WILL pay their taxes.

ObozoEducrats: "You WILL Obey!"

Don't think Common Core is any good?

Ya' think that Common Core is NOT based on some sort of peer-reviewed and validated evidence of efficacy?

Think that the Feds are ramming it down States' throats, 10th Amendment be damned?

You're right.

(Sure was nice of GWB to sign that No Child thing, eh?)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Prophesy of "Hill Street Blues"

Middle of an essay by Glenn Reynolds, this pops out:

...I sometimes think the turning point was marked by the old cop show Hill Street Blues. Each episode opened with a daily briefing before the officers went out on patrol. In the early seasons, Sergeant Phil Esterhaus concluded every briefing with "Let's be careful out there." In the later episodes, his replacement, Sergeant Stan Jablonski, replaced that with "Let's do it to them before they do it to us." The latter attitude is appropriate for a war zone, but not for a civilized society.....

Ya' think??

Some Help for Charlie Sykes

Charlie Sykes cannot understand why 'conservatives' are less-than-enthused about Walker's campaign.

Let me help you, Charlie.

First off, Walker is a Boy Scout.  Honest, helpful, courteous, ....all that stuff.  He will get my vote.  So this isn't a rant about 'Why I Won't Vote for Walker'.

Having said that, I'll put Walker's problem in three words:

No Red Meat.

Walker is a terminal bore--or maybe his message is terminally boring.  He did Act 10 and has subsequently gone to ground over the size of Wisconsin Gummint--and for that matter, the size of the tax bite here.  Regulation relief?  Yes, but virtually invisible. Tax reductions?  Ditto.  Question:  what's the plan for the next 4 years?  Another $100.00 reduction in State income taxes?  Another $200.00 reduction in property taxes?  How about police & fire benefits, still unconscionably excessive?  Or better yet, how about fixing the abuse of the "duty disability" clause?  No mention.  No concern.

Yawn.

Closely connected:  Walker has not been visible in fighting the Obozo Regime.  He--unlike Jindal--rolled over for Common Core, a blatant invasion of State's rights.  Yes, he avoided the ObozoCare nightmare, but he certainly hasn't capitalized on that with red-meat speechification.  Yawn.

(Where's Walker on the illegals, by the way?  Nary a peep from him.)

Similarly, Walker has disappeared on the gay "marriage" fight, just as on the abortion-benefits issue for State employees.  Skittling sideways with "not my provenance" blather is gutless and, frankly, evasive.

Walker lost control of the "jobs" issue.  True, he didn't get his 250K.  But there's a reason:  ObozoConomy.  We all know that.  Why the hell doesn't he SAY that??

Walker shuffled and wavered on the Cost of Coal matter, saying that he'd defer reaction until a group of Midwestern Governors came up with an objection.  REALLY?  You have NOTHING to say about this, Scott?  How about "Screw this bastard and his Kill America Plan"?

Walker decided, as part of his "jobs" crusade, to establish another Gummint "helper":  WEDC.  Why does Walker think that his version of Crony Capitalism is better than the Doyle/Burke version?

One more thing:  Jim Doyle is dead and gone.  Yah, he's a slimebucket grifter.  So what?  Get over it.  Paint Mary Burke with the Obozo brush, with regulatory- and tax-increases, and the illegals.  Get rid of your McCain/Romney political "advisers" and get someone with testosterone.

See what happens then.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Move All "Misinformation" and Hate Speech To the Blog

Seems like Obozo has funded a system which will track "misinformation" and "hate speech" on Twitter.

They call that stuff "subversive."

Just like Bill Ayers is "subversive", right?  Or Frank Marshall?  Alinsky?

Oh.  Maybe not.

Posner v.....Thinkers

We are told that a blackrobe named Posner ridiculed the State of Wisconsin's constitutional definition of marriage.

In contrast,

...the writings of Plato and Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas, Maimonides and Al-Farabi, Luther and Calvin, Locke and Kant, Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., one finds that the sexual union of male and female goes to the heart of their reflections on marriage...

Ah, the wisdom assumed with donning the black robe!

Or not.

Krugman, Dismantled

This turkey is a "prize-winning" economist?

What--from a CrackerJacks box?

Birds of a Feather Flocking at IRS

Well, well.

Seems that an IRS "ethics" lawyer may be disbarred.

For ethics problems.

IRS Apes EPA: "Sue/Settle" Slime

 For years, the Green-o-crats at EPA have chafed at law or judicial decisions which restricted EPA's authority to strangle economic activity.  So in order to get around these restrictions, EPA colluded with outside groups such as the Sierra Club.  Sierra would sue EPA to obtain Big Green ends, and EPA would deliberately fold its hand in court.  Then EPA would have a free hand to pursue the Green ends.

The Green-o-Crats of EPA got what they wanted, and so did Big Green.  "Win-win!" 

(You lose.  Too bad.)

Now the Lerner-ized IRS is pulling the same outrageous, dishonest, dirty trick.

...Members of Congress are demanding answers from the IRS about their apparent collusion with an angry atheist group to target the Church.

The issue arose when the angry atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation sued the IRS, demanding that it investigate churches and pastors and monitor their sermons.

The IRS quickly folded, settling the case and agreeing to target and monitor churches...

What's...ahhh....curious.... is this:  IRS surrendered on a case which--by precedent--they could have easily won.

What's ominous is that IRS refuses to release the settlement's terms. That's interesting, no?  IRS is not a private club.  Their legal agreements should be available to all the citizens in cases which do not have an obvious 'privacy' bar.

It would be fun to get that chubby bald twit back to testify about this with Rep. Gowdy asking the questions, wouldn't it?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Missing Info on Countrywide Mortgage Directors

The NYT published an article indicating that Justice is mulling about taking Angelo Mozila, the ex-CEO of Countrywide Mortgage, to court over something.  As you recall, the collapse of Countrywide was a major contributor to the Great Recession.

They also mentioned four former members of the Board of Directors of the company, but missed a couple of interesting details.

Take Kathleen Brown.  The NYT item says that she is currently on a couple of other Boards.  What they do NOT mention is that Ms. Brown was a Goldman, Sachs exec, apparently at the same time she was a Director at Countrywide.

Or Henry Cisneros.  The NYT description tells us he's now on the Board of some hotel company.  It does NOT tell us that Cisneros was a Clinton cabinet member.  Sec'y, HUD, as a matter of fact.

Curious that the NYT would miss these connections, eh?

Obozo, Assisting the Leninists

Whodathunk that Obozo would help out the Leninists?

(Hint:  anyone who understands that Obozo is a Communist.)

Solzhenitsyn:

....Yet even you, good sir, have failed to note that I have no quarrel with Ukrainian separatism, only with the factual state of Ukraine. Currently, as statues of Lenin are being torn down in Ukraine (as rightly they should be!), why is it that western Ukrainians of all people in that land desire that the state of Ukraine should have the borders made for it by Lenin himself? The borders which Uncle Lenin himself drew up for Ukraine? For the present borders of Ukraine are the result of Lenin seeking for a way to compensate the Ukrainian people for consuming their liberty under Soviet domination. Thus it was Lenin who arbitrarily attached Novorosiya, the Donbas (by which Lenin separated the Donbas from the anti-Communist counter revolutionaries of Donietsk) as well as attaching parts of the left bank to Ukraine. Later, Krushchev arbitrarily added Crimea to Ukraine. And now Ukrainian nationalists stand firm in defense of their “holy” territorial integrity—of borders created by Lenin?

That was in 1993.  He didn't have much good to say about NATO then, by the way.  Later, in 2006, he gave an interview:

...Events in Ukraine, ever since the time of the referendum in 1991, with its poorly formulated options, have been a constant source of pain and anger to me. I have written and spoken about this often. The fanatic oppression and supression of the Russian language there (a language which polls show is consistently the prefered language of 60% of the people there) is a beastly methodology aimed primarily against the cultural prospects of Ukraine itself. The vast territories which were never part of historic Ukraine, such as Crimea, Novorosiya and the entire southeast were forcibly and arbitrarily consumed into the territory of modern Ukraine and made hostage to Ukraine’s desires to join NATO. Under the Yeltsin presidency, not one meeting was ever held with the Ukrainian President that did not end in Russia capitulating and accepting everything Ukraine requested. Yeltsin uprooted the Black Sea fleet from Sevastopol; something not even Krushchev did under the USSR. It is all a simple minded, indeed simpleton and cruel joke perpetuated against the entire history of XIX and XX century Russia. Given these circumstances, Russia will never, in any way, betray the many millions of Russian speaking peoples in Ukraine. Russia will never abandon the ideal of unity with them.

So what does Obozo do?

aaarrrrggghhh...







'Tis a Puzzlement

(to quote Yul Brynner playing the King of Siam...)

Below is a post linking to an essay on Ferguson.  Just by co-incidence....

“My son didn't shoot himself. I never believed it. I won't believe it,” said Victor White, Sr., the father of 22-year-old Victor White, III, who back in March, died from a gunshot wound....

V. White III was in a patrol car's back seat, hands handcuffed behind his back, when--according to the PoPo testimony, he offed himself with a single gunshot.........to his chest.

Yup.  Police will not lie, right?

Civil Unrest, Voting, and Ferguson UPDATED

This essay should be read in its entirety.  The author, who knows the St. Louis area very well, makes a point which has national, not just local, implications:

...I find the attitude that “there is no more racism” is prevalent in the white community and especially among conservative whites.  I believe the evidence is overwhelming that this is not the case, that those in the black community who are expressing concerns are doing so because there is indeed something to be concerned about. As Crump states, this IS systemic, and it must be addressed. The killing of Michael Brown is not a standalone, isolated incident in Ferguson.  It is a catalyst that set off a reaction to perceived racial inequity, police harassment, and (relevant to the Brown killing) a belief that Mr. Brown was wrongfully killed by the Ferguson police officer – and as a result of all of these, the protests occurred.  The residents are responding not just to the killing, but to a long-festering situation....

Umnmmnhhhh, yes.  And if we take his observation to the 30,000-foot level, all he's described is the elements necessary for any revolt.  1776, and all that.

He makes another point which is just as important, at least here in the US:

...There was an uproar on the Right in response to the appearance of voter registration tents near the protest site.  My colleague Dan McLaughlin mentioned it in his diary on Ferguson.  As I see it, the voter registration tent was not a bad thing.  The anger of the protesters should be redirected to voting instead of rioting.  If the residents want change, that is how to do it.  Some, including Rush Limbaugh, have claimed the NAACP and others are using this as a way to sway the midterms.  Was it?  Perhaps. But that doesn’t make it necessarily wrong.

We need to shake off the non-stop cynicism we have about situations like this.  There is nothing wrong with encouraging people who believe they are misrepresented to vote more....

Someone with a sense of humor could be selling Tea Party flags in Ferguson; who knows?  It might be a very successful enterprise.

Read the WHOLE thing, by the way.

UPDATE:  The OathKeepers sent a letter to Gov Nixon of Mo.  Here's a graf which underlines the first point above:

...you that you are making a grave mistake by continuing the pattern of militarization and abuse of rights that we saw during Occupy Wall Street (with curfews imposed on peaceful protesters, who were wrongly ordered to disperse and then pepper-sprayed at point-blank range); with the egregious death of Marine combat veteran Jose Guerena at the hands of a Tucson SWAT team while serving a mere search warrant; during the response to the Boston Bombing (with families being ordered out of their homes at gun-point, with many veterans telling us that the people of Iraq were treated with more respect and consideration than they saw in Watertown, Massachusetts); and with the recent horrendous use of "First Amendment Areas," military trained snipers, and militarized, heavy-handed Federal law enforcement at Bundy Ranch in Bunkerville, Nevada that galvanized veterans from all across America to travel there to prevent that ranching family from being "Waco'd" (with the Washington Times later disclosing that the Obama Administration did, in fact, consider using military force against the Bundy family and their supporters, but thankfully decided not to).  Those examples only scratch the surface of a systemic problem that has been ratcheting up over the years in nearly every community in America, as Washington Post journalist Radley Balko has exhaustively documented....

Yup.  
 

Clinton, Obozo, & GWBush: Losing to Al Quaeda

Seems as though our recent Presidents are not too perceptive when they decide to "fix things."

With Clinton, it was Bosnia.

Back in 2007, my book Unholy Terror ruffled quite a few feathers by pointing out the unpleasant truth that, in the 1990s, Bosnia-Hercegovina became a jihadist playground and a major venue for Al-Qa’ida, thanks to malign Saudi and Iranian influences. This was off-message, to put it mildly, to critics eager to defend failed Western (especially American) policies in the Balkans, as well as the usual coterie of jihad fellow-travelers and Useful Idiots, plus those eager, for personal reasons, not to have anyone look too deeply into where Saudi money goes in Europe.

However, my essential message — that Islamist extremism, though a largely imported phenomenon in Bosnia, has put down local roots and is likely to metastasize further due to that country’s intractable socio-economic problems — has been proven sadly accurate over the last seven years....

Yah.  And guess who Clinton helped?

Yup.  The Muizzies.

And of course, GWBush elected to depose Saddam, against the advice of John Paul II.  JPII was not a friend of Saddam, nor was he a peacenik; but he knew that the collapse of that regime would lead to Islamo-troubles downstream.

Yup.

And of course, there's Obozo, who has brought our foreign relations to near-perfect stupidity, again assisting radical Muzzies by deposing Gaddafy (thus, Benghazi), opposing Israeli efforts to stamp out Hamas, and working on his golf-game while feeding ISIS its weapons.

Yup.

It might be interesting to know just exactly who is advising these men--and what THEIR motives are.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Francis v. Benedict: Huh?

Some very sharp observers noticed the language used when Pope Francis asked for strong intervention against ISIS.

...Jorge Mario Bergoglio, invited “stopping the unjust aggressors” without “any bombing” or “starting a war”.

It's what he specifically did NOT use:  the qualifier "Muslim."  (And, by the way, his suggestion seems rather....ahhh.....inadequate....., given what we know.)


There's some history there, as it turns out.

[Following Benedict XVI's Regensburg address, t]he pontiff was hit, however, chiefly by accusations launched from some exponents in the Church. Among these, the then-Archbishop of Buenos Aires. The future Pope did not speak in person. It was Father Guillermo Marc√≥, spokesman for Bergoglio. Speaking to the Argentine edition of the weekly “Newsweek”, he used extremely harsh tones: saying that Ratzinger’s declarations had been “unfortunate”. And more: “I do not identify with the Pope’s words. I would have never used that citation.” Concluding with: “If the Pope does not recognize the values of Islam and it is left like that, in twenty seconds we will have destroyed everything that has been built over the last twenty years.”

It was Marcó who spoke, but everyone knew that those sentences corresponded to the thought of his superior.

Lessons learned:  1)  A Cardinal Archbishop criticized the Pope, so 'criticizing the Pope' can't possibly be as awful as the Bergliolites would have us believe, and 2)  Clearly, infallibility does not extend to political judgments.

Unkind to Ryan? Not Me!

There's been mumbling that the Tea Party types are not fans of Paul Ryan.  Well, maybe.  Sometimes I think Paul Ryan gets it--see his 'subsidiarity' inclinations.  Other times, it's clear that Paul is missing the boat by a mile--see his inexplicable stand on illegals.

I suppose that he's more conservative than Boehner.  That's not saying much, but you get the idea.

Others, however, simply mock him for his "path to fiscal sanity" budget proposals.

"...Representative Ryan has presented several budgets over the last few years which I have proceeded to rip into little shreds using, no surprise, arithmetic.  Specifically, his budgets all assume a 20 year time horizon and they make two assumptions that are false: A growth rate over that 20 years on a compounded annual basis that has never happened in the post-war for even five years, say much less 20 and worse, a reliance on there being no recessions during that period.

There has never been a 20 year no-recession period in the history of the United States.
Presentation of any such "budget proposal" is an outright fraud.  What's worse is that using the actual "as experienced" economic record since 1980 as a baseline Ryan's budget proposals result in the catastrophic collapse of the Federal Government (that is, tax revenue is exceeded by mandatory expenditures + interest) long before the 20 years are up...."

But hey!  Those proposals were nicely written and produced, no?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

"Waste, Fraud, Abuse" Success?

Touted by the Governor's office:

On Jan. 3, 2011, Walker issued Executive Order #2, creating the Governor’s Commission on Waste, Fraud and Abuse, with marching orders to identify bloat and impropriety in state government programs and state appropriations and recommend solutions.

Good.

...The Walker administration on Wednesday announced the state Department of Revenue during the past four tax seasons has stopped $134 million in tax refunds related to fraud and adjustments....

Pretty good, too.

However.......

...Critics of the latest state budget say there is plenty of room for improvement in tracking waste in the $70-billion biennial spending plan....

So yah, maybe I'm a "critic" too.  $70 BN spent, and not a dime of "waste" found?

Crowing over 'better than Doyle' is not jumping a high bar, folks. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Stupid Crook Stories

©2014 by Dean Weingarten

A career criminal has an out of wedlock child with a woman. He shows up for the child’s first birthday, only to find another man present, who also has a criminal record, but no felonies. The first criminal, enraged to find another man with the mother of his child, threatens to kidnap the one-year-old. The man without felonies fires a warning shot from a .38 to stop the threat.  The  career criminal goes to his car, pulls out a handgun and points it at the man with the .38, who promptly shoots him in the chest, killing him.  The handgun the felon retrieved from the car was a non-firing, realistic toy...

Definitely Darwin Award material.

Hint to Missouri: THIS Is a Problem

News item:

...Early Wednesday morning, Max Suchan, a law student serving as a National Lawyers Guild legal observer, was arrested. Suchan, a student at DePaul University College of Law, was released after spending about four hours in a police paddywagon, according to the guild. He has not been charged....

National Lawyers Guild, eh.

That's a Communist Party front group.  Always was, always will be.

That is a Big Problem.  Those are the guys Shakespeare wrote about.

UPDATEKengor noticed the same thing. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Chisholm and Accountability Board, Twit-Warriors

Herewith Andy McCarthy's lead graf:

It has come to this after six years of Barack Obama’s Chicago-style community-organizer governance: The hard Left no longer believes it necessary to pretend that the rule of law matters. It is politics as combat. The devolution can be measured from the trumped-up indictment of Tom DeLay to the trumped-up indictment of Rick Perry...

McCarthy didn't mention Scott Walker supporters.  He could have, of course.  Chisholm, a far-left D.A. did to Walker's supporters exactly what McCarthy describes.

IOW, Chisholm has decided to weaponize "law" to eliminate his political opponents, and he was joined in that effort by the "Accountability" Board pencil-necked geeks.

Well, if it's war that they want.....

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Jazz Shaw Misses the Mark, By a Mile

Shaw, writing at HotAir, managed to miss the elephant in the room on a couple of counts.

...The old assumptions of law enforcement and their unwritten compact with the citizenry relied on a society where the police – and the laws – were respected, and criminals were a minority who would be rejected by the rank and file residents. But when the majority of an entire community decides to break that compact, the formula changes. They realize that they outnumber – and frequently outgun – the cops. A slumbering, snarling beast is awakened and in short order the police can find themselves on the run. This is not a formula for freedom of speech… it’s the path to mayhem and the breakdown of civil society. Before you’re too quick to demand the “demilitarization” of the police, you might want to remember who it is that stands between the neighborhood you have now and South Central L.A circa 1992....

Well, maybe.  But maybe not.

It is true that the 'unwritten compact' of which he writes has seemingly almost disappeared.  But the next sentence is less true than Shaw might want us to believe.  First off, it has never been "a majority of an entire community" which decides to break that compact.  Last night, the curfew was broken by perhaps 300 people, 1/10th of which were outside agitators (Black Panthers).  Further, many of the looters in Ferguson were also outsiders; arrest records show that they were residents of other States (Texas among them.)

Shaw might be in his 40's, which would excuse his apparent ignorance of the National Guard.  During the riots in Milwaukee (late '60's), it was clear that the police could not contain the disturbance.  In only 3 days, the Mayor asked for--and the Governor sent--the National Guard, which, in conjunction with the police and Sheriff, quelled the riot in only a few days.

We cannot account for the reluctance of the LA or Ferguson authorities to request the National Guard, of course.  That is a question which should be asked.

Shaw not only missed the 'call out the Guard' elephant; he also demonstrates his lack of understanding of the Principle of Subsidiarity.  Perhaps that also has to do with youth, because it certainly shouldn't be from lack of education, right?

In a well-ordered society, each level of that society has different responsibilities according to their capabilities.  When parental or adult remedies fail, the neighborhood, or church, takes up the slack.  When those fail, the municipality or County steps in.  When THEY fail, it is up to the State, and in extremis, the Feds.  (The niceties of Posse Comitatus will not be discussed here....)

What we have at the local level is a very serious case of mission creep.  One can only speculate as to why--whether it's machismo or political silliness--but in either case it's simply stupid.  I have no problem justifying body armor for the locals, sniper rifles, or locals using tear gas.  APCs?  Full-auto M16A2's?  Not so much.  They are the tools of the military and should be reserved to them.

Fortunately, each State HAS a military available on short notice.  Ferguson (and the blithering dodo (D) Gov. Nixon) should have made that call.



Saturday, August 16, 2014

Stunning Stats on Cops Killing

One could forget all about Ferguson, MO., and still recoil in horror at the stats Steyn finds.

Using the FBI's category of 'justifiable homicide' (defined  at the link) Steyn found that last year, cops killed 410 Americans.

Not a big number?  Compared to what?

By comparison, for the years 2012 and 2013 in England and Wales:
No fatal police shootings.
In the Netherlands:
The average for the last 35 years is three dead and 15 injured.
In Germany, a nation of 80 million people, police in 2011 fatally shot six persons. In Denmark, police shot 11 people in 11 years,...

Steyn also mentions that in Germany, the cops expended a grand total of 85 bullets last year (in confrontations with the public.)  And German cops utilize the "warning shot."

So about those full-auto M16A2's.......compared to what?



Where "Common Core" Is Going

There's been some chatter about "Common Core."  While its proponents insist that it's just fine, logic dictates otherwise.  The pushers of the program insist that 'curriculum' is the same, while skeptics rightly insist that "standards" will drive curriculum.

Now we know where the "standards" and the revised "curriculum" will take your little darlings when they get to the SAT.  And yes, the Big Kahoona at SAT (College Board) was heavily involved in shaping Common Core.

...Today, the history of George Washington's leadership has been erased in the new Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History test/curriculum, taking effect in the fall of 2014.  The College Board, the organization that publishes the Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT) and AP tests, has also decided to completely blot out Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, among others.  In this newly revised course, Gen. Washington merits one fleeting mention in one sentence, in reference to his Farewell Address....

Umnnhhh....yah.

But it gets worse!  Read the linked materials.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Surprise! Another ObozoCriminal in Office!

Sure, it's a violation of Federal law to destroy official records, including emails.

So what?

Ferguson, Ruby Ridge

It may be a while before the facts are firmly established in the Ferguson situation.  One of the versions is extremely disturbing, and that's the version wherein Brown was shot in the back while fleeing.

In other words, it's akin to Ruby Ridge.

(We are also reminded of the whitewash given the UW-M KampusKop several years ago when he emptied his magazine into the back of a guy driving a Jeep.)

The other version--that Brown was shot while attempting to disarm the cop--is the one that gives us some measure of comfort such as it is, given that there is a dead young man.

This essayist reminds us that the first version is not to be dismissed out-of-hand.  He has plenty of evidence on video that cops lie.  Why not?  They're human.

We've often mentioned that the "rule of law" in this country is rapidly becoming a thing of the past, mostly because those who are the 'rulers,' particularly in the judiciary, are demolishing it.  Let's hope that this is NOT another chapter in that particular book.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sign of "Not Good" in the Economy

This outfit's same-store-sales numbers are the proverbial canary in the mineshaft.

...[Kohl's] same-store sales slipped once again, the retailer reported Thursday.

Sales at stores open at least a year, a critical measure of retailing performance, were down 1.3% for the three months ended Aug. 2, compared with 2013.

Kohl's same-store sales have fallen short of the previous year's mark in five of the last six quarters.

Shades of 2008, when they displayed a near-identical pattern.

I was conversing with a fellow in the dental-supply biz the other day who mentioned that in his business (bridges and dentures), "discretionary" spending has been about zero.  People will replace teeth if they HAVE to do so, but are not spending on "nice-to-have" work.

You can take it for what it's worth, but I think it's a "caution" sign.

"Sue and Settle" Bunch Behind EPA Extremism

The greatest dangers to your utility bill are named in this article.  Not "EPA," although they are a notorious cooperator in strangling utilities (and hiking your electric bills.)

...The finding of failure against Wisconsin and two other states was required by a consent decree in one of the Sierra Club lawsuits, Hart said. The DNR has been writing fine particle limits into its air permits, she said.
Hart said she expects the agency will submit completed rules to the EPA before the two years elapse. Work has begun on an initial step, a statement of scope, she said.

Limits on fine particles will likely need to be stricter than those Wisconsin now uses, said Sarah Williams, an attorney for Madison-based Midwest Environmental Advocates. She questioned the validity of the reasons for missing the deadline.

“They decided to take the position of ‘Wait and see if we can get away with doing less,’ ” Williams said.

Sue and settle.  That's what Sierra and Midwest Environmental Advocates do.  When these extremists don't like a rule due to some imaginary 'evils', they sue EPA.  EPA folds like a cheap suit, "settling" for some ultra-restrictive new "rule."

Your electric bill rises.  The Green Machine is happy. 

As to you obtaining food and shelter?  Tough turds, folks.

The Way We Are and The Warning from Aristotle

Fr. James Schall essays on the current situation in America, and tells us why our regime is averse to truth.  Of course, we have allowed that aversion--in fact, we have voted for it in many instances.

...Aristotle described the various configurations that are found among civil states to describe the purpose of their rule and the institutions or divisions of power designed to foster it. He reduced them to three general types—monarchy, aristocracy, and polity—and their corruptions—tyranny, oligarchy, and democracy. In addition, we have various types of “mixed regimes” that seek to combine the three simpler forms to counteract the inadequate elements in the other forms....

...The construction of the legislature, executive, and judiciary was designed to carry out most effectively the ends of the regime, be they good or bad. Aristotle also noticed that besides ruling principles according to numbers of one-few-many, each regime also had an intelligible end. The tyrant ruled for himself; the oligarchs usually ruled for money, and the democrats ruled in favor of poorer classes to obtain a liberty that had no purpose but what the individual wanted. The American founders were quite familiar with this background of Greek and Roman political thought. ...

Note the 'democrat' warning above.

[In modern parlance, d]emocracy means majority rule, individual (not community) “rights,” power located in a central ruling body, freedom to do what one wants, and government support for this random freedom. No higher law or purpose is admitted. Nothing is permitted in the public sector that does not conform to state-established laws, themselves changeable. Such a state conceives itself, as it were, as “the kingdom of God” without God

In contrast:  I use the term in the Greek sense—that is, a regime of the many that has no internal principle of rule other than the “liberty” or “freedom” to do whatever one wants. Obviously, a government composed of people who can do whatever each one wants can itself, as Hobbes intimated, do whatever it wanted. In addition, democracy is a regime of the poor who work through the government for the redistribution of goods without much realization of how they are produced. The government in such a democratic regime is conceived as a facilitator for the accomplishment of these distibutionist and free-choice ends. In practice, it is out of this chaos of unlimited choice that the rhetoric of the “leader of the people,” as Aristotle called him, arises. 

Uh-oh.

...there is such a thing as a “democratic tyranny.” Liberty without limits or principle undertakes to suppress any criticism of itself and its ways. The people are not citizens who rule themselves. They are state objects who are ruled for their own good. Rousseau’s famous law that everyone must be forced to obey because he only obeys himself is the essence of democratic tyranny and its justification...

Sound familiar?

Schall looks at the real organization of society as Aristotle understood it:

...Aristotle understood that a civil society is made up of many different entities—families, tribes, villages, trades, religions, and organizations....

We call those "intermediary institutions."  The Catholic church recognizes them as an essential category of civilization.  Schall notes the other understanding which arose from "the Enlightenment":

...The modern notion of polity from Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau—that the state is an organization made up of separate individuals over against the state—is foreign to Aristotle. In Aristotle’s tradition, human society is made up of many lesser communities, each with its own legitimacy, order, and purpose, none of which is formulated by the polity. The state does not “create” them but only at best recognizes them and provides for an order in which they can flourish. The state is the entity that gives order to other communities. They do not depend on the polity for what they are.  

 In the modern state, these entities, including religion, do depend on the state for their public existence and definition.

And of course, 'dependency' leads, ultimately, to 'subservience.'

...The primary difference between the regime in which we now live and that of the Aristotelian tradition is that, originally, the state was understood to depend on a right order or natural law. Man was by nature political. The state was not itself defined by or subject to its own arbitrary will. In other words, all regimes are subject to judgment even if their laws and customs are “freely” and “democratically” arrived at, even if they serve what the people “want.” Therefore, the distinction of good and bad regimes is based on the difference between good and evil in personal human action. The presence or absence of virtue in the souls of the citizens and their chosen ruler was the proper context of political things. ...

Aristotle would laugh out loud at "social justice," or "sinful structures."

...The United States today has a “constitution” but it is not “ruled” by a constitution. No branch of the government conceives itself to be really limited by the provisions of the constitution. The executive rules by decrees. He selects the laws he will or will not enforce. The courts decide by the will of the judges and their often odd philosophies. The legislature decides what is right by what passes into law. While there may still be some who “follow” the constitution, in practice, they are relatively insignificant. In this sense, Aristotle is a better guide to what we actually are than any of our thinkers, media, or politicians.  He understood what happened in political regimes of actual human beings. What he described is largely what we see before us, if we would but look.

And what does this mean in practice?

...The country’s course is now explained by a “rights” theory of what it stands for. Man is not by nature a “social and political animal,” but a solitary one. Society is only needed to protect the individual’s “rights” against those of others. The state, an independent entity over and above the individuals, is comprised of individual units that have “rights.” They are not “citizens” in Aristotle’s sense. Everything is entitled to them. They belong to nothing but themselves, no family, association, church, or community. Government deals directly with them as isolated beings. These “rights” do not derive from nature but from the will of a people who recognize no limit to their individual freedom to do what they want with their lives. ...

So what IS the way we are?

...The state itself is a struggle for power, for who can promise most and control most. The ruler is beyond good and evil. He must be able to use flattery and force effectively. The ruler is lonely, with few if any friends....His greatest fear is that there is a truth to things, including human things. This is why the real enemy of the present regime is the claim that truth exists, that everyone, including rulers, is bound and judged by it

That is the definition of 'democratic tyranny' in Ari's conception.

The tyrannical answer to truth is a form of “bread and circuses” wrapped in a self-righteousness that brooks no criticism. The political enterprise is conceived as taking care of the needs of the populace. It also makes the people dependent on the state and beholden to is. The populace is left in a condition of boredom and passivity, especially about ultimate things...

And that's the Way We Are.

Buy.  More.  Ammo.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Silliness!

Esenberg mentions what we all know is true:

It's one thing to criticize a candidate for not adequately negotiating the shoals of our silly public discourse about things like a "war on women." But we still ought to recognize that the discourse is, in fact, silly.

If you want to see how silly it really is, watch all those Robin Williams cuts from his early years,  Be sure to watch the Richard Pryor show stuff, or his appearance on SNL as Wm. F. Buckley.

How did we get so silly (inane might be the better word) in only 20 years?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Lots of People at the Range

Was out at McMiller yesterday afternoon with family.

Haven't been there in several years.  Not much has changed.  The new management has put a few display racks into the office building with Milford Hills-branded items and there's new signage at the entrances to the ranges, but other than that, it's pretty much the same as when Wern Valley managed it.

One other difference:  the place was jammed with people.  When we've been there in the past, the parking lot had a dozen, maybe two dozen cars.  Yesterday, there were at least 50.  Almost every station in the 10/25 yard section was occupied, and more than half of the 50/100 yard seats were taken, too.  The clays area was........ ahhhhhhhhhhh....booming.

So I asked a range officer what was going on.  He said it was the busiest day he'd seen in a long time, and added that he was pleased to see a lot of women on the range.  Looked, offhand, as though 1/4 to 1/3 of the shooters were women, a higher percentage than I've seen there before.  They were mostly at the handgun stations, but several were on the rifle ranges, too. 

Perfect weather!  We practiced a bit with the handguns (I can still out-shoot a certain family member) and broke in a new AR which shoots very well, indeed.  Helped grandchild with a .22LR rifle; he'll be ready in another 2-3 years.

Altogether, a pleasant afternoon. 

Was the size of the crowd just a one-off?  That remains to be seen, I guess.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

"Social Justice" = Lefty Manipulation

While pondering a bit on the words of Leo XIII regarding taxation and Socialism, it became even clearer that the term "social justice" is a very clever manipulation of words. 

...[Socialists] hold that by . . . transferring property from private individuals to the community, the present mischievous state of things will be set to rights [sic], inasmuch as each citizen will then get his fair share of whatever there is to enjoy . . . [This transfer is] emphatically unjust, for [it] would rob the lawful possessor, distort the functions of the State, and create utter confusion in the community . . . Every man has by nature the right to possess property as his own....

... [Although sharing one’s wealth and other temporal blessings is a requirement of Divine Law], it is a duty, not of justice (save in extreme cases), but of Christian charity—a duty not enforced by human law.

Get it?  

Justice is not applicable to a "class".  It is, strictly speaking, only applied to individuals, and one of the purposes of licit government is to apply justice impartially to all.  Here, the collective, represented by government, secures justice for individuals.

Charity, on the other hand, is a mandate which applies to individuals.  It is NOT, properly speaking, a function of government.  It is, in a way, the inverse of "justice," for charity is incumbent on an individual, and that individual (or group of them) may then bestow their gifts on a class (e.g., the poor.) 

But it's far more convenient for the Leftists--the Progressive Hive--to confuse the two.  They can--and do-- "guilt" people by yammering about 'justice,' and in doing so, leverage their tax-collection schemes, which often have the additional benefit of employing Lefty/Progressives as Gummint "charity" workers.

Neat trick!

  

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Bishops on Immigrants: Missing Something

There are some considerations which the US Bishops and Mr. Huebscher (Wisconsin Catholic Conference) seem to have missed in their essays and statements on caring for illegal immigrants.  Since Huebscher is a Madison resident, it's not surprising that he chooses his citations very carefully.  The USCC doesn't have that excuse, but their Central Apparatchik Office is located in D.C..  Maybe that's their problem.

By all means, read the citations of Pope Leo XIII below.  Perhaps our Bishops and their functionaries forgot about his Rerum Novarum.  But asking them to integrate HIS teaching with their......umnnhhhh.....rhetorical claim to the moral 'high ground' may have taxed their abilities.  Or something.  (HT:  BlackHat)

...The USCCB document defines the illegal immigration problem exactly as the Obama administration does—as a “humanitarian crisis” requiring US government cooperation and funding, specifically for “child welfare services, legal assistance, and access to immigration protection.” Although it speaks of finding “root causes” in the countries of origin and discusses what the countries themselves and “other regional partners” can do to solve the underlying problems, the emphasis is on the US role in these matters.

...Perhaps the most revealing characteristic of the USCCB document is that it speaks almost exclusively about the response of governments and the Catholic Church to the “humanitarian crisis,” but says virtually nothing about the response of American citizens, taxpayers, or even Catholic parishioners. For example, it declares that “the institutional Catholic Church in the United States has played a critical role in the care of unaccompanied children.” That wording is highly misleading. In reality, everything the “institutional Catholic Church” does is financed by citizen’s taxes (awarded in the form of federal grants), by the generosity of Catholic parishioners, or by both. The focus on institutional efforts is therefore an insult to the millions of Americans who actually fund the works of charity and mercy. It is also, in effect if not intent, a subtle denial that legal US residents also possess God-given dignity and rights....

Ah, yes, the matter of taxpayer money....which will be dispensed to Dioceses and Catholic Social Services who care for these unfortunate children.  Somehow, that was not mentioned by Mr. Huebscher.  Hmmmm?

Now for Leo XIII:


[Socialists] hold that by . . . transferring property from private individuals to the community, the present mischievous state of things will be set to rights [sic], inasmuch as each citizen will then get his fair share of whatever there is to enjoy . . . [This transfer is] emphatically unjust, for [it] would rob the lawful possessor, distort the functions of the State, and create utter confusion in the community . . . Every man has by nature the right to possess property as his own.

The first and most fundamental principle, therefore, if one would undertake to alleviate the condition of the masses, must be the inviolability of private property.

[Although sharing one’s wealth and other temporal blessings is a requirement of Divine Law], it is a duty, not of justice (save in extreme cases), but of Christian charity—a duty not enforced by human law.

 Among the many and grave duties of rulers who would do their best for the people, the first and chief is to act with strict justice . . . toward each and every class alike.
Neither justice nor the common good allows any individual to seize upon that which belongs to another . . . The State would therefore be unjust and cruel if under the name of taxation it were to deprive the private owner of more than is fair.

Yup.

Friday, August 08, 2014

LOTS of Coverups

Seems like the criminal Lerner/IRS is not alone.

HHS has its own criminal.

So do Justice, EPA, and the Peace Corps (!!???!!!)

Criminals who have several arms-bearing stooges at their disposal.

Nice country.  Reminds me of What I Learned About Stalin.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

The Mathematics of Economy-Destruction

Like him or not, Charles Koch makes the case:  Gummint is killing the economy.

...First, we need to encourage principled entrepreneurship. Companies should earn profits by creating value for customers and acting with integrity, the opposite of today's rampant cronyism.

Too many businesses focus on getting subsidies and mandates from government rather than creating value for customers. According to George Mason University's Mercatus Center, such favors cost us more than $11,000 per person in lost GDP every year, a $3.6 trillion economic hit.

Compounding the problem are destructive regulations affecting whether and how business invests and employees work. Federal rules cost America an estimated $1.86 trillion per year, calculated the Competitive Enterprise Institute....

Adding the cronyism (hello, Ex-Im Bank) and regulatory costs, we get $5.4 trillion--which represents a 30%+ loss to the economy.  Another way to look at it (as did PowerLine) is this:  add 30% to your current income to determine how much it costs YOU.

And ObozoCare hasn't even taken full effect yet.

Nearer the Glorious Happiness!

Nirvana approaches!

The federal government has created more than 400 new crimes since 2008, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

In a June report to the House Over-Criminalization Task Force, the CRS identified 439 new criminal offenses to the U.S. Code between 2008 and 2013.

A 2008 analysis by the law scholar John S. Baker for the Heritage Foundation found that, between 2000 and 2007, the government added 452 crimes to the books, indicating the government has increased the rate at which it created new crimes.

The 2008 report identified “at least 4,450 federal crimes.” Adding in the CRS report tally, there are now 4,889 federal crimes on the books.  --Free Beacon quoted at HotAir

Make sure you're not jaywalking.  You could go to Leavenworth.

ObozoCare: Sucking You Dry, Part 45

You've noticed that the major health insurance companies have been very quiet, indeed, about ObozoCare.

That's because they're all on the take, and Obozo's paying them off.  With your grandchildren's money.

A LOT of your grandchildren's money.   Carl Sagan money--Billions and Billions and Billions.

While the local "newspaper" has mentioned a give-back of 'excess premiums' by a local company, they did NOT mention that Assurant is looking for $140 million, Aetna for $50 million, and Humana for a *cough* Humungous $500 million in Gummint subsidies.

So.

Whatever happened to "Repeal Obozocare"??


Tuesday, August 05, 2014

"Thinker" Engler Not Thinking Clearly

Mr. Engler carries on about the non-excommunication of Illinois Democrats (such as the Governor) who established same-sex "marriage."  Apparently he's quite miffed that someone was fired from his position as a Catholic-church musician for attempting gay 'marriage.'

Engler deliberately misleads his readers.

...If you are a gay music director at a Catholic church and come out for same-sex marriage, you lose your job, but if you are a Democratic, Catholic politician responsible for making same-sex marriage legal in Illinois, the archdiocese looks the other way....

Umnnhhhh....nope.  The guy not only "came out for"--he actually got "married."  Big difference.

As to the second half of this graf...

...To fire one and not excommunicate the other sends a mixed message to Catholics in Illinois about same-sex marriage.

Good point.  However:  1)  we do not know what the Illinois Bishops may or may not have said to the politicians in private; and 2)  formally, excommunication is incurred by an individual without a declaration from the Church.  That declaration is merely 'the paperwork,' but is not a requirement.  In other words, the politicians may have excommunicated themselves through their action.  Their action is sufficient in and of itself; no "paperwork" or public announcement is required.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Who ARE These People?

Wiggy discovers the Statist-Republicans.  Sadly, it's all of the candidates in the 97th primary field.

They'd probably call the cops if they saw an unsupervised 8-year-old in the kid's own front yard, too.

These are the kind of ninnies who were the featured guests at Army blanket parties.  Shouldn't change, either.

Screechin' Shirley's Selectivity

While Shirley Abrahamson represents herself as an 'expansionist' of Constitutional rights, reading the Wisconsin Constitution as even more liberal than the Federal model, she very selective about how she applies the 14th Amendment.  Indeed, one could say that she's a hypocrite (or a liar).

We all recall that Shirley did all she could to quash the right to bear arms.  She lost in the end, of course, but not before a very selective application of the 14th Amendment--which incoroporates the 2nd--but also by being the only SCOWI justice to ignore Wisconsin's RKBA amendment.

So much for 'rights' in Screechin' Shirley's world.


Saturday, August 02, 2014

That Ban on Cellphones in the Car? Nevermind.

Seems that banning use of cellphones by drivers is.....ahhh........useless.

“Our main result was that we found no evidence that the California cellphone ban decreased accidents,” Colorado University economics Professor Daniel T. Kaffine, one of the lead autors of the study, said in a statement...."  --The Newspaper quoted at Hot Air

And that was not a one-off.

...Though offsetting for safety advocates, Kaffine’s research is in line with other findings. The Highway Loss Data Institute, the research arm of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, studied insurance claims rates in 2009 and 2010 studies, and found no link that bans helped decrease crashes....quoting AutoBlog

OK, so let's see how fast the useless laws are repealed.

Hint:  don't hold your breath.





Obozo In Full

HT:  MoonBattery

Hysterical Ginsburg

Umnnhhhh...really?

Providing women with cost-free health-insurance coverage for contraceptives  is one of the “obligations” of citizenship, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Wednesday in an interview with Yahoo’s Katie Couric.
 
“Some people say there’s something troubling about mandating a private company though, to do something that is against their deeply held religious beliefs. What would you say to those people?” Couric asked Ginsburg, one of four dissenting justices in the court’s landmark Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision.

“When you’re part of a society, you can’t separate yourself from the obligations that citizens have,” the justice replied.

Glad she clarified that.  Never knew that I was obliged to act contra naturam for the benefit of tramps.

Which other crimes against nature does a 'good citizen' have to support?

Friday, August 01, 2014

Rubio: "More Federal Gummint!!"

Another of the 'conservative' (R) grandstanders writes another "Mo' Gummint!!" bill to bolster his election prospects.

Just as a reminder to Sen. Rubio:  we already have 50 States with criminal laws and thousands of municipalities who enforce those laws.

How about enforcing the border, Marco?