Tuesday, March 27, 2012


We can chart a course forward:

1) Our tone over the next several months must be "more in sorrow than in anger," and yet very, very clear on the consequences of Obama's failed policies;

2) We must emphasize the high real unemployment rate (including the massive numbers of discouraged workers—for everyone knows at least a few of those), along with inflation in such basics as food (and to some degree, gasoline and natural gas), and grave foreign policy concerns such as the threat of a nuclear Iran (skip this part with the militant isolationists and pacifists, please);

3) We must not hesitate to point out that a lot of our news and entertainment comes from "the cocktail circuit," including some very insulated folks in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. who honestly aren't aware of how much suffering is going on throughout the country among working people; and

4) We must be able to connect with people on an emotional level, and ready to point out the real-world results of Obama's anti-industry stance, which has cost jobs all over the country. The money he wasted on Solyndra, for instance, could have produced actual jobs if it had been lent to a viable, productive industry, rather than one created out of whole cloth by eco-idealists.

The next seven months of our lives must focus, rhetorically, on jobs: those we aren't getting because we won't allow energy production on Federal lands; those that were shut down by the "permitorium" in the Gulf of Mexico when the President overreacted to the oil spill in 2010; those that are threatened by the EPA's power grabs.

When you talk to your friends and neighbors, speak the language of inflation and employment.

Check out the whole article here:


Friday, March 23, 2012

Mises: The Seven Rules of Bureaucracy

Excellent article from the Mises Institute: (click for the whole thing, it's long but worth it):

Rule #1: Maintain the problem at all costs! The problem is the basis of power, perks, privileges, and security.

Examples: The War on Poverty, The War on Drugs

Rule #2: Use crisis and perceived crisis to increase your power and control.

Rule 2a. Force 11th-hour decisions, threaten the loss of options and opportunities, and limit the opposition's opportunity to review and critique.

Example: In the first year of the Obama presidency, the fact that approximately 12 to 32 million Americans, depending on whose numbers were believed, were without healthcare coverage was turned into a crisis that the US Congress rushed in to fix. Little if any attention was given to the fact that millions of Americans didn't have health insurance when they could afford it simply because they chose not to purchase it (Wall Street Journal, 2011). It turns out that emergency rooms across the United States treat a great many of these people when sick.

By all accounts of the legislative process, few if any members of Congress had fully read the bill before being forced to vote it into law. Congress and President Obama chose to ignore the pending collapse of Social Security and Medicare, both well-studied and acknowledged crises, to spend a trillion dollars on universal health coverage that the majority of Americans didn't want or need.

Rule #3: If there are not enough crises, manufacture them, even from nature, where none exist.

Example: Man-made global warming.

We do know that under President Obama the power of the EPA is at a zenith, growing in size and power as a regulatory agency with all the prosecutorial powers to fine and even imprison violators (and the latitude to ignore violations as fits their interest). Alternative and renewable fuels have become a lightning rod for the EPA. Bill Gates was quoted recently in the Wall Street Journal as saying this about EPA solar-energy subsidies:

I think people deeply underestimate what a huge problem this day-night issue is if you're trying to design an energy system involving solar technology that's more than just a hobby. You know the sun shines during the day, and people turn their air conditioners on during the day, so you can catch some of that peaking load, particularly if you get enough subsidies. It's cute you know, it's nice. But the economics are so, so far from making sense.… And so unfortunately you get technologies that, no matter how much of them you buy, there's no path to being economical.

The EPA has also teamed up with the Justice Department and Fish & Wildlife in prosecuting musical-instrument manufacturers and musicians deemed to have endangered hardwoods in their instruments. Musicians who play older instruments that used such hardwoods before it was illegal can no longer safely take their instruments across US borders without "adequate" documentation and hope to return with the instruments back in to the United States without Customs agents seizing their instruments and fining or even imprisoning them. Gibson Guitars, makers of classic instruments, has been singled out in federal raids, and there is now a criminal case, "United States of America v. Ebony Wood in Various Forms" (Felten, 2011). The EPA has enlisted US Customs to enforce problematic environmental policy.

Diversity is another example of creating a social crisis where none had existed. The ongoing need for diversity, never explicitly defined, haunts government bureaucracies particularly. James Taranto (2011) points to a "Diversity bureaucracy" that state universities continue to populate when teachers are laid off. No matter how much progress is made, there are new groups that emerge representing the nation's continued failure to embrace the crisis of diversity. On campuses these days we must spend scarce resources on glorifying the transgendered; international students (particularly graduate students, because they bring greater monetary reward); gays, lesbians, and bisexuals; Muslims, etc. Like political correctness, diversity has become a primary orthodoxy and a perpetual goal of government that simply cannot be achieved. Once crises are created, they become self-sustaining.

Rule #4: Control the flow and release of information while feigning openness.

Another example of government information control comes from the economic recession that began in 2007. While President Obama certainly inherited the recession from President Bush, his administration's efforts to control the information about it and our progress through it are instructive. As employment continued to decline, the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics continued to release optimistic monthly reports that would subsequently prove to be wrong. What many people don't know is that government methods of data gathering are skewed to be much more positive that they ever are. For example, employed persons are anybody 16 years of age or older who did any work for pay or profit during the survey week and all persons who did at least 15 hours of work in a family-owned enterprise operate by someone in their household. Unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012) do not include retirees reentering the workforce, new college graduates looking for a job, nondeployed military personnel, or people who have been out of work for five months or more. It is instructive that the Department of Labor's little-known measure of unemployment, U-6, is ignored by the president, Congress, and the media in favor of the rate presented monthly. The U-6 unemployment rate is currently 16 percent.

Rule 4a: Deny, delay, obfuscate, spin, and lie.

Bill Clinton, whose administration had honed the fine art of spin doctoring into a science, also spoke to the American people as well as Congress and his cabinet and said, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky." Hillary Clinton stood by him and attributed the commotion to the "vast right-wing conspiracy." After DNA evidence was presented by Miss Lewinsky to the federal prosecutor, most of Clinton's cabinet resigned (presumably for having been lied to by the president). Lying, cheating, obfuscating, and spinning are all tools of the accomplished bureaucrat who is caught doing something wrong.

Rule #5: Maximize public-relations exposure by creating a cover story that appeals to the universal need to help people.

Government bureaucracy is honed on populist rhetoric. Bureaucrats have become skilled at using the "helping the people" angle when making speeches, and especially when dealing with the press. It is a variation of the "people angle" taught in media relations training programs as the best method to attract media attention and promotion. Almost any government program, no matter what its cost in money or personal liberties, can be sold through the media by claiming it is for (1) the children, (2) the environment, (3) the elderly, (4) the poor, (5) the homeless, (6) the national defense, (7) homeland security, or (8) the sick.

When bureaucrats of any ilk promote their new law or program as being "for the people," it is important to first look behind the curtain. "Social justice" is the veneer used by bureaucrats to gain positive media exposure while pursuing the building of more bureaucracy. It is so pervasive that your child can even pursue a major in social justice at institutions of higher learning like the University of California, Santa Barbara. Sowell points out in his book The Quest for Cosmic Justice that all justice is, by definition, social, and "social" is most often used in the populist sense of everyone but the wealthy. A cover story that seeks social justice or to right the wrongs of an unjust society is guaranteed media attention, yet very few in the media or the public are inclined to look beneath the veneer of social justice to examine the costs and the unintended consequences.

Rule #6: Create vested support groups by distributing concentrated benefits and/or entitlements to these special interests, while distributing the costs broadly to one's political opponents.

The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, signed into law by President Carter, established the federal government's role in providing affordable housing to the needy. Over the 33 years it has been in existence, its force has grown the size and reach of the Federal Housing Administration, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Reserve, and the Departments of Justice and Housing & Urban Development. It has also given rise to the Federal National Mortgage Association ("Fannie Mae" and "Freddie Mac"). While the initial goal was to provide the less economically advantaged with an opportunity to purchase a home, no one bothered to look at the possible unintended consequences of helping people whose personal credit wouldn't qualify them to buy a home.

As Sowell (2009, pp. 31–56) points out, "affordable" became the ability for people to buy the home they wanted in the area they wanted and the government's role was to make it financially possible to purchase it. The Community Reinvestment Act ultimately led to the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, yet many of its proponents and even the media failed to see or understand the real problem or the long-term costs and market dislocation that would result.

Even more insidious are government laws that benefit for-profit corporations. These are the recipients of corporate welfare. The poster child of corporate welfare is Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), having received billions of tax dollars from more than 15 federal agencies over the past 50 years. As James Bovard (1995) and Chip Krakoff (2011) point out, to return the favor to the federal bureaucracy, ADM has also been funding reelection campaigns on both sides of the congressional aisle and for both Democratic and Republican presidential candidates. As a testament to ADM's political ecumenicalism, it has been a long-time sponsor/advertiser of National Public Radio, which attracts a large portion of the left-liberal minded. The EPA is planning to issue an edict to allow 15 percent ethanol to be blended into gasoline, which will result in a 50 percent market gain for ADM's ethanol-production facilities and a similar market grain in the sale of their dominant field-corn holdings used to make ethanol.

Our last example of Teasley's sixth rule of bureaucracy is Solyndra, one of three green-energy companies that received nearly $700 million in federal-government money and filed bankruptcy in the past two years. Solyndra is a photovoltaic-solar-energy-systems manufacturer in California. It has received huge loan guarantees ($535 million) through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (itself a huge and expensive federal program to fix the mistakes of the Community Reinvestment Act) and the Federal Financing Bank, as well as being the beneficiary of federal and state policies mandating the use of renewable energy sources (US Department of Energy's ENERGY STAR Program and by the requirements of the California Title 24 Energy Standard, which prescribes cool roofs to be employed whenever low-slope commercial roofs are constructed or replaced).

The Wall Street Journal (2011) indicated that the company was also backed by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and, along with its founder, were big financial supporters of the Obama presidential campaign as a bona fide for his "green" stand. An additional $75 million loan was made to Solyndra, but the agreement with private investors, including Kaiser, placed them ahead of American taxpayers in case of default. Until the company announced its bankruptcy in August 2011, President Obama had hailed the company as "leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future" (Ibid). More than 20 trips were made by company officials, investors, and George Kaiser to the White House between March 2009 and April 2010, and despite reports from industry insiders about Solyndra's financial health, administration officials dismissed these reports as "B.S."

Rule #7: Demonize the truth tellers who have the temerity to say, "The emperor has no clothes."

There were plenty of people sounding alarms as early as 2003 about the housing bubble and growing deficits that led directly to the devastating economic downturn that lingers today, not only in America but around the world. Most in Washington, including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD, the Federal Reserve, Congressman Barney Frank (head of the House Financial Services Committee) and Senator Dodd (head of the Senate Banking Committee), all refused to pay attention to the growing signs of the housing-market collapse and its risk to the US economy, railing against any warnings that Fannie and Freddie were in financial trouble.

Stephen Labaton (2003) of the New York Times quoted Mr. Frank as saying, "These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis."

In the House of Representatives on June 25, 2007, Congressman Frank stated,

We have, I think, an excessive degree of concern right now about home ownership and its role in the economy. Obviously speculation is never a good thing. But those who argue that housing prices are now at the point of a bubble seem to me to be missing a very important point. Unlike previous examples we have had where substantial excessive inflation of prices later caused some problems, we are talking here about an entity, home ownership, homes, where there is not the degree of leverage that we have seen elsewhere. This is not the dot com situation.… Homes that are occupied may see an ebb and flow in the price at a certain percentage level but you're not going to see a collapse that you see when people talk about a bubble. So those of us on our committee in particular will continue to push toward home ownership.

In 2010 Mr. Frank implicated foreign central banks, particularly China, when attacking a letter written by Republican economists to the Federal Reserve for joining a broad attack by the foreign central banks who insist that America somehow must subordinate our own legitimate economic needs to their currency requirements. What did disappoint me was to see conservative economists, high-ranking officials of previous Republican administrations, and Republican congressional leaders share the attack by these foreign banks not simply on the Federal Reserve's proposal, but on the very notion that America has a right to give a primary focus to our own economic need for growth at this time. (McDonald, 2010)

Of course, both political parties demonize the truth tellers who speak out against costly and wasteful policies and their unintended consequences. During the invasion of Iraq, Vice President Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and even President Bush frequently took critics to task, asserting that there was "incontrovertible" evidence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

Rule 7a: Accuse the truth teller of one's own defects, deficiencies, crimes, and misdemeanors.

One wag said, "Gall was divided into three parts and politicians have all three of them." We habitually find government bureaucrats, particularly politicians, trying to turn the tables of their accusers in misdeeds. Glen Johnson (2008), Associate Press writer, quoted Congressman Barney Frank, who attended a foreclosure symposium in Boston and challenged the critics of Fannie Mae, implying racism as the motive for the criticism:

They get to take things out on poor people. Let's be honest: The fact that some of the poor people are black doesn't hurt them either, from their standpoint. This is an effort, I believe, to appeal to a kind of anger in people.

Former representative Charles Rangel was ultimately accused of 13 ethics infractions by the House of Representatives. Washington Post reporters Leoning & Kane (2010) reported that, after a news conference Mr. Rangel held about the ethics violations, he responded about the possibility of being removed as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee:

"I don't see what purpose that would serve, I don't think reporters should be in the position to remove chairmen, not even temporarily, especially when the reporting is false." When asked specifically about nearly $80,000 his son had received from his campaign to design a website, he replied, "The reporter should really crawl from under his rock and apologize to my son, a veteran, my friend, my son and a great American," Mr. Rangel said. "It's one of the crummiest deviations from the truth that I've seen in these recent stories."

If Congress comes up with a new "war against," we should fight it, no matter what the war is against. The federal government's track record is abysmal and the equivalent of a taxpayer boat — a hole in the water that you sink your money in.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

An Owellian use of Orwell

Some guy Fairey has obtained the rights to Orwell's "1984" and intends to turn it around 180 degrees into a pro-fascist flick where Fox News is Big Brother and The State is the hero. wow

An Owellian use of Orwell.

US drilling will Reduce Dependence on Foreign Oil, Creating Jobs Here At Home

The Associated Press ran the following headline yesterday and today:

AP : US Drilling Doesn't Drop Gas Prices

Totally BS!

But tell me this: Even if that story were true (but it's not), even if more drilling in the U.S. doesn't decrease the price of gas, it will, however:

Reduce dependence on foreign oil, creating jobs here at home, and reduce the chance that the money we send overseas will be used for future terrorism.

Wasn't that the argument liberals used to make, years ago?

Senate hasn’t passed a budget in almost 3 years but is going to have hearings on bounties in the NFL?

This is totally ridiculous!

The Senate hasn't passed a budget in almost 3 years but is going to have hearings on bounties in the NFL?

ABC: Sen. Dick Durbin Calls Senate Hearings Over New Orleans Saints Bounty Program

Calling the  New Orleans Saints football players bounty scandal "troubling" and "disturbing," Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., announced today on the Senate floor that he will hold a Judiciary Committee hearing in April about bounties in the NFL.

"A spirit of aggressiveness and competitiveness is an integral part of many sporting contests, but bribing players to intentionally hurt their opponents cannot be tolerated," Durbin said. "We have to put an end to this."

This month it was revealed that the Saints were involved in a "pay for performance" program that included payments to their players for injuring specific opposing players. Durbin said he wants to make sure that this never happens again on any team or any sport.

"We will have a hearing and put on the record what sports leagues and teams at the professional and collegiate levels are doing to make sure that there's no place in athletics for these pay-to-maim bounties. I want to hear the policies and practices in each of the major sports and collegiate sports that are being put in place and have one explore whether federal legislation is required."

The hearing, which will be held after the Easter recess in the Senate, will invite representatives and witnesses from the major sporting leagues and NCAA.

Durbin himself was once a high school football player, and said he has a "bum knee" to show for it.

"Accidents will happen and injuries will happen. That's part of the game. I knew it when I put on my uniform and went out on that field. But I never dreamed that there would be some conspiracy, some bribery involved in some other player trying to intentionally hurt me or take me out of the game. That goes way beyond sports."

Some of Durbin's Senate colleagues were not so pleased to be holding a hearing on sports, saying there were other, more pressing issues.

"#senate hasn't passed a #budget in almost 3 yrs but is going to have hearings on #bounties in #nfl?," Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., tweeted today. "#comeonman."

I fail to see how a young American can vote for a Democrat

Democrats' Policies Aren't In Young Voters' Interest

 Mitt Romney said Monday that he fails to "see how a young American can vote" for a Democrat. He may have something there. Coming generations will be doomed by the progressive policies of today.

Outside of their desire to intern capitalism and replace it with a euro-style welfare statism, Democrats are not a forward-looking group.

Although they fancy themselves as "progressives," their ideas are truly regressive. The future? For the Democrats, it's all about the next election:

• To build and maintain their constituency, Democrats pile up debt that future generations will be liable for.

Consider the federal debt increase during the first three years of the Obama administration.

CBS News reported Monday that it "has now increased more during President Obama's three years and two months in office than it did during eight years of the George W. Bush presidency."

The debt has reached a staggering $15.57 trillion, which exceeds our gross domestic product. Who will pay this bill? Coming generations, of course.

• In seeking the votes of retirees and near retirees, Democrats refuse to fix Social Security.

This entitlement is headed toward financial crisis. In 1950, there were 16.5 workers paying into the system for each beneficiary receiving payments. In 2030, that ratio will have fallen to 2.1-to-1. That's an unsustainable situation, yet Democrats continue to block reforms that will benefit the workers of tomorrow.

• To keep the far-left socialist-Democrat/Occupy wing of the party happy, Democrats agitate for policies that promise economic "fairness" but will actually produce a sclerotic, slow-growth future.

Hammering the rich with punitive taxes is an article of faith among Democrats. Obama showed this perfectly when he admitted during the 2008 campaign that even if cutting the capital gains tax increased federal revenues, he would want the tax rate to be higher "for purposes of fairness."

Look at how Obama's economic policies and overheated rhetoric are choking the recovery.

Companies are holding on to more than $2 trillion in cash and are hesitant to use it to hire or invest because the Democrats have created a hostile investment environment, a regulatory morass and real fear of future tax hikes that will hurt business.

Republicans might not excite young Americans very much. But Democrats should alarm them.


Democrat Congressman: Nazis bombed Pearl Harbor

Wow, there ought to be some sort of minimal test that someone must pass to be a member of Congress....

Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) made some astonishingly ignorant statements during a discussion about the Iranian nuclear issue on Fox News's The O'Reilly Factor Tuesday... The pièce de résistance was him telling host Bill O'Reilly that the Nazis bombed Pearl Harbor...

CONGRESSMAN KEITH ELLISON (D-MINNESOTA): No, they [Iran] don't have a weapon. They have not made a decision to do one. The inspections…

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: How would you know they have not made a decision to do one? How would you know that?

ELLISON: Because. I'm glad you asked. Because we have satellite technology. We have technology that can detect.

O'REILLY: They're underground. The satellites can't penetrate the earth. They're underground.

ELLISON: We have inspections that have gone on.

O'REILLY: They won't let the inspectors in as I've said three times.

ELLISON: Yes they have. There have been a number of inspections.

O'REILLY. No there haven't. They went two weeks ago and they wouldn't let them go in.

ELLISON: Well, Bill, I'm sorry, but I'm not going to back a war based on a maybe. 4,409 Americans are dead because somebody—

O'REILLY: Congressman, the reason we like you as a guest is because you're an honest man, But I will point to history. I will point to history. The same mindset was taken when dealing with Nazi Germany. We're not going to go in aggressive action. We don't believe they're going to do this. We don't believe they're going to do that. And they absolutely did everything. So I think you've got to learn from history.

ELLISON: Let me tell you in World War II, in World War II they attacked Pearl Harbor. That would be enough.

O'REILLY: No, this is the German theater not the Japanese.

Ha: 60 times more oil in U.S. than Obama claims

Obama Misleads on Oil Reserves, Networks Defend Him, Fail to Fact Check

When President Barack Obama recently pontificated on gas prices, the broadcast networks listened, and parroted his explanations of why gas prices have more than doubled since he took office. But the networks had a much different take on gas prices when a Republican president was in office.

On March 7, 2012, Obama declared: "We've got 2 percent of the world oil reserves; we use 20 percent. What that means is, as much as we're doing to increase oil production, we're not going to be able to just drill our way out of the problem of high gas prices."

While technically true, Obama's "oil reserves" numbers are very misleading due to the narrow definition of "proven reserves." The three broadcast networks failed to clear up that misconception for viewers and passed blame for high prices on to others.

The Washington Post's "Fact Checker" columnist Glenn Kessler dismissed Obama's figures as a "non sequitur," noting that proven reserves "have a very strict definition, in part because reserves are considered actual assets owned by companies. The oil must have been discovered, confirmed and economically recoverable, with at least 90 percent certainty. The level of reserves, in fact, may vary depending on the price of oil, since a higher price may suddenly make some finds economically viable."

John Merline of Investor's Business Daily also pointed out the "myth of scarce oil" on March 14. He noted that the United States had 60 times more oil than Obama claimed saying: "When you look at the whole picture, it turns out that there are vast supplies of oil in the U.S., according to various government reports."

He continued, "All told, the U.S. has access to 400 billion barrels of crude that could be recovered using existing drilling technologies, according to a 2006 Energy Department report." ("Proven" reserves of oil in the U.S. total 22 billion barrels.) Merline also cited a Rand Corp. study that estimated there are about 800 billion barrels of additional recoverable oil in shale just in Wyoming and nearby states.

Yet, Obama has claimed that he has little control over gas prices and perpetuated the idea of scarcity saying, "Anyone who tells you we can drill our way out of this problem doesn't know what they're talking about -- or isn't telling you the truth."

Major media figures have agreed with the president. CBS anchor Charlie Rose directly defended Obama's gas prices record on "This Morning" on March 13: "There's little that he can do … in the short term to affect gas prices, and gas prices hurts his political chances. CBS "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer was included in that segment and agreed with Rose saying, "That's right on all counts … the problem is … people think there are things he can do about it."

Of course, there are several things Obama could do to help supply long-term that might impact prices. William O'Keefe of the George C. Marshall Institute noted that while "there are few short-term fixes," Obama is "wrong in implying that he has done all that he could have done [to lower gas prices]. Sensible and realistic policy decisions over the past three years would have led to lower priced gasoline."

Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has been particularly critical of Obama on energy issues, calling for him to approve the Keystone XL pipeline and take other steps to increase domestic production of oil.

Yet, ABC, CBS and NBC have refused to discuss these important details. Instead, the broadcast networks have advanced explanations of rising gas prices that do not blame the president. ABC's George Stephanopoulos put the blame for high gas prices on Wall Street on Feb. 24, citing a "top government watchdog (namely Bart Chilton, a former Democratic staffer) who tells us that a big chunk of the pain at the pump is Wall Street's fault." NBC's Brian Williams repeated that claim: "The problem is gas prices are largely set by commodities traders, also know these days as speculators."

These are the same networks that repeatedly bashed President Bush over high gas prices. Their news broadcasts hyped the horrors of high gas prices when Bush was in office, and at times directly pointed the finger at Bush for high gas prices.

But Obama has largely gotten a pass from the media on the issue – despite the fact that he appointed an energy secretary who wanted higher prices, saying, "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe."

Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/paul-wilson/2012/03/20/obama-misleads-oil-reserves-networks-defend-him-fail-fact-check#ixzz1pqq6xnQx

Political Rope-A-Dope

Written By : Walter Williams

It's not unreasonable to ask how valuable the variously labeled liberal, Democratic or progressive agenda has been to black Americans and whether blacks should proceed in political lock step with this agenda.

According to an American Community Survey, by the U.S. Census Bureau, the top 10 poorest cities with populations more than 250,000 are Detroit, with 33 percent of its residents below the poverty line; Buffalo, N.Y., 30 percent; Cincinnati, 28 percent; Cleveland, 27 percent; Miami, 27 percent; St. Louis, 27 percent; El Paso, Texas, 26 percent; Milwaukee, 26 percent; Philadelphia, 25 percent; and Newark, N.J., 24 percent.

The most common characteristic of these cities is that for decades, all of them have been run by Democratic and presumably liberal administrations. Some of them — such as Detroit, Buffalo, Newark and Philadelphia — haven't elected a Republican mayor for more than a half-century. What's more is that, in some cases for decades, the mayors of six of these high-poverty cities have been black Americans. You say, "What's the point, Williams?" Let's be clear about it. I'm not stating a causal relationship between poverty and Democratic and/or black political control over a city. What I am saying is that if one is strategizing on how to help poor people, he wants to leave off his list of objectives Democratic and black political control of cities. According to Albert Einstein (attributed), the definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Crime is one of the results of the liberal agenda. Blacks are 13 percent of the population but are more than 50 percent of murder victims. About 95 percent of black homicide victims had a black person as their murderer. Blacks are not only the major victims of murder but also suffer high victimization rates of all categories of serious violent crime. Most often, another black is the perpetrator. During the 1960s, academic liberals and hustling politicians told us that to deal with crime, we had to deal with its "root causes," poverty and discrimination. My colleague Thomas Sowell has pointed out that in 1960, the total number of murders in the United States was lower than in 1950, 1940 and 1930, even though our population had grown and two new states had been added. The liberal agenda, coupled with courts granting criminals new rights, later caused the murder rate to double, and the rates of other violent crimes also began to skyrocket.

Crime imposes a hefty tax on law-abiding residents of black neighborhoods. Residents bear costs of having to shop outside of their neighborhoods; criminals have driven many businesses out. Children can't play safely in front of their homes. Fearing robberies, taxi drivers, including black drivers, often refuse to accept telephone calls for home pickups and frequently pass black customers by on the street. Neighborhood property values are lower as a result of crime. Plus, there's the insult associated with not being able to receive pizza or other deliveries on the same terms as people in other neighborhoods.

Often, politicians who call for law and order are viewed negatively, but poor people, particularly poor black people, are the most dependent on law and order. In the face of high crime, wealthier people can afford to purchase alarms, buy guard dogs, hire guards and, if things get too bad, move to a gated community. These options are not available to poor people. The only protection they have is an orderly society.

Democratic and black politicians are beholden to and serve the interests of the powerful vested interest groups, such as labor unions, teachers unions and assorted liberals, not the ordinary people who voted them into office. Otherwise, they wouldn't begin to allow the rampant crime and nearly systematic destruction of learning opportunities for generations of black children by governmental schools.

None of this is to say that blacks should vote Republican. It is to say that political power doesn't necessarily translate into economic power and well-being for the ordinary citizen.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.

Which items will you give up?

Which of these products are you willing to give up?

  • Ink
  • Floor Wax
  • Ballpoint Pens
  • Football Cleats
  • Upholstery
  • Sweaters
  • Boats
  • Insecticides
  • Bicycle Tires
  • Sports Car Bodies
  • Nail Polish
  • Fishing lures
  • Dresses
  • Tires
  • Golf Bags
  • Perfumes
  • Cassettes
  • Dishwasher parts
  • Tool Boxes
  • Shoe Polish
  • Motorcycle Helmet
  • Caulking
  • Petroleum Jelly
  • Transparent Tape
  • CD Player
  • Faucet Washers
  • Antiseptics
  • Clothesline
  • Curtains
  • Food Preservatives
  • Basketballs
  • Soap
  • Vitamin Capsules
  • Antihistamines
  • Purses
  • Shoes
  • Dashboards
  • Cortisone
  • Deodorant
  • Footballs
  • Putty
  • Dyes
  • Panty Hose
  • Refrigerant
  • Percolators
  • Life Jackets
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Linings
  • Skis
  • TV Cabinets
  • Shag Rugs
  • Electrician's Tape
  • Tool Racks
  • Car Battery Cases
  • Epoxy
  • Paint
  • Mops
  • Slacks
  • Insect Repellent
  • Oil Filters
  • Umbrellas
  • Yarn
  • Fertilizers
  • Hair Coloring
  • Roofing
  • Toilet Seats
  • Fishing Rods
  • Lipstick
  • Denture Adhesive
  • Linoleum
  • Ice Cube Trays
  • Synthetic Rubber
  • Speakers
  • Plastic Wood
  • Electric Blankets
  • Glycerin
  • Tennis Rackets
  • Rubber Cement
  • Fishing Boots
  • Dice
  • Nylon Rope
  • Candles
  • Trash Bags
  • House Paint
  • Water Pipes
  • Hand Lotion
  • Roller Skates
  • Surf Boards
  • Shampoo
  • Wheels
  • Paint Rollers
  • Shower Curtains
  • Guitar Strings
  • Luggage
  • Aspirin
  • Safety Glasses
  • Antifreeze
  • Football Helmets
  • Awnings
  • Eyeglasses
  • Clothes
  • Toothbrushes
  • Ice Chests
  • Footballs
  • Combs
  • CD's & DVD's
  • Paint Brushes
  • Detergents
  • Vaporizers
  • Balloons
  • Sun Glasses
  • Tents
  • Heart Valves
  • Crayons
  • Parachutes
  • Telephones
  • Enamel
  • Pillows
  • Dishes
  • Cameras
  • Anesthetics
  • Artificial Turf
  • Artificial limbs
  • Bandages
  • Dentures
  • Model Cars
  • Folding Doors
  • Hair Curlers
  • Cold cream
  • Movie film
  • Soft Contact lenses
  • Drinking Cups
  • Fan Belts
  • Car Enamel
  • Shaving Cream
  • Ammonia
  • Refrigerators
  • Golf Balls
  • Toothpaste
  • Solvents
  • Diesel fuel
  • Motor Oil
  • Bearing Grease
  • Gasoline

A partial list of products made from Petroleum (144 of 6000 items)

One 42-gallon barrel of oil creates 19.4 gallons of gasoline. The rest (over half) is used to make things like the above.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

American Doctors for Truth Releases New Ad: Obama Throws Granny Off the Cliff

American Doctors for Truth released a new Obamacare ad this week.
In the ad President Barack Obama throws Granny off the cliff rather than give her the health care she needs – just like Obamacare!

You can donate to this conservative group and help get the truth out about Obamacare here.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pop Quiz for you

I thought it would be instructive to give a quick quiz on one very current topic -- one that will have an enormous impact on your future.  Hyperlinks and footnotes are provided.  How much do you know?

1.         The most popular name for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act[1] is

            a. Single Payer Services

            b. ObamaCare

            c. Health and Human Services

            d. Universal Health Care Law


2.         Under Section 1501 of the above law, people will be forced to buy health insurance or they will be fined or jailed.

            a. True

            b. False


3.         Exemptions from the monetary penalty and the mandate to purchase insurance             will be given to certain groups.  Who are these groups?

            a. incarcerated persons

            b. illegal aliens

            c. foreign nationals

            d. Indian tribes

            e. people who wrote the ObamaCare law

            f. "b" and "c" only

            g. all of the above


4.         The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as the ACA or             PPACA is only a few pages long.

            a. True

            b. False. As of February 2012, ObamaCare is now about 2,163,744 words long.    Put another way, it is three times longer than the King James Version of the Bible.





 5.        Under the new law, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will fine taxpayers if they             do not purchase health insurance.  This is the first time that tax authorities will             have complete access to people's health care.  Will 16,000+ IRS agents be             authorized to track down individuals and businesses that do not purchase insurance, offer insurance, or fill out the required forms?

            a. Yes

            b. No


 6.        The Congressional mandate on American citizens to purchase health insurance is             considered an unconstitutional violation of personal liberty.  That is why it is             currently being reviewed by the Supreme Court of the United States.

a. True

            b. False


 7.        In August 2010, seventy percent of Americans opposed ObamaCare. In a recent 2012 poll, 82% "don't think the federal government should be able to require them to buy health insurance or pay a fine if they don't."

            a. True

            b. False


 8.        As of March 2011, 1,040 organizations have been granted a one-year exemption

            from ObamaCare.  These waivers mean that certain Americans are being treated

            differently from other Americans.

            a. True

            b. False


 9.        The CBO or Congressional Budget Office, which is a non-partisan group,

estimates that 30 million people will still be uninsured under ObamaCare.

            a. True

            b. False


10.       What difference does it make if ObamaCare is enacted because we will have universal health care in America.  We will still be able to appeal a medical decision if something goes wrong.  Isn't that correct?

a. True. You do not lose the right to appeal a medical decision.

b. No, a government committee will decide what treatments and benefits you get

    and there can be no appeal.  Their decision is final.


11.       Mid-sized or large employers expect to drop employee health coverage by 2014.

Thus, the government's own Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services estimates that upwards of 43 million people will lose their employer-provided coverage as a result of ObamaCare. This will eliminate private healthcare completely and mean that more people will depend on government-provided healthcare.

a. True

b. False


12.       What are the concerns with government-provided healthcare otherwise known as socialized medicine?

            a. health care costs will skyrocket

            b. people will no longer be able to choose their own physicians

            c. The Secretary of Health will determine what drugs and treatments patients receive

            d. the doctor-patient relationship will be undermined

            e. rationing of care will occur as the government determines medical decisions

            f. none of the above

            g. all of the above


13.       Thomas Sowell, an African American economist has expressed his concern about ObamaCare with the following statement:


With politicians now having not only access to our most confidential records, and having the power of granting or withholding medical care needed to sustain ourselves or our loved ones, how many people will be bold enough to criticize our public servants, who will in fact have become our public masters?  A good paraphrase of this quotation would be:

a. Americans can trust their government to make good decisions.

b. Americans will become servants.

c. Confidential records can now be accessed by the government and

    medical decisions will be made by politicians.

d. Politicians have become our masters.


14.       The 44th President has now increased the federal debt to

            a. less than the previous President

            b. almost $17 trillion dollars

            c. more than all American presidents put together

            d. "b" and "c"

            e. only a million dollars


15.       An American child born today will owe this amount of money in order to pay off the federal debt.

            a.  $  10,000

            b.  $  16,000

            c.  $  35,000

            d.  $185,000


16.       When ObamaCare was passed in 2010 it was estimated that it would cost $940 billion dollars.  The latest estimate is now $1.76 trillion dollars.  How will this money be raised?

            a. There is always enough money in the federal Treasury

            b. Taxes will be raised on all Americans

            c. Cuts will be made to Medicare

            d. The government will just print more money

            e. "b" and "c"


17.       Hasn't socialized medicine worked in countries like Great Britain and  Canada?


In a recent article from the British newspaper entitled The Telegraph, the following was disclosed.  Did you know that

"[The British] NHS [National Health Service] managers are deliberately delaying operations as they wait for patients either to die or go private in order to save money, according to an official report."

            In addition, according to the London's Daily Telegraph, "[t]he U.K.'s National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) just announced plans to cut its 60,000 annual steroid injections for severe back-pain sufferers to just 3,000. This should save the government 33 million pounds (about $55 million). 'The consequences of the NICE decision will be devastating for thousands of patients...,'"

            In fact, Prime Minister David Cameron of Great Britain has introduced a bill to partially privatize health care because socialized medicine is harming the people.

            And Canada, Sweden, and Germany are all turning away from socialized medicine. David Gratzer writes his first person account about this in "The Ugly Truth About Canadian Health Care."

            a. Yes, I did know this information

            b. No, I did not realize that rationing occurs under socialized medicine


18.       Under ObamaCare, Medicare payments to physicians will be cut.  Does that mean that senior citizens' access to medical care will be restricted?

            a. Yes

            b. No


19.       In this You Tube presentation, President Obama stated that he "wouldn't add a dime to the existing deficit with his health care plan." How does one explain the discrepancy?

            a. He chose not to be so transparent

            b. Some Americans heard what they wanted to believe

            c. Not enough questions were asked about the actual costs

            d. Simplistic slogans covered up hard facts

            e. The CBO is not telling the truth

            f. "a" "b" "c" and "d"


Moreover "[i]n a study last year, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office, estimated that the CBO underestimated the law's impact on job-based health insurance. He says that the incentives in the law will drive 35 million more workers out of employer plans and into subsidized coverage, and that this would add about $1 trillion to the total cost of the health law over the next decade. McKinsey's survey implies that the cost to taxpayers could be significantly more." Furthermore, a new CBO report dated March 2012 showed that the "national health care law will cost $1.76 trillion over a decade...rather than the $940 billion forecast when it was signed into law."


20.       ObamaCare allows each person choices as to what level of coverage he/she wants.

a. Yes.  It certainly does.

b. No.  The new health law means individuals will no longer decide what level of coverage is right for them.  Instead, the government will decide.  According to the Independent Women's Forum, many Americans will have to purchase policies that cover treatments they do not want or need and this will cost them more.


21.       Is it true that certain religious groups would be exempt from ObamaCare and others would not be exempt?

            a. True. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act "rules offer a situation

                where American Muslims could qualify for the religious exemption," according

                to a loophole known as the health-sharing ministry section.

            b. False. No, that would be unfair.


22.       President Obama pledged that under his health care legislation, "[i]f you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan, period." Will this be true if your employer drops your insurance coverage under the incentives created by ObamaCare?

            a. Yes.  If the President said it, it must be true.

            b. No. It is estimated that 43 million Americans will lose their employer-provided coverage and will be forced to accept whatever the government offers.


23.       Will ObamaCare streamline your visit to a doctor?

            a. Absolutely. ObamaCare will allow patients to have more immediate access to a physician.

            b. Unfortunately, as resources are rationed, and reimbursements levels are reduced, there will be fewer doctors' appointments and longer waits for care.  Doctors are already retiring earlier because they see an attack on their professional opportunities.


24.       Are there other ways to make health insurance available to people that would not cost as much, allow people to make their own medical decisions, and still be effective?

            a. No. ObamaCare is the best solution.

            b. Yes, there are a number of recommendations that will help lower costs and provide health care to Americans.  They include economic incentives, such as tax credits and vouchers. Interstate competition among states would also spur genuine personal choice. Reforming medical malpractice liability would bring costs down. Creating private exchanges would also help reduce the number of uninsured. These are just a few reforms that would "encourage the adoption of coverage and individual responsibility while not compromising Americans' personal freedom and responsibility."  .


25.       Your beloved grandma is getting excellent care at a local nursing home.  Her care will not be compromised under ObamaCare.

            a. True.

b. False.  Under Section 3401, Congress reduces Medicare payment updates for

    hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, and hospice care



26.       Have the costs of ObamaCare been clear from the outset?

a. Well, sort of

b. Absolutely

c. No. The Obama administration has not been forthcoming about the costs as evidenced by this letter


27.       You are only 19 years old but you have heard your pop-pop speak about Medicare Advantage (MA) plans.  These are private insurance options available to Medicare beneficiaries.  Will these MA plans be affected under ObamaCare?

            a. No. Obama respects the elderly.  He would not harm their well-being.

b. Yes. In Section 3201 there will be cuts to payments.  In fact,

"[t]he deep reductions in MA payment rates and services covered will hit low-income and minority seniors disproportionately hard. Hispanic Americans are twice as likely to be enrolled in MA plans as is the average Medicare beneficiary; African Americans are 10 percent more likely. Almost 300,000 Hispanics and over 800,000 African Americans will lose access to MA. MA and would-be MA enrollees with incomes under $30,000 per year will lose a total of $38.5 billion in health care services from PPACA cuts.


28.       While I worry about your lack of commitment to schoolwork, I am encouraged by the concern you show for your grandparents, many of whom raised you.  How might ObamaCare treat your grandparents in their final days?

a. Your family will make end-of-life decisions privately and with your loved ones.

b. The government will decide when grandma needs to be removed from life support.

c. There is no provision for this situation in ObamaCare


  1. B        2.A         3. G        4. B        5. A        6.A         7.A         8.A         9.A       10. B

11. A      12. G      13. C      14. D      15. D      16.E       17. Answers will vary       18. A

19. F      20. B      21. A      22. B      23. B      24.B       25. B      26.C       27.B       28. B                                                                 

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com         


Friday, March 16, 2012

It was just too good

starring Barack Obama, Joe Biden


Wednesday, March 07, 2012

key point

Exit polls showed that Ohio voters viewed Romney as more likely to defeat Obama, but thought Santorum was more sympathetic to average Americans' concerns.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Big Pharma Price Gouging leaves broke Coeds soliciting congress

It's a shame, really, that Big Pharmaceutical companies are gouging the price of birth control pills, congress should act!

Friday, March 02, 2012

Chu: Obama not interested in lowering gas prices

That's the final straw, I'd say the election is preordained...  R's should simply play this testimony in Ads, over and over and over all summer, along with Obama's own words in 2008 where he basically said the same thing.

Obama's energy secretary Steven Chu admitted to a House committee that the administration is not interested in lowering gas prices.