Away with the Fed! 1

The Fed’s track record offers no evidence that the nation’s appointed gurus of monetary policy can either spur real economic growth or halt economic downturns.

This important article is from the Daily Signal of the Heritage Foundation, by Jim DeMint. We like it so much we are quoting it in full:

The Federal Reserve opened its annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo., Thursday. Its experts have assembled to discuss “inflation dynamics.” Concurrently, another group of economists and financial experts is meeting just down the road.  They’re discussing monetary policy, as well, but they’re considering questions never raised at Fed symposia—questions like: “Do we really need the Fed?”

It’s a question worth asking. America’s monetary system is the Achilles heel of the world’s economic system.

Something is seriously wrong when trillions of new dollars are created out of thin air to bail out big banks, “stimulate” the economy and buy government debt. And something is dangerously wrong when the political establishment is afraid even to discuss it.

The common assumption — in financial as well as political circles —is that America’s central bank, the Federal Reserve, not only can manipulate monetary policy to keep the economy rolling, but that it must, if we are to avoid economic ruin.  But ample evidence suggests that this assumption is dead wrong.

Before reviewing that evidence, let’s start with a basic question: “Who decides what money is worth?”  The correct answer is: “We do—the people who use money to buy and sell things.”  As consumers, we decide how much money we are willing to trade for things we want.  As sellers, we decide how much money we require for providing a given product or service.

Money is a proxy for something of value, and it can — and should — work as a market commodity.  In a free market, the dollar price of products and services changes based on supply and demand – based on how we perceive the value of goods and services.  This dynamic is good and healthy for our economy.  But when the actual value of money is altered by a central committee in Washington it is not healthy … in fact, it can be dangerous.

Faith in the Fed is built on three arrogant conceits: that government can create wealth; that designated experts possess the perfect knowledge required to manipulate money for the common good; and that markets cannot sort themselves out without the coercive influence of technocrats.

But the Fed’s track record offers no evidence that the nation’s appointed gurus of monetary policy can either spur real economic growth or halt economic downturns.

Historically, money growth is almost perfectly related to inflation, and near completely divorced from real economic growth. In other words, increasing the money supply increases the prices of the food, machines, and buildings we buy, but in the end, it doesn’t give us more food, machines, and buildings.

As for halting downturns, The Great Depression, the great stagflation of the 1970s, the S&L crisis, and the 2008 financial crisis all occurred on the Fed’s watch. Some argue that the Depression shouldn’t count, because the Fed was just getting started. This conveniently allows them to throw out about 30 years of data — and if you do that, it certainly looks better for the Fed, because recessions were more frequent before World War II than after.

But inconveniently for those who argue the Fed was too young to work its magic in the late ‘30s, Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz demonstrated in A Monetary History of the United States, that it was a major player, even in its infancy. Moreover, Friedman showed that the Fed actually worsened – if not caused – the Great Depression.

Looking at the entire Federal Reserve period, then, we see a different picture.

In 1986 Christina Romer published a paper in the American Economic Review titled “Is the Stabilization of the Postwar Economy a Figment of the Data?”  Its answer to that question was pretty much “yes”.

In that paper, and in subsequent work, Romer and others provided evidence that the Fed really had not tamed business cycles. Some of this research shows that, even with those Depression years tossed aside, recessions since World War II have, on average, lasted longer than pre-war recessions (by almost three months) and taken longer to recover from (also by about three months).

Faced with that evidence, the Fed faithful try to narrow the discussion to the Volcker and Greenspan years, the so-called Great Moderation.  “See,” they say, “The Fed tamed inflation.” But while the variability in inflation came down during those “glory days,” the average annual rate of inflation actually increased—from 3.56 perent in 1948-1978 to 3.74 percent from 1979-2013.

And looking at the full era of the Fed, the record is even worse. The average rate of inflation runs about three times higher than what it was before (less than one-half a percentage point from 1790-1912, as best we can tell).

Some economists will argue that’s not a problem—that higher average inflation is okay because we don’t have as many wild price swings any more.  But most people understand that higher inflation is problematic, that not everything balances out. They realize that not everyone gets an automatic raise every year just because the Consumer Price Index has gone up.

But the fundamental problem with the Fed isn’t its track record. It’s the fact that centralization of monetary and financial power can be just as damaging to our freedoms as centralization of political power. It creates the perception among Americans that their economic futures are out of their control. Unfortunately, this perception is increasingly accurate.

The debasement of monetary policy over the last century is but one element of a larger crisis.  At its root is a presumption among our country’s political and cultural elites that they can override the wisdom and experience accumulated by mankind over the last several millennia.

Posted under Capitalism, Commentary, Economics, government, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, August 28, 2015

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Look – here comes the loony lefty likely Labour leader 1

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It would be a most desirable thing, a sweet dream for all mankind, if the evil Left were to perish.

Its years of power in the West may be over. The “long march through the institutions” brought it to the peak of power – the presidency of the USA. And there it has failed. Of course.

There are signs of its demise in America, what with corrupt old Hillary’s pathetic dance, and voters waking up to Obama’s treachery, and someone (Trump) daring to defy political correctness at last.

And in Britain, the dream may be about to become true.

Steven Hayward writes at PowerLine:

More fun than watching the Hillary meltdown and the Democratic Party rage against the results of the Obama regime is to cast your gaze over to Britain, where the Labour Party seems to have forgotten the lesson of their 1983 election platform (which included a call for unilateral nuclear disarmament) which UK political junkies referred to as “the longest suicide note in history.”

Labour was crushed in that election, and having not been chastened by the recent election rout at the hands of the Conservatives and the Scottish nationalist party seems to be hankering for a repeat of 1983. By all accounts, the Labour Party is set to choose as its next leader Jeremy Corbyn, a deep-left radical who is generally regarded as completely unelectable [by Tony Blair] if he indeed heads the Labour Party into the next election.

I can’t do better than Boris Johnson, the colorful Tory mayor of London, who posted the following on his Facebook page a few days ago. Since it’s on Facebook and there’s no general link, I’ll just report the entire piece here:

It begins with a look of slow and wondering amazement – as if he hardly dares believe his luck; and then the certainty builds, millisecond by millisecond. Then the eyebrows go up even higher, and the mouth gapes and the eyes pop and the epiglottis vibrates as he lets out a long, whooping yell of sheer incredulous ecstasy.

That is how police chief Brody reacts in the last reel of Jaws when, by some fluke, he manages to shoot a bullet right into the oxygen tank in the mouth of the shark, and the ravening fish improbably explodes. That is frankly how we in the Tory party feel as we watch what is happening in the Labour movement today.

If these polls are right (and that is a pretty big if these days) then we are at that preliminary stage in Roy Scheider’s masterful portrait of the joyful police chief. We aren’t yet whooping, but our eyebrows are twitching north in incredulity. We are filled with disbelief that this can really be taking place, a distrust of the evidence of our senses.

If all these forecasts are right – the polls, the betting markets, the pundits – then that fearsome New Labour machine is in the process of some kind of violent, unexpected and hilarious disintegration. It really looks as though it might be the end for the ruthless beast that won three election victories and struck terror for so long into Tory hearts. Can it be true? Can this be happening? Are they really proposing that Her Majesty’s Opposition should be led by Jeremy Corbyn?

It is not just that he has next to zero support among mainstream Labour MPs in the Commons; it doesn’t matter that he has rebelled against the party leadership ever since he has been in the House. Indeed, it doesn’t matter that he sometimes identifies the right problems – low pay, underinvestment in infrastructure, or whatever. It is his solutions that are so out of whack with reality.

This is a man whose policies are way, way to the Left even of the last Labour leader –[Ed] Miliband – a man who in the end was resoundingly rejected by the electorate for being too Left-wing. … He would take this country back to the 1970s, or perhaps even the 1790s. He believes in higher taxes and a bigger deficit, and kowtowing to the unions, and abandoning all attempts to introduce competition or academic rigour in schools – let alone reforming welfare.

He is a Sinn Fein-loving, monarchy-baiting, Israel-bashing believer in unilateral nuclear disarmament. … Never in all his wildest dreams did he imagine that he might be leader of what has been – until this year – one of the major parties of government; and now he is having greatness thrust upon him. …

The armies of Labour rank and file … honestly seem to think that this might be the way forward. Yes, there really are a few hundred thousand people who seriously think that we should turn back the clock, take huge swathes of industry back into public ownership and massively expand the state.

The problem for Labour is that they do not represent the majority of people in this country. That is the real lesson of this campaign so far: that the mass of the Labour Party is totally out of touch with reality and common sense. How should we Tories react?  … We watch with befuddlement and bewilderment that is turning all the time into a sense of exhilarating vindication: I told you they were loony. 

And Alex Massie writes at The Spectator (UK):

Lately, I’ve been thinking about Willie Horton and Michael Dukakis. That’s what Jeremy Corbyn’s rise to prominence will do to a fellow. Horton, you will remember, was the convicted murderer who never returned from a weekend furlough granted to him while Dukakis was governor of Massachusetts, and subsequently kidnapped a couple in Maryland, stabbing the husband and repeatedly raping the wife.

He became the star of George Bush’s 1988 presidential election campaign. Lee Atwater, Bush’s most pugnacious strategist, had vowed to “strip the bark” from Dukakis and promised that “by the time we’re finished they’re going to wonder whether Willie Horton is Dukakis’ running-mate”.  The Willie Horton ads were ugly … but, by god, they were effective. They gave Bush a message: he wasn’t the other guy. The guy from the most liberal corner of the most liberal state in the Union, the guy who opposed the death penalty, who disapproved of … the Pledge of Allegiance, the guy who let a first-degree murderer out of jail, not once, but ten times. The same murderer, Willie Horton, who invaded a suburban home and raped a woman. The Willie Horton who said “Obviously, I am for Dukakis” (it didn’t matter that he didn’t vote just as the other nuances of the issue didn’t matter at all).

By the end of it all it was a bloody business. In the second presidential debate Dukakis was asked if he’d still oppose the death penalty for someone who raped and killed his own wife. He said he would. Game over. Dukakis never understood what hit him.

Of course it was ugly and of course it was merciless and sometimes it was unfair too. But that didn’t matter.

All his bark was stripped.

So the question is, How many Willie Hortons does Jeremy Corbyn have? 

An astonishing number. Not just ISIS, not just his support for an inquiry into supposed Jewish influence on government decisions, not just the platforms he’s shared with a remarkable number of unsavoury types. Not just his suggestion Hamas is not a terrorist organisation. Not just his willingness to blame Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine on NATO. Not just his instinctive support for anyone opposed to anything proposed by either the United States or the United Kingdom. Not even just his suggestion, in 2013, that Argentina be permitted a say in the governance of the Falkland Islands. Not just these things, but all or any of them.

Most of these, frankly, should disqualify him from serious office.

And so too should his record on Northern Ireland. A vast amount of guff is now being peddled by Corbyn’s supporters on this. If we are to believe them, Corby’s willingness to talk to Sinn Fein and the IRA in the 1980s just showed how he was ahead of the game. After all, the British government eventually did so too, didn’t it?

This misses the vital point. Corbyn might have wanted peace’ but he wanted it on the IRA’s terms. He wanted Sinn Fein and the IRA to win.

People genuinely interested in peace – and cross-community dialogue – back then didn’t speak at Troops Out rallies. They didn’t invite convicted IRA bombers to the House of Commons two weeks after the IRA attempted to assassinate the Prime Minister and the rest of her cabinet in Brighton. (A bomb, remember, that killed five people.) …

Even now he cannot actually bring himself to condemn IRA atrocities, weaselling out of suggestions he do so by condemning all atrocities. But normal people know that condemning IRA murders does not mean condoning Loyalist murders or, for that matter, the excesses of the RUC and British Army. Corbyn, however, still prefers to sing from the [Irish] Republican song-sheet. …

Far from being ahead of the game, Corbyn was, at best, deluded, and at worst, marginally complicit in the murderous actions of a terrorist organisation that targeted his fellow citizens.

That none of this seems to trouble his supporters says all you need to know about the mess Labour finds itself in.

If – and perhaps this is unlikely – Corbyn makes it to 2020 even the most ludicrous, improbable, Tory could beat him. Running an anti-Corbyn campaign would be the greatest turkey shoot in the history of modern British politics.

The only difficulty would be deciding which of Corbyn’s Willie Hortons it would be most effective to focus upon. Bark-stripping will never be easier.

Choosing Corbyn is worse than a blunder, it’s a crime.

Not if his leadership means the end of the British Labour Party.

We hope Corbyn is easily beatable in a general election. We hope the campaign against him will be managed as effectively as Bush’s campaign against Dukakis was managed.

We hope the British Laboour Party is a spent force. Forever.

And we hope that will be the beginning of the end of the evil Left as a force in national politics in the West.

But we are skeptical and rather pessimistic through experience, and will not be surprised if we are disappointed.

No matter if they cry 3

Yet another video exposing Planned Parenthood’s traffic in parts of babies has emerged.

“They’d come in, they’d be crying … ‘Should I do this?’ … ”

Planned Parenthood is callously butchering unborn, late-term fetuses, violating the law, and lying about it.

So writes Guy Benson at Townhall. His article proceeds:

Planned parenthood tweeted in mid-July: “Planned Parenthood helps patients who wish to donate fetal tissue, just like other health providers do.” [And] “These programs follow all ethics & laws; patients consent fully & nobody benefits financially.”

“These programs” refer to Planned Parenthood’s systematic harvesting and selling of human organs from aborted fetuses — including late-term fetuses. The organization claims that its practices comply with all “ethics and laws,” which is not true. It is against the law to alter abortion procedures for the purpose of enhancing the quality and quantity of the resulting sellable “tissue samples”.

Several senior Planned Parenthood officials admit to doing precisely that, on tape. One discusses strategically “crushing” certain parts of the fetus to protect lucrative organs such as livers, while another explicitly discusses “alter[ing] our process” in order to obtain “intact fetal cadavers”. This is illegal and medically unethical. The tweet also states that patients “consent fully” to the sale of their aborted children’s body parts. The latest video [the one we show above – ed], featuring a whistle-blower, directly challenges this claim:

The series follows the personal narrative of Holly O’Donnell, a former Blood and TIssue Procurement Technician for StemExpress, a start-up biotech company from northern California that partners with Planned Parenthood clinics to purchase their aborted fetus parts and resell them for scientific experimentation. As a procurement tech, O’Donnell’s job was to identify pregnant patients matching the specifications of StemExpress customers and to harvest the fetal body parts from their abortions. “It’s not an option, it’s a demand,” StemExpress supervisors instructed O’Donnell about approaching pregnant women at Planned Parenthood for fetal tissue “donations”.  O’Donnell says the StemExpress techs working in Planned Parenthood clinics sometimes harvested fetal parts without obtaining consent from the patients: “If there was a higher gestation, and the technicians needed it, there were times when they would just take what they wanted. And these mothers don’t know. And there’s no way they would know.” Federal laws on the procurement and use of human fetal tissue require that patient’s consent to the tissue donation subsequent to consenting to the abortion procedure (42 U.S.C. 289g-1).

Finally, there’s the “nobody benefits financially” piece, which is patently ridiculous and easily disproven. One Planned Parenthood doctor caught on video talks about using fetal organ harvesting to help clinics “do a little better than break even”. This is known as “profit”. Another talks about “bump[ing] up” the agreed-upon price for body parts, joking that she wants to buy “a Lamborghini”. Yet another employee boasts that the organ-harvesting side business plays an important role in the “diversification of [Planned Parenthood’s] revenue stream”, referring to fetal organs as “line items” that can be split up among “different shipments” to maximize revenues.

But Planned Parenthood continues to lie:

“Nobody benefits financially,” the [Planned Parenthood] home office claims, because …

Can’t you hear their self-righteous tone? Can’t you see their eyebrows go up in the middle of their foreheads in the classic look of pretense to utter innocence?

 … profiting from the sale of human remains is illegal.

Not only does Planned Parenthood need urgently to be defunded and shut down, but its executives need to be charged with their crimes and brought to trial.

Will any of this happen? Maybe the defunding, but we doubt there will be criminal prosecutions. Not, anyway, while the Obama gang is in power.

*

Afterword: In fact, the Obama administration is doing everything it can to keep Planned Parenthood going as an archipelago of busy slaughterhouses.

From Newsmax today (Thursday August 13, 2015):

The U.S. government has warned states moving to defund Planned Parenthood that they may be in conflict with federal law, officials said on Wednesday.

Posted under corruption, Crime, government, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Thursday, August 13, 2015

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So only tyranny will save us from being burnt to a crisp? 3

As the president reveals his plan to reduce greenhouse gases to save us from an apocalyptic atmosphere, I wish to remind people of three things …

So Joe Bastardi, chief forecaster at WeatherBELL Analytics, a meteorological consulting firm, writes at The Right Opinion.

1.) The true hockey stick of the fossil fuel era: Global progress in total population, personal wealth and life expectancy.

This is truly amazing. To show how fossil fuels played a roll in expanding the global pie, there are many more people alive today living longer and enjoying a higher GDP. One has to wonder if someone against fossil fuels is simply anti-progress. Ironic since many in the camp of anthropogenic global warming like to label themselves “progressive”. They’re certainly anti-statistic given something like this staring them in the face.

2.) The geological time scale of temperatures versus CO2.

As much as I struggle, I can’t see the linkage. …

3.) EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy admitted that the steps being taken would only prevent .01 degrees Celsius of warming, but it was the example that counted for the rest of the world.

This article sums that up pretty nicely.

This in addition to the fact that, in 2011, she admitted she did not know how much CO2 was in the atmosphere. And its lines of evidence for this are provably false!

Given the facts, I can’t help but wonder: Did policymakers ever take Economics 101, or a course in how to read a chart?

And the writer asks:

All this for .01 degrees Celsius?

Posted under Economics, Environmentalism, government, Leftism, Mysticism, Progressivism, Superstition, tyranny, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, August 4, 2015

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Sayings of Milton Friedman 2

Our thanks to John Hawkins at Townhall, for compiling these quotations:

[July 31st] would have been the 103rd birthday of Milton Friedman, who was one of the most brilliant economists of the last century. In honor of Friedman, here are his 20 best quotes.

20) “A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.”

19) “Because we live in a largely free society, we tend to forget how limited is the span of time and the part of the globe for which there has ever been anything like political freedom: the typical state of mankind is tyranny, servitude, and misery. The nineteenth century and early twentieth century in the Western world stand out as striking exceptions to the general trend of historical development. Political freedom in this instance clearly came along with the free market and the development of capitalist institutions. So also did political freedom in the golden age of Greece and in the early days of the Roman era.”

18) “It is one thing to have free immigration to jobs. It is another thing to have free immigration to welfare. And you cannot have both. If you have a welfare state, if you have a state in which every resident is promised a certain minimal level of income, or a minimum level of subsistence, regardless of whether he works or not, produces it or not. Then it really is an impossible thing.”

17) “So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear. That there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.”

16) “When everybody owns something, nobody owns it, and nobody has a direct interest in maintaining or improving its condition. That is why buildings in the Soviet Union – like public housing in the United States – look decrepit within a year or two of their construction…”

15) “The great danger to the consumer is the monopoly – whether private or governmental. His most effective protection is free competition at home and free trade throughout the world. The consumer is protected from being exploited by one seller by the existence of another seller from whom he can buy and who is eager to sell to him. Alternative sources of supply protect the consumer far more effectively than all the Ralph Naders of the world.”

14) “Two major arguments are offered for introducing socialized medicine in the United States: first, that medical costs are beyond the means of most Americans; second that socialization will somehow reduce costs. The second can be dismissed out of hand — at least until someone can find some example of an activity that is conducted more economically by the government than private enterprise. As to the first, the people of the country must pay the costs one way or the other; the only question is whether they pay them directly on their own behalf, or indirectly through the mediation of government bureaucrats who will subtract a substantial slice for their own salaries and expenses.”

13) “Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.”

12) “The supporters of tariffs treat it as self-evident that the creation of jobs is a desirable end, in and of itself, regardless of what the persons employed do. That is clearly wrong. If all we want are jobs, we can create any number – for example, have people dig holes and then fill them up again, or perform other useless tasks. Work is sometimes its own reward. Mostly, however, it is the price we pay to get the things we want. Our real objective is not just jobs but productive jobs – jobs that will mean more goods and services to consume.”

11) “I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it’s possible.”

10) “There is all the difference in the world, however, between two kinds of assistance through government that seem superficially similar: first, 90 percent of us agreeing to impose taxes on ourselves in order to help the bottom 10 percent, and second, 80 percent voting to impose taxes on the top 10 percent to help the bottom 10 percent – William Graham Sumner’s famous example of B and C decided what D shall do for A. The first may be wise or unwise, an effective or ineffective way to help the disadvantaged – but it is consistent with belief in both equality of opportunity and liberty. The second seeks equality of outcome and is entirely antithetical to liberty.”

9) “When the United States was formed in 1776, it took 19 people on the farm to produce enough food for 20 people. So most of the people had to spend their time and efforts on growing food. Today, it’s down to 1% or 2% to produce that food. Now just consider the vast amount of supposed unemployment that was produced by that. But there wasn’t really any unemployment produced. What happened was that people who had formerly been tied up working in agriculture were freed by technological developments and improvements to do something else. That enabled us to have a better standard of living and a more extensive range of products.”

8) “I want people to take thought about their condition and to recognize that the maintenance of a free society is a very difficult and complicated thing and it requires a self-denying ordinance of the most extreme kind. It requires a willingness to put up with temporary evils on the basis of the subtle and sophisticated understanding that if you step in to do something about them you not only may make them worse, you will spread your tentacles and get bad results elsewhere.”

7)“We economists don’t know much, but we do know how to create a shortage. If you want to create a shortage of tomatoes, for example, just pass a law that retailers can’t sell tomatoes for more than two cents [adjust to today’s equivalent] per pound. Instantly you’ll have a tomato shortage. It’s the same with oil or gas.”

6) “The great virtue of a free market system is that it does not care what color people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy. It is the most effective system we have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another.”

5) “Workers paying taxes today can derive no assurance from trust funds that they will receive benefits from when they retire. Any assurance derives solely from the willingness of future taxpayers to impose taxes on themselves to pay for benefits that present taxpayers are promising themselves. This one sided ‘compact between the generations,’ foisted on generations that cannot give their consent, is a very different thing from a ‘trust fund.’ It is more like a chain letter.”

4) “There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s government. And that’s close to 40% of our national income.”

3) “Indeed, a major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it… gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”

2) “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.”

1) “I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, they will shortly be out of office.”

Posted under Capitalism, Economics, government by Jillian Becker on Sunday, August 2, 2015

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Truth trumps good taste and political myths 4

The New York Post reports:

Donald Trump took his act out west Saturday, drawing huge crowds who came to cheer his bizarre, over-the-top claims that Mexico is purposefully exporting criminals in bulk to the United States.

In Phoenix, where immigration has long been a hot-button issue, supporters snapped up all 5,000 tickets to a free rally.

“They’re taking our jobs. They’re taking our manufacturing jobs. They’re taking our money. They’re killing us.”

Trump even promised to charge the government of Mexico $100,000 for every illegal immigrant who crosses into the US.

“Now they make so much money, that’s peanuts,” he told the cheering, laughing crowd.

“I could’ve made it much higher — but I’m nice. I’m in a good mood today.”

Not a bad idea, if it could be done.

And as for illegal immigrants killing us – that’s a hot topic.

Matthew Vadum writes at Front Page:

Left-wingers in San Francisco should be hanging their heads in shame after their borderline seditious, destructive immigration policies allowed an illegal alien felon to murder a young woman randomly in broad daylight.

Nor did gun control laws prevent Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a 45-year-old illegal alien deported five times to Mexico, from allegedly firing one bullet into the upper body of medical device sales representative Kate Steinle on busy Pier 14 … Steinle was cut down in front of her father and mother and died later in hospital.

No motive has been established for the shooting but Lopez-Sanchez is a five-time felon. An hour after the shooting, he was picked up by police roughly a mile away.

Although this violent thug pulled the trigger, progressives, through the laws they have enacted, put this man on the streets which allowed him to murder.

Federal authorities had Lopez-Sanchez in custody in March after he was set free from a federal prison. They transferred him to San Francisco authorities because he was wanted by them on drug-related charges. The feds filed what’s called an “immigration detainer” requesting that the local authorities notify them before releasing the man.

But San Francisco, home of the most militant leftists in America, refused the request because local policy forbids it. The prisoner in effect got a “get out of jail free card” from the left-wing open-borders movement which argues that keeping illegals in jail violates their constitutional rights.

This is how it works. Being wanted for violating immigration laws isn’t enough, in the eyes of progressives, so after they have served their local time illegals go straight from their holding cells to the streets where they are free to murder, rape, and rob the citizens of this country.

Leftist pressure groups pushed California lawmakers hard to force the state’s jailers to set illegal aliens who lacked serious criminal records free more quickly so federal officials would not be able to detain them for deportation hearings.

Kate Steinle is dead because of the damage the Left has done in its crusade to dismantle what remains of U.S. immigration law.

Whatever discourages illegals from entering the country is bad, and whatever encourages them to hop the fence is good in the eyes of the progressives who are destroying America.

We don’t think the day will ever come when “Left-wingers in San Francisco” will be “hanging their heads in shame” for anything they do. If Leftists were capable of shame, if they had consciences, they would have abandoned their ideology and/or committed mass suicide decades ago when that ideology was fully demonstrated to be the most terrible of any that has ever afflicted poor suffering humankind. We are talking about Socialism of course – both the International Socialism of Lenin, Stalin, and Mao, and the National Socialism of Hitler.

Now back to Donald Trump.

We don’t think Donald Trump should be president. But if his bold candor forces others to be bold and candid, then we’re glad he’s in the line-up.

As much as progressives and the Republican establishment hate him, the murder of Kate Steinle would not have made a ripple in the national consciousness were it not for Donald Trump. No, Trump didn’t bring the story to people’s attention, but he did bring the issue to it.

That comes from an article by Derek Hunter at Townhall. Here’s more of it:

When Kate Steinle was murdered by an illegal alien with a felony rap sheet long enough to make him a viable hip-hop star, the world barely noticed. Conservative blogs did. Fox News did. But most of the rest of the world ignored it. When this became impossible, mainstream media covered it … as little as possible.

The murder of Kate Steinle touched a nerve with Americans who are more interested in protecting the lives of innocent people than advancing a political agenda.

Unfortunately, none of those people are elected Democrats. None work in the White House. And only a tiny few can be found in newsrooms across the country.

Kate Steinle’s murder didn’t garner the national media coverage or sympathy given to a drug dealer in Baltimore or a petty thief who tried to kill a cop in Missouri, but it did rekindle a smoldering fire in the American people. Kate was killed for no reason, but she need not die in vain. …

Before Trump’s announcement, the debate over illegal aliens and immigration reform was about amnesty, and far too many Republican presidential hopefuls agreed with the concept, to varying degrees. Trump changed that, much to their consternation.

The Chamber of Commerce, a big money player in politics, wants amnesty; it wants an already saturated employment market flooded with millions of new legal entrants to keep downward pressure on wages.

It’s a myth that big business and Wall Street are “Republican” or “conservative.” They love big government when it subsidizes them or props up their stock price. And they love regulations when they make it nearly impossible for new competitors to emerge. Big business is perfectly happy both to use government as a weapon against competitors and to cry “free markets” when that weapon is aimed at them.

Trump doesn’t need them or their money, so he doesn’t have to soft pedal his talk about illegal aliens to appease them. Every Democrat in the field – and most of the Republicans – willingly cede our national sovereignty to corporate interests, Trump calls a spade a spade. That makes him dangerous. It also makes him wildly popular.

What the GOP establishment doesn’t understand, and never has understood, is its lip service, half-measures and phony compassion are not popular. We see through it. They can cite all the convoluted polls in the world claiming to show support for amnesty should certain hurdles be met, but everyone knows those hurdles will be ignored should they become law. …

Trump isn’t my candidate – I don’t have one yet. But the reason for his current popularity is obvious to anyone who isn’t surrounded by lackeys or those with a vendetta against him: He’s unapologetically himself.

Think what you will of Trump, but if you’re going to hit him be prepared to get hit back, and hard. If you’re going to ask him a question, expect to get an answer unlike one you get from a politician. And people feel he’s telling them the truth, not regurgitating poll-tested, focus-group-approved pabulum.

The establishment is starting its usual “which candidate is electable” dance marathon, but in the last two presidential elections, that marathon has produced John McCain and Mitt Romney. How’d that work out again?

Part of that dance is telling us who can’t win. In 1980, the establishment was certain Ronald Reagan couldn’t win. He was too conservative, too radical, too old, too much of a wild card.

To be clear, Trump isn’t Reagan. But he is Reaganesque in the sense that people believe he’s telling them what he really thinks with a real passion, and he doesn’t bow to pressure to temper it or tell them something else. During an interview with CNN this week, he didn’t tolerate the usual liberal media garbage; he called it out and batted it away.

If one or more of the other candidates don’t find that voice, that honest way of speaking … Trump could be the nominee. Or Hillary Clinton could be president.

And finally, we select some remarks by Mark Steyn. But enjoy the whole thing here. To tempt you – he calls Hillary Clinton “a sleazy, corrupt, cronyist, money-laundering, Saud-kissing liar”, “a dud and a bore”, “a wooden charmless stiff”. He also brings Obama into his range and scores a hit by stating: “the Bernie Sanders surge is a strong sign that, while [the Democrats] are relaxed about voting for an unprincipled arrogant phony marinated in ever more malodorous and toxic corruption, they draw the line at such a tedious and charisma-free specimen thereof”. [Great stuff – but do they?]

Trump is supposed to be the narcissist blowhard celebrity candidate: He’s a guy famous for erecting aesthetically revolting buildings with his “brand” plastered all over them, for arm-candy brides, for beauty contests and reality shows. The other fellows are sober, serious senators and governors.

And yet Trump is the only one who’s introduced an issue into this otherwise torpid campaign – and the most important issue of all, I would argue, in that ultimately it’s one of national survival. And so the same media that dismiss Trump as an empty reality-show vanity candidate are now denouncing him for bringing up the only real policy question in the race so far.

What he said may or may not be offensive, but it happens to be true: America has more Mexicans than anybody needs, and then some. It certainly has more unskilled Mexicans than any country needs, including countries whose names begin with “Mex-” and end in “-ico”. And it has far more criminal Mexicans than anybody needs, which is why they make up 71 per cent of the foreign inmates in federal jails.

Just to underline that last point, a young American woman was murdered for kicks in a supposed “sanctuary city” on the eve of the holiday weekend by an illegal immigrant from Mexico. He had flouted US immigration law for years – or, to be more precise about it, local, state and federal officials had colluded with him in the flouting of US immigration law, to the point where San Francisco’s sheriff actively demanded the return of this criminal to his “sanctuary city”, thereby facilitating the homicide of an actual citizen, taxpayer and net contributor to American society.

This would be quite an interesting topic to air in a US election campaign, don’t you think? Certainly, a segment of voters seems to be interested in it. But bigshot media like NBC and Univision and craphole emporia like Macy’s are telling Trump and everybody else: you can’t even bring this up; this is beyond discussion. The “acceptable” Republican candidates are now obliged to denounce the guy who mentioned the unmentionable: “Will you distance yourself from Trump’s controversial remarks? Do you agree such views have no place in your party?” Needless to say, Reince Preibus and the other jelly-spined squishes of the GOP establishment are eagerly stampeding to do the Macy’s-Univision-industrial complex’s work for them.

Kate Steinle is dead because the entire Democratic Party, two-thirds of the Republican Party and 100 per cent of the diseased federal-state-municipal bureaucracy prioritizes myths over reality.

Yes, it’s distressing to persons of taste and discrimination that the only person willing to address that reality is Donald Trump. But that’s because he’s not the reality-show freak here. The fake-o lame-o reality freakshow is the political pseudo-campaign being waged within the restraints demanded by the media and Macy’s. So, if Donald Trump is the only guy willing to bust beyond those bounds, we owe him a debt of gratitude. If, as Karl Rove proposes, other candidates are able to talk about the subject in a more “inclusive” way, so be it. But, if “inclusive” is code for not addressing it at all, nuts to that. …

Be honest, which would you prefer and which is a bleaker comment on the political health of the republic – Bernie vs the Donald? Or Hillary vs Jeb?

Posted under Commentary, corruption, Crime, Economics, Ethics, government, immigration, media, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Sunday, July 12, 2015

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Karl Marx, Saul Alinsky, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton 12

Now, despite all her lies, Hillary Clinton should be believed at last. Why? Because she is proposing radical leftist policies, and she has been a radical leftist since her schooldays.

She became then, and continues to be, an ardent follower of the Marxist revolutionary, Saul Alinsky.

Barack Obama also was, and continues to be, an Alinskyite.

A Hillary Clinton presidency would be tantamount to a third Obama term.

Stanley Kurtz exposes and explains all this in the video we took from Front Page:

Why only heterosexual marriage is rightly the state’s concern 18

Justice Scalia, in his dissent from the Supreme Curt’s ruling that makes same-sex marriage legal throughout the United States (see our post immediately below, Who rules America?), so despised what five of his fellow justices ruled – because they had no right to – that he wrote this :

The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.

His chief concern is that the Supreme Court was exceeding its powers and disastrously changing its proper function as a checking and balancing branch of government. Also, he declared it wrong to shut down the democratic process of debate within the states.

He firmly stated that the issue of same-sex marriage itself was not important to him.

Much as we like his dissenting opinion on the whole, on this point we disagree. While we take no position on any sexual preferences, practices, or proclivities (as long as there is no exploitation or corruption of children involved), we think that the issue of same-sex marriage is important. Its legalization throughout the United States has profound consequences.

Far from augmenting individual freedom, the ruling is radically destructive of it.  

Here is an article that explains why that is the case, by Stella Morabito at The Federalist:

Same-sex marriage is a notion that contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction. I doubt many have thought this through, with the ironic exception of the elites who have been pushing the agenda the hardest.

Most people are weary of it all and going along to get along, especially since dissent has become such a socially expensive proposition, almost overnight. That in itself should deeply concern anyone who values freedom of expression.

Sure, true believers scattered across the land really do think the entire project ends with allowing same-sex couples to marry. Most persist in the blind faith that a federal ban on the standard definition of marriage will have no negative effect on family autonomy and privacy. That’s a pipe dream.

The same-sex marriage agenda is more like a magic bullet with a trajectory that will abolish civil marriage for everyone, and in doing so, will embed central planning into American life. And that, my friends, is the whole point of it. Along with Obamacare, net neutrality, and Common Core, genderless marriage is a blueprint for regulating life, particularly family life.

The Rainbow’s Arc
Unintended consequences usually come about when we are ignorant or maybe lazy about a course of action. But we usually crash land after following an arc of logic, which in this case has gone largely undiscerned and unaddressed in the public square.

Americans are in a fog about how marriage equality will lead to more central planning and thought policing. This is partly because the media and Hollywood only provide slogans to regurgitate while academics and judges push politically correct speech codes to obey.

Let’s explore the fallout of that arc of faulty logic. Included below are some 15 of the gaping holes in the “marriage equality” reasoning that Americans have not thought through.

1. The Kids Are Not Alright
Last month, six adult children from LGBT households filed amicus briefs opposing genderless marriage …

Whenever a parent is missing — for whatever reason — a child feels a primal wound. In this respect, parents belong to their children more than children belong to their parents. We ought to recognize that privileges of civil marriage should ultimately exist for children, not for adults. Children have the right to know their origins and not to be treated as commodities. Same-sex parenting — which increasingly involves human trafficking, particularly with artificial reproductive technologies (see number eight) — deliberately deprives a child of a mother and/or a father. The “marriage equality” agenda requires that such children bear that burden alone and repress their primal wound in silence.

2. Love’s Got Nothing to Do with State Interest in Marriage
“Love is love” is an empty slogan when it comes to state interest in marriage. How two people feel about one another is none of the state’s business. The state’s interest is limited to the heterosexual union because that’s the only union that produces the state’s citizenry.

And it still is, whether the union happens traditionally or in a petri dish. Each and every one of us — equally and without exception — only exists through the heterosexual union. In any free and functioning society, there is a state interest in encouraging as much as possible those who sire and bear us to be responsible for raising us.

3. The Infertility Canard
Just as the state has no litmus test for feelings or motives, it has no litmus test for any heterosexual couple who do not produce children because of intent, infertility, or age. Conflating same-sex couples with childless or elderly heterosexual couples seems to be the fallacy of composition: claiming something must be true of the whole because it’s true of some part of the whole.

Sorry, but the heterosexual union, no matter how it takes place, is the only way any citizen exists, including intersex and transgender citizens. So recognizing that union without prejudice remains the only reason for state interest in marriage.

4. Same-Sex Marriage Will Settle Nothing
It’s only the starting point for a glut of philosophically related demands for state recognition and approval of many other types of relationships, including polygamy and incest. This will mark the sudden beginning of an even more sudden end for same-sex marriage, not so much because those other types of relationships prove immoral, but because they serve as exhibits for the argument that all civil marriage — including same-sex marriage — is unsustainable and discriminatory.

5. “Marriage Equality” Opens the Path for “Unmarried Equality”
There’s a movement waiting in the wings called “unmarried equality,” which argues that all civil marriage should be abolished because it privileges married people over singles. If same-sex marriage becomes the law of the land, it will set the precedent for abolishing marriage. Far from getting the state out of the marriage business, it will invite the state to regulate all familial relationships, particularly those with children. Once the state doesn’t have to recognize your marriage, it is freer to treat your spouse and children as strangers to you.

6. Transgenderism Is a Big Part of This Package
Americans have not thought through the implications of same-sex marriage and how it is logically a big step to erasing all sex distinctions in law. If we become legally sexless, the implications are vast when it comes to how or whether the state will recognize family relationships such as mother, father, son, or daughter. There’s already a push to eliminate sex identification at birth, which could mean removing sex distinctions on birth certificates. This will seem logical because all gender identity non-discrimination laws already presume that everybody’s sex is something arbitrarily “assigned” to them at birth.

7. It’s an Open Invitation for State Licensing of Parents
If we allow the abolition of sex distinctions and civil marriage — both of which are written into the social DNA of same-sex marriage — we logically allow the state to gain greater control over deciding familial relationships. Civil marriage so far has presumed that a child born into a heterosexual union has the default right to be raised by his biological parents together. How can the presumption of maternity or paternity survive in a legal system that recognizes neither sex distinctions nor a marriage relationship?

The bellwethers are out there. MSNBC anchor Melissa Harris-Perry did a “Forward” spot for the Obama administration in which she stated that all children “belong” to communities, not families. Another friend of the Obama administration, gender legal theorist Martha Fineman, calls for state-subsidized care-giving units to replace marriage and the family.

8. Same-Sex Marriage Commodifies Children
You may think artificial reproductive technologies (ART) are fine as an avenue to obtain children for those unable to conceive. But in the context of genderless marriage, ART ramps up the potential for human trafficking. Check anonymousus.com to read testimonies of grief and loss felt by children who were conceived in this manner. Check the movies Eggsploitation and Breeders by the Center for Bioethics and Culture to hear stories of the exploitation of women in the industry. There is definitely an element of human bondage in all of this, particularly because human beings are being deliberately separated from their mothers and fathers, in a way that echoes the wounds of slavery’s separations and the search for one’s roots.

About the next section (9): we are leaving it in, although we care not a jot about any church’s teachings about anything, because freedom of religion must mean freedom to have no religion. The important points this author makes above and below are matters of reason and common sense .

9. It Sets a Head-On Collision Course with Freedom of Religion
The handwriting is on the wall. You need only reflect on how a screaming mob managed to conjure up total surrender from Indiana Gov. Mike Pence so he would reject that state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Catholic Charities is closing its adoption services where same-sex marriage laws pressure them to reject their church’s teachings about marriage and family. Owners of businesses that serve the wedding industry are being forced to either scrap their consciences or shut their doors. Anti-discrimination lawsuits against churches that don’t perform same-sex marriages will undoubtedly increase.

10. It Sets a Collision for Freedom of Speech and Press
Campus speech codes. Social punishment. Firing Brendan Eich as CEO of Mozilla for discovering his thought crime of privately believing in marriage six years prior. The utter compliance of virtually every big business in America, every media outlet, every pundit who is permitted to have a voice in the public square.

11. It’s Especially On a Collision Course with Freedom of Association
I already mentioned that abolishing civil marriage, along with legal sex distinctions, puts the government in a better position to regulate familial relationships, and probably to license parents. If we think deeply about these things, it’s hard to avoid the fact that freedom of association begins with family autonomy, a place where the state is supposed to leave you alone in your most intimate relationships. It’s hard to see how freedom of association is not affected, especially when PC speech codes have everyone constantly checking their chit chat with neighbors, co-workers, and classmates. At Marquette University, staff were told that any conversation or remarks construed to be against same-sex marriage were to be reported to Human Resources, even if just inadvertently overheard.

12. Same-Sex Kills Privacy by Growing Bureaucracy
With the erosion of family autonomy practically guaranteed by the rainbow arc of same-sex marriage, private life will tend to evaporate, just as it always does in centrally planned societies. Distrust grows because people fear punishment for expressing dissenting views. The emphasis on political correctness in the name of equality, coupled with an ever-growing bureaucracy, is a perfect environment in which to percolate a surveillance society.

13. It’s Meant to Be Global
The United States is already punishing countries and threatening to cut off aid if they don’t accept the LGBT agenda. This is especially true of developing countries, in which the whole idea is foreign to over 95 percent of the population. According to a report by Rep. Steve Stockman, corroborated by a Pentagon official, the administration held back critical intelligence from Nigeria which would have aided in locating girls kidnapped by Boko Haram. The new National Security Strategy recently released by the White House makes clear that the LGBT agenda is a global agenda. And it looks a lot like cultural imperialism of the worst kind.

14. It Promises a Monolithic Society of Conformity
In the past year or two, everyone with something to lose by opposing same-sex marriage — with the honorable exception of Eich — seems to have scuttled their principles. Five years ago, the American Psychological Association voted 157-0 — that’s right, ZERO — to support genderless marriage. For an excellent assessment of what this sort of conformity means for a free society, read Brendan O’Neill’s article in Spiked, entitled Gay Marriage: A Case Study in Conformism. The agenda was imposed by elites, entirely due to a methodical blitzkrieg of programs and enforcement dictated from above. Same-sex marriage simply could not come about without suppressing dissent in all of our institutions.

15. Expect More Severe Punishment for Dissent
If you think the bullying of businesses, churches, and individuals who don’t get with the LGBT program now is bad, it promises to get much worse once codified. Is this really the sort of society you wish to live in? Where expressing an opinion from your heart on faith [or lack of it – ed], family, marriage, relationships, love, or the very nature of reality — is routinely attacked as hate speech? Because that is exactly what you need to expect.

Justice Anthony Kennedy made it very clear in his words of the Windsor decision that any dissent on same-sex marriage was tantamount to animus. It is but a short step from presuming animus to punishing dissent.

So perhaps the biggest question hanging in the air is this: What will the authorities decide to do to dissenters?

Punishing the truth tellers 1

If Obama and his gang had the dictatorial powers they would like to have, they would suppress all dissent as heresy, as Communist regimes always do.

As it is, his faithful minions in government agencies and the military are doing their best to act like the Stasi.

Obama repeatedly lies, encourages others to lie in the interest of his agenda, and has his unofficial Stasi operatives punish anyone who exposes a lie. 

This is from the Washington Post, by Joe Davidson:

Warren Weinstein is dead. Colin Rutherford, Joshua Boyle, Caitlin Coleman and the child she bore in captivity are still hostages in Pakistan. I failed them. I exhausted all efforts and resources available to return them but I failed.

So began Army Lt. Col. Jason Amerine’s testimony before a Senate hearing Thursday on retaliation against whistleblowers.

He was the first witness in what was a sometimes-emotional hearing into the reprisals military personnel and civilians can face from the government they serve.

Amerine is the decorated Special Forces officer who was assigned to help retrieve Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the soldier held captive for five years after leaving his base in Afghanistan. …

One not worth bringing home actually. Better brought to trial, which he soon will be, charged with desertion by the army. The Obama gang approve of him and exchanged him for five dangerous Taliban leaders imprisoned at Guantanamo. But Lt. Col. Amerine did his duty faithfully, so Obama disapproves of him and has his (laughably named) Department of Justice pursue him for revenge.

In the course of Amerine’s work, he said his team learned about the other prisoners, Rutherford, Boyle and Coleman. After he complained to Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) that “the bureaucracy for hostage recovery was broken” and spoke with the FBI, Amerine said he was labeled a whistleblower, “a term that has become radioactive and derogatory”. 

His security clearance was suspended, his retirement was halted and he became the subject of a criminal investigation.

Amerine was with three other whistleblowers, federal civilians also reporting reprisals from an Uncle Sam who evidently did not want to hear the truth.

One of the three, Michael James Keegan, a former Social Security associate commissioner who reported that agency officials misled Congress about a building project, was “confined to an empty office with little or no work to do, no responsibilities and very little contact with other SSA employees”.

Their cases are still in progress, so their claims have not been fully substantiated. But they testified under oath about the kind of revenge that is reported all too often in the federal workplace.

“These men and women take great risk to stand up and expose wrongdoing,” said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “They sacrifice their careers, their reputations and often their financial security. Congress — and this committee in particular — must support federal whistleblowers and ensure that they are adequately protected from retaliation.”

The witnesses at the hearing have congressional attention, but that is not the same as protection.

The Obama administration protects the liars, such as Lois Lerner, who – on behalf of the administration – used her position at the IRS to impede and harass conservative groups.

What Obama is doing is what the Left always does. The Left is a criminal movement.

Civil liberties versus national security 5

The Washington Post reports:

Senators left Capitol Hill early Saturday morning without taking action to extend or replace a controversial surveillance program set to expire at month’s end, paralyzed by a debate over the proper balance between civil liberties and national security.

Our tentative answer to the dilemma: As there’s an administration in power that believes government should control our lives, we would vote for civil liberties over national security; if there were an administration that knows it’s first duty is to protect our freedom, we would trust it not to overstep the mark, so we would vote for national security.

And yet …

Trouble is,  even if we were so lucky as to get a reasonably trustworthy administration, it could all too easily be replaced by another statist gang such as we have at present.

Readers are invited to give their own views on this difficult conundrum.

Posted under Commentary, government, Law, Leftism, liberty, Terrorism, Totalitarianism, tyranny, United States, US Constitution by Jillian Becker on Saturday, May 23, 2015

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