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Immigration Excuses

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This is from Thomas Sowell in AmmoLand. 

Dr. Sowell shreds the notion of automatic citizenship for babies of illegal’s.

It is long past time to end this madness and deport them.

 

California –-(Ammoland.com)- One of the most lame excuses for doing nothing is that we can’t do everything.

Such excuses have been repeated endlessly, even by some conservatives, when it comes to illegal immigration.

We can’t deport millions of illegal immigrants already living in the country, some say, so the wise thing is to just learn to live with them, according to the supposedly sophisticated crowd.

This completely sidesteps the plain, obvious and galling fact that we are not deporting those illegal immigrants who are arrested by the police for violating other laws — and are then turned loose back into American society. In so-called “sanctuary cities” across the country, local police are under orders not to report illegal immigrants to the federal authorities.

Nobody has a right to obstruct justice when it comes to federal laws — not even the President of the United States, as Richard Nixon discovered when he had to resign after Democrats threatened him with impeachment and Republican Senators told him that they would not defend him.

Today, any mayor of any city of any size across the country can publicly announce that he is going to obstruct federal laws against illegal immigrants — and then bask in a glow of self-satisfaction and the prospect of winning votes.

Even people who are gung-ho to punish employers who do not take on the role of immigration police, for which they have neither training nor authority, are often ready to overlook elected officials who do have both the duty and the authority to uphold the laws, but openly refuse to do so.

The federal government itself, under the Obama administration, has refused to enforce immigration laws, and has ordered its own agents to back off when it comes to enforcing some laws that President Obama happens not to like.

Then there is also what might be called the pretense of enforcement — when people who have been caught illegally entering the country are turned loose inside the country and told to report back to a court later on. How surprised should we be when they don’t?

One of the most widely known abuses of the immigration laws is the creation of “anchor babies” to get automatic citizenship when a pregnant woman simply crosses the U.S. border to have her child born on American soil. This is not limited to people who cross the Mexican border. Some are flown in from Asia to waiting posh facilities.

Not only do their children get automatic American citizenship without having to meet any requirements, this also increases the opportunities for other family members to gain admission later on, in the name of “family reunification.”

This is such an obvious racket, and so widely known, for so long, that you might think our “responsible” leaders would agree that it should be stopped. But, here again, there are excuses rather than action.

One distinguished conservative commentator even said recently that this is such a small problem that it is not worth bothering with.

The anger of Americans who feel betrayed by their own elected officials is not a small thing. It goes to the heart of what self-government by “we the people” is supposed to mean.

To say that it is a small thing is even worse than saying that we can’t do anything about it. We certainly can’t do anything about it if we won’t lift a finger to try.

Some legal authorities say that the 14th Amendment confers automatic citizenship on anyone born on American soil. But the very authors of that Amendment said otherwise. And some distinguished legal scholars today, including Professor Lino Graglia of the University of Texas Law School, say otherwise.

Even if it were necessary to revise the 14th Amendment, it is sheer Progressive era dogma that Constitutional Amendments are nearly impossible to revise, repeal or create. There were four new Constitutional Amendments added in just eight years, during the height of the Progressive era in the early 20th century.

But it is indeed impossible if you are just looking for excuses for not trying. Republicans who are worried about Donald Trump should be ( read Tump’s Immigration Plan) . But their own repeated betrayals of their supporters set the stage for his emergence. This goes all the way back to “Read my lips, no new taxes.”

Read more: http://www.ammoland.com/2015/08/immigration-excuses/#ixzz3jgUAUcIj
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Random Thoughts

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This is from Thomas Sowell in Town Hall.

 

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

When President Obama keeps talking about “violent extremists” in the abstract, you might wonder whether Presbyterians are running amok.

The mainstream media seem desperate to try to find something to undermine Republican governor Scott Walker’s rise in the polls. The worst they have come up with is that he didn’t finish college. Neither did Bill Gates or Michael Dell. The Wright brothers didn’t finish high school. Neither did Abraham Lincoln or George Washington.

Have you noticed that there seem to be an ever growing number of things that we are not supposed to say in public?

Given the Obama administration’s repeatedly failed policies in the Middle East and the lost credibility of the president’s glib pronouncements, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress may be many Americans’ first chance to get a realistic assessment of the Middle East situation and its potential for international catastrophe.

Attempts to bring order out of the chaos in the paper jungle of my office usually get nowhere until I finally break everything down into just two categories: (1) urgently needed and (2) trash to be thrown out.

It is going to take time to secure the border, and it ought to take time for Congress to explore the facts about immigrants from different countries before voting on new immigration legislation. Both processes can be going on at the same time. But those who want border security laws and immigration laws passed together — “comprehensive immigration reform” — are for denying us that time. Why?

State Department official Marie Harf said, “We cannot win this war by killing them” but instead we need to get to the “root causes” of jihads by providing “job opportunities.” We tried getting at the “root causes” of crime back in the 1960s — and crime rates skyrocketed. But we stopped the Nazis in World War II by killing them, instead of setting up a jobs program in Germany.

The old advertising slogan, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” may or may not have been true. But surely the West should know by now that what happens in the Middle East does not stay in the Middle East. Throwing Israel to the wolves and signing agreements with Iran will not buy “peace in our time” and allow us to further shrink the military and expand the welfare state.

Academics often defend tenure, despite its many negative consequences, on grounds that it allows academic freedom for independent minds. Yet there are few places in America with more taboos and intellectual intolerance than academic campuses. The young are indoctrinated with demographic “diversity” that contrasts with a squelching of diversity of ideas on social issues.

It is remarkable how the Internal Revenue Service has been “losing” e-mails that Congressional investigators want to see and how “global warming” researchers have been “losing” the raw data on which their dire predictions have been based. In the social sciences, people just frankly refuse to allow their raw data to be seen by critics of such sacred cow policies as affirmative action.

The radical feminist movement, so ready to go ballistic at any little remark that can be twisted to mean something offensive to women, has been strangely silent while ISIS has been raping women and even little girls wholesale, and selling them as sex slaves. Is the silence of the radical feminists just political expediency or moral bankruptcy? Or both?

Secretary of State John Kerry says that there is less violence than usual in the world right now. Meanwhile the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, says the opposite, that terrorism is more violent and dangerous than ever. Since Clapper is Director of National Intelligence, maybe Kerry should have the title Director of National Stupidity.

We should never again put a first-term Senator in the White House. But, of the three Republican first-term Senators who are prospective candidates for the 2016 nomination for president, Marco Rubio is one of the very few politicians of either party to publicly admit that he was wrong on a major issue — immigration. He may well be ready for the White House in 2020.

Random Thoughts

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This is from Thomas Sowell in Town Hall.

Measles like many other diseases were almost eradicated in the United States now they are running rampant due to the illegals crossing our borders.

 

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

Who says President Obama doesn’t promote bipartisanship? His complicity in Iran’s moving toward nuclear bombs has alarmed some top Senate Democrats enough to get them to join Republicans in opposition to the Obama administration’s potentially suicidal foreign policy.

Before the current measles outbreak, measles was once almost wiped out in the United States. But an article in a medical journal more than a decade ago had many parents afraid to have their children vaccinated, for fear that the vaccine causes autism. After scientific studies refuted that claim, the medical journal repudiated the article, and the doctor who wrote it had his license revoked.

If not a single policeman killed a single black individual anywhere in the United States for this entire year, that would not reduce the number of black homicide victims by one percent. When the mobs of protesters declare “Black lives matter,” does that mean ALL black lives matter — or only the less than one percent of black lives lost in conflicts with police?

In politics, never assume that because something is insane, it will not be done. The Holocaust was as insane as it was a moral horror. But it was done. Even after the tide of war turned against Germany and it faced invasion and devastation, Hitler continued to pour scarce resources into the mass killing of people who were no threat.

When someone tries to lay a guilt trip on you for being successful, remember that your guilt is some politician’s license to take what you worked for and give it to someone else who is more likely to vote for the politician who plays Santa Claus with your money.

So long as public schools are treated as places that exist to provide guaranteed jobs to members of the teachers’ unions, do not be surprised to see American students continuing to score lower on international tests than students in countries that spend a lot less per pupil than we do.

Would you go to a funeral if you knew that your presence would be unwelcome and would just add to the pain of the mourners? Probably not. But New York’s mayor Bill de Blasio went to both funerals for the two New York City policemen recently murdered — and gave speeches. That epitomized what a truly despicable human being he is, even by the low standards of politicians.

Demographic “diversity” is a notion often defended with fervor but seldom with facts.

Few things are more irritating, or more phony, than statements from various organizations about their “privacy policy.” What that really means is their invasion of privacy policies — how much information about you that your bank, hospital or Internet service is going to pass on to other people without your permission.

Somewhere Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes says that the purpose of an education should be to produce a mind that cannot be humbugged. But today our educational system, from kindergarten to the universities, is engaged in the mass production of fashionable humbug — propaganda rather than education.

Some people see discrimination when schools punish black students more often than white students. But schools punish white students more often than Asian students. Lenders turn down black applicants for loans more often than white applicants — but they turn down whites more often than Asians. Most statistics on such things omit Asians, rather than spoil a politically correct story.

President Obama may have gained something politically or ideologically by recognizing Cuba, but just what did the United States gain? Like so much that has been done by this administration, the diplomatic recognition of Cuba demonstrates how safe it is to be our enemy, while our policies toward Ukraine and Israel demonstrate how risky it is to be our ally.

Despite radical feminist organizations’ frequent bursts of outrage, these same radical feminists’ response to the mass capture of school girls by Islamic terrorists in Nigeria, and turning those girls into sex slaves, has been strangely muted. Is this because there is no political mileage or lawsuit settlements to be achieved by expressing outrage at such unconscionable raw savagery in Nigeria?

Beware of Our Betters

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This is from Thomas Sowell in Town Hall.

The liberal elites have all of the answers the problem is they do not know what the questions are.

Ronald Reagan said it best about liberals.

Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.

A Time for Choosing, Address on behalf of Senator Barry Goldwater,Rendezvous with Destiny, October 27, 1964

Jonathan Gruber’s several videotaped remarks about the gross deceptions that got ObamaCare passed in Congress should tell us a lot about the Obama administration. And the way that the mainstream media hesitated for days to even mention what Professor Gruber said, while they obsessed over unsubstantiated charges against Bill Cosby, should tell us a lot about the media.

Whatever did or did not happen between Bill Cosby and various women is not likely to affect the lives of 300 million Americans. But ObamaCare does.

For both the politicians and the media, this was not just an isolated incident. Gruber’s videotaped discussions of the complicated deceptions built into ObamaCare with his help, designed to take advantage of what he called the “stupidity” of the public, are all too typical of the role played by the political left.

Neither the politicians nor the intelligentsia — including the media — want that role exposed for what it is.

Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi acted as if she had never heard of Jonathan Gruber, and had no idea who he was. But she too had been caught on tape, a few years ago, citing him as someone whose support of ObamaCare was supposed to show that the “experts” knew how good it was.

President Obama gave a somewhat more sophisticated version of the same act. He pointed out that Professor Gruber was not part of his staff. But he did not mention that Gruber had been to the White House 19 times, and the Obama administration had paid Gruber about $400,000 of the taxpayers’ money for his supposedly unbiased expert opinion.

Gruber’s own statements seem to indicate that his mathematical models were enough to baffle the Congressional Budget Office in its efforts to figure out how ObamaCare works. That kind of expertise apparently does not come cheap. Moreover, the 400 grand is chump change compared to the millions that Jonathan Gruber has reportedly raked in from state governments for his expertise.

Barack Obama is currently playing the same political game of parading experts by citing a list of prominent law professors who say that he is not exceeding his Constitutional power by granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.

Someone at the Fox News Channel has checked out these professors and found that every one of them whose political registration could be traced is a Democrat. But the names of these profs are still being paraded as if they were simply eminent scholars seeking the truth. Maybe. But maybe not.

Whether the issue is ObamaCare, amnesty for illegal immigrants or “global warming,” when you hear that “all the experts agree,” that may mean nothing more than that the fix is in. And “all” may mean considerably less than 100 percent — or even 50 percent.

No one can know for sure what motivated Professor Gruber to do what he did, or what motivated the media to stonewall as if he had never spilled the beans, or the liberal law professors to give Obama cover while he violated the Constitution.

But running through all of their actions seems to be a vision of the world, and a vision of themselves, that is a continuing danger to the fundamental basis of this country, whatever the specific issue might be.

Probably few people on the political left are opposed to the Constitution of the United States, much less actively plotting to undermine it. But, on issue after issue, what they want to do requires them to circumvent the three words with which the Constitution begins: “We, the people…”

Many on the left may want to help “the people.” But once you start from the premise that you know what is best for the people, better than they know themselves, you have to figure ways around a Constitution based on the idea that the people not only have a right to choose their government and control government policy with their votes, but also that there are vast areas of the people’s lives that are none of the government’s business.

Jonathan Gruber’s notion that the people are “stupid” is not fundamentally different from what Barack Obama said to his fellow elite leftists in San Francisco, when he derided ordinary Americans as petty people who want to cling to their guns and their religion. We need to see through such arrogant elitists if we want to cling to our freedom.

Everything Millennials Need To Know About Politics And Economics in 25 Quotes

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This is from Town Hall.

The Millennials and lots of people need to know these facts, but sadly most will not accept this advice.

 

1) No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems. They are trying to solve their own problems — of which getting elected and re-elected are number one and number two. Whatever is number three is far behind. — Thomas Sowell

2) We tolerate, even promote, many things we once regarded as evil, wrong, or immoral. And then we seek “explanations” for an act that seems beyond comprehension. Remove societal restraints on some evils and one can expect the demons to be freed to conduct other evil acts. —Cal Thomas

3) What would you think of a person who earned $24,000 a year but spent $35,000? Suppose on top of that, he was already $170,000 in debt. You’d tell him to get his act together — stop spending so much or he’d destroy his family, impoverish his kids and wreck their future. Of course, no individual could live so irresponsibly for long. But tack on eight more zeroes to that budget and you have the checkbook for our out-of-control, big-spending federal government. —John Stossel

4) As my father-in-law once said, when they talk about taxes it’s always for teachers, firemen, and police – but when they spend your taxes, it always seems to go to some guy in a leather chair downtown you never heard of. —Glenn Reynolds

5) America’s abundance was created not by public sacrifices to “the common good,” but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes. They did not starve the people to pay for America’s industrialization. They gave the people better jobs, higher wages and cheaper goods with every new machine they invented, with every scientific discovery or technological advance–and thus the whole country was moving forward and profiting, not suffering, every step of the way. — Ayn Rand

6) If there is no moral foundation for a system of laws, then the law is reduced to “These are the rules. They’re the rules because I say so, and I control all of the guys with guns.” We can ask those who survived Pol Pot, Stalin, or Mao how that worked out…

So the law is either codification of morality or it is thuggery. The real argument is about which moral code will be implemented by the law. To claim to reject a moral underpinning for the law is either a wish to live in a place where the law is whatever one guy says it is today, or else it is a disingenuous attempt to substitute your own moral code for the one that has already been codified. —Beregond

7) A rising tide (in the economy) lifts all boats. — John Kennedy

8) I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer. —Ben Franklin

9) 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… —Milton Friedman

10) Repeatedly asking for government help undermines the foundations of society by destroying initiative and responsibility. It is also a fatal blow to efficiency and corrupts the political process. When everyone gets something for nothing, soon no one will have anything, because no one will be producing anything. —Charles Koch

11) Right now, politicians have the power to suddenly decide to tax us all at 100% and then spend the money replacing all of our roads with a high-speed rail system. What keeps them from doing that? Common sense? Come on, look at the morons we have in government – Congress is filled with idiots who couldn’t run a lemonade stand and who have grand visions to transform the nation. No, the only thing stopping them is that they’re divided into two parties who viscerally hate each other. If they ever got along, a big new government overreach like the Patriot Act or a giant boondoggle like Obamacare would be passed every couple weeks. By the end of the year, we’d have the government spying on our every movement as we lived flat broke in shanty towns, eating our government-allotted corn cob half we’d get every other day. —Frank J. Fleming

12) Far from having the 21st-century equivalent of an Edwardian class system, the United States is characterized by a great deal of variation in income: More than half of all adult Americans will be at or near the poverty line at some point over the course of their lives; 73 percent will also find themselves in the top 20 percent, and 39 percent will make it into the top 5 percent for at least one year. Perhaps most remarkable, 12 percent of Americans will be in the top 1 percent for at least one year of their working lives. —Kevin Williamson

13) Yet the basic fact remains: every regulation represents a restriction of liberty, every regulation has a cost. That is why, like marriage (in the Prayer Book’s words), regulation should not “be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly” —Margaret Thatcher

14) “The larger the percentage of the national income taken by taxes the greater the deterrent to private production and employment. When the total tax burden grows beyond a bearable size, the problem of devising taxes that will not discourage and disrupt production becomes insoluble.” —Henry Hazlitt

15) Millions of individuals making their own decisions in the marketplace will always allocate resources better than any centralized government planning process. —Ronald Reagan

16) By government giveaway programs, individuals are often hurt far more than they are helped. The recipients of these programs become dependent on the government and their dignity is destroyed. Is it compassionate to enslave more and more people by making them a part of the government dependency cycle? I think compassion should be measured by how many people no longer need it. Helping people to become self-sufficient is much more compassionate than drugging them with the narcotic of welfare. —Rush Limbaugh

17) With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to health care, you have to realize what that implies. It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery. It means that you’re going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses. —Rand Paul

18) There used to be no income inequality in China because everyone was poor. This is a tradeoff you accept for growth and freedom. —Michele Caruso-Cabrera

19) Out of every hundred new ideas ninety-nine or more will probably be inferior to the traditional responses which they propose to replace. No one man, however brilliant or well-informed, can come in one lifetime to such fullness of understanding as to safely judge and dismiss the customs or institutions of his society, for those are the wisdom of generations after centuries of experiment in the laboratory of history. —Will and Ariel Durant

20) The total present value of payments expected under Social Security and Medicare beyond what is expected to be collected under current tax laws is about $100 trillion. One way to put that amount of money in context is to note that it is about twice the amount of all the net private assets that exist in America today. To answer cw’s question directly, the best back-of-envelope estimate is that meeting this unfunded portion of our Social Security and Medicare commitments would require roughly an immediate 80 percent increase in federal income taxes, sustained forever. –Jim Manzi

21) The real story is that our social safety net was supposed to be like one of those, “Take a Penny, Leave a Penny” tills that depend on the honor and neighborliness of a community. And we don’t have that community. What we have is a fragmented mess of givers and takers who are not the same people. —Daniel Greenfield

22) If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that, too. — Somerset Maugham

23) Suppose I hire you to repair my computer. The job is worth $200 to me and doing the job is worth $200 to you. The transaction will occur because we have a meeting of the mind. Now suppose there’s the imposition of a 30 percent income tax on you. That means you won’t receive $200 but instead $140. You might say the heck with working for me – spending the day with your family is worth more than $140. You might then offer that you’ll do the job if I pay you $285. That way your after-tax earnings will be $200 – what the job was worth to you. There’s a problem. The repair job was worth $200 to me, not $285. So it’s my turn to say the heck with it. This simple example demonstrates that one effect of taxes is that of eliminating transactions, and hence jobs. — Walter Williams

24) Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks-no form of government can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea, if there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men. So that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them. — James Madison

25) Freedom is messy. In free societies, people will fall through the cracks — drink too much, eat too much, buy unaffordable homes, fail to make prudent provision for health care, and much else. But the price of being relieved of all those tiresome choices by a benign paternal government is far too high. Big Government is the small option: it’s the guarantee of smaller freedom, smaller homes, smaller cars, smaller opportunities, smaller lives. – Mark Steyn

 

 

Random Thoughts

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These Random Thoughts are by Thomas Sowell in Town Hall.

 

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

What a non-judgmental society amounts to is that common decency is optional — which means that decency is likely to become less common.

The biggest issue in this fall’s election is whether the Obama administration will end when Barack Obama leaves the White House or whether it will continue on, by appointing federal judges with lifetime appointments who share President Obama’s contempt for the Constitution. Whether such judges will be confirmed by the Senate depends on whether the Senate continues to be controlled by Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Why in the world would any sane American go to North Korea and put themselves at the mercy of a crackpot dictator?

Since Illinois enacted a law permitting more people to carry concealed firearms, more than 65,000 people got permits to do so. Rates of robbery, burglary and motor vehicle thefts have dropped significantly, and the murder rate has fallen to a level not seen in more than half a century. If only the gun control fanatics would pay some attention to facts, a lot of lives could be saved.

If you took all the mumbo-jumbo out of our educational institutions, how much would be left? Students could finish their education years earlier and end up knowing a lot more than they know now.

Why are Americans — and the Western world in general — falling all over ourselves stifling our own self-expression to appease people who chose to immigrate here, and are now demanding the suppression of anything they don’t like, such as public expressions of Christianity or displays of the American flag?

Someone should write a history of political rhetoric, if only to put us on our guard against being deceived into disasters. The First World War, for example, was said to be a war “to make the world safe for democracy.” What it actually led to was the replacement of despotic dynasties by totalitarian dictatorships that were far worse, including far more murderous.

Professor Sterling Brown remains as much a hero to me in my old age as he was when I was a freshman at Howard University. He wrote bitterly eloquent attacks on racism — and yet, when I was preparing to go off to Harvard, he said to me, “Don’t come back here and tell me you didn’t make it ’cause white folks were mean.”

The fatal weakness of most clever people is that they don’t know when to stop being clever. The past cleverness of President Obama is finally starting to catch up with him.

Why Republicans would bring up the subject of immigration during an election year is beyond me. Yet Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner seems drawn to the subject like a moth to a flame.

Who says the Obama administration is not transparent? They are constantly telling our enemies overseas when it will pull out our troops and where we will not put boots on the ground.

Heartening as it has been to see Derek Jeter get farewell honors during his last season, as with Mariano Rivera last season, it is also a melancholy thought that we may not see their like again — in their personal dignity and class, as well as their performance on the field. They are throwbacks to an earlier time, in a sports world of spoiled brat showoffs today.

I must have heard the word “diversity” proclaimed in ringing tones as a great benefit to society at least a thousand times — and probably closer to a million — without even once hearing a speck of evidence provided, or even suggested as a way to test whether that is true or false.

Attorney General Eric Holder has picked the perfect time to resign, in terms of his own self-interest. He will have two years in which to cash in with lucrative fees on the lecture circuit and to make a big-bucks book deal. If he waited until the end of the Obama administration, a former Attorney General would be eclipsed in both respects by a former President of the United States, thereby reducing the demand for Holder.

With the momentous consequences of control of the Senate at stake in this fall’s election, anyone who risks the outcome by running as a third party candidate should not only be voted against this year but remembered for such irresponsibility in future years.

IS THINKING NOW OBSOLETE?

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This is from World Net Daily.

Thomas Sowell is spot on with his observations

Poor old Geraldo Rivera is trying to get fifteen more minutes of fame.

It has been rough for Geraldo after opening Al Capone’s vault.

 

Thomas Sowell defends Matt Drudge in face of Geraldo’s barbs.

 

Some have said that we are living in a post-industrial era, while others have said that we are living in a post-racial era. But growing evidence suggests that we are living in a post-thinking era.

Many people in Europe and the Western Hemisphere are staging angry protests against Israel’s military action in Gaza. One of the talking points against Israel is that far more Palestinian civilians have been killed by Israeli military attacks than the number of Israeli civilians killed by the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel that started this latest military conflict

 

Are these protesters aware that vastly more German civilians were killed by American bombers attacking Nazi Germany during World War II than American civilians killed in the United States by Hitler’s forces?

Talk-show host Geraldo Rivera says that there is no way Israel is winning the battle for world opinion. But Israel is trying to win the battle for survival, while surrounded by enemies. Might that not be more important?

Has any other country, in any other war, been expected to keep the enemy’s civilian casualties no higher than its own civilian casualties? The idea that Israel should do so did not originate among the masses but among the educated intelligentsia.

In an age when scientists are creating artificial intelligence, too many of our educational institutions seem to be creating artificial stupidity.

It is much the same story in our domestic controversies. We have gotten so intimidated by political correctness that our major media outlets dare not call people who immigrate to this country illegally “illegal immigrants.”

Geraldo Rivera has denounced the Drudge Report for carrying news stories that show some of the negative consequences and dangers from allowing vast numbers of youngsters to enter the country illegally and be spread across the country by the Obama administration.

Some of these youngsters are already known to be carrying lice and suffering from disease. Since there have been no thorough medical examinations of most of them, we have no way of knowing whether, or how many, are carrying deadly diseases that will spread to American children when these unexamined young immigrants enter schools across the country.

The attack against Matt Drudge has been in the classic tradition of demagogues. It turns questions of fact into questions of motive. Geraldo accuses Drudge of trying to start a “civil war.”

Back when masses of immigrants from Europe were entering this country, those with dangerous diseases were turned back from Ellis Island. Nobody thought they had a legal or a moral “right” to be in America or that it was mean or racist not to want our children to catch their diseases.

Even on the less contentious issue of minimum wage laws, there are the same unthinking reactions.

Although liberals are usually gung ho for increasing the minimum wage, there was a sympathetic front-page story in the July 29 San Francisco Chronicle about the plight of a local nonprofit organization that will not be able to serve as many low-income minority youths if it has to pay a higher minimum wage. They are seeking some kind of exemption.

Does it not occur to these people that the very same thing happens when a minimum wage increase applies to profit-based employers? They, too, tend to hire fewer inexperienced young people when there is a minimum wage law.

This is not breaking news. This is what has been happening for generations in the United States and in other countries around the world.

One of the few countries without a minimum wage law is Switzerland, where the unemployment rate has been consistently less than 4 percent for years. Back in 2003, The Economist magazine reported that “Switzerland’s unemployment neared a five-year high of 3.9 percent in February.” The most recent issue shows the Swiss unemployment rate back to a more normal 3.2 percent.

Does anyone think that having minimum wage laws and high youth unemployment is better? In fact, does anyone think at all these days?
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/08/is-thinking-now-obsolete/#5U6EFe5JQVTDLwFZ.99

The High Cost of Liberalism: Part III

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This is by Thomas Sowell in Town Hall.

 

 

 

Income inequality has long been one of the liberals’ favorite issues. So there is nothing surprising about its being pushed hard this election year.

If nothing else, it is a much-needed distraction from the disasters of ObamaCare and the various IRS, Benghazi and other Obama administration scandals.

Like so many other favorite liberal issues, income inequality is seldom discussed in terms of the actual consequences of liberal policies. When you turn from eloquent rhetoric to hard facts, the hardest of those facts is that income inequality has actually increased during five years of Barack Obama’s leftist policies.

This is not as surprising as some might think. When you make it unnecessary for many people to work, fewer people work. Unprecedented numbers of Americans are on the food stamp program. Unprecedented numbers are also living off government “disability” payments.

There is a sweeping array of other government subsidies, whether in money or in kind, which together allow many people to receive greater benefits than they could earn by working at low-skilled jobs. Is it surprising that the labor force participation rate is lower than it has been in decades?

In short, when people don’t have to earn incomes, they are less likely to earn incomes — or, at least, to earn incomes in legal and visible ways that could threaten their government benefits.

Most of the households in the bottom 20 percent of income earners have nobody working. There are more heads of household working full-time and year-round in the top 5 percent than in the bottom 20 percent.

What this means statistically is that liberals can throw around numbers on how many people are living in “poverty” — defined in terms of income received, not in terms of goods and services provided by the government.

Most Americans living in “poverty” have air conditioning, a motor vehicle and other amenities, including more living space than the average person in Europe — not the average poor person in Europe, the average person.

“Poverty” is in the eye of the statisticians — more specifically, the government statisticians who define what constitutes “poverty,” and who are unlikely to define it in ways that might jeopardize the massive welfare state that they are part of.

In terms of income statistics that produce liberal outcries about “disparities” and “inequities,” millions of people who don’t have to earn incomes typically don’t.

The more people who are in a non-income-earning mode, the greater the disparities with the incomes of those of us who have to work for a living, and who have to earn more to offset high tax rates. Yet liberals often act as if this is an injustice to those who don’t work, rather than an injustice to those who do work, and whose taxes support those who don’t.

Actually, the liberal welfare state is an injustice to both, though in different ways.

Despite whatever good intentions some liberals may have had in creating the ever-growing welfare state, practical politicians know that more dependency means more votes for supporters of bigger government.

There are no incentives for either politicians or the bureaucrats who run the welfare state agencies to get people off their dependency on government programs. Moreover, the eligibility rules create a very high cost to individuals who try to rise by getting a job and earning their own money.

It is not uncommon for someone who is receiving multiple government-provided benefits — housing subsidies, food subsidies, etc. — to lose more in benefits than they gain in income, if they decide to take a legitimate and visible job.

If increasing your income by $10,000 a year would cause you to lose $15,000 worth of government benefits, would you do it? That is more than the equivalent of a 100 percent tax rate on income. Even millionaires and billionaires don’t pay that high a tax rate.

Liberals don’t talk — or perhaps even think — in terms of the actual consequences of their policies, when it is so much more pleasant to think in terms of wonderful goals and lofty rhetoric.

The High Cost of Liberalism: Part II

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This is by Thomas Sowell in Town Hall.

 

 

Liberals can be disarming. In fact, they are for disarming anybody who can be disarmed, whether domestically or internationally.

Unfortunately, the people who are the easiest to disarm are the ones who are the most peaceful — and disarming them makes them vulnerable to those who are the least peaceful.

We are currently getting a painful demonstration of that in Ukraine. When Ukraine became an independent nation, it gave up all the nuclear missiles that were on its territory from the days when it had been part of the Soviet Union.

At that time, Ukraine had the third largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world. Do you think Putin would have attacked Ukraine if it still had those nuclear weapons? Or do you think it is just a coincidence that nations with nuclear weapons don’t get invaded?

Among those who urged Ukraine to reduce even its conventional, non-nuclear weapons as well, was a new United States Senator named Barack Obama. He was all for disarmament then, and apparently even now as President of the United States. He has refused Ukraine’s request for weapons with which to defend itself.

As with so many things that liberals do, the disarmament crusade is judged by its good intentions, not by its actual consequences.

Indeed, many liberals seem unaware that the consequences could be anything other than what they hope for. That is why disarmament advocates are called “the peace movement.”

Whether disarmament has in fact led to peace, more often than military deterrence has, is something that could be argued on the basis of the facts of history — but it seldom is.

Liberals almost never talk about disarmament in terms of evidence of its consequences, whether they are discussing gun control at home or international disarmament agreements.

International disarmament agreements flourished between the two World Wars. Just a few years after the end of the First World War there were the Washington Naval Agreements of 1921-1922 that led to the United States actually sinking some of its own warships. Then there was the celebrated Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928, in which nations renounced war, with France’s Foreign Minister Aristide Briand declaring, “Away with rifles, machine guns, and cannon!” The “international community” loved it.

In Britain, the Labour Party repeatedly voted against military armaments during most of the decade of the 1930s. A popular argument of the time was that Britain should disarm “as an example to others.”

Unfortunately, Hitler did not follow that example. He was busy building the most powerful military machine on the continent of Europe.

Nor did Germany or Japan allow the Washington Naval Agreements to cramp their style. The fact that Britain and America limited the size of their battleships simply meant that Germany and Japan had larger battleships when World War II began.

What is happening in Ukraine today is just a continuation of the old story about nations that disarm increasing the chances of being attacked by nations that do not disarm.

Any number of empirical studies about domestic gun control laws tell much the same story. Gun control advocates seldom, if ever, present hard evidence that gun crimes in general, or murder rates in particular, go down after gun control laws are passed or tightened.

That is the crucial question about gun control laws. But liberals settle that question by assumption. Then they can turn their attention to denouncing the National Rifle Association.

But neither the National Rifle Association nor the Second Amendment is the crucial issue. If the hard facts show that gun control laws actually reduce the murder rate, we can repeal the Second Amendment, as other Amendments have been repealed.

If in fact tighter gun control laws reduced the murder rate, that would be the liberals’ ace of trumps. Why then do the liberals not play their ace of trumps, by showing us such hard facts? Because they don’t have any such hard facts. So they give us lofty rhetoric and outraged indignation instead.

 

The High Cost of Liberalism

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This is by Thomas Sowell in Town Hall.

We all are paying for liberalism and will do so for decades.

 

Liberals advocate many wonderful things. In fact, I suspect that most conservatives would prefer to live in the kind of world envisioned by liberals, rather than in the kind of world envisioned by conservatives.

Unfortunately, the only kind of world that any of us can live in is the world that actually exists. Trying to live in the kind of world that liberals envision has costs that will not go away just because these costs are often ignored by liberals.

One of those costs appeared in an announcement of a house for sale in Palo Alto, the community adjacent to Stanford University, an institution that is as politically correct as they come.

The house is for sale at $1,498,000. It is a 1,010 square foot bungalow with two bedrooms, one bath and a garage. Although the announcement does not mention it, this bungalow is located near a commuter railroad line, with trains passing regularly throughout the day.

Lest you think this house must be some kind of designer’s dream, loaded with high-tech stuff, it was built in 1942 and, even if it was larger, no one would mistake it for the Taj Mahal or San Simeon.

This house is not an aberration, and its price is not out of line with other housing prices in Palo Alto. One couple who had lived in their 1,200 square foot home in Palo Alto for 20 years decided to sell it, and posted an asking price just under $1.3 million.

Competition for that house forced the selling price up to $1.7 million.

Another Palo Alto house, this one with 1,292 square feet of space, is on the market for $2,285,000. It was built in 1895.

Even a vacant lot in Palo Alto costs more than a spacious middle-class home costs in most of the rest of the country.

How does this tie in with liberalism?

In this part of California, liberalism reigns supreme and “open space” is virtually a religion. What that lovely phrase means is that there are vast amounts of empty land where the law forbids anybody from building anything.

Anyone who has taken Economics 1 knows that preventing the supply from rising to meet the demand means that prices are going to rise. Housing is no exception.

Yet when my wife wrote in a local Palo Alto newspaper, many years ago, that preventing the building of housing would cause existing housing to become far too expensive for most people to afford it, she was deluged with more outraged letters than I get from readers of a nationally syndicated column.

What she said was treated as blasphemy against the religion of “open space” — and open space is just one of the wonderful things about the world envisioned by liberals that is ruinously expensive in the mundane world where the rest of us live.

Much as many liberals like to put guilt trips on other people, they seldom seek out, much less acknowledge and take responsibility for, the bad consequences of their own actions.

There are people who claim that astronomical housing prices in places like Palo Alto and San Francisco are due to a scarcity of land. But there is enough vacant land (“open space”) on the other side of the 280 Freeway that goes past Palo Alto to build another Palo Alto or two — except for laws and policies that make that impossible.

As in San Francisco and other parts of the country where housing prices skyrocketed after building homes was prohibited or severely restricted, this began in Palo Alto in the 1970s.

Housing prices in Palo Alto nearly quadrupled during that decade. This was not due to expensive new houses being built, because not a single new house was built in Palo Alto in the 1970s. The same old houses simply shot up in price.

It was very much the same story in San Francisco, which was a bastion of liberalism then as now. There too, incredibly high prices are charged for small houses, often jammed close together. A local newspaper described a graduate student looking for a place to rent who was “visiting one exorbitantly priced hovel after another.”

That is part of the unacknowledged cost of “open space,” and just part of the high cost of liberalism.

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